Tag Archives: Beer

Brewery of The Month – The Perch

LRG_DSC05249The Perch Brewery is the best zoo and brew experience downtown Chandler has to offer. In addition to handcrafting an innovative selection of beers, this micro-brewery is housing over 50 tropical birds of all color shape and size.
The chirps and squawks of this brewery’s feathered friends can be heard long before you enter the open air dining area.  The Perch’s mission is to provide forever homes for abandoned, abused, or neglected pet birds. Getting up close and personal with these tropical birds is encouraged (at your own risk.)  You can head up to the rooftop bar to enjoy a feather-free drinking and dining experience.LRG_DSC05254
The beer selection is ever-changing. On my last visit, 10 original beers were being served. The “On Tap” menu featured several IPA’s, a Hazy, a Brown Ale, a Lager and a Saison. Certainly more hits than misses, but I recommend sampling your suds before you commit to a pint.
The Hazy IPA was by far the highlight of my flight. This mid-body IPA weighs in at 7% ABV. It has a cloudy amber hue and a caramel aroma. The flavor is a bit sweeter than I prefer but the beer features a well-balanced citrus taste.LRG_DSC05329
If you’re feeling peckish, some good eats are flocking from the kitchen.  Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are available. The menu features elevated pub classics. Dishes like crispy Jalapeno marmalade and ranch tater tots and Brick Oven Four Cheese Mac are among the crowd favorites. But I must say, I felt slightly uncomfortable ordering the Beer Braised Chicken Wings.
– AZ Survival Guide

Brewery of the Month – Oro Brewing Company

On the corner of Country Club and Main resides one of Mesa’s newest breweries. Oro Brewing Company has been open for about a year and a half. They currently have 10 of their own beers on tap, and one guest pour courtesy of The Beer Research Institute. All available brews are displayed on a colorful chalkboard. The tasting room seats about 30 and there is a small fenced off outdoor seating area directly in front of the main entrance. The modern and industrial design elements give this nano-brewery a local coffee shop like vibe.
The beer selection is vast and unique. The available selection on this evening featured everything from a Blonde Ale to a Porter. All beers are in the $5-$6 price range.
It is nearly impossible to make a bad decision when it comes to picking one of their in-house brewed craft beers, but if you are looking for a recommendation, I would suggest a beer from the Singularity series.  Each Singularity in the series is a Pale Ale brewed with one variety of hops. They currently have the Amarillo and the Belma on tap. The Amarillo features copper colored hue. This beer has an earthy, grapefruit and tangerine aroma and a well-balanced bitter citrus flavor. The moderate 5.4 % ABV makes this brew very drinkable.
Oro’s beer is currently just available in the Mesa tap room location. They have aspirations to start distributing in the near future. Also be on the lookout for a limited can release rumored to take place this summer.
-AZ Survival Guide

Brewery of the Month – THAT Brewery

A recent Groupon adventure led me to the heart of Cottonwood, AZ. The town is best known for its abundance of wineries and wine tasting rooms. But you would be remised if your day trip to Cottonwood did not include a visit to THAT brewery.

THAT brewery is located in the back of a small industrial park. The warehouse-style building, parked tractor-trailers, and pallets of empty kegs leave no doubt that authentic craft beer is being brewed and canned onsite.

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The tasting room comfortably seats a couple dozen patrons. There are several wooden picnic tables spread throughout the bar area and production floor. The walls appear to be adorned with reclaimed hardwood. You also see a couple of chalkboards displaying what’s on tap and a string empty beer cans that have been converted into lights. The wood cabin décor is fitting for this small town mountainside brewery.

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Word of caution; the Cottonwood THAT brewery location does not have a kitchen so I recommend carbing up before your arrival. Small prepackaged snacks are available from behind the bar, and complimentary popcorn is typically available (unfortunately the popcorn machine was out of order on my visit).

The brew will not disappoint. With 12 beers on tap, you are bound to find something to your liking. I opted for the RoadRash IPA. This American style IPA weighs in at 7% ABV. It has a vivid clear amber hue crowned with a thin foam head. Before your first sip, you will pick up on subtle floral and citrus aromas. Grapefruit, pine, and pleasantly dank hops are the most prominent flavors in this well-balanced IPA.

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A day trip to the north is mandatory to escape the sweltering summer heat of the valley. Make sure your road trip itinerary includes a stop at a small town craft brewery. Don’t forget THAT!

-AZ Survival Guide

AZ Survival Guide’s Brewery of the Month: Goldwater Brewing Co.

You wouldn’t find a shortage of places to grab a drink in Old Town Scottsdale and most offer some pretty cool ambiance. But if you are searching for the best brew with a view, I recommend a visit to Goldwater Brewing Co.

With so many quality original brews on tap, you really couldn’t go wrong with any choices. A flight of 4-6 samples may be your best option.

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If you are seeking one of the most unique beers being brewed in the Valley, I suggest ordering up their Crimson Clouds. This limited release ruby red hazy IPA weighs in at 6.3% ABV. This  beer features captivating citrus and ripe tropical fruit aromas. I’ve been told that their are strong prickly pear flavor notes in this IPA but to the best of my knowledge I don’t recall every eating a prickly pear. I would describe this complex beer with flavor elements of honeydew melon, papaya and hints of grapefruit.  It might be hard to describe but it’s easy to drink.

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All of their distinctive craft beers are best enjoyed on their upstairs patio (preferably at sunset). Next time you find yourself in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale and you are in search for some tasty brews and complimentary jalapeño popcorn, stop by Goldwater Brewing Co.

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www.goldwaterbrewing.com

HOURS

Monday – Thursday: 4 PM – 11 PM

Friday: 4 PM – 12 AM

Saturday: 1 PM – 12 AM

Sunday: 1 PM – 8 PM

 

-AZ Survival Guide

AZ Survival Guide’s Brewery of the Month: Mother Road

If you have the good fortune of finding yourself in the modern mecca of micro-brew known as Flagstaff, Arizona make sure you swing by Mother Road Brewing Co.

I strongly recommend setting aside a sunny Saturday afternoon to embark on a self-guided tour of all the amazing breweries that Flagstaff has to offer. Just make sure a stop at Mother Road is on your agenda.

This brewery features ample dog-friendly outdoor seating and access to gourmet pizza served up by Pizzicletta (attached to the brewery).

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Mother Road is also pouring a delicious beer that is showing up on taps all around the greater Phoenix area, Tower Station. This IPA weighs in at a hefty 7.3% ABV. It’s extremely cloudy with an orange and copper hue. It has a fresh citrus and tangerine aroma with tropical papaya and apricot flavor notes.

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Mother Road Brewing Co. is a must visit tasting room for all Arizona craft beer enthusiast.

www.motherroadbeer.com

-AZ Survival Guide

New to the Boulevard: Hop Social

Hop Social is one of the newest restaurants to stake claim to the highly coveted real of Chandler Boulevard. Hop Social occupies the space previously held by Elephant Bar.

This standalone building has been extensively remodeled. The exterior features an elegant upscale look. The first thing you observe prior to walking through the main entrance is the well-lit ample patio space. This promises to be the perfect place to enjoy an AZ winter al fresco dining experience.

The interior design is also quite impressive. The dining room features an interesting play on modern and vintage ascetics with the focal point of the space holding a striking set of large emerald green tufted sofas. The overall feel is a nice contrast from the multitudes of basic chain restaurants that surround this establishment.

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In an unprecedented move, Hop Social kicked off their “soft” opening weekend by giving away meals! I can confidently speak for all Phoenix area foodies when I say I hope this is a trend that catches on. Hop Social sent out a lunch and dinner invitations offering meals to local residents from 11/16-11/18.         

My wife and I were limited to ordering two specific entrees during this soft opening. I went with the Caesar Salad and the BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger.  The Caesar Salad was fit for a king. It arrived with ample amounts of shredded Parmesan and house made croutons all coated with a creamy dressing.  Now I’ve never had a burger that’s been life changing but this was pretty delicious. The bread was fresh and soft and the beef was juicy and cooked to perfection. The salty thick cut smoky bacon took this decadent sandwich to the next level. The side of coleslaw was so-so, bit bland and uninspired. I would suggest going with the rustic thick cut French fries when it’s your turn to choose a side.

The most difficult choice of the night was picking a drink. With 52 craft beers on tap this was somewhat of a weighty decision process. With the word “hop” in the name I anticipated this dilemma. Fortunately with beers like Tower Station (by Mother Road Brewing) and Papago Orange Blossom (by Papago Brewing Co) you can’t go wrong.

Hop Social also hosts happy hour twice a day 7 days a week! With an extensive beer list, eclectic and reasonably priced food menu and prime location Hop Social will be a welcomed addition to Chandler Boulevard.     

Visit the Hop Social website

-AZ Survival Guide

Novembeer 2017

On Saturday November 11th, the streets of downtown Phoenix were overflowing with craft beer. The 4th annual New Times Novembeer festival was the place to be for any craft beer enthusiast in the valley. With clear skies and a high of 85 degrees there was no better place to enjoy 30 samples of the area’s best brews.  This festival featured over 50 local and not so local breweries, live music and a smorgasbord of Phoenix food truck favorites.

There were far too many great breweries to mention. The usual crowed favorites like Four Peaks, Goose Island and Stone Brewing Company were on site and serving up their flag ship ales. I was pleasantly surprised to see some smaller less known Arizona breweries amassing significant interest from this beer loving crowed.  Breweries like Mother Road (out of Flagstaff) and Huss Brewing Company (out of Tempe) had consistent long lines all throughout the event.

The surprise of the day for me was the massive crowds gathered to sample offerings from The Phoenix Ale Brewery. The booth’s proximity to the limited porta potties may have helped spur some initial interest in this brewery but their delicious and unique beers on draft kept the crowds coming back. You could hear a collective cheer from the crowds when they announced an earlier than scheduled release of their Watermelon Ale.

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The only people left dissatisfied with this festival were those who arrived late (some of the more popular breweries ran out of beer less than 2 hours in) and those not attending the Novembeer event that were attempting to navigate the sectioned streets of downtown Phoenix (a minor inconvenience).

I recommend clearing your November 2018 calendar in the hopes that Novembeer will return to Phoenix once again!

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-AZ Survival Guide