I often come to expect what a brewery will look like based on what I know about it. My friends in Phoenix wanted to meet up at Goldwater Brewing Co. in downtown Scottsdale and then go somewhere for dinner. There are some key phrases there that create expectations in my mind. First, it’s a downtown brewery (downtown real estate tends to be pricey). Second, it does not have food. These lead me to believe that Goldwater was going to be a pretty small brewery. As I pulled up in front of the brewery, these expectation were met with a small storefront space and a small (although really cool) tap room.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying in any way shape or form that a small taproom is a bad thing. I actually really like the quiet and intimate environment that a small taproom provides. I was perfectly happy to meet my friends in this great taproom that had a large and interesting variety of beers. I got myself a pint of the Desert Rose cactus ale and some spicy jalapeño popcorn and then talked to the bartenders about Goldwater Brewing while I waited for my friends to show up. The Desert Rose cactus ale description on the menu said that the beer was “20 years in the making” and I had to find out just what that meant. Turns out it was the very first beer that one of the founding brewers made as a home brewer 20 years ago and he had been brewing it ever since.
Eventually, some of my friends arrived and the first thing they asked was “did you see the rest of the place yet”? I shot the bartender a hurt look that intended to say “why didn’t you tell me there was a rest-of-the-place?” and said to my friends “what rest of the place?” Turns out Goldwater Brewing has three levels and two taprooms! Let’s take a walk through to see just how big this place is.
I had been hanging out in the main tap room. Now, we picked up and moved to the second tap room called the Goldmine Basement Tap Room where you can get specialty and barrel aged beers.
The basement taproom is really interesting as it was once a shooting range. There are concrete tubes down there where people would practice shooting. Goldwater was even nice enough to leave a target hanging in one of the tubes.
Now, Goldwater uses these tubes to hold taproom equipment that just happens to fit really well.
The cool factor of Goldwater Brewing definitely shot up about 1000% at this point. And it was pretty high to begin with.
Quick side note. I learned something on this trip. Know what you’ll find in every pretty much every building in Arizona? A water cooler.
I’ve been told that it is illegal to refuse anyone water in the state of Arizona, although I was not able to verify that. But, you will definitely see water coolers everywhere.
But I digress. I had a great evening hanging out with a group of my Arizona buddies and walked away with a crowler of Goldwater Brewing 2 Year Anniversary Barley Wine. This visit was definitely a win.