Papago Brewing

Papago BrewingPapago Brewing

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

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

(480) 425-7439 | map

No notes at this time.

Added by mzwolinski

Beers are brewed at / by another brewery.
View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 138 | Ratings: 173
Photo of MagicHatter23
5/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

 2,293 characters

Photo of taxguyjase
5/5  rDev +15.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Wow, talk about a place I want to come back to. I swung in here after a training class and was really impressed. A bit divey, but in a good way. Had the Vertical Epic 9-9-09 beer on 9-11-09 and one the Papago beers (the milk stout). I had a real problem picking something because their draft list of about 30 beers were all of high quality and variety. Waitress was great and suggested their mix six packs, where for 8.50 you can gét a nice six pack of really whatever you want. The selection was excellent and offered a lot of stuff I can't get in Albuquerque or that I just want to try one of, not six. Will definitely be coming back in the future - both for a beer and six-pack purchases

 691 characters

Photo of Gusler
5/5  rDev +15.7%
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!

 1,106 characters

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!

 1,300 characters

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.

 1,476 characters

Photo of fattyre
4.94/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

 803 characters

Photo of steebo777
4.9/5  rDev +13.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I just visited Papago Brewing Company last night for the first time while on a business trip out here in Scottsdale. The atmosphere is awesome, staff was very friendly and knowledgeable and their selection was outstanding (Vertical Epic 09 on tap on 9.10.09... AWESOME!). I didn't even get a chance to ask what the beer coolers were all about as the taps were off the hook. It looked like I could just buy a beer form the cooler and drink it right there, which makes Papago even better.

Next time I am out here, I am visiting it again for sure.

 545 characters

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.

 1,472 characters

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!

 850 characters

Photo of Mumbly
4.85/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

 638 characters

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.

 1,836 characters

Photo of UberWasser
4.83/5  rDev +11.8%
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!

 4,310 characters

Photo of kaszeta
4.81/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

 1,030 characters

Photo of TheEclecticGent
4.8/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

This is THE place to have a beer in Phoenix area! In fact I would put it within the top 5 best beer places I have had the joy to drink at. Coming from the Atlanta drinking scene, I was amazed at the ability to drink great beer and buy great beer to-go at the same establishment. The selection of bottled beer here is great and the taps have some unusual offerings - I had their wheatwine. The atmosphere is nice with it's monk and beer motif, nice digital jukebox, neon, and the glass "candy store front" bottle coolers where the beer geeks can come drool over the offerings. The staff is very knowledgeable about the beers and the night I was there I had the pleasure of talking with a lady brewer who really knew her beer. If you are in Phoenix area and have limited time, skip the rest and go here! It's location is bit unusual being in a strip mall but this place would be awesome anywhere.

 894 characters

Photo of searsclone
4.78/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

If you enjoy beer, Papago is a must! Huge rotating tap selection, bottles to drink, or to go, and proper glassware for the beers. The servers are always very knowledgable, and happy to let you try taste or two. Sometimes the service is a little off, but I think that they sometimes understaff the place. Board games, darts and a juke box. And the food is fantastic. The vibe at Papago is sometimes a bit cold, but that doesn't have anything to do with the place itself. The worst part about it for me is when I'm the designated driver! So, find yourself a DD and get there ASAP. You won't be disappointed.

 605 characters

Photo of NitroGen
4.78/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I had read about Papago Brewery and while I knew the shopping center where it was located, it still took me a number of minutes to find as the sign was so small and I honestly was anticipating a much bigger store footprint.

Walked by a number of people smoking outside, Arizona has recently enacted a no smoking ban on all restaurants and bars. The windows facing outside are filled with shelves of dusty bottles, tap handles and brewery accouterments.

Once inside the darkness I felt like I was intruding, as to the left was more shelving and to the right was a line of high-top tables and chairs with a few patrons drinking beer and looking to see what had wandered in. No hostess stand…. no signs…. nothing...oh yea a smiling monk statue!

Wandered like a moth to the back of the place towards the light, past more tables, a big screen TV, a stack of board games to find on the left hand wall a bank of numerous glass doors to a huge reach in cooler. The first two to three doors are for the imports and the remaining are for US micros: Stone, Avery, Anderson Valley, Dogfish Head, Ska, Pizza Port, Lost Abbey, Lagunitas, Rogue, Left Hand, Breckinridge,….and on and on and on....all singles some bombers and some 12 oz.

To the right is the bar with about 8 -10 barstools facing around 30 taps, which are constantly changing and kept fresh.

Food: Great…all of it... and slightly upscale! How many pubs offer a plate of sliced tomato, mozzarella with basil with a balsamic vinegar reduction with olive oil! Pizzas, sandwiches and appetizers…all great have not had anything that was a clunker.

Beer: Their Baltic Porter- El Robusto is great! People swear by their Orange Blossom, a Mandarin Hefeweizen and the Hop Dog IPA is a smash mouth beer that is unbelievable. Everything is fresh and rotated regularly. Their pours are always in appropriate room temperature glassware. Growlers are available on the lower ABV and non-nitro beers.

Staff: All very knowledgeable about beer but sometimes they are stretched a bit too thin.

Cons: The staff assumes that everyone who walks into the place already knows the drill.
- One can purchase the beers for takeout in the reach in coolers or opt to drink them inside.
- No prices on any of the beers in the coolers other than a piece of paper for the DFH.
- They have a ‘Monks Club’ but nothing to explain what the benefits of being a member.

This is a real special place that I love dearly. It is a true diamond in the rough that could use just a bit of polishing to make the newbies feel a bit more comfortable. I have only told a few of my beer geek friends about this place as I want to keep it for myself.

 2,675 characters

Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.75/5  rDev +10%
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.

 1,614 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.75/5  rDev +10%
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.

 4,940 characters

Photo of garbercury
4.74/5  rDev +9.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Able to check out this excellent place due to a trip to the Grand Canyon. Made sure to get here and was not disappointed!

A--Walked in and was impressed right off the bat. Plenty of tables and it is so refreshing to walk into a place and there be NO SMOKING. In PA, we still have not figured out that you might have a right to smoke, but you should not have a right to make others do it! Plenty of room with space at the bar.
Q--Papago brews their own selection of beers and I found them to be pretty good. The Mandarin Orange beer was very tasty and girlfriend friendly. Ron, the owner was nice enough to pour me samples of each Papago brew, including his Belgian Black Cherry and a interesting Porter.
S--Ron, one of the owners was very generous and interested in talking beer. He was more than willing to accomodate me right off the bat. Joe, aka "Captain Quench" was very cool and again, made sure that we were able to sample a variety of brews and was fun to talk to. The "King of Quench" was also a fun dude, he kept me laughing while I tried some brews. Hottie servers too, they knew their beers which is a nice plus with pretty women.
S--Excellent choices available in coolers and on tap. Was able to snag a bottle of Fantome Hiver which hit the spot. Had Rochefort 8s and a nice selection of micros in addition to a impressive group of imports from Germany and Belgium.
F--As we had just ate, we did not try any food. I will say that the menu was intriguing and the Pizza looked tasty.
V--I have to say that the value/pricing was more than reasonable. You have to pay for quality but prices were fair. No reason you cant go to Papago get a few beers a sandwich and keep it within reason.

All in all, I was glad I made the trek to Papago. This is a must stop if you are in the Scottsdale/Phoenix/Tempe area. Fairly accessible and not too hard to find.

 1,866 characters

Photo of naproxen
4.72/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I made it a point to visit Papago's during my stay in AZ this past week for atleast a pint. Let it be known I stayed for much more than that on two separate occasion, this place rocks! If you blink you will miss it, location wise it is stuck in the corner of the Papago strip mall on n. scottsdale road, but that adds to its wonder.

The inside is all thick wood tables, darts, tv's, a jukebox, and a two-walled freezer full of amazing beer to go or enjoy on premise. A mix pack of just about anything you want only runs ~$8. A good selection of west coast/regional beers along with a good sized section of imports (mostly belgians, yay.) I was able to acquire a few beers which I could not find at other well known area liquor stores (T's and Top's for example).

The tap selection does not disappoint either. I was there on Thursday and returned Saturday, and a good 5 of the taps had already been rotated out. Of course, listening to the employees it appeared business was booming the past few days which probably led to the high turnover. They had maybe 4 house brews on tap, the obligatory guiness, and the rest ranged from Hitachino, New Belgiam, Left Coast, 4 peaks, Oskar blues, and so forth. You can check the site for a feeling of the taps, but that list is not up to date.

A big thanks to Jeff and the other employees and patrons who made my trip to AZ even more enjoyable. Both visits were filled with quality conversation with like minded individuals. When in town you must check this place out.

 1,510 characters

Photo of gonzo138
4.72/5  rDev +9.3%
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

 1,173 characters

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

I was able to make it here during a Thanksgiving trip down to Phoenix, and am I ever glad I did. I thought this place was FANTASTIC!!!

Now I'm not the most experienced as far as brewpubs across the country, but I make sure to visit a couple in whatever city I'm traveling in, and Papago was number one without a doubt.

The two things that set this place apart (aside from their fantastic food and beer, which I will get to in a moment) was 1. This was the first brewpub I've been to that not only sold their own beer, but also about 20 different beers from other local brewpubs/microbreweries. I thought this was a wonderful concept, one that I haven't seen other brewpubs willing to do. and 2. They had a large cooler in the back that had an AMAZING selection of beer. I thought I was in heaven! If my local brewpub had a selection like that, I think I would be there daily.

Oh yeah, the beer. The orange blossom hop dog are top notch brews. The orange blossom is very unique with a interesting orange cream flavor similar to a wit, but more creamy and intense....very good. The hop dog was also a top notch IIPA, I think it was 10%, with that awesome hop bitterness/flavor/aroma that you look for in a real good imperial.

This place first impressed me when trying their beers at the GABF, and after visiting their brewpub I'm even more impressed. Awesome place!

 1,367 characters

Photo of baseball1976
4.7/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

This is my favorite beer venue in the Phoenix Area! There is always a good rotation on tap, and their brews are awesome. Plus, if you do not like the tap selection, then your favorite is probably lurking in the cooler.

If you have not been here yet, you need to visit. There are always 30 drafts and once a week there is a cask.

I have noticed that during the busy times, service can be a little touchy. However, this is really the only down side that I have ever seen to this place. The staff is friendly, and the selection is amazing. The food is good too. There used to be a better selection, but you should be able to find something you like.

You will not regret going here.

 682 characters

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.

 1,964 characters

Photo of jjayjaye
4.66/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

 2,529 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Papago Brewing in Scottsdale, AZ
3.86 out of 5 based on 330 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.