Five Things to Eat and Drink This Week in Metro Phoenix

Just because the weekend is over doesn't mean you have to starve. Here's what we've got on the books this week.

An Intro to Gin: How to Approach, Understand & Appreciate Gin

This summer El Chorro in Scottsdale is offering classes to teach even the most mixology-challenged how to understand and enjoy different types of liquors. The well-known restaurant will kick off the series 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 10, with a course called "An Intro to Gin: How to Approach, Understand & Appreciate Gin." Participants will have personal instruction about cocktail making from El Chorro beverage manager Alec van Dobben. They'll also get a bar-side meal prepared by chef Charles Kassels, including jumbo shirmp cocktail with cucumber radish salad. The class costs $55 a person. For more information visit the El Chorro website.

More events this week: "Back to Basics" Craft Beer Panel at Papago Brewing Company Scheduled for July 11

Brews to Benefit

Every month, New Times hosts a happy hour event at a local bar or restaurant to raise a glass and some money for a local charity. This month, on Thursday, July 11, head to downtown Phoenix's Rose and Crown to benefit The Assistance League of Phoenix and the Operation School Bell program. The program provides clothes to children who otherwise wouldn't have adequate school clothing and outfitted more than 4,300 children in the 2010-11 school year. The event will feature Firestone Walker Company beers and attendees will get to sample their keystone brews as well as a seasonal selection. The event will go from 6 to 8 p.m. and costs $10 for four drink tickets. For more information or to purchase your tickets visit the Brews to Benefit website.

Four Peaks Brewery Dinner

Throughout the summer Spotted Donkey Cantina at El Pedregal shopping center has been highlighting Arizona's microbreweries and next on the list is Tempe-based Four Peaks Brewery. On Wednesday, July 10, it will host a three-course dinner and beer tasting that will include the Four Peaks 8th Street Ale, Kolsch style Ale, Hopknot IPA and Kilt Lifter. The evening's menu features dishes such as roasted red bell pepper soup, grapefruit habanero skirt steak, and chocolate coconut bread pudding. The event costs $39 a person and will begin at 6:30 p.m. For more information or to make a reservation visit the Spotted Donkey Cantina website.

Italian Wine Dinner

Arizona's only AAA Five-Diamond and Forbes Five-Star restaurant, Kai, will close out its summer dining series this week with a dinner event featuring wines from the central regions of Italy including the Marches, Umbria, and Emilia-Romanga regions. The final wine dinner will take diners on a culinary excursion to experience the heart of the Italian way of life and will include music from Grammy-nominated Native American musician Aaron White and Phoenix Youth Symphony first-chair violinist Emilio Vasquez. The six-course wine paired dinner will also be attended by Italian wine professional Lorenzo Mattoni. The event costs $160 a person and begins with an hors d'oeuvres reception at 6:30 p.m. For more information or reservations visit the Kai website.

Sour Summer Weekend

Sour beer savants can indulge at Tempe's World of Beer starting on Friday, July 12 at 6 p.m. For their Sour Summer Weekend event the beer-only bar will have a selection of soup brews on tap in addition to those available by the bottle. Look forward to kegs of "sour phenoms" including Sour in the Rye, Daisy, Hottenrothe Berliner Weisse, Sans Pagaie, Ypres, SoCo Imperial Stout, Sans Frontiere, and more. For more information visit the World of Beer Tempe events page.

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