Happy Hour of the Week: Noble Hops

Last modified on June 7th, 2016 at 4:02 pm

Chef's Board at Noble Hops (Credit: Jackie Tran)

What
Happy Hour at Noble Hops
Where
1335 W. Lambert Ln., Oro Valley, AZ 85737
Happy Hour Info
2-6 p.m. daily
More Info
noblehopspub.com

Noble Hops isn’t a ballet technique. Named after the specific varieties of hop plant high in aroma with low bitterness, Noble Hops in Oro Valley is a beer geek’s paradise.

For those not into beer, the gourmet eats and lovely scenic view are worth the trip. The 30-foot long bar extends indoors and outdoors, showing off the neighboring Pusch Ridge and Catalina Mountains. The misters are almost as refreshing as a pilsner in the summer heat, while the fire pits are perfect to cuddle by with a porter.

With over 175 different beers, including 28 draft beers, deciding what’s the perfect drink for your meal can be intimidating. If you enjoy beer but don’t have the beer knowledge yet, don’t worry — the online menu has suggested pairings and the staff is happy to provide pairings and personal picks.

For happy hour, it’s easy to save a few bucks. Draft beers are $1 off, keg wines are $2 off, and well cocktails are $3. Small plates are $2 off, so bites range from $7 to $19.

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To start off, try the Buttered Pretzels ($7).  Champagne stone-ground mustard, brown butter, and creamy kölsch and white cheddar fondue are available for dipping. The Bavarian classic happens to pair beautifully with the timeless beers from Weihenstephan Abbey (say that ten times fast), but the Belgian ales on top will work wonders as well.

For a creamy, cheesy delight, order the Cauliflower Gratin ($8). Like broccoli, the cauliflower crevices make a perfect sponge for the four-year aged cheddar and beer sauce. The panko baked on top provides a contrasting crispy layer. The perfume from the sprigs of thyme add a touch of depth. Pair this with a bubbly pilsner to contrast the rich sauce.

The Red Skins ($8) are fried potato skins using red potatoes. They’re stuffed with sweet pork belly, four-year aged cheddar, and roasted jalapeños, then topped with charred onion sour cream and crispy onion rings. The meaty, smoky accents make it pair well with a porter or stout.

Cauliflower Gratin at Noble Hops (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Cauliflower Gratin at Noble Hops (Credit: Jackie Tran)

The Chef’s Board ($19) is bountiful with artisanal cheeses, salumi, olives, crostini, whipped butter, and seasonal fruits and veggies. Since the flavors vary from item to item, it’s best to share with friends with different beers. If you’re focusing on the cheese and salumi however, a hoppy IPA will stand up to the saltiness and intense aged flavors.

On the healthier side, the Smoky Chipotle + Garlic Hummus ($9) has herbed pita points, cucumbers, and rainbow carrots. Pair it with an American pale ale to accentuate the chipotle heat and cleanse the palate.

If you’ve got a friendly canine companion, Yappy Hour is the first Monday of every month. Not only will you be able to socialize with other dog owners and dogs, local veterinarians will be in the mix to mingle and answer any questions.

Noble Hops is located at 1335 W. Lambert Ln. in Oro Valley and is open daily. Happy hour runs 2-6 p.m. daily. For more information, visit noblehopspub.com. To keep up with specials, visit Noble Hops on Facebook. For a list of other hot happy hour picks, click here.

Jackie is a food writer and photographer native to Tucson. He eats Flamin' Hot Cheetos with chopsticks and still thinks rickrolling is funny. If you'd like to stalk him, visit jackietran.com.