Arizona is known for its warm weather year round. Although the summers are quite toasty at 115 degrees, for nine months out of the year the weather can’t be beat. This amazing weather has brought many festivals to the valley, including many beer festivals to showcase great beers. The growing affinity for quality craft beer in the Valley of the Sun has led to the opening of great local microbreweries and gastropubs throughout the state. If you are looking to search out the beer scene in Arizona, try one of these top breweries below.
Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company
Arizona Wilderness is a relatively new spot that has been taking the beer scene by storm. In 2013, Arizona Wilderness was rated the best new brewery in the world by RateBeer.com for its new flavors and unique designs. The honor is well deserved, as the craftsmen at Arizona Wilderness are brewing up great beer like AZW Oaked and Ordinary, an English bitter that is aged in oak staves. The brewery uses only local ingredients to craft their perfect beer.
San Tan Brewing Company
Downtown Chandler is slowly becoming a welcome home to beer lovers. One of the first breweries in the area was San Tan Brewing Company. Established in 2007, San Tan has earned a strong reputation as one of the best in the state, and certainly one of the largest. The brews here are known for their unique Southwest feel and interesting seasonal options that only bless the taps for limited times. If you love their beer, ask for the CanZilla and take home a giant 32 oz. can of your favorite brew!
Four Peaks Brewery
Four Peaks has been a local staple for millions of locals and college students of Arizona State University. Sitting less than a mile from campus off of 8th Street, this craft beer paradise is the giant of the Arizona breweries. The staff at Four Peaks serves up Scottish style ales that will blow you away and seasonal brews that will knock your socks off. Their Pumpkin Porter is a fall favorite, but don’t worry; it’s not that sugary crap freshman girls down by the cup. This black gold is a strong porter through and through, with subtle hints of great flavor.
Flagstaff houses a taproom full of all kinds of flavors and hops that come together to make a perfect beer experience. The Nine Handle taproom has all their beers ready to go. Try their brews, along with their fun nights like pig roasts, trivia challenges, and Bicycle Monday, where you get a dollar off pints if you road your bike to the bar.
College Street Brewhouse
Visit the location of the big blue van at the College Street Brewhouse in Lake Havasu City. Dubbed the hippest brewhouse, you will find fun beers like the Animal House Amber or the Big Blue Van with unexpected flavors like blueberry and vanilla. These beers taste exactly as they smell and cater to those who love interesting, fruity beers.
(Photo by Nick Bastian via Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/nickbastian/8390633061)