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A look at what’s new in the Valley’s craft beer scene

New breweries, beer festivals and special releases are on tap for 2024.
Nearly 150 breweries will bring over 500 beers to sip at the Arizona Strong Beer Festival. It's just one of the upcoming craft beer events happening this spring in the Valley.
Nearly 150 breweries will bring over 500 beers to sip at the Arizona Strong Beer Festival. It's just one of the upcoming craft beer events happening this spring in the Valley. Arizona Strong Beer Festival
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There’s plenty on tap for the Valley’s craft beer scene. The end of 2023 saw a flurry of brewery and taproom openings, with a few more on the way. As we look forward into the new year, we’ve got you covered with where you can sip new brews, including a special tapping for a good cause, and ways you can fill your cup with beer-centric events well into the spring. Here's what's new in the Valley's craft beer scene.
click to enlarge Beer Babes Family brewers pose for a group photo.
Beer Babes Family collaborates with breweries from around the U.S. and Canada to brew special batches of beer or rename existing brews to benefit the organization and raise funds to support women in the beer industry.
Rachel Benkowski

Sip for a cause with Babe Brew

Bone Haus Brewing will tap a special release on Friday that supports Beer Babes Family, an organization that works to engage more women in the beer industry. The Babe Brew is a traditional cream ale, brewed with corn, featuring a light body and refreshing finish, according to the beer’s tasting notes.

The ale will be released on draft at the Fountain Hills brewery and also will serve as the welcome beer at the Copper State Beer Festival taking place in Mesa on Saturday. Babe Brew is a collaboration beer between Beer Babes Family and craft brewers from the U.S. and Canada, with a portion of the sales benefitting the nonprofit.
click to enlarge Tasting flight at Buqui Bichi Brewing.
Buqui Bichi Brewing is one of two brewers who has expanded by adding new taprooms.
Sara Crocker

New breweries are now open

2023 ended with several new breweries opening their doors, including Catalyst Crafted Ales in Tempe and Phantom Fox Beer Co. in Mesa, and others launching additional outposts, such as Buqui Bichi Brewing in downtown Phoenix and The Perch Brewery in Gilbert.

Catalyst opened on Oct. 22 near Broadway Road and McClintock Drive. The brewery is helmed by Will Walthereson, a brewer with California roots who worked at Wren House Brewing Co., The Shop Beer Co. and ran Ad Astra Brewing Co. in Prescott before launching his Tempe spot. The brewery operates alongside S.A.L.T., a taco truck turned brick-and-mortar eatery featuring a seafood-driven menu.

Phantom Fox is the brainchild of the crew behind Mesa’s popular Chupacabra Taproom and Goat and Ram mobile pizza kitchen. The brewery, which opened on Nov. 10, took over Desert Eagle Brewing Co., which closed in downtown Mesa in July 2022. Like Catalyst, guests get two concepts in one, with one pouring beers and the other slinging pies.

After launching its first U.S. taproom in Chandler last summer, Buqui Bichi Brewing followed up with a downtown spot, which officially opened on Jan. 5. The Phoenix location features a slightly slimmed-down food menu (we’re hoping they’ll add the Sopes al Pastor) along with the brewery's award-winning Mexican brews and a selection of local guest taps.

Meanwhile, The Perch – the brewpub that also rescues exotic birds – has opened an outpost in Gilbert at the former home of Flying Basset Brewing, which closed in September. The Perch also has a three-story brewery in the works in downtown Queen Creek, according to an update from the town.
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Pinnacle Brewing Co., set to open later this spring, was founded by father and son Bob and Wyatt Wilson.
Pinnacle Brewing Co.

More craft beer coming soon

Drinkers will be able to sip O.H.S.O. craft beer – along with Miller High Life – at the revamped Helton Brewing Co. space later this month. Owner Jon Lane announced the impending arrival of Starving Artist, a neighborhood bar focused on O.H.S.O.’s spirits and casual, everyday food and drinks.

Also set to open this spring is Pinnacle Brewing Co. The father-son venture will focus on “true-to-style” beers inspired by Czech, German and Belgian brewing traditions. Brewmaster Wyatt Wilson worked his way up at breweries including Dust Bowl Brewing Co. in California and Monkless Belgian Ales in Oregon. Pinnacle, taking a nod from the nearby peak of the same name, is located in north Scottsdale near the airport, at Hayden Road and Raintree Drive.
click to enlarge A group poses with beer samples at the Strong Beer Festival.
Arizona Beer Week, and the Arizona Strong Beer Festival, are right around the corner in February.
Arizona Strong Beer Festival

Start filling your craft beer calendar

Just around the corner – and in plenty of time to spare for those on the wagon for dry January – is Arizona Beer Week. The 10-day event hosted by the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild celebrates locally fermented quaffs, starting with the Arizona Strong Beer Festival on Feb. 17.

The event, hosted at Salt River Fields, will feature nearly 150 breweries pouring more than 500 beverages. Tickets are $70 for general admission or $90 for VIP which includes a special Friday tasting event and early entry on Saturday. In addition to the beer festival, brewers will be hosting events of their own – see the calendar here.

And, a new beer festival is coming to north Phoenix in March. Kitsune Brewing Co. will host the Tomodachi Beer Fest on March 9. The event will feature a dozen Valley brewers, including fellow northsiders Fire and Fury Brewing Co., Lake Pleasant Brewing Co. and Richter Aleworks. Tickets are $40 and go on sale on Feb. 1.
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