O.H.S.O. Gilbert: A Great Place To Be

Written by Aaron Forrester and Scott Keys – Collectively known as Beers N’ Buddies

It’s Friday night and the longing for a refreshing, yet oh so bitter IPA calling your name. You want to try something new, but with the ever-growing beer scene in Arizona, a clear choice is becoming more difficult. No worries, thousands of reviews exist online and you just happened to come across one written about O.H.S.O. Nano Brewery and Eatery located in Arcadia (thanks Facebook reviews). After scrolling through dozens of reviews, one in particular catches your eye, one that makes you think twice, one that simply says, “This place is not worth coming back to”.

It was in 2014 that Aaron proclaimed these words to his wife following an evening of “underwhelming” and “low-quality” food made worse by “poor service,” or so he wrote in the review. As for their beers, well, Aaron was still a padawon as far as craft beer was concerned and so he went with instinct: he drank wine. Although he could not have known it then, Jon Lane, owner of O.H.S.O., read his review, as so many do, and rather than grow bitter like a triple IPA, Lane reached out to Aaron to inquire further into his experience and to invite both Aaron and his wife back as his personal guests. Never one to be rude, Aaron took him up on his offer. As is often true, second chances are always sweet and this one turned out to be no different: O.H.S.O. was a place to come back to, it was a place to eat and drink, it was and is, a place to praise!

Following his second, and far better experience at O.H.S.O., Aaron has returned countless times, taking part in such events as Pumpkin beer and Christmas tap takeovers, sampling new brews and trying out their house spirits, all of which are distilled in their very own distillery located near the North Scottsdale/Phoenix area. Each additional visit became better than the last, but the best experience Aaron has had at O.H.S.O. was his opportunity to brew his own beer at the Arcadia location. For those unaware, O.H.S.O. Arcadia offers the public a chance to develop, brew, and tap an original beer on their pilot system. Having done this once before, quite successfully we will add, Aaron devised a unique twist on a date night, and he returned with his wife where they brewed a beer in honor of his sister-in-law. (Link to article).  This too was a successful brew and it would not have been possible had Aaron not taken Lane up on his offer for a second chance. As for Aaron, it was this second chance that made the best first impression and he is not alone in thinking that O.H.S.O. is worth its growlers in beer, many others agree, and so they are growing. If you happen to live near downtown Gilbert, well, they have a new location there just for you! When did that happen and what’s it like? Great questions!

A little over a year ago, O.H.S.O. announced their plan to expand their brand to the Eastern side of the Phoenix Valley near downtown Gilbert, a rather serendipitous move because Aaron and his wife frequent that part of town often. As days turned to weeks, and weeks to months, they anxiously watched the brewery transform from nothing more than a foundation of dirt to a building with walls, and, you got it, BEER. After what seemed a lifetime, the brewery was completed: At long last, opening day had come!

Upon entering the brewery, one might think that the location is small, yet cozy, with a fun and familiar feel: I mean, come on, there are bikes on the wall. But to Aaron’s surprise, O.H.S.O. has created something like the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland; just when you think it will stop, it doesn’t. With every step towards the back of the brewery he noticed a number of intricacies. Much like their main brewery in Paradise Valley, an industrial stair case leads to their bright and gleaming brewing equipment located above the main floor, a wise move on their part as they can use gravity to help transfer brews and spent grain from one vessel to another. This is what we call efficiency! A few steps later and the hallway opens into Gilbert’s new “Wonderland of Beer,” and something Aaron did not quite expect.

At first glance, his eye was drawn to the massive beer art wall made entirely of kegs, followed by a space so large that it could easily host massive events. But what struck Aaron most was something not typically found in a brewery… a cocktail lounge! As mentioned previously, in addition to great beer and food, O.H.S.O. also has a distillery  located in Northern Scottsdale, and because of the size of this new location they have opened this lounge and have dubbed it ‘The Novelist’. For O.H.S.O., and perhaps for any brewery, this is an entirely different concept. In addition to signature cocktails, The Novelist has both its own food menu and décor with a modern upscale feel, but it is also a multipurpose space: O.H.S.O. can shut the doors to The Novelist and host private events that are unique to downtown Gilbert.

Never one to pass up a good spirit, Aaron took a few moments to grab a cocktail and then ventured deeper into the labyrinth that is this new location. While sipping on his “gin and juice,” Aaron discovered a very large patio that is not only inviting to people, but also dogs, a policy they have at all of their locations. Here, dogs are not only welcomed but catered to as well with watering stations and pet friendly grassy areas where every pup can have a fun time. But the amenities do not stop there, and they were obviously not just geared toward our furry friends. In addition, the outdoor space provides patrons with a second bar and yard games such as corn hole and ping pong, making O.H.S.O. Gilbert a family friendly brewery and restaurant.

O.H.SO. in Gilbert is a mind-blowing experience for beer and cocktail lovers alike, and it seems to already be attracting the locals.  At the time of Aaron’s visit, every table, chair, and corner of the brewery was packed. In speaking with the manager, Adam Davis, said that they could not believe the outpouring of support. Although they more than welcome the foot traffic, they did not expect it to be as busy as it has been and are excited to see the growth. So you see, this is clear evidence that sometimes the first impression is the wrong impression, and for Aaron and his wife, they are more than glad that Jon Lane invited them back: the result was a passion that is O.H.S.O. real. In the end, O.H.S.O. in downtown Gilbert is a great fit and we look forward to the new brews and cocktails they have planned, and although it may not require a second take for everyone, Aaron is well pleased that he was given the chance to give O.H.S.O. another try. Being wrong never tasted so good!





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