Did you know that Phoenix, Arizona is the only state capital in the country with over a million people? That’s a lot of thirsty desert residents looking for a drink. On the banks of an almost completely dry Salt River, The Valley of Sun is actually an oasis for unique craft watering holes. We set out to dispel the mirage and find some of the best breweries to visit in Phoenix.
Many of the breweries within Arizona’s largest city hone in on local flora, fauna, and fruit, leveraging ingredients such as cactus fruit and desert wheat. And indeed, one of the breweries on our list makes a honey blonde ale with 100 percent Arizona grains and local honey, and another makes a spellbinding IPA with locally grown Sonora white wheat. Between these and others, taprooms in Phoenix are putting the Southwest craft beer scene on the map.
Here are our picks for the five best breweries to visit in Phoenix, AZ.
Hop Culture’s 5 Best Breweries to Visit in Phoenix, AZ
Wren House Brewing Co.
2125 N 24th St, Phoenix, AZ 85008 | (602) 244-9184
Making finely crafted beer with Arizona roots, Wren House isn’t only a gem in Phoenix, but in the entire United States. Over and over again, the beers from head brewer Luke Wortendyke continue to impress us.
Wren House’s deceivingly complex Valley Beer has popped up on our list of 10 Best Beers to Drink in the Shower. A New England DIPA with Strata, Cascade, Ariana, and Mosaic hops made our 5 Best Beers We Had This Week last November. Even a table beer called Table Mesa appeared on our 20 Best Beers to Drink Last Fall.
Most recently, a perfectly executed Helles Lager made with Wayfinder and Holy Mountain had us proclaiming it a paragon of the style. And we can’t forget to mention the 2020 Great American Beer Festival winner, Spellbinder IPA.
From IPAs to lagers and everything in between, Wren House makes stunning beers with a touch of Arizona in each can.
Arizona Wilderness DTPHX Beer Garden
201 E Roosevelt St, Phoenix, AZ 85004 |(480) 462-1836
Created by Jonathan Buford and Patrick Ware to express their love of Arizona through beer, Arizona Wilderness has joined Wren House as one of the most celebrated breweries in the country.
Beers like Don’t F#%K It Up include 100 percent Arizona-grown, malted grains, and local seasonal honey. Sonora Wheat is a heritage grain witbier that uses Sonora white wheat and Sinagua Malt. The list goes on and on, with a saison with that uses harvested and toasted Velvet mesquite pods and a hazy IPA brewed to celebrate downtown Phoenix’s cultural heritage.
Make your visit to the Gilbert Brewpub and stay the entire afternoon. Sit down on the patio, order a couple of Bavarian pretzels, and work your way through this homage to Arizona.
Tombstone Brewing Company.
107 E Toughnut St, Tombstone, AZ 85638 | (520) 222-6781
Originally opened in the eponymous (and very odd) town of Tombstone, almost three hours southeast of Phoenix, Tombstone Brewing is a real diamond in the rough. In fact, we even named it one of our seven under-the-radar breweries to visit across the country.
In Fall 2020, the brewery opened a second location in Phoenix. But for the past four years, owner Matt Brown and head brewer Weedy Weidenthal have brewed what they call “world class beer from the town too tough to die.” The new Phoenix location is a little more laid back but still sticks to what Tombstone does best: IPAs, DIPAs, and triple IPAs. Known mostly for these top-notch Western wonders, Tombstone’s most recent additions include the 8.5% ABV Most Hops DIPA and Now That’s What I Call Hops, Vol. 3 Triple New England IPA. If you’re looking for something lighter to combat the Arizona sun, fruited sours pepper the menu, from a Triple Berry Cobbler to a Strawberry Shortcake Sour.
Helton Brewing Co.
2144 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016 | (602) 730-2739
Helton Brewing Co. surprised us with its Scotch Ale, a recipe that owner / head brewer / Certified Cicerone Brian Helton has been perfecting over the last twenty-three years. The brewery isn’t that old (the central Phoenix spot opened in May 2016), but Brian’s dedication to his craft means that locals are treated to expert versions of a variety of styles. Beyond the aforementioned Scottish Ale, Brain brews a killer Valley Venom pilsner, West Coast-style IPA, and Northeast IPA. This is a brewery that just executes the classics. No frills. No fuss. Just damn good beer.
Huss Brewing Co. Taproom + Kitchen at Uptown Plaza
100 E Camelback Rd #160, Phoenix, AZ 85012 | (602) 441-4677
Huss makes award-winning beer like the Scottsdale Blond, a 2016 and 2018 U.S. Open medal winner, and The Husstler Series Milk Stout, which won at the Great American Beer Fest in the Sweet Stout Category. Opened in 2013 by Jeff and Leah Huss, Huss Brewing has become a favorite among locals for being family-owned, locally brewed, and focused on Arizona. So much so that the brewery is now one of the state’s largest independent breweries! With a combined thirty years of experience in the beer industry, Jeff and Leah craft cult favorites like the Koffee Kölsch, the traditional light-bodied style with a kick of cold steeped roasted caramel and hazelnut coffee beans. And the Hopaloosa (named for the Native American Appaloosa horse), a wild ride of Falconer’s Flight, Amarillo, and Citra hops.
Bonus: The Best Bottle Shop in Phoenix, AZ
Arcadia Meat Market
1151 N Main St, Indianapolis, IN 46224 | (317) 210-0176
When Head Brewer at Wren House Brewing Co., Luke Wortendyke says, “Arcadia Meat Market represents confidence in quality,” you know it has to be good. And so it’s not surprising that this meat market carries some of the top craft beer in the state. In fact, we named the butcher shop the best bottle shop in Scottsdale. So yes, we’re extending the borders of Phoenix a bit, but you’ll thank us. Amongst the racks of all-natural, high-quality meats from family-run farms and ranches across Arizona (as well as aisles of “meat-adjacent” provisions such as Dawn Peterson’s Lillie Mae’s Pickled Goods or Fiscalini cheese), you’ll find a curated selection of off-the-beaten-path beers from premium local producers like Wren House, Helio Basin, Huss, and Arizona Wilderness.