Raise a Glass to Arizona’s Newest Craft Breweries, Wineries, and Distilleries in 2023 and 2024

Hidden Near You: How to Find North Carolina’s Best Speakeasies and Secret Bars

Photo courtesy of Grace Stufkosky

By Teresa K. Traverse

September 15, 2023

Arizona is home to some fantastic breweries, wineries, and distilleries.

If you’re looking to shake up your next night out, all the places on this list have either opened new locations or are planning on opening in the near future. No matter where you go, enjoy the drinks—but do so responsibly. Cheers to craft spirits!

Redwall Lounge & Distillery

2130 Shelby Drive, Sedona

Raise a Glass to Arizona’s Newest Craft Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries in 2023 & 2024

Photo courtesy of Mark Short

All of Redwall Distillery’s four products are made, distilled, and bottled on site at its Sedona facility, which opened in March 2023. Redwall’s small-batch spirits include gin, vodka, small batch bourbon, and American single malt whiskey. The Redwall Lounge is the distillery’s bar, where customers can sample the spirits straight or in their choice of cocktail. Redwall’s interior includes plush couches in a chic, dimly lit setting where guests can enjoy Redwall’s creations. They can also imbibe the spirits on the outdoor patio, which features red rock views and cornhole. Live music is featured on most days. Check out the music schedule here.

Fun fact: The name Redwall refers to the Sedona spring water from a layer of Redwall limestone that’s 330 million years old and serves as the basis for the distillery’s vodka.

Papago Brewing Company

1033 N. Dobson Road, Mesa

Raise a Glass to Arizona’s Newest Craft Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries in 2023 & 2024

Photo courtesy of Grace Stufkosky

Owned by local Huss Brewing Company, Papago Brewing Company opened up a new taproom in February 2023. The Mesa location has a 104-seat taproom and features more than 60 craft beers on draft. This sleek setting includes taxidermy on the walls and a dark wood bar. This is Papago Brewing Company’s only taproom. Find plenty of beers from Papago—the Orange Blossom is particularly noteworthy—and other local craft breweries. Food-wise, guests can look forward to rustic soft pretzels (we recommend springing for the Cactus Valley beer cheese), sausage boards, paninis, hot dogs, and pizzas.

Fun fact: Leah Huss and her husband Jeff own both Huss and Papago breweries. They started the former back in 2013, after Leah had spent 14 years as the co-owner of Papago.

Upcoming Openings

Phantom Fox Beer Co.

150 W. Main St., Mesa

Slated to open sometime in 2023, the Phantom Fox Beer Co. is taking over the space formerly occupied by Desert Eagle Brewing Co. in downtown Mesa. Chupacabra Taproom owners Trent Smith and Eric Cady have teamed up with Dan Medlen, the owner of Goat and Ram mobile pizza kitchen, to create Phantom Fox Beer Co.—originally titled Urban Legend Beer Co. The building has been renovated, including the addition of an in-house barrel system. Guests can enjoy their beers inside the expansive industrial space or outside on the expansive patio when the weather’s good. Customers can look forward to plenty of craft beer and pizza.

New Merkin Vineyards Facilities

760 Verde Heights Drive, Cottonwood

Projected grand opening date: Oct. 6

Founded back in 2004, Merkin Vineyards has a strong presence throughout Arizona, with tasting rooms in Jerome, Scottsdale, and a restaurant in Old Town Cottonwood. Merkin is well-known for its Italian and Spanish varietals and for being co-owned by Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan. But the openings of the latest Cottonwood facilities this fall promise to be something special.

This expansive campus will consist of three different pieces. First, the Caduceus Cellars Hilltop Facility & VSC Ventura Room features a 9,500-square-foot production facility, a 4.5-acre vineyard consisting of Graciano, Tempranillo, and Garnacha grapes, plus a new Velvet Slippers Club (VSC) private tasting room. Private tastings and tours will be offered.

Second, The Merkin Vineyards Hilltop Winery & Trattoria will feature a winery and barrel room, an on-site greenhouse, and a bottle shop. It will also serve as the new home of Merkin Vineyards restaurant, the Trattoria. Chef Chris Smith will lead the kitchen of this 6,600-square-foot restaurant that showcases stunning views of the Verde Valley. Customers can look forward to eating fresh salads, handmade pastas, and pizzas cooked in wood-ovens.

The third facility is a gelato shop. The Merkin Vineyards Pocket Park Gelateria sits at the bottom of a hill and features a variety of flavors handcrafted by Kelley E. Foy. Here, visitors can get a token they’ll use to take the tram to the top of the development—a nod to the area’s rich history as a mining town.

Casitas at Los Milics Vineyards

423 Upper Elgin Road, #824, Elgin

Raise a Glass to Arizona’s Newest Craft Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries in 2023 & 2024

Photo courtesy of Los Milics Vineyards via Instagram

Los Milics Vineyards officially opened its tasting room back in May 2022, but the winery has new projects on the horizon. Specifically, nine guest casitas are slated to open in 2024 so guests can literally sleep overnight at this southern Arizona winery. In the meantime, enjoy Arizona wines and tapas at this ultra-modern tasting room that recently was named one of the best new wineries in the country by USA Today. The winery is helmed by Pavle Milic, the long-time food and beverage manager at Scottsdale’s award-winning FnB Restaurant.

Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company

1428 E. McDowell Road, Phoenix

Raise a Glass to Arizona’s Newest Craft Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries in 2023 & 2024

Photo courtesy of Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co.

Local brewery Arizona Wilderness is planning on opening a new location—bringing its total number of metro Phoenix locations to four—in Phoenix’s Miracle Mile district sometime in the fall of 2024. This new space will house a brewery, a counter-service restaurant, and taproom. More details are expected as the opening nears.

READ MORE: Brunch Bliss in Central Phoenix: Unveiling the 4 Best Brunch Spots Downtown

Author

  • Teresa K. Traverse

    Teresa K. Traverse is a Phoenix, Arizona-based writer and editor. Her work also has appeared in national print outlets including Weight Watchers, Bust and Parenting magazines and on sites like Tripadvisor, Wine Enthusiast, SFGate, Brides, Rachael Ray Every Day, Bustle, Racked, ForRent.com, WeddingWire, Refinery29, The Daily Meal, Oxygenmag.com, USA Today and Fast Company. She's the managing editor of Sedona Monthly. In her spare time, she loves hiking, reading magazines and spending quality time with her long-haired Chihuahua, Rocket. Visit teresaktraverse.com to check out more of her work.

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