The Spot: Sun Up Brewery, 322 East Camelback Road, 602-279-8909, www.sunupbrewing.com
The Hours: Happy Hour is offered daily from 3 to 6 p.m.
The Interior: Sun Up Brewery has a pretty classic bar vibe, with a large wooden bar as the centerpiece of the restaurant inside. If you want your happy hour brews super-fast, take a seat at the bar and enjoy. However, we think it's best to take advantage of the beautiful weather while you still can and sit on the patio between the main bar and the lounge where they hold private parties. Nothing fancy or chic about the outside, just some simple metal patio chairs and tables.
The Food: During happy hour, you can munch on some appetizers for $2 off regular menu price. That includes their fan-favorite green chile grilled quesadillas ($5) and amber ale battered calamari ($6) with a remoulade sauce. While our server suggested the Brewhouse Nachos ($5.50) with chili, we were intimidated when we saw the portions at the table next to ours.
We decided to start with the seasonal appetizer, which right now is pretzel bites ($4) with either a cheese ale sauce or mustard -- like that's really even a competition. The chewy, airy pretzel bites, with a generous salting, held up well to the thick cheese sauce. Next we went for a trio of BBQ pulled pork sliders with slaw and a large side of fries. The appetizer was more like a full meal for only $6.50. The tangy, sweet and super moist pulled pork on the sliders paired well with a big old pint of cheap, locally brewed beer.
The Drink: As we just said, the fun of Sun Up is trying their house-brewed ales. Since pints are only $3 during happy hour, you can pretty much try them all. Or if you'd like a taste of each, Sun Up offers samplers of any beer for $1.25. We tried the Light Rail Cream Ale, which is light, refreshing, and a great thing to keep in mind for summer drinking trips. However, you'd have to be crazy to go to Sun Up and not get their root beer float ($5). While it doesn't have happy hour pricing, the spicy homemade root beer and sweet, creamy ice cream make the perfect team -- an ideal way to unwind from a busy work day.
The Conclusion: The food is good, the beers are good, the root beer float is phenomenal, though not any cheaper for happy hour. The only thing that could use a boost is the ambiance, which is a little too low key for us. It's happy hour, put some music on!