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What "must try" local brews in Scottsdale/Phoenix

Discussion in 'Southwest' started by Riverwarrior, Feb 3, 2013.

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  1. Riverwarrior

    Riverwarrior Devotee (446) Nov 14, 2007 Kentucky

    Will be in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area the middle of this month for a few days and was wondering what local beers are a "must try" for this area?

    Thanks for any suggestions.
  2. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,459) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    Bell's Hopslam hit shelves recently.
    Lagunitas "sucks"
    Ballast Point Sculpin has fresh 6packs on shelves.
    Firestone Walker has a lot of good beers.
    New Belgium Lips of Faith series
    Odell IPA & others
    Stone Enjoy By just came out, but will be expiring mid February.
    The Bruery has a few here regularly, plus few releases time to time.
    AleSmith Speedway Stout, IPA, & others

    Check the inventory of BevMo or Total Wine online to see most of what is available. See prices too.

    BA guide for Phoenix

    There are no local "must try" beers in my opinion. If you must drink local, go for Four Peaks - Hop Knot, Raj, etc.

    Are you staying in Phoenix or Scottsdale? Can be a big difference. Some overlooked Scottsdale places are the Four Peaks location in Scottsdale, Whole Foods on Mayo (has 30 taps), Skeptical Chymist (many new taps), & Fate Brewing on Shea. Praying Monk is fairly good and is a block away from Brat Haus.
  3. bigbelcher

    bigbelcher Zealot (588) Jul 10, 2003 Arizona

    Four Peaks Hop Knot and Winter Warmer if it is still available.
    Papago Elsie's, Coconut Joe and Oude Zuipers
    San Tan Devil's Ale and Hop Shock IPA
    Sun Up IPA and Double IPA
    Lumberyard Imperial Red and IPA
    Grand Canyon flavor bomb beers

    The best places to hit in the Phoenix-Scottsdale area are Papago Brewing, Top's, Sun Up, Four Peaks and World of Beer.

    AZ Beer Week starts on the 16th. Lots of special events and tappings. http://arizonabeerweek.com/

    Enjoy and don't pay any attention to the AZ hater.
  4. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,459) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    Just had DogfishHead 120 minute on draft, fresh keg, at Yardhouse Desert Ridge - $6.25. Then a Sculpin IPA for $5.

    Silly me... I should have gone for something from Grand Canyon or Lumberyard, as mentioned above. :slight_frown:
    Geuzedad likes this.
  5. bigbelcher

    bigbelcher Zealot (588) Jul 10, 2003 Arizona

    Silly me, I forgot that major bastion of craft brewing in Arizona, the Yardhouse. LOL
  6. Nightrain89

    Nightrain89 Initiate (0) Jan 13, 2013

    The question was in regard to local beers, right? "Not what beers from Delaware or San Diego can I purchase in Scottsdale?" Hop Knot, Raj IPA, Negro Nitron, Big Rapid Red, Trooper IPA, etc?

    It seems like every question always has to be reworded instead to a comparison to FW, DFH, etc.
    luwak likes this.
  7. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,459) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    I answered that question - there are none.

    If there are none, then he's better off going with the best of what's on the shelves. And as I said, that was my opinion. If he loads up on Grand Canyon and Lumberyard and finds them to be "must try" beers... good for him.
    Geuzedad likes this.
  8. Jefeipa

    Jefeipa Initiate (0) May 6, 2009 Arizona

    There are some great beers that aren't from Az that I would order over local. If someone is coming from out of town and they haven't had Sculpin they should order it but if they have had it they should try a Hop Knot or Lumberyard IPA which both have won GABF medals I believe.
    yemenmocha likes this.
  9. jampics2

    jampics2 Meyvn (1,459) Dec 19, 2008 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I'm an Ohioan with in-laws in Scottsdale, so I've been out every year for the past 7 or so, and here's my experience (you know, because when you're visiting the in-laws sometimes you need a daily outing or two to get away):

    I'm going to focus on places not individual beers...

    -Four Peaks really isn't great (5 years ago, yes, but they really haven't gone anywhere). Their beers are OK so a sampler w/ lunch should be enough then everyone bugging you about Four Peaks being great can shut it.
    -SanTan IS worth a visit IMO, very tasty beers - probably the best "production" brewery in the state and a really fun pub and nice brewers who gave us an improv tour
    -Papago is a dark strip mall beer bar but makes really, really good flavored coffee beers. Elise's Irish and Coconut Joe are FANTASTIC but, yes, a bit artificial. Papago also has a nice bottle cooler & guest taps.
    -The bigger Whole Foods (I go to one in Scottsdale - N Scottsdale & Mayo) are IMO better stocked with choice bottles than Total Wine and Bevmo

    BUT, here's something I really, really suggest...after 6 years of going to every decent or sometimes middle-of-the-road brewery we could find, this past December we didn't have as much time in town and went to two newer taprooms/Nanos instead. OHSO is the Nano w/ 36 taps and Angel's Trumpet is a taphouse w/ 30-or-so taps. Next time out, we'll probably do both and call it a day unless there's another cool new place because these were WORLD CLASS beer bars. OHSO had a list of 18 AZ beers on tap and samples were only $1!!!! I tried each and every single one. Angel's Trumpet had a $9 six beer sampler and was my favorite place for non-AZ beers (however only 3-4 of their 30 taps were true locals). If you're looking to try as much as possible, I would hit at least one of these two establishments and try what they have, then pick a brewery to visit if you still have an AZ beer craving.
  10. bigbelcher

    bigbelcher Zealot (588) Jul 10, 2003 Arizona

    Nice post however you probably have never had Four Peaks Sirius Black or any of their barrel aged beers. Your view of their beers would certainly change because they are far from just ok. You also better not call any place in Arizona world class----yemenmocha will blow a gasket. LOL
    DinoFight likes this.
  11. DinoFight

    DinoFight Initiate (0) Jan 23, 2013 Arizona

    Yep, San Tan brewery for sure. If you are looking for "local brews" that is. This is must try and probably the best brewery in the Phoenix area in my opinion. They put out a bunch of specials/seasonals but do have plenty of signature beers out year round.
  12. 3frog

    3frog Initiate (70) May 13, 2006 Arizona

    Such acrimony amongst brothers...
    And we all have different opinions: to me, SanTan is generally vile. In this case, I'll have to mostly agree with BigB, though I haven't had the Grand Canyon Hop Bombs yet. I liked the Lumberyard Imp Red enough to take on my last Benelux trip, though I was making a conscious effort to bring product I was sure they hadn't seen (admittedly mostly SD beers).

    How about Dragoon? I've liked what I've had. It's sometimes found in the Phx/Scottsdale area. Anybody been to Wanderlust yet?

    It's perhaps not germane to this thread, but I'm probably going to use all my Strong Beer tickets on some of the new AZ brewers (though certainly not all of 'em; I'm optimistic, not stupid..).
    FriarTuckInLuck and yemenmocha like this.
  13. DinoFight

    DinoFight Initiate (0) Jan 23, 2013 Arizona

    Hey, no biggie. Not everyone likes the same thing. World would be kind of boring if we all agreed on everything.
    yemenmocha likes this.
  14. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,459) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    I have no respect for SanTan. The recent promotion of their canned SEX PANTHER is a joke to me because it represents the worst of craft beer - some sophomoric named beer & logo for laughs, yet the beer inside is actually not that good. I've tried their lineup several times at the brewery and have yet to find one that I find very good.

    Four Peaks is just... good. Not great. I'd never buy it if I lived in CA or CO and if it was on shelves there. A few of their beers are good - HopKnot especially, Raj, and a few others.

    I have nothing nice to say about Old World, Grand Canyon, Phoenix Ale Brewery, and quite a few others.

    It's actually nothing personal to me, it's just that I don't like Homerism and/or "buy local" philosophy and there's plenty of it around here - and that's the charitable interpretation. The stuff imported from other states & countries is incredible. The local stuff just doesn't compare. And the local apologists make it harder for us to have our own local top brewery because all of the mediocre stuff is supported so fervently with the buy local mentality at work. We'll never have a Stone. We'll never have a Firestone Walker. An Odell's, Ballast Point, on and on. The more saturated the market is the harder it is for new places to open and have a chance at doing well, and that's what I worry is happening here - and it can take years to undo. It took awhile in the 90's before most of the mediocre breweries went out of business.
    AnotherImperial and Geuzedad like this.
  15. Riverwarrior

    Riverwarrior Devotee (446) Nov 14, 2007 Kentucky

    I truly thank everyone for their very informative posts. I'm leaving this Wednesday and will be in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area for 4 days. While the wife is attending a medical conference, I'll be hiking "Squaw Peak" and trying new beers (not while hiking though...:slight_smile:)
    Geuzedad likes this.
  16. DinoFight

    DinoFight Initiate (0) Jan 23, 2013 Arizona

    Have a safe trip. Getting a little rain today but the weather is supposed to be pretty nice here during your stay.
  17. luwak

    luwak Aspirant (269) Mar 2, 2010 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    I won't argue any further but Sonoran and Lumberyard are really good breweries in Arizona and they make several excellent beers each.
    Yemmenmocha is entitled to his opinion and he certainly is not reluctant to offer it This is fine.
    But if you leave Arizona without trying the following the i feel you will have missed a sense of what's out here:

    Four Peaks Ryewine
    Four Peak Double Knot
    Four Peak Hopsquatch (especially older vintages)
    Lumberyard Fireside
    Lumberyard Big Rapid Red
    Lumberyard IPA
    Lumberyard Inner Basin barleywine
    Papago Oude Zuipers
    Papago Elise's Irish Cream Stout
    Wanderlust 928 Local
    Wanderlust Pan American Stout
    Santan Count Hopula
    Sonoran Three Wives Saison
    Sornoran 200
    Sonoran Beer for Brains Porter
    Sonoran Inebriator
    Sonoran FFF
    Gordon Biersch Schwarzbier
    Dragoon Bier Del Bac
    Flagstaff Agassiz Amber
    Mongollon Waipiti
    Mongollon Apache Trout Stout
    SunUp Vanilla Porter
    Sun Up cask- offered treatments of the Trooper IPA
  18. bigbelcher

    bigbelcher Zealot (588) Jul 10, 2003 Arizona

    One little problem with this list. Mogollon is no longer in business and some of the Sonoran ones are no longer brewed. Still a good list but I might add in some of the College Street, BJ's or Grand Canyon beers for those that are no longer around.
  19. luwak

    luwak Aspirant (269) Mar 2, 2010 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    true..there are stil some Mongollon beers on shelves though....and ive seen every Sonoran i listed on shelf within the last two weeks.

    What other beers would you add?
  20. Jefeipa

    Jefeipa Initiate (0) May 6, 2009 Arizona

    If you're still in town on Saturday you should go to the Strong Beer Festival it's the best Festival in Az.
  21. EyePeeAyBryan

    EyePeeAyBryan Champion (800) Dec 20, 2011 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    I think you nailed it...IMO. SanTan > 4P

    Agree with YM though, Sex Panther is just embarassing to anyone involved with the beer community in AZ.
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