"Brew scene" helping out downtown Tucson economy

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The Downtown Tucson Partnership -- saying business is booming downtown because of the renowned "food scene." And one of the most important parts of the image, according to CEO Kathleen Ericksen? The "brew scene."

"When a brewery comes into a downtown, the downtown thinks, ah! We've turned a corner, we're going to make it," Ericksen said. "And definitely when six hit your downtown, you think the same thing even more so."

Grace Hargis of the Borderlands Brewing Company is no stranger to Downtown Tucson. She's worked there for years, and agrees that beer is helping keep the area hoppin' -- for everyone above 21 at least.

"People are going to go downtown, they're going to want to be able to drink too," Hargis said. "So, they want to have options that aren't bars that are mostly frequented by college students."

Tucson is described by many as a "local first" kind of city, meaning it's one that supports it's local businesses. Bordelands, a totally local operation. They brew all of their beer in house and have ten of their beers on tap at all times.

Just down the street from Borderlands, you'll find another one: Thunder Canyon Brewery. Owner Stephen Tracy preaches a local first mindset.

"We like to say think local, drink local," Tracy said. "This is such a local oriented town that people seek out local restaurants and local beer, and we see that all the time. I think they're very complementary to each other."

With more and more breweries showing up on tap in the city, he thinks the "brew scene" is a key ingredient in crafting a new image for Downtown Tucson.

"For a long time it was kind of a slow brew scene," he said. "We were kind of behind the times compared to statewide and certainly nationwide. But, we've caught up fast, and I think we've got a great brewing community now."

The brew scene and the food scene, adding some new flavor to Downtown Tucson. 

Download the Downtown Restaurant and Bar Guide at https://www.downtowntucson.org/

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