On a hot summer evening in late July, representatives of thirteen different local breweries lined themselves and their coolers along the walls of Borderlands Brewing Company‘s taproom in downtown Tucson. They had gathered for the kickoff Baja Brews tasting event in Edible Baja Arizona’s most recent native food collaboration with local breweries. The year-long series of beer tastings features beers crafted with different locally originating ingredients, celebrating Tucson’s thriving craft beer culture. The beer is donated by each participating brewery, and the money raised through ticket sales is donated to four nonprofit organizations who work to improve food security in the Baja Arizona region: Desert Harvesters, Native Seeds/SEARCH, Iskashitaa Refugee Network, and Trees for Tucson.
For the first tasting of the series, Cactus Fruit took center stage as the featured brew ingredient. The resulting beers came in myriad shades of pink: from a deep magenta to delicate peach, with flavors ranging from sweet like a shandy to tangy like a sour, with one particularly intriguing cloudy pink brew from Pueblo Vida Brewing Company that blew my tastebuds away. The variety among beers was matched by the variety of breweries’ presentations: some occupied whole tables surrounded by their branding swag, while others shared both table and cooler with their neighbor, identifiable as separate entities by the table signs.
One thing every brewery had in common? A mob of smiling beer enthusiasts holding out their cup to get a taste. Tucson’s craft beer community turned out in force, with the first Baja Brews tasting boasting a full house and brewers finding themselves wishing for more beer before the end of the night. Lesson learned: the next event is planned for a larger crowd, with more tickets available and more beer on hand.
Take a look at the rainbow of beers that were on tap at the Baja Brews Cactus Fruit Beer Tasting event:
Next in the lineup, a night of beers brewed with chiles and chiltepins, taking place on Thursday, September 29 inside Barrio Brewing Company‘s Tucson taproom. Learn more and purchase tickets below, or head to the Baja Brews Tasting Events page to see a schedule and purchase tickets for future tastings in the series.
Thursday, September 29, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Taste thirteen unique brews at our second Baja Brews tasting event, featuring locally produced chiltepin and chile -themed beer.
Cost: $15 per person
UPDATE 3PM 9/29/2016:
ONLINE TICKETS SALES HAVE ENDED, but you can still purchase tickets at the door starting at 5:30pm. See you there!
What: Chiltepins & Chiles Baja Brews Tasting Event
When: Thursday, September 29, 6:00pm-8:00pm
Where: Barrio Brewing Company
800 East 16th Street
Tucson, AZ 85719
On Thursday, September 29, join Edible Baja Arizona and 13 local craft breweries for the second Baja Brews Tasting Event. Every eight weeks, Baja Arizona’s breweries are working with different locally originating ingredients to craft special beers just for the event.
All proceeds from the $15 donation benefit four amazing Tucson nonprofit organizations that are working to improve food security in our community: Desert Harvesters, Native Seeds/SEARCH, Iskashitaa Refugee Network, and Trees for Tucson.
You’ll be able to taste and enjoy 13 native ingredient -inspired and locally produced beers, talk with the brewers, and learn more about Tucson’s ever-growing craft beer scene—all while supporting the work of these great non-profits! This second event features a wide variety of brews made with locally harvested chiltepins and chiles. See the brewer’s tasting notes for more information about these unique locally produced beers.
Barrio Brewing Company is at 800 East 16th Street in downtown Tucson. The tasting event runs from 6-8 p.m. and you can make your donation in advance by purchasing tickets using the button above, or tickets may be purchased on the night of the event at the door, pending availability. We do anticipate a sold-out event, so purchasing tickets in advance is recommended.