April 24, 2015

Whole Lotta Logan

The collaborative spirit is alive and well in the Wilderness. The Beards have been busy traveling far and wide to concoct creative collaborations with like-minded breweries — Jester King, To Øl and Bottle Logic, to name a few. But the blokes at London’s Beavertown Brewery have left a soft spot in Jonathan Buford’s heart.

Having brewed a red currant, sour cherry saison called Sour Power last year in London with Beavertown and Mikkeller, the Wilderness boys invited lead Beaver, Logan Plant, to Arizona to join forces on a Grätzer — a historical style rarely seen these days. We’ll get back to the Grätzer later, but Logan’s backstory warrants some words.

Logan and his son brewing in the Wilderness
In case the last name didn’t ring a bell, Logan is the son of Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant. No big deal, right? Actually, it’s really not. Talking with Logan was a real treat, as he comes off more humbled commoner than rock star offspring. And while I did query Logan on how his father influenced him in terms of his love for beer, by no means was that the focal point of our conversation. Oh, in case you’re curious, Robert would often take Logan to their local pub in the West Midlands when Logan was a young lad (hey, it’s how they roll in England). Robert still has an affinity for English mild ales, but is quite fond of Beavertown’s Smog Rocket Smoked Porter. However, he hasn’t come around to the hoppy beers yet.

But Logan is his own Plant. Though he did dabble in music as lead singer of Sons of Albion, Logan’s life changed forever once he discovered homebrewing. In 2011, he decided to set up Beavertown Brewery in 2011 as a 4 BBL brew house in the kitchen of his London barbecue joint, Duke’s Brew and Que. It only took a little over three years for Beavertown to outgrow its space, so they hired former Meantime brewer  Jenn Merrick as head brewer, moved to a separate facility in Tottenham, upgraded to a 30BBL system, began a barrel program and started canning core beers like Black Betty Black IPA and Neck Oil Session IPA. They did, however, keep their 4BBL kit for experimental beers.

Speaking of experimental brews, Beavertown is widely known as one of London’s most outside-the-box breweries. In fact, Logan says the English beer scene is starting to feel the craft beer boom and that artisanal-style ales are becoming more common. In fact, London is seeing quite the surge in craft breweries — there were only 11 in 2011, today there are over 80. It’s a testament to how far craft beer has come, as English beer fans are some of the most fickle, especially when it comes to straying from the tried-and-true browns, bitters and cask-conditioned ales.

Opinyonated Gratzer
But back to the Grätzer. Often referred to as the Polish champagne for its clarity and vigorous carbonation, Wilderness and Beavertown wanted to brew something not often seen stateside. So Logan, Buford and Wilderness brewer Patrick Ware headed to Sedona to forage pine cones, which they roasted on pecan wood alongside malts. The final product, aptly named Opinyonated, is a unique treat. Though the beer boasted a clouded wheat hue, the aroma and flavor profile encapsulated a Grätzer with high carbonation, smoke and tart at the forefront. The pine cones provided an Arizona twist, offering a mild hop profile character with elements of grass, lemon and, well, pine. Before tasting it, I was worried the smoke flavor might overpower this beer, but it blended nicely and was very well balanced overall. 

So what’s next for these two inspired breweries? Too much to list here. Good times, bad times, I’m sure. But the future is undoubtedly bright so long as those bright ideas keep fermenting in the form of creative, quaffable ales. Cheers!

February 6, 2015

Arizona Beer Bill: Something to Fuss Over


Rob FullmerSure, the Budweiser Super Bowl commercial mocking the craft beer scene got all our panties in a bunch, but it's time to move on. That commercial may have garnered Budweiser some attention, which was likely their plan anyway, but it's not going to stop you from fussing over and dissecting that delicious craft beer in your fridge. What you really need to start fussing over is SB 1030, the Arizona Beer Bill.

A lot of us already know the gist of the bill, but it's important to really get an intimate knowledge as to why it's so important to the future of craft beer in Arizona.

WHAT: The Arizona Craft Brewers Guild and Beer and Wine Distributors of Arizona have drafted legislation that allows microbreweries to grow beyond the current 40,000-barrel limit, but, most importantly, does not cause them to forfeit the retail licenses they hold or let go of employees. Doing so will promote growth in the industry while strengthening the three-tier regulatory system. The current production cap should be updated to reflect the incredible growth of this industry and the enormously positive economic impact of microbreweries.

To provide further stability, microbreweries under the 40,000-barrel limit will be limited to holding a total of seven retail licenses, while today they can hold an unlimited number. Craft brewers producing over 40,000 barrels may not add more retail licenses or continue to self-distribute unless to their own adjacent retail licenses. Additionally, the bill will allow microbreweries to sell beer produced or manufactured by other microbreweries for on-premise consumption, but cannot exceed 20% of the licensee’s annual sale of beer on the premises.

WHY: The current law, which is pretty ancient in nature, needs to be updated to enable our microbreweries to continue their success and make Arizona competitive with other states like California, Colorado and Oregon. Breweries big or small need legal stability and certainty that will give them the freedom to expand beyond 40,000 barrels without having to worry about what's going to happen to their restaurants, pubs and employees. Granted, this stability may initially only apply to a couple of the larger main players in the state (i.e., Four Peaks), but with the rapid growth in the beer industry these past few years, it's just a matter of time until others will face this current 40,000-barrel issue.

THE SUPPORTERS: The bill is fully supported by all 11 member companies of the Beer and Wine Distributors of Arizona, all 57 microbrewers who make up the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild, the many bars, restaurants and taverns that comprise the Arizona Licensed Beverage Association, along with other members of the alcohol industry.

THE NAYSAYERS: So who's opposed and why, you ask? The opposition is the Arizona Wine and Spirits Wholesale Association (AWSWA), which consists of Alliance Beverage Distributing, Southern Wine and Spirits and Young's Market. What's disheartening about this is there are a number of well-respected breweries under the scope of these companies — Lagunitas, Anchor and bevy of Belgian beers, to name a few. Now, I'm not saying these breweries are opposed to the bill, but I'd be willing to bet said breweries wouldn't be too hoppy if they were based in this state.

As for why they're opposed, the AWSWA has cited concerns about how the bill would affect the integrity of the three-tier system. A concern they did not have when changes to the system last year positively affected farm wineries and microdistilleries, local industries that both the Guild and BWDA fully support. This double-standard reveals what their opposition is really about — marketplace competition. Additionally, those opposed have suggested our microbreweries have special privileges in that small breweries have the ability to own restaurants and pubs so that they can market their beer. This is utter bullshit. These are small businesses that are frequently family owned companies trying to break into a very competitive market. Most microbreweries produce less than 3,000 barrels of beer and are not a threat to the rest of the industry. In fact, the influx of microbreweries has helped create excitement for other producers, and has provided new products for distributors and retailers.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: There are a few things, actually. First, sign the petition to support the Arizona Beer Bill. Second, call or email your legislators and say that you are in support of the bill. They need to know that the craft beer industry is important to Arizona voters and vital to the local economy. Lastly, there will be a rally at the Phoenix Capitol this Monday, Feb. 9 — details are here.

January 23, 2015

Arizona Strong Beer Festival Breweries & Beer List Released

Brace yourself, beer fans, for the Arizona Strong Beer Festival is almost upon us. In its 15th year, the fest is continuing to evolve thanks to the burgeoning local beer scene, increased distribution, and the hard work put in by the Arizona Craft Brewer's Guild and the outside agencies brought in to help run a smooth operation.

This year's sudsy soiree will once again be held at Steele Indian Head Park near downtown Phoenix, and just so happens to fall on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14 (time to get that hall pass, fellas). VIP is sold out, but general admission tickets are still available and can be had here. Be on the lookout for a record number of breweries (140+) and beers being poured (400+), special local collaboration beers, food trucks like The Bullet, The Traveling Monk and Mother Bunch Brewery, and much more. Oh, and the "Text for Tappings" feature will return — simply text STRONG BEER to 555888 to receive alerts about special tappings taking place during the festival.

So, without further ado, here is this year's list of breweries and beers being poured. Keep in mind brewers like to hold back certain beers they're bringing and surprise the crowd, so don't take this list as complete.

8-Bit Brewery
•    Legend of Zymur (Double IPA)

Abbey Brewing Company
•    Monks Ale (Belgian Ale – 5.4%)
•    Monk’s Dubble (Belgian Dubble – 7.4%)
•    Monk’s Tripel (Belgian Tripel – 9.2%)
•    Monk’s Wit (Belgian Wheat – 5.2%
•    Monk’s Dark (Dark Beer – 6.5%)

Abita Brewing Co
•    Legendary Gator (Triple Bock – 10.25%)
•    Twin Turbo Dog (Ale – 9%)

Alaskan Brewing Co.
•    Alaskan Imperial Red  (Imperial Red)
•    Alaska Hopothermia  (Double IPA

AleSmith
•    Olde Ale (English-Style Old Ale)

Anchor Brewing

Anderson Valley Brewing Co.
•    Blood Orange Gose (Gose – 4.2%)
•    Huge Arker (Imperial Stout – 13.5%)

Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co.
•    American Presidential Stout (Imperial Stout w/ Smoked Jalepenos and Smoked Over Mesquite Wood)
•    Gibralter Grapefruit Gose (Gose)
•    Tequila Barrel-Aged Sweet Potato Saison (Saison)
•    Bourbon Barrel-Aged Granola Stout (Stout Aged in Four Roses Barrel Picked Specifically by GCM)

Avery Brewing Co.
•    Beast (Grand Cru – 15%)
•    Czar (Imperial Stout - 10%)
•    Hog Heaven  (Dry Barleywine - 9.2%)
•    Maharaja  (Imperial IPA - 10%)

Bad Water Brewing
•    Bad Water IPA (IPA)
•    Bad Water Western Lager (American Lager)

Barrio Brewing Co.
•    Mocha Java Stout on Nitro (Chocolate Coffee Stout)
•    Barrio Blonde (Blond Ale – 4.5%)
•    TJ's Raspberry (Raspberry Ale)
•    Iwanna IPA (India Pale Ale)
•    Imperial IPA

Beast Brewing
•    Beast Ale (American Strong Ale – 7.5%)
•    Electric Lager (German-Style Lager – 5.4%)
•    Sexy Beast (Coffee Stout – 5.6%)
•    Thunderbird (Double IPA – 9.4%)

Beaver St. Brewery
•    R & R Oatmeal Stout (Oatmeal Stout – 6.8%)
•    Hopgag Imperial IPA (Imperial IPA – 9.2%)
•    Brislecone Brown (American Brown Ale – 8.1%)

Bell's Brewery, Inc.
•    Honey Hearted (Barley Wine – 16.3%)
•    Smitten (Golden Rye – 6%)
•    Two Hearted (IPA – 7%)
•    Quince Love (Wheat Wine – 13.7%)

Big Dog’s Brewing Company
•    War Dog (Imperial IPA – 8.3%) 

Big Sky Brewing

Bison Brewing
•    Kermit the Hop (Double Imperial IPA – 8.5%)
•    Oakland IPA (Session IPA – 5.5%)
•    Honey Basil (Ale – 6%)

Bite Hard Cider
•    Dry Cider (Cider – 6.9%)

BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse
•    Committed IPA (Double IPA)
•    Abbey Normal (Belgian-Style Abbey Ale)
•    Jeremiah Red (Irish-Style Strong Ale)

Black Diamond Brewing Co.
•    Carnage (IPA – 11%)
•    Grand Cru – 12%
•    American Sour (Dubbel – 11%)
•    Rampage Imperial (IPA – 9%)
•    Carnage Triple (IPA – 12% Special Tapping for VIP)
•    Bourbon Barrel-Aged Grand Cru (Special Tapping at 2 pm)

Black Market Brewing Co.
•    Hefeweizen (Hefeweizen – 5%)
•    Seek & Destroy Smoked Quadruple IPA  (Quadruple IPA – 12% | Special tapping for VIP)
•    Goliath Belgian Dark (Strong Ale - 11.2% | Special Tapping at 2:45 pm)

Blasted Barley Beer Company
•    Orange Bomb (Dry Chocolate and Orange Stout)
•    Bang Bang  (Imperial IPA)

Boulder Beer
•    Cold Hop (British Ale – 6.3%)
•    Fryed (Rye Pale Ale – 6%)

Borderlands Brewing Company
•    Scotchy, Scotch, Scotch Ale (Collaboration with Grand Canyon Brewing)

Brasserie Caracole
•    Caracole Saxo (Belgian Blonde Ale)

Brew Dog Brewing

Brewery Ommegang

Brouwerij Van Steenberge & Brouwerij Van Honsebrouk
•    Gulden Draak (Belgian Dark Triple – 10.5%)
•    Piraat (Triple IPA – 10.5%)
•    Kasteel Rouge (Belgian Cherry Ale – 8%)
•    Cuvee de Chateau (Quadruple – 11%)

Brouwerij Verhaeghe
•    Duchesse De Bourgogne (Flemish Red Ale)

Buffalo Bill's Brewery
•    Buffalo Bill Cody (American Lager – 5%)

Butte Creek Brewing

Caldera Brewing
•    Hopportunity Knocks (IPA – 6.8%)
•    Pilot Rock (Porter – 5.8%)
•    IPA (6.1%)
•    Ashland Amber (Amber – 5.4%)

Cartel Brewing
•    FYITM (Imperial IPA – 9.5%)
•    Christmas Ale (Porter – 7.5%)
•    Fuktonah Coffee and Donuts (Imperial Porter – 9.8%)
•    Cupid's Delight (Amber Rye Aged on Sour Cherries & Cherry Wood – 6%)
•    Biere de Cruz (Biere de Garde – 8%)

Cismontane Brewing Co.
•    MESA #3 (Table Beer)
•    Dos Cone Es Oaked Imperial IPA (Imperial IPA – 10% | Special Tapping for VIP)
•    Blacks Twilight Barrel Aged Imperial Stout (Imperial Stout - 11% | Special Tapping at 2 pm)

Coachella Valley Brewing Co
•    Desert Swarm (Double Wit – 7%)
•    Monumentous (IPA – 7%)

College Street Brewhouse

Coronado Brewing Company
•    Islander IPA (American Strong Ale)
•    Orange Avenue Wit (Citrus Witbier) 

Deschutes Brewery
•     Abyss (Imperial Stout – 11%)
•     Black Butte XXVI (Porter – 11%)
•     Hop Henge IPA (IPA – 9%)
•     Super Jubel (American Strong Ale)

Desert Eagle Brewing Company
•    Bourbon Barrel-Aged Holiday Hooch (American Strong Ale – 10%)
•    Black Talon (Russian Imperial Stout)

Destihl Brewery
•    Saint Dekkera (Sour – 6%)
•    Bella (Pilsner – 9%)
•    Wild Sour Series Black Berliner (Weisse – 3%)
•    Dosvidanya Russian Imperial Stout (Imperial Stout - 12.5% | Special Tapping for VIP)
•    Saint Dekkera Reserve Sour Le Diplomat (Special Tapping at 2:15 pm)

Dogfish Head Brewery
•    90 Minute IPA (IPA – 9%)
•    Sixty-One Minute (IPA – 6.5%)
•    Birra Etrusca Bronze (Herbed Beer – 8.5%)
•    Palo Santo Marron (Brown Ale – 12%)
•    120 Minute (IPA 18%) (Special Tapping at 3pm)

Dragoon Brewing Co.
•    Dragoon IPA (American IPA)
•    Biere del Bac (Belgian Quad)
•    Double Red IPA (Red IPA)
•    Stoutstanding (Foreign-Style Stout)
•    Lazarus (Barrel-Aged Barleywine)

Dylan DeMiguel
•    FYITM (Imperial IPA)
•    Christmas Ale (Porter)
•    Cruz de Garde (Biere de Garde)

Duvel Brewery

Elevation Beer Company
•    Apis Belgian Quadrupel (Belgian Honey Quad – 11.5%)
•    Oil Man BBA Imperial Stout (Imperial Stout – 10.8%)
•    Senorita Horchata Imperial Porter (Herb/Spice Beer – 8.5%)
•    Montana RBA Horchata Imperial Spice Beer (Herb/Spice Beer – 9.7%)

Epic Brewing Co
•    Hopulent IPA (IPA – 8.9%)
•    Brainless on Peaches (Belgian Fruit – 11.8%)

Fate Brewing Company
•    Imperial IPA (IPA)
•    Chardonnay Barrel-Aged Droppin’ Beetz Saison (Beet/Herbed Saison)
•    Bourbon Barrel-Aged Double Stout (Imperial Stout)

Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
•    Double Jack (Imperial IPA)
•    Wookey Jack (Black Rye Imperial IPA)
•    Vintage Sucaba (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Barleywine)

Fort Collins Brewing
•    Chocolate Stout (Stout - 5.3%)
•    Red Banshee (Red Ale – 5.3%)
•    Rocky Mountain (IPA – 6.2%)
•    1020 Pale Ale (Pale Ale – 5.3%)

Founders Brewing Company
•    Dark Penance (Imperial Black IPA – 8.9%)
•    Imperial Stout (Imperial Stout – 10.5%)
•    Black Rye (Black Rye – 7.5%)

Four Peaks Brewing Co.
•    Sirius Black (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout)
•    Barrel-Aged Diablo Rojo (Red Ale)
•    2008, 2012 & 2013 Hopsquatch (Barleywine)
•    2012 Bourbon Barrel-Aged Hopsquatch)
•    2015 Double Knot (Double IPA)
•    Birch on Hops (collaboration with Wanderlust Brewing Company)
•    Idle Hands (Belgian-Style Strong Golden Ale)
•    Belgian Red (Belgian-Style Ale)
•    Sour Brown (Sour Brown Ale)
•    Dickel Barrel-Aged Raj (IPA)
•    Jack Daniels Barrel-Aged Kilt Lifter (Scottish-Style Ale)
•    Double Pumpkin Porter (Porter)
•    Odelay Mexican Chocolate Ale (Brown Ale)
•    Short Hop (Session IPA)

Freak'N Brewing Company
•    Freak'N Sweet Thang (Imperial Milk Stout)

Full Sail
•    LTD 3 (Pilsener – 5%)
•    English Pale (English Style Ale – 5.2%)

Funkwerks
•    Tropic King (Saison – 8%)
•    Deceit (Belgian Golden – 9%)

Gentle Ben's Brewing Co.
•    TJ’s Raspberry Ale (Fruit Ale – 4.5%)
•    Copperhead Pale Ale (Pale Ale – 6%)
•    Mocha Java Stout (Stout – 6%)
•    NCAAle (Strong Ale – 10%)

Goose Island Beer Co.
•    2014 Bourbon County Stout (Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout – 14.2%)
•    2014 Bourbon County Barleywine (Barrel-Aged English-Style Barleywine – 12.1%)
•    Goose Island IPA (IPA – 5.9%)
•    Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat (Wheat Beer – 4.2%)

Gordon Biersch Brewing
•    Winterbock (Bock)
•    Belgian Dubbel (Abbey Ale)
•    Scottish Ale (Scottish Ale)
•    White IPA (Belgian IPA)

Grand Canyon Brewing Company
•    Black Iron IPA (India Pale Ale)
•    Shaggy Bock (German-Style Bock)
•    Winter Brown (American Brown Ale)
•    Deep in the Green DIPA (Double India Pale Ale)
•    Scotchy, Scotch, Scotch Ale (Scotch Ale Collaboration with Borderlands)
•    Hop Bomb DIPA (Double India Pale Ale)

Great Divide Brewing Co.
•    Espresso Oak-Aged Yeti (Imperial Stout)
•    Barrel-Aged Hibernation Ale (Barrel-Aged Winter Warmer)
•    Hercules (Double IPA)
•    2011 Barrel-Aged Old Ruffian (Barleywine | Special Tapping at 1:30 p.m.)

Green Flash Brewing Co.
•    Le Freak (Belgian Double IPA – 9.2%)
•    Grand Cru (Belgian Dark Ale – 9.1%)
•    Double Stout (Stout – 8.8%)
•    Serrano Chili Double Stout (Stout – 8.8%)

Hanger 24 Craft Brewery
•    Betty (IPA – 6.8%)
•    Double IPA (Double IPA – 9%)
•    Chocolate Porter (Porter – 8.5%)
•    Pugachev's Cobra (Imperial Stout – 18.9%)

Heretic Brewing
•    Torment (Belgian-Style Quad)

Historic Brewing Company
•    Bear Arms (Imperial Raspberry Red Ale)
•    Pie Hole Porter (Cherry/Vanilla Porter)
•    Everyday Special (Pilsener)
•    Deer Lord (German Altbier)
•    Screaming Goat Sour Saison (Red Wine Barrel-Aged Saison)
•    Everynight Special (German Schwazbier/Pilsener)

Hofbrau
•    Original Lager (Lager)
•    Dunkel (Dark Ale)

Hop City Brewing Company
•    Hopbot IPA (IPA – 7.1%)
•    Barking Squirrel Lager (American Amber Lager – 5%) 

Humboldt Brewing Company
•    500 BC (Double IPA – 8.3%)
•    Hemp Ale (American Brown Ale – 5.7%)

Huss
•    Lemon Lush (Lemon & Toasted Coconut Ale)
•    That’ll Do (IPA)
•    21-Hr Sizzurp (Stranahan's Whiskey Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout with Cocoa Nibs (Collaboration with Fate Brewing)
•    Grapefruit IPA (IPA) 

Joseph James Brewing Co.
•    Busker Brown (American Brown Ale)
•    Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stout (Stout) 

Kannah Creek Brewing Co.
•    Devise of Ivan (Russian Imperial Stout)
•    Vertical Drop Robust Red Ale (American Robust Red Ale) 

L. Huyghe/Het Anker
•    Golden Carolus Noel (Belgian Christmas Beer – 10%)
•    Delirium Tremens (Belgian Blonde – 8.5%) 

Lagunitas Brewing Co.

Left Coast Brewing
•    Epeteios (Imperial Stout – 9.5%)
•    Double Up IPA (IPA – 8.5%) 

Left Hand Brewing
•    Fade to Black (Stout – 8.5%) 

Lost Coast Brewing
•    Red IPA (American IPA – 8%)
•    25th Anniversary (Belgian-Style Strong Dark Ale – 8.8%)
•    Sharkinator (White IPA – 4.8%)
•    Scotch Ale (Scotch Ale – 8.5%) 

Lumberyard Brewing Company
•    Big Rapid Red (Imperial Red – 9.5%)
•    Coir a Bois (Belgian-Style Tripel – 10.8%)
•    Flagstaff IPA (American IPA – 6.1%) 

Magic Hat Brewery
•    Magic Hat #9 (Ale – 8.1%)
•    Electric Ale (IPA – 6%) 

Marble Brewery
•    Imperial Red (Red Ale – 9%)
•    Marble Double White Ale (Belgian-Inspired Witbier – 7%)
•    Marble Pilsner (German-Style Pilsener – 4.7%) 

Maui Brewing
•    CoConut Porter (Porter – 6%)
•    Mana Wheat (Fruit Beer – 5.5%) 
•    Lorenzini Blood Orange Double IPA

Mike Hess Brewing
•    Habitus (IPA – 8%)
•    City Park (American Strong Ale – 8.5%)
•    Ordeum Rex (Barleywine – 12.9%)
•    Umbrix (Stout – 10.2%) 

Mission Brewing
•    Carrack (Imperial Red – 10.2%)
•    Hefeweizen (Bavarian Hefe – 5.3%) 

Mother Road Brewing Company
•    Lost Highway (Black IPA – 8%)
•    Gold Road (Kolsch)
•    White Walls Extra Pale IPA (IPA)
•    Third Anniversary Ale (Imperial Stout)
•    Tower Station (IPA) 

Mudshark Brewery
•    2015 Belgian Quad (Belgian-Style Quadrupel – 12%)
•    Imperial IPA (IPA – 9%)
•    Lunacy (Belgian – 12%)
•    Abominable Winter Ale (Stout – 9.7%) 

Nebraska Brewing Co.
•    Cardinal (Pale Ale - 5.7%)
•    Melange a Trois (Belgian-Style Strong Ale – 9% | Special Tapping for VIP)
•    Attack of the 50’ Brunette (Imperial Nut Brown Ale Aged in New Holland Whiskey Barrels – 11% | Special Tapping at 2:30 pm)

New Belgium Brewing Co.
•    Cocoa Mole (Chile Ale)
•    Blackberry Barleywine (Barleywine)
•    Eric's Ale (Sour Ale)
•    Whiskey Barrel-Aged Salted Chocolate Belgian Stout (Belgian-Style Stout)
•    Rampant Imperial IPA (Imperial India Pale Ale)

Ninkasi Brewing Company
•    Tricerahops (Double IPA – 8%)
•    Imperial Stout (Imperial Stout – 9.1%)
•    Dawn of the Red (Malt )
•    Devil Went Down to Oregon (Imperial Dark Rye Ale in Collaboration with Devil's Backbone | Special Tapping at 1pm)

North Coast Brewing Company
•    Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout (Russian Imperial Stout)
•    Old Stock Ale (English-Style Old Ale)
•    Brother Thelonious (Belgian-Style Strong Ale)

North Mountain Brewing Company
•    C.R.E.E.M. (Golden Ale)
•    Baby Belgian (Belgian Tripel)
•    Cyrious IPA (Double IPA) 

Northwest Brewing
•    Hoppy Bitch (Northwest IPA – 6.3%)
•    Crazy Bitch (Double IPA – 7.5%)
•    3 Skulls (Orange Wit – 5.5%)
•    Mangoweisen (Wheat Beer – 5.3%)
•    Foggy Goggle (Imperial Porter)
•    Black Pearl (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Oatmeal Stout)

Oak Creek Brewing Co.
•    Chocolate Cherry Porter (Porter – 8%)
•    Knicker Kicker (Scotch Ale – 9%)

Odell Brewing Company
•    Myrcenary (Double IPA – 8.3%)

O.H.S.O. Brewery
•    SMaSH Party (Barleywine)
•    Mexican Chocolate Stout (Imperial Stout)
•    Imperial Hoppy (Imperial IPA)
•    Abobora Preto (Imperial Stout)
•    Brass Monkey (Imperial Blond Ale) 

Oskar Blues Brewery
•    Dale’s Pale Ale (Pale Ale)
•    Hoppy Mutha (Pale Ale)
•    Mama’s Little Yella Pils (Czech-Style Pilsner)

Papago Brewing Co.
•    Coconut Joe (Stout)
•    Orange Blossom (Mandarin Wheat Beer)
•    Oude Zuipers (Belgian Tripel Abbey Ale)
•    Hopago IPA (IPA)

Peoria Artisan Brewery
•    Daddy Angus (Barleywine – 11%)
•    Imperial Peanut Butter Porter (Porter – 8%)

The Perch
•    Lemongrass DIPA (Double IPA)
•    Belgian Peach (Fruit Beer)
•    Sage Thyme Pal (English Pale Ale)

Phoenix Ale Brewery
•    Camelback (IPA)
•    Watermelon Ale (Wheat)
•    The Keeper! (Biere de Garde)
•    Ironwood (Porter)
•    Feniks (Tripel)
•    Wheatstock (Imperial Hefe)

Pinetop Brewing Company
•    Bourbon Barrel-Aged Porter (Porter)

Pizza Port Brewing Co.
•    Faceplant (Belgian-Style Abbey Tripel – 10.4%)
•    Leather Bound Books (Scotch Ale – 8%)
•    T-Rex (IPA – 8%)
•    Thruster (Imperial IPA – 11%)

Prescott Brewing Co.
•    Raven Maniac Stout (Stout – 9.5%)
•    Ponderosa (IPA – 6.5%)
•    Achocolypse (Porter – 6%)
•    Liquid Amber (Amber – 4.5%)

Rogue Ales & Spirits

Rough Draft Brewing Co.
•    Hop Therapy (Double IPA – 9%)
•    Eraser (IPA – 7%)
•    Barrel-Aged Freudian Sip (American Strong Ale – 9% | Special Tapping at 2:30 pm)

Saddle Mountain Brewing Company
•    Taildragger 300 Foot Steve (American Ale – 7.5%)
•    Taildragger Hop Snob IPA (American IPA – 5.9%)

SanTan Brewing Co.
•    Mad Czar (Russian Imperial Stout)
•    Devil's Ale (American Pale Ale)
•    Mr Pineapple
•    Ivanhoe (White IPA)
•    Moon Juice (IPA)
•    Heavy D (Imperial IPA)
•    06300 Single Hop (IPA)
•    Tequila Barrel Aged KiloHop (Imperial IPA | Special Tapping at 2 pm)

Santa Fe Brewing
•    State Pen Porter (Porter – 6.4%)
•    Black IPA (IPA – 7.1%)
•    Happy Camper (IPA – 6.6%) 

Schilling Cider Co.
•    Oak-Aged Cider (6.5%)
•    Berry Cider (6.9%)

Scuttlebutt
•    Galeforce IPA (IPA)
•    Porter (Porter) 

Schmaltz Brewing
•    Lenny’s RIPA (Double Rye IPA – 10%)
•    Chanukah Beer (Dark Ale – 5%) 

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
•    Hop Hunter IPA (IPA)
•    Nooner Pilsner (Pilsner)
•    Hoppy Lager (India Pale Lager)
•    Bigfoot Barleywine (Barleywine) 

Sir Perry Cider  

Ska Brewing
•    Decadent (Imperial IPA – 10%) 

Sleepy Dog Brewing
•    Coco’s Imperial Chocolate Stout (Stout – 10%)
•    Scootcher (Strong Scottish Ale – 8.4%)
•    Red Rover (Irish Amber Ale – 6.2%)
•    Tail Chaser (American IPA – 6%) 

Smuttynose
•    Really Old Brown Dog (Olde Ale)
•    Smuttynose Baltic Porter (Porter)
•    Gravitation (Belgian-Style Quadrupel Ale) 

Sonoma Cider
•    The Hatcher (Common Cider)
•    The Anvil (Bourbon-Flavored Cider)
•    The Pitchfork (Pear Cider) 

Sonoran Brewing Company
•    Dark Rum Oak-Aged Inebriator Stout (Stout)
•    Blanco Tequila Oak Aged SMTH RBL DIPA (Double IPA)
•    White Chocolate Ale (American Wheat Ale)
•    SMTH RBL DIPA (Double IPA) 

Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
•    Metropolis Lager (Dry-Hopped Craft Lager)
•    Big Daddy IPA (IPA)
•    High ABV Barrel-Aged Beer 

Squatters Craft Beer
•    Hop Rising (Double IPA – 9%)
•    Outer Darkness (Imperial Stout – 10.5%)
•    Black Forest (Schwarzbier – 6%)
•    Wee Peat (Scottish Ale – 5.6%) 

St. Bernardus
•    St. Bernardus ABT 12 (Belgian Abbey Quadrupel)
•    St. Bernardus Wit (Belgian Wheat Ale) 

Steven's Point Brewery
•    Point Classic Amber (Amber Ale – 4.73%)
•    St. Benedict’s (Winter Ale – 6.2%) 

Stone Brewing Co.
•    Stone Enjoy by 2-14-15 IPA (Imperial IPA – 9.4%)
•    2014 Imperial Russian Stout (Imperial Russian Stout) 

SunUp Brewing Co.
•    Barleywine (Barleywine – 9.5%)
•    I’ll be Back (Bock – 6.2%)
•    White Russian (Imperial Stout – 9.5%) 

Telegraph Brewing Company
•    Rhinoceros (Belgian-Style Strong Ale – 9.8%)
•    Los Padres Ale (Dry-Hopped Saison – 7.2%) 

Ten 55 Brewing
•    Leap (Pale Ale)
•    XOXO (Coffee Stout)
•    AZ Test Batch (Extra Pale Ale) 

Tenaya Creek
•    Hop Ride (American IPA – 7.2%)
•    Old Jackalope (Barleywine – 10.2%) 

THAT Brewery
•    Imperial Nut Brown (Nut Brown – 10%)
•    Road Rash IPA (IPA – 7%)
•    Strawberry Blonde (Blonde – 5.2%)
•    Blocked Out IPA (IPA – 6%) 

The Beer Research Institute
•    Lolli (Imperial Belgian-Style Blonde – 8.2%)
•    Saison De’Hiver (Imperial Winter Saison – 9%) 

The Great Beer Co., Inc.
•    Hollywood Blonde (Kolsch) 

Thunder Canyon Brewery
•    Warhead Stout (Russian Imperial Stout)
•    Orange U Glad (Orange-Infused Wheat Beer) 

Twisted Manzanita
•    Chaotic (Double IPA – 9.7%)
•    Prospect Pale (Pale Ale – 5.7%) 

Two Brothers Brewing Company
•    16th Anniversary (Belgian-Style Golden Ale) 
•    Wobble (India Pale Ale)
•    Northwind (Imperial Stout)

Uncle Bear’s Brewery
•    Mandarin Wheat (Wheat – 5.1%)
•    Tukee Town Nut Brown (Nut Brown – 5%)
•    Oak-Aged Holiday Hound Winter Ale (Winter Ale – 8%)
•    Hop Dog Double IPA (Double IPA – 8.4%)
•    Black IPA (IPA) 

•Unibroue
•    Maudite (Belgian Amber Ale – 9%)
•    Trois Pistoles (Belgian Dark Ale – 9%)
•    La Fin du Monde (Belgian Tripel – 9%)
•    Terrible (Belgian Dark Ale – 10.5%) 

Uinta Brewing
•    Detour (Double IPA – 9.5%)
•    Wyld (Pale Ale – 5%)
•    Cockeyed Cooper (Barleywine – 11.1%)
•    Sea Legs (Baltic Porter – 8%) 

Unity Vibration
•    Bourbon Peach (Kombucha – 7%)
•    Raspberry (Kombucha – 7%)
•    Dank Wasser (Collaboration with Witch’s Hat Brewing, Sour Saison Kombucha Blend with Clove & Mango) 

Upslope Brewing Company
•    Brown Ale (Brown Ale – 6.7%)
•    Imperial IPA (IPA – 10%)
•    Lee Hill Taproom Specialty
•    Foreign Style Stout (Stout - 6.9% | Special Tapping at 12:30 pm) 

Vermont Hard Cider Co. LLC
•    Woodchuck Private Reserve Barrel Select (Cider)
•    Wyder's Reposado (Cider) 

Victory Brewing Company
•    Golden Monkey (Belgian-Style Tripel)
•    Dirt Wolf (Double IPA) 

Wanderlust Brewing Company
•    928 Local (Farmhouse Ale)
•    Whiskey Barrel-Aged Quad (Whiskey Barrel-Aged Quad)
•    Golden Brett Sour (Golden Sour)
•    Birch on Hops (collaboration with Four Peaks) 

Wasatch Brewery
•    Apricot Wheat (Fruit Wheat – 4%)
•    Devastator (Lager – 8%)
•    Polygamy Porter (6%)
•    Black O’Lantern (Porter – 5.5%) 

Weihenstephan

Westward Brewing Company

Wild Cider
•    Bee Hoppy (Cider – 5%)
•    Spiced Apple Pie (Cider – 5%)
•    Pineapple (Cider – 5%)
•    Apple (Cider – 5%)

September 30, 2014

GABF: From Fermentation to Festival


Beer festivals are plentiful these days, but none are grander than the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. But what does it take to get a beer from fermentation to the festival? We sought out our good friends at Fate Brewing in Scottsdale and had them walk us through the process.

The silver medal. Ooooh.
First, it’s important to note that Fate has already stood on the stage with Charlie Papazian upon procuring a silver medal for their sublime Candy Bar Milk Stout – in their first year at the fest nonetheless. But owner Steve McFate and bad-ass bearded brewer Adam Schmeichel aren’t resting on their laurels. While they’ll certainly be entering Candy Bar again, which is even better this year (think batch 1), the other four beers being entered and poured at the festival include: Single-Hop Sour, International Pale Ale, Hatch Chile Cream Ale and Double Oatmeal IPA. 

Brewing
Beers being entered into the festival are brewed on different schedules depending on how long each needs in fermentation. This can be tricky for a small 7-barrel brewery like Fate, which is why timing is so very important. Smaller breweries feel inclined to keep their guests happy, which means they need to ensure the brewpub’s taps are flowing with as many of their house beers as possible.

Adam hard at work.
Bottling
Once the beers are done fermenting, it’s time to bottle. This can also be a bit tricky for small breweries that don’t bottle their beers, which Fate does not. Breweries with a bottling line can fire off the six bottles for each beer entered in no time flat. Fate, on the other hand, has to hand-bottle beers using a homebrew bottling system. It’s not really difficult to do, as the system attaches to a keg for transfer. But getting the carbonation level right isn’t as easy without the right measuring tools, which can be expensive. Interestingly, I happened to be at Arizona Wilderness when they were bottling their GABF beers, and they were transferring directly from serving tanks. The issue they faced was that the high 20psi pressure caused some over-carbonation issues. Thankfully, they were able to figure it out and get their bottles entered in time.

Judging
Industry professionals from around the world, known as The Professional Judge Panel, are invited to sit together in small groups and, without knowing the brand name, taste beers and determine the three best in each specified style category. Five different three-hour judging sessions take place over the three-day period during the week of GABF. The number of entries is increasing each year, which makes medaling that much more difficult. 

Pouring
Fate is one of over 700 breweries pouring their wares at the festival. Mr. McFate plans on pouring himself, and promises to have Adam or another Fate representative behind the booth at all times. I always see beer-lebrities like Garrett Oliver, Sam Calagione and Vinnie Cilurzo pour on the session floor, and admire the hell out of them for taking the time to be on their feet and meet and greet fellow beer geeks. 

Is it fate? Well, no, it's McFate.
So what will Fate’s ultimate fate be when awards are doled out the morning of October 4? It’s all in the judges’ hands now. But after having the opportunity to personally quaff Fate’s five beers being entered, I’d be hard-pressed to believe they won’t share that stage with Charlie once again. 

The awards ceremony starts at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 4. Be on the lookout for BeerPHXation Facebook and Twitter updates whenever Arizona breweries take home medals. Until then…