Brew Review

Desert Botanical Gardens' Beer Garden: Why We're Not Going

You fancy yourself a bit of a beer aficionado. You enjoy knowing about different styles and you have your favorite. You're a regular at Four Peaks and Papago and you're becoming a regular at Taste of Tops. You can get down with an expensive bottle of Dogfish Head, but you're also just as excited about grabbing some pints at Casey's.

That's why you probably shouldn't head to Desert Botanical Gardens tomorrow for their Beer Garden event.

Consider first the price of admission. Setting foot in the DBG equipped with a tasting glass will set you back $55. That price gets you ten pours for your 4 ounce "commemorative tasting mug." That means you're paying $55 for 2.5 pints! Of course, if you'd like more than a couple of pints you can purchase additional pour tickets. If you want to eat, it'll cost you another $25.

Kind of makes a pad thai from Thai Basil enjoyed bar side at Taste of Tops seem real appealing, doesn't it?

Consider also the beer list. There are a few decent brews to cherry pick from a list that's pretty average (see the list on the Desert Botanical Garden Web site). It's not much of an improvement over the beer list at last year's Beer Garden event. We would hope to see some rare brews. Instead we get a couple of seasonal beers and a smattering of local brews we're already enjoying regularly without a $55 price tag.

Frankly, we need to save our pennies. That's why we're heading to the various Oktoberfest events going on around the city (with an entrance fee ranging from free to a few bucks) and spending conservatively in preparation for the Beer For Brains Foundation's Off-Centered Experience in a couple of weeks. Does the Off-Centered Experience have a steep entrance fee as well? Sure it does, but we'll happily pay it to drink beers so rare that many of them have never been in Arizona before.