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Beat the Heat Beer Fest Comes to Scottsdale

Published: Thursday, August 23, 2012

Updated: Thursday, August 23, 2012 16:08

Beer Fest

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The scorching heat during Arizona’s summer months can bring a lull of events to the Valley. Though the rest of the year is chock-full of festivals and cool weather outings, finding something to do without risk of heat stroke is near impossible. It was for that very reason that brothers Dan and Tim Flanigan, who jointly operate Flanigan Entertainment, dreamt up the Beat the Heat Winter Beer Festival.

“I had a lot of friends that were up in other states like Colorado and Oregon and they would brag to us about their summer beer festivals,” Dan Flanigan said. “I thought, ‘Well why can’t we utilize our summer a little bit and do one inside?’”

So in 2010, the Flanigan brothers went to work to on what would become Arizona’s largest indoor beer festival.

“It’s about having a beer festival when no one even thought about having a beer festival,” Dan Flanigan said.

This month will mark the event’s third year and what organizers are hoping will be its biggest one yet. The Winter Beer Festival saw 600 guests in its first year. Attendance reached 1,600 last year, but people were turned away due to the capacity of the venue. To meet the expected demand this year, the Flanigan’s have extended the festival an extra day.

Tim Flanigan thinks attendance increased because of affordability and overall atmosphere of the festival. For $25 in advance, guest can enjoy 20 four ounce pours, plus live band entertainment in a fully air conditioned room.

Food will be provided by the Venue Scottsdale’s new K.I.S.S Restaurant which will serve up its specialty Chicago-style pizza. This year’s beer line-up will feature a variety of import, domestic and local craft beer from 25 breweries, including Arizona breweries like Nimbus, Old World and Phoenix Ale; new favorites like St. Killian’s, Ass Kisser Ales and brews from Marin Brewery; as well as some classics like Boulder Beer, Shock Top, Sierra Nevada, Leffe and many more.

Taking into consideration some of the attendees may want to drink wine, the Flanigans decided to introduce a wine and spirit loft on the venue’s second level.

Every year, the brothers donate a quarter of the event’s proceeds to a charity. This year’s donation will go to Children in Need Foundation, a charity run by the Active 20-30 Club of Phoenix.

“We’re extremely grateful to be the beneficiary of this year’s ‘Beat the Heat’ fundraising event,” said Casey Strunk, president of the Active Phoenix 20-30 Club in a press release. “Partners like Beat the Heat Fest are the reason we’re able to maintain successful programs to help better our Children in Need Foundation and the kids throughout our community.”

Tim Flanigan feels the Winter Beer Fest is unlike any other beer because of the festive atmosphere it brings as opposed to the spread-out, mellow beer festivals most of us are accustomed to.

“There’s just a lot of energy,” Tim Flanigan said. “You can definitely feel it in the room.”

The venue will stay true to its New Orleans style setting and people will pack into the make-shift street-style venue. This year, event organizers are expecting to see upwards of 1,000 people each day.

Friday night the Winter Beer Festival will run from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., which presents a great happy hour-like opportunity for people looking to hit up the Old Town Scottsdale scene. Saturday will be an all-day event with the festivities starting at 1 p.m. and going until 6 p.m.

 “It’s the middle of one of the hottest days of the year and everyone is inside enjoying a cold beer at this incredible beer festival,” Dan Flanigan said. “But it’s not just a beer festival; it’s a little bit more of a party.”

Beat the Heat Winter Beer Festival, Venue Scottsdale, 7117 E. Third Avenue, Scottsdale, 480.686.8350, Friday, August 24, 5 to 9 p.m., Saturday, August 25, 1 to 6 p.m., $25 adv, $30 dos

Bring your student ID and receive $10 off Friday's door price, e.g. Friday tickets are $20 for students with a valid student ID.

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