Papago Brewing

Papago BrewingPapago Brewing

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

7107 E McDowell Rd
Scottsdale, Arizona, 85257-3315
United States

(480) 425-7439 | map

No longer brewing beer.

Added by mzwolinski

Beers are brewed at / by another brewery.
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Reviews: 138 | Ratings: 174
Photo of KFW
4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
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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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.85/5  rDev +12.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

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.

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Photo of hyuga
4.95/5  rDev +14.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

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!

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Photo of bigbelcher
4.95/5  rDev +14.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

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.

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Photo of bobinverted
4.9/5  rDev +13.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

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!

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Photo of ecoboy
4.7/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

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.

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Photo of GreenCard
4.1/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

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.

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Photo of mzwolinski
4.9/5  rDev +13.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

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.

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Papago Brewing in Scottsdale, AZ
3.76 out of 5 based on 337 ratings.
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