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Made In The Shade

Beer Festival A Sudsy Good Time

Photos courtesy of Made in the Shade Flagstaff

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While The Event Was As Good As Ever — Featuring Cool Temperatures, Plenty Of Beer And Good Music — The V.I.P. Section Was Just A Bit Too Costly For Very Little Return

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By Wayne Schutsky
Modern Times Magazine

June 23, 2014 — The Sun Sounds of Arizona Made in the Shade beer festival recently hit Flagstaff and, if the large turnout and demeanor of the crowd was any indication, it did not disappoint.

While tickets to the event were available day of, the event had sold out by the time the gates opened at 1 p.m. for general admission. Despite the large crowd, the volunteers and people working the event did an efficient job shuttling attendees through the entrance line.

The festival featured an impressive number of breweries (over 70) with both local and national favorites. In addition to more established corporate brands like Blue Moon, respected craft favorites like Odell Brewing Company and Left Hand Brewing were also in attendance.

All the local favorites were also in attendance, including San Tan Brewing, North Mountain Brewing and OHSO.

Despite the large crowd, access to each brewery came swiftly and attendees never seemed to wait for more than a few minutes to fill up their taster cup. And with 24 drink tickets on hand (though many booths conveniently forgot to take tickets) everyone came away happy…and a bit tipsy.

The one qualm I had with the event had to be the V.I.P tickets, which cost $80 as opposed to $45 for general admission. Simply, the mark up did not seem worth it. The V.I.P. ticket includes access to a shaded area, complimentary food, a massage and an early entrance time of 12 p.m.

The food in the V.I.P. area did not seem on par with the food available from several vendors at the entrance to the event. Additionally, there were plenty of shady areas throughout the park, so a designated spot seems like overkill. Lastly, with a closing time of 6 p.m., the event provided plenty of time to try all of the breweries, even with the later starting time.

Maybe the massage makes it all worth it. I can’t speak to that. I guess, if you have the means, go ahead and try the V.I.P. ticket next year and decide for yourself.

The one aspect that made the event so enjoyable was the scenery. Situated in the middle of forest in beautiful Flagstaff, the Pepsi Pavilion was made for a festival like The Made In The Shade Beer Festival. With lots of shade and 80 degree temps, no one seemed uncomfortable. After attending so many awesome, yet sweaty summer events in Phoenix, it is nice to escape the heat once and a while.

Wayne Schutsky is a senior contributor to Modern Times Magazine.
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