Photos: Arizona Strong Beer Festival

Sunny skies, 70-degree temperatures, 50-plus microbrewers … beer lovers enjoyed a picture-perfect Saturday afternoon at the 10th annual Arizona Strong Beer Festival at Margaret T. Hance Deck Park in downtown Phoenix. Above, a couple of festival attendees try the seasonal Winter Warmer Ale from SanTan Brewing in Chandler.

Colorado’s Odell Brewing makes one of my favorite IPAs, but didn’t bring it to this year’s fest. No matter, the Fort Collins brewery’s seasonal Red Ale was delicious.

Homemade pretzel necklaces were the accessory of the day.

One of my favorite beers of the festival was the Imperial Red Ale from Lumberyard Brewing, which is opening next month in Flagstaff. It’s owned by the same people behind Beaver Street Brewing.

Brewers Jim Roper of Tempe’s Four Peaks Brewing (left) and Anthony Canecchia of Chandler’s SanTan Brewing (center) share a laugh while posing for photos.

Recently opened Sleepy Dog Saloon from Tempe impressed me with its barley wine.

The Beer Drinker’s Prayer?

Brewmaster Dieter Foerstner brought three beers from Tempe’s Gordon Biersch, including a very enjoyable Altbier.

The coolest bottle of the day was Sonoran 200, brewed with agave nectar and nearly 20 percent alcohol by volume, from Sonoran Brewing in north Scottsdale.

Imagine if you had saved every beer can you emptied …

I couldn’t bring myself to try Lagunitas Brewing‘s seasonal Hairy Eyeball, but I did like the northern California brewer’s well-balanced Hop Stoopid.

The one negative of Saturday’s fest was the line of 100-plus people all afternoon for the sole food vendor (in far background).

Prescott Brewing‘s chocolate porter A-Choco-Lypse was a big hit …

… especially with this couple.

See you all next year!

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