Thirsty Thursday: Exploring the Beer Menu at Taphouse Kitchen

Matthew JohnsonAugust 25, 2021
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Taphouse Kitchen Phoenix, the restaurant and sports bar at the corner of 32nd Street and Shea Blvd.has undergone several ownership changes since it first opened in 2014. The most recent happened in May 2020 at the height of the pandemic when Joseph Manzella and his Tableside Partners company bought the turnkey operation, added some booths and  more importantly for us beer lovers – filled the tap lines with its own craft beer. With 20 beersciders and seltzers on tap from Taps Brewery, Mason Ale Works and Newtopia Cyder (all are brewed out of Southern California), Taphouse Kitchen has something available for all palates and preferences, from the beer snob to those shy about craft beerand all the beerdrinkers in between. We were recently invited to try six of its styles, plus food pairings for each. Here’s what we enjoyed.  

Cheve Vienna Lager 

The night starts with this clean and crisp 4.7% ABV lager. Cheve used to have an amber color to it but the Taps brewmasters changed the recipe a few months ago for the better. With a golden color and easy drinking nature, Cheve is perfect to start the night and pairs well with a brewery pretzel or the crispy calamari appetizer – or bring home a Taphouse 32-ounce crowler and pop in comedy flick Fletch starring Chevy Chase 

Cheve Vienna Lager at Taphouse Kitchen Phoenix. Photo by Matthew Johnson, PHOENIX
Cheve Vienna Lager at Taphouse Kitchen Phoenix. Photo by Matthew Johnson, PHOENIX
Crispy Calamari appetizer at Taphouse Kitchen Phoenix. Photo by Matthew Johnson, PHOENIX
Crispy Calamari appetizer at Taphouse Kitchen Phoenix. Photo by Matthew Johnson, PHOENIX

The American Cream Ale 

The second beer of the evening steps up to a 5.5% ABV lightbodied cream ale that tastes nothing like a cream soda – and that’s a good thing. Too often, breweries create flavored cream beers that are overpowered with flavors of vanilla and too much sweetness. That’s not the case with this Taps Brewery flagship beer. Instead, you get a hint of cream and more of a Kolsch or blonde ale feel. Very crushable and a good entry level beer for those looking to get into the craft beer lifestyle. American Cream Ale pairs well with sushi rolls and medals from the Great American Beer Festival (2001 Gold, 2005 Gold, 2007 Bronze, 2012 Bronze).  

The American Cream Ale at Taphouse Kitchen Phoenix. Photo by Matthew Johnson, PHOENIX
The American Cream Ale at Taphouse Kitchen Phoenix. Photo by Matthew Johnson, PHOENIX
Taps Signature Sushi. Photo by Matthew Johnson, PHOENIX
Taps Signature Sushi. Photo by Matthew Johnson, PHOENIX

Belgian White Ale 

Next up on our beer adventure is the Belgian White, a 5% ABV Witbier or wheat beer, brewed with coriander and orange peel. You’ll notice both the fruit and the spice on the nose and on the tongue. Try this refreshing brew with Taphouse’s rack of lamb served over a bed of piquillo pepper puree. 

Belgian White at Taphouse Kitchen Phoenix. Photo by Matthew Johnson, PHOENIX
Belgian White at Taphouse Kitchen Phoenix. Photo by Matthew Johnson, PHOENIX
Rack of Lamb at Taphouse Kitchen Phoenix. Photo by Matthew Johnson, PHOENIX
Rack of Lamb at Taphouse Kitchen Phoenix. Photo by Matthew Johnson, PHOENIX

Juicy Liu Hazy IPA 

The everpopular New Englandstyle IPA appears in front of us and we like its fruity nature. Big notes of grapefruit come through on this 7% ABV hazy. Juicy Liu pairs well with fighting ninjas or you can order it to wash down with the Royale with Cheese burger on the menu at Taphouse Kitchen.  

Juicy Liu hazy IPA at Taphouse Kitchen Phoenix. Photo by Matthew Johnson, PHOENIX
Juicy Liu hazy IPA at Taphouse Kitchen Phoenix. Photo by Matthew Johnson, PHOENIX
Royale with Cheese burger at Taphouse Kitchen Phoenix. Photo by Matthew Johnson, PHOENIX
Royale with Cheese burger at Taphouse Kitchen Phoenix. Photo by Matthew Johnson, PHOENIX

Flex West Coast IPA 

As a hophead, now we’re getting into my wheelhouse. The 7.2% ABV West Coast style IPA is balanced nicely on bitterness, citrus and pine and pairs well with the blackened fish taco that was so tasty I couldn’t be bothered to take a picture of it for this blog.  

Flex west coast IPA at Taphouse Kitchen Phoenix. Photo by Matthew Johnson, PHOENIX
Flex west coast IPA at Taphouse Kitchen Phoenix. Photo by Matthew Johnson, PHOENIX

Irish Red 

Our final beer of the night is served up with one of Alondra’s Beignets from the dessert menu. As someone who hasn’t enjoyed a good Irish Redstyle beer since college, I was pleasantly surprised at how well it helped end the night and how it paired so nicely with the powdered sugarcovered piece of fried dough that sat on top of chocolate and caramel sauces.  

Irish Red at Taphouse Kitchen Phoenix. Photo by Matthew Johnson, PHOENIX
Irish Red at Taphouse Kitchen Phoenix. Photo by Matthew Johnson, PHOENIX
Alondra's Beignets at Taphouse Kitchen Phoenix. Photo by Matthew Johnson, PHOENIX
Alondra’s Beignets at Taphouse Kitchen Phoenix. Photo by Matthew Johnson, PHOENIX

Read more about Happy Hour at Taphouse kitchen

 

Phoenix location (32nd St. and Shea)
3131 E. Shea Blvd., Phoenix 

 

Scottsdale location (Scottdale Rd. and McDonald Dr.)
6137 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale 

Grant Tondro, Vice President of Brewery Operations & Productions
Grant Tondro, Vice President of Brewery Operations & Productions
Dominic Jones, Executive Chef
Dominic Jones, Executive Chef

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