5th Annual AmeriCAN Canned Craft Beer Festival

Last Saturday we went to the AmeriCAN Canned Craft Beer Festival. This is one of our favorite beer festivals. We hadn’t been to a beer festival since the Arizona Strong Beer Festival. It was time. We were getting thirsty! So we loaded up in the car, joined Brian and Michelle, and headed to the Scottsdale Center Mall. This is a great venue for a beer festival, and this year tents were spread out more than I remember. We didn’t go last year, but two years ago it felt like all the tents were on top of one another. This made for a much more enjoyable experience.

The best part of AmeriCAN are the breweries. This year there were over 250 beers, and several from brewing companies that aren’t distributed to Arizona. We got to try beers from breweries like Alameda Brewing Co., Austin Beerworks, DC Brau, Saint Archer Brewery and Cigar City Brewing. Dakine was pouring for Cigar City. Oh, Revolution Brewing was even there… I haven’t had their beers since living in Indiana. Big fan of those guys. I like their logo, too! But it was Snake River Brewing that stole the show for me.

I wasn’t familiar with Snake River, but when we got in, we went straight to the table of award winners. Here you could find all of the beers that won awards, and Snake River’s Zonker Stout won the Stout & Porter Gold.. I also got to try Pride of Texas from Rahr & Sons Brewing, the Maduro from Cigar City, and the Cavatica Stout from Fort George Brewery. We spent a lot of time at Oskar Blues Brewery, too. They were one of the only brewing companies doing special releases throughout the day. We pretty much camped out to make sure we got to try all of their limited releases, like the CORNLABORATION and Disastrous Molasses. Sheryl liked the Disastrous Molasses best. Maybe the sweetest beer, outside of a few ciders I tried, of the day.

Are you hungry? This beer festival is about more than just canned craft beer, though. They also have a lot of food options. This year there was a laundry list of food trucks and tents lined up including including Brat Haus, Honey Bear’s BBQ and  Craft 64. We didn’t eat, but I could smell the BBQ from Honey Bear’s all day long! I did snag a free bag of pretzels when we walked in. Not sure where they went, though… Because I didn’t eat them.

Speaking of pretzels, the next beer festival we go to I am making a pretzel necklace. I always forget and when I get there, I always find others wearing impressive salted shrines of pretzels around their neck. Not sure if it helps just cleanse the palate, but they look cool! Next time. I promise!

On top of all the food, throughout the day there were several bands playing. I am not up on the local music scene like I was in Indy, but DJ Slippe, Catfish Mustache, Dry River Yacht Club and 2 Tone Lizard Kings were playing on Saturday.

We had a really good time and got to try a lot of new beers… Like I said, some that aren’t even available here. I walked up to Hops & Grain Brewing and they were pouring two beers. One was a pale and the other an IPA. I tried them both, liked them both, and asked the guy pouring if he knew anything about the brewery. “Well, considering I am the founder, I write the recipes, and I am the brewmaster, I could tell you a few things about the brewery.” He laughed and I introduced myself. Look for an interview coming soon. Their beers are legit, too. Oh, and not available here!

After we left the beer festival, we went to Craft 64. Got the chance to see what the fuss is all about, and were impressed. Their menu is incredible, their beer list is great, and the vibe is legit. We had fun, and James Swann was there to make sure we had a good time. Then we went to North Mountain Brewing Company on our way home. They had several beers on tap that I hadn’t had and were offering complimentary flights with your Crafty Bastards card.

Saturday was one for the ages. I can’t wait for next year. Oh, and I forgot to mention… All of the beers served at this festival are canned. If that wasn’t obvious by the name of the beer festival. Cheers!

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