BARRIO BREWING CO.
Arizona’s oldest brewery, opened back in 1991 first as Gentle Bens in Tucson, AZ by founders Dennis & Tauna Arnold. They had a love for great food, amazing craft beer and an aspiration to change the landscape of Arizona brewing. The restaurant quickly gained popularity and transformed into Gentle Bens Brewing Co.
As years passed, the brewery expanded their craft beer offering and proved there was a demand for craft beers led by our flagship brand, Tucson Blonde. The restaurant and brewery’s success quickly led to needing more space to expand brewing production. With the move to the current brewery in Tucson in 2008 came a bold name change to what we now know as Barrio Brewing Co.
In 2017, Barrio Brewing Co. ventured into the Phoenix market at Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport through a relationship with Kind Hospitality, a Mesa based restaurant group. Then, in 2020, Dennis & Tauna sold to their team of employees, making Barrio Brewing Co. the 1st 100% Employee Owned Brewing in Arizona.
Kind Hospitality is a Mesa based restaurant group that boasts a wide portfolio of restaurants with various relationships. When Owner & CEO, Nava Singam, learned about the opportunity to get involved with Barrio Brewing Co., he and his team jumped on it right away.
“Barrio’s name recognition in the Tucson market and reputation for being a leader in the brewery industry is what first sparked interest, the great people we were introduced to and the quality product is what solidified our desire to get involved,” Nava explains.
Our location at Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport, sits on property but next to the airport facilities. It runs parallel to the tarmac giving guests a front seat to the views of takeoff and landing.
Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Mike Dawkins began his career in the hospitality industry more than 15 years ago as a pizza cutter at a CiCi’s Pizza in Littleton.
After moving to Arizona in 2009 to attend Arizona State University, Mike has since worked for multiple craft-brewing establishments including BJ’s, San Tan Brewery, OHSO and Barrio Brewing Co., which he helped opened as a serve in 2017 before accepting the opportunity to server as the restaurant’s general manager. He says that Barrio Brewing Co. has his heart and he has always loved working here since the very beginning.
An avid chess player, Mike also enjoys watching TV and movies, going to sporting events, relaxing at home and spending time with his two nieces Harper and Avery.