July 28, 2010

An Open Letter to Restaurants Participating in AZ Restaurant Week

Arizona Restaurant Week is coming up September 18-26, and we'd like to take this opportunity to encourage participating restaurants to make craft beer a larger focus of this event. While this is part of a larger wish of ours to see more restaurants provide beer options on par with their wine lists, our focus in this open letter is specifically focused on Arizona Restaurant Week (AZRW).

July 19, 2010

IPA in a Can?

What image do you conjure when combining the two words canned and beer? If you are like the majority of beer drinkers you think of some kind of light American lager. That may have been true ten years ago, but a continuing proliferation of craft beer becoming available in cans has expanded the drinking horizon. In fact, today World Class announced that they have begun shipping beers from SanTan Brewing in Chandler, a new participant in the canning revolution.

Why is canning an important development?

What is the good beer tipping point?

At what point do we declare that we've found a place, that we have found a good beer bar or craft friendly establishment? It's a pervasive thought for me because I am frequently asked to recommend places to enjoy fine beer.

Using the draft selection as a metric, the Duck and Decanter on Camelback has 2 craft beers out of the 6 handles, Firestone Walker Double Barrel and locally produced Four Peaks Kiltlifter. The remaining offerings span some of the major popular styles and are often staples of a upscale establishment. Hard to find fault with a Guinness tap or a Franziskaner Weiss. The Smithwick's might be one of the first to fall if I had a say in the matter as the lineup could use a local or regional beer with some hop character. The Stella is going to elicit some criticism from beer geeks that tend to the snobby side but it's hard to begrudge a top-seller.

July 13, 2010

What is our Beer PHXation?

We live in the desert. We are not Munich, Brussels, Portland, Denver or San Diego, but we certainly get our fair share of beers from those classic beer cities.  We do not have a well known traditional brewing history here, but we do have a history and we do have a beer culture. To the casual eye, our craft beer scene blends in with the landscape like the ocotillo or creosote bush- seemingly dormant but damned resilient and ready to flourish with just a little rain.
Does it matter where beer is brewed? Yes. ...  It matters what the ingredients are and where they come from. – Beer should be considered in context. That context. - Stan Hieronymus
Such is the premise of Stan's blog, Appellation Beer and we feel it is a good jumping off point. We agree that it matters where beer is brewed. We think the ingredients the brewer chooses are important. We believe in brewer intent. We think beer brewed in Arizona is unique and it's potential is largely untapped.

Our name is a play on Phoenix and fixation. It is our context to Stan's premise. We'll be discussing what Beer Culture is, where it can be found in metro Phoenix and where we have seen the best expressions of it. There will be interviews and reviews of beers, breweries, restaurants and bars, too, but we'll try not to cover the well worn paths of some of out favorite beer blogs and we'll try to keep the focus local.

We hope you join in this discussion as we are eager to learn and hear new stories, your stories.