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Papago Brewing

Not Rated.
Papago BrewingPapago Brewing
BEER AVG
3.89/5
Based on:
8 Beers
277 Ratings
Place Score: 95
Ratings: 162
Reviews: 137
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: n/a
Taps: 30
Bottles: --
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:
Place added by: mzwolinski

Beers are brewed at / by another brewery.

No notes at this time.
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 162 | Reviews: 137
Photo of PCaravan
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

If you're looking for something and haven't found it yet this may be the place to go. I've never seen a selection quite like this. I'll estimate that they had something like 40 beers on tap, some of which were their own. In the bottle in a big showcase for you to look over, I was told was over 500 different beers. You're just not going to find that anywhere else. I didn't try the food though. I was in visiting from out of town on a Sunday and got there a little before 8 and was told the kitchen closed at 7 on Sundays. Overhearing some of the customers conversations I'm guessing this is a local beer conesiur hang out since everyone there seemed to know there beer and be able to talk about it intelligently. At about the same time I made note of that, I looked around and noticed that not one person in the hole place seemed to be drinking macroswill. I asked the bartender about this and his responce was "We don't want to continate our beer lines with that shit but have some in the bottles for the straglers" a customer told me they used to have a sign over the bar that read "For a Bud Light, Go Next Door" (another bar).

I look foward to the next time I'm in town and I'll make sure to not go in so late.

Photo of UberWasser
4.83/5  rDev +12.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

As soon as I found out that I had reason to be in Phoenix last weekend I hopped on BeerFly to see what was what. I read about Sun Devil and Top's Liquors, Sonora Brewing, Papago and others. Papago happened to be the most convenient so I chose to make a visit.

It is situated a short way away from the picturesque Camel Back mountain range in Scottsdale, AZ. More particularly, it lies in the upscale Papago shopping center, amongst a collection of other red-stuccoed store fronts, somewhat hidden behind a decorative pillar. You would probably need to know where it was if you wanted to try the place, as it'd be hard to just stumble upon.

Once its found, you walk through the front door and find yourself looking across a long, thin, single room. To your left lies a few games and a section framed by short walls and a ramada-esque structure where tables and a large screen TV lie. To your right and front, tables line the wall where shelves holding some interesting bottles of wine rest. Further back, another row of tables split what equates to a pair of beer heavens. On the right side, the bar...not special in itself...but behind it is a line of 30 tasty tapped imported and domestic/local craft beer waiting for your love. To the left, a collection of cooler doors wrap around a corner. Within them lies a great collection of beers, probably 400 or so choices. Some macro stuff, a good selection of British, Belgian and German beers, some imported offerings from other countries, and lots of local and domestic craft beers. Some stuff I have never seen elsewhere, even at the great beer stores in Tucson. The decor consists of metal and neon beer signs, numberous used tap handles lining the shelf tops, and a large, whimsical monk statues. Simple, but the atmosphere is greatly enhanced by the "good beer vibe" that few places can really accomplish.

Of their tap seletion, I tried the house contract brewed El Rojo Diablo and, after eating, enjoyed an Avery Twelve Saison. The first was served in a traditional British pub-style Imperial pint glass, and the second was served in a tulip. Both were served at a nice temp, were really fresh and were poured with a great head. Both were a very reasonable $3.70, as were all of our draft beers.

Of their bottle selection I picked up a mixed sick pack of Sierra Nevada Porter, Left Hand Milk Stout, Dogfish Raison d'Etra, North Coast Old Stock Ale '04, Full Sail Rip Curl and Anchor Liberty, as well as a bomber of Alaskan Smoked Porter. The prices, again, were very good. They have a policy of a flat price for their mixed six packs, so all of the 12's I got added up to $7.99 plus tax. Some places I have seen North Coast Old Stock for $3.50 per 12oz, so that alone is a steal. And the Alaskan was $4.99. So I got out of there with lots of beer in stomach and hand with plenty of dough still in my wallet.

Speaking of a full stomach, the food was good too. I had a muffalleta that was stacked with good meats and cheese, had a great house olive spread and some really nice crispy italian bread. It was served with a bag of Poore Brothers potato chips, your choice of style, which is a nice change of pace from the usual greasy pub fries.

To top all of these positives off, the service was great as well. It was a fairly busy Saturday evening but we never waited for long for our food or new beers, everything was served in clean, correct glasswear and everyone was friendly and knowledgeable. One girl in particular highly suggested Alaskan after I asked about the price, and was also able to describe to me the Old Ale style, which was new to me at the time, and even suggested that, though it would be delicious now, it was great for aging. I read here later and found that she was accurate.

In summary, great freakin' beer bar! Their contract brewed beers are very tasty, they have a great selection of quality guest beers, and their selection of drink in or carry out bottles is fantastic. On top of that, the food is good, the atmosphere is relaxing, and the people are smart, helpful and pleasent. If I lived closer I would be there all the time...since I don't, I'll settle for a pint or two whenever I'm in Phoenix. And per the recommendtion of another reviewer, I'll let Gusler know that I'll be there next time around, haha!

Photo of stangelj
4.05/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Tried out Papago Brewing for dinner on a Friday night while in town for the 2006 Barrett Jackson auction. It was quite busy but we only had to wait about 5 minutes for a table to free up. I was staying at the Best Western Hotel and Papago Brewing is in the strip mall less than a block from the hotel. It was nice to be able to walk back to my room afterwards. I started with a Dogfish Head Raisin D' Etre on tap (not impressed) and then had a Rochefort 10 (one of my favorites). 2 strong beers and that was quite enough.

The food was good and the service was exceptional, with the very friendly server stopping by chat every so often. She also complimented us on our good taste for choosing the Rochefort (brownie points for that). Beer selection is outstanding with about 30 beers on tap and a huge cooler full of bottles for consumption on-site or to carry out.

My only complaint, and unfortunately it's a big one, which is why I rated atmosphere and quality lower, is the very heavy smoke in the air. I didn't feel I could properly taste the beers given the assault on the senses from the smoke. After a while I kind-of got used to it, but left smelling like the proverbial ashtray. Perhaps it would not be so bad on a week-night when not so busy. It's the kind of place I'd go every day if the air quality was better, but as it is when I'm in town again, I'll probably drop by and try it on a less busy night.

Photo of joedon
4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Based on the BA reviews, I had high expectations for this place. I was not disappointed, in fact, Papago lived up to or exceeded the reviews. A really great place to hang out and drink beer. The only drawback is the high percentage of smokers in the bar.

Wide selection of mostly rotating taps. The "house beers" were very good although not brewed on premises. Actually, this establishment should be listed among "beer bars" since there is no brewing done and the house beers are contracted anyway.

I had two excellent IPAs (Stone and Hopfather) and a dopplebock I had never tasted before (Weihanstephan).

If you are in the Phoenix area, make an effort to patronize Papago Brewing!

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

A MUST STOP !!!

Easy to find from anywhere in the area in Phoenix. Just look out for the strip of stores to the right as you drive past the car dealerships if traveling East. Papago Brewing is in a strip of stores with an indigenous SouthWest vibe. A neon sign lights up the joint at night. Tables in the front. Big cold box selection of bottle take out to the left in the back and the bar in the back to the right. Inside gets a little smokey. I wish that they had an outdoor area.

Mad BA props for the fact that theysell take out AND they have 30 awesome taps. Hardly a loser in sight. Also, props for the UP TO DATE beer menu in with the food menu. Forget the part that their bers are contract brewed off premise.

Service was great! Not an empty glass for all in the place on a Wednesday night. Friendly folks who totally pegged us beer geeks.

Selection garners a finskie due to the 30 great taps and huge take out single bottles that are reasonably priced. Heck! Cheap! Tons of Belgians, Lambics, Guezes, Alesmith, Avery, North Coast, Great Divide, odd ball locals that are not within my vocabulary. I snagged an Electric Dave IPA and got a great story about him from Guezedude.

A co-worker and I split that curry pizza which was killer. Like 5 beers and a pizza that was dinner for two of us was $23! Cheap! No wonder this is on the top of the list.

Last call: Parking is plenty. Easy to find. Even the biggest beer geek will smile here. Tons of rare and quirky beers. If you lived near here, you'd be a trading fool!

Could you take your Mother here? Heck nope! Too smokey and loud, but go with a brethren beer bud and ya can't go wrong!

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Papago is pretty darn easy to find on McDowell in the shopping plaza. Unsure how this is a brewpub since nothing is brewed on site.

The atmosphere could potentially become quite smoky, but at the time of our visit it was not. 30 drafts and 1 cask with coolers full of bottles. I read somewhere 400 bottles, but somehow the selection seemed a bit less than that although quite well selected. The beers all seemed to be well cared for, but some of the draft selections were a bit on the boring side.

The place is raw wood and beer decor. The bar area was a smokestack so we chose the screen area. The service was darn near a 5.0 and the selection darn near it as well. The food, while basic, was very good and the pizza very tasty.

I'd certainly head back again, with 30 decent taps, 400 bottles and carry out beer, how could you ever go wrong?

Photo of Longstaff
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

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.

Photo of brewandbbq
4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

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.

Photo of belgianjunkie
3.04/5  rDev -29.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5

I hit Popago while visiting my brother in the Phoenix area. He knows I'm a Belgian beer fanatic and introduced me to their big fridge of Belgian goodness. The selection is excellent for an American bar; you find beers here that are virtually impossible to find at other bars (though beer stores do sell them on occasion). One impressive find is that they had Grottenbier on tap which I'd never seen outside of Belgium, and it's indeed better served from the tap than the bottle- a bit more mellowed and creamy.

I'll also give them props for carrying on the dying courtesy of not charging for the beer that blows the tap- my first Grottenbier was the last of the tap, and he handed it over for free. The second tasted far better, but the free one tasted just fine for the price. This part of the experience is why, despite some of the lower scores I've given, I'd recommend this bar.

However, they lose points for service because the new waitress had poured the entire contents of a Trappist Rochefort 8 into the glass, silt and all (a serious no-no). For my second bottled beer (a different dark, silt-laden brand), I asked her not to pour it all in, but as I was watching her at the bar, the owner- a very nice guy who knows his beer and should know better, told her to pour most of it, swirl the bottle, and then pour the rest in as though it were a Hoegaarden (again, serious no-no for dark beers with dregs). I motioned to her (alright- I was flailing around with a look of horror on my face) and asked her if I could just pour it myself, and that solved that.

Quality also gets lower marks, because the Trappist Achel I'd purchased was four months past its due date. I may be partially at fault for getting it out of the fridge and bringing it to them to serve me without checking the date first, but in the ideal setting they shouldn't be available for purchase if they've expired. And unlike some beers that age well, I soon discovered that Achel doesn't. They also don't serve the more exotic beers in their corresponding goblets which is forgivable, but you'd figure if Popago can get the beers to serve, they'd go the extra distance and get all of the proper glassware as well.

But, all of this aside, it's a good place. Not nearly as fancy as the beers in the fridge might suggest. It's a cool, spread-out, above-grade dive bar with laid back clientelle- mostly couples and twenty- to thirty-somethings. Good music, TVs, a couple of video games, and a decent sized bar. The Belgian beer selection is impressive: most Trappists (save Westvleteren which is easily understandable), and some really hard to find ones like Affligem's Noel ale, and others I'm hard-pressed to remember. A fine bar experience, and a much smoother one if you stick with middle of the road beers to avoid complex service issues.

Addendum on 9/07/05: BA member bigbelcher has pointed out that the "owner" I mentioned above would most likely not be the founder/main owner Ron. Though I'm sure the guy that night said he was an owner, from what I've heard about Ron, it wasn't him. And I gotta say it once more- all in all, it's a good place and I'll give it another shot the next time I'm in town- just not the best experience that first time around, and I had to call it as I saw it.

Photo of Gusler
5/5  rDev +16%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

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!

Photo of SidSales
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

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!

Photo of Mumbly
4.85/5  rDev +12.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

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.

Photo of kaszeta
4.81/5  rDev +11.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

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.

Photo of Crosling
4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

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?

Photo of jrancan
4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 5

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).

Photo of Loki
4.6/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

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!

Photo of arizcards
4.63/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

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.

Photo of fattyre
4.94/5  rDev +14.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

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.

Photo of tavernjef
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

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!

Photo of KingSlender
4.22/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

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!

Photo of ChappyCubsFan
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

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.

Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

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.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

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.

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

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.

Photo of KFW
4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

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).

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Papago Brewing in Scottsdale, AZ
95 out of 100 based on 162 ratings.