Rob Sizemore stands on an elevated platform between two large cooper tanks. In technical terms, he’s transferring wort from the mash tun to the copper.
For customers sitting just a few feet away at a bar, it’s less complicated: He’s making beer.
Sizemore, a longtime home brewer, and girlfriend Debbie Conforti opened Sleepy Dog Saloon & Brewery in Tempe two weeks ago.
Unlike most Valley microbreweries, Sleepy Dog’s beer-making equipment isn’t hidden behind a wall or enclosed in a glass room.
Large tanks connected by a maze of pipes and hoses occupy the majority of the warehouse-like space. But the front of the 3,900-square-foot interior features a small bar and lounge seating for 56.
Conforti, who has a background in interior design, decorated the area with a vibrant palette of electric green, purple and copper. Matt Weber, a metal artist from Chandler, built the furniture.
Now Sizemore, Conforti and Weber are focusing on beefing up the beer roster to make use of Sleepy Dog’s 14 tap handles.
So far, there are just five beers available: a light pilsner, a pale ale, a hefeweizen, an Irish red ale and a Scottish strong ale. Most are $4 per pint.
A strong IPA and a milk stout should be on tap this week, joined by a pumpkin hefeweizen the following week. Sizemore also is contemplating a barleywine.
The 21-and-over establishment offers a very limited food menu. Hot dogs are $3 and nachos are $4. Popcorn is free.
The brewery also has signed up with Valley-based craft-ale distributor Pitcher of Nectar, which will be promoting Sleepy Dog beers to local bars and restaurants.
Sleepy Dog does not offer a daily happy hour, but this Sunday the public is invited to a brewery tour and sampling at 10 a.m.
Sleepy Dog Saloon & Brewery
Where: 1920 E. University Drive, Tempe (between McClintock and Price roads)
Open: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
Prices: $6 per pint
Info: (480) 967-5476 or sleepydogbrewing.com.