The Spot: Pedal Haus Brewery
730 South Mill Avenue, Tempe
The Hours: Happy hour is from 3 to 6 p.m. daily.
Perfect For: Beer and Bavarian-style eats at a massive brewery on Mill Avenue that doesn't feel like it's on Mill Avenue.
The Interior: Pedal Haus occupies a massive space near the AMC movie theater on Mill Avenue. In the mood for a round of cornhole on a sunny patio? Pedal Haus has everything you need. And for the few weeks each year when it actually feels chilly outside, the brewery also has a beautiful indoor space with plenty of seating. The indoor features an industrial esthetic — but it goes with the we're-brewing-beer-here atmosphere.
The Food: Happy hour prices for food follow a simple premise at Pedal Haus: Take $2 off any appetizer. Fortunately, the starter menu offers a long list of apps, including Bavarian-style bites and other pub food. Between the cheese board ($14), garlic hummus ($6), and tempura-fried cheese curds ($4.5), no one will complain about a lack of options.
We started with grilled bratwurst bites ($5), which came with two slices of brioche toast, stone-ground mustard, sauerkraut, and Pedal Haus' own beer cheese. The brioche was boring enough to skip entirely, but the brat bites were snappy — though they could have used a little more flavor kick. The sauerkraut was crunchy and sour, but the stone-ground mustard really made the best companion for the bites, giving them a little more flavor.
These days, it seems every bar's appetizer menu comes with a pretzel, whether it's in bite, loaf, or traditional pretzel shape. Pedal Haus' Bavarian pretzel ($4) is shaped like a demi baguette and comes with a small crock of beer cheese and a dab of stone-ground mustard. The pretzel is heavy but goes well with the complex, almost nutty taste of the beer cheese. Its outer shell was buttery, with a satisfyingly chewy inside. If we had one (small) complaint, it'd be that the cheese was served lukewarm. We like our cheese hot and bubbly.
The Drink: Unless you despise beer, it's definitely the way to go at Pedal Haus, which brews a wide arrangement of beers, from a light and airy wheat to an English-style brown porter. During happy hour, all beer is $2 off, or you can go for a $5 glass of wine. We ordered the Witbier ($3), the brewery's take on a light, Belgian-style brew. We could taste citrus from the Moroccan orange peel used during the brewing process. The beer is light and airy, plus, the price was excellent.
Conclusion: Pedal Haus offers a strong happy hour, with a long list of intriguing starters and a decent range of beers. The bratwurst bites were a little lackluster, but the nice flavor in the mustard and beer cheese more than made up for it. On the brewery side, the Witbier was perfectly light and refreshing for a warm day. If you're into darker beers, Pedal Haus has options for you, too (and for many preferences in between.)
Don't Miss: The beer. The selection is fantastic and you can't beat the price with happy hour discounts.
Skip This: The expensive parking situation in Tempe. Fortunately, Pedal Haus validates for the garage at the Hanover Apartments.