I was a bit surprised to find the newly opened location of Aces & Ales (2801 N. Tenaya Way) less than packed on Friday night, July 5. It was a holiday weekend, around 10 p.m., and this west side neighborhood appeared unaware that one of the best beer selections you could possibly drink your way through—as decreed by last week's Weekly Awards—is now available 24/7, right here at home. There's no doubt the word will spread fast.
This bar and restaurant is quite a bit bigger than the original Aces on Nellis Boulevard, and it's still in the soft-open stage since its June 21 debut. The kitchen awaits its pizza oven, but otherwise the food menu is the same. But there's a wide-open dining room full of giant flatscreen TVs and long, hardwood pub tables, a hangar of bar food greatness awaiting your arrival. A private dining room and patio seating is in the works.
The bar area is dark, cool and comfortable, with fewer cushioned stools right on the bar than you'd think, but plenty of booth tables winding around in a circular fashion. Overall, there's plenty of space for everyone, plenty of TVs to watch, and of course, more than enough beer to keep you sampling forever. Aces has 50 taps and more than 100 bottles to choose from, an amazing selection for a neighborhood spot. After one visit, I am worried I'll spend the rest of my summer here.
On this first visit, we tasted the following delicious brews:
• New Belgium's Lips of Faith Pluot, which was surprisingly not that sweet considering its hybrid fruit origins.
• Rogue Ales' Hazelnut Brown Nectar, very nutty and lightly creamy.
• Kasteel Rouge from Belgium's Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck, an absolute bolt of fresh cherry flavor with a malty, almost syrupy back end.
• Stone Brewing Co.'s Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale, an American Black Ale that tasted pretty pale to us; we missed the intended chocolate.
• Green Flash Brewing's Hop Head Red Ale, a summer-appropriate, bright and bitter winner.
• Boston Beer Company's Grumpy Monk, a big Belgian with a bit of banana.
All the draught beers at the new Aces & Ales are $6 and organized clearly with info about style and alchohol content. It's easy to order and even easier to keep ordering and waste away an entire afternoon or evening. Not that it'd be a waste.