Downtown Tucson & Barrio Brewing Company
Downtown Tucson & Barrio Brewing Company
Looking for a place where you can take the kids, drink some quality craft brews, eat some great food, and watch the game? Or maybe bring Fido and sit outside with all of the above minus the TVs? Or maybe you are looking for a place to bring out-of-town guests that is close to downtown, and the Armory Park, Barrio San Antonio, and Barrio Viejo neighborhoods.
Barrio Brewing Company started out over 30 years ago as Gentle Ben's on University Blvd, when Dennis and Tauna Arnold bought Gentle Ben's and began brewing craft beer there in 1991. At the time it was the only brewery in Tucson. In 2006 the Brewery was moved to its current location at 800 E. 16th Street, Tucson, AZ 85719.
More than 30 years later, Barrio is the oldest continuously operating brewery in Arizona, and still produces their signature Barrio Blonde Beer, the longest-brewed beer in Arizona, to the original recipe.
Having expanded the industrial vibe brewery building to include Pub space (a full-service restaurant) and kitchen, two licensed sister sites at the Phoenix/Mesa Gateway Airport, and a vendor station at the Tucson International Airport. In 2020, Barrio Brewing Company was converted to a 100% employee-owned business, the only such brewery in Arizona. Real Barrio fans are anxiously awaiting the opening of the planned new location near I-10 and Ruthrauf.
Since more than half of the original 100-plus-year-old warehouse building is now customer service-oriented, one might wonder if the rest of the neighborhood has also gone this way. Barrio is pretty much the only place of its kind in the area. The rest of the several blocks surrounding Barrio house an HVAC wholesaler and an entire row of smaller entrepreneurial operations set in a similarly aged building. Across 16th Street from Barrio is the local UnionPacific Railroad Maintainance Yard. Other businesses include electrical suppliers, grocery wholesalers, a restaurant supply company with an adjoining kitchen, and the Viva BurritoCompany’s production kitchen.
As would be expected, Barrio consistently offers a baker's dozen of their regular brew offerings and between 2 and 5 seasonal brews at any one time. Among these are two Great American Beer Fest Winners, the Barrio Rojo Scottish Amber and the Nolan's Porter, named after their son. Their Blonde, Rojo, Hipsterville Hazy, Citrazona, and recently their Raspberry and Porter are available canned at the Brew Pub and at stores across the state, while their remaining brews can be had in 32 oz. Crowler cans and 64 oz. Growlers at the Brew Pub.
The food at Barrio far exceeds the expected “pub food” description. Along with an exhaustive list of foods served throughout the day, including a kids menu, Barrio also offers a Taco Tuesday of known popularity, and a Wing Wednesday, which has a growing fan base.
Asked how the kitchen continues to crank out great food despite the sometimes overwhelming crowds, the Kitchen Manager said, "When we get slammed, everybody in the kitchen pitches in wherever they are needed until we catch up.' A similar work ethic appears to be in place in the front of the house, where all the employees jump in where needed. Shift managers, and even the General Manager, are often seen bussing tables when the crowds build. The brew crew all pull together, finishing off this family-oriented operation.
Happy Hour is every weekday afternoon/evening from 3 PM to 7 PM. Trains coming may no longer excite you, but they do at Barrio. Whenever the train guard out front comes down, pints are a dollar off. Folks actually cheer for it.
There is a ton of merchandise going out the doors of Barrio on any given day, and all of it is also available on their website ( https://barriobrewing.com). You can also check their website and Facebook page for special events, such as live music, or their continuing support of non-profits in Tucson like the Pima Animal Care Center. For specific questions, like the availability of renting out a space for a private event in one of the four rooms generally reserved for such events, or just to reserve a table for group outings.
Though the area around Barrio Brewing Company is generally industrial, residential developments are popping up. Within 1 mile many fantastic residential condo buildings exist as well as lovely neighborhoods that are centrally located. Many of these neighborhoods are on The National Historic Register.
Check out Homes For Sale in Tucson's Historic Neighborhoods here –
Living in the Tucson area is great!
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Gregory Richman, Real Estate Broker
HomeSmart Advantgage Group