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Cold Brew, Hot BBQ & Live Music On Tap
Tempe’s 24th Annual Great Arizona Beer Festival

By Dave Cooper

Saturday March 3rd, the 24th Annual Great Arizona Beer Festival invades Tempe Beach Park from 2:00pm until 6:00pm. The Great Arizona Beer Festival is a fabulous outdoor springtime Valley event for adults only. No one under 21 will be admitted. Tempe Town Lake’s waterfront will overflow with music, cold suds and food. Featuring many local brewpubs, national and international brewers, more than 200 craft beers will be available to sample or chug. Along with beer, live music is on tap. Ideal weather is expected for this event, which draws thousands of visitors every year. Tempe's Great Arizona Beer Festival Here’s your chance to enjoy gorgeous weather, with music and the spicy aroma of lip-smacking BBQ filling the air. Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Q will be serving taste sensations from their special Arizona Beer Fest menu like Pulled Pork Sliders, Smoked Sausages, Gyros, Hot Dogs, Buffalo Wings and Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches. Soft drinks and water will also be available.

The Great Arizona Beer Festival is a locally organized fund raising festival. All proceeds benefit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a non-profit radio reading service that brings audio books to nearly 50,000 aurally impaired Arizonans. Live entertainment and tasty food is the time-honored tradition of a truly enjoyable festival experience and this festival does not disappoint. Arizona-based band Shallow Water brings their self-described “high-tide party music” from 2:00 until 6:00pm. Formed in 2001, Shallow Water has received a Phoenix New Times Magazine’s Readers Choice Best Local Band award. Also scheduled to perform at this year’s Great Arizona Beer Festival is Tommy Anderson. The Tempe-based guitarist is scheduled from 1:00pm until 2:00pm and will also perform during Shallow Water’s breaks.

It’s a gulp, gather, and gorge fest, with beer being the primary draw. There are endless flavors for all palates and many of these brews have very thirst enticing names. Some of the names include Arizona Honey Wheat, Knee Deep Beautiful Blonde Ale, Mama's Little Yella Pils, Voodoo American Stout and Hazel & Infused, among others. Click here for a preview of the countless brews being offered. The Great Arizona Beer Festival features a range of amenities and event activities. You can try the VIP Experience, a package that includes early pre-event admission at 1:00pm, 24 beer and wine sampling tickets, private seating and catered food from Lucille’s. Also on hand for VIP ticket holders: casino tables, t-shirts, gift bags and exclusive restrooms. Available tickets combine several access privileges for General Admission, Designated Drivers, and VIP conveniences. Click here to preview various package combos and how to purchase your tickets. Located adjacent to Old Town Tempe and the ASU campus, Tempe Beach Park is an ideal venue with nearby access to the Metro Light Rail.

What modestly began in late 1970’s America as a hobby, amid a burgeoning wave of less-filling, tastes-great marketing hype from brewers and distributors; the old-world art of brewing craft beer has evolved and appears to be at its zenith. The Great Arizona Beer Festival is a fun program that features three distinctive annual beer-tasting events throughout Arizona. Future Great AZ Beer Festivals for 2012 include the Made In The Shade Beer Tasting Festival, in Flagstaff (June 23) and the 25th Annual Great Tucson Beer Festival (October 8). Learn more about all three festivals and details for Saturday’s event at azbeer.com