Friday, July 27, 2012
Escape From Douchebaggery, Part 24: Aces & Ales
The Craft Brew Revolution has officially grown into an unstoppable force, as deliciously hoppy beers made with love and skill are replacing the watery mass produced mediocrities we used to accept as "beer" at good bars all over this great nation (which is why I find every "satirical" video or article targeting hipsters by lazily mentioning that they all ironically drink PBR to be tediously out of date).
Las Vegas, with its tourist driven economy, traditional embrace of plastic style over substance (your Manhattan skyline fools no one, New York New York), and embarrassing entertainment headliners (Celine Dion sold out nearly every show in her original five year residence at Caesars, prompting her to return for another) seemed like an impenetrable market for small batch artisinal beer producing Brewmasters to breach with their boozey revolution. Las Vegas isn't Portland, after all... yet penetrate the market they have with places like Public House opening on The Strip. And now Aces & Ales brings a positively Brooklonian and sensibility to the trend.
The casual, local's friendly Gastropub was inspired by the London Restaurant/ Bars that originally launched the G-word trend, but the place isn't one of those fakey British Pubs that are ubiquitous in ever suburb across the US of A at this point. The staff is both beer geek knowledgeable yet super unpretentious as they can recommend you a great beer you may have never heard of but will never forget. 22 rotating Craft Brews are always on tap, and you can check their website to find out what they're currently pouring. As I write this, they've got Beers on tap from excellent Breweries like Stone, Mikkelner, Green Flash, Lost Abbey, and Ballast Point (whose Sculpin IPA is one of the best Beers I've ever tasted and whose San Diego based Brewery pours such fascinating beers as a Thai Curry Brew and Habanero Sculpin.)
Bottled Beers on hand come from excellent breweries like Dogfish Head, Goose Island, Brewdog, and North Coast Brewing. You can also get Beer to go in Growlers... a trend that I wish was more prominent in Los Angeles. (Aces & Ales Growler fills are a bit pricey compared to other places I've been to, to be honest.)
The thick and heavy Bar menu, praised as the best in the city by Vegas Seven, is rich with information on the flavor of the many many available Brews. If you're looking for something a little stronger, Aces & Ales has a beautifully curated selection of Scotches and Whiskeys, as well as a nice spread Tequilas, Wines, and signature Cocktails. The food is pretty good too, with standard Gastropub selections like Chicken Wings, Burgers, Pizzas, and Mac & Cheese made with higher quality ingredients than most Bar Food (so you won't hate yourself afterwards).
I also love Aces & Ales special programs, like their Tuesday night tastings where you sample six delicious Crafts for $20, their special visits from Breweries (if you're in town this weekend, Ballast Point's Brewmaster will be on hand to present a bunch of his inventive Beers on Saturday night), or their Annual Strong Brew Festival (which features some of the rarest Beers in the world), all of which give their customers the opportunity to learn a thing or two as they throw back amazing suds. You can also gamble Slot and Keno machines (this is Las Vegas, after all) or play some Pool and Shuffleboard.