Brewing company

Hundred Mile Brewing Company opens soon in Tempe

She hadn’t planned for her craft brewery to be located on the grounds of her old college. But that’s exactly where Sue Rigler’s Hundred Mile Brewing Company is located today.

At the end of August, the Tempe Brewhouse and Restaurant is set to open on land tucked behind a hotel along Scottsdale Road. But decades ago, just steps from this spot, Rigler, then a student at Arizona State University, spent hours at The Devil House, a popular bar that was all the rage.

His connection to this specific area of ​​Tempe runs deep.

An accomplished Ironman athlete, Rigler competed in the race at Tempe Town Lake, just steps from Hundred Mile. On a recent trip to visit family in Iowa, she found a photo circa 1982, taken from her dorm in Manzanita Hall. She stands there in front of her north-pointing window, towards the site where her brewery stands today, 40 years later.

Some say it’s a coincidence. Or luck. Rigler has a better word.

“Serendipity. That’s how my life kinda works,” Rigler says with a laugh.

But what she and head brewer Valerie Adee are doing is serious craft beer business. Their small-batch operation promises to deliver a range of hoppy beers, with Pilsners and West Coast IPAs — their personal preferences — as house specialties.

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Hundred Mile Brewing Company will focus on hopped beers with West Coast Pilsners and IPAs as house specialties among its 24 taps.

Photo courtesy of Hundred Mile Brewing Company

The succinct 10-barrel brewing capacity lends itself to a multitude of rotating recipes and fresh beer from 24 taps. Adee assures that everything will be true to style. The freshness is also evident in the name, as the beer travels no more than 100 miles.

“Thanks to our large faucet capacity, I can play with the seasons and use local fruits, citrus fruits, grapefruits, tangerines,” says Adee with the excitement of a child about to embark on an experiment. which we hope will be successful. “That’s part of the fun of being a brewer. Figure out how to do each one well.

Rigler’s past experience will help in the process. After graduating in microbiology, she moved to California and worked for a company that sold brewery equipment. She traveled the West Coast to do professional beer research, which fueled her passion and inspired her to take the brewing certification program at UC San Diego.

Opening his own craft brewery in Arizona was a dream Rigler knew was within reach. Years ago, she promised that after her youngest of four children graduated from high school, she would actively pursue it. Coincidentally, or rather by chance, this child is about to begin her senior year at ASU just as her mother’s vision becomes a concrete reality.

Rigler saw the 10,000 square foot building and imagined patrons drinking beers on a patio after strolling by the lake or watching a football game.

“I’m so excited to have this location,” says Rigler. “I couldn’t imagine having my brewery anywhere else.”

The building was constructed in the mid-1970s when development on the block was non-existent. In fact, Rigler doesn’t recall noticing it during his college days. It’s likely that when the Devil House became the Club Rio dance hotspot a decade later, regulars wouldn’t remember it either.

It was a printing press in its former life, with a long rectangular frame, roll-up windows, and no interior walls. Rigler admits it was intimidating to see so much open space to play with. But then the vision took over. Rigler enlisted Postino design lead Xan Creative for the interior details.

“This building has a lot of character. It screams brewery,” Rigler says.

Event space and brewing equipment take up about half of the building, with the remaining space housing the dining room and kitchen. One of the two bars will be outside on the dog-friendly terrace. The food menu will complement Adee’s work with burgers, tacos and other beer bites. Wines and spirits will also be offered.

Also a former Sun Devil, Adee double majored in French and History before also moving to California where a passion for craft beer led her to join the research and development team at Firestone Walker Brewing Company. His award-winning career includes positions as brewer at Firestone and head brewer at Trademark Brewing in Long Beach, California.

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Sue Rigler (left), owner of Hundred Mile Brewing Company, and Valerie Adee, head brewer, will open their craft brewery and tasting room just steps from Lake Tempe Town in late August.

Photo courtesy of Hundred Mile Brewing Company

Adee and Rigler met at an event hosted by the Pink Boots Society, an international non-profit organization that promotes the role of women and non-binary individuals in the fermentable beverage industry. They immediately clicked and bonded over their love for West Coast IPAs and their connection to Iowa, as Rigler is from the state and Adee spent part of his childhood there. When Rigler needed someone to take over running the brewery, Adee was the obvious choice.

He also created the rare two-woman couple as brewery owner and head brewer. About 3% of brewery owners are women, and women brewers make up 7.5% of brewers in the United States according to the Brewers Association. There are even fewer head brewers who are women.

“Maybe it brings in more of a female demographic. Even though it gets people interested, I hope the beer speaks for itself when they get here,” says Adee.

This partnership was not deliberate but it was clearly fortuitous. In any case, it’s one more detail that makes a great story. One of many that Rigler agrees would be best shared with old friends and new friends who come together to celebrate good craft beer. She hopes that gathering place will be Hundred Mile.

“You create this space, and it’s not just about beer and food. And that’s what craft beer creates, a community and the compelling stories that come with it,” says Rigler. “And there’s a story in every pint.”

Cent Mile Brewery

690 N. Scottsdale Road, Tempe