Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Papago Brewing

Moving Z into his dorm room yesterday felt like working in a salt mine where fortunes are measured in teaspoons with payscales graduated in grains.

Dare I say this made S and I way more than ready, in fact downright giddy, over the notion of sitting down and relaxing over a cold beer or two.

The astute reader of this blog may recall that on our last trip to the Phoenix area, there just wasn't enough time to check out all the cool beer bars, brewpubs, and such that we knew about and ended up as sad Misses.

This time we wanted to fill in the blanks so to speak, and Papago Brewing, while being a bit away from our locus in Tempe, was in our beer sights for a visit. So it was with our beer goggles firmly set, that we lashed out to Scottsdale to seek our beer fortunes.

Papago rests its laurels in a nondescript adobe plaza not unlike any other you might see all over this area of Arizona.

Passing through industrial strength double doors leads you inside to the inviting tap room.

As you can see by the tap list, Papago pours their own beers and draws others predominantly from the veins of domestic microbreweries--beers that are rarely if ever seen in our parts of NEPA.

Keen eyes may see a handle with a scrawled label, there were several, labeled BJs IPL. Yep, you guessed right: BJ's India Pale Lager. Now isn't that something? I just had to try it as my first beer and let me tell you it is no slouching compromise in an attempt to meld a lager and an ale. It brings the attributes of a lager that I love, namely a smooth mouthfeel and bright coloring and all the attibutes of a IPA like essential hop aroma and zesty flavor. Coupled with that, in this beer, was a freshness of taste like no other, that was confirmed by a new beer buddy at the bar Chuck.

Chuck, of Hop Disciples of Denver fame and long-time homebrewer (from 1966--way before it was legal!) informed me that BJ's in Chandler (a chain brewpub) brews the IPL for distribution right here in Phoenix and for nowhere else as it's not on the ``approved recipe list'' from the Mothership. This beer alone is worth a side trip to try if you're in the area. I don't know how long it's on for so you better get up there.

Along with this impressive array of draught beers goes a bottle collection of perhaps 200. Again, many imported selections were evident but the true love here is la microbrew domestica. Frankly, this is how it should be in my estimation. I'm all for diversity in beer styles, but anything under the sun that's produced anywhere in the world these days, has and is being produced right here in the good old US of A and probably better!

And laurels there are indeed as evidenced by the two GABF medals hanging over the backbar. One for Papago El Robusto Porter and another for the Papago Brewing Hop Dog IPA.

The barmaid Ashton was sympathetic to S and her choice of a beer and was very accomodating allowing her to taste various (read: at least ten) of the various draughts before settling on a Pilsner.

This is a place where quick friends can be made over a beer and old friends can come to catch up. I highly recommend it for the atmosphere, beer, and overall feel. They do serve food as well but we didn't try anthing from the kitchen on this visit. They offer free Wi-Fi access.

With Z certain to be in Tempe for another year or two, coming back to Papago Brewing is as sure a thing as the Sun greeting us this morning.

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