News & Reviews – 4/15/2019

This week's events:

4/20 - Old School Spring Farm To Table Picnic at Rhiba Farms

4/20 - Arizona Craft Beer Festival at Westgate

4/25 - Elevated Beer Dinner at Ten55

4/27 - Goldwater Brewing Co. Four Year Anniversary

4/28 - Earn Your Grand Canyon | Copper Blues PHX

This week's beer review:

Deep In The Green DIPA by Grand Canyon Brewing Company

Reviewed by Marcus Pina (@brewery602 on Instagram) and follow his page on YouTube

Extra special thanks to Chris Dodson for his awesome production/editing work to help put the audio side of the episodes together

Intro/Outro music is “La Veganza” by the awesome local Arizona band Fayuca

Want to show your support and help this show grow? Simply click here, give the show a rating and share some feedback!



Publish Date: 4/15/2019




Recent Episodes

In this episode, guest hosts Tamara Stanger and Sean Traynor from Cotton & Copper join in to hang out with Vlad and Rebecca, owners of Town Under Black Distillery in Tucson. A focus on native ingredients and traditional techniques they are setting the table for wait it going to be the game-changing distillery in the Southwest. Enjoy the show!



Publish Date: 4/17/2019


If you are a part of the Arizona craft beer scene, you know Justin Evans. And if you somehow don’t know Justin, you know his bar, The Wandering Tortoise.

Oh, and if you don’t know the Tortoise, you may have heard of The Sleepy Whale, which Justin and some others are opening in Chandler in April. If none of that rings a bell, then Hops on Birch, a craft beer institution in the pines of Flagstaff, should.

Recently, Justin and his group purchased that spot, too. Not bad for a guy who at one time thought he would go into law after attending Anthem College.

“I got a paralegal degree from there,” Evans told TapThatAZ. “That’s when I thought my career path was going to be being a lawyer.

“Then I got through two years of school and I realized that’s not what I wanted to do.”

Evans went on to say he had been in the food and beverage industry before, and the idea of sitting behind a desk just didn’t appeal to him.

He said the “freeness” of the food and beverage industry did, but across various stops in that field came to the realization that he wanted to one day have his own spot.

Following stops at OHSO Arcadia and the Pig’s Meow (now The Whining Pig Arcadia), Evans – along with Shay Gau, whom he met at the Pig’s Meow – looked to open what became the Tortoise. Many people have at one time considered the idea of starting a business, but Evans, Gau and the other partners, put up their own money, took out the loans and started looking for a place.

They found one in the Sprouts parking lot, but that fell apart due to the grocery chain not wanting another beer seller in their area.

“So we wasted about three months trying to negotiate that deal, we were really drug around on that,” Evans said of the Sprouts lot. “And we rushed to find something else with a couple of stipulations: We wanted to be on Indian School, we wanted to be west on Indian School.

“And somewhere still appealing to my customer base at Pig.”

Eventually, Gau found on a location off of 24th Street and Indian School with about 1,200 square feet of space. Evans was uneasy at first because of its lack of parking, but after about three days the lease was signed.

Within a year they expanded even more, and since then they added a parking lot. All of it proved to be necessary because of not only the atmosphere created in the space but the amazing beer list that has been consistently provided.

That, of course, does not happen by accident, with Evans and his team building relationships not only across the Valley but throughout all of Arizona and even into other markets.

“You know, the first time we got Pueblo Vida in there…it still blows my mind to this day,” Evans said.

If Evans is amazed by the beers he can get, imagine what everyone else thinks. Much of that success is directly due to the relationships Evans and his team have built. Be it Pueblo Vida, Arizona Wilderness or Dark Sky, or others like Modern Times, Pure Project or Bottle Logic, if it’s highly thought of, there’s a good chance you’ll see it at the Tortoise.

And lately you are even starting to see beers named after the Tortoise’s pets, such as King Koda, Super Duper King Mr. and Good Girl Pearl, which are named after Evans’ and Gau’s dogs and made by The Shop and Wren House, respectively.

Those are not the only collaborations the Tortoise has been a part of. They even had one with Modern Times, Technodrome, which was the first collaboration the brewery had ever done with a beer bar.

“We did it on the L.A. system,” Evans said.

Indeed, it’s not just about Central Phoenix. As noted, the Tortoise will soon be joined by the Sleepy Whale and Hops on Birch, with the former being in the East Valley and the latter in Flagstaff.

“That was a space that I was approached about,” Evans said of the Whale. “I looked at it and was like, ‘this is just fantastic.’ I couldn’t say no to that.”

Evans said he wasn’t in any rush to open another place, but instead this was just a matter of something seeming right.

As for Hops on Birch, Evans said that was a “dream come true” but one he said he took advantage of only after he got his wife’s approval. That last line came with a laugh, but Evans – who also has a new baby daughter -- admitted there is plenty on his plate these days. 

But if history is any indication, while it may mean a lot of work for Evans, it will also mean plenty of good beer for even more people who live in the 48th state.



Publish Date: 4/10/2019


Recently named one of the fastest growing breweries in America (9th to be exact) Borderlands Brewing Company in Tucson is at the core of a booming craft beer scene in Arizona. In this episode, The Classy Alcoholic and I sit down with owner Mike Mallozzi to talk about how Borderlands is utilizing its position in the beer community to help bring attention to bigger picture topics. Enjoy the show!



Publish Date: 4/3/2019


This week's events:

4/1 - Tombstone Beer Guy IPA Release

4/6 - We Won't Be Hazed Release

4/6 - Baja Beer Festival 2019

Click HERE for tickets

This week's beer review:

Snozzberry Berliner by Tombstone Brewing Co. 

Reviewed by Marcus Pina (@brewery602 on Instagram) and follow his page on YouTube

Extra special thanks to Chris Dodson for his awesome production/editing work to help put the audio side of the episodes together

Intro/Outro music is “La Veganza” by the awesome local Arizona band Fayuca

Want to show your support and help this show grow? Simply click here, give the show a rating and share some feedback!



Publish Date: 4/1/2019


In this episode host Liz Limberg talks with a wide range of guests (at different levels of intoxication) attending Blue Pint Society's Beer School 8 at OHSO-Gilbert. Enjoy!

Extra special thanks to Chris Dodson for his awesome production/editing work to help put the audio side of the episodes together

Intro/Outro music is "La Negra Tomasa" by the awesome local Arizona band Fayuca

Want to show your support and help this show grow? Simply click here, give the show a rating and share some feedback!



Publish Date: 3/27/2019


In this episode, The Classy Alcoholic sits down with Dillinger Brewing Company co-owner Aaron to discuss the story behind this hidden gem in Tucson. Enjoy!



Publish Date: 3/20/2019


This week's events:

Borderlands Turns 7! 2nd Annual Sour Fest at Wandering Tortoise Farmboy and The Beer Research Institute - Pop-Up Dinner

Click HERE for tickets

This week's beer review:

Fayuca Rizing Xtra Pale Ale - a collaboration between local band Fayuca and Helio Basin Brewing Co.

Reviewed by Marcus Pina (@brewery602 on Instagram) and follow his page on YouTube

Extra special thanks to Chris Dodson for his awesome production/editing work to help put the audio side of the episodes together

Intro/Outro music is “La Veganza” by the awesome local Arizona band Fayuca

Want to show your support and help this show grow? Simply click here, give the show a rating and share some feedback!



Publish Date: 3/18/2019


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