Desert Botanical Gardens' Beer Garden: Why We're Not Going

Categories: Brew Review
Jonathan McNamara
We'll be hanging out at Taste of Tops instead.
You fancy yourself a bit of a beer aficionado. You enjoy knowing about different styles and you have your favorite. You're a regular at Four Peaks and Papago and you're becoming a regular at Taste of Tops. You can get down with an expensive bottle of Dogfish Head, but you're also just as excited about grabbing some pints at Casey's.

That's why you probably shouldn't head to Desert Botanical Gardens tomorrow for their Beer Garden event.

Consider first the price of admission. Setting foot in the DBG equipped with a tasting glass will set you back $55. That price gets you ten pours for your 4 ounce "commemorative tasting mug." That means you're paying $55 for 2.5 pints! Of course, if you'd like more than a couple of pints you can purchase additional pour tickets. If you want to eat, it'll cost you another $25.

Kind of makes a pad thai from Thai Basil enjoyed bar side at Taste of Tops seem real appealing, doesn't it?

Consider also the beer list. There are a few decent brews to cherry pick from a list that's pretty average (see the list on the Desert Botanical Garden Web site). It's not much of an improvement over the beer list at last year's Beer Garden event. We would hope to see some rare brews. Instead we get a couple of seasonal beers and a smattering of local brews we're already enjoying regularly without a $55 price tag.

Frankly, we need to save our pennies. That's why we're heading to the various Oktoberfest events going on around the city (with an entrance fee ranging from free to a few bucks) and spending conservatively in preparation for the Beer For Brains Foundation's Off-Centered Experience in a couple of weeks. Does the Off-Centered Experience have a steep entrance fee as well? Sure it does, but we'll happily pay it to drink beers so rare that many of them have never been in Arizona before.

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The Beer for Brains sounds like a fun event, too. Thanks for the review. It kept the New Times readers away which meant no lines for me. My friends and I went and got giant boots which the hot beer ladies happily filled for 4 tickets each (just 1 by the end of the evening). Hope you had fun wearing your skinny jeans at Casey's this weekend...again.


Yeah, the economics don't make sense until you realize that he proceeds go to a non-profit, so there's that. I can't speak to Earthdayaz points, but the Beer for Brains Foundation is from the heart.As far as the other Oktoberfest offerings... there is one in the Octoberfest comments that supports Beer for Brains and is a non- profit... a non-profit that makes beer!$30 membership. Do the math!The homebrew version of Oktoberfest is October 23 from 1 - 6 PM at Tempe Kiwanis Park.ASH Oktoberfest features:A large selection of outstanding Homebrew from attending membersA few special commercial brews as wellOutstanding Barbeque and sidesKegerator raffleLive music provided by Bargrass Revival.Announcement of Oktoberfest Homebrew competitions results which is a qualifier to brew a beer for Papago Brewing at Dogfish Head. Proceeds will go to the Beer for Brains Foundation.You must be an ASH member before October 22nd, but the membership price makes this all-inclusive event better than any other beer festival in AZ. do you and Earthdayaz like your BBQ, Jonathan?


Another reason not to go is that the Desert Botanical Garden is a greenwashing tool for the real estate development crowd and always has been. Rather than teaching about preserving wild spaces, they are all about teaching landscaping of urban spaces - and heaven forbid someone say that the desert is being overdeveloped by the very donors that buy - ahem - donate to the DBG, that docent will be terminated poste haste!

Let's see the DBG start advocating for the limitation of development of our wild desert areas and I'll start going again (I got married there!). Start with trying to limit the development of the Papago Park area which DBG is right in the middle of!

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