Lieutenant Dan and Angela Basset make a charming pair of basset hounds. They also make a great namesake for the newest member of Gilbert’s craft beer scene, Flying Basset Brewing.
The brewery is a realized vision of pilot Rob Gangon and his wife, Sara Cotton. They got married in 2011 and started homebrewing that year. Not long after, Gangon started placing in Arizona Society of Homebrewers competitions. According to Sara, “it’s just been a roller coaster of beer ever since.”
It has been a little over two months since opening day and a few weeks since Gangon moved into his new brew system. Now he's busy brewing with a 10-barrel system that includes four bright tanks all separated from the dining room by a half wall.
“Once we get those [core beers] dialed in to where they taste right – the quality, the consistency is there,” Gangon said “then we’ll go back and start doing all the one-offs that make breweries popular now. The fun stuff and y’know like a shorts beer, a black IPA or the new thing – the east coast IPA – things like that.”
The beer menu is written on a chalkboard adjacent to the bar. It covers the 25 brews on tap written and includes the brewery's three house beers. Flying Basset debuted with a classic copper ale. It’s balanced, malted, lightly hopped and has a hint of caramel.
The house copper was followed by a double IPA and a Hefeweizen. Next up will be a blonde ale or another IPA. Beyond that, nothing is finalized.
As for the 22 other taps, Cotton ensures that they make the most them.
“When we first opened, most of them were gold medal winners from the great American beer festival this year – those have all since sold out.” Says Cotton, “We blow maybe two/three kegs a day so there’s a constant rotation, it’s not the same stuff all the time.”
The beer list features local favorites like Pedal Haus and Huss. Cotton makes a point to bring in more “exotic” beers. Somewhat recently, he tapped an IPA from the Clown Shoes Beer in Michigan and Hoppy Bitch IPA from Northwest Brewing Company in Washington.
There are also 40-plus bottles to choose from.
Beer is top of mind but food is a close second. There are nice, smoky burgers. A club sandwich called “The Dagwood” has garlic aoili and melt-in-your-mouth-meat. Reuben uses brisket brined for 14 days. The list of classics continues: nachos, pretzels, and poutine.
The brewery's exterior
Flying Basset Brewing is quickly becoming a neighborhood favorite in Gilbert. The brewpub seats 200. On any given weekday night there's a steady stream of people coming and going. Some hang out at the bar, a few grab a table in the game area by the cornhole setup, and other sit in the shadow of the beer tanks.
The dog-friendly patio also has several options for seating. On some weekends, tens of basset hounds can be found lounging around on the concrete floor, in between the picnic tables and rod iron patio sets.
The brewery will have a tent at the Scottsdale Bacon and Beer Classic on May 14.
Flying Basset Brewing.
720 West Ray Road, Gilbert; 480-426-1373.
Sunday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday to Saturday 11 a.m. to midnight.