Tempe's Tour de Fat Beer and Bike Festival is Canceled for 2023 | Phoenix New Times

Tour de Flat: New Belgium Cans Tempe Bike and Beer Party

The bike and beer festival is canceled after 15 years in Tempe.
The Tempe beer and bike festival Tour de Fat is canceled after 15 years.
The Tempe beer and bike festival Tour de Fat is canceled after 15 years. Benjamin Leatherman
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After 15 pedal-powered parades and beer fests in Tempe, New Belgium Brewing Co. has canceled Tour de Fat in the desert.

Instead, the brewery known for Voodoo Ranger IPA will focus its Tour de Fat events in Fort Collins, Colorado, and Asheville, North Carolina, where its brewing operations are located. The event, part bike parade featuring thousands of costumed cyclists, part party with live music and plenty of beer, supports nonprofit organizations that focus on making communities bikeable.

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Tour de Fat brought bike-themed festivities to Tempe.
Benjamin Leatherman
In lieu of this year’s event, which had been slated for April 8, New Belgium says it will donate $10,000 to its Tempe nonprofit partners, Tempe Bicycle Action Group, Bike Saviours, and Central Arizona Mountain Bike Patrol, and “remain[s] committed to assisting them through our grant process,” according to a release announcing the end of the event.

New Belgium estimates it has raised more than $5 million supporting local bike nonprofits in the 23 years of Tour de Fat. Locally, New Belgium estimates it has provided more than $850,000 over its 15 years to Tempe bike-related nonprofits, according to John Yeast, the brewery’s event and experiential marketing coordinator.

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Costumes were welcomed at Tempe's Tour de Fat.
Benjamin Leatherman
Learning of the cancellation was disappointing, but expected, Central Arizona Mountain Bike Patrol President Daniel Ryan said via email. Tempe was the first city to host a Tour de Fat post-pandemic, with the event returning in 2022 after being paused for 2020 and 2021. It was the sole city on the tour outside of Fort Collins and Asheville that year and in 2019, down from 33 cities in 2017.

Ryan teased that the Tempe bike partners will be putting their heads together “to create something new and fun in 2024.”

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Tons of people brought their bikes to Tour de Fat in Tempe.
Benjamin Leatherman
According to Tempe spokesperson TaiAnna Yee, the city of Tempe “love[s] any and all events where we celebrate biking, so we are sad to see it go. It raises awareness of bicycling, it makes Tempe a destination.”

But, Yee also notes that Tempe has a strong biking culture – one that the city and those nonprofit partners will continue to promote, including the Tour de Tempe event on April 2. While it won’t feature any beer, the free morning event will encourage folks to get out and ride.

As far as events from New Belgium, “nothing can quite replace Tour de Fat," Yeast says. "But at this time, we don’t have any other event planned to replace Tour de Fat in the Phoenix metro area."
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