What’s On Tap: Las Vegas Beer News July 2023

By Bob Barnes

Beer News July Events

image courtesy of Crafthaus

Bad Beat Brewing will be featured in a tap takeover at Tacos and Beer on July 7. The following week the brewery will celebrate its 9th anniversary at their taproom on July 15, pouring five specialty beers including Morning Payoff Imperial Breakfast Stout brewed with Mothership Coffee in both a normal and bourbon aged version, Pillow Fight Hazy IPA, All The Kolsch Kids Kolsch and The Little Death Salted Watermelon Gose.

The Big Dog’s Brewing annual Summerfest will be held in the outdoor area of the Big Dog’s Draft House at Craig Rd. and Rancho in northwest Las Vegas on July 22 from 5-10 p.m. There will be 45+ brews from independent local and regional breweries pouring, and the host brewery will release its 7% Dog Beach Tangerine IPA in cans and on draft. This pay-as-you-go event offers free admission, live reggae music and island-inspired BBQ. For more info and to purchase a tasting package click here.

There’s plenty more to come from Big Dog’s in the coming months. Be sure to mark your calendar for September 13-19, as the brewery will commemorate the 30th anniversary of its opening. Named Holy Cow! when it opened on the Vegas Strip at Sahara as Las Vegas’ first craft brewery in April, 1993, the brewery became iconic due to its history, great quality of beer and the 14-foot-tall fiberglass Holstein cow statue that beckoned from atop the building’s entrance. The brewery was renamed Big Dog’s in honor of its founder Tom Wiesner (whose nickname from his college football days was the Big Dog) in 2003 when it relocated to the current location on Rancho Rd. 

The weeklong celebration will begin on Sept. 13 with a Magnum Anniversary beer release party from 5 to 7 p.m. during which Chef Sergio Meza will be crafting an appetizer plate that will pair perfectly with a 10-ounce glass of Magnum on draft. Magnum is a classic Strong Ale that has been aging in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels for the better part of a year. Those attending the event will also have first crack at purchasing one of the 100 bottles of the Magnum Strong Ale being released.

Throughout the rest of the following six days there will be live music each night, special BBQ food and all 50+ taps will be devoted to Big Dog’s beers. Details are still being worked out and I promise to pass them along next month, but for now, lock in the dates on your calendar and check in periodically at www.bigdogsbrews.com.  

New Beerworthy Openings

Houston Hot Chicken has opened a new Las Vegas location at 1201 S Main St. (at California) in the Arts District, just steps from the CraftHaus taproom. What’s particularly noteworthy for readers of this column is their full bar with a small but mighty craft beer selection, with a handful of local brews such as Able Baker Atomic Duck and Mango Calutron Girl and Sin City Amber. There’s also HHC X Afterburner, which is a crisp, easy-drinking lager made by Able Baker especially for the eatery to go with their various chicken sandwiches and tenders.

The rest of the selection is an eclectic mix of interesting and fun beers like Bottle Logic (Anaheim, CA) 15.5% Crust to the Core Imperial Stout, Wild Barrel (San Marcos, CA) Vice Pineapple Pomegranate Fruited Berliner Weisse and Great Notion (Portland, OR) Juice Jr. New England IPA. Click here for the current beer list.

Servehzah has proven to be one our city’s finest craft beer bars and its location in the Arts District has been a welcome haven for those looking to enjoy quality brews on tap and take some home from its well-stocked beer cooler known as the Beer Cave. Now there’s good news for those in the far north end of the Vegas Valley, where craft beer bars are few and far between, as Servehzah will be opening a second location in the Deer Springs Crossings center near the North 5th 215 exit.

Looking for an opening in the last quarter of this year, it will be nearly an exact replica of the Arts District version, with a Beer Cave, 24 taps and similar décor. One thing that will be different is the addition of a kitchen, which will be a taqueria.

Mother Road Enters the Vegas Market

I’m happy to report that Mother Road, one of my favorites of the Flagstaff craft breweries I recently visited and reported on “Flagstaff Breweries: Where to Get the Finest Beers in Arizona’s Craft Beer Capital“, has entered the Vegas market. First out of the gate are its Tower IPA (flagship beer and highest-selling IPA in Arizona brewed by an independently owned brewery) and Roadside Grove (a twist on the Tower IPA with addition of blood orange). Coming in soon will be Limited Visibility (a Hazy IPA) and Sunday Drive (an American Lager).

There are also two collaboration beers with local CraftHaus Brewery as CraftHaus Owners Dave and Wyndee Forrest and Mother Road Co-founder Michael Marquess are long-term friends.

image courtesy of Crafthaus

Black Star Highway is a Cold Black IPA that was brewed at CraftHaus. Both breweries have or had a Black IPA. CraftHaus Head Brewer Cameron Fisher wanted to play with a lager yeast within these two recipes that were melded together (hence the Cold IPA style name as lagers are fermented at colder temperatures than ales).

The other collab was brewed at Mother Road. Named Yum Yum Kitty Superhighway Imperial Mango Rice Ale, it’s a resurrection of and riff on CraftHaus’ Sticky Sticky Yum Yum Imperial Mango Rice Ale. This 9.2% version boasts aromas of spicy tropical fruit with citrus flavors derived from brewing with mango and the Omega Star Party Thiolized yeast strain.   

Look for these beers at fine craft beer retail outlets like Speedee Mart and Top Shelf locations; on tap at 595, Khoury’s, Red Dwarf, Servehzah, SkinnyFats and The Silver Stamp; and the two collab beers at both CraftHaus taprooms.   

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