The Great American Beer Festival convened in Denver Sept 21-23, the 37th year of the competition. This year 9,298 beers from 2,033 breweries from all 50 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico were entered in 99 categories with 303 medals being awarded—making it the largest professional beer competition in the US.
Las Vegas October Beer News: Great American Beer Festival Competition
Only one brewery from Nevada brought home a medal: Lovelady Brewing earned a bronze medal for its Bronze Hatch Nites in the Chili Beer category. It was the first medal for the Henderson-based family-owned brewery and the win almost didn’t happen.
Owner/Brewer Richard Lovelady says, “(We) almost didn’t submit any beers to the GABF this year, but the Hatch Nites made the final round at the (2023) World Beer Cup, so my wife Linda “suggested” that I send it in for the GABF. I only submitted two beers. It’s my favorite pepper beer—we use roasted Hatch chiles from New Mexico and our Golden Nites Mexican Lager has the green pepper/roasted smell and flavor and just a hint of heat.”
Although technically not a Nevada brewery, a year or so ago, after outgrowing its Las Vegas brewery space, Ellis Island relocated its brewing operations to its Silver Reef Brewing production facility in St. George, Utah, which now makes the beer served at Ellis Island and throughout Southern Nevada. Silver Reef earned a bronze medal for its Black Hill Schwarzbier in the German Dark Lager category.
Head Brewer Eddie Leal says, “With all the quality beers entered into the competition, I’m always grateful to take home a medal. It is currently on tap at Ellis Island and our Village Pub locations. Now looking forward to the World Beer Cup in Vegas!”
Speaking of that, in April Las Vegas will be the host city for the Craft Brewers Conference, which includes the World Beer Cup competition, open to breweries worldwide and commonly referred to as the Olympics of Brewing.
Las Vegas Beer News: The Silver Stamp Wins Huge Accolade
The Silver Stamp, which is without a doubt one of THE best craft beer bars in Southern Nevada, has now been acknowledged as one of the very best in the US. Entrepreneur recently partnered with Yelp and selected The Silver Stamp as one of the top 150 Mom and Pop Businesses in America. After readers voted online to narrow down the field, The Silver Stamp ultimately was voted #1. As a result of the win, it will be gracing the cover of Entrepreneur’s Start Up Magazine in the April, 2024 issue. Major congrats to owners Rose Signor and Andrew Smith!
Las Vegas Beer News: Beer Events
Last month in this column I provided details about the Downtown Brew Festival at the Clark County Amphitheater on Oct. 7. If you missed it or need to refresh your memory, click here to read all about it.
Big Dog’s annual DOGtoberfest will take place Oct. 14 at the Draft House outdoor area from 3 to 8 p.m. This fest combines the great traditions of Oktoberfest celebrations with the charm of an Old Wisconsin brat cookout and is free admission, pay as you go with more than 45 independent craft beers including 25 from Silver State breweries. There will also be a human and dog Halloween costume contest, live music, raffles and giveaways. For more info and to purchase festival packages visit www.bigdogsbrews.com/festivals/dogtoberfest.
Ottimo Gourmet Pizza Kitchen at the Ahern Hotel will host a 4-course beer pairing dinner on Oct 14 featuring the local CraftHaus Brewery prepared by Chef Joel Ott. Pairings are Warm Sourdough Rolls with roasted garlic butter, sliced prosciutto di parma and 18-month aged Parmigiano Reggiano paired with Evocation Belgian-Style Ale; Roasted Beet “Carpaccio” with Société Roquefort Bleu, toasted pistachio and arugula matched with Zitrone Wheat Ale Gose; Braised Duroc Pork Shank with sharp cheddar and scallion corn grits & roasted Brussels sprouts paired with Rebel Spirit Golden Ale; and Tres Leches “tiramisu” with mascarpone mousse, cocoa powder and coffee crème anglaise matched with Belgard Coffee Stout.
Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the cost is $60 plus tax and tip. To purchase tickets, click here.
Las Vegas Beer News: What’s Pouring in October
Joe Cuozzo at HUDL shared with me two winners that are pouring this month. The 5% HUDL Pils is made with 100% Dingeman’s Belgian Pilsner Malt and 100% Saaz hops, which is so authentic to the style that Joe claims, “If you were in Prague this is what you’d get.”
The other winner is their Festbier made with 100% Munich Malt, which is the first festbier ever made at HUDL.
Assistant Brewer Ashley Navarrete describes it as, “has a lot of depth and character and with a low ABV of 5% is the kind of beer I’d like to drink after a hard day’s work.” She also says it’s as smooth as the top of Joe’s head. (Note that both Joe and Ashley gave me permission to write that.) Both beers are brewed with Budejovice, a Czech yeast strain.
Richard Lovelady tells me they have just released “Showboat.” Part of Lovelady Brewing’s dead casino project honoring historic Southern Nevada casinos that have since been imploded, the Showboat operated from 1954-2004 and was primarily known for its 106 bowling lanes, the nation’s third largest at one time, and had one of the city’s first sportsbooks.
I can’t resist sharing that my mother, Jenny Barnes, was an avid bowler and worked in the Showboat Bowling Lanes for about 10 years in the 80s and 90s (and was beloved by all who encountered her). Consequently, I spent a fair amount of time at the Showboat during my youth. As for the beer, it’s a 7.5% Double Hazy IPA brewed with barley oats, wheat, lactose, hops and grapefruit. Also releasing in October is Richard’s 7% Thai Pepper Watermelon Golden Bock and Lost Claus, an 8% Stout with cocoa nibs and raspberry.
Kyle Weniger, our local roving brewer (AKA Juxta Nomad), has a beer appropriate for the football season. His R8Rade is two separate sports drink-inspired lagers (lemon-lime and green apple), going out in mixed 4-packs and on draft, which he brewed in collaboration with Astronomy Aleworks. It’s possible he’ll drop some variations sporadically throughout the season.
Matt Alexander, Curator of Craft at 595 Craft and Kitchen, shared with me on Oct. 3 they will be doing a seven-handle takeover with CraftHaus featuring the Queens Nectar Belgian Blonde with honey, Hausfest Octoberfest Lager aged on Spanish cedar, For Keeps Farmhouse/Biere de Garde, Cuckoo Munich Dunkel, Sumo Sumo Stomp Japanese Rice Lager with Sumo Tangerines, Stratacaster Fresh Hopped IPA and Giggle Juice Double IPA.
A few days later, on Oct. 9 beginning at 6:30 p.m., they’ll be featuring beers from the Belgian Kasteel brewery and pouring Kasteel White Witbier, Kasteel Rouge Belgian Quad w/Cherry, Kasteel Rubus Raspberry Fruit Beer and possibly Kasteel Donker Belgian Quad (in bottle format, if it ships in time). It will also be an opportunity to meet owner of the brewery Xavier Vonhonsebrouck, who will be present during the tapping.
Las Vegas Beer News: Hops Nuts Closes Tivoli Village Taproom
The Hop Nuts taproom in Tivoli Village has closed. A statement on the brewery’s Facebook page stated: “We have made the decision to close our Tivoli Village taproom. Thank you ALL for your support over the last 4 years! We hope all the new friends we made in Summerlin will come and see us at our original location downtown! Where else would you like to see us?!”