This post guest written by LFA Local Foods Intern, Loran Shamis. Have you ever thought you could visit some of the world’s most unique animals while still celebrating the great craft beers of Arizona? The annual Brew at the Zoo- Healthy and Hoppy hosted at Tucson’s Reid Park Zoo allows for such an experience! Healthy and Hoppy gives visitors the opportunity to stroll after hours and get exclusive glances at all the Zoo has to offer. While doing so, guests may sample local brews and bar-inspired bites as the park fills with the sounds of live music. As if this is not enough to persuade anyone into joining in all the excitement, proceeds from ticket purchases will be used to fund the renovation of the Zoo’s Animal Health Center in order to improve the quality of life for all of our beloved zoo animals.
On June 20, visitors, ages 21 and up, will be admitted into the park at 6pm and are invited to stay until 9:30pm. Within those hours, guests will have the opportunity to sample craft beers from over 25 Arizona breweries including The Address at 1702, 1055 Brewing, 8 Bit, 1912 Brewing, Barrio Brewery, Beast Brewing, Borderlands, Dragoon, Four Peaks, Grand Canyon, Historic Brewing, Huss Brewing, Lumberyard, Mother Road, MudShark, Oak Creek, Old Bisbee, Papago, Perch Brewing, Phoenix Ale, Prescott Brewing, Pueblo Vida, SanTan, Sentinel Peak, Sonoran Brewing Co, Thunder Canyon and Wilderness. Samples are provided in a keepsake commemorative glass designed from recycled beer bottles. Pub-inspired eats will be found amongst the animals and habitats. So while visiting the Zebra Gazebo, try some delectable food samples then hang out with the hippos while enjoying a Hefeweizen.
Our local brewers are excited to participate because they not only get to interact with the community and have people try their great brews, but they also get to engage in an activity that benefits a fantastic cause. Jeremy Hilderbrand, the owner of Sentinel Peak Brewing Company, says that, “by participating in Brew at the Zoo we are helping raise money for a specific need the zoo has. It is very rewarding to be able to enjoy the final result once the project is complete and to know we had a small part in helping create that." Borderlands Brewing owner Mike Mallozzi agrees that it is rewarding to support a great community resource like the Reid Park Zoo. "We love being part of Brew at the Zoo. It's one of our favorite festivals all year," comments Mallozzi. "When we're not having fun talking to guests and pouring beers we're out watching Nandi play in the pool!"
Take advantage of pre-sale tickets available here for $40 a person, $35 per Zoo member, and $20 per designated driver; or purchase them at the door for an additional ten dollars on the day of the event. Previous year's events have sold out, so be sure to get your tickets early! No worries if too much fun is had by all because Uber is providing free rides in addition to contributing $5 donations to the Zoo for every first time ride. La Quinta Inn & Suites is also encouraging the merriment with special rate offers to attendees. Local First Arizona will be at the event as well handing out Golden Coupons for Independents Week, so stop by and say hi! Come out and celebrate the Brew at the Zoo - Healthy and Hoppy; whether it is because of the donations to the Zoo, the introduction to great local beers, or just the plain enjoyment, the benefits of this event extend throughout the local community!