A couple of years ago when I was writing for Living-Las-Vegas.com I did this piece on one of my very favorite places to hang in Las Vegas, Ellis Island Casino & Brewery. If you’re a Vegas local I don't have to tell you, it's a gem.
|4178 Koval Lane, just south of Flamingo|
Last week I got to meet Joe Pickett, the brewmaster at Ellis Island, the man who makes the magic happen. I asked Joe how he came to be a brewmaster. Like was it something he dreamed of becoming since he was a little boy?
Really. Joe’s dad was all set to attend Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, but then the young man's father died. To support his eight brothers and one sister, he took a job on a riverboat dealing cards and one night while playing cards himself, well, he won the Tube City Brewing Company. It was one of the first breweries to open after Prohibition.
So beer is pretty much in Joe’s blood. He did take some time to pursue a degree in chemistry and microbiology and had a successful career as a food engineer in the chemical industry. But after the third or fourth time the chemical plant blew up, Joe must have figured beer was a much safer career choice and returned to brewing.
Beer making has taken Joe around the world and he told me of his travels to England, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand (yeah, we know they can drink…) and China, to name a few. Joe came to Ellis Island 13 years ago and built their brewery—he’s their original brewmaster.
|Joe Pickett, the magic man|
They offer six types of beer and a 100% natural root beer that rivals A&W. Joe also makes a no-carb, no-sugar hard lemonade, which boasts the highest alcohol content of all their malt beverages. I tried a couple of sips, but you know me—I’m a dark beer girl.
(BTW, I asked Joe if he thinks women who drink beer are prettier, smarter, and all around more attractive and he said, “Of course!” So there you go.)
Many thanks to Joe for being so generous with his time last week. Is anybody thirsty? It’s five o’clock somewhere!
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