We're not just talking about one or two handles here. We're taking about the bars that have devoted just about every handle to the art of craft beer; the folks that know that power of a freshly tapped keg of Hopslam and who would sell a large part of their soul to offer their Phoenix friends a taste of Russian River's Pliney the Younger.
Arizona Beer Week has sadly ended, but our thirst has not. And so we have put together a list of our favorite places to grab a cool pint of something hoppy, smoked, bourbon barrel aged, Belgium, imperial, or red. Cheers!
10. Lost Leaf -- You won't find a large selection of fancy beer on tap at this Downtown Phoenix house-turned-bar. Actually you won't find any beers on tap-- they don't have any (we heard it's in the works) --but they make up for it with a HUGE selection of craft brews in bottles -- 130 to be exact. You'll even find gluten-free and organic beers and ciders.
9. Delux Burger -- Whether your waiting for you burger or hanging out trying to look super hip and cool, Delux has a brew for you. Arizona brews have taken over the majority of the 40 handles but there are still plenty of our national faves waiting to be poured in to a frosty pint glass.
8. Yucca Tap Room -- Sixteen rotating tap handles and more than 130 different bottled beers makes the lounge side of one of our favorite Tempe places to catch a good ol' rock n' roll show a great place to relax with a pint of beer (and a chaser of whiskey). You can always find favorites like Four Peaks Hopknot on tap and the latest seasonals from Bell's, New Belgium, and Sierra Nevada.
7. Flanny's Bar & Grill -- The folks at Flanny's like to keep only the best of the best on their 22 rotating handles. We've seen Dogfish 120 Minute, Bell's Hopslam, New Belgium Prickly Pear Saison, and Epic's Big Bad Baptist cross their lines lately and they always seemed to have their hand on the pulse of the good stuff. Watch out for their upcoming "Tap Takeovers" starting in April.
6. The Handlebar Pub & Grill -- A craft beer bar in Apache Junction that serves delicious food made with local ingredients and grass-fed beef? NO WAY! That was our first reaction when we wandered in to this AJ gem. Monthly beer dinners, 24 craft beers on tap and more then 100 in bottles, plus live music and great eats makes us wish, if only for a moment, that we lived closer.
5. O.H.S.O -- Eighteen of O.H.S.O.'s 36 taps handles are dedicated to local beers while the other eighteen are stocked with a unique selection of national favorites from Epic, Lagunitas,
4. The Hungry Monk -- Their food can sometimes be hit or miss but their beer selection is never off. With 28 handles of local and specialty beers this Chandler taproom always has us on the lookout to see what new beers they've tapped. Recently, they tapped a keg of Bell's Hopslam at 8:30 a.m. -- now that's dedication.
3.Papago Brewing Company -- These guys were on the craft beer beat long before it was uber cool and after more then 10 years they're still goin' strong. Sample one of their own creations (we like the coconut porter), grab a pint from one of their 30 tap handles or take your pick from 100's of crafty beers in bottles.
2. Boulders on Broadway -- Beers, bikes, brunch, pizza, and more beer -- this place has it all. Their coolers are stocked with more than 70 awesome beers and their back wall is home to 30 tap handles sporting craft beers from Sonoran, Four Peaks, Odell's, Ska, and more. Boulders scores bonus points for their always fun team trivia night and their sweet patio.
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1. Taste of Tops -- How can you not like a craft beer bar that's attached to a liquor store? The beer selection at Taste is one of the best in the Valley and the 24 taps handles are always occupied with the best of the best. Don't get too attached to one beer -- the selections change daily and your new favorite probably won't last long.