By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
State 48 likes to keep things fresh.
In Downtown Phoenix, State 48 Brewery caters to the concert crowd from The Van Buren and Crescent Ballroom when there’s not a pandemic. The location also brews its flagship, year-round offerings, such as the Sound of Freedom IPA, Javelina Hefeweizen, Lost Dutchman Golden Ale, Copper Star Kolsch and Vortex Amber.
State 48 Lager House in Scottsdale has the chain’s biggest brewing system, a full-service restaurant, a second-level mezzanine, a dining patio and second-level patio that overlooks the McDowell Mountains.
The original location, State 48 Brewery in Surprise, features a 10-barrel system where it brews seasonal and specialty beers. It has a full kitchen as well as a wood-fired pizza oven featuring Neapolitan-style pizza. There’s a dog-friendly patio with games such as cornhole and giant Jenga and Connect 4.
At Westgate, it’s all about entertainment, where State 48 Funk House boasts 12 lanes of bowling, two pool tables and a shuffleboard table. Its 20-barrel system will eventually brew sours and other mixed fermentation beers.
“We create a wonderful, good vibe and a great craft beer to keep them coming back for more,” says Greg Emmett, State 48 Rock House’s general manager. “We have excellent service.”
So, expectations were high when State 48 Rock House opened in Norterra. A stage overlooks the room that is adorned with graffiti art of a drum kit, the restaurant’s logo and a peace sign.
“I come from a background where details matter,” Emmett says. “We do it well, and the guests know that. We wanted to create a fun environment with music, burgers and beer.”
“Fun” is in the menu as well. Starters range from Disco Fries—French fries covered in beer cheese, brown ale gravy, pork carnitas, pepperoncini and green onion ($11)—to Totchos—tater tots smothered in beer cheese, pickled jalapenos, pico de gallo, bacon, black beans and green onions ($12).
Salmon salad with grilled salmon, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, carrots, feta, avocado and basil vinaigrette ($15) and roasted beet with braised red and gold beets, orange supremes, goat cheese, pistachios, arugula, basil vinaigrette and balsamic reduction ($9) are among the creative salad dishes.
Sandwiches include hot chicken with buttermilk-battered chicken breast, spicy oil, bread and butter pickles, coleslaw, all on a brioche bun ($13.50); meatloaf melt ($13.50); beer cheesesteak ($14.50) and brisket sandwich ($14.50).
The entrees are the stars of the show with Southwest chicken pasta mixed with chipotle alfredo sauce, grilled chicken, bacon, red bell peppers, roasted mushrooms and grilled corn ($14.50); meatloaf smothered in Dust Devil Brown Ale gravy ($15.50); schnitzel ($16.50) and steak frites ($24.50) on the menu.
“My favorite item is the fish and chips,” Emmett says. The Lost Dutchman Golden Ale battered Alaskan cod comes with hand-cut fries, coleslaw, tartar sauce and grilled lemon ($16.50).
Beer plays a big role in the dishes at State 48, even in the burgers. The State 48 burger ($14) comes with beer-battered pickles and IPA-sriracha bacon. S-48 steak sauce is available as a condiment for any of the burgers or entrees.
“We want consistency across all of our locations,” Emmett says. “We focus on fresh, quality ingredients, and the majority of them are housemade. We create an ambiance, but our food is great.
“We have some great entrees—fish and chips, Southwest chicken pasta, grilled salmon, a variety of burgers and some great sandwiches and wraps. Anybody can find something they want on our menu. Every location has a diverse customer base.”
Emmett says Norterra has been missing a place like State 48 Rock House.
“It’s a fun place to hang out,” he says. “It’s a craft brewery. We have live music. We put all of that together.
“We’ve received a lot of feedback from people who live 2 to 5 miles away, and they all say Norterra needed this. The other part that excites me is Norterra needed a place like this to draw people to the area and build it up.”
State 48 Brewery, 2530 Happy Valley Road, Suite 1269, Phoenix, 623-581-7553, state48brewery.com.