Simple Machine Brewing Co.'s Glendale taproom opens June 16 | Phoenix New Times


Simple Machine Brewing Co.’s new Glendale taproom opens this weekend

The popular north Phoenix craft beer destination has expanded to Glendale. Simple Machine will host a grand opening celebration this weekend, featuring music, food and raffles.
In addition to serving its own craft beer, Simple Machine Brewing Co.'s Glendale taproom will pour guest taps, wine and mead.
In addition to serving its own craft beer, Simple Machine Brewing Co.'s Glendale taproom will pour guest taps, wine and mead. Simple Machine Brewing Co.
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Simple Machine Brewing Co.'s second location will officially open in downtown Glendale this weekend.

The North Valley craft brewer is betting on the burgeoning West Valley for its second outpost, which, in addition to their own beer, will feature guest taps, cider and wine.

To mark its arrival, Simple Machine will host a weekend-long celebration, kicking off at 11 a.m. on Friday, featuring live music, raffle prizes, food trucks and an air-conditioned tent on its back patio.

The new taproom, which will take over a one-time speakeasy in the former Gaslight Inn on Glendale Avenue, is just the beginning. A 200-person music venue called The Venue Grand at Simple Machine Brewing is also in the works.

The Venue is still under construction, but music will be part of Simple Machine's taproom opening, with performances from Yotam Ben Horin of punk rock band Useless ID, local Jessie Rose and others.

Owner and head brewer Marshall Norris honed in on the West Valley and Glendale because of the residents' thirst for craft beer but fewer options than other parts of the region. It's the same approach he employed when selecting the original Deer Valley location for Simple Machine, one of the New Times’ 10 best breweries in the Valley.

“There’s areas in the Valley where craft beer is selling really well but there’s not anything similar in our industry available,” Norris says. “Every time a new one opens, it’s not affecting any business, it’s just growing.”

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Simple Machine Brewing Co.'s second taproom is in the old Gaslight Inn in Glendale. Taking over a former speakeasy, Simple Machine has preserved historic elements including a hand-carved English bar from the 1930s.
Simple Machine Brewing Co.
And once he toured the Gaslight Building, Norris was hooked, he says.

“I was just enamored. I was in love with the space,” Norris says. “Now we have the opportunity to be part of the revitalization of downtown Glendale, which is going to be really exciting.”

It’s a homecoming of sorts for Norris, who attended Millennium High School in Goodyear.

“I remember it when it was watermelon fields,” he says of the surrounding area.

In both the taproom and the venue, the focus will be on promoting all things local. Aesthetically, the design will focus on honoring the history of the former hotel, built in 1926.

“We’re going to leave it as much as we can," Norris says, "to maintain the original aesthetic of the building."

The pressed tin ceilings will stay, as well as a hand-carved English bar from the 1930s. Those details will be accented with metal and wood elements.

“It’s going to be clean, it’s going to be warm and we want it to be inviting,” Norris says.

The taproom will also get a touch of modern design, with a rollup door. Both the tasting room and venue will have their own patios.

Similar to Simple Machine’s original location, people will be encouraged to bring or order food from nearby restaurants like Haus Murphy's. In addition to an expanded offering of drinks in the taproom, Simple Machine will also sell beer and wine to go.

Norris is known throughout Arizona as a skilled craft brewer, but he was also once a musician in bands including Every Dying Day. He says it feels like returning to his roots by opening a venue.

He’ll collaborate with people in the industry, like Em and Jeff Powell of Double Helix Records, to build out the space and book bands. The Powells say they became fast friends with Norris, bonding over their love of all things local and the “Venn diagram of craft beer and good music. " If you like one, you usually like the other, Em says.

“We really want to hone in on a local first mentality in terms of showcasing musical acts. There are a host of great local acts, from Flagstaff all the way to Tucson,” Jeff says.

Norris hopes to make most shows free to help expose more people to local musicians – something he’s tested with live music and artist collaborations at Simple Machine’s north Phoenix location.

When the Venue Grand isn’t hosting shows, there will be open mic nights, live podcasts, and trivia.

“We imagine it being the west side’s solution to a great locally owned and operated music venue,” Em says.

For Norris, he's excited to expand the business and to serve Simple Machine's brews to a new customer base. The addition of a music venue is something of the icing on the cake.

“We’re trying to build up that part of the community a little bit, and we just took it a step further,” he says.

Simple Machine Brewing Company and The Venue Grand

Taproom officially opens 11 a.m. Friday, June 16
5743 W. Glendale Ave.

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