Ten55 Brewing Company Celebrates Second Annual ‘El Tour IPA’ Release

The beers and the bikes go round in circles

As a kid growing up in Tucson, there was nothing I loved more than riding my bike around the neighborhood. My favorite hike was at nearby Sabino Creek where I caught and released small fish using corn kernels as bait. If I had a few extra bucks, I could make the epic trip to nearby Circle K and buy a thirst-quenching cherry cola slush.

Cycling meant freedom, adventure, independence and sweaty fun.

Photo by Craig Adderley

If you’ve lived in Tucson for a while and have human eyeballs, it’s easy to see that there are others who feel the same way. In fact, there are many more enthusiastic cyclists out there than I am, if the high spandex to leg hair ratio is any indicator. The good news for all of us is that there are better, hoppier drinks these days than convenience store slush for our post-ride refreshment.

In fact, an upcoming craft beer release has been designed with this goal in mind. Keep reading.

Tucson proudly ranks at the “gold tier” of bike-friendly cities by the American Cyclists League. This is partly because of organizations like Living Streets Alliance, Tucson Cyclists and Off-Road Activists (TORCA), Greater Arizona Cycling Association (GABA), Bike Club Project, Sonoran Desert Mountain Bikers (SDMB)and many plus, who regularly organize rides, advocate for bike safety measures, and maintain trails and bike paths.

Pueblo Vida Brewery

Photo courtesy of Pueblo Vida Brewing Company on Facebook

Tucson is also home to the very special 137-mile Chuck Huckelberry Loop, a system of paved multi-use trails and buffered bike paths that stretch through and around the city. Add 10 months of good weather to the mix and you have a well-known Mecca for cycling sports of all kinds, with plenty of opportunity for road riding, bikepacking, gravel pounding or direct dispatch.

While tires and outfits clearly set enthusiasts from these varied sectors of cycling apart, one thing that seems to unite them is craft beer, preferably locally brewed. As a post-ride carb loader, adrenaline suppressant, and party drink, a quality craft beer beats a convenience store any day. Call it an advantage of adulthood.

David Barcello is a bartender at Tucson Hop Shop who regularly commutes by bicycle. There’s a clear overlap between the people he sees riding bikes and the people who love craft beer.

“When I cycle around town, I regularly see people who frequent Hop Shop and other beer establishments doing the same thing as me,” Barcelo said. “We always greet each other when we pass.”

He also anecdotally noted that after a neighborhood bike shop, the next best place to take your bike when it needs a little mechanical tweaking is a beer pub or brewery. “I definitely put my bike to work during a bartending shift,” he said.

Bikes and craft beer are clearly running in the same circles.

The design of El Tour IPA

Chris Squiresco-owner of Ten55 Breweryis acutely aware of the relationship between a pedal and a pint, as much of its clientele (as well as some of its business partners and brewery investors) are as passionate about cycling as they are about the brewery’s excellent beers.

Photo by SWOON Media

This connection inspired Squires to contact TJ Juskiewiczwho served as executive director of The Tucson Tower since 2020. Squires and Juskiewicz met for a beer and hatched a plan for a major craft beer and cycling collaboration, focusing on that magical moment of post-race refreshment that cyclists crave and deserve.

“I personally think cyclists were some of the early fans of the craft beer movement and that hasn’t changed over the years,” Juskiewicz said. “Cyclists love a good ride and love talking about it over a cold local craft beer.”

Craft beer crafted through this newly forged friendship would become El Tour IPAthe official beer of El Tour de Tucson since 2021.

Photo by SWOON Media

El Tour de Tucson is one of the most well-known and celebrated cycling events in the country, registering approximately 7,000 participants of all ages and abilities each year. This year’s 39th annual run and fundraiser will take place on Saturday, November 19, beginning and ending at the Tucson Convention Center.

Route lengths range from one to 10 miles of fun rides to the killer 102 miles. When road-weary riders make it back to the finish line and get unstuck from their saddles, it’s party time.

Photo courtesy of El Tour De Tucson

Photo courtesy of El Tour De Tucson

For the second consecutive year, cyclists can cool off and reward themselves with a El Tour IPA locally brewed by Ten55 Brewing Company instead of a mass-produced lager typically seen at major sporting events.

“People come from all over the world to ride El Tour and we want them to taste Tucson, not St. Louis or Milwaukee,” Juskiewicz said. “We want them to celebrate their El Tour de Tucson achievement with an ice-cold local beer.”

El Tour IPA is brewed with blood oranges and will be what is called a session IPA, for its lower ABV of 4.6%. The beer is crisp with a hint of citrus and light enough to mash more than one in honor of all your hard work (or just because). Life on two wheels becomes life on two beers, if you will.

Photo by SWOON Media

“It’s the perfect style of beer for this kind of event, with everyone on their bikes, especially with the hardcore riders doing the long run,” Squires said.

Squires told me that Ten55 Brewing Company will be the official beverage service provider for El Tour this year, and will have other beers like their easy-drinking Casa55wine, sodas and more on the after party run.

Where to get El Tour IPA before the race

Can’t wait until November to get in the El Tour mood? El Tour IPA will be available on tap and in cans at restaurants, tap rooms and grocery stores across the city later this month. Ten55 Brewing Company will celebrate the return of this very Tucson IPA at a few local launch parties.

El Tour IPA Release Parts:
  • Pima County El Tour Loop from Loop After Party
    • from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday September 24
    • At Rillito Park and the Loop
  • Tap & Bottle Downtown
    • 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, September 27
    • 403 N. Sixth Avenue #135
  • Tucson Hop Shop
    • 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, September 28
    • 3230 N. Dodge Blvd. H-unit

Photo by SWOON Media

A cycling adventure, followed by a refreshing and juicy tasting El Tour IPA will undoubtedly resurrect the long-lost childhood joy you’ve been craving like porridge on a hot day.

Ten55 Brewing Company’s downtown dining hall has closed, but we’ll update you on its new location once we have details. For more information, visit 1055brewing.com.

Want to get free bike racks for your business? The Tucson Department of Transportation and Mobility generously provides free bike racks to any Tucson businesses that need them. Apply by contacting [email protected] or visiting the DTM website at tucsonaz.gov.

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