Books and beers might not seem like a natural pair, but a new Phoenix bar is proof that the two are not mutually exclusive. First Draft Book Bar, located inside the new Changing Hands Bookstore in central Phoenix, is Arizona's first book-themed bar, celebrating both craft beers and great literature.
Well-lit and cheerful, First Draft is worlds away from traditional neighborhood watering holes. The 40-seat bar has cozy, retro-style seating, a wooden bar and dozens of wine glasses hanging from a ceiling rack. The staff of "booktenders" is knowledgeable about both brews and books, serving up drinks and reading recommendations.
First Draft is a new book-themed bar in central Phoenix — Photo courtesy of First Draft Book Bar
The drink menu at First Draft is geared toward craft beers and wine. There's also a small selection of gourmet bar bites. Guests can pick up a new paperback inside the bookstore, and then head to the bar to read or mingle with fellow book-lovers.
The wine menu features sparkling, white and red varieties, with an emphasis on Italian and California wines. A featured red is the Pillsbury Wild Child Red, a merlot blend made in southeastern Arizona.
The beer menu offers 15 craft brews, including several locally made beers on tap. Beers from all corners of the state are represented, with two offerings from Four Peaks Brewery in Tempe (the Four Peaks Kiltlifter and Hop Knot), Nimbus Old Monkeyshine from Nimbus Brewery in Tucson, Mother Road Gold from Flagstaff and the popular San Tan Hefeweizen from the San Tan Brewery in Chandler.
The bar also serves non-alcoholic drinks like natural soda, sparkling waters, juice and gourmet coffee drinks. If you need something to nibble on while you sip and read, check out the small plates and snacks menu. Enjoy the hummus of the day with crudites, olives, mixed nuts, soft pretzels with beer cheese or mustard or baked quiche.
Not very many bars carry a fresh selection of homemade baked goods, but First Draft is not your typical bar. The bar features a revolving selection of baked goods. On any given day, you'll find brownies, blondies, baguettes with butter or jam, English muffins, biscotti, scones and fresh-baked cookies available at the bar.
But if bar bites aren't enough, head next door to Southern Rail. The restaurant is adjacent to First Draft and features a menu of traditional Southern food and modern American food.
First Draft hosts a popular happy hour Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Guests receive $1 off all tap and house wine glasses, carafes and pints of beer.
Bring your thirst . . . and your reading glasses, too.