Four Peaks Brewing Company
1340 E. 8th Street, #104
Visited on November 30, 2008
I’m an opportunist, if nothing else. Flying back to Idaho one Thanksgiving I was given the option of getting on my noon flight or taking $300 in vouchers to wait eight hours for the next flight. I took the second option, grabbed my bags, and hopped a taxi to the nearest brewpub, which happened to be Four Peaks. There, I proceeded to drink, eat, and watch every single NFL football game that was on at one time.
It was glorious.
The beer was impressive, the food wasn’t bad, and the service put up with my staking a claim to an entire table for hours on end. I liked the place.
Set in an out-of-the-way, non-mainstream location, Four Peaks Brewing Company screams authenticity. The building is a gorgeous, brick warehouse originally constructed in 1892. As a former warehouse, the vaulted ceiling is massive standing at 35 feet tall, the interior has all the room and more you could possibly want for both brewing and eating, and it even includes an expansive outdoor patio for taking in that amazing Arizona sun. But the best part is that on NFL Sundays, a group of die-hard fantasy fans gather to watch no less than 11 televisions – mostly plasma – and every game at the same time. Talk about service!
The menu is not terribly creative and features dishes you’re likely to find on any brewpub menu with few surprises. I had an Italian beef sandwich served on house made beer bread. It was tasty, but not overly impressive. It was basically a high-end glob of cheese, peppers, onions and beef on a decent chunk of bread. The accompanying breaded fries, however, were outstanding. For dessert I tried the special – a small, individual strawberry tart. It was very, very good.
I had the unique pleasure of tasting with my laptop in tow. Overall, the beer was well above average and lends well to sitting and drinking all day, every day. My favorites were the Hefeweizen (which I don’t normally go for) and the Kiltlifter.
- Kolsch – good for beginners. Slightly sweet. Low hop bitterness but slight aftertaste. Great session beer
- Kiltlifter – sweet yet spicey, overly aggressive for the traditional Scottish, but a 5 star American version. Excites every square inch of the tongue. Almost spiced like a Christmas ale
- Hefeweizen – extremely smooth and balanced. Refreshing. Strong, strong notes of lemon and orange. Flawless german heffe. Perfect session beer.
- Arizona peach – light, crisp, refreshing. Really have to concentrate to pick out the peach. Not for those looking for a fruit beer at all. Perfect for summer.
- Hop Knot Pale – starts with a bitter punch that quickly fades before it becomes too much. Highly floral in flavor and aroma. Lacks a certain depth and complexity once the bitterness fades. Solid but not outstanding.
- Raj IPA – exact same pleasant usage of hops as the Hop Knot, but a little stronger with a fuller body and richer flavor. A much better choice than the hop knot.
- 8th street ale – all of the floral hoppy goodness of the Raj, including texture and body, with none of the up front bitternes. Perfect for an intermediate step in converting a Bud fan from lagers to ales.
- Oatmeal stout – a fine example of an oatmeal stout. Creamy, dark, roasted malts shine. Nothing out of the ordinary or spectacular, though it’s their only dark, so that makes it a good seller.
- Pumpkin Porter – truly a weird experience. I feel like I’m drinking a pumpkin spice lager (no actual pumpkin in the brew) but it’s a dark beer. If I had my eyes closed I’d swear it’s a lager light colored beer. But it is an excellent example of its kind. Exactly what I look for in a pumpkin spiced beer.
I can’t complain about the service, but can’t give a glowing review either. The first waitress I had was wonderful. When she went off shift, the second often forgot about me. So I’ll judge in the middle.