We recently visited 1702 for a beer and pizza. What a great place. It’s so popular we hadn’t had good luck getting in in the past. But we got there on a Saturday a little before five, and the University of Arizona was still largely out for summer. In addition to good pizza, they have a dynamite beer list.
An added bonus is chatting with Eric Lepke who has a bit of history in the Speedway location, 1702 E. Speedway. He opened an ice cream store, Eric’s Fine Food & Ice Cream, in the same building in the ’70s. Lepke is involved in the current operation and his caricature graces 1702’s T-shirts. He is an interesting guy and a great host.
With over 40 beers on the beer list, I felt like a kid in a candy store. The beers rotate, so there’s always something new. There’s also a hard-to-find bottle shop on the west side of the building. It’s worth finding as there are a lot of obscure beers, including the Bruery from California.
- We’re fortunate in Tucson to have a handful of taprooms with a huge variety of beers we don’t usually see here. In addition to 1702, there’s Tap & Bottle, 403 N. Sixth Ave., and the newer Whole Foods Markets at Craycroft and River roads and the soon-to-(re)open location at Ina and Oracle roads.
Peeking in the window of the new Whole Foods reveals a nice-looking bar and seating area that looks out onto Oracle Road.
- A self-service beer station was in operation at the All-Star game in Minneapolis in July. The machine, called DraftServ, dispenses beer by the pint. The customer buys a pre-loaded beer card from a vendor (while showing ID) and then uses the card to self-serve what the customer wants (up to 48 ounces every 15 minutes). The per-ounce price for the game ranged from 38 to 40 cents.
- The American Homebrewers Association has named Pliny the Elder as the “best commercial beer” in the country. The Imperial IPA is brewed by Russian River Brewing in Santa Rosa, California.
- The beer business is good! The value of craft beer sold in 2013 totaled $14.3 billion, up 20 percent from 2012. The volume of beer sold was up 8 percent. The number of breweries increased 15 percent to a total of 2,822.
- Lastly, a Gallup Survey on alcohol
- shows 41 percent of the
- preferred beer; a good number but one that has
- stayed flat for a decade.