The Jesser family are brewing craft beer at the newly opened Copper Brothel Brewery. (From left) Front row: Monika, Quinn, Garrett, Cheryl and Bob Jesser. Back row: T.J. Martinez, Sammie Jesser. Photo by Marion Vendituoli

“This has been my dream,” Bob Jesser said, as he stood in front of the newly opened Copper Brothel Brewery in Sonoita. His vision of a local brew pub has grown to include his wife, Cheryl, daughter Sammie, son Garrett, daughter-in-law Monika and family friend T.J. Martinez. In addition to the family members, they have hired 25 employees.

The family’s attention to detail and commitment to creating a welcoming atmosphere is evident in all aspects of the new 5000 square foot restaurant and bar. Branded tables, fans that resemble windmill vanes, a copper topped bar, high ceilings and plenty of light create an attractive, comfortable atmosphere. The bar and dining area, which can seat 99 people, opens on to a patio, which in good weather can be accessed via a large, glass-paned overhead door. The Jessers describe their menu as “house made, upscale pub and Mexican food.”

The 20 taps behind the bar, with handles fabricated from railroad spikes, will be directly attached to the stainless steel vats of their own beers, which will be available in mid-May, when the restaurant will have its grand opening. Jesser explained that this method produces the freshest beer that has never been kegged.

“Our intent is to bring craft beers to people who are non-craft connoisseurs,” Bob Jesser said. They plan to offer six main craft beers, as well as seasonal brews. They also offer craft beers from independent producers and local Arizona wines. Sammie Jesser is the brew master. “She has an insane palate,” Monika Jesser said. “Sam can taste a beer and tell you exactly what’s in it.”

The family, who have been home brewers for several years, have watched the craft beer market grow. The Jessers, who moved to Sonoita in 2013 from Colorado, feel that
Sonoita is an ideal spot for their business. “We’ve been told that the local market is too small. There’s no way you’re going to get support. We beg to differ. We’re sticking our necks out,” Bob Jesser said. “I am a businessman and I see markets, I see what is coming. I see that this is undermarketed and a very beautiful area. I see this as a destination for people to come for a few days.” He feels that the brewery will attract people from Tucson, Sierra Vista and Nogales, as well as appealing to personnel at Fort Huachuca and the Border Patrol.

Jesser, who worked as a coal miner for 15 years, explained that the name of the brewery is a nod to the mining history of the area. “A little bit of it is a political statement,” he said, “but the biggest portion of it is that this is the Copper State.” They included “Brothel” in the name because, he said, brothels were often one of the first businesses to pop up around
mines. “It gets everybody’s attention,” he added.

Copper Brothel Brewery hours are 11 – 9, Sunday – Thursday, and 11 – 11 Friday and Saturday. The kitchen closes at 9pm. The brew pub is located at 31112 S. Hwy 83, Sonoita. For more information call 520-405-6721 or visit or