Papago Brewing

Your Rating: None
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.
BA Score:
View: Beers | Place Reviews
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 177 |  Reviews: 140
Photo of DoubleJ
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Odd. Papago Brewing is in a strip mall on the southwest corner of Scottsdale Rd. and McDowell Rd. It's looks like you're coming into a small, crampt building, but it's very "deep" once you're inside. Pale wood supports are all over the place, tap handles on the supports and dart boards give this place a sense of cluster phobia. Board games can be found near the juke box, which sits across from the bar, where its 30 taps are perched behind the bar. Perhaps 5-6 house brewed beers, along with a number of high-quality guest taps (Sam Adams Double Bock, DFH Red & White, New Belgium's Biere de Mars). Several coolers house hundreds of different beers, which puts this establishment's selection in a class of its own. Someone always seemed to be at the bar keeping up with heavy draft orders, and having a few table servers bring out the beer quick made waiting for a beer an afterthought.

I was most impressed with the serving temperature of my beers. I ordered house beers (Elsie's Irish Cream Stout and Orange Blossom) , the former served in a pint glass (not a shaker) at about 50 F, the latter served cool (about 42-45 F) in a weizen glass, and which seemed to be the most popular beer poured during my time there. I saw other tables with different glassware for their beers. Having the right glassware and serving at the right temperature makes for a very optimal drinking experience, and having fresh, quality homemade beers at the brewpub is icing on the cake.

 1,470 characters

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

A great bar, a must stop. 300 bottles for sale or drinking right there, in addition to 30 odd taps of above average offerings. Mostly people sitting in their own groups at tables, but still a decent sized bar. Younger crowd, but the absence of music blasting attracts the likes of me. Beer served with right temperature and carbonation was noted. Not all of thier own contracted recipes were outstanding, however the range and quality of the taps was. Had a very good time, stayed way longer than i expected, and suspect I would do the same frequently if I lived within an hour's drive.

 586 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
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 sholland119
4.34/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

An enjoyable stop at the end of my first day in Scottsdale, I hit Papago after an epic shopping trip at Total Wine in the north end of town.

Located in a strip mall, Papago does not look like much from the outside, or from the inside either really. I got a stool at the bar in the back corner of the place. About a half dozen house beers were on tap (apparently they are brewed eslewhere) along with a great list of guest taps. I got a sampler which included the Coconut Joe, the milk stout and the porter. All were quite tasty and well made.

Food all looked good. I had the beer bites, crispy sqaures of pizza dough with dipping sauce. I have had this type of item in many brew pubs. This rendition was far above average.

Service was pleasant when you could get someone's attention. The bartenders seemed to spend a lot of time chatting with their backs to the patrons. Plus they gave my food order to people who had ordered after me, and did not realize there was a problem until the next order came out 15 minutes later. Since they ordered a red dipping sauce and I ordered a white one, this should have been easy to spot.

Anyway, I was hoping to get back for some more beers and a growler to take home but the schedule did not allow it this time. Next time for sure...

Update: Got to visit again last week, had the same experience. Great beer selection, solid food, nice service when you could get some. Seems there is no dedicated bartender (maybe just on slow nights) and the register (where they ring in takeout orders) is at the end of the bar. Both of these factors lead to long stretches where there is no one to even ask for anything.

Update 2: Arrived late from the airport, hoping to get a beer after a long day. The bartender was outside grabbing a smoke before closing (the place was empty) but offered to stay open so we could have a beer. Gotta bump up the service rating for that alone.


 1,915 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Very impressed from the moment I walked in. Walking in is a very good scene. The bar at the end, table at the front and a projection screen on the wall as you walk in. A large cooler at the back with a GREAT selection of bottle beers, not just locals but I picked up some Dogfish Head and my fav Barleywine Fish Leviathan from Olympia, WA. Brought home 100 bones in beer. The service was good, tap selection was Good but not overly impressive at all. Carried own beers plus numerous rotating taps from the West Coast. Pizza was really good and appetizers were huge. Lots of good food for the price. Guys know the beer pretty decently too. By far much better than Four Peaks!!! I will go back everytime I visit the area for sure.

 728 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Located in a strip mall in Scottsdale, the atmosphere outside is, quite frankly, dismal. Inside things are a little better with a darkish, "we didn't spend much money on this place" hipster vibe. There were really awesome monk sculpture/mug cabinets, however that helped to make up for the less favorable aspects.

The beer selection was excellent with a great selection of guest taps with a handful of house beers peppered in. The house beer were what I came for and I was pleased with what I found. The Papago beers were far and away the most creative that I came across in my trip around Arizona. This doesn't mean they were all excellent, but most were good and the others made up for it by being interesting.

The food was pretty good. Not an extensive menu, but the pizzas were alright.

Overall an interesting place, not my ideal craft beer hangout, but the selection is great and it is a must visit for the interesting house beers.

 939 characters

Photo of orangesol
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Stopped in here after O.H.S.O. since they were so close together, I have had a few Papago beers before, I was really looking forward to checking them out. Atmosphere is kind of disjoined but still good. You have the front seating area, the bottle shop to the left, another dining area in a different room off to the left and then the bar area in the rear of the space. More and more people came in as my visit wore on, making it feel more together. Service was solid. I never had to wait for a beer and he was awesome to tall to. Selection was great. Five of their own beers on with a great verity of others crossing lots of different styles. As I had just eaten I skipped the food but the pizza looked great sitting a few people away from me. Prices were pretty good, some of the bottles to go were a little high but if I strike out in the next few weeks I may return to pick some up. Overall a really nice bar/brewery that I would definitely return to in the future, maybe even the near future.

 996 characters

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.

 2,765 characters

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?

 851 characters

Photo of BillRoth
3.61/5  rDev -15.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.25

Pretty nice. Stopped after business trip based on Beer Advocate reviews, and glad I did. Fairly old bar feel. Upbeat. Sports TV. Bottle shop and good people. Beer was worth the trip. Nice variety with styles not noticed in other Phoenix area breweries. Bar/servers had no problem with bringing multiple samples to my table. Good, knowledgeable conversation. Food was ok. All in all a stop worth making.

 402 characters

Photo of Sludgeman
4.59/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 3.75

Almost didn't find the place, kind of a hole in the wall. It helps that the shoppinig center in which it is located is also called Papago. Visited on a monday evening. Fairly slow.

A - Open, clean, nicely kept, not too bright or dark. Even with the small number of people it could get loud. A place where folks come to watch sports, after their softball game, etc.

Q - A variety of glassware. Washer for growlers. They supposedly clean the line and tap after each keg.

S - Two lovely bartenders paid the proper amount of attention. Both were serving tables as well. If this is common practice I could see how they could be stretched too thin and service would suffer. My server was knowledgable about the beer. Food arrived quickly and as ordered (I made a special request).

S - Papago brews its own beers, but they also have another 30 or so other brands on tap. In fact the night I visited there was only one Papago beer available. Keg line up changes constantly as they never run two of the same keg in a row. They also have floor to ceiling coolers with a outstanding variety of bottled beers, which you can drink there or take home.

F - Standard appetizers, sandwiches and pizzas. I had a nice personal white pizza. I've had better, but the food will not drive you away and the beer will keep you.

V - Food seemed reasonable, beer can get a little pricey at $7.5 for a higher ABV beer.

 1,396 characters

Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
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 Iamjeff6
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of 22Blue
4/5  rDev -6.8%

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

I had the pleasure of visiting Papago with Gusler on an all too brief stop in Phoenix recently. Based on what I saw, I hope I can return soon!

Papago was a very casual place, with southwestern decor and even a few surf boards as decorations. The room is rectangular, and not huge, but comfortable. The bar itself is of modest size, but most of the floor space is filled with tables with chairs. In the rear, across from the bar are 3 or 4 (or more?) glass-doored refridgerators with many, many, many excellent bottled beers. It is self-service, and you pay at the bar. Wow, an impressive bottled beer selection. As for the tap selection, it was also most impressive. Quite a few of Papago's beers on tap (though they are not currently brewed on premises) and a wide variety of other lovals and regionals (check Papago's web site for the list of 25-30 beers on tap at any given time). I sampled two Papago brews (Churchill Wheat Wine, and El Grande Nutz) where great, and a Rio Salado Redzilla (bourbon barrel aged) on cask -- wonderful!

The service was great and friendly, and I thank Gusler again for his hospitality in sharing this fine pub with me. I will make it a point to return to this great pub whenever I am in Phoenix.

 1,234 characters

Photo of italianstallion
3.88/5  rDev -9.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

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

I went to this place three straight days a few weekends ago, we were staying at the Best Western across the parking lot, that worked out very nicely I might add, place has an odd location for an establishment of this caliber but that makes it even cooler, walk in and see several groups of people sharing beers and watching sports, looked like my kind of place already, immediately see tons of fridges along the back left wall stocked with tons of bottles, I cannot remember all of the bottles and cans of stuff we had while there but here a few, Alaskan Baltic Porter, Odell Bourbon Barrel Stout, Papago Oude Zuipers Tripel, Prescott Liquid Amber, and the Ska and Avery collaboration wheat beer, they had everything from Dogfish Head to Great Divide, Mikkeller, Brewdog, Oskar Blues, Bruery, Lost Abbey, Breckenridge, Big Sky, Green Flash, and Stone in bottles, they had thirty or so taps and all were craft or imports, while I was there I had the Oak Creek Brown Ale, several Papago brews that I will input reviews later on, I think I had five of the seven that were on draft at the time, as well as Sierra Nevada Estate IPA, the highlight was probably the cask of Sun Up Armadillo Red, they serve ten ounces of all draft beers for three dollars which was awesome, got to try more that way, did not have a single pint so I do not know what the prices were, we had the beer bread bites with marinara one night and the buffalo chicken pizza another night, both were very good, warning that the particular pizza is spicy, the staff was helpful and seemed to know what they were talking about, it was funny going back consistently because we saw them wearing the same clothes each day which was pretty gross, they have a cool display of old rare bottles lining the window to this place, they are open late which was nice because we were so busy during the day, and thankfully the place did not get too crowded on the weekends, I will be going back every time I am in the area, awesome place in Scottsdale that I recommend to anybody who loves craft beer

 2,051 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.8/5  rDev -11.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Was in Pheonix on a work trip, met up with an old friend from back in the day here.

Located in a strip mall w/ the usual fat bouncery guy working the door checking ID's. Not typical in a craft brew scene. Weird layout, I guess kind of that SW vibe going for it, definitely not the UK/Irish style pub you frequently see. Found out they don't make all the beers they have their name on, like the stout for instance, is from Sun Up. And they were out of their ipa.

Service was decent, girls checked up on us pretty regularly and were informative. Selection is really good, lots of coolers full of other people's stuff. Scored some of the O'Dell's Peche Porter stuff, pretty cool find. Drank a bunch of local ipas. Had the super meaty pizza, was good.

A decent place, really would see myself using the to-go beer purchase option more often. A cool place, probably my #2 option in Arizona.

 889 characters

Photo of msubulldog25
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Visited 27 March, 2009.

Just hours after landing at PHX, an epic cross-city journey via the #17 bus (which, theoretically, seemed simple but took an hour and twenty-freaking minutes!) concluded at the Papago Plaza strip mall. In one corner, tucked neatly beneath a faux-adobe overhang, awaited my destination for the evening.

I arrived around 6:15pm to find a nearly-packed house and the NCAA Tournament on several TV's. All the elements of a great bar are here: lively music blending with equally lively conversation - check. Mix of patrons (families, old-timers, frat guys, beer geeks, texting blondes) - check. Walls/ceilings plastered with beer signs/banners/tap handles/etc. - check. Sports on the tube, darts on the wall - check. 6-foot-tall mascots (a pair of rotund monks blessing the bar) - check.

Grabbed a bench near the bar, at the corner formed by 10 6-shelf coolers, all full of bottles organized by brewer/origin. I browsed the collection for a few minutes: it's quite impressive, tempting one to forgo the list of 30-ish taps (see their website, list is constantly updated). My benchmates (a trio of collegians+/-, including a guy who, when asked by me if anyone was sitting at the end I chose, replied: "Nope, just you, bro!") perked up when I received FOUR nice tasters (Papago's Oud Zuipers tripel and Churchill wheatwine, Pizza Port's Quadrupel, and a Duchesse de Bourgogne) before I'd even ordered a beer. The glasses had arrived courtesy of bartender/manager/great BA psprings, who brought them over personally. A little small talk: then it was back to serving the masses for him, down to sampling for me. After a half-hour or so, business slowed enough that I was able to move to an empty seat at the bar, to watch the game, enjoy some food and better conversation.

Besides the 4 small samples, I enjoyed a few others as well. First up was the Orange Blossom, a sugar-sweet 'mandarin hefeweizen' that seemed to be the most popular beer by far, judging by the many emptied glasses with only a discarded orange slice at the bottom. Next was a shared bottle of Pannepot Grand Reserva - awesome. Pizza arrived: the 'Beer B Que' a savory 8-slice 'personal' pie loaded with chicken, red onions, cilantro, and a Maduro-based bbq sauce - and a terrific balsamic reduction drizzled atop (ask for it - highly recommended!). Got a nice pour from the bottom of the cask of an amber/crimson ale (missed the name) that Papago brews, then a pour of the deliciously chocolaty Elsie's Stout. The house beers were good/very good in general, all served in proper glassware and at the right temperature.

Price for the pizza was around $10 and the pints were fairly priced, too. It helped to have made a friend/trade partner via BA beforehand; service and generosity were outstanding to say the least...

Could have stayed much longer, but decided to end the night relatively early (9pm, give or take). Loved the vibe, loved the service, tasty food and a killer collection of beer. Thanks again to Paul (and to sparkling-haired Ashton) and the staff for a great evening - Papago embodies everything a 'beer bar' should aspire to be. For a BA/beer lover, this should be your #1 Phoenix-area beer destination.

 3,217 characters

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!

 1,669 characters

Photo of ecoboy
4.7/5  rDev +9.6%
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 mothman
3.36/5  rDev -21.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3

Photo of Loki
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Papago brewing comes highly recommended and definitely worth the trip. Even better if you can arrange a meeting with Guslter and meet a teriffic BA and yet another reason why this community is so great. Watch carefully as this place is quite easy to miss in the Papago Plaza on the corner of Scottsdale Rd and McDowell Rd.

Atmosphere: Dark and quite on the night we went, but with a very friendly air to the place. From the moment you walk in you feel like anybody is welcome here. There are dart boards up front, tables and bar rails scattered through out the place, and 10-15 seat bar in the back with at least 25-30 taps and one cask hand pump. There are 6-8 glass door, convienence store style coolers in the back full of fantastic beer, and one with water, sports drinks, sodas, and macros (you know the other water).

Quality: Not only are the beers fantastic, but they turn over stock very quickly with both bottles and draft, and I was told there is always something new on draft everyday. I guess it's nice living closer to San Fran and having Old Foghorn on draft! Also had the hoppiest cask beer I've ever had in my life. The Sonoma Dred, Double Red was amazing. Oh, and their beers are pretty good too. The Papago Baltic Porter was great. They take great care of their beers here.

Service: Very Good, with absolutely not a complaiint or an issues. Quick and friendly. I don't know what else you could ask for. Seemed they served everything in proper glassware, maybe not the exact glass, but pints for the baltic porter, cask, and beers my college had, and a brandy tulip glass for Guslter's Old Foghorn.

Selection: Great. Most places would be hard to match their selection, and you definitely couldn't fit more beers in this place, as it's not that big. You'ld have to hit Half Time or some place like that to find a bigger draft, bottle, and bottle to go selection. Oh, and they had a big wine selection as well. This place is as if somebody took a beer/wine shop and slammed it together with a great little draft bar and said, he you can have it both, without paying Pennsylvaniaesce bar carryaway prices.

Food: Yet another great hit. I highly recommend the Spinich & Artichoke dip that is slightly spice and a very unique twist; and the Mediterranian Chicken Pizza. Both were excellent and very reasonably priced.

I don't know what else to say other than this place is fantastic and I want one near my house!

 2,441 characters

Photo of SunDevilBeer
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Damn, why wasn't this place open when I was at ASU, and why can't a place like this be close to me now??? :0)

This place is my dream concept: serve your own house brews, plus ~ 20 beer coolers to pick various craft beers to either take away or drink on premises (wonder what the license looks like for that!).

Plus the place has a cool vibe in which to hang and kill a few hours...very casual, lots of TV's showing whatever sporting events are on.

Pizza and sammiches are fresh, tasty, homemade and are a good compliment to the vast selection of beer options available. Prices are very reasonable too, and the staff is friendly and attentive.

Seek this place out when in the Tempe/Scottsdale area.

 701 characters

Photo of glid02
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Stopped by here on a recent visit.

Atmosphere is interesting. It's in a strip mall, but once you walk inside it's clearly a beer-first place. Bottles line the outside windows and there are plenty of coolers in the back near the bar. TV's are scattered around the seating areas.

Quality is good. All beers were served in unmarked, room temperature glasses with proper pours. All beer available to drink in-house or to-go is kept at the back of the store away from sunlight and is refrigerated.

Service is a crapshoot. When I was sitting at a table my group had to wait quite a while to even place an order, then longer than normal to get our food/drinks. Once I went to the bar things got a bit better and they were a bit more attentive. The moral - sit at the bar or don't expect good service.

Selection is very good. They have 3-4 of their own brews on-tap along with about 15 other solid beers. I had a Deschutes Inversion IPA, Rock Art Belvidere, Lost Abbey Dubbel, and Alaskan Smoked Porter.

Food is alright. I had sliders which were less than stellar, though their wings and quesadilla were not bad.

Value is good. The food was a bit on the expensive side, especially given the quality, but what usually hits the wallet is the beer, and here it was reasonably priced.

Overall this is a must-visit along with Four Peaks in Tempe if you're in the area. Great taps and great coolers.

 1,392 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Papago Brewing in Scottsdale, AZ
Brewery rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 349 ratings