Get ready for Tucson’s only celebration of all-local brews. A night in honor of local breweries, great food, and great music—a Tucsonan’s delight!
This Friday, the Second Annual Born & Brewed: Tucson’s Beer cup will unfold on the Hotel Congress plaza. Featured breweries include: Dragoon, Barrio, Nimbus, Borderlands, Thunder Canyon, 1702, Ten 55, and Sentinel Peak, with special guest brewery Four Peaks, based out of Tempe.
According to Todd Hanley, the General Manager of Maynard’s Market and one of the event’s organizers, “The actual name of the competition came from our beverage director; the idea being: born in Tucson, brewed in Tucson.” He recalls drawing some of his inspiration from a beer festival in California called Belly Up, and said, “We always wanted to do a beer tasting and beer festival but we wanted to throw around ideas that would make us different from the others.” So they added a competitive component that truly makes the Born and Brewed beer cup unique. They are not a beer festival, but a beer championship. Hanley said, “It brands Tucson as edgy and exciting, and it’s specifically local.”
Last year, local breweries competed to win the people’s choice vote for the best brew in Tucson. Dragoon’s India Pale Ale (IPA) emerged victorious as the “Best Overall Beer.” Borderlands Brewery’s Dulce Noche Vanilla Porter was crowned the winner of the “Best Specialty Beer.” Dragoon’s prize included placement of a handle in Hotel Congress’ Tap Room for the year, and a trophy, which they will pass on to this year’s winners. Hanley describes the trophy as being rustic, which reflects the old charm of the historic Hotel Congress.
Hanley is looking forward to welcoming Four Peaks brewery to the event, although they’re unable to compete. “We extended our boundaries to Phoenix, [but] we are staying true to our roots.”
The beer will be flowing from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and will be perfectly paired with a pretzel buffet presented by Cup Café: house-made soft pretzels with all the fixin’s and toppings you can stand.
Individual tickets are still available and can be purchased online or by calling Hotel Congress directly. Ask about their special packages, which include two Born & Brewed tickets and two Morning Drink tickets, you know, for a little hair from the dog that bit you. Cheers Tucson. Drink up!
Hotel Congress. 311 East Congress Street, Tucson, Arizona 85701.520-622-8848.
Kirsten Almquist is an intern with Edible Baja Arizona.