It’s that time again: Motley Brews’ Great Vegas Festival of Beer is upon us this weekend at its new home, the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center. Since there are more than 500 beers on the slate from over 100 breweries, we thought it’d be a good idea to provide some highlight-worthy suggestions. Consider this a cheat sheet as you wander through the bounty of brews.
• Man’s Best Friend 002: Local brewer Big Dog’s Brewing Company’s second foray into its Man’s Best Friend series is a Belgian-style dark strong ale that doesn’t drink as hot as the 10-percent ABV might suggest. But it wafts of whiskey (if that’s your thing, and it should be) after aging for more than five months in Jameson Irish Whiskey casks.
• Paleo Porter: You got your chocolate in my peanut butter! You got your peanut butter in my chocolate! These two great tastes pair great together in this well-balanced coffee porter tinged with both chocolate and peanut butter from Henderson’s Lovelady Brewing Company.
• Einstök Ölgerð Beers: Never had Icelandic beer? Now’s your chance. The country’s most famous brewery recently arrived in Las Vegas straight outta Akureyri. Particularly interesting are the Icelandic Toasted Porter and the Icelandic Arctic Pale Ale. Close your eyes after a couple of these and you’re bound to see the northern lights.
• Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Stout: Apparently, I’ve got a thing for peanut butter-flavored beers, and you should, too. The San Diego-based brewery with the adorable mascot serves a stout delivering peanut butter taste that isn’t cloying. It’s like a drinkable dessert.
• Joseph James 10th Anniversary BBA Stout with Coconut and Cacao Nibs: Dive into a decade of brewing excellence from the Henderson brewery with this robust combination of barrel-aged beers brewed with house-toasted cacao nibs and coconut.
• El Charro Mexican Lager: At some point in the afternoon, you’re going to need a break from the high-ABV onslaught. Turn to Las Vegas’ own Tenaya Creek Brewing Company. Think of this one as a Corona with more flavor.
Great Vegas Festival of Beer April 5, 7-10 p.m.; April 6, 2-7 p.m.; $45-$95. Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, greatvegasbeer.com.