So much is happening in the Phoenix-area bar and beer scene that we just had to make a list so we can all keep up. Phoenix Pride and National Beer Day are bringing some colorful specials this weekend; the Valley is also welcoming Maynard Keenan’s wine bar; and later this month will be the first-ever Gin Week Phoenix.
For for those watching calories, or sticklers for nutrition labels, the people at Huss Brewing Co., Tryst Café, and Lon’s Last Drop are here to settle your stomachs. With that, here are eight things you need to know about booze in the Valley.
5114 North Seventh Street
Central Phoenix will be a lot more colorful this weekend for the Phoenix Pride party held at Hula’s Modern Tiki on Friday, April 5, to Sunday, April 7. And Hula’s is more than ready for it with a recently expanded “tropical” patio section and the signature "Rumbow" — a light-rum cocktail with some colorful layers. Some other noteworthy drinks for this prideful occasion include the strawberry watermelon margarita (which changes colors when you add lime juice) and the Color Changing Gin (gin plus violet liqueur and lemonade).
1100 North Central Avenue
Pride weekend at Match Restaurant and Lounge will no doubt be a fun experience. All day on Saturday, April 6, and Sunday, April 7, take advantage of the “Match Made in Heaven” cocktail, or you can “Taste the Rainbow” — in other words, order a colorful collection of 10 shots. And 50 percent of the drink proceeds go toward Phoenix Pride.
This holy day happens to be this Sunday, April 7, and many a Valley beer hall and tap house are ready to help celebrate. Two Brothers Tap House & Brewery is launching its new beer Love of Hops Hazy IPA with $4 pints and other specials. Meanwhile the north Valley’s NPX: A Neighborhood Joint is offering mugs of beer for pint prices.
Old Town Scottsdale Welcomes Merkin Vineyards Wine Bar
7133 East Stetson Drive, #4
No more scenic road trips to the adorable city of Jerome (but we still kind of encourage that). Old Town Scottsdale has welcomed into its fold Merkin Vineyards — a wine bar owned by head winemaker Maynard James Keenan (yes, the dude from Tool who’s been making a splash in the Arizona wine world after spending years on The Edge radio station). The best part? Everything you see on the wine and vegetable-driven menu has been grown in state.
5532 North Palo Cristi Road, Paradise Valley
The Hermosa Inn has a restaurant, and that restaurant has a bar, and that bar has some new cocktails for spring and the looming summer. Ideal for sipping on that gorgeous patio, the new drinks at LON’s Last Drop include the Pink Lady, the Lost Dutchman, the Perfect Paloma, the Spirit of the Border, the Rested Manhattan, and the 125-calorie Bikini Rita. One of the especially imaginative concoctions is the Hermosa Inn’s Crushed Cocktail — more or less an adult Capri Sun.
Just in time for pool party season (seriously), Huss Brewing is granting us beer drinkers with a light, low-carb beer option — the Arizona Light Lager. Each 12-ounce can clocks in at 110 calories and eight grams of carbohydrates. For now, Arizona Light Lager will be on tap at all Arizona locations of Buffalo Wild Wings, while 12-packs will appear in retail stores and major grocery chains sometime in April.
Ginworld has decided to make its debut in Phoenix by hosting the fifth annual Gin Week — or Gin Week Phoenix — at various Valley venues from April 22 through April 28. It starts with the Campari Loves Gin competition on April 22 at Bitters Bar and ends with the Gin Festival at Unexpected Art Galley on April 28. Other hosts include Monroe Bar and Blue Clover Distillery; additional activities range from tastings to interactive seminars. Tickets are $55 at the Gin World website.
21050 North Tatum Boulevard, #108 and 4205 South Gilbert Road, Chandler
Liquor bottles come with labels and warnings, sure, but they never come with nutritional facts. That’s why Frankly Organic Vodka is putting out the first vodka bottle with a nutritional label in the United States is a big deal. Also why Tryst Café in Phoenix and Chandler starting to carry it next month is a bigger one. Frankly’s vodka is organic and gluten free, and comes in strawberry, grapefruit, pomegranate, and apple. Tasting and voting events will be held at both Tryst Café locations in May.