Top 5 Brewery Atmospheres – Metro Phoenix
By Jessica Black and Lauren Smith of Blacksmith Unfiltered
There has been a craft beer revolution the past decade, and lucky for us beer lovers the amount of Phoenix breweries has followed the trend. While many other local bloggers and writers concentrate on the beer itself, we concentrate on the overall experience. A tasty pint is always delightful, but enjoying great brews and delicious food with friends in a fun and inviting atmosphere adds so much more to the experience. We spent the past few years visiting, and revisiting, all the breweries in the Phoenix metro area and came up with our Top 5 Breweries for the Overall Experience and Ambiance.
Helton Brewing Co.
2144 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016
Helton opened in early 2016, and it has been on our favorite list since the first time we visited. This brewery seems designed to get you to stay and engage with your friends. They have tons of free games to play (Clue is our favorite), and they have a huge, covered, outdoor game area with shuffleboard, billiards, and antler ring toss. Their Scotch Ale is unapologetically superior to that other local brewery’s flagship scotch. Complementing the beer, the food does not disappoint. The menu has been steadily growing since they first opened. The Cheesemonger’s Boards used to be our go-to order, but with the addition of new menu items such as Mac N’ Cheese & Chorizo and Cuban Sandwich, it’s hard not to order something different every time.
Goldwater Brewing Co.
3608 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Goldwater has the perfect location right on the edge of Old Town Scottsdale. Even though they don’t serve food, the modern industrial look of their main taproom makes for a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere. If you go by yourself or with a small group of friends, you usually end up meeting new people around the large bar or community style high-top tables. Don’t miss The Goldmine, their basement taproom; it’s a hideaway well worth checking out. All of the IPAs and pale ales are satisfying; our favorite is the Hop Chowda Juicy IPA. Along with their staple beers, Goldwater’s brewers love mixing things up with collaborations and seasonal/limited release brews, so come ready to try new beers.
Mother Bunch Brewing
825 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85006
It doesn’t matter the time of day, it’s always a good time to head to Mother Bunch. Whether you want to enjoy brunch, indulge in their $10 lunch special, or just kick off an evening with friends, the atmosphere of Mother Bunch is ideal. They are a member of Roosevelt Row Arts District, a walkable street in downtown Phoenix full of local art galleries and unique bars. With 20 or more rotating beers on tap, it’s hard to pick a favorite, but the Cherry Popper Porter is reminiscent of a chocolate covered cherry with a smokey finish and always a good pick. Their Brewers Breakfast Sandwich is a must order item for brunch. How can you pass up a sandwich with peanut butter, raspberry jalapeño jam, and pork belly?!
SunUp Brewing Co.
330 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85014
With over a decade of brewing experience, SunUp helped pave the way for the newer breweries in town. The patio is a perfect place to spend fall or winter afternoons, and the inside is nice and cool for hot summer days. The Trooper IPA is our favorite, and their best selling beer. They have Pub Trivia with appetizer and drink specials every Monday at 7:00 pm, Check their Facebook page for upcoming events such as yoga supporting first responders and an Oktoberfest beer dinner.
Helio Basin Brewing Co.
3935 E Thomas Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018
Helio Basin is the newest brewery on our list. They opened summer of ‘16 and just had their first anniversary party in August. Don’t let this fool you though, they have an experienced brewmaster and no problem keeping up with the legacy breweries in the area. One thing that sets them apart from anywhere else is ice cream flights! They have six unique ice cream flavors all paired to different beers on their menu, and makes for an unforgettable experience. Don’t miss the Blackberry Wheat beer paired with the Blueberry & Chocolate Chip ice cream. When the weather is too hot to visit any other beer garden, keep in mind Helio Basin has a giant indoor game room complete with a regulation size cornhole court.