Though a steady rain fell on the 2014 Great Arizona Beer Festival, the sun still shined on Sleepy Dog Brewery, which took home the event's People's Choice Award, beating out beer crafters from throughout the state. The popular support for their beers should come as no surprise to anyone who has visited their tasting room, where guests kick back and sip from a venerable selection of handcrafted brews, from the malty Red Rover Irish Ale to the hoppy Tail Chaser IPA. A casual vibe permeates the high-ceilinged pub, where guests are encouraged to play board games or build a palatial house of cards as a monument to their favorite draft.
The Great Urban Race is a one-day event pitting teams of two against one another in a race combining physical challenges, scavenger hunts, and puzzles. Up to 700 twosomes will traverse 4 to 8 miles of Toronto terrain on foot and by public transportation as they solve 12 challenging clues in a fun quest to reach the finish line first. Sample clues and challenges from past Great Urban Races include charades, bubble-gum chewing, pig Latin deciphering, bicycle races, and word scrambles, making this race ideal for competitive eaters and cryptographers alike. Teams are encouraged to dress up in matching outfits, and prizes will be awarded for best costume. Prizes are also given for race results, with $300 going to first place, $200 to second place, and $100 to third place. The top 25 teams will qualify for the National Championship in New Orleans in November, with the top three teams receiving free entry. Each participant gets a T-shirt and postrace refreshments of fruit, granola bars, and a run through a Perrier sprinkler. Read over the rules and FAQs for more information.
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.
Wooden beams and tables, American-flag accents, a DJ booth, and real Cadillacs on the roof accentuate Cadillac Ranch’s southwestern vibe, which is permeated with rock and roll tunes. On game days, patrons gaze at a 150-inch HD projection screen or one of 30 plasma televisions while sampling bar bites such as tacos and burgers from one of the menus, which include a late-night selection that is served until midnight.
With more than 6,000 square feet of grilling goodness, BBQ Island is a 'cuers paradise stocked with award-winning rubs and savory spices. Lovers of slow-cooked treats can spend a meaty summer debating the merits of Kansas City versus East Texas after packing their pantries with regional blends from across the nation. Many of BBQ Island's specialty seasonings can't be found at local grocery stores, giving browsers an opportunity to stock up on premium flavor-boosters such as Bad Byron's Butt Rub ($14.99, 24 oz.) and John Henry's Texas Brisket Rub ($9.99). BBQ Island also carries an ample supply of MSG-free, gluten-free blends for the health-conscious seasoner, including the award-winning Dizzy Pig's Dizzy Dust ($9.95), as well as offerings from locally owned Fast Eddie’s ($7.99) and Anthony's Spices.
Located directly across the street from Sun Devil Stadium, Mad Hatter Brew Pub similarly strives to draw spirited crowds when its doors' open. An ever-changing selection of local and rare craft beers flows from the taps as the bartenders crack open bottles and cans, pour shots, and correctly guess every patron's eye color on the first try. Even without the game-day crowd, the pub summons passersby to enjoy a drink or a quick bite on its enclosed patio area. The food menu ranges from classic apps to hearty servings of home-style American meals. Beer-battered onion rings and jumbo wings slathered with chipotle barbecue sauce allow groups to stave off hunger pangs. Meanwhile, the hand-pressed Angus burgers, oven-baked, four-cheese macaroni and cheese, and flatbread pizzas can sate appetites.