The first-ever Scottsdale Beer Palooza debuted at WestWorld of Scottsdale on Saturday, June 28, and despite premiering a new, rather nondescript beer festival in the dead of summer the turnout was surprisingly strong (perhaps stronger than brew vendors were prepared for.)
But before you start beating yourself up for missing this somewhat misplaced beer event over the weekend, let us first start off by consoling you.
There will be others.
In truth, the Valley has no shortage microbreweries, beer festivals, and beer-themed events. And while launching a lager-fueled fest at the end of June seems like the just the sort of thing overheated locals would be all over, at this point, we've come to expect little something special to make each showcasing of suds really stand out.
Understandably, like any newbie festival before it, the Scottsdale Beer Palooza is still finding itself. Although the event featured more then 30 different brew vendors, including local favorites like San Tan, O.H.S.O., Prescott, Four Peaks, and Nimbus, plus music by DJ Sean Watson, and one lone connect four game, the party atmosphere in this giant, somewhat air-conditioned warehouse was lacking. Think sample day at Costco with nothing but alcohol.
And just like your average Saturday trip to Costco, lines were long and plentiful for both food and drink. And by 3 p.m. , only two hours in to this five-hour event (six if you were VIP), beer-enthusiasts were being told their favorite ale was out.
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But while there may have been some shortage of beer flavors, we've got to hand to the Palooza powers that be for being so generous with the samples. General admission ticket-holders had their choice of 20 Dixie-cup sized mugs, while VIP had 25, making it next to impossible pass on your unwanted to sample stubs to anyone else. Honestly we were amazed people were purchasing more brews at the on-site beer store.
Overall, Scottsdale Beer Palooza was generic but generous. So for those who aren't too picky over what gets poured, the Palooza might be worth putting on your calendar next time around.