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.
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.
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.
The Serrano family of Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants announced the passing of Stephanie Serrano On Thursday October 17th. Stephanie lost her 6 year battle with breast cancer peacefully and surrounded by family. In Stephanie’s memory the Serrano’s are holding a “Pink Out” on Wednesday October 30th for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Her death comes just a few weeks after the family celebrated the 100th anniversary of the family’s business.
“She fought a courageous battle with breast cancer for more than six years and we are so proud of her courage and perseverance. Despite our sadness, our hearts are truly filled with gratitude to God for giving her to us. May she rest in peace,” said Theresa Serrano Keel, vice president of Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants and sister to Stephanie.
Stephanie was a young 65 years when she passed away. Born in Mesa, one of nine children to Ernie Sr. and Evangeline Serrano, Stephanie worked in the family’s retail stores and restaurants. She was an entrepreneur owning her own restaurants in Arizona and St. Louis. Active in her community she served on the Chandler City Council and the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
A “Pink Out” was planned prior to her passing and guests wearing pink on the 30th will receive a FREE fried pink ice cream in her honor. The “Pink Out” will be at all 5 of the family’s restaurants in Mesa, Chandler, Tempe and Queen Creek.
Over 300 cider enthusiasts including myself made their way to downtown Mesa last year for the inaugural Southwest Cider Festival. I’m happy to announce that tickets are on sale for the 2nd Southwest Cider Festival on Saturday October 19th at Cider Corps. Refreshing samples of local and out of state ciders will be poured along with live music, food trucks and more. People are still discovering this new and unique beverage according to Cider Corps co-owner Josh Duren.
“Craft cider is so different from mass produced drinks and even from traditional European ciders,” Duren explained. “We’re experimenting with flavor profiles and techniques that make this a really unique beverage without artificial flavoring or added sugars. The festival is a chance to sample the variety out there and really support the craft cider community.”
The festival goes from 4-8 p.m. and General Admission tickets are $35. Tickets include 15 sample tickets and a commemorative glass. VIP tickets are $50 and get early entry at 3 p.m., a t-shirt, 20 sample tickets and commemorative glass. Tickets can be purchased online at Eventbrite.
The event will be outside at Cider Corps in downtown Mesa at 31 S. Robson St. 85210. For updates check out the Facebook page.
If you’ve been to downtown Mesa at night in the last few years you’ve smelt delicious pizza being made. The aromas come from Myke Olsen of Myke’s Pizza, the pop-up who will soon have a permanent home inside Cider Corps. It’s part of Cider Corps expansion to accommodate the growing demand for the its popular ciders.
From pop-up to fast casual at Myke’s Pizza
Myke’s pop-up is outside of Cider Corps and before was around the corner on Main St. Myke’s Pizza has received many accolades since he started making pizzas in 2016 with fans making the trip to Mesa.
Making pizza one at a time on a table top oven the new home will allow Myke to make five pizzas at once in the Renato wood-fired oven. Myke has only made pizzas at the pop-up but once the build out is done he will offer side dishes and salads.
Cider Corps expansion
When Cider Corps opened in 2017 brothers Josh and Jason Duren knew they were onto something but didn’t expect they’d need to expand less than two years later. They’re using 2,000 square feet to add a new bottling line fermentation tanks. Until now they’ve only been able to keg ciders and the bottling line will let customers take the ciders home. Bottles will also allow for retail placement on store shelves.
“We’re excited to have the ability to provide our cider not just to craft beverage bars but also to more restaurants and package stores,” said Cider Corps co-owner Josh Duren.
The new tanks allow four times more cider to be made and the opportunity to experiment with fermentation styles and techniques. The expansion also includes a new patio along Robson St. that will seat 40 people.
“When we started Cider Corps, we wanted the taproom to be a place where people could gather to honor great sacrifice and discover great cider,” he said. “What we also discovered was an amazing culinary community that’s committed to showing off what’s local to our state.“
The new partnership is what Duren hoped would happen when he opened Cider Corps.
During the build out of Myke’s Pizza will be there Wednesday – Saturday nights and will add Tuesday once completed. When Myke isn’t making pizza Cider Corps will still have food trucks available.
Cider Corps has extended their hours during spring training to stay open later.
The cidery is at 31 S. Robson St. Mesa 85210 and information about Myke’s Pzza can be found on his website.