Upon walking in, we were handed our little (maybe) 4 oz topless tasting can, and "passport" with a map of the festival. There was a rather large crowd mingling right at the entrance, so we made our way through, walking down the sidewalk a couple of dozen yards, where the festival opened up into a large, grassy area with a little hill, circled by brewery and vendor tents, with a nice sort of pond/water feature in the middle of it, with a good size stage placed half over the water, where various bands played throughout the afternoon.
One of the first thing I said to my wife upon seeing this was "what a PERFECT spot for a beer festival!" It was green, and opened, with a ring of tree's circling it, provided a pretty decent amount of shade
We started making our way around to the various breweries, and were happy to find (or rather not find) any real lines at any of the tents. I never had to wait for more then 2 or 3 people to get my sample, and even got to stop and chat with a few of the brewer's and reps pouring as well. Everyone seemed to happy, and excited to be there, and were gracious, and accommodating to everyone that I saw. I was able to get about a dozen or so samples, all of beer I had never tried before, and in a few cases, never even heard of. All the beer was nice and cold when served. In a few cases, I walked around and let it warm a bit before drinking, but with the weather, and the sun, this only took a minute or so in those cases.
|Beer for Brains|
|Me with James Swann|
My wife and I were able to walk around, take in the sights, sounds and smells of the festival. Taking our time to chat with some friends and acquaintances we saw there. Got a chance to catch up with Louis from Beer for Brains. We ran into Brett Dettler of Arizona Wilderness Brewing. Of coarse, got to say a quick hello to James Swann as well, pouring beer for Mudshark, and as normal, he had a line of enthusiasts waiting to chat with Arizona's always friendly beer guru.
|Santa Fe Brewing|
|Marble Brewing, NM|
What I love about beer festivals like this, is getting to chat with folks that make the beer, they obviously love it, and are passionate about it. Which is one of the reasons I love drinking local beer. You learn so much more from someone that got their hands dirty making the very beer you are drinking. I love this part of festival's like this the most!
I will say this again, this was a great festival! I still think maybe Arizona Strong Beer Festival might be the
|The Beer Czar|
A hat tip to San Tan Brewery, and HDE Agency for putting on just a phenomenal festival. I am looking forward to next year already!!!
Well done, and thank you for giving Arizona one more reason to take pride in our beer community!
Until next time
Bottoms up my friends!
The Beer Czar