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Sleepy Dog Brewery

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BA SCORE
86
very good

21 Ratings
Ratings: 21
Reviews: 13
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 19.89%
Active Beers: 18
Beer Ratings: 215
Beer Avg: 3.5
Taps: 15
Bottles: 0
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

1920 E University Dr
Tempe, Arizona, 85281-4608
United States
phone: (480) 967-5476

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @sleepydogbeer

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: bigbelcher on 11-27-2009)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 21 | Reviews: 13 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by FlatRabbitRed:
Photo of FlatRabbitRed
4/5  rDev +9%

This is a neighborhood pub, not a bigger one. The big one down the street has hundreds of people inside and a long line out front. Sleepy dog is the place to get away from that, there were maybe 10 people there when I went. Very small, beer was good, no souviners, just a few tables and a couple of people tending bar that really could not tell me much about the beer itself.

FlatRabbitRed, Jan 11, 2013
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3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

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4/5  rDev +9%

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4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

oilcan01, Nov 03, 2013
Photo of DRTBrewster
4.44/5  rDev +21%

Cool place to go chill, the beer selection is great and everything I tired was some of the best in AZ. A robust selection of variety for ABV levels and tastes, the Red was exceptional and the Belgians were awesome! Certainty worth a trip to just stop and have a couple before heading to your next destination.

DRTBrewster, Aug 12, 2013
Photo of francus
2.81/5  rDev -23.4%

This is a small tap room. The setup is a 10 bbl system and is located behind the bar. The fermenters appeard to be jacketed. There is no kitchen in the establishment, but they do have food from outside vendors. When we were there there was a guy making wood fired pizza outside and it was pretty darn good.

The service was decent, but not stellar. The beers did leave a bit to be desired. Between our group we pretty much tried them all and all of them were too dark for the style. For example, the triple was as dark as a dubbel and the red could easily be mistaken for a porter. Several of the brews had an off flavor of dimethyl sulfide. Looking at their equipment it seemed the boil kettle was not vented well, and the bartender told me they didn't have a fan on the exhaust vent. My guess is adding one to pull the steam off the boil better would clear that taste right up. It wasn't in all the beers, but it was in about half of them so I'm going to say a process issue.

Bottom line, an average place with a few decent brews and a few below average ones. Nice t-shirts, though.

francus, Jun 22, 2013
Photo of SmilinEric
4.11/5  rDev +12%

Small microbrewery in the middle of a warehouse complex. The place is clean although it always smells a bit like floor cleaner to me. This is a microbrewery only but they do have food trucks offering services occasionally and there is a list of food delivery places as well. The staff is always very friendly and the beer selection and quality is very good. This place is low-key and a lot quieter than most other places nearby which I really enjoy. Definitely worth a stop if you're in Tempe.

SmilinEric, Jun 06, 2013
Photo of SudsTerkel
4.66/5  rDev +27%

I hit the SDB after sampling their ESB at OHSO Gastropub in Phoenix. It was excellent in all respects and I thought I'd better find out about the rest of their offerings. I'm glad I did; they offered a formidable array of beer on the night of my visit; in addition to the fine ESB, I had their IPA [7.0% ABV] which was exquisitely drinkable; very balanced with just the right amount of hops finish. I also had the Scottish Amber [7.5% ABV] which was a rich and smooth malty treat that was enjoyable from start to finish and so good that drinking it could belie its impacts on the drinker if not cautious - this one packs a wallop. SDB also has a hefe, red, American pale and a stout but I'll have to save them for another trip.

The staff was very attentive and friendly; SDB's brewer Carl was there and is a real good guy who's proud of his work and enjoys interacting with his customers. Finally, it's situated in an industrial park space in East Tempe; easy to find and populated by beer devotees. If you're looking for food, be sure to call first to verify what they're offering as while they had a food vendor doing pizza on the night of my visit, that arrangement is subject to availability.

SudsTerkel, Nov 10, 2012
Photo of beerjournl
4.23/5  rDev +15.3%

Just stopped by last week for the first time. I've been traveling to Tempe on business and just realized they were there, my loss. They have a nice little tasting room and a very friendly and helpful staff. I gave them a top rating for service because of the people working there. I had a few of their beers and a seasonal that was very good (Monje Azul?) that had agave nectar. Light and tasty! I also had their scottish and the IPA. All were very good. The good thing is that they were well made without flaws, and were exactly as described. They are clearly working on having some interesting brews, so for those who wanted something really different, keep visiting. My expectation was to get solid quality and they delivered. This is definitely a brand I'll buy on tap at other establishments, and a new favorite stop for after work.

beerjournl, Jun 06, 2012
Photo of yemenmocha
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Review is for a several visits since they first opened. Staff has always been friendly here, which is VERY hard to find in Phoenix metro. Restroom is clean too, which again is hard to find.

Atmosphere is plain and warehouse-like, reminds you that you're at a brewery, but also they've gone the sports-bar route it seems with accommodating so much for various games. That's a major negative for someone looking for a beer-focused bar/brewpub, not another sports-focused place.

On my first visit right after they opened I was told their beers are meant to be more approachable, more in line with "what people actually want to drink". Well, who? The general public who normally drinks BMC, or perhaps reduced-flavor faux crafts like Blue Moon? Well, I see their point - most beers are very "gateway" like, beers for people just getting into beer. Nothing blows you away with flavor, nothing extreme, nothing super hoppy, etc. Some ales such as the red are incredibly sweet, too, perhaps more than I've seen than any other example of the style.

Decent place, will try every so often, but not necessarily one of the best hits for Phoenix metro.

yemenmocha, Jun 17, 2011
Photo of Phelps
3.51/5  rDev -4.4%

Sleepy Dog's a BYOF -- the only food they serve is popcorn and peanuts. You can bring food in from outside, however, which is nice.

I love the layout of this place. Nice, high ceilings; TVs on the walls; handmade furniture; an open and visible brewing area. A stack of board games sits in the corner for use on the family-sized tables that dot the place.

The people working at Sleepy Dog are knowledgeable, helpful and incredibly friendly. The first time I visited, I chatted with the owner for a good hour about all his beers and the brewery's history.

The only downside is, unfortunately, the most important aspect: the beer. Many of Sleepy Dog's offerings are lackluster, if not downright bad. I enjoy the Scottie, but not much else. A nice selection of guest beers saves the geek from dehydration.

A stop at Sleepy Dog is enjoyable if you make a night of it: bring friends, order some food, play games. You can even order a few brews -- just don't expect to be wowed.

Phelps, May 12, 2011
Photo of SunDevilBeer
2.65/5  rDev -27.8%

Visited this place during a recent trip to Tempe. I had lunch and a few delicious beers earlier @ 4 Peaks, so I was already satified with some quality beers for the day.

I like the layout of the place. Essentially a warehouse with the functioning brewery behind the service counter. Good music being played at a reasonable decibel level. The 2 women who worked here were super friendly. Fresh popcorn in the corner to serve yourself. Board games available - nice touch.

Ordered the sampler - 8 of their beers except the barleywine. Started with a diacetyl-laden light lager which I could only drink half of. Things didn't improve from there, only the hefeweizen & dunkelweiss were barely passable. It was a chore to drink the samples. Butter & hot alcohol flavors were the theme for most of the beers.

Major improvement is needed with these beers. Otherwise, this place isn't bad. But with 4 Peaks practically around the corner, I can't recommend a visit.

SunDevilBeer, May 01, 2011
Photo of t0rin0
3.19/5  rDev -13.1%

Visited 3/4/2011 during Ratebeer Winter Gathering.

Very open and large warehouse type place located in a shopping center across from some apartments that are most occupied by ASU students. There are tables all the way around the perimeter with a couple large round tables in the middle. It was pretty quiet for the first few minutes (we went in right as they reopened for the evening) but then the music was cranked up. They must have just started brewing when we got there because I could smell the malt in the air, and it was very pleasant.

The service was very nice and accomodating. They were happy to pour 5oz samples of everything and answer questions.

The real problem here is the horrible beer. I tried all 9 of their beers and the only one even close to drinkable was the Yellow #1 (their light lager) and even that was a C+ beer.

The only food served is snacks. There is a self serve popcorn machine in the corner and there are some snacks for sale behind the bar (chips and such).

t0rin0, Mar 09, 2011
Photo of CJthirty7
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%

MMMmmm the smell was awesome. Gotta love that hot wort in the air. This place had plenty of it. The beers very tasty and are on the malty side, reminding me of the sample you try right before the pitch. For a newcomer to the PHX area, they have some great potential! Just waiting to try their IRS! Their Ridgeback IPA was awesome. Hands down one of the best DIPA's out there.

The bar staff was very knowledgeable and was very courteous in letting me sample their goods. The food menu was very limited, but what are we really there for? They had a wide array of TV's, seating, even couches, not to mention they have a stack of board games to play!

There seemed to be plenty of parking out front and it's easy access from the 101. Check it out!

CJthirty7, Apr 03, 2010
Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%

A new place near where I was staying. Experienced service, and a fun though still unknown place so not too full in peak evening. The tanks took up much room. A cool thing was the DVDs, we had the Wonkas on back-to-back, and customers were invited to bring in their own DVDs. Very friendly and not loud music was a plus, and appreciated by us in the smaller Phoeniz bars. The beer selection was there, however the quality requires a huge learning curve.Porters and stouts were the drinkable choices. Worth a stop in if in the area.

Sammy, Feb 05, 2010
Photo of bigbelcher
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%

The place is in a warehouse area and is half brewery and half bar. They are in the process of getting a liquor license so they can have guest beers. Right now they are limited to only their own four beers. The beers were all clean and well made. My biggest negative is that they are all kind of bland and boring, the had a hefeweiss, a scottish, an irish red ale and a pale ale. The Scottish and the Irish were almost identical in taste with just a slight color difference. The decor is modern with a few televisions scattered around with a popcorn machine. It reminded me a lot of the now defunct Rio Salado Brewery. I will redo my review in a few months after they have time to get it going with the guest beers. It might turn into a fun place to go but right now it is limited to entry level microbrews with nothing pushing the envelope.

bigbelcher, Nov 30, 2009
Sleepy Dog Brewery in Tempe, AZ
86 out of 100 based on 21 ratings.