Two Wheels and Yummy Beers Give us the Feels
Think about some of the truly great combinations in the world. The kinds of duos that make your knees weak. Or perhaps on their own, they’re just fine, but when you bring them together: rapture.
My list of all-time divine matches (not in order):
- Bert and Ernie
- LSU football and jambalaya
- Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (Brad how could you?!)
- Kim Jong Un and nacho cheese (yes, he’s an insane authoritarian dictator, but look at this picture and tell me the two aren’t meant for each other)
- And finally, beer and bikes
For as long as there has been civilization, we’ve had beer. And, for as long as the civilizations have been thinking clearly, we’ve had bikes. Beer makes us happy. Bikes make us happy. They’re perfect for each other.
So the renaissance of craft beer and bicycling in recent years may not come as a surprise. In 2001, Tucson, AZ had three local breweries. Today that number is north of fifteen and growing.
And in bike-friendly Tucson, the opportunity to combine the greatness of beer with the excellence of bikes was ripe. Enter the Tucson Hop Shop, one of the most hospitable places in Tucson for riders of all shapes and sizes to quench their daily thirst (oh stop it, nothing wrong with a daily beer after rides. It just can’t be Busch).
Located just off The Loop, the Hop Shop is super accessible for riders, whether they be mountain bikers coming off the trails, roadies clad in lycra, or just responsible drinkers looking to leave their keys at home.
And Hop Shop employees walk the walk too. “We hired several people right out of the gates that would prefer to be on their bikes more than in their cars any day!” says Jessie Zugerman, who co-owns the Tucson Hop Shop with her husband Dave. “Employee dress is pretty casual, so it’s not uncommon to see our beertenders in bike shorts behind the bar.”
But bike clothes aren’t all you’ll find behind the bar. With 19 beers from around the country, ranging from light and sweet pilsners to melt your face bitter IPAs, the Hop Shop boasts a truly complete beer menu.
But if the beer isn’t really your thing, first ask yourself why, and then consider coming into the Hop Shop anyway. They offer basic maintenance classes in the beer garden led by local professionals and attract both bike groups, and new riders to learn about how to work on their bikes. They also offer daily specials for riders. Wednesday is mountain biker night, offering discounts to MTBers, and road riders get Thursdays.
They also host events for the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo race, including a tricycle race, and sponsor Mountain Bike Addicts club.
The taphouse even talked their landlord into replacing a parking spot with a bike rack to make room for all the riders who come in.
But for all the activity and events with bikes, sometimes a genuine ambience is all it takes. “We hope to continue planning great events to encourage people to ride in, but truthfully, they come on their own just for the beer and the beer garden environment.” says Zugerman. “Bikes, beers, and spending time in the beer garden are what most of our customers love more than anything.”