The second annual Arizona Beer Week kicks off Feb. 18th, and the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild's celebration of The Grand Canyon State's signature suds has a plethora of new and returning events on tap.
The weeklong celebration of the craft beer industry, taking place Feb. 18-25th, follows an impressive first-year debut, where more than 250 events spanned the state, from Flagstaff to Tucson and every brew-loving burg in between.
New events will expand the festivities with a focus on craft beer education, the artistry of brewing and the unveiling of never-before-seen suds. Event highlights include:
- The 12th annual Arizona Strong Beer Festival: Kicking off the week of festivities Feb. 18 at Steele Indian School Park is the Strong Beer Festival, designed for the true craft beer lover who enjoys a strong beer and discovering new boutique breweries. Voted the "Best Beer Festival" in Arizona, this kickoff event features a wide variety of beer styles on hand for tasting. Festival goers receive a commemorative four-ounce tasting glass and 15 tasting tickets for the price of admission. Top-notch food vendors will make tasty treats available while guests enjoy live music.
- Kegs & Eggs: There's only a few days each year when it's acceptable - no, make that encouraged - to pour your first drink before your first pot of coffee. One of those days, thanks to the partnership of Arizona Beer Week and Hickman's Eggs, is Feb. 19, a day when restaurants and bars statewide will take part in brunches, breakfast, brenner (that's breakfast at dinner) and the like.
- Brewing Up Hope: Papago Brewing Company presents an amazing outdoor festival that will celebrate the camaraderie of the beer industry. All of your favorite breweries will be there pouring specialty beers in honor of the 10 year anniversary of Little Guy Distributing. They will be donating all proceeds to the M.I.S.S. Foundation, which offers bereavement support to families that have lost a child.
- Flagstaff Ale Trail Pub Crawl: The Flagstaff Ale Trail is a walking tour and tasting adventure of craft breweries in Flagstaff, Arizona. You receive a colorful Passport, easy-to-read map, souvenir Silipint Beer Pint and special discount deals at breweries along the Ale Trail. Stroll the less-than-one-mile-long route, sample Flagstaff's finest hand-crafted beers at downtown breweries and have your Flagstaff Ale Trail Passport stamped at each stop.
- Four Peaks Kilt Fest: The week of revelry wraps with revered Valley favorite Four Peaks Brewery's first annual Kilt Fest, from noon to 5 p.m. Feb. 25; a celebration of food, music and, of course, beer, that marks an appropriate end to the festivities honoringthe artistry of brewing and Arizona's best craft brews. As the name suggests, Four Peaks' award-winning Kiltlifter flagship brew will be the esteemed guest of honor, although other Four Peaks favorites will be on tap as well. Held on the lawn of Phoenix's Cityscape (1 E. Washington St., Phoenix), Kiltfest will feature a variety of gourmet food trucks, live musical performances by the Keltic Cowboys and RIG, and, of course, kilts galore.
This is just a sampling of the festivals, seminars, pairing dinners, pub crawls, tours, tastings and meet-the-brewer nights beer lovers can drink in during the much-buzzed about celebration that has fast become one of Arizona's premier tourism and hospitality events.
For a complete list of daily events or to purchase tickets, visit http://arizonabeerweek.com.