Makers of Craft Beer See Untapped Potential in Arizona

Written by Victoria Pelham for

George Hancock, co-founder of Phoenix Ale Brewery, said there's great promise for Arizona microbreweries. State records show there were 39 licensed microbreweries in fiscal 2009, and there has been steady increase in recent years. All photos by author.
PHOENIX – George Hancock sees great promise in this downtown warehouse filled with barrels containing fermenting barley and wheat and producing craft beer 600 gallons at a time.

He views the opportunity for microbrewers as so ripe here that he decided to pack up and leave a similar operation he had in Washington for Arizona, co-founding Phoenix Ale Brewery in June. He said the Seattle market is over-saturated but that Arizona still needs more breweries.

Boxes contain one of Phoenix Ale Brewery's brands. State law allows microbreweries under a production cap to sell directly to consumers
β€œIt’s just getting started here, but the market for craft beer is growing rapidly,” Hancock said.

There were 39 microbreweries in Arizona in the 2011 fiscal year, which ended in June, according to the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control. That was up from 36 in fiscal 2010 and 31 in fiscal 2009.

Those operations are licensed to produce up to 1,240,000 gallons in a calendar year and are able to sell their products directly to consumers.

The largest concentration of breweries was in Maricopa County, with 20, according to data from the state.
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Popularity of Craft Beer Spreads in Binghamton (NY) Area

Jesse Darrow, of Ithaca,loads full bottles of CascaZilla Ale into cases as they come off the bottling line at Ithaca Beer Tuesday, Nov. 29, afternoon. / SIMON WHEELER / Gannett Staff Photo

Written by My-Ly Nguyen for

On a recent Saturday night, a group of friends was willing to wait about two hours for a table at an Ithaca brewpub.

It was family weekend at Ithaca College and there was a concert at a local theater, helping to add to the long list of names waiting to be called.
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