The future of Arizona breweries will continue to grow at a pace on par with other breweries across the United States, Rob Fuller, executive director of the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild, recently told Arizona Business Daily.
“Some are already beginning to distribute beers to California, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas,” Fullmer said.
Across the state, he said, “we're going to see more small breweries in more neighborhoods anchoring and connecting entertainment districts and communities, and we're going to attract brewery professionals and investment.”
In fact, this is already happening with the first beers from Two Brothers, which also has a brewery in Chicago, Illinois recently becoming available in the state.
“They saw the opportunity and opened a brewery here, too,” Fullmer said. “Our breweries are really leading the charge in highlighting all of the great things about Arizona.”
What makes a brewery successful, Fullmer told Arizona Business Daily, is that “at the very heart of things, the entire beer industry, no matter how far removed from the customer, is a hospitality industry.”
For a brewery to know its customer, “all of the things that you do have to reflect that,” he said.
Customers want great beer, great service and they want to know a brewery’s story, Fullmer added.
“Great breweries tie people to a location," he said. "They have a sense of place. They make you feel welcome and they transport you to a simpler time. You become invested in their success.”
Speaking of success, four Arizona breweries recently won medals at the Great American Beer Festival held last month in Denver, Colorado. Fullmer said the event sponsored by the Brewers Association recognized winning brews from Flagstaff, Chandler, Tucson and Tempe, Arizona out of more than 1,500 entrants vying for 275 awards.
The competition's judges receive flights of samples in unmarked glasses that they must judge to the style entered. Judged over multiple days, brewers or employees of a brewery are never allowed to judge styles that they entered into the competition.
Tremendously pleased with Arizona’s representation and performance at the Great American Beer Festival, Fullmer said that the state’s four wins further prove that “what’s being brewed here is not only on par, but able to surpass what’s being made in some of the nation’s biggest and most renowned beer-brewing cities and states.”