Southern Arizona’s seemingly unstoppable fervor around craft beer has allowed Tucson to grow from three well-known breweries a decade ago to the dozen or so we have now. This rapid growth doesn’t seem to be slowing anytime soon, and finally the underserved market northwest of Tucson will have its own brewery. Todd and Erika Button are in the process of selecting a location from three potential properties in Marana to open their Button Brew House concept. Todd holds a certificate in craft beer business from the University of Portland and underwent extensive training from the American Brewers Guild in Vermont. The Buttons plan to open with a 10-barrel system, hoping to avoid the limitations of smaller systems that many of Tucson’s microbrewers have had to cope with as they grew. Although the opening is many months away, you can keep up with their progress and their drinking adventures on Twitter and Instagram at @buttonbrewhouse.
The area around Tucson International Airport is generally considered to be a desolate wasteland overflowing with uninspired fast food, over-sanitized chain hotels, bleak industrial parks, and a strip club that changes identities every few years. As in any neighborhood in Tucson, dig a little deeper here and you find something that couldn’t exist anywhere else. The Territorial Bar is on its face another biker dive bar. One side of the building is adorned with an American flag mural, the other features a “Harley Parking Only” sign. The expected domestics are on draught and they have an appealing selection of Mexican beers in bottles. There are fewer than 20 seats around the bar, but the smoking patio past their two pool tables could seat a small army. The tattooed crowd is friendly, the fried pickles are exactly what you want them to be, and the service is friendlier than any New American concept downtown could ever be. Skip the Applebee’s on the way to the airport; stop by The Territorial. The Territorial Bar. 3727 S. Palo Verde Road. 520.514.9035
The last time I interviewed David and Jessie Zugerman about Tucson Hop Shop, they were still hunting for a location to open their “craft beer bottle shop, growler fill station, craft beer bar, and purveyor of artisanal beer-making kits.” Happily, they have found their home at the Metal Arts Village near the intersection of River and Dodge. Just a short distance off of The Loop, Tucson’s bicycling community will have a new favorite watering hole. Tucson Hop Shop hopes to be open before the end of the summer, following the construction of their outdoor beer garden (with the help of a last-minute Kickstarter). Tucson Hop Shop. 3230 N. Dodge Blvd. ✜
Bryan Eichhorst is a native Tucsonan, unapologetic sommelier, dedicated evangelist of Oaxacan mescal, and the beverage director at Penca.