Third Annual Baja Beer Festival Brings Exclusive Arizona Beers to Tucson

07apr2:00 pm6:00 pmBaja Beer Festivalby the Arizona Craft brewers guild2:00 pm - 6:00 pm AZ Armory Park

The Baja Beer Festival is showcasing exclusive Arizona beers and setting up in downtown’s Armory Park from 2 – 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 7.

The beers are coming from some of Arizona’s best breweries, and the list has yet to be confirmed, but this year’s focus is on IPAs.

This time around, the festival is teaming up with the Gastronomic Union of Tucson (GUT), whose chefs are creating the entire menu at four separate food booths.

Live music from local bands will set the tone nicely, and the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild is bringing the fun with some lawn games and activities.

Depending on what kind of experience you’re looking for, the tickets range from $10 to $60.

VIP Tickets ($60)

  • 1 p.m. entry (60 extra minutes)
  • 25 tasting tickets
  • Food voucher
  • VIP Bandana

General Admission ($35)

  • 2 p.m. entry
  • 20 tasting tickets
  • Food is available to purchase

Designated Drivers ($10)

  • Entry to the festival at noon, but without access to any alcohol
  • Food is available to purchase

At each food booth, all four teams of Gastronomic Union of Tucson (GUT) chefs will be collaborating with different restaurants and a local brewer for a beer-focused menu.

Food Provided by GUT Teams

Chef Team One

Mat Cable (Fresco), Devon Sanner (Carriage House), Jim Murphy (Kingfisher), and Janet Jones (Tanque Verde Ranch).

  • Menu:
    • Heatwave Hefe Currywurst
    • Hopped Up BeerBQ Chicken
    • Beer Braised Greens with Dunkel Cured Bacon
    • Low Down Dirty Rice 
Chef Team Two

Ken Foy (Culinary Graduate/Dante’s Fire), Max Provost (Mercenary Chef), Drew Burk (Dante’s Fire), Lindon Reilly (Big Daddy’s Kitchen), and Daniel Padilla (Fresco).

  • Menu:
    • Stout Pretzel Bread Sticks – with beer mustard dip
    • Grilled Candied Bacon Jalapeño Poppers – roasted red peppers, queso fresco, scallion oil, and parmesan foam
    • Sage Chile Chicken Sausage – with oak smoked and beer simmered, with horseradish mustard, and beer cheese sauce
    • Pork Belly Sandwich – slow cooked pork belly, fermented napa slaw, creamy IPA vinaigrette on a Sonoran wheat roll
    • Cajun Garlic Fries – with Sriracha Ketchup
Chef Team Three

Gary Hickey (Charro Steak), Matt Kraiss (Thunder Canyon Brewstillery), and CJ Hamm (Saguaro Corners).

  • Menu:
    • The Baja Beer Burger – hand-trimmed Forbe’s Meat Co. Arizona grass fed ground beef piled high on a homemade Portuguese bun with orange sour beet pickles, stout braised pork belly, mesquite smoked sheeps milk manchago, tomato-shallot relish and merchants Garden greens.
    • Hopped Spiced BBQ Potato Chips 
Cheft Team Four

Travis Gary Peters (The Parish), Ben Forbes (Forbes Meat Co.), Matt Gutierrez (Mercenary Chef), and Obadiah Hindman (Mountain Oyster Club).

  • Menu:
    • TBD

Participating Breweries

  • 1055 Brewing Company
  • 1912 Brewing Company
  • Barrio Brewing Company
  • BJ’s Brewery
  • BlackRock Brewers
  • Buqui Bichi Brewing
  • Copper Mine Brewing Company
  • Dragoon Brewing Company
  • Grand Canyon Brewing Company 
  • Huss Brewing Company
  • Mudshark Brewing Company
  • OHSO Brewery Company
  • Prescott Brewing Company
  • Pueblo Vida Brewing Company
  • SanTan Brewing Company
  • Thunder Canyon Brewstillery
  • Uncle Bear’s Brewery

Water bottles or containers will be allowed into the festival, and in an effort to conserve and create a “green” event the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild will set up a self-serve water station.

Armory Park is located across the street from the Children’s Museum in downtown at 222 S. 5th Ave. To purchase your tickets, visit

Matt Sterner is a journalist, novelist, loves films, and would like to think he's a filmmaker. When he's eating, he likes to talk with his mouth full and write about it.

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