You probably missed your chance to be one of the first hundred customers (they received a free baguette), but if you want to check out the new Whole Foods at 5555 E. River Rd. (the northeast corner of River and Craycroft), the wine and beer bar, with nine local beers among other excellent selections (I need to get over there for Odell's Lucene, their chocolate stout nowish) might be reason enough to head over. You can dine on pub food, watch TV and taste the exclusive beer Dragoon made for the store, which was described to me by the store's PR person thusly:
It pours like a porter but is light like an IPA. It is made with hops so experimental they don’t even have a name, just a catalogue number.
If you're not looking to drink and shop, there are other notable and interesting things going on at the new store, including a smoothie bar, an in-store pizza oven and a meat department complete with its own smoker. Smoked meat and beer...Whole Foods, you know the path to my deeply unhealthy heart.
No confirmation from the ownership yet, but word is that Luke Cusack's Redline Sports Grill and accompanying nightclub RPM closed yesterday. There was drama last year between Cusack and Lindy Reilly (of Lindy's on Fourth fame) and then a giant Buffalo Wild Wings location opened right next to Redline late last year, likely hacking away at the Grill's income, but seemingly the nightclub portion of the business was doing well, with TAMMIES runner-up Kidd Kutz (and my former co-worker at Clear Channel, for what its worth) moving there on Friday and Saturday nights in November. For what it's worth, one post by a local club promoter mentions that the business is moving in the next three months.
We'll update the post if news emerges, but as it stands now, it seems like the controversial Cusack (just read any comment section on a story mentioning him on our site) might be leaving another failed business in his wake.
Well the “little speakeasy that could” gets some more public recognition. Scott and Co., located next to its sister restaurant 47 Scott (at 47 N. Scott Ave., in downtown), has been singled out by Jim Meehan as one of his ten favorite new bars in the country. Jim Meehan was named American Bartender of the Year in 2009, among other accolades, so he has some heavy credibility. With places on the list from New York, Portland and Chicago accompanying our our hometown bar, Scott & Co. is in good company. You can see the full list here.
The guys at Ten 55 Brewing are having their first public tasting today from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. The brewery is located at 3810 E. 44th St. They will be selling their Leap Pale Ale, and you may be able to squeeze out samples of the Lazy Duck Wheat. If you have beer lovers that you’re still shopping for they have the usual stuff for sale (t-shirts, growlers, etc.) as well. Have one, or more, for me. I will be stuck at work dreaming of a pint.
24/7 Wall St., which seems somewhat like a legitimate news source, I guess, has a survey of the nine mass-market beers that have suffered the largest decline in sales since 2006 and it turns out that times have been tough for the Michelob brand, which takes up the top two spots in the list:
American consumers have abandoned Michelob — a lager brewed since 1896 — at a faster rate than any other beer. From 2006 to 2011, sales declined from 500,000 barrels to 140,000, with a 20% drop between 2010 and 2011 alone. No other beer on this list sold less than Michelob. The next-lowest selling beer, Amstel Light, still sold 200,000 barrels more than Michelob last year. The brand has not always struggled. According to Beer Marketer’s INSIGHTS’ Eric Shepard, “the superpremium category — basically between Budweiser and the imports — Michelob pretty much had that to itself for many years.”
So, how long will it take for Michelob to become the new PBR, sold as a hipster discount staple at a dollar or two a bottle? A year or so? A few months? On the other hand, can anyone actually recall what Michelob tastes like? Maybe that could be part of the problem.
The excellent (and occasionally quite silly) local webseries Hopped Up has been featured here before, taking a look at Best of Tucson staff pick Empire Pizza & Pub, but the gentlemen behind the show have moved their focus to one of Tucson's many stellar microbreweries, Dragoon Brewing Co. Take a look as they chat with the good folks at Dragoon, and also wear silly masks.
This Saturday, December 1st, the guys at Dragoon Brewing Co. will be having the final voting for their "Beard-Off." The three guys have been growing the best facial hair they can and each have selected a charity to support.
The masses will vote for the best and the winner's charity will receive a donation basted on November's pint sales. The tap room, at 1859 W. Grant Road, #111, will be open from 2-8 p.m. There will be food from MaFooCo starting at 4:30pm, and the winning beard & charity will be announced at 6 p.m.
We have been following the “nanobrewery”, Ten Fifty-Five, for a while now patiently waiting to see what they brew up. Well per their Facebook page they are finishing up brewing some test batches, and have received their Certificate of Occupancy to boot.
I spoke with them on the phone and told me they are planning to run a few more test batches, and do some sample tasting events over the next month. They are shooting for a grand opening sometime shortly after the first of the year. The time is ticking on when we can start drinking the goods and I for one, am watching the clock intently.
Union Public House, the gastropub in St. Phillip's Plaza on the corner of Campbell Avenue and River Road, is holding its first beer dinner on Monday, Dec. 3. The restaurant started taking reservations today and if the event turns out to be as popular as the various other dinners the place holds, you might want to score a spot early.
The dinner will feature five courses paired with beers crafted by New Belgium Brewing, makers of Fat Tire, Trippel and many other beers. Tickets are $50 and can be reserved by calling 329-8575.
In other beer-paired dining news, keep your eye out for a series of beer dinners up at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. We went to their first beer dinner this last weekend and it was truly something to behold. Multiple chef stations overflowing with everything from fine cheeses to lamb sliders smeared with spicy harisa, and beers by Dragoon Brewing Co. to wash it all down with.
Executive Chef Ken Harvey said the resort will be holding more of the dinners in the coming months. If you like fine food and great beer you should go. That is all.
JunXion Bar, the newest drinking and entertainment establishment to move into the growing downtown scene, holds its grand opening this weekend. We received this description of the place this morning:
The JunXion Bar is a destination for everyone featuring great local live music, 20 beers on tap, over 100 vodkas, top notch customer service, fantastic cocktails, a huge wall of TVs for sports and event viewing, street side smoking patio, special events, pool and shuffleboard, and a hip, welcoming ambiance that will keep customers coming back again and again!
The grand opening starts today and runs through Sunday, Nov. 18. The bar is located on the northwest corner of Congress Street and Scott Avenue, where motorcycle shop Knucklehead Alley used to be.
Films are shown at 7:30 p.m., every Thursday, through Aug. 29; $3 includes popcorn. June 6: Mata… More