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Gentle Ben's Brewing Company

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Gentle Ben's Brewing CompanyGentle Ben's Brewing Company
2 Ratings
Gentle Ben's Brewing CompanyGentle Ben's Brewing Company

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

865 E University Blvd
Tucson, Arizona, 85719-5046
United States

(520) 624-4177 | map

Many listed beers are identical to the ones brewed at Barrio Brewing Co.

Added by mzwolinski

Beers are brewed at / by another brewery.
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 17 |  Reviews: 11
Reviews by nickfl:
Photo of nickfl
3.28/5  rDev -10.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

A pretty standard looking brewpub right in the middle of the University area of downtown Tucson. The bear theme seems like it might fit in a little better in northern AZ, but otherwise a pleasant enough place. I'm sure it gets pretty packed on weekends, but it was mostly empty on the Wednesday night we were there.

The beer was limited to five or six pretty standard brewpub selections. We tried the IPA and the amber. The IPA was mediocre but the amber was actually kind of bad. On the plus side, the food was better, in particular the carne asada. Not the best Mexican I had on the trip, but it held its own. My girlfriend had a pizza and was quite pleased with it, the crust was particularly good.

Overall, it is a lower end brewpub but if you are tired and hungry (as we were) it will get the job done.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Lobina
4.06/5  rDev +10.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Photo of Ggilber
4.44/5  rDev +21.3%

Photo of Jnelson
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of Chilly_E
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of timlyon
2.25/5  rDev -38.5%

Photo of LXIXME
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Ah, my old college watering hole! This is also where I spent my 21st birthday. A true beer aficionado in the making. This two-story rustic/industrial looking bar/grill is located off University Blvd a hop and skip away from the University of Arizona campus in Tucson. There is a large roof terrace and side patio to the right of the building. When you enter the open air premises, you get a western/saloon feel. There is one U-shaped bar on the first floor and the rest of the area is a large dining area. To the back, you'll see fermenting tanks / VATS where their in-house beers are being brewed. I would guess they'd have between 7-10 offerings on tap along with local brews as well. I used to love their beer batered burgers and fries, but when I returned not too long ago, the quality has gone down hill hence my low ranking on that one. The service is still the same - GREAT and bubbly. There is a larger bar upsairs - mostly open space for dancing and bands during college nights and on the weekends. I recall Thirsty Thursdays and those were the best! $2 beers galore!

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Photo of woodychandler
4/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Standing out front on University, the entry was framed by stained glass with a patio area on the corner with Tyndall. Entering, a couple of cases of logo items were left with the m.d.s. just beyond. The "U"-shaped, polished blonde wood bar was on a slight right oblique with the entry to the patio just beyond. Continuing in from the doorway, a chain saw-carved bear sat in the center line with a line of booths past it and restaurant seating along the left wall and along the University Boulevard windows. Continuing aft, a stairwell left up to the second floor was just before an elevator up to the same place, followed by the lavs all of the way aft. Ascending the same to the second floor, they had a stage, their own bar, plus access to an extensive patio area that ran along both sides of the building. Breweriana lovers rejoice - everything from trays to labels to coasters was on display at some juncture in the building. My friendly exuberant server was Tammy.

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Photo of himmelhuber
2.4/5  rDev -34.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 2 | food: 2

Their brews are decent, specially the Hefeweizen (only brewed in summer) and the oatmeal stout are good. The upstairs patio is the place to go, inside its just the average bar and grill feeling. Upstairs you are alowed to smoke, at the downstairs outside area smoking is not allowed. Waiters are a bit slow and don't know anything about the beers. The food is average, stay away from the Prezels and the Quesadias, the burgers are good do are the wings, make sure to try the beer battered fries. On a Thrusday evening it will be full of undergrads.

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Photo of merryjoulton
4.16/5  rDev +13.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Stopped in for a mid-day beer after lunch at the Indian place next door. Went straight to the bar to order beer, there were only a handful of people there so service was fine. 7 beers on tap, all Gentle Ben's brews, which is plenty in my opinion. We tried the IPA and raspberry ale, both of which were high quality and tasty. Atmosphere is exceptional for a college bar.

I'll have to return and try the food next time, as well as the 5 other beers on tap :). I'm not sure what their availability schedule is as to whether they have seasonal brews or everything is year round, I'll have to look into that as well. Great place to snag an original brew.

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Photo of rxdrewthejew
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Stopped by here yesterday to grab a pint for old times sake.

I guess GB qualifies as U of A's token brewpub on campus. I've always found that the atmosphere really depends on the time of day and the day of the week. If you're looking for a laid back place to grab a beer and some food, this place is awesome on weekdays for lunch. But on the weekends, especially at night, it gets pretty packed with UA students, which is nice as well.

I've always been happy with the service I've gotten there, it's nothing out of the ordinary, but never really had any complaints either. There's seating inside and out, so you can enjoy a nice Tucson winter day on the patio, or escape the heat of a summer day inside.

All beer is brewed in house, and they generally have at least 6 or 7 beers on tap. All the normal American craft brews. Yesterday I had the Copperhead Pale Ale, which was a nice APA. Solid floral/citrus hop flavor, not too much alcohol. In the past I've had the blond and the raspberry ale, which are both fine. Nothing I've had there has been insanely good, but everything is tasty for the style. Looked like they had growlers as well...I don't think they bottle any of their beer.

Food is okay. Burgers are a bit disappointing, but the chicken tenders are good. Actually, everything I've had aside from the burgers have been pretty good.

Prices are fine...typical for Tucson. 4 bucks for a pint, most entrees can be have for around 10 bucks.

If you're in Tucson, this is a worthwhile place to hit up.

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Photo of iron78
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

After a day out hiking in the desert this was an oasis. seemed to have a small bar. but a ton of booths and out door seating. we asked for indoor seating and were sent off to a side. kind of out of sight out of mind of the staff maybe. But really did like the feel of the place.
Huge order of nachos. well done, not soggy like sometimes the case in pubs.
The Copper head pale ale was a nice beer to go with the food. Good hops, but not bitter. and the mocha java stout was a dessert in itself.
a fun stop.

Stopped again this year. Much better service than the previous visit, will update the rating. Again was good food, perhaps best onion rings i've had. What a simple appetizer, but amazing how many places screw them up.

Did a sampler tray. Not a bad beer in them. Still got to say the java mocha is my favorite.

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Photo of PuckLSHS
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Gentle Ben's sits in their new location just outside the gates of University of Arizona quite nicely. I fondly remember the old Gentle Ben's as I walk in the doors and take in the beautiful aroma of cold beer on oddly warm day in February.

Gentle Ben's is one of the better college Breweries that I have been to. The service is excellent, mostly due to everyone working there being college students. There is much eye candy to be had which makes the food and the view just that much better.

The beers are great for what they do. They have a limited audience of people used to Natural Ice and Keystone, but they do well to hit the "unexplored" palate of the modern day college student.

I would highly recommend the fruit beer that they offer. It is definintely better than most that I have had. It is also a great compliment to a warm meal. The nut brown is fantastic also.

Overall, the envrionment, the food and the beauty of the town make Gentle Ben's a definite hit on the "stop here" meter.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

The food here is pretty tasty, though it is not pushing any boundaries, just tasty brew pub grub that hits the spot when you want some food with your beers. The service has been quite good and efficient each of the times I have been here.

The beer here is a cut above average, though with the UofA being so close it is hard for them to be adventurous in a sea of light beer swilling students. The have a new guy in the brewhouse (a former local homebrewer) who is looking to shake things up though. So far he has tweaked a few recipes, making them a whole lot more tasty for the roaming beer enthusiast. Time will only tell if he is able to implement some more tasty changes.

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Photo of HighCarbDiet
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

I like this place. They brew beer, and they serve good food.

Last summer (2003), I sat on the upper deck. What a view. During my one visit this summer, I sat outdoors on the ground level, near the fountain. Not much of a view, but the weather of a Tucson evening is tough to beat. I could still spot some nice, stringy cirrus clouds in the pink evening sky, and as it darkened, the waitress lit a candle for me. Nice.

Gentle Ben's has a solid menu. I started with an order of Buffalo Wings. The "wings" were actually some pretty meaty "drummettes", and there were 8 of them. You have 3 options for sauces: traditional, habanero, and tequila-cilantro. I had the tequila-cilantro, and it was good. Fitting for Tucson. I followed that up with one of the "specials," a carne asada quesadilla. It was good. It came with a side of some tasty, freshly made salsa. I noticed there were quite a few vegetarian options as well, which is often hard to find at places serving quality brews.

The server was on point. She never left me wanting for either food or beer. Plus, like me, she was from Boston, so I got to hear her take on the Northeast vs. the Southwest.

On Fridays, from 4-7pm, upstairs, Gentle Ben's has an all-you-can-eat taco bar. I think I'll be paying that a visit in the near future.

I tried to buy a pint glass, but they were all out. All they had left were some shot glasses, so I passed.

Two of the ladies next to me ordered Miller Lite and Corona. That was upsetting.

I felt like I could hang there for awhile without being bothered...

The food had a nice southwestern slant...

The beer was decent. I'll review those separately. I'll definitely go back.

(Oh yeah, and if you're a single guy, there is definitely some decent eye candy. And I wasn't even there during the school year.)

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Photo of mzwolinski
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5 | food: 4

Located just next to the University of Arizona, Ben's draws heavily from the college crowd for its patronage. This makes for a fun atmosphere, especially on Friday evenings. Happy hour from 4-7PM on the upstairs patio is a great place to mingle and relax -- if you can find a place to sit. Happy hour pints are about $2, and the food is reasonably priced (check their website for a coupon) and solid, though not exceptional.

Unfortunately, the college-atmosphere is also reflected in the selection of beers. Ben's is probably the least adventerous of Tucson's three remaining breweries, tending to avoid some of the more interesting styles of beer in favor of the more popular. That said, they do a good job on what they brew. Their India Pale Ale is a very fine beer, with a strong boquet of Columbus hops and a pleasantly alcoholic strength. Also worthy of note are their Oatmeal stoat and Nut brown ales. With the strong performance Ben's turns in on these standards, it's a shame we don't get the opportunity to see what they can do when they attempt some more complex styles.

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Gentle Ben's Brewing Company in Tucson, AZ
Brewery rating: 3.38 out of 5 with 2 ratings
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