Twisted Cactus Brewing Company serves up flavorful food and craft beer
The owners of Twisted Cactus Brewing Company want you to come in for the beer, but stay for the food. And, it turns out, that won’t be hard to do. Since it quietly opened in November 2016, Twisted Cactus has received a warm reception and garnered rave reviews from locals who were looking for a comfortable and inviting space in the West Chandler area.
“We’ve had lots of people come in from around the neighborhood,” says Jeff Stefl, who owns the brewery with his wife, Karen Erkelens.
Twisted Cactus was started not too long ago in an 800-square-foot apartment by the couple’s son, Steven Erkelens, and his wife Alexandria. Stefl says they started with a home brew kit and realized not only was it fun, but they were receiving support and collaboration from the local craft beer community.
“We can’t tell you how much help we got from other local breweries,” Stefl says. “The Shop Beer Co. out of Tempe has been particularly helpful to us. They have given Steven great advice and assisted us when we were having trouble getting our brewer’s certificate. We are forever grateful to them for their help and friendship. It is this undertone of friendship and collaboration that makes us love what we do.”
With the backing and strong connection to the local craft beer industry, they decided to dive in and brew beer at the wine bar Stefl and his wife formerly owned in the Ahwatukee Foothills. When they ran into issues with the landlord, they saw it as an opportunity to move to another space—and that’s where they are today, in the northwest corner of Ray and McClintock roads.
“We found this place and felt that it would be a good fit for what we wanted to do: brew some beer, offer a menu and hopefully have people come back for more,” Stefl says.
At time of press, the brewery was serving six craft beers on tap. Stelf says they try to have as many local craft brews as possible. Of the six, one is the Twisted Cactus House IPA, which is a less bitter IPA that is smoother and balanced with notes of citrus and the desert. Steven is experimenting with a saison that may make an appearance in the future. For those looking for other options, Twisted Cactus also offers a small wine collection.
All of the food at Twisted Cactus is handmade from scratch and rivals the popularity of the brews. Stefl says the most popular menu items include the poutine, which is French fries topped with pulled pork, gravy and queso fresco; the kale salad, which comes with cranberries and almonds and is offered warm or cold, as well as with chicken; and the Cowboy Up burger, which consists of a half pound of Stockyard beef, bacon, cheddar, barbecue sauce and is topped with crispy onion straws.
Something that comes as a pleasant surprise: This brewery is kid-friendly. They offer a kids’ menu, board games and high chairs for the little ones to hang out right alongside mom and dad.
“We offer good food, good beer and a warm and comfortable environment,” Stelf says. “Everyone is welcome.”
Twisted Cactus Brewing Company
4080 W. Ray Rd., Suite 26
Chandler, AZ 85226