Category: Beer & Wine

Twelve Arizona Breweries Headline Great Tucson Beer Festival


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


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


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


“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.”

SanTan Brewing Travels to Tucson for Dinner

core santan

When you think of Tucson, several things come to mind…depending on where you live.

For most Tucsonans, they think of mountains, bicycling and the rodeo. An onslaught of new bars and restaurants have invaded downtown from other cities in the state.

Hi-Fi Kitchen & Cocktails comes to us from Scottsdale, Diablo Burger from Flagstaff and coming next week, nationally acclaimed Pizzeria Bianco will be opening its doors to pizza lovers in the Old Pueblo. Short of The Buffet being named ‘Best Dive Bar in the Country’ by Esquire, the Tucson food and beverage scene is not tripping the light fantastic. Chris Bianco’s downtown Phoenix location has been named ‘Best Pizza in the Country’ by venerable publications Bon Appetit andVogue as well as celeb-chefs Rachael Ray and Andrew Zimmern.

Dragoon Brewing Tasting Room

Dragoon Brewing Tasting Room

The craft beer movement that is sweeping the country is also exploding in Tucson. For the longest time, Tucson was a three brewery town with Nimbus, Thunder Canyon and Barrio Brewing reaping all the local love.

Within the past three years, many more have started popping up, beginning with Dragoon on the west side, Borderlands downtown, Ten Fifty-Five practically next door to Nimbus and Sentinel Peak in midtown.

With the influx of such incredible beer being brewed locally, it would seem that some of the state’s larger breweries would be losing traction in town.

That would be a glaringly incorrect observation.

SanTan Brewing out of Chandler has been making a big push in Tucson with its myriad beer selections available nearly everywhere you look.

Beer dinners have been hugely popular recently, pairing craft beer with hand-crafted food by local chefs citywide. The latest beer dinner to hit the Tucson dining scene will be a partnership between SanTan Brewing and the specialty department at Whole Foods’ River Road location.

The e. River Bar has long been a favorite watering hole for my friends and me, they have a large selection of local beers on draft and a wide selection of bottles to purchase along with some of the best charcuterie in town.

10492502_654205918004027_6661682046953988296_nThis sounds like a no-brainer win-win situation for foodies and craft beer aficionados alike.

The dinner will consist of slow-cooked short ribs in a Sonoran honey glaze with cheddar polenta and fried green tomatoes to go along with SanTan’s Epicenter Amber Ale. At 5.5% ABV and a low IBU count of 20, the ale is an easy-drinking beer that serves as a gateway to other craft beers.

The toasted malt character and crisp finish is a delight for even the most staunch beer snobs as evidenced by its 2012 gold medal in the US Open Beer Championship.

For dessert, participants will be served fresh, seasonal blueberry pie topped with a meringue and served with the summer favorite, Mr. Pineapple wheat beer.  This wheat beer has natural pineapple juice in the radler style, Mr. Pineapple is a light and refreshing beer to enjoy during the hot Arizona summer.


WHEN: Thursday, July 24 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Whole Foods River Rd. 5555 E. River Road

COST: $35 per person/$60 per couple

CONTACT: Jason Hoffman (520) 461-1300 x. 230

Tucson Michelada Challenge Will Spice Up Your Weekend


Mich. TucsonTUCSON, Ariz. — The sweltering desert heat can sometimes be a little too much for the typical Arizonan, luckily we live close to the Mexican border and have adopted one of their classic cocktails to cool down—the Michelada.

For those not in the know, a Michelada is, in the most basic sense, a Bloody Mary that uses beer instead of vodka…and from there, the similarities end. Much like its bloody cousin, the ingredients in a Michelada vary greatly and thus, the competition was born. Rob Betancourt, the brain behind the Arizona Bacon Fest has a knack for these type of events and the Inaugural Tucson Michelada Challenge promises to bring the heat…and the flavor to thirsty Tucsonans on Sunday.

La Fuente Restaurant at 1749 N. Oracle Road will be host of the challenge on Sunday the 13th of July from 12 to 4:00 p.m. The program will be hosted by Hot 98.3’s D-Wayne Chavez and KVOA Channel Four’s Monica Garcia and will be judged by three local chefs—not bartenders.

Who Will Wear the Michelada Crown?

Who Will Wear the Michelada Crown?

The dirty dozen of Tucson’s finest concoctologists will go head to head representing every type of watering hole from the darkest dives to the brightest country bars throwing their tin into the ring. Sports bars, neighborhood joints, military outposts and authentic Mexican cantinas will vie for the title of  Best Michelada in Tucson.

What beer will they use, what tomato juice will they use, will they use Clamato? Spices, garnishes, and flavored rims—Oh My!

For those wondering about the all-important World Cup soccer final that will be begin at noon on Sunday, fret not, sports fans. La Fuente will be broadcasting the match between Germany and Argentina in all of its glory.

The winner of the contest will not only earn the title and bragging rights but will also be featured in the VIP tent in this fall’s Great Tucson Beer Festival sponsored by Sun Sounds at Kino Memorial Stadium.

For a two dollar cover charge; yes, only two dollars, you will receive a ballot to vote for your favorite bartender and all the chips and salsa that  your heart desires. If the samples of Michelada whet your appetite for something a little more substantial, La Fuente will will their full menu available along with various drink specials including:

  • $2 bottles and drafts
  • $3 margaritas
  • Tequila Shots
    • $3 Cuervo 1800 Silver
    • $4 Patron
    • $5 Don Julio

To recap—World Cup Soccer, world class Micheladas, chips & salsa, unheard of drink specials and Latin music from DJ Kasky all for only TWO DOLLARS.

Run, don’t walk to La Fuente this Sunday. I’ll be there with lovely wife so stop by and say hola!

micheladaCurrent list of competitors:

  • Kristina Sanders – Wooden Nickel Tavern
  • Kris Carr – Native New Yorker
  • Efrain Hernandez – Junxion Bar
  • Raychell Summers – Rusty’s
  • Ivan Ochoa – BK Carne Asada
  • Melanie DeCarlo – The Maverick
  • Monica Ortiz – Diablo’s
  • Aurora Sadina – The Buffet
  • Stephanie Engs – Cocktail Test Kitchen
  • more to come



Maroon Maroon Wine: ASU’s Revived College Ave. Welcomes Alumni-Owned Postino Cafe



TEMPE, Ariz. — The neighborhood around Sun Devil Stadium is quickly evolving. College Avenue in particular is becoming an impressive stretch between the House of Heat and the university.

First we welcomed College Avenue Marketplace which includes street level eating establishments just north of the modern ASU Foundation building at University. Then came the University House(formerly named Hub Tower), the ultra-hip, high-rise student apartment complex where Veteran’s Way meets College Avenue.

Also on tap for the new gateway along College Avenue is a street scape known as the ASU Recruitment Walk. The focal point of the area will be the 1950s-style red-brick schoolhouse that once housed ASU football’s weight room during the Frank Kush era and most recently, the ASU Art Annex.

Postino Wine Cafe

Postino Wine Cafe

The 7,000+ square foot Annex just south of the University House is being re-purposed to house two separate 3,500 square foot restaurant spaces including the aptly named Postino ANX.

The wildly-popular Wine Café that originated in Arcadia before opening two more locations in the valley, one on Central in uptown Phoenix and one in downtown Gilbert.

ASU Alumni-owned Upward Projects which includes the foursome of Craig and Kris DeMarco and Lauren and Wyatt Bailey are excited to bring their establishment to fans, alumni and students of their alma mater.

Each of them has history in the surrounding area, having worked at or around Mill Avenue. Craig honed his early bar skills at Balboa Café and while Lauren studied art at Arizona State, she actually ended up working at the Art Annex.

Craig also noted how deep their connection is to ASU, and the significance of them being alumni and huge Sun Devil fans while restoring the ASU building. The structure was a perfect match for them in that they like to capture the original essence of the buildings that their restaurants occupy.

Like their other Postino locations, you’ll see the large roll-up garage doors on College Avenue that offer an indoor-outdoor element of Postino locations. Their newest location will create both a casual and sophisticated “social vibe,” which should be a nice touch in the immediate area surrounding Sun Devil Stadium.

College Avenue Commons between Veterans Way and University Dr.

College Avenue Commons between Veterans Way and University Dr.

Postino ANX is scheduled to open before the fall semester and ASU Football’s season-opener.

With the creation of Postino ANX, the DeMarcos and the Baileys are proving that they are DieHard Sun Devils.

The revamping of College Ave. is far from done.

The new College Avenue Commons, a multi-purpose, five-story building on the west side of College at Seventh St. is nearing completion. The building will house:

  • the ASU School of Sustainable Engineering
  • the Sun Devil Marketplace which is an impressive collection of small specialty stores
  • a massive home for ASU apparel, gifts, books and student supplies
  • open green patio areas for people to enjoy

Women and Wine Wednesday Returns to Tucson

Wine & WomenTUCSON, Ariz. — The professional women of Tucson will be descending upon the Viscount Suite Hotel at  4855 E. Broadway Blvd. on Wednesday night. Over 200 people have registered for a free wine tasting sponsored by one of the America’s finest vintners, Francis Ford Coppola Winery.

This will be the 14th meeting of Women + Wine Wednesday and it promises to be better than ever with Coppola Wines sponsoring the event.

Event promoter Rob Betancourt is excited for the event. “The women of Tucson prove their position in today’s business world with their products and services placed at the forefront, ready to deliver presentations and samplings of their goods on hand, ” said Betancourt.

“Guests will be able to celebrate business and network like a pro over wine tasting provided by Francis Ford Coppola Winery and indulge in gourmet appetizers. Music will also be provided by DJ Kasky and Super Mario.”

coppola-diamond-logo-bottlesAlong with the free, yes – free wine for ladies, there will be vendors, entertainment, prizes and giveaways! With so many Tucsonans already registered to attend, you don’t want to be left out in the heat – get into the Viscount Suite Hotel for Women + Wine Wednesday.

If wine isn’t your thing, there will also be Diva Del Bravo Tequila on hand for your sampling pleasure.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and goes until approximately 8:30 p.m. When the tasting is over and you still feel the need to shake your groove thing, Wilbur’s Sports Bar, under the same roof will be the official after party. Fireball cinnamon whiskey will be on special all night long to keep the party going for after-hours networking.

A simple dress code is requested – Men with collared shirts, women with heels or wedges. No denim, flip-flops, sandals or sneakers for ladies or gentlemen.

For those that prefer to stay the night, the hotel is offering discounted room rates of $79 a night and deluxe suites for only $89, both rates include breakfast.

Sponsors for the event include:

  • The Studio Hair Artistry
  • Sanchez Team – Nova Home Loans
  • Yellow Cab
  • AZ Weekly Magazine
  • Seacret – Minerals from the Dead Sea
  • Angie’s Pure Romance
  • L’Oreal Flowerbomb – Dillard’s Tucson Mall
  • Cashbox Jewelry & Pawn
  • Visi
  • Steve Gonzales – Watson Chevrolet
  • Lesco Optique
  • The Memory Box Photo Booth

For more information, contact Rob Betancourt at

Inaugural Sour Fest this weekend at Tap & Bottle in Tucson

2014-05-24 10.23.18-1

TUCSON, Ariz. — The latest rage in the craft brew industry is the onset of sour beers. These beers are exactly what they sound like, ales brewed and fermented to give a notable sour taste and aroma. The highly acidic beers can range in color from golden to brown with a low to medium hop bite. Unlike traditional brewing, sour beers are made by allowing wild yeast strains into the brew.

The most common strains are Lactobacillus, Bretannomyces and Pediococcus while tart fruits like cherries and raspberries are sometimes added during the aging process to activate a secondary fermentation.

Tucson’s very own Tap and Bottle at 403 North 6th Ave. is celebrating the sour beer this weekend with the inaugural sour fest.  Co-owners Scott and Rebecca Safford, who opened up the craft and beer tasting room last June with the hopes of creating a community where one could sample local, regional and national craft beer and wine in a relaxing and creative atmosphere.

The Sour Fest begins with a class entitled Sour 101 at 11 a.m. and continues with a tasting of bottle tasting at 1:30 p.m. Later in the afternoon, the Destihl Brewery will take over with eight separate beers on tap.

Sunday will offer a brewers panel at noon with local brewers explaining how to brew sours at noon. Another sour bottle tasting will be at 3 p.m. as well as a sour tap takeover at 5 pm.

The following is a list of beers that will be available so make your way to Tap & Bottle this weekend to expand your flavor palette and immerse yourself in sour beers—Pucker Up!

(Bold denotes local Tucson beer)


  • New Belgium La Folie

    New Belgium La Folie

    Destihl Counter Clockweisse – Easy drinking, hints of lemon and pleasantly tart

  • Destihl Gose – Bright, citrus, salty, refreshingly sour.
  • Destihl Flemish Amber – Rich, malty, hints of oak, and wild lactic sourness. 
  • Destihl Flanders Red  – Sweet-sour, complex, lots of dark fruits, slight caramel.
  • Destihl Adam Bier  – Exotic malt profile, figs, and hints of citric acid. 
  • Destihl Black Berliner Weisse – Slight roast, nicely attenuated, and all the more sour. 
  • Destihl Sour Apple – Tart apple skin, boatloads of funk, slightly sweet.
  • Destihl Sour Strawberry – Tart strawberry and lemon, crisp, with a funky finish.
  • Petrus Aged Pale – Bright, apple skins, hints of wood, crip finish, mild sourness. 
  • Monks Cafe Flemish Red – Slightly sweet, mild complexity, lactic body, tart finish. 
  • Rodenbach Grand Cru – Delicate, semi-sweet, dark fruits, acetic finish. 
  • New Belgium La Folie – Malty, sharp lactic sourness, funk on the nose. 
  • Jolly Pumpkin Madrugada Obscura  – Bright, citrus, salty, refreshingly sour.
  • Professor Fritz Briem Berliner Weisse – Crisp, refreshing, mild funk, easy sour finish. 
  • Unity Vibration KPA – Funkmaster, vinegar, hoppy bouquet, complex finish.  
  • Dragoon Daisy – Funky citrus nose, wild, crisp, tart finish. 
  • Duchesse De Bourgogne – Lots of balsamic vinegar, oak, dates, mild lactic sour finish. 
  • Upslope/Crooked Stave Ferus Fluxxus – Amazing


  • Monk's Cafe Flemish Red

    Monk’s Cafe Flemish Red

    New Belgium Love  – Sour and juicy, berries, oak, and hints of balsalmic vinegar. 

  • Monks Cafe Flemish Red – Slightly sweet, mild complexity, lactic body, tart finish.
  • Borderlands Citrana  – Loads of citrus, wild nose, devastatingly refreshing. 
  • Uinta Birthday Suit – Barnyard nose, nice tart body, complex finish.
  • Strubbe’s Grand Cru – Semi-dry, leather, caramel, mild lactic finish. 
  • Dragoon Daisy – Funky citrus nose, wild, crisp, tart finish
  • Iron Johns Sour Xmas
  • Iron Johns Collins Folly
  • Iron Johns Beared Mary 
  • Duchesse De Bourgogne – Lots of balsamic vinegar, oak, dates, mild lactic sour finish.
  • Sentinel Peak Berlinner Weisse
  • Struise Welzmertz Blond Stout 

Ameri-CAN Canned Craft Beer Festival This Saturday in Scottsdale

AmeriCAN1SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Crack open a frosty beer and celebrate with a thousand of your closest friends at the Scottsdale Civic Center on Saturday.

Professionally produced by HDE Agency in partnership with SanTan Brewing Company, the Fourth Annual Ameri-CAN Canned Craft Beer Festival returns to Scottsdale and is stronger than ever.

General admission tickets are $35 each and include admission, a souvenir can and 20 four-ounce pours. VIP tickets are available through presale purchase only for $100. VIP tickets include admission one hour early, a souvenir can, 20 four-ounce pours, catered food, a private VIP zone with private restrooms and exclusive specialty beer sampling.

Gates open at noon for VIP ticket holders and 1 p.m. for general admission. There will be live music from Sugar Thieves, Dry River Yacht Club and Take Cover with DJ Slippe spinning tracks in between sets. There will also be food trucks on site including Mustache Pretzels and The Grilled Cheese Truck. The festival goes until 6 p.m. with last pour usually around 5:30 to 5:45 p.m.


You can enjoy these beers on Saturday

There will also be a beer science garden as well as a Beer Olympics featuring fun and games including beer pong and bean-bag toss or “cornhole.”

The 2014 festival will feature more than 80 national breweries will offer over 250 beers in their humblest form—the can. The festival is the brain child of SanTan Brewing Co. owner and brewmaster, Anthony Canecchia.

SanTan Brewing began canning their beer in 2009 and by 2010, with very few brewers caning their beers, Canecchia thought it would be a great idea to showcase the can.

“Four years ago, cans were still looked down upon,” said Canecchia. “The stigma came from the idea that cans give beer a metallic taste, but that’s not true. The FDA requires a water-based polymer coating that prevents any liquid from coming in contact with metal and giving it an acrid taste.”

If you have ever heard the adage, “the darker the bottle, the higher quality the beer,” you can take that to the next level with cans. No light whatsoever, gets through an aluminum can, thus preserving the beer quality and providing a longer shelf life than the traditional bottle.

Seven local Arizona breweries will be in attendance with national representation from Alaskan Brewing Co. in Juneau, Alaska to Woodchuck Hard Cider in Middlebury, Vt., with many stops in between including Tallgrass Brewing from Manhattan, Kan., Nola Brewing from New Orleans, La., and Founders Brewing from Grand Rapids, Mich.


CAN you drink them all?

Arizona suds seekers will be treated to some rare beers that are hardly, if ever, found in Arizona. Australian Brewery from Sydney will also offer up their take on canned craft beer while early trendsetters in the microbrew movement, Samuel Adams and Sierra Nevada will have their beers available in cans.

The festival coincides with the national American Craft Beer Week which is celebrated May 12-18. According to the Brewers Association, there are currently more than 2,800 small and independent craft breweries and hundreds more popping up across the country every year.

“American Craft Beer Week allows everyone to honor and toast the hard work and success of the craft beer community,” said Julia Herz, publisher of and craft beer program director at the Brewers Association. “Against many odds, craft brewers have used grassroots efforts to grow the industry one glass, one bottle, one can, one keg, one growler and one customer at a time.”

The festival will not only offer a respite from a hot day, it will also support the community. HDE Agency’s Jen Pruett says “a portion of event proceeds will benefit the Scottsdale Cultural Council and the American Foundation for Cardiomyopathy.”

Great beer doing good, that’s a cause that we can all get behind.

Details: 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Saturday May 17. Scottsdale Civic Center, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd. $35-$100.