It took a while, but Las Vegas’ craft beer companies are beginning to show up in some big-time local venues.
First, the Thomas &Mack Center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas began pouring local favorite brews crafted by Joseph James Brewing Co. Inc. in Henderson and Tenaya Creek in Las Vegas.
Now, Yard House, the beer-based restaurant chain born in California, has jumped on the local-brew bandwagon with pouring handles displaying Joseph James, Tenaya Creek and Big Dog microbrew company names.
Yard House opens its third Las Vegas-area restaurant today at The Linq on the Strip.
The new Yard House is pouring Big Dog’s Dirty Dog IPA; Joseph James’ Citra Rye Pale Ale and Craft American Lager (plus a Double Red as a special April beer); and Tenaya Creek’s Hauling Oats and Hop Ride IPA, said Mark Lawson, craft beer manager for Nevada Beverage, which distributes Tenaya Creek and Joseph James. Prepare to pay $5.50 to $8.75 for one of the brews.
The Big Dog IPA, Joseph James lager, and the Tenaya Creek IPA are also on tap at Yard House locations at Town Square and at Red Rock Resort, Yard House beverage supervisor Greg Howard said.
“It’s a coming of age. We’ve been testing their beers for a while. This happened to be the perfect opportunity as we looked at this new location,” Howard said from his Irvine office. “ ‘Drink local’ is a bigger and bigger thing, and we want to support local. Nevada was the only state that didn’t have a local craft beer” at a Yard House.
Yard House has high standards for craft beers, so it’s a big deal for the trio of locals to take their place next to established beers such as Samuel Adams and Sierra Nevada, Lawson said.
“It’s very significant,” he said. “This is the first time they’ve put the local craft beers in there. Last year was a big push and we didn’t get anything in.”
Joseph James’ head brewer, Matthew Marino, was excited to see his beers at the new Yard House.
“We’re excited that Yard House is recognizing the value of promoting the local brands and responding to consumers who want to drink local products,” Marino said. “We hope that translates into other chains getting on board. It’s good for their bottom line.”
Joseph James has sent its beers to Yard House for several years in hopes the chain would sell the product, Marino said.
Same goes for Tim Etter, owner of Tenaya Creek.
“They have quite the process. We’ve been sending them samples ever since they opened in Town Square, ever since they came in town,” Etter said this week. “We’re thrilled we’re going in all three of them. … It’s a big account for us. Having that visibility on the Strip is huge for us.”
The Yard House at The Linq will be the chain’s 50th, and will be its second biggest by square feet at 18,000. It will have 160 taps in the restaurant, plus 20 at a to-go station, Howard said.
Orlando, Fla.-based Darden Restaurants owns Yard House.
Contact reporter Alan Snel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5273. Follow @BicycleManSnel on Twitter.