Posts Tagged ‘las vegas’

freakin frog las vegas, pellicle update

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

last weekend my buddy EH and I hopped on a plane to vegas to meet up with some old friends for some catching up.

  • unfortunately, our hotel was a hike from my go-to beer spot on the strip – burger bar.  that, and a rigid weekend schedule prevented much exploration once we set up shop at the hotel.  if only I had time for rosemary’s
  • the only answer was to stock up on some quality brews straight from the airport and stash them in the hotel for the weekend.
  • a few minutes on beerfly netted a couple promising spots – aces and ales and freaking frog.   the latter’s close proximity to the airport and supposedly extensive beer cooler clinched it, and as soon as we could grab a cab we headed over in the triple digit heat.
  • unfazed by the lack of windows and goofy exterior signage of the frog, we slipped in and were immediately welcomed with a decent draft selection.  however, the real action was in the frog’s walk-in cooler, where a fantastic variety of brews from all over awaited our perusal in a refreshingly cold environment.
  • after poring over the selection, a bottle of fantome’s saison was popped for immediate gratification, and bottles of DFH fort (boozy, sweet, and fruity, would do well with a few years on it) and olde school (warm, fruity, and full-bodied; great with a padron ’64 anniversary exclusivo), as well as a bottle of cantillon kriek (easily in my top 5), were nabbed for weekend enjoyment.
  • after checking out the impressive whisky attic at the frog (which supposedly stocks the largest variety in the US), we grabbed our stash and headed for a nearby liquor store, where significant quantities of swill were picked up for those in the party with less discerning palates.  that’s not to say a few crown-embossed tabs weren’t popped by yours truly that weekend…

 

  • upon returning to LA on sunday, I was greeted by a dramatic increase in the pellicle crowning my cuvee de blanc (possibly due to the recent increase in temps).  AP’s reaction was less enthusiastic than mine – hopefully she’ll forget about it next year come bottling time…

homebrew projects and burger bar revisited

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

last week I managed to put some finishing touches on some home brewing components.

  • remember this old post about the chill wizard?  you know, the one for $830?  well, with some helpful tips from the folks over at homebrewtalk (my new must-read forum), I scored a march pump from a forum member and got a plate chiller for a steal via germany (email me for more info), then picked up a bunch of stainless hardware from bargainfittings (fast shipping!) and made my own pump/cooling setup for less than half the cost.
  • basically, I picked up a small toolbox off of amazon for cheap, installed the pump into a base end of the box, and strapped the plate chiller to the other end.  I tossed on extras like a air purge valve on the pump out and an in-line thermometer at the wort out of the plate chiller, as well as a pump switch on the top of the box.  the whole thing is plugged into a GFCI outlet so I don’t shock the shit out of myself.
  • after tightening everything with some plumbing tape, I ran my portable pump setup through my (almost finished) brew setup to test it, and after a few leak fixes everything worked like a charm.  this thing might not be the prettiest setup out there, but it gets the job done just as well as the high-end options and is simpler/significantly less expensive.
  • I also kegged up my bohemian pilsner and tapped the second keg of my belgian date barleywine, which recently celebrated its first birthday.

in other beer news, AP and I were in vegas at the end of last week, and after very little persuading we headed over to burger bar for another visit.

  • as usual, the selection was outstanding, especially for a burger joint in a casino.  I started off with a st feuillen saison on draft, while AP went local and had a pint of sin city’s amber ale (which she thoroughly enjoyed).
  • after my initial pour, I couldn’t resist any longer, and went straight for one of my hard-to-find favorites: dogfish head’s 120 minute IPA.  I pulled the same stunt as last time and ended up cruising the strip with a cup of this liquid gold (which might not have been the best idea, as outside temps were in triple digits).
  • AP and I managed to return twice more during our stay, and partook in specialties such as new belgium’s la folie ’10 (significantly more sour than last year’s, according to my palate), kiuchi’s commemorative ale (spice ain’t my thing, but these guys have the belgian complexity down pat), and bitch creek ESB from grand teton.
  • I was even debating ordering up the firestone 11-13 bomber flight, but lousy luck at the craps table prevented any celebratory splurging.
  • again, the service and burgers were great and the beer selection made me feel right at home.  if you’re a beer fan in vegas this is without question the place to be.

burger bar las vegas

Monday, August 31st, 2009

view from the back bar

view from the back bar

In Las Vegas for a close friend’s bachelor party, I happened to stumble across Burger Bar in Mandalay Place on the strip.  Well, more like “actively seek out as a result of BeerFly research” than “stumble across,” but you know what I mean.  This place emerged as an oasis in a desert of aluminum budweiser bottles and foot-tall plastic margarita glasses.

  • don’t fret if mandalay place (the building between mandalay bay and luxor) seems far.  a tram at excalibur drops you off less than a 5 minute walk from where you need to be.
  • when I got there, the place was packed, and there was a line to get in.  however, bar seating is first come, first served, and there were open bar seats the entire time i was there, so if you are in a group of 2-3 I would recommend that option.  they are also open until 2am on weekends, so you can always go in at an off hour to avoid the rush.
  • if the front bar is packed, check out their back bar – it seemed less crowded to me and was where I got a seat the first time I was there.
  • over the course of the weekend, I visited this place multiple times.  I started off with a favorite, stone’s 13 anniversary, while picking out a burger.
  • they also have an impressive dogfish head selection here, bigger than I have found in SF.  I had a DFH raison d’etre with my burger, and had them pour a draft DFH 90 minute IPA in a cup to go.
  • later that weekend, I rolled in for another burger.  I started off with another favorite, Cantillon Iris (in a 375ml bottle), and left with a DFH 120 minute IPA in a cup (ask for it, I don’t think it’s on the menu).  I think I can safely say that I was the only guy rolling through the casino with that beer in his hand.
  • Everyone working at burger bar was very friendly (and incredibly busy).  I had a good conversation with Dean, the resident “beer guide” at burger bar.  He’s the guy to look for for good beer stories and recommendations.

Also, another burger bar will be opening in the city in macy’s sometime soon, so hopefully theire beer list will come with it and we can all enjoy yet more beer variety here in SF.

p.s. for some decent shots of the interior of burger bar go here.

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