Each week, we venture to a new restaurant to check out what the spot has to offer during our favorite time of day — happy hour. Whether it's affordable appetizers, delicious drinks, jaw-dropping deals, or none of the above, we'll check out the situation and report back.
The Spot: McFate’s Tap + Barrel
7337 East Shea Boulevard, Scottsdale
The Hours: Happy hour is from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, throughout the pub. McFate’s recently rebranded (it was formerly known as Fate Brewing Company) and opened a second, larger location in South Scottsdale.
Perfect For: Brews and 'za with your buds at a clean, classy joint.
The Interior: McFate’s Tap & Barrel classifies itself as a “brewpub,” which essentially means pizza and beer with better lighting and a cheerier color scheme than your average bar. Red stools and cute growlers (can a growler be cute?) dot the landscape, and a glass garage door opens out to reveal a small patio. There are a few low tables, some high tops, and a community counter or two. The effect is cozy, and there's no doubt that McFate’s has the clean and classic look down.
The Food: During happy hour at McFate’s, items from the “Snack” menu are $2 off. This might not sound like much, but the already reasonable pricing and interesting selection should pique the interest of the discerning barfly. Beer-glazed almonds and Castelvetrano olives abound, and the food is sort of Spain-meets-Italy-meets American bar snacks. The soft pretzel ($5, normally $7) was decent, though the spicy mustard and hot cheese dip that accompanied it left something to be desired. We also got the McFata Plata, a charcuterie board with manchego, herbed ricotta dip, olives, jamon Serrano, capicola, pita bread, and Parmesan toast. Oh, and a mini arugula salad. For $11 (normally $13). Well played, McFate.
Other menu items included an olives and nuts combo ($5), chips and dip ($6), and the brewery's version of a bruschetta board, made with beer-butter and Parmesan toast and a variety of toppings ($8).
The Drinks: As it should be at a brewery, the beer list at McFate’s is extensive and ever-changing. We ordered the Porch Pilz, the taphouse’s take on a German pilsner. It was crisp and light, the perfect accompaniment to all the food we ordered. During happy hour, all McFate beers are $1 off, except the milk porter (which rings in at a whopping 9% ABV, so watch out.) A Hatch green chile beer was on rotation when we went, which sort of sold us on McFate’s claim to being fresh and seasonal.
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Conclusion: McFate’s is cheap and cheerful. It feels like the bar you and your friends always talked about opening – good food at good prices with an easygoing staff that seems to really enjoy where they work.
Don’t Miss: Communicate when planning your happy hour. There are two McFate’s, both in Scottsdale, and while the beers and vibes are generally the same, the menus and zipcodes are totally different – make sure you and your friends are headed to the same one.
Skip This: The pretzel. It was okay, but if you’re going to spend the carbs, the pizzas looked way better.