King James Valley Wide CRAFT Beer & Food Guide 2013

Hello everyone, this is a very special week for us. This week, here in pages of AZ Weekly, we get the Cover Article and with it a Go to Guide showing love to the local bars and pubs that support our thirst for that artfully hewnbroth we call beer. This directory differs from previous articles as the focus is now valley wide and a tribute to the growing popularity of craft beer and pairing cuisine. Be sure to look for my Can’t Miss Menu Items “CMMI”, at many locations. No big breweries here, just the great local places that make everyday life so enjoyable. Lastly, this list is in no particular order as all of these places have rightfully earned their spot. With that said, let’s take a closer look.

The first pub on this year’s list is Flanny’s. Located in Tempe AZ, they feature 24 beers on tap and live for the art of small batch and local beer. Managing partners John Flanagan and John Jr. have it down to a science with an ever rotating beer selection and a food menu to match.Very importantly, as I have mentioned in the past, this is truly a family run operation as everyone in the Flanagan clan gets in on the act. To me there is something quite comforting about knowing the entire family is there making it all happen. Known valley wide for their Third Thursday Tap Takeovers, the place essentially becomes one brewery’s specialty tap room for the evening and let me tell you, it’s a party! Get there early because the beer doesn’t last long! CMMI: Steak and Blue Cheese Sliders.

Being that we are in Tempe, I’d be remiss not to mention World of Beer on Mill Ave. If you have not been here yet, know that you are missing out! With 50 craft and local beers on tap plus five hundred different bottles to choose from, W.O.B strikes a perfect balance between hardcore, hard to find micro brews and easily approachable gateway beers that are perfect for those just finding their way into quality frosty beverages. No food here, but more important are their “Beer Education Classes” taught by Certified Cicerone Zach Fowle. For beginners and experts alike, this is the perfect opportunity to learn what makes beer so special. Check their website for class dates and see you there!

While we’re down there so to speak, another great new establishment on Mill Ave. is the HandlebarTempe. With 24 craft and import beers on tap, a 2000 square foot covered patio and great classic beer cuisine, Handlebar earns a solid spot in this register. Who can beat the age old pairing of quality beer with sausages and stone ground mustard? In Arizona, it seems everyone loves patio life and this place delivers with a beer garden unlike anywhere else in town. Julian Wright, the brain child and proprietor of this establishment, is well known locally in the restaurant industry as owner of other establishments such as LaBocca Urban Kitchen. Just because it’s such a cool joint, I will mention that LaBocca also has a great tap selection as well. CMMI: Smoked Polish Sausage or the Gruyere Burger

Moving into South Tempe, let’s check out Lucky Break. What’s cool about this establishment is that it’s a posh pool hall with plenty of craft beer and a great kitchen. How many pool halls do you know that have a nice selection of great beer on tap? This one does and the kitchen puts out burgers, fresh salads and appetizers to die for. Check it out soon and bring your cue, you’ll be glad you did.
CMMI: Ultimate Grilled Cheese w/ Bacon

Ok, let’s stick to Tempe for a while longer and mention Boulders on Broadway and its brand new sister Spokes on Southern. As many of you know, Boulders has been around for quite some time and is well known for their pizza and beer selection. Being an older establishment, Boulders is quite comfortable in their own skin and features just about every different kind of beer on a regular basis. Not yet a craft beer drinker? No worries, they got you covered but will gladly help those who are curios to experience more. With beer superstars like barman Chris Shinn and manager Rob Knutsen always around, you can count on gettin’ what you need. Spokes on Southern, Boulders brand new sibling, plays it a bit different. Sitting in the old Streets of New York Uptown Brewery location, there is tons of room for parties and an amazing lakefront patio. With a clean, simple easy food menu and 24 tap handles focused on craft beer, this is definitely a new hot spot for those seeking enlightenment. I have been there a few times, and really enjoyed it.

Still thirsty I hope? Awesome, let’s take the action down to Chandler and check out The Hungry Monk. As Chandler’s only entry in this year’s list, the Monk as it’s known to regular customers is famous for two things, IPAs and Hot Wings. Owner operator Jim Lolli loves his hops and it shows every day as there are at least ten IPAs and pale ales to choose from at any given time. With 28 beers on tap, he does manage to keep a nice balance, but if it’s spicy food and bitter beer you seek, look no further. Also in the news, Jim has just opened a mobile version of his pub called the Traveling Monk. That’s right, it’s a food truck! Look for it at all of the better beer festivals and events in your area soon.
CMMI: Garlic Parmesan Hot Wings

Now it’s time for a quick journey out east to Queen Creek to visit the Wild Side Grill. Formally called Trophy’s, the Hunter’s Steak House, Wild Side still has a hunting and wild game theme, but with 18 beers on tap and a more relaxed menu and atmosphere. Fifteen of the tap handles are dedicated to craft breweries such as Odell, Firestone and Four Peaks while the food menu brings you great burgers, sandwiches and cool summer salads. Former managing partner Brett Dettler, now with soon to be open Wilderness Brewing has made sure the place stays in the family and true to craft beer. Having said so, I never want to hear anyone say there is no place to go in Queen Creek again! If you live out east this place is quite nice and on your front door step! CMMI: Crab Creole Burger

Right, we covered the east now let’s head north to Scottsdale where there is more to beer than meets the eye! First up is a great new place I discovered only last week called Daily Dose.Well off the radar but with 12 tap handles dedicated to craft and local beer, quite a few craft bottles, a really chill patio and Superb Happy Hour Cuisine, you just can’t go wrong. With a gastro pub style menu featuring street style tacos, gourmet sliders and more, this should be Scottsdale’s craft beer and nosh happy hour destination. Did I mention that happy hour runs 4-8pm? Nice and late every day of the week. How many times can one person say Happy Hour in a paragraph? I may have broken the record, but trust me it’s worth it. Get down there for happy hour now! CMMI: Southwest Cheese Steak Sliders

Another Scottsdale newcomer to this list is Pig & Pickle, another gastro style pub where they truly Dig the Pig and I mean every part of the pig, just as it should be. I’m sure in the past many of you have heard me say that “Bacon is the perfect food.” With 6 craft beers always on tap, thirty or so bottles and an eye for pairing and preparing their cuisine with beer, the possibilities are almost endless. Pork and beer heaven plain and simple. Oh yes, almost forgot, their late night menu is perfect for pairing with a cold brew. CMMI: Shrimp and Grits with Asiago, Trinity & Tomato

Papago Brewing, also in Scottsdale has been doing the craft beer thing for quite some time. Although you see the title “Brewery” in its name, Papago qualifies for this list because their beer is made off premise and they do sell plenty of different beer from all over the world. Both on tap with 30 handles and in a multitude of bottles, Papago’s selection is hard to beat and the food is tasty as well. Known city wide for their thin crust, hand-tossed, beer dough pizzas, there are always great eats to be had here after a few cold ones, plus owner and Certified Cicerone Ron Kloth always keeps the rotation fresh and exciting.
CMMI: Flammekuek Belgian Pizza

Next up in Scottsdale is the Skeptical Chymist, a traditional Irish style pub with a big twist, lots of craft beer. After seeing the tide turning away from imports and onto Craft, the Chymist’s owners wisely brought in beer guy Remy De La Mora to churn things up a bit. Seems like a wise choice as now the bar features 14 craft beers on tap with hot sellers from breweries such as Firestone Walker, Deschutes and Napa Smith. Being an Irish pub, this place should come good on the cuisine and that they do. I adore the Bangers and Champ and the Beer Batter Fish and Chips really ring my bell. Wanna drink great beer and see a proper football match? This is your place. CMMI: Beer Batter Fish & Chips

Time now to discuss Phoenix, as there are a few great newcomers here. First and foremost, the place to be in the Phoenix area is OHSO. Located in east Phoenix near Scottsdale, OHSO has 30+ beers on tap of which 18 are always LOCAL. With a menu chocked full of “feel good”comfort food items, two patios (front & back) and a Nano Brewery, this place has something to offer everyone. Yes you heard that right, Nano Brewery. They brew very small batch beers, two kegs at a time, to suit the needs of the community right in their own back yard. Speaking of community, owner operator Jon Lane is a huge supporter of all things local and the people around him. This is evident in the plethora of fundraising and charitable events constantly happening there. Pretty cool ‘eh? CMMI: Hot Pastrami Sandwich w/ Bonus Burger or the All You Can Eat BBQ.

The next step in our capitol city has to be Angels Trumpet. Located in central Phoenix, this establishment is rather new to the scene but has a lot to offer. With 31 craft tap handles, a focus on Belgian styles plus a huge dog friendly patio with outdoor seating and close proximity to the ball park, this is the perfect tailgate before or after the games. The people watching here is also, bar none, the best in town. Ever wonder who frequents those chic shave shops in your local mall? They all come here! The feel is big, open and clean with small white tiles on the back bar that bring back memories of old school English fish and chip shops. Having never eaten here, I don’t have a menu recommendation this go round, but I hear good things. Definitely a must see if you find yourself downtown.

So now let’s go bar hopping. Just down the street and around the corner from Angels Trumpet is Copper Blues at Cityscape. Located next to the Stand Up Live Comedy Theatre, it’s a place I always describe as the Hard Rock Café with craft beer. Remember way back when the Hard Rock was super chic? Copper Blues is now the boss and they have the gig down to a science. With 20 out of 60 beers on tap dedicated to LOCAL breweries, live rock and blues music, a modern atmosphere, great burgers and close proximity to everything happening downtown, this is a can’t miss when visiting the big city.
CMMI: Copper Blues Signature Burger w/ Beer Mac & Cheese

Rounding out the line up in Phoenix is Bar Maximus. Known well around down town for their inexpensive take on “Unpretentious Fine Dining”, Maximus features10 rotating tap handles always dedicated to craft. Beers such as Sonoran’s White Chocolate Ale, Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, Left Hand Pole Star Pils and Stone’s Arrogant Bastard constantly keep it real. Food Specials include very upscale and artfully crafted five dollar lunch specials as well as great paninis and cheese boards. I love pairing beer and food here as it’s always a good time and always delish! CMMI: Prosciutto, Blue Cheese and Apple on Focaccia

Heading out into the Wild West, let’s now say hello to Ground Control in Litchfield Park. Part craft beer bar, gourmet coffee shop and kitchen, this place is an island oasis out in the west siiiieeede. With 25 all craft beers on draught, “No Crap On Tap” is the slogan here and you know it’s true as signs and posters all over the bar say so. The beer program here is run by local guru Ian Harwell and has been a huge hit sweeping up many area awards, accolades and media mentions along the way. So much so that Ian was invited to make his own beer at Odell Brewing in Fort Collins, Colorado. What did he brew? Why a coffee stout of course! What impressed me most about this place was the balance, great beer, a nice menu to pair and fantastic espresso to finish. Lastly, there the website says NO WIFI, at Ground Control, conversation is king. Not sure if this still holds true but just in case, be ready to chat!
CMMI: Wood Fired Ham and Brie Panini w/ Apples and Honey

Next up way out west is Caballero Grill, located not far from Ground Control in Goodyear. I was quite surprised to find such an eccentric place in what might be considered a very blue collar area, but boy what a surprise! With 16 craft beers always on tap including a Signature IPA, this place is preaching the gospel every day and the cuisine is no different. For starters, there is a fresh ceviche bar, traditional street style tacos and parmesan or coconut crusted fish sandwiches on Brioche. Partners Anthony Geurriero and Paul Fratella have certainly drawn a line in the sand and “craft” begins there. Simply Heaven! CMMI: Pulled Pork Stacker and Ceviche Bar

Do you like BBQ? Before we go any further we simply must talk about Bryan’s Black Mountain Barbeque. Located in Cave Creek, this celebrated establishment carries a large selection of craft beer to pair with their legendary chow. With beers from breweries such as Deschutes, Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada, there’s something craft to please everyone enjoying all that carefully smoked meat.
CMMI: Pulled Pork topped w/ Fried eggs and Slaw

Last but not least way out in Anthem, we have Hops and Tannins. This place is sort of an enigma, wrapped in a sweater. It’s a home brew shop but with so much more. In addition to D.I.Y beer and wine supplies, they keep a large rotating selection of craft beer in the fridge for purchase and here’s the real kicker, they don’t have food but instead food making supplies. Yes friends, here is the place to buy your brew and cheese making kits in the same place! Want to make your own special cheeses for pairing right in the comfort of your own home? This is the place to find the gear and the beer. Almost forgot, they also keep fresh raw milk and honey on premise. Is your head spinning yet? After all, there truly is no place like home!

Honorable Mentions include the Yucca Tap Room. Known for many years as the “tap room without taps” they now feature a great craft beer selection on draught, live music and an eclectic, fresh food menu worth checking out. We must also give props to Taste of Tops. A great bottle shop and bar when the beer is all that matters. Owner operator Greg Eccles is a longtime friend and believer of craft beer here in Arizona and has been selling it for as long as I can remember and long before it was cool. A true ground breaker, this list would not be complete without him.

There you have it, my list of GO TO places valley wide for 2013. A bit different than last go round and with good reason as there are many new and exciting places to see. Over the course of this year, try to visit them all if you have the means. Craft beer is growing by leaps and bounds all over the valley and the ways to enjoy it are almost endless.

Lastly, if you have a favorite place that I didn’t mention here please feel free to elaborate. There is always room for new friends at the table.

Until Next week, Cheers!

David Schollmeyer

David-Schollmeyer1-179x300ARIZONA HOME BREWERS! Last week was supposed to wrap up my look into the best and most creative of the bunch however, after quite a few emails and even a phone call or three I discovered that one very important man was left out of the group. That man is David Schollmeyer. Why is David so important you ask? Let’s begin by saying that he served on the board of the Arizona Society of HomeBrewers for three years and has been an active member since 2007.
Most importantly, he won and American Home Brewers Association GOLD Medal last year for his beer called Chimayo Azul. A strong Belgian dark ale brewed with Mexican sugar. In total there were four hundred and four entries in that category. This is three hundred plus more entries thanthe IPA category at the AmeriCAN beer festival. How’s that for competition?
David began in 2006 by borrowing a kit from his neighbor and immediately began to enjoy the “scientific process” involved in creating something from scratch. His first brew was a Four Peaks Hop Knot clone. He was absolutely amazed to people said to him “hey this tastes just like Hop Knot”. At that moment a star was born! Once his neighbor moved away David immediately set up his own system as he was going crazy not being able to express himself through his love of the craft.
When asked what he would like to add to the story, he said “I’m an engineer by trade so for me it’s all about process”. To create a recipe and take it from start to finish with his own creative insight is what makes this more than hobby. Of course, my next question was when will you open a brewery? He laughed and replied “are you kidding that sounds like work!”
Until next week, Cheers!
Why is David so important you ask? Let’s begin by saying that he served on the board of the Arizona Society of HomeBrewers for three years and has been an active member since 2007.
Most importantly, he won and American Home Brewers Association GOLD Medal last year for his beer called Chimayo Azul. A strong Belgian dark ale brewed with Mexican sugar. In total there were four hundred and four entries in that category. This is three hundred plus more entries thanthe IPA category at the AmeriCAN beer festival. How’s that for competition?
David began in 2006 by borrowing a kit from his neighbor and immediately began to enjoy the “scientific process” involved in creating something from scratch. His first brew was a Four Peaks Hop Knot clone. He was absolutely amazed to people said to him “hey this tastes just like Hop Knot”. At that moment a star was born! Once his neighbor moved away David immediately set up his own system as he was going crazy not being able to express himself through his love of the craft.
When asked what he would like to add to the story, he said “I’m an engineer by trade so for me it’s all about process”. To create a recipe and take it from start to finish with his own creative insight is what makes this more than hobby. Of course, my next question was when will you open a brewery? He laughed and replied “are you kidding that sounds like work!”
Until next week, Cheers!

HOME BREW IS FOR SHARING

Hello again craft beer lovers. For the month of May, let’s again switch gears and chat about HOME BREW and the people in Arizona that produce it. Over the next four weeks we shall cover four very unique home brewers living right here in the Grand Canyon state.

Andrew Baumann gets my nod for the most creative and prolific brewer in recent history. Beginning in March 2011, Andrew’s first brew was a Rogue IPA clone. That brew kit was the start of something beautiful. Since then Andrew has produced some of the wildest brews one might imagine including the Cake and a Card Porter. In case you were wondering he did indeed brew with a cake…wait for it…and a birthday card in the mash. Believe it or not, it was amazing. I doubt very much the card had any effect on the brew but the idea just strikes me as insane! Next up was a Grilled Lemon Cream Ale and if that weren’t enough The Night @ The Movies Pale Ale takes the cake. That too was strange brew made with popcorn!

Now, I did mention that Andrew was quite the prolific brewer. In that I mean he will brew at his home brewery affectionately known as DAH BREW not once, but three times a day, two to three times a week. This guy has an addiction! He has already won four medals at Sanctioned BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) events and will one day I’m sure be a professional brewer that breaks boundaries in the same fashion Tomme Arthur.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, when asked if there was anything he’d like to add to this article, he responded simply: Home Brew Is For Sharing. I can’t tell you how much I love this guy!

Until next week, Cheers!

32 Shea.

Coffee | Food | Wine as the name reads, are served at 32 Shea (10626 N. 32nd Street, Phoenix, 602-867-7432).

Albeit a small space, a remarkable amount of flavor and vibe have been expertly crafted into every corner. Guests are encouraged to cozy up to the bar, enjoy one of a few café tables, or dine outside on the shaded enclosed and dog friendly patio.

Coffee drinks include iced and drip coffee bar offerings, lattes, cappuccinos, and espressos. A full bar shakes up drinks like Mint Lemon Drop Martinis, Pineapple Rum Mojitos and the Shea Breeze made of muddled pineapple, vodka, cranberry, soda and fresh lime. If cocktails aren’t your preference, choose from almost 2o wines 10 craft beers.

While I’m a girl that enjoys a drink on occasion, it was the food that really impressed. Breakfast offers items like Warm Nutella and fresh bananas on toast ($3.50) and New Mexico Burritos made with egg, bacon, potato, cheese, avocado and homemade green salsa ($4.50). Lunch consists excellent fresh sandwiches with chips like the OMG made with prosciutto, mascarpone and fig or Juicy Roast Beef served with melted muenster, creamy horseradish and tomato ($7.25). Salads are also available in combinations like a Classic Chop ($7.50) or Caprese ($6.50). Dinner includes additional options like the choice of 8 delicious Bruschetta ($10.95), and the entrée of the moment.

It is not often that a place can deliver great coffee, and food, as well as beer, wine and cocktails. 32 Shea however, knows how to do it right.

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