June 18, 2012

Mike's Flagship Beer Post | Papago's Orange Blossom

Our Flagship Beer Day series continues on an extra week with a post from BeerPHXation contributor, Mike Lauersdorf. Mike, a seasoned beer traveler and member of the Arizona Trappiste Club, pays homage to the flagship beer of our state's paragon of classic beer bars.
If you write a blog, we ask that you devote some time to writing about a flagship beer in your area. If you're just a reader, we encourage you to re-visit some flagships with a presumably more experienced palate. Encourage other bloggers to explore this idea and, of course, comment it up at the blog or social media outlet of choice.

Flag Day has come and gone, but a brewery's flagship beer is forever.

Take Papago Brewing's awesome Orange Blossom wheat ale. Contract-brewed at Sedona's Oak Creek Brewery, Blossom is Papago's most popular and best-selling beer. And it's easy to see why, as proprietor Ron Kloth's creamsicle-like creation is made with fresh mandarin oranges and vanilla flavoring. Plus, ringing in at a sessionable 4.5% ABV, this summer-friendly ale is refreshing, flavorful and easy to drink.

Sure, some of the "beer geeks" out there will likely pass on Blossom when in Papago, but its overall success can't be ignored. Ron points out that having a popular flagship beer gives his brewery the means to make more artisanal ales, albeit less commercially successful. But it's a win-win – Papago patrons get something new to try, and the brewer gets to express his creative side.

Even though you can find Orange Blossom on draught at a number of local watering holes, the most memorable way to enjoy this flagship brew is at Arizona's flagship beer bar (also its home), Papago Brewing.

A staple in the Valley of the Sun beer scene since 2001, many consider Papago the godfather of Arizona beer bars. It's no wonder – 30 rotating taps along with a beer engine for cask-conditioned ales, award-winning house brews, oodles of bottles available to-go, log cabin rustic charm ... there's even shuffleboard. Ron really knows his beer, and it shows here at Papago.

So the next time you're craving a fine craft ale, take a detour over to the Papago Plaza strip mall (yes, I said strip mall) and belly up to the bar all other Arizona beer bars aspire to be.


See the rest of the Flagship Beer Day series here.


  1. I don't like it, but I'm glad plenty of others do!

  2. I'm sure you're not alone in not liking it, Bruce, but there's no denying its place in AZ beer history.