Excitement was in the air last night at the opening of Tucson’s newest Brewery, Borderlands. It is the end result of an idea by two University of Arizona students med students, Michael Mallozzi and Myles Stone. Soon into the start of Borderlands Michael & Myles brought on avid local home brewer Blake Collins to be the head brewer. The three of them have created a destination brewery in the heart of downtown Tucson.
Not knowing what to expect before heading to the opening last night, I was greeted to a line of eager Tucsonans waiting to try the latest local creations. While in line I heard many people discussing what beers they wanted to try, all with the excitement of a little kid on Christmas morning. Once I made it inside we were immediately greeted at the front door. You could tell how happy everyone that worked there was; I mean who wouldn’t want to work at a brewery!?
Finally up to the front of the line we chose the option to get three beers and a souvenir glass. I started with the Prickly Pear Wheat, and my fiancé and friends went with the Santa Rita. I really liked how the color of the Prickly Pear Wheat was similar to that of a prickly pear flower. That is just one of the ways Borderlands really stands out from other breweries, with little details like that.
Even though I am not a fan of dark beer, Blake recommended the Noche Dulce when I went up to get my next beer. It is a really good beer, and that is coming from someone who usually drinks light beer. Between everyone in our group that night we tried all the beers Borderlands had for their opening, and rave reviews all around.
Borderlands is a great local business that if it’s not already, it should be on your list of local places to try! With the combination of GREAT beer, awesome staff and a fun and inviting atmosphere, you would be crazy not to check it out! As an added bonus whenever a train passes by you can feel the floor of the brewery rumble, adding something special to your experience. Borderlands is open Wednesdays and Fridays from 4 p.m – 7 p.m and is located at 119 E. Toole Avenue. For more information check out their website Borderlands Brewing and Facebook Page.
What better way to experience the magic of the holidays than wandering through a winter wonderland filled with lions and tigers and bears (animal sculptures that is, the real animals will be fast asleep by then!) Zoo Lights at Reid Park Zoo is a fun holiday event that is great for all ages. This year Zoo Lights is open from December 2-11 (Thursdays – Sundays) and December 15-23 nightly.
Being at the zoo after dark is magical; there is an entirely different feel to it. Instead of seeing a lion you will instead go visit Santa and enjoy some delicious hot chocolate. The trees are full of lights and decorations, and you might even get caught in the snow. It reminds me of being at Disneyland during the holidays; no matter what age you are you can’t help but get caught up in the Christmas spirit while walking around the zoo.
Don’t miss out on this amazing event this holiday season! Adults are $5 to get in and children are $3. (If you are a zoo member, there is discounted admission!) If you are able to make it don’t forget to grab a free cookie, an added bonus to your evening at the zoo!
One of Tucson’s favorite holiday events is the annual Winterhaven Festival of Lights, hosted by the residents of Winterhaven. This year is the 62nd annual event, and it will run from Dec. 10 to Dec. 25.
Visitors will find homes decked out in the holiday spirit, with elaborate, often themed, displays. The Festival of Lights makes a great family night activity or a good group activity. You can check out the homes by walking through the neighborhood, taking the hayride, or from a seat on the trolley. Winterhaven also hosts three drive-through nights if you prefer to admire from the comfort of your own car. (My favorite way is to walk through the neighborhood, pausing at favorite displays, and taking a few silly pictures.)
The event also serves as a fundraiser for the Community Food Bank, and the residents of Winterhaven ask you to consider bringing a canned good or making a donation when you arrive. Last year, the Winterhaven Festival of Lights raised more than $27,000 and 44,000 pounds of food.
The Winterhaven neighborhood is bordered by Prince Road, Country Club Road, Fort Lowell Boulevard, and Tucson Boulevard. There are no official parking areas, and visitors typically park alongside Tucson Boulevard or in neighboring shopping centers and office plazas.
Enjoy the festival and if you go, consider snapping a photo of you in front of your favorite display and sharing it on the Local Tucson Scene Facebook page. Happy holidays!