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Discussion in 'Southwest' started by Jorel1876, Feb 12, 2018.
Heading to the area for spring training in a few weeks, any must-try local breweries?
There's some pretty good info in a number of different PHX threads you may find valuable. I'm not local but do the spring training trip every year.
McFate and Goldwater are solid. You can be a lemming and go to AZ Wilderness but I have serious issues with their quality even with their stupid high ratings. AZ Cider Corps is a good change of pace in Mesa.
Oh get over yourself you dweeb. AZ Wilderness has their ratings and their reputation for a reason.
Loved my visit to AZ Wilderness on Christmas eve. Would recommend it 100%
Really enjoyed my AZ Wilderness visit as well.
Last time I was there hit up McFate and really enjoyed my visit there too.
I will be heading out there in a few weeks for Spring Training as well....got Wren House in my sites for that visit.
I guess there are certain people in this world that like toe fungus and crotch yeast but I'm not one of them. Why don't you step up and actually post some reviews instead of being critical of those with an independent opinion?
LOL no buddy, you don't get to paint yourself as just "having an independent opinion" when you call people 'lemmings' for enjoying a certain brewery. Kick rocks.
I can tell you one persons reviews I won't bother looking up...
Got to agree with him. AZ Wilderness is average. I don’t get the hype. Had a number of beers there that were just meh and made me regret getting. Wren House, Beer Research Institute, McFate and The Shop are all much better.
I'd agree that Wilderness "misses" quite a bit, but their "hits" are usually pretty great. I do find that McFate consistently produces beers I like more often than the others. I can say that I also don't understand the hype that Wren House gets. I think that Helton flys a bit under the radar for no good reason.
I think we can all express our opinions here without being so hateful and/or hyperbolic. All of the mentioned breweries have put out beers I think are good and beers I think are NOT good. I would recommend visiting all of them, if you get the chance, but I would give priority to some over the others. I think the beer scene is Phoenix is VERY solid compared to come places I've visited.
Assuming you're a Cubs fan (I hope you aren't offended, if not), based on proximity to Sloan Park, my top 3 recommendations would be: McFate, AZ Wilderness, and The Shop.
Spot on comments, and with so many misses AZW do not deserve their hype...but beyond them...wren house does have a cool vibe but also overrated as to their beer quality. On the opposite spectrum Beer Research Institute does not get enough credit for the quality of their brews but lack the vibe of a place like Wren House. I like McFate brews but there again the vibe is just so fake-snooty-and plastic which is unfortunate given that Steve McFate is just a generally down to earth nice guy-it is unfortunate he cant pass along his persona to his establishments. The Shop brews are more like homebrew so the quality is lacking but they do have a good vibe, The Brass Tap probably should be on the list of places to hit for cubbie fans.
Is anyone experimenting with NE IPAs in the area? Would love to try a southwest spin on the trend.
Everyone is. Wilderness has their Dirty Hop Water series, which is more of the murky variety. McFate usually has at least one on tap. The Shop has Church Music, which is excellent. Helton's NE IPA is one of my favorites. I know Wren House has some. 12 West does K-LAX. I'm sure I missed plenty.
As far as breweries the distribute in the valley, I'd look for Tombstone and Modern Times at bottle shops or on tap, at least for hazy juice bombs.
Agree that AZ Wilderness is not worth going out of the way for. McFate and Pedal Haus make really good beers and are more centrally located. Also agree that the Brass Tap is worth a visit.
Follow up question, any good liquor stores to hip up in the area for stuff to bring to tailgate or bring home?
I like AZ Wilderness. Not as much as I did when then first opened but I like them still plenty. I don't know why it's getting panned, other than: 'it's popular so I don't like it because of that.'
12 West was a new discovery for me when I went out in the winter. K-lax was pretty legit. Didn't really think anything outside of that was spectacular though; especially their BA options. I also come from the city of bourbon barrel aging so I feel pretty spoiled in that regard.
4 Peaks was always the go-to spot for post rock climbs and mountain biking adventures. Very yuppie/modern sports bar type place, but still rocking solid beer with a not too bad pub food selection.
Oro was one of my favorite places when I came down in December. Very chill and some good session beers on draft. Was also only a 20 minute walk from where I was staying so that made it even better. Down town Mesa is a neat little slice of city too with plenty to see.
Other neat little pockets to find good beer on tap:
Sun Devil Liquor
Taste Of Tops
Just to be clear, I don't dislike AZ Wilderness. I just don't think it's worth going out of your way for.
For liquor stores, go to Liquor Express if you'll be in the Tempe area. It's only a few miles from Riverview if you're going to see the Cubs.
I like Wilderness usually. I guess I am of the opinion their beers are either spot on or way off, without in between. I don't think it's a testament to their brewing skills, I think they just like to experiment with different flavors and with that kind of experimentation, sometimes you miss.
I am a fan of Beer Research Insititute - just a couple miles away from Wilderness.