A former tanning salon is home to a favorite new Chandler beer spot.
HOP Central Brewery and Taproom features dozens of beer taps, a custom-made walk-in cooler, and ample casual seating. A large, L-shaped polished Corian bar spans half the length of the space. The neon tube-light beer signs on display are on loan from part-owner and brewer Mike Heerbrandt’s private collection. Soon, the bar will be adding outdoor seating.
Heerbrandt has been brewing since the early 1980s. His simple goal is to build a “really cool place to drink some beers” and he's committed to making affordable craft beer. He has lived and traveled everywhere from Utah to Belgium, and along the way he's refined his craft beer palate and deepened his knowledge of brewing.
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There's no shortage of great beers on tap here, including local favorites like O.H.S.O., SanTan, and Huss. HOP Central even features a few gluten-free offerings. Cider and wine will also be appearing on tap, including Mango Grenade from Mesa’s Cider Corps and a red blend from Arizona Stronghold Vineyards.
Arguably, the main event is the House IPA. Heerbrandt collaborates with Pedal Haus Brewery to make this beer using the Pedal Haus facilities in Tempe. It has a golden-copper hue and weighs in at 6.1 percent ABV. Heerbrandt keeps the malt level low so the bright flavor of Simcoe hops would shine. The recipe for this brew will continue to evolve. The plan is to put the House IPA into production and start distributing it to local bars and restaurants in the near future. (It will soon be available at Craft 64 in Scottsdale.)
HOP Central will soon be expanding its selection of original craft beers. The long-term goal is to have three to five offerings of house brews consistently, with seasonal creations rotating in and out of the tap lineup. The “Big Tasty” Imperial Brown Ale is already in the fermentation stages and should be available in about three weeks.
HOP Central Brewery and Taproom. 5055 West Ray Road, #2, Chandler; 480-216-7679.
Tuesday to Thursday 2 to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 2 p.m. to midnight; closed Monday.