Thunder Canyon Brewery
Active Beers: 52
Beer Ratings: 174
Beer Avg: 3.56
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 24 | Reviews: 22 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by xymyl:
2.85/5 rDev -26.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$
Synopsis: A half-way decent brewpub in the middle of an outlet mall. Uninteresting but reasonably palatable beers. Yawn. Poor service.
As I am still recovering from my recent Utah brewery tour, I was able to enjoy this place reasonably well, not because of any special feature of this brewery other than the fact that the beers are merely bland, and not sickening (as the one-two punch of bland + sickening is quite common in Utah).
I had the Canyonator Doppelbock, the Sandstone Cream Ale and the Blackout Stout. None of them are anything to write this review about. The Doppelbock wasn't quite a doppelbock, but it was drinkable, even with a bit of a phenolic bacground. The stout was simple with an odd note in the distance. The cream ale was boring too. There just isn't any life in these beers. I'm getting tired of brewpubs that make beer on par with extract homebrew. If you like boring, simple, and just palatable enough to drink with food, then this is your place.
I've tried several beers made from amature (even first-time) brewers using those no-boil kits, and the beer here is not nearly as good as any of the no-boil kits.
The atmosphere is uninteresting as well. I sat next to the sign that said, "I'd rather have a bottle in front of me..."
The appetizers (which is all we had) were all good. The waitress showed an enthusiasm that ranged from listless to sedentary. She seemed to be trapped in a tar pit for most of the night. Eventually a search party was dispatched to recover a long overdue brew of little consequence.
But happy hour is the great equalizer, 3 beers and 3 appetizers for $20.85 (before tip) isn't bad at all.
Another pro is a reasonably good Scotch list about 16 or more single malts.
Now that my expectations have been sufficiently balanced to reality, I will try to visit again sometime and see if anything looks better.
05-09-2007 18:03:54 | More by xymyl
More User Reviews:
3.99/5 rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
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 +2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
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 +1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25 | $
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 +8.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
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 +11.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
The beer selection here is nice, of course being a brewery it mostly consists of their beers but that is expected. I love their Blackout Stout and the Barrel & Cask beers are usually an interesting experience (the best I ever had was barrel-aged Bing Bang Ale. Out of this world). The service is usually good, depending on the day and who is working. The worst part is that they recently changed their menu and everything got much more expensive. like $1+ per dish. Doesn't seem like much but it was already high-priced brewery food before, now its a bit silly.
The beer is still $4 like always though. (Or if you're like me, $2 after 7pm sun-wed)
12-31-2011 04:16:09 | More by DonDirkA
3.73/5 rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
Visited 3/3/2011 with the Ratebeer Winter Gathering.
The place is located in a busy shopping center and has lots of tables. The place is very open and comfortable.
The beer is all at least decent and covers a wide range of styles. Of course they have the standard styles (cream, hefe, amber, pale), a fruit beer, and even a barrel aged beer (imperial porter).
There was one server for the whole lot of us (15 or so) and she was new and didnt know much about the beer. However she tried and when she didnt have an answer she went to find out. She even put up with the losers that are the beer geeks.
The food as pretty good albeit a bit over priced. Might stop back for dinner and a sample of beer or two.
03-08-2011 20:38:17 | More by t0rin0
3.33/5 rDev -14.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$
Not a bad mall brewery at all. Atmosphere is mostly your typical breweriana stuff, trays, posters and other items. Rebar and stone used to decorate most of the place, didn't quite get it, but it did seem to work well together. Had an indoor and out door bar and seating. Seating is a mix of tables and booths.
We got a sample to try the beers. They had at least a dozen beers on tap including a guest beer. It was quite a selection. They list the IBU's and ABV's for the beer geeks, but other than that I couldn't find very good descriptions of the beers. For instance they had two IPAs but they couldn't really explain the difference between them. The beers were all better than average quality, and we were pleased with them all excluding the fruit flavored beers.
Service was adequate, but not outstanding. Beers available on tap were listed on a few signs around the place but from where we were sitting we couldn't see any of them.
Food was typical pub grub, but decent I would definitely go back for the food alone.
Value was good. They seem to offer many beer specials for happy hour and for different days of the week and for lunch. I liked that part a lot.
A very decent brewpub for a mall location, I would frequent again the next time I'm in town.
03-04-2010 20:12:23 | More by Naugled
Thunder Canyon Brewery in Tucson, AZ
88 out of 100 based on 24 ratings.