By Lynette Carrington
Brewmaster and owner of Craft 64, James Swann takes pride in his gastropub that exists at the intersection of fresh, local and fun. The Old Town Scottsdale hot spot is repeatedly hailed by foodies and various publications as one of the best spots in town to enjoy local craft beer and wood fired pizza.
Swann is always excited to tell Craft 64 guests how this gastropub is different than others. “We don’t even have a freezer here,” says Swann. “You also won’t find a microwave on this property.” Nearly every single ingredient used at Craft 64 is sourced locally. Even the mozzarella cheese used in the Craft 64 pizzas, salads and sandwiches is pulled by hand in-house each day from cheese curds. Produce is sourced locally, and pizza sauce and dressings are all made in house. The fresh and local difference is evident in the taste and quality of the food.
On a recent visit, we ordered a tried-and-true favorite pizza of ours that is always on the Craft 64 menu. The Blanco Pizza is made with fresh mozzarella, burrata, spinach and garlic. The fresh and light pizza is the most popular at the restaurant that is located in the second oldest residential home in Scottsdale. The home was built in 1938 and had also housed a couple of businesses previous to Craft 64 taking up residence a few years ago.
A guest at our table ordered the Scorpion Pizza, a delightfully different pizza with fresh mozzarella cheese, Trinidad scorpion salt spice, cooked spinach and chorizo. That pizza imparted just an ever-so-slight hint of sting, and it was delightful! Other pizzas include pepperoni, the aji, the Spain and many others.
New this summer is the Green Goddess salad with iceberg lettuce, feta cheese, radishes and pancetta. Any salad you might order at Craft 64 will be generously sized and packed full of fresh and flavorful ingredients.
Craft 64 also has its own beers that are physically brewed at SunUp Brewery and available on tap. Swann personally oversaw the creation and brewing of each Craft 64 signature beer. Varieties include Mr. Big, Smooove Hoperator, Wheat the People, Crafty Blond and Frolic Pale Ale. There are always 36 beers on tap at the gastropub and every beer is from Arizona. Get them by the glass, or take home a growler!
Craft cocktails are also a delight, and just like the items on the menu, three-quarters of the spirits served at Craft 64 are locally produced spirits. This season, two stand-out cocktails include two new seasonal mules—the first is Lemon Lover, with Thumb Butte local Myer Lemon Vodka with peach bitters, fresh lemon juice and ginger beer. The second is the Pear-fect Peach mule with OHSO Local “D.I.C.K.” peach whiskey, pear puree, fresh lime juice and ginger beer.
Craft 64 is a fabulous lunch destination, and also a great place for to meet friends for cocktails or dinner. It can get pretty busy on the weekends, but after the sun goes down, the back patio is a fun place to nosh with friends. Happy Hour is 4-7 p.m. daily. Craft 64 is located at 6922 E. Main St., Scottsdale. Visit www.craft64.com or call (480) 946-0542 for additional information.