Brews Cruise

Written by Wynter Holden Category: Happy Hour Issue: January 2016
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Photos by Blake Bonillas; Copperleaf Gastrolounge

Bypass banal bar fare and beeline for gourmet bites at these Valley gastropubs.

 

Copperleaf Gastrolounge
4225 N. Craftsman Ct., Scottsdale
480-941-4155, copperleafgastrolounge.com
Moonshine cocktails are the big draw at Copperleaf, but chef and private caterer Todd Williams also knows good food. Select appetizers are half-off during happy hour, including fried pickles ($3), fruit-stuffed brie ($5) and raspberry chipotle pulled pork sliders that pair perfectly with a $5 glass of tangy house sangria. Williams also pays homage to the building’s Southern-styled architecture – think arched windows, barrel-vaulted ceilings and exterior columns to rival a Louisiana plantation – with Cajun starters like blackened catfish bites ($3.50) and baked crawfish mac and cheese.

Photos by Blake Bonillas; Copperleaf Gastrolounge

Wash ‘em down with a Pure Paradise cocktail featuring Malibu and Midori over a pineapple moonshine base, or brave the spicy cinnamon and ginger tang of the popular Apple Leaf ($10 each). Well drinks, wine and drafts are $1 off, with past offerings ranging from Lumberyard Red Ale and Ace Apple Cider to Coppola Blanco and Rosso on tap. 3-7 p.m. Tu-Su.

Photos by Blake Bonillas; Copperleaf Gastrolounge

 

 

 

 

Photos by Blake Bonillas; Ground Control

 

Ground Control
4860 N. Litchfield Rd., Litchfield Park
623-535-9066, groundxcontrol.com
Part wine shop and part public meeting house, Ground Control is a cozy neighborhood spot known for wine tastings and pairing dinners. A growler fill-up station lets guests stock up on suds, while gelato makes for a sweet ending after any stop-by. Score five appetizers for five bucks each during happy hour, plus $1 off drafts. Select cocktails and wines are also $5. Try the owner’s personal favorite of crispy chips smothered in beef gravy, or pair fried cheese curds with a fruity Riesling.

Photos by Blake Bonillas; Ground Control

 

 

Baked brie with raspberry purée is a natural mate for the ever-changing Pinot Noir selection, while fun brew offerings like Fate’s Candy Bar stout and berry-flavored Founders Rübæus Nitro cut through the saltiness of pretzels with white cheddar fondue or GC’s signature flatbread pizza. 2-5 p.m. daily.

 

 

Photos by Blake Bonillas; Ground Control

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos by Blake Bonillas; Salut Kitchen Bar

Salut Kitchen Bar
1435 E. University Dr., Tempe
480-625-3600, salutkitchenbar.com
Gleaming ductwork, concrete walls and rustic wood slats combine to make this Tempe nightspot a chic, modern place to uncork and unwind. Covered tables on the patio are the most coveted spots in the house; snag a chair beside the petite plantings to take full advantage of mild winter afternoons. House wine, craft cocktails, appetizers and drafts are $2 off at happy hour, and guests who purchase a bottle of vino can score a bottle of the house pick for $5.

Photos by Blake Bonillas; Salut Kitchen Bar

 

Wax adventurous with housemade hummus “nachos” ($7.50) and bacon-wrapped chestnuts ($6) washed down with an absinthe cocktail, or stay in the safety zone with creamy mac-and-cheese bites and ricotta ravioli drenched in wild mushroom sauce ($7 each).

Photos by Blake Bonillas; Salut Kitchen Bar

 

 

 

Salut’s wine and beer lists are petite, yet tight. Sample SanTan Sun Spot pilsner with Havarti-filled quinoa fritters ($7.50) or try the dessert s’mores with a rich red like Glory Days Cabernet. 3-6:30 p.m. daily.

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