"It's different than a traditional beer festival; it's a party."
That, friends, is straight from the mouth of Louis Dolgoff, founder of the Beer for Brains Foundation -- a national nonprofit association of craft beer lovers, distributors and brewers committed to raising awareness and dollars for brain cancer research. You may remember the organization from events like the Off-Centered Experience and the Epicuriad, which were both lauded as top beer-based events in the country.
"We're unlike a lot of charities that people just donate to," Dolgoff says. "We're also unlike charities that talk about prevention -- we can't talk about prevention. We don't know why brain cancer happens. So we have to do events to get people excited to donate to us. Really, we're an event organization that happens to raise money for brain cancer research."
Beer for Brains' next event will be its biggest yet. On Saturday, Nov. 5 at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, the foundation will host the RAREaffair. For a charity donation of $75 (or $175 for a VIP ticket), you get:
- Food! Provided by more than a dozen of the Valley's top restaurants.
- Liquor! Like single malt scotch, whiskey, bourbon, tequila, vodka and Sambuca. View the full list here.
- Wine! View the full list here.
- Music! From three local bands.
- Beer! Around 75 different ones, many of which have never been seen before in Arizona. Local breweries SanTan and Papago are both tapping new brews for the first time. View the full list here.
And the best part? You can have as much as your little liver can handle, and there's no messing with drink tickets.
"You go around, you drink what you want and eat what you want until it runs out," Dolgoff says.
Despite this, the event still hasn't sold out, which has Dolgoff surprised.
"In most cities -- San Diego, Philly, Boston -- an event like this would sell out in hours," he says. "Is it because the beer community is too small?"
But Dolgoff is still holding out hope that the foundation can reach its goal of 1,000, which will net the Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center close to $100,000. He says they sold 40 percent of tickets to last year's Off-Centered Experience during the last week of sales, so he's still holding out for Arizona's beer community to get it together.
The event begins at 6:30 p.m. (5:30 for VIP ticket holders) on Saturday at Talking Stick Resort. Tickets can still be purchased online here.