The Shop Beer Company

In this episode I sit down with Dave Arnce and Jason Calhoon from The Shop Beer Co. in Tempe.

The Shop Beer Co. started off as side project within Cartel Coffee Lab a few years ago. Today these dudes are making some really badass beers including 2 of my favorite Arizona beers: F.I.T.Y.M. Double IPA (listen to the show for the acronym explanation) and DPA (Desert Pale Ale). And don’t forgot about any of their beers that feature any type of coffee. Remember these guys came from an amazing coffee company so their coffee game is legit including their own line of cold brew coffee (Sidekick Cold Brew). I am normally not a fan of nitro beers but their Nitro Coffee Brown blew me away. On Wednesdays they do what they call “Randall Wednesdays” which basically means they take one of their flagship beers and using a contraption called The Randall they infuse it with pretty much whatever they want. They have done this with crazy shit like Girl Scout Cookies, tequila-soaked oak chips, or chai spices. I haven’t been there for a “RandallWednesday” but it’s on my list.

The brewery/taproom is located in a renovated house that was the home of a former Tempe mayor. The place is located in pretty much a residential area which really gives it that neighborhood feel which is great because that’s what the guys are going for. Between the taproom and the actual brewery lies the beautiful beer garden. On the patio lies a large picnic table but you go down a few steps and there are tables and stools in abundance. The guys told me that they get live music going on there during the week. The outside space is great with lots of room but small enough to get a real community feel when the place is busy. A place where you can’t help but talk to all your new friends around you (especially after a couple of F.I.T.Y.M.’s.). However, the real highlight of the beer garden is the amazing graffiti-style artwork that covers a huge wall that runs the entire length of the west end of the beer garden. A giant animated beer wandering about complete with the classic hobo bindle and some sort of wasps nests and an array of colors. I’m not exactly sure what the hell it is but I know that it’s awesome and that’s all that matters. And you know the coolest part? Dave is the artist behind the amazing work! The big building in the back is the brewery and you can even get a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes action through the glass.

You hungry? Well, The Shop Beer Co. doesn’t technically serve food but there is a food truck that is permanently stationed there and it is the shit. Craig from Fire & Foraged is always coming up with awesome food. The menu continually changes with whatever fresh ingredients Craig can get. I had the BLAT (BLT with avocado) and it was unreal. I know, BLT, pretty simple but Craig did something special to that shit because it was the best BLT I’ve ever had. On any given day your choices can range from beer brats and chili cheese fries to the unconventional brewery foodof grilled quail or catfish. Eat there. You will not be disappointed.

The bottom line is that The Shop Beer Co. is run by some awesome dudes who are into more than just making great beer. They want to create a place where people from the neighborhood can come to and call their own. A place where people actually talk to each other and make new friends. And they are off to a great start.

Intro/Outro music is "La Negra Tomasa" by Arizona's own Fayuca

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