Iron John’s: Best Beer in Arizona?

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Iron John’s tasting room, with the brewery in back, in Tucson, Arizona

I’ve had my share of beer flights. It’s a good way to quickly sample a craft brewer’s, or pub’s, range of offerings. But in my experience, the wee glasses are usually thrown back like shots, so you can move on to the main event: a particular pint.

This is definitely not the case at Iron John’s Brewing Company, located in an out-of-the-way industrial bay in central Tucson, Arizona. Here, a flight is a selection of four beers, carefully decanted into four-ounce snifters.

But damned if it doesn’t take two of us the better part of 30 minutes to work our way through these four samples in Iron John’s little tasting room, interrupted only by cracking open peanuts in the shell. That’s because each sip is treated like a fine single-malt scotch as we considered the complexities, the subtle notes, the lingering flavours of chocolate, pear, hibiscus, etc.

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A flight of outstanding beer samples, chased with some peanuts. What more do you need?

I won’t bore you with the details of these four beers—a rye IPA, a seasonal porter, a strong ale and a red ale—other than to note that they’re produced in small batches and hand bottled.

Which means that to taste how outstanding these brews are (maybe the best in all of Arizona), you’ll likely have to make a trip to Tucson and visit the tasting room/brewery or ferret out the pubs, markets and fine beer stores that carry the stuff.

But if you do find it, you won’t mind spending an hour savouring this nectar or dropping an average of $7 for a 500-millilitre bottle to take home.

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Happy camper

But you’d best hurry. Just as I decide the Julio Rye IPA is the finest of our four samples, my pourer informs me the bottles of same have just sold out.

Guess that means another trip from Canada to Tucson.

Iron John’s Brewing Company
245 South Plumer Avenue, #27, Tucson, Arizona
Monday to Saturday 11 am-7 pm. Closed Sunday


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