Strong Beer Fest
The premier beer festival in Arizona, likely the Southwest, kicked off Beer Week in style. Local breweries killed it, and a number of new ones really made their presence known. Not to mention a slew of special suds from non-AZ breweries like Bell's, Marble and Odell. Read a full review here.
|Great, Scotch, is this good.|
ASH Hot Scotchy Night
The fine folk at the Arizona Society of Homebrewers hosted Hot Scotchy night at two locations this year — The Hungry Monk and Moto. For those not in the know, a Hot Scotchy is the brewer's secret cocktail, in that it consists of the first runnings from the mash (aka wort) and is then blended with a scotch or bourbon of your choice. But I'm not the expert in explaining the specifics of this sweet concoction. Mr. Fullmer tells it best.
Arizona Total Tap Takeover at Taste of Tops
|Greg blurrily walks by.|
|New Belgium's Eric Salazar hammers it home.|
I missed this last year and wasn't going to make that mistake again. Held in front of a packed house at Flanny's, there were seven special Colorado casks made exclusively for this night: Great Divide Chocolate Yeti spiked with curacao (my favorite); Odell Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout with cherries; Ska Decadent Imperial IPA married with mango and habanero (good, but needed more habanero spiciness); New Belgium Trippel that had been dry-hopped (dank city); Left Hand Velvet Night Milk Stout dry-hopped with Columbus hops; Oskar Blues oSKAar the G'rauch Smoked IPA; and Breckenridge Agave Wheat infused with orange and cloves (too clovey for my tastebuds). 'Nuff said.
|Jim Lolli addresses the Monk faithful. |
(photo courtesy of David Rojo)
What many consider to be the main event outside of Strong Beer Fest, The Hungry Monk brought back their popular Eccentric Cafe to the delight of crazily-dressed crafties statewide. Owner Jim Lolli, a Kalamazoo native and one of the friendliest people you'll meet, pulled out all the stops this go-round. Patrons were presented with over 20 Bell's beers from which to quaff, including rarities like bourbon barrel-aged 9000 (perfectly balanced), Cherry Stout and Black Note, the Brettanomyces-laced Kal-Haven Rye, among many others. A wonderful way to round out this writer's AZ Beer Week.