Arizona Beer Week: 10 days of craft, community

click to enlarge Arizona Beer Week: 10 days of craft, community
Experience many local and Arizona-brewed beers during Beer week, including some brewed especially for beer week. ciders will also share the spotlight.

For Arizona Craft Brewers Guild deputy director Andrew Bauman, Arizona Beer Week’s benefits are twofold. It’s not only a chance for the brewers to give, but for drinkers to connect.

“There are a lot of opportunities to be happy about Arizona beer,” he said coyly.

“The entire craft beer movement encourages innovation and thinking about new ways to enjoy the products we know.”

It’s especially true Thursday, Feb. 16, to Sunday, Feb. 26, when more than 130 breweries from around the state celebrate their concoctions for the 12th event. Fans of beer and newcomers alike can discover new drinks, eat delicious food and make new memories around Tucson.

“It is a celebration of Arizona beer and our community roots,” Bauman said. “It’s thanking our ravenous fans, also known as customers, for supporting these small businesses that are Arizona breweries.”

Familiar establishments such as Crooked Tooth Brewery and Tap & Bottle will be joining in, with others hosting happy hours, special collaborations, new products and surprising drinks for thirsty patrons.

There’s no shortage of fun.

“When our breweries go out and do events, not only does it affect them, but it affects the retailers,” Bauman said.

“When we do festivals, it also affects all of the other businesses around. Everyone’s getting a little bit of a boost when our members get out there and do fun special events.”

Crooked Tooth Brewing Co.

Benjamin Vernon is the all-around spokesman for Crooked Tooth Brewing Co. on Sixth Street. He called himself the owner, head brewer, janitor and maintenance man, and shared his brewery’s plans.

“We do a lot of barrel aging here,” Vernon said.

“We’re going to have in-house. We’re going to have some beer releases. We’re going to have specialty flights on Monday, all-day happy hour Wednesday… Thursday we’re going to have our sour foeder flight, as well as releasing some of the sours and bottles. And then it’s to-go Thursday, which is 10% off to go,” Vernon said.

In its sixth year of beer week, the establishment will also have special collaborations throughout the week with both in-house and delivered drafts available — all of which support local.

“One of our bigger events we do in-house that ends beer week is the michelada contest,” Vernon said. “It entails three employees of Crooked Tooth who make a michelada mix and it takes over almost all of the brewery. You get to try each one of the micheladas and then vote on who’s the best. Last year our sales rep Tony won with what he called the South Side Special. It was a lot of fun.”

After the contest, which is on Feb. 25, is an album release from local band Barefoot on Bumblebees.

Besides the festivities, Vernon shared what makes the week so special.

“I definitely think that beer work pushes this idea of supporting new local craft breweries. But it’s also moved beyond just the local craft brewers and more into just craft beer in general,” he said.

“It’s an art form now, and craft beer, to me, has taken that same role. Beer is viewed as this craft product where you can go in and have a bourbon barrel-aged beer that has vanilla bean and coconut in it, and then you have a stout that’s 12% and it’s a much different experience, same with your IPAs, and your sours, and everything else. You have these different ingredients and techniques… It gives you this profile of flavor that you weren’t previously exposed to. Changes things.”

Tap & Bottle

Another Tucson staple, Tap & Bottle, is also joining in with multiple events at its three locations.

“We like to do fun events around celebrating beer,” said Rebecca Safford, co-owner.

She also shared that a mix of new and old traditions will be found in the business’s ninth year of participation.

“We like to celebrate special releases during Arizona Beer Week, we like to celebrate breweries that have sold a lot of their beers over the year. Really, we just look at it as a time of, ‘Hey let’s just bring some good people together.’”

Among those collaborating is Dragoon Brewing Company and California-based Bottle Logic at Tap & Bottle North. On Friday, Feb. 17, they will host the “Piña Collaba Party” at 5 p.m.

Besides new drinks, Tap & Bottle will also host the “beer mile” at its Westbound location.

“It’s outside, people are running laps and drinking four beers and it’s just really fun,” Safford said. “It’s at the end of beer week, so I think a lot of industry people like to go and celebrate that they’ve worked really hard the past 10 days and enjoy a beer.”

It doesn’t stop there. Bringing in three different flavors to pair with three different beers, Tirrito Farms and Holy Focaccia bakery will collaborate from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, at the North location.

Other events

Besides their own events, multiple breweries, including Crooked Tooth and Tap & Bottle, will be a part of the Strong Beer Fest at Salt River Fields in Phoenix on Saturday, Feb. 18.

Activities include over 500 beverages available to sample, food trucks and yard games such as axe throwing.

“That event celebrates not the high ABV of beers… It celebrates the community, the traditions and the strength in flavors that craft beer brings.” Bauman said. “Twenty-two years ago, when craft beer started, there weren’t a lot of options in having flavorful beer, and here we are here with over 137 different breweries.”

In addition to the Strong Beer Festival is the Tucson Beer Crawl on Saturday, Feb. 25, with venues like Borderlands Beer Garden, Crooked Tooth Brewing Co., Hotel Congress, Playground Bar & Lounge, Pueblo Vida, R Bar, The Royal Room, Tap & Bottle Beer Garden and Thunder Canyon Brewery. For more information, visit

Arizona Beer Week

Thursday, Feb. 16, to Sunday, Feb. 26


Crooked Tooth

228 E. Sixth Street, Tucson


Tap & Bottle

403 N. Sixth Avenue, Suite 135, Tucson


7254 N. Oracle Road


267 S. Avenida del Convento, Suite 12



1859 W. Grant Road, Suite 111, Tucson


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