Photo by Fred Morledge

Bringing Beer to a Taco Fight

Motley Brews hosts inaugural Hopped Taco Throwdown

August 12 may not be a Tuesday, but it might be the biggest celebration of tacos Downtown Las Vegas has seen yet.

Twelve local chefs come to compete in the first ever Motley Brews Hopped Taco Throwdown in the backyard of Zappos Headquarters. It’s a heated competition that will push chefs outside their culinary comfort zone. But this isn’t just a spectator event. Attendees can sample some of the finest tortilla treats Las Vegas has to offer, along with craft beer from around the U.S.

According to Brian Chapin, founder of Motley Brews, who also produce the Great Vegas Festival of Beers, this weekend’s culinary creations will range from tacos filled with eccentric ingredients like rabbit, pig ears, octopus and duck heart to more “normal” choices like beer-battered bass and pork.

Chefs will compete for the Hopped Taco Champion title in three categories: Hopped Taco, for the best beer-infused taco; Taco Loco, for the most creative taco; and Taco Dulce, for the best dessert taco. All categories will be judged by Chapin, and a panel of respected chef’s from around the valley.

Restaurants participating in the throw down are The Black Sheep, Citizens Kitchen and Bar, FIX Restaurant & Bar, Herringbone, Tacos & Beer, Buddy V’s, DW Bistro, STACK, Searsucker and The Goodwich.  

Here’s just a taste of what you can sample at the throwdown:

  • La Vaca Borracha: braised short rib taco on a mole tortilla from The Black Sheep
  • Drunk, Drunk, Goose: roasted goose taco with mole served in a blue corn tortilla from Citizens Kitchen and Bar
  • Oh Not So Sweet: sweetbreads, marmalade and guanciale taco from FIX Restaurant and Bar
  • The Drunk Rabbit: braised rabbit, jicama, summer truffle and passion fruit from Herringbone
  • Choco Taco: churro taco with horchata ice cream, dulce de leche, malted barley and chocolate drizzle from Tacos & Beer
  • The Italian Stallion: crispy salumi taco shell with Tuscan cheese, and olive and fennel salsa from Buddy V’s

Tickets are almost sold out. VIP passes are gone but General Admission is still available.

Tickets are $50 online or $60 at the door. Buy tickets here.

Hopped Taco Throwdown

Aug. 12, 8-11 p.m., Zappos (400 Stewart Ave.), $50-60,

Vegas Seven