Harbottle Brewing Company is joining the crew of hidden breweries in the area of Palo Verde Road and Ajo Way.
While neighbors Green Feet Brewing, Nimbus Brewing Company, and Ten Fifty-Five Brewing are tucked away off East 44th Street, Harbottle is hidden in plain sight next to Chopstix Asian Diner at the southwest corner of Palo Verde and Ajo. There's no neon sign, so look for the window decal.
The 4,000-square-foot brewery includes a 1,000-square foot tap room. The interior features a somewhat industrial feel matching the area with steel and some softness from reclaimed wood accents. The western wall features watercolor portraits from local artist Shannon Russell. The tall, north-facing windows let in abundant natural light without direct sun glare, making it a warm, welcoming space.
Harbottle is the creation of co-owners Michael Figueira and Sam Kroack along with head brewer Andy Schlicker. The originally name, Flux Brewing Company, was met changed due trademark issues.
Figueira and his wife Jessica designed the interior. While there's no chalkboard menu, one of the three televisions utilizes software with mobile phone social app Untappd to show the beer menu with ratings and a live stream of reviews. (Editor note: Ermanos Craft Beer & Wine Bar maintains a similar system.)
"It drives people to drink since they want to see their reviews appear on the bottom," Figueira said.
Even though Harbottle doesn't host their grand opening until noon on Saturday, February 10, the taproom has been filled with beer enthusiasts checking in.
Soulful tunes from the Stevie Wonder Pandora station emanate through the taproom to the nine-foot shuffleboard in the corner. The space is comfortable and opens at noon daily, early by local standards, so expect to see a crowd of regulars hanging out all day. Harbottle might even open six hours earlier if the demand is there.
"We're thinking about opening a 'third shift at 6 a.m. so people working at the hospital can grab a beer when they get off," Figueira said.
Figueira, a home brewer for over a decade, also worked at Tap & Bottle Downtown. After almost five years at T&B, he left to focus on Harbottle.
"We're definitely into classic styles and doing them well," Figueira said. "We're not going to go weird yet."
The bar features 10 taps, though six beers are on at the moment — seven will be on tap for the grand opening. Current beers include the Bass Akwards Porter, Nigel Tufnel ESB, Harbottle IPA, Kentucky Sunglasses Sour Ale, Crossroads Belgian dubbel, and Easy Going kolsh.
As of right now, Arizona Beer House is the only other place in town with Harbottle beers on tap — the ESB and IPA.
Other specialty beers in the works include a cucumber saison and a watermelon beer for the warmer weather.
Snacks are on the quirkier side. No popcorn yet, but a variety of bags of Frito-Lays snacks are also available, since that's what Figueira enjoys eating.
"We're also going to start carrying full-size bags of Doritos and big containers of Utz cheese balls for $6," Figueria said. "And you can take it home with you."
Harbottle Brewing Company is located at 3820 S. Palo Verde Rd. #102. Operating hours are noon - 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, noon - midnight Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit harbottlebrewing.com.
Jackie Tran is a Tucson-based food writer, photographer, culinary educator, and owner-chef of the food truck Tran's Fats. Although he is best known locally for his work for Tucson Foodie, his work has also appeared in publications such as Bon...