Something's brewing: New beer-centric East Valley eateries

I know it's gonna be a good night when my sweetie stops at Tops or BevMo on the way home from work. He can't resist new and unusual beers, and we have so much fun sipping our way through interesting bottles. A recent shopping spree turned up a new one from Dogfish Head (new to me, at least), called Golden Era. Believe it or not, those pervy DH freaks put out a limited production version of it last year called Golden Shower. Too bad I couldn't snag a bottle of that for posterity...

Anyway, I can hardly stand pilsners these days (the mainstream American beer industry has totally hijacked them), but after trying the ass-kicking Golden Era, I'm a convert. Best pilsner ever. I also finally tried the elusive Rogue Imperial Stout -- a super-dark, slow-sippin' kind of beer.

On a related note, it seems like the East Valley is awash in beer these days. Mesa's Red White and Brew, where the drink menu includes lots of good microbrews, just opened a second location in Chandler, at 4850 S. Gilbert Rd.

Late last month, a new local microbrewery called San Tan Brewing Company opened its doors at 8 San Marcos Plaza in Chandler. Among the half-dozen kinds of housemade suds are an IPA, a hefeweisen, and a stout.

And the newest spot, which just opened last weekend, is Atomic 29 Grill, at 1910 S. Gilbert Rd. in Mesa. (Cafe Carumba in Scottsdale is run by the same folks.) The place claims to have the area's largest selection of beers on tap -- as the name suggests, there are 29 draught beers available. This Saturday, Atomic 29 will host an Oktoberfest Grand Opening party, with part of the proceeds going to the local fire department.

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