All About Beer Magazine - Volume 35, Issue 5
September 15, 2014 By
Sarah Johnson
Sarah Johnson is the food and beverage director at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Photo by Sean Buchan.

Sarah Johnson

There are pockets on and off the Strip where you can find a flavorful beer in the desert of Las Vegas. Largely, however, in a city know for luxury, excess, fine dining and beverage lists focused on wine and cocktails, beer diversity is often lacking. Then there is Mandalay Bay, where Sarah Johnson, the food and beverage director, has created a beer oasis, and not just in a bar or restaurant, but propertywide.

“From room service and the minibar, to the pool, our retail operations, in the shows, all the restaurants, lounges and our convention space,” there is an opportunity to find a beer that will satisfy just about any taste, says the certified Cicerone. Then there is the task of educating the 800 or so staff servers who interact with guests on the diversity of flavors and beers offered and also changing the mindset of the guests themselves to expect more from the beer list.

Part of this is accomplished with well-executed beer dinners, visits from celebrity brewers and events.

“Vegas is known for being all-out, big-time,” says Johnson. “This is the big leagues for food and beverage, big aggressive, ballsy statement-making events.” That should extend to beer, she says, and at Mandalay Bay it does.

This profile appears in the November 2014 issue of All About Beer MagazineClick here for a free trial of our next issue.

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