As an expert in the world of beer festivals, I have had the pleasure of attending and experiencing some of the best events in the country. And one event that always stands out to me is the Arizona Strong Beer Festival in Phoenix, near Scottsdale.
The History of the Arizona Strong Beer FestivalThe Arizona Strong Beer Festival was first held in 2001 and has since become one of the most highly anticipated events in the state. It was created by the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild as a way to showcase and celebrate the strong beer culture in Arizona. What exactly is strong beer, you may ask? Well, according to the festival's guidelines, it is any beer with an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 8% or higher. This includes a wide range of styles such as imperial stouts, barleywines, and double IPAs.
The Location: Phoenix and ScottsdaleThe festival takes place in Phoenix, the capital city of Arizona, which is known for its warm weather and vibrant culture.
It is also conveniently located near Scottsdale, a popular tourist destination known for its luxurious resorts, golf courses, and art galleries. Both Phoenix and Scottsdale have a thriving craft beer scene, making them the perfect location for this festival. With over 100 breweries in the state, there is no shortage of delicious and unique beers to try at the festival.
The Festival ExperienceThe Arizona Strong Beer Festival is a one-day event that takes place in February each year. It is held at Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix and features over 500 different beers from more than 130 breweries. Upon arrival, attendees are given a commemorative tasting glass and 40 tasting tickets, each worth 4 ounces of beer. This allows festival-goers to sample a wide variety of beers throughout the day. One of the highlights of the festival is the collaboration tent, where breweries team up to create special and unique beers just for the event.
This is a great opportunity to try something new and exclusive. In addition to the beer, there is also live music, food trucks, and games to keep attendees entertained throughout the day. And for those who want to learn more about the brewing process, there are educational seminars and demonstrations led by industry experts.
Tips for AttendingAs someone who has attended the Arizona Strong Beer Festival multiple times, I have a few tips for those planning to go:
- Arrive early: The festival starts at 1 pm, but lines can get long, so it's best to arrive early to avoid waiting.
- Stay hydrated: With so many strong beers to try, it's important to stay hydrated. There are water stations throughout the festival grounds, so make sure to take advantage of them.
- Plan your route: With over 130 breweries, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which beers to try. I recommend planning out your route beforehand so you don't miss any must-try beers.
- Take breaks: It's easy to get caught up in the excitement and keep sampling beers, but make sure to take breaks and pace yourself.
You don't want to miss out on all the fun because you overdid it.
The Impact of the FestivalThe Arizona Strong Beer Festival not only provides a fun and unique experience for attendees but also has a positive impact on the local community. The festival supports local businesses and breweries, and a portion of the proceeds goes towards various charities. It also helps to promote the craft beer industry in Arizona and brings attention to the talented brewers and their creations. Many attendees come from out of state, which also boosts tourism and the local economy.
In ConclusionThe Arizona Strong Beer Festival is a must-visit event for any beer lover. It offers a diverse selection of strong beers, a fun and lively atmosphere, and supports the local community.
So if you find yourself in Phoenix or Scottsdale in February, make sure to add this festival to your itinerary.