ON & OFF THE BEATEN PATH :: Tempe, AZ – Four Peaks Brewing

by David Daugherty on February 2, 2011

In August of 2007, I packed my car and headed out to Phoenix, Arizona. I had been looking forward to this trip for a long time now and it was finally here! The plan was to stay there for a few months with a lot to accomplish. I had lived all over the “Valley of the Sun” from Apache Junction to Ahwatukee, and have three best friends there today who, when they found out I was coming to Arizona to do this, were more than happy to take me in. I arrived in Phoenix the day after I left Ohio (yeah, I know—I have an uncanny ability to drive long stretches) and stayed with my friend Bryan Dunn (also referred to as “The Hippy”) in a town just west of Phoenix called Buckeye.

It felt good to be back in the desert again and I was stoked to begin my mission: to explore all my favorite old hangouts and watering holes! The other thing I looked forward to was doing some outdoor photography. Arizona is a photographer’s dream! It’s an absolutely beautiful state and diverse in every way. From desert to tall pines, sunshine to snow, and mountains everywhere. Lakes, rivers, dams and one of the world’s largest municipal parks, South Mountain Park, which is just south of Phoenix and covers 16,500 acres. All of this makes Arizona so wonderful to photograph.

Four Peaks Brewery, Tempe AZ

Four Peaks Brewery, Tempe AZ

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my pal Dallas had suggested that I go to Prescott, Arizona, to visit “Whiskey Row.” With that, I began to plan out my journey. It began very simply: I decided to go to the local grocery store and see what the local microbreweries were distributing. One local beer stood out—Four Peaks Brewery in Tempe, Arizona—and they maintain a brewpub! Before going, I bought and sampled their Four Peaks Kilt Lifter and 8th Street Pale Ale. These were outstanding beers so I decided to make Four Peaks my first stop.

When I got to the brewpub, I was impressed right from the start. The building the brewery is housed in used to be a warehouse where a creamery sold both milk and ice to people in the neighborhood. The original construction was built in 1892—made of red brick in the classic mission style. I couldn’t wait to get inside and see the rest.

Bar @ Four Peaks Brewery

Bar @ Four Peaks Brewery

I was greeted at the gate, taken to the bar inside the brewery, and obtained permission to take pictures. I ordered a Four Peaks Hop Knot IPA (India Pale Ale). As a huge IPA fan, I was very pleased with this brew. It was a perfect IPA with a lot of hops and a strong malt flavor; that, and the copper color, made this beer an immediate favorite of mine. Its strong 6% alcohol presence was welcome as well as the dry finish. I then went on to the next beer, the Raj IPA. The Raj is more generous with the hops and the bitterness was a fine characteristic of this beer. Even with an alcohol content of 7%, it’s a very drinkable beer.

Specials Board -- Four Peaks Brewery

Four Peaks also offers a cask-conditioned ale which is drawn from a beer engine. Fantastic!  I could’ve spent the whole afternoon there but I was alone and driving! A whale of a start to my Arizona mission! When you find yourself in Tempe, definitely check out Four Peaks Brewery.

Taps -- Four Peaks Brewery

Four Peaks Brewery Tanks

Next: West Clear Creek in the Coconino National Forest, and Montezuma Castle in Camp Verde, AZ.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: