Congress to decide best local beer
Grace Pierson / The Daily Wildcat
Borderlands Brewing Co. in downtown offers a hip and urban place to grab a drink with friends.
An event at Hotel Congress this weekend aims to pit seven of Tucson’s microbreweries against one another to decide on the city’s best beer.
Congress will host its second annual Born and Brewed: Tucson’s Beer Cup this Friday from 7 to 10 p.m.
Along with a trophy, the brewery that takes winner of Overall Best will get their beer on tap for a year in the hotel’s tap room. The brewery that takes Specialty Beer will also get their beer on tap at the hotel during the holiday seasons.
Local band The Modeens will be providing live music in Congress’ outdoor patio, and a free hot buffet of soft pretzels and condiments, courtesy of Cup Café, will also be available.
VIP food tents will be located outside of the hotel, serving classic beer food such as specialty nachos and bratwurst.
Local breweries participating in this year’s competition include 1702 Pizza & Beer, Sentinel Peak Brewing Co., Borderlands Brewing Company, Thunder Canyon Brewery Restaurant & Pub, Barrio Brewing Co., Nimbus brewing Co. and Dragoon Brewing Company. The event will be featuring non-local breweries Tempe’s Four Peaks Brewery and Electric Dave Brewpub.
The idea behind the event is to showcase the area’s increasing brewing culture.
“There is a vibrant and exciting beer culture that is developing in Tucson,” said David Torkko, the hotel’s beverage director. “It’s time to bring that to the state and region’s attention.”
Last year’s Overall Best winner, Dragoon Brewing Co., won the Tucson Beer Cup trophy for their India Pale Ale. Since then, the trophy has been re-polished in preparation for this year’s winner.
Last year’s Best Specialty award went to Borderlands Brewery with their Dulce Noche Vanilla Porter. This year, the brewery will be entering their Honey Kölsch for Best Overall, which co-founder Myles Stone describes as “a nice, crisp everyday ale that tastes like a lager.” The brewery will be entering their slightly darker Nut Brown beer into the Best Specialty category. Although Stone is willing to admit that the competition is light-hearted, the business he’s in isn’t, and said he looks forward to its growth.
“It’s amazing,” Stone said. “The city has been super supportive. In the last year or so, we’ve really turned the corner. It’s an exciting time to be making beer.”
With the purchase of a ticket, participants are automatically entered into a raffle to win an advanced home brewing system provided by Brew Your Own Brew on North Campbell Avenue.
A $30 advance ticket or $35 door ticket will allow attendees to sample 20 beers.