The Arizona Republic recently confirmed what we’ve known here at Arizona Beer Traveler for a long time: Arizona is a great beer state.
A recent article by Tirion Morris, The Republic’s great Nightlife/Spirits/Beer reporter, stated “We’re calling it: Phoenix is a beer city.” Morris’ article highlights ten Phoenix-based breweries and brew masters summarizing, “a robust local beer scene is something to celebrate.”
But why stop at Phoenix? The whole state should be getting more attention. But alas…it doesn’t.
I was reminded of Arizona’s lack of beer-related street cred as I was thinking about summer travel. I’m headed to Chicago this coming summer and have been toying with the idea of making it a ‘beer-cation.’ Rudimentary research about great beer cities left me frustrated for Arizona’s plight.
Craft Beer and Brewing publishes 'Beercation' city guides for the usual suspects—Portland, Denver, San Diego, Grand Rapids—but also for diverse cities like Yakima, Austin, and Tampa. No Phoenix. Beer Connoisseur still lists Arizona in the bottom half of “best beer states” (we’re 26th).
I get it that people will not want to vacation in Arizona in July or August. I wouldn’t. But Arizona offers some of the best weather in the country in February and March. Ask anyone who visits for Spring Training. [That’s beer drinking weather, by the way.]
And our beer is consistently top-notch. In 2019, Arizona breweries took home eight medals at the Great American Beer Festival. In 2018, two local breweries took home silver medals at the U.S. Beer Open.
Maybe we need a slogan to entice people to think better of Arizona beer. How about:
>Arizona: Come for Spring Training, Stay for the Beer
>Arizona Beer: We are more than just Four Peaks
>Arizona: We challenge your beer to a draw
>Arizona: Brewing enough beer since 2013 to fill the Grand Canyon
Eh…none of that works. How about something simple:
Arizona is a great beer state.