There’s nothing that comes close to sipping a cold beer on a hot day, and the valley of the sun has a distinctive list of breweries offering unique craft beers, a lot of them award-winning, to quench that thirst in a city known for it’s heat index. The craft beer scene has been exploding throughout the country over the past decade and Phoenix wasn’t left behind during the beer boom. Next time you are in the city, stop by one of these stellar breweries for a local brew.
Helio Basin Brewing Co.
A Marine and a pharmaceutical scientist walk into a strip mall; what comes next is craft beers and a food menu that blends Arizona ingredients and Spanish-style cooking. The two friends come with years of dreams as well as experience. Opened within the last couple of years in central Phoenix, Helio Basin aims to produce beers with classic ingredients. There’s an American IPA, American pale ale, as well as a blackberry blonde beer and a robust porter, among others, currently on tap.
Helton Brewing Company
Located in a newly renovated 10,000 square foot warehouse, Helton Brewing Company features an onsite taproom, a full service kitchen and an outdoor “Beer Garage” where they host local bands and events. Six solid beers makeup their year round offerings, including a Northeast IPA, Rye Pale Ale, a Scottish Ale and a Milk Stout that comes with a semi-sweet chocolate and coffee notes. Their Pilsner is a golden hue with a crisp, male-forward nose, light body and classic lager finish. Pair your beers with a selection of meat and cheese from their food menu.
Huss Brewing Co. Taproom
Founded in nearby Tempe in 2013 by two folks with a lot of passion for craft beer, Huss Brewing Co. is now one of the state’s largest independent brewers, with a standalone Taproom in Uptown Phoenix and a brewery/taproom in Tempe, where it all started. Husband and wife, Jeff and Leah Huss, have nearly 30 combined years of experience (Jeff was a former head brewer and Leah co-owned and operated a brewery) their collective passion for craft beer inspired them to chase their dreams. The brewery’s year round offerings include Papago Orange Blossom, a vanilla mandarin wheat, Copper State IPA, and Papago Coconut Joe, a coconut coffee stout. There is also a list of occasional and limited releases that keep their taproom full of thirsty fans.
Mother Bunch Brewing
Tucked away in Downtown’s Roosevelt Row, Phoenix’s arts district, Mother Brunch dominates a warehouse-style space with exposed brick and comfy lounge seating in addition to gourmet eats and topnotch brews. Most breweries have limited selections of grub but not here, in fact, their food menu is just as impressive as their extensive rotating selection of craft beers. Favorites include Golden Ticket, a mildly hazy New England style pale ale, Between Prayers, an Abbey Ale with a fruity upfront, chocolate middle and subtle finish, and their Cherry Popper Porter, the first beer they brewed commercially.
North Mountain Brewing Company
It’s all about the history of beer at North Mountain Brewing Company. Their inspiration comes from the public houses of Colonial America and Britannia, combined with the spirit of the iconic beer halls of Europe. Their Americanized modern interpretation creates a place for Phoenicians to call home. Their beer-centric food menu includes classics like fish & chips and shepherd's pie. The handcrafted beer menu includes traditional pale ales, hefeweizens, summer ales and hearty porters.
O.H.S.O. Eatery & nano-brewery
As their full name reveals: Outrageous Homebrewer's Social Outpost, the real business of O.H.S.O. is their incredibly welcoming brewing community they offer as well as their awesome collaborations with other local breweries and home brewers, which create an original array of beers on tap. Their patio, dubbed “the Backyard” is welcoming to cyclists and dog walkers, two popular activities along the Arizona Canal, where the brewery is located. Dogs are family here, so expect to see dog bowls, watering spouts and free treats. Although O.H.S.O. is all about collaboration, they do have their core beers on tap, including their Morning Brew, a coffee-infused light beer brewed with oats and milk sugar, aged with coffee and vanilla beans.
Flying Basset Brewing
The newest kid on the brewing block, Flying Basset comes from owners Rob and Sara Gagnon. The couple met and began their adventures in making beer in 2011. Afterwards Rob took courses for brewing in 2013 and made his way to Head Brewer at a popular chain restaurant and brewery. Today, the couple, along with their two basset hounds, offer an exciting beer list, including their Flying Basset See How It Gose, a refreshing tart and fruity wheat ale, and Flying Basset Smoke Jumper, a beer brewed with malts that have been smoked, which provides a smoky aroma and taste.
With a large wooden bar as the centerpiece of this classic bar style brewery, SunUp Brewing also offers an outdoor patio with the basics; simple patio furniture and tables. The food menu offered at SunUp pairs well with their house-brewed ales. Their Tropper IPA is copper colored, with a strong hop aroma of grapefruit, citrus and pine. But if headed here, make sure to leave room for dessert as their Rookie Float is made with their homemade Logan’s Root Beer. For a boozy version, try the Vanilla Porter Float made with a decadent Vanilla Porter.
Uncle Bear’s Brewery
An upbeat, fun atmosphere where everyone can kick back and relax with some delicious menu items as well as their own locally brewed craft beer, Uncle Bear’s is named after a beloved Labrador mix named “Bear.” At 8,000 square feet, the Phoenix location is twice as big as its sister properties around the Phoenix Metro area, and is the only one with an on-site brewery. The sports bar and brewery is typically home to lots of happy barking dogs and wagging tails and their extensive food menu is packed with burgers, sandwiches and a few elevated takes on typical fare. Some of their top beers include their Foggy Doggy Coffee Milk Stout and Uncle Bear’s Mandarin Wheat which has a fantastic mandarin orange aroma and finishes clean, crisp and dry.
Wren House Brewing Co.
Located in the Green Gables neighborhood of Phoenix, the property where Wren House is located previously sat unoccupied for decades. The brewers fell in love with the home’s character and rebuilt the old guesthouse and garage in the backyard, turning it into their brew house. They converted the main 1920’s bungalow house into the cozy taproom. Inside the brew house, the focus is on quality as well as the exploration of a wide range of brewing techniques and styles. Their recent hit, Las Frescas, a sour beer series, changes character each week. Past Las Frescas versions have included a magenta brew flavored with dragonfruit, and a tropical pineapple, orange juice, guava and cherry flavor.