Tag: Dragoon

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

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)

Saturday

  • 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

Sunday

  • 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 

The Tucson Craft Beer Lover’s Guide to Arizona Beer Week

Craft BeerArizona Beer Week begins February 15 with the 14th Annual Strong Beer Festival in Phoenix. For those in the “Old Pueblo” that are looking to partake in Arizona Beer Week without making the 120-mile trek to Steele Indian School Park, here is your handy guide to all things crafty in Tucson during Arizona Beer Week.

Nightly Events:

  • Boca Tacos y Tequila at 828 E. Speedway Blvd. will be hosting a daily “Crafty Hour” from 3-6 p.m. with $1 off all local Arizona beer.
  • All Risky Business locations will be offering $1 off all Arizona brewed draft beers all day long throughout the week.
  • Nox Kitchen & Cocktails at 6370 N. Campbell Rd. will take $2 off their four Arizona brewed draft beers throughout the week.

Saturday, February 15

Brew and Bikes

  • Location: Begins at Barrio Brewery  800 E. 16th St.
  • Time: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Cost: N/A

Event takes the riders through the heart of downtown Tucson looping around University and ending at SkyBar.

WOB_extFour Peaks Brewing Company Spotlight Weekend

  • Location: World of Beer Tucson  350 E. Congress St.
  • Time: 2 p.m. -2 a.m.
  • Cost: N/A

Four Peaks will bring some of their specialty beers to the World of Beer Tucson location on opening weekend. These beers are usually only served at the brewery including Double Knot, Hopsquatch, Barrel-Aged Kilt Lifter and others.

Arizona’s 102nd Beer and Brats Birthday Bash

  • Location: Playground Bar and Lounge  278 E. Congress St.
  • Time: 4 -10 p.m.
  • Cost: $15

A rooftop BBQ in celebration of Arizona’s 102nd birthday featuring eight Arizona breweries including Dragoon, Barrio and Borderlands from Tucson. All-you-can-eat food and a flight of four 4-oz. Arizona brews included in admission cost.

Sunday, February 16

Blues, Brews & BBQ

  • Location: Loews Ventana Canyon Resort  7000 N. Resort Dr.
  • Time: 11 a.m. -2 p.m.
  • Cost: TBA

An amazing brunch featuring locally brewed beer by Dragoon Brewing Co. with favorites from the grill. Enjoy live blues music while taking in the beautiful view of the Catalina Mountains.

Monday, February 17

Dogfish Head A-HOP-Eclipse

  • Location: World of Beer Tucson  350 E. Congress St.
  • Time: 2 p.m. -2 a.m.
  • Cost: N/A

Dogfish Head will bring some of their hoppiest beers to Tucson. Get your fill of 60, 61, 90 and 120 Minute IPAs while they last. Also on tap will be specialty brews ApriHop, Indian Brown, Burton Baton and Hellhound. There will be special prizes and giveaways as well.

Borderlands Brewery Tap Take Over at e. River Bar

  • Location: Whole Foods River Rd.  5555 E. River Rd.
  • Time: 6-9 p.m.
  • Cost: N/A

Meet and greet the crew from Borderlands Brewing Company while enjoying their beers on tap. Happy Hour specials also offered from 4-7 p.m.

thunder-canyon-brewery-logoBrewery Open House

  • Location: Thunder Canyon Brewery  7401 N. La Cholla Blvd.
  • Time: 6-8 p.m.
  • Cost: N/A

Stop in, tour the brewery and talk beer and brewing with the brewers at the Foothills Mall location.

Ten Fifty-Five Brewing at 1702

  • Location: 1702  1702 E. Speedway Blvd.
  • Time: 7-10 p.m.
  • Cost: N/A

Meet the brewers and taste the beers of 1055 Brewing while enjoying some of the best pizza in town.

Tuesday, February 18

Beer, Burgers and the Four Peaks Brew Master

  • Location: Nox Kitchen & Cocktails  6370 N. Campbell Rd.
  • Time: 11;30 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Cost: N/A

Lunch with the Brew Master and friends of Four Peaks Brewery. Nox will be offering a burger along with any one of four Arizona draft beers for only $10.

Taco Tuesday with Dragoon and Four Peaks

  • Location: Fini’s Landing  5689 N. Swan Rd.
  • Time: 4-7 p.m.
  • Cost: N/A

A collaborative event hosted by two of the state’s most popular breweries. Fini’s Landing will be offering $2.50 tacos to go along with $1 off Arizona craft beers. The Collaboration Weizenbock, brewed by six Arizona breweries will also be available along with special giveaways including a commemorative Four Peaks pint glass.

Meet the Brewers

  • Location: Zona 78  7301 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
  • Time: 4-6 p.m.
  • Cost: N/A

Brewers from 1055 Brewing and Dragoon Brewing will be on hand to discuss their brews.

Pastiche Food and Drink Arizona Beer Dinner

  • Location: Pastiche  3025 N. Campbell Ave.
  • Time: 6:30-9 p.m.
  • Cost: $45

Five course meal by chef Tim Moore paired with some of the best craft beer that Arizona has to offer.

Sonoran Brewing Night

  • Location: Mr. Head’s  513 N. 4th Ave.
  • Time: 7-9 p.m.
  • Cost: N/A

Jim Layrd, the president of Sonoran Brewing, Arizona’s first microbrewery, will be at Mr. Head’s sharing knowledge along will samples and brewery goodies.

FourPeaks BrewFour Peaks Sweet 16

  • Location: Monsoon’s Tap & Grill  6781 N. Thornydale Rd.
  • Time: 7-9 p.m.
  • Cost: N/A

Monsoon’s, northwest Tucson’s newest craft beer bar has always offered Arizona only beers on tap since they opened last fall. Tuesday night’s event welcomes Ted Golden and Jim Roper of Four Peaks Brewing as they bring along 16 barrels of their specialty suds including rare beers like Short Hop Session IPA, Poppin’ Pils, Tequila Barrel-Aged Raj IPA, Odelay, Diablo Rojo and Sirius Black. The always popular Bourbon Barrel-Aged Kilter Lifter, Collaboration Weizenbock and their standard eight beers will also be flowing.

“Brewing Arizona” Book Signing and 1055 Brewing Showcase

  • Location: Tap & Bottle  403 N. 6th Ave.
  • Time: 7-9 p.m.
  • Cost: N/A

Author Ed Sipios will be signing copies of his book while the brewers of 1055 Brewing will showcase four of their beers including the first sighting of Two Sons Imperial IPA outside of their tap room.

Wednesday, February 19

dragoonDragoon and 1055 Brewing Collaboration Tour

  • Location: Dragoon Brewing Company 1859 W. Grant Rd.
  • Time: 2-8 p.m.
  • Cost: N/A

Join 1055’s J.P. Vyborny and Dragoon’s Eric Greene for a tour of an operating brewhouse.

Borderlands Brewing at Sir Veza’s

  • Location: Sir Veza’s  4699 E. Speedway Blvd.
  • Time: 3-5 p.m.
  • Cost: N/A

The brewers of Borderlands Brewing Company will be offering their new winter beers as well as standard favorites.

Celebration of Southern Arizona Beers

  • Location: Good Oak Bar  316 E. Congress St.
  • Time: 4 p.m.-12 a.m.
  • Cost: N/A

Good Oak Bar will be offering a variety of beers from Southern Arizona.

Old Bisbee Brewing Company Tap Take Over at e. River Bar

  • Location: Whole Foods River Rd.  5555 E. River Rd.
  • Time: 6-9 p.m.
  • Cost: N/A

Meet and greet the crew from Old Bisbee Brewing Company while enjoying their beers on tap. Happy Hour specials also offered from 4-7 p.m.

Grand Canyon Flight Night

  • Location: Tap & Bottle  403 N. 6th Ave.
  • Time: 6 p.m.-8 p.m.
  • Cost: N/A

Experience some of the lesser known beer from Grand Canyon Brewing in Williams, Ariz. Bryan Young will be offering the Black Iron IPA, American Pilsner, Shaggy Bock and Double IPA. Young will also be on hand to answer questions and give away beer-centric prizes.

ten fifty-five1055 Beer Dinner at Proper

  • Location: Proper  300 E. Congress St.
  • Time: 6:30-9:30 p.m.
  • Cost: TBD

A multiple course beer dinner featuring the beers of 1055 Brewing Co. paired with plates prepared by the Chef d’Cuisine, Kris Vrolijk.

Borderlands Beer Quiz

  • Location: Borderlands Brewing Company  119 E. Toole Ave.
  • Time: 6:30-9 p.m.
  • Cost: N/A

An epic beer-related pub quiz with questions submitted by the leading minds of the Tucson beer community. Teams of four will compete for a generous Borderlands bar tab.

Barrio Brewing Late Night

  • Location: Mr. Heads  513 N. 4th Ave.
  • Time: 10 p.m.-12 a.m.
  • Cost: N/A

Samples and explanations of Barrio’s brews.

mudsharkThursday, February 20

A Night of Lunacy

  • Location: World of Beer Tucson  350 E. Congress St.
  • Time: 2 p.m.-2 a.m.
  • Cost: N/A

Mudshark Brewing of Lake Havasu City will feature eight different varieties of their Lunacy beer.

Borderlands Brewing at Pub 22

  • Location: Pub 22  15920 S. Rancho Sahuarita Blvd.
  • Time: 3-5 p.m.
  • Cost: N/A

The brewers of Borderlands Brewing Company will be offering their new winter beers as well as standard favorites.

Dragoon Brewing Cask and Food Truck Pairing

  • Location: Tap & Bottle  403 N. 6th Ave.
  • Time: 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
  • Cost: N/A

Dragoon Brewing will be bringing two cask conditioned and other other special beers to Tap & Bottle. Chef’s Kitchen Food Truck will be on site with a special menu paired with the Dragoon beers.

SanTanLogoSanTan Up and Down Congress

  • Location: Starts at Proper  300 E. Congress St.
  • Time: 6 p.m.
  • Cost: N/A

A mini pub crawl tasting two unique Arizona beers at Proper, Hub Restaurant and Creamery, Good Oak Bar and World of Beer.

Thunder Canyon Brewing Tap Takeover

  • Location: Monsoon’s Tap & Grill  6781 N. Thornydale Rd.
  • Time: 6 p.m.
  • Cost: N/A

Thunder Canyon Brewing brings 18 different beers to Monsoon’s for your tasting pleasure.

SanTan Brewing Company Tap Take Over at e. River Bar

  • Location: Whole Foods River Rd.  5555 E. River Rd.
  • Time: 6-9 p.m.
  • Cost: N/A

Meet and greet the crew from SanTan Brewing Company while enjoying their beers on tap. Happy Hour specials also offered from 4-7 p.m.

Borderlands_BrewingThe Biology of Beer

  • Location: Maker House  283 N. Stone Ave.
  • Time: 7-8 p.m.
  • Cost: N/A

Mike Mallozzi, co-owner of Borderlands Brewing and Ph.D. microbiologist, will discuss how the sciences of molecular biology, microbiology, and biochemistry all started with beer.

Barrio Brew Master’s Dinner

  • barrioLocation: Barrio Brewing  800 E. 16th St. .
  • Time: 7 p.m.-9 p.m.
  • Cost: TBA

Five Course Dinner paired with Barrio brews. The Brew Master will also be explaining each beer served.

Dragoon Brewing Night

  • Location: Mr. Head’s  513 N. 4th Ave.
  • Time: 8:30-10 p.m.
  • Cost: N/A

Samples and explanations of five Dragoon brews with collectible and prize giveaways.

Friday, February 21

Dragoon Brewing and Food Pairing

  • Location: Time Market  444 E. University Blvd.
  • Time: open
  • Cost: N/A

Time Market will be pairing custom-built plates with featured Dragoon beers.

sentinel_peak___2.largeLemon-Wit Collaboration Release

  • Location: Sentinel Peak Brewing Company  4746 E. Grant Rd.
  • Time: 3-9 p.m.
  • Cost: N/A

The release of a Lemon-Wit that uses Marana grains and Tucson lemons. This is a collaboration recipe with Granite Mountain Brewery from Prescott, AZ. They have brewed the same recipe (with the same ingredients) and will also be releasing it this week.

Barrio Brewing Company Tap Take Over at e. River Bar

  • Location: Whole Foods River Rd.  5555 E. River Rd.
  • Time: 6-9 p.m.
  • Cost: N/A

Meet and greet the crew from Barrio Brewing Company while enjoying their beers on tap. Happy Hour specials also offered from 4-7 p.m.

1702azLocals Only-Arizona Brewers Unite!

  • Location: 1702 1702 E. Speedway Blvd.
  • Time: 8-10 p.m.
  • Cost: N/A

Several local Arizona beers all in one place on one night.

Borderlands Movie Night – “Beer on a Roll”

  • Location: Borderlands Brewing Company  119 E. Toole Ave.
  • Time: 7-9 p.m.
  • Cost: N/A

The Arizona premier of “Beer on a Roll”, The story of one man, one bike, 3000 miles, and a craft beer tour of America.

Dragoon Night on the Patio

  • Location: Che’s Lounge  350 N. 4th Ave.
  • Time: 8-10 p.m.
  • Cost: N/A

Che’s Lounge will be featuring several Dragoon beers along with the premier patio in Tucson.

Collaboration Brewday

  • Location: Mr. Head’s  513 N. 4th Ave.
  • Time: 9:30-11:30 p.m.
  • Cost: N/A

Mr. Head’s will have the Arizona Weizenbock thanks to Four Peaks, 1055, Dragoon, Huss Brewing and Wanderlust Brewing Companies. Four Peaks will also be on hand offering samples, explaining the brewing process and handing out prizes for all in attendance.

Saturday, February 22

ACBGSouthern Arizona Brewers Festival

  • Location: Maker House  238 N. Stone Ave.
  • Time: 2-6 p.m.
  • Cost: $35/ $45-day of event

The end cap festival for Arizona Beer Week featuring Southern Arizona’s premier breweries. Participants will get a commemorative pint glass and exclusive access to your local brewers. Enjoy your brews while you listen to local live music from The Bennu and local eats available for purchase from a selection of Tucson food trucks.

World of Beer to Open New Location in Tucson

WOB_ext

Beer plus college students plus a hip and trendy location equals success for World of Beer.

This formula was executed flawlessly earlier in 2012 in Tempe on Mill Avenue and is set to open for a sneak preview on Monday, October 28  at 5 pm to a select group.  A Facebook party for all those that have “liked” their facebook page will be held on Tuesday at 11am with the grand opening on Thursday morning at 9 am for their “WOB-oween Spook-tacular” replete with chicken and waffles for breakfast and a costume contest with tons of beer-related giveaways.

This will be Tampa, Florida based World of Beer’s 51st location at the base of The Cadence student housing complex at 350 E. Congress St, the apex of Congress, Fourth and Toole Avenues. The 3,000 square foot tavern also offers a 1,500 square foot patio for those looking to unwind amidst the hustle and bustle of all that downtown Tucson has to offer.

This location is unlike it’s precursor in Tempe as they will not only offer beer but also spirits and tavern fare.

“We are very excited to become a part of the growing craft beer scene in the Tucson community,” said JP Watts, WOB Arizona Craft Beer Buyer. “We really look forward to bringing new and rare products into the local market!”

WOB TucsonWatts believes that the full appeal of food and spirits will advance the Tucson location to the next level. It starts with classic comfort foods, combining them with traditional bar offerings and give them a contemporary spin. The menu features flatbreads, brats and craft beer-infused appetizers. Healthier options such as soups and salads are complemented by hearty favorites like brat sliders and grilled cheese sandwiches.

“We are glad to open WOB Tucson with the great selection of craft beer that we are known for as well as our exclusively developed Tavern Fare and hand crafted cocktails,” said World of Beer CEO Paul Avery. “We look forward to bringing new flavors to Tucson and can’t wait to share it with everyone.”

Let’s talk about the beer.

World of Beer will have over 500 different bottles of beer in their coolers lining the back walls as well as a constantly rotating list of 50 beers on tap including several local options. The Tempe location currently carries at least 15 Arizona-brewed beers on tap at all times so look to the Tucson location to maintain that high level of local dedication as they look to be seen more as a hometown choice rather than the nationwide conglomerate that they have become. World of Beer has locations in 16 states ranging from Florida to Washington with new locations opening soon in the northeast and the deep south.

Local favorites Barrio and Dragoon Brewing will be in plentiful supply as well as Four Peaks and SanTan Breweries from the metro Phoenix area, Oak Creek from Sedona, Lumberyard Brewing from Flagstaff and Mudshark Brewing from Lake Havasu City.

This will not be your typical beer bar—far from it. There will be live music, sporting events and several ‘beer-centric’ events such as brewery spotlights, tap takeovers and others that celebrate the flavors of the season.

WOB CruiserPrior to the Grand Opening on Halloween, the ‘WOB U’ preview party will take place. ‘WOB U’ offers $2 off American craft drafts for all faculty and students with valid ID. The first Wednesday will be extra special as they will be giving away a custom World of Beer beach cruiser. Opening weekend is chock full of events including a Tucson Brewery Spotlight on Friday night, an Arizona Brewers Spotlight on Saturday and a Sunday Cookout beginning at 9 am for grilling and NFL enthusiasts.

World of Beer will also be rewarding its customers with a Loyalty Club Program. Members will gain one point for every new beer purchased and will go towards access, appreciation and rewards. The rewards include gift cards, t-shirts, polo shirts, plaques, mugs and even an open-bar party for you and your friends. They even have an app available for iPhone and Android devices that will track your progress!

Operating hours will be from 11 am – 2 am with food served all day long. They will also open at 9 am on the weekends during football season. Weekly events are as follows:

  • Happy Hour Monday-Friday 4 pm to 7  pm
  • Monday—Service Industry Night
  • Tuesday—Loyalty Night
  • Wednesday—’WOB U’ Night
  • Thursday—Ladies’ Night

The staff has completed an intensive, two-week beer school and will guide customers through the World of Beer experience including a global menu of beer and spirits so live a little, experience all that a World of Beer has to offer right here in downtown Tucson.

 

2nd Annual Born & Brewed: Tucson’s Beer Cup

born brewed

The craft beer explosion is in full swing and not only is the metro Tucson area taking notice, beer lovers from across the state and region are visiting and loving local Tucson beers. Hotel Congress Beverage Director David Torkko is taking full advantage of this increased awareness and popularity by throwing Tucson’s only celebration of all local brews.

Connoisseurs of all shapes and sizes love the experimentation and tasty treats offered up by Tucson’s eight local breweries and this Friday, the plaza at Hotel Congress will be the epicenter of awesomeness replete with fresh hops and funky flavors.

Local favorite Dragoon Brewing Company won “Best Overall Beer” at last year’s inaugural event with their India Pale Ale offering. The true West-Coast IPA is pale in color and heavy on floral citrus hop aroma. The blend of Summit, Columbus, Zythos and Magnum hops added throughout the process finish the beer with the perfect combination of high alcohol content (7.4% A. B. V.) and bitterness (85 I.B.U.)

A couple blocks west of Hotel Congress is downtown favorite, Borderlands Brewing Company. Borderlands’ flagship beer, the Noche Dulce Moonlight Vanilla Porter was named “Best Specialty Beer” by festival goers, with good reason—it was specially delicious. Brewers Mike Mallozzi and Myles Stone describe the Noche Dulce as “dark beer for those that don’t like dark beer.” Flavors of cocoa, espresso and vanilla dominate the palate for a surprisingly easy-drinking beer considering it’s stout alcohol content weighing in at 7.1% A.B.V.

Tucson Beer CupBoth breweries will be back in attendance to defend their title as they compete for a year-long placement in Tucson’s funkiest bar, the Tap Room in the Hotel Congress, a trophy and the bragging rights of “Best Beer in Tucson.”

Looking to dethrone Dragoon and Borderlands will be returning breweries Barrio Brewing, Nimbus Brewing and Thunder Canyon Brewery. Joining the fray this year will be newcomers Ten Fifty-Five and Sentinel Peak Brewing. Special guests Four Peaks Brewery and Dave’s Electric will also be on hand offering up their suds but will not in the running for the Beer Cup.

The event will also feature live music and a pretzel buffet. House-made pretzels made exclusively for the event with all your favorite fixins and toppings.

For $30, this is the best deal for three hours of sheer craft beer enjoyment.

For those who are looking to make a night out of it, Hotel Congress is offering up some great packages including two festival tickets, a room and two day-after drink tickets for the low price of $179 for a double bed (or two twins) and $199 for two doubles. The Cup Cafe has earned statewide recognition for the “Best Bloody Mary” and everybody loves  juice in the morning.

Contact the Hotel Congress at (520) 622-8848 for tickets or purchase online here.

American Craft Beer Week Comes to Arizona

ACBWThis week marks the eighth year of American Craft Beer Week. ACBW is the brainchild of the Brewers Association, the national non-profit association on behalf of the majority of today’s U.S. breweries, and publishers of CraftBeer.com.

By definition of the Brewers Association, an American Craft Brewer meets the following requirements:

  • Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less.

  • Independent: Less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer.

  • Traditional: A brewer who has either an all malt flagship (the beer which represents the greatest volume among that brewers brands) or has at least 50% of its volume in either all malt beers or in beers which use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten flavor.

dave's electricThe explosion of craft beers on the scene has been phenomenal as of late and it seems as if there is a new brewery opening up in Arizona every time I turn around.  The history of microbreweries in Arizona can be traced back to 1988 when Dave Harvan opened Dave’s Electric Brewing Company in the small southeastern town of Bisbee, Arizona. Bandersnatch in Tempe was the first brewpub in the state but closed its’ doors a decade ago.

At last check, there were nearly 50 local breweries spanning the state with breweries in Lake Havasu City, Flagstaff, Bisbee and myriad options in Tucson and the metropolitan Phoenix areas. There are several national breweries that have locations across the state and although their beer is made on site, the revenue generated does not support local business owners.

If you are looking for a fresh brew and want to support the local economy, steer clear of places like BJ’s, Rock Bottom and Gordon Biersch. The last two along with two-thirds of Old Chicago locations nationwide are owned by the conglomerate CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, Inc. out of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Here is a listing of all craft breweries in Arizona by city, so if they have a location be sure to stop by or hit up your favorite craft beer bar for some great American Craft Beer Week Specials:

ohsoPhoenix:

  • Mesquite River Brewing Company
  • North Mountain Brewing Company
  • O.H.S.O. Eatery & nanoBrewery
  • Old World Brewery
  • Phoenix Ale Brewery
  • Sun Up Brewing
  • Veritas Brewing Company

Tucson:

  • 1702/The Address Brewery
  • Barrio Brewing Company
  • dragoonBorderlands Brewing Company
  • Catalina Brewing Company
  • Dragoon Brewing Company
  • Gentle Ben’s Brewing Company
  • Nimbus Brewing Company
  • Sentinel Peak  Brewing Company
  • Ten Fifty-Five Brewing

 Flagstaff/Williams

  • Beaver Street Brewery
  • Flagstaff Brewing Company
  • Grand Ganyon Brewing Company
  • Lumberyard Brewing Company
  • Mother Road Brewing Company
  • Wanderlust Brewing Company

Lake Havasu City

  • Barley Brothers Brewery
  • College Street Brewhouse & Pub
  • Mudshark Brewery

Phoenix Suburbs

  • FourPeaks BrewArizona Wilderness Brewing Company – Gilbert
  • Desert Eagle Brewing Company – Mesa
  • Fate Brewing Company – Scottsdale
  • Four Peaks Brewing Company- Tempe
  • Four Peaks Grill & Tap – Scottsdale
  • Freak’N Brewing Company – Peoria
  • Mischief  Brewing Company- Peoria
  • Papago Brewing – Scottsdale
  • Peoria Artisan Brewery – Peoria
  • SanTan Brewing Company – Chandler
  • Sleepy Dog Brewery- Tempe
  • Sleepy Dog Pub & Bistro – Gilbert
  • Sonoran Brewing Company – Scottsdale

Bisbee

  • Dave’s Electric Brewery
  • Old Bisbee Brewing Company

oak creekMountain Towns

  • Granite Mountain Brewing – Prescott
  • Prescott Brewing – Prescott
  • Mountain Top Brewing Company – Payson
  • Oak Creek Brewing Company – Sedona
  • THAT Brewery – Pine

Many of the above brewers ship their beers off to restaurants and retail locations across the state while the larger ones bottle and can their beers and this Saturday will be the culmination of Arizona Craft Beer Week with the Third Annual Ameri-CAN Canned Craft Beer Festival hosted by SanTan Brewing Comapany.

The Scottsdale Civic Center will be the home to the Festival on Saturday, May 18 from noon-6pm. There will be over 60 local and national breweries present to crack their cans for thousands of suds-lovers and hop-heads. Tickets begin at only $25 at all Whole Foods (including Tucson) but admission will cost you $35 at the gate. VIP tickets are also available for $100 (presale only) and includes a lanyard and exclusive entry in to the shaded VIP area with catered food, treats and private bathrooms. The VIP area will also have a meet and greet with the brewers for the beer “groupies.”

Four different bands will entertain the festival goers and their will be food trucks on site for those not willing to shill out the Benjamin for VIP tickets.

The following Arizona breweries received awards this year:

  • LY_logos sm_spotFlagstaff Brewery Lumberyard IPA – Silver American Pale Ale
  • Flagstaff Brewery Lumberyard Red Ale – Silver English-Style Pale Ale
  • Grand Canyon Brewery Sunset Amber – Gold Ambers & Browns
  • Four Peaks Brewery Sunbru Kölsch – Gold Golds, Blondes, Pilsners & Light Lagers

Do yourself a favor and listen to your old buddy, David and try some of these local beers. If not at the festival on Saturday, then treat yourself in the near future.

In my world, every week is American Craft Beer Week.

Arizona Craft Brewers Guild Inaugural SpringFest a Big Hit in Tucson

Springfest

The booming craft brewing industry made its mark on Tucson last weekend.

Over 50 craft breweries from across the country descended on the sleepy burgh of Tucson for a day of great beer and delectable treats on one of the warmest days of the year. I was invited to the VIP treatment by a great friend of mine in the burgeoning craft brewing scene, Steene Routh.

I met Steene several years ago when I was bartending in college, long before craft beer was a “thing” in Arizona. We had Bandersnatch and Four Peaks in Tempe, Papago in old town and Sonoran Brewing in north Scottsdale.  The past five years has seen an explosion of Arizona breweries with seemingly new ones opening on a monthly basis.

Statewide, breweries have flourished in cities like Bisbee and Lake Havasu City joining established breweries such as Oak Creek out of Sedona, Beaver Street out of Flagstaff and Gentle Ben’s in Tucson.

First in line for Craft Brew

First in line for Craft Brew

I met up with Routh and her beau, Mike along with another longtime friend and beer lover from Colorado, Laura Mann. We arrived at the Rillito Racetrack around 11:30 am and were the first in line awaiting the gates to open at noon. Much like a quality ride at Disneyland, we went through one line to wait in another and there we stood, mouths agape, waiting with bated breath for the behemoth security guard to allow us entry.

One notable improvement from beer festivals that I have been to in the past is that as VIPs, not only were we allowed an extra hour to partake in the hand-crafted suds, we were given a bar towel with the SpringFest logo. This towel came in extremely handy several times—I will bring it along on all future beer events as I have been known to spill a little here and there.

Being a resident of Tucson for the past 5 1/2 years, I have grown to love the offerings from local establishments and could not wait to visit their tents and introduce my out-of-town friends to them. My favorite of the bunch was the Saison Blue from Dragoon Brewing Company. I was surprised to see the big boss, Bruce Greene at the event along with longtime employee Pat at the taps. The Saison Blue is a great beer for the warm weather. This farmhouse ale is brewed with blue corn and agave nectar then dry-hopped for a floral finish. The 7.5% ABV packs a nice punch and yet it is easily drinkable.

SF Field

Local Tucson Breweries

The gentlemen at Borderlands Brewing Company also did not disappoint with their selections and their recent brews are definitely something to write home about.  The Hibiscus Saison was another light, refreshing farmhouse ale with a sweet smell from the hibiscus and an herbal finish. The low ABV makes this selection a perfect session beer for the hot summer days in Tucson.

Nano-breweries Ten Fifty-Five Brewing and Sentinel Peak were both on hand and their beers were flowing nicely for those who haven’t yet ventured to their tasting rooms. Ten Fifty-Five made us wait until 2pm to get their Two Sons Citra Double IPA, but it was well worth the wait. The Sugar Skull Chocolate Milk Stout was also a big hit while waiting. Sentinel Peak offered up a beer that was perfect for the warm afternoon—the Summer Swelter Citrus Ale. I wholeheartedly enjoyed this offering, more than once.

Other Tucson breweries Nimbus, Barrio/Gentle Ben’s and Thunder Canyon were present and all seemed to be doing brisk business.

The biggest surprise of the weekend for me was to see a former college buddy, Jon Lane at the event…as an owner of one of the Valley’s most popular up and coming hot-spots. O.H.S.O. Eatery and nanoBrewery is located in the Arcadia district of Phoenix at 49th St. and Indian School and boasts 13 local craft beers on tap as well as four of their own. They are an environmentally friendly restaurant that is both bicycle and pet-friendly—I shamelessly packed away several of their handmade dog treats but their beer is what kept me coming back. I truly loved their Orange Pail Ale, great stuff.

A relaxing day with great beer

A relaxing day with great beer

One of my favorite beers of the day came from College Street Brewhouse and Pub from Lake Havasu City. Their Big Blue Van Blueberry Vanilla Wheat was super refreshing. The unfiltered wheat beer brewed with blueberries and vanilla bean was divine and the addition of fresh blueberries put it over the top. This was a definite favorite among the group.

Other valley favorites such as Four Peaks and SanTan were on hand and I would have been remiss if I missed the spring time favorite Mr. Pineapple from SanTan and my go-to beer—Hop Knot from Four Peaks.

The beer that had the longest wait time was also the beer that put many over the edge. Goose Island treated the festival goers with one of only four kegs in the state of Arizona of their Bourbon County Stout. At 14.5 % ABV, this sipping beer had an intense mix of charred oak, chocolate, vanilla, caramel and smoke.

If last weekend was any indication, it is plain to see that the city of Tucson has truly embraced the craft brew industry and is on pace with the metropolitan Phoenix area in hosting great festivals.

A huge thanks to the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild for recognizing Tucson and allowing people to see that the Old Pueblo has a lot more to offer than just Eegee’s and Lucky Wishbone.

Northwest Firefighters Top Hops Brew Challenge

nwff

Talk about sparking interest in the burgeoning Arizona Craft Brew scene.

In what started as a friendly competition between the firehouses in the Northwest portion of Tucson has blossomed into a full-on beer and music festival that will host hundreds of suds-seeking hop-heads. Every department in Tucson will be represented along with a couple from Phoenix coming down to tackle the challenge.

The Northwest Firefighters Charities through the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 3572 will be setting up  shop in the parking lot of Foothills Mall just outside of Tucson’s very own Thunder Canyon Brewery.  There will be over twenty different beer booths displaying their home-brewed beers for the public. The winning beer will go on to be produced and sold at Thunder Canyon Brewery.

thunderEVENT DETAILS

  • Date: Saturday, April 6
  • Time: 6 p.m.
  • Location: Foothills Mall Parking Lot Outside of Thunder Canyon Brewery
  • Address: 7401 N. Cholla Blvd.
  • Cost: $20-$30

THE BEER

In addition to the Brew Challenge itself, several local, state and national breweries will be on hand with samples of their phenomenal beers. Along with sponsor Thunder Canyon Brewery, other local entrants that will be offered are from Tucson favorites Dragoon Brewing Company, Barrio Brewing Co. and Borderlands Brewing. Newcomers to the Tucson craft beer scene, Ten Fifty-Five Brewing and Sentinel Peak Brewing will also be present and accounted for offering samples of their glorious goodness.

Valley favorites Four Peaks Brewing and SanTan Brewing will also be in attendance as will Grand Canyon Brewery. Other regional breweries that will be on hand are Santa Fe Brewing from New Mexico, Big Sky Brewing from Montana, New Belgium from Colorado, Coronado Brewery from California and  Maui Brewing from Hawaii. Bucking the regional trend is Dogfish Head Brewery coming all the way from Milton, Delaware. Their beers transcend their humble roots and are welcomed by craft beer aficionados worldwide.

3572THE CAUSE

There has never been a better reason to drink great beer than helping out local children. Last year alone, the Northwest Charities Holiday Assistance Program assisted nearly 800 children with toys, food  and clothing.  IAFF Local 3572’s Northwest Charities also supports the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the National Fallen Fire Fighters Association, the Flowing Wells Resource Center and the Marana Food Bank.

THE REST

If the beer alone was not enough to get you to attend this great event, there will also be several food trucks offering up their culinary concoctions and a stage with live music presented by the Northwest Firefighters Pipes and Drums, The Sound Bytes, Cooper Meza, Whiskey Knuckles and other local pipe and drum corps.

Discounted tickets are on sale for $20 at Thunder Canyon Brewery on Friday, April 5th from 6-10 pm. If you are unable to make it there on Friday night, they will have tickets for sale for $25, discounted tickets are also available through Friday at:

  • Borderlands Brewery – 119 E. Toole Ave. (downtown)
  • 1702 Brewery and Pizza – 1702 E. Speedway Blvd. (at Campbell)
  • Noble Hops – 1335 W. Lambert Lane (Oro Valley)

Tickets are also available online via PayPal for $25 or at the gate for $30.

Gates open at 6 p.m. so make plans for a fun evening under the stars with plenty of great beer, good food and an all-around spectacular time while supporting an even better cause.

Who said that no good would ever come from beer?