(This post has been updated.)
Brewpubs, restaurants that sell beer brewed on the premises, combine tasty eats washed down with unique fermented concoctions for an experience folks can't get anywhere else. Where to go for bites and a venue-made brew in greater Phoenix? (Distributing brews to the destination doesn't count.) Here are seven you'll want to know about.
7.) Rock Bottom Restaurant Breweries Tennessee-based CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, Inc. owns this national chain as well as Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants. With locations in Glendale and Desert Ridge, average American-style cuisine is paired with a unique beer menu at each location in addition to a core lineup of such standards as Kölsch, Belgian White Ale, Red Ale, and Special Dark.
6.) Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants This American brewery, founded by Dan Gordon and Dean Biersch, brews beer for Costco and Trader Joe's and features two of four locations of its national chain of brewery restaurants in Arizona that brew on-site: Glendale and Tempe. In these brewpubs, traditional, handcrafted German lagers like the Czech-style pilsner and the hefeweizen are made in-house along with the occasional seasonal special. The food can be hit-and-miss, but there's a good happy hour.
5.) Pinnacle Peak Patio This steakhouse and microbrewery in North Scottsdale featuring a Wild West facade, servers dressed like cowboys, and red-checkered tablecloths has been a favorite with the tourists since it opened in 1957. The bar area is small compared to the monstrous slabs of meat served, but that doesn't mean the giant portions of protein can't be washed down with a Cowgirl Blond Ale, Pinnacle Peak Pale or Amber Ale, White Chocolate, or the Arizona winter-ready Gunslinger Stout.
4.) Sleepy Dog Saloon and Brewery "Tail Chaser," "Scootcher," and "Wet Snout" are a few of the pooch-centric names you'll find at this Tempe brewpub tucked into a strip mall on University Drive. Established in 2007, this chill-worthy spot with flatscreen TVs and board games pairs a handful of handcrafted favorites on draft and by bottle with a few snacks and occasional visits from Valley food trucks.
3.) Sun Up Brewing A friendly atmosphere, affordable bites, and flavorful brews are three reasons patrons put this CenPho brewpup (formerly Sonora Brewhouse) in heavy rotation. Established in 2004 and brewed in a seven-barrel system, standouts include the malty Amber, Trooper IPA, and the smooth Light Rail Cream Ale. Best bites are the burgers, and if you can't sip your favorite bottle or on-tap standard or seasonal creation on site, take home a growler.
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2.) San Tan Brewing Company In a former bank in Historic Downtown Chandler, brewmaster and owner Anthony Canecchia started this lively spot (popular on the weekends) in 2007. In addition to year-round favorites, there are seasonal and small batch beers and a weekly Cask Conditioned Ale. The food's as good as the brew, with signature stuffed burgers and a killer jalapeño Caesar salad two of the standouts. Besides a solid happy hour, there are events like beer dinners and a movie every Monday night.
1.) Four Peaks Brewery Originally constructed in 1892 as a creamery, the Mission-style warehouse is now home to this Tempe institution of handcrafted suds and bar food established in 1996. Packed on the weekends, this growing Valley legend is a well-regarded brewer with an extensive bottling operation. Eight of their year-round beers are on tap at all times along with the occasional seasonal brew -- and the happy hour, tasty bites, flatscreen TVs, and shady patio make for extra sippin' satisfaction.