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Nine of our favorite local brews

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Big Dog’s Blueberry Wheat
Photo: Bill Hughes
Jim Begley

Nut Brown Ale (Tenaya Creek Brewery, 3101 N. Tenaya Way) This ale ($4) abounds with profound nuttiness and toffee overtones in both its fragrance and taste—think roasted chestnuts. It's one of the brewery's flagship beers and is available throughout the Valley on tap. In the coming weeks, it will be bottled for the first time.

Big Dog's Blueberry Wheat (Big Dog's Draft House, 4543 N. Rancho) Does your Vitamin C deficiency have you saddled with a nagging case of scurvy? I can't promise Blueberry Wheat ($5.50) will cure you, but a couple pints of this hauntingly purple brew should alleviate your woes for a bit.

Hawaiian Honey (Chicago Brewing Company, 2201 S. Fort Apache Road) The name might bring to mind a frou-frou drink accompanied by a cocktail umbrella, but rest assured that's not the case. This beast ($8) weighs in at 12 percent alcohol by volume, (most standard beers hover around 5 percent), so be prepared to wrestle with it while being seduced by its sweetness.

Hop Box Imperial IPA (Joseph James Brewing Company, 155 N. Gibson Road) Certain beer drinkers wear the badge of hophead, me included, to denote their love of the bitterness hops can add to a beer. This IPA (price varies at retail and on-premise establishments) effectively balances its 85 International Bitterness Units (IBUs) with its 9.3 percent alcohol content. Needless to say this tasty beer is not for the faint of heart.

Dark Lager (Ellis Island Casino and Brewery, 4178 Koval Lane) This lager ($2) is deceptive—its dark-brown color would normally denote a fuller beer, but this tasty brew is easy drinking at its best.

Weiss (Sin City Brewing Company, multiple locations) Sin City Brewing might be better known for its Amber, but it's the Weisse ($6) that really stands out. It has the characteristic strong banana and clove aromas and cloudy orange appearance one would expect from a textbook wheat beer.

Red Rock Oktoberfest (Barley's Casino and Brewing Company, 4500 E. Sunset Road, Suite 30) At most breweries Oktoberfests are seasonal beers; Barley's offers its Red Rock Oktoberfest ($2) year-round. This German-style lager has nice caramel notes and just the right amount of bitterness—now where is that oom-pah band?

Dam Buster (Boulder Dam Brewing Company, 453 Nevada Way, Boulder City) This beer ($5) isn't called an India Pale Ale, but it might as well be—it's clean without too much bitterness. Be sure to grab this seasonal quickly as it was tapped Tuesday and is estimated to be gone within two weeks.

Black Chip Porter (Triple 7 Brewery at Main Street Station, 200 N. Main St.) This porter ($3.25) is a nice representation of a dark brewing style. It has a coffee aroma and underlying chocolate and toffee flavors. It's like dessert on tap!

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