SanTan Brewing Company – Chandler, AZ

Located at 8 S San Marcos Pl, Chandler, AZ 85225
Open Sun-Thurs 8a-11p; Fri & Sat 8a-12a
http://www.santanbrewing.com

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The town of Chandler is a suburb of Phoenix with a long history of cotton farming. A few places in town have the word “historic” attached to them but I have to say that the term seems like a misnomer. I’ve written about other “historic” places like Bisbee, Prescott and Jerome. Chandler has a more modern, fabricated feel to it. Its cookie-cutter houses and major-chain-businesses make the place pretty much indistinguishable from the surrounding suburbs like Mesa and Gilbert. I don’t mean to shit on the town but I doubt I’d ever be making a trip to Chandler at all if I wasn’t visiting today’s microbrewery. Especially considering that the only strip club in town was closed for Easter Sunday, which totally screwed up my holiday plans something fierce.

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Papago Brewing Co. – Scottsdale, AZ

Located at 7107 E McDowell Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85257
Open Sun-Thurs 12p-12a; Fri-Sat 12p-2a.
http://papagobrewing.com

Papago (1)

This project has allowed me to travel to a lot of new places in Arizona, visit lots of wonderful breweries and drink lots and lots of fantastic beers. But after a while my travels can kinda blend together into a haze of half-remembered brews and leftover shame from all the times I’ve woken up pantsless in the backseat of a taxi cab that I probably tried to hijack, Collateral style.

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Beast Brewing Company – Bisbee, AZ

Located at 1326 W Highway 92 – #8, Bisbee, AZ 85603
Open Wed-Sat 12p-8p; Sun 12p-6p
http://beastbrewingcompany.com

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Before starting this blog my trips to Bisbee were spent entirely in what’s called “Old Bisbee.” This is the pedestrian-friendly hub where one can find restaurants, art galleries, bars, charming Victorian-style homes and tons of dirty hippies. It’s a wonderful place to spend a relaxing weekend and if you haven’t been you should absolutely make it a point to visit.

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Beaver Street Brewery & Lumberyard Brewing Co. – Flagstaff, AZ

Beaver Street is open Sun-Wed 11a -1a and Thurs-Sat 11a-2a
Located at 11 South Beaver Street #1, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
http://www.beaverstreetbrewery.com

Lumberyard is open Sun-Tues 11a-11p and Weds-Sat 11a-2a
5 South San Francisco Street, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
http://www.lumberyardbrewingcompany.com

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Flagstaff is the most un-Arizona place in Arizona that we’ve been to so far. The drive in to town is accentuated by pine trees, and if you don’t think it’s weird to see green trees in the Arizona desert then you’ll definitely be blown away by the sight of snowy mountains off in the distance. Historic downtown Flagstaff is home to four breweries and two more can be found by driving 10 to 15 minutes east on Route 66. We’ll talk about those two some other time though because today we’re sticking to downtown. For the first time in the blog’s history we’re talking about two locations in one post. I know that seems like cheating but like I’ve told many an ex-girlfriend before: it’s not cheating because they’re related, baby.

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Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. – Gilbert, AZ

Located at 721 N Arizona Ave #103, Gilbert, AZ 85233
Open Mon-Thurs 11a-11p; Fri-Sat 11a-1a; Sun 11a-10p
http://www.azwbeer.com

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I’ll be honest, I hate the outdoors. I’ve mentioned before that Arizona is a great place for people who like hiking and camping and mountain biking. But I’m a total city slicker and my sole experience with the outdoors in this state is the time I was told to hike through the Sonoran desert carrying only a compass, one gallon of water and a handgun with a single bullet in the chamber courtesy of a bunch of guys who told me that if I made it back to the city alive they would forgive my astronomical gambling debt to them.

But even I get a little frustrated with urban living when we’re discussing the greater Phoenix area. I’ve given you my fair share of complaints about this place before but I haven’t mentioned how I especially hate having to distinguish the half-a-dozen or so suburban cities surrounding Phoenix when they could all just really be collectively known as “Phoenix” and then we can just call it a day and go drink. Hey, Scottsdale and Tempe and Glendale and Mesa and Gilbert and all these other towns, all of you are just fucking Phoenix.

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O.H.S.O. Eatery + nanoBrewery – Phoenix, AZ

Located at 4900 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix AZ 85018
Open Mon-Thu 11a to 12a; Fri 11a-1:30a; Sat 9a-1:30a; Sun 9a to 12a
http://ohsobrewery.com

I was very interested in going to this joint called O.H.S.O. mainly because they refer to themselves as a “nanobrewery.” That term basically amounts to large-scale homebrewers, like the Schraderbrau Brewing Company in New Mexico.

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I was excited to learn about the operation because it’s been a personal goal of mine to start a nanobrewery after running a successful picobrewery out of my toilet for the past year. Mapping the location of Original Horse Stable Odyssey (or whatever) was a bit confusing when I realized the place was pretty close to downtown Scottsdale. I say confusing because Scottsdale is a pretty tony suburb and I imagined a nanobrewery would be such a small, upstart operation that it would be based out of a toolshed in the backyard of a South Phoenix house where Coyotes stash all their illegals.

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Sentinel Peak Brewing Company – Tucson, AZ

Located at 4746 East Grant Road, Tucson, AZ 85712
Open Tues-Thurs 11a-9p; Fri-Sat 11a-10:30p; Sun 11a-8p
http://www.sentinelpeakbrewing.com

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.

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Black Hole Beer Company – Prescott, AZ

Note that as of April 2016 the Black Hole Beer Company taproom has closed. The place is now a bar and grill operated by different owners. This review of their taproom is now considered a historical document.

I mentioned last week that I didn’t want this blog to appear Phoenix-centric because I know the place can overshadow other, cool parts of Arizona. As a way to show my commitment to highlighting the off-beaten paths of my state I’m writing about a startup brewery in the town of Prescott named Black Hole. This place only opened in April of 2014 and already shows great signs of longevity. More about that in a bit. First, I should mention that Prescott is a beautiful town which, curiously enough, is pretty much equidistant from Flagstaff and Phoenix. Those of you who’ve never been are advised to pay it a visit.

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North Mountain Brewing – Phoenix, AZ

Located at 522 E Dunlap Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85020
Open Mon-Wed 3p-10p; Thurs 11a-10p; Fri & Sat 11a-11p and Sunday 11a-9p
http://www.northmountainbrewing.com

I find Arizona interesting. It’s a vast desert with pockets of intense beauty scattered intermittently across a barren, sad, brown wasteland. The mountainous landscapes add a nice flavor to its cities and those who enjoy camping and hiking have plenty of terrain to choose from if they want to escape the company of people and the luxuries of air conditioning and HBO. If you look at any map of Arizona you’ll instantly see that Phoenix is the most prominent cityscape. It’s a mainstay in the list of the Top Ten biggest cities in the United States and often even flirts with the Top Five, the dirty slut. If you do a Free Association exercise using the word “Arizona” you’ll only ever hear people respond with “Phoenix” and “Grand Canyon” and “Blowjobs in an alley for meth money.”

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