July 15, 2013

Where in the Arizona Beer World? From Where in the World? What and Why? Also, What of It?

Yes, I was out of the country for a time, but this was not taken on my vacation (and yet it fits in).

Do you know where in the beer world this photo was taken? What is this? Where is it now? How does it relate to Arizona beer?
The concept is simple. We post a picture that is relevant to the Arizona 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 after the jump!

July 9, 2013

19 Heroes. 19 Hops. Unending Admiration.

Our great state suffered a tragic loss on June 30, when 19 fearless firefighters lost their lives trying to contain the 2,000-acre Yarnell Fire just south of Prescott. Those 19 brave men, also known as the Granite Mountain Hot Shots, risked their lives trying to save the community they loved so much.

But now it's the local beer community's turn to show those firefighters' families some love with something near and dear to our hearts: beer.

In honor of the Hot Shots, the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild will be making a commemorative American Brown Ale using 19 different hop varietals aptly titled HEROES 19. All the hops were graciously donated by a plethora of Arizona breweries, and all proceeds will go directly to the families of the 19 fallen heroes. The beer will be brewed sometime next week at Prescott Brewing, a favorite Granite Mountain Hot Shots watering hole.

Only 60 barrels will be produced, with keg allocations going to breweries belonging to the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild. The beer is expected to raise approximately $70K. This morning, John Nielsen of Prescott Brewing joined KTAR's Clayton Klapper for an interview about the project. You can read his interview here. Be on the lookout for more details, including special events, as they become available.

In closing, I raise my pint of Prescott's Ponderosa IPA to you, Hot Shots, and all the firefighters risking their lives for us every day. Prost, and may you rest in peace.

July 2, 2013

Craft Chat | Celebrate Craft Independence: Drink In The History

Today, July 2nd, marks the anniversary of the severing of ties with Great Britain by the Continental Congress. The action would result in the signing and ratification of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th in Philadelphia. Independence Day is a holiday that we are all familiar with... or are we? I think we know the facts but we've missed some of the sentiment. It's a topic I covered for a small piece in the Four Peaks Brewsletter on local beer for the Fourth.

Instead of suggesting beers to drink on the holiday, I ask readers to make a connection with the optimism and struggle of the signers and compare it to the craft brewers in the state as they pursue their vision. I quote John Adams. By sheer chance over the weekend, 60 minutes replayed a segment with author/historian David McCullough on the signing and mentions the very Adams quote that I referenced:
I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversry Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shows, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. 

The conclusion of the piece asks that you know your history and reflect upon it in your own life. In the case of Arizona breweries, "Drink it in".
You can read it here.

By way of further coincidence, I was in Philly for the 35th Annual Homebrewers Conference last week.

The Brewsletter post is the first of a series where local bloggers are asked to contribute. It's going to be exciting to see writing from local beer writers. The Brewsletter can offer a wider audience to their opinions and bolster a community of bloggers that is so needed right now. Please take a moment to read and follow the writers each month.