1340 E. 8th St # 104 -Tempe
Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-2am, Sun 10:30am-2am
Light Rail Stop: Rural and University #23
By: Amy Warford
Buying local, and dining local are great ways to support your community so why not drink local too! Four Peaks Brew Company located on an unsuspecting side street in Tempe is the perfect place to stretch your philanthropic muscles. To get there take the light rail to the stop at Rural and University, and walk directly east down Eighth Street, about five to ten minutes (hey, a few steps never hurt anyone, ask Moses!). Once you have arrived at the rustic looking brick masterpiece, a facade rarely seen in the likes of shiny new Phoenix, step inside and sidle up to the bar top or a cozy table for some great times.
The building that now houses the brewery has been the site of two different creameries in the past, built in 1892; the soaring ceilings and turn of the century design have become an inspiration for the brewers themselves. Four Peaks has been pouring beer in the valley for almost two decades, the process of taking four ingredients, malted Barley, hops, yeast, and water and turning into eight tried and true beverages is no short feat that Four Peaks does with extreme pride and consistency. One exceptional key to their success is the reverse osmosis process that Four Peaks uses to create ion free water. Because it is such a key ingredient in beer, the water must be free of chemicals and tastes that may change the flavor and consistency of the beer. They also use the machine to recreate water from around the world, for example, the specific taste of their flagship Kilt Lifter has a lot to do with the water in Edinburgh, Scotland, that they “rebuilt” in the reverse osmosis tank in Tempe, Arizona. I will not bore you with the steps of the beer making process; you can hit up the Four Peaks website to learn all about it. I will tell you that if you are at all curious what the inside of brewery looks like you can get a firsthand look while enjoying a well-crafted brew at their eighth street location. The Towering casks that house their tasty concoctions add an unbeatable ambiance to the place; it is truly a unique experience. The operations at Four Peaks produce over 40,000 kegs of beer a year, so you need not fret; the likely hood of them running out is slim to none.
Nevertheless, enough about the blue prints let us get down to brass tacks, the beer itself, oh yea and the grub!
As I said, earlier Four Peaks serves eight mainstay beers all the time, everyday. They are in no particular order: Eighth St. Pale Ale, Kilt Lifter, Hefeweizen, Hop Knot IPA, Sunbru Kolsch Style Ale, The Raj India Pale Ale, Oatmeal Stout, and Arizona Peach (this author’s favorite). This well rounded collection has a little something for everyone the Guinness drinking will love the Oatmeal Stout whereas someone who enjoys a Bud Light now and then will appreciate the Eighth Street Ale. Seasonal beers also make an appearance and they are listed on the giant chalkboard toward the bottom, or just ask your server. This fall it is Hopsquatch Barley wine, a high alcohol content brew that is similar to a port or sherry in sweetness and potency. The beer is great there is no doubt about it when you see the awards cases that a practically busting at the seams, but what is a good beer without something to wash down right. Well Four Peaks happens also make killer food as well. If I could spend an entire day eating there, and believe me I could, I would go on a Saturday or Sunday. Why’s that you ask, they serve brunch on the weekends, duh. Going with a group is perfectly manageable with their long tables that can seat at least ten of your closest friends, and sharing a pitcher with yourself can look a little alarming to the other patrons. Start with the Nachos or the Artichoke dip, I am aware that these seem like very regular items but they are simply well done and delicious! The dip comes out with soft and toasty pita chips the pair delightfully well with the spinach artichoke dip and the nachos are so big it is practically impossible to finish them without a small army. Continue your food journey with a killer burger or the house specialty beer breads, soft doughy bread that is filled with meaty goodness of many kinds and baked to perfection. Did I mention Pizza? Well, they have it and its wood fired, piping hot and way better than DiGiorno. To finish do yourself a favor and order an Oatmeal Stout Shake. I know what you’re thinking but set those fears aside my friend; you will not be disappointed with the creamy rich flavor of the special treat.
Four Peaks is the perfect place to watch the game as well. If you are a displaced Vikings fan, you will feel right at home here, as they are an officially unofficial Vikings bar. However, no worries they have plenty of TVs for Cards games and any other team you want to catch. On the weekends brunch and drink specials abound so get there early to ensure you get a good spot. Do not forget to ask your server for the daily specials as well. Whether you plan to enjoy a late afternoon on the sprawling patio or cheer on the Sun Devils with your closest friends four peaks will never disappoint.