It was a hot August night in 2001 when the doors of the little brick building on East Camelback Road finally opened to the public. It had been a long, arduous project to renovate the old buildings. Plumbing needed to be redone, kitchen fixtures and appliances had to be installed, bars, tables, parking lots paved, taps and booths all needed to be put in place. The list of construction projects seemed endless as the property and infrastructure got a complete makeover. However one local independent businessman knew that these old original bricks would shine up nice when complemented by the stained glass windows he envisioned and the pub type atmosphere that he so desired. But as we all know, “Good things come to those who wait” and after a year or more of construction the Sonora Brewhouse was off and running in the summer of 2001. We served the beers of the separately owned Sonora Brewing Company. Our taps streamed with six of their regular beers, their cask conditioned ale, the Rootbeer and a myriad of seasonal ales. The Brewery already had a following as they had been in business since 1996. It was those followers that became the first pilgrims in our ever growing customer base.
In the fall of 2004, the owners of Sonora Brewing Company sold their brewery and we were faced with some big decisions to either change our format or renovate our other building into a brewery. Never before had we even dreamed of being in the brewing business and now faced with it the thought seemed daunting. Reminders of past microbreweries that had tried and failed in the Central Corridor surfaced. In the end we jumped in and began yet another long construction renovation. The seven barrel system that looms behind the floor to ceiling glass in our Brewer’s Den is the fruits of our labor and February 14, 2006 marked a new chapter in our history. You see, this was the day that the first three beers brewed on site flowed. We know we are biased, but in our minds the beer had never tasted as good as it did that day.
We are fortunate as we retained the original brewer from the old brewery and it is the familiar face of the “Big German” Uwe Boer that we all know and love. He works magic in his craft and the passion that he shows for brewing fills the glasses as his award winning beer dispenses from our taps. We now boast our own regular taps but his innovation in our seasonal ales and distinct brewing style is what keeps our bar stools full and the place hopping. We can hardly keep his cask conditioned ale on tap as our customers have been known to consume the kegs in record time.
Great Beer, Great Food and Great Service
“Great Beer, Great Food and Great Service” became our motto as we plugged through the first few years and now the slogan is what we live by. Our fantastic customers and great staff are what makes us who we are and how we stand out in the sea of new restaurants that pop up daily. It is our great customers that made it so easy to push forward into brewing and our loyal staff that helped to smooth over the transition. We continue to grow and change over time just as any business wants to do but it is remembering the little things that have gotten us to where we are today. After all in today’s crazy hectic world it is the little things in life that make it all worth it. We thank you all!