A beautiful mural in Phoenix, Arizona
Four in Phoenix
Being in Phoenix last month was a nice break from a Pennsylvania winter and I also dodged an
Arizona summer. With temps in the mid-sixties during the day and under sunny skies, the
weather demanded that I find some beers to drink. I managed to hit four breweries that are
definitely worth a visit no matter the weather.
A flight at Tombstone Brewing Company – North.
Located in a small strip mall in the north of Phoenix, this brewery was a lot of fun. I sat at the
bar where a super-friendly bartender was happy to talk with me about the beer selection. I
also met the owner who told me how happy he was to take over what used to be a poolhall. It
was a great afternoon. I look forward to spending more time here during my next trip. Favorite
Beer: Dry Irish Stout 10% ABV packs a lot of toasted flavor without being overpowering or too
Beers at Wren House Brewery.
My friend Gina joined me for the next three brewery visits. Wren House was recommended by
Joel from The Brewery Travels Podcast. It was a great recommendation. Gina and I visited
Wren House that’s a small bungalow on a busy street. Stepping inside, the place is a welcoming
respite from the traffic outside. There are a lot of little nooks where you can find an intimate
spot and a large space near the bar if you want to be part of the taproom vibe. A small
courtyard is near the side of the bar for sitting outside. Gina and I had flights at the bar, but
unlike the four small pours that other breweries typically serve, Wren House only serves two at
time. It’s actually a great way to focus more intently on the tastes and flavors of the
beers…they also don’t get warm in the Phoenix heat. My favorite was the Jomax Oatmeal Stout
6.9% ABV made with Ethiopian coffee after fermentation, which gave the beer a drier finish and
a little pep as well. Gina liked the Spellbinder with Citra Hazy IPA 6.9% ABV that had a nice
citrus and peach flavor.
A flight at PHX Brew Co.
Jumping into an Uber, Gina and I headed to PHX Beer Co. Unlike Wren House, PHX Beer Co.
was much more like a familiar craft brewery with cornhole, giant Jenga and board games in a
makeshift courtyard inside the building. Also like most craft breweries, flights with four small
pour were on the menu. My favorite was the Morenci Copper Ale 5.2% ABV with its malty and
caramel notes. Gina’s favorite was the bright and crisp Bird City Lager 4.4% ABV.
A flight at OHSO Brewery and Distillery.
Grabbing another Uber, off we went to OHSO Brewery and Distillery. When we pulled up to
OHSO, we noticed right away that a sizable portion of the bar was outside. We took two of
those seats in the softening afternoon sun. The bartender came right over and spent some
time helping us decide what to get for our final flights of the day. Gina and I both agreed that
we should probably eat something. It had already been a full day of beer drinking. The
artichoke dip and the steak and fries were just what we needed…and they were delicious! We
both thought the artichoke dip was one of the best we’d ever had. The beers were great, too.
My favorite was the malty and dry Big Rapid Imperial Red 9.5% ABV. Gina’s favorite was the
citrusy Boom Dynamite American IPA 6.4% ABV.
These four breweries are only a small snapshot of the craft beer scene in Phoenix. There are
dozens of breweries in and around the city, but Tombstone, Wren House, PHX and OHSO are a
good place to start!
A beautiful mural in Phoenix, Arizona
Paul R. Kan
Paul R. Kan is the author of Hawai’i Beer: A History of Brewing in Paradise which was a North American Guild of Beer Writers’ award winner and a #1 new release on Amazon’s Books on Beer. He has written for Good Beer Hunting and is Editor-at-Large at The Beer Thrillers. Along with beer reviews, book reviews and interviews, he also writes about the interesting ways beer intersects with people and society. His current book project is Red, White and Brew: The Beers and Battles that Shaped America. He lives in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
ʻOi kau ka lā, e hana i ola honua (While the sun yet shines, do all you can).
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