Breweries team up to host Downtown Chandler Oktoberfest

Two local breweries are combining their efforts to throw one hell of a beer festival. SanTan Brewing Co. and Pedal Haus Brewery host the Downtown Chandler Oktoberfest on Saturday October 1st at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park from 3 – 11 p.m. Both are familiar with downtown Chandler as SanTan has its brewpub their and Pedal Haus has a taproom nearby.

“Oktoberfest is always one of the most festive and fun times of the year,” said Alejandro Fontes, sales director with SanTan Brewing Company. “We’re excited to partner with our friends and neighbors at Pedal Haus Brewery and look forward to serving our award-winning brews and spirits to patrons of the 2022 event in Chandler.”

Both breweries will be pour beers including German styled Oktoberfest and seriving foods including pretzels, brats and more. Put down the beer and have fun with Oktoberfest games including Stein holding, a wiener toss and sausage eating contests. A Desert Polka party and live music from Hit Rewind and The Dirt will entertain the crowds.

“We are stoked to be joining forces with our friends at SanTan to throw one of the best Oktoberfest events in the Valley this year,” said Julian Wright, founder and CEO of Pedal Haus Brewery. “I’ll be emceeing the stein holding and sausage eating competitions, so grab your friends and lederhosen, this is going to be a fun event!”

Tickets are $15 online and $20 at the door.

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.

 

 

Sour & Sweet Beer Fest coming to Scottsdale in August

Fate Brewing Company host’s the first annual Sour & Sweet Beer Fest Saturday August 13th at The Clayton House in Old Town Scottsdale. Fate’s director of Operations Steve Ellefson and Head Brewmaster Adam came up the idea for the new beer festival only a few months ago as they noticed the popularity of sour beers and no other festivals taking place during the summer. Sour beers are one way brewers can get creative using a “melting pot” of ingredients for unique flavor profiles.

“A crisp lager or sour hits differently on a hot Arizona summer day,” said Fate Head Brewer Adam Schmeichel. “So, we thought, ‘Why not bring together the best light and sour beers our brewing community has to offer into one festival?’ Thus, the Sour & Sweet Beer Fest was born. Best of all, we’ll be indoors.” Fate will be pouring their Blueberry Lemonade sour which uses lemons from Tempe’s Silent Orchard.

What to expect at Sour & Sweet Beer Fest

13 Arizona breweries will be pouring over 50 light & sour beers and ciders at the event that begins at 1 p.m. Familiar names such as Grand Canyon Brewing, Goldwater Brewing and Cider Corps are a few breweries that will be in attendance. Popular food trucks Dilla Libre, French Me and Eis Cafe will have food for purchase during the festival. A collaborative dessert from Fate and Eis will feature the Blueberry Lemonade sour and Birthday Cake ice cream for the festival.

Tickets for the Sour & Sweet Beer Fest are $45 for general admission which gets you 15 tasting tickets and a commemorative glass. VIP tickets are $65 and get you early entry at 12 p.m. and a commemorative t-shirt. Designated driver tickets are $10 and the event is rain or shine with no refunds. Tickets can be purchased online or at Fate’s Tempe or Scottsdale locations where you can save the processing fee. The event is for 21 & over and The Clayton House is at 3719 N.75 St. Scottsdale 85251. Free parking is located at the event or in the nearby Civic Center Library garage.

Bell Bank Park is the new home of the Arizona Taco Festival

When the 13th annual Arizona Taco Festival returns on November 12th and 13th it will have a new home in the East Valley. Mesa’s Bell Bank Park will welcome the popular event along with special guest and celebrity host Aaron May and his Band of Celeb-U-Friends. May is known for his appearances on the Food Network’s “Guy’s Grocery Games” and the NFL’s annual Official Tailgate event before the “big game”.

This year’s Taco Festival will include popular events including Lucha Libre Wrestling, a Hot Chile Pepper & Taco Eating Contest, mariachis and more. New this year will be a Taco Queen Drag Contest, Hot Sauce Expo and Day of the Dead Wedding. The Tequila Expo is now the “Tequila Passport” and attendees can sample over 100 top shelf tequilas all day. “I’m going to make this year’s taco fest into a full Taco-Palooza of epic proportions. I might even get in the wrestling ring with the Luchas!” says May.

Let’s not forget that over 50 local taco vendors and restaurants will be on hand serving up tacos and more while trying to be crowned the “Top Taco” to win $$$ and more.

Doors open at 11 a.m. and goes until 6 p.m. This is a family friendly event with Early Bird tickets available online for $15 and kids under 12 get in for free. Bell Bank Park is at 1 Legacy Dr. Mesa 85212.

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.

Mavrix has a new chef driven menu

The locally-owned family entertainment venue’s new menu has over 20 new dishes from Executive Chef Scott Nelson. Take a break from bowling and arcade games to try the Ribeye Bites & Bread, a Chipolte Lime Steak salad, a Green Chile Pork Chop, Fish Vera Cruz, Mav & Cheese and more throughout the menu.

Limited seating for the TLC eXperience’s Spring Fling Dinner

A private residence in Ahwatukee will be the setting for April’s monthly supper club from Tom & Lin Baumbach. Chef Tom’s menu will be revealed at the dinner on Saturday, April 23rd that starts with cocktail hour at 6:00 p.m. and dinner at 7. Seats are $175 per person and can be reserved here.

STK Steakhouse launches a new $3,$6,$9 happy hour menu

Treat yourself to new cocktails and something to eat at the steakhouse along the canal in downtown Scottsdale. Choose a craft cocktail such as the Dirty Pearls, Perfect Margarita and a Paloma Bucket while snacking on Short Ribs Croquettes, Green Goddess Salmon Sliders, Truffle Fries and more.

Pillsbury Gone Wild dinner features chefs from the Food Network

Wild Arizona chef Brett Vibber is joined by Chef Alicia Watson of Arkansas’ Vito & Vera for this month’s dinner. The two were recently featured on the Food Network’s “Big Restaurant Bet” and will be preparing at 6-course menu on Saturday, April 22nd at the wineries Cottonwood tasting room. Dinner starts at 6:00 p.m. and is $98 per person with wine pairings an additional $40 and you can reserve your seats by calling or texting Val at 949-466-1054.

The FRIED French Fry & Musical Festival is tomorrow

Saturday April 9th brings the return of one of most popular events in downtown Phoenix. Foodies from across the valley will make their way to Margaret T. Hance Park to taste everybody’s favorite side dish and its unique toppings. My post from January’s announcement has all the details and how to get your tickets.

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.

Forty8 Live! and Angry Crab Shack team up for Cajun festival

Event producer Forty8 Live! and Angry Crab Shack will be bringing the Angry Crab Shack Southwest Cajun Festival to downtown Chandler come Saturday February 26th. The family friendly Mardi-Gras style bash will turn Dr. A.J. Chandler Park into Bourbon Street with French Quarter back drops, magicians, a Mardi Gras float and of course food.

“Whether it’s the smell of the seafood boil, the sounds of our brass bands, the thrill of our live gators or the thousands of beads being thrown, we want you to feel like you are transported right inside NOLA!” said David Horen, Director – Events at Forty8 Live!

Starting at 2 p.m. Cajun food lovers can expect giant seafood boils from Angry Crab Shack, frog legs, beignets, King Cake, Po’ Boys, hush puppies, alligator & catfish bites and more. The Swamp, a drink tent will offer Hurricanes, frozen daiquiris and other Mardi Gras inspired cocktails. A live alligator petting zoo, marching bands, a kid’s zone, jugglers and stilt walkers will entertain the crowds. The “Prince of Zydeco” headliner C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band will play live and costumes are encouraged.

“With thousands upon thousands of true Cajun Fest fanatics, we are so excited to once again be delivering our first-in-class Mardi Gras themed event to the heart of the East Valley!” said Mike O’Donnell, Director – Partnerships at Forty8 Live!

Tickets are $12 online, $20 at the door and kids 12 & under are free with food and beverages purchased separately. Part of the proceeds is going to the Greater Cause Foundation that provides funding to several Arizona causes. Tickets can be purchased and more information can be purchased online at Forty8 Live!’s website.

The Arizona Strong Beer Festival returns to a new venue

The new Bell Bank Park in east Mesa will host the return of the 21st annual Arizona Strong Beer Festival on Saturday, February 19th. The festival will kick-off the 11th Annual Arizona Beer Week organized by the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild. Over 500 craft beers will be tapped for the festival that goes from 1:00 – 4:30 p.m. with close to 10,000 people expected to attend.

“We can’t wait to get back to beer fests!” says Rob Fullmer, Executive Director of the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild. “It’s been a long two years for everyone and we are thrilled to be hosting the Arizona Strong Beer Festival at a new, state of the art location.”

More than 100 events are planned throughout Arizona during the 10 day celebration with the festival being the largest. Arizona Beer Week goes from February 17th-27th.

General Admission tickets are $60 with a limited number of VIP tickets available for $80. VIP tickets allow for early entry at 11:30 a.m., Friday wristband pick-up, Saturday express entry, a food voucher, VIP lounge access with private restrooms and a special edition SWAG bag. Super VIP tickets are available for $100 with all of the above plus commemorative glassware and a Sunday Brunch Brewers Reception. A complete list of brewers participating will be available at their website in late January and it’s also where you can purchase tickets. Bell Bank Park is at 1 Legacy Dr. Mesa 85212.

Italian Association of Arizona brings a taste of Italy to Scottsdale

Scottsdale City Hall will be the place to be on Saturday, November 6th if you like Italian wine and pizza. The Italian Association of Arizona presents the first annual Italian Pizza & Wine Festival as a preview of the Italian Festival coming on February 26th & 27th 2022. In addition to pizza & wine, the family friendly festival will offer imported beer, Italian sandwiches and plenty of entertainment and Italian culture.

Francesco Guzzo, Executive Director of the Italian Association of Arizona, said: “We want to give families an opportunity to come out this Fall, and simply have fun for a day outside, and eat what might be Italy’s most popular food, pizza!”

Fabio on Fire, Bored Baker Pizza Maker and Ri de Roma are a few tossing fresh handmade pizza. Hand crafted sandwiches and other Italian foods will be available for purchase from Sogno Toscano and Lulu’s Sorbetto. Classico Fine Wines will be pouring tastes of Italian wines and Peroni & craft beers will be available for beer drinkers. Street musicians, face painters, live music and more will entertain festival goers all day.

“And anything worth celebrating in Italy comes with fantastic wines, and beer – Peroni!  Add the excellent Italian and Italian-American musical entertainment, some roving acts for the kids, and it lends the perfect excuse to come out and support our fabulous Italian pizza makers.” says Guzzo.

The Italian Pizza & Wine Festival goes from 12:00- 9:00 p.m. and tickets are $10 online and $15 at the door. Children under 12 are free and there is a 20% discount for Italian Association members. All proceeds go to the association.

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.

 

T-Mobile presents the 6th Annual Phoenix Pizza Festival

Pizza lovers will have twice as much pizza to chow down on next month when the popular Phoenix Pizza Festival returns to Margaret T. Hance Park. Thanks to the new sponsor T-Mobile the festival will be both Saturday and Sunday November 13 & 14 and will expand its boundaries to the streets around the park. Sunday was added as a limited amount of tickets for each day will be available and the additional space was needed to give room for social distancing.

The festival returns after a two year absence with 15-20 pizza makers, dessert food trucks, related food vendors, lawn games and live bands. Slices of pizza will sell for $2-$4 and full pies will be sold from the likes of La Piazza Al Forno, Freak Brothers, Into the Fire, Bored Baker and others. Many of the pizza makers are private caterers or food trucks so the festival may be the best way to taste their pizza. A bar featuring Mule 2.0 will serve cocktails, Bogle wines will be poured as will New Belgium Brewing beers and locally owned State 48 Brewing Co.

The Phoenix Pizza Festival presented by T-mobile is again partnering with Downtown Phoenix Inc. The organization helps promote and re-vitalize downtown Phoenix through events and local business’s. Tickets for the festival can be purchased online only and are $12 per ticket. The festival starts at 11 a.m. each day and goes until 5 p.m. on Saturday and 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Arizona Bao and Dumpling Festival returns

Tickets are now on sale for the 2021 Arizona Bao and Dumpling Festival that was canceled last year because of the global pandemic. The festival is on Saturday November 6th at downtown Chandler’s Dr. A.J. Chandler Park. It goes from 12- 4:30 p.m. with early entry at 10:30 a.m. for ticket holders with early access.

In order to keep festival goers safe a cleaning company has been hired to sanitize tables & chairs and vendors will be sanitizing their booths. Masked are suggested when standing on line but not required.

Times will be staggered this year with a limited amount of tickets allocated during three time periods and ticket holders MUST arrive in their allocated time. Tickets are non-refundable if you miss your allocated time but you can email the festival organizers to change your time if tickets are still available. Food and drinks sold separately by each vendor with at least one bao or dumpling available for $5 or under. Children 6 and under are free and so is parking. Boba, desserts and other Asian dishes will be available and a curated marketplace with artists will also be happening.

Early admission ticket ($14.99) holders arrive at 10:30 a.m. and no later than 11:30 a.m.

General admission ticket ($10) holders arrive at 12:00 p.m. and no later than 1:30 p.m.

Happy Hour ticket ($6) holders arrive at 2:00 p.m.- until the end. No guarantee that all food and drink will still be available. Menu and vendors subject to change.

Tickets for the Arizona Bao and Dumpling Festival can be purchased and more information can be found here.

The Camp Verde Pecan & Wine Festival safely returning next weekend

Festivals and gatherings are returning to social calendars after many had to cancel their 2020 events due to Covid-19. One of those festivals first to return is The Camp Verde Pecan & Wine Festival next weekend April 17th & 18th. The Town of Camp Verde and the Verde Valley Wine Consortium co-host the 20th annual event in downtown Camp Verde from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Saturday and til 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Each day 8-12 wineries will be sampling their wines and pairing them with a variety of pecans. There will also be food trucks, a beer garden, live music, local artists and a competitive pie eating contest. All activities will follow CDC guidelines of social distancing, all areas cleaned and sanitized frequently and recommended mask wearing. Page Springs, Salt Mine Wine, Carlson Creek Vineyards and Winery 101 are a few of the wineries pouring wines at the event.

“We were saddened to have to cancel last year but it was with everyone’s safety and best interests in mind, as this is normally one of the town’s biggest events,” said Michael Marshall, Camp Verde Parks and Recreation Manager. “This annual tradition is a wonderful celebration of two local products of the region and we look forward to its return, with a number of additional safety precautions in mind”.

Entry to the festival is free and for all ages. Those 21 and older can pay $20 for six tasting tickets and a commemorative glass. Additional tickets can be purchased. For more information visit these websites http://www.cvaz.com and http://verdevalleywine.org

Photo credit: Jenelle Bonifeld & Arizona Wine Guide

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