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Beer Zombies invade Summerlin

Updated May 27, 2021 - 8:05 pm

The Beer Zombies have arrived in Summerlin, and they’re about to recruit members.

The first stand-alone Beer Zombies Draft Room will open its doors this weekend in Downtown Summerlin. It will be the largest of the company’s local tasting rooms, and the first to feature its own food menu, developed by new chef/partner Marc Marrone. Saturday was expected to be the first official day of service.

Beer Zombies was founded by commercial artist Chris Jacobs in 2013 as an outlet for his beer-themed art. A line of merchandise quickly led to a series of craft brewing events, tap takeovers and collaborative brews. The company now brews a line of beers at a California location, with plans to open a local brewery soon, and operates draft rooms in two local SkinnyFats restaurants, and locations in Texas and Utah.

The new space, just around the corner from SkinnyFats’ Downtown Summerlin location, seats nine at the bar and another 13 indoors and about a dozen on a patio. It boasts an almost post-apocalyptic industrial decor — with riveted sheet metal walls, matching metallic tables and a zombie-themed Big Buck Hunter video game. Wooden shutters on the windows will keep the natural light dim, while the sound system supplies a mix of rock ’n’ roll. (“It probably won’t be metal until around 5 o’clock,” Jacobs says.)

The focal points of the small room, however, are the 16 beer taps, each with a dedicated wall-mounted regulator to allow bartenders to adjust a perfect pour without leaving the bar. Jacobs will use them to pour a rotating collection of kegs from around the world, which he says his customers demand.

“I only put (small kegs) on, so you can pop them every day or two, and there’s always something new,” Jacobs says. “It keeps that Instagram crowd (happy) that wants to come in and get a picture of something new and check it into their apps.”

The menu will also offer 50 to 100 bottled and canned beers, including “some cool vintage stuff (such as) Italian barley wine from 2010.” The only rule is that everything must come from an independent craft brewery. For those who aren’t in the mood for beer, Jacobs’ wife, Raquel, a sommelier at Mott 32 on the Strip, has assembled what he calls “a small but super rad wine program.”

While Beer Zombies’ other local taprooms rely on cuisine from their attached SkinnyFats locations, this is the first to offer an original menu. It features an assortment of salads, a toasted prime rib dip and bar bites such as wings, roasted cauliflower and pretzels with beer cheese for dipping. There are also two styles of pizza: crispy-edge rectangular pan pies and round thin-crust tavern pies.

“The idea was to come up with a really gangster menu,” Marrone says. “We kind of want to give the food here its own identity.”

The chef predicts the all-ages venue will appeal to “office workers and families out shopping in the mall.” Jacobs puts it a bit more colorfully.

“I feel like it’s going to be half husband day care, half Summerlin mom dive bar, and then the other half is going to be genuine beer people,” he says, refusing to let arithmetic get in the way of his predictions.

“And then you’re going to get those random people who just (say) ‘Oh beer. I like beer!’ and walk in.”

Contact Al Mancini at amancini@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlManciniVegas on Twitter and Instagram.

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