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Able Baker and the history of Las Vegas by Jack Bulavsky

Scott Seales is general manager of the Able Baker Brewing Company Tap Room in the Las Vegas Arts District. He not only sells a delicious line of freshly brewed craft beers, but also promotes the early history of Las Vegas.

“Our brewery derives its name from the first two atomic bombs detonated at the Nevada Test Site, just north of here,” he explained. “These two test explosions were code-named after the military’s phonetic alphabet of the time, making the tests ‘Able’ and ‘Baker’. That experimentation led to the ushering in of the Nuclear Age. This was a notable time in Nevada as ‘Atomic Blast’ viewing parties were commonplace and several ‘Miss Atomic’ beauty queens were crowned. We love Las Vegas and appreciate its early history. It’s fun for us and our customers who enjoy hearing about the city’s early history. That period of time allows us to give a respectful nod to the history that makes Nevada unique.”

That respectful nod includes many beers named from that time. Atomic Duck IPA is a clean West Coast IPA that is not too hoppy or bitter. Legend has it that a duck was the only animal to survive the tests conducted at the Test Site. That duck wandered off and waddled into history becoming forever known as “Atomic Duck.”

Other popular AB beers include Double Flash Belgium Ale which refers to the two flashes of light when there is an atomic explosion. Calutron Girl Hefeweizen recognizes the young women who were tasked with monitoring and adjusting the dials and meters on a mass spectrometer that produced the enriched uranium used in the first atomic bomb. They did it efficiently and with zero knowledge of their true job function.

Looking for something not so atomic? Honey Dip Imperial Stout is brewed with honey and Madagascar vanilla beans and then aged in American oak. El Pato Lager is brewed with Munich malt for sweetness and specialty hops for a light citrus finish. And be sure to sample their Five Pepper Porter.

Seales is a big proponent of his fellow craft brewers and has formed Drink Local Las Vegas to assist them with their marketing. “We’re one big family,” he said. “If customers ask, I encourage them to visit other craft breweries. We’re getting more locals to pay attention to beer that is fresh and offered at a fair price.”

The Arts District Kitchen at Able Baker features street and finger foods, tacos, fries, salads, sandwiches with a subtle Southeast Asian flavor.


(702) 479-6355

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