In his last post, at Fiamma Trattoria in MGM Grand, general manager Anthony Esparza partnered with Bevi Beverages to curate an Italian craft-beer list that went light years beyond the pedestrian Peroni. Last August, Esparza set out to do the same for his new home at Comme Ça in the Cosmopolitan. Launched July 1, his “Tour de Bière” menu takes drinkers to France, Switzerland and Belgium, as well as Germany, Spain and Denmark. “I wanted a beer list for our food. We have a great cocktail list; we have a great wine list. But this [menu] is all about pairing great food with great beer. This is what they’re drinking in Paris right now.” I recently dove into a 13-glass tasting at Comme Ça to see if Esparza could match or even top his record, and emerged proclaiming, “Oui!”
La Môme, Brasserie la Goutte d’Or: Named for a famous Ethiopian restaurant in Paris, this saison (farmhouse-style ale), with its notes of chamomile, fennel, anise and orange flowers, ignited Esparza’s passion for French beer, and became the centerpiece around which the rest of the list was created. It’s bottle conditioned, as were all bottled beers on this list. 16.9 ounces, $25.
Saison d’Erpe-Mere, KleinBrouwerij De Glazen Toren: This Belgian Lentebier (Easter beer) is double-hopped in the kettle, and gives off an approachable citrus character on the nose and palate. It comes off the tap a gorgeous shade of blonde, and Comme Ça is the only place you’ll find it on draft! 12 ounces, $14.
Chateau Rouge, Brasserie la Goutte d’Or: This spicy red ale is brewed with hibiscus and chilies for a little peppery warmth that comes in right at the finish. This is a really nice transitional beer for beginners stepping up to an intermediate level of complexity. 16.9 ounces, $26.
Charbonnière, Brasserie la Goutte d’Or: Esparza calls this smoked amber ale “a liar” thanks to its huge char and anise nose, which is then followed by a velvety softness. “There is so much depth,” he says. “It’s almost like a wine, the way it changes.” 16.9 ounces, $7.
Toc d’Espelta, Art Cervesers: A refreshing, full-bodied organic wheat beer from the northwest region of Spain with tropical and citrus aromas and intense cereal flavors. Order this one for the confirmed Hefeweizen drinker and stand back. 12.7 ounces, $22.
La Rullés Triple, Brasserie Artisanale de Rullés: Enjoyable on its own or with food, this light, refreshing tripel-style beer marries old-world yeasts from Belgium’s Orval trappist brewery and new-world hops from the American West Coast. 25.4 ounces, $32.