About a mile north of Cortaro Road along Silverbell Road, nestled in an area of Marana predominantly filled with homes is the Station Pub and Grill.
Last week, Chris Flora and I made our way there to enjoy some drinks and appetizers for Happy Hour.
After perusing the 16 draft beers and 16 beers offered in the bottle, I decided to try my hand at the Firestone Walker Union Jack ($5 for 16 oz), which our attentive server later told me was their strongest beer on tap. At 7.5 percent, this extremely bitter IPA was delicious. There were hints of a slight floral taste in the beer, followed by goose bumps on my arms and very full stomach, as this beer was not intended to be consumed quickly.
Chris chose from the bottled beer menu and got a Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale ($7), probably for the reason to see those words written in a review.
At 7.2 percent alcohol by volume, this beer had enough kick to get the happy hour going in the right direction. The Arrogant Bastard kept its self-declared reputation in a tasty and somewhat heavy ale that did not disappoint.
For our appetizer, our eyes were both drawn to the Blistering Poppers ($6.99). Five halves of Anaheim jalapeños were filled with cream cheese and then wrapped in applewood bacon. They then came with a side of a raspberry chipotle sauce. For an extra dollar, one can add chorizo to the poppers, but we opted out.
They weren’t spicy at all, which was a pleasant surprise. There was a wonderful smoky flavor that accompanied the crunchy bacon and the crisp pepper. The sauce was sweet and the berry flavor added a new level of flavor and complexity to this dish.
Wanting to try other drinks offered, our eyes found the cocktail menu. The names of these drinks are just the opposite of Arrogant Bastard Ale, with drinks like Dreamsicle, Starburst, Watermelon Kiss and Georgia Peach – all which can be ordered as a drink or as a shot.
I went with the Watermelon Kiss ($6.50), which was made with Watermelon Puckers, triple sec, orange juice and Red Bull. Without any real hard alcohol in this drink, it went down very easily.
Chris ordered the Georgia Peach ($5.50) as a shot, which was made with Southern Comfort and a shot of peach schnapps.
The blend of Southern Comfort and peach schnapps combine well to make a drink that is not overly sweet or alcohol potent, but instead makes the best of both worlds.
Lastly, we ordered The Station’s potato skins ($5.99) made with skins filled with melted cheese, topped with bacon bits and scallions and served with a side of sour cream.
The skins were good and tasty, served hot with the gooey cheese melted and topped with crispy pieces of bacon and scallions. But the potato skins had nothing about them that was profound or unique about them. They were simple, straight up, potato skins.
The Station has a very casual atmosphere with televisions throughout. The place was filled with a diverse selection of people old and young at the bar, the surrounding high tops, in the booths in the main area, as well as on the patio.
(Editor’s note: You can join Chris and Randy for next month’s Sippin’ Social at The Lodge Sasquatch Kitchen, 265 N La Cholla Blvd., on Thursday, April 18 from 4 to 6 p.m.)