Tucson Tapped

2014-02-27T00:00:00Z 2014-03-10T17:50:10Z Tucson TappedBy Paul Pedersen Special to the Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

It seems like almost every month I’m writing about a new brewery in Tucson. This month it’s two.

John Adkisson is bringing a whole new concept to the Tucson beer scene with Iron John’s Brewing Co. Rather than a traditional brewery with a tasting room and off premise sales to restaurants in kegs, he’s only going to sell bottled beer from his brewery. No kegs, no growlers. Just 750 ml (25 oz.) returnable bottles with sealable flip tops.

He believes this model will “maximize revenues.” The longtime home brewer is a management accountant by trade.

There will be no tasting at his brewery, 245 S. Plumer Ave., as city zoning does not allow on-premises consumption. The 1,200-square-foot brewery contains a two-barrel system that will produce a stout, an IPA, strong ale and a “mellow and easy” beer, as well as a rotating seasonal such as a Belgian or a barrel-aged brew.

There will be a kickoff event at Tap and Barrel, 403 N. Sixth Ave., on March 6. Iron John’s bottles will also be available for sale at Tap and Bottle


Kyle Jefferson is bringing a more traditional model to downtown. He is opening Pueblo Vida Brewing at 115 E. Broadway in mid- to late April with a seven-barrel brewing system. He’ll initially brew a northwest style IPA that he describes as “citrus forward,” Belgium style beers and a Bavarian hefeweizen. He said he’ll brew some “true European-style beers,” like the hefeweizen, “not normally available fresh in Tucson.”

Jefferson, a University of Arizona grad in finance, spent almost two years working for a brewery in Washington state. Seeing Tucson’s downtown resurgence, Jefferson decided to build a taproom and brewery there. The taproom will only serve Pueblo Vida beer at first. Customers can order food from a nearby restaurant, which will deliver to Pueblo Vida.

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These two new breweries with very different business models are continuing evidence of the growth of good beer in Tucson. And interestingly, both of these new brewers have finance backgrounds. They have no doubt done informed financial projection and believe the Tucson market can support additional breweries.

This is great not only for those of us who enjoy good beer, but also for the Tucson economy. There must be easily 200 people employed in the beer business in Tucson. Most of these are relatively new jobs. Keep ’em coming!

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The Brewers Association reports that at the end of 2013 there were 2,722 breweries in the U.S., up 400 from 2012. Ninety-eight percent of the breweries are small and independent operations.

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And for the record: The folks at Arizona Brewers Guild advise that it is their organization, not Craft Tucson as I reported in January, that oversees events in Tucson during Arizona Beer Week, which was Feb. 15-22.

Contact Paul Pedersen at tucsontapped@gmail.com

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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