Are you a craft beer connoisseur? Or do you just love the idea of visiting one of Vegas’ famous breweries?
Sin City is full of drinks, parties, and some of the best live music gigs in the world. Bottle service with $500 champagnes and $1,000 vodka on ice are a norm when living it up in Vegas. You might think that the beer is just your bog-standard cheap stuff. But that thought couldn’t be more wrong!
Vegas is an underrated city in terms of its craft beer status. Homebrewed beverages are an important part of Nevada’s culture that’s still highly prized by locals. The trick is knowing where to look!
If you want to try something new when it comes to your bar order, check out this list of the best bars, restaurants, and breweries serving craft beer in Vegas.
What is Considered a Craft Beer?
The idea of ‘craft beer’ was born in California back in 1965 when Stanford graduate Fritz Maytag started brewing authentic and artful beers with unique flavors and historic backgrounds. He believed that every beer should be distinct.
It’s safe to say that his innovation sparked an uprising! Soon, people across the pond in Britain and all over Europe started brewing their own beers with individual twists. The term ‘craft beer’ was officially born.
With the rise in popularity, it’s no surprise that every beer was once considered a ‘craft’. But with company giants taking over old-school breweries and refashioning the production to mass-produce certain flavors, it’s getting harder and harder to tell what’s a craft and what’s not.
The official definition of a craft beer (as provided by the Brewers Association) is that a craft brewer produces no more than 6 million barrels of beer annually, with less than 25% of their company owned or controlled by an alcohol producer that isn’t a craft brewer. But that doesn’t stop some production lines from branding beer as an original ‘craft’, when – really – it’s not.
What is the Difference Between Craft and Regular Beer?
There are some key differences between craft and regular beer, namely being that:
- It’s not mass-produced
- It usually contains more alcohol (with 5-10% volumes as opposed to 3.5% in regular beer)
- It can be healthier than non-craft beer
Plus, the flavors can be pretty unique compared to your bog-standard pint!
Why is Craft Beer Popular?
The reason craft beer became so popular is simply because people love trying something new! Breweries often experiment with flavors and styles to give people a unique diversity of tastes and experiences.
Best Craft Beer Bars & Restaurants in Vegas
If trying an under-rated Vegas brew has piqued your interest, check out this list of the best bars and restaurants to find craft beer in and around the Vegas strip.
The spacious Beerhaus is best known for being a casual sports bar on the strip. But it’s also home to a secret list of craft beer!
Their sweeping menu will satisfy even the most spoilt craft beer drinkers. You can enjoy the clean, crisp Big Dogs Las Vegas Lager with a balanced hop and malt profile. Or, if you have a sweeter tooth, you’ll love the chocolate and roasted nut flavor of the Breckenridge Vanilla Porter Ale.
Beerhaus has a hipster vibe, with table-top games, a stunning outdoor patio, and more than enough indoor tables with great TV views.
- Beer price: $8-10
- Best craft beer to try: Lovelady Lovejuice Hazy with its light bitterness and sweet orange kick!
McMullan’s Irish Pub
Voted ‘Best in the West’, the family-owned McMullan’s Irish Pub is a perfect venue to enjoy the authentic tastes of Ireland. This dimly-lit tavern provides a traditional pub-dining experience with a casual and sociable vibe to match.
The craft beer menu is full of classical favorites – like the Belgium-style Blue Moon Ale and the fruity, banana-tasting Glenance Hefeweizen.
Pop in for a Sunday roast or an all-you-can-eat fish and chip dinner out on the open-air patio. You can’t go wrong!
- Beer price: From $4.50 in happy hour
- Best craft beer to try: Dogfish Head with its citrus notes and lightly roasted coffee aroma
PKWY Tavern Decatur
With over 250+ beers on the menu, you’ll be spoilt for choice over which craft beer to try at PKWY Tavern!
Patrons that favor a crisp, dry taste will love the four-hop flavor found in the Apocalypse IPA. If you’re looking for something refreshing, opt for the Icelandic Evil Twin Sour with its smoked sea salt and kelp twists. If sweet tastes are more your style, you’ll have more than enough fruity beers and cream ales to choose from – including the popular Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Milk Stout.
The upbeat vibe at this slightly off-strip joint with its 24/hour gaming available is a jovial spot for any craft beer devotee. At night, the warmly lit beer garden with its draping lights couldn’t be a better place to hang out with a mate.
- Beer price: $4-15
- Best craft beer to try: Big Sky Moose Drool with its hints of caramel, chocolate, and whole black malts
595 Craft and Kitchen
For a craft beer served with pride, check out the welcoming 595 Craft and Kitchen bar. Co-owners Chris and Van-Alan want nothing more than to satisfy your curiosity for great-tasting beer with unique twists.
Every single craft beer on the menu has had heart and soul poured into it by independent brewers. You can choose from all kinds of exotic flavors – including a bitter, citrus-pine twang found in Ralphy & Duckwinkle or an oaty, sweet orange peel taste in the Weird Coast White.
The on-site kitchen rustles up some of the best snacks for you to enjoy with your brew. You’ll find street tacos, hangover fries, garbage nachos, and some of the best burgers in Vegas.
- Beer price: Check the menu for the latest prices
- Best craft beer to try: The clean-tasting Saulé with its roasty, chocolate nibs
Aces and Ales Tenaya
The 24/7 gastropub Aces and Ales can be found just off-strip in Sun City Summerlin. Their color-coordinated menu includes over 50+ craft beers – with every taste you can imagine. Each pint is rated on a dark to light scale, helping you choose the perfect drink with ease.
You can enjoy assortments like Blake’s Triple Jam with its mouth-watering all-berry flavors, or a Wasatch Black O’ Lantern with its lingering pumpkin spice presence. You’ll also find seven different stouts on the menu, each with its own unique twists. Some are served with licorice notes while others are infused with barrel-aged Bourbon.
On Thursday nights, a live band takes the stage and creates an upbeat vibe. If you visit between 4-6pm or 12-2am, you can treat yourself to a 50% off pizza.
- Beer price: Check the menu for the latest prices
- Best craft beer to try: White Wine Barrel Aged Dry-hopped Sour with its funky, oaky finish
Buffalo Wild Wings on Miracle Mile
To escape the crowds and pitch up at one of the best sports bars in Vegas, Buffalo Wild Wings on Miracle Mile is a great choice!
This popular restaurant is best known for its tasty wings and specialty spices. But what most folks don’t know is that besides building your own burger and ordering a chicken sharing platter, you can taste one of their delightful craft beers on the menu.
Along with 10+ other craft beers, their signature brew, Redbook Game Changer, has been a highly prized bar order for almost a decade. Its mildly sweet taste has been specially designed to complement the spicy flavors found on the menu. Plus, you can give it a try for less than $5 in happy hour!
- Beer price: $4-5 in happy hour
- Best craft beer to try: Ommission with its floral aroma and caramel malt body
Best Breweries with Craft Beers on the Las Vegas Strip & Downtown
If you’d rather experience a craft beer that’s been homebrewed just a few steps away from the bar, check out this list of the best breweries on the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown.
Trustworthy Brewing Co., Grand Canal Shoppes
The artsy Trustworthy Brewing Co. at The Venetian Resort is full of class and style! It was the first-ever operational craft brewery to appear on the Las Vegas strip – and it’s done nothing but impress since the day it opened!
The brewery holds eight core values – quality, education, passion, fun, humility, Genuity, accountability, and responsibility. Their passion for curating the finest craft beers is so intense that they’ve even won awards for it!
You’ll find six different craft beers on the menu, including oatmeal stouts, amber ales, hazy IPA’s and rice-y pilsners. The best thing about a trip to this brewery is that you can sip your drink right next to the stainless-steel serving tanks that aptly decorate the bar.
- Beer price: $9-13
- Best craft beer to try: The blood-red Brass Jar with its sweet, sticky hops and caramel, toffee tastes
Banger Brewing, Downtown
Banger Brewing has a simple and unified vision – to put Vegas on the craft beer map! Their selection of homebrewed beverages is labeled sexy, classy and one of a kind – and for good reason! There’s no denying that this microbrewery on Fremont Street is full of sophistication and style.
Behind the bar, you’ll find an ever-changing list of new and exotic brews. They usually have 15+ options at any one time, including ciders, IPA’s, stouts, ales, and wheat-based brews. Typically, you’ll find beer with coffee notes, pineapple flavors, whiskey zings, and even jalapeño spices.
- Beer price: Check the menu for the latest prices
- Best craft beer to try: Dangerous by Default with its deceptively smooth, English Barleywine taste full of rich nutty flavors and hints of vanilla coconut
Big Dogs Brewing Company
To experience a series of unforgettable flavors, head Downtown to Big Dogs Brewing Company! Their local brewers are always putting a Vegas spin on original, local beer to provide you with something new to try.
At Big Dogs, their philosophy is that ‘life’s too short to drink cheap beer’. That’s why the team is proud to serve you 11 award-winning signature beers, nine specialty brews, and 12 different drafts on tap that are crafted to perfection. But, if you’re worried about the costs, you can grab 50% on Big Dog’s Brews every Monday to Friday between 3-6pm.
- Beer price: $5-9
- Best craft beer to try: Peace, Love, and Hoppiness Pale Ale with generous tropical and stone fruit notes
For more than 20 years, Ellis Island has proudly served its patrons with some of the finest homebrewed beer. Year after year, this friendly joint has been voted the ‘Best of Las Vegas’ – and it’s not hard to see why!
Alongside their lively casino and top-rated karaoke nights, you can enjoy six different blends of their small-batch beers. But the best thing about Ellis Island’s Brewery is that it’s also one of the cheapest bars on the strip. Classic beers are priced at just $3 each, while their specialty brews are $5.
- Beer price: $3-5
- Best craft beer to try: Bonfire Rauchbier with its smoked beechwood aroma and sweet toasted malt