The staff at The Brass Tap take beer very seriously, and so do many of their customers. The evidence for this is the Brew Crew, where customers accumulate points for trying different choices of the pub's 300 craft beers, which they can then redeem for food or beverage purchases.
Thankfully, the bar makes it easy to sort through its 300 beers. The menu is divided up into different beer types, which go deeper than the basic delineation of ale vs. lager vs. water that's been dyed amber. Guests can peruse listings of bottled barleywines and porters, or have a resident beer aficionado fill their mug with an imported brew on draft. Beer even permeates the food: the chipotle mustard on the house-baked pretzels is made with pale ale, just as the cheese dip is made with Samuel Adams. All of the sandwiches and pretzel pizzas also have recommended drink pairings.
As for entertainment, each Brass Tap books a variety of local bands on Friday and Saturday. Trivia and happy hours find regular spots on the schedule, and some locations have outdoor patios.
The phrase Il Vinaio translates into English as "the wine merchant"?making it a more-than-apt title for a Mediterranean-inspired bistro and wine bar. This trans-Atlantic eatery blends the flavors of the American Southwest, Greece, and Italy under the guidance of executive chef Jordan Salyer. Local organic produce and house-made soups are just some of the building blocks of his eclectic menu. Spice-rubbed steaks and pork loins, pastas tossed with cream sauce and chicken, and seafood dishes such as pecan-crusted salmon are crafted with care alongside vegetarian pastas and grilled flat-breads. Though the food is the focus, a list of American craft beers and international boutique wines provides the ideal drink matches.
Il Vinaio's decor also contributes to its evocative atmosphere. The sprawling space is designed in the style of an ancient Tuscan church, with linen-draped tables set below soaring cathedral ceilings and 70 stained-glass windows. Playful touches also abound in the form of local artwork and a back-lit soffit scrawled with nearly a dozen hand-written quotes about wine and how good it tastes any time of day.
There isn't much in this world that's better than drinking beer while listening to music. Good Cheer Brewfest combines these complementary activities with a good cause, and the result is a festival that will be hard to top this holiday season.
The formula is simple: bring together a team of brewers and musical acts, then donate a portion of the proceeds to local charities. This year, those charities include The Humanitarian Activist Alliance and Phoenix Children's Hospital, as well as Toys for Tots, which will be collecting toy donations.
Good Cheer's music schedule features eclectic sounds that range from the foot-stompin' Americana of local boys Random Karma to the soul-driven blues of Ebinezer. Keep an eye on the brew page for updates on the festival's featured beers, which may include everything from crisp lagers to the latest beer-flavored energy drink, BuzzBeer.
The Fourth of July is, by nature, just one day. However, Red White & Rawhide celebrates the holiday for two days straight, closing out both nights of revelry with epic fireworks. Before the glittering light displays fill the sky, though, there's plenty of fun to be had in the sun. Visitors taste craft beers and wines, for instance, and swig flavored margaritas, washing down meals from local food trucks. Musicians play live for the crowds, too, and local artists showcase handiwork more compelling than a pure black canvas depicting the Founding Fathers in a dark room.
At Bombay Spice Grill, you don't have to grab a table to enjoy the spices and sauces of Indian cuisine. Instead, Executive Chef Sunil Kumar designed a menu full of Indian meats, tofu, curries, and toppings that can be customized into a flavorful meal-on-the-go. Though the sauces come in traditional varieties such as curry, tikka masala, spinach, and vindaloo, the preparation veers from the methods of India to create healthier dishes. Chefs eschew cooking with ghee—Indian clarified butter—and instead use olive oil for heart-healthy wraps, sandwiches, salads, and bowls. And though wraps come with a slice of freshly baked naan or roti bread, clients can opt to make their dish gluten-free by swapping out bread for quinoa or rice. Guests can even customize their dish to be vegetarian and vegan, with ingredients clearly denoted on the menu. And to pair with a main entree, they can grab traditional Indian sides such as samosas and rice pudding.
Located in Tempe, Studio Vino combines an urban feel with wine tasting and making to create a personalized and unique experience for connoisseurs and casual wine drinkers alike. Featuring only wines from Arizona, the winery strives to offer its guests a modern experience while sampling between 8 and 11 of the winery's red and white varietals, each paired with hand-selected cheeses, crackers, and chocolates. In addition to tastings, Studio Vino offers personalized wine labels to help transform a memorable sip into a keepsake.