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Tasting the official brew of the 2014 Great Vegas Festival of Beer

A scene from a past Great Vegas Festival of Beer.
Courtesy of Motley Brews

The 2014 edition of the Great Vegas Festival of Beer, set for April 26 at Downtown’s Fremont East Entertainment District, promises to be at least a little bit bigger than previous years. It’s the fourth time Motley Brews will be presenting the annual event, which in past years has attracted more than 5,000 attendees to Sunset Park or Tivoli Village.

For this year’s fest, 14 Nevada craft breweries and more than 80 guest breweries will converge Downtown, along with BrewLogic demonstrations and tastings, a VIP lounge at Commonwealth, the Gastropub culinary experience, the Human Arcade at Fremont Country Club, and live music from Rusty Maples and Crash Kings. Organizers are planning for upwards of 6,000 attendees.

Brewed by Henderson's Joseph James Brewing Company, the Sweet 'N Funky Desert Junkie is the official brew of the Great Vegas Festival of Beer.

But it will still be all about the beer. Motley Brews partnered with Henderson’s acclaimed Joseph James Brewing Company to create a delicious official brew for this year’s event, the Sweet ‘N Funky Desert Junkie. The name and label logo for this refreshing honey blonde ale were created through social media contests, and the beer itself was crafted by focusing on a local ingredient—the sweet stuff from Pahrump Honey Company.

“We knew it was important to use local product for this, so we started with our light lager as a base added quite a bit of honey at [different stages] of the process,” said Matt Marino, head brewer at Joseph James, during the brew’s unveiling on April 1. “In the end, we blended it with a saison to add to its body and smooth flavor, and it will be draft only so we can add a little more honey directly to the kegs for a little extra sweetness.”

It may sound too sweet, but it’s not; it’s dry, crisp and refreshing, easy to drink and the perfect match for fun, outdoor festival food. The Great Vegas Festival of Beer will be the only place to get it, also the case for the collaborative Double Pyrite Pale Ale, which was originally crafted last year.

For more information or tickets to the festival, visit

Tags: Nightlife, Booze
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Brock Radke is Las Vegas Weekly's associate editor and manages the magazine's dining and nightlife sections and writes the Strip-centric ...

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