Aces & Ales
Both locations have a revolving door of craft drafts: The original eastside location on Nellis has 22 taps, and the new place on Tenaya Way has 50, plus a list with more than 150 bottles. Each offers weekly tastings highlighted by six small pours paired with bites from the kitchen. There are also occasional beer dinners and tap takeovers by various breweries (visit AcesAndAles.com for details). And it’s not like they wait until the season changes to start changing beers—Facebook and Twitter are updated as soon as one beer replaces another, which happens daily. 3740 S. Nellis Blvd., 436-7600, and 2801 N. Tenaya Way, 638-2337.
From the outside, this bar looks like your typical Las Vegas dive. Once inside, you’ll find there’s a surprisingly well-curated list for a neighborhood bar—one that still has neighborhood-bar prices. Until a few years ago, this unsung hero of craft beers didn’t even serve hard liquor, quietly building its list of 24 rotating taps and a bottle list of about 100. There are high alcohol-by-volume (ABV) draws, such as Sculpin IPA and Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA, and fun seasonal brews such as Stan’s Spicy Pumpkin Ale from Wasatch Brewing Co. that really elevate Money Plays’ open-mic nights on Thursdays and Fridays. 4755 W. Flamingo Rd., 368-1828, MoneyPlaysLV.com.
This is the name that should fall off your lips first when it comes to a selection of craft anything. Not only was it the first craft beer bar in Las Vegas, but with 1,250 options, it has the largest bottle selection in the country. The Frog gets wooden-cask beers monthly, and keeps a stash of rarities, including Nevada’s only Zymatore experimental kegs, which pair European beers with a variety of used barrels (port, sherry, bourbon, etc). Most recently the Zymatore project flowed through Freakin’ Frog with Canaster, a 9.5 percent ABV scotch ale aged in Belgian Owl whisky barrels. 4700 S. Maryland Pkwy., 217-6794, FreakinFrog.com.
The upscale pub in the Venetian is the embodiment of the hipster craft beer movement, complete with a cicerone (think beer sommelier) armed with an iPad that lists the pub’s more than 200 selections, plus several seasonal, direct-draw cask ales. Also probably one of the only restaurants in town that lives up to calling itself a “gastropub,” Public House’s elevated pub food incorporates the very beers it serves, such as the Black Butte Porter-braised short ribs, mussels in a Hoegaarden-infused broth and Welsh rare bit made with local Tenaya Creek IPA. In the Venetian, 407-5310, PublicHouseLV.com.
The Pub at Monte Carlo
Don’t let the vast number of large-screen TVs and the 8-pound-burger challenge fool you: This place is more serious beer hall than sports bar. More than 300 brews run the gamut from your usual suspects of Sam Adams and Newcastle to Belgian monastery-style specialties, but there’s also location representation, including local brewery Sin City, Joseph James and Tenaya Creek. Year-round the restaurant holds Gus’ Beer and Bites, a series of craft beer-pairing dinners. Past participating breweries include Ballast Point and Left Coast, with upcoming dinners featuring Lagunitas and Belgian beers. In Monte Carlo, 730-7420, MonteCarlo.com.
Todd English’s P.U.B.
At first glance, the space in the Crystals shopping mall seems more like a college bar than a spot for beer aficionados, what with the beer pong, dart boards and seven-second beer challenge (early on, there was even a nickel beer night). But look closely behind the bar and you’ll see more than 80 craft and boutique beers, including cask ales such as Deschutes’ Inversion IPA and Firestone Walker Jack. Expect Strip prices, but P.U.B. does offer happy hour twice a day with half-price pints. In Crystals at CityCenter, 489-8080, ToddEnglishPub.com.
Khoury’s Fine Wine & Spirits
Most liquor stores have a policy that you can’t drink your purchase on the premises, but Khoury’s invites its customers to do so freely (well, you have to pay for it, of course). It even has a bar with a solid rotation of 11 craft beers on tap, like one-offs from Joseph James Brewing and Big Dog’s. Wednesday nights is when the beer-loving folk hit the lounge and the parking lot, as a food truck is usually on hand to accompany the beer drinking. Some weeks it’s tied to a keg-tapping party, but most of the time it’s an excuse to talk brews with other like-minded consumers. 9915 S. Eastern Ave., Henderson, 435-9463, KhourysFineWine.com.