Button Brewhouse’s 1st Anniversary Celebration

Saturday, September 15th from 12p-10p
Located at 6800 N Camino Martin, Suite 160, Tucson, AZ 85741
Hours: Mon-Thurs 3p-8p; Fri 2p-10p; Sat 12p-10p; Sun 11a-6p


So first things first, I’ll disclose that I absolutely love Button Brewhouse. With all of my heart. And I’m very happy that they’re about to celebrate their first anniversary.

Looking back on the past twelve months it seems like they’re a success story that should’ve never happened. That statement has nothing to do with the quality of their beers or their customer service. They’ve proven themselves to be top notch in both those areas. But they’ve fought against so many obstacles that could’ve absolutely ruined their shit.

The first and most obvious one is their location. The taproom sits just northwest of the Tucson city limits in the town of Marana. I can tell you from experience that trying to explain to people where Marana is in relation to Tucson can be a pain in the ass. And it’s even harder to give people directions there considering that the I-10 exit to Ina Rd (their major cross street) has been closed off and under construction since before they even opened.

In a time when there are over 20 breweries in Tucson alone the Buttons somehow built a loyal customer base at a place that couldn’t even count on the convenience of a highway exit a mile away. And we all know how much people hate commuting through construction zones. Hell, I stopped going to my neighborhood grocery store entirely just after seeing a couple of orange cones in their driveway. That was weeks ago. I’ve been subsisting on a single giant bag of beef jerky that I found in the back of the cupboard since then and it’s not gonna last much longer, send help.

Obviously the prospect of great beer has been enough to get people through the door. But even that wasn’t exactly a guarantee given the current trends in the industry.

See, this brewery is run by Todd & Erika Button and it was born out of Todd’s passion for homebrewing. He worked for several years as a corporate stooge and decided he wanted to leave that life behind. He was terrified (as any good husband should be) of telling his wife that he wanted to bail on his lucrative career. To his pleasant surprise Erika was supportive of his dream to be a professional brewer and business owner. She was the one who bought Todd his first homebrewing kit after all. And they knew that if they were going to do this they weren’t going to do it half-assed. Todd spent years educating himself on every aspect of beer production and working behind a bar to learn how to deal with fat, drunk customers like yours truly.


That education helped forge the entire identity of Button Brewhouse. Todd’s goal was to make craft beer using traditional methods that didn’t fall in line with whatever the trendy beer of the moment was. Their tap list consists of solid, expertly crafted brews without the frills. They have West Coast IPAs, a Gose, an American Amber and, among many others, an occasional New England style IPA that isn’t hazy. That’s right, when it seems like most customers only want to drink hazy IPAs Button Brewhouse is staying away from the trend. They have nothing against other breweries that put out a new hazy beer every other day, of course. It’s just not in line with who they are.

They’re also staying away from any gimmicky beer styles. So you won’t see any beers made with glitter, pancakes, paninis, buffalo wings or whatever the hell else I used to have in my fridge before I ended up rationing these last two pieces of jerky left in the bag.

And this philosophy was best exemplified by their very first can release. While other breweries are canning hazies and pastry stouts, Button Brewhouse released a can of their Volstead Pilsner. It’s a classic, pre-prohibition Pilsner which means it’s brewed using the same recipe that German immigrants were using well over a hundred years ago. It’s an all malt beer with German hops that sits at a nice 5.4% ABV. It’s a light, easy drinking lager with a lot of flavor that challenges the perception of what a modern American Pilsner can be. When we think of that style we all probably imagine the watery bullshit you see in commercials. But this is not that beer.


The Volstead is an excellent opening salvo for Button Brewhouse and it gives a clear picture of who they are and the quality of the beer they’re putting out every day. This little brewery defied all the odds against them because they know that fads can die, that the market is fickle, that new trends come and go but that traditional brewing methods that have lasted for hundreds of years will continue to last.

I respect that. Because if there’s one thing I know it’s that sometimes you gotta be different by staying the same.



Rain Crow IPA Collaboration

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to Borderlands Brewing Co. in Tucson to report on a new beer collaboration for a good cause. Borderlands opened up their facility to their neighbors from Crooked Tooth Brewing and to Wren House Brewing from Phoenix for a project that was intended to benefit Audubon Arizona.


For those of you who don’t know, Audubon Arizona is dedicated to conservation and to connecting people with nature. They teamed up with these three breweries to co-brand a beer called Rain Crow IPA in order to bring awareness of the plight of…some fucking bird, I think.

Okay, sorry, I’ll be honest, I’m not an outdoorsy person at all and I know nothing about nature. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in the cause and I’m all about conservation. My parents taught me not to ever waste anything. Whether it’s water in the desert we call home or the hundreds of little baggies of cocaine that my dad made me help him cut with baking soda, the point is that we have to do everything we can to make our resources last for as long as possible.

The Audubon Society knows all this very well because their goal is to have Arizona adopt water conservation measures that are essential to the livelihoods of us desert dwellers and the livelihoods of our local wildlife.


It makes me really proud that my beer community is participating in this project. It’s no big secret that craft beer ain’t cheap. But it makes me happy to know I’m spending my dollars on beer made by people who care. Especially when the alternative is macro beer made by giant corporations that couldn’t possibly care about any of us.

The Rain Crow will be a hazy IPA brewed with Mosaic, Citra and Columbus hops and it’s likely to end up somewhere around the 7% ABV range. My lazy, hungover ass showed up to Borderlands in the middle of the full 8-hour brew day (not including the cleaning required afterwards). Everyone had already been there since the early morning working hard while I slept off whatever I did the night before. I woke up with a raging headache and a package of barely expired hot dogs in my suit jacket pocket that I ate while I toured the brewhouse because I’m a conservationist and wasn’t gonna let those weiners go to waste.


These three breweries are all known for the high quality of their hazy IPAs but still refuse to rest on their laurels. They weren’t just working alongside friends; they were learning from colleagues. Every brewery team contributed something to the recipe that the other two didn’t do.

And the best part of this whole collaboration project is that the Rain Crow IPA will be crafted with the expertise from three of Tucson’s own female brewers. I’ve recently started talking about the lack of diversity in the craft beer scene. That’s not just a conversation that should be happening in Arizona. It’s a conversation that should be (and sometimes already is) happening in craft beer industries throughout the country.

So you can imagine how great it felt to be at the back of the brewhouse watching these three women playing a pivotal role.


Up top on the left you’ve got Julie Vernon, co-owner of Crooked Tooth Brewing. To her right is Cassidy Johnson who pulls double duty brewing at Borderlands and Crooked Tooth. Then downstairs there is Ayla Kapahi who also pulls double duty at Borderlands and Public Brewhouse.

I know we’ve got a lot of work to do in order to expand the Arizona craft beer scene outside of the typical, bearded white guy demographic. But seeing these ladies in their element makes me feel like we’re already heading down the right path. So make sure you get your hands on the Rain Crow IPA and let everyone who worked on it know that you appreciate their efforts and their dedication to our community.

The beer will debut at the Real, Wild & Woody beer festival in Phoenix on Saturday, July 28th. You can buy tickets here. It will also be on tap and be sold in cans at all three breweries soon.

Buy this beer. It’s for the birds.


The Classy Fiesta at Dillinger Brewing Co. – Tucson, AZ

Friday, July 13th, 2018
5pm – 9pm
3895 N Oracle Rd, Tucson, AZ 85705, located in a warehouse behind the pawnshop


This Friday the 13th I’ll be teaming up with my friends at Dillinger Brewing Co. in Tucson to host an event called The Classy Fiesta. It’ll be a “brewery takeover,” during which I’ll be rocking a Latin music playlist the whole night. We’ll have Mexican food from Doxie Hot Dogs, a local food truck, on site. There will be raffles every hour so you can win Dillinger swag and beer. And we’ll have a piñata that was designed to look like me dropping at 7:05pm.

This event is partially intended to promote my blog and to beg for votes now that I’m officially a finalist in the annual Best of Tucson awards for the Best Blog category (vote for me here). But it’s is also intended to start a conversation that I feel is necessary regarding the lack of diversity in our Arizona craft beer scene.

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1912 Brewing Co’s 3rd Anniversary – Tucson, AZ

Saturday, July 7th, 2018.
11AM – 10PM
2045 N. Forbes Blvd #105, Tucson, AZ 85745

1912 Brewing Company in Tucson is ready to celebrate their 3rdanniversary on Saturday, July 7th. They’re throwing a Havana Nights-themed party with several new beer releases and a few infusions that will continue to cement their status as one of Arizona’s best microbreweries. I was invited over to report on this upcoming event because I’m the most qualified of all the Arizona beer journalists given that I’ve been to Miami and also I watched the entirety of Scarface on TNT last Sunday while hungover as hell. You ever watch Scarface with the commercials added? It takes an entire goddamn day.

I was lucky enough to get a private tasting of the four newest beers that will be on tap during the party. This is some legitimately exclusive reporting, y’all. The only people who have tried these things so far are 1912’s employees and your favorite fat Mexican blogger in a suit. 1912’s owner, Allan Conger, guided me through each of the beers. This brewery’s like a great big chicken just waiting to get plucked.

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Classy’s Drunken Film Reviews – Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom


Summertime in the desert means I get to enjoy my favorite activity: getting irresponsibly drunk in public places where other people aren’t allowed to talk to me. I got ridiculously lit in a monastery last week and none of those dudes in hoodies could yell at me to quit drinking so much and to put my pants back on.

Which is also why I enjoy going to the movies, especially now that I have several theaters in close proximity that serve alcohol. These joints are starting to understand that most movies are garbage and that the only things that could make them better are copious amounts of booze or Clive Owen.

I bought my ticket to a 2:30pm showing of Jurassic Park 5: Jurassic World 2: Fallen Kingdom. It was on Senior Monday which was fitting because I ended up sitting next to a guy so old he looked like he went to high school with a fuckin’ T-Rex.

I approached the movie theater bar, already drunk, trying to do my best to appear sober enough to not be denied a beer. They had Lagunitas IPA and Tucson’s Barrio Blonde on tap. “Lagunitas” seemed like it would get all slurred to hell. “Luhhhgunitushhhh,” probably.

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Party For McCarty DIPA on tap for a good cause

I don’t often write serious posts because the blog was always intended to be comedic. But this deserves some serious treatment. There’s a new beer on tap throughout Phoenix and Tucson called Party For McCarty that was brewed in honor of a Quail Distributing employee named Jeff McCarty who passed away last month. As if that wasn’t unfortunate enough his wife was left with some very hefty medical bills. Friends of mine have had a few scares and close calls with their own medical issues recently but they’ve been lucky enough to make it through and I’ve been lucky enough to still have them in my life. So I can’t imagine what it would be like to suffer the loss of someone I love and still have to worry about meeting the financial obligations afterward.

Because of this several people of the Arizona beer/booze scene came together to do what they do best and help take care of their own. Party For McCarty was brewed not just to honor a man’s life and his decades of work in the restaurant and distribution industry. It is also intended to alleviate some of the medical debt left behind. The revenue from the beer sale is being donated to Jeff’s family.

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My friends at Quail Distributing collaborated with the AZ Craft Brewers Guild and several local businesses to brew a hazy, 9% ABV double IPA with organic honey and orange zest. I’ve already tried the beer and can confirm that it is fantastic. That should have been expected considering the people who were involved in making it. It was brewed at Scottsdale Beer Company with assistance from North Mountain Brewing in Phoenix as well as 1912 Brewing Company in Tucson. Page Spring Cellars, an excellent winery from Cornville out in the Verde Valley, and Wild Tonic Jun Kombucha also contributed to its creation.

This blog has existed for over three years now and in that time I’ve come to realize how spoiled we are in the Arizona booze scene. I specifically write “booze” because the great people I’ve met during my time as a blogger aren’t just part of the craft beer business. Our local wineries, distillers and whatever you call Kombucha makers are also part of our family. And though I personally didn’t know Jeff McCarty I know what it feels like to lose a member of the family.

So please, drink a few pints of Party For McCarty if you see it on tap. It won’t be hard to find. It’s on tap at 44 locations throughout Arizona now. Scroll down to see the full list.

Salud, everybody. And thanks to everyone in Arizona who supports the local community. Not just booze. Anyone who opens a local restaurant, art shop, etc. has my respect and admiration. And I’ll continue to do everything I can to offer my support as well.


Party For McCarty is available at these locations:

1912 Brewing Co.

Arizona Beer House

Bottleshop 48

Boulders On Broadway

Brass Tap – Gilbert

Brass Tap – Mesa

Casual Pint – Chandler

Casual Pint – Phoenix

Craft 64

Divided Wine


Ground Control

Hops On Birch

Hungry Monk

Kings Beer & Wine

Mellow Mushroom – High St.

Mellow Mushroom – Mesa


Noble Hops

North Mountain Brewing Co.

O.H.S.O. – Scottsdale

Park Plaza Liquors

Pig & Pickle

Reilly Craft

Scottsdale Beer Co.

Serial Grillers

Sip Coffee & Beer Garage

Sip Coffee & Beer House

Sip Coffee & Beer Kitchen

Skeptical Chymist

Tap & Bottle – North

Tap & Bottle – South


Tavern Americana

The Wandering Tortoise

The Whining Pig – Arcadia

The Whining Pig – Ahwatukee

The Whining Pig – DT Phoenix

The Whining Pig – Gilbert

The Attic

Tipsy Cactus

Tops Liquors

Tucson Hop Shop

Nominate me for Best Tucson Blog – 2018


It’s time for The Tucson Weekly newspaper to start accepting nominations for their annual Best of Tucson Awards. Last year I came in third place, which is way more than you would have ever expected from me, DAD, you ASSHOLE.

The first round is happening now and lasts until June 17th. In this part you have to actually type in the names of at least 30 Tucson businesses and such in order for your ballot to count. Yes, I know it sounds like a pain in the ass but it’ll be worth it if I win and I throw the dopest, week-long drunken bender that you’re not invited to.

Click the link below. If I get enough nominations to break the top three I’ll move on to the second round where you can vote for me against whatever other bullshit blogs the less cool people vote for.

And no, I’m not just gonna sit back and expect you to nominate me without putting in any work. So for the next few weeks I’ll be putting out a series of Tucson-centric blog posts on this very site highlighting several local beer, wine, spirit and food spots.

So go vote. ‘Cause if I know my readers, this is the only thing you’re legally allowed to vote in anyway.