Craft Stores

It doesn’t have to be scorching hot to find satisfaction in a fine brew. In fact, as the weather cools it becomes the perfect time to search out something new and bold. Which way to turn? Ask the helpful brewmasters at the inaugural Phoenix Invitational Brewers Festival. The invitational suds-a-thon brings together 61 local and national breweries and brewskis in more than 25 categories, including some of the rarest craft beers available in the state, per fest organizers.

But an event this big – some 10,000 people are expected to attend – is about more than just beer consumption. Also on tap are brewing demonstrations, beer writers and publishers hawking their latest tomes, memorabilia displays, and beer-themed vendors. Add to that rundown fine foods, wines, and spirits.

Sampling begins at noon Saturday, December 8, at Heritage & Science Park, 115 North Sixth Street. Entry is free. Drinking mugs are $10, beer tokens are $1 apiece for a 3-ounce sample. A VIP option is available for $125. Designated drivers and minors can join the fun with complimentary handcrafted sodas.

Fri., Dec. 7, 12-10 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 8, 12-10 p.m., 2012