Hopped Taco Throwdown gathers the best and most innovative chefs from all of Las Vegas who normally don’t create tacos to step out of their comfort zones for one goal: to create a few dozen eccentric tacos and earn the title of Hopped Taco Champion.

Chefs will compete in three categories:

Hopped Taco – best beer-infused taco

Taco Loco – most creative taco

Taco Dulce – best sweet/dessert taco


Featuring Chef Roy Ellamar

La Cabra Loca

Crafthaus Belgard Coffee Stout braised goat w/ desert bloom sorrel and green papaya salsa

Beer-iya Taco

Vietnamese coffee ice cream, rice taco shell, spicy cocoa nibs – Served with Prairie Artisan Ales “Consider Yourself Hugged” Imperial Stout with peanut butter & roasted coffee

Featuring Chef Adam Pusateri

Ghostrider IPA Carne Asada Taco

Ghostrider IPA marinated carne asada taco w/ hopped aioli, pickled cabbage slaw and Fresno chiles

Grapefruit Ahi Tuna Taco

Ahi tuna taco w/ grapefruit ponzu, jicama slaw, mint crema and micro basil

Featuring Chef Jose Navarro


Beer glazed w/ salsa seca, smoked eggplant, mint-cilantro slaw and squid ink

Enchilada Tulteca

Morita spiced pork tenderloin w/ Yukon Gold potatoes, carrots and fermented cabbage on tortillas rojas

Featuring Chef J.K. Hall of Main St. Provisions, Chef Josh Clark of The Goodwich & Chef Dan Krohmer of La Monjá

Idaho Po-Taco

Mezcal-cured ruby trout w/ whipped potato, charred salsa verde and smoked trout roe on a street corn tortilla

Sup Doc

Shiner Bock Rabbit Rillettes, celeriac slaw, picked cherry pico, crispy shallot

Scallop Ceviche Taco

Scallop ceviche, white ale taco

Featuring Chef Phillip Dell

Phat Philly Taco

Grilled layers of chopped, smoked, pepper stout beef, grilled onions and sweet peppers, creamy jalapeno queso and Oaxacan cheeses on a freshly grilled corn tortilla then topped with mutha sauce

The “Original” Pork Star Taco!

Slow smoked and succulent. A crystalized corn cake with succulent chunks of smoked pork seduced with sweet addiction Q glaze, then kissed with a caramelized onion, apple and Thai-pepper chutney with Trigger-Happy™ candied jalapenos

Featuring Chef Chris Bulen

Mi Pajaro Feliz

Stout-infused confit chicken mole w/ cojita crema, pickled Fresno Chiles, cabbage and lime

La Segunda Venida de Dulce

Tajin-marinated fruits w/ sweet corn tostada, Cherimoya guacamole and dark chocolate cocoa nibs

Featuring Chef Ric Guerrero

Sunny Sandia

Stiegl Radler compressed watermelon taco w/ tomatillo Jam on a jicama tortilla

Lambito Locito

Braised lamb w/ tzatziki, feta, caramelized jalapeños, crispy shallots and homemade fermented hot sauce

Yo Soy Salmon

Salmon tiradito w/ soy orange-aji dressing, wonton shell, toasted sesame and avocado mousse

Featuring Chef Bryan Forgione

El Guapo’s Tacos

Wood-grilled carne, chili-ale hottish, chayote slaw, queso fresco

The Hogfather

Slow-roasted porchetta, peperonata, fontina, chicharrones,focaccia ‘taco’

Featuring Chef Andrew Smith and Chef Kayla Knutson

Bangin’ Gator

Banger Brewing “El Heffe” beer-battered alligator tail w/ lime marinated cabbage, spicy mango salsa & sweet aioli

Molecular Taco

Achiote charred octopus w/ potato & chorizo cream salsa, pickled red onion, cabbage slaw, mole topped with chicharrones & garlic foam.

Strawberry & Orange Cheese Cake Taco

Indian fry bread w/ strawberries infused with orange liqueur, cheese cake filling topped with mint foam

Featuring Chef Matt Meyer

The Pickled Mick

Irish stout braised short rib w/ fermented mushroom, goat cheese, slaw of fermented and fresh root vegetables and roasted red beetroot on a red heirloom carrot handmade tortilla

Tropic Like It’s Hot

Tropical fruit cocktail (half fermented and fresh pineapple/three papaya/mango blend) w/ coconut cream, almonds, lime and chili (tajin) cilantro on a purple yam handmade tortilla

Featuring Chef Marc Marrone

Sour from the Prick in my Hamm-ie

Al pastor in a prickly pear hand press corn tortilla, Lovelady Brewing “9th Island Sour” beer-braised pineapple, crema, chipotle salsa, pickled red onion and jalapeno, chili lime chicharron

Love my Cheesy Heffer

Barbacoa served fresh-pressed blue and white corn tortillas, topped with Lovelady Brewing “Love Juice” NE IPA queso sauce, chipotle black beans, salsa verde, queso fresco, crema, pickled red onion

Featuring Chef Rochelle Hodge-Conyers

Classic T.B. Chicken Taco

Chicken crockpot Pale Ale beer infused puffed flour shell w/ traditional shredded cheese, verde sour cream, fresh cut green onions and tomatoes

THE Hopped Winner

Regular corn tortillas lightly fried marinated tender pork roast, topped house made cashew sauce, oil citrus lettuce blend w/ side of mango salsa, garnished w/ edible flower

Heavenly Straw-DREAM-berry

Mini egg roll shells deep-fried into a taco shape, coated in fine sugar/cinnamon bath, filled with our heavenly homemade sweet cream cheese w/ fresh cut strawberries, drizzled with milk chocolate and strawberry sauce sprinkled with a crushed crystalized salted pretzel

Featuring Chef Oscar Amador

Al Pastor Vasco

Bacalao al pastor, bilbaina infused with craft beer

Setas & Pesto

Setas al ajillo, lovage pesto, grated cauliflower

the 2018 WINNERS

Hopped Taco WinnerChef John Simmons

4 B’s

Stout-braised beef barbacoa w/pickled watermelon radish, grilled scallion, and cilantro.

Taco Loco WinnerChef Josh Clark

Like Chowduh

Crispy potato w/bubble and squeak, chopped clams, tiny veg, green chile crema, tabasco powder.

Taco Dulce WinnerChef Kevin Lopez & Chef Chris Bulen

Su Nombre Es Paco Mounds

Fried Pie Bread w/ Spiced Pineapple, Coconut Marscapone, and Tamarind-Chocolate Ganache.

the 2017 WINNERS

Taco Dolce WinnerChef Geno Bernardo

Taco Dolce

Pizzelle, Philly Cheese Cake, Oculto & Strawberry Granita

Taco Loco WinnerChef Jamie Tran

Taco De La Chinois

Tuna and Salmon Tartare Taco with Micro Cilantro, Spicy Jalapenño Sauce, Tobiko, on a Crispy Salmon Skin Shell.

Hopped Taco WinnerChef Sterling Buckley

Beer Belly

Beer Braised Pork Belly, Drunk Pickles & Magic