Breweries host The Beer, Bourbon, Barbeque and Bands Festival

Local breweries SanTan Brewing and Pedal Haus are teaming up to host a new festival on Friday and Saturday, March 3rd and 4th. The Beer, Bourbon, Barbeque and Bands Festival takes place in downtown Chandler at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park.

Expect world class barbeque from Honey Bear’s, Joe’s Real BBQ, Pork on a Fork and West Alley BBQ along with others. Taste beer and food from both breweries along with bourbon and and enjoy uninterrupted live performance from seven bands over both days. Bands performing are Kevin Lloyd of Banana Gun, Hit Rewind, Georgia Chrome, Mr. Skynyrd, The Foo, The Zeppelin IV and Justin Hinson.

“This is an incredible lineup of bands, impressive chefs, award-winning beers and bourbon – what else could you want?” said Julian Wright, founder and CEO of Pedal Haus Brewery. “Along with our friends at SanTan, we know how to throw a good party so grab your friends because this is going to be a fun time.”

Friday the festival goes from 4 – 11p.m. and Saturday from noon -11 p.m. Early bird tickets are on sale for Friday are $15 and $18 for Saturday. Two day tickets are $30 and day of tickets are $20 and $25. Part of the proceeds will be donated to the non-profit Downtown Chandler Community Partnership.

“We’re excited to launch this festival with Pedal Haus and bring a new opportunity to our friends in the community,” said Jamie Hoffman, Managing Partner with SanTan Brewing Company. “We aim to exceed our guests’ expectations and we think this event will do just that.”

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Arizona Craft Brewers Guild hosts the return of the Arizona Strong Beer Festival

On Saturday, February 18th beer enthusiasts kick off the 12th Arizona Beer Week at the Arizona Strong Beer Festival. Arizona Craft Brewers Guild announced a new home for the festival at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick for 2023. The 21+ festival welcomes over 100 breweries from across the country at the popular festival that starts at 1 p.m.

Close to 10,000 people attending will sample beers from their favorite breweries and get introduced to new ones. “The Strong Beer Festival is about bringing people together to make a cultural statement about craft beer and why we love it,” says Rob Fullmer, Executive Director of the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild. “Get your pretzel necklaces ready and join us for a beer-filled afternoon at Salt River Fields.”

General admission tickets start at $70 with entry at 1 p.m. A limited number of VIP and Super VIP tickets are available for $90 and $110 each. VIP gets early entry at 11:30 a.m., extra tasting samples, a VIP lounge and restrooms. VIP ticket holders can pick up their wrist bands on Friday at the Pepsi Party Deck at Salt River Fields while enjoying $4 cans of beer and watch a MLB4 Collegiate Baseball Tournament game. Super VIP tickets have VIP status plus a special edition swag item and admission to Sundays Brewers’ Reception Brunch.

The Strong Beer Festival is the largest event of over 100 events during Arizona Beer Week, February 16th-16th. For more information, to see a list of attending breweries and to purchase tickets for the festival visit their website.

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 from the Phoenix restaurant community

Events & news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

“Med Meets Mexico” seasonal menu now at Pita Jungle

All 23 locations in Arizona now offer new 10 dishes on their Seasonal Crafts Kitchen Menu. Dishes using the flavors of the Southwest and their Mediterranean inspired menu will be available through April. Highlights of the new menu include Lemon Chicken Rice Soup, Mediterranean Ceviche, Labdeh Dip Mezze Veggies & Dip and a Wood Fired Gluten Free Enchilada. 

Orin Swift Wine Dinner at Palo Verde Restaurant

The signature restaurant at The Boulders Resort & Spa hosts a gourmet four-course dinner paired with wines on Friday, February 3rd with the reception starting at 6:00 p.m. Enhancing the experience will be the scenic views of the golf course’s 6th hole and duck pond. Seats are $175 per person and reservations can be made by calling 480-595-4621.

Cider Corps hosts dinner to raise money for traumatic brain injuries

The downtown Mesa cidery will pair its award-winning ciders with dishes from valley chefs Friday, February 3rd. Guests attending the Speakers Dinner for Traumatic Brain Injury Solutions will hear updates from researchers at Cohen Veterans Bioscience. The 21 and over dinner starts at 6 P.m. and is %200 per person. Two other fundraising events are scheduled for the 22 Jumps event with more information and to RSVP click here.

New seasonal dishes at Over Easy launch January 30th

The locally owned and nationally recognized breakfast spot adds two new dishes to its menu on Monday. The scratch made Cinnamon Apple Corncakes ($14) and JohnJay Burrito Bowl ($17) are available for dine-in, take-out or delivery. $1 of every Burrito Bowl will be donated #LOVEPUP Foundation. Also new will be the Spicy Mango Margarita ($8) but only available for dine-in. The new dishes and drink are available at all 11 Phoenix area locations.

Nominations are open for Foodist Awards until February 5th

Its award season and time to nominate your favorite Food & Beverage, Experience, Restaurant and People in the Arizona Restaurant Association’s annual recognition of those in the food and beverage community. The online nominations include 20 categories and 8 new categories for the 2023 awards. Winner will be announced in alive ceremony on Monday April 24th at 5:30 p.m. at The Van Buren in Phoenix.

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Kitsune Brewing Co. goes from a dream to a dream job

Tyler Smith went from corporate life to his dream job when he opened Kitsune Brewing Co. in October 2022. The final blessing to make his dream happen came from his wife and business partner Rebecca who told him to do what made him happy. His dream was to push the envelope when making beer and to have local beer drinkers want more. Combine that of his love of Japanese culture and Kitsune “a protector” was born.

“I’ve been home brewing for more than 15 years. A family friend introduced me to it and I fell in love with the process,” says Smith, who’s worked for Nike and PetSmart. Throughout his career home brewing has remained his one constant in his life. “Right before I was about to take another job and move my family, my wife asked me if that would really make me happy or if I wanted to take my home brewing to the next level.”

With the Covid pandemic slowing his plan he used the time to find fellow brewer Marshall Norris of Simple Machine Brewing Company as a mentor and friend. Norris gave Smith space at Simple Machine to bring in two fermentation tanks and after a year and a half Tyler and Rebecca were ready to go at it on their own.

What’s brewing at Kitsune Brewing Co.

Known at first for IPAs, Kitsune Brewing Co. has become now known for its sour beers and pushing the envelope. Tyler wondered “How far we can push it” and released “Dirty Snowflake” a gray beer in appearance. He then wondered “Are people willing to try a gray beer?” and the response was “yes” they were.

There are between 14 and 16 beers rotating on tap with names and images inspired by Japanese culture. Kitsune Brewing Co. has also collaborated with local breweries Tombstone Brewing and Dark Sky Brewing Company. Food trucks on a rotating schedule park outside allow guests to enjoy food with their beers. They also have a BYOF (Bring Your Own Food) policy and allow for food to be delivered.

Future plans include distributing popular beers to local bottle shops and to open a ramen shop next door. “We want to expand so we can get more tanks,” he says of their future growth. “Hopefully, we will be successful enough to need more space.”

Guests can expect activities such as Trivia night every Tuesday at 6:30 and happy hour from 3 – 6 p.m. Monday – Friday. Kitsune Brewing Co. is at 3321 E. Bell Rd., Ste. B-5. Phoenix 85032.

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Uchi bringing award-winning Japanese cuisine to Scottsdale

Austin, Texas based Hai Hospitality plans to open its first Arizona restaurant later in 2023 when Uchi opens in Old Town Scottsdale. It will be the James Beard award winning restaurant groups sixth location of its flagship restaurant and will be located in the previous Bandera restaurant at Scottsdale Rd. and 1st St. Hai also operates Uchiko, Uchibā and Loro Asian Smokehouse and bar.

“We’re both honored and excited to have the opportunity to bring Uchi even further ‘West’ to Scottsdale, said Hai Hospitality CEO Tony Montero. “I know Uchi will only add to the already vibrant and dynamic mix of destination dining, eclectic art, and nightlife in Old Town Scottsdale when it opens later this year, and we’re looking forward to bringing the distinct flavors, unique perspective, and unparalleled dining experience that is Uchi to Arizona,” he said.

What to expect at Uchi

“Uchi” translates to “home” in Japanese and is named after the little red house where Chef Tyson Cole opened the first Uchi in 2003. Cole’s non-traditional take on Japanese cuisine balances elevated dishes with relaxed service in a welcoming atmosphere. Guests dining at the restaurant can expect a menu that is updated daily and includes signature hot & cold tastings, sushi & sashimi, makimono, yakimono and tempura. A ten course seasonal omakase chef’s tasting, six course tasting and a six course vegetarian tasting will also be offered. Signature cocktails, sake, beer and wine will be ayailable to compliment the food.

The restaurant will seat 180 people and feature a sushi bar, cocktail bar, outdoor patio and private dining room. Phoenix based architecture and urban design firm AV3 Design and Tucson’s architect and design studio Hazelbaker Rush will design the restaurant. Two sculptural’s will flank both the sushi and cocktail bar  along with wood ceilings and artwork and lighting fixtures from local artists.

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 from the Phoenix restaurant community

Events & news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

GenuWineArizona celebrates its 5th birthday

Tomorrow January 14th the downtown Phoenix wine bar and retailer celebrates 5 years on Roosevelt Row with free wine samples, a DJ and Hot Sauce & Pepper Food Truck. Raffles will be awarded to attendees with the party going from 2 – 10 p.m.

3 course dinner next Tuesday at Romeo’s Euro Cafe

Chef & owner Romeo Taus rings in 2023 with another of his monthly 3rd Tuesday 3 course dinner paired with wine. On January 17th the downtown Gilbert restaurant will feature Osso Bucco paired with a Portuguese wine as its main course. Chorizo and Papas will start the dinner and YAYA’s Chocolate Cake will give the dinner a sweet ending. Seats are $44 per person and reservations can be made by calling 480-962-4224.

Hundred Mile Brewing Company celebrates grand opening

The new Tempe brewery celebrates its Grand Opening from January 18th – 22nd. Daily specials on food & beer, a community charity drive, a Lap Around the Lake and more are planned from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

PHX Beer Co. releases a new IPA dedicated to the “Zanjeros”

For over a hundred years Zanjeros would travel the state making sure the water flowed to our homes and farms. Without the “ditch riders” there would be no water to make beer and now the Phoenix brewery offers the new “Zanjeros” citrus fruit forward IPA. The beer is available at its downtown Phoenix brewery and Scottsdale restaurant.

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Sip & stroll with your favorite adult beverage when shopping

Who doesn’t need to sip on a cocktail, beer or glass of wine when shopping, even more at this time of year. Soon you will be able to at certain outdoor shopping centers including Desert Ridge Marketplace and Tempe Marketplace thanks to Governor Ducey signing A.R.S. 4-215 into law. Vestar, the owner of both properties and others in Arizona lobbied to test the program in 2019 but much of the 3 year test was hampered by the pandemic.

“You can get a drink at a movie theater and walk around resorts and golf courses with a cocktail, so why not retail centers?” asked Pat McGinley, President of Management Services for Vestar.

The company did their homework working with the state legislature and the Department of Liquor to deal with the liquor laws. The new law allows retail properties of over 400,000 square feet with large pedestrian areas to allow one or more of its existing bars and restaurants to allow customers to sip and stroll with beverages in hand.

“We are proud that in 2019, Desert Ridge Marketplace was the first and only shopping center to take advantage of the ground-breaking legislation,” stated McGinley. “The program was met with strong support from our tenants and the community at large.”

The new law also includes security and must be reviewed by the city in which the shopping center lies before being approved by the Director of the Department of Liquor. Vestar recently submitted applications to both Phoenix and Tempe to get approval from the state. “As a local restaurant owner, I appreciate the importance of providing fresh and interesting experiences for the consumer,” said State Representative Jeff Weninger. “Making it possible for people to enjoy an alcoholic beverage as they go about their shopping elevates the customer experience in a fun, creative way and can help drive business to retailers.”

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Earn Your Booze & Grand Canyon Brewing team up for new beer

Come January just as we’re hoping to maintain our New Year’s resolutions two locally and veteran owned business are encouraging us to do that. And it includes drinking a new beer from Grand Canyon Brewing & Distillery. The Williams brewery is teaming up with Earn Your Booze combining beer and fitness to release Dead Hanger Pale Ale.

“Our collaboration with Earn Your Booze is a great opportunity for us to share our common core values and elevate two local businesses through physical fitness and enjoying great craft beer. We have a lot of fun events and activation’s planned this year and encourage our friends to join us as we spread the good word about living adventurously and earning it all,” says Alexander Phillips, Director of Sales, Marketing and National Accounts, Grand Canyon Brewing + Distillery.

Dead Hanger is a hazy pale ale with a delicious mouthful of hop flavors and tropical & stone fruit characteristics and a bold grapefruit taste. It will be sold in 4-packs in Albertsons and Safeway and by the pint in bars and restaurants around Arizona.

How to Earn Your Booze

The new beer is named after the physical fitness test “Dead Hang”; where one hangs from a pull up bar using all your strength to hang on. It’s considered the ultimate test of one’s physical ability. “I believe that the best things in life are earned, including great beer, so we have teamed up with the great people at Grand Canyon Brewing + Distillery to create this amazing beer that tastes like hard work and sweet rewards,” Justin Cross, CEO & Founder, Earn Your Booze.

Cross founded Earn Your Booze after his time in in the Navy, where he worked hard and played hard. After working in a brewery he realized the alcohol industry isn’t focused on health and fitness so he started the business. He didn’t want to discourage beer drinking and playing hard but to “Earn Your Booze” through prepping the mind and body. Today he offers monthly coaching and 90 day Total Recreation to transform your mind and body.

Grand Canyon Brewing and Earn Your Booze aren’t stopping at beer, their planning two outdoor fitness festivals in Flagstaff and Phoenix and other events in 2023. Hear Alexander Phillips speak about Grand Canyon Brewing & Distillery and more on my podcast.

Sips & Bites: News from the Phoenix restaurant community

Events & news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

Pita Jungle offers an assorted Baklawa Box for the holidays

Whether for holiday parties or giving as a gift Baklawa makes for a delicious treat. The layered phyllo dough, honey and pistachio Mediterranean treat is made in house and available at all 23 locations starting at $16 through the holidays and into 2023.

“Die Hard” dinner at Found: RE Hotel

The downtown Phoenix hotel hosts a four course themed dinner of the blockbuster Bruce Willis film on Saturday, December 17th. The restaurant will be transformed into the 30th floor of Nakotomi Plaza for a fun evening with dinner starting at 6:30 p.m. Seats at $79++ per person and reservations can be made here. The menu is as follows….

Nakatomi Seafood Tower with lobster claw, jumbo shrimp and oyster with cocktail sauce and lemon mignonette  

Yippee Kai Yay MotherClucker Salad — mixed greens and napa cabbage salad with scallions, pea shoots, ghost chili-dusted wonton strips, roasted chicken and spicy sesame dressing 

The German Twins — pork and beef schnitzel with warm German potato salad and Jagerschnitzel sauce

“Sugar-enriched flour, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, polysorbate 60 and yellow dye No. 5. Just everything a growing boy needs” Cake — yellow sponge cake filled with buttercream frosting, Crunch bar pieces, broken sugar glass and raspberry sauce 

Taittinger Champagne dinner at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale

Thursday December 15th is when the celebrated champagne house’s bubbles will be paired with a 5 course meal. The dinner is part of the resort’s monthly Winemaker Dinner series held in Alto Ristorante with dinner curated by Chef Joaquin Estolano Jr. The reception begins at 6 p.m. with dinner to follow at 6:30. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 480-629-6231 and seats are $170 per person. After dinner guests will have the opportunity to purchase champagne at a discount.

Pint for a Penny at PHX Beer Co.

Buy gift card of $25 or more at the local brewer’s Phoenix taproom or Scottsdale restaurant and get a pint of beer for one cent while you wait. The deal is available until Christmas Eve and is only available on location and at time of purchase.

Source to open December 19th in Gilbert

Monday December 19th brings the opening of the new upscale fast fine dining Mediterranean concept. Founders Akshat Sethi, founder of Thai Chili 2 Go, and Chef Claudio Urciuoli, of Palaphx and Noble Bread fame, will offer fresh baked breads, sandwiches, salads, tapas and more. Natural wines will be offered with your dishes and in the retail market. Come January opening specials will be announced with more details to come.

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 from the Phoenix restaurant community

Events & news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

December specials at Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants

From now until New Year’s Eve you can order delicious red beef/pork and green corn tamales by the dozen for $34.99. Having a party and want some traditional Mexican specialties mini chimis, flautas, chicken and cheese rollups, and jalapeno poppers are available to order in increments of 3, 6 or 9 dozen ($45.99, $84.99, $129.99). Orders can be placed any of the 4 locations with 24 hour notice for phone orders and online orders require 48 hours’ notice.

Gift cards are available for purchase with 20% kickbacks. $5 for every $25 purchased, $10 kickback on $50 gift card, $20 kickback on $100.

Looking to dine-in, you’ll find these specials on the menu for the month.

Lisa’s Pronto Bowl: A classic choice with shredded chicken, pinto beans, Spanish rice, red sauce, shredded cheese, shredded lettuce and tomatoes all piled high on a house-made taco shell topped with chunky salsa. $14.99
White Christmas Margarita: A house-made margarita with white cranberry juice, Sauza Silver tequila, triple sec and lime juice. Garnished with sugar-covered cranberries and mint. $9.99
Caramel Flan: Back by popular demand! House-made caramel flan topped with whipped cream and caramel sauce. $6.99.

Barro’s fights hunger on December 6th

From open to close next Tuesday all 46 of the locally owned pizza restaurants in Phoenix and Tucson will donate 100% of the day’s proceeds to St. Mary’s Food Bank. It’s the 11th year the Doran Barro Holiday Hunger Fight fundraiser which has raised over $2.1 million dollars in ten years. The money raised is equivalent to 14.7 million meals and is St. Mary’s largest yearly cause marketing effort.

The Buzzed Bull Creamery offers new flavors for the season

Ice cream never tasted so good, especially buzzed with spirits of the season. The ice cream shop at the Scottsdale Waterfront offers 4 new flavors all month long. Buzzed or non-buzzed the sweet treat can be in a milkshake or cup of ice cream. Need an afternoon pick me up; take 15% off every Tuesday and Wednesday from 1 – 5 p.m. The new flavors are….

Girl Scout featuring mint syrup, chocolate sauce, brownie bites and peppermint schnapps.

Apple Cider featuring cookie butter syrup, cinnamon and apple pie moonshine.

Double Chocolate Bourbon with chocolate sauce and bourbon.

Cherry Cake featuring cake batter, cherries and cherry vodka.

Hundred Mile Brewing is ready for its soft opening

Arizona’s newest brewery is putting the final touches for next Wednesday, December 7th opening. The first couple of weeks will feature local beers on tap and starting December 19th fresh brewed HMBC beers will be tapped one day at time. The new brewery is close to the ASU campus and the owner and brewer are alumni and were featured in my August post. During the soft opening (7th-11th) a daily drawing for a $100 gift card will be awarded and Sunday the 11th is Sun Devil Sunday. Anyone wearing Sun Devil gear will get 15% off.

Get 6 free tamales when you pre-order a dozen

Authentic scratch made tamales are a December specialty at Jalapeño Inferno and until December 23rd they are available to order. Choose from sweet green corn tamales and spicy red chili pork tamales for pick- up at their Peoria or North Scottsdale locations.

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

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