Top Five Phoenix Food Stories of the Week

Every week, there's a cornucopia of Phoenix food news, features, and reviews to report here at Chow Bella. If you're like most people, you probably just don't have the time to get to all of it. It's kind of like those burgers at Old Town Whiskey; it just won't all fit in your mouth ... or in this case, your day. So, here's a recap of some of the top stories from the week that you may have missed.

AZ Liquor Wholesalers and Retailers Under Investigation by State Liquor Department

Lee Hill, Communications Director for Arizona's Department of Liquor Licenses and Control, has confirmed a rumor that's been flying around the restaurant industry for weeks:

The department is conducting a statewide investigation of the relationships between licensed wholesalers (liquor distributors and wineries, for example) and licensed retailers (restaurants, hotels, resorts, nightclubs, wine bars and liquor stores, including big boxes).

Here's what they're investigating and what it might mean for the rest of us.

Because the investigation is open and ongoing, the department refused to share any details, including which businesses are in the spotlight. However, Hill directed me to two liquor industry advisories on the department's website that outline laws -- and therefore possible violations.

The liquor department could be looking at wholesalers who have bribed retailers with money, services, fixtures, signs, supplies or other things of value (including free trips) or who have offered bonuses or compensation to retailers for buying the wholesaler's products.

Find out more about the ongoing investigation.

--Nikki Buchanan

Four Best Farmers Markets in Greater Phoenix: Best of Phoenix 2012

It's officially farmers market season. So grab your canvas sack and go buy some local produce, crafts, meat, dairy and more.

There are tons of great farmers markets in the valley, but we've narrowed down the list to the best four in the greater Phoenix area. At these markets you can buy anything from vegetables to locally grown flowers, all the while supporting local farmers and artisans. Isn't that what environmentally conscious, healthy eating is all about?

See the list of our top four Phoenix-are farmers markets.

--New Times Staff

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