Ellis Island Closes Brewery, More Changes in the Works

A beloved off-Strip casino, Ellis Island Hotel, Casino & Brewery, may have to trim the “brewery” part from its name.

Ellis Island closed its on-site brewery in preparation for a number of changes coming to the casino.

By volume, the brewery was the largest in Nevada.

The windows through which guests could view the brewery tanks has been covered up, sad trombonewise.

All traces of Ellis Island’s fermentation tanks, removed by crane, were gone on Nov. 17, 2022.

Here’s a look at the tanks when they were being moved around back in May 2022.

A sign covering the brewery windows says, “Something New. Coming Soon.”

We trust Ellis Island would prefer this happen quietly. We don’t really do quietly.

From what we hear, Ellis Island will now serve beer from the Ellis family’s brewery in St. George, Utah. Silver Reef Brewing opened in 2018.

Fun fact: During the pandemic, Ellis Island converted its Utah distillery to produce hand sanitizer.

Here’s more about the former brewery at Ellis Island.

Ellis Island casino originally opened as The Village Pub in 1967. The name change happened in 1985. There are about a dozen Village Pubs around Las Vegas. The brewery has been in operation since 1993.

The closure of the brewery at Ellis Island is a precursor of a number of changes at the casino. We’ve been sworn to secrecy about some of them, so you’re on your own there.

We do not live by society’s rules.

Ultimately, the footprint of Ellis Island and its casino is simply too small to host a brewery. It’s been a charming amenity, but given the limited space, it’s a better move to increase the size of the casino floor and add a new restaurant. Allegedly.

Despite the karaoke, Ellis Island is one of our favorite places to play and dine in all of Las Vegas. It has a warm vibe, and it’s one of the few remaining casinos that’s value-driven.

A typical beer from the aforementioned former brewery cost about $2.50, for example.

The ATM fee at Ellis Island casino, as another example, is $2.50, compared to almost $10 on The Strip.

Ellis Island is about the only casino we can think of that still has $5 craps frequently.

A little inside baseball: Ellis Island is one of the few casinos where dealers get to keep their own tips (as opposed to pooling them).

As a longtime fan, we even gave them a spectacular tagline they have yet to integrate into their advertising, but we remain optimistic they will do so.

We not only love Ellis Island, we love the Ellis family, as it’s a family-owned and operated casino.

Gary Ellis owns the joint with his wife, Cindy. Daughter Christina Ellis is Vice President of Development at Ellis Island, her sister Annamarie Ellis is Vice President of Operations. A third daughter, Michaela Ellis, handles Human Resources. Yes, we have begged the Ellis family on many occasions to adopt us, but no decision has been reached yet, apparently. (Note to our actual mom: Sorry if this hurts your feelings, but you don’t own a casino. Nobody’s perfect.)

About the closure of the Ellis Island casino brewery, Christina Ellis said in an official statement, “While our brewery operations have moved offsite to our larger facility in St. George, our Ellis Island beer will go unchanged—same recipes, same quality and the same brewers! Moving the brewery gives us additional space to bring new offerings to Ellis Island. We’re excited to announce those new offerings soon and we trust Vital Vegas will be snooping around, ruining our surprises in the weeks and months to come.”

That, friends, is one of the reasons we love Ellis Island the the Ellis family so very much.

Eh, who cares about whether beer is brewed on-site or not?

This, of course, is a question coming from someone who has never had a beer, but still.

Although the brewery at Ellis Island is no more, a reminder of the brewery will presumably remain, a grain silo outside.

Ellis Island
The closure of the brewery might be bittersweet, but it’s a big hop forward in the evolution of Ellis Island.

We’ll keep an eye on all the moves at Ellis Island, and trust us, it will remain one of the best places to gamble, drink and eat in town.