Celebrating Arizona Brewfest serves a good time in downtown Mesa
March 1, 2018
By Dave Clark
Two of the greatest words in the English language—“free” and “brewfest”—come together during the fourth annual Downtown Mesa Brewfest from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 10.
More than 40 brews will be on tap from over 13 breweries, most of which are based in Arizona, all along Macdonald, north of Main Street. Some of the breweries already committed to the event are 12 West, The Beer Research Institute, Blasted Barley, Grand Canyon, The Perch, Uncle Bear’s, SanTan and Desert Eagle. Full Sail Brewing of Oregon will be on tap, too. The variety will satisfy the pickiest of palates. Chocolate stout, light and crisp springtime refreshers and a hoppy IPA are among the options. The highlighted brew is KYLA Hard Kombucha, a fermented and fuzzy, light and refreshing, alcohol Kombucha beverage brewed in Hood River Oregon. KYLA is fermented to 4.5 percent ABV, and has live cultures and just 2 grams of sugar and 2 grams of carbs. KYLA is vegan and gluten-free.
“We’re really excited for our 2018 event because we have over double the breweries, the addition of a cocktail lounge and we’ve ramped up our VIP area,” said Courtney Garrity, marketing manager, Downtown Mesa Association.
“The cocktail lounge will feature liquor from AZ Distilling Co. and unique mixers by Iconic Cocktail. Our VIP area will feature a gaming area with darts, giant games and fast pitch.”
Additional activities include wrestling matches by Party Hard Wrestling and a beard competition by Canyon State Beard Club. These two contests show how the event has grown over the years, and the organizers’ originality.
“In year two, we brought in five local muralists to live paint murals on the side of the building next to the event,” she said. “The attendees loved to see the murals being created and the artists collaborating with one another to come up with the final product. The murals still exist, and one more will be added this year during the event.”
Back to beer, Garrity is particularly excited about products from 4 Silos Brewery, which is set to open in May in Gilbert. It is collaborating with SunUp to brew their own recipes.
General admission is free, and the festival is family and dog friendly. Beer tickets are $5, cash only, for a 12-ounce pour. VIP options are available, too. If beer isn’t your thing, enjoy a cocktail in the lounge sponsored by Iconic Cocktail, Arizona Distilling.
Music of multiple musical genres (from blues to folk to rock) will add to the festive atmosphere performed by acts such as Jason DeVore of Authority Zero, Some Dark Hollow, The Banter and Aunt B.
“We really have a fun time planning this event because every year we try to add an element of art and creativity to a type of event that traditionally focuses mostly on just the beer,” Garrity said. “When people come to the Mesa Brew Fest, they can expect to have a great time doing a multitude of activities that truly enhances their experience. From seeing art created to creating their own, there are unexpected surprises popping up all throughout the event.”