I grew up in Tempe and remember when Islands was at this location and then it sat empty for some time after it closed. But is looks like Tempe finally found a winner in Pedal Haus. It is a locally owned brewpub that features handcrafted European-style beers along with a Belgian-American gastropub menu. They opened in 2015 and just recently went through a renovation. They have some pretty creative dishes like brisket argue pasta, lobster mac & cheese, tempura-fried cheese curds and moules frites. You can’t miss this place because it is huge. They have three bar areas with an enormous patio (with cornhole) and beer garden. I was first introduced to Pedal Haus on a food tour of Tempe last year and happy to finally make a return visit.
I started my day off with the Bavarian pretzel which comes with sides of beer cheese, stone-ground mustard and a maple butter. The pretzels are shaped liked a baguette and come served warm and soft. The maple butter was a pleasant surprise. Then I got the Green Chili Bacon Burger which is a pretty good-sized burger loaded with all types of flavor. I’m an ale guy and enjoyed their amber ale for my beer choice. One fun fact that I found interesting is that they recycle heat in the brewing process. The steam (which is typically lost) is distributed to a hot water tank that warms up the next batch. They have a killer happy hour that offers reduced prices on their appetizers and beer. Like many of the new breweries opening up, they are pet friendly, so feel free to bring your dog.
Scottsdale Beer Company uses a custom 10 bbl brewing system to brew their beer. They prioritize freshness and craftsmanship and are inspired by the work of beer masters from past generations. The head brewmaster is an Arizona native and has been making beer for over twenty years. I tried the East End Amber and found it very tasty and delicious. The Chicken Molé Tostadas were recommended by my server and I enjoyed every bite. The tostadas are made of beer brined chicken thighs braised in red molé sauce, served over refried beans and topped with cheese curds, jalapeño crema, cilantro, cabbage, radish, lime-pickled onions, and apples. I’m really enjoying all the craft breweries that are popping up everywhere in the Valley. This place was a pleasant surprise and added to my dinner and play evening out.
While on our way to Napa Valley, we stopped in at a place called Downtown Joe’s Brewery & Restaurant. It is an American style grill and brewery. Once called Willit’s Brewery, this building has been serving beers to the Napa area for years. Now Joe and Nancye Peatmen are continuing the tradition with good food and beer and live entertainment weekly. You can tell this is a hot spot for locals as the staff was very friendly and welcoming to us. We ended up ordering some appetizers – Garlic Fries, Nachos & Spinach Dip. It was a quick snack before heading off to sample some fine wines in Napa.
A late night hang-out I love is BJ’s. They have a good happy hour with half off their mini pizzas, $2 off appetizers and $1 off their award-winning beer. It’s always a nice little place to chill with a buddy to watch ESPN highlights. One of the few chain restaurants I enjoy. They have good pizzookies too!