Urban Ale Trail Promotes Walkability, Downtown Restaurants
August 25, 2016 by Fara Illich
In the month of September, it may seem remarkable — perhaps even impossible — to find six thousand people wandering around the streets of Downtown Phoenix in search of beer and snacks, much less in the middle of the afternoon.
A walkable beer tasting tour launched by DPI in 2014, the Urban Ale Trail runs along the light rail corridor from downtown to uptown, allowing participants to sample amazing craft brews and a complimentary hors d’oeuvre for just $1 or $2 each, as long as supplies last.
Similar to other DPI signature events like DTPHX City Sampler and Urban Wine Walk, this event promotes urban walkability, sidewalk activity, ease and access of the light rail — in addition to downtown’s great local establishments. But Ale Trail touches on these key initiatives during the doldrums of summer, when businesses really need an extra push and people are desperately searching for something fun to do.
Instead of competing with all the wonderful festivals and events during Phoenix’s busiest and most temperate seasons, Ale Trail encourages people to venture outside the air conditioning, and try some new or longtime-favorite locales.
“Roosevelt Row is really special, it has so many unique eateries and bars condensed into a really walkable area,” said Carla Wade Logan, owner of Carly’s Bistro. “As a business, it gets new people into your establishment that may have never experienced downtown before.”
Besides highlighting the growing craft beer and culinary scene in central Phoenix, with innovative establishments you can’t find anywhere else, Urban Ale Trail also offers the element of discovery.
“By walking around and really taking the time to appreciate the architecture, streetscape improvements or some of the new developments popping up, I’m hoping people will discover things they didn’t know Downtown Phoenix had,” said Alison Sipes, events manager at DPI. “It’s great for the restaurants – they’re getting new business – but for participants, it showcases that we are a true destination spot in the Valley.”
With more than 20 participating establishments, there’s plenty to choose from, including several brand new to the Trail like The Kettle Black, ZPizza Taproom, Jobot Coffee & Diner, DeSoto Central Market, Bonus Round, Grand Central Coffee Co., Ocotillo Restaurant and Bar, and Lucky Strike/Gypsy Bar.
Also, the District American Kitchen and Wine Bar returns this year as a sponsor, handing out 300 commemorative growlers to Ale Trail Hikers starting at 1 p.m.
Whether you sample a little or sample a lot, there’s no registration necessary, so participants can start when and where they choose.
“Having a specific sample size of 4 ounces is really conducive to trying a lot of different things,” said Logan. “It really enables people to experience more.”
What: Urban Ale Trail — a self-guided beer tasting tour offering three 4-ounce samples of beer for $1 or $2 each, paired with a delicious and complimentary bar snack (while supplies last).
When: Saturday, Sept. 10 from 1-6 p.m.
Where: Bars and restaurants in the Downtown Core, Roosevelt Row and uptown area. Click here for a full list of participants.