After making a name for himself at groundbreaking Chicago venues the Aviary and Drumbar—and winning awards including Beverage Professional of the Year from the Chicago Tribune—Craig Schoettler landed in Las Vegas as Aria’s first resort mixologist. Schoettler has been at the forefront as MGM Resorts’ newest Strip property has steadily evolved into a peerless food and beverage destination, and now he’s taking on a fun, new challenge as MGM embarks on another mega-project.
Beerhaus, set to open April 4 at the Park, the entertainment district adjacent to the new T-Mobile Arena, is being billed as a remix of the classic American beer hall. “Our objective is, if you like craft beer and you don’t want to sit in an environment where you have to wear a suit to go to dinner, this is your place. It’s a very open-air space,” Schoettler says. “And from a beverage standpoint, it’s important to me that everyone is equally excited about the experience. If you’re a beer geek but your friend is not, I don’t want your friend to feel out of her element. It’s something I don’t think we’ve seen on the Strip yet.”
Cool music, outdoor seating, fun food and a casual environment with 28 beers on draft and another 70 or so bottles—Beerhaus definitely sounds like something new. And Schoettler wants everybody to come, not just Vegas visitors exiting a show at the arena. How do you bring locals to the Strip? Pour local beers.
“We’re working on a collaboration with Sin City Brewing Company, and we’ll have everything from Joseph James to Big Dog’s to Crafthaus,” he says. “The breweries that have opened up in Las Vegas make some fantastic product, and there’s no reason we shouldn’t be showcasing them. But we’re not doing it just because they’re local. We’re doing it because they’re local and awesome.”