Arizona Beer House Owners Alvin Kuenster and Brian McBride (Photo by Gerald Gay)
Tucson’s craft beer boom continues to move east with the Arizona Beer House set to open at 150 S. Kolb Road by late June.
The craft beer tasting room and bottle shop is taking over the space once held by the Original Santa Fe Tile Company in the Broadway Seven Thousand Shopping Center, at Broadway and Kolb.
When open, Arizona Beer House will offer 30 local and regional beers on tap, including Tucson breweries such as Dragoon, Sentinel Peak, Pueblo Vida, and Thunder Canyon.
A selection of Arizona wines will be available for tasting. Hundreds of national and international bottles of beer will be available for purchase.
Owners Alvin Kuenster and Brian McBride, who are partnering with Brian’s brother David and Alvin’s wife Michelle to make ABH a reality, said this won’t be another sports bar on Tucson’s east side.
“There will be no televisions,” McBride said. “If you want a sports bar, there are a ton of them in the immediate area. I can show you where to go. If you want to come here to relax and try some really good beer, that is what we are here for.”
Kuenster, a quality control supervisor for General Rubber, and McBride, a vendor for the wholesale plumbing supply company Ferguson Enterprises, have been friends for 15 years.
Avid craft beer enthusiasts, the duo wanted to create a space outside of the downtown area, not unlike the popular tasting room Tap & Bottle on North Sixth Avenue.
Kuenster lives two miles east of the Arizona Beer House. McBride lives five minutes from downtown, but “most of my friends live on the east side,” he said.
“We love good beer,” Kuenster said. “We search out good beer. We spend our time making it and drinking it. We felt it was time we moved into the beer business.”
McBride said the large roll-up doors on the new building, facing Kolb, made it the perfect location for their new venture.
The 3,200 square feet of space provided ample room for a cooler, the bar, multiple long tables and even a gaming area for darts.
Arizona Beer House will not have a kitchen, but Kuenster and McBride hope to recruit a regular rotation of food trucks to serve customers.
In time, the two want to start brewing their own small batches of beer in-house, with the goal of having at least three of their taps offering ABH originals at any given time.
Kuenster said, while there are craft beer options at restaurants on the east end of Tucson, as well as Sentinel Peak Brewing at Swan and Grant, the Arizona Beer House will hopefully open up new worlds for residents who are hesitant to travel downtown for a good local beer.
“If you put it in front of people, and make it easier to access, they will start trying new things,” he said.
McBride and Kuenster also hope that the new space will allow all Tucson breweries the ability to expand their reach.
“A lot of people out here have never tried craft beer,” McBride said. “The east side is an untapped marked. We want to give people a chance to see what is being made right here in Tucson. It is exciting to be part of that.”
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