December 8, 2010

Code Word Double Red: Arizona Beer Week Exclusive!

We have a couple of Arizona Beer Week (AZBW) announcements that came to light yesterday after the quarterly meeting of the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild. The final event for the week was announced and in typical homebrewer fashion, the homebrewers decided that they want the last word. Oh! And there's a collaboration beer that will be brewed to kick things off!

Arizona Beer Week, February 19-26, 2011, is billed as a "A week of events throughout Arizona that feature craft beers from near and far." This is the inaugural year for the series of events which seeks to emulate the success of other craft beer weeks put on by other cities such as San Francisco, Philadelphia and San Diego. Arizona Beer Week will be a celebration of all of the breweries in the state and not strictly be Phoenix-focused.  Beer week begins on February 19th with the 11th Annual Strong Beer Fest.

Bookend Event
Barrio Brewing
The "bookend" event to close-out AZBW is in the works for February 26th and will occur in Tucson at Barrio Brewing according to Barrio owner, Dennis Arnold. Arnold is looking to do something different in the Tucson area and break away from the typical brewfests that occur in Phoenix, Flagstaff and Tucson. Whether this will be an emphasis on food or some other twist remains to be seen.  Arnold said that proceeds from the event will go towards a local charity to be named soon. With the loss of Spring Training Baseball and a somewhat open calendar in Tucson, this new event could turn into something substantial.

Homebrewers unOfficially Close Out the Week
ASH Brewout
-Tom Boggan

The Arizona Society of Homebrewers (ASH) announced that it would be closing-out-the-close-out or bookending the bookend of AZBW, by hosting brewouts in the Phoenix and Tucson areas on the day after the official end of the week-long festival.  The primary brewout will occur in Phoenix on Sunday morning, February 27th. Other brewouts in Tucson are being planned. It's hoped that the event will carry over to some of the other brewclubs in the state.

The brewouts are open to the public. This will be an opportunity for people that enjoyed craft beer events during the week, to understand the brewing process and see that beer can be simply made by everyday people.  ASH is also planning two other beer events during beer week.

Collaboration Beer
A collaboration beer for AZBW was also announced.  Unlike the Motley Brew rye based IPA collaboration made last sping, this will be a collaborative recipe.  Each brewery will have the same base ingredients and relative targets for gravity, IBUs, color and a target style. The resultant brews will vary due to differences in water treatment, yeast strain and he process each brewery employs. It's hoped that the variation will be an opportunity to educate the public about the brewing process and there should a few opportunities to taste these beers side-by-side.

Although the precise recipe and constraints are being decided upon, the style will be a Double Red. From the BA Style Guidelines:

Imperial or Double Red Ale
Imperial or Double Red Ales have intense hop bitterness, flavor and aroma. Alcohol content is also very high and of notable character. They range from deep amber to dark copper in color and may exhibit a small amount of chill haze at cold temperatures The style may use any variety of hops. Though the hop character is intense it’s balanced with complex alcohol flavors, moderate to high fruity esters and medium to high caramel malt character. Imperial or Double Red Ales have a full body. Diacetyl should not be perceived.

Original Gravity (ºPlato) 1.080-1.100 (19.5-23.5 ºPlato)
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (ºPlato) 1.020-1.028 (5-7 ºPlato)
Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 6.3-8.4% (7.9-10.5%) 
Bitterness (IBU) 55-85
Color SRM (EBC) 10-15 (20-30 EBC)
The recipe will be available for homebrewers to make their own versions of the beer.  We expect that area homebrew stores will carry both all-grain and extract kits.  The Arizona Society of Homebrewers will be sure to have a dozen or so versions brewed by release day as they gear up for a national conference to be held in San Diego.

Existing commercial examples available in the valley that come to mind are California's Port Brewing's Shark Attack and Bear Republic Double Rocket. Seasonally, Sun Up had Rex's Crimson during Valentines Day. Oak Creek Brewing has a King Crimson Imperial Red, that was until recently only seen in the brewhouse. These days it's made some regular appearances at Taste of Tops and a few other beer bars.

EDIT:  King Crimson Imperial Red is listed as on tap since Dec, 4th at Papago Brewing.

1 comment:

  1. I've gotta hit Papago if they have the King Crimson Imperial Red. I haven't tried it and I'm thirsty.