It’s no secret I’ve been critical of the Arizona Republic’s reporting on Arizona’s beer scene. Incorrect details and simple mistakes seem to plague the newspaper when it comes to writing about local beer. Stories generally have been disappointing, seemingly outsourced, and limited to news about festivals and Four Peaks.
Now, it seems the paper has hired a reporter worth their malt (see what I did there? Salt, malt. I’m so punny.)
Tirion Morris has been writing for the AZ Republic only a few months. According to AzCentral.com, her story history only goes to July 2019, which includes 40-ish stories. Officially, Morris is the “Nightlife Reporter” with her beats covering beer, wine, and clubs but judging by her postings, she’s not afraid to write the occasional Giada De Laurentiis or Popeye’s Chicken story.
Since July, Morris’ beer-focused stories have centered around pumpkin beer, Four Peaks’ Cardinals-themed beer, the Real, Wild and Woody Festival, and the closing of Phoenix Ale Company. Additionally, she’s written about Cider Corps in Mesa and a recent mead festival.
Apart from the breadth of original stories we are now seeing, I’ve noticed Morris’ incredible attention to detail and willingness to go far beyond the simple quote when crafting stories.
A recent story about the early arrival of fall seasonal beers contained numerous quotes from a Four Peaks representative to go with a giant photo of a Four Peaks six-pack. Morris could have left it at that—another PR piece for Four Peaks.
But she didn’t.
Rather, the story continued with an alternative view, provided by Peoria Artisan Brewery. As if that weren’t enough balance, the story concluded with a retailer’s perspective, provided by Craft Beer Hop Stop, the BEST bottle shop in the north valley. Morris may be new to the AZ Republic, but details like these show she knows her stuff.
It is exciting to see the valley’s beer scene getting the journalistic attention it deserves.