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.

Sips & Bites: News from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick sips & bites of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

Hotel Valley Ho’s next Sip + Shop is next week

Tickets for the Olé! Latin Flavors themed marketplace is available at Eventbrite for next Saturday July 16th. Entry is FREE to taste local foods and shop for artisan goods. It happens once at month from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Next Thursday July 14th is their monthly Versus Series Dinner with a Bastille Day celebration. Executive Chef Russell LaCasce pairs each course with a beer from Greenwood Brewing and wine from Eco Terreno Wines. Founder Megan Greenwood and Winemaker Mark Lyon will be joining the French inspired dinner. Seats are $109++ and dinner starts at 6 p.m. Call 480-421-7997 to reserve your seat.

Summer beer tours at PHX Beer Co.

Beat the heat with a cold beer and 30- minute tour of the local brewery at 3002 E. Washington in Phoenix. Tours are for those 21 and over and offered on Sundays at 1:00 or 3:00 p.m. The tour is $29 per person and includes a beef flight, an order of pretzel bites with beer fondue and a t-shirt.

Margarita’s to-go from Z’ Tejas

Join the new Jug Club and take home gallons of their famous margaritas for cool summer drinking. Two memberships are available with packages starting at $500 for a monthly gallon 12 times a year. A weekly membership is $2000 for the year gets you 52 gallons (a gallon a week). Each gallon serves 10-12 people and comes with chips and salsa. If you’re not ready to join single gallons are $60 with a “Beat the Heat” deal, they’re usually $80, Skinny, organic and top shelf margaritas are available at various prices. Jugs can be picked up at their Scottsdale or Chandler locations.

Cider Corps hours at new Gilbert taproom

The new taproom serving award-winning ciders are Tuesday -Saturday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Brightside Burgers are available during those same hours. The taproom is at 685 S. Gilbert Rd.

B & B Cocktail Lounge now open in Scottsdale

The new cocktail lounge is open Wednesday-Saturday at 5 p.m. is next to their sister concept Bourbon & Bones Chophouse on Scottsdale Rd.

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.

Specials for National Pi Day next Monday 3.14 around Phoenix

Normally closed on Monday’s, downtown Mesa’s Cider Corps will open from 3 p.m. – 10 p.m. for the special occasion. At 3:14 p.m. they will tap new pie-styled ciders Brambleberry Pie, Cherry Peach Pie and Key Lime Pie and sell 8 oz. pours for $3.14. They will also offer 10 oz. Apple Pie Slushies for the same price.

Fired Pie get a 1 topping pizza for $3.14 with the purchase of a beverage at all 19 Phoenix area locations.

At Streets of New York buy 1 pizza at regular price, get a 2nd at 1/2 price at their 17 Phoenix area locations and Prescott.

Meet the winemaker tonight at Aridus Wine Company

The tasting room in old town Scottsdale welcomes winemaker Lisa Strand to town from the winery in Willcox. Stop by from 5-8 p.m. for a glass of wine to celebrate Women’s History Month and Arizona Wine Month.

3rd Tuesday 3-course dinner at Romeo’s Euro Cafe

The European style cafe hosts its monthly dinner prepared by owner & chef Romeo Taus. A salad, entree and dessert paired with wine at the downtown Gilbert cafe is $39. The dinner next Tuesday, March 15th starts at 6:30 p.m. and reservations can be made by calling 480-862-4224.

Roxx Vodka donates to Polish charities helping Ukrainians refugees

The locally owned spirit, made in Poland is donating $1 of each bottle sold for a good cause. Distilled six times and made with naturally grown grains contains no sugar, corn or pesticides. Roxx is available at AJs Fine Foods for between $26 -$32.

Angry Crab Shack opens newest location in Casa Grande

The restaurant that specializes in seafood boils with an Asian and Cajun influences opened its 14th location in Arizona this week. The new location at 1601 E. Florence Blvd. sources seafood from the coastal waters off the United States and Canada also includes seafood entrees, Po’Boys and more.

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.

Maynard J Keenan expands kitchen & hires chef at Scottsdale tasting bar

With the success and popularity of his Merkin Vineyards Osteria and Merkin Pizza Wagon in Cottonwood, owner & winemaker Maynard J Keenan gave the go head to expand his Merkin Vineyards Old Town Scottsdale tasting room. Keenan also hired Executive Chef Steve Zimmerman to take the helm of the new Morello Forni Cupola Dome wood-fired oven, imported from Italy and revamp the menu.

“Our dishes feature ingredients grown in our Northern Arizona greenhouses, gardens, and orchards, and we supplement with produce sourced from local Arizona growers,” said Maynard J Keenan. “Merkin Vineyards farm-to-table, vine-to-glass concept is the cornerstone of our success, and it’s a concept we intend to continue developing.”

The award-winning Zimmerman comes to Merkin Vineyards Old Town Scottsdale after a career in hotel restaurant management in his home state of Missouri and most recently at Tres Kitchen & Bar ion Tempe. “He’s the perfect culinary artist for our vision,” states Keenan.

The menu at Merkin Vineyards Old Town Scottsdale

The new menu includes ingredients from Merkins farm, citrus grove and orchard in the Verde Valley with additional ingredients sourced from local vendors and artisan producers. The new menu changes on a regular basis and includes many seasonal ingredients for its pizzas, pasta, salads and more. The Classic Margarita Pizza, the Calabrian with chorizo, schinken, bacon, calabrian chiles, fig jam and fontina cheese and the Crucifixen, features Merkin farm cruciferous veggies, roasted garlic, Parmesan spread, fresh mozzarella and fontina cheeses are part of the core menu.

Lasagna Cupcakes, gnocchi and Cacio e Pepe shows off Zimmerman’s creativity and attention to detail. Appetizers, charcuterie and few desserts round out the menu which can be paired with any of Merkin Vineyards Four 8 Wineworks and Caduceus wines along with their mead, cider and Puscifer sparkling wine. To see what I’ve tasted on several visits to Merkin Vineyards Old Town check out my Instagram feed.

Merkin Vineyards is located at 7133 E. Stetson Dr. Scottsdale 85251. Hours are Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. For more information and to see the menu check out  merkinoldtownscottsdale.com.

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.

Burger & a beer for $14.99 at U.S. Egg for National Hamburger Day

I’ll be at my nearby U.S. Egg for lunch next Wed. July 28th to celebrate a favorite food. Choose from 9 options on the menu and pair it with a draft beer including several local breweries. To find one of th 6 Phoenix area locations of the locally owned breakfast & lunch restaurant check their website.

Koibito Poke introduces Dole Whips, Happy Hour and more

Starting today at 4 p.m. at Arcadia, Scottsdale Waterfront & Chandler locations start daily happy hour with drink specials from 4-6 p.m. and all day Saturday & Sunday. Gainey Ranch to launch soon with $4 beers & $5 wines, seltzers, sakes until Sept. 31st. They just introduced the cool and refreshing Dole Whip at the Gainey Ranch location & via delivery from other locations. The 5 oz. pineapple treat is only $4.99 with new flavors coming soon. Keep an eye out for their new food truck hitting the streets of the valley this summer with poke bowls and more. The truck is available for private catering & corporate events.

LDV Winery releases 2015 Sky Island Grenache

Cheers to a perfect summer wine from this southern Arizona winery. This weekend get 10% off at their Scottsdale tasting room. Only 336 cases were made and it retails for $30 or $10 a glass at the tasting room.

Nonna Urban Eatery offers 3 course summer menu

Choose from 6 dishes from each the 1st & 2nd courses before narrowing down a choice of 3 desserts at this Old Town Scottsdale restaurant. Choose from Hiramasa Sashimi, Pastor Pork Chops, Bouillabaisse and more for $48++. Reservations can be made by clicking the link. Modified menus can be made for bar & patio dining, for more information visit their website.

Sailor Cherry and Sailor Strawberry ciders available at Cider Corps

The award-winning Mesa cidery pays tribute to “Navy tattoo art” and to Navy tattoo legend “Sailor Jerry” Collins with 2 new ciders that are available on tap or in 4 pack cans. The labels were made by fellow downtown business Naysayer Tattoo Shop. The sour cherry and sweet strawberry ciders also have hints of peach, tangerine, lemon & lime.

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.

Good news National Cold Brew Day is Tuesday 4/20

Those liking a cold brew can get a free can at Press Coffee when you spend $5 or more on their app.

Trapp Haus BBQ pop-up at Found:RE Hotel

Phil “The Grill” Johnson takes his smoker and more around the corner this Sunday April 18th for a pop-up appearance at the downtown Phoenix hotel. From 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. hotel guests and locals are invite poolside to enjoy Phil’s smoked meats, a DJ spinning some tunes and creative cocktails from Match Market & Bar. Admission is free, reservations needed.

Kitchen United Mix giving $10 off $30 for vaccine

The Scottsdale ghost kitchen with more than 10 restaurants under one roof is offering $10 off $30 order from any or all restaurants under its roof. Use promo code “Vaccine” when ordering.

Winemaker dinners at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa taking reservations.

The upscale resort with views of the McDowell Mountains released the dates for its upcoming winemaker dinner series. Paul Hobbs Winery is next Wednesday 4/21, Copper Cane Wednesday 5/19 & Miner Family Wines is Wednesday 6/23. Each dinner starts with a reception at 6:30 followed by a 4-course culinary experience of food & wine at 7:00. “Take Home” wines are available for purchase at the end of the dinner. Each person is $145++, seating is limited and reservations are required and can be made by calling 480-629-6231.

Cider Corps named 5th Best Cidery in Country

USA Today named the three year old Mesa cidery one of the best out of over 800 cideries vote on by a panel of judges. Started as a hobby during recovery from an injury suffered in Afghanistan, retired SGT. USMC Jason Duren says” it means a lot to be considered as one of the best”.

 

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.

All Mac & Cheese dishes Buy 1, Get 1 Free at Fired Pie

In honor of National Cheese Lovers Day on Wednesday January 20th all locations are offering up the deal on the popular comfort food. Baked and topped with Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs guests can choose from 40 different toppings. This deal is only good for dine-in and is good on mac n cheese of equal or lesser value.

Found:RE Hotel’s Passport Series goes to Mexico

The downtown Phoenix hotel hosts their monthly night with international flavor on Saturday January 16th. The pool and bar area will be transformed for a Mexican vacation with food, cocktails and more. The fiesta goes from 6 – 10 p.m. and more information can be found on their website.

Good news as Cider Corps releases seasonal pie ciders

The popular Pumpkin Pie, Peach Cobbler & Cherry Crisp ciders are now available by the can. Delayed due to the pandemic as ingredients were harder to source these ciders are available for a limited time. 6-packs are $20 and include 2 of each cider or can be purchased individually to be drank at the cidery. 6-packs can be ordered in advance for take away at https://www.toasttab.com/cider-corps-31-s-robson-103/v3

Signature cakes turn to pies at Chase’s Diner

Saturday January 23rd is National Pie Day at the Chandler diner, known for their scratch made desserts, is making two signature pies for the occasion. Turning their Carrot & German Chocolate Cake into pies guest can enjoy them by the slice ($4.29) or the whole darn pie ($13.99). Whole pies need to be ordered in advance.

Round 5 of Hotel Valley Ho’s Versus Series pits beer vs. wine

Which goes better with food, beer or wine? Find out on January 23rd when the Old Town Scottsdale hotel hosts another reception and three-course dinner. Tempe’s Huss Brewing Co. and Sonoma County’s Rodney Strong Vineyards will pair the beers and wines to see who wins. Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. and is $129++ per person.

Expansion happening again for Cider Corps in 2021

The continued popularity of cider is causing Mesa’s Cider Corps to expand for the 2nd time since opening three years ago. This expansion has the veteran owned business move production to a new larger facility in nearby Gilbert in mid-2021. Don’t worry cider drinkers the downtown Mesa taproom will still be open along with Myke’s Pizza.

Co-owners brothers Josh and Jason Duren (retired U.S.M.C.) need the additional space to meet demand for its cans and keg business. “Our immediate goal is to ramp up production to be able to share our ciders with even more people in Arizona,” said Josh Duren. “As we grow, it’s nice to have kind of a blank page of space that can evolve as we do, and that can adapt as life beyond the pandemic does.”

Expansion plans in Gilbert

The 11,500 sq.ft. Gilbert facility will have a main building for production and retail sales for customers to take cider home. When it becomes safe to do so the brothers will host tours of the cidery and have events scheduled. Upon entry to the facility a canning line will be visible and customers can see the packaging process. A second building will be used for cold storage. The additional production will allow for experimentation of new ciders and techniques.

The current equipment will be moved and new equipment will be purchased so they can triple production to 1,000 barrels. Cider Corps opened in November 2017 and in 2019 expanded with by 2,000 sq. ft to accommodate the growth of their ciders.

“We get a ton of people from the East Valley, Gilbert and beyond, who make the trek to the taproom. We’re really excited about being closer for them” he said. “But I’m just as excited about being able to grow and create more ciders for all of Arizona”. The new facility will be at 685 S. Gilbert Rd. Gilbert 85296.

Cider, coffee & pizza deals under one roof for Spring Training

Your ticket to any Spring Training game is worth more than the outcome of the game for cider, coffee and pizza in downtown Mesa. Under one roof at Cider Corps fans can save $2 on a pint of cider when you order a flight and show your server your game ticket. The crisp refreshing cider is made a few feet away and there are 12-15 rotating taps with five 4oz flights only $12. One order per customer. The cidery will be open 11 AM – close Mondays – Saturdays and 10 AM close on Sundays.

Before the game head to nano-roastery Pair Specialty Coffee & Tea inside Cider Corps for a pre-game boost. Show your ticket to your barista and save $1 on any drink. Pour-over small batch coffee, artisanal teas, cold brew & cold brew mocktails are $3-$8. One order per customer. Pair Specialty Coffee & Tea is open 6:30 AM – 2PM Wednesdays – Friday and 7 AM – 2 PM Saturday – Sunday. For updates on roasts and cold brew specials follow Pair Cupworks on Instagram @pair.cupworks.

Once there you won’t be able to avoid the aromas of Myke’s Pizza so stay for a pie. The award-winning pizza has become a permanent resident at Cider Corps and offers guests $2 off a Margherita pizza with any game ticket. Add pepperoni to any pizza for only $2.50 more. Myke’s Pizza is open Tuesday – Thursdays from 5 – 9 PM and Friday – Saturday from 4 – 9:30 PM.

Cider Corps is at 31 S. Robson. #103, Mesa

Sour Beer and Cider festival coming to the Gem City

Update: Rescheduled to October 24th and merged with Southwest Cider Festival. Details to come, purchased tickets valid in October.

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.

%d bloggers like this: