The craft beer movement has been steadily growing in Phoenix over the past few years, and now all the hard work we've done downing pints and sampling flights has paid off with one really big event. The first Phoenix Brewers Invitational Festival will take place from noon to 10 p.m. on Friday, December 7, AND Saturday, December 8. Yes, there will be two days of celebrating the glory that is beer. And, that's time well invested because the proceeds benefit the Beer for Brains Foundation, an Arizona-based nonprofit that uses the widespread love of craft beer to raise awareness about brain cancer and to help fund groundbreaking research.
You'll need to spend all 20 hours of the festival wisely because there will be 60 craft brewers showcasing their flagship beers downtown in Heritage Square. That's a whole heck of a lot of ale, lager, and stout to try, including Borderland Brewing's Noche Dulce Vanilla Porter, Coronado Brewing's Orange Wit, and Ass Kisser Ales' Vanilla Pale Ale. To help soak up your beer and keep you imbibing, there will be local food trucks at the festival. Our favorite new truck Ole Dixie Southern Food will be there along with at least five others, including Epic Hot Dogs and Aji Mobile Food.
Admission to the festival is free, but partaking of the brew requires the purchase of a Get Crafty 2012 souvenir mug. Then, you have to stock up on plenty of $1 beer tokens. One token will get you a 3-ounce sample, and if it's love at first sip, you can get a full 12-ounce pour for four tokens. There will also be a little brewery education for beer nerds, beer-related activities, live entertainment, and rare beer tappings. Want to hang out in the VIP beer garden, where you can meet and greet with local Arizona brewers? Be sure to purchase a VIP ticket in advance. For your $125, you get the souvenir mug, 30 beer tokens, catered food, the option of participating in the Get Crafty bocce ball tournament, a DRAFT Magazine subscription, and -- perhaps most important of all -- access to private restrooms.
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Want to know if your favorite faraway craft brewery will be representing at the festival? Here's the full list of participants:
SanTan Grand Canyon Thunder Canyon Sun Up Papago Sonoran College Street Oskar Blues Ska Breckenridge Left Hand Port Brewing Bell's New Belgium Alaskan Crispin Big Sky Lost Coast Napa Smith Oak Creek Lumberyard Phoenix Ale Nimbus Bj's Sam Adams Lagunitas Stone Rogue Tap-it Ship Yard Ace Cider Ommegang Mother Road Dogfish Maui Boulder Full Sail Coronado Mission Left Coast Anchor Shiner Epic Knee Deep Tenaya Creek Stillwater Squatters Firestone Walker Odell Sierra Nevada Deschutes Mudshark Sleepy Dog Prescott Four Peaks Widmer Red Hook Goose Island Wood Chuck Cider Borderlands Rubicon Marin Ass Kisser Ales Rodeo Cold NYPD Pizza Department