In my mind, you can’t have a good microbrewery without good food. It just can’t work. Therefore, I headed to Arizona Wilderness in Gilbert, a brewery with a rustic theme getting a lot of regional traction, to see if it could churn out food on par with the its beer reputation. But of course, I had to start of off with a beer before diving into the menu.
From the food side of the menu, Arizona Wilderness is known for its fries. Thus, we kicked things off with an order of When Pigs Fly Fries, fried in duck fat and topped with pulled pork and wilderness beer cheese. These were nothing short of savory deliciousness. They were not only packed with great flavor, but the toppings were plentiful. I would say that I was left wanting more, but in fact I was more interested in perhaps ordering more fries.
But I didn’t. I instead waited patiently for my burger. That burger was the After the Hike Burger (rustic, right?) and was topped with white cheddar, pork belly, bacon, avocado, a fried egg, an onion ring and LTO. I ordered without the LTO and stuck with the chips instead of upgrading to fries because I already had an ungodly amount of fries inside me. The burger was a thing of love, and certainly the kind of burger you would want to eat after a hike (or before it). Assuming, of course, that you don’t have to cook it yourself over an open flame because ain’t nobody got the energy for that. Thus, it’s good that Arizona Wilderness doesn’t make you cook your own food.
The chips, though, were really not great. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but they were just…vapid. It’s possible that they simply paled in comparison to the fries, but I am confident that they simply weren’t great.
In all, Arizona Wilderness was a pretty fantastic microbrewery. The beers were great, the fries were more than great and the burger was solid and meaty. Next time I find myself in the real wilderness, I may be wishing I was hanging in a brewery in Gilbert instead.