Friday, March 23, 2007
E 44th St. isn't where you'd expect it to be, neatly situated between 43rd and 45th or at either edge of the 4400 block. The lack of numerical flow in S. Tucson took us a mile or two out of our way and found us seeking directions at a surf/ski wear shop. Nimbus brewery sits at the far end of a light-industrial development, adjacent train-tracks, the freeway and a nondescript manufacturer with a fleet of yellow cargo vans.
Our lack of familiarity with Arizona liquor laws occurred to us a little late. Sure, they sell tequila at the grocery store, but does the brew pub have a kid's menu?
Brad went in ahead check the under-age policy. He asked the guy behind the bar, "Can kids come into the pub?"
Bar-man lowered one eyebrow and turned to the pinball machine where a six or seven year old pretended to play. "I guess so."
Guy, "you're a parent?"
Guy, "seems ok as long as they're your kids."
From a table in the back, we watched through the open loading-dock door as the sun set over the mountains to the south. Table service may or may not be customary, we couldn't tell.
Brad ordered a sampler tray ($8) from the bar and had a menu tossed at him.
Nimbus has 6 beers on tap, two rotating specials. Our tray of 9 beers- 5 dark, 2 light and 2 amber-ish, included a short glass of smoked porter sitting on the "red" tag, a stout on the "brown ale" and the brew in the "blond" spot, was anything but. The Grateful Dead played played a quiet soundtrack to the Kansas-S. Illinois game. Another brewery with no commitment to mastering the fine art of micro-brewed root beer or ginger ale, we ordered Sprite and french fries ($3), relying on a process of elimination to identify pieces of the beer puzzle.
Ms. Pacman, foosball and the change machine were all out of order, but wall mosaics, t-shirt selection and quality of the beer carried the evening. Usually a fan of the darks, I was especially impressed with the Dirty Guera (blond)- "a mesquite honey ale, with cara-pils and Munich malts and a slight floral nose."