Beer here, get y’er cold beer here with 2 beer festivals in coming weeks.

With the temperatures hitting 100 degrees for the 1st time this past weekend nothing sounds cooler than a cold beer. In the coming weeks there are at least 2 beer festivals to keep us cool.

4th Annual AmeriCAN Beer Festival AmriCan 2014
Saturday May 17th brings the return of the the AmeriCAN Beer festival to the Scottsdale Civic Center that will include over 20 new breweries participating along with many favorites returning. Included are local, national and international beers. 6 local food trucks will be on hand to feast on while you wash down with beer.

The festivities start at 1 p.m. for general admission ticket holders ($35 pre-sale, 20 beer samples) with V.I.P ticket holders($100.00 pre-sale, 20 drink tickets, catered food, etc) able to enter at 12 noon. The festival will run until 6 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased on-line at www.cannedcraftbeerfest.com
San Tan Brewing Company & HDE Agency are once again hosting the event. This festival is for those 21 years old with no exceptions. Scottsdale Civic Center, 3939 North Drinkwater Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Scottsdale Beer Palooza SBP_LOGORP-
Afforadable Food Festivals(Arizona Taco Festival, Flavors of the West & Arizona BBQ Festival) is keeping you cool with cold beer and air conditioning as this inaugural event will be held indoors at Westworld on Saturday, June 28th.

Attendees will be able to sample beers from about 50 breweries and will be able to purchase their favorite beers at the on site Beer Store. Tickets are $40 for 20 samples and V.I.P. tickets are $60 for 25 samples and early entry. The doors open at 1 p.m. for General admission and 12 noon for V.I.Ps.

Beer friendly foods will be available for purchase from food trucks and from M Culinary Concepts and there will be live music and games as well.

Tickets can be purchased at www.scottsdalebeerpalooza.com and make great Father’s Day gift which is 2 weeks earlier.
WestWorld of Scottsdale 16601 N. Pima Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85260

An afternoon at The 3rd Annual AmeriCAN Beer Festival.

AmeriCAN festivalThis past weekend Scottsdale Civic Center Mall welcomed the 3rd Annual AmeriCAN Beer Festival in celebration of American Craft Beer Week. The festival is hosted by Chandler AZ’s San Tan Brewing Company whom packages all their beers in either cans or kegs. You may ask what makes this beer festival different from other beer festivals. This festival featured only beers packaged in cans, and why cans….well for several reasons according to Joe Burns of Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing. Cans protect the beer from UV light, no oxygen in cans, are easier on the environment and are better for using for recreational purposes i.e on boats, around pools and water, especially in Florida.

Now that you know why cans, here is some of the samples of beers I enjoyed from some of the 60 breweries in attendance from all over the United States.
Dc Brau
DC Brau www.dcbrau.com from our nations capital opened for business on April 15th 2011 and is DC’s 1st production brewery in almost 60 years. DC Brau makes 10,000 barrels a year and distributes throughout D.C. and northern Virginia. Lead Shift Brewer Christopher Grahm was their 1st employee and tells me they currently can 6 beers including their 3 flagship beers The Citizen, The Public and The Corruption. I tasted the limited release “El Hefe Speaks” Hefeweizen which was crisp, cold and tasted like a German style hefeweizen.

Another D.C. area brewery that came out west for the festival was Lost Rhino Brewing Company www.lostrhino.com/ from Leesburg Virginia. Sampling their Pilsner I found it rich and creamy. A hint of spice made this beer quite the thirst quencher.

Beers are not known to be gluten-free with their use of wheat and barley, but Joseph James Brewing Company www.foxbrews.com in Henderson, Nevada makes the a the only gluten-free canned beer in the world. The Fox Tail Gluten Free Ale uses nectars instead of wheat. This lighter bodied ale also no sorghum (a grain used in making of alcohol) instead using organic rice, nectars and hops. This ale tasted very good and I wouldn’t have known it was gluten -free as tasted good as any ale using wheat.

Joseph James Brewing Co.'s Fox Tail Gluten Free Ale
Joseph James Brewing Co.’s Fox Tail Gluten Free Ale

For the cider enthusiast for which I am one, there were a few ciders in cans including Vermont Hard Cider www.woodchuck.com pouring their original Woodchuck Cider which is made from apples and is also gluten-free. Cold, crisp and clear this golden cider goes down very well and could be habit-forming. If you prefer your cider on the dry side then you can find Crispin’s “Brown Lane” Classic English Dry Cider which is one of their imported ciders. www.crispincider.com
San Tan Brewing Co.'s "Mr Pineapple" wheat beer
San Tan Brewing Co.’s “Mr Pineapple” wheat beer

As fruit beers are becoming more popular, a few are being canned and were being poured including Abita Brewing’s Purple Haze which uses raspberries in the brewing process, Redd’s Apple Ale from Tenth & Blake Beer Company, San Tan Brewing Co.’s “Mr. Pineapple” Wheat beer and Maui Brewing Co.’s CoCoNut Porter. All had a hint of fruit used with Redd’s Apple Ale having the strongest fruit flavor.

Grand Canyon Brewing Co. www.grandcanyonbrewery.com/ out of Williams AZ won Gold medal for their Sunset Amber in the “Amber & Brown” beer categories. Making 30,000 barrels a year this beer is distributed in Arizona & Nevada.

Nothing goes better with beer than food and several food trucks were there to provide use with something to wash down with a cold beer including Brat Haus, The Grilled Cheese Truck and Tom’s BBQ. There were several bands playing throughout the afternoon including Good Rust, Pride Through Strife, 80 proof and Boom Shed for you to get your groove on.

Nothing beats a cold beer on warm day in May and although you may have to wait til next years 4th Annual AmeriCAN Beer Festival www.cannedcraftbeerfest.com/ doesn’t mean you can’t wait to find your favorite canned beer. Many retailers including Whole Foods stock an impressive array of canned beers to get you through the summer months and beyond. Cheers!

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