Whether you're going to the Final Four and plan to celebrate before and/or after — or if you want to visit a local establishment to watch all the action — here are 20 spots around town where you can enjoy a fresh cold beer and nonstop action during tournament time.
(An asterisk (*) denotes walking distance from University of Phoenix Stadium, site of the event.)
9401 West Westgate Boulevard, Glendale*
7014 East Camelback Road, Scottsdale
21001 North Tatum Boulevard
Three area locations and one of the biggest tap lists in the state await you at Yard House. Beer is what they do, putting a strong emphasis on local breweries but with plenty of taps left over to account for your favorite national brands, too. You'll find Firestone Walker, Deschutes, Stone, Odell, and other American craft favorites, alongside classic imports such as Saison DuPont, La Fin Du Monde, and Warsteiner. Multiple cider options are featured, as well as the "Chalkboard Series" of beers, a rotating series of beers that changes monthly highlighting the most unique and complex beers both locally and otherwise. Calories are unimportant during the tournament, so treat yourself to an onion ring tower, a Southern fried chicken breast dinner or the outstanding vodka shrimp pasta. You could enjoy a mini chocolate souffle for dessert, by why bother when they have Young's Double Chocolate on tap, a dessert in and of itself?
6770 North Sunrise Boulevard, Glendale*
2000 Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe
Whether you're looking to eat light with flatbreads, burgers, sandwiches and salads, or indulge in an extensive menu of entrees including fish and chips, crusted lemon chicken, blackened fish street tacos, or baked mac and cheese, Bar Louie serves up what you need before all your hoops action begins. Download their mobile app and get a free appetizer. Need beer? Bar Louie has an extensive tap list that includes your standard macros along with favorite local and national craft options. The servers are friendly and beer-knowledgeable, so don't let the huge draft lineup intimidate you.
Four Peaks Brewery
1340 East Eighth Street, Tempe
2401 South Wilson Street, Tempe
15745 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale
3400 East Sky Harbor Boulevard, Terminal 4, Gate A20 (in Sky Harbor Airport)
Guests to the Valley often want a taste of the local beer scene. Why not check out the biggest purveyor of them all? Four Peaks has been serving up some of Phoenix's finest suds since 1996 and now gives you multiple locations to enjoy their fine beers. Their Scottish ale known as Kiltlifter is the most popular beer produced within the state of Arizona by a longshot, yet many will argue it's not even their finest effort. SunBru is a light, easy-drinking kolsch-style ale perfect for those used to the macro breweries of the world, while the White Ale is a finely crafted Belgian wit-style ale that is extremely refreshing. Hop Knot IPA is a straightforward American IPA, and for the fruit lovers of the world, check out the easy-drinking Peach Ale.
2135 East Camelback Road
8787 East Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard, Scottsdale
If Four Peaks is too many, then maybe you're more of a Twin Peaks kind of person? Their sign proclaims "eats, drinks, scenic views," and that is pretty accurate. The food is very good, featuring American pub cuisine. And if Final Four action is what you are looking for, Twin Peaks may be the area's epicenter for all things college basketball. In the mood for something hot? You can't go wrong with the Buffalo wings or the crispy Buffalo chicken salad. The Billionaire's Bacon Burger might make a mess, but it's certainly worth it. The chicken and shrimp combo gives you the best of both worlds, served either blackened or grilled. The Sicilian sandwich also does not disappoint. And yes, there are plenty of beer choices available at Twin Peaks.
24 North Second Street
3095 West Chandler Boulevard, Chandler
13375 West McDowell Road, Goodyear
4425 North Saddlebag Trail, Scottsdale
21001 North Tatum Boulevard
Former Phoenix Suns great Dan Majerle has grown his sports-themed restaurant group to five Phoenix-area locations that focus on the following simple mission: friendly employees, quality food, tasty drinks, and fun times. Share a chicken quesadilla or a Slam Dunk Shrimp and go from there. The Sir Charles Southwest Chicken Pasta features grilled chicken with sauteed mushrooms, peppers, and tomatoes, tossed with bow-tie pasta in a zesty alfredo sauce. Queen Jacque's French Dip is a winner, as is Colangelo's Choice, where you get a half of a club sandwich with your choice of fries, cup of soup, fresh fruit, cottage cheese, or side salad (served until 3 p.m.). Majerle's presents a comfortable, somewhat upscale environment while still featuring all your sports action. All your traditional beer favorites are available at Majerle's, along with some local and national staples, too.
9425 West Coyotes Boulevard, Glendale*
This Irish bar meets sports bar meets saloon gives you a little bit of everything, including a great time and a huge beer selection. Many local breweries are featured, along with your traditional American and European staples. Yes, this is the perfect place to satisfy your Guinness fix. The seasonal patio is open, which means you can take the party outside if the action gets to be too much indoors. Traditional pub fare abounds, including your expected Irish classic entrees such as fish and chips, shepherd's pie, and corned beef and cabbage. An extensive appetizer list features items from hummus to jalapeno poppers to mac and cheese balls.
101 East Jackson Street
Nobody does sports and music quite like Alice Cooper. And no visit to Phoenix is complete without a trip to Cooper'stown, where jocks and rock meet. Wherever you are seated in the two-level facility, you will have multiple TVs to view. If the game's volume isn't on you, can rest assured an Alice Cooper classic or an '80s glam rock and roll soundtrack will be gracing the sound system. The vibe, the attitude, and the overall atmosphere exudes cool at Cooper'stown, even if you aren't a connoisseur of the Prince of Darkness' music. The menu is filled with items that reference his musical catalog and family members, such as the Billion Dollar BLT, the No More Mr. Nice Guy Chipotle Chicken Pasta, Dwight's Fish Fry, Dash's Mac n Cheese Bites, and Sonora's Southwest Chicken. And no menu item is more popular than the Big Unit hot dog, a full-pound 22-inch all-beef Vienna hot dog served in a full baguette with crispy fries. Sixteen draft taps feature a strong presence of local Arizona breweries besides your macro staples. Try the Piehole Porter from Flagstaff's Historic Brewing. Happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. If you're lucky, you might step outside onto the huge patio to see a live performance from one of the local kids from Alice's Solid Rock Foundation, or maybe even see Alice himself.
1810 East Apache Boulevard, Tempe
Ever walk into a bar for the very first time and feel like you've been there before? Redefining the term dive bar in the best way possible, Tempe Tavern has that neighborhood feel, with its regulars parked at the bar like it's a motorhome without wheels. They are joined by college students, locals, and visitors to create a true motley crew crowd. The building is considered a historical site; originally built in 1918. You want cheap beer? Tempe Tavern has that. You want a nice selection of craft? They have that too. The bar fare is terrific, highlighted by the conversation-starting yet incredibly delicious appetizer, Rob's Cheesy Balls, which are battered and deep fried mozzarella cheese balls. The burger list is extensive, and all are good options. Grab a taco, a quesadilla, or Marble's chicken and waffles. The food is tasty, filling, and inexpensive. And the interaction you'll get with the bartenders is priceless. TVs fill the back wall of the dining area, so you won't miss a minute of the action.
7340 East Indian Plaza, Scottsdale
If you are looking for a great place to enjoy NCAA Final Four action and get a taste of the hip Scottsdale bar scene, then Bottled Blonde is your place. Located in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale's entertainment district, Bottled Blonde has TVs everywhere for multiple viewing options regardless of where you are situated. They typically feature domestic beer specials, especially deals on buckets, but there is also a decent craft selection on draft. This may not be the place to go if you're counting your pennies, but if you're looking to be in the middle of the action, Bottled Blonde is an excellent choice. However if you get to Bottled Blonde during happy hour, Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m., you can get your hands on a $6 pizza or a $5 craft beer.
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The Brass Tap
1033 North Dobson Road, Mesa
If you are in search of a great craft beer selection to go along with your college basketball, then The Brass Tap might be just what you're looking for. Beer is the word at Brass Tap, and if you can't find something you like among the endless lineup of craft drafts, the problem just may be you. Besides all your local and national favorites, Brass Tap regularly features those hard to find, one-off draft options as a special treat for the craft die hards of the Phoenix area. American pub classics fill your belly with various daily specials available. If you're double-dipping with your sports pleasure and taking in a Cubs spring training game, Brass Tap is conveniently located just across the street from Sloan Park, the Cubs spring home. Go see Jason or Jesse, and if you have a beer question, they're sure to answer it in great detail for you.