Just when we all start to wonder if we are ill-prepared to defend ourselves against the approaching summer and ever-increasing Tucson temps, a brand-new local brewery and coffee shop is poised to be the refreshing watering hole we need to get through the daunting months ahead.
Screwbean Brewing Company is set to softly open its doors next week, gradually growing its beverage offerings throughout the summer and leading up to an official grand opening festivities in the fall.
During week one, Screwbean’s first batches of beer will still be getting busy in their fermentation tanks, and won’t be ready to serve just yet. However, customers can order from the full coffee bar featuring beans from Provision Coffee in Phoenix, Arizona, or grab a glass of wine in the evenings. During week two, Screwbean will introduce thirsty patrons to an array of hard seltzer cocktails. Their housemade, unflavored hard seltzer will be used as a bubbly base for refreshing spritzes when mixed with various fruit juices, simple syrup, and herbs. The following week, the brewery will start gradually filling their 10 taps with cold beer made on-site in their shiny new seven-barrel brew house.
From day one, guests of the brewery will be able to beat the heat in the 1,000-square-foot modern-industrial taproom space, or enjoy a beverage outside on one of the brewery’s three spacious brick patios. Each non-contiguous patio boasts a beautiful mature mesquite tree right in the middle, allowing guests to enjoy their drinks in the shade of one of Arizona’s most well-known native trees.
Screwbean Brewing Company was named after the Screwbean Mesquite, which produces groovy corkscrew-shaped seed pods rather than the elongated pods of less visionary mesquite varieties.
The home of Screwbean Brewing Company is a nearly 100-year-old building situated a few blocks south of the University of Arizona campus on Park Avenue. The space was originally a Chinese market in the 1930s, then housed an electrical supply wholesaler, then became the original offices of Tucson Foodie, and most recently was the storefront for Good Eye Living home decor.
Once again, the building has been resurrected as Tucson’s newest craft brewery and coffee shop. A playful mural of a jackrabbit sharing a brew with a roadrunner now adorns the facade of the venerable building, thanks to the artistic talents of local Tucson artist Ashley White (Modern Aquarian, Delsa Designs).
The life path of Matthew Taylor, Screwbean Brewing Company’s owner, also had to do some significant evolving for him to arrive where he is today.
Taylor is a Tucson native who started his career journey with a degree in mathematics, only to u-turn back to academics for a law degree. He worked as a lawyer in the Pima County Attorney’s office, then veered off that path to spend five years in a Buddhist monastery in Marin County, California. Upon his return to Tucson, he taught high school math until the COVID pandemic, at which point he finished the term and never looked back.
A social isolation home-brewing hobby quickly turned into a business plan for the brewery. After all of Taylor’s formal educational experience, this may seem like a bold career move, but Taylor has business in his blood.
His father is Abbott Taylor, owner of the time-honored eponymous jewelry store on Grant Road. Once Taylor was able to secure the funding to purchase the building at 103 N. Park Avenue, Screwbean Brewing Company was a rolling stone.
“I myself love an easy drinking beer — I love pilsners, I love a nice light lager,” said Taylor. “My little sister is a big stout fan, so you’ll probably see a stout or two on tap. We will eventually have a farmhouse ale with some lemon peel, and a nice peppery flavor. It reminds me a little bit of La Chouffe (Belgian blonde ale). So, that’s one I’m really excited about. And of course, we will have an IPA on tap because everyone needs an IPA.”
Taylor also loves the idea of incorporating smoked grains and local desert honey into some of his beer recipes, but his focus will mainly be on showcasing more classic styles, rather than trying to push the envelope with wacky beer adjuncts.
“I’m not against experimenting with things or figuring out new flavors, but ultimately I just want my beer to taste like beer,” he said. Refreshing!
To complement the liquid libations at Screwbean Brewing Company, Taylor is working with several local food vendors to secure an array of bar snacks, pastries, and grab-and-go meals to have available for purchase. Honey & Co. pastries, superfood treats from 5th Dimension Foods, and sushi from Samurai Sombrero are currently in the works to satisfy brewery hunger pangs.
Eventually, the brewery hopes to start canning its brews for distribution to restaurants and taprooms around town, but for now, you’ll have to visit the Screwbean Brewing Company taproom to enjoy their beer, hard seltzer cocktails, and coffee.
Stay tuned for an official opening date in the following days.
Screwbean Brewing Company is located at 103 N. Park Ave. Tentative business hours will be 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Monday – Thursday, 7 a.m. – midnight on Friday, 9 a.m. – midnight on Saturday, and 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, follow Screwbean Brewing Company on Instagram.
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Jessie Jean Mance was born in Tucson and never met a riparian area she didn’t like. She is a lover of lightning, sunsets, mezcal, music, and other intoxicating experiences. Mance resolutely believes that fresh air is medicine, burritos are the...