Most everyone knows how popular it is to slap the words “Las Vegas” on just about any product imaginable, and sell it to tourists as a “souvenir.” Beverages are no exception to this scheme, but in the wide world of alcohol some are actually made—or at least, distributed from—here. And they’re worth drinking.
Beer While Nevadabrewersguild.org notes some 15 brewpub locations in the Vegas valley—a respectable number for a city our size—Tenaya Creek and Joseph James are two creating serious ranges and bottling to sell off-premise. Look for Tenaya Creek’s limited Old Jackalope Barley Wine (10 percent abv) or JJ’s Raspberry Redemption (in 750 ml bottles).
Wine About an hour from the Strip, Pahrump Valley may never threaten Napa, but the only winery in Southern Nevada does make an award-winning Symphony white as well as uncommon White Merlot among its varietals.
Vodka The beleaguered Las Vegas Distillery may remain in political limbo (really, we can’t let someone make booze in Sin City?), but in the meantime, Las Vegas Vodka—headquartered on Bonaventure Drive—imports from the award-winning Minsk Kristall distillery in Belarus, a place that likely knows a thing or two about making the stuff. Locally-based Johnny Love vodka has also won WSWA medals for its made-in-California flavored line.
Bubbly Speaking of California, creamy and complex Moreno Beverly Hills/Las Vegas Brut Sparkling Wine is made in Lodi, California from Mendocino County Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Colombard grapes and brought to you by the Tropicana Avenue company that also bottles water for most of the Strip resorts. Don’t let the fancy Swarovski-crystalled gold and silver bottles fool you; it’s actually worth drinking—and reportedly a favorite of Matt Goss.