Carouse for a Cause, Beer Here (and There) and the Bar Team We’re Stalking This Summer

Chef Kerry Simon (left, with chef Elizabeth Blau), at a benefit concert to fight MSA in February. A bartender competition benefiting Simon's foundation is scheduled for Wednesday, July 30.

Chef Kerry Simon (left, with chef Elizabeth Blau), at a benefit concert to fight MSA in February. A bartender competition benefiting Simon’s foundation is scheduled for Wednesday, July 30.

Clear your schedule Wednesday night and get ready to carouse for a cause as Las Vegas barman Ken Hall presents Tommy Rocker’s Flip, Shake & Pour Bartender Extravaganza, a one-night bartending competition to raise money for chef Kerry Simon’s Fight MSA Foundation. Bartenders, industry members and locals who want to support the chef and others affected by Multiple Systems Atrophy, a neurological disorder similar to Parkinson’s, can do so by visiting Tommy Rocker’s at 4275 Dean Martin Drive at 8 p.m. July 30.

Hall—who has been producing flair competitions for nearly two decades, since his Quest for the Best at Walt Disney World’s Pleasure Island in 1995—has truly outdone himself this time, organizing three separate competitions awarding $4,000 total in cash and prizes: flair, mixology and speed, with the latter broken up into restaurant and nightclub divisions. Food trucks will turn out to provide the eats; you just need to bring your wallet for the live auction and raffle, and a giving spirit.

The Nevada chapter of Barley’s Angels will celebrate its first year of women celebrating beer with a party at 5 p.m. August 3, right back where the group first convened, at the Velveteen Rabbit. Exactly one year ago, 20-some-odd ladies gathered to share their enthusiasm for craft brewing. The group now counts more than 200 members and will show its appreciation with treats and raffle prizes. On tap, the two brews Barley’s Angels brewed in May at Henderson’s U Bottle It for National Homebrew Day: an apricot amber and a golden Belgian strong ale. “It’s something that we are really proud of, and want to share with the beer community,” says the Angels’ Andrea Runco. Men, you’re invited, too.

Speaking of beer, tickets are now on sale for Motley Brews’ third annual Downtown Brew Festival, 6-10 p.m. September 20 at the Clark County Amphitheater ($35; $45 for 5 p.m. entry; $75 VIP; The fall’s largest craft-beer event—intimate compared with Great Vegas Festival of Beer’s 6,000 attendees this year—brings together local, regional, and international breweries, as well as celebrity chefs from top Las Vegas restaurants. The Nevada Craft Brewers Association will prominently feature local beers at the festival, and a portion of ticket sales will be donated to the association, which advocates for Nevada breweries. This year, the festival is presented by Pennsylvania’s Victory Brewing Co. (in celebration of their upcoming Las Vegas debut) and sponsored by and Total Wine & More.

And finally, a little irksome news for those who enjoy the cocktail stylings of buddy-comedy-duo-in-the-making Rodger Gillespie (formerly of Vesper bar in the Cosmopolitan) and Bryant Jane (formerly of Rose.Rabbit.Lie., also in the Cosmopolitan): The upstairs bars at Lavo Lounge, where the pair holds court, will only be open Friday and Saturday for the rest of the summer season. The slightly more relaxed atmosphere in the lounge weekdays has led to some fun “Ooh, try this cocktail I’m working on!” moments, less likely when the two are manning the always-bustling restaurant bars downstairs. Well then, bring on the Fall!



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