Post image for Two Brothers Tap House & Brewery opens today in downtown Scottsdale

Back in October, I broke the news that Jim and Jason Ebel, founders of Chicago’s Two Brothers Brewing, were going to open a spinoff brewery in downtown Scottsdale.

At 3 p.m. today, Two Brothers Tap House & Brewery opens its doors to the public.

The brewery and restaurant take over the 8,165-square-foot former home of Saddle Ranch Chop House on the southeast corner of Scottsdale Road and Drinkwater Boulevard.

Previous: Two Brothers’ Jason Ebel talks about AZ beer scene & their new Scottsdale brewpub

The tap list will include Two Brothers’ eight year-round beers, eight seasonals, three artisan ales and new line of barrel-aged sours, all brewed in Illinois.

The brewery’s flagship beer is its easy-drinking Domaine DuPage French country ale, although its Sidekick extra pale ale is expected to surpass it in sales this year.

A new 10-barrel brewing system in Scottsdale will be used to brew specialty beers solely for the Arizona market.

The brewpub will serve what the Ebels call “upscale pub fare” for breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week.

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email of MXSW posts

Post image for Friday specials & deals from MXSW sponsors

Today’s specials and deals from MXSW sponsors:

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email of MXSW posts

Post image for Weekend specials at Murphy’s Law: Bacon mac & cheese, deep-fried pickle chips

Available today through Sunday at Murphy’s Law, the Irish pub in downtown Chandler:

  • Bacon mac & cheese: Tender penne and chunks of premium smoked bacon tossed with a triple cheese blend. ($10) Add our delicious garlic bread for $3.
  • Deep-fried pickle chips: Coated with house-made beer batter and deep-fried. Served with chipotle-ranch dipping sauce. ($8)

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email of MXSW posts

Post image for Carlo & Emilie’s Gourmet Deli brings a delicious slice of southern Italy to Chandler

Carlo Ventura and Emile Frances might seem unlikely business partners.

He’s a 60-something Italian who’s spent the last 25 years managing at Valley resorts. She’s a 20-something Frenchwoman trained as an optician.

Together, though, they’ve opened Carlo and Emilie’s Gourmet Deli on the southwest corner of Alma School and Germann in south Chandler.

The small Italian deli takes over the strip-mall space that until last summer housed Chandler BBQ Company (next to Rosati’s Pizza).

It may be a little hard to locate at first, but it’s well worth the effort for its tantalizing menu ranging from beef bracioli to artichoke parmigiana to fire-roasted butternut squash tiramisu.

CarloEmiliesSandwichAlthough both Ventura and Frances come from cooking-centric families, it’s the Puglia native (think the high heel of the Italian “boot”)  who’s the driving force in the scratch kitchen.

The deli case is loaded with imported meats and cheeses, but Ventura bakes his own bread, makes his own pork sausage links and meatballs, cures his own pastrami, and pulls his own mozzarella.

Soon, he says, he’ll start making the deli’s ravioli and gnocchi.

Inspired by DeFalco’s Italian Deli in Scottsdale, Ventura and Francis already have set up shelves they plan to stock with imported groceries.

And a liquor license also is in the works.

CarloEmilieInteriorThe pair met at Chandler’s Ocotillo Golf Resort, where Ventura had been working the past 15 years. (Before that, he spent a decade at the Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park.)

After her parents divorced, Frances had moved to the States with her mother. Ventura introduced Frances’ mother to the man who’s now her stepfather (and third partner in the deli).

“It was Carlo’s dream to open his own place so we decided to do that all together,” she says.

Carlo and Emilie’s is open 10 a.m.-7 p.m.Monday through Saturday. Catering also is available.

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email of MXSW posts

Post image for Thursday specials & deals from MXSW sponsors

Today’s specials and deals from MXSW sponsors:

  • The Brass Tap: Service industry gets 25% of draft beer and house wine from 9 p.m.-close.
  • Hungry Monk: 99-cent chicken tenders.
  • Duke’s Tavern: $3 craft beer pints.
  • La Ristra New Mexican Kitchen: Ladies receive happy hour pricing on drinks from 6-9 p.m. in bar.
  • Murphy’s Law: $3 Bud Light drafts, $3 well drinks, $3 mimosas, and $2-$5 select apps during NFL game; ladies receive $3 Pinnacle cocktails and $4 Pinnacle martinis from 8 p.m.-close.
  • Nicantoni’s Pizza: All-day happy hour with $2-$3 beers, $5 wines, and $1 off spirits; $4.50 appetizers; $6 wings.
  • Romeo’s Euro Cafe: Five-course “Taste of Romeo’s Euro Cafe” dinner at 6:30 p.m.

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email of MXSW posts

Post image for Bad Water Brewing in Scottsdale to host Brewers Bowl beer festival Jan. 31

Bad Water Brewing in Scottsdale will host the first annual Brewers Bowl beer festival – featuring at least 15 Arizona breweries, live music, and food trucks – on Saturday, Jan. 31.

Participating breweries so far include Bad Water, Beer Research Institute, College Street, Desert Eagle, Dubina, Fate, Four PeaksFreak’N, Historic, MudsharkNorth Mountain, O.H.S.O., Saddle Mountain, and Sleepy Dog.

“We came up with the Brewers Bowl as a way to showcase all of the innovative beers that are being created in our own backyard,” says Lewis Kubitz, owner of Bad Water, which ironically does not brew its beers in Arizona.

The outdoor fest will run 5-10 p.m. in downtown Scottsdale on Brown Avenue between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue, which will be closed to vehicle traffic.

General admission is $25, which includes 20 sampling tickets. VIP admission is $45, which includes 25 samples and early entry.

Prior to the fest, participating breweries are invited to submit any of their beers for a competition, and certified BJCP judges will choose the fest’s “beer champion.”

The winning brewery will receive a trophy modeled after the NFL’s Vince Lombardi Trophy. In place of a football, a beer keg will sit atop the trophy.

The Brewers Bowl will benefit the Paradise Valley Emergency Food Bank.

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email of MXSW posts

Post image for Wednesday specials & deals from MXSW sponsors

Today’s specials and deals from MXSW sponsors:

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email of MXSW posts

Post image for After closing last February, Espo’s Mexican Food reopens in Chandler

Espo’s Mexican Food, an East Valley institution that closed last February after a 40-year run, is open again for business.

And there’s a familiar name at the helm: longtime owner Leon Espinoza.

Located on the southeast corner of McClintock and Chandler Boulevard, the Mexican restaurant has been a neighborhood favorite for burritos, tacos, and tamales.

The Espinoza family carried a loan on the property until 2010, when the lender foreclosed. Espinoza and two partners signed a new two-year lease in 2010, with the intention of buying the property at the end of the lease.

Espinoza reportedly left the partnership in late 2013, and the two remaining partners discovered the property, which includes an attached market that’s sitting empty, was appraised far lower than the sale price.

The city of Chandler also demanded a slew of expensive improvements.

The partners tried to renegotiate the sale with the lender, but learned in December 2013 the property had been sold. So Espo’s was forced to close in February.

The restaurant re-opened Monday. A woman at the restaurant said she was one of two new partners with Espinoza, but declined to talk about the re-opening for legal reasons.

Phone calls to Espinoza were not returned.

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email of MXSW posts

Post image for Critically acclaimed but hard-to-find Alpine beers coming to Arizona

When website Beer Advocate recently asked its users to pick the world’s best 250 beers, Alpine Beer Company landed eight of its ales on the list.

It was a remarkable feat for the tiny Alpine, Calif., brewery, which only produced about 3,000 barrels of beer in 2014.

Now, craft beer drinkers in Arizona soon won’t have to road-trip to the San Diego area to search for Alpine’s hard-to-find ales. The beers are coming to Arizona.

It’s all possible thanks to Green Flash Brewing, which bought Alpine in November. The much larger San Diego brewery is expanding Alpine’s production.

(Each brewery will continue to make its own beers. Green Flash is letting Alpine co-founders Pat and Val McIlhenney retain complete control of their beers.)

According to Chuck Noll from distributor World Class Beverages, Arizona will see the arrival of Alpine draft beers in the next few weeks, and hopefully packaged beers down the road.

The draft lineup is expected to include its award-winning McIlhenney’s Irish Red, along with Hoppy Birthday pale ale, Nelson IPA, Captain’s Stout, Alpine Ale, and Duet IPA.

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email of MXSW posts

Post image for SanTan Brewing taps 3rd beer in new Vault series: Mad Czar Russian Imperial Stout

SanTan Brewing in downtown Chandler has tapped the third release in its new From the Vault series – The Mad Czar Russian Imperial Stout.

The 9.9% ABV (alcohol by volume) ale is available in pints at the brewpub. Four-packs of 16-ounce cans will hit stores next week.

The Vault series features a different limited-release, high-ABV ale every 6-8 weeks. Each is brewed in a 100-barrel batch at brewpub.

The series was launched with a pair of former SanTan seasonals: Count Hopula red IPA in October and Winter Warmer Ale in late November.

The Vault series takes its name from the historic Valley National Bank building that now houses that downtown Chandler brew pub.

The next release is expected to be called Fat AleBert Hey Hey Heavyweight Brown.

Keep up to date on local food & drink news: Click here to receive a daily email of MXSW posts