July 26, 2011


A footnote on a beer that we've mentioned (that gets us google hits for some reason).

We hate to be the bearer of bad news to the next googler, but it's dead.

Make your own radler/shandy.

Where (not) in the Phoenix Beer (crepe) World?

Do you know where in the beer world this photo was taken?
Where is, what?
The concept is simple. We post a picture that is relevant to the Phoenix beer scene and you try and identify it. Sometimes there will be a larger story involved, but often there will not. So, for glory and a tip of the glass next time we see you.

The hints are in the ( ). What's the story?
Answer after the jump.

July 25, 2011

Blind Items

As a brewery moves from concept toward a physical reality, there are those that want to keep things under wraps for as long as possible. Others choose to begin their media and marketing campaign right after their first homebrew is opened. I don't know if there is a book strategy on this, but I do know it's a personal decision.

At various points, a brewery has to lay it's cards out on the table. There are public records for zoning, incorporation and state liquor licenses among other things. Often it's as subtle as a giant orange sign posted on the street.

I've decided to blind item some news on some potential breweries:

Area coffeehouse looking at nano brewing. Area coffeehouse permitted for brewing
Existing AZ brewery looking to move production to the valley.
2 production breweries looking at the same properties.
Mesa brewery(s). It's a consideration.

I mention this to counterbalance the recent closure of Rock Bottom Ahwatukee and Spitfire Grill. Things are happening here, they sometimes have to wait.

July 21, 2011

Spitfire Grill and Tavern Closes

It's been reported by International Beer Man @foo_brew, that the Spitfire Grill and Tavern has closed it's doors. The self-proclaimed gastropub featured 20 or so craft tap beers and a bottle and can selection.

The phone number listed on the website is out of service.

The news has been confirmed by emails from refund Groupon and this Urban Spoon post from Cliff Jayne.
I went by last night and the door was dead-bolted and no one there at 8PM. Also the phone number is out of service. Save yourself a trip and go to a restaurant that is open and serves food.

A peek at recent Yelp trend ratings may offer some insight.

July 15, 2011

Where in the Phoenix Beer World?

Do you know where in the beer world this photo was taken?
How does it relate to Arizona beer?

The concept is simple. We post a picture that is relevant to the Phoenix beer scene and you try and identify it. Sometimes there will be a larger story involved, but often there will not. So, for glory and a tip of the glass next time we see you.

Answer after the jump!

July 14, 2011

Beer PHXation First Anniversary

Yesterday was the Anniversary of our first post. We invite you to consider our opening statement, "What is Our Beer PHXation?"

So, Happy Birhtday to us! In lieu of gifts, please drink a local beer tonight or tomorrow night and consider what your Beer PHXation might be.

A call once in a while wouldn't hurt you at all you know.

July 7, 2011

Anonymous Comments, John Gabriel's "Greater Internet F*ckwad Theory" and xkcd

We've opened up the Pandora's box* that is anonymous internet comments on BeerPHXation. This can lead to one desirable outcome, two or three pretty awful ones or a deliciously intractable combination.

We've heard from a few people that have wanted to comment but had difficulties creating an account or getting theirs to work. We want this to be a place of discussion so we can learn from what you have to say.

This blog is largely opinion based with some facts sprinkled in. Our facts and opinions are open to challenge. We'd like to know when we're off-base, self-aggrandizing, pompous, arrogant, uninformed, under-informed, or flat out wrong. If anonymous comments help us build a better base of information and inform our opinions, then that's THE desired outcome.

There is the spam issue, but we hope the google spam algorithm will carry the day. The truly Awful in allowing anonymous comments is best represented in the xkcd comic above and John Gabriel's "Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory". David and I are grizzled veterans of beer forums and we know how easily things can spin out of control with anonymous internet behavior. I personally subscribe to the theory that it is better to be helpful than self-righteously "right".

We're ready for then potential headaches, and achieving the right balance and we hope you are too. Problems? Issues? Email us at BeerPHXation at Google.com

*not really Pandora's box. We can flip a bit and go back to credentialed comments.

July 6, 2011

602 Beer- Let the Sham Begin!

I alluded to it here when discussing the impact of large distributors merging, expanding craft beer catalogs and acquiring breweries:
It'll be interesting to see if more of AB owned Goose Island's mainstream beers like [312] Urban Wheat hit Phoenix. Don't get me wrong. I love Matilda, Sofie and the iconic Bourbon County but do we need a wheat beer from Chicago? No.
Today comes the news from several blogs that a 314 beer is being developed for St Louis with Federal Trademarks applied for. Further still:
... that A-B is seeking trademarks for: 412 (Pittsburgh), 305 (Miami), 619 (San Diego), 202 (Washington, D.C.), 602 (Phoenix), 704 (Charlotte), 702 (Las Vegas), 214 (Dallas), 415 (San Francisco), 216 (Cleveland), 303 (Denver), 615 (Nashville) and 713 (Houston).
Jeff Alworth at Beervana makes the Goose Island connection but falls short of speculating a motive. San Diego, Denver and the missing Portland area codes (503 was not sought) would be tough sells. Las Vegas and Phoenix with their high transplant populations and short historical memories will probably be easy pickings.

You can already picture these at Cardinal game, can't you.

July 5, 2011

Boonies Report

This weekend, I was in the Christopher Creek area to tend to some hops and partake in some general relaxation.

I had a chance to check into the local scene and was pleasantly surprised to find that the new Landmark (no address, but hereish) had Sam Adams Seasonal (Summer Ale), Four Peaks Kiltlifter, San Tan Hefe and Lumberyard IPA on tap.

The Tall Pines Market had Four Peaks sixers.

Also Shock Top and Blue Moon. Local opportunity guys. Let's get wit it AZ.

July 1, 2011

Session #53: Beer Redemption

This week's Session, a collection of beer bloggers and writers focusing on a single topic, invites us to write about Beer Redemption. Host John Holl writes about giving a beer a second chance because it beers can be heat damaged or light struck. Certainly these are things that occur all of the time in our desert environment, but that's not precisely the direction I went. As you can see, writers often go their own way with a Session topic.

In February, in a post titled: Of Re-Starts, Starts-Ups and Endings, I wrote about start-up North Mountain Brewing and the passing of Portland's Iconic Don Younger. I also wrote that "craft beer can be about redemption" in reference to a brewery that had to change locations shortly after establishing itself and had a period of inconsistent beer quality.

At that time, Old World Brewing was a gas connection shy of resuming brewing operations.
Old World's move into the hardscrabble neighborhood of 25th Avenue and Van Buren is somewhat metaphorical of its Rock and Roll existence. It's hard enough to get a brewery up and running, tougher still to move so shortly after you get up and running. It seemed to be a move into a good deal of unknown.  
We can all debate the circumstances of the move and reports of some lactic character migrating into the Wit and the Red in the latter days of the Deer Valley days, but craft beer can be about redemption too. Last weeks beers were clean and flavorful. I'm going to give them a clean slate and well wishes. Craft beer in the Estrella neighborhood certainly would be an indicator that Phoenix is ready for a cultural change.
The beer that was on the market in February was still beer contract brewed from Flagstaff's Mogollon Brewing. It was a indication that there might be a change in some of the inconsistent beers that I had had in the past. Still, it was not beer brewed by Matt Mercer in their brewhouse. I had cleaned the slate and I was ready to try them out again. I stopped by the brewhouse yesterday to follow-up.
Brewery Open. Taproom Closed.
The American craft beer community is small, in Phoenix it is smaller still. If you are a Beer Evangelist, then you have to believe in Beer Redemption. I'm of the mind that you need to work with everyone in that community if they are attentive to the quality of the beer and beer culture. Redemption requires two parties and there is no fixed timetable. The sign reads that Old World has closed its Taproom for the summer and is, "concentrating it's efforts on brewing more beer and growing draft and retail accounts".  I'd much rather that they focus on surviving and growing than half-assing it, so their redemption with me is a work in progress.

The sign's comic sans serif font. That's going to take awhile to forgive.