Pinnacle Peak Patio
Courtesy of Pinnacle Peak

Sonoran's commercial description calls Cordillera Blanca White Chocolate Ale "light, refreshing, and completely unique," and, for once, it's not just a bullshit company line. Chocolate stouts are pretty commonplace now, but this is the first time we've had a light, honey-colored chocolate beer at a local pub. We adore Cordillera Blanca because it's potent, but pale and sweet enough to drink any time of day. The ale has a thin white head that never seems to disappear and just the right balance of hoppiness, with a slight bittersweet aftertaste. If you've got a good nose for beer, Cordillera Blanca smells a bit like beer-infused brownies (what an awesome idea!) with hazelnut and vanilla notes. It's a deceptively light little brew, so be careful. At 4.7 percent alcohol, and with a body that's nearly as weightless as iced tea, it'd be pretty easy to get yourself in trouble with Sheriff Joe over this one.

Four Peaks Brewing Company

So you won't drink anything not served in a crystal goblet. You sneer at the thought of second-growth Bordeaux. Well, wine snobs beware, there's a new kid in town — and he's knocking down your asinine assumptions about beer faster than you can say Gewurztraminer. Four Peaks' Hopsquatch Barleywine comes from a centuries-old English recipe that uses extra malt to produce a super-strength beer as potent as wine. After being aged for a year in stainless steel containers, the resulting brew has a sweet, rich flavor reminiscent of port or sherry. Yes, we know. A beer named after a mythical monster doesn't have the pedigree of a 40-year-old Cabernet. But if you can pull the grapevine out of your rear for one second and give Hopsquatch a chance, this three-time World Beer Cup award winner is a damn fine brew.

Yucca Tap Room
Lauren Cusimano

Mary Cope has tended bar at Yucca Tap Room for 22 years. A lot of her stories are too graphic (even for us) to print, but she does have one that qualifies as a classic.

A man walks into the bar and orders a drink from Ms. Cope. She can tell right away that he's three sheets to the wind. She asks him to leave; when he refuses, she escorts him out the back entrance.

A few minutes later, the man walks in the front entrance, makes eye contact with Cope, shakes his head and walks out. A few more moments pass and he walks through the other front entrance. This time he makes eye contact with Cope and says, "Do you work at every goddamn bar in Tempe?"

Don't get it? Swing by Yucca Tap Room and count the entrances . . . and get out more.

Best Of Phoenix®

Best Of