It’s summertime in the Valley of the Sun which means the forecast from now until October is HELL. Luckily the beautiful state of Arizona is not all bleak, hot landscape. Just two hours away, Phoenicians can escape to the mountains for cooler weather in the pines. This weekend, we, along with a large group of friends, decided to combine two of the best summer pastimes – camping and a beer festival.
Flagstaff was hosting its annual Made in the Shade festival. Featuring over 50 breweries, the festival took place at the Ft. Tuthill County Fairgrounds just outside of Flagstaff. Our friends booked two campsites next to the beer festival and we attempted to fit all 22 people in one site and park at the other one. We had nine tents pitched with three more on the way when the camp host stopped us. We were clearly violating the two-tent per site rule and being that we were literally right across from his home, we couldn’t really get around it. He made us take three of them down and move three over to the other site. It worked out fine but we were all a little sad our tent city was no more.
Pretzel necklaces on, we took a quick walk over to the fairgrounds, stood in line for a few minutes and then it was time to
taste drink! Our passes included 24 tasting tickets and I don’t think any of us came close to using them all. We had some of our old favorites (Trout Slayer, Summer Shandy) and tried several new ones.
After the four hours were over, it was time to grill! Unfortunately, but understandably, we could not have a campfire so we made due with our camping stoves and lanterns. Only a resident of Phoenix can truly appreciate how wonderful the ability to wear a sweatshirt in June is and we all enjoyed the cooler weather, hot dogs and several more beverages before hitting the hay.
I’m definitely planning on attending Made in the Shade next year and would highly recommend it! It was a great deal and a wonderful time with friends.