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Bloomberg — Constellation Brands Inc., which for seven decades has made its money off beer, wine and whiskey, sees its future in a marijuana leaf. In the biggest (legal) cannabis deal, the Victor, New York-based beverage company will spend about $3.8 billion to boost its stake in Canadian grower Canopy Growth Corp., betting legalization will…
The Metal Arts Village has a party every month with open artists’ galleries, live music and food trucks. This month was special because there as a DJ’d yoga class in the parking lot, and some acrobats on silk fabric hanging from a big tripod. The crowd was happy and the entertainment was fantastic. The fuel that kept the fun going was as ancient as human partying itself–fermentation. Beer is a fermented beverage, and pizza dough is a fermented grain product as well. Brewers and bread makers often combine to use the leavening from a beer in a bread. This kind of artisanal food production is rampant in Tucson, which is a happy thing for us. I am not the biggest beer drinker, and try to keep my pizza eating to a minimum, but do indulge when the time and the quality is right. Full Moon Party at metal Arts Village is just such an occasion.
I drank a glass of excellent stout aged in a bourbon barrel as a starter. Bob had a more bitter stout, which he stuck with for the day. I switched to a cappuccino stout from Lagunitas Brewery that made me happy. We sat with a couple drinking a red pilsner that was yummy also. This is the kind of place where people taste each other’s beer, no fear of cooties. Our table companions were interesting and cool with two dogs under the table. We enjoyed chatting with them. We all noticed Luke of the pizza truck trowing a towel in the air, pizza style. From a distance is certainly looks like dough. I went to investigate the situation and enjoyed learning about Luke’s dough and fermentation process.
He uses a sourdough proofing to create an amazing crisp thin crust. His wood fired oven takes 4 hours to heat up, but once it is hot the pizza cooks quickly. We ordered the pesto pizza from the menu and added jalapeño and garlic. This rates as one of the pest pizzas we have ever eaten. We will now become groupies of Luke and follow him around town when he parks at breweries and events. I can highly recommend this pizza with Lagunitas cappuccino stout..it is dreamy on the tastebuds. It would be good with any beer….or without beer.
The flying acrobats were fabulous, but the night was still young. One of my favorite artists in Tucson had set up a table top sell little stuff from her garage, and I was able to buy a piece of her art for almost no money. I now own an original signed Lynne Rae Lowe metal sculpture, that was derived with an amazing story. It is a Shabbis angel. She is highly symbolic, and now has a place of honor in front of a lamp I made myself. This is huge, and unexpected. I bought her on Shabbat, right before sunset on Saturday, then I walked home. OY!!!! Magic Moon!
I was lucky to find a perfect celebration for my birthday this year. I just discovered my local beer garden, Tucson Hop Shop. I am not a big beer drinker but am enthusiastic about supporting local business and local craft products, including beer. This classy yet casual spot is perfect for our neighborhood, located in the Metal Arts Village, a space for metal artists’ studios. The Hop Shop has developed a following and has instigated new events that bring the community together for fun. My big birthday gift this year (besides Medicare) is a visit from two Swiss ladies on vacation. I have been enjoying showing them around town because they are really open to culture and ready to party. The SyncHOPation event not only happened on my birthday but was walking distance from home.
Spiritual Gangster is a team that teaches yoga classes around the city in pop up locations. I have never seen yoga with a DJ before, and now I am a complete fan of the idea. I have taught and taken plenty of yoga classes, with and without music. To have a creative DJ work the class is another level of wonderment. The other aspect of the pop up that can be very popular is beer. The participants in the class at the Hop Shop were presented with a pint of beer when they turned in their class tickets. The $5 fee for both yoga and beer is a screaming deal.
My visitors and I had a fine time meeting people, drinking beer and dancing. The art studios were open, the parking lot was blocked off for the event, and the crowd was in a very good mood. Pizza and popcorn food trucks were serving delicious snacks. We enjoyed both with our beverages. My friend Steffi took the yoga class while Pia and I watched from a table on the patio. We toured the studios, did some dancing to the DJ, then walked home. There could not have been a better way to celebrate. If you like beer I highly recommend a visit to the Tucson Hop Shop. It is the perfect place for a party.
Tucson, the city I call home, is a large sprawling city in a valley. Development has taken place in spurts, causing a race to the distant suburbs, followed by a race back to downtown. There are significant advantages to life in a university town with a very mild climate. Economic opportunity as well as cultural and educational enrichment are the city’s gifts from the University of Arizona and even from Pima College. I live in a neighborhood close to the university and downtown as yet untouched by urban renewal that has vastly improved the city center. Our new trolley system and upscale development along the route it serves has revitalized a sagging economic scene downtown. I am pleased that we finally have desirable business and residential options for students and others who want to live close to the university. With a long history of serving the community, the Food Conspiracy has grown to meet the needs of the downtown neighborhood.
The Food Conspiracy Coop was founded in 1971 by a small group of people who met in the alley behind the present storefront once a month to divide bulk food. We used the bed of a pick up truck, in which the food was delivered, to weigh out and package our orders. It was as crude and basic as you might imagine, but it worked. Soon we rented the building, but had no store. Later we opened the storefront to the public, but retained the values of our cooperative. Today the Coop is a vibrant and vital part of the new downtown. By sticking to the Roachdale pioneer Principles developed in 1837, the business has survived, thrived, and expanded. The statement of cooperative identity defines the purpose: “A cooperative is an autonomous association of people united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations, through a jointly-owned and democratically controlled enterprise.”
This weekend we have a chance to see how well this mission is working at a Truckload Sale. I love the idea that on May 16 and 17 the truck will offer special deals for purchase from approximately the same spot on which we started this co-op 44 years ago in a truck. There are now gardens, a full kitchen, and an educational space. In honor of the 7th Rochdale Principle, Concern for Community, the sale will feature a beer garden to benefit BICAS. The store will offer 10% off, while the beef and veggie hot dogs and beer will flow in the back yard (parking lot). Garden tours will be offered both days at noon and 5 pm. Come on downtown to celebrate the ongoing success of the co-op.
For our Father’s Day fling I took Bob to Iron John’s Brewing Company for some beer and a tee shirt. His needs are simple, with craft beer and tee shirts always hitting the mark. We had tried some of the beers last week at pizza throw down and had agreed that Iron John was our favorite new discovery that intrigued us. They hold free tastings each Saturday from 11-6pm in their small but very cool artisan brewery and bottle shop. They are not opening a bar or a restaurant. They have a passion for the art of beer making, and are sticking to producing small batches of seasonally changing beers. They sell in a few local restaurants, and are open at the brewery Thursday-Saturday for sales of the current line up. Although I am not much of a beer drinker myself I liked all of the samples I tried. They take great care to adjust each water source for each beer, sometimes adding minerals to distilled water to arrive at the perfect chemical balance. They also buy small batches of brewing yeast and grow it themselves to assure quality. I was impressed with the taste, the tour, and the dedication these folks are showing to making an excellent local product for local consumption. I am always happy to support locals serving tasty treats to locals. Bob has a beer collection to make his week a pleasant and delicious one. We recommend a visit and a tour to anyone who likes beer.
Tucson has rapidly developed a bevy of micro breweries and beer emporiums. Downtown is awash in beer, and this week is Arizona Beer Week. I am less of a beer fan these days, but I like to support local businesses and taste new flavors. Sentinel Peak Brewery was holding a launch party yesterday for two new beers. I have been wanting to visit this new nano (teenier than micro) gastro brew pub close to my home. In a shopping center in the middle of town, between Petsmart and Trader Joe’s, these smart entrepreneurial firefighters have opened a bar for fans of high quality, hand crafted beer. They hit the mark so well that the very first problem they had after opening was running out of beer much faster than they had anticipated. They are trending…and they still have jobs as firefighters, so they are in the process of dealing with their sudden popularity.
They maintain a very friendly atmosphere and welcoming service. Sara was serving me from behind the bar with enthusiasm and lots of knowledge. I learned that she sings sometimes with her guitar to entertain the guests. The lady sitting next to me at the bar was a friendly beer lover who had also come for the party. She had much more experience than I in beer world/Tucson, so I learned a lot from her as we enjoyed our beers. She let me know about a Sunday brunch wrapping up the festivities this week, hosted by a group known as Girls’ Pints Out. Just a few years ago I attended beer festival in Tucson that consisted of spending a few hours inside the baseball stadium with a few beer vendors and a small cup. Now we are not exactly Denver, but we are well on our way to serving the needs of the most discriminating local craft beer lovers. Life is good.
They are open now on weekends, and next week plan to expand to Thursday, and lunch. We must be patient while they brew enough beer to meet the demand. I bought a growler of the Dunkle Monsoon to bring beer week home to my partner Bob, who is a giant beer fan. We both enjoyed the growler with some rich oyster mushroom chowder I had made before I went out afternoon beer drinking. The creamy soup went well with the dark complex brew, and now we have an empty growler!!! To stay current with hours and new beers on tap like them on Facebook.
Last night I took Bob on a dining date featuring his favorite beverage, beer. I used to drink beer, but have all but given it up these days. I still like the taste, so the beer and food pairing was very appealing to me. I drove, so after the taste, I generally gave the rest of the glass to Bob. There was one exception, the Imperial stout. It was my favorite of the evening so I wanted to drink all of it. They poured 4 ounces for each course because the beers were very high in alcohol content.
The chef worked with Mission Brewery of San Diego to create tastes that paired with these strong beer flavors. I did write on my reservation request a few weeks ago that I am vegetarian, but to make sure I mentioned it to our server when we arrived at the dinner. It became obvious that they did not have the information. I am not sure if the server did not mention it, or they do not read the reservations that people write down on paper. I give them points for thinking on their feet and kicking out very good samples for me. The favorite of all the people at our table was the corn and ricotta fritter, which was a veg. item anyhow. My plates were visually as good as Bob’s real street food with meat. The ruben sandwich was superb; Mine had kale instead of corned beef. The meal ended with a very light beer that I delivered straight to Bob. We thought the meal and the company, as well as the education we got from the chef and beermeister were well worth the price and the short drive from our home. This is our second theme dinner at Zona. Our new beer drinking buddies at the table had been to dinners there featuring other craft brewers, which they enjoyed. The reasons we will return to Zona 78 for special dinners in the future: