Downtown Las Vegas’ Arts District is becoming a beer lover’s paradise

Duck-themed Able Baker Brewing opened last month.
Photo: Wade Vandervort

Do beer and paint mix? Apparently, yes.

Las Vegas beer brewers are flocking to the Arts District, drawn to the area for its walkability, its central location in the Las Vegas Valley and its creative, local vibe. Three new breweries are expected to open within the next six months, joining Arts District staple Hop Nuts Brewing, a recently opened taproom from CraftHaus Brewery and the new, Atomic Age-themed Able Baker Brewing.

Brewery owners partaking in the trend hope that the area along Main Street could become something akin to a beer district—a place folks could stroll through to sample a variety of local brews. “That’s why we named our [brewery] the Beer District, because we could kind of see there were people looking in that area and that it’s really set up well for that,” says Jimmy Doyle, brewer for Beer District Brewing, scheduled to open by the end of the year.

Beer District Brewing will specialize in strong, barrel-aged beers, but it will also offer “a little of everything,” Doyle says. The taproom will feature an industrial atmosphere, and the business hopes to team up with local food trucks on weekends.

Downtown’s Able Baker Brewing (Wade Vandervort/Staff)

The preponderance of breweries in the area will not only be a boon for Beer District Brewing but the Arts District community as a whole, Doyle says. Able Baker co-founder James Manos agrees. More breweries, he says, will mean more foot traffic and more reasons to visit the neighborhood.

Manos’ new brewery and taproom pays homage to Las Vegas’ formative years: the 1940s and 1950s, when the Vegas skyline was occasionally dotted with mushroom clouds from atomic bombs detonated at the Nevada Test Site. Able and Baker were the names of the first bombs the U.S. government exploded at the test site. “We wanted to find ourselves a way to connect to the state in an authentic way,” Manos says.

Since opening September 19, Able Baker has established itself as a major beer destination for Golden Knights fans. The brewery serves beer made by Knights forward Ryan Reaves, who runs his own brewing company called 7Five Brewing. It’s one of many ways Able Baker plans to engage with the community, Manos says.

Connecting with locals will similarly be a focus of HUDL Brewing Co. and Nevada Brew Works, expected to open by December and April, respectively.

HUDL (pronounced “huddle”) will be a traditional, strictly-beer brewery, serving brews for every type of beer drinker and some that “will maybe push some people’s pallets,” co-owner Dale Norfolk says.

As for the brewery’s atmosphere, Norfolk’s intent is to foster community, starting with the business’ name. “HUDL is about a gathering place, where you can come, put down your cellphone and use your spoken words,” Norfolk says.

Nevada Brew Works will include an outdoor, dog- and kid-friendly patio and will serve homemade pizza and pretzels, according to owner Jason Taylor. It will also have a charity bent: Taylor, whose daughter has cerebral palsy, plans to donate some of Nevada Brew Works’ proceeds to local organizations that help children with medical conditions. All sales of Ariana Rye-PA, a rye-based pale ale named after Taylor’s daughter, will go to charity.

“She’s a big part of our why,” Taylor says. “We know the more we give back, the more we’ll get back.”

The new and upcoming breweries should fit right in with the existing creative energy of the Arts District, Manos says, as he sees beer-making as an art form of its own. Give it a little time, and the influence of craft beer in the area will be even more apparent, he predicts.

“In another two years, you’re going to come down here and you won’t even recognize Main Street. It’s going to look completely different,” Manos says.

Tags: Beer, Featured
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