Life is beautiful … but it’s even prettier with beer goggles. More than 20 craft beers from such breweries as Ballast Point, Oskar Blues and our own Tenaya Creek were represented in the Ambassador Culinary Village, but these three brews stood out among the crowd.
At 10.5-percent ABV, Gulden Draak (VanSteenberge.com) probably isn’t the most refreshing of beers after dancing your ass off in the Troubadour tent, but acquiring a pint of it was a great excuse to give your legs a rest while slowly sipping in the shade. Unlike most Belgian tripels, this brew has a dark brown color. The full-bodied ale’s alcohol is hidden beneath a caramel sweetness and mild hops.
Colorado’s Left Hand Brewing Co. (LeftHandBrewing.com) made its Las Vegas debut at Life is Beautiful with its Good Juju Ginger Pale Ale and Polestar Pilsner. The light and dry Good Juju pours an amber-orange color with a light, fizzy head. The refreshing beer is easy to drink, with a subtle ginger burn.
For the hopheads, California’s Alpine Brewing Co.’s Hoppy Birthday (AlpineBeerCo.com) was there to please. The light, hoppy American pale ale has a golden body with a frothy head, and serves as a model for what great pale ale should be. The mellow brew has hints of citrus and pine with a slight hoppy bitterness. If beers were bands, Hoppy Birthday would be the headliner.