5 Arizona Beer Week Events You Shouldn't Miss

Hanna Leeke
Pedal Haus will be releasing its rare barrel-aged Imperial Stout on Monday of Arizona Beer Week. Get it while it lasts.

Ten days packed with events running from February 9 to 18, Arizona Beer Week is a celebration of the ever-growing and improving craft beer scene in our state. With more than 100 breweries statewide, AZ Beer Week gives us many reasons and opportunities to celebrate — and a conundrum: Just which events shouldn't be missed? Here are the five topping our "to do/drink" list. 

Donut Daze
Thursday, February 9
All O.H.S.O. locations
4900 East Indian School Road
10810 North Tatum Boulevard
15681 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale.

Craft beer week is a lot like your birthday week: Calories simply do not count. With that in mind, get to any one of the three O.H.S.O. locations for a special release of their Donut Series Beers. Their brewers crafted several beers inspired by doughnuts, to pair with doughnuts. O.H.S.O. will feature at least a baker's dozen beers and doughnuts to choose from, including the maple bar paired with Maple Lost Viking. A cinnamon roll will be paired with the French Toast Brown, and the lemon-filled doughnut will pair with the Lemon Meringue hefeweizen. And for "dessert," why not check out a chocolate glazed with the Imperial Milk Stout?

All Things Barrel
Keegan's Grill and Tap Room
1095 West Queen Creek Road, Chandler
Friday, February 10, 3 p.m.

Celebrating "all things barrel," Keegan's will be opening the cellar doors and releasing more than 25 different brews that have been aged, soured, kissed, or touched by a barrel. Featuring specialties from New Belgium, Ninkasi, Bell’s, Modern Times, Sierra Nevada, Deschutes, the Bruery, DESTIHL, Odell, and many more, this plethora of barrel greatness kicks off at 3 p.m. Friday and will run all week while supplies last.

17th Annual Arizona Strong Beer Festival
Steele Indian School Park
300 East Indian School Road
Saturday, February 11, 1 to 5 p.m.

Most sports save their seminal event for the end of the season. This does not hold true with NASCAR (Daytona 500) or Arizona Beer Week. The main event of the whole week is the 17th Annual Celebration of craft beer which will feature more than 130 breweries and over 450 craft beers. Said by many to be the best beer fest of the year, this is definitely an event to check out. Strong beers are featured at this event, but not exclusively, so never fear if big stouts, winter warmers, or barleywines aren't your thing. Live music performances are happening all day long, and food is available for purchase. Each ticket holder will receive a commemorative tasting glass and drink tickets. General admission gates open at 1 p,m. Check out the Strong Beer website for more details on how and where to get tickets.

Boats, Brats and Beers!
Desert Belle Tour Boat, Saguaro Lake
14011 North Bush Highway, Mesa
Monday, February 13, 5 to 7 p.m. (board at 4:30 p.m.)

For those who say there's no water in the desert, this event is for you. Four Peaks Brewing and Brat Haus are pairing up again with the Desert Belle to bring you a one-of-a-kind experience, featuring four courses paired with four beers from the craftmasters of Four Peaks, all consumed as you enjoy a two-hour sunset cruise around Saguaro Lake. There may be no better setting to take in the natural beauty of Arizona while enjoying AZ Beer Week. Tickets are $65, available through Desert Belle's website.

The Pop Up Taproom
Growler USA, featuring Huss Brewing and Ballast Point
5415 East High Street
Wednesday, February 15, 5 to 8 p.m.

The best of local and national brewing combine to feature more than 20 taps including hard-to-find, one-of-a-kind beers. Both Huss and Ballast Point will be featuring 10 beers each. Ballast Point will be featuring a rum barrel and a nitro version of their famous Victory at Sea as well as a Red Velvet Nitro. Huss will debut their new Husstler Series, their family of seasonal offerings, led by spring seasonal Alt Amber. Koffee Stout will feature the same coffee essence found in their famous Koffee Kölsch but on a sweet stout base. Juicy Fruit is a kölsch infused with mango and peach puree, then aged in Stranahan whiskey barrels. They'll also feature Coconut Joe, XP2 Experimental IPA, and barrel-aged Magic in a Barrel. 

Remember that whether you're a devout member of the Arizona craft beer scene or you're just curious about it, this is the perfect way to support local businesses and help your local economy thrive. Arizona Beer Week brings out the best that Arizona breweries have to offer, and not only are the beers produced locally, many are produced with local ingredients grown and produced by local farmers. Even if you tend to favor the suds of one of the mass-produced breweries, give your local brewers a shot during this beer week celebration, and you just may be introduced to your next favorite beer.

To find a brewery near you, and for a full list of Arizona Beer Week events, check out the Arizona Brewer's Guild website