|Available here in big bottles, but not brewed here!|
|Growlers. we love ya, but bring on the bombers!|
Statewide, more established breweries like Oak Creek, have 12oz bottles and newer establishments like Lumberyard and Grand Canyon seem to be focusing on cans. It should be mentioned that all of the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild breweries dispense their beer in kegs to some degree. This even includes chains such as BJs, Gordon Biersch and Rock Bottom.
|From Chicago with love.|
High strength beer in bombers travels here pretty well, perhaps not as well as cans, but there is still a wrong-headed perception about cans. A good chuck of cooler space in a fine beer bar like Papago or the Yucca Tap room has been ceded to out of state craft and Belgian beers. Shelf space too, in smaller places like T's and big boxes like Total Wine and Bevmo is a beer travelogue of everywhere Zonies like to travel in July and August.
The bomber format has a romantic traditional image and even more-so, the 750mL caged bottle. It's eminently sharable and perhaps more importantly, it looks like it belongs on the dinner table. If we've learned anything from the Open Letter to Restaurants Participating in AZ Restaurant Week, it's that restaurants are either uneducated or are unwilling to treat beer as an equal partner on their menus. Many do not have draft beer and limit bottles to those that turn over predictably even if those selections make little sense in terms of enhancing the dining experience.
It's this type of push and pull that encapsulates the growth problem that our Phoenix Beer Culture faces. The easy answer for you and I is to demand more from our restaurants and breweries and reward thoughtful and passionate establishments. Choose local if you can, but always choose smartly.