Cities are often stereotyped as environmental problems, full of pollution and development that negates the natural world. Properly managed, however, urban centers can actually be part of an environmental solution. By consolidating people in a more efficient manner and sparing the wilderness on the outskirts the pressure of development, cities can complement natural lands. One recent arrival in downtown Phoenix, Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company, seems to realize that its own wilderness ethos is compatible with an urban location on Roosevelt Row. Continue reading “Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company”
Uptown Plaza, the recently renovated shopping center across from the Central / Camelback light rail station, was first built in 1955. In the Eisenhower era, beer was more regional than it is today, with many brands that no longer exist popular in one place but perhaps unheard of a few states away. After several decades of industry consolidation, the pendulum has swung back towards local favorites with an emphasis on regional craft beer. In that way, Huss Brewing Company, which operates a taproom at Uptown Plaza, recalls the center’s midcentury roots. Continue reading “Huss Brewing Company”
With so many new breweries and tap houses emerging throughout Downtown Phoenix and adjacent neighborhoods, it’s hard to believe it was once hard to find a wide selection of craft beer in the center of the city. Nevertheless, that was the case as recently as 2012 when Angels Trumpet opened in Evans Churchill. Angels Trumpet is not a brewery, and it’s not really a pub either. It identifies as an alehouse and offers a larger space and beer selection than most pubs. Most importantly, it was a harbinger of an emerging craft beer culture that is now taking hold. Continue reading “Angels Trumpet Ale House”
Over the past quarter century, independent bookstores have nearly vanished and then begun a gradual recovery. Phoenix used to have plenty of them: Houle, Dushoff, and Shakespeare Beethoven & Company are all names that live only in local readers’ memories. Those stores are long gone, but Tempe-based Changing Hands has not only survived competition from online stores and chains, but also opened a second location in Uptown Phoenix. The Phoenix store is smaller than the one in southern Tempe, but it has a distinguishing feature: First Draft Book Bar. Continue reading “First Draft Book Bar (temporarily closed)”
The idiom of “the pot calling the kettle black” has been around for centuries and always implied hypocrisy — someone criticizing another’s person’s flaws while ignoring the same failings within oneself. The more literal meaning of the phrase, however, has to do with the accumulation of soot on the surfaces of both vessels. When it comes to pubs, customers usually expect soot in a figurative sense, a sort of patina, but not a literal one. A good pub feels well worn and unpretentious, but is not the same sort of place as a dive bar or a greasy spoon diner. Continue reading “The Kettle Black”
The month of May not be known for much more than Memorial Day and Mother’s Day, but this week is American Craft Beer Week, a nationwide celebration of small, independent breweries. It seems the Phoenix Metro Area is home to more craft beer production in 2013 than ever before, and no celebration would be complete without recognition of Four Peaks, a pioneer of successful craft brewing in Arizona. Four Peaks has grown since its 1996 founding and now has a second production facility, but its original location remains in an historic building on 8th Street in Tempe.
|fish and chips|
When light rail service started at the end of 2008, residents of the Phoenix Metro Area were introduced not only to passengers trains, but also to vertical bike storage. Four years later, hanging one’s ride on the train has become a ritual for commuters who combine bicycling and public transit. Maybe it’s just coincidence, but it’s hard not to notice the similar design of the vertical bike storage that rings the patio at Tempe’s new Handlebar and Grill, a bike-themed pub which just happens to be just four blocks from the Mill Avenue / Third Street light rail station.
|smoked Polish brat with sauerkraut and pickled peppers|