Anyone who has followed my time here at the Weekly, both as editor or previously as web producer, should probably realize that I'm a fan of Tucson's craft beer scene. Once Borderlands opened up in 2011, everything seemed to explode, even beyond what we've been able to keep up with here at the Weekly, although we've tried.
Strangely, however, even as breweries seemed to pop up every few weeks or so, last year's Arizona Beer Week locally was a bit underwhelming. Sure, there was ton of stuff up north in the Phoenix area and there was a solid event at Rillito Downs and scattered events here and there, but nothing deserving of all the hard work and effort brewers and those who love them put into the craft down here.
Starting with a conversation with the ultra-organized Rebecca Safford from Tap & Bottle, a group of local brewers and some associated parties started meeting to try to make more happen here in Tucson and this issue makes an attempt to capture all the stuff that's happening during Arizona Beer Week here, from a bike tour on Saturday the 15th to a celebration of local brewing at Maker House the following Saturday the 22nd. It's definitely a great time to get out of the house to try something new, whether you're a regular at Dragoon and 1055, or if you're still the type that orders Budweiser at your local bar. My simple request: find something on the schedule that sounds fun and go. As David Mendez references in the cover story this week, local breweries are a great example of creative people doing interesting things locally, hiring people and generally making this a better place to live. Plus, beer.
Thanks to Jacob Cox, Tina Feymeyer, Mike Mallozzi and Rebecca Safford for sacrificing your Monday nights for several months to put this together. Hopefully this is the start of bigger and better Beer Weeks here in Tucson for years to come.