Scottsdale Craft Beer Crawl by Bike
Riding bikes and drinking craft beer [responsibly] are two of my favorite hobbies. Scottsdale has always been a desirable place to ride due to its wide bike lanes, clean roads, dedicated multi-use paths, and an awesome trail system. Over the last few years it’s also grown into a great place to drink craft beer. I decided it’s high time I put together a little tour by bike to visit the best breweries in town.
Begin your ride at McFate Brewing Company, which is about three miles from the heart of downtown Scottsdale. McFate opened its doors in 2010 in north Scottsdale and quickly gained a loyal local following. They opened a second location in south Scottsdale shortly thereafter. McFate serves their own beers and brews, offering a little something for everyone, whether you’re a “Fateful IPA” kind of drinker or lean towards a lighter option, like the “Hatch Chile Gatos” cream ale. Taps rotate often so if you find a favorite, don’t wait too long to enjoy it.
Leaving McFate, we’ll meander through the neighborhoods of south Scottsdale for just over two miles to reach Goldwater Brewing on the southern edge of downtown Scottsdale. Goldwater’s tap room is a sleek, no-frills, all-about-the-beer kind of establishment. Options like “Poolside Pilsner” and “I’m on Vacation Lager” are an obvious nod to Scottsdale’s many resorts but that doesn’t make them any less refreshing on a warm day. The big surprise at Goldwater is the Desert Rose Cactus Ale. Cacti abound in the Sonoran Desert surrounding Scottsdale, and this ale offers a delicious, crisp flavor that’s not at all sweet. A pleasant example of a local spot sourcing ingredients right here at home.
About a mile north of Goldwater you’ll find this Chicago classic. In 2015, wooed by Arizona’s perfect winter weather, Two Brothers Artisan Brewing opened a satellite location in Scottsdale. The tap house and brewery is a popular outpost for Chicagoans who’ve made the leap to desert living, and can often be found filled with diehard sports fans cheering on their Illinois home teams. A selection of beers are brewed on site and taps rotate seasonally. The food is fresh, creative, and generously portioned. Try the hoisin-sriracha glazed brussels sprouts, washed down with a “pinball” pale ale or a seasonal draft.
Around the corner from Two Brothers, you’ll find the calm and quiet atmosphere of Scapegoat. This cozy spot falls somewhere between neighborhood pub, intimate wine bar, and a comfy living room. Sip from a selection of craft beers (or an extensive wine list), and entertain yourself with a game of Jenga or Catch Phrase. Scapegoat is a welcome break from some of the bigger and louder bars in downtown Scottsdale, making it a perfect spot to begin winding down our evening.
Hop back on your bike for a quick jaunt over to Craft 64 (about 0.6 miles). This restaurant and brewery is the perfect spot to end your exploration. Craft 64 offers more than 30 beers on tap, all of which are brewed in Arizona. and is proud to be the only establishment of their kind offering solely Arizona beers. Craft 64 also offers their own brews on tap, which are made in collaboration with SunUp Brewing in Phoenix. Grab a flight or two to taste of Arizona’s many flavors while indulging in a delicious, hand-made, wood-fired pizza. With toppings like house-made mozzarella, spicy aji jalapeno sauce and chorizo, these pizzas are not to be underestimated. The cozy atmosphere at Craft 64 makes it easy to linger and sip another pint as you explore the best of Arizona’s beer scene.