By Eric Newman
A stalwart of local beer and whiskey, SanTan Brewing Company is allowing tours at its 35,000-square-foot production facility in Chandler.
Patrons can witness the whole process, from grain to canning and distribution, in the large weather-controlled area.
Anthony Canecchia founded SanTan Brewing Company in 2007 to provide great product with a local twist. These tours give guests the chance to understand how SanTan Brewing Company’s drinks are made. The process is simple and could be done on a smaller scale.
“We’re excited to open our doors and share what we have built here at the production facility,” Canecchia says. “Our goal with these tours is to educate the public about the craft of creating artisan beer and spirits including what it takes to produce consistent, high-quality and honest products.”
With a drink—or two—in hand, visitors see the inner workings of the facility, while employees answer questions about each of the nine stops. It’s more of a casual conversation than a tour.
Stops along the way include the mill, brewhouse, stillhouse, hop cooler, laboratory, barrel storage, tank farm, craft packaging and distribution. Each station shows a different part of the journey, and how the liquor is made in various state-of-the-art machines. The building holds about 100,000 gallons of beer or spirits.
The tour guide says the facility in Chandler can brew about 10,000 gallons daily given the right circumstances.
Throughout the tour, visitors can taste the products like cold glasses of beer and shots of vodka, whiskey and rose. The jaunt caps off with a glass of beer in the canning area.
Brewmasters and employees are available for a chat at the end, where guests can also purchase products.
Among the products SanTan Brewing Company is recently most proud of are the Sacred Stave American Malt Whiskey (90 proof); Butcher Jones Arizona Straight Rye Whiskey (cask strength) and Sacred Stave American Single Malt Whiskey (cask strength). Each won double gold in the New York World Wine and Spirits Competition earlier this year. Butcher Jones Arizona Straight Rye Whiskey (100 proof) took silver in its class.
SanTan Brewing Company Tours, various times Saturdays and Sundays, 495 E. Warner Road, Chandler, $15, with a percentage of each ticket going to the nonprofit Chandler Compadres, santanbrewing.com, santanspirits.com.