In January 2012, when President Obama and Senator Mitt Romney began stumping in their respective caucuses and Tucson was still reeling from the Gabrielle Giffords shooting, downtown was near-dormant save for Hotel Congress and a few select spots.
The craft beer industry was in its infancy with just over 2,000 microbreweries across the country, according to the foremost authority, Brewers Association. As we usher in 2017, there are now well over 5,000 such breweries with a staggering 18 in southern Arizona alone and many more on the horizon.
There were limited options for craft beer drinkers in Tucson with suds-seekers looking to either Barrio Brewing Co. or taking the trek to find Nimbus Brewing Co.
Home Brewers Mike Mallozzi and Myles Stone wanted to change all that and looked to the downtown area to realize their dream of operating a brewery for the good people of Tucson.
It was a cold and blustery night in January when my wife and I waited over an hour to get our first glimpse at the renovated Tooley and Son Produce Company building in the Warehouse Arts District. After braving the crowds and the rain, we were treated to the goods.
I still have the commemorative glass from that night and have seen the brewery grow from a small, local brewpub to a huge operation with beer available across the state.
Accolades have been piling up for the brewery since bringing on new brewer, Landon Swanson, last March and their beer is only getting better.
This weekend, Mallozzi and company are bringing back some of those renowned beers to celebrate their fifth anniversary.
"It's been a true pleasure being a part of this community. We would never have gotten here without their help," Mallozzi told me. "We can't wait to share new and exciting beers and give back to the community that has given us so much."
The event begins at noon this Saturday, January 21 with a specialty tapping of an Imperial version of Borderlands' German Chocolate Noche Dulce. Six other specialty brews will be available during the celebration including:
For more information, visit the Borderlands 5th Anniversary Party Facebook event page.