Sentinel Peak Brewing Company – Tucson, AZ

Located at 4746 East Grant Road, Tucson, AZ 85712
Open Tues-Thurs 11a-9p; Fri-Sat 11a-10:30p; Sun 11a-8p
http://www.sentinelpeakbrewing.com

Tucson is a cool place. It’s a town that, in terms of size, is in between the huge metropolis that is Phoenix and the tiny towns like the ones in Southeastern Arizona. It’s seemingly the perfect place for people who can’t handle a giant city like LA or Phoenix but also need a little more activity than can be found in a Sonoita or a Douglas. Getting around Tucson can be pretty sweet if the traffic is light as you can pretty much be anywhere in town in twenty to thirty minutes. You can’t say that about Phoenix.

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A Celebration of Eggnog

Since we’re knee deep in the holiday season I thought it would be cool to take a break from breweries and talk about varieties in eggnog recipes. And when I say “recipes” I don’t mean how many eggs you break and how many ounces of cream you whisk in a bowl. I’m talking about what kind of liquor you mix into that shit. I absolutely love eggnog and have fond memories of sharing glass after glass of it with my family during Christmas dinner while my Aunt Savannah told the same old story of how she once got her ass pinched by Erik Estrada in a dance club in the 80s and my mom berated my sister for not yet carrying a single pregnancy to term.

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Cartel Coffee Lab – Tempe, AZ

Located at 225 W University Drive, Tempe, AZ 85281
Open 7 days per week from 10a-10p
http://www.cartelcoffeelab.com

This was a very exciting visit. Apparently Arizona is home to a coffee brewing company called Cartel Coffee Labs. All of their locations are in the greater Phoenix area, save for one shop in Tucson, and in the Spring of 2013 the Tempe location was granted a license to brew beer onsite.

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I don’t know very much about Cartel because I’m not much of a coffee drinker at all. In fact, I’ve sworn off consuming any kind of stimulant ever since that time my dad caught me trying a little bit of the blow he always used to stash in the garage and, to teach me a lesson, he made me snort the whole bag. In his defense, though, he said that apart from teaching me a lesson there were also cops banging on the door right that second and that I would totally be doing him a solid if I got rid of the evidence. But my brief conversations with people who’ve been to Cartel reveal that they make great quality coffee and that it’s the favorite haunt of students or programmers who need some serious kick in their drink that’ll keep them up all night if need be.

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Black Hole Beer Company – Prescott, AZ

Note that as of April 2016 the Black Hole Beer Company taproom has closed. The place is now a bar and grill operated by different owners. This review of their taproom is now considered a historical document.

I mentioned last week that I didn’t want this blog to appear Phoenix-centric because I know the place can overshadow other, cool parts of Arizona. As a way to show my commitment to highlighting the off-beaten paths of my state I’m writing about a startup brewery in the town of Prescott named Black Hole. This place only opened in April of 2014 and already shows great signs of longevity. More about that in a bit. First, I should mention that Prescott is a beautiful town which, curiously enough, is pretty much equidistant from Flagstaff and Phoenix. Those of you who’ve never been are advised to pay it a visit.

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