Borderlands Brewing Co.

Borderlands Brewing Co.Borderlands Brewing Co.
Borderlands Brewing Co.Borderlands Brewing Co.
Brewery, Bar, Beer-to-go

119 E Toole Ave
Tucson, Arizona, 85701-1210
United States

(520) 261-8773 | map
borderlandsbrewing.com

Notes:
BEER STATS
Average:
3.77
Beers:
22
Reviews:
50
Ratings:
187
PLACE STATS
Average:
4
Reviews:
9
Ratings:
20
pDev:
12.5%
View: Beers | Place Reviews
Reviews: 9 | Ratings: 20 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of lucius10
lucius10 from California

4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 5 | selection: 3.75

Nice place to enjoy some brews. Good vibes here and great customer service! Bartender even asked me what music I wanted to listen to! Quality of brews is decent, not spectacular but still good!

Oct 07, 2019
Photo of slee196
slee196 from Illinois

3.41/5  rDev -14.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3 | selection: 3.75

Really chill vibe, dog friendly, nice and spacious back yard.
Food truck parks out front and the chorizo quesadilla from the food truck is so, so bomb and the guy is super nice.
For a local low-key brewery, their selection is decent. Quality is a bit inconsistent (hit or miss) but fairly nice.

Mar 28, 2019
Photo of WillieThreebiers
WillieThreebiers from Connecticut

4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

Cool retrofitted brick railroad depot with large L-shaped bar that seats about 20. Open floor area with tables and large outdoor patio. Lots of local artists displaying their works on the wall. 14 beers on tap; the one I had was solid. Friendly bartender.

Feb 02, 2019
Photo of Fee
Fee from Pennsylvania

4.51/5  rDev +12.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

Great brewery to visit in Tucson. extensive selection for a small place and varied. Fun and friendly clientele and the service was top notch. This brewery is willing to try new things - every beer is worth sampling.

Jan 23, 2017
Photo of PapaGoose03
PapaGoose03 from Michigan

3.31/5  rDev -17.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3

This was stop #8 along a pub crawl for my wife and I and two friends in the greater Tucson area. The pub is located in an older section of town in an industrial area next to some main train tracks. (The trains are loud and frequent.) The place has a nice vibe to it, although it is a large open space which I typically don't like. Maybe it's the exposed brick walls or the exposed roof trusses or the sun coming through the skylights, but I liked this interior. The brewing equipment was off to one side of the pub in a fenced area, and there is a patio at the front of the building that looked inviting to sit and enjoy, but if only the weather had been a bit warmer.

We chose to sit at the bar and ordered a sampler flight of all 6 beers so that we could try all that were available. (We were only going to visit one more place on our pub crawl that day, and 6 samplers isn't all that many anyway.) Each beer was brewed right to style, and we found no fault with any of them, but nothing too exciting either. Two of the beers were rated a bit better than average (Prickly Pear Wheat and Horchata Cream Ale, although neither is a favorite style for us), but overall the beers were given a C+ grade.

No food is offered, although they have some chips and salsa for sale as munchies if you want anything to go with the beer. This is a nice place for its vibe, but the beer doesn't quite match the setting. We'd probably go back again to enjoy the beer on the patio on a sunny day, but other places in town would be higher on our list to revisit.

Mar 25, 2015
Photo of Irrenarzt
Irrenarzt from New Mexico

4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Borderlands has a really cool spot off Toole in downtown Tucson. I used to ride by this very building daily for almost 10 years when I lived in Tucson and it was never occupied. Now they have made it into a very rustic unique space where they sell paintings along with beer on tap. Trains go by often, making conversation stall a bit, but this is not a big deal as it's kind of fun.

There were some older but stellar MILF's in there when we are there, making this visit all that much better. Otherwise it was not very crowded. The beer is ok and seems to be improving over past examples I tried at Tap and Bottle. The Citrana sour (I'm assuming this is a gose type beer) was too heavy on the coriander but was drinkable. I had it once before and it was awful. This time around and it was a lot cleaner than the dirty as a dogs dick Arizona WIlderness version, but definitely not as clean as top American examples like Westbrook or Almanac. The vanilla porter was good but I didn't think the coffee cream ale was that clean. The IPA was average but not infected.

There were two bartenders there, Jimmy and the older guy who looks like a bit of a weightlifter type with the wandering eye. Jimmy was awesome and knew we were beer geeks and spent a lot of time with us. The wandering eye guy is not a beer geek but was nice enough.

Overall this is a nice rustic spot with good potential beer wise. They aren't perfect, but they seem to be making progress, which is good in my mind.

Sep 29, 2014
Photo of ONovoMexicano
ONovoMexicano from New Mexico

3/5  rDev -25%

These folks found a cool little space for their brewery and I like the open-air feel and minimalist design. I also like that this brewery and many others in Tucson are seizing on all the old warehouse spaces and recognizing the great potential they have as a place to brew and then sell the gold.

The art hung all around was also a nice touch.

Now on to the beer...

I liked that this place and many of the Arizona breweries are really experimenting with different flavors. I was keen to try the horchata wit and was feeling confident that my wife would love it since she is an horchata fiend, but this was kicked. We both sampled the hibiscus saison, but weren't impressed. To me, it was very tea like in quality, with a weak body and none of the malty, wheaty, or hoppy presence I'd expect.

The La Morena Nut Brown was good, having a solid malt presence and a good nose, with some hints of toffee and caramel. My only complaint was again the body, which was a bit lighter than I like.

Finally, I tried the Noche Dulce Vanilla Porter and really enjoyed it. It is quite sweet, almost too sweet, but has a great body, great mix of maltiness, toffee, caramel and, of course, vanilla. I'd definitely come back for this one.

Overall, I give the three stars because their is some stiff competition right in the vicinity and because the ambiance is nothing to write home about. Essentially, this place is for people who like to sit around and chat or mope at the bar with their face in their beer. For some that works, but I need a good mix of music and some entertainment.

Sep 23, 2014
Photo of mewanderinghome
mewanderinghome from Arizona

3.76/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 2.5

Looking back at my old reviews 5+ years later, I have good news to report on Borderlands: they finally have a beer matching the great atmosphere of the place: the hazy Toole Ave IPA. In fact it's become my favorite local IPA, even though I'm not usually a devotee of the hazy style. This is a great example.

Old review:

I really want to love this place. First of all, when they opened a few years ago, they were the first new brewery in Tucson in at least a decade, and they were the first local to get more than a little adventurous with their brews. Best of all, they've got an amazing space, with good service and often good live music. They're friendly and good people. While they don't serve food, there's usually a quality food truck or two parked outside (and Tucson's burgeoning food truck scene is not to be missed). Their prices are very reasonable. There's only one problem: the beer.

That makes it sound horrible, and it's definitely not. But their brews are definitely different, and not always in the good way. So many of them have a 'wild' aspect to them, that doesn't necessarily suit the character of the brew. You don't ever feel you're drinking processed macrobrew ingredients, and that's good. I don't know the ABV of any of their brews, but for some reason they seem to especially knock me on me arse. But I do wish there was a beer here I really loved. That would easily make this the best brewery in Tucson.

Apr 06, 2014
Photo of BenFinkelstein
BenFinkelstein from Wisconsin

4.6/5  rDev +15%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

I've never written a review for a business before, but I was so impressed by the quality and selection of Borderlands' beers that I had to find a place to tell people. Over there, they really push the envelope with bold flavors and styles (they had a sour, a Prickly Pear wheat, and a tasty Kolsch), and reward the adventurous with complex brews that are a joy to drink. Stop by whenever you're downtown Tucson for a beer...or five.

Aug 27, 2013
Borderlands Brewing Co. in Tucson, AZ
Brewery rating: 3.77 out of 5 with 187 ratings