Scottish Beers and More at the Arizona International Celtic Music and Microbrew Festival

Meet Rusty O'Flattery, the world's tallest leprechaun, at this weekend's International Celtic Music and Microbrew Festival.
Meet Rusty O'Flattery, the world's tallest leprechaun, at this weekend's International Celtic Music and Microbrew Festival. Ed Krieger

Phoenix beer lovers can kick off St. Patrick's Day festivities with a selection of Scottish beers at the Inaugural Arizona International Celtic Music and Microbrew Festival this Saturday and Sunday, March 11 and 12, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. near the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix.

Festival attendees of legal drinking age can purchase a $15 flight card (while they last) to taste eight sample beers (4 ounces each) of their choice.

Hensley Beverage Distributors will feature imported beers from Scotland specifically for this event, including Edinburgh's Innis & Gunn Brewing's Original and Whiskey Stout, as well as several offerings from the Scottish brewer Belhaven including Black Scottish Stout, Craft Pilsner, Scottish Ale, Twisted Thistle India Pale Ale, and Scotch Ale.

Innis & Gunn are well-known for aging their beers in oak, providing distinct woody and vanilla character. The Innis & Gunn Original produces flavors of vanilla, toffee, and oak while the Whiskey Stout produces flavors of dark chocolate, coffee, and treacle with hints of vanilla and spice.

Established in 1719, Belhaven is Scotland's oldest working brewery and they set the standard for the flavor profile of Scottish-style ales. Each of their beers features authentic, rich Scottish malt, the hallmark of Scottish-style beers. Hops don't grow well in Scotland, so most Scottish beer styles were designed to be very malt-forward and thus sweeter on the palate.

England's famous Bass Ale will also be available.

The festival will also feature some top local and national craft beer options.  Local options include Four Peaks Brewing Company's Kilt Lifter and Oatmeal Stout and Barrio Brewing's Rojo. Other American crafts featured include: Founders Brewing Company's Dirty Bastard, Victory Brewing's Donnybrook Stout, and Ace's Apple for the cider lovers. Bud Light, Michelob Ultra, and Budweiser will also be available.

For non-beer drinkers, the festival will also feature José Cuervo margaritas, wines, flavored vodkas, Irish whiskeys including Bailey’s Irish Cream, and plenty of nonalcoholic options.

Beverages aside, organizers promise the world’s tallest leprechaun, three stages of nonstop Celtic music and dance, and authentic Celtic food.

Tickets for the event are $12 for adults, $10 for students, seniors and military, and $18 for a two-day pass. (The $15 beer flight card is a separate expense.) Children 10 and under are free. For more information, visit the festival website.

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Dave is a certified cicerone and former professional brewer. When he's not doing something beer-related, Dave enjoys writing, listening to, and performing music, hiking, skiing, and watching baseball.
Contact: Dave Clark