Ellis Island Hotel, Casino And Brewery Announces Two New Brew Masters

The iconic Vegas brewery has added Michael Key and Eddie Leal to their ‘family’ of brewers


Ellis Island Hotel, Casino And Brewery Announces Two New Brew MastersEllis Island Hotel, Casino and Brewery is proud to announce two new additions to their brewery family – Michael Key, as director of brewery operations and Eddie Leal, as head brewer. The two new brewmasters are updating the brew program, debuting at least one new brew a month, and incorporating more diverse, unique beers into the brewery’s beer tap rotations.

“We are thrilled to have both skilled brewers added to our close-tied family,” said Christina Ellis, director of marketing at Ellis Island. “Their plans for our facility will take our brewery to the next level and truly make us a destination for craft beer enthusiasts.”

Since arriving at the iconic brewery in Las Vegas, Key and Leal have updated the IPA recipe to a more current, west-coast style, creating a more hoppy, flavorful and aromatic brew with big citrus and fruity notes. Recently, they launched a new Hefeweizen recipe, which features a traditional Bavarian style with hints of banana and cloves, and will introduce an exclusive Doppelbock this holiday season. They have also already incorporated more of a rotation for their dark beers, which have included an Irish dry stout, oatmeal stout, and a brown porter.

“Our goal is to please our loyal regular guests with exceptional beer options, as well as reach out and bring in the craft beer fanatics, too,” said Key. “Our new beer program we are rolling out will do just that.”

Key was born and raised in southern California and began his career under an apprenticeship with Dan Gordon, founder of Gordon Biersch Brewery in Pasadena, Calif. over 25 years ago. Beginning as a cook but finding a true love of exploring unique beers with his older brother, he decided to work his way into the brewery as a keg cleaner and deliverer. Since then, he has developed his craft as a brewer at a variety of breweries, including Steelhead Brewing Company, Southern California Brewing Company, but eventually ended up back at Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant where he served as Senior Regional Brewer, overseeing brewery locations throughout the company. Key has been awarded numerous awards for his brewing skills, including gold and bronze medals at Great American Beer Festival and gold, silver and bronze medals at the Los Angeles County Fair Beer Competition.

“As a brewer, you can’t be afraid to play with new flavor profiles,” said Leal. “The industry is ever-evolving and it’s important for us to be as creative as possible.”

As with Key, Leal also has lived most of his life in southern California but has spent the last few years in Virginia Beach and Seattle before settling in Las Vegas. While in southern California, he began his brewing career at Steelhead Brewing Company, where he served as the assistant brewer under Key, until he left and became head brewer one year later. With over 20 years of experience as a brewer, Leal has won numerous medals as well for his brewing craft at the Great American Beer Festival and the Washington Beer Awards.

The two accomplished brewers are also looking forward to when the Front Yard opens to expand and rotate even more brews in and out of the property. Front Yard is Ellis Island’s new two-story outdoor venue for dining, drinking and entertainment set to open early 2019.

About Ellis Island Hotel, Casino & Brewery

Ellis Island Hotel, Casino & Brewery is home to some of Las Vegas’ most recognized food, beverages and entertainment. Its commitment to quality and service has been a tradition for 50 years. The hotel and brewery features wonderful amenities, including a 24-hour restaurant with a famed steak special, Las Vegas’ top-voted microbrewery and karaoke lounge, Metro Pizza, barbecue restaurant and complimentary parking.

The casino offers hundreds of gaming devices with a variety of games including reel slots, video poker and keno. Live blackjack, roulette, craps and sportsbook wagering is available seven days a week.

Conveniently located one block east of the Las Vegas Strip on Koval Lane behind Bally’s, Ellis Island is a must-see destination for every Las Vegas visitor and local.