CHANDLER — Downtown Chandler is trying to brew up a new image by filling in empty space and opening new restaurants.
The latest addition, Flix Brewhouse, is quickly becoming one of the most popular places to see a movie and get a drink in the east Valley.
It's creating a buzz with more than its beer. You won't find the typical burly man with a beard heading up the brewery -- Marissa Bernal is bringing a feminine touch to the taps.
"It's rare but we're becoming more, there's definitely more of us out there," said Bernal about joining the ranks of a growing number of women in the craft beer industry.
Originally from New Mexico, Bernal developed her palate in the wine industry before switching to suds.
Now she oversees every aspect of production, selecting ingredients with chemist-like precision, creating new flavors with the flare of a chef, and even tapping into her inner comedian to name new brews with new movies.
"I was told naming beers you have to be really good with dad jokes," she laughed, pointing to titles like the Scarlet Witt for Avengers, the Crown of Flame for Hellboy, and Wishes Come in Tripels for Aladdin.
While the barrels and taps are her domain, she's taken it upon herself to learn every aspect of Flix, like how the kitchen runs and where the movies play. You can even spot her on her days off eating in one of the booths, listening to how other customers are reacting to the food and her craft creations.
Realizing not all women are traditionally beer drinkers and trying to expand their audience, she's partnering with Crush Craft Cidery to offer a special cider for the release of Aladdin called the Sultan of Ciders.
What's Bernal's advice to others looking to change the norm and create their own path?
"Just go for it. If it'll make you happy, do it."
Flix Brewhouse is located on Arizona Avenue at Chandler Boulevard. It has a full-service brewery in addition to the movie theater on site.