Cocktails on tap? Yes, and depending on your disposition, this is either terrifying or fantastic (obviously, I’m leaning towards the latter). Regardless, Gio Taco continues to surprise and satisfy in its debut downtown, and now offers six signature cocktails on tap. There’s the Gringo, with brown rice horchata, homemade coffee liquor, vodka, and a splash of Pepsi, the Gio Punch, with pineapple granita, strawberry-infused rum, and pineapple sour, and others. If you’re looking for a bargain, hit the happy hour from 3 – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; everything on tap is half-off, including cocktails, wine, and beer. Gio Taco. 350 E. Congress St. #150. 520.882.8226. GioTaco.com.
Gio isn’t the only new spot downtown sporting a liquor license. The beautiful new Cartel Coffee is now serving beer and wine, including many craft varieties (as well as their own brews). Along with Sparkroot, that marks two spots in the heart of downtown where you can fuel up with premium caffeine, get your work done, and then becalm yourself with a beer, decompressing from said work—all without ever stepping outside. And if you stay up too late, there’s always the venerable stalwart Shot In The Dark, still open 24 hours a day. Cartel Coffee. 210 E. Broadway Blvd. CartelCoffee.com. Shot In The Dark. 121 E. Broadway Blvd.
Another craft brewery? That’s right. Tucson’s acquires another local brewery with John Adkisson opening Iron John’s Brewing Company. Adkisson has been a big name on the local beer scene for years; his home brews have earned him gold medals in national competitions, he’s served as a consultant for Nimbus, and has taught classes at Brew Your Own Brew for over a decade (10 years? He should be tenured!). Iron John’s hopes to be selling bottles (there will be many varied brews) by March 1. Iron John’s Brewing Company. 245 Plumer Ave. IronJohnsBrewing.com. 205.737.4766. Brew Your Own Brew. 2564 N. Campbell Ave. # 106. 520.322.5049. BrewYourOwnBrew.com.
The pairing of altruism and alcohol is a time-honored tradition. And there will plenty of opportunities to do just that in the next two months.The Alzheimer’s Association will put on A Wine to Remember on April 28 at 3 p.m. to raise money for those affected by dementia, while the vaguely-named The Event will raise money for The Boys and Girls Clubs of Tucson at La Encantada on Sunday, April 13, complete with lots of fine wine, spirits, and food.
Don’t miss the big Crush Party at the Tucson Museum of Art from 6 – 9 p.m. on April 4; there will be over 100 different wines to taste, food from 26 different restaurants, and a large silent auction. Tucson Museum of Art. 140 N. Main Ave. 520.624.2333. TucsonMuseumofArt.org.
Café Roka, the great gourmet spot in Bisbee, is celebrating its 21st year by opening up a wine bar. Not only will there be plenty of wine/food pairings on special tasting menus, but much of both will be local; fare will be featured from local favorites like Juliette’s Beaumont’s Guadalupe Baking Company and Margaret’s Olives, and many of the highlighted wines will be from Cochise county. On your next Bisbee excursion, for a real up and down (or down and up) experience, head deep down into the old abandoned mine, then surface for a classy repast accompanied by local vino. Café Roka. 35 Main St., Bisbee. 520.432.5153. CafeRoka.com.
On May 3 and 4, the Tucson Folk Festival is coming back to downtown Tucson for its 29th year—with Thunder Canyon Brewery as a sponsor, you’ll be able to enjoy some local alcohol with your acoustic riffs, always a winning combo. If you’re seeking more beer and music, yet find you’re feeling less Llewyn Davis and more mariachi, head to Casino Del Sol and ask for a michelada during the Tucson International Mariachi Festival, starting on April 30.
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