Sips & Bites: News you can use from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick sips & bites of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

Keeler Hospitality Group founder passes away

The Arizona restaurant community lost a good one this week when Paul Keeler sadly past away. He spent his career in the hospitality industry around the country running hotels & restaurants. He & his family owned Liberty Station Tavern in DC Ranch & Terravita, both in north Scottsdale and Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse in Carefree. They also owned to restaurants around the country. My condolences go out his family.

Serrano’s “Pink Out” in memory of Stephanie Serrano is tomorrow

All four locations will remember co-owner Stephanie who passed away from breast cancer 2 years ago this month. A portion of proceeds from sales during the month of October special will be donated to local non-profit Check for a Lump. The October specials are Stephanie’s Stacked Enchiladas, Pink Out Margarita Sampler and Pumpkin Spice Churro Donut.

A few seats still available for Monday’s dinners.

Jewel’s Cafe in Phoenix is hosting San Francisco chefs Frank Gama & Victor Aguilera for cannabis infused dinners. There are two seating’s at 5 & 8 p.m. with details and how to reserve your seats in this post from a couple of weeks ago.

Gilbert Oktoberfest is next Saturday, October 23rd.

Local craft brewers, live music, food and games will be happening at Gilbert Regional Park next Saturday from 2 – 9 p.m. Tickets are $12 and on-sale now with children under 12 free.

Carlson Creek Vineyard releases new wines

Four hearty & bolder red wines are now available for the cooler temperatures. 2018 Rule of Three $33- 45% Malbec, 33% Grenache & 22% Syrah 2018 Malbec $47, 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon $45 and 2020 Odyssey $50- a blend of Cabernet & Malbec. All wine make for great holiday gift giving and go well paired with the flavors of holiday meals. Wines can be purchased online or at their Scottsdale, Cottonwood or Willcox tasting rooms.

Don’t forget to check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Sips & Bites: News you can use from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick sips & bites of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

Oktoberfest at Pedal Haus Brewery October 2nd

Hard to believe its October and that means beer, brats and polka music in downtown Chandler. Saturdays celebration will include award-winning locally brewed beer and locally made brats from Von Hanson’s Meats along with pork schnitzel. Live music, a sausage eating contest and a stein hoisting contest are all part of the festivities. The Tempe location will be hosting its festival Saturday the 9th.

Wild Arizona dinner with Chef Brett Vibber hosted at Pillsbury Wine Company

Good news, two of my podcast guests are collaborating during the Willcox Wine Festival Weekend that’s coming up on October 16th & 17th. Sam Pillsbury’s award-winning winery is hosting a 6-course Wild Cuisine Dinner prepared by Chef Vibber. The $65 per person dinner starts at 5 p.m. and includes a glass of Rose 20. Bottles of wine are available for purchase and camping overnight is only $15. To see the full menu and purchase you tickets click on this link.

Smokin’ hot new menu items at Trapp Haus BBQ

Pitmaster Phil “The Grill” Johnson is adding to his menu starting today with Chicken Fried Nachos ($9.99) and more later this month. With Thanksgiving fast approaching (Yay!!) the downtown Phoenix restaurant debuts on October 18th a 1/2 lb. Cajun Fried Turkey Breast ($12.99) and a Turkey Monte Christo (13.99). Check out my interview with Phil here.

Press Coffee opening new downtown Phoenix location

The coffee roaster is opening its 9th location next Friday, October 8th at Van Buren and 2nd Street. During the opening weekend the community minded business will sell $1 drip coffees with 100% of its profits going to Pawsitive Friendships. The local non-profit provides animal assisted therapy for children with special needs. The downtown location will be open 7 days a week until 4 p.m.

Cooler weather means the return of farmers markets

The High Street Farmers Market returns this Sunday, October 3rd and goes through the Spring. Get locally sourced and made food, art and more from 10 a.m. – 1 :30 p.m. The Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market returns Saturday October 2nd from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Don’t forget to check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

The Morning Beer Festival opens Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships

Nothing like starting your Saturday morning with a nice hearty stout or refreshing lager but come Saturday October 23rd you’ll able to sip on those and other beers at the debut of the nation’s first Morning Beer Festival. The festival will be one of the first events of the 2021 Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships at Westworld of Scottsdale and one of the new additions to the 10 year old event.

The gates open at 9:45 a.m. with festival and first polo match starting at 10 a.m. followed by “The World’s Longest Fashion Show” and “Canine Couture: A Dog  Fashion Show Like No Other” in between matches. During the Morning Beer Festival guests will be able to sip on beers that taste good in the morning including Founder’s Breakfast Stout & Mudshark Brewing’s Morning Buzz Coffee stout. Guests will be able to purchase pints or flights of beer with accompanying meats such as bacon, ham and more.

In addition to fashion shows, polo & lacrosse matches attendee can enjoy DJ infused party tents with admission and VIP experiences are available for a more luxurious day in private tents and bottle service. General admission tickets start at $35 and include admission to the Morning Beer Festival and other field-side experiences.

VIP tickets and tables are available for purchase at The Polo Party and it’s where you’ll find more information and details.

“Keep Arizona Brewing” virtual beer festival to benefit Arizona brewers

Are you doing too much social distancing and looking for socialize with others? One way is Arizona Craft Brewers Guild’s “Keep Arizona Brewing” virtual beer festival. From the comfort of your own home on Saturday April 18th grab some Arizona beers and join craft beer enthusiasts. The festival will benefit breweries and their employees affected by the coronavirus.

Starting at 2 p.m. the festival will be hosted on Zoom, Facebook Live and YouTube Live. “Keep Arizona Brewing” includes brewery tours, chatting with brewers, a Best Pretzel Necklace contest and a live music stream called “Couchella”.

“Beer enthusiasts are some of the most friendly and social people you will meet. It’s been tough on all of us not to be able to connect at beer bars, brewery taprooms or festivals,” says Rob Fullmer, Executive Director of the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild. “But, even when we’re apart, we can still spend time together celebrating craft beer and showing our support for Arizona’s craft brewers. Help us keep Arizona brewing!”

Tickets start at $5 with a limited amount of VIP tickets available for $50. VIP tickets let you participate in festival programming on the webcast with brewers, ask questions and chat between segments. T-shirts are for sale and offers the best value with free admission if purchased before April 15th. For more information and to purchase tickets and t-shirts head to their website.

The largest BBQ event west of Texas moves to Tumbleweed Park

Update: Postponed, no new date set!

When the 11th annual KNIX BBQ & Beer Festival opens the gates at 12 noon on Saturday March 28th it will be at new location. The BBQ event has moved to the larger Tumbleweed Park in Chandler with 50,000 people expected to attend.

The festival is attracting pit-masters from around Arizona and the country for what’s been awarded “outstanding event of the year”. Over 12 cocktails and beers will be showcased to wash down your spicy, sweet & tangy smoked meats and more. Local BBQ joints include Bobby Q’s, Can’t Stop Smokin’ BBQ, Farm Boy Foods and Tom’s BBQ.BBQ event

Lee Brice and Craig Morgan will co-headline the event presented by iHeart Media and 102.5 KNIX. Country music fans will enjoy non-stop music from multiple stages throughout the 10 hour event. Country superstars Locash and Caylee Hammack will perform along with local talent Jim Bachman & the Day Drinkers, Blaine Long, Drew Cooper and Jacob Morris. Festival goers can enjoy the “For the Love of BBQ” Lounge, VIP tent, Kid Kick Back Zone or other areas.

“This is an incredible musical line-up,” said Landon Evans, owner of HDE Agency. “We are thrilled to partner with iHeart and KNIX to be able to bring this star-studded festival to Chandler for one of our largest events of the year.”

Tickets are on sale now and range in price from $15 for General Admission up to $150 for VIP. To purchase tickets or get more information for the largest BBQ event west of Texas head to their website. Tumbleweed Park is 745 E. Germann Rd. in Chandler.

Cave Creek Craft Beer Festival leaps on to the festival scene.

Saturday February 29th 2020 a.k.a. Leap Day brings us the first annual Cave Creek Craft Beer Festival at the town’s Stagecoach Village. After years in the making over 30 local brewers make their way to the western town to pour beer and speak with town folk and craft beer lovers. The festival starts at 1 p.m. and goes until 5 p.m. Not a beer fan, kombucha and mead will also be poured.

Lindsey Vogt will entertain with live music and food will be available for purchase. General admission tickets are $45 and get you a sampling mug and 20 drink tickets. VIP tickets are $60 and get you early entry at 12, mug, 25 drink tickets and $7.00 food voucher. Tickets for the Cave Creek Craft Beer Festival can only be purchased online at Eventbrite.

Stagecoach Village is at 7100 E. Cave Creek Rd. with parking and shuttles from Outlaws at 6705 E. Cave Creek Rd. from 12-5:30. For more information and list of participating brewers visit their website.

 

Arizona Beer Week sees new collaboration beer at SanTan Brewing Co.

Celebrating 10th years of friendship and the craft beer scene Arizona Beer Week returns February 6th, 2020. Through the 15th SanTan Brewing Co. has scheduled a week’s worth of events for beer fans. The highlight is the Brewer’s Round Table that features a new collaborative beer from SanTan and other downtown Chandler brewers. The Wee Heavy Scottish Ale “Wee Heavy, Get In My Belly” was brewed on January 16th at nearby Flix Brewhouse.

Beer fans will be able to get a first taste of Wee Heavy at the Strong Beer Festival February 8th before getting tapped at SanTan on February 13th. Tim Caggiano of SanTan Brewing, Derek “Doc” Osborne of the soon to open Pedal Haus Brewery, Marissa Bernal of Flix Brewhouse and Jake Hredzak of The Perch Pub & Brewery all collaborated on the beer.

“We chose to create a Wee Heavy Scottish Ale for this collaboration. This style plays to a strength of our host brewer, Marisa; who has made award winning Scottish Ales at Flix Brewhouse, “said Tim Caggiano, Brewer, SanTan Brewing Company, “Collaboration brews are super fun because everyone brings their own technique and I always learn something new.”Arizona Beer Week

Arizona Beer Week Brewers Round Table dinner

Wee Heavy will be on tap at each brewer’s taprooms for Arizona Beer Week and will be featured at the annual Brewers Round Table dinner on the 13th. The four- course dinner will pair beers from the downtown Chandler brewers while guests ask questions and hear from the brewers while enjoying the menu below.

Asparagus + Goat Cheese Ravioli– Spent Grain Pasta, Charred Asparagus, Chevre, Lemon Cream, Pecanwood Bacon, Chive + Garlic Micros

Venison Mini Chimi– Venison Sirlon, Hatch Chile, Oxoaca, Cilantro Rice, Chile Con Queso, Pickled Red Onion, Avocado

Lamb Chop – Herb Crusted Smoked Lamb, Mushroom + Brie Polenta, Beernaise, Charred Leek

Wee Bit Of Bread Pudding– Wee Heavy Bread Pudding, Whiskey Fudge, Bing Cherry Compote, Vanilla Meringue, Burnt Orange

“Hanging out with other brewers is always a great time. Being able to collaborate with them is even better. Doc, Tim, and Jake all brought new knowledge for me to learn and incorporate in my future brew days,” Marisa Bernal, Head Brewer, Flix Brewhouse.

Tickets for the dinner are required and are $65 per person +tax. Gratuity is included and tickets can be purchased here. SanTan Brewing Co. will have other events during Arizona Beer Week and a full list is available on at https://santanbrewing.com/events. SanTan Brewing Co. is at 8 San Marcos Pl. Chandler 85225.

 

 

KMLE Country Chili, Bourbon & Beer Festival brings the heat

A bowl of spicy chili, a shot of bourbon and a cold beer to wash it down sounds pretty good. Enjoy all three at the 3rd annual KMLE Country Chili, Bourbon & Beer Festival when it returns to downtown Chandler on Saturday February 29th. The festival at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park invites home cooks to the chili cook-off to see how they stack up against local restaurants.

A dozen top shelf bourbons, cocktails and craft beer will be featured along with a day’s worth of live music. Southbound, Western Fusion Band & Jim Bachman and the Day Drinkers are a few bands filling their air with country music. Life size lawn games and cornbread, chili dog and Frito pie eating contests will keep the day fun and festive.KMLE Country Chili, Bourbon & Beer Festival

“The event is a great combination of favor and flair,” said Landon Evans creative director of HDE Agency, the event’s producer. “From mild to unbearably hot chili offerings and over a dozen of top shelf bourbons you’re likely not to try – we welcome all to indulge, experience and engage with the variety of bourbons, beers and bands.”

A portion of the proceeds from the KMLE Country Chili, Bourbon & Beer Festival will be donated to the Greater Cause Foundation. The non-profit gives back to communities greater causes including a children’s welfare, anti-bullying, hunger, animal abuse and more.

Tickets for the festival that starts at 12 noon are available at the festival’s website. Dr A.J. Chandler Park is at 178 E. Commonwealth Ave. Chandler.

 

Sour Beer and Cider festival coming to the Gem City

Update: Rescheduled to October 24th and merged with Southwest Cider Festival. Details to come, purchased tickets valid in October.

With the popularity of sour beer and ciders the last few years it’s no surprise that they’ve have their own festival. The Gem City Sours & Ciders Festival comes to downtown Mesa’s Cider Corps on Saturday March 21st.  A nickname for Mesa, Gem City was once by city officials for its abundant produce, shaded streets and modern buildings. More than 24 Arizona breweries and cideries from the southwest will be pouring their beers and ciders.

Cider Corps co-owner and cider maker Jason Duren organized the festival after noticing the similarities between sour beer and cider. “We love how collaborative our craft beverage community is. We talk with other breweries about the science behind lactic acid producing bacteria and how they impact the final taste of the beverage,” Duren explained. “The festival is a chance for people to discover what these styles are all about and sample what our region is creating.” Duren has experience not just making cider but by planning successful Southwest Cider Festivals in 2018 and 2019.

Photo and logo courtesy of Angela Muniz at AMBA

The festival starts at 2 p.m. for VIP ticket ($50) holders and 4 p.m. for General Admission ($35). In addition to early entry VIP ticket holders get 20 sample tickets, a commemorative t-shirt and glass. General Admission gets 15 sample tickets and commemorative glass. There will be live music, pub games and food trucks on hand to entertain and feed festival goers. The festival ends at 8 p.m.

To purchase tickets head to the Eventbrite link. Cider Corps is at 31 S. Robson, Mesa 85210.