Sour Beer and Cider festival coming to the Gem City

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.

Phoenix Convention Center to get its own brewpub

As downtown Phoenix continues to grow the city looks for more amenities for downtown residents and visitors. Dining out is popular downtown which is why Huss Brewing Co. has agreed to open brewpub at the Phoenix Convention Center. The two-story, street front brewery and restaurant will open in the fall on Monroe St. between 2nd and 3rd streets.

Huss Brewing Co. entered into a partnership with the city and convention center food & beverage provider Aventura Catering. “The Phoenix Convention Center is one of Downtown Phoenix’ most visible points of pride, and we are thrilled that they will now house a beloved local company with Huss Brewing Co.,” says Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “This new location will help further showcase the strength of our community’s craft beer industry to the millions of visitors who come to our city each year.”

Huss Brewing Co. will serve their award-winning beers along with a chef driven menu featuring locally sourced ingredients.

This has become a passion project for Huss Brewing co-owners Leah and Jeff Huss. “Jeff and I have been working on this project for more than a year and a half,” Leah says, “It has been a joy working with the Phoenix Convention Center, and Aramark (Aventura’s parent company) throughout the process of putting this dream together. Most important, we’re looking forward to being a part of the downtown Phoenix community and helping the revitalization of the area, especially bringing a vibrant nightlife back to downtown’s sports, arts and events community.”

The Angry Crab Shack Southwest Cajun Fest returns for its 6th year

Downtown Chandler will feel a bit like New Orleans’s French Quarter for a few hours on Saturday, February 15th 2020. This is when fans of Cajun food and culture can expect to party into the night at the 6th Annual Angry Crab Shack Southwest Cajun Fest.

AJ Chandler Park will again host over a dozen restaurants including Angry Crab Shack, Bayou Bistro and Honey Bears Cajun BBQ Cuisine serving up gumbo, crawfish, Po’boys and more. Abita beers such as Purple Haze, Hop On and more will be on draft.

“Angry Crab Shack is excited to team up with HDE Agency and bring a Mardi Gras party to the East Valley while benefiting one of our partners in Phoenix Children’s Hospital,” said Andrew Diamond, president of Angry Crab Franchise. “Laissez les bons temps rouler!”

HooDoo Coasters, Bluesman Mike, NolAz Band and Souled Out Jazz Band will perform live throughout the 9 hour festival. Food eating contest, lawn games, flame throwers and a Kid’s Zone will entertain festival goers.

A portion of the proceeds will go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital as they plan to expand into the east valley. The festivities start at noon and ticket options including veteran’s discounts, general admission and the Big Easy Lounge are available. To purchase tickets for the Angry Crab Shack Southwest Cajun Fest and get more information head to their website.

AJ Chandler Park is at 178 E. Commonwealth Ave. Chandler

12 West Brewing to open taproom in downtown Mesa

Gilbert’s 12 West Brewing will ring in 2020 in style when it opens its new taproom on New Year’s Eve. Finding 12 West Main Street should be easy as it’s the name and address of the taproom in downtown Mesa. The former event venue is owned by 12 West founder and Mesa native Bryan McCormick.

“12 West Brewing Company is crafted for the community. We know the bond formed when sharing a pint or sipping a cocktail at the bar–people meet, converse and make memories surrounded by good friends, tasty food, and great beer. We want to be a community space, where our guests are on their own time,” says owner Bryan McCormick, who also owns 12 West Brewing at Barnone in Gilbert. “I always wanted to put a brewery in here,” he said. “I waited for the light rail to get built and for Mesa’s time to come.” That time is now, he said, with downtown Mesa ready for growth. The 19,000 sq ft building has undergone extensive renovations recently, and there are plans to develop the basement into a music venue in the near future.

Beer, cocktails & food at 12 West

12 West Brewing beers will be poured along with beers it collaborates on with other brewers. Classic cocktails will use spirits of local distillers Arizona Distilling Company and Grand Canyon Brewing & Distilling. Chef David Linville has created a menu with small plates, flatbreads and salads. Signature dishes include the Bretzel, a Bavarian pretzel made with beer cheese with 12 West’s Wheat Beer. The Katsu Chicken sandwich is a Japanese style of fried chicken topped with Asian slaw. Linville sources ingredients locally and every aspect of the menu is made in house from fresh, whole foods.

12 West Main Street will be open 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Sun- Thurs. and 11 a.m. – midnight on Fri. and Sat.

Strong Beer Festival tickets go on sale Black Friday

Once you wake up from your turkey coma on Black Friday make your way down to Arizona Craft Brewers Guild’s Tempe office as tickets for the Strong Beer Festival go on sale. Other locations around Arizona will also offer the best prices for the February 8th festival before they increase December 3rd.

“The only gift better than tickets to the Arizona Strong Beer Festival is tickets that come with a Festival t-shirt or hat,” says Rob Fullmer, Executive Director of the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild. “Locals can visit the Guild office on Black Friday for the best ticket prices in town plus Arizona Strong Beer Festival and Arizona Beer Week swag you won’t find anywhere else.”

This year’s festival marks its 20th anniversary and brewers will collaborate on special beers for the festival. The festival is part of the annual Arizona Beer Week from February 6th – 16th with over 200 events planned.

Strong Beer Festival tickets on sale

The Guild’s office at 201 E. Southern Ave. #109 will be selling tickets from 8 a.m. -1 p.m. starting at $40.  Discounted tickets, with no online fees, will be available at the following locations from Black Friday, Nov. 29 through Mon., Dec. 2: 8-bit Aleworks, 12 West Brewing Co., Arizona Wilderness, Bone Haus Brewing Co., Brewers Connections, Front Pourch Brewing Co., Growlers USA – High Street, Hungry Monk, Huss Brewing Co., Lumberyard Brewing Co., Oro Brewing Co., Tap & Bottle, and Throne Brewing Co.

General admission tickets are $40 then go up to $64.33 on Tues. Limited amounts of VIP tickets (in person only) are $70 then $85.22 next week. VIP tickets include a food voucher, access to VIP area, a private restroom and access to specialty beers. New this year is Super VIP tickets which are $90 then $106.51. Included are all the above plus Friday wristband pick up, express entry and entry to the Brewer’s reception on Sunday.

“You have to act fast if you want to score tickets to the best beer festival of the year, especially with this year’s added collaborations” says Fullmer. “Our VIP tickets typically sell out well before the new year.”

A complete line-up of brewers, entertainment and food will be available soon at http://arizonabeerweek.com/arizona-strong-beer-festival/. You can also purchase tickets at the link.

The festival will be at Steele Indian School Park at 300 E. Indian School Rd. in Phoenix from 1 – 5 p.m.

PHX Beer Co. to open Brewery & Tap Room this week

Friday November 15th is when PHX Beer Co. will pour the first beer at their new brewery and tap room. Throughout the day there will be tours of the 15,000 square foot facility and first pour will be at 4 p.m. “We’re thrilled to be the newest addition to the great local craft beer industry,” said PHX Beer Co. Brewery Director, Adam Wojcik. “Our team has done a great job building a new and unique portfolio of beers we are incredibly proud of. We’re excited to share them with the community.”

The 20 barrel system will allow PHX Beer Co. to increase production its 12 beers it beers. The re-modeled tap room offers high and low tables, full bar and sliding barn doors will allow for private events. A garage door has been installed and when lifted it will give customers a behind the scenes look at the brewing process. Darts, shuffle board, Foosball and other games are available for guests to play.

The menu at Phx Beer Co. will include paninis, flatbreads and shareable plates including a meat & cheese plate and Morenci Ale Pretzel Bites. All 12 beers will be poured including Arizona Gold, Orange Grove IPA and the new seasonal Cranberry Oatmeal Stout. The brewer recently opened a Scottsdale restaurant that pours all 12 beers.

“We are incredibly proud of what we are creating here,” said Wojcik. “The last few months we have improved the space, added some delicious menu items and we are ready to share it with everyone.”

The Brewery & Tap Room will be open daily at 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Mon – Fri and 6 p.m. Sat. & Sun. Phx Beer Co. Brewery & Tap Room is at 3002 E. Washington Phoenix 85034. For more information visit their website.

 

 

 

Fried Chicken & Beer at the 1st annual Chimac Festival

Food and drink pairings work the best when you can wash down your food a beverage to compliment your food. A favorite pairing is fried chicken and beer and the first annual Chimac festival is serving up both. Chimac is Korean for the pairing and the festival will be Sunday December 15th. Downtown Phoenix’s The Pressroom will host 12 local fried chicken businesses from 12 – 4 p.m.

The Asian inspired festival will offer several styles of fried chicken including Korean and Nashville hot chicken.

Food and drinks will be available for purchase with each vendors offering at least menu item for under $5. The outdoor event will offer a marketplace with local artists and free games to play. Desserts and Boba will be available to offer a sweet treat after the savory and spicy main dishes.

Tickets are purchased separate from food and drink. Early admission at 10:30 a.m. is $13, General Admission is $8. Children ages 7- 14 are $4 and children 6 and under are free. To purchase tickets head to Ticket Tailor and for more information check out their Facebook page. Cash and credit cards will be accepted by vendors.

The Pressroom is at 441 W. Madison. Phoenix 85003.

AZ Barrels Bottles & Brews returns for year two at Salt River Fields

Over 30 of Arizona’s favorite breweries, wineries and distillers return to the concourse at Salt River Fields for the 2nd annual AZ Barrels, Bottles & Brews festival. Fans can taste samples of Arizona producers who continue to gain national recognition and pile up awards on Saturday November 23rd from 2-5 p.m. Arizona Craft Brewers Guild is co-hosting this year’s event in its continued efforts to promote Arizona’s craft beer industry.

A few of those pouring their products include…

  • Wren House Brewing Co.
  • Arizona Wilderness Brewing CO.
  • Grand Canyon (beer & spirits)
  • OHSO (beer & spirits)
  • San Tan (beer & spirits)
  • Elgin Distillery (wine & spirits)
  • Superstition Meadery (spirits)
  • Cider Corp (wine)
  • Page Springs Cellars (wine)
  • Wild Tonic Hard Jun Kombucha

Local food trucks will be on hand providing food for purchase and lawn games are on hand to play in between sips and bites.

A limited amount of tickets are on sale at the AZ Barrels, Bottles & Brews website. General Admission tickets are $50 and include 12 sample tickets. Need an extra hour (1 p.m. entry) to taste you favorites then pick up a VIP ticket for $65. Designated Driver tickets are $19 and get you a swag bag and entry to win Spring Training tickets.

Salt River Fields at Talking Stick is at 7555 N. Pima Rd. Scottsdale

 

 

 

 

Husstoberfest with authentic German fare and fun at Uptown Plaza

Oktoberfest becomes Husstoberfest when Huss Brewing Company celebrates the traditional German eating and drinking festival at their Taphouse at Uptown Plaza. Saturday October 19th guests will enjoy locally made bratwurst and other authentic German fare from Schreiner’s and the untapping of Huss’s Bavarian style Marzen beer. The full bodied dry beer is copper red in color and has slightly malty sweet taste.

Other award-winning Huss beers will be poured in traditional German steins.  Gourmet caramel dipped apples will be available from Not Your Granny’s Apples food truck.

Husstoberfest takes place from 12- 6 p.m. at 102 E. Camelback Rd. Suite 160 Phoenix 85012.

Dish It Out to raise money to fight childhood hunger

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix raises money for various causes through annual events. One of those causes is the fight against childhood hunger and their annual Dish It Out culinary event will do just that. Sunday October 20th from 5 -8 p.m. over 35 local restaurants will be at High. St. serving up samples for this year’s event. Last year the popular fund raising event was named “Best Event” in the valley by Arizona Foothills magazine.Dish It Out

Attendees of the 21 and over event will taste samples from Lou Malnati’s pizzeria, Ocean Prime, Fogo de Chao and other restaurants. Craft beers from Ballast Point, SanTan Brewing and Laguintas are just a few beers to sample. Local bands will entertain throughout the evening and Mix 96.9’s Matthew Blades and Pricilla Ornelas will host the upscale event. Deep Eddy Vodka will pour specialty cocktails from their tricked out 1946 Spartan Trailer in the VIP lounge. Lady La and her Mahalo Made food truck will be in attendance.

Proceeds from the event helps BGCMP serve over 330,000 healthy meals and 336,000 healthy snacks to children in the Phoenix area.

General admission tickets for Dish It Out are $75 and VIP tickets are $200. VIP guests get early access with a glass of champagne, preferred packing, access to VIP lounge with exclusive restaurants, wine and more. The event is dressy casual with comfortable shoes recommended for walking. Tickets can be purchased on their website along with more information. High St. is at 5415 E. High St. Phoenix 85054.