Las Vegas, Nevada – CBC Edition

A guide to standout Sin City breweries for industry professionals attending the 2024 Craft Brewers Conference

Luck—or lack thereof—can make or break a visit to Las Vegas, but fortunately that rule need only apply to gamblers. The thousands of brewing industry professionals headed there for the 2024 Craft Brewers Conference from April 21-24 won’t need good fortune to navigate their way to high-quality local beer. We’ve combed the desert and laid out a stellar septet of Las Vegas breweries to visit when the seminars let out. They all make for reliable starting points, but feel free to venture beyond this “lucky seven” as the craft beer scene in Sin City (and in neighboring Henderson) is on the rise thanks to a rising-tide mentality.

Able Baker Brewing
1510 S. Main St., Ste 120

Able Bake Brewing

What began as a contract-brewed, distro-only brand in 2016 has blossomed into Las Vegas’ most ambitious beermaking interest since opening a brewery and kitchen-equipped tasting room in the city’s Arts District. Over the past half-decade, new and existing brewing companies have flooded into the area, earning it the nickname “Brewery Row,” but none have as much to offer under one roof as Able Baker. Its tap list includes more than 30 house beers covering about every style imaginable, from staid Old World fare and American standards to trendy innovations and barrel-aged blends.

Able Baker’s best-selling beer is its grapefruity Atomic Duck, one of numerous IPAs (West Coast, hazy, session, imperial), but brewers looking for a solid, balanced lager will appreciate the toasty, light-drinking Nevadan Amber. Similarly, saison enthusiasts will be pleased (and shocked) to find multiple farmhouse ales, including funky, tannic wine (Gerboise BlancGerboise Rouge) and floral, oaky bourbon (Calaveras Flores) barrel-aged options. On the sweeter end of the spectrum, the Exclamative Sour Series features a rotating line of vanilla-laced fruits, while peanuts are at the forefront of VIVA the King, a barrel-aged stout mimicking Elvis Presley’s favorite sandwich.

CBC Tip: Able Baker will have two collaboration beers available on the BrewExpo America floor, a West Coast IPA and a coffee-infused porter that will also be on tap at the company’s tasting room.

Hours of Operation: Su.-Th., 11:30AM-11PM; F-Sa., 11:30AM-1AM

CraftHaus Brewery
197 E. California Ave., #130

This Henderson-based company was co-founded by Wyndee Forrest, who is now the president of the Nevada Craft Brewers Association. Under her leadership, that organization has done a great deal to ease governmental regulations in order to create opportunities and a hospitable environment for Silver State breweries. That extends to CraftHaus’ colorful, contemporary Brewery Row taproom, where the eight-year-old operation’s simultaneously devotional and adventurously experimental approach to brewing is on full display.

CraftHaus Brewery

A West Coast IPA (Hop Vegas) exudes orange zest and papaya from Mosaic, Citra, and Galaxy hops, while a UNLV collaboration golden ale (Rebel Spirit) raises money for the college’s hospitality program. CraftHaus also offers a year-round Munich-style dunkel (Cuckoo) marked by notes of roasted peanut husk and cocoa powder, high-gravity stouts of the coffee (Belgard), adjunct (Cake Face), and barrel-aged (Comrade) varieties, plus a grainy, grassy slow-pour kellerpils (Czech Pls). Could this be Vegas’ version of Denver’s Bierstadt Lagerhaus experience?

CBC Tip: CraftHaus will erect multiple beer stations in the parking lots of both of its locations to help ensure prompt service and will also have collaboration beers with multiple vendors available on the BrewExpo floor.

Hours of Operation: M, 11:30AM-10PM; Tu.-Th., 11:30AM-11PM; F-Sa., 11:30AM-12AM; Su., 11:30AM-11PM

HUDL Brewing
1327 S. Main St., #100

HUDL Brewing

In 2020, a pair of San Diego expats came together to launch an Arts District brewery built around “C hops” as well as a nostalgic longing for a day and age where IBU count meant something (if not everything) and IPAs registered high on that scale. Over the past four years, HUDL (named for how people come together—or huddle—over beer) has built a base of regulars who enjoy aggressively bitter, resinous hop bombs served in a tasting room with a living room setup giving way to an unimpeded view of stainless-steel tanks, hoses, and buckets brimming over with yeast blow-off.

Pronounced pine and orange-candy notes are the calling card of NAC NAC IPA and a double IPA going by the title Salty Swabber, while a massive imperial red ale called Wobbler Joint is big on citrus, caramel, and alcohol (9.9 percent alcohol  by volume). But it’s not all about the hops here. A Czech-style Pilsner, chile-pepper-infused Vienna-style lager, and chocolate-infused cream ale help diversify the beer lineup.

CBC Tip: In addition to releasing a special-edition wheat wine, HUDL will get back to its San Diego roots with a Baltic porter crafted with Karl Strauss Brewing and a hazy double IPA brewed in conjunction with White Labs.

Hours of Operation: Tu.-Sa., 11AM-11PM; Su., 11AM-9PM

Big Dog’s Brewing
4543 N. Rancho Dr.

Big Dog's Brewery

This storied operation opened on the Las Vegas Strip in 1993 under its original moniker, Holy Cow! A decade later it moved to its current (and recently remodeled) combo production brewery, bar, and restaurant in northwest Vegas, and in 2015 the company brought aboard a big dog in the form of David Pascual. By far Nevada’s most award-winning professional brewer, Pascual has had a big hand in keeping Big Dog’s top of mind with local craft beer fans and industry colleagues alike.

Many local brewers consider Pascual’s hoppy beers to be the best in the city, pointing to mainstays such as Mosaic- and Centennial-laced pale ale Peace, Love & Hoppiness with its tropical, candied-mango flavor profile, and West Coast IPA Khourgi, with gooseberry fruitiness and watercress bitterness derived from Nelson Sauvin and Simcoe. Big Dog’s is also well-known for its ubiquitous flagship Las Vegas Craft Lager (proceeds from which benefit Cleveland’s Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health), and its most medal-garnering beer, an English brown ale with the ironic handle Red Hydrant.

CBC Tip: On Saturday, April 20, Big Dog’s will have a freight-container bar on its front patio serving 50 beers, including guest ales and lagers, plus some of their own brews aged in bourbon barrels from award-winning Nevada distilleries.

Hours of Operation: Open 7 Days a Week, 24 Hours a Day

North 5th Brewing
60 W. Mayflower Ave.

North 5th Brewing

North Las Vegas’ lone brewery does not disappoint. Located in a warehouse that previously housed a restoration company for more than three decades, it is the passion project of two beer-loving siblings who have thoughtfully ushered that structure into its second life. In addition to crafting incredibly clean, to-style lagers, top-notch IPAs, and more, this two-year-old business is both woman- and Hispanic-owned.

North 5th brews a trio of Pilsners, the cleanliness and crushability of which are embodied by Bavarian model Zicke Zacke, plus multiple Mexican-style lagers (light, dark, and one infused with jalapeño, cucumber, and lime) and a spot-on rice lager brewed for a local beer bar called North 595th. Hopped with Mosaic, Cascade, and Amarillo and tasting of pineapple and tangerine, Flor de Mayo is one of the area’s best IPAs, and is offset on the oft-changing menu by occasional ales of the Belgian and dark, roasty variety.

CBC Tip: North 5th is working on plans to offer a shuttle that will whisk guests from a pickup spot near CBC to their brewery, where they will throw a party flush with special-release and collaboration beers.

Hours of Operation: Tu.-Th., 4-10PM; F-Sa., 11AM-12AM; Su., 11AM-10PM

Beer Zombies Brewing
831 W. Bonanza Rd.

When serial entrepreneur and graphic designer Chris Jacobs established an undefined art-driven entity called Beer Zombies in 2013, he did not foresee collaborating with brewers across the country, putting on grand-scale beer festivals, opening a quintet of bottle shops, or starting his own brewing company. But all of that has come to pass and more, namely Jacobs’ acquisition of 25-year-old Las Vegas brewing institution Tenaya Creek Brewery. Located just west of downtown, that facility now produces beers from Beer Zombies and Tenaya Creek, while also selling cans and bottles from popular breweries with which Jacobs maintains close relationships.  

Beer Zombies Brewing

Beer Zombies’ notably modern array of beers includes multiple hazies such as the blood orange-infused Baron Zombie, and Galaxy, Citra, and Nectaron double-dry-hopped DIPA Hazoleum. Pastry creations of the stout and sour variety are also available in droves and augmented nicely by Tenaya Creek’s more traditional portfolio of color-spectrum-spanning ales, including the locally famous Bonanza Brown Ale and top-notch seasonal Old Jackalope Barleywine.

CBC Tip: Beer Zombies will hold a “Rolling with the Homies” CBC kickoff festival with guest beers from more than a dozen breweries on Saturday, April 20, and an event with Sacred Profane Brewing and Cohesion Brewing on Monday, April 22.

Hours of Operation: Su., 10AM-10PM; M, 11AM-10PM; Tu.-Th., 11AM-11PM; Fr.-Sa., 11AM-12AM

Las Vegas Brewing
3101 N. Tenaya Way

A young but hungry operation aiming to celebrate the art of brewing along with the history of the city for which it’s named (it’s co-founded by a fourth-generation Las Vegan), this business launched in Tenaya Creek’s original brewery-restaurant just two years ago and is already preparing to open its first satellite taproom in the Arts District. Helmed by an all-female brew crew, Las Vegas Brewing is a strong supporter of the local chapter of the Pink Boots Society and its initiatives to advance women in the brewing industry.

Las Vegas Brewing

Nothing is off limits here. Everyday styles such as West Coast Junkie IPA (notes of passionfruit, guava, navel orange), Hat Trick Hefe (banana, Anjou pear), and Irish-style red ale Penny O’Reilly’s (toffee, roasted chestnut) share space on an extensive beer list with a schwarzbier aptly named Night Life (licorice) and Chantilly Vanilla Cream Ale (Cap’n Crunch). But the best of the bunch may be a German Pils called We’re All Going to 1134 (type that number into a calculator and flip it upside-down), which leads with a bouquet that includes an interesting hint of geranium.

CBC Tip: Las Vegas Brewing will host a Pink Boots Society national meeting at its Arts District location on Monday, April 22 followed by a happy hour with a special collaboration beer at that new venue on Tuesday, April 23.

Hours of Operation: M-Th., 11AM-10PM; F, 11AM-12AM; Sa., 9:30AM-12AM; Su., 9:30AM-10PM

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