Exploring Tucson's Craft Beer Scene Part 1 of 3

One man's quest to visit every brewery in and around Tucson, Arizona

Tucson is the second largest city in Arizona with a metro area population around 1 million spread across the Sonoran desert.  Being one of the largest cities in Arizona there's plenty of brewing going on here and over the next few weeks we are going to take you on a journey to all these great breweries.


Pueblo Vida Brewing 

115 E Broadway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85701


Located in the heart of downtown Tucson, is Pueblo Vida Brewing.  The brewery features a small and inviting tap room as with to go sales in cans and growlers.  Pueblo Vida has an ever rotating line up of beer and makes killer IPAs.  Where most Tucson brewers focus on West Coast IPA styles, Pueblo Vida is one of the only brewers in town that is making the ever popular (and delicious) New England style hazy IPAs and DDH awesomeness.  Don't think of them as a one-trick pony though, they make solid wheat beers (Stadium Beer and Hefeweizen) as well as stouts and lagers.

HopVine team enjoying a Color Surf IPA from Pueblo Vida.

Pueblo Vida's awesome taproom in downtown Tucson.

Sentinel Peak Brewing (soon to be Fire Truck Brewing)

4746 E Grant Rd, Tucson AZ 85712 or

9155 E Tanque Verde Rd #177, Tucson, AZ 85749


Sentinel Peak Brewing has two locations in town, one in midtown Tucson and one on the eastern edge of town.  Started by Firefighters, which features prominently in their branding, the infamous firehouse meals must have inspired the cooking at one of the few brewers in town with a full food menu.  The main fare is BBQ and smoked meats, but with a heavy southwestern flair.  Everything we've eaten here has been excellent and the beer all pairs well with the food.  But this is a beer blog, so on to the beer!  Most famous for their Salida del Sol Mexican Amber, they also make great IPAs, Blondes and a Dunkel.  

Filling some growlers at Sentinel Peak's midtown location.

Borderlands Brewing

119 E Toole Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701


Also located in downtown Tucson is Borderlands Brewing.  With a taproom, spacious patio and dedicated food truck this spot is a great place to spend a Saturday afternoon.  The beers are great, especially all the 'treatments' of Toole Ave IPA (Coconut is surprisingly delicious!).  

Copper Mine Brewing

3455 S. Palo Verde Rd. Ste 135

Tucson, AZ 85713


Copper Mine Brewing is one of several breweries located on Palo Verde Ave near Davis Monthan Air Force Base.  A nice and inviting tap room was empty when we visited due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but it looked like a place we would come and enjoy a few beers on a weekend or Friday night.  Since we couldn't stay to drink on the premise, we took a few Crowlers to go.  Dead Canary Imperial IPA was on point and true to style and the Hibiscus Blonde ale was refreshing and had the perfect hint of hibiscus without being over powering.  


Dove Mountain Brewing Co.



Dove Mountain claims the award as the northernmost brewery in Tucson.  Located in the nearby community of Marana in a beautiful shopping center with easy access to Interstate 10.  The taproom has a rustic vibe that is very nicely done.  There is an also a large patio that is shaded (very important in Tucson!).  When we visited they had two of their own beers on tap but many great local guest tap options.  I had the Haboob Hazy IPA and it was very good, slight haze, low bitterness, great citrus and fruit forward aroma and taste.  Dove Mountain also has a full food menu with tacos, sandwiches and other great pub fare.


Not exactly Tucson breweries but close enough....

Copper Brother Brewing

3112 AZ Hwy 83, Sonoita, AZ 85637


Located about 40 miles south of Tucson is the small ranching and wine making communities of Sonoita and Elgin.  Known as Southern Arizona's wine country, don't let that make you think there's no good beer being made.  Copper Brothel Brewing has a bright, large taproom with a great patio that overlooks rolling ranch land and usually has a great stiff breeze blowing across the plains.  A full food menu of BBQ and smoked meats as well as some great Mexican style plates.  The cheese and onion enchiladas are to die for, as is the chimichanga with shredded beef.  Copper Brothel has a great variety of beers with some of our favorites being Kaelani's Tropical IPA and Helga' Lime Hefesqueezin', which is a lime infused twist on a classic hefe, great for quenching thirst on a hot Southern Arizona afternoon.

Standing behind the Copper Brothel Brewery, you can see the idyllic ranch setting of the brewery.

Copper Hop Ranch


Billed as Arizona's only working hop farm, Copper Hop Ranch doubles as a brewery and roadside watering hole for those traveling south from Sonoita to Parker Canyon Lake.  The seating is all outdoors and you can drink your beer right next to the hop trellises or on the patio near the "taproom" which may hold the record as the smallest taproom on earth.  You can also grab some bottles to make a mixed six pack.  The beers are always changing, we enjoyed a great nut brown ale and IPA when we visited in May.  If you find yourself in Santa Cruz county it's definitely worth a short drive through the beautiful rolling ranch land to find this little gem.

Standing in the Copper Hop Ranch "taproom" which is a small building approximately 10' x 10'

Standing in front of Copper Hop Ranch.  The "taproom" is the green roofed structure behind the author to the left.