June 20, 2012

Where In the PHX 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 area 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. Please, no social media cheating!


Answer:

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.

#flagshipbeerday

See the rest of the Flagship Beer Day series here.




June 15, 2012

Ben's Flagship Beer Day Post | KiltLifter


Friday's Flagship Beer Day Post is the debut of BeerPhxation writer, Ben Norris. Ben recounts the incongruity of dry heat, fog and malt from his first sip of Kilt Lifter to the present where it remains a cool and gentle breeze on his palate.
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.
Typically, I think of a Scottish-style beer as the perfect remedy for freezing your ass off. Give me a cold night, a bonfire, some friends and a bottle of Kilt Lifter - I’m pretty much good to go.

This wasn't the case when I had my first Four Peaks Kilt Lifter. I was inside Nita’s Hideaway (back when it was still around) at a packed show and the sheer volume of sweaty dudes created a kind of torturous and putrid fog.

Not the ideal conditions to appreciate the nuances and complexities of an expertly designed craft beer. But it was cool, because I didn’t know what the hell a craft beer was anyway. And if I can fall in love with a beer under those conditions, it definitely deserves my recommendation.

Like so many Arizonans, Kilt Lifter was my real introduction to craft beer. Now that I know a little more about how to tell the difference between a lager and an ale, and what beers are better during certain seasons - it gives me a whole new respect for the top selling, locally produced beer.
Kiltlifter - photo courtesy of brewmmania.org
Four Peaks must be one of the only breweries in the country with a Scottish-style flagship beer (feel free to fill me in on the others, if you know of any). And, it’s made right here in Arizona, which means on any given 110-degree day, someone out there is swilling a nice deep copper pint of Kilt Lifter.

Why not? It’s a great beer. And Four Peaks is standing by their flagship in a world where so many people just want to get their palates wrecked by a massive IPA (myself included).

Well, IPAs are trendy as hell. They are the iPads of beer. So break away from the pack this weekend and enjoy a nice big Scottish-style ale in 100-plus degree weather. You surely won’t regret it.

Oh, and if you’re into eloquent descriptions of burnt, toasty, malty goodness, read more about this beer on the Four Peaks blog.


#flagshipbeerday

See the rest of the Flagship Beer Day series here.

June 12, 2012

Corey's Flagship Beer Day Post | SanTan Devils Ale

BeerPHXation regular contributor, Corey Rial, brings us his Flagship Beer Day Post.

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.

SanTan Devils Ale, the flagship beer from Chandler's own SanTan Brewing, is rising up anywhere and everywhere. It's ever present locally, and if you're following SanTan's Facebook and Twitter, you can see them taking this ale on a cross-country trip.

What SanTan is doing with this bitter (in a good way) West Coast American Pale Ale is giving it an Arizona identity. The beer, formerly known as Sun Devil Ale, is packaged in cans (all the rage), cartoned in Variety 12 packs and trucked to as many outlets as possible.

Much like New Belgium, you could ask a lay person about Fat Tire and they usually won't identify it with New Belgium Brewery. They know it as Fat Tire. I have similar experiences with people talking about Devils Ale. When I mention SanTan, I get blank stares. It's as if I am talking about an autoplex off the side of the freeway in the east valley.

A flagship beer should be the work horse you strap all your company's hopes and dreams to and let it carry you to where ever your heading. And Devils Ale does this. This beer could (and arguably does) make waves outside of Arizona. This is exactly what a flagship beer should do.

Look at Dogfish Head, could they make the "bizarre" beers they are focusing on now if 60 minute IPA didn't carry the load? Absolutely not.

So here's a cracked open can of Devils Ale to you, SanTan.

Raise your flag high.

#flagshipbeerday

June 11, 2012

Flagship Beer Day | It just got real

We've talked it up in the last few posts and we've asked that other bloggers get involved with Flagship Beer Day this week. Zach Fowl of the New Times sets our ships-a-sailing with his review of the classic Anchor flagship, Anchor Steam Beer.

Will we see posts from AZDraft? The Brew Bros?

Will the Session 64 round-up occur in time for other national bloggers to take up the charge?

Will you, the reader be enjoying a local flagship this week?
Four Peaks - Kilt Lifter
Sleepy Dog - Red Rover
SanTan - Devils Ale
Sun Up - Trooper
Lumberyard - Red

Time will tell.

#flagshipbeerday

See the rest of the Flagship Beer Day series here.