It’s Friday afternoon and half of your office has joked about cutting out early and having a beer. You daydream about it but you stay at your desk. Our unwritten rules about when we drink are ingrained. We’re supposed to cram it into a happy hour, often Thursday or Friday. The drinks are big, the food is small. That’s our workplace culture–the larger culture.
Welcome to Beer Culture.
The Phoenix Brewers Invitational (PBI) in Phoenix Heritage Square is a new event for Arizona and it is billed as, “an opportunity to provide the Arizona craft beer scene and the City of Phoenix with a signature event to help generate awareness of our developing craft beer culture.” Craft beer culture says that it’s OK for your local community to be involved in beer and beer events and this extends to our city leaders.
In most parts of the country, it wasn’t politically acceptable for politicians to be seen with a glass of beer. President Obama is credited with changing that thinking with his beer summits. He’s been photographed raising a pint of Guinness. He’s bought a round of Buds at the Iowa state fair. He’s had his chefs brew beer in the White House kitchen and famously shared them on the campaign trail.
The Mayors of beer culture-centric cities have always embraced beer. In San Diego, Mayor Jerry Sanders openly courts breweries to locate in San Diego County. Former Denver Mayor and now Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper once owned a brewery and is heavily involved in the Great American Beer Fest. Portland’s Mayors have traditionally opened the 25 year old Oregon Brewers Festival (OBF) by tapping the first cask following a downtown parade. On Friday, December 7 at Noon, Phoenix Mayor is slated to open the Phoenix Brewers Invitational with a toast.
Did you miss that? Noon. Friday.
Famously, Postino Winecafe has a bumper sticker that reads, “Drinking Wine at Lunch is not a Crime.” That is true of wine culture and it is also true for those that enjoy good beer. If you’re not able to make the leap from work culture to beer culture you can still check out the fest with your worker-bee cred intact. The PIB is free to enter. You can check it out during your lunch hour and see what is being offered without paying. The PIB will have Food Trucks on hand and there is craft root beer.
If you want to partake, there will be over 60 breweries each offering a single beer. Over 25 styles will be represented. You need to purchase a commemorative mug and drink tickets. The glass will cost you $10. Tickets are $1 each for a 3 oz sample. The mug and the tickets can be used when you return after work on Friday, or Noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday.
Another tenet of beer culture is that beer should be enjoyed with food. Often at a festival, you’re enjoying great food with a tiny beer. The PIB will let you trade in four tokens for a full 12 oz serving. You can wash down the fare from Aji Mobile Food, Ole Dixie Southern Food, Torched Goodness, Emerson Fry Bread, Luncha Libre and Epic Hot Dogs with a hearty pour! Beer was meant to be enjoyed by the glass.
The Invitational is patterned after Portland’s Oregon Brewer’s Festival and it is one of the reasons that the city is referred to as Beervana. We expect that type of an event from such a beer city. Will Phoenix rise to the challenge? Will your Downtown Beer be a Friday afternoon one?
If you go:
Location: Phoenix Heritage Square, 115 N. Sixth St., Phoenix, AZ 85004
Dates: Friday & Saturday, Dec 7 & 8
Times: Noon to 10PM
Cost: Admission into the festival grounds is free, In order to consume beer, purchase of a 2012 souvenir mug is required & costs $ 10.00. Beer is purchased with wooden tokens. Tokens cost $ 1.00 per. Patrons pay four tokens for a full 12 oz. mug of beer or one token for a 3-oz. taste.
Friday, December 7th:
Headliner – Bird City,
Support – Versions of You, Cartoon Lion, We are Searchers, Inept Hero, Cosmic Goat, Libertine Social, Johnny Lee
Saturday, December 8th:
Headliner – 80 Proof,
Support – Black Bottom Lighters
Proceeds of the event benefit The Beer for Brains Foundation, a non-profit organization that raises money for the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
One Hundred Community Sponsors Contributed to Holiday Decoration Fund
Earlier this fall, community members representing the greater downtown Phoenix community, including the City of Phoenix, METRO Light Rail, Phoenix Community Alliance, neighborhood organizations and local business owners, created the Holiday Decoration Fund, and put out a call for contributions to help bring seasonal sparkle back to our city’s grandest boulevard.
Last year was the first time since light rail construction began that the holiday streetlight decorations on Central Avenue were installed. By the end of that season, however, it was clear that the decorations were too deteriorated to reuse and a solution needed to be found.
In just a few short weeks, the organizers of the Holiday Decoration Fund have gathered enough community-wide support to decorate 219 streetlights, 184 of those sponsored by 100 financial sponsors, with a few salvaged decorations from last year. Streetlights on Central Avenue, ranging from North Central to South Central, will be decorated with candy canes and poinsettias with LED lights adding some sparkle.
“This says so much about what the community can do when it comes together,” said City of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “Holiday decorations are an important aspect of vibrant community. Thanks to Phoenix Community Alliance for their leadership, and to all the participants who are brightening Central Avenue.”
“South Mountain area residents and businesses really get in the spirit of the holidays, with many events and celebrations for families to enjoy,” said Councilman Michael Nowakowski. “The opportunity to have Central Avenue – the main route connecting the central city and our downtown to the South Mountain area – decked out in holiday lights would really add that extra layer of excitement for families and children. Let’s turn Central Avenue into a holiday wonderland!”
“I am thrilled to see holiday decorations come back to Central Avenue. These decorations foster a sense of community among Phoenix residents, and help build a festive holiday spirit for downtown shoppers, diners and visitors,” said Councilman Tom Simplot. “I applaud the leadership of Phoenix Community Alliance and the Midtown Museum District Neighborhood Association in making this happen.”
“Holiday decorations along Central Avenue are one of our greatest community traditions,” said Mo Stein, Chairman of Phoenix Community Alliance’s Board of Directors. “Growing up in Phoenix, this was always a family activity. What better way to continue to bring families together and celebrate the Heart of our City, with new restaurants, shops, housing and light rail happening daily. We thank everyone who is helping this great tradition.”
“The Downtown Phoenix Partnership is very excited about the prospect of holiday lights along the entire length of Central Ave through the central city. This is our signature street and it deserves to be the showcase of our holiday festivities,” said David Roderique, President and CEO of Downtown Phoenix Partnership.
Central Avenue will twinkle with spirit from Thanksgiving through the MLK Holiday. ‘Tis the season to bring your family and friends to Central Avenue, ride the light rail and take in the beauty of the season.
The following is the list of 100 participating sponsors of Holiday Decoration Fund:
A Tropical Concert
Aragon Real Estate Group
Arizona Central Credit Union
Arizona State University
Artisan Lofts on Central
Barron Collier Companies
Best Buy Insurance
BMO Harris Bank
Brophy College Preparatory
Central Park Square
Central United Methodist Church
Chateaux on Central
City of Phoenix Industrial Development Authority
Dick’s Ace Auto Repair
DOXA Central, LLC
DWL Architects & Planners
Evergreen Commercial Realty LLC
First American Title Company
FEZ Restaurant & Bar
Friendly House/Unity Way Fire Star
Gaedeke Group LLC
Habitat Metro LLC
Hon. Ruben Gallegos and Kate Gallegos
Hon. Tom Simplot
Goodwill of Arizona
Grandview Neighborhood Association
H-M Investments LLC
Hazel and Violet Ink
The Heard Museum
H-M Investments LLC
Hula’s Modern Tiki
Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona
Investors Warranty of America/Jones Lang LaSalle/Security Title Plaza
Irish Cultural Center
JP Morgan Chase
Just You Transportation
La Canasta Restaurant
La Bodega Furniture
Laura Crosby and Cat Sweetsir, 2800 Tower
Lawrence and Geyser, Geyser Management LLC
LBA Realty Fund II – Company V, LLC
L.D. Schneider & Associates
Marcos de Niza Tenant Council
Maricopa Integrated Health Systems
McCormack Baron Salazar
McCarthy Cook & Co. / Viad Corporate Center
Metro Realty LLC
Midtown Museum District
Native American Connections at Devine Legacy
Native American Connections/Phoenix Indian Center/People of Color Network
One Camelback Office Building
One Thomas Building
Parallel Capital Partners/City Square
Park Central Mall
Pastor Consulting, Inc.
Pavilions Apartments/Gray Development
Phoenix Art Museum
Phoenix Financial Center/Robert Knight and Associates
Phoenix Revitalization Corporation
Pierson Place Historic District/Charley Jones
Pinnacle Property Management
Place by the Park LLC
Carol A. Poore, Ph.D.
RAZA Development Fund
Red Development LLC
Regency House Condominiums
St. Francis Xavier Catholic Parish
Security Title Plaza
Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS
Switch Restaurant & Wine Bar
Tapestry on Central Condominium Association
The Comisar Collection/TV Museum Phoenix
The Foundry Hotel
The Great American Tower Office Building
The Mueller Family
The One Thomas Building
The Phoenix Plaza Association
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
Urban Affair LLC
Valle Del Sol
Westward Ho Associates, L.P.
Special Thanks to: Ali Avey – Premiere Volunteer; Joseph Benesh – Phoenix Center for the Arts; Margaret Deitrich – Midtown Museum District; Susan Engstrom – The Great American Tower; Steve Banta and Hillary Foose – Valley Metro; Luz Enriquez and Councilman Nowakowski – City of Phoenix; Don Keuth and Jo Marie McDonald – Phoenix Community Alliance; Jim McPherson; Catrina Kahler – Urban Affair; Dave Roderique and Terry Madezska – Downtown Phoenix Partnership; Eva Olivas – Phoenix Revitalization Corporation; Kurt Schneider – LD Schneider & Associates; Olga Soto; Victor Vidales – REMAX Real Estate; All of the team at WESCO – Mark Forman, Geoffrey Kay, Michael Knoblock, and Christmas Light Decorators Doug Topham and Aaron Farrelly.
About Phoenix Community Alliance:
Phoenix Community Alliance (PCA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation and a collaboration of over 250 major business corporations allied with government, education, research, health & science, as well as arts & cultural organizations. The organization, formed in 1983, is the major, private sector catalyst for the urban renaissance in Downtown Phoenix and the Central City. For more, visit PhoenixCommunityAlliance.com.
After all we’ve been through it seems amazing, but it’s true. As I’m writing, there are only FIVE condos and ten townhomes currently on the market from McDowell to Lincoln, between the 7′s.
We’ve heard the message repeatedly on the news, and more recently the housing recovery story has become endemic. The market is on the way up and demand, especially in the downtown micro market, is clearly outstripping supply. With a seemingly ever increasing number of students, new business, shops, resturants, sports, culture, and most importantly a vastly improved public transport system, Downtown Phoenix has become a very compelling place to live.
So what’s next if you want to buy a condo or townhome in downtown?
On Thursday we saw the first of several potential answers as Urban Commons (the REIT that owns half of Summit at Copper Square) hit the MLS with two condos, almost doubling the available downtown condo market. But there is a price attached. The new listings at the Summit are $60/sf more than the last recorded sales, starting at $200/sf and $285k for a two bedroom home on the 8th floor. If they sell I’d predict up to 70 more to follow over the course of the year as Summit at Copper Square comes to life again and rightfully looses its tag as the last remaining poster child of distressed buildings in downtown.
The lack of availability is also driving the two new listings at Orpheum Lofts which are $12 – $40/sf above the previous highest sale, coming in at $135k and $179k respectfully. Pricing is also up at the Townhome at St Croix Villas which is almost $70/sf above the last sale.
Expensive? Not really. In fact, the pricing is still well below build cost and will look like a bargain soon as pre-sales start to appear for some really exciting new developments.
In the meantime (at least at the time of writing), here’s where you need to go (quickly!) if you really want to be the last to buy at a bargain rate in downtown Phoenix.
Orpheum Lofts (2)
The Embassy (1)
Summit at Copper Square (2)
Artisan Village (1)
Evergreen 9 (1)
Portland Two (1)
Rennaissance Park (5)
Cathederal Townhomes (1)
St Croix Villas (1)
The RareAffair, one of the best beer experiences in the country, will mark its third year on Saturday November 10 at the Arizona Science Center. Every year I have a difficult time writing about it. I look forward to going to it and then I remember that in a better world, this would be the last year for the RareAffair. We’re lucky to have it. We’re unlucky that it even exists at all. One of the best beer events in the country needs to go away–but only for the right reasons. The goal, after all, is to stop brain cancer.
The man behind the RareAffair is Louis Dolgoff. Dolgoff started the Beer for Brains Foundation when his wife Laurie was diagnosed with brain cancer. Some of you may have tasted your first craft beer because of “Dogfish Lou”. As the first Dogfish Head Brewery Rep in Arizona, Lou chose Carly’s as a downtown base of operations. Taps of Dogfish 60 and 90 Minute IPA were mainstays there for many years.
Today, Lou serves as the representative for Redstone Meadery based out of Boulder Colorado, but he’s made downtown Phoenix his home. You might recognize this lanky fedora’d figure bombing around Evans Churchill or grabbing drinks at Angels Trumpet. Maybe you’ve attended some of the smaller events that he’s put on in the Valley to support and promote the RareAffair.
The RareAffair is not the largest festival in the country. It’s not even very big when compared to other beer events in the state. It’s intimate. The format is structured for good times, music and conversation. Other festivals like the Great American Beer Fest revelry (GABF) have more varieties of beer. This festival has the right beer. It’s a curated festival meaning that the beers are hand selected by Chuck Noll, a Certified Ciccerone who also serves as Master of Fine Beer for World Class Beverages. Many of the beers selected by Noll are beers are not sold in Arizona.
There’s a rumor afoot that Indiana’s Three Floyds is on a short list of likely “surprise appearances.” Some beers are brewed specifically for this event. The Sonoran RAREaffair Ale is a porter made with Rhubarb. Papago’s Wild Raven ia a wild yeast double black barrel aged IPA. According to the brewer, Ron Kloth, it’s a collaboration done with Odell Brewing. It’s been served just once and at the time Kloth characterized it as, “a true beer geek beer with great oak, smokey phenols and a touch of sourness.”
Still other offering are unearthed from cool cellars to be opened after a years of conditioning. Alaskan Smoked Porter from 2004 fits that bill. This smoked beer loses its smoke when cellared but gains the dark fruit flavors of a Belgian Strong Dark. When it comes to beer, Noll puts the Rare in RareAffair.
This event is not just about beer. There is food from a dozen restaurants, cigars, spirits and wines. There is special pricing for designated drivers and something called a Sky Bike. If the last two years have taught me anything about the event, it’s to expect the unexpected. There are certain to be line-up changes. There will be surprises. There will be fun.
You will learn about Lou and Laurie. You’ll see why we should appreciate the RareAffair. This should be the last year. Right?
If you go:
Saturday, November 10
7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. VIPS enter 6:30
Arizona Science Center
600 E Washington St
Phoenix, AZ 85004
The Beer for Brains Foundation is a non-profit organization that raises money for the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix.
Rico’s American Grill
The Praying Monk
SanTan Brewing Company
O.H.S.O. Eatery + Nanobrewery
Copper Square Kitchen
Le Cordon Bleu
Emerson Fry Bread
Talking Stick Resort
Sonoran Brewing RAREaffair Ale (Rhubarb Porter)
Papago Brewing / Odell Brewing Collaboration Ale
Bell’s Brewing Roundhouse Rye IPA
Maui Brewing Liquid Breadfruit
New Belgium Brewing Trip 14
Popering Hommel Dry Hopped Bier
Abita Kaiser Alt
Great Divide Treasure Chest
Bier Brewery Brune
Four Peaks Sirius Black – Bourbon-barrel-aged Imperial Stout
Big Sky Ivan the Terrible
Thunder Canyon Cuppa Joe Porter
Grand Canyon Winter Shaggy Bock
Epic Brainless Belgian
Great Divide Yeti (2010)
Alaskan Smoked Porter (2004)
Wines & Spirits
Ken Levine & Jump, Jive & Wail
Remy De La Mora
Michael Droz Project
Landscape architecture professionals from across the U.S. and around the world recently attended the annual meeting of the American Society of Landscape Architects at the Phoenix Convention Center in downtown Phoenix. Christopher Hume, a newspaper columnist from Toronto, attended the event and reflected on his visit here. It’s a rather unfortunate (misinformed/tired?) takeaway of our city. Stacey Champion, a local sustainability advocate, shared her response to his column with DPJ.
Dear Mr. Hume,
In response to your recent article on Phoenix, I would like to say the following:
I’m sorry to admit that much of what you say about Phoenix is true. In fact, just this morning, I witnessed two historic buildings (built in 1909 and 1929) in the warehouse district be demolished so the PHX Suns VIP’s can have a surface parking lot for valet parking. Yep, another parking lot. Just what we need in the bulls-eye of climate change – another parking lot to add to our ever-growing asphalt jungle that is a major contributor to our little urban heat island effect problem we have going on here.
But when you speak of “locals,” I get the sense that you never actually conversed with one, or explored the vibrant areas of our downtown community such as Roosevelt Row, or took the time to do a bit of research on the local happenings offered in our downtown community – of which there are many.
I’m guessing you didn’t witness our Critical Mass bike ride, or walk over to the pop up park that is a creative temporary use project on 2nd St. & Roosevelt or check out the always full bike rack at the Crescent Ballroom.
I have a sneaking suspicion you made some very broad assumptions and looked for only those things to back them up.
I don’t really blame you, because Phoenix is a truly unique city. I feel I can make this statement as I’ve lived in several other major metropolitan cities in the U.S., and Phoenix is indeed an odd bird. It’s the kind of city that doesn’t slap its cool across your face, but makes you go on a bit of a treasure hunt first. It’s the kind of city that’s full of hidden gems and interesting people and innovation. Believe it or not, it’s easy to be creative and innovative in this city.
I’ve had numerous coming to Jesus moments about living in Arizona for the past 14 years, but can honestly say I love this place and consider it my home. Phoenix has grown on me.
I can tell you that we have one of the most tight-knit communities I’ve ever encountered – especially in a city of this size. I can also tell you that we collectively are working to make improvements on a daily basis, with regard to sustainability, vibrancy, walkability, placemaking, policy improvements and community building.
It’s really a shame you didn’t talk to us – the people who live here. Many of whom don’t own cars but bike and rely on public transport such as the light rail on a daily basis, which in my experience as a resident is heavily utilized.
As a strong community advocate and activist; I find your pessimism insulting and your lack of foresight and hope as depressing as the poor planning and greed which got us into this mess in the first place. I would make the suggestion that in the future, when you write off a city of nearly 6 million people and banish us to the abyss of stucco and strip malls that you at least first try to connect with a real local to see things from a different perspective. I’d be more than happy to give you a tour any time.