Thunder Canyon Brewery
Ratings: 27 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
4.01/5 rDev +1.8%
Note these ratings are a combination of the 2 very different locations.
I spent years ignoring this brewery after it opened. It was in a mall in suburbia, had a themed atmosphere, and a name that had me figuring it was some new mall restaurant chain I had no desire to ever bother with. Then after a rare trip to that mall's theater to see a movie in IMAX, the GF and I decided to try a beer there. Well holy crap. Not bad at all.
I wasn't blown away or anything, but it was easily the best local brew over the 2 other existing breweries at the time. Now, there's lots more, and TC doesn't have the absolute best beer, but it's probably still in the top 3. And of the top local breweries, they easily have the largest selection, and a decent sized guest list as well (if you like IPAs, I recommend their Good Vibrations out of the 3 or so of their own that they usually have on tap). They have very reasonable prices, which can turn into EXCELLENT prices during specials they've run. They have since opened a location downtown, and for a while they were running an incredible 50 cent first beer for local card holders, or if you checked in on social media. I don't think that's the case anymore, but I biked down there and took advantage of that on a near-daily basis for a while, combined with some happy hour half-price monster-sized appetizers for dinner. The standard bar fare food is by no means amazing but isn't horrible either. Definitely large portions, if a bit sub-par for my picky ass tastes. Their biggest problem really is the atmosphere. Especially at the downtown location. I've never been into themed restaurants, but at least the mall location manages to be comfortable- the downtown location just feels like sitting at the back of a generic sports-bar warehouse, minus some of the fun things you at least might expect in that sort of location, like pool tables or darts. Or hell, indoor bocce with the space they've got. Have enough of the Good Vibes though, along with often well-curated guest tap choices, and any complaints will soon disappear.. :)
04-06-2014 03:42:36 | More by mewanderinghome
3.99/5 rDev +1.3%
While visiting Tucson we looked for a brewery that was close to our campground and found this one. We were pleasantly surprised at how nice it was. Decor was cute, lots of beer trays on walls and rustic looking. Large bar with TVs but not so loud to be annoying. It is attached to a shopping mall which we liked. The quality was excellent as was the service. Very friendly staff. Our dinners were served faster than anywhere I think we've ever eaten. So if your in a hurry this place would work well. I had the fish and chips and it was really good. They let you get a half order which I always like. My husband had the pork shoulder which was really tender and smoky and the BBQ sauce was delicious. Beer selection was a little above average. My husband had a cask IPA and said it was very good. The prices are very reasonable. We would go back next time we're in Tucson.
01-22-2014 18:28:06 | More by Jodi215
3.98/5 rDev +1%
So, I've been to both of their locations. In a nutshell: downtown has a better beer selection, and the mall location has better food.
Downtown: The beer selection contains many guest taps. They have a pretty good selection of stuff from imports to craft beer from outside the Arizona area (let's face it, Arizona hasn't quite figured out craft beer to the level of my home state, MI). The food was decent, but it's more of a bar than a restaurant. Their brews are OK, and range from bad (I had a wheat ale, which was not very good) to great (Blackout Stout, on nitro, and very smooth). They didn't use appropriate glassware for my Hefeweizen I ordered, but I guess that's kind of minor considering the selection being pretty good.
Mall: Not very big, you might wait a while from a table. If they have guest taps they didn't tell us about them. From what I could tell they only had their own stuff. Which isn't that big of a deal if it's good, but there was a lot of variation. Like I said above, their Blackout Stout is worth trying. The food and service were better though. I think this location is more of a "restauarant" and less of a bar.
It's worth checking out if you're in Tucson!
01-13-2014 02:15:17 | More by groverj3
3.93/5 rDev -0.3%
This place impressed me in so many ways.
First of all, the space is absolutely massive and is a breath of fresh air from so many breweries I frequent (I'm looking at you every Albuquerque brewery) where I have to fight for a space at the bar, or a table, or a chair. This place had couches, a wealth of tables, and a massive bar. A great use of a space that was probably sitting vacant just waiting for some genius to take advantage of the cheap real estate and convert it into something massive and inspired.
Now to the beer. Muthaeffing kudos to these guys for offering beers besides their own and good ones at that. Lagunitas, New Belgium, Oskar Blues, Odell, and many other craft beer favorites were available on tap. That's great in a lot of ways, as I'm sure I'm not alone in wanting to mix it up from time to time and have tons of options. Wise folks these guys are.
As for the TCB brews, woooowww. These were quite a surprise really. As with many of the other breweries in Arizona, I noticed a lot of adventuresome concoctions and a wealth of sessionable beers. I opted for the sampler and was expecting a few to many misses, which tends to be the case with a lot of average or bad breweries. Well this place is neither average nor bad.
The Good Vibrations IPA: potently hoppy, great floral and citrus nose, and a perfect balance of malt and hops and citrus hints on the tongue with no rough throat feel
Sandstone Cream Ale- just like the name suggests, it was creamy, smooth and with a healthy body. Definitely a good session beer.
Blackout Stout- This was the real showstopper for me. I love stouts and more commonly imperials, but this blew me away. The malt presence and complex nose gave way to an incredibly smooth and flavorful beer. It was subtly sweet, creamy and had a body that was not light, but still would've permitted me to drink 2 or 5.
Orange U Glad- Again, a real surprise here. I was expecting some weak flavor and body and got neither. The nose was heavily citrusy and sweet and drank exactly the same as the flavor remained and with a full body. A lot of times you get a fizzy soda-resembling drink when you order something like this, not here though.
Windstorm Wheat- Ditto much of the Orange U, which was also a wheat. Good body, mildly sweat and wheaty. Another great session beer.
Rillito Raspberry- Like a few of the other beers here, what seemed like a gimmicky joke of a beer turned out to be surprisingly good. This was sweet, but still retained it's beer character and body. I really liked this.
I had a few other beers but can't recall what they were, but nothing here disappoiinted me.
I will definitely return to this place next time I'm in Tucson. Also, I tip my hat to the music, which was quite good.
09-19-2013 15:26:18 | More by ONovoMexicano
4.2/5 rDev +6.6%
Their Blackout Stout is one of my favorite beers. I'm also not really into fruit beer, but everyone should try a pint of Rillito Raspberry, a really fun beer. Thunder Canyon's food might be their weakest point, but their beers surely make up for their kitchen's shortcomings.
Be sure to visit them when you're in Tucson, it's a must, and don't forget to take a growler.
08-22-2013 15:48:30 | More by marcotulio
4.33/5 rDev +9.9%
The beer selection here is nice, of course being a brewery it mostly consists of their beers but that is expected. I love their Blackout Stout and the Barrel & Cask beers are usually an interesting experience (the best I ever had was barrel-aged Bing Bang Ale. Out of this world). The service is usually good, depending on the day and who is working. The worst part is that they recently changed their menu and everything got much more expensive. like $1+ per dish. Doesn't seem like much but it was already high-priced brewery food before, now its a bit silly.
The beer is still $4 like always though. (Or if you're like me, $2 after 7pm sun-wed)
12-31-2011 04:16:09 | More by DonDirkA
Thunder Canyon Brewery in Tucson, AZ
89 out of 100 based on 27 ratings.