Craft Beer Pioneers
Borderlands Brewing Company has been a mainstay of Tucson beer culture since it opened its downtown Toole Avenue location in 2011. The brewery was a pioneer in bringing delicious, locally brewed beer to the craft beer lovers of Tucson at a time when there weren’t many quality options.
To this day, the rustic, railroad-adjacent warehouse space of Borderland’s Brewing Company remains emblematic of the craft beer boom it helped usher in.
Borderlands Brewing Company will debut a brand-new satellite location on Saturday, December 10, 11 years after opening its original brewery. Borderlands Brewing at Sam Hughes will open its doors on the corner of Sixth Street and Tucson Boulevard, sharing the intersection with Flora’s Market Run, Tumerico, and Machine Age Tattoo.
Read our April 2022 Article “Borderlands Brewing Company to open a new taproom on Sixth Street.“
This prime location will serve the Sam Hughes and El Encanto neighborhoods, but will also be a major draw for University of Arizona tailgaters looking for a relaxed brewery environment to enjoy some pre-gaming within walking distance of campus.
Same great beers, exciting new dining partnership
While no brewing will be conducted at the new location, Borderlands Brewing at Sam Hughes will feature 20 draft taps, showcasing craft beer of their own as well as other local guest taps. Additionally, guests will be able to enjoy a wide array of wine, boozy slushies, craft cocktails, and non-alcoholic aguas frescas.
One of the most compelling elements of this new location is the introduction of a partnership between Borderland’s Brewing Company and award-winning chef, Maria Mazon. Mazon is best known for the innovative and electrifying Mexican fare she creates for her Fourth Avenue restaurant, BOCA by Chef Maria Mazon.
Imaginative tacos and salsas “hotter than your wife” have earned Mazon James Beard recognition, guest spots on “Top Chef” and “Chopped,” and many other local and national accolades.
Next up, Mazon is bringing her creativity and impeccable reputation to the kitchen at Borderlands Brewing at Sam Hughes for a dining menu she is currently keeping close to her chest. Expect flavorful tacos, chilaquiles, and more to pair with your beer or aguas frescas.
Tucson Foodie Insider tip: If you’d like a glimpse at the new menu and featured drink pairings or hear about the chef’s vision and inspiration, keep an eye on the social media pages for Borderland’s Brewing and Chef Mazon in the coming weeks.
Vibes on Vibes on Vibes
According to Es Teran, CEO of Borderland’s Brewing Company since 2018, the aesthetics of the new space will echo the unique industrial vibe found in the original downtown location.
“We wanted to replicate our OG location as much as possible,” said Teran. “Good patio, nice neighborhood, and a brewery vibe.”
Teran described the new Sam Hughes space as “an old building with history, kind of like our main location downtown. He assures Borderland’s fans, “you don’t have to go all the way downtown to enjoy a relaxed atmosphere. Come in, bring your dogs, bring your kids, and have a nice afternoon.”
Guests can also expect to find original art painted on the walls, courtesy of some of Tucson’s finest muralists.
More to Come for Borderlands and Chef Mazon
Borderlands Brewing at Sam Hughes isn’t the first offshoot project for the pioneering brewery, (Voltron, the production space Borderlands has shared with Firetruck Brewing Company since 2018), and it won’t be the last.
In addition to the upcoming Sam Hughes location, folks should stay tuned for two more exciting collaborative projects between Borderlands Brewing Company and Chef Mazon.
DOS is a BOCA + Borderlands collaborative restaurant opening in the River Center shopping complex at East River and North Craycroft Roads. At DOS, Chef Mazon will get to showcase her sophisticated culinary skills with an upscale menu featuring dry-aged steaks and large sharable plates.
“It will be the relaxed atmosphere you expect from a brewery with the upscale food menu you come to expect from a renowned chef,” said Teran.
DOS will also feature a small store, or “tiendita,” where guests can shop for takeaway items such as Mazon’s delicious salsas, SONA tortillas, Borderlands canned goods, and much more.
DOS has a tentative opening date for Spring 2023.
Sonora Moonshine Company
Teran and Mazon clearly have an inspiring entrepreneurial connection. While working on plans for Borderlands Brewing at Sam Hughes and the DOS restaurant concept, they were introduced to the available space at 124 E. Broadway Blvd. — across the street from Pueblo Vida Brewing Company.
“We looked at each other like ‘are we about to do this? We’re doing two, why can’t we do three?’ said Teran, regarding this third exciting collaborative endeavor with Mazon.
Sonora Moonshine Company will take over the ground floor of the former Access Tucson public television building as well as boasting patio space and a swanky “speakeasy” style bar in the basement.
The name Sonora Moonshine Company alludes to the former illegal nature and subsequent bootlegging of the spirit bacanora. For the agave-centered drink program, Teran plans to “source the best tequilas, the best mezcals, the best bacanoras, and the best sotols,” so guests can relax, enjoy, and learn about the various spirits and how they are made.
With a family history in the agave distillate industry and extensive knowledge and sourcing connections, Teran is confident they’ll bring in the best agave spirits that Mexico and South America have to offer.
On top of that, chef Mazon will be bringing her talents to the kitchen, presenting her creative spin on traditional Sonoran cuisine. Sonora Moonshine Company has a tentative May 2023 opening date.
Recap of all of the brew news
- Borderlands Brewing at Sam Hughes is planning to open Saturday, December 10
- DOS is aiming for Spring 2023
- Sonora Moonshine Company is aiming for May 2023