Fate Brewing Company
Heather Hoch

We knew Fate Brewing Co. owner and head brewer Steve McFate, with his experience at the Colorado Boy Pub & Brewery in Ridgeway, Colorado, was good at making beer. We just misjudged the madness of his mad skillz. For the past few months, Fate's been burning up the leadership boards on beer-rating sites with concoctions like his dank, grapefruity Double IPA and unique Coconut Oatmeal IPA, but it's the special versions of the milk stout we love. Candy Bar Milk Stout, brewed with cocoa nibs, vanilla bean, sea salt, and honey-roasted peanuts? Mexican Hot Chocolate Milk Stout, brewed with cinnamon, cocoa nibs, and vanilla? With beers like those, Fate's Best Of was, well, fate.

Papago Brewing Company
Meagan Simmons

Every so often, you find a beer that is so incredibly delicious that it haunts your drinking regimen, popping into your mind every time you crack open a different brew. Like the one that got away, you want it, even though you've already got something else. Luckily, Papago Brewing Company's Orange Blossom Ale doesn't have to get away from you. It's sold year-round at the brewery in Scottsdale, along with several other bars in town. The creamy, fruity, and floral beer is truly one of a kind in a market saturated with bitter IPAs and super-wheaty hefeweizens. When it comes to locally made, highly available beers in town, there's absolutely no competition. It takes skill to craft flavors like that in a beer, so try out a pint or two of Orange Blossom Ale for yourself and you'll see what's up.

The House Brasserie

According to chef Matt Carter, the stately tree that rises over the sprawling patio of The House, his newest restaurant set in a charming 1920s bungalow, was planted over 70 years ago and once was used as a Christmas tree by the home's previous occupants. If that isn't homespun enough to make you want to pull up a chair and dine al fresco, consider the white picket fence, the massive brick fireplace, the candlelit tables, and servers gliding by with plates of lamb Bolognese, grilled Scottish salmon, or Berkshire pork country ribs. Lounging a bit longer with a glass of wine or a cranberry mojito pretty much goes without saying.

The Handlebar Tempe
Jessica Obert

Generally, we're purists when it comes to beer — keep your shandy to yourself — but we make one exception, and that's for Handlebar's Gooseneck. The beer/liquor blend, which the Mill Ave bar also calls a Hopped Collins, is itself based on a classic cocktail called the Tom Collins, traditionally crafted with lemon juice, soda water, gin, and simple syrup. The gooseneck skips the soda like a fat kid at recess and goes straight for a ringer: Four Peaks' beautiful American IPA, Hop Knot. The resulting blend is a dance of citrusy, floral aromas and flavors, with the beer's biting hops playing off both the bright juice of the lemon and the dry spiciness of Beefeater's juniper. It's almost enough to make us want to try other beer blends. Almost.

Bink's Midtown

Phoenicians, rejoice — well, actually, pretty much anyone outside of the vicinity of Carefree and therefore far from Café Bink can rejoice too, because the new Bink's Midtown location has made Kevin Binkley's heavenly cuisine even more accessible for the rest of us. The cozy, homey spot may not look like anything too fancy, but the finger food and appetizers served during Bink's daily happy hour from 2:30 to 6 p.m. definitely have a gourmet twist. The nuggets are sweetbread nuggets, the burger is filled with bits of bacon, and the fries are both award-winning and accompanied by three fancy dipping sauces. The wine and beer selection features local treasures on tap and are $5 and $4 per glass respectively. Plus, Bink's Midtown serves a plate of deep fried ribs with a honey sauce for only $9. What more can you ask for?

Bonjour Vietnam
Heather Hoch

Drop in on this restaurant in downtown's San Carlos Hotel during weekdays from 3 until 6 p.m., when the deals are in full bloom. Most food options range from $5 to $8 during happy hour, including the crunchy, fresh, light and flavorful soft shell crab spring rolls. However, if you're not looking for healthy, the French onion soup is also discounted and comes with a heaping pile of melted Gruyère and a quail egg on top. The decadence and balance of the food is also matched by the beverage options, which include $5 Duvel and house wine as well as $2 off specialty cocktails. The wickedly spicy and fruity Vietnamese Spiced Punch and the floral and classy Kir Violette are both worth dropping in for on their own.

The House at Secret Garden
Jackie Mercandetti

Not every happy hour has to be so dang hip, ridden with experimental cocktails and a flavor-of-the-week menu. The House at Secret Garden proves this with a quaint, charming setting that is relaxed and entirely unpretentious. While the happy hour offerings are only available from a narrow 5 to 6:30 p.m. time slot Tuesday through Friday, it's definitely worth it to snag a $10 bacon cheeseburger or $3.50 golden polenta fries. If you're looking for something a little healthier, the citrus marinated olives skimp on fat, but not flavor. Or you can just ignore your diet altogether and get the addicting sweet potato planks with crème fraiche and pancetta. The beer, wine and cocktail list offers a dollar or two discount (depending on what you pick), as well. Your best bet with drinks definitely lies with the sage-tastic Secret Garden gin and citrus or the cactus fig margarita, which is a tasty and simple prickly pear marg with a tart twist.

There are a lot of sports bars on this side of town, but comfy, approachable Irish pubs? Not so much. Which is exactly why we were so happy to stumble upon Irish Wolfhound Pub in Surprise. The restaurant and bar looks like nothing special from the outside, sure, but walk in and you'll find a modern pub with pool tables, plenty of televisions, and a roomy patio with a fire pit to boot. During our happy hour experience — the pub offers dining and drinking deals everyday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. — we bellied up to the spacious bar and ordered a $2.50 domestic draft. The taps here boast a selection of the usual stuff as well as some awesome local and craft brews, including San Tan Brewery beers and Montana's Big Sky Brewing's IPA. Well drinks and house wines will only set you back $3.50 and the happy hour menu includes $5 chips with curry or ranch sauce, chicken wings, and Irish cocktail sausages.

BLT Steak

BLT Steak's happy hour just might be the best of the best. Every day from 5 to 7 p.m. the Paradise Valley restaurant slings some of the classiest cocktail and appetizer options known to the deal-obsessed. Make sure to come early because seats fill up quick. While that's a good sign, you wouldn't want to waste a moment of the steak tartare, escargot, and hamachi-filled awesomeness that is happy hour at BLT. There also are $5 draft pints and $3 well cocktails, but the specialty drink menu is the kind of place you can lose yourself for an evening of delicious imbibing. Tequila brambles, mango Moscow mules, and fig-infused old-fashioneds all put a new spin on classic drinks in the tastiest way possible. There pretty much isn't one single thing you could order that wouldn't be a satisfying and delicious culinary adventure — plus the prices allow for you to sample almost everything, especially if you bring friends.

Comfort food meets chef finesse meets affordable prices: Pig & Pickle is a kind of culinary power to the people.
Jackie Mercandetti
Comfort food meets chef finesse meets affordable prices: Pig & Pickle is a kind of culinary power to the people.

Oh, Pig & Pickle. How quickly it's found a permanent place in our hearts for its savory and briny, sweet and salty combos that often feature its namesakes. Its greatness is really only enhanced during happy hour, when you can try out what all the fuss is about without shelling out too much money. The pork-centric menu features overloaded pork shoulder and kimchi tostadas and a charcuterie board that is both piggy and pickle-y no matter what day you drop in. The $5 cocktails are simple classics done right, like a gin ricky or mint julep made with fresh ingredients and better-than-the-average well spirits. If you aren't drooling yet, get a plate of the $5 beer cheese nachos and you'll quickly change your tune. All of that happiness can be had off Thomas and Hayden roads in Scottsdale every day from 4 until 6 p.m.

Best Of Phoenix®

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