Love Letter From Arizona Brews & Blends

bartenderBy Kathryn M. Miller ~ It is February and love is in the air – but it’s a crafty, malty, hoppy, fruity, herby, spicy kind of affair, as the Valley celebrates all things beer, craft beverage and cocktail.

Kicking off a month of festivities is the Brewers Bowl craft beer festival February 6. Hosted by Bad Water Brewing in Downtown Scottsdale, the event showcases the burgeoning craft beer scene in Arizona, featuring 15 local breweries competing for “Best of Show” (won by North Mountain Brewing Company last year), live music and food trucks. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Paradise Valley Emergency Food Bank. Visit

Continuing the love affair with craft beverages is the Crush Brew Craft Beverage Festival at the Scottsdale Waterfront February 19-20. Sample the latest trends in handcrafted beers, enjoy wines produced by small vineyards from the state and around the world and meet the distillers driving the craft spirits movement, all while enjoying music from local bands and a “Pizza Throw-Down.” Visit for details.

February also brings the 16th annual Arizona Beer Week (, presented by Arizona Craft Brewers Guild and celebrated February 11-20, with more than 150 events across the state. Its marquee event, Arizona Strong Beer Festival, will be held Saturday, February 13, at Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix. For details, visit

veggiesBut it is not all about the “brew,” as bars, lounges, restaurants, watering holes and drinking destinations across the state gear up for their own spirited celebration this month. The fifth annual Arizona Cocktail Week is back for another round February 13-21 with an all-new lineup of cocktail events, highlighted by the new Cocktailgating Festival, a three-day outdoor cocktail party hosted February 13-15 at Hotel Valley Ho. Among other new events, Agave Alley, a tequila-fueled bowling party Saturday, February 13, at Scottsdale Bowlmor, that also doubles as the official after party of the Cocktail Carnival. Returning favorites include the premier bartending competition, Last Slinger Standing, the award-winning Top Bars of America event featuring pop-up versions of the nation’s finest craft cocktail lounges and the Artisanal Spirit & Cocktail Market, showcasing the finest in local cocktail products, small-batch bitters, farm-fresh ingredients, demos and tastings in a farmer’s market-style format. Plus, all week long, guests can once again enjoy Imbibe & Dine cocktail and food pairing dinners at restaurants across Arizona. To ensure that everyone gets home safely, the event will offer special discounts to all attendees with Uber. Visit for details. |CST

Arizona Cocktail Week Photos: Lisa Olson Photography

Scottsdale Streetside BBQ To Fire Up Labor Day Weekend

Bad Water Brewing IPA

Bad Water Brewing IPA

On Saturday, September 5, from 4-10pm, Bad Water Brewing is hosting the first annual Scottsdale Streetside BBQ, a laid back, backyard BBQ-inspired summertime gathering. Held in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, this 21-and-over event will feature live music, food and beverages from local vendors, outdoor lawn-style games, plus a TV tent for cheering on ASU in its first season game against Texas A&M.

The Scottsdale Streetside BBQ was created to deliver a fun entertainment option for locals who are staying in town during the holiday weekend. Although summer in the Valley is still going strong, the Scottsdale Streetside BBQ will have plenty of shade tents and misters to create an inviting outdoor affair. This end-of-season, holiday weekend celebration aims to become a reoccurring event.

According to Bad Water Brewing’s founder, Lewis Kubitz, “Labor Day screams barbecue, and what better way to ring in a work free weekend than a low-key gathering with friends, enjoying food, ice cold beer, football and entertainment.”

Festivalgoers can indulge in plenty of refreshing beverages, delicious food and fun. Bad Water Brewing will have a beer truck and will be pouring its Saison and IPA, as well as introducing its brand new Paradise Ale. Arizona’s Own craft sodas will be serving its popular Sarsparilla, in addition to debuting a new Mesquite Ginger Ale. Morrell Presley from Morrell’s BBQ will be rolling out his massive, decked out BBQ trailer to serve up slow smoked ribs, brisket and more. Sweet Lew’s ice cream cookie sandwiches will be an irresistible cool treat for those with a sweet tooth. A big screen TV tent, outdoor games and live music by Bluesman Mike and The Blues Review Band will keep guests entertained all evening.

The Scottsdale Streetside BBQ will be held in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale near Bad Water Brewing’s Tap Room at 4216 North Brown Avenue. The festival will be set up on Brown Avenue between 3rd Avenue and 4th Avenue, which will be closed to vehicle traffic.
Admission to the event is $10, and food and beverages are an additional cost. To purchase tickets, visit

For more information, visit

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