The golden age of drinking in Phoenix is now. We have an amazing assortment of cocktail bar options—options that just got richer by one. A new brewery just opened. Young Valley breweries recently took home four medals from the world's greatest commercial beer festival.
And we have some events on the horizon. First up: NovemBEER—which is today. Second, we have a detailed look at changes made to the next Arizona Cocktail week.
So cheers to the weekend, good booze news, and a great local drinking scene.
Phoenix Breweries Get Props at World's Top Beer Festival
The Great American Beer Festival in Denver would be the Oscars of the beer world if Hollywood were hoppier, drunker, and had more beards. The GABF is the world's top beer festival. At this year's GABF, where the suds flowed from October 5 to 7, four Arizona breweries earned medals. This speaks volumes about the quality of the Valley's rising breweries. At GABF, the number of beers entered into competition climbed just north of 5,000. Every state was there. Up against the best, metro Phoenix's young guns showed up in spades.
NovemBEER Lineup of 30-Plus Breweries Announced
Phoenix New Times' NovemBEER festival hits Margaret T. Hance Park TODAY from 11 from 1 to 5 p.m. There will be food trucks, live entertainment, and lots of great beer. More than 50 breweries will be pouring. The roster includes Prescott Brewing, Kona Brewing Company, Stone Brewing, Rogue Ales, and local valley breweries like SunUp and Huss. A $30-dollar ticket will get you 30 two-ounce pours.
Major Changes May Make the 2018 Arizona Cocktail Week(end) the Best One Yet
International mixologists, craft cocktail tastings, bartending and craft spirit workshops, and live music will still be on the menu for the 2018 AZCW. But this year, a few things are going to change, starting with that the festivities will be condensed to three days over Presidents Day weekend, rather than stretching over a full week. Those three days will be February 17 to 19. The biggest change isn't the abbreviation of the event; it's the location. This year, the festival will be moving to downtown Phoenix, making it a fully walkable event. Further changes should make the tipsy event better than ever.
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Craft Cocktail Bar Bitters Opens at ASU's SkySong
A new craft cocktail bar, Bitters, recently opened its doors at ASU's colossal SkySong development in Scottsdale near Scottsdale and McDowell roads. The cocktail program, featuring 17 drinks, utilizes a galaxy of bitters — from local (AZ Bitters Lab, CaskWerks) to global (Angostura, Peychaud's). Erika Rode will oversee the cocktail program. Rode worked in marketing and management for Total Wine & More for the last seven years. Total Wine is a booze distributor with more than 100 locations, close to a dozen in Arizona. Twelve of the cocktails will be brainstormed from-scratch for Bitters. Five will be classics slightly modified. There will be one house-aged cocktail, which will rotate.
New Brewery Concept GBU Opens in Glendale
Young metro Phoenix breweries have been making waves, and recently another young gun joined the mix. The brewery is called Good Bad Ugly Brewing Co., GBU for short. Head brewer Zach Schroeder has come to GBU after nearly a decade at Phoenix's Sonoran Brewing Company (Washington and 30th streets). At GBU, Schroeder will be taking a wide-angled approach, not emphasizing any particular style and focusing on a wide range of beers. He has made a handful of signature brews to start.