This has been a long time coming, but we are finally at Ground Control. Our good friend Ian Harwell works here, and has nothing but good things to say about this place. He talks about their beers, their pizza, and their gelato. They recently did a beer and gelato pairing.
We were hanging out at the Phoenix Art Museum, and figured today would be a good day to visit. Ian also said that Sunday was slow, and it would be a good day to come in. We headed that way and were ready to drink!
Beers On Tap
The beers they currently have on tap include:
- Mother Road Gold Kolsch
- Dogfish Head Festina Pêche
- Goose Island 312
- Sleepydog Monje Azul
- SanTan Mr. Pineapple
- Stone RuinTen
- Four Peaks Kilt Lifter
- Triple Karmeliet
- Left Coast Asylum
- Marble IPA
- Borderlands Prickly Pear Wheat
- St. Bernardus Abt 12
- Great Divide Belgian Yeti Imperial Stout
- Firestone DBA
- AleSmith Speedway Stout
- Gueuze Fond Tradition
- Goose Island IPA
- Bear Republic Black Racer
- Santa Fe Black IPA
- SanTan Negro Nitron
- Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout
- Dale’s Pale Ale Nitro
That is the list today, but it might change tomorrow. Ian did say that they have kept Schneider-Weisse, Tripel Karmeleit, and St. Bernardus Abt 12 on tap for 6 years. They have twenty-four beers on tap right now, but look for them to expand their tap list soon.
Oh, and I numbered these as they were on the board. You order by the number, as the tap handles are numbered. There are also a bunch of bottles of booze near the tap handles. I am seeing some Three Olives Mango, some Stoli Vanilla, and a bottle of Hendrick’s Gin. I see Fireball back there, too! Speaking of Fireball, I tried a new shot with Fireball this weekend. Mix Fireball and RumChata to make a Cinnamon Toast Crunch. This shot is dangerous… SO good!
Beer Signs on the Wall
I love beer stuff. From empty kegs to glassware, I like looking at beer stuff. There are a ton of signs hanging on the wall here. Just sitting at the bar I can see a Goose Island beer sign, an Odell Brewing Company sign, and a Green Flash beer sign. On another wall I see a 1664 sign, a Dogfish Head sign, and a Firestone Walker sign. All of these are changing above a massive wine bottle selection.
Wine isn’t our forte, but I always enjoy looking at the bottles on the wall. If you are a wine drinker, imagine your thought process with buying a bottle of wine. You are thinking about the aroma, the flavor, and the foods you can pair with it. That is what our thought process is for buying a bottle of beer. I don’t know if their wine selection is good, but based on the beers they have on tap, I am sure it is.
Bottles? Yeah, they have bottles, too!
This place just gets better. I was sitting here talking with Ian, and he was talking about all the beers they have on tap and their growler station. He went to get some ice, and I saw two coolers behind me at the bar. They had bottled beer in there. I can see, sitting at the bar, some Great Divide beers, a few cans from Maui Brewing Company, and a few that I have never seen nor heard of. Let me go look… I will be right back!
OK, I am back. I found some really good bottles while I was gone. They have some beers from Mikkeller, including the From To, a beer that is on our list. They also had some Christmas beers in there that I had never heard of. There was even a bottle from Goose Island in the corner that I am not sure is actually distributed to Arizona… but I will let Ian explain that later.
Oh man, the WHISKEY! Or is it whisky?
I was looking at the bottles on the left, but I missed the whiskey bottles on the right of the taps. I am a big fan of whiskey, and it’s nice to see a place that is mostly about beer and wine offering such an impressive list of whiskey. I am seeing some Buffalo Trace, a bottle of Peat Monster, and even a few battles from Balvenie. I know they have done some beer tastings here, but with a list of whiskey like that I am sure they could host some whiskey tastings, too.
“Fly Over” Specials
On the wall, under the beer list, is a list of their daily specials. They are called “Fly Over” Specials and include beer specials, food specials, and even a specialty burger that changes throughout the week. They must not have a drink special on Sunday, but their fried green tomato with sweet corn crab sounded delicious. Oh, and the chili cheese burger was their specialty burger of the day. Don’t forget a flight! You can get a flight of four 4-ounce pours for only $8.
Triple Double Pizza
While I was sitting here typing, Ian brought over a pizza. He said, “This is our best-selling pizza. It’s called the Triple Double.” When I think of a triple double, I think of baseball. Not sure if this pizza has a connection to baseball, but it sounds amazing. The pizza has red sauce, hot and sweet sauce, sausage, red bell peppers, pepperoni, mozzarella AND Monterey jack cheeses. It smells incredible, and just came from a brick oven.
If you have had pizza at Fate Brewing Company, this will taste similar. They use the same pizza oven. They were actually delivered on the same truck.
Ground Control reminds me a lot of Hearthstone. It was a place in Fishers, Indiana that opened up right across the street from our apartment. They had a nice draft list and some fancy coffee drinks. This place has more (and better) beers on tap, but a similar vibe. I could see live music here being a big success.
If you are ever in the west valley, you have got to see this place. This isn’t a place that I would come to often; it’s too far from home. But this might easily become a place we visit on a regular basis. Not only does Ian know beer, he is a great guy and offers great customer service. You will never get thirsty OR hungry at Ground Control.
Remember, there is NO CRAP ON TAP here. Welcome to Ground Control, where X marks your new spot. Cheers!