List of fantastic Arizona beers and breweries

Beer Sampler by JMR_Photography

Beer Sampler by JMR_Photography

I love beer. Most people would probably consider me a beer snob in that I can’t stand Coors, Budweiser, or other popular brands. I like craft beer and exploring all the different tastes and styles from IPAs to stouts. Though if you really evaluated me to real “Beer Snob” standards I’m still very much of a newcomer, and I’m happy that way. I just like exploring tasty things, and don’t really care much about IBUs and brewing differences required for different grains.

I’m also a bit of an Arizona nerd, and am of the firm opinion there is far, far more to see, do, and experience in this state than most people realize. Complain to me there there is nothing going in Phoenix (or Arizona) and watch my eyes start to twitch. So when a commentor on a local board said there were “no good Arizona beers”, it hit two of my nerd buttons at once. The person is, quite simply, an idiot.

Great Arizona Beer

Being a Baby Beer Nerd, I did not want to craft a rebuttal on my own. I kicked it up the food-chain and asked the Arizona Craft Beer Lovers group on Facebook for their favorite Arizona beers. I specifically did not ask for “best Arizona beers” as this was not a competition, and beer preferences are very subjective. I just wanted to know what the Serious Beer Nerds in Arizona really like. They delivered!

Thirty-three different craft beers…
across thirteen Arizona breweries…
in nine different cities!

It’s a great list. Some of these I haven’t tried myself, so I got my own homework out of the deal to correct that issue.

Beers listed in Green were the most popular in the group, and everything in Yellow also received multiple votes. I put in each brewery’s home city, but most of these beers are available throughout the state. I also added a link to the brewery’s website so you can get more info.

Brewery Beer City
Arizona Wilderness The Refuge IPA Queen Creek
Four Peaks 8th Street Ale Tempe
Four Peaks Raj IPA Tempe
Four Peaks Sirius Black Tempe
Four Peaks Belgian Black Ale Tempe
Four Peaks Pumpkin Porter Tempe
Four Peaks Kiltlifter Tempe
Four Peaks Oatmeal Stout Tempe
Four Peaks Hop Knot Tempe
LumberYard Big Rapid Red Flagstaff
Mogollon Mesquite Smoked Porter Flagstaff
Mogollon Wapiti Amber Ale Flagstaff
Nimbus Old Monkeyshine Tucson
Oak Creek Nut Brown Ale Sedona
Old World Old World Red Ale Phoenix
Old World Nitro Blonde Ale Phoenix
Papago Orange Blossom Scottsdale
Papago Elsie’s Milk Stout Scottsdale
Papago Belle Epoque Scottsdale
Papago Oude Zuipers Scottsdale
Prescott Brewing Achocolypse Prescott
SanTan Hefeweizen Chandler
SanTan HopShock I.P.A. Chandler
SanTan Gordo Stout Chandler
SanTan Negro Nitron Chandler
Sleepy Dog Red Rover Tempe
Sonoran Sonoran 200 Scottsdale
Sonoran White Chocolate Ale Scottsdale
Sonoran Inebriator Scottsdale
SunUp Armadillo Red Phoenix
SunUp Horizon Hefeweizen Phoenix

 

No Excuses – Drink Arizonan!

If you just weren’t sure where to find great beer made in Arizona, or were intimidated by unfamiliar names and labels, you’re out of reasons to procrastinate. Arizona has tons of great beer and brewries, so get out there and try some.

I know there are many others out there, so if I missed your favorite, tell me about it!

Update: Arizona Ale Trail Map

The good folks over at the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild made a map of almost every craft brewery in Arizona for you to download and enjoy. This list is always changing, so check back for periodic updates.

Comments

  1. Heya Jeff, how about San Tan Brewery’s Epicenter Amber Ale and Winter Warmer, two of my most favorite beers (not just my most favorite “Arizona” beers). If you haven’t tried either yet, I’d highly recommend adding these two to your homework list. Cheers!

  2. Thanks for this awesomely awesome list of local brews. It’ll keep me busy for a little while at least… ;)

  3. A question for you… a beer-loving friend is coming to the valley for a short visit. We live in far east Mesa. What one brewery do you consider a ‘must visit’? Thanks!

    1. That’s a tough question because there are still so many aspects. You want just Best Beer overall? I’d probably send you to Papago Brewing in Scottsdale. It’s one of the more “hardcore” beer spots in town.

      If you want a bigger brewpub experience with local beers, I’d suggest Four Peaks on 8th Street in Tempe, or San Tan Brewing in Chandler. Both of these places focus on their own beer and are some of the larger AZ brewers.

      If you want to try a great blend of local nanobrews, with a great menu of Arizona and national beers, check out O.H.S.O. in Scottsdale (one of my favorite places).

      You can’t go wrong with any of the above. The price of my advice is that wherever you go you come back here and report back what you tried and what you thought of it. Fair? 

      Prost!

        1. Well, it turns out that the best place to have the Arizona experience, when time is limited, is The Olive Mill in Queen Creek. They try to serve only local products, including beer and wine. We tried several beers and wines, and took even more home to continue the fun. Great place to get an overview of what Arizona has to offer.

          In addition, our daughter-in-law is a Chicago native and we were able to get her one of her favorite beers at a Cubs game.

          Needless to say, we had a great vacation.