Find out what's buzzing in the Las Vegas beer scene this month
Brewer Musical Chairs
There is breaking news in our local brewing community. Dave Otto is leaving his head brewer position at Las Vegas Brewing Co. to team up with his old brewing partner Dan Rogers at the Frazier Creek Brewing & Distilling Company in Stuart, Florida. Dan was Holy Cow!’s head brewer back in the 1990s and Dave worked with him as his assistant brewer until taking Dan’s position when he left to brew at Michigan Brewing Co.
Both Dan and Dave are brewing legends who made tremendous contributions to building our local brewing industry from its infancy. They are both phenomenal brewers who have won numerous major brewing competition medals over the past two plus decades, and I wish them much success in their new venture.
Coming over to Las Vegas Brewing to take Dave’s position and leaving her head brewer post at Bad Beat Brewing is Amanda Koeller. Joining Amanda as an assistant brewer is Becca Halpin, who was her assistant at Bad Beat. This brewing team will make LV Brewing the only brewery in Southern Nevada comprised of 100 percent female brewers. They’ll be taking the brewing reins at LV Brewing in mid-March. It’s not yet known who will take their place at Bad Beat.
Three Beer Festivals to Put On Your Calendar
Brew’s Best Craft Beer Festival
New Vista’s 14th annual Brew’s Best Craft Beer Festival, presented by Circa Resort and Casino in partnership with Nevada Beverage Company, will be held on March 18 at The Lawn at Downtown Summerlin from 2–6 p.m. Attendees can expect unlimited sampling from more than 45 local and national breweries.
During the event, there will be viewing options of live feeds of March Hoops, a variety of backyard games and food for purchase from an array of food trucks. General admission tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the door and VIP tickets (with early admission at 1 p.m. and access to exclusive additional libations) are $50 in advance and $60 at the door.
Proceeds will directly benefit New Vista, Nevada’s leading non-profit supporting individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities providing services, training and housing to people living with IDD in Southern Nevada. To purchase tickets visit Eventbrite.
Boulder City Brewfest
The Boulder City Brewfest will convene on March 25 and will again be held at Wilbur Square Park in the heart of the historic city from 1-7 p.m. The festival is expected to feature more than 35 brewery tents (including several locals), 10 food trucks and beer-centric specialty vendors. Admission is free, but to sample unlimited beer, a ticket is required. Prices are $60 in advance for VIP admission at 1 and $45 in advance for general admission at 3 until March 15. From March 16-23 tickets will be $70 for VIP and $55 for general admission. After that, a limited number of tickets will be availableat the event for $80 for VIP and $60 for general admission. For more info and to purchase tickets, visit bouldercitybeerfestival.com.
Great Vegas Festival of Beer
No fooling, on April 1, the Great Vegas Festival of Beer will celebrate its 11th year, this year consolidating into one day. Held at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center (200 S. 3rd St.), general admission runs from 3-7 p.m. and early entry and VIP ticket holders will get in at 2. Your ticket will get you unlimited sampling of hundreds of beers from nearly all of our local breweries and several regional breweries, cider and other liquid treats; karaoke hosted by Ellis Island; Brooklyn Bowl’s signature silent disco; and a curated food selection for purchase from more than a dozen restaurants and food trucks.
VIP passes include an abundance of special pours and great bites, including plant-based creations from Tacotarian’s Chef Susana Rodriguez; Rochelle Hodge-Conyers of Twice Baked delivering southern-stye fare; Jeff McCarthy of Distill Restaurant Group bringing upscale casual local flavor and a handful of other chefs TBA. For more info and to purchase tickets, visit greatvegasbeer.com.
More Local Beer Collaborations
HUDL Brewing and Trustworthy Brewing have partnered up to create two special collaboration beers. First up, we have Trip the Light Razztastic, a 9 percent ABV Imperial Porter crafted at HUDL by head brewer Joe Cuozzo, assistant brewer Ashley Navarrete and head brewer Zach Johnson of Trustworthy. Made with 2-Row, Maris Otter and Chocolate Malts, it was aged with Ghirardelli White Chocolate and raspberry puree. As it has sweet complexity compliments of the white chocolate, it was perfectly timed for a release just before Valentine’s Day. It’s available at both HUDL and the Trustworthy location at The Venetian, as well as in cans at Khoury’s, Liquor Lineup, Top Shelf and Speedee Marts.
For the second brew, we’re anticipating an American-style barleywine that Joe and Ashley worked on last month at the Trustworthy location in Burbank with Zach. Half of the brew will be released soon, while the other half will age in a bourbon barrel for about a year before it debuts at the Craft Brewers Conference being held in Las Vegas in April 2024.
Kyle Weniger, our local roving brewer (AKA Juxta Nomad), tells me his 595 Pils will be taking over for Pilau Talk as 595 Craft and Kitchen’s house beer. It’s a bone-dry Italian Pilsner, lightly dry-hopped with Mandarina Bavaria.
He also has two beers pouring at Red Dwarf and Astronomy Aleworks. First, “Full Irish Breakfast,” a collaboration between Astronomy Aleworks and Dark Moon Coffee, will be released on March 3 as an Irish cream pastry stout with freshly roasted Dark Moon coffee, cacao nibs, and vanilla. Second, around mid-March, the Red Dwarf will release their next rendition in the tiki-inspired series (also brewed at Astronomy): “Menehune IPA,” a southern hemisphere IPA made with 100 percent New Zealand hops and lightly fruited with passionfruit and pineapple for a subtle tropical nuance.