During my trip down to Hoover Dam when I was out in Las Vegas recently, I drove through Boulder City - even though there's a by-pass now that allows you to drive around the town. In the downtown area, I noticed the Boulder Dam Brewing Company, a nice little brewpub (see map). It looked sort of interesting, but being that it was before 11 a.m., I didn't stop in. However, on my way back through, I did go back through town and stopped in for a couple of beers.
The Boulder Dam Brewing Company is actually pretty new. It was opened in February 2007 by Todd Cook and his father, Toby. Todd's mother, Gail, is the manager of the brewpub. Although the brewpub is not all that large, it's not cramped. It's also pretty bright in the place with a number of large windows throughout. I don't think they had any lights on when I was in there just before noon.
I went up to the bar with the big beer tanks located just behind and took a look at their beer menu. They had three Pale Ale's listed - an American Pale Ale, an English-style Pale, and a very hoppy India Pale Ale. I asked for a sample of the English-style Pale - the Powerhouse. It was very hoppy, but very smooth. It had a great aftertaste that didn't linger - just like I like my Pales. The bartender told me the American Pale - the Penstock Pale - is much more light and less hoppy. She said, "That's my favorite."
A few people were beginning to come in for lunch and I took a quick look at the food menu. It really wasn't much. They primarily had bratwurst and hot dogs. In addition, they had a couple three sandwiches and about four or five appetizers. I decided to have lunch in Las Vegas.
I took my beer and began to wander around the brew pub. On a couple of the flat screen televisions they were showing a documentary of the building of the Hoover Dam. And all throughout the place they had historical pictures and documents on the building of the dam. It was actually pretty interesting.
Being that it was such a nice day outside - 62, sunny, light wind - I went outside to their beer garden that is situated just in front of the restaurant. There were 12 to 15 wooden tables and metal chairs in the beer garden and I sat down facing the warm Nevada sun. Actually, the chairs were rather comfortable. But being that I wasn't in the snow and cold of Iowa at that point in time probably made the chairs more comfortable than they really were.
I went back in to get another beer. This time I went with the Powder Monkey Pilsner. Now, all of the beers are named after nicknames or phrases to do with the building of the dam. A "Powder Monkey" is a person who packed the dynamite in the holes to blow rock out. The pilsner was very good. It had a toasty flavor to it and was very, very smooth. I went back outside to enjoy the sun.
As I was seated outside, I began to notice that I was the only one out there. Everyone was going inside for lunch. The waitress came out to check on me and asked, "Are you enjoying the weather? Aren't you chilly?"
I said, "Oh, God, yes, I'm enjoying this. And I'm from Iowa, so 62 degrees is downright hot for me in the winter time."
I finished my beer and took my glass inside. I told the bartender that I'd be back some time. I'm sure a couple three of my colleagues would like the beer. The only problem is that the Boulder City police are a little aggressive and it's caused a problem with some of the bar and tavern owners in Boulder City. There's been harrassment of patrons in the past and bar and restaurant owners want it stopped as it's hurting business.
It turns out that the Boulder Dam Brewing Company was named one of the 10 best places to get a drink in Las Vegas Life magazine's "Best of Las Vegas - 2007" issue. I have to agree - Boulder Dam Brewing Company is a wonderful place to have a beer. However, don't think you're going to get a great meal in there. The food looks like it's servicable, but the beer is definitely the draw. Oh, that, and the beer garden on the warm winter days. Like their motto says, "It's a bolder dam beer!"