Behold the microbrew: Las Vegas quickly becoming 'valley of beer'
LAS VEGAS (KSNV) —
We know Las Vegas is a resort and nightlife destination, but it’s quickly becoming a beer destination.
Microbreweries are setting up shop all over the valley and tourists are saying cheers to that.
The craft beer market is growing nationwide. A few cities are specifically known for it, Portland, San Diego and Denver are on that list.
However, many are convinced Las Vegas could soon become the next "beer boomtown."
“With all the tourists and all the beer drinkers, just felt opening up a brewery made sense", said Roberto Mendoza of Banger Brewing.
Craft breweries have been popping up in Las Vegas exponentially. Many would say that they are raising the bar.
By definition, a craft brewery is a small brewery that produces beer in a traditional, or non-mechanized way.
Ten years ago, there were only a few of these in Las Vegas, now there are at least 16 in the area, with several more in the works.
One of the longtime favorites named Tenaya Creek originally opened in 1999.
Owner Tim Etter says he had high "hopes" for the industry years ago now it’s booming, with tour groups visiting daily.
“You want to go somewhere, you want to try the local beer, and you want to try something you can’t get back home", says Etter.
Michael “Banger” Beaman is the brewmaster at Banger Brewing on Fremont Street is also unique in their offerings. Customers often order flights, just so they can sample the varieties.
“El Jefe is our jalapeno hefeweizen, where we use five different peppers. We’ve experimented with chocolate, mint, peanut butter. Pretty much any flavor out there, we definitely try to go out there", he says.
Michael says he still enjoys them all. His favorite?
"For me personally, a great beer is the one that I have in my hand right now!"
Indeed! As for where the industry in Las Vegas is headed next, local brewers say competition is a good thing. The more the merrier.
While a "pitcher" may be worth a thousand words, a masterfully brewed pint, with its own unique characteristics is a beauty to behold.
The craft beer clientele tends to be younger. These are people who "grew up" drinking specialty beers and never really got into Budweiser or Coors.
Some of the brewers we spoke to anticipate as the industry grows in Las Vegas, eventually, there will be tour buses that travel to several of the breweries in one day, similar to wine tours in Napa.