What do you get when you combine the most glorious time of year in Tucson, a primo downtown location, and a gaggle of Arizona breweries serving up their finest beers? At the center of this Venn Diagram of Awesome is the 2023 Baja Beer Festival, to be held on the expansive lawn of Tucson’s historic Armory Park on Saturday, April 1.
This is the seventh year the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild has hosted the Baja Beer Festival, a showcase and celebration of Arizona’s craft beer prowess, as well as a fundraiser to support the guild’s important roles in bolstering Arizona craft beer. “We’ve got more than 30 breweries signed up so far,” said Andrew Bauman, Deputy Director of the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild. "Tucson has always been super supportive of this event, so I think it’s going to be great.”
If fresh air, tall trees, food vendors, and four hours of beer tasting sounds like your thing, get pumped and read on.
In attendance at this year’s Baja Beer Festival will be a baker’s dozen (and counting) of your favorite Tucson breweries, as well as 20+ independent breweries from across the Sonoran southwest representing Bisbee, Phoenix, Flagstaff, Willcox, Camp Verde, Eloy, Lake Havasu, and Mexico.
“This is our third appearance at Baja Beer Festival and we couldn’t be happier to join in the fun,” said Jim Erickson, owner of Walter Station Brewery in Phoenix, AZ. “As a Phoenix-based brewery, it is important that we always try to include the craft beer crowd in Tucson, and we always have found Tucson to be very welcoming.” Walter Station Brewery plans on bringing four brews to the event — their best-selling hazy IPA, a blonde ale, a blackberry gose, and an American Pale Ale named Bowl Resin in homage to the upcoming “holiday” on April 20. “Baja Beer Fest is a great example of what we can all share and experience when we get together as a beer community,” Erickson concluded.
The first craft brewery in the Verde Valley, Verde Brewing Company, will also be coming to Tucson to join the party and share the fruits of their brewing efforts. “Other than looking forward to the great weather, we are excited to share our Watermelon Sour and Wildflower Honey IPA,” said Alex Goetting, brewmaster and co-founder of Verde Brewing Company. “I am a 2012 UA Alumni, and I’m looking forward to sharing a product with a community that helped foster my love for craft beer.”
More Arizona breweries are signing on to the Baja Beer Festival daily, but you can scope out the currently confirmed participants below.
Three different ticket levels are now available for purchase, so tipplers and teetotalers alike can enjoy the festivities and support the cause.
These tickets are in limited supply, so craft beer aficionados should not sleep on purchasing.
Designated Driver Admission
The mission of the not-for-profit Arizona Craft Brewers Guild is to promote the craft brewing industry in the region through educational opportunities for brewers, consumers, and others in the beer supply chain, and to support pro-craft beer legislation at the government level. “Guild events like this support our efforts to ensure that beer is easy to buy, sell, and make in Arizona,” said Bauman. “These events support our legislative agenda and provide continued support for local breweries.”
The Baja Beer Festival also serves as a good reminder to local beer lovers of the uncompromising quality and variety of Arizona craft beers available. Shopping small and local injects money right back into the communities where we reside, and supporting our Arizona breweries is a big part of this sudsy circle.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit eventbrite.com.
Jessie Jean Mance was born in Tucson and never met a riparian area she didn’t like. She is a lover of lightning, sunsets, mezcal, music, and other intoxicating experiences. Mance resolutely believes that fresh air is medicine, burritos are the...