Peoria Artisan Brewery10144 West Lake Pleasant Parkway, Peoria
Peoria Artisan Brewery is a full-service brewpub that is comfortable and relatively spacious, with the bar located in the back corner. The bar also has a small patio area. A full menu offers standard American pub classics. Standout beers include the Honeysuckle Street Amber (5.6% ABV), which delivers copious caramel and toasted bread flavors, with just enough hops to balance, making this a great option paired with a burger. Other fun ones include the Kennett Farmhouse Ale (6% ABV) and the crisp and light Push Mower Blonde Ale (4.6% ABV).
Transplant City Beer Company107 West Honeysuckle Street, Litchfield Park
The namesake for this craft beer bar in downtown Litchfield Park should be obvious — many Phoenicians hail from somewhere else. Such is the case for TCBC owners Justin Egbert (California) and Paul Power (Idaho) who opened the west Valley taproom in 2018. Some on-tap options from this nano-brewery include Garbage Pale Kids pale ale (5.4% ABV), the Fill Your Vessel Irish stout (5.8% ABV), and the heavier Coastal Hybrid IPA (7% ABV). Inside, the microbrewery has a couple of seats at the bar with extremely helpful staff, plus a couple of tables and a shady patio ideal for a pint with your dog.
Throne Brewing Company17035 North 67th Avenue, Glendale
9299 West Olive Avenue, Peoria
The west-Valley based, 2018-established Throne Brewing Company has two locations — one in Glendale in the former Dubina Brewing Co. spot and one in Peoria in the former home of Freak'N Brewing Company. One key difference between the two taprooms? The Glendale space offers a menu of sandwiches, salads, wings, fried pickles, and even kids' meals. The Peoria location is a tasting room and production facility only, meaning no food. But honey, you can bet they both offer Throne brews like the Guest House brown ale (6.1% ABV), Bell Road IPA (6.7% ABV), and My Name's Heff hefeweizen (4.8% ABV).
8-Bit Aleworks1050 North Fairway Drive, Building F, #101, Avondale
A craft microbrewery with a retro gaming theme, 8-Bit Aleworks is Avondale's first brewery and the brainchild of Ryan and Krystina Whitten. The production-style facility located in an industrial complex (though still a microbrewery) focuses on small-batch craft beer. But it also offers a 46-seat tasting room equipped with plenty of gaming options to entertain guests while they drink. Brewer Ryan Whitten started brewing at home in 2004 and spent 11 years perfecting the craft on a small-scale system before opening 8-Bit Aleworks. During his research, he created Hopsassin's Creed (4.4% ABV), a session (light and very drinkable) IPA, which is one of the brewery's highlights. Made with three of the brewing industry's most sought-after hops, Columbus, Mosaic, and Chinook, it's the "greatest hits" of hop flavor and aroma.
Saddle Mountain Brewing Company15651 West Roosevelt Street, Goodyear
Located just up the road from Goodyear Ballpark, Saddle Mountain Brewing is a 15 barrel brewhouse ideal for a pre or post-game pint. Jacob Hansen and his team make a series of house beers branded as Taildragger beers, a reference to their aviation theme. They do a fine job across the board, both with year-round staples and seasonals. A full menu is available. and the pizza is a highlight. Beer standouts include Ray's Gold (6.5% ABV), which tantalizes with a lasting lacy head and pronounced pine aromatics finishing crisp and palate-cleansing clean. The 300 Ft. Steve (7.5% ABV) is an imperial red which pours a beautiful clear burgundy color with flavors of caramel and hints of raisin. This is a sipper that should be savored.
Richter Aleworks8279 West Lake Pleasant Parkway, Peoria
This small establishment offers local beers on tap as well as house-brewed beers. And rotating food trucks like Lola’s Tacos, Dough Riders, and Saucy Pasta. But back to the beer. Depending on the type of night, we recommend the house beer Wheat Collar Crime hefeweizen (4.6% ABV) or crank it up to the Scotchberry Scotch ale (10.4% ABV) from North Mountain Brewing Company. But a favorite from Richter Aleworks is Amber’s Still a Bitch (5.4% ABV), a rotating amber ale. Just keep an eye on Richter's social media accounts for the special announcement, "The bitch is back."
State 48 Brewery13823 West Bell Road, Surprise
The westside-founded brewpub State 48 offers a variety of regional craft brews as well as, now, a few locations throughout the Valley. But it all started in Surprise. The 10 barrel system at the original location produces a solid lineup of house-made beers. There's the year-round Javelina Hefeweizen (5% ABV), a smooth German-style brew with tasting notes of banana and cloves, as well as the dialed-up AK-48 (11% ABV) imperial stout. But a favorite is the Chingona Dark Mexican Lager (6% ABV), a Vienna-style brew made with Munich, Pilsner, Vienna, and dextrin malts. To eat, guests choose from familiar brewpub items like burgers, sandwiches, shareable comfort foods, dinner entrees, and more.
4860 North Litchfield Road, Litchfield Park
Known by many to be one of the best spots to get craft beer on the west side, Ground Control's exterior might fool the uninitiated. The exterior sign reads "coffee, wine, gelato" and makes no mention of beer. Walking in, you don't immediately realize there's a full bar in the back until you get past the entrance, which does offer that coffee and gelato. Any case of mistaken identity is set aside once you spot the wide variety of craft options available from breweries across Arizona. Think pours of Hops Are My Co-Pilot IPA (7.1% ABV) from Tombstone Brewing Company and Andromeda IPA (6.5% ABV) from Pueblo Vida Brewing Company in Tucson — not to mention multiple options from Wren House Brewing Company and Pedal Haus.
Editor's note: This story was originally published on March 8, 2017. It was updated on April 7, 2021. Dave Clark contributed to this article.