Copper State Beer Festival returns to EV

More than 80 breweries will be on tap at the Copper State Beer Festival in Mesa next Saturday. (Special to the Tribune)

It took a couple years to get started but organizers Copper State Beer Festival said they’ve tapped into something in Mesa.

The second annual Copper State Beer Festival returns next Saturday, Jan. 14, to Mesa Riverview Park with more than 80 breweries including Pedal Haus Brewery, Steel Cactus Brewing and Cider Corps, and more than two dozen other companies including local cideries, distilleries and wineries.

Along with the brews, the 21+ event will have more than 20 local food vendors, live DJs and activities such as axe throwing, cornhole, and Giant Jenga.

It’s a full day of fun in the suds.

Event organizer Joseph Lopez said the idea for the event started in the summer of 2020 and with his business partner’s insurance background giving them contacts with local companies in the alcohol industry, Lopez said his background in event planning seemed a logical next step in this venture.

“We thought what better way to give back to our clients than to promote them on another level,” Lopez said.

The alcohol offered at the event runs the gamut, including craft beers, wines, ciders and mead – an alcoholic beverage made from fermented honey.

“As much as me and my business partner love beer, we realized that not everyone loves beer and we want to provide options to all attendees,” Lopez said.

Over the last decade, Lopez has traveled around the country for work.

Through his love for craft beer, he visited breweries across the country and he said the craft brewing industry in Arizona has grown exponentially in that time.

“I think, honestly, the craft brewing industry has exploded, for sure over the last 10 years, in which each new year I feel like it exponentially grows and grows and grows,” Lopez said.

To his knowledge, Lopez said the industry has grown from 3,000 breweries in 2010 to more than 10,000 currently, and he puts it up there with other states.

“I put Arizona up there with pretty much any other state,” Lopez said. “We have some really good breweries out here that produce really good beer.”

That talent drew more than 3,000 people to attending last year’s event and Lopez said they could easily reach the 5,000-person capacity the City of Mesa has designated to them this year.

Lopez said much of the talent behind these savory suds has come from talking with breweries from around the region and learning the story behind how they all got started.

“If you ask a lot of these owners of these breweries, a lot of them started out at other breweries locally and eventually they reached the point that they had the means or wanted to pursue opening their own brewery,” Lopez said.

If You Go...

Who: Copper State Beer Festival

Where: Riverview Park, 2100 W. Rio Salado Parkway., Mesa.

When: Saturday, Jan. 14 The event ends at 5 p.m. Start times: VIP admission, noon;

GA+: 1 p.m.; GA: 2 p.m.

Cost: starts at $20.

Info: copperstatebeerfest.com.

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