With this pandemic with us for nearly a year now, who couldn't use a cold beer? Unfortunately, fear of spreading COVID-19 has taken its toll on brewery tasting rooms (as well as restaurants where craft beers are sold), so it's been a tough year for local breweries. More people are drinking at home instead of going out and small-batch breweries don't always have the resources to can or bottle beer.
Ahead of Arizona Beer Week, managing editor Austin Counts takes a deep dive into what's happening with local breweries in this week's cover story. Counts taps into Rebuild the Guild, a new American IPA being crafted by multiple breweries (sometimes with their own twist) in support of the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild; examines the challenges facing the breweries as they have fewer customers and an aluminum shortage that limits how much they able to expand their canning operations; and introduces you to the new management at Borderlands Brewing Company. We'll have more on the local activities for Beer Week in our next edition, but let's all raise a glass to the small guys who are brewing their best in the face of the pandemic.
Elsewhere in the book this week: Staff reporter Nicole Ludden brings us the good news that COVID cases are on the decline from their second wave peak and the bad news that the virus remains widespread and the state has reduced the number of vaccine doses it is sending to Pima County; The Skinny looks at how this year's City Council races are shaping up (assuming we have City Council races this year); Columnist Brian Smith brings us a Tucson Salvage love story for Valentine's Day; arts writer Margaret Regan reviews a new book about Rancho Linda Vista, the longtime arts colony up in the Oracle area; and Tucson Weedly columnist David Abbott examines how cannabis testing seems to have fallen by the wayside just as adult rec sales are starting. Plus, there are other tidbits, cartoons, puzzles, horoscopes, a sex column and so much more in our pages.
Stay safe out there!
— Jim Nintzel Executive Editor
Hear Nintz talk about the latest on the outbreak and other news at 8:30 Wednesday mornings on The Frank Show on KLPX, 91.1 FM.