New Cocktail Menu at Hub Restaurant & Ice Creamery – Tucson

Located at 266 Congress St, Tucson, AZ 85701
Open daily 11a-midnight
https://hubdowntown.com/

Hub Restaurant & Ice Creamery is located in downtown Tucson. It’s a nice, fairly upscale joint that probably replaced some stabby dive bar where you could easily get shitty coke in the bathroom from a guy with a neck tattoo and a denim vest because that’s pretty much all downtown Tucson used to be back in the day. But nowadays the whole area has been classed up and is practically unrecognizable to anyone who may have been the victim of knife crime there a mere ten years ago.

Within the last week or so Hub completely revamped their cocktail menu with nine drinks that each put a fun spin on classic styles. They’re complex but fairly quick to make so you won’t be waiting fifteen minutes for each thing and they’re familiar enough to be accessible but different enough to make you seem extra cool and knowledgeable when ordering. I was invited to an exclusive preview tasting alongside a bunch of suckers who write for legitimate publications with strictly enforced word limits. But this is the internet, baby. And The Classy Alcoholic isn’t limited by shit other than his liver function which somehow hasn’t given up yet! So let’s run through the new Hub cocktail menu and then drunkenly walk home slurping a pint of artisanal ice cream that is dripping down your chin and shirt ‘cause it’s rapidly melting in the desert heat.

THE WORKHORSE

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Do you know what an Old Fashioned is? Well you should because it’s a very simple cocktail that tastes great and became very popular with a bunch of poser assholes after they watched Mad Men and thought it would be fun to give suits, classic cocktails and alcoholism a try even though that’s been MY whole thing for well over a decade. It’s also the inspiration for this first drink. An Old Fashioned can be made with bourbon if you’re a normal person or with brandy if you’re a serial killer pretending you’re able to feel. The Workhorse is made with vanilla bean-infused rye whiskey and salted cacao bitters which makes it much sweeter than a regular degular Old Fashioned. The vanilla cuts down a lot on the strong, boozy burn from the whiskey if that’s usually too much for you.

 

EAST ENDER

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Do you know what a Negroni is? Well I don’t because it’s made with gin and I once drank so much of it one night in my early 20’s that I ended up puking and now every sip of gin tastes like the shame of my adulthood failures mixed with every sad childhood Christmas my dad didn’t show up to. But the East Ender is actually great because it tastes like a Negroni without the gin. It’s actually made with white whiskey, which is unaged so it has the strong, bitter corn flavor as opposed to the sweeter, smoother tinge of an aged whiskey. That taste will be familiar to any of us who spent our college years broke and drinking white-ass white tequila or clear but somehow still cloudy plastic bottle vodka. This drink offsets some of that with a bitter pomegranate liqueur but this is still a punch in the face. It’s a very strong cocktail that is meant to be sipped and not slammed.

 

PIECES OF EIGHT

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If the last two drinks are too strong and you need something that resembles diabetes in a glass then you’re in luck because Hub has a tiki-inspired drink made with black barrel rum, ruby port, cinnamon syrup and Swedish punsch, which is actually a liqueur that I spelled correctly and it’s not just me drunkenly slurring the word “punch.” This is sneakily strong so you definitely won’t need more than a couple. It tastes like spiked fruit juice which reminded me so much of prom because that’s what I was drinking all night when I crashed the high school gymnasium and totally ruined a bunch of high school kids’ time last year. In my defense, I didn’t know there was a prom happening, I thought I was just sneaking into an empty gym to do drugs.

 

BASIL BUCK

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This one is very simple. It’s got basil-infused vodka which basically makes this a vegetable drink which means I drank a whole salad’s worth of booze. It’s also made with ginger syrup, lime and soda which means it’s Hub’s version of a Moscow mule. It has a strong lime flavor and it tastes leafy but in that nice refreshing way; not in the, I just woke up on the front lawn with a face full of grass and dirt and there are a bunch of empty beer cans all around me and also I’m not wearing pants kind of way.

 

SUNSPOT

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Oh boy, was I scared of this one. I was dreading it once I saw it was made with gin, my old nemesis. Gin is the my ex-girlfriend of booze ‘cause I know I should stay away but whenever I see it on the menu I think this time things will be different but I keep being wrong because I get burned every time and also gin tells me it loves me but it always ends up banging my Cousin Chico. But believe it or not, this time it actually was different! With the drink, not with the ex. This was a surprisingly sweet cocktail made with an apricot liqueur that mixed very well with the gin. The sweetness really blended well with the juniper bite and gave it an almost entirely new flavor that didn’t remind me of my heavy gin guzzling days. The Sunspot actually helped me overcome my fear of gin cocktails which I didn’t think would ever happen.

 

SANDIA FRIA

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This is Spanish for “cold watermelon” and it’s basically a fancy ass margarita. Yes, it’s made with tequila but it also has watermelon syrup and hibiscus salt on the rim. Just look at this damn thing. Probably the best, most accessible drink on the menu that achieves that balance between the base spirit and the sweet syrup better than anything else I tried this day. The salt not only adds a lot to the cocktail but it looks damn good for all you assholes who love throwing this kind of stuff up on the ‘gram.

 

STUCK IN MY CABANA

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I spent plenty of time stuck in a cabana on a remote island being interrogated by Pitbull’s security team after they found me stowing away on his yacht. I only wish I had this delicious, icy drink with me. It’s made with raspberry brandy, coconut syrup and tepache. That last word refers to a Mexican fermented pineapple drink that is usually sold by street vendors or at taco shops but is now bottled into a liqueur by a big company because white people just can’t stop colonizing.

 

RODEO QUEEN

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This was inspired by a champagne cocktail called the French 76. It’s made with vodka, sparkling wine and blueberry syrup. It’s light on the alcohol content, fruity, refreshing and you could easily have a few of these with brunch or during a hungover breakfast. Because, like the mimosa, this drink makes early morning alcohol consumption seem acceptable and fun. Also the lack of actual champagne will probably piss off a Frenchman, which I’m totally okay with.

 

SANTA CRUZ FLOAT

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And finally we’re at the dessertiest thing on the menu. This is pretty much a boozy root beer float made with clear Del Bac whiskey, milk stout syrup and salted caramel ice cream. If you think it would be super sweet then you’re right, it is. But it also has this amazing smoky flavor thanks to the whiskey. It’s served in a tall mug that’s meant to be shared just like the good ole days when your grandpa would take his best girl down to the diner, buy her a float and smoke cigarettes indoors legally while sharing his disdain for people who were a different race than him. Boy am I glad my racist grandpa’s dead. He was…just the worst. Anyhoozle, this Santa Cruz float is awesome. Share one with a friend. Preferably a friend of a different race!

Salud!

Brewery Talks Podcast

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For some reason people think it’s a good idea to put a microphone in front of my stupid fat drunk face so I can be a guest on their podcasts. Unfortunately for them, I’m an egomaniac who will spew drunken bullshit into any recording device nearby, Richard Nixon style, except not racist. So when a guy named Nash Carlson contacted me to tell me that he and his lady were exploring breweries across the country in their RV (white peoples’ lives is #goals) and that he needed an expert in the Tucson craft beer scene to go on his show I, of course, obliged.

So please check out my episode of the Brewery Talks Podcast on iTunes, Spotify and whatever Android people use for podcasts. Nash’s blog is called Sunnyside Up Traveling and you can check that out here: https://www.sunnysideuptraveling.com 

The pod ep I’m on is here: https://www.sunnysideuptraveling.com/brewerytalkspodcast/2019/2/2/the-inside-scoop-of-the-tucson-beer-scene

If you want you can also follow Sunnyside Up Traveling on Instagram and Facebook.

And finally, if you’re a first time visitor to my blog because you heard me on the podcast you can feel free to roam around the dumb beer stories I’ve written for the past 4 years. But I’ll also give you a few articles to start off with so you can see exactly what the hell I’m all about.

One of my most popular articles was called:
The Classy Alcoholic’s Guide To Pairing Arizona Beer With The Grossest, Loneliest Fast Food

The sequel to that article was:
The Naked Chicken Chalupa Paired With AZ Beers

If you’re visiting Tucson (which you should!) here is a guide to…
Cheap Bar Eats In Tucson

Thanks for stopping by. I’m currently working on some long-form writing projects which is why it’s been a bit quiet on this space. But there’s plenty more to come!

Salud!

Cheap Bar Eats in Tucson

I hate food. Food is a waste of perfectly good money that could be spent on more drinks. But somehow our stupid bodies need it so we don’t die, which is stupid. Luckily I’ve found a few dive bars in Tucson that serve really good meals for super cheap so you can soak up enough booze to stay alive and then drink more afterward. These are the best deals for your money that I’ve found so far.

Just a disclaimer, the pictures I took of my food all look terrible because they were taken in places where the lighting really sucks. Also there’s no guarantee that you won’t get stabbed at one of these joints and I’m not responsible for any deaths that might occur from your drunk ass walking in there. Okay, cool, let’s do this!

Wooden Nickel Tavern

Located at 1908 S Country Club Rd, Tucson, AZ 85713
Open 7 days a week, 11a-2a
http://woodennickeltucson.com

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The Wooden Nickel’s menu has a ton of good burgers, subs and sandwiches as well as typical bar appetizers like nachos, onion rings and potato skins. But their best food deal happens on Wing Wednesday. They used to sell wings for only 50 cents apiece but due to inflation or whatever they’ve had to raise the price to 75 each. Don’t hold it against them, though. The wings are really meaty and there are several flavors that you can mix and match in your order. Normally when you go to a place with cheap wing specials they only give you the tiniest pieces of the shitty baby chickens that were too stupid to keep from slipping into their bigass water pail and weren’t strong enough to crawl back out.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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
http://www.1912brewing.com

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

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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.

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Party For McCarty is available at these locations:
1702

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

GCM

Ground Control

Hops On Birch

Hungry Monk

Kings Beer & Wine

Mellow Mushroom – High St.

Mellow Mushroom – Mesa

MOTO

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

Tarbell’s

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

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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.

https://posting.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/Survey?survey=16173761