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Arizona beer-makers salute their own at BrewCon in Phoenix

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PHOENIX — If you like your brew, it shouldn’t be too much trouble to find a beer that’s made right here.

More than 80 craft breweries, or micro-breweries, are up and running in Arizona.

“I think there’s room to grow, and I think there’s great opportunity for us all,” said Ken Wilson, president of the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild.

“I don’t think we’re over-saturated. As long as we’re making world-class products, I welcome people to come and join what we’re doing,”

Wilson, who is with Lumberyard Brewing Company in Flagstaff, was in Phoenix Friday for AZBrewCon.

The one-day conference at the Sheraton Grand Hotel downtown was a gathering of about 200 people in the Arizona craft brewery business, featuring seminars on things like marketing, insurance and brewing.

Wilson said almost all of the smaller towns in Arizona can support breweries.

“There’s a town like Payson that does not have a brewery, or Globe-Miami, Casa Grande, Camp Verde,” Wilson said. “There are places that could certainly support it.”

Other Arizona cities away from the big metro areas, such as Kingman and Yuma, already have successful craft breweries, he said.

Wilson said craft breweries are part of a community that not only make quality products, but often provide hundreds of local jobs.

He said there is an initial investment which is quite expensive, but after they’re up and running, craft breweries are absolutely profitable, Wilson said.

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