The King Barcade in Old Town Scottsdale, Endgame videogame bar on Mill Ave. in Tempe, and coming in January, 8-Bit Brewing in Avondale is making the Phoenix, Arizona area a paradise for those who love beer and video games. Eric and myself have checked out The King and Endgame, and I have visited the space that will become 8-Bit and talked with the owner.
The King features skee ball and other classic arcades, including pac man, that you spend all those quarters you’ve been saving up as you take a break from the usual Old Town bar scene. The walls are chalkboard at the King, so feel free to let your inner artist out, which to Eric and I, means writing down the web address… The highlight of the King though has to be the table side Rock’em Sock’em Robots while enjoying a nice IPA with friends, or in this case, that guy named Eric.
If you find yourself on Mill Ave, then head over to Endgame, which is a paradise for video game nerds. Sit down at the bar, grab a controller, and start playing on a PS4, Xbox One, or WiiU. Want to get nostalgic? They also have NESs, Super Nintendos, arcades, and other systems. Best of all, it’s all free. Well, the gaming is, beer and food still costs money, but the prices are good, and the beer even better.
They will even be offering 8-Bit Brewery beer once 8-Bit gets up and going, so you don’t have to travel to the west side to enjoy it. Endgame also hosts various tournaments, in fact, when Eric and I arrived, a Call of Duty tournament was already taking place. They also show various Twitch streams on the TVs, making this a true video game paradise.
On the west side of Phoenix, you’ll find 8-Bit Brewery off the I-10 in Avondale, which will feature classic arcades, including an arcade version of Duck Hunt, in which you can actually shoot the dog, who then will yell at you. There will be 8 different beers on tap, 4 flagship beers that will always be available, 2 seasonals, and 2 “beta” beers. The beta beers are crazy concoctions that Ryan has come up with and wants to test out, such as a Chocolate IPA. Ryan described the beta beers as beers that you don’t know if you want to try or not, but pique your interest. Sticking with the videogame theme, the two seasonals will be referred to as Mini-Boss and Boss beers, which you can “defeat” by killing the keg, which will be displayed on a TV above the bar. I had the opportunity to sample one of the current Seasonals, Mayan Achocalypse, a 12% ABV chocolate stout that was quite delicious.
8-Bit will also have a loyalty program in place, in which you’ll be able to level up, getting you merchandise and first access to limited releases, among other perks. Ryan also mentioned having special, limited time events where you can “make” your own IPA. It will be 1-2 day event in which a deconstructed IPA (for those unfamiliar, a deconstructed IPA is an IPA brewed the same way, with only a single kind of hops in each one, allowing you to taste the difference in each style of hops), allowing you to mix each hop in the volume of your choosing. I have a feeling this will be a major hit with craft beer drinkers, and not just video game nerds.
I for one am excited for 8-Bit Brewery to open up and to sample all of their beers, as well as my next trip to Endgame. If you live in the Phoenix area or are visiting any time soon, be sure to check these places out.