Five Brewers, One Distillery & a Coffee Shop Call This Industrial District Home

Last modified on March 2nd, 2017 at 12:14 pm

Photo by David Bowers

There must be something in the water in the industrial district on Palo Verde Road just north of Ajo Way.

Industrial districts have long been desirable locations for breweries, for a number of reasons, such as city regulations, size of the space needed, and price.

In this instance, however, it all started when Nimbus Brewing Co. opened at 3850 E. 44th St. in 1996. Tucked back at the end of the road, the location was more akin to a dead end than a beer tourist destination.

Fast-forward to 2012 when locals Tucsonans JP Vyborny and Chris Squires were looking for a place to launch their dream. Six months after their search began, Ten Fifty-Five Brewing became a reality when they opened their doors a couple blocks west of Nimbus at 3810 E. 44th St. in February, 2013.

“For us, it was a matter of finding a space that met both our needs,” Vyborny said. “The location was able to accommodate our brewery floor plan and had a close proximity to downtown for deliveries.”

New Neighbors

In 2013, following in the footsteps of Ten Fifty-Five Brewing, two other businesses began the ardent work of bringing their passion to life. In 2015, both Green Feet Brewing at 3669 E. 44th St and Three Wells Distilling Company at 3780 E. 44th St. #120 opened their doors to the public.

But it isn’t all beer and spirits in the district, however.

Green Feet Brewing facade (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Green Feet Brewing facade (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Situated a block north of Green Feet Brewing at 3220 S. Dodge Blvd., is Yellow Brick Coffee. Siblings Anna and David Perreira opened Yellow Brick on May 5, 2014 after four years as a passion project. The location serves as a coffee house, roastery and a gathering place for furthering coffee education.

New Kid On The Block

Copper Mine Brewing Co. recently opened its doors at 3455 S. Palo Verde Rd. This location isn’t off the beaten path like the others tucked in the back just off of Palo Verde and owners Jeff Kaber and Jeremy Pye couldn’t be happier.

The first thing to be aware of is Copper Mine’s current lack of an IPA. Many breweries of late have trampled the style into the ground and some even went as far as calling different styles of beer an IPA just for the name recognition. There is no such thing as a Black or Brown IPA, the beer by definition is “pale.” If it’s black or brown, it’s not pale.

The closest style resembling an IPA at Copper Mine is the properly titled ‘Not So IPA’ pale ale. Also on the menu were the Copper Ale, the flagship beer with a nod to the copper industry in Arizona. This tasty red ale is well-balanced and delicious enough to be the standard bearer for the brewery. Look forward to the Imperial Brown and Irish Red on a return visit with St. Patrick’s Day being so close.

On the lighter side of the spectrum, they brewed a couple easily session-able beers in the Hibiscus Blonde and Peach Saison. These beers will hit the spot in the upcoming summer months when even the staunchest dark beer drinkers need a refreshing quaff.

Copper Mine Brewing Company (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Copper Mine Brewing Company (Credit: Jackie Tran)

If you’re looking to pop in for a quick beer on your lunch hour, you will be out of luck. Since the owners are currently still at their “day jobs,” the brewery doesn’t open up until 4:30 p.m. during the week, staying open until 9 p.m. They will, however be open at noon on Saturdays and Sundays, closing at 9 p.m. on Saturdays and 5 p.m. on Sundays. They are not open for business on Mondays.

Fate in Flux

The fine folks at Harbottle Brewing Co. have been brewing up some great selections for over a year now, previously under the name Flux Brewing Company. Owners Michael Figueira, Andy Schlicker and Sam Kroack have collaborated with established breweries Public Brewhouse, 1912 Brewing and Dark Sky Brewing, among others.

The recent name change was necessitated due to a trademark issue. Not only did another brewery lay claim to the name Flux, a winery in California also sported the name. It was at that time when the owners changed the name to Harbottle Brewing Co.

John Harbottle was a British naval officer and distant relative of owner Michael Figueira. The team decided to move to Harbottle so they could trademark it and grow outside of the local market.

Harbottle will be running a seven-barrel system which they purchased from McFate Brewing in Scottsdale. The ironic twist is that just last year, McFate was in a legal battle as they were originally known as Fate Brewing Co. A Colorado brewery claimed the name Fate Brewing prior to Steve McFate gave his brewery the same name.

The brewery is looking to open this spring at 3820 S. Palo Verde Rd.

David Bowers is a passionate and published craft beer and college athletics writer based in Tucson, Arizona.