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
It’s sangria season and if that’s not a real thing then it should be! This delicious wine-based fruity cocktail pairs perfectly with a hot summer day and believe it or not, it is illegal to serve in the state of Virginia.
Now anyone and everyone who has tried this special sangria has loved it and requested more. Want to be the hit of the next summer pool party? Then this highly guarded (embarrassingly easy) recipe is our gift to you.
Here’s a clue as to why we are hesitant to reveal what is actually in it: the main ingredient is one of the cheapest wines you can buy by the jug.
1 bottle (1.5 liter) of Carlo Rossi sangria *stick with us here*
1 can (20 oz.) of pineapple chunks
2 shots (3 oz.) of Triple Sec
(Nothing but the best!)
In a pitcher, add the sangria, pineapple chunks WITH the juice, and 2 shots of triple sec
***The real secret is to mix these together the day before you will be serving it***
This is the base of the recipe and it is delicious as is. However, it is also extremely easy to modify to your taste. Oranges, peaches, apples, berries – whatever you have in the fridge – can be thrown in the mix. Just be sure to wait until you are ready to serve to add these additional ingredients.You may also add some soda or flavored sparkling water to lighten it up. Enjoy!
Sorry Rocko, you’re not 21 😉
– AZ Survival Guide
We are slightly past the halfway point of 2017 and it is safe to say I’ve just experienced the craziest cocktail of the year thus far. On our annual road trip from Phoenix to Las Vegas, my wife and I decided to roll the dice on a new restaurant off the strip called Sparrow + Wolf. This hip modern eatery is located about a mile from The Palms. The food was delicious! I ordered the Campfire Duck which was cooked to perfection. This was a decadent combination of medium rare moist duck breast topped with a smoky melt-in-your-mouth slice of foie gras. It is served atop wood ear mushrooms and a gravy-like salted cucumber, plum and duck bone broth ($22.00) But heads up – anticipate upscale restaurant portions. If you come hungry, you’ll leave hungry. But sometimes in a city full of all-you-can-eat buffets, a little moderation is a nice change of pace.
Now a good rule of thumb is when you see the cocktail section of the menus label “Libations”, you are in for an artisan handcrafted treat. With names like “Get Off My Lawn” and “Where There’s Smoke”, choosing a single drink to go all in on was the biggest gamble I took this weekend. The cocktail I opted for was titled “Jump The Shark ” (think Happy Days). The description read Plantation Pineapple Rum, Peanut-infused Bourbon, Banana, lime and Mint. Pretty much every major food group. Believe it or not, this was quite tasty – a great balance of sweet and tart. The subtle hint of banana added an interesting and memorable finish. Our server described this drink as ” the strongest drink on the menu” and this gentleman was speaking the truth. Here’s the best part- this Sharknado of rum and bourbon is served in a gray and sky blue ceramic shark’s head! That alone makes this crafted cocktail worth trying. (Footnote; I learned the hard way that the ceramic shark head is “not a souvenir “)
Take a trip off the strip. The smoke filled casinos, celebrity chef restaurants and $10 Bud Light bars will always be there. Next time you’re in Vegas, grab a drink, a bite and a breath of fresh air at the Sparrow + Wolf.
– AZ Survival Guide