In the land of margaritas by the yard, non-existent open container laws and glassy eyes from a long night before, I found myself not at the head of a craps table, or mesmerized by a sparkling overhead light parade, but at a brewery. Although Las Vegas may be well known for its sin city ways, they do have a decent amount of breweries in the area. And you know me, I love checking out new breweries!
Slightly tucked away in the spectacle of the Fremont Street Experience is Banger Brewing. To a passerby they may be distracted by the glittery goodness of what lays before them if it were not for the grain silo pairing up with a brewery sign, literally in lights, to grab any beer lover’s attention.
And grab it, it did. Like a moth to a flame, I found myself taking a seat on the outside patio of Banger Brewing after placing an order for a flight of beer. There is inside bar seating, but when in Vegas, you never want to miss an opportunity to people watch. As I sat on my perch waiting for my beer, I watched giggling person after giggling person taking their turn on the Heart Attack Grill scale, located next to the brewery. The Heart Attack Grill restaurant actually encourages weight challenged people to partake in gluttony, awarding anyone over 350 lbs with a free meal. But when in Vegas, why not commit a little sin, right?
My flight of four beers arrived starting first with the El Heffe Jalapeno Wheat. Chili beers have been a happening trend in the beer world right now. It is a trend that I hope continues as I love them. This beer has a 5.6% Alcohol By Volume (ABV) and a 17 International Bittering Unit (IBU). With a murky appearance, staying true to the hefeweizen roots, this beer was more of a roller-coaster of spicy flavors than the traditional wheat flavoring you would expect from a hefeweizen. Overall this beer is flavorful and enjoyable, giving you a fun twist on a classic style of beer.
The next beer is one of my favorite styles, the Märzen because it is a traditional Oktoberfest style and I love me some Oktoberfest beer! The Coppertale has a 6.5% ABV and a 23 IBU. Like it’s name, the beer is a rich copper color with a mild hop note and a bold malty backbone.
Up next on the flight was the Hop Culture Reference IPA with a 6.5% ABV and a 65 IBU. This beer pours out a pretty amber color with a mixture of fruity flavors. A decent IBU, but not an overly hoppy punch on this beer, especially for an IPA.
The Hop Bang Boom IPA was my last taste with a 7.7% ABV and a 84 IBU. I enjoyed this beer two different ways, one on draft and one on nitro. For anyone who has never had a beer on nitro, drop what you are doing and find yourself a beer on nitro… right now. For the draft style this beer poured out a crisp amber color and I picked up some spicy, earthiness along with grapefruit notes coming from the dry hopping of the Citra and Simcoe hops. The earthiness was less prevalent on the nitro version but it won’t be missed as you are enjoying the velvety texture the nitro gives the beer.
Light food fare is offered by Food Junky on the brewery’s patio. The menu is small and consists mostly of sandwiches and fries. I am not sure why, but I had been craving a corn dog since my arrival to Vegas. There was a corn dog on the menu, however, after ordering, the chef informed me that it would not be a traditional corn dog that I would be getting. It was their take on a corn dog: fries with sliced and fried up hot dogs, with a bit of chili, poured over it. This, of course, resulted in a furrowed brow from me, but I decided to give it a go even though it would not fulfill my craving.
I could not really figure out why I was craving a corn dog anyway. I have a corn dog probably every 10 years and they have never sent my taste buds into culinary ecstasy. And while we will never know the true explanation as to why I had this craving, I locked it up in the same vault where I put the sad memories from my early 20’s of drinking Coors Light on purpose. Again unexplainable and worthy of suppressing.
Banger Brewing is located at 450 Fremont Street STE 135. They are open 7 days a week and offer free brewery tours that can be booked online.