Photo and story by Mike Butler
You don’t have to wait until 5 o’clock to have a great time at O.H.S.O. Because owner Jon Lane figures no one works 9 to 5 anymore, happy hour lasts from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Out of the gate, O.H.S.O. distinguished itself by crafting excellent beer, and happy hour is an excellent time to explore those brews and those of other Arizona craft brewers.
Lane says the North Scottsdale O.H.S.O. at 15681 N. Hayden Rd., #112, has a little different personality than the Arcadia andParadise Valley locations. It has the busiestlunch by far because of the Airpark’s corporate nature. Other than that, the place can be unpredictable due to the ebb and flow of events in North Scottsdale. A Tuesday afternoon might be busier than a Friday, for example.
Since the Airpark O.H.S.O. (Outrageous Homebrewer’s Social Outpost) is the home of the company’s distillery, you owe it to yourself to try the Vodka, #Gin or #Rum. Each is made from sugar cane and each has a characteristic spiciness. The spirits have won numerous gold and silver awards in competitions.
The #Vodka shines in the bar’s signature mule, which is made with fresh-juiced ginger instead of ginger beer. O.H.S.O. also serves a tasty peach-infused whiskey, and Lane says a barrel-aged (cabernet) vodka and gin will come online in a few more weeks.
The Arcadia Horseradish or Jalapeño vodkas are perfect in a bloody Mary, which is served with a stick of spicy, homemade beef jerky. Lane, a northern Michigan native, likes to make jerky at home.
O.H.S.O. has 36 beers on tap, including a core of eight house beers that run the gamut from an easy-drinking golden pilsner to the dusky and dangerous Lost Viking, a 7.6 percent alcohol Baltic porter, which is cold-fermented and as smooth as a lager. The Lost Viking also plays a starring role in the restaurant’s beer-braised short ribs.
Wine lovers are well taken care of, too, with 25 vintages available by the glass. Any glass of wine, signature cocktail or pitcher of Arizona-made beer costs just $7 during happy hour.
When hunger pangs strike, $3 small bites are available from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. These include a pretzel and cheese dip, a devilish egg dip, crab wontons, spicy snack mix and Thai peanut hummus. The full lunch and dinner menu is available until midnight.
As every regular knows, O.H.S.O. has the dog-friendliest patio around. Once pets and their parents are settled, a hostess scurries over with a bowl of water and a bag of homemade dog treats. Orange market umbrellas are positioned just-so for shade. The nutritious and natural treats are made from leftover beer grains and peanut butter bound together with a little egg and flour. Lane says he and his son used to make 500 treat bags a week at home. Now, it’s a near-full-time job for a baker to make 7,500 bags per week.
“For a lot of people, those four-legged furry creatures are their kids,” Lane says, “and we want to make them comfortable. We’re all about being in the comfort zone.”