Another long day in Phoenix resulted in me needing a beer and some food, plus an escape from the desert heat. Luckily, yet another brewery was just a short walk from my hotel and looked like it would meet all of those needs. State 48 Brewery has 4 locations in the Phoenix area, each with a slightly different production style and aesthetic. I was closest to their large downtown location that has become their main production facility since the end of last year, though all the other spots sound equally enjoyable. So, sit back and enjoy my review of yet another beer oasis in the literal desert that is Arizona.
- Beer – The first thing that caught my eye was the sheer variety on their tap list. I counted 29 of their beers on tap, plus a guest brew and other beers from the can or bottle. From funky to fresh squeezed, porters to pilsner, whatever your preference I think you will find. While nothing on tap here ventured in to the experimental or eclectic (I suspect you will find more of that at their funk house location), the beers were solid, well-crafted, and refreshingly crisp on a hot evening. Score: 3.5/5
- Brewery – The brewery was built out of an historic former marketplace and the exterior embodies the Spanish Colonial Revival style that was so prevalent in that area during its construction. Inside you will find a large, open seating area, with tables and high tops up front and a massive u-shaped bar in the back and graffiti murals everywhere. A short flight of stairs takes you up to another seating area with windows looking down on the brew floor. Floor to ceiling windows let in tons of light, though they keep it nice and cool inside. There is a small amount of seating outside on the sidewalk for those that want to melt in the heat, and a private event room that can be rented out. They have a kitchen on site with a decent food menu which is mostly Americana style pub food and quite delicious. Expect to spend around fifty dollars for two people, though they have some great happy hour deals if you can stop in then. They are open from late morning until late night, so you have plenty of other options if you can’t make it for happy hour. Score: 3.5/5
- Ambiance and Entertainment – Games and televisions are the main form of extra entertainment here. While there are a lot of events hosted by State 48, most of them appear to be at their original brewery in Surprise, Arizona. That being said, they do host a brunch with live music every Sunday, with beermosas and build your own bloody Mary bars, which sounds like a great time and a good hangover cure! I’m sure as this location continues to grow, they will add more on-site events in the future. Score: 2.5/5
- Location – A short but hot walk from downtown Phoenix, there is plenty to do close by. From a music venue just across the street to the MLB stadium a few blocks away, and all the other arts and culture that comes with a large metropolitan area, you can find something for everyone. The brewery can be a little hard to find as there is only one sign up high that says brewery, so keep an eye out for it. There is a large parking lot about a half block down the road and some street parking and bike racks for those that don’t want to get heat stroke while walking up. Score: 3.5/5
- Customer Service – I loved the customer service here! My server was incredibly friendly and made some excellent beer suggestions, as well as bringing out some samples to try. He hung around and chatted, kept the drinks coming, and in general wanted to make sure everyone was having a good time and was well looked after. There was minimal wait time for drinks and food, and all of the seating has table service. If that is the norm and the type of customer service they cultivate here, they go above and beyond and I appreciate it! Score: 4/5
Total Score: 17/25
Favorite Beer: US-60 – 6.5% Oatmeal Stout
Final Thoughts: Another delightful find in an area I would not have expected to have such a strong beer culture. I encourage everyone to stop in at one of State 48’s locations when in town, and I look forward to trying their other breweries next time I am in Phoenix.