By Lynette Carrington
Downtown Phoenix Inc. is all about attracting folks to the city. The fifth annual Urban Ale Trail, a self-guided walkable beer tasting tour, hopes to once again accomplish that as it invites participants to more than 25 stops downtown and on Roosevelt Row. The excitement brews from 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday, September 15.
“Even now, as much publicity and notoriety and headlines that Downtown Phoenix has made, there are still a lot of folks in the Valley who aren’t coming downtown or haven’t come downtown in a while,” explains R.J. Price, vice president of marketing and events for DTPHX.
“Somebody told me this a few days ago and I thought this was really good, ‘If you haven’t been downtown lately, you haven’t been there.’ It’s changing at such a dramatic pace. This is a great way to give people an indoctrination into that development upswing.”
Bliss Rebar, Cornish Pasty Co., Squid Ink Sushi, The Arrogant Butcher, Chico Malo, The Whining Pig, Carly’s Bistro, Copper Blues, The Churchill and The Park are just 10 of the locations participating in the 2018 Urban Ale Trail, and more are being added.
Urban Ale Trail is rooted in another event that started 10 years ago, the Urban Wine Walk.
“The core of this is about getting people downtown and getting people into our restaurants and bars, many of which are new,” says R.J. Price, vice president of marketing and events for DTPHX.
“Since we started Urban Wine Walk 10 years ago, we’ve added 100 restaurants downtown, which is an amazing figure. We’ve doubled the number of restaurants.”
“For the first couple of years, Urban Wine Walk was popular, and we had one in the spring and in fall,” Price says. “Five years ago, we saw beer drinkers didn’t have an event.”
Each participating location will offer three 4-ounce samples of beer for $1 or $2 each, and each sample will be paired with a complimentary bar nosh, while supplies last. Free snacks include pretzels and fondue, Caprese bruschetta, hummus and pita, and edamame.
Before hitting the trail, be sure to visit District American Kitchen and Wine Bar. The first 300 people to belly up to the bar for the Urban Ale Trail event will receive a free commemorative growler. Technically, participants can start their possibly tipsy trek at any of the 25-plus stops and printed maps will be available at all participating locations.
Advance registration is not necessary and there is no fee to take part in the pilsner pilgrimage, other than the cost of beer samples.
Whether you stroll, saunter or stumble by the end of the Urban Ale Trail, being responsible is key. To that end, Price suggests taking the light rail or ride share into Downtown Phoenix to maximize the fun experience with a focus on safety.
“We are trying to use the lure of the event to get people more comfortable with transit,” Price says. “We highly encourage people use their feet or use transit and don’t bring a car. It’s easier to get around downtown without a car, quite honestly.
For more information, a list of participating restaurants and bars and snack menu, visit dtphx.org/things-to-do/aletrail/.