KGUN 9NewsLocal News


Craft beer is brewing up big business in Arizona

Posted at 12:50 PM, Feb 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-13 14:50:10-05

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Beer lovers have been packing breweries across Tucson, as part of Arizona Beer Week.

With more than 100 craft breweries, the Arizona craft beer industry has opened up more than 9,000 jobs, making a total economic impact of over $1,000,000,000.

According to Es Teran, the owner of Borderlands Brewing Company, that makes this a hoppy time to be alive.

“Craft beer in Tucson is here to stay,” said Teran.

He says the craft beer industry has grown substantially within the last couple of years.

“We’ve really seen a boom. I mean, just by going off of our stats, we’ve seen an increase in production by 54%, we’ve been selling over 47% and distribution wise we are at 32% from the prior year. So definitely demand is up,” Teran added.

He says, their secret to success is creating flavors for every palate.

This is where Ayla Kapahi, their head brewer comes in.

“I think it’s this beautiful blend between art and science. When I design a recipe for a new beer, I know exactly what the alcohol percentage is going to be. What the fermentation should look like. What the color is going to be. What it’s going to taste like...nice and sweet, right on point,” said Kapahi.

Their crafty recipes have led to their increased success, and their expansion.

“Last year there were 3 of us on the team. We were actually the only 100% female run production brew facility in the state of Arizona, which we were really proud of. And just with expansion over the last year, we’ve luckily been able to hire more folks to help us because we need all the help we can get,” Kapahi told KGUN9.

Borderlands moved its brewing equipment to a 7,000 square foot warehouse, just to keep up with their demand.

“It’s incredible. There’s a lot more traffic. It also gave us the option to produce our beer at numbers that we’ve never seen before,” said Teran.

Kapahi adding the expansion can only be beneficial for Tucson’s economy.

“I don’t think we’re going anywhere. I think we’re here to stay. I think it;s a great community and a great product,” said Teran.

Tucson produces 20% of Arizona's state beer.

To keep up with the demand Borderlands will be opening up new locations, including another taproom and a beer-friendly barber shop.

For more information on Borderlands Brewing Company, click here.