Holiday beer-tasting event raised money for Three Square Food Bank and the Nevada Craft Brewers Association’s legislative works
More than 25 breweries from Las Vegas and around the state poured customer-favorite brews, holiday-flavored concoctions and beer cocktails to hundreds of guests. The event raised money both for their organizational support network and for the local food bank Three Square.
Las Vegas local brewers that participated were: Bad Beat Brewing, Big Dog’s Brewing Company, CraftHaus Brewery, Hop Nuts, HUDL Brewing, Juxta Nomad, Las Vegas Brewing Company, Lovelady Brewing, Mojave Brewing Company, Neon Desert Brewing, Tenaya Creek Brewery, and more.
Food and other vendors such as Dough to Door Gourmet Cookies, Lit Wings Food Truck, Lobster 3 Way, Dark Moon Coffee Roasters, Liquid Death (canned water), 2 Pupz Confectionery, Brew & Bougie Candles, and Samdanaa Bandanas Custom Dog Bandanas were also on hand.
Admission included three hours of tasting unlimited pours, access to food trucks, and entertainment from DJ Mikey VIP. Designated drivers were allowed unlimited non-alcoholic drinks and a food voucher from the food truck of their choice.
VIP attendees were granted access to begin tasting at noon—an hour earlier than general admission ticket holders—and were also given logo-emblazoned tasting glasses. A kit for the s’mores was provided to VIP guests upon check-in to the event. An additional perk included a separate seating area with fire tables for warmth and making s’mores.
While we didn’t see any feats of strength, in the spirit of the name “Brew Festivus,” a nod to the “Seinfeld” television show-created holiday, there were “Festivus Poles” and the airing of grievances. One, in particular, stood out: the hoops that breweries must jump through to sell and serve their own beer.
Working for Greater Access to Nevada Beer
CraftHaus Brewery’s Wyndee Forrest is the current president of the NCBA. She says raising money is important to advancing laws and regulations that govern how beer is made and distributed before being made available to beer lovers across Nevada and the country. Forrest is no stranger to legislative hurdles and lawmaking. She and her husband and co-owner Dave literally helped write the rules in The City of Henderson where CraftHaus opened its first location in 2014.
In past legislative sessions, Forrest says they were able to successfully lobby for higher barrel production limits, which are dictated by the type of business: a brewery is different than a brewery with a taproom, which is different again from a brewpub. There are also rules regarding distribution using those same designations, and not all of them are financially fair to craft beer operators, typically small business owners. It is common for a brewer to have to go through a distributor to put their own beer in their taproom.
“We’re raising funds for early next year; 2023 will be [a new] session for legislation,” Forrest says. “Our state only meets once every two years. So, if you don’t get your bill [on] the floor, you must wait two more years for [a new session]. We’ve retained a very effective lobbyist. And we’re super happy to have her on board. But a very effective lobbyist is also very pricey. We want to get things changed, and we want to improve people’s access to Nevada-made beer.”
Supporting the Community
Forrest, a Three Square Food Bank volunteer, says choosing them as a fundraising partner was easy. “They do so much for our community.”
“Every $1 you donate will help provide three meals to a neighbor struggling with hunger in Southern Nevada,” says the Three Square website. “With the rising cost of food amid global supply chain disruptions, our neighbors in need are having to make impossible choices between food and rent, medication, and other critical expenses. Together, we can feed everyone.”
Scott Seales, general manager of Able Baker Brewing said he was “happy to be part of Brew Festivus as a way to give back to the community; it’s nice to be part of that and to donate and have fun” while interacting with craft beer lovers
Kyle Dolder, co-owner of Las Vegas Brewing Company (LVBC), is the new kid on the block. Opened in March 2022, LVBC resides in a storied space once occupied by PT’s Brewing–part of Golden Entertainment–and before that, Tenaya Creek Brewery. Equally well known, if not more so than the space, is head brewer Dave Otto, an icon and mastermind of the Las Vegas beer industry.
Dolder says that giving back is paramount to their business. “As far as community involvement and charity, we partner with the Neon Museum here in town. A percentage of all our store sales, apparel and merchandise go back to the museum [every day].” He continues, saying their desire to build the new “namesake” brewery “was largely driven by [his wife’s] deep roots [and her] passion for Las Vegas.”
Of note: Downtown darling Banger Brewing was also in attendance, but sadly, as we would find out only days later, it was their last event. They are closing the doors to their Fremont Street brewery for good.
For More Information
Nevada Craft Brewers Association
Subscribe and find more information at www.nvbeer.com.
Three Square Food Bank
Address: 4190 N. Pecos Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89115
Phone Number: (702) 644-3663
Office Hours: Monday—Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Warehouse Hours: Monday—Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.