The summer season is over and that can mean only one thing, it’s Football Season! Whether you’re a parent, player or an armchair quarterback like yours truly, there’s no denying the anticipation and excitement that comes when this time of year rolls around.

We all have our favorite professional and/or college team(s) but to me, the true champions of the game are the coachs and volunteers that dedicate their time and talents to mentor today’s youth. They not only instill the fundamentals, skills and teachings of the game, but more importantly, foster an environment that promotes education and ideals such as sportsmanship, teamwork, work ethic and having fun! They offer valuable life lessons that can be carried forward and utilized into, and throughout, adulthood. This is also the mantra of the Phoenix American Youth Football and Cheer organization, featured in this month’s Giving Back article.

Also in this edition, a must-read about NFL superstar Larry Fitzgerald’s philanthropic work through his First Down Fund and dedication to helping local children and the community in so many ways. An inspiration and true hero in my book!

This month we also feature several local breweries and highlight their seasonal offerings. With the area’s growth and the evolution of the craft beer industry, there are so many wonderfully tasting and inventive brews to satisfy even the most discerning of palates. The Valley of the Sun has definitely emerged as a beer connoisseur’s paradise.

If imbibing in one place is not your style, then you can always take advantage of a day with Arizona Brewery Tours and enjoy visiting a few local breweries. They include a behind-the-scenes tour by a resident brewer, beer sampling and lunch. Read more in our Locally Owned section.

Whether you choose to take advantage of the cooler Arizona temperatures and appreciate a pint or two on your favorite outdoor patio or enjoy a cold one while watching your favorite football team in action, please drink responsibly!

Until next time, Go Team!