Any resident of Arizona will tell you that over the last few years, craft breweries have been popping up all over the place and have become incredibly popular “watering holes.” This is especially true for the city of Tucson; in 2016, there are seven new craft breweries planning to open by the end of the year!
The beer culture in the Old Pueblo has given the town a little more flair, and visitors can immediately see that Tucsonans are proud to be creative, artistic, and crafty…especially when it comes to their beer! You will notice right away that the breweries in this city, in addition to their drive to produce excellent brews, they are also keen on supporting each other and often feature taps from other local crafters! This is actually fairly common across the state, so you won’t have any problems finding a variety of different beers to taste!
Whether you love tasting new brews or you just enjoy a cold pint on a hot day, here are 9 of the must-try breweries in the Tucson area!
1. Barrio Brewery Tucson
The Barrio Brewery is one of the older breweries in town, and with 12 delicious rotating taps, it is hard to NOT find something to suit your palate. It’s safe to say that everyone in town loves this brewery! As the Barrio Brewery is located in an industrial district, it can be somewhat hard to find, but it is definitely worth the search. They also have a full menu with some of the most unique burgers in town, not to mention the best Reuben sandwiches in the state!
2. Borderlands Brewing Company
The Borderlands Brewing Company is still fairly young. It just opened a few years ago, but has come to be a big part of Tucson’s downtown scene. They have a great seating area with plenty of space, friendly staff, and they frequently host live music events. In addition, they are the masterminds behind the one and only “Prickly Pear Wheat” beer, which showcases our state’s iconic native purple fruit.
3. Dragoon Brewing Company
The Dragoon Brewing Company is a great example of a secret spot that exploded over the last few years…in the best possible way! They started out as a smaller tap room in 2012 and have since expanded their seating space and number of taps on deck. Dragoon’s brews have truly built a prestigious reputation in Tucson, and locals are proud to say that the famous Dragoon IPA and Saison Blue are from the Old Pueblo.
4. Pueblo Vida Brewing Company
Pueblo Vida Brewing Company opened just a couple years ago, and they have been so successful that they needed to expand their location space too! They are located right in the downtown district of Tucson and have become one of the locals’ favorite breweries to hang out at on a Friday night. With friendly staff, a plethora of board games, and cozy atmosphere, this brewpub is hard to beat. One of Pueblo Vida’s most popular beers is their Hefeweizen, but they are also known for their delicious infusion creations that they make on a weekly basis.
5. Nimbus Brewing Company
The Nimbus Brewing Company is one of Tucson’s original “big” craft beer makers and. Locals love this spot for its amazing food menu, live music, and their 12 fantastic fresh beers on tap. The rustic environment is very casual and comfortable, and it is just a fun place to relax and play a little shuffleboard or pool. When you get there, be sure to try their famous Dirty Blonde Ale!
6. Public Brewhouse
The Public Brewhouse is also new to town, and they can be found in a nice little nook on Tucson’s popular bar-hopping 4th Avenue. This brewery opened quietly, but they didn’t need to make any flashy announcements to immediately start drawing in a regular crowd. Their beers are about as fresh as you will find anywhere, and many of their brews are intelligently creative and will always keep you coming back for more of these unique flavors! The Public Brewhouse has also become a nice little spot to listen to live music, and they have plenty of indoor games to keep you occupied too.
7. 1912 Brewing Company
The 1912 Brewing Company just opened on the 4th of July weekend in 2015. They haven’t been around too long, yet they are quickly growing in popularity among locals. They cleverly give a nod to the state in their very name; 1912 was the year the Arizona officially became a part of the United States! They chose this so that everyone who lives here already shares this connection. What’s great about the 1912 Brewing Company is that they’re always coming up with new and exciting beers that appeal to a broad range of styles and flavors, so no one will ever feel left out when coming to their pub for a pint. In addition to that, they occasionally have many guest beers on tap from other Arizona breweries!
8. Thunder Canyon Brewery
Thunder Canyon Brewery started out in one location north of Tucson, but as they became more successful, they managed to open up another place right in the downtown section of the city. They have lots of different taps all year long and try to bring out ones that appeal to each season. They have several taps open for eight different styles, so they are always prepared to have something for everyone. For those who like a bit of a sweeter beer, be sure to taste test out the “Orange You Glad” Wheat Ale or their “Bees N’ Berry” Blackberry and Honey Ale; if it’s malty beers you like, try a pint of the “A Mountain” Red.
9. Sentinel Peak Brewing Company
Sentinel Peak Brewing Company is yet another fairly new brewery. It opened its doors to the public in January 2014 and was founded by three firefighters with a passion for quality beer. All of the beers on tap are made with the utmost care and are composed of fantastic flavors, but they also have a very delicious menu with some of the best sandwiches in town. They even recently held a special event where they teamed up with local girl scouts for a “cookie and beer” pairing, which was a genius (and yummy) idea. Hopefully they make that an annual thing!
Who has the best beer in Tucson? Did you see your favorite featured here? If your “watering hole” is missing from this list, tell us about it in the comments so we can add it to our next pub crawl!