Imagine if Strange Brew had featured craft brewers instead of the dimwitted McKenzie brothers. They would have let Elsinore Brewery, which produces the cheap local swill, slip into Brewmeister Smith’s evil hands and spent the rest of the movie sourcing heirloom hops.
Their relative fondness for mass-produced domestics notwithstanding, there is at least one similarity between connoisseurs of craft brew and fans of Pabst and Old Milwaukee. Both share the desire to imbibe all the lager and ale a liver can handle.
Which brings us to this weekend in downtown Las Vegas, when two beer festivals will converge on the neighborhood. The Golden Nugget will hold its third annual Fall Beer Festival, a two-day event on Friday and Saturday that features a craft beer tasting and an Oktoberfest pool party. Tickets for the Friday tasting run $50 and also include appetizers and a commemorative glass. Admission to the pool party is free, with beer available for purchase. (The casino will also host the Paulaner Biergarten from Thursday through Sunday on Fremont Street.)
If you prefer a grassroots beer festival, try the Downtown Brew Festival, a spinoff of the Great Vegas Festival of Beer that debuted in April. The four-hour event on Saturday will feature 40 local and regional breweries and 150 craft brews. Tickets start at $32 in advance for all-you-can-drink, and food will also be available for purchase.
It sounds like a good weekend for all kinds of beer fans — as long as both venues arrange for extra toilets.
All American Craft Beer Tasting and Oktoberfest Pool Party Friday, 7-10 p.m., Saturday, 3-9 p.m.; Golden Nugget, 129 Fremont St., (866) 946-5336, $50. Downtown Brew Festival Saturday, 2-6 p.m., Clark County Amphitheater, 500 South Grand Central Parkway, www.motleybrews.com, $32.