The monthly Sippin’ Social took The Explorer staff to Monsoon Tap & Grill for some happy hour drinks and appetizers.
The establishment opened in mid-September and word is just getting out about the wide range of food and beer the place has for its patrons.
Monsoon Tap & Grill, located at 6281 N. Thornydale Road, Ste. 261, can be found on the southwest corner of Thornydale Road and West Horizon Hills Drive, near Home Depot and Costco.
The staff immediately greeted us, informing us we were free to choose our own seat. Numerous televisions were positioned around all of the walls, above the bar, and on the patio. We opted to sit inside, but from the patio, looking beyond Thornydale Road, there is a beautiful and practically unobstructed view of the Santa Catalina Mountains.
The beers on happy hour came with a $.50 discount, and started between $3 and $4. All of the domestic bottles were $2.50. None of the appetizers or food menu items were on the happy hour menu.
Though a few of the taps were out during our visit, the bar and grill has a lofty 18 beers on draft. The beers were local and state brews spanning from Thunder Canyon Brewery and Barrio Brewery to Four Peaks and Prescott.
My first beer was the Oak Creek Nut Brown Ale, which is brewed in Sedona by Oak Creek Brewing Company.
This beer, which was served in a chilled pint glass, arrived a short time after being ordered. It had a wonderfully smooth flow and finished with a slight spiciness and nut flavor.
My coworker Chris Flora’s first choice was not available, but the knowledgeable staff steered him toward another similar brew, which was the Mudshark Abominable Winter Ale, which is brewed by Mudshark Brewing Company out of Lake Havasu City.
This heavy beer was quite filling, and would serve best on its own or after a meal. Still, the beer was tasty and rich, a thick tan head and deep chocolate flavor disguising the very stout 9.6 percent alcohol by volume.
The menu, which has 12 different appetizers, has most things one would find in a bar and grill, with a few twists here and there.
We ordered the Here’s to Heat, which are fresh jalapeños stuffed with cream cheese and scallions. They are wrapped in bacon and drizzled with a prickly pear sauce.
These $6 delights soon disappeared, with some going down quicker than others. Some of the peppers were a little spicier than the others, but delicious nonetheless.
We also ordered 10 wings, grabbing two different flavors on the order. The juicy and flavorful wings were worth the $8. We chose apple honey barbeque and mild. Keep in mind Chris and I are “sensitive” to spicy foods, the mild wings still had a decent bite to them, which was put out with the sweet tangy barbeque wings and more beer.
The second round brought me a Lost Highway Black IPA, brewed by Mother Road Brewery out of Flagstaff. The 100 IBUs gave this 8-percent brew a good hoppy bite that was rounded out by roast and coffee flavors.
Chris again struck out on his first choice of a Lumberyard Red Ale and was directed to try the Sleepy Dog Red Rover Irish Red Ale, brewed by Sleep Brewery out of Tempe.
This 6.5 percent alcohol by volume beer had a hint of dark-roasted malt, noble hops, and a sweet flavor that with little to no hop flavoring, replaced by toasted grain flavoring.
Despite the few beers being out on tap, this new bar and grill offered a wide range of food and was a nice place to sit back, watch the game, and enjoy some food and beer with friends and family.
Join The Explorer later this month on Dec. 19 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Grumpy’s Grill, 2960 W. Ina Road.