Catalina Brewing Company – Tucson, AZ

Located at 6918 N Camino Martin #120, Tucson, AZ 85741
Open Weds & Thurs 4-9p; Fri 4p-10p; Sat 12p-10p; Sun 11a-5p
http://www.catalinabrewingco.com

Part 2 of a 3-part series called “A Better Life.” Read Part 1 here.

I had left the town of Goodyear (a suburb of the Greater Phoenix area) and made my way south toward Tucson. I was feeling lost, still trying to find that different lifestyle that would speak to me and help me make some positive changes while still allowing me to drink lots and lots of booze. Luckily the Arizona craft beer scene was always willing to help.

I reached out to my Tucson fan base and ended up communicating with a young lady named Marisol who said she was willing to share her healthy, active lifestyle with me…and also she promised that it still involved beer. She asked if I could meet her at Catalina Brewing Company in the Northwest side of town.

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I walked into Catalina’s taproom and was immediately intimidated by the bicycle theme decorating the walls. Even the goddamn tap handles were made out of spare bike parts that I couldn’t name because I hadn’t been on a bicycle since I had to race through the Sonoran desert in my early 20’s dodging Border Patrol bullets just so I could smuggle my mom’s medicinal meth into the United States. (It was medicinal because my mom’s heart rate was super low after the Quaalude OD and she needed a pick-me-up.)

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The Naked Chicken Chalupa paired with AZ Beers

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Back during the 2015 holiday season I wrote a blog post in which I paired Arizona craft beers with the grossest, loneliest fast foods. It was a great article and we all had a solid laugh at how hilariously fat The Classy Alcoholic was and then we moved on to welcome 2016 with open arms ‘cause we just knew that was gonna be our fuckin’ year, man! But as proud as I am of the article I have to admit the experience changed something inside of me. And I’m not just talking about how I now have to submit annual reports to the government to ensure my bowels don’t violate the Chemical Weapons Convention treaty.

No, I’m talking about the existential pain caused by several long nights spent guzzling soggy clumps of deep fried cardboard only vaguely disguised as edible material into my face like a sad opossum that somehow developed both a drinking problem and an impeccable fashion sense. That’s when I realized The Classy Alcoholic had hit rock bottom…

But it’s 2017 now and after 16 months or so of exponential sadness and shame, as well as multiple breakups with my ex-girlfriend Rosario Vargas, I’ve come to realize that that shit was pretty much just rock middle at best. So when Taco Bell released something called a Naked Chicken Chalupa in January using a folded up fried chicken patty instead of a taco shell I decided to quietly suffocate any self-respect I had left under a pillow and then follow up that initial fast food article with a goddamn sequel!

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Flux – Chapter 1

The Classy Alcoholic ain’t dead yet! This time I’m writing an ode to the lovely town of Tucson with a 5-part story called “Flux.” When the Tucson beer scene is under attack by a mysterious new organization The Classy Alcoholic has to drunkenly distinguish friend from foe.

Click on the “Short Stories” tab in the menu above or just click the “Continue Reading” link below to start Chapter 1.

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Dillinger Brewing Company – Tucson, AZ [Coming Soon]

Located at 3895 N Oracle Rd, Tucson, AZ 85705
Opening Fall 2016
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dillingerbrewery/
Instagram: http://tinyurl.com/jjhsjbq
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dillinger_brew

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Eric Rubio Sipe may be a bearded white guy in Tucson who loves craft beer and has plans to open up his own microbrewery but, believe it or not, there are also interesting things about him. For starters, the man already had a space for his taproom rented out and he was deep into construction when I met him. You should know that The Classy Alcoholic is pretty wired into the beer scene in this state. I’m usually the first to hear about new breweries that are about to open in Arizona because the owners desperately want me to come by ever since they realized that having a guy in a suit, tie and pocket square on the premises will significantly increase their property values as long as I don’t tell anyone that I’m Mexican.

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Driftwood Pub & Kitchen – Tucson, AZ

Driftwood Pub & Kitchen has closed as of February 2017. This post will remain on my website as a reminder of the good times we had together.

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Dive bars tend to get a lot of love from people. Sometimes for reasons I don’t understand. Scroll through some Yelp reviews and you’ll find people who describe a dive bar as “disgusting” and consider that a compliment. Also they think being served by bitter, disaffected bartenders is somehow more authentic than someone who’s, like, nice to you?

While I definitely appreciate that many dive bars have cool regulars and strong drinks for cheap I never want to drink somewhere so divey that I have to worry about walking out with a staph infection. And I’m not the kind of guy who thinks a bar is great because the bartender with the hook for a hand pours your shitty light beers aggressively and visibly hates you for making him do his job. If I wanted to be openly resented for my heavy drinking by someone with anger issues I’d go back and ruin my ex-girlfriend’s mom’s funeral again.
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Nimbus Brewing Co. – Tucson, AZ

Located at 3850 E 44th St, Tucson, AZ 85713
Open Mon-Thurs 11a-11p; Fri-Sat 11a-1a; Sun 11a-9p
http://www.nimbusbeer.com

Your favorite The Classy Alcoholic is going through a tough time, y’all. February of 2016 is the month I turn 30 years old. The panic of growing older is starting to set in and I feel like I’m not ready to leave my 20s behind. The sight of a few gray hairs is my only consolation because the one thing that would make my amazing hair even better is a Clooney-esque, salt-and-pepper look to it. But so far my gorgeous mane stays dark, thick and smooth…while my youth rapidly slips away through my fingers.

I decided that if I wanted to recapture my youth I would have to literally travel back in time. So I found a junkyard in Tucson where I could buy an old flux capacitor and installed it in my car. I retrofitted the thing so it could be powered by Arizona-brewed craft beer because my flux capacitor was sure as hell gonna #chooseAZbrews, dammit! I hit the road and drove as fast as I could until a portal of light appeared, engulfing my ‘89 Honda Accord with the bumper that was a different color from the rest of the car and also held on only by a chain. When the portal of light disappeared I looked around me and I realized I had successfully arrived in the year 2006.

I still had to write a microbrewery review for today though and unfortunately there weren’t many breweries in Tucson ten years ago. But then I recalled that Nimbus Brewing Company had been around since 1996 and would be celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. So I headed to the east side of Tucson wading through industrial parks in search of the warehouse where Nimbus had its brewery and restaurant. In order to fit in I put on a necktie that was only slightly different in color from my dress shirt. It was the kind of monochromatic outfit I remembered people in suits wearing all the time a decade ago, back when Regis Philbin was the classiest motherfucker on TV because Mad Men wouldn’t introduce Jon Hamm to the world until a year later.

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