In Las Vegas, you can’t mention craft beer without Brian Chapin’s name coming up—in this town the two are nearly synonymous. Since 2011 Chapin and his company Motley Brews have been responsible for bringing beer-centric festivals to the masses in Las Vegas, shining the spotlight on local craft breweries.

“This area was an untouched market for the craft beer movement,” Chapin said. “Craft beer is a lot of times made in your own backyard and each flavor can be very distinctive; it can be a portal into a portion of the city, the culture, the flavor.”

Guests can enjoy that “flavor” on Saturday, April 26, when Motley Brews presents the Great Vegas Festival of Beer in downtown Las Vegas. “This festival is really supposed to be an immersive experience, not just a tasting, but an extension of everything that is possible with craft beer,” said the Cinnaminson, N.J., native. Close to 80 breweries, 20 of them local, will present more than 250 beers for tasting, along with live bands and educational classes.

But just how immersed is Chapin in the craft beer world on a more personal scale? “It’s a passion of mine,” said Chapin, who tried his first craft beer, Fat Tire by New Belgium, in the late-’90s. “It was so overwhelmingly powerful and so different than anything I ever had before. … Now, I’m deeply into IPAs and imperial stouts. Once you go there it’s kind of hard to find something that matches those flavors.”

Sweet 'N Funkie Desert Junkie

Sweet 'N Funkie Desert Junkie

Sweet ‘N Funkie Desert Junkie

We cracked open this delicious bottle of Sweet ‘N Funkie Desert Junkie after wrapping up Chapin’s photo shoot and interview at Atomic Liquors at 917 Fremont St. A vintage Las Vegas watering hole, Atomic Liquors will be one of the more popular hangouts during the festival, and it’s also one of Chapin’s favorite places to indulge in craft beers. The Sweet ‘N Funkie Desert Junkie, by local brewery Joseph James, is the official craft brew of the festival. Chapin sums up the beer best: “It’s like a Belgian style; it’s a refreshing honey blond ale made with Nevada-grown honey. It’s refreshing and crisp, with a sweet and earthy aftertaste.”

Great Vegas Festival of Beer, downtown Las Vegas, 4 p.m. April 26, starting at $35 plus fee. 855.235.2867 or