Thunder Canyon Brewery

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Thunder Canyon BreweryThunder Canyon Brewery
224 Ratings
Thunder Canyon BreweryThunder Canyon Brewery

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

7401 N La Cholla Blvd
Tucson, Arizona, 85741-2308
United States

(520) 797-2652 | map

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Added by mzwolinski

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Ratings: 37 |  Reviews: 25
Reviews by BeerDonkey:
Photo of BeerDonkey
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Visited mid May 2008. Thank you fellow BeerAdvocates for the recommendation. In Tuscon for a couple of days for a wedding and wanted to make sure I was able to sample some the local craft beers.

Located in a strip mall. The brewpub is on the northern side of the mall, facing La Cholla Blvd. Nice, dark, but cozy inside eating area. Very clean bathrooms. I chose to eat outside as I wanted to feel some of the heat.

Have 8 or so of their own beers on tap with a good variety. I expected a bunch of wheat beers, the Bock and Strong Ale were a surprise. Tried the Stout, Amber, Bock (my favorite), and Wheat. Overall good beers, not extreme by any means, but solid.

Good prices during Happy Hour: 3$ pints and half off appetizers, 3-7pm every day. Food was good and also reasonable. The best wings I've had in years.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Fee
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

This location is downtown and the only location now that they've closed the one at the mall. Great beer made here and lots of guest taps. Good vibe overall and friendly staff.

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Photo of cbcrunch
3.95/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Photo of jvgoor3786
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Photo of Mothergoose03
3.64/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.25

This was stop #7 along a pub crawl for my wife and I and two friends in the greater Tucson area. This review is for the pub location in DOWNTOWN Tucson. It was only a short ways away from Pueblo Vida, so it was too convenient to just go here on our pub crawl for dinner rather than the main location somewhere in the burbs.

The pub is a large open place with a long bar and a ton of seating. We were seated quickly, and the beer menu and food menu were explained by our efficient server. A 'plus' for this place is that they offer beers (28) from other breweries in addition to their own (12). A second 'plus' is that they had Hopslam available, which I hadn't yet had anywhere (and I'm from Michigan).

We ordered a sampler flight so that we could try some of their beers, but we also added a glass of Hopslam too. So we had 6 of the Thunder Canyon beers, and each was brewed very well to style with a little extra pizazz to them to cause us to score them from a C+ to a B grade. The notables were the Blackout Stout and the Thunder Canyon IPA. (A day later during our pub crawl we found the Thunder Canyon imperial red ale at The Address Brewery, but felt that it was just average.)

Our food was also very tasty here, and we gave it a B+ rating. The menu was a bit more extensive than your typical brewpub food menu, so the beer is not the only reason to come to this brewery. When we're in town again, we'll come back.

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Photo of UtisTheLaw
4.56/5  rDev +15.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Lobina
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of jbjcurly
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of LXIXME
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of UlfAndreas
4.21/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of davekaser
5/5  rDev +26.6%

Photo of timlyon
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of mewanderinghome
4.01/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3

Note these ratings are a combination of the 2 very different locations.

I spent years ignoring this brewery after it opened. It was in a mall in suburbia, had a themed atmosphere, and a name that had me figuring it was some new mall restaurant chain I had no desire to ever bother with. Then after a rare trip to that mall's theater to see a movie in IMAX, the GF and I decided to try a beer there. Well holy crap. Not bad at all.

I wasn't blown away or anything, but it was easily the best local brew over the 2 other existing breweries at the time. Now, there's lots more, and TC doesn't have the absolute best beer, but it's probably still in the top 3. And of the top local breweries, they easily have the largest selection, and a decent sized guest list as well (if you like IPAs, I recommend their Good Vibrations out of the 3 or so of their own that they usually have on tap). They have very reasonable prices, which can turn into EXCELLENT prices during specials they've run. They have since opened a location downtown, and for a while they were running an incredible 50 cent first beer for local card holders, or if you checked in on social media. I don't think that's the case anymore, but I biked down there and took advantage of that on a near-daily basis for a while, combined with some happy hour half-price monster-sized appetizers for dinner. The standard bar fare food is by no means amazing but isn't horrible either. Definitely large portions, if a bit sub-par for my picky ass tastes. Their biggest problem really is the atmosphere. Especially at the downtown location. I've never been into themed restaurants, but at least the mall location manages to be comfortable- the downtown location just feels like sitting at the back of a generic sports-bar warehouse, minus some of the fun things you at least might expect in that sort of location, like pool tables or darts. Or hell, indoor bocce with the space they've got. Have enough of the Good Vibes though, along with often well-curated guest tap choices, and any complaints will soon disappear.. :)

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Photo of Jodi215
3.99/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

While visiting Tucson we looked for a brewery that was close to our campground and found this one. We were pleasantly surprised at how nice it was. Decor was cute, lots of beer trays on walls and rustic looking. Large bar with TVs but not so loud to be annoying. It is attached to a shopping mall which we liked. The quality was excellent as was the service. Very friendly staff. Our dinners were served faster than anywhere I think we've ever eaten. So if your in a hurry this place would work well. I had the fish and chips and it was really good. They let you get a half order which I always like. My husband had the pork shoulder which was really tender and smoky and the BBQ sauce was delicious. Beer selection was a little above average. My husband had a cask IPA and said it was very good. The prices are very reasonable. We would go back next time we're in Tucson.

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Photo of cellardwellersbrew
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of groverj3
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

So, I've been to both of their locations. In a nutshell: downtown has a better beer selection, and the mall location has better food.

Downtown: The beer selection contains many guest taps. They have a pretty good selection of stuff from imports to craft beer from outside the Arizona area (let's face it, Arizona hasn't quite figured out craft beer to the level of my home state, MI). The food was decent, but it's more of a bar than a restaurant. Their brews are OK, and range from bad (I had a wheat ale, which was not very good) to great (Blackout Stout, on nitro, and very smooth). They didn't use appropriate glassware for my Hefeweizen I ordered, but I guess that's kind of minor considering the selection being pretty good.

Mall: Not very big, you might wait a while from a table. If they have guest taps they didn't tell us about them. From what I could tell they only had their own stuff. Which isn't that big of a deal if it's good, but there was a lot of variation. Like I said above, their Blackout Stout is worth trying. The food and service were better though. I think this location is more of a "restauarant" and less of a bar.

It's worth checking out if you're in Tucson!

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Photo of sooner961
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25

This place impressed me in so many ways.

First of all, the space is absolutely massive and is a breath of fresh air from so many breweries I frequent (I'm looking at you every Albuquerque brewery) where I have to fight for a space at the bar, or a table, or a chair. This place had couches, a wealth of tables, and a massive bar. A great use of a space that was probably sitting vacant just waiting for some genius to take advantage of the cheap real estate and convert it into something massive and inspired.

Now to the beer. Muthaeffing kudos to these guys for offering beers besides their own and good ones at that. Lagunitas, New Belgium, Oskar Blues, Odell, and many other craft beer favorites were available on tap. That's great in a lot of ways, as I'm sure I'm not alone in wanting to mix it up from time to time and have tons of options. Wise folks these guys are.

As for the TCB brews, woooowww. These were quite a surprise really. As with many of the other breweries in Arizona, I noticed a lot of adventuresome concoctions and a wealth of sessionable beers. I opted for the sampler and was expecting a few to many misses, which tends to be the case with a lot of average or bad breweries. Well this place is neither average nor bad.

The Good Vibrations IPA: potently hoppy, great floral and citrus nose, and a perfect balance of malt and hops and citrus hints on the tongue with no rough throat feel

Sandstone Cream Ale- just like the name suggests, it was creamy, smooth and with a healthy body. Definitely a good session beer.

Blackout Stout- This was the real showstopper for me. I love stouts and more commonly imperials, but this blew me away. The malt presence and complex nose gave way to an incredibly smooth and flavorful beer. It was subtly sweet, creamy and had a body that was not light, but still would've permitted me to drink 2 or 5.

Orange U Glad- Again, a real surprise here. I was expecting some weak flavor and body and got neither. The nose was heavily citrusy and sweet and drank exactly the same as the flavor remained and with a full body. A lot of times you get a fizzy soda-resembling drink when you order something like this, not here though.

Windstorm Wheat- Ditto much of the Orange U, which was also a wheat. Good body, mildly sweat and wheaty. Another great session beer.

Rillito Raspberry- Like a few of the other beers here, what seemed like a gimmicky joke of a beer turned out to be surprisingly good. This was sweet, but still retained it's beer character and body. I really liked this.

I had a few other beers but can't recall what they were, but nothing here disappoiinted me.

I will definitely return to this place next time I'm in Tucson. Also, I tip my hat to the music, which was quite good.

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Photo of marcotulio
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Their Blackout Stout is one of my favorite beers. I'm also not really into fruit beer, but everyone should try a pint of Rillito Raspberry, a really fun beer. Thunder Canyon's food might be their weakest point, but their beers surely make up for their kitchen's shortcomings.

Be sure to visit them when you're in Tucson, it's a must, and don't forget to take a growler.

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Photo of DonDirkA
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

The beer selection here is nice, of course being a brewery it mostly consists of their beers but that is expected. I love their Blackout Stout and the Barrel & Cask beers are usually an interesting experience (the best I ever had was barrel-aged Bing Bang Ale. Out of this world). The service is usually good, depending on the day and who is working. The worst part is that they recently changed their menu and everything got much more expensive. like $1+ per dish. Doesn't seem like much but it was already high-priced brewery food before, now its a bit silly.

The beer is still $4 like always though. (Or if you're like me, $2 after 7pm sun-wed)

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Photo of t0rin0
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Visited 3/3/2011 with the Ratebeer Winter Gathering.

The place is located in a busy shopping center and has lots of tables. The place is very open and comfortable.

The beer is all at least decent and covers a wide range of styles. Of course they have the standard styles (cream, hefe, amber, pale), a fruit beer, and even a barrel aged beer (imperial porter).

There was one server for the whole lot of us (15 or so) and she was new and didnt know much about the beer. However she tried and when she didnt have an answer she went to find out. She even put up with the losers that are the beer geeks.

The food as pretty good albeit a bit over priced. Might stop back for dinner and a sample of beer or two.

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Photo of Naugled
3.33/5  rDev -15.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Not a bad mall brewery at all. Atmosphere is mostly your typical breweriana stuff, trays, posters and other items. Rebar and stone used to decorate most of the place, didn't quite get it, but it did seem to work well together. Had an indoor and out door bar and seating. Seating is a mix of tables and booths.

We got a sample to try the beers. They had at least a dozen beers on tap including a guest beer. It was quite a selection. They list the IBU's and ABV's for the beer geeks, but other than that I couldn't find very good descriptions of the beers. For instance they had two IPAs but they couldn't really explain the difference between them. The beers were all better than average quality, and we were pleased with them all excluding the fruit flavored beers.

Service was adequate, but not outstanding. Beers available on tap were listed on a few signs around the place but from where we were sitting we couldn't see any of them.

Food was typical pub grub, but decent I would definitely go back for the food alone.

Value was good. They seem to offer many beer specials for happy hour and for different days of the week and for lunch. I liked that part a lot.

A very decent brewpub for a mall location, I would frequent again the next time I'm in town.

 1,265 characters

Photo of LittleDon
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Appearance wise, this could be any theme eatery in the US. I sat inside, since it was 108 the day I was in Tucson. It is located in a mall with outside access. Expect to share your outing with families waiting to see a movie next door and few, if any, beer aficianados. The beers I had were all very good to excellent. Aside from the pedestrian atmosphere, the low point was the waitstaff's beer knowledge. I'd suggest talking to the beertender if you want to know more about what you're drinking. Selection is limited to what they brew, but what I had was good. Food gave me an upside surprise. Very tasty.

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Photo of merryjoulton
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5

Atmosphere is very pleasing, lots of beer related decorations which are very much appreciated for me. Also some local references to give it a hometown flair. I had the Little DIPA which was an excellent beer. I hope to go back soon to sample the rest of their brews because I was incredibly impressed with their take on an imperial IPA. Service was fine, had no beer questions so I'm not sure what the waitresses knowledge base was nor do I care. Selection was good, there must have been at least 8-10 original beers on tap. Food was mediocre at best, I shared their two napkin pork sandwich and it was dry and bland. The beer bread it was served on was good though. The menu was pretty substantial so I'm not going to write off all their food yet before trying some other menu items.

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Thunder Canyon Brewery in Tucson, AZ
Brewery rating: 3.55 out of 5 with 224 ratings