Tucson Tapped

2013-09-19T00:00:00Z 2014-07-03T11:48:35Z Tucson TappedBy Paul Pedersen Column Arizona Daily Star
September 19, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Important things first: upcoming beer events.

Hotel Congress is hosting the second annual Born and Brewed event featuring Tucson beers at 6 p.m. Friday. Local brews by Nimbus, Barrio, Gentle Ben’s, Ten Fifty-five, Sentinel, Dragoon, Borderlands and 1702 will be served to attendees who will then vote on the best Tucson beer.

Each brewer will serve two beers. In addition, there will be brews from Electric Dave in Bisbee and Four Peaks in Phoenix. Last year, Dragoon’s I.P.A. was the winner.

Hotel Congress beverage director Dave Torkko said the event sold out last year at 400 people, but it will have room for a few more this year. In addition to a rotating trophy, the winner will be featured in Hotel Congress’ Tiger’s Tap Room for a year. Torkko says this is a “significant financial benefit” to the winner. Tickets are $30 and available at the hotel. 

Last month I wrote about the Greater Tucson Beer Festival. As a reminder, this event is at Kino Stadium Sept. 28. Get tickets at azbeer.com

Ten Fifty-five Brewing opened in February at 3810 E. 44th St., down the street from Nimbus Brewing Company, 3850 E. 44th St.

A bit off the beaten track, it is a fact that the location hasn’t dissuaded beer lovers from flocking to the place.  It recently expanded the tasting room into adjacent space, growing the seating area from five to 25 seats, plus standing space. Additionally, Ten Fifty-five added two fermentation tanks to the existing four. The additional tanks, according to general manager Chris Squires, will allow brewing more batches at the same time.

Squires said Ten Fifty-five beers are in about 15 Tucson bars and restaurants, and a couple in Phoenix.

Tasting-room business has “absolutely exceeded expectations,” Squires said. The room is open from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 2-7 p.m. Saturdays. Food trucks are routinely at the brewery during tasting-room hours, Squires added.

Sentinel Brewing is still having plumbing problems. Jeremy Hilderbrand reports construction problems involving plumbing have pushed Sentinel’s opening into October. Despite the plumbing problems, Hilderbrand reports walls are going up and being finished at the Grant and Swan roads location.

As the craft-beer industry continues to grow and thrive, it’s interesting to note startups that support brewers. One of these is a business in Portland, Ore., (there may be others around the country) that brings bottling or canning equipment to a brewery, cans on site, then leaves at the end of the day. This allows small breweries to can or bottle without having to make a major capital investment. The truck pulls up to the customer’s brewery, unloads equipment, bottles, then drives off to go on to another brewery the next day.

Paul Pedersen writes a monthly column on Tucson’s beer scene. Contact Paul Pedersen at tucsontapped@gmail.com

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