322 E Camelback Rd
Visited on January 22, 2010
For how upscale the greater Phoenix area is, it sure has some shit brewpubs. First on that list of crap is Sonora Brewhouse. I remember very little to this day, except that I didn’t particular care for any of their beers and the menu rather stunk. It was basically like eating at an Applebee’s, but perhaps worse. After all, when visiting a local brewpub, you tend to think they’d put a bit more of an effort in.
Not my favorite.
I walked into Sonora Brew House – tap room of SunUp Brewing Company – at about 8:00 p.m. after a day’s worth of flights and being turned away from an up-scale restaurant due to an hour-and-a-half wait. Needless to say, I wasn’t in the best mood as I had thought I was settling in for an evening of fantastic food served in small portions on pristine white dishes.
Instead, I pulled a 180 and went to SunUp because it was close and it was on my food list.
The interior didn’t put me off. Though it’s not a “classy” brewpub, the interior sports soft lighting, Spanish colors and a certain amount of elegance. I’m not saying you should take a date here if you’re trying to impress her, but it’s certainly acceptable before or after a movie.
The atmosphere is laid back. A curved bar sits behind a simple floor stacked with numerous square tables both normal and high-top. Brewing equipment stands behind a plastic wall off to one side. A small doorway leads to a narrow room lined with booths on either side. The place is not that big, but it’s not small either.
The menu consists of standard pub fare with a few Spanish touches. Appetizers have the normal dips and fried dishes. The homemade bruschetta caught my eye, however. It was a bit strong on the garlic and not very well done. Outside of the typical burgers, sandwiches and wraps, they do feature some interesting entrees. I ordered the special – shrimp fajitas. It came with one giant flour tortilla which confused me, but overall it wasn’t bad. My friend ordered the salmon which was a much better effort.
As for the beer, they featured six standard offerings along with three seasonal. Of the typical offerings, most were a little too sweet and a little low on the hop side, especially those of lighter color meant to appeal to the masses. However, the low amounts of hops did allow the floral and citrus notes to come through on the IPA. My favorite was the seasonal Red along with the Vanilla Porter, which though sweet, had a robust chocolaty character. Bonus point for the dry-hopped, cask conditioned version of the IPA as well.
The service was alright. She didn’t know much about the beers, but could at least distinguish one from the other via color, even among those that looked quite similar.
Overall, the place is alright. I hope there are better offerings in the area. But if not, it’ll do.