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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Tucson Spotlight: ‘Mix-six’ to cure beer boredom

    Have you been feeling beer bored recently?

    If you’re tired of drinking the same old brew, then Plaza Beer, Wine and Liquor, 2642 N. Campbell Ave., is the place to challenge your taste buds. The store has more than 600 beers you can experiment with.

    “”There is a growing number of people in Tucson who want a variety,”” said Plaza owner Mark Thomson. “”And we’ve got more than you can imagine!””

    Plaza has created its own way to shop for beer, encouraging customers to “”mix six.”” This allows customers to grab a recycled six-pack holder, courtesy of Plaza, and pick out individually priced bottles of beer that are neatly organized by brand in multiple glass refrigerators.

    When Thomson first came up with the idea of separating the bottles and selling them individually, he was nervous, but he knew that people liked a variety. Thompson implemented his idea nearly two years ago, and since then, his beer business has never been better. His motto is to sell “”one beer at a time.””

    “”Mix six is a great deal, because you aren’t stuck with a six-pack of the same beer,”” Thomson said.

    Plaza is privately owned and has operated in Tucson for 29 years, according to Thomson, who credits his success to being a people-person.

    “”The friendliness here is genuine and sincere,”” explained Thomson. “”We want to help customers find creativity in their beer tastes.””

    Plaza specializes in beer, with imports from all over the world. The shop recently started carrying beer from Eastern European countries like Romania and the Czech Republic.

    Robert Stout is Plaza’s “”beer expert,”” who handles the entire beer inventory, which can get close to 700 different types around the winter holidays because of the number of seasonal beers.

    Stout works with international beer distributors to ensure that Plaza has the newest and best variety of brews. One of Stout’s recommendations is Wild Blueberry Wheat Ale by Sea Dog.

    “”It tastes like blueberry pancakes, and what could be better than that?”” said Stout.

    Seasonal beers are popular among Plaza customers, according to Stout. For fall, Stout recommends the Punkin Ale by Dogfish Head, because it is a good transition from summer’s light brews. Stout describes it as spicier than normal, but very tasty because the flavor is from real pumpkins, not extract.

    Originally a customer, Melissa Mauzy is now a Plaza employee, sharing her beer and wine knowledge with others.

    “”Variety is the spice of life,”” Mauzy tells her customers. She has been introduced to dozens of new beer and wine flavors since she started working at Plaza four months ago.

    Recent UA graduate John Urban has been to Plaza once before and returned with a friend for a second time because of the excellent selection.

    “”There are so many to choose from,”” Urban said. “”You really can’t go wrong.””

    Beer isn’t the only popular alcohol at Plaza; there is a considerable wine section with more than 1,000 different varieties, and also a selection of more than 180 tequilas.

    Thomson is a self-acclaimed wine lover who takes pride in searching for great-tasting and affordable wine.

    “”You don’t have to spend 50 bucks for a good bottle of wine,”” said Thomson. “”Value has flavor, it makes the experience better.””

    According to Thomson, Plaza attracts a cross-section of people from university professors to college students. Varied requests for international beers highlight Tucson’s diverse population.

    “”We target adventurous beer-goers,”” explained Thomson. “”They are some of the most interesting people in the world.””

    On Thursdays, Plaza offers a 10 percent student discount with a valid student ID card, Thomson said.

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