As mentioned previously in this space, there was a little work-related jaunt to Vegas last week for the HBJ staff. We tried to make the most of it by hitting up a brewer we didn’t have a whole lot of data on – SIN CITY BREWING. Tried their AMBER last year and it was fine, but honestly, expectations were way low when we stumbled into a bar/brewery no larger than an American family kitchen, right in the middle of a mall. No kidding – there in the Planet Hollywood “Miracle Mile Shops”, not too far from the Lucky Jeans shop and the Wetzel’s Pretzels is SIN CITY BREWING. Their shtick appears to be in keeping with the whole Vegas = naughty thing, with tons of pint glasses and logo wear for sale, featuring a silhouetted woman looking all sexy-like. Like I said, hopes were less than high.
Well well. Imagine my surprise when I enjoyed – nay, relished – two excellent sessionable beers there at SIN CITY. These folks make beer tailor-made for conversation and “yes ma’am may I please have another”. The next day I read a great article by Lew Bryson in ALL ABOUT BEER magazine about session beers, and I recognized that I’d just been to a place that totally gets it. Much like a great pub in the UK, SIN CITY wants you to have another one, and then another one after that, and they don’t want you soiling yourself on the way out – and hey, I didn’t expect to find a place with beer this solid in Las Vegas either. Here’s what I relished:
SIN CITY WEISS – A vaguely sour wheat/weiss ale, halfway between a Berliner Weiss and an American-style hefeweizen or wheat ale. Really drinkable – like, “wow, this is good” drinkable. Pictured here. 8/10
SIN CITY IRISH DRY STOUT – Thin body, but with an ever-present light roastyness and that delicious, creamy mouthfeel you get when someone’s put some attention into their stout. If I was truly going to “session” here, I’d have probably had at least two more of these. 7.5/10
True, drinking conditions are not optimal, and of the four beers served here, one’s a “light lager” and the other is that amber we tried last year. But I can absolutely see a situation in my future that will require another stop in this place, along with the BURGER BAR at Mandalay Bay, where you can counterbalance the “let’s drink a session ale” angel on your shoulder with something a little more devilish and headache-inducing.