With 100-plus breweries and more than 500 craft creations ready for sampling, this weekend’s eighth-annual event definitely sounds great. But its size and scope are not why it’s called the Great Vegas Festival of Beer.
“Something we’ve really focused on from last year to this one is partnering with more companies that allow us to build the experience and making it all come together in unity,” says Brian Chapin of producer Motley Brews. “You know there will be awesome beer cocktails, cool infusions and beer with food, but also a chance to understand the energy and personality and passion of all the people behind it. We want the festival to bleed into the community, because it’s everything great about Vegas, all these cool things happening at the local level.”
The festival has always connected its audience with local culinary offerings, and this year’s fest will feature Esther’s Kitchen, the Black Sheep and Searsucker at the second Mad Craft Experience on Friday night, and more restaurants and food trucks like Panacea, Sin City Wings and Oming’s Kitchen at Saturday’s Grand Tasting.
Among the collaborations: the return of the Zappos.com Pretzel Brewtique, where you can customize your own pretzel necklace to stylishly assist your sipping of the suds, and a Brooklyn Bowl-sponsored silent disco. On the beer front, expect surprises and even more locally crafted creations. Chapin says Joseph James is bringing 25 different beers to the Grand Tasting, including a series of bourbon barrel-aged imperial stouts and the Dead Fox tequila barrel-aged agave ale.
GREAT VEGAS FESTIVAL OF BEER April 6, 7 p.m.; April 7; 2 p.m.; $45-$100. World Market Center Pavilion, greatvegasbeer.com.