Tag Archives: Beer

AZ Survival Guide’s Brewery of the Month: SanTan Brewery

LRG_DSC01523In 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.

LRG_DSC01489SanTan’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.

LRG_DSC01488On 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

SanTan Brewery 

-AZ Survival Guide

 

5 Tips to Make Your Oktoberfest Das Beste

If you are a fan of beer, brats and pretzels dipped in warm creamy delicious beer cheese then you just might want to think about planning a backyard Oktoberfest. An Oktoberfest is a celebration of all things German and is traditionally observed in September or October. These joyous festivals were originally held in Munich, Germany and date back to 1810.
Here are 5 tips to ensure that your Oktoberfest is das beste!
1. Pretzel to Spätzle
The best part of any gathering is great food. The ideal base menus should consist of Bratwursts, warm soft pretzels and potato salad. Baked goods featuring German chocolate make for the perfect dessert.
2. Bier
With so many breweries (domestic and international) offering tasty Oktoberfest and German style beers, I suggest asking your guests to each bring an interesting seasonal 6 pack to the party. This helps stretch your party planning budget and lets you sample a large variety of brews.
3. Dirndl & Lederhosen
Encouraging your party guest to come adorned in traditional German garb will create the perfect European atmosphere and take your get-together to the next level. Lederhosen, Dirndls, and other Oktoberfest themed apparel is readily available on Amazon. I recommend awarding some door prizes for the best dressed.
4. German Themed Cocktail
A German or seasonal cocktail is the perfect party favor to get everyone in the spirit (pun intended.) At our last Oktoberfest we featured a Fireball apple cider Jello shot topped with whipped cream to resemble a small beer. It was sweet and spicy with a lingering hint of smooth whiskey. Needless to say there were no leftovers. Click HERE for this super easy recipe.

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5. Hoist a Stein
A traditional stein hoisting competition will be the highlight of your event! Keep the stopwatch rolling as groups of 3 or 4 party goers compete to hold Steins full of beer or water (preferably water, no need to waste beer) on fully extended arms. Make sure you have prizes for the guest with the longest hold time.
If at least 50% of your guests leave the party feeling like they may have torn their rotator cuff then you know that this party game was executed successfully.
Give your basic barbecue das boot! If you are planning a shindig this fall, make it an Oktoberfest! As long as you invite plenty of friends there will be no shortage of good times and laughter at you next Oktoberfest.

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-AZ Survival Guide

Roars & Pours Returns!

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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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

AZ Survival Guide’s Brewery of the Month: The Shop Beer Co.

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.

Church Music IPA

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

A Beerhaus You Can Bet On

Ask anyone in Las Vegas if you can find a craft beer and a snack for $8 or less and they will tell you that the odds are not in your favor. If you find yourself down to your last Hamilton, we’ve got a happy hour spot for you. 

Beerhaus Las Vegas is located right in between New York-New York and Monte Carlo. This is a relatively new restaurant so if your Uber driver is like ours, you may have to provide directions. 

This establishment is set back about half a block off Las Vegas boulevard. It’s in the middle of an area called The Park. As the name implies, it’s a space filled with monuments, statues, water features and outdoor benches (outdoor seating was not getting much use on this sunny 103 degree day). The exterior park/courtyard vibe is a nice contrast to the hustle and bustle of the strip. 

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I would describe the interior design as modern industrial. It’s a nice mix of exposed brick, poured concrete and blonde wood grain table surfaces that complete the intended turn of the century factory decor. 

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Happy hour is from 2 to 6 PM daily. You will quickly discover why one Yelp review crowns this bar “best happy hour in Vegas.” 

The craft beer selection is impressive. We decided to go with the Lovelady IPA, a beer that’s brewed in Henderson NV. Slightly cloudy, amber gold color, with a hoppy citrus floral finish, it is delicious! And at the $4 happy hour price I couldn’t resist doubling down. Now when it comes to eats, this beer house features all The Oktoberfest classics that you would expect at a beer hall. They have everything from brats to soft baked pretzels. Most of these items are featured on the happy hour menu for about $4 as well.

We went with the fries and cheese dipping sauce. We weren’t expecting much (after all it was just an order of fried potatoes). After crunching down on our first golden brown, salty crispy fries my wife and I both simultaneously thought ” wow these might be some of the best fries we’ve ever had”… I soon learned that these fried chips did not reach perfection by accident. The executive chef went through 18 different combination of potatoes and oils to to craft these mouth watering gems. The warm creamy cheese sauce was a perfect pairing. It will have you thinking “Who decided that ketchup has to be the industry standard designated fry condiment?” 

Next time you’re in Las Vegas and you find yourself in mid-day recovery mode or just killing time until the night life pops off, the Beerhaus is a must visit happy hour. 

 

– AZ Survival Guide

Take off to Barrio Brewing Co.

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.

Pricing:

All hours brewed craft beers $5

Happy Hour 2-7 PM Monday-Friday $4 beers
Growlers can be filled and purchased
$12 refills
$17 new growler purchase

Click HERE  to visit Barrio Brewing’s official site

 

– AZ Survival Guide