I visit in the early afternoon (when it opens) Good happy hour prices. As you sit at the bar you’re looking right into the brewery; no glass, no wall, nothing; you are literally sitting there in the front of the brewery - which I enjoy. Otherwise nothing else of note décor-wise. Beers are average, much like you would find at any typical brewery. Always have 8 year round beers on tap in an array of styles which is nice, plus a couple seasonals. Overall I guess I wouldn’t go out of my way for it, but worth a quick stop if you need a cheap HH pint or fill out a Tempe brewery hop.
My parents-in-law purchased a Groupon for my wife and I to go try out Sleepy Dog, which opened very near to their house in Tempe. The Groupon that was purchased for us was for 4 pints at the brewery, plus two bombers to go.
We were on a short timeline, and arrived in town on a Saturday afternoon, and would be leaving town on Sunday evening. As I understand that most businesses take a loss on a Groupon in order to attract new customers through the door, I usually like to ensure that my business is profitable if I enjoy the place.
As we were sitting at the bar, I noticed that they had some really neat stainless growlers, so I purchased one of those as well ($45, if I remember correctly) plus paid to have it filled. My wife and I left after getting our growler filled and picking up our two bombers, but only drinking two of our four pints on the Groupon, as we were in a rush.
We threw the growler in the back of our SUV and left it back there, planning it take it back home (several hundred miles away from Tempe). The following afternoon, as I approached the car I could see all of the windows were steamy. Upon opening the back of the car, I found that there was a pinhole leak at one of the welds on the stainless growler, and it was spraying a fine mist of pressurized beer all over the back of the car. Upholstery and everything else were completely soiled. Clothes ruined, business paperwork saturated (this was a working trip)... It was a mess. Since It was now Sunday, the brewery was closed so there was no way we would be able to exchange the growler. I took it inside and dumped the remainder of the liquid down the sink because I didn’t have any time to drink, and it had probably lost most of its carbonation after spraying its contents all over the back of my car anyway. Since my wife and I were leaving town, I asked my father in law if he wouldn’t mind exchanging the defective growler for us.
My father-in-law goes down to Sleepy Dog shortly afterward to exchange the growler, which apparently goes without incident. The bartender assisting him offered to fill the growler to replace the lost beer after hearing the story, but since it was going to be several more weeks until he had the opportunity to deliver the growler to us, was told to return later to get it filled.
He did return several weeks later as instructed, but this is where it went wrong. A man stepped in and described himself as the manager, and confronted my father-in-law for trying to "steal beer." He claimed that he had put some water in the growler, and it didn’t leak - calling my father-in-law a liar. The growler had already been filled by a bartender at this point, so the manager demanded that my father-in-law pay for the fill. Then the manager stated "well your kids bought this growler at a discount anyway, so we shouldn’t have even replaced it." Which is of course, not true (we paid full price, specifically to support the brewery), and ridiculous as well - if something is sold at a discount, they don’t think the product should be stood behind?
Sleepy Dog can suck it. I could easily take them to small claims court over the many hundreds of dollars’ worth of damages that their defective product caused to my car and its contents, but I’m not that kind of person. I didn’t care about the damages, I just wanted the product I paid for - and that is all. Instead they decide to verbally abuse and embarrass my father-in-law, who was only trying to help.
Hopefully it is just the one employee who is so incredibly incompetent at his job, but I will still be voting with my wallet and staying far, far away from Sleepy Dog and its products in the future, and I suggest you do the same.
And to the owners of Sleepy Dog: I suggest you reprimand/fire your manager before he irreparably damages your business, because it seems like you could otherwise have a good thing going.
Pretty typical brewery that has a tasting room with some sports on the tube. Nice simple décor with a southwest sort of feel to it. I took a spot at the bar and ordered up a sampler of their line up. The guy behind the bar was great, friendly, engaging and just having fun talking it up. He made this experience rather enjoyable. The beer was pretty good. Some stuff was so so and a few others were stunning surprises. The visit was a fun one and I need to get back for another.
I’ve been coming to Sleepy Dog since they opened a few years ago. And we end up here whenever we visit Phoenix as we have friends living nearby and they really like it.
Just to update in reading the reviews below: they are open on Fridays but are closed on Mondays, contrary to the hours listed here. Pull up the web site for the updated hours, as they are a bit odd.
No food except really old and stale popcorn, but they have started getting food trucks, particularly on Fridays. You can also order or bring in anything to eat there.
Beers have been evolving since they opened, but have been decidedly improving. The seasonals tend to be excellent. Everything else is palatable to good. They have one of the few wheats that I really like. The IPA is good and I particularly like their Scottish.
Service is always good and friendly. Most are beer nerds themselves and can talk about comparisons and different styles.
They do a daily happy hour with discounted pints. There’s usually a movie on the big TV above and the place tends to get very crowded into the evening. But it’s a very comfortable, community setting, with a big couch, board games, and a generally pleasant ambiance. Not too pretentious, not too studenty, not too adult, etc. No kids though, per AZ law. No patio.
They’ve been distributing for a while now and are available in various parts of the state. They’ve also started canning and you can get those at least locally, but I recall seeing them in Tucson.
Certainly worth a stop if you’re in the region.
This place is in a small strip mall not far from the main part of Tempe. Inside is a bar, bar seating, couches and game area, you can see back into the brewery area. Tv’s on the wall playing sports and movies. Good service, kept the beer flowing. Nice selection of beers on tap with some beer blends as well. There was a barrel/wood aged beer on too. Not much for food from what I saw but free popcorn and snacks. Value was average for beers. I liked this place, a no frills brewery where I could see spending some time if I were local.
I live right down on University so grabbing a beer at the bar is pleasantly accessible here. However, Sleepy Dog sincerely has the oddest hours I’ve ever come across in Tempe: Friday and Monday closed? I can’t think of one bar that does this. It also opens and closes at inconvenient times. The popcorn machine is a plus, as is the pulps and art magazines lying on their coffee tables waiting to be read while sipping on brewskies and trying to relax from the sun. The Tap selection seems incomplete; ask your server if there are any any new beers in the works or if there is a seasonal on-tap. You can in fact go and buy SD’s bottled beers (even their seasonals) from local liquor stores; other local bars are just starting to bring Sleepy Dog on their tap list. I’m confused why you would go here for their beer alone if you can go anywhere else for about the similar amount of money and have almost the same experience.
An odd place, but with lots of potential. Love the space, even though the location is a bit inconvenient. Their beer is fine, and they occasionally brew up some really interesting stuff with their half barrel series. Worth a visit.
Visited 3/4/2011 during Ratebeer Winter Gathering.
Very open and large warehouse type place located in a shopping center across from some apartments that are most occupied by ASU students. There are tables all the way around the perimeter with a couple large round tables in the middle. It was pretty quiet for the first few minutes (we went in right as they reopened for the evening) but then the music was cranked up. They must have just started brewing when we got there because I could smell the malt in the air, and it was very pleasant.
The service was very nice and accomodating. They were happy to pour 5oz samples of everything and answer questions.
The real problem here is the horrible beer. I tried all 9 of their beers and the only one even close to drinkable was the Yellow #1 (their light lager) and even that was a C+ beer.
The only food served is snacks. There is a self serve popcorn machine in the corner and there are some snacks for sale behind the bar (chips and such).
Man, this place is the worst of worst. plain jane inside and the beer suck!!!!!!! Some of the worst beer i have ever had. I even left over half of each sample behind! It was so bad, i didnt even bother rating any of their beers i got so fed up. AVOID AT ALL COST!!!!