Two Brothers Tap House & Brewery by Lynette Carrington Two Brothers Tap House & Brewery has established itself in its first year in Scottsdale. The year-round and seasonal beers have made a name for themselves already and the fun establishment at Scottsdale and Camelback Roads is one of the coolest places to hang with friends and enjoy a generous menu developed with a great attention to detail. Executive Chef Tommy Michel has been instrumental in developing the menu that boasts a definitive Chicago flair. For nine years, Michel has been with Two Brothers and has primarily been based in Chicago at the flagship brewery and restaurant location. Michel was a sous chef at another restaurant when the opportunity of coming to work for Two Brothers presented itself. A salesperson for Two Brothers gave him the heads up that a restaurant was going to be opening in the Chicago area.“They asked me and it took only a couple of hours to think about it and I said, ‘Yes,’” explains Michel. In developing the Two Brothers Tap House & Brewery menu, Michel was given a fair amount of culinary leeway to create a menu that would stand head and shoulders above the crowd. “I was given a little bit of direction, free reign and lot of recommendations,” Michel says. He knew what flavor profiles and spices Two Brothers wanted to avoid and he pushed ahead to create unique appetizers, salads and entrees that go above and beyond what one might expect of a brewery restaurant. In fact, Two Brothers was recently awarded “Best Food” at the 2016 Scottsdale Culinary Festival. One of the things that started on the initial Two Brothers menu that is still an incredibly popular selection today is the nachos. “The original one was my chimichurri nachos,” says Michel. I take a standard nachos and a chimichurrian Argentenian herb sauce with vinegar and it perks up the nachos a little bit. Then I just put that right over the regular salsa that goes on the nachos.” Every Two Brothers restaurant also operates as a test kitchen for Michel, allowing him a valuable amount of feedback for new menu items. Michel is in the process of training a head chef for the Scottsdale Two Brothers location. “He’ll have a bit of free reign, too,” he explains. “He’ll spend two weeks with me and we’ll get to talk a lot. He’ll have a big hand in doing our summer menu, when we kind of slim down because everybody there stays indoors when it’s 118 degrees! I can’t blame them!” Entrees like the chicken fried chicken with gravy will come off the menu for the season, in favor of lighter items and salads. “Otherwise, it seems that people like the Chicago style menu that we have,” Michel adds. Two Brothers beers are also utilized in several sauces and entrees on the menu, including the cheese dipping sauce for pretzels. “With the year-round beers, it’s easier to do menu development because we know it will be there,” Michel states. “Sometimes there are supply issues or if a beer does really well, we have an obligation to our customers in the field, too, that want the beer. We’ll do release parties for certain beers and then I’ll do a lot of food pairings and cooking with that particular beer when it comes to release parties and special occasions.”Now almost a decade in with Two Brothers, Michel is still challenged and inspired by his work at the brewery and restaurant. “They keep me on my toes,” muses Michel. “We are not slowing down and we love the advancements, we love the learning experience of what it is to try and get a restaurant open. So far, we’ve opened three, but Scottsdale was the first location that was almost ground up. I learn more and more every day.”Another important task for Michel is finding and securing excellent sources for Two Brothers meats and produce. He explains, “I try to work deals out with farmers and try to get it direct, if I can.” In Arizona, Two Brothers exceptional cheese curds are sourced from a local farm and that level of farm to table freshness is evident in every delectable bite. In fact, I personally count Two Brothers cheese curds as the best in the Valley! Beef from Niman Ranch is utilized at the Scottsdale location as well as sustainably raised, cage-free natural chicken from RedBird Farms in Colorado. Two Brothers Brewing Company was founded by Jim and Jason Ebel in 1996 in Warrenville, IL. Over the past 19 years, the brand has grown to include several brewpubs, Two Brothers Coffee Roasters and now includes the Two Brothers Tap House and Brewery location in Scottsdale. With a stellar collection of beers and a tantalizing menu that speaks of hearty noshes with a hint of Southwestern flavor, Two Brothers is the perfect place for a first date, a night out with friends or just a fun space to come and discover some new beers. February 2016 marked Two Brothers’ one year anniversary in Scottsdale and this year is shaping up to be another stellar year.Two Brothers Tap House and Brewery is located at 4321 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale. Call (480) 378-3001 or visit www.twobrothersbrewing.com/scottsdale/ for additional information.