Category: Beer & Wine

Palo Verde Brewery District Creating a Big Buzz

There must be something in the water in the industrial district on Palo Verde Road just north of Ajo Way.

Industrial districts have long been desirable locations for breweries, for a number of reasons, such as city regulations, size of the space needed, and price.

In this instance, however, it all started when Nimbus Brewing Co. opened at 3850 E. 44th St. in 1996. Tucked back at the end of the road, the location was more akin to a dead end than a beer tourist destination. >>>Read more 

This article originally appeared on TucsonFoodie.com.

Borderlands Brewing Co. Celebrates Five Years in Tucson

In January 2012, when President Obama and Senator Mitt Romney began stumping in their respective caucuses and Tucson was still reeling from the Gabrielle Giffords shooting, downtown was near-dormant save for Hotel Congress and a few select spots.

The craft beer industry was in its infancy with just over 2,000 microbreweries across the country, according to the foremost authority, Brewers Association. As we usher in 2017, there are now well over 5,000 such breweries with a staggering 18 in southern Arizona alone and many more on the horizon.>>>Read More

This article originally appeared on Tucson Foodie.

The Latest Craft Beer Buzz in Tucson

The craft beer scene in Tucson is hopping (pun intended).

With a current tally of 18 craft breweries in southern Arizona along with three additional beer shops that specialize in craft beer from down the street to across the continent, it’s safe to say we have options.

But it would be difficult for the typical suds seeker to know when and where to find the latest releases or biggest to-dos in the industry without being constantly tethered to their mobile device. >>>Read More

This article originally appeared on TucsonFoodie.com

 

10 Arizona Beers to Crack Open for Winter

It’s hard to believe that 2016 is still lingering—and still taking its toll.

Thankfully, there’s beer and plenty of it. With new breweries seemingly popping up on a daily basis across the country, it can be quite daunting to seek out something that isn’t only enjoyable but also supports the local community.

Here’s a list of 10 of the best Arizona beers to warm you up on a chilly desert night or mild winter’s day. >>>Read more

This article originally appeared on TucsonFoodie.com

Dillinger Brewing Company To Open December 30

When Tucson locals and University of Arizona graduates Eric Sipe and Eric Rosas were searching for a name for their brewery, it was a historic criminal with ties to Tucson that would lend a hand… or name.

Dillinger Brewing Company is scheduled to open December 30 at 3895 N. Oracle Rd.

But first, if you don’t already know the story, a most brief history lesson: >>> more

This article originally appeared on TucsonFoodie.com

Three New Must-Try Tucson Beers

Tucson brewers are making some great beer.

I don’t know if it’s the water, the malt, or the hops that are making these specialty releases so amazing, but do yourself a favor and grab a pint of these beers before they are gone.

2nd Anniversary Double IPA

Pueblo Vida Brewing Co.

This beer, aptly named “2” since it was brewed in honor of the Brewery’s 2nd anniversary, is a double IPA.>>> more

This article was originally published on TucsonFoodie.com. 

Twelve Arizona Breweries Headline Great Tucson Beer Festival

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TUCSON — The suds from the the local craft beer industry are overflowing this weekend in the Old Pueblo. Moving into the third decade of providing a delicious respite from the sweltering summer months, the Great Tucson Beer Festival is stronger than ever. The major fundraising event for Sun Sounds of Arizona, who bridges the information gap by providing audio access to people who cannot read print media because of a disability will celebrate its 30th anniversary in Tucson on Saturday.

Repping The Grand Canyon State

The local Arizona beer community has grown by leaps and bounds and with over 30 breweries statewide brewing up the simple mix of malt, hops, yeast and water. The interesting side note to this festival is that many of the state’s heavy-hitters are noticeably absent including several of Tucson’s darlings. The upside to this being that festival goers will get to sample some of the state’s smaller breweries like 1912 Brewing Company and Old Bisbee Brewing Company.

Choose AZ Brews

Choose AZ Brews

Joining 1912 and Old Bisbee from the Grand Canyon State are as  follows:

The city with the most representation is our beach-y neighbor, San Diego with five breweries in attendance including world-famous Stone Brewing and local favorites Mike Hess, Coronado, Mission and Longship. Filling out the rest of the roster is heavily west coast with eight other California breweries, ten from the Rocky Mountain states of Colorado and Utah and seven from the Pacific Northwest states of Oregon and Washington. In total, there will be more than 50 breweries in attendance along with distilleries, cideries and specialty beverages from Not Your Father’s and Diageo.

Everybody In Style

Variety will be the name of the game but if you’re into a single style, you’ll be sure to find several that fit your taste buds; from blondes and light lagers to porters and coffee stouts. The most popular beer style, the IPA, will be well-represented from most breweries but if you are looking to expand your beer-tasting repertoire, here are the beers that I would suggest sampling:

A Beer Fest MUST TRY

A Beer Fest MUST TRY

  • Prescott Brewing Achocolypse – Chocolate Porter
  • Boulevard Brewing Tell-Tale Tart – American Sour
  • North Coast Old Rasputin  – Nitro Russian Imperial Stout (that’s a mouthful)
  • Funkwerks Tropic King – Imperial Saison
  • Mother Road Tower Station – India Pale Ale (IPA)
  • Huss Brewing Koffee Kölsch – Kölsch steeped with coffee beans
  • Mike Hess Habitus – Double IPA
  • Stone Mocha IPA
  • Sentinel Peak Dew Point – Dunkel
  • Uncle Bear’s Peanut Butter Cup – Porter
  • Crazy Mountain South Rim – Barrel Aged Wild American Ale

Let’s not forget about the seasonal beers— fall means Oktoberfest-style märzens and  pumpkin beers, what better way to welcome October than with a Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest or Barrio Pumpkin Porter?

The Details:

The event will take place on Saturday, October 1 at the soccer stadium portion of the Kino Sports Complex at 2817 E. Ajo Way. For those that are fans of the MLS or FC Tucson, you will know the stadium well; for others, it is on the north side of Ajo Way across from the baseball stadium just east of the freeway.

The event opens at 4:30 pm for VIP ticket holders and 6:00 pm for general admission with the last pour being at 9:30 pm. There will be food vendors as well as three bands on the main stage. Other events include a silent auction, a horseshoe pit, steer roping, corn hole and Best Damn Beer Pong Period.

Tickets are available citywide at select Food City locations, Noble Hops, Plaza Liquors, Chaco’s Downtown Cafe, On the Border, Beverage Depot and Brew Your Own Brew. General admission tickets are $45 ($20 for DD) with VIP tickets at $90 ($40 for DD.) Day-of ticket sales will also be available at the gate only with prices increasing slightly to $50 for GA and $100 for VIP.

 

 

Tucson Hop Shop Now Open 7 Days

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TUCSON – The Metal Arts Village on Dodge Boulevard, just north of Fort Lowell has a new tenant and the residents of midtown couldn’t be happier.

Tucson Hop Shop opened in late September 2015 after a successful Kickstarter campaign that was fully funded in just four days. The dog-friendly craft beer and wine bar also has a large selection of bottles ready to go as well as a growler filling station.

The vast back patio

The vast back patio

This place has everything expected of a craft beer bar from bearded bartenders to an ever-changing selection of music-on vinyl. Yes, it may seem like an uber-hipster joint but fret not, my fellow beer lover, the people are super friendly and extremely knowledgeable.

As of August 22nd, co-owners, David 7 Jessie Zugerman decided to open up THS every day of the week so as not to disappoint those looking for a nice place to relax after a particularly trying Monday at the office.

“People deserve to drink great beer seven days a week,” bartender and Tucson craft beer legend Bruce Joseph said. “Everyday is an amazing day to try a new beer and Hop Shop is here to provide that day in and day out.”

Joseph was the bastion of the craft beer scene when he worked at 1702 Pizza and Beer. When word spread that he was moving to a new location, all the craft beer geeks were giddy with anticipation to see his take on a new locale.

The Zugermans did their homework and knew that if they were going to open up a new bar & bottle shop, they would need the best in the business, and they got it in Joseph.

To celebrate the new Monday opening, the Hop Shop welcomed people to a Mo’ Betta Bretta tasting from Almanac Beer Company. The Northern California craft brewery is a relatively new outfit, which starting brewing in 2010 and has quickly become a favorite among those seeking sour beers. The Farm to Barrel series has become extremely popular and widely sought after.

The Almanac Bretta Flight

The Almanac Bretta Flight

Monday’s visit included a flight of four beers from that series including the Lavender Honey de Brettaville, Tangerine de Brettaville, Apricot de Brettaville and the Saison de Brettaville.

My favorite of the four was the Lavender Honey variant with hand-picked lavender grown at Eatwell Farms in Dixon, California and aromatic wildflower honey together with our oak-fermented brettanomyces blonde base beer to create this this funky, floral delight.

Don’t be upset if you missed Monday’s Almanac showcase as the Hop Shop always has new and exciting events planned featuring some of the best craft beer to grace the Tucson landscape.

Upcoming events include advocacy in education, a gelato & craft beer pairing and a Pop-Up Beer Festival in collaboration with Craft Tucson featuring eight local Tucson breweries with proceeds to benefit Beads of Courage who provide Arts-In-Medicine for children in need.

 

The Details:

Tucson Hop Shop

3230 N. Dodge Blvd.

Tucson, AZ 85716

Hours:

Monday – Thursday 2-9pm

Friday – Saturday Noon-11pm

Sunday Noon-8pm

IPA Day at Dragoon Brewing Co.

Dragoon logo

If you ask anybody that has tried “craft beer” for the first time, they will most likely regale you of stories of a hop-forward IPA or India Pale Ale.

It’s popularity and accessibility has made it the poster child for the entire craft beer movement nationwide. According to the Brewers Association, the American-Style India Pale Ale had the most entries at last year’s Great American Beer Festival with the Imperial IPA coming in second.

Partaking with a friend

Partaking with a friend

A popular question that I have heard is “Why do we even need an IPA Day?” or grumblings that everyday should be IPA Day. While I love the IPA and celebrate the big flavors from the various hops used, it is not my everyday go-to beer.

Now in its sixth year of celebration, IPA Day falls on the first Thursday of August and was originally limited to a “social media holiday” but it has grown to be something much, much more.

With the sudden influx of craft breweries in Tucson, there was a bevy of beer houses that I could have visited to celebrate this occasion but ultimately, I decided on the brewery that has gained national recognition for its flagship beer, the IPA. No fancy name, no witty hop-based moniker, just a straight forward true West Coast IPA.

Since its inception in 2012, Dragoon Brewing Co. has offered two beers, the Stronghold Session Ale and the IPA.

It was my honor to be invited for the grand opening just over four years ago and within a few short months, the Dragoon IPA was being heralded as the best IPA not only in Tucson but also in Arizona. The combination of Summit, Columbus, Apollo, Magnum and Nugget hops make this herbal, citrusy beer a local favorite.

No School IIPA

No School IIPA

Along with the astounding IPA, there was another reason that I was going to hit up the west side brewery; their No School double IPA. A non-traditional double or imperial IPA, the No School IIPA is brewed with some of the newer and most exciting hop varieties including the experimental E-07270, Eureka and Dr. Rudi. The Dr. Rudi hop is a dual-purpose hop bred in New Zealand with bittering and resinous pine attributes.

I say that the No School is a non-traditional IIPA because most Imperials pack both a hop and high A.B.V. punch. This version, however, barely surpasses the original IPA, clocking in at 7.5 percent ABV and 90 IBUs.

“We wanted it to be bigger,” Dragoon Manager Tristan White said about the beer. “It is still quite amazing and I am quite pleased.”

The No School is a deceptively smooth and highly drinkable beer on a hot Arizona day. The surprising take-away from this IIPA, once you get by the bitterness, is the strong malt backbone. The darker color and feel comes from the use of Crystal, Sonoran White Wheat, Caramel and Honey malts that blend incredibly well and beg to be drank with a nice plate of charcuterie.

Regardless of what day it is on the calendar, you will not be disappointed by the beers put out by the Dragoon Brewing team who now employs four brewers and a full complement of tasting room staff.  If your hankering for a fresh Dragoon beer hits early in the week, you will be out of luck as the tasting room is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. They are open from 3-10 pm Wednesday thru Friday, 12-10 pm on Saturday and 12-5 pm on Sunday. When you go, be patient as the bar is usually quite busy – but with good reason.

Bruce and Eric Greene & Tristan White – Dragoon Founders

 

World of Beer in Tucson Worthy of Second Chance

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“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

The Will Rogers quote is nearly 100 years old yet still rings true today. The old west actor, author, political pundit and quote-smith was wise beyond his years and his words still resonate in this old west town looking to move into the next generation.

Downtown Tucson is in the midst of a renaissance. The modern streetcar is rumbling along Congress St. while I sit in a coffee joint sipping on Blue Bottle coffee, the only place where it is available in Arizona. The world-renowned Pizzeria Bianco just opened up across the street and the World of Beer has been offering up its 500 beers, including 50 on tap since Halloween of 2013.

Like any business, there is going to be hiccups, staff turnover and complaints.

Unfortunately, for World of Beer in Tucson, it was tragic when they took to social media to “call out” a bad review on Yelp. It was a meltdown on par with Amy & Samy Bouzaglo of Amy’s Baking Company in Scottsdale of how not to use social media for business.

Without rehashing the entire tirade, it is safe to say that World of Beer has learned its lesson, restaffed the place from the top down and has gone back to focusing on what it does best—beer, and lots of it.

The burgeoning craft beer scene is evident in southern Arizona with so many new restaurants, bars, bottle shops and breweries offering the best of the local and hard to find beers. The Tucson bar is the second of three locations in Arizona and the 52nd nationwide, but is one of the first to venture into offering food and spirits.

WOB Cooler

The Import Only Cooler

I have been to the Tempe location on several occasions and had no problem calling and ordering any of the nearby restaurants to deliver food. The problem with a company so specialized in beer is that the kitchen and tavern fare was and still remains to be sub-standard, save for the pretzels.

The World of Beer is making strides to regain its legitimacy within the community to include giving away 10 stainless steel Arizona Craft Brewers Guild growlers (filled with Arizona beer) to celebrate the new growler law.

They have partnered with the Tucson Police Officer’s Association to present the inaugural Hog Roast & Beer Toast 2014 in August with all proceeds going to Kids and Cops Christmas.

There are great events happening weekly at World of Beer, the old staff is gone, the new management is top notch with former managers, Johnny Ward and Will Phillips from Old Chicago taking charge and whipping the place back into shape just in time for the return of college students.

“We are striving to make service a priority,” General manager Ward told me. “We are looking to rise above the hubris and welcome everybody back to World of Beer to see how much we’ve changed and how un-corporate we really are.”

The new WOB welcomes not only college students but also those looking for some of the best and more obscure beers in the state. They also offer an amazing weekday happy hour with $1 off all draught beers from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Weekly specials include 25 percent off select draught beer on Monday night for service industry employees and 25 percent off all bottles on Tuesdays for loyalty card holders. Wednesday is WOB U night offering $2 off select draught beers for students with an ID card from any school and Thursday night is ladies’ night with $2 off select draught and wine.

Beer Beauties Abound

Beer Beauties Abound

Long gone are the days of  catering to the “bro” audience, they have adapted and are reaching out to every demographic. Recently, they hosted the G3 Gay Happy Hour with Gio Taco to rave reviews.

Sarah Ritchie, Co-Founder of Tucson Girls’ Pint Out has organized a Beer Geek Trivia Night on Wednesday with some special beers from the cellar as well as beer-themed trivia.

I like the new World of Beer, I brought an out-of-town friend there because we heard that they had his “White Whale” beer, the Dogfish Head 120 minute IPA. We were greeted quickly, served immediately and even purchased some beer to-go. Great beer selection, quick and friendly service from knowledgeable servers and a fun atmosphere.

But don’t just take this humble writers’ opinion, Tucson Elite Yelper, Chloe O. who has been around Tucson for a while had this to say about World of Beer last month:

I don’t know why all my friends have been telling me this place is “sooooo horrible”.

I liked pretty much everything about this place: the atmosphere, selection of beer and food, the music that was playing, the friendly bartender, and the location.

I also liked that the crowed was so eclectic. There were college kids, young married couples (my husband and me), older folks, and everyone in between!

There was a good crowd, but still plenty of places to sit (my husband says that on weekends it can get so crowded, you can’t find a seat).

Overall, this is a fun, casual, and lively place to grab a beer or ten. 😀

A Full Section for just Arizona Beers

A Full Section for Arizona Beers

Another Tucson Elite Yelper, Natasha C. also had high praise for the new World of Beer…posted last month:

We had somewhat of an eclectic crowd and everyone in our party of 8 was happy!

We had an amazing waitress, she was attentive, sweet, and had the funniest stories!  Thursday is karaoke night and that is always fun with friends.

They serve food late and their beer selection is amazing!

Thank you WOB, we came to have a good time with friends and celebrate and we did exactly that with no complaints!

After a bumpy start, the new World of Beer has come into its’ own and the great Will Rogers said it best.

“Rumor travels faster, but it don’t stay put as long as the truth.”