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Craft Beer In Casinos

Finding good beer in casinos is a gamble, but Beer Connoisseur found some sure bets!
Tropicana Atlantic City

I’ll bet that you have been tempted to gamble at some point in your life and since you are reading this article, you care a bit about quality brews. With this being the case, it would make perfect sense that beer and rolling the dice go hand in hand like a glass of Innis & Gunn with a Cohiba cigar. Well, unfortunately, practically every casino that I have visited has not taken advantage of this ideal marriage—at least regarding decent craft beer.

While it’s common practice for attractive servers to work the floors toting free standard cocktails using spirits from the well, the “beer” presented in disposable cups is watery enough to make Neptune blush. Better yet, the selection of beers that I could pay for is equally frustrating, with no more than five or so to choose from and the majority having “Light” following the brand name. What’s the deal?

Well since I plan on hitting the road and trying my luck where I can, I did a little research on a few casinos that actually respect the craft beer movement. The findings were pretty positive.

While in Atlantic City to cover the awesome 6th Annual Celebration For The Suds Beer Festival, I knew variety would not be an issue. Plus, I could hit up the Tun Tavern Brewery for some suds made on site, but there are no slots or blackjack tables there. What if I wanted to hit the machines and have the option to sip more craft brewed ales without leaving the venue? After digging a little deeper, I discovered Firewaters, an awesome hangout that has two bars—one of them dedicated to beer (!)—right down the hall from the casino floor in the legendary Tropicana. With 50 different brews on tap and more than 100 bottled varieties to choose from, even a beer snob like me couldn’t complain. Oh yeah, Firewaters is open an eye-crossing 24 hours a day as well. Hell-o!

Moving on, New Orleans is on the wish list and a friend of mine who is a city native swears by anything brewed by the hometownbrewery Abita, but what about a casino? It looks like Harrah’s gets the nod for their posh decor, wide range of gaming and upscale restaurants like Besh Steak, Ruth Chris, the Asian-themed Bambu and, yes, a Gordon Biersch on the premises. Although I am more of an ale man, I can take a break and happily indulge in their German lagers ranging from the lightly hopped Golden Export lager (5.0 % abv) to my favorite of the roster, the amber-hued, malty Bavarian Märzen lager (5.7% abv). There’s nothing like traveling to Germany without paying a couple grand for a plane ticket, right? Thanks, GB!

Then there is Las Vegas. I have never been there but will make great strides to make this awesome city an unforgettable stay when I do get a chance to book a ticket. Regarding legitimate beer destinations, the great Irish-themed pub enterprise, Rí Rá , recently opened another site in the world famous Mandalay Bay Shoppes, but inside a casino? I found out The M Resort, Spa and Casino has a place called 32º Draft Bar where all of their 96 beers on tap are served at, you guessed it, 32º Fahrenheit all day and night. True, ales are at their full potential in the 50ºs, but I’ll take it! With everything from Unibroue to Rogue, Victory, Chimay and a roster of others ready for pouring, you can’t lose!

So hey, these are three different gambling cities that possess some very impressive outlets for passionate imbibers like us, so check them out. But to cover all of the bases, if you are more of a homebody and still feeling the itch to gamble, grab a six of your favorite craft beer, take it to the house, get online and check out gamblingplanet.org. This is a one-stop site that is truly dedicated to those who are fond of gaming or simply want to learn. From a “Gambling School” for beginners wanting to learn games such as Baccarat, Pai Gow Poker and Roulette, to casino reviews, news articles and phone apps, they’ve got it covered. In fact, here’s a sample of something I found pretty cool that they had on their site:

GamblingPlanet.Org’s Online Gambling’s Ten Commandments

  1. Thou shall expect to lose.
  2. Thou shall know thy local law.
  3. Thou shall not bet more than one can afford.
  4. Thou shall trust the odds.
  5. Thou shall not believe in 'betting systems'.
  6. Thou shall play to win.
  7. Thou shall exhibit good gambling etiquette.
  8. Thou shall seek out the best rules.
  9. Thou shall not hedge bets or make side bets.
  10. Thou shall tip.

        Taken from gamblingplanet.org

These “Ten Commandments” go into great detail on gamblingplanet.org’s “Gambling Guide” and should be followed both online and in actual casinos. So enjoy, sip a hard-to-find ale or lager from your favorite microbrewery, and roll the dice (virtually or physically) wherever you may be.