Overview of Papago Brewing
Papago Brewing was founded in 2001 by three friends. When they originally opened they operated the bar as well as a homebrew shop. The result was you could try some great microbrew and then pick up the supplies to go home and make some of your own. They no longer have the homebrew part of the business since the bar and the beer have taken over.
One unique thing about Papago is the fact that they do not brew their own beer but contract it out to other local breweries who follow their specific recipes for brew. In addition to their own beer, you will find an extensive list of other microbrews and craft beers to drink or buy and take home (which I’ll talk about a bit more further on in the review).
They have also won awards for their beers, including those from the Great American Beer Festival and Zymurgy.
Types of beers
- Papago Orange Blossom Wheat Beer – American Wheat Ale Style
- Papago El Robusto Porter – Imperial Porter Style
- Churchill’s Wheatwine – Barleywine Style
- Ryan’s Red Ale – Irish Red Ale Style
- Papago Oude Zuipers – Belgian Tripel Style
- Papago Elsie’s Irish Coffee Milk Stout – Milk Stout Style
- Coconut Joe – Coconut Coffee Stout
- Hopago IPA – India Pale Ale
- In addition to their own craft beer they have nearly 30 rotating taps and hundreds of bottles of beer for you to select from.
Rating Papago Brewing
Compared to the Tempe location for Four Peaks, Papago has plenty of parking since they are nestled in the Papago Plaza, which is a strip mall on the southwest corner of Scottsdale Road and McDowell.
The place at first glance can be hard to find. At least that was the case with me my first time going there. You’re not going to find a huge sign advertising it.
Once you find the entrance and walk in, you find yourself in a dimly lit bar with plenty of tables and seats. The bar also has some seating if you prefer to sit up there and talk to the bartender about the latest beers on tap.
The main thing I noticed was all of the different tap handles for the various beers that they have served at Papago over the years. Oh! and how could I forget the enormous statue of the monk. To describe him I would have to say that he is Buddha in a monks clothing.
One drawback that I’ve noticed is there really isn’t any patio area where you can enjoy the cooler months of Phoenix outdoors with a glass of craft beer.
The atmosphere is pretty chill inside Papago. I’ve usually gone with a group of friends or co-workers and spend a couple hours hanging out and haveing a few beers. Some of my friends have said if you’re there in the early evening on some nights you can get swag from some of the brewery people that show up to promote their craft beer.
I’ve done happy hours there during the week on quite a few occasions and never seen these people but that may be because they show up on Fridays/Weekends.
It’s here in the service section where I would have to ding Papago Brewing.
When ever I’ve gone there my group usually gets a table. I have yet to have a server that shows up in a timely manner to take our drink orders. On the worst occasion I was there for 20+ minutes before I even saw someone to give a drink order to.
My advice would be to go up to the bar and get your beer there. The bar tenders were attentive and seemed much happier to be there than the servers who frequently looked miserable that they had to be working.
A great service that Papago provides is the ability to purchase some of their many bottles of beer (hundreds of different types) to take home and consume there. This is a great feature since sometimes I don’t have a lot of time but I would like to crack open a tasty craft beer with dinner and allows me to meet this need quite sufficiently.
The appetizers that they have on the menu is decent, but you definitely want to try one of their pizzas! Now I’ll admit, I like the traditional pizza just as much as the next guy, but some of the custom pizzas (or pies as they call them) that Papago has are freaking awesome!
- Thai Chicken Pizza
- Beer B Que
- Buffalo Billy’s Chicken Wing Pizza
- Different salad options
- Sandwiches like the Gobbler
Map of location