Thursday, November 12, 2015

Drink locally

I enjoyed a little local flavor during my last visit to Vegas. During one evening we took the BMW convertible to a tap room on Main Street called Hop Nuts Brewing.

It's on Main Street, just south of Charleston Boulevard. That means it's not a quick, easy to access tap room from either downtown or the Stratosphere. It's not miles away, it's just not located in a high density pedestrian district. 

I learned about Hop Nuts prior to our trip when I was using one of the major discount websites to purchase discount tickets for the High Roller. I saw a deal for Hop Nuts, and decided that with the bonus discount the website was offering that day, $16 for two flights and two souvenir pint glasses was worth an investment. 

Hop Nuts is not a fancy tap room, but it's a tap room. There's nothing dingy about it, but it's not swanky. It's near the arts district, and I'm sure it gets its share of traffic, but on a Wednesday evening, not long after the dinner hour, it was not super busy. 

They don't have a huge production facility, but they do brew their beers on site. They had several, and our flights provided us with five decent-size samples of their brews. Our bartender was helpful and friendly, making our visit very enjoyable. 

I am not a critic, especially when it comes to food and drink, so I can't paint a word picture of what was good or bad about their beers. All I will say is that they have distinct brews in several different styles, and I didn't fall in love with any that I had sampled, but I didn't find them to be displeasing. Their uniqueness and character weren't to my personal preference, or to my girlfriend's, but you're getting a quality product that may be more to your liking than mine. 

What makes Hop Nuts different than the tap rooms I am familiar with here in Minnesota is that Hop Nuts has guest beers. They carry taps of brews from other craft brewers in the area or region. (I forget how far away they recruit such product.) Those guest brews are not available through the beer flight voucher I had purchased, but if you're a regular paying customer, they have other options on tap. 

And they have a liquor license, something else I haven't run into at a Minnesota tap room. If you have a member of your party who just doesn't enjoy beer, he or she can enjoy an alternative beverage during a visit to Hop Nuts. Pretty cool.

Hop Nuts doesn't have food service, but they have menus of nearby restaurants that will deliver to you there at the tap room. 

If you're a beer connoisseur, look them up, you might find something you love. If nothing else you'll find a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist scene.

The following night we finally visited Frankie's Tiki Room, a longtime favorite hangout of folks who like a tourist trap away from the strip and downtown. 

I refer to it as a tourist trap, but it's a nice place, and worth the visit. It's exactly what you expect from a tiki bar, lots of bamboo carvings and kitschy decorations. The place is open 24 hours, every day. And if they serve anything other than exotic mixed drinks, it's news to me. I'm sure they do, but you go to this place for the atmosphere and the unique drinks, not a bottle of light beer. (There's no food service here, either.)

My girlfriend and I each had one mixed drink, $9 each. It was a fair price for a mixed drink with multiple ingredients, and the atmosphere is hard to beat. There wasn't much of a crowd during our Thursday night visit, and I couldn't help but wonder who is in that place at 6 a.m. on a weekday morning. Somebody must be. 

The building is colorful on the outside, so it's hard to miss. It's not far down Charleston Boulevard from Main Street. I wouldn't call it a must-see destination, and again, you won't be walking to it, but it's worth a visit. I'm sure I'll be back there some day.

I decided to fill up our gas tank at the gas station next door when we left Frankie's, and my girlfriend decided to take a few pictures of the outside of Frankie's. A dude approached her and asked her if she wanted to buy a pair of men's leather high-top shoes. Only in Vegas.

1 comment:

  1. I was at this place last week. This is such a joy as a place for food! I had a beautiful time at venues in NYC. It reminded me of another center in Memphis, Tennessee. A beautiful, wonderful place that had excellent atmosphere.