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Now Open: Suds and Sweets Come Together at The Sugar Bar in Chandler

With both candy and beer, The Sugar Bar isn't your average taproom.
With both candy and beer, The Sugar Bar isn't your average taproom. Justine Morrow
Offering an impressive roster of local and noteworthy craft brews, a carefully selected wine list, and a slew of sugary confections that pair perfectly with both, Chandler's newest taproom, The Sugar Bar, might be Arizona's version of Willy Wonka's factory.

Owners Zabdi and Kyle Hess are self-professed craft beer fanatics who conceived the idea for a taproom that blends suds and sweets. The couple tasted the work of over 750 breweries and more than 5,000 beers in hopes of achieving a distinctive flair and friendly atmosphere.

"We wanted something different to stand out from other taprooms," Zabdi says. "And we love candy. Our 3-year-old loves candy. So, we blended the two."

The bar not only hosts bonbons and beers for grown-ups; kids are also welcome. This family-owned business hopes to build an authentic community around its fun taproom concept.

"We completely recommend bringing the kids in," Kyle says. "They have their little seating area with a small picnic table. We have all kinds of games, and we can even put kids' shows up on one of the TVs."

click to enlarge The Sugar Bar's colorful lineup. - JUSTINE MORROW
The Sugar Bar's colorful lineup.
Justine Morrow

So, while mom and dad hang out at the bar up front watching sports on big screens, children can play in the back with their friends. The clever idea seems to have hit the mark.

"The response has been really good," Kyle says. "Everyone is really open to trying a lot of the pairings we've been doing, and everyone likes the presentation of beers. They make for super-Instagramable moments."

Such is the case with their current offering, Tommy's Lullaby by 12 West Brewing Co. The bright green beer is a popular sour Berliner Weisse with matching green gummy rings.

But don't be fooled by the cute, IG-friendly d├ęcor infused with a Candy Crush aesthetic. The Hess' are serious about presenting the best brews possible.

Keeping it local, The Sugar Bar shows Arizona-based breweries a lot of love. Their draft list is like a who's who of top talent. They offer tasty treats like OHSO Brewery's Insta-Graham IPA, a hoppy drink infused with notes of cinnamon graham cracker and toasted marshmallow fluff, as well as their Popcycle Blonde, a fruity beer boosted with the essence of raspberries and lemon.

Local fan favorites also include the chocolate-infused dark beers, including the German Chocolate Cake porter on tap, which comes from Borderlands Brewing in Tucson, or the Candy Bar Milk Stout by Fate Brewing.

click to enlarge Sugar Bar owners Kyle and Zabdi Hess. - JUSTINE MORROW
Sugar Bar owners Kyle and Zabdi Hess.
Justine Morrow

Their fridges are stocked with some sweet offerings if you somehow exhaust their extensive list of rotating drafts.

"The cans are super popular just because there's a lot of different rare beers that you can't really find anywhere else," Zabdi says.

Some flavorful headliners include the White Chocolate Ale by Sonoran Brewing Company, and the adorably named Raspberry Lemon Puffberry from Lil Beaver Brewery in Bloomington, Ill.

The Sugar Bar has a bevy of fun events planned, Zabdi says, but the cherry on top is their official grand opening celebration on January 6, when the bar takes over a swath of parking lot to host party guests.

"It'll be kind of like a mini beer fest," Zabdi says. "All our vendors will come in and serve samples. We'll have a food truck, maybe a DJ."

The Sugar Bar
960 East Warner Road, Suite 6, Chandler
Tuesday through Thursday 2 to 10 p.m.; Friday 2 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.; Saturday noon to 11 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
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