Whether you’re enjoying a quiet night at home or enjoying a day at your favorite sports bar with your friends, you’ll find the experience greatly enhanced by a good craft beer. Whether on its own or with the perfect food pairing, craft beers are one of life’s great joys.
When most people think of craft beer, they don’t necessarily think of Arizona, but the Grand Canyon state has more than its fair share of great brews. Below, we’ve listed 10 of our favorite Arizona beers to whet your appetite.
- Huss Scottsdale Blonde Ale
Huss is a brewing company founded in Tempe, Arizona, in 2013 and has since become one of the state’s largest independent brewers. The husband-and-wife team who founded the brewery continue to run it today, holding all their beers to a strict standard of quality. One of their best creations is the wonderful Huss Scottsdale Blonde, a Kölsch-style ale with an ABV of 4.75%. With a light body and tasting notes that are both grainy and floral, Huss Scottsdale Blonde Ale pairs perfectly with slightly fatty foods such as cheese and bratwurst.
- San Tan Juicy Jack IPA
Founded in Chandler, Arizona, in 2007, San Tan Brewery began with the mission of pairing great beer with great food. To this end, they’ve produced a variety of award-winning beers, earning accolades from the World Beer Cup, the Great American Beer Festival, the Canfest Reno, and the AmeriCAN championships. One of their signature products is the Juicy Jack IPA. As an IPA, its most prominent tasting notes are guava, tangerine, and peach. The fruity flavor comes from the Mosaic and Cashmere hops, while oats lend this unique brew its trademark richness. Because Juicy Jack has a bold flavor, it’s best to pair it with a bold food. It’s also great for cutting through the heat of spicy foods like Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers’ Hell Fire Chips.
- Four Peaks Golden Lager
Another brewery based in Tempe, Arizona, Four Peaks operates under the philosophy that style prevails over trends. Their Golden Lager is a light and subtle beer with a hint of hops and sweetness, boasting an ABV of 5.2%. With unparalleled drinkability, a light lager like the one Four Peaks produces pairs great with traditional sports bar food: chicken wings, French fries, and mozzarella sticks.
- Sonoran White Chocolate Ale
Here’s an Arizona beer that truly sets itself apart from offerings found elsewhere. Sonoran White Chocolate Ale is a light, refreshing wheat beer with subtle and delicate flavors. As its name suggests, it leads the flavor charge with hints of white chocolate, but not in the in-your-face way a heavier beer such as a stout or porter might. The flavors are more understated here, meaning you’ll need a subtle food pairing to truly enjoy the combination. We suggest trying this beer with a salty snack, such as peanuts or roasted almonds.
- Lumberyard Red Ale
Straight out of Flagstaff, Lumberyard Red Ale is a typical red ale with a slightly hoppy flavor and a lot of maltiness. Medium-bodied with notes of caramel and toffee, this option pairs well with a good cheese or with chicken or turkey. Try it with a sandwich containing chicken, avocado, and bacon, or one with buffalo chicken and bleu cheese crumbles.
- Papago Orange Blossom
Produced by Huss, Papago Orange Blossom is a fruity, citrusy brew that serves as the perfect warm-weather beer. Both light and refreshing, this offering has a creamy vanilla finish and stands just fine on its own or paired with a light food, such as poultry. It’s also great with salads and desserts, especially ones that contain fruit, such as pies or compotes.
- Huss Arizona Light
Light beer is an extremely popular option for enjoying alongside a game at the local sports bar. Nothing beats heading down to Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers with a group of friends and ordering a pitcher or two of your favorite domestic lager. You don’t need to order one of the big national brands to get this experience, either. There’s an Arizona beer that can do the job just fine. Huss Arizona Light is an easy-to-drink take on the light beer concept, with all of the quality and complexity you’ve come to expect from your local Arizona brewery. Enjoy it while you cheer on your favorite team and pair it with a burger and fries, a soft pretzel, or a grilled cheese sandwich.
- Four Peaks Hop Knot IPA
Another all-American IPA, Hop Knot gets its name from the four different hops that are used to achieve its distinct flavor. These hops are added at different times throughout the brewing process so that they complement one another perfectly, leading to a bold, powerful IPA that isn’t too harsh or bitter. It’s another one that’s great with spicier foods, such as spicy chicken or the aforementioned Hell Fire Chips.
- The Shop FYITM Double IPA
We’ve included several IPAs on this list simply because they’re so popular in the great state of Arizona, and there happens to be plenty of good ones to choose from. The Shop’s FYITM (pronounced “fight ’em”) IPA is the boldest one of all, with an ABV of 10.1% and an IBU of 107. The beer gets its name from the acronym Five Years In The Making, so named because it was designed by a group of friends who birthed the concept while out at a bar themselves. Over time, they developed it into this full-bodied offering made from six different hops. Despite the high alcohol content, this beer doesn’t taste boozy at all and can sneak up on you. That’s why it’s a good idea to enjoy it with a full meal, such as Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers’ Bacon PB&J.
- Four Peaks Kilt Lifter
We’ve now mentioned Four Peaks a couple of times, and with good reason since they’re one of the great Arizona breweries. Perhaps their flagship product is their Kilt Lifter Scottish-style ale. It’s a prize-winning offering, having bagged the World Beer Cup Golden Award back in 2017. Since then, it’s become a legendary brew all across the state, boasting a full body and notes of caramel and roasted barley. Pair it with a prime rib sandwich or a BLT.
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