nnck (2) Chandler, Arizona | May 31, 2008| Updated August 6, 2011
This Whole Foods is quickly becoming my go to place for beer in the Southeast Valley even though it is in a supermarket. The staff know their stuff, the food is awesome, and they have the best selction in the area anywhere outside of Sun Devil. They also have both the tasting area and the smokehouse which have beer on tap for a quick break during the shopping. They have a great variety of Belgians, and they are starting to add some exciting beer events.
The best Whole Foods ever! They have a massive beer selection of hard to find beers and specials from all. The beer is all kept cold and up to date. They have several food stations where you can have a beer with your meal. 8 taps rotate yummy specials as they get them in. Over the past couple months, selections have included lost abbey 10 commandments, Green Flash IPA, Full Sail fresh hop, Dales pale, 120 min, the Bruery autum maple, several I am forgetting and some locals. You can order food from the smoke house grill, the asian express, the sushi bar or get a plate from a number of self serve areas and go eat at the wine and tapas bar whils drinking any draft or bottle they have in the store. They host beer and tapas diners where they feature a brewery and bring in the brewer to host the tasting. Amazing place with knowedgable friendly staff. Yes, some 750s are a buck more than AJs or Bevmo but when buying an expensive 750, I am willing to pay the extra buck to ensure that it has been handled properly.
Is it odd that my favorite nearby stop for a pint or two is inside a grocery store? Perhaps it is, but that should speak volumes about the quality of the Watering Hole inside Whole Foods. The bar has 31 taps pouring good local selections and great (and often rare) brews from all over. The nice craft beer selection is due mainly to head honcho/beer buyer James Swann. If Arizona has a very limited supply of a much-sought beer, thereís an excellent chance James will get one of those kegs. His beer classes on Fridays feature a lineup usually based on style or brewery and have become a fixture in the local craft beer community. The few drawbacks include the fairly small seating area, and the long lines that can emerge during busy times/big events (thereís usually a maximum of two people pouring behind the small bar). †Bottle selection is damn good, though often a wee bit more pricy than other nearby shops. Overall, this place is tops in the SE Valley among beer bars.†
This Whole Foods has emerged as one of the premier places in Arizona to drink craft beer. In large part this is because the selection is excellent and thatís thanks to the beer buyer James. James hosts beer classes every friday night that have included the rarest Stone, Dogfish, Oskar Blues, Great Divide, Deschutes, etc. Jamesí knowledge of beer exceeds anyone I have ever had serve me beer in Arizona and itís not particularly close. Recently, I had Dogfish head 120, Stone Chocolate Cherry Stout, Dogfish Hell Hound on my Ale, and Alesmith Speedway Stout just to name a few. If itís rare beer and it comes to Arizona there is a nearly perfect chance James will get bottles in his store. Itís a grocery store so the ambiance is a little weird and although you canít order at the bar... Whole foods has many hot food stations that you are more than welcome to bring into the bar area. Saturdayís are an incredible value. Nothing is ever more than 6$ and on Saturdays the whole menu is 4$ all day. Thatís some serious value when we are talking about this high quality of beer. Great Job James! Happy I live so close.
Once you get past the idea that thereís a bar in a grocery store which I think is pretty cool you realize what an awesome place this is. They have over 30 drafts of local and regional crafts with lots of unusual offerings. The bartender is a real beer geek and his enthusiasm is infectious. The store itself has the longest cooler Iíve ever seen full of craft beer including a nice section of bombers. These are the kinds of experiences which make craft beer fun.
This place is amazing. I have always loved coming here. Once I started coming to the Watering Hole, my experiences were that more enjoyable. The people here are great! The only set back is at times they struggle to find someone to pour when there is not a set person for this area of the store. This is not too much of a biggie. Also, I really like coming here over other places because the atmosphere is just so much different. To mention a few of the great beers I have had here... Dogfish 120, Stone Chocolate Cherry Stout, Dogfish Hellhound on my Ale. Deschutes Stoic, and basically anything rare that comes into AZ, James gets.
For a grocery store, the selection is simply outstanding. On top of that, they have a bar with over 30 good beers on tap, and good prices to boot. I found a lot of west coast and regional goodness that I cant get in TN, such as Deschutes, Grand Teton, Odells, Firestone Walker, Marin, etc. My only complaint is that the beer area is running out of space, so itís a little disorganized because there are random boxes of beers on the floor around the cooler area. Worth a stop if you are within 30 miles or so. Glad I stopped in.
Who ever thought of drinking awesome beer at a grocery store? Well this is the place. Friday nights are hopping with beer class linking a different style or brewery and brining the craft beer community together. James and John are knowledgeable behind the bar, and always a great selection on draft, plus one of the best bottle selections around on the beer wall. You will enjoy having a great brew..Cheers!
Update: The new guy behind the bar is Scott. He loves his hops, but heís very beer knowledgeable and friendly. A great bartender.
Wow this place is insane!!!!! I have never been to a whole foods that has a bar along the side of the place with 32 taps! this is killer! great selection and the beer manager there is really friendly. This could be the best place in Phoenix for beer. The bottle selection is solid and always rotating stock so you get fresh stuff. I have to go back to this place!