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Papago Brewing

Not Rated.
Papago BrewingPapago Brewing
BA SCORE
96
world-class

155 Ratings
Ratings: 155
Reviews: 135
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 10.21%
Active Beers: 11
Beer Ratings: 293
Beer Avg: 3.83
Taps: 30
Bottles: 0
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

7107 E McDowell Rd
Scottsdale, Arizona, 85257-3315
United States
phone: (480) 425-7439

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @papagobrewing

Notes:
None, yet.

Beers are brewed at / by another brewery.

(Place added by: mzwolinski)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 155 | Reviews: 135 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Longstaff
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%

This place was located in a pretty cool looking strip mall that was made to look like an adobe building. But when I entered the place it felt like I was in a deli/convienent store more than a bar or brewpub. No brewing equipment in sight, so I don't know if the beers are produced on sight or not. But that's ok, the house brews aren't the highlight here. Sat at the bar and it took at least 15 minutes to get one of the bartendress' to even look at me. Ordered a house brew that supposed to be a double ipa which was quite tasty, but needed more hops. Had another draft of mediocre Lost Cost Indica IPA before turning my attention to the bottle selection. Bottles were in a cooler just like a beer store which you could scout out and pick your own out. Widest selection of beers I've seen in a while and it was good to be able to select by sight instead of selecting off a list. Draft list was impressive also with Stone 8th and 9th, some select imports and US micros. One hand pump had Alesmith 10th flowing.

Later on, the day time bartendress' were replaced with the night shift which were much more friendlier and beer knowledgeable. Only negatives to this place is that they allow smoking which detracts from enjoying the beer, the open layout and bar in the corner with the coolers made it not bar like.

Longstaff, Oct 02, 2005
Photo of brewandbbq
4.08/5  rDev -5.3%

Hit up Papago twice, at the front and back of a Arizona, Utah loop.
Located nestled in a strip mall, with lots of bottles in the front window, including a giant bottle of Stone 5th anniversary.
Single level layout, with multiple TV's, dartboard, lots of tap handles, signs. Kind of a rustic wood decor with a post and beam area and shellacked pine furniture.
30 taps and 1 cask, and coolers filled with beer.
Odd thing about Az, a lot of bars seem to have these coolers that allow you to pick out a beer and either drink it there or bring it home.
The prices were decent on stuff from the cooler, some even better that at Sundevil liquors.
Not sure if there is a "corkage" fee if you drink them there.
They also offer any 6 domestic micro mix sixers at $6.95, excluding strong beers.
*Big plus*- they'll fill your cooler with ice if you buy beer to go.

O.K. -Papago is not a brewpub. They are more of a bar that has beers contract brewed at Sonoran Brewing.
This being said, the beers served under the Papago name are very good and better than most brewpubs.
Papago Baltic Porter, Wheatwine and Double IPA all quite good, as well as there being a great selection of draught with no BMC's.
The food was limited to sandwiches and appetizers, with no burgers. Sandwiches in the $7-9 range, a bit pricey for basic stuff.
Service was very good on both our visits, with very friendly and knowledgeable bartenders.
Great place to hang out, very comfortable.
Thanks to Papago, we were able to wind down our honeymoon with bellies full of good food, great beer, and very heavy luggage.

brewandbbq, Sep 24, 2005
Photo of Gusler
5/5  rDev +16%

It has been a while since I updated my Papago Beerfly review, so here goes my latest observations. Papago still remains IMHO the best pub in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, with 30 continual rotating taps, all craft and imports, plus 2 cask engines, and some 400 plus beers, that you can carry out or drink there puts it high on my list, they also have a nice selection of wine and quite a few Meads.

The owners and staff are all quite beer savvy with Ron Kloth being a brewer extraordinaire. All the beers are served in the correct glass, with the temperature just right, and always fresh. They have a nice website that lists all their upcoming festivities and specials, a beer list of what is on tap & cask.

Atmosphere is laid back and friendly with the staff as I said before knowledgeable and friendly, the food is fairly priced and quite good with the portions liberal in size.

Whenever I can, I drop in and have a pint or two, and most always-pickup beer to go and have a bite to eat, so my recommendation is to stop by and say "Howdy" to all the fine people at Papago, tell'em Gusler sent you!

Gusler, Jul 09, 2005
Photo of SidSales
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%

On Holiday from UK and found Papago on Beer Advocate.

Spent two nights in Scottsdale and went to Papago both nights because it was so good. 30 beers on tap and 1 on handpull.

My notes taken state a lively pub in the Papago Plaza with a large selection of beers on tap. Surprised how small the pub is compared to amount of beers. Staff friendly and informative, samplers available. Massive selection of bottled beers. Bar tender took me for a cellar tour and was amazed I had found the place having travelled from England.

An English dart board on the wall and some electronic machine games with loads of what appeared regulars drinking.

Had a 16" pizza on the first night for $13.75 which was more than my wife and I could eat, mind we were jet lagged. Second night we had a sandwich which was good value.

We sampled 21 different beers over the two nights including 4 from Papago.My favourite over the 2 nights was the mind blowing Sanoran Old Saguaro on hand pull at 10%.

One of the best pubs I visited on my tour of AZ, NM and CO and would highly recommend. Will visit again if ever I am in that part of the USA. Superb!

SidSales, Jun 28, 2005
Photo of Mumbly
4.85/5  rDev +12.5%

I love this place. They have 30 beers on tap--and they rotate most of them every week or two. And they have even more beer in the cooler. The staff is very good and knowledegable. They like and know good beer. And you can get samples, so you don't have to committ to a pint. They pour the beer into the proper glass for the type of beer.

The food is very good (especially the pizza). I gave it a 4 only because they don't serve past 9 or 10 (I get off work at 10:30 so I don't get any of the yummy food).

The worst part is it's popular on Fridays, but I can always find a seat. If you're in the Phoenix area make a trip to Papagos.

Mumbly, May 04, 2005
Photo of kaszeta
4.81/5  rDev +11.6%

As a former Phoenix-area resident, I do come back about once a year to visit. Alas, some of my favorite haunts from the past (Coyote Springs, Bandersnatch) are gone (although in both cases the quality of both had declined enough that closure put them out of their misery). Anyways, I finally needed to find someplace better than Gordon Biersch to get a nice cold one, and finally wandered up to Scottsdale.

The place doesn't have much of what I call ambiance. It's basically a strip-mall bar. And it's a bit smokier than I care for. But I will forgive them, since they have one of the finest selections of beers I've ever experience, with over 300 different bottled beers in the cooler (which you can buy individually or in mixed six packs To Go, even), and about twenty taps. Very good selection, with most every decent western-US brewery getting at least a few varieties in the cooler, and maybe even a tap or two as well. Their own brews are pretty good as well. This place is about the beer, and they do it very, very well.

kaszeta, Jan 13, 2005
Photo of Crosling
4.53/5  rDev +5.1%

I lived here while I was in Phoenix. I came here Friday Night and closed it, met Gusler Saturday Night and closed it and then again came here for the afternoon before my flight on Monday. A killer bottle selection (Drie Fonteinen, Alesmith, Stone, Rogue, Caracole, Rochefort, Bear Republic, Moylans, Avery, Fantome,...from my memory) and a great draught selection as well (Weihenstephaner, Young's, Four Peaks, Oggi's, Stone) Cute waitresses. Characterful house beers. Good Prices. What more could you want?

Crosling, Nov 11, 2004
Photo of jrancan
4.55/5  rDev +5.6%

All hell broke loose when we entered this place. We'll skip the details of the decor, it's located in a strip mall. You can see all the bottles in the refrigerators that line the wall-which is a plus. 30 on tap and 200, 300, 400 in bottles, who knows? Absoulte great selection.
Met a few friendly locals and proceeded to try and drink this place dry! Some sampled: Alesmith Lil Devil, IPA, Sonora Inebriator, Papago El Grande Nutz and Wheat Wine, Stone 8th, Fantome, Moylander Double IPA...etc....who can remember?
Needless to say, my wife and I almost missed our flight to Mexico the next day....I left the bar with a back pack full of locally brewed beers that I was only too happy to imbibe.
One of the greatest bars I've ever been to. Papago has it all, knowledgable bartenders, wide selection, friendly atmosphere, and hopefully next time I can try the food.
Note: Had two beers that were bad/past prime...Fantome and Alesmith Horny Devil were both light struck (bartender took iboth off our tab).

jrancan, Oct 30, 2004
Photo of Loki
4.6/5  rDev +6.7%

Papago brewing comes highly recommended and definitely worth the trip. Even better if you can arrange a meeting with Guslter and meet a teriffic BA and yet another reason why this community is so great. Watch carefully as this place is quite easy to miss in the Papago Plaza on the corner of Scottsdale Rd and McDowell Rd.

Atmosphere: Dark and quite on the night we went, but with a very friendly air to the place. From the moment you walk in you feel like anybody is welcome here. There are dart boards up front, tables and bar rails scattered through out the place, and 10-15 seat bar in the back with at least 25-30 taps and one cask hand pump. There are 6-8 glass door, convienence store style coolers in the back full of fantastic beer, and one with water, sports drinks, sodas, and macros (you know the other water).

Quality: Not only are the beers fantastic, but they turn over stock very quickly with both bottles and draft, and I was told there is always something new on draft everyday. I guess it's nice living closer to San Fran and having Old Foghorn on draft! Also had the hoppiest cask beer I've ever had in my life. The Sonoma Dred, Double Red was amazing. Oh, and their beers are pretty good too. The Papago Baltic Porter was great. They take great care of their beers here.

Service: Very Good, with absolutely not a complaiint or an issues. Quick and friendly. I don't know what else you could ask for. Seemed they served everything in proper glassware, maybe not the exact glass, but pints for the baltic porter, cask, and beers my college had, and a brandy tulip glass for Guslter's Old Foghorn.

Selection: Great. Most places would be hard to match their selection, and you definitely couldn't fit more beers in this place, as it's not that big. You'ld have to hit Half Time or some place like that to find a bigger draft, bottle, and bottle to go selection. Oh, and they had a big wine selection as well. This place is as if somebody took a beer/wine shop and slammed it together with a great little draft bar and said, he you can have it both, without paying Pennsylvaniaesce bar carryaway prices.

Food: Yet another great hit. I highly recommend the Spinich & Artichoke dip that is slightly spice and a very unique twist; and the Mediterranian Chicken Pizza. Both were excellent and very reasonably priced.

I don't know what else to say other than this place is fantastic and I want one near my house!

Loki, Sep 08, 2004
Photo of arizcards
4.63/5  rDev +7.4%

Played some golf this past Labor Day weekend at the nearby Rolling Hills Golf Course. I intentionally scheduled lunch at the ledgendary Papago Brewing Company. My better half just laughed at me as she lets me indulge my hobby of exploring different places to have a beer!

We got in just when it opened on Sunday at noon. Quite a homey place as there are games galore mixed in with the displays of wine and beer from around the world. There is even a place to shoot some darts near the front. Not sure what the capacity is but it can't be more than 175. A very comfortable place to have a beer.

Quality is near perfect. It is a very clean place and very modern yet has a rusticness to it.

The service was very good. A young lady with a "Boy Scouting" shirt took care of us. She was very conversational despite this being "early" for her.

The selection is top notch. No crap on tap is the mission here and that is very true. But what was kind of cool is that we were able to get my better half a macro brew (which keeps her happy) and I was able to be like a little kid in the candy score. I sampled three pints with lunch and selected about 10 bottles to sample at home. The prices seemed to be very competitive to Trader Joes and better than AJ's.

We had the Beer B Que pizza. It was very good and I would recommend it if you want something a bit different out of a pizza.

It is probably a good thing that I live 35 miles away from Papago as I could easily finding myself making a weekly trip or two to hang out, enjoy some good beer, and half some fun in a very friendly atmosphere.

arizcards, Sep 07, 2004
Photo of fattyre
4.94/5  rDev +14.6%

What can I say that hasn't already been said. I visited back in March after the Beer Fest in Phoenix and again the following day. Located in a shopping center with little or no hint to what is inside. Very nice tap selection of their own brews with some imports and unusual/hard to find west coast micros. A very impressive bottle selection as well in cold cases along the wall opposite the bar. Very nice staff and owners who I had a nice time speaking to and everyone new there stuff which just enhanced the whole experience. I had fun talking to everyone- the locals as well as the staff. I even took home a growler of their wheat wine. Great beer, great staff, and great folks -what more can you ask for. Thanks to Gusler for suggesting the place and meeting up with us! Must see if anywhere nearby.

fattyre, Jul 17, 2004
Photo of tavernjef
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%

Their tag line of "No crap on tap" couldn't be more true. Wow, not a macro out of the 30 tapped beers! And whats on-tap is outstanding as far as a line up. And if thats not enough you can go over to these coolers and pick out something in a bottle and either have em pour in a glass for ya to enjoy there or even better yet you can purchase them to take home too. They also have about six beers that they brew, somewhere, didn't see any of the usual set up where you can see the all the beer kettles and what not, so I assume it was in back or something. Had the Imperial Wheat "Six Shooter" and their porter, both quite tasty. Solid line up of west coast mircos including Stone, Bear Republic, Avery, Deschutes, Bridgeport, New Belgium, Rogue, and plenty of others. And there's a nice selection of imports from Germany, England and Belgium where you can open up either a Westmalle or Rochefort while having some good grub. We had the pizza, which was recommended and liked by all. The interior is small yet open, with a small bar area for room for about 10, tables and seating else where through out the place. Exposed wood beams are decorated with tap handles of past kegs emptied there. That was impressive, probably around 200 and not a one that looked to be anything of the usual sort. All micro or import goodies- my favorite was to ask about the St. Bernadus Triple that was on-tap there! Oh my, that sounds yummy. Easily the best place for beer selection and company in the Phoenix area.
Give Gusler a shout that you're gonna be in town and he'll make a 40 mile trip to come out and make you feel welcome and drink a few and talk about beers (what else would it be?) with ya. He's a great host!
This was one of my better beer experiences yet - had a brain freeze just gaulking over the great selection of beers here and thinking how you could come here everyday for three months and never have the same beer twice. Wow, wouldn't that be fun! Hell ya! Jealous? Hell ya!

tavernjef, May 16, 2004
Photo of KingSlender
4.22/5  rDev -2.1%

Chappy and myself hit up Papago Brewing during our recent baseball & beer excursion through the wonderful Phoenix area. We actually had planned only a one-time quick stop at Papago on Friday night, but ended up going back both Saturday AND Sunday. This alone tells you how much we liked this place. The atmosphere was great, very rustic looking with various brewing paraphernalia on the walls. We loved all the various taps nestled up on the roof beams. We also were very fortunate to get to hear some good music on Saturday night (the lead singer looked like John Smoltz of the Atlanta Braves). The beer selection was very good. We are able to try some great beers that we've never had before. One that stood out was Gordon IPA from Oskar Blues (Colorado). I also had a few great Belgium ales as well. The food was OK. We ordered a pizza and half of it was burnt. Besides that it was pretty tasty. Papago also has an outstanding collection of bottled beers for sale, in which we purchased a few to take with us on our journey home.

Thanks to Gusler for inviting us over to his table during a very busy Saturday night and showing us a good time and what Papago Brewing is all about!

KingSlender, Apr 07, 2004
Photo of ChappyCubsFan
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%

A very good place to visit. We went there 3 times in one weekend while visiting the area for Spring Training. They had four of their own brews on tap and about 20 other guest brews. They also had an excellent refrigerated selection of 12 oz six-packs and 22 oz bombers of mostly California, Arizona and Colorado brews. On tap, we tried the Oskar Blues IPA and Pale Ale from Lyons, CO. (They were both excellent). The pizza was very good as well. The service was excellent. When we visited on Sunday we noticed on the door that they do not open until noon, but as we walked away to our car the bartender called us back and said she would open early. Perfect! A chance to relax with a few brews before our Giants-Angels game just up the street. This place grows on you. I enjoyed the collection of beer taps that are fastened to the wooden beams on the ceiling. Nice touch.

ChappyCubsFan, Apr 02, 2004
Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Traveling to Phoenix in March is always a pleasure, business travel or not. But traveling to Phoenix with a plan to meet up with the Great Gusler for a little beer tour of the Valley is sublime.

Such was the case as I arrived at the Phoenix airport late on a Sunday morning. Less than an hour later I am ensconed in the Gusler S10 Beermobile and headed to the best Phoenix has to offer - Papago Brewing. The trip out McDowell passes some small rocky peaks, but the arrival at Papago's looks less like a peak of beerdom. But then, outward appearances can be deceiving.

We enter a nice beer trivia area at the front of the store and Gus is immediately greeted with several folks wanting to know where he's been. The arrival of royalty always excites the masses and so it is with the arrival of Gus. Mel is his favorite bartender and she is on duty today, all smiles and full of beer knowledge. My eyes bulge at the huge lineup of taps and the even greater lineup of glass-front coolers packed with fine bottled beer.

The long bar is joined by several stool-height tables for four and many picnic table seatings as well. Cigar storage is off to the side near the last of the cooler. A small stage for the frequent entertainment is centererd on the wall opposite the bar. A short past the coolers puts you at the facilities.

Papago's is staffed by caring owners, great staff, and good beer-loving customers. It is truly an oasis in the desert with great beer, very good food, and decent prices. To travel there with the most knowledgeable of Bas in the person of Gusler is a treat I shall long remember.

AtLagerHeads, Mar 16, 2004
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

A quiet weekend with nothing planned stared vacantly at me from my Wall Chart Planner for some time. So, many Moons ago, I decided to take up the offer extended to several So.Cal. BA’s from Sir Gusler when he visited the Strong Ale Festival at Pizza Port in December. A few BeerMails later it was sorted, Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th February would be spent at Papago Brewing.

Taking an afternoon flight from LAX, and having been expertly whisked off the Airport Concourse at just after 4pm by the GuslerS10BeerMobile, like a Camel train we traversed the desert and soon arrived at a Strip Mall that had a very Alamo-cum-Western look to it.

A covered walkway actually hides the front of Papago Brewing from prying eyes. After ditching the Bags at the Motel just round the corner we walked the short distance under the covered Mall walkway. A turn of the corner, and you could not miss the beery frontage, which is next to the local Police office (!), so behave yourselves.

Once inside, my, oh my, I think I died and went to heaven. I immediately got a “Beer Buzz”, the sort you get when your beer senses tingle and you just know you have entered a special establishment. Lots of empty beer bottles fill the front windows; the frontage is also adorned with much beery memorabilia. To your left a large series of shelves carefully store a host of over 100 'Monk Club' Members Earthenware Pots, T-Shirts and other items for sale. To the right a row of shelves and many wine-bottle holders display a selection of bottle beverages including some very interesting looking Wines, Ports and Meads, about a 100 of them. The center has a smattering of wooden tables & chairs encompassed in an internal wooden beam structure, of which, all the horizontal beams near the ceiling are decorated with many Tap Handles from beers that have obviously come and gone. A Jukebox and Cigar stall on the left and a couple of large Monks make up the rest of the décor. The front of the Bar is like many others, but it is the back of this single room wonderland that holds the secret to the success of Papago Brewing. At the far left of the room is a large cooler set into the corner. It exposes an L-shaped frontage that has at least 8 or 9 full length glass doors from memory. It looks awesome and beer geeks are often seen deeply pondering the contents. In here you will find a whole host of bottles, all shapes, sizes and colors, from all four corners of the globe, too many to list. With some, quick eye reckoning, I came up with 350 bottled beers here.

At the far right is a smallish bar that has two 15-Tap banks set side by side against the back wall. These sell “No Crap On Tap” as the advert proudly states. No domestics here, just 30 fine beers that appear to rotate and change frequently. Some of the Taps are passed over to the Papago Brewing products also. In addition, a fine looking Handpump sits proud on the Bar with its traditional ceramic handle depicting an English hunting scene. It dispenses a Cask beer that also rotates, check the board for details.

Food is popular here, solid snacks through to wholesome meals. But even though myself and Gusler were here for the beer, we managed a couple of the Pretzels which were excellent and served with a strong German Mustard. The other food looked awesome and was very popular. The pizzas kicked ass.

I arrived with Gusler at 4:45pm and we closed the place at around 1am. The tally was something like; BJ’s Faschizzle Chardonale, Avery The Beast, Tabernash Rye Bock Lager, Drie Fonteinen 1999 Oude Gueuze, Rogue Kells Irish Lager, Papago Churchill Wheat Wine, Rochefort 6°, Bear Republic Pete’s Brown Tribute Ale, Lindemans Cuvee Rene 2000, Mogollon Horny Toad India Pale Ale, then the list gets a bit blurry. Excellent service that was exemplary and above that expected, but still welcome.

On Sunday, we came back here just after opening and after a beer shopping trip around 3 of the local AJ’s Stores for stocking up purposes. Even so, I still ended up purchasing more beer here also, and the prices were comparable, if not cheaper at times.

This is an excellent Beer Bar, a true marvel hidden in the Arizona desert that belies its size and location. All the staff were stellar (especially Mel on Sunday) and very knowledgeable but far from condescending which was awesome. They were always happy to serve samplers prior to investing in a whole Pint of something. On the Sunday a local even shared his $16 bottle of Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock with others at the Bar, many of whom he didn’t know, including me. All this AND the esteemed company of Gusler, just incredible!!

Good Beer really does mean Good People here. If you don’t have time whilst in Phoenix/Scottsdale, I strongly suggest you miss your flight and make time. Oh, and let Gusler know that you’re in town!

*Highly Recommended*

Last Visit: Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th Feb, 2005.

TheLongBeachBum, Feb 17, 2004
Photo of UncleJimbo
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%

I had the pleasure of visiting Papago with Gusler on an all too brief stop in Phoenix recently. Based on what I saw, I hope I can return soon!

Papago was a very casual place, with southwestern decor and even a few surf boards as decorations. The room is rectangular, and not huge, but comfortable. The bar itself is of modest size, but most of the floor space is filled with tables with chairs. In the rear, across from the bar are 3 or 4 (or more?) glass-doored refridgerators with many, many, many excellent bottled beers. It is self-service, and you pay at the bar. Wow, an impressive bottled beer selection. As for the tap selection, it was also most impressive. Quite a few of Papago's beers on tap (though they are not currently brewed on premises) and a wide variety of other lovals and regionals (check Papago's web site for the list of 25-30 beers on tap at any given time). I sampled two Papago brews (Churchill Wheat Wine, and El Grande Nutz) where great, and a Rio Salado Redzilla (bourbon barrel aged) on cask -- wonderful!

The service was great and friendly, and I thank Gusler again for his hospitality in sharing this fine pub with me. I will make it a point to return to this great pub whenever I am in Phoenix.

UncleJimbo, Jan 16, 2004
Photo of KFW
4.65/5  rDev +7.9%

I dropped in during a recent business trip to Scottsdale. Nondescript location and decor. Live music some nights. The wait staff was personable and attentive. Food was good--fairly standard pub fair. Pizza was the thin crust variety. As for the beers: very good selection on tap (including their own brews), and an outstanding selection of bottled beers (best I've seen outside the Brickskeller). One excellent feature was being able to peruse to beer coolers directly--you could read the labels, etc. Much nicer than trying to decide based just on a menu list. No dust on any of the bottles, suggesting proper care (and a reasonable rate of turnover).

KFW, Dec 22, 2003
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.85/5  rDev +12.5%

I had the opportunity to check out Papago Brewing recently during a AZ-BA gathering. First off, I really like the concept of a Bar & a liquor store in one. Being able to leave with a couple special bottles of beer is a huge plus in my book. The beer selection is awesome, and there is always beer on tap that you won't see anywhere else.

The atmosphere is great. They have some TVs so that you can catch the game, they also appear to have live music on a regular basis (though I was not here long enough to partake in this aspect). The bar staff was very knowledgeable, and quite helpful. Of course I am sure that it helped that I was with infamous Gusler on my visit. The fact that Gusler is a regular here says a lot about the quality of this place.

You know that a beer place really cares when your beer comes in the proper glassware. The first beer I ordered came in the actual glass from the brewery; Chimay Cinq Cents from the tap in a Chimay goblet, you got to love it. They do allow you to get up to 3 samples for free, after that it is $1 per sample. Well worth it if you are looking to try a few things. They also serve cask ales, which I find to be a necessity in order for a beer bar to be considered great. They had a one-off on cask of Rio Salado Redzilla aged in a Jim Beam barrel, man was that tasty.

The beer selection is so incredible, if you can’t find what you want in their 30+ tap list you can order from the 400 or so bottles that they have in there carry out section. They even have a pretty good wine selection for those who want something else.

The food is pretty good, the soft pretzels I ordered where piping hot and perfect. I had a Brat with Sour Kraut which hit the spot, though the Kraut seemed a bit dry.

Overall this is a great place, if I did not live in Tucson this would be my local.

Gueuzedude, Dec 15, 2003
Photo of hyuga
4.95/5  rDev +14.8%

I'm certainly glad to be living here with a place like this not too far from me. 30 taps and 2 casks. 450 bottled beers, almost all micros and imports. A "no crap on tap" policy that they actually hold to. That right there could say it all for the beer aficionado, but that's not all there is to Papago. The environment is just as I would expect as if I designed it myself. I feel very comfortable in this place, which is very important to me when I'm in a beer bar, or any restaurant. Everyone serving you knows what they're serving and can tell you what you need to know about it, something else that's very important. You can ask for a sample of anything on tap and it will be brought to you in a nice sampling glass for no charge. Very nice people. The food is excellent, and very well suited for any beer you choose. I only wish they'd bring back the great desserts that were made with their own beers, which are quite exceptional beers. There's almost always some sort of event to attend, usually a brewery-related promotional or something similar. There is, of course, a mug club, but I believe it's unfortunately closed to new members at the moment. This is my favorite place to go, period. I'd love to be there every day. You absolutely must visit this place if you're anywhere near Arizona!

hyuga, Oct 22, 2003
Photo of bigbelcher
4.95/5  rDev +14.8%

My previous review from last year follows. I just decided to update it. This has to be not only one of the best beer places to drink in the United States but in the world. If they only served their beers alone it would still be a great place but the selection and quality just cannot be surpassed. I especially like how they have 'improved' a couple of their beers by using a Dogfish 'Randall' on them, their Hopfather Double IPA is awesome with fresh hops and their Churchill Wheatwine with the use of Cognac barrel oak chips in the 'Randall' is simply amazing. Live music has gone away but the addition of a giant projector television makes the place a great place to watch sporting events now.

Previous review: This isn't one of the best places to drink in Phoenix, it is the best place to drink in Arizona or the west coast. 30 taps that constantly rotate with good beers. Sure there are places with more taps but they do not put any crap on tap and they clean their lines when they put on a new beer. If that doesn't strike your fancy they have a cooler with over 400 different beers in them. Knowledgeable staff. Food is very good but is limited to apps, salads, pizzas and sandwiches. Only downside is that it gets crowded in there on the weekend nights. You can also get the bottled beer to go and growlers also. Also, compared to some places I've been in California the prices are downright cheap for the quality of the beers that they get. Big Belgian selection.

bigbelcher, Jul 10, 2003
Photo of bobinverted
4.9/5  rDev +13.7%

My Girlfriend and I visited Papago Brewing while we were on vacation in Scottsdale, AZ. With 30 beers on tap, about 500 more in the cooler and excellent food Papago Brewing may be beer heaven! It's at least as close as I've come to it. I started off with Papago's El Grande Nutz Brown Ale. The El Grand Nutz had a delicious hazelnut flavor. It's an amazing brown ale, one of my new favorites. My girlfriend ordered the Mudshark Full Moon Belgian Wit which is brewed in Lake Havasu, AZ. It was also delicious. I the had one of the best vegetarian sandwiches I've ever tasted. My girlfriend had a buffalo mozzarella salad and chicken wings which she enjoyed. I finished off with a Rio Salado DoppelSchwarz which is brewed in Tempe, AZ and my girlfriend had another Full Moon. The beer was exceptional, the food was delicious, and the service was great!

bobinverted, Jun 07, 2003
Photo of ecoboy
4.7/5  rDev +9%

Ah yes, an atmosphere you wouldn't expect when strolling in from the dry, sunny border of Scottsdale and Tempe. Sometimes, little bits of genius are tucked away in unlikely places. The doors to Papago are massive things and it's really hard to see in from the strip mall parking lot. How good can this place be?

Really, really good.

Don't be put off by the painted cement floor. The decor can only do so much for this atmosphere (although I liked the "Marilyn Merlot" framed pdints all over the place.) The "atmosphere" comes from feeling like you have found another "home" as a beer fan. Sit close to the coolers and gaze longingly at the 3-quart bottle of Stone products, a full line of Unibroue, Allagash, Lindemanns, and too many more to mention from all over the world, and yes, that does mean Poland, South America etc. As you would expect, a very fine selection of beers in bottle from AZ, CA, OR and WA. Plus a significantly big tap selection that I've been told rotates constantly.

The "wheat wine" with the Papago name was a nicely sweet, with a glorious alcohol-presence and heavy round mouthfeel in every goblet sip.

The server, Melody, and one of her friends at the bar talked to us at length about the various beers on tap, and she even steered me to something I might like better, knowing that I would only be able to sample items for a few hours. She gave me a sip of what I had ordered and then a sip of something she thought I might appreciate more. This is called "exceptional service."

The food was really fine, too, with my "Papago sliders" being a standout among all the food I had in the desert.

A must-visit in AZ for fans of Bukowski, Great Lost Bear, Eli Cannons or the Brickskellar. As I have noted elsewhere, BA's would do themselves a favor and let Gusler know you'll be there. The man is a fount of beer knowledge in that region, even as he faults the place for not brewing the beers with their names on it in house.

ecoboy, May 06, 2003
Photo of GreenCard
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%

I was lucky enough to "discover" this place pretty much immediately after I moved to the area. I had left behind a fantastic couple of places to have great beer and great food. Unfortunately, I don't frequent Papago as much as I used to be because my job moved closer to me (and farther away from Papago).

Anyway, their beer selection is outstanding! A great selection on tap, always something interesting and worth the drive. On top of that, their wall of beer coolers is stocked with a staggering assortment of beers from all over the world. The prices are more than reasonable, especially on the "take out" bottles. I usually have a few beers on tap and always leave with three or four bottles of something new or one of my old favorites.

Their food, though sometimes slow to arrive, is absolutely mouth-watering and immensely satisfying. Great pizzas and sandwiches. Make sure to try the BBQ chicken pizza and/or the vegetarian sandwich (the name escapes me). Unfortunately, they don't have a frier, so having a nice basket of fries with your tasty sandwich is not an option. However, their potato salad is a good alternative.

The bartender's and servers are all very friendly and jovial, really make you feel welcome.

They have four beers of their own on tap, though they are brewed by another brewery. I have tried all but one. The Churchill Wheatwine is quite a treat, but the El Robusto Porter is also quite inviting. In fact, I tried the wheatwine at this year's Strong Ale Festival and it is the reason I was drawn to the brewpub. The very next day.

That's all the good stuff, but I can't leave out the one bit of criticism. The ambience leaves something to desired. The wood furniture, artwork, and general tone is quaint and cozy. But, there is something about the lay-out and the lighting that makes it just slightly uncomfortable. Hard to put a finger on exactly what it is. However, it is certainly a minimal concern. And, anyway, after a few tasty beers, you tend to feel a little more comfortable anyway.

Check their web-site for the monthly beer events and try to go to one of their BJCP tasting "classes". They have/had a "Monk's club" with personalized mugs but it seems they are not accepting new members at the moment.

GreenCard, May 05, 2003
Photo of mzwolinski
4.9/5  rDev +13.7%

30 beers on tap. Hundreds of beers in bottles -- so many that the alphabetical listing on their web page is divided into 5 different links [A-D, E-K ...] so as not to overwhelm the unwary surfer all at once. Papago might be located in the middle of a strip mall, but Famous Sam's it is not.

And back to the tap. There's no artificial inflation here. The draught beers available represent a good portion of Arizona's best microbrews (usually including 3-4 of Papago's own excellent creations), along with a generous sampling of some extremely high quality (and often very difficult to find!) beers from around the world. And since it wouldn't be a truly great brewpub without a few cask-conditioned ales, Papago has 2 of those as well.

The taps rotate frequently, so there are usually several new beers to try every week. The web page lists what's currently on, as well of a calendar of events, of which there are many. Papago is also the only place I've seen to offer regular "beer education" courses, in which students meet once a week to sample, study, and evaluate 5 beers of the evening's style according to the BJCP criteria.

Papago is truly an exceptional establishment. Their own brews are terrific, their selection is terrific, and the staff are all extremely knowledgable about the product. This is easily the best brewpub in the state of Arizona, and, in my experience, one of the premier establishments in the western United States. Highly recommended.

mzwolinski, Aug 25, 2002
Papago Brewing in Scottsdale, AZ
96 out of 100 based on 155 ratings.