Papago Brewing

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Papago BrewingPapago Brewing
Very Good
349 Ratings
Papago BrewingPapago Brewing

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

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

(480) 425-7439

// CLOSED //

No longer brewing beer.

Added by mzwolinski

Beers are brewed at / by another brewery.
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Ratings: 177 |  Reviews: 140
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

stopped in Tuesday 3/20 just as they opened. does not begin serving food until 4pm. very spacious and decorated with tap handles from all over. their beers are brewed at Sonoran with their own brewers, however. the beers were exceptional. started with a cask conditoned Hopfather IPA served from the beer engine. the orange blossom was also quite tasty, and i say that not being a big fan of the style. after a couple others, it was 4pm and time for wings and their stout, which was an inherited recipe from the defunct Badersnatch. both were great. service was outstanding. Nick was a wealth of information and cool to talk with. i ran into him 2 days later at a Pepper concert and had a shot of Jager! next time i am in AZ for spring training i will stop here a few times. i heartily recommend this place!

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Photo of xymyl
3.85/5  rDev -10.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

I love this place, and I hate this place. Really, the hate is almost entirely due to the smoke. Every time I've been here it has been smokey, and that just destroys all the great beer you're drinking. Great selection on tap and in the bottle. I've never been a party guy at any point in my life, so when people around me start acting like they are at a party it makes me feel depressed. I don't drink to get depressed, I drink because I love good alcohol. And who was the dork that thought beer beer and cigarrettes were the perfect pairing?

Oh well, as with most things in life, you must deal with the bad to get the good. I will be back, I will be happy to be drinking good beer, later that night I will be sad because smoke and/or kids ruined my beer.

I still recommend the place, you should try it at least once, as I already said, there are enough positives that I'll be back as well.

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Photo of Gatch
3.3/5  rDev -23.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Edit: Visited again on 3/30. Complete 180 from the first visit, although I've been a couple times in between now and the date of this review. Keep in mind, this is hours after I went, so I've had time to cool off, and I still feel the same way. The service has always been half-ass here, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt. When you go, Nick has to be the bartender, because he's the only one who cares. All 3 of the "bartenders" who were working don't understand social interaction. The two chicks were clueless about everything and didn't belong in the bar, and the guy just went through the motions.

If I didn't have to run to work, I was gonna talk to the owner, but I'm sure that would have taken 30 minutes like our food. It wasn't 30 minutes total either. 15 minutes went by and she said she put the order in. Then she said she put it in 2 more times and it took 30 more minutes. The food was decent, but one of the guys who I was with said it was better last time. The beers were the only bearable part of the visit. Even that was lackluster though, because the draft list was very limited compared to the other times I've been there and wasn't updated at all. I'm not sure they know the names of certain beers either, because the last two they've had on tap from Rogue, the names aren't even close to what they really are and neither are the styles. They serve the beers way too cold as well. Every beer we drank, we had to let them sit at least 15 or 20 minutes before drinking them. That killed the experience.

The atmosphere finally got to me too. You always leave smelling like smoke, and this was at 4 in the afternoon. You'd have to burn your clothes if you stay for 5 minutes on a Friday or Saturday night. Going back to the service, again, unless Nick is working, you might as well go fill your own beer up and get your own food. Not only can you do it better than the employees, but you won't have to deal with attitudes. The last couple times I've been there, the bartenders weren't great either, besides him. I have a feeling the owner knows the bartenders personally, so he gives them some leeway and probably doesn't care how they act towards customers. The selection has always been good. If you don't like what's on tap, there are a bunch of coolers with great beers, which are always clean and organized. But $3.75 for a 12oz. bottle of Deschutes Inversion IPA? Are you serious? I won't be going to Papago for a while. I would love to bring my dad here in late May, but even by then, I would be skeptical about bringing him here. It's a good place, but very inconsistent. That seems to be the trend in the entire Phoenix area.

End of rant/edit. (Had to shorten my original review to fit.)

They always have about 20 taps and a cask to choose from, which you can tell they rotate all of them normally because there are tap handles all around the bar in the wooden beams and they're always busy, especially on weekends. The crowd on these nights is fairly young, from lower 20's to mid 30's. We were there at 2pm on Friday, right when it opened, which was great because we had great service and the locals were there and it made a good atmosphere, other than the smoke.

The beer is amazing. About 1/3 of the draft list is their own beer. I had their Little Brother (Abbey Dubbel), Hopfather (IIPA), El Robusto (Baltic Porter), the Procrastinator Doppelbock, and a taste of the Hop Knot, which was a nice change from the typical IPA. It was very citrusy, mainly grapefruit and very hoppy, but something about it was different. All of the beers were unbelievable. I also had the Avery/Russian River Collaboration Ale, which was crazy good.

Not only do they have incredible draft beers, but 8 coolers of great beers, which were extremely clean and organized. The left 3 coolers are all European while the right 5 were all American craft. They had some stuff I had never seen before. They concentrate on 15 or 20 breweries, but the great thing is, almost all of the great beers from each brewer are there. When I say that, I mean almost everything. Close to 10 beers from Avery, New Belgium, Left Hand, Sierra Nevada, and a bunch more. They also let you drink what you buy in the bar and supply you with the proper glasses. It was cool to see people buy a bottle, sit down, and enjoy it right there.

You can also buy growlers for $7 and then a $10 fill-up on most beers. They use a fresh hose every time, which I appreciate. They don't let you fill growlers with high ABV beers, naturally. I bought a growler tonight and I plan on filling up on a lot of their beer since you can't buy it in stores. Every time I go in to fill a growler, I always leave w/ either a mixed 6-pack or a couple bombers because their coolers have such an incredible selection.

I have all my friends going to this place now and they come back telling me how great it is. Good food, beer, bottles, & conversation. Name it and you have it at Papago.

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Photo of Fireboy
4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Tried out Papago on my last night in the Phoenix area last week. If you want variety then this is your place. They had about 30 beers on tap, many of which I haven't seen here in the mid-Atlantic area. They also had maybe 100-150 (rough guess) bottles and cans in a cooler for take-out or to enjoy in the bar including Full Sail LTD Bottling No. 1 which got an "A" rating from Jason and Todd in this months mag.

We had 2 bartenders taking care of us, one of whom knew her beers quite well and was great to talk with. I asked about the Norwegian (?) cask IPA and was told that she thought it was very light for an IPA, and it was! Both ladies were quick to offer a sample as we pondered what to drink next. We had no service issues.

I was a bit disappointed with the Little Brother, as it was a bit less sweet than I expect from a dubbel, but it was very drinkable. The El Robusto baltic porter was thick and dark and yummy. I thought it was a nice rendition of the style. Lastly I tried (sampled) the Hop Dog and Hopfather together. The Hop Dog was a nice drinkable well balanced IPA and the Hopfather had a nice citrus hop flavor, but was a little less malty than I prefer. All the drafts tasted fresh well handled.

The only thing that I can think of that would make the place better would be to make it smoke free, but since I think you can buy cigars there, I don't see that happening anytime soon. Sorry smokers, but it just makes it hard to enjoy the aroma of the beer when I'm smelling a Macanudo with my hops.

All in all I found Papago to be an above average, very enjoyable place. I'm looking forward to my next trip to Phoenix.

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Photo of pjeagles
3.49/5  rDev -18.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5

On our recent beer trip to Arizona we made a point to book a room at the Best Western located next to the strip mall housing Papago Brewing.

You forget you are in a strip mall upon entering Papago, as the interior is combination frat house, beer sign decor and the beer fridge you always have in your dreams. This is the kind of place I would rather drink my beer in than an "upscale" place.

The selection consisted of about 30 taps, and I promptly ordered the Aromatherapy, a fresh hopped IPA brewed by Papago. My girlfriend wanted the Four Peaks Hop Knot but the keg had just kicked, and I guess they had no backup keg. She went with the Hop Dog IPA instead. Both beers left us wondering where the hops were...true we had a keg of Bridgeport for our New Year's party, but jeez, it was only Bridgeport! We should be able to find some trace of hops there! The Hopfather Imperial IPA was a bit better, but still lacking the punch I desired.

The prices were great, since I found a 2 for 1 draft coupon in the Scottsdale phone book.

The only real downfall came in the service. There were two bartenders, both working a fairly busy crowd when we first got there. The guy bartender helped us promptly and with a smile during the busy time and later when it had slowed down. Also though, in the slow time, I asked the female bartender for a taste of the Mandarin Hefeweizen. No problem. She looks at me and says, "Sooo?" I replied, "I don't think that one's for me, could I try the Port Brewing Sharkbite?" She doesn't say a word, just ROLLS HER EYES and gets me the sample! Maybe she was having a bad night, I don't know, but I was kind of taken aback.

Despite this, we left satisfied overall with Papago, and the selection would draw me back for a return visit.

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Photo of
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

As others have commented, not much to look at from the outside. A store in a strip mall, which would be very easy to drive by.

Atmosphere is comfortable. Wood tables and walls, with lots of beer paraphenalia everywhere. Jukebox with some decent music, some games (darts and video golf), and a couple of TVs were available. Smoking allowed near bar.

Quality of both the beer and the food was fine. I opted for some guest taps, so I can't comment on Papago beers.

Service was prompt and friendly. I was only sitting a few minutes before the bartender stopped by and took my beer order. I blinked and he was back with it. Food service was equally quick.

Selection was impressive. I was determined to go with on-tap beers, and I had 30 to pick from. My choices were a Reaper Deathly Pale Ale with the meal, and a Port Old Viscosity for dessert. Bottles were abundant, and included a nice selection of German and Belgian brews, Stone, Alesmith, DFH, Avery, Port, Moylans, Alaska, and Reaper, to name a few.

The food was better than average pub fare. I had a decent caprese salad, and a club. No complaints about any of it.

All in all, looked like a great place to waste an afternoon or evening. Beer selection was sure to please almost anyone, the food was good, and the pricing seemed quite reasonable. I will certainly go back next time I am in Phoenix.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.66/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

I was really curious about Papagos after i read that it made the 2006 Top 50 Places list. Located in an adobe decor plaza; pretty easy to find. Atmosphere was woody and a little bit on the darkside (which i would look forward to if it were 120 degrees outside...thankfully it was only 88). I am immediately comforted by brewania from numerous well known purveyors of american craft brewing. I pay homage to the two life size ceramic Papago idols then i am drawn strangely to "the light" from the large refrigerator in the back corner mere steps from the bar. I'm doing a sort of double take as i near because i can see that the bar has over two-dozen taps but the labels from the beers in the frig (500?) are some that i've only read about...and they win my attention. Holy cow! i can only hope that my hotel has a frig.

Anyway, the bartender was very knowledgeable and attentive. On tap were an amazing selection of Western/Southwestern craft brews. I was anxious to try a few from the "Home Team". I was fortunate enough to be there for the the Fresh Hopped Aromatherapy that was tapped only days before. I mean "Wow"!! I did a compare with a pint of their Hop Father, which i think is a I2PA. The I2PA was very good and it would be my choice again when the Aromatherapy ran out. This is way out for me, first drawn to the bottles before the drafts then to pick two IPAs when my preferred styles are barleywine & stout. Not sure what came over me, but i like it.

The thing that kills me is that i didn't buy the 22oz of Old Numbskull because of the ban on liquids on aircraft...then to find out later that the rooms at the Golf Resort had refrigerators (missed opportunity). Papagos is the place to hit for Advocates visiting the PHX, AZ area.

This written as much as a review of Papagos' at it is a quick summary of my whirlwind Phoenix, AZ area trip two weeks ago. For a little perspective... after having done the 10+ hour flight_enormous bag-drag_rental car drill, I made a bee-line for a meal at Four Peaks, then popped over for a few pints at Papagos, then made the 50 minute drive (traffic) to Pinnicle Peak Patio (Sonoran Brewing) before heading back south to check-in to my hotel in Mesa (Day One). Day Two, my customer chose Gordon Beirsch for dinner and Day Three was an hour at BJ's after work waiting for traffic to subside then to Sonora's Brewpub, near the airport, for dinner.. back to upstate NY the next day. I get that Phoenix is blessed with a target rich environment... can't wait to visit Tuscon.

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Photo of gonzo138
4.72/5  rDev +10%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

A- fairly small, mostly wood western looking decor, tap handles strewn about the top rafters, actual bar is a bit small, but there are plenty of tables. Beer signs and mirrors decorate the walls, across from the bar is a well maintained, a little too brighly lit beer cooler, next too the table where I sat there were a pile of board games, didn't see anyone playing them but it was a nice touch

Q- top of the line, 30 excellent beers off tap, and many more choices in the cooler, all draughts (at least the ones me and me friends tried) were fresh and well maintained

S- bartender was freindly and knowledgeable, servers were a little less than attentive at times, but is was fairly busy when I went in, so I'll let that slide

S- plenty 30 on tap, and tons more in bottles, they said they usually have one beer in cask, they didnt when I came in, I was a little dissapointed, but they are having a "real ale fest in a month so they can make it up to me then

F- a little pricey (it is scottsdale though), saw a few people around me enjoying pizza, looked good, didnt try it though, next time

all in all, an excellent beer bar, plan to return many, many times

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Photo of pretzel
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

There's no better place in the Phoenix Metro area to taste a wide variety of world class beer. I've visited twice in the last few months and found the bartender to be a bit laid back but friendly. The manager was very attentive and even the chef stopped by and asked about my food (the Mediterranean pizza was excellent with an oaked arrogant bastard). The prices are the lowest I've seen anywhere. The bottle selection is superb and they will fill your cooler up with ice for free (a necessity in the hot Phoenix summers). Haven’t tried the house Papago Brewed beers, but look forward to returning to make my way down their long line of taps. I only wish I lived within walking distance.

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Photo of yemenmocha
3.4/5  rDev -20.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 1 | selection: 5 | food: 2.5

1. best beer draught selection in the Phoenix area. Good tap selection that rotates often, perhaps almost too often. The selection is usually nicely geared for the right seasons as well, though you can get dopplebocks in the warmer months and wheats in the winter!

2. bottle selection is amazing as well. Many hard to find beers are available, and usually in stock when you want them.

3. quality of beer is top notch. With only a few exceptions, all of my beers have been fresh, including the bottles. Kegs don't last long here so you know it's a fresh tap.

4. prices for draught beers are very, very reasonable. No gouging here for more elusive beers, including the belgians on tap. If you want to get gouged for a belgian on tap then go somewhere like Yardhouse.

5. Beer decor is nice. While there is a lot more to what constitutes atmosphere (people, for instance), I like the decor in here. The tap handles and monk statues are great.

1. Atmosphere - rowdy college campus like feel to it. Very, very noisy. If there's a game on TV sometimes you would swear a fight is about to break out. I know this says more about the people that frequent this place than the place itself, but really the two are the same. When you go here this is your "experience" of the place. Maybe I'm getting old and this aspect doesn't bother the typical BA.

2. Service - I've been here many times (the beer selection is great!) but I often manage to get the server who never notices me. I've also encountered a few people who don't know the draugh menu well.

3. Beer Menu - the menu on the web isn't updated often enough. I've made several "special" trips to Papago only to find the beer ran out, even though the web said it was in right before I left. Running such a website is a double edged sword - convenient, yes, but disappointing if you come in for the SamiClaus listed on tap that isn't there anymore.

4. Food - Maybe my palate is off, but the pizza could be better. It has a pre-prepped character too it. I'm not sure why some of the other reviewers compare it to "gourmet" pizza places.

So, for the beer alone, Papago can't be beat. If you're a bit older and the other factors matter then I recommend trying this place during the day, preferably on a weekday. Don't get me wrong - normally it's a clear "5's" place when they have this sort of selection, and I give them credit for that, but there's more to an establishment than the selection alone.

**last review July 06
**update October 07...

Gave them another try to see how things have changed. After the no-smoking law went into effect it is more pleasant as far as atmosphere goes - no smoke and more quiet. Service was bad, again, and I just can't believe I have such bad luck with this place.

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Photo of bennetj17
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Decided to drive up to Scottsdale after seeing this place was #7 for places to have beer in the US. It didn't disappoint. The place is dimlit and well decorated with breweriana. Very cozy and not particularly busy at the time I was there. I started out with a Snake Dog IPA, which normally I probably wouldn't order, except it was on cask. Excellent! I could have drank it all day except I had others to try. Next was a Titan IPA then a Hopfather which was a house selection. I guess it was IPA day for me. These and the rest of the tap selection were very comprehensive not only of west coast brews, but also Belgians and more. The food was superb also, and not overly expensive. The sliders were prepared with tender beef medallions and wonderful French bread, and the pretzels and other appetizers were great also. I went a a little crazy over the vast bottle selection, as you could get whatever you want to take home. There were some real gems like Oak Aged Yeti, Speedway Stout, Cantillon Saint Lamvinus, and more, and even a few that I can't find in my neck of the woods like Fantome. I would recommend this establishment to anyone...

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Photo of MagicHatter23
5/5  rDev +16.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

After reading several reviews here on BeerAdvocate I decided it was time to take the trip up to Papago Brewing Co with the gf in tow. We went on a Tuesday evening so as to avoid the weekend crowds. The first thing I saw when we walked in was a larger than life size plaster monk (the beer brewing type I'm assuming) smiling like a Buddha with his eyes closed. If I lived in this place I'd probably look like that too. We grabbed a table and were greeted immediately by John. First round was an Orange Blossom hefe for the gf and I started off with a Houblon Chouffe tripel. We also ordered the Bavarian pretzels as an appetizer. Pretzels were soft, warm, and salty and came with some of the grooviest mustard I've ever had. I finished my Houblon and after browsing the bottle selection I cracked open a Trappist Rochefort #8 that I'd been wanting to try for a long time. Needless to say - it was tremendous. I had a nice little belgian beer buzz happening when our Mediterranean Chicken pizza arrived. The pizza was killer - easily the same quality and flavor as anything from a "gourmet" pizza place. Somewhere during the pizza I ordered a Great White witbier from Lost Coast brewery which, although not as tasty as Hoegaarden, hit the spot while finishing the pizza. By the time the gf finally finished her huge hefe I was ready for another trip to the cooler. I somehow convinced her that we should split a bottle of Stone's Russian Imperial Stout, knowing full well that she wouldn't like it and that I would have to quaff it all myself. The beer was outstanding but the gf needed something less potent. I explained what she likes to John who promptly returned with a glass of Guiness mixed with Framboise lambic. I'd guessed it was something like that because the foam on top was pinkish white - very cool. She loved the concoction and I thought it was quite tasty as well. Great call on John's part. The tab for a night of delicious beer and food was somewhere around 50 bucks but worth every penny. Papago is the best bar I've ever been in - rockin music, laid back atmosphere, a giant monk by the front door, an unbeatable selection of beer, top quality pizza, knowledgable and friendly staff, a giant monk by the front door...Definitely a place worth returning to time and time again.

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Photo of BeerGoodness
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 2

While living in Phoenix for 2 years I spent a good portion of that time here. Mind you it was good enough to drive nearly 30miles.

Both the customers and employees are wonderful. This is a very friendly pub to come share stories or get that famous bar advice. Nothing is better knowing after a couple you can walk there refrigerators and bring home treats (hard to find beers from around the US and world) like you were at a candy store.

I can't mention any one beer because the variety is enormous and I only have 5000 characters to work with. I truly miss this place now that I am back in California.

With all the wonderful things to talk about they do need to focus some attention on the food. The appetizers are great but having dinner here may not meet your needs.

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Photo of Philby11111
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3

An oasis in the desert.

I stopped in for an evening of craft brews while I was in Phoenix for a conference last week. Great draft selection, 30+ quality brews including a cask (Avery IPA when I was there).

Bottle selection was extensive and included many Belgians and west coast microbrews. These were displayed cooler style and were also available to go.

Atmosphere is sports bar-ish, large screen TV and many individual wood tables. The food was okay, pub fare, sandwiches etc. Hailing from New York,I was scared to try the "baked" hot wings. No self respecting New Yorker would ever consider baking his buffalo wings.

All in all, its a great place and I'd stop there again.

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Photo of seedee17
4.64/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Finally, a great beer bar that's relatively close to where I live. By relative I mean a 40 minute drive, but that's how far you drive to get to a lot of things in the Phoenix area. Like 80% of the people who live in the area, I am not a native. I moved here from the east coast (PA), and I have been in search of a great beer bar like Monk's in Philadelphia, or the Blind Tiger or Spuyten Duyvil in NYC. The bar, located in a strip mall like everything else here, has a really great atmosphere once inside. Lots of wood, a great jukebox, and friendly patrons and staff all make for a pleasant experience. There are also stacks of board games available, and we had fun with the trivial pursuit. Most importantly, they have a beer selection to beat the band. Papago's own IPA and Robusto Porter were great, and I had a few choice bottles, including my first fresh hop ale, by Great Divide. I will definitely be making regular stops here, $3 gallons of gas be damned!

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Photo of PCaravan
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Photo of UberWasser
4.83/5  rDev +12.6%
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!

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Photo of stangelj
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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Photo of joedon
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
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!

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4


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!

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
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?

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Photo of Longstaff
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

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Photo of belgianjunkie
3.04/5  rDev -29.1%
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.

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Photo of Gusler
5/5  rDev +16.6%
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!

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Papago Brewing in Scottsdale, AZ
Brewery rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 349 ratings