In 2013 I took my first tip to Arizona. I knew very little about the extreme desert heat or the rapidly expanding microbrew scene. SanTan Brewery was the first of many beer establishments I’ve had the pleasure of visiting. Located in the heart of downtown Chandler, SanTan is one of the city’s oldest and most popular brewery. They opened their doors in 2007 and have been serving great food and beer ever since.
The brewery resides in a space that was once a bank. The teller lines and safe deposit boxes have long ago been moved aside to make room for the floor to ceiling stainless steel fermenters and all the other needed equipment necessary for a fully functioning brewery. A single industrial vault door is the one hint that this brewery was once a financial institution.
SanTan’s beers can be found all throughout the valley. You will be hard pressed to find a bar or supermarket in the valley that does not care one of their offerings.
Food is one of the elements that sets this brewery apart from its many competitors. The menu is comprised of a balanced mix of your standard pub fare along with some of the best Southwest dishes in the area. SanTan prides themselves on utilizing the best local ingredients.
On my most recent visit, I went with a pint of their flagship beer – Devil’s Ale. This delicious American Pale Ale is served ice cold in the heaviest pint glass ever manufactured (maybe.) In the twilight of the spacious patio this beer appeared to have a hazy dark amber maroon hue. It is characterized by sweet citrus piney aromas and a caramel malt flavor. This well-balanced beer weighs in at 5.5% ABV and is a crowd favorite for sure.
*other notable offerings
Mr. Pineapple – super popular seasonal wheat beer. Try it mixed in their Vacation in a Glass cocktail
Moon Juice IPA / with Grapefruit makes it even better
Hop Shock IPA
Unfortunately, the secret is out on this establishment. Anticipate a bit of a wait for table on a weekend night. But if some quality craft Beer, great service and delicious food is what you seek, you can definitely bank on SanTan Brewery.
Happy Hour: Monday-Friday 3pm-6pm
Reverse Happy Hour: Sunday-Thursday 9PM-Close
-AZ Survival Guide
Lions, tigers, and beers, oh my!
Roars and Pours has returned to the Phoenix Zoo.
After an extremely successful run in the spring of 2017, this event has come roaring back to Phoenix. On Thursday October 5th, Boston based brewery Sam Adams brought their brew to the zoo.
Your $10 entrance fee granted you general admission to the zoo and access to a plethora of free Sam Adams samples! This 21 plus event featured some great tunes piped in by the on site DJs of 93.3 ALT AZ, a fascinating animal show and an entertaining Oktoberfest themed stein hoisting contest.
But what would a zoo experience be without the animals? Dusk seemed to be the magic hour for the animal kingdom. All the animals were fully awake and active. I can only assume that the animals were extra active in an attempt to persuade someone to let them sample the delicious craft beer (a gesture strictly prohibited by zoo staff.)
If you missed this epic evening of ales and tails you need not fret – there are currently 4 more opportunities to enjoy this unique kid-free zoo experience. Roars and Pours events are scheduled through May 19, 2018.
The next scheduled event will be on Thursday November 2nd and will feature samples from Huss Brewing Co. Click HERE to purchase tickets
– AZ Survival Guide
Located just a mere 3 miles from The Sky Harbor airport you can find a brewery that should be your first destination when you disembark your flight into Phoenix. Set in a renovated electrical distribution warehouse, The Phoenix Ale Brewery is the ideal place to spend a Saturday afternoon. The large tasting room is lined with windows that overlook the inner workings of the brewery’s production floor.
There is more than just great ambiance available at this establishment, you can also obtain some pretty delicious craft beers! With up to 14 Beers on draft (at least 7 of them brewed in house) you are bound to find your next favorite brew.
On this visit I opted for a pint of their flagship beer, the Camelback IPA. This English style Indian Pale weighs in at a 6.1% ABV with a cloudy amber appearance. It has a well-balanced hoppy, bitter flavor with a captivating floral and citrus aroma. A 32 oz Crowler of this IPA makes the perfect souvenir. The Watermelon Ale and Orange Peel IPA are also both worth a sample.
Are you looking for a unique place to celebrate a life event? The tasting room is also available for private parties and here is the best part… Typically there is no charge – just a minimum tab requirement per person and you provide the food. The space is available Monday – Saturday after 7 PM and Sunday after 6 PM (call for details).
Taproom Hours: Monday – Saturday 12 -7 PM, Sunday 2 – 6 PM
Visit the Phoenix Ale Brewery website
-AZ Survival Guide
With so many new microbreweries in the Phoenix area, I don’t often find myself using the phrase “TheBest” but …Hands down, The Shop Beer Company currently has the best beer-related Groupon deal I’ve ever seen. And they are also brewing up some high-quality craft beers!
So here’s the deal: 2 flights, 2 pints and two 32 Oz crowler cans for about $29! It’s a deal so good you may feel like you’ve gotten away with a robbery. Without a doubt the Groupon will get you in the door but it’s the delicious and massive varieties of Ales will keep you coming back.
The Shop is located on a quiet suburban street in Tempe. I would describe the interior of the tasting room as farm house modern. It is a simple and warm space accented with wood grain and exposed cinder blocks. Attached to the quaint tasting room is a lager outdoor seating area. The Fire and Foraged Food truck is a permanent fixture on the exterior beer garden. This food truck is serving up delicious, locally sourced foods Monday- Friday 11 AM – 3 PM. The menu features items like Chipotle Chicken Street Tacos, BBQ Pork Sandwiches, Chicken, Pesto, Mozzarella sandwich and pretty much everything else that pars well with an ice-cold beer.
The highlight of my shopping spree was the Church Music IPA. This beer has a beautiful cloudy golden blonde appearance, medium-bodied mouth feel, pleasant floral aroma and a hoppy finish. Caution: this beer weighs in at a 6.7% ABV. So that 32 Oz crowler may be best shared with a friend.
The Shop Beer Co offers so many style and varieties of their own craft beer that at first glance the menu can be daunting. Fortunately, I’m forecasting a couple of upcoming seasons of perfect outdoor drinking weather, plenty of time to work your way through the entire draft list from the comfort of The Shop’s patio.
-AZ Survival Guide
I will be the first to admit that I had no idea there was an airport in Mesa and unless you were looking to charter a G6 you might be as oblivious to the existence of the Mesa Gateway Airport as I was. But there is a must try brewery waiting in the wings!
The phrase “Grabbing a beer at the airport” typically conjures up memories of chugging a quick over priced tasteless domestic beer prior to your zone number being announced on the Sky Harbor PA system. This is not the case at Barrio Brewing Co of Mesa. Barrio offers 12 of their own craft beer with ABV’s ranging from 4.6%-10.1%. The decor is tasteful and modern. As you sit at the solid poured concrete bar you are surrounded by a panoramic view of the tarmac and private jets.
Inspired by the sound of the Allegiant airplane soaring overhead, my wife and I decided to start with a flight consisting of the pale ale,raspberry ale, Citrazona and the grapefruit IPA. My personal favorite was the grapefruit IPA. Most IPA connoisseurs would concede that Ballast Point has set the industry standards for all grapefruit related beers. Barrio’s version measures up pretty well. Their grapefruit offering is sweet and tart. It’s has a beautiful slightly cloudy amber hue. After the 4 ounce tasting, I could not resist ordering a full pint of this amazing beer. It may be a bit too sweet to drink more than one or two of these in a single session. I would suggest following this beverage up with Barrio’s flagship beer, The blonde (4.7 ABV). This light crisp and refreshing craft ale was the perfect accompaniment to this 112 degree summer day. This golden yellow beer was perfectly carbonated and served ice cold with a slight malt finish.
This brewpub features a full food menu with all bar staples. The tequila-cilantro Buffalo wings are amazing. They start with a medium spicy kick up front with a sweet cilantro finish. The sauce is so tasty you will honestly consider eating your napkin.
This is a first class brewery I recommend adding to your itinerary.
All hours brewed craft beers $5
Happy Hour 2-7 PM Monday-Friday $4 beers
Growlers can be filled and purchased
$17 new growler purchase
Click HERE to visit Barrio Brewing’s official site
– AZ Survival Guide