This is the final post in my series on finding craft beer in Sin City. For this last entry I want to focus on places to drink craft beer and eat good food i.e. something more substantive than pretzels and peanuts and more creative than wings and fries.
Far too often, I find that the lack of decent food options is a shortcoming of many full-kitchen breweries and tap rooms. People may come for the beer but if you provide them with great food they will be apt to stick around …this can lead to more beer drinking …back to more food ordering …and well anyway you can see how this could be construed as being good for business.
Not to flog a dead horse (as I have written this countless times) but craft beer lovers fundamentally get the foodie thing so go right ahead and tantalize the full spectrum of our taste buds with challenging food pairings, unusual and unexpected flavours, and good quality, well-crafted food to enhance our drinking experience.
One place in Vegas really impressed me with both their beer AND their food, La Cave in the Wynn. Initially I chose La Cave solely based on the food options, Steve Wynn is a vegan so every restaurant in the Wynn and the Encore has a veggie and gluten-free friendly menu but I was beyond pleasantly surprised when I found out they had a stellar craft beer menu as well.
With our dinner we tried two different beers from New Zealand’s MOA Brewing Company (my first kiwi beers!). First, their Imperial Stout a deep black brown stout with mocha coloured head. Medium bodied with a pleasant chocolate nose and a sweet/tart pinot noir finish. A very dry stout overall. Second, we tried their Breakfast beer a clear, pale gold ale with lots of stiff bright white head and effervescence. A little bit of stone fruit on the nose, very crisp to drink and light bodied with a cherry finish. A little bit wheat, a little bit pale ale and a little bit fruit beer.
I would also like to mention Slice of Vegas in Mandalay Bay as an eatery that surprised me with their craft beer menu. We headed here to grab some late night vegan pizza and lo and behold once again found ourselves staring down an impressive bottle selection. The food might not be extraordinary but the pizza quality was pretty good, the pesto and olive oil garlic bread was fantastic and they give you an extra bulb of baked garlic in case you want to kick it up a notch!
To accompany dinner we tried the Polygamy Porter from Utah’s Wasatch Brewery and Moose Drool Brown Ale from Montana’s Big Sky Brewing Company (my first craft beers from Utah and Montana!). These beers were not that dissimilar from one another in appearance and in taste; both had good clarity, deep brown colour and a little off-white head. Polygamy Porter had more of a coffee nose and a bit more of a bitter finish than the Moose Drool, which had a touch of sweetness and an overall more malty profile. Both quite drinkable beers that paired well with lots of sea salt and garlic.
Finally, for those of you of the more carnivorous persuasion, Todd English P.U.B. in the Aria has a good tap selection as well as a varied menu with lots of seafood.