After my midday visit to Dave’s Electric Brewpub, I was all warmed up for Four Peaks Brewery. You can’t make reservations, it was a Saturday night, we were in a college town and we were prepared to wait.
And wait, we did! We waited for about an hour before we were seated outside, and it was worth it.
First and most importantly, we ordered two taster flights. I was with Katrina – a wine drinker who was willing to learn beer. I showed her how to swirl, sniff and sip, and was more than thrilled to see Katrina’s eyes light up as she realized that all these beers had different flavors, aromas and mouthfeel. It makes me so happy to watch an avid wine drinker reach for a super hoppy IPA and cradle it delicately in her hands, eyes closed, enjoying the floral aroma before diving in.
Now to my flight! The Hefeweizen was delicious – full of banana and cloves, a musty/earthy flavor that I absolutely adore and a clean finish. My ultimate favorite was the Hop Knot IPA – intense grapefruit and a strong pine aroma, but rounded out with a good dose of caramel and hints of toffee. As always, I also adored the Kilt Lifter – a sweet Scottish style ale with a sweet, bready aroma followed by a similar flavor and a thick, rich finish. This one seems to be on tap everywhere I go in Arizona!
The food here was good, but not my purpose for going. The waitress recommended the chicken enchiladas. I received. I consumed. I reached for more beer tasters.
We did have to order the “stoutamisu” – tiramisu (duh) made with the oatmeal stout (duh again). Not quite a tiramisu, but delicious nonetheless.
Now on to my favorite part – the brewery! I walked inside, camera in hand, and asked a security guy and waitress how many barrels the system was. Neither had any idea what I was talking about and pointed me in the direction of an awesome, well-educated-on-beer manager on duty, Trevor, who kindly showed me around the brewery even though the restaurant was packed with people.
This is their bottling line, received from an old German brewery years ago. I haven’t come across any of their bottled beers in stores, however. I’ve only seen them in cans.
Delicious canning line! If I’d had more time, I could’ve spent an hour staring at this machine.
They’ve been barrel aging for years now. Unfortunately, there were no barrel aged beers in the taster flight. I guess I’ll just have to return to try one of these another time!
I got a nice sniff of this one though! I love when cherries are added to any dark, malty beer. Hmmm, upcoming homebrew ideas are racing through my head…
Serving tanks are kept in the walk-in cooler so the bartenders don’t have to run back every ten minutes to change a keg. They go through a LOT of beer here!
They also serve real cask ale! These are tapped only on Wednesdays, and are usually gone within a few hours.
Four Peaks currently has a 40bbl brew system, but are expanding to a new location (56,000 square feet) where they’ll have a 60bbl system and 240bbl fermentors! Four brews a day to fill those bad boys!
In case you weren’t sure, that gigantic tank on the left is a 240bbl bright tank. GIGANTIC. BEAUTIFUL. TANK.
Currently the brewery is stuffed with dozens of 40bbl fermentors that you can gaze longingly at as you enjoy your pint, eyes glazed over with desire. No? Just me?
Just picture yourself at that table there with a cask ale in hand, the rumble of happy voices and burbling fermentors in the background and the smell of mash and hops floating across the warm breeze of an Arizona evening. Pure ecstasy.
After my tour, I was sitting at the table and noticed THIS guy in a green shirt. I saw “Keep Calm” and shouted out, “Is that a Chive shirt???” Indeed, it was! I need to get my own Chive shirt to rep!
Loyal Chiver and Chivette running into each other at a craft brewery – completely awesome.
While I was in Tempe working the Festival of the Arts, I scrolled through my BeerWhere app and found out that there was a brewpub two blocks away. I already had plans to go to Four Peaks that evening, so I decided a warm-up would be good.
The simple two-block walk warmed me enough as it was. I was NOT happy to be out in the 91 degree weather. The neon sign was a lovely sight after those hot three minutes.
The bar opens to the patio, with a little bit of seating indoors. I opted to sit outside and enjoy the cool breeze that rolled across the sidewalk while there was still some shade.
I opted for a flight of all of the house brews – duh.
Of all six, my favorite was the Old Frog Stout. The Training Wheels had a hint of acetaldehyde – could stand with a little more conditioning in the fermentor, and the Golden Strand had a relatively heavy dose of diacetyl – nothing a few days at a higher temperature (diacetyl rest) wouldn’t fix, with all of my knowledge (sarcasm) about fixing off flavors in beer.
The Old Frog, however, was lovely! The aroma was full of coffee and chocolate, the first sip full of extreme roast and warm espresso, medium low mouthfeel and finished with a slight bite from the hops. It was a little thin to the finish, but then again I love the really chewy stouts that linger between your teeth for hours after. For Arizona heat, this is a stout I would go out and order in the middle of the day to cool off with an extra dose of flavor you don’t get from lighter “summer” beers.
I got to peek into the brewery as well. They have a seven barrel system and large windows on the outside so you can peek in if you’re curious. The owner was busy in the back room kegging up some IPA to take to the beer gardens back at the art festival.
Spending a day surrounded by new brews, breweries and fermentors is bliss.
Dave’s Electric Brewpub
502 S. College Avenue #103
Tempe, AZ 85281
Open Monday – Sunday from 11am – 2am
This post is part of a new series I’m doing called “Breaking the Chain”. Check out previous broken chains like White Elephant.
After Friday’s show had wrapped up in Tempe, we closed up the booth and ventured out looking for a local restaurant to try. I’ve walked by this place a few times whilst looking for take-out lunches and wanted to check it out, so into Rúla Búla we went!
This adorable little Irish pub really has the authentic feel of Ireland – or I like to think it does. It’s hard to say, never having been there, but you can take it on my educated guess that this is very similar!
I absolutely LOVE the small tavern feel. Everything is very quaint and wooden and roughed up. It felt authentic and very cozy.
I ordered a Guinness Crown – a tall glass of Magner’s cider (Enjoyed this many a time last summer!) with a crown of Guinness on top. I’ve tried so very hard to enjoy Guinness, but it really is just not for me. I like my beer to have flavor, not taste like ashy water. My apologies to all you Guinness-lovers.
Since I didn’t get a chance to have corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day, I ordered a big ole plate here. It was tasty, but nothing compared to what my mumsie used to make in the slow cooker. The meat was a little tough and stringy and the cabbage was slightly crunchy. I prefer it when everything is so tender that it just melts in your mouth – just the way mom makes it!
I was far too stuffed for dessert, so we toddled over to the parking lot and headed back to the hotel. Things changed when I saw that the lobby restaurant was still in full swing…
BREAD PUDDING!!!! If you’re just now finding my blog, you need to know that I have an obsession with bread pudding. Up until Sunday, I had bread pudding eight days in a row. It was a beautiful time in my life.
On a side note – I’d like to let you know that those tastings from the beer garden were 2 ounces only! The pictures make them look like a full stein, but it was a small 2 ounce glass – I got some worried queries from my mother after reading my blog, teehee!
I get one more day of relaxation (and laundry), then off to Tucson for another show!!! LOVING IT!
I’ve been working really hard to bring you guys some good beer stuff! We got to Tempe early on Thursday and had to wait for our room to be ready, so we headed to the hotel restaurant for some foods.
BEER IS FOOD. Oh yeah, and we had tortilla soup. No, seriously, the tortilla soup was absolutely amazing: spicy, rich, chock full of soft veggies and crispy tortilla strips, but the beer rounded out the meal. Four Peaks Raj IPA – VERY bitter, wonderful aroma, but almost no flavor. It was basically like sipping a bear trap that clamped on your tongue. You want to be macho and brave through it, but it’s really not enjoyable at all.
Today was better. There happens to be a GARDEN of BEER at the Tempe Art Festival. My boss ordered me to go to the beer garden for lunch to taste the local brews and decide on our future drinks. She’s so tough on me!
First up was Dave’s Electric Brewpub (because you couldn’t tell from the picture of the banner I just posted)…
I tried the original Dave’s Electric Beer. Honestly, it was overcarbonated and tasted like a lame Budweiser. Sorry, Dave, I really wanted to like you!
Next up was something new from Four Peaks. Wasn’t a huge fan of their Raj, but I’m always ready to give second chances!
First up was their Hop Knot IPA. SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE RAJ! This is possibly the hoppiest beer I’ve ever had. I don’t know the specific IBU, but it was like a beautiful facepunch! It was hoppy, but had TASTE unlike Raj. The bitter pain was absolutely endearing.
FOUR separate hops additions. I may be in love.
Next up was the Kilt Lifter. Hilarious name, delicious beer. Very malty with a hint of smokiness and some kind of fruit essence – Paul, whom I was sharing a table with, told me it was raspberry. I’m not in-the-know enough to detect something that specific… yet…
Finally, Sleepy Dog. The lovely gentleman working the taps gave me a few tasters before my “official” taster. I tried their Dunkel Weizen which is their seasonal beer (the dark version of their Leg Humper Hef – heehee!). It was very similar to Franziskaner Dunkel, in the best ways possible – dark and rich with banana and clove notes. Then I tried their Scootcher – a Scottish amber ale. This one tasted almost exactly like Spaten Optimator! Except better. It’s from a microbrewery, of COURSE it’s better! This and Four Peaks are in a tie for the best beer names – Kilt Lifter vs. Leg Humper!
Oops. This is where the pictures of Scootcher was supposed to go. It may or may not be the previous picture. After four tasters of beer, I was apparently losing my mind. I’M SUCH A LIGHTWEIGHT! I still have two tickets left for tasting that I’ll have to use tomorrow or Sunday. Durn!
That sums up my microbrewery tour of Tempe, Arizona! More updates coming up – with beer AND food this time! For now, I’m going to put down the fork and plate of bread pudding that I just polished off and waddle off to bed. I have a gigantic workout awaiting me in the morning. Oooooh, yes!
On an unrelated note – the Angels are staying in the exact same hotel I am! I’ve seen a ton of them – or I may have seen a ton of them… I really don’t know anyone from the team, but I’m guessing they’re the ones wearing Angels jerseys? Just a guess….