5 Best Things to Eat and Drink This Weekend in Metro Phoenix

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Strong Beer Festival Saturday, February 15

This weekend kicks off both Arizona Beer Week and Arizona Cocktail Week (really, organizers? Do we have to do this every year?), so as you can imagine, there's a whole lot of drinking to do. On Saturday, beer lovers will want to hit the 14th annual Strong Beer Festival at Steele Indian School Park, where scores of breweries from all over the state and country will gather to sample rare brews and other craft concoctions. The fest starts at 1 p.m., and you'll want to get there early if you plan on tasting that hard-to-find beer you've been eyeing on this huge list. Tickets can be purchased online and cost $50. That gets you a 4-ounce tasting glass and 15 tasting tickets.

For additional guidance, be sure to consult our Strong Beer Festival Itinerary.

See also: 20 Valentine's Day Dining Options in Metro Phoenix

Cocktail Carnival 2014 Saturday, February 15

If you're still standing after all that strong beer, you can then get your cocktail on at the Arizona Cocktail Week Cocktail Carnival 2014. The party starts at 7 p.m. and runs until 10 p.m. at the Hotel Valley Ho pool. The Cirque du Soleil-themed event will include aerial dancers, mermaids, music, tequila face-painting, and tiki drinks -- lots and lots of tiki drinks. Tickets cost $25 in advance or $35 at the door. Attendees must be over 21. For more information or to buy your ticket visit the Arizona Cocktail Week website.

Noble Bread Pizza Party at Maya's Farm Sunday, February 16

This Sunday, Slow Food Arizona is teaming up with Noble Bread to host a Pizza Party at Maya's Farm in Phoenix. The event will include a menu created by Chef Claudio Urciuoli including a selection of Noble Bread crostinis, hot and cold McClendon Select and Maya's Farm vegetables, and pizzas (Margherita, Salsiccia, and Vegetali). Attendees are invited to bring their own drinks and glasses. The event is open to both Slow Food Phoenix members ($30) and non-members ($35). To purchase a ticket visit the Eventbrite site.

Top Bars of the Nation Sunday, February 16

This weekend, a handful of the country's best bars will exist under the same roof -- and that roof is Crudo. Arizona Cocktail Week's Top Bars of the Nation event will bring Death & Co (New York), Employees Only (New York), Williams & Graham (Denver), Herbs & Rye (Las Vegas), and Scott & Co (Tucson) to the restaurant for a special boozy event. The out-of-towners will be joined by local favorites including Last Drop, Jade Bar, The Mix Up, and Blue Hound. Tickets to the event are free, but limited, so be sure to reserve your space online. Donations will be encouraged at the door to support the local United States Bartenders Guild. The event goes from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.

The Grilled Cheese Truck's New Menu

Phoenix's Grilled Cheese Truck has unveiled a new menu that includes both sweet and savory sandwich options. New menu items include the Goat Cheese Melt with herbed goat cheese, roasted butternut squash, cranberry-pear relish, and spiced pecans; a Pretzel Melt with white cheddar cheese, chicken bratwurst, red cabbage sauerkraut, sautéed peppers,and whole grain mustard on pretzel bread; and the Cheesycake Melt featuring cheesecake filling with raspberry preserves and Oreo pieces on Oreo brioche bread. This Friday you'll find the truck at the Gilbert Food Truck Mobile Food Court from 5 to 9 p.m. and on Saturday at the Central Farmers Market from 9 a.m. to noon and then at The Scottsdale Food Truck Caravan from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. For the complete schedule check out the Grilled Cheese Truck website.

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