The "Draft" Picks are in | Arizona Beer Hubs: Mesa

Just a few years ago, a beer crawl in Mesa would have worn out your shoes before you’d had a chance to quench your thirst. Not anymore! Mesa’s booming downtown now plays hosts to must-try breweries, taprooms, even an acclaimed cidery.

The "Draft" Picks are in | Arizona Beer Hubs: Mesa
Credit: Micah Adams

12 West Brewing

12 West Brewing’s origins go back to 2016 as a craft beer taproom inside Barnone at Agritopia in Gilbert. Building on the popularity of their brews, they launched a Mesa location in 2019 in a former event venue with a two-level, dog-friendly patio. (The new site also has a full kitchen, so patrons no longer need to bring their own food.) The 12 craft beer taps rotate regularly, so you’ll want to check the website if you have a particular beer in mind, but you can safely assume they’ll run the gamut from light pilsners and lagers to hopped-up IPAs and flavorful stouts.


12 W. Main St. | 480-508-7018 |

The "Draft" Picks are in | Arizona Beer Hubs: Mesa
Credit: The Beer Research Institute

Beer Research Institute

The Beer Research Institute prides itself on being a gathering place that’s local and, in their words, “fiercely independent.” The craft beer menu changes weekly, with an impressive collection of their own IPAs, stouts, Belgian ales, lagers, sours and barrel-aged offerings, plus collaborations and guest beers from around the state. If you’re in the mood for a little friendly competition while quaffing, the 4,000-square-foot arcade bar features more than 40 classic games from the ’80s and ’90s and a dozen pinball machines.


1641 S. Stapley Dr. | 480-892-2020 |

The "Draft" Picks are in | Arizona Beer Hubs: Mesa
Credit: Cider Corps

Cider Corps

Yes, we’re blurring the definition of beer, but Cider Corps has a compelling backstory to earn its way into the crawl. Co-owner Jason Duren suffered two traumatic brain injuries when deployed with the U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, and his brother Josh suggested cider-making as part of the recovery process. Through trial and error, that hobby turned into a business that opened on Veteran’s Day in 2017, with a mission to serve military veterans and support brain injury research. The taproom serves up a creative spin on a fermenting technique that dates to the Romans, showcasing up to 15 rotating cider styles on tap and exclusive taproom-only flavors. Military-inspired names include Sailor Cherry, Mango Foxtrot and Ira Haze, an imperial sour cider produced in partnership with veteran-owned 1912 Brewing in Tucson.


31 S. Robson #103 | 480-993-3164 |

The "Draft" Picks are in | Arizona Beer Hubs: Mesa
Credit: Micah Adams

Chupacabra Taproom

The vibe at Chupacabra is far friendlier and more laid back than its namesake, a mythical fanged monster that does horrifying things to goats and cattle. Housed in a brick building built in 1949, this newer arrival on the Mesa scene has quickly become one of the favorites. On a beers-to-space ratio, this taproom punches well above its weight, with nearly 30 taps pouring for a 900-square-foot area and a sidewalk patio. The payoff for beer crawlers is a convenient tour of the best craft beers from throughout Arizona, the U.S. and the world—and ditto for wine drinkers.


14 N. Robson | 480-751-5566 |

The "Draft" Picks are in | Arizona Beer Hubs: Mesa
Credit: Micah Adams

Oro Brewing

When it launched in 2016 in an adobe building from the early 1900s, Oro Brewing was just the second brewery downtown and one of only three in all of Mesa. Since those pioneering days, Oro has racked up the laurels in state, national and international competitions, including PHOENIX magazine’s/Arizona Craft Brewer’s Guild 2022 Brewery of the Year. If you want to drink like a winner, a good place to start is with their core beers: Trigo Suave, a tangerine wheat that won silver in the 2022 World Beer Cup and gold in the 2022 Arizona Craft Beer Awards; Cafe Oro, a coffee blonde ale that earned gold at the 2022 Great American Beer Festival; and Inside the Park, a blonde ale that grabbed top category honors at the 2022 Arizona Craft Beer Awards.


210 W. Main St. | 480-398-8247 |

The "Draft" Picks are in | Arizona Beer Hubs: Mesa

Where to Eat

Myke’s Pizza

Since you’re already stopping at Cider Corps, Myke’s—located inside the cidery—is a no-brainer. Their wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas earned them honors in the Phoenix New Times 2023 Top 100 Restaurants in Phoenix.

Where to Stay

W2ND Historic Inn

In a sea of cookie-cutter big-brand hotels, this boutique hotel offers a change of pace: A luxurious mid-century modern bed and breakfast in a historic home built in the early 1900s.

The "Draft" Picks are in | Arizona Beer Hubs: Mesa
Credit: W2ND Historic Inn

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About the Author

Jake Poinier

Jake Poinier is a veteran freelance writer, editor, and author whose work has appeared in USAToday, Blue Water Sailing, and Golf Illustrated, among numerous other publications. When he's not at his desk writing for corporate clients and editing books, he can probably be found hiking or fishing along the Mogollon Rim, skiing in the White Mountains, or sailing just about anywhere.

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