1. Motley Brews is taking over Downtown. Its annual Downtown Brew Festival returns to the Clark County Amphitheater in September, it relocated the Great Vegas Festival of Beer to a fenced-off Downtown site earlier this year, and now there’s Open Container, summer mini-fests at Container Park. The first of these cozy little events took place June 27, and future Open Containers are set for July 25 and August 22.
2. Four ounces of beer is the perfect amount to decide whether or not you like said beer, and it’s also the right amount to consume while you’re moving from line to line at a beerfest ... especially when those lines for are short and quick. The first Open Container was limited to a few hundred people, so there were no long waits or tight spaces, just plenty of cold beer.
3. The best beer that just didn’t feel right on the hot Vegas night? Rio Grande and Sierra Blanca Brewing’s Nut Brown Ale. Boldly flavored with dark chocolate malted barley, it has a deep spectrum of roasty, coffee-ish notes. It was delicious, even if lighter brews were more popular.
4. Downtown’s own Banger Brewing has offered the most memorable beers at the local fests I’ve attended recently. At Open Container, the local boys took over the second-floor indoor-outdoor space soon to be known as the Perch and served up three winners—Van Damme, a light Belgian; the richly flavored Irish brew Rebellion Red; and the beautifully bitter Hops Anonymous, clocking in at 59 IBU.
5. Live music closed out the evening, but before that, beer lovers were entertained by well-known, funny and random clips from movies and TV splashed on the big screen behind Container Park’s stage. Lounging outside, sipping on the fruity, fizzy new Cidre from Stella Artois and watching Will Ferrell screaming, “Ma, the meatloaf! We want it now!” makes for a pretty fun Friday night.