Thursday, March 19, 2009

March 09

Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville
3555 Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109

Off the plane to the pool. After we relaxed for a bit we all ventured to the strip. We were all hungry from the plane ride so we ended up here. Not knowing that Jimmy Buffet had a beer brewed just for his restaurants we had to start our Vegas Brew quest. This is a Lone Palm Ale which Tim and I each had one with our two rounds of shots and a great lunch.

Ellis Island Brewery
4178 Koval Ln
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109

Amber (Ale)
Hefe Weiss (Ale)
Dark (Lager)
Light (Lager)

Tim and I went to Las Vegas for a Hospitality Convention. We had two days before the Convention started and invited two friends to join us for these two days. During our sight seeing we decided to check out a brew pub in the area. We happen to be at the opposite end of town so we jumped on the monorail. We got off at the Flamingo stop. As we exited the casino we could see the Brewery a few streets over. As you know if you have ever been to Vegas that building look much closer than they really are. We arrived hungry and thirsty. We headed to the brewery part of the building and proceeded to look for the bar to grab a beer. The host informed us that there was a 2 hour wait. Excuse me? We then went tot he bar which was on the other side of the casino. Really not that far. Yes they brew their own beers here but no one knew what a sampler was. Tim suggested to the bartender to fill up some glasses with each beer and we will pick one. Bringing these to the table we found that they did not serve food in the bar. We decided to drink the sampler and order a beer then we would venture onto the next brewery on the list. I was very disappointed in the watered down beers they were serving. This was my first impression of the breweries in Vegas. What a Bust this was. Well a 20oz Hefe Weiss was a dollar. Shit we all got one. It wasn't that bad.

Gordon Biersch Brewery
3987 Paradise Road
Las Vegas, Nevada 89169

Golden Export
Czech Pilsner
Seasonal: Alt

So we left the cheap watered down beers for a chain Brewery. After walking something like 10 Vegas blocks in the wrong direction we stumbled upon the Hard Rock Casino. We stopped in for a pee then sat down at a Let it Ride table. Tim hit 4 Ace's and $800 something later we ended up at Gordon Biersch Brewery by taxi this time. We were starving by this time and was excited to order dinner. Tim and I had a beer sampler and both choose the Seasonal Alt. The interior was like any other chain restaurant fancy and clean. The food was great and the beers were very good.

Boulder Dam Brewing
453 Nevada Way
Boulder City Nevada 89005

Powder Monkey Pilsner
Hell's Hole Hefeiweizen
High Scaler IPA
Lake Mead Light
Rattlesnake Bite

Tim and I went to the Convention remember that is what we are in Vegas for. We decided to rent a car and drive to Boulder Dam. We knew of a brewery on the way. Again killing two birds with one stone we ordered lunch. I had a turkey sandwich and Tim had a Sausage. I wasn't that impressed with the food. Mostly a Bar menu. The beers were very interesting. The kettles were even more interesting. It is a all in one system, you pour in the ingredients and that's it. It mixes, brews, chills, and then you tap it. Some of the combinations were kinda weird. The Shandy was 1/2 Lemonade and 1/2 Pilsner. Rattlesnake Bite was 1/2 Cider and 1/2 Pilsner. Weird. They were still brewing their Stout and Amber. Tim and I both had the Hell's Hole Hefeweizen.

Big Dog Brewing
Big Dog Bar & Grill
1511 N. Nellis Blvd
Las Vegas, Nevada

Leglifter Light
Tailwagger Wheat
Holy Cow Original Pale Ale
Red Hydrant Ale
Big Dogs 38 Special
Dirty dog IPA
Black Lab Stout
Brewmaster Special

After spending the day at Hover Dam we decided since we had the rental car we would try to find some more of the Brew Pubs Las Vegas had to offer. Since I was not prepared I had no clue where we were supposed to be. Using 411 to call on a few that we had a list for and getting directions. We were looking for Big dogs Brewery which is on North Rancho. We stumbled upon Big Dogs Bar & Grill. They have the same beers just not brewed on location. We had the sampler and pot stickers. What we are finding that in Las Vegas was the Breweries like to use Clove and Banana in their Heffs. It pretty much taste like a wet dog smells like. Yuck!

Chicago Brewing Company
2201 S Fort Apache Road
Las Vegas, Nevada 89117

All Nighter
Black Star
Hardway IPA
Old Town Brown
Ramblin' Reck Amber Ale
Weizenheimer Wheat
Blueberry Vanilla Wheat
Peach Ale
Belgian Saison

From the looks of the map we got at the car rental place Chicago Brewing Company was not to far away. Yep we found it. Again another sampler. Its such a great way to try them all. Tim and I are finding we both do not like the IPA's and should have them replaced with an additional dark beer. We keep forgetting so we have to down them. Well Tim has been drinking them and letting me enjoy the good ones. Yes I found a keeper. I decided to get a mug of the Blueberry Vanilla Wheat. Very tasty. Tim got the Old Town Brown. After talking to the bartender we found out that Las Vegas Breweries are fond of using flavoring instead of the real thing. Here in the NW if it says Apricot Ale you better believe it had the real fruit mixed in.

Main Street Station
Triple 7 Restaurant Brewery
300 N Main Street
Las Vegas, Nevada 89101

High Roller
Marker Pale Ale
Royal Red Lager
Black Chip Porter
Triple 7 Brewmaster Irish Stout
Brewmasters Reserve:
Extra Barleywine

This morning Tim suggested since we still had the car we could drive up to the Stratopherefor lunch and enjoy the view. I had a Greek salad that was wonderful. It sure was windy on the observation deck. I cant believe the rides on the very top. There is no way I would ever do that. We had seen Main Street Station and Brewery from the Freeway the night before so we headed that way. This brewery is pretty big. They were real busy. Tim and I once again enjoyed a sampler. The Extra Barley wine is more of a malt @ 12%. We finished our sampler and headed to the casino for a chance at craps. We more than doubled our money and went to the Convention. After all that is what we were in Vegas for. Right?

Salmon Creek Brewery
108 W Evergreen Blvd
Vancouver, Washington

Golden Ale
India Pale Ale
Irish Red Ale
Scottish Ale
Sweet Stout
Thunderbolt Porter
Brother Larry's Belgian

Tim and i wanted to venture to Vancouver to add other city's to our quest. We decided to go here first and have dinner. We each ordered the Hazelnut crusted Halibut. The dinner was okay a little over prices I thought. The clientele was older but a nice place. After the sampler Tim and I shared a Thunderbolt Stout.

Hazel dell Brewery
8513 NE HWY 99
Vancouver, Washington 98665

Hazel Dell Golden
Imperial India Pale Ale
Stein Bock
Dry Hopped Red Zone
Red Zone Pale
Captian Vancouver's Stout
We walked in to what was more like a family restaurant. just beer and wine was served here. They were out of the Porters but had the Stout. We tried the sampler then headed back towards Portland.

BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse
Jantzen Beach
12105 N Center Ave.
Portland, Oregon

BJ's Brewhouse Blonde
Harvest Hefeweizen
Piranha Pale Ale
BJ's Jeremiah Red
BJ's P.M. Porter
Tatonka Stout
Nutty Brewnette
We were on our way to take me to work when I called in and told them I would be late. Three Breweries in one night was not a good idea. The beers were really good for a chain. We found out the brewery is in Reno and they ship to all the restaurants now. A sampler and off to work. I probably shouldn't say that Tim had two Rogue Nut Browns at my bar. Tim was not feeling to good Sunday morning.

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