By Dave Clark

With great beer, a diverse, full-service menu and an open, energy-filled room, Goodyear’s Saddle Mountain Brewing is setting the standard for brewpubs in the West Valley.

Founders Jacob and Laura Hansen chose Goodyear but quickly learned the city did not permit production breweries. The Hansens then worked with Goodyear officials to forge a mutually beneficial relationship.

“We live in the West Valley and wanted to be close to work,” Laura explains. “When we were looking for locations around the West Valley, Goodyear had an ideal location for sale, instead for lease, which was our preference. We worked with the city to change its bylaws and city ordinances to allow for microbreweries. Goodyear was great to work with and really were receptive to the process.”

The brewery could easily rest on their successes but that’s not the Hansens’ style.

“We are working to construct a new eastside patio in time for fall and will begin bottling our flagship beers, Taildragger’s Chasing Tail Amber and Taildragger’s 300 Foot Steve in the next month,” she says.

Taildragger is an ode to Jacob Hansen’s love for all things aviation, as it refers to a World War II aircraft.

The extensive menu boasts an array of dishes like the beef dip ($12), the Fire Burger ($14), green chili mac and cheese skillet ($9), a fish and chips platter ($12) and an assortment of gourmet pizzas ($8-$12).

And then there’s the beer. Saddle Mountain typically showcases 10 year-round offerings, and at least one dedicated seasonal and a specialty or two. Current beers of note include regulars such as IFR Oatmeal Stout (4.8 percent ABV), which is a black beer with coffee, roast and molasses flavors served on nitro, providing a creamy essence. Ray’s Gold (6.5 percent ABV, 74 IBU) showcases pronounced pine aromatics finishing crisp and clean. 300 Foot Steve (7.5 percent ABV and 90 IBU) is an imperial red that pours a clear burgundy color with aromas and flavors of caramel and hints of raisin.

Summer seasonals and specialty beers include Hops & Oats (6.4 percent ABV, 40 IBU), an oatmeal pale ale, hoppy but balanced; and Hefen’s Gate (5.7 percent ABV, 12 IBU), a German-style hefeweizen. Coming soon is its Oktoberfest marzen lager, which should tap in early September.

Located near Goodyear Ballpark, Saddle Mountain Brewing Company draws the crowds during Spring Training, but is nevertheless a great place to get your fill. The Hansens love the work they do with Saddle Mountain Brewing.

“My staff has the neatest people I have had the pleasure to work with and they make our business the success that it is,” Laura says. “We are fortunate to be in the Goodyear community. And we love being so close to Luke Air Force Base, as we love all of our fighting men and women and we are humbled that they are such great customers.”

Saddle Mountain Brewing Company, 15651 W. Roosevelt Street, Goodyear, 623.249.5520, saddlemountainbrewing.com.

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