Located at 4746 East Grant Road, Tucson, AZ 85712
Open Tues-Thurs 11a-9p; Fri-Sat 11a-10:30p; Sun 11a-8p
Tucson is a cool place. It’s a town that, in terms of size, is in between the huge metropolis that is Phoenix and the tiny towns like the ones in Southeastern Arizona. It’s seemingly the perfect place for people who can’t handle a giant city like LA or Phoenix but also need a little more activity than can be found in a Sonoita or a Douglas. Getting around Tucson can be pretty sweet if the traffic is light as you can pretty much be anywhere in town in twenty to thirty minutes. You can’t say that about Phoenix.
Our Tucson adventure starts in what appears to be the mid-to-east side of town with a joint called Sentinel Peak. This name is taken from the name of a mountain on the West side of Tucson that has a letter A affixed to it in honor of the U of A, which is Tucson’s University of Arizona. This mountain is commonly referred to here as “A Mountain.”
I tried to explain this recently to a friend and the conversation went thusly:
Me: You know, Sentinel Peak is the official name of A Mountain.
Him: Which mountain?
Me: A Mountain.
Him: Yes, I know, a mountain. But which one is it?
Me: It’s the one on the West side of town.
Him: Okay, but what’s it called?
Me: I told you. A Mountain.
Him: Fuck you.
Sentinel Peak was started by three local firefighters and I hear through the grapevine that at least one of them was actually featured in one of those Sexy Firefighter Calendars, but I’m not sure which month he was. I’m sure my ex-girlfriend Katie would recognize him because she always made me wear that same Firefighters Calendar around my neck before she agreed to have sex with me for some reason.
Sentinel Peak is in an interesting location because to its immediate right there was a PetSmart and to its left there was a vet’s office and to the left of that there was what seemed to be a pet training place. A lot of the Sentinel Peak regulars come by after visiting the vet next door, like this cool cat named Tyler whom I met while I was drinking there. I call Tyler a cool cat because he was super laid-back with long hair and a really friendly demeanor and also was a cat. He’s been going to Sentinel Peak for months and all the staff know him by name. He flirts with the bartendress, gets his beer served in a bowl instead of a glass and teases the cooks about how their food menu doesn’t have fish tacos. You know…because he’s a fucking cat.
There are eight beers on tap and a flight includes four of them. You’ll have to get two separate flights in order to try everything but it’s quite obviously worth it. As mentioned, there’s also food served here and the most prominent part of the menu is the paninis. I don’t know what the hell makes a panini different from just a regular sandwich but my word processor currently thinks panini is not a real word. So as far as I’m concerned, you go right ahead and just keep calling it a sandwich. They also have a few salads and an appetizer menu which includes, among other things, chicken or beef street tacos.
As for the beer, the lightest of the bunch was the Running Wash Rye, which was super smooth and as inoffensive as a beer gets. I know that sounds like a backhanded compliment but it’s not. It’s a great craft beer for people who have no experience with craft beer and who maybe waste most of their drinking opportunities with Bud Lights and Tecates because they don’t like their beers too strong. Classy Alcoholics should not only strive to hide their crippling dependency from the people they love but they should also educate those people and help them class up their own drinking.
The standout beer here is a Mexican-style amber called the Salida del Sol, which is Spanish for, “No, officer, I don’t have current insurance or registration.” As with the Running Wash this beer is a perfect introduction for craft beer newbies, especially if they drink Dos Equis. The Salida del Sol can be described as tasting like a Dos Equis but better and it has the added bonus of not generating a paycheck for that insufferable Most Interesting Man in the World white guy from the commercials. Never forget, Dos Equis is made by a Mexican mass-brewing company which is a subsidiary of the Heineken International brewing company, which is Dutch. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against drinking internationally but when you have the option of spending money on beer that travels for hundreds of miles on the back of a truck as opposed to a beer that’s brewed in tanks mere feet from you, why wouldn’t you make an effort to seek out places like Sentinel Peak? Especially if you live in Tucson which is a town small enough that you’re never more than fifteen minutes away from your nearest microbrewery.
Not to mention that the Most Interesting Man in the World ads are a clear appropriation of the Classy Alcoholic’s lifestyle.
Anyway, Sentinel Peak also has something called an Overhaul Chili Beer, which is not available in a flight and is an extremely spicy beer that basically tastes like liquid bell peppers. This beer is not for the faint of heart but it can be tried in a slightly less intense version by mixing a quarter of it into the Salida del Sol. The spiciness of the Overhaul actually amplifies the Salida and squeezing a lime into it will make you wonder why you ever bothered drinking Dos Equis beer in the first place.
Seriously, fuck that Interesting World Man guy. The Classy Alcoholic could be a much better spokesman for any beer. I do interesting things too. Did you know I’ve been banned from at least three Peter Piper Pizzas for drunk and disorderly conduct? And I went to Nebraska once. I was dishonorably discharged from ROTC but not before getting the Best Dressed ribbon on my uniform. Twice. Plus I dated a girl last year for a whole week before I realized that she only had one arm. I bet none of y’all have ever done all that shit!
Anyway, be sure to visit Sentinel Peak Brewing if you’re in Tucson and looking for a place to drown your sorrows after having the family dog put down next door.