My drinking partner Janelle was excited for our beer flight at Casa Marana, which included from left: the Elysian Superfuzz Blood Orange Pale Ale, O.H.S.O.'s Popcycle, Alpine Beer Company's Windows Up IPA and Harbottle's Two Hands Cucumber Saison.  

More craft beer options are coming to Marana's Continental Ranch neighborhood this week with the opening of Casa Marana Craft Beer + Wine.

This new taproom is owned by Kyle Schwab, who opened the movie-centric Casa Film Bar inside his family's Casa Video store on Speedway. His second effort is forgoing the cinema theme and going for a standard beer bar experience with 35 brews on tap from Arizona and beyond. 

Ahead of the grand opening Friday at 7 p.m., we grabbed a beer at the space to see what it's all about. (Casa Marana is in soft-opening stages right now starting at 11 a.m. every day.) A stripmall spot inside a building that once housed a Chopstix Asian Diner and then a northside hub for Miss Saigon, the space has been redone with some hipster flourishes including a cute "Marana" mural that's sure to appear on an Instagram or two. 


Casa Marana might not please the cinephiles, but it does sure look nice ...

The vibe here is what I like to call suburban-hip, with an airy clean look that reminds me most of Tap + Bottle North. The space was comfortable and the air conditioning seemed to be on full blast, which is probably worth mentioning right about now. I could pass many an afternoon in this cool room, watching the flatscreen TV and mowing through the sampler menu. 

My drinking partner and I split a flight of four 5-ounce pours that were all $2.50 apiece, although the price varies depending on the beer. This allowed us to try some interesting samples from the paper list, including a cucumber saison from Tucson's Harbottle and a dank IPA from Alpine Beer Company in California. The saison tasted "like drinking a salad," according to my friend. 

The taplist was organized into different beer styles including IPA's, strong ales, sour and fruit beers and more. Each beer selection included some light tasting notes — "the very drinkable Sour Bikini is anything but a sissy beer" — to help you move through the menu.   

There was also an extensive refrigerator area with 550 bottles and cans which were set out individually, so you can make your own six-pack. While a good deal of them were local, I did notice they had a decent selection of California beers like 21st Amendment, Lagunitas and Modern Times out of San Diego. 

The northside has seen an influx of craft beer spots as of late, with breweries like Button Brew House and Catalina Brewing Co., Growler's Taphouse, and the soon-to-be Caps & Corks on Orange Grove near the I-10 freeway.

Casa Marana is at 8225 N. Courtney Page Way. Phone: 520-505-4870. Hours starting this Saturday will be 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily. 


You can find the Star's digital food writer Andi Berlin at a taqueria near you, taking tiny bites and furiously scribbling into an old notepad.