Four Peaks Taste Test

Posted: June 20, 2013
Author: Travel by Brewery

I recently had the opportunity to sit down for a Four Peaks flight, Tempe’s crown jewel of craft brew. The company was opened in 1996, well ahead of the spike in craft breweries that would inevitably hit the desert. Four Peaks produces around 38k barrels of beer annually.

Located nearby the Arizona State University campus, Four Peaks is the quintessential watering hole for many Sun Devils in the area. This growing brewery has since expanded its operations to northern Scottsdale.

Four Peaks Sampler

four peaks sampler


The Four Peaks sampler is a thing of beauty, containing generous portions of each staple beer on fresh reserve. It’s charming to see each individual beer receive its own denomination on the board, indicative of how much care goes into creating each variety.

Four Peaks Kiltlifter (6%)

Scottish-style Export Ale

The beer that made Four Peaks famous, The Kiltlifter is hailed as their ‘flagship ale’. One taste and it’s easy to understand why — the roasted caramel tones are the first thing that hit your tongue. A smooth ale from start to finish, carries a full body with a traceable smoky finish.

Rating: 4/5

Four Peaks Oatmeal Stout (5.2%)

English-style Oatmeal Stout

Our personal favorite, the Oatmeal Stout sips like a Guinness but finishes in its own distinct way with elements of roasted malt and dryness. Strong notes of chocolate and espresso throughout, with a velvety texture you could practically cut with a knife. One of the freshest and flavorful stouts anywhere we’ve tried in Arizona.

Rating: 5/5

Four Peaks Hop Knot (6.7%)

American-Style IPA

A serious IPA with powerful fresh hops that create a distinctly aromatic brew. Notes of citrus and pine throughout with a mild malt undertone. We liked pairing this best with spicy foods like the Adovada. Tighter finish than your average Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

Rating: 4/5

Four Peaks Raj IPA (6.9%)

English-Style IPA

A hedge stronger than the flavorful Hop Knot, this IPA uses a more mild hop for a decisively smoother and more floral taste. The English aspect of this IPA gives it a slightly ‘earthy’ quality, perhaps less appealing to the purist American IPA fan.

Rating: 3/5

Four Peaks 8th Street Ale (4.7%)

English-Style Bitter

Some of the most unique flavoring Four Peaks brewery has to offer, expertly balanced between malt and hop. The aroma is actually somewhat fruity. 8th Street Ale is the other main variety of Four Peaks readily available in local stores as it offers the most universal appeal under Kiltlifter.

Rating: 4/5

Four Peaks Hefeweizen (5.1%)

Bavarian-Style Wheat Ale

Four Peaks has done something special with the traditional Hef here, incorporating hints of banana and clove somewhere within the cloudy brew. The sweetness does somewhat detract from its overall drinkability, however.

Rating: 3/5

Four Peaks Sunbru (5.2%)

True Cologne-Style Kolsch 

Four Peaks most refreshing take on a ‘lighter’ craft beer, a honey-like aroma with possible hints of chardonnay in the finish. Has a brightness to it that’s perfect for those warmer days Arizona months. Also recently adapted as a retail ready brew.

Rating: 4/5

Four Peaks Arizona Peach (4.2%)

The lightest beer Four Peaks has to offer is seriously tasty, a powerfully sweet aroma the first thing to meet the senses. Again, much like the Hef, the sweetness of this beer is really the only thing that detracts from its overall drinkability.