The craft beer scene first started to crawl out of the woodwork in the late 1980s. Several craft breweries and, in turn, brew pubs, began opening around the country at this time. All steaming from President Jimmy Carter’s legalization of homebrewing in the 1970s. Despite the new breweries and brew pubs, the scene didn’t fully take off until the late 2000s and into the 2010s, when breweries exploded, gobbling up a major market share, and in many ways, the restaurants took over for where traditional restaurants like Applebee’s once dominated. While there likely remains a correction to the sudden over-saturation of the brewpub market, there are a number of chains still spreading out throughout the United States. One such chain has officially opened its latest restaurant in the heart of metro Phoenix.
BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse originally opened in Santa Ana, California back in 1978. At this time though it went by the name of BJ’s Chicago Pizza. It didn’t have its own brewery. Over the next two decades, the restaurant brand spread throughout much of Southern California. It wasn’t until 1996 that the company added a small microbrewery to one of its restaurants.
This became a major turning point for the restaurant. Southern California was already, in many ways, at the center of the exploding craft beer scene, with a number of still popular breweries forming in the region at this time. With a new business model in place, and brewery laws changing in states around the country, BJ’s decided to begin opening new locations outside of California. The brand now has a total of 215 restaurants in 29 states, including Arizona.
The new BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse is located at 14950 West McDowell Road in Goodyear. Now, not all of the restaurants have a physical brewery on site. Many do bring the company’s beers in from other locations that do produce the beer. Some of these beers have won numerous awards, including the BJ Hefelightzen, which took home a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival back in 2010.
The Goodyear restaurant has 48 various beers on tap, including both its own as well as outsider beer. The general manager of the Goodyear location said there are 11 taps dedicated to BJ brews, while another 13 taps are set aside for local craft beers based out of Arizona. The other 24 taps are then used by national beers, both craft and macro.
The restaurant is open Sunday through Thursday, from 11 AM until 11 PM, and on Friday and Saturday from 11 AM until 12 AM.
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