The Urban Ale Trail embarks Saturday, Sept. 12 in Downtown Phoenix. (Photo: Brandi Porter)
Embark on the Urban Ale Trail Saturday, Sept. 12 for an afternoon of beer tasting and socializing at various locales along the light rail corridor. From Downtown Phoenix to uptown, nearly 30 restaurants and bars are on the map this year offering $1 to $2 craft beer samples plus complimentary bar snacks. But before you indulge in some good libations and delicious food, here are a few tips and tricks to help you prepare for Saturday’s excursion. 1) Bring cash (for samples and tips) The event gets larger and more popular each year. Paying cash is just one way to optimize your experience, so you can spend more time imbibing and less time waiting for your credit card to process. 2) Take Valley Metro Light Rail It’s easy. It’s safe. It’s even fun! Whether your hike begins north, south or somewhere in between — each restaurant is a walk or light rail ride away from the next, so there’s no reason to risk the drive. 3) Hail a pedicab They’re friendly, convenient, and absolutely entertaining. You’ll find pedicab drivers lined up outside of District American Kitchen & Wine Bar, where the first 300 get a free Ale Trail growler, or pedaling around the streets of downtown. 4) Check out the outliers The best part about a self-guided beer tour? There is no right direction. So if you’re looking for a more intimate experience in a less-crowded venue, head to some of these outlying bars and restaurants. ➤ The Rose & Crown is an easy walk away from District American Kitchen & Wine Bar; just head one block south down Third Street, take a left at Monroe Street, and enter Heritage Science Park, where you’ll find The Rose & Crown. They’re offering $2 samples of Phoenix Ale Orange Peel IPA, Historic Brewing Undercover Cucumber Summertime Lager, and THAT Arizona Trail Ale with a mini-shepherd’s pie. Located at 628 E. Adams Street. From there, backtrack down Monroe Street, walk one block south down Second Street, and turn right at Adams Street to visit Steve’s Greenhouse Grill. They’re pouring $2 samples of Saddle Mountain Honey Ale, Mudshark Watermelon Wheat, Lost Coast White IPA, or even a special fourth sample of Not Your Father’s Root Beer. Located at 139 E. Adams Street. Once you’ve had your fill at Steve’s, walk two blocks west down Adams, and head either north toward Seamus McCaffrey’s Pub and Province Urban Kitchen & Bar or south toward the restaurants at CityScape. ➤ Another local favorite on the peripheries is Mother Bunch Brewing, where they’re serving their house-brewed Belgian Wit, Golden Ale, and Cherry Popper Brown Porter along with signature pork rinds or veggie pate. Located at 825 N. Seventh Street. En route, fuel up at FilmBar, a quick hop and jaunt north down Second Street, and Bliss ReBAR, a few blocks east down Garfield Street. Located at 815 N. Second Street and 901 N. Fourth Street, respectively. ➤ Prefer a more advanced route? Head to The Vig Fillmore, where they’re offering $1 samples of Big Sky Brewery’s Moose Drool and Victory Brewing Festbier paired with a mini-hummus plate. Follow your compass west down Van Buren Street, breaking at Central Avenue to stop in Province Urban Kitchen & Wine Bar for a quick brew. Continue your journey north down Central to the Phoenix Public Market Cafe and Chambers (formerly The Turf). Backtrack one block south and turn west down Fillmore Street to check out The Vig. Pro tip: Take a Grid Bike or pedicab for an extra quick trip. 5) Get your growler filled Can’t get enough craft beer? Bring your Ale Trail map to the new beer and wine shop, Hidden Track Bottle Shop, between Sept. 12 and 19 for 20 percent off any beer purchase. Located at 111 W. Monroe Street.
Or, fill up your 2015 Urban Ale Trail growler at one of these participating bars and restaurants:
– Angels Trumpet Ale House – Central Wine – Chambers (formerly The Turf) – Copper Blues – The Corner – District American Kitchen & Wine Bar – Federal Pizza – First Draft Book Bar – Mother Bunch Brewing For more information, make sure to follow our event hashtag #UrbanAleTrail for real-time updates and share your own experiences on social media. And, of course, please sample responsibly.