Peoria Artisan Brewery | Peoria Artisan
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Peoria Artisan Tag

Welcome Chef Michael Mahalick!

chef michael5Peoria Artisan Brewery is excited to welcome Chef Michael Mahalick to our team!

Chef Michael grew up in a small town in Upstate New York with his two brothers who are also in the restaurant industry.  In California, Michael began as a dishwasher and worked his way through the ranks in cafés, gastropubs, hotels and farmers markets.

Michael honed his culinary technique under the tutelage of Executive Chef Stephen Jones and at fine culinary institutions such as Latilla at the Boulders Resort, Blue Hound at The Palomar Hotel and The Larder at Desoto Central Market.

Chef Michael’s approach to New American Cuisine is to utilize top quality products combined with simple ingredients and a playful flair.  Michael enjoys the culinary flavors of the American Southwest, American South and Argentina.  His love of the cooler months is shown in the bold flavors and presentation of his food.  Michael emphasizes the comfort factor of food as he finds his cuisine to be nostalgic as community and family are highly important to him.

Meet Chef Mahalick this Thursday at The Litchfield Taproom where he will be serving Pulled Pork on a King’s Hawaiian Roll with Spicy Pickles during the tapping of our Litchfield Hollow Pumpkin Ale.  We will also be serving delicious slices of Pumpkin Pie with house whipped cream.

We are excited to have Michael and Nicole, his wife, as part of our craft beer family.  His passion is genuine, contagious and readily apparent in his cuisine.

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What is a Gastropub and How Does it Apply to Us?

Hand crushed malt

Our hand crushed malted barley

In our opening announcement several weeks ago, we mentioned that our North Peoria Brewery location would be a “new 3,000 square foot brewery and gastropub” featuring “the flagship beers of Peoria Artisan,” with a restaurant which “will feature classic, upscale cuisine emphasizing fresh and local ingredients whenever possible.”  Since then we’ve been asked somewhat frequently, “What exactly is a gastropub?”

Put quite simply, a gastropub is a bar that serves high-quality cuisine.  In our case, a brewery that serves high-quality cuisine.  Specifically, we aim to incorporate our beers into fresh, locally sourced and sustainable foods in order to provide our customers with an amazing beer experience complemented by damn good food.  Essentially, we invest a significant amount of time and effort into brewing our beers: sourcing malt, hops and yeast, preparing and maintaining our yeast, developing recipes, personally crushing our malt, cleaning and sanitizing equipment, controlling mash temperatures, controlling fermentation, packaging our beer, cleaning beer lines and the list goes on.  Why in the world would we not put the same level of dedication and attention to detail into the foods we will serve?

To think that accomplishing the above will be easy would constitute blissful ignorance on our part.  We recognize the many challenges inherent in this endeavor and appreciate that we must learn, grow and develop.  However, having accomplished so much thus far with our beers; not taking on this challenge would be a disservice to our customers.  We could keep it simple.  We could take an approach of purchasing pre-made or frozen food from local vendors.  We could, but we won’t.

Our environment will have a significant impact on availability of locally sourced and sustainable foods.  Honestly, many of us caught in the hustle and bustle of life in the Valley of the Sun do not commonly associate the day-to-day with farming and agriculture; however, it is alive and well right under our noses and goes well beyond the many citrus trees found throughout our neighborhoods.  Local Farmers’ Markets continue to grow in size and popularity while we all recognize the great food scene we have in The Valley.  It’s time to bring this culture to the NW Valley!

Relationships with our local farmers will be an instrumental component of our gastropub.  Date Creek Ranch, Maya’s Farm, McReynolds Farms and Duncan Family Farms are just some of the wonderful purveyors of agricultural goods that will allow us to provide you with unique culinary creations emphasizing what is fresh and local.  Organizations such as Arizona Farmer+Chef Connection are also key resources for Keeping it Local in AZ.

Another key component of our new brewery will be our Chef.  Our Steward of Delicious Eats is not yet known – we are searching.  Diligently, we are looking for someone that shares our passion for beer, food and for the camaraderie that is an essential component of our AZ Craft Beer Culture.  This person must be as dedicated to citrus, kale, pork and eggs as we are to malted barley, hops, yeast and water.  Together, we will combine our heartfelt passions into creating a community gathering place that emphasizes the best of what our families and Arizona have to offer.

Comments or inquiries, please feel free to contact Matt at

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