JUNE/JULY 2005 | REGIONAL |
What Ales Ya
6363 W. Bell Rd.
Glendale, AZ 85308
1425 E. University Dr., B-103
Tempe, AZ 85281
Four Peaks Brewing Co.
1340 E. 8th St., #104
Tempe, AZ 85281
April was a pretty good month for beer festivals in Arizona.
The first weekend of April, the Great Arizona Beer Festival
was held once again at the Arizona Center in downtown Phoenix.
Dale Katechis from Oskar Blues in Colorado was there with
tubs full of Dale’s Pale Ale and Old Chubb. It is hard
to believe that a beer that tastes as good as Old Chubb comes
out of a can, but who’s complaining?
Some of my personal favorites from the two-day event included
the English Mild brewed by Scott Bickert of the new Oggi’s
in North Scottsdale, and Petrified Porter, an outstanding
Robust Porter brewed by Jan Brown of Prescott Brewing Company.
This beer was so rich and smooth, it was like drinking a chocolate
On the last weekend of April, the second annual Spring Hop
Festival was held at the Peoria Sports Complex. Although not
as big as the first festival, Spring Hop II had some great
beers too. Ron Kloth from Papago Brewing
loaded the Randall with Columbus hops and served up Hopfather
Double IPA, which almost made it the hoppiest beer that night.
The consensus seemed to be that a beer called McLupulin Imperial
Red Ale from some beer website held that title.
Speaking of Papago Brewing, let’s take a quick moment
to tell you what has been going on there, as well as mention
some future events. Papago recently hosted a tasting session
for Avery beers, with Adam Avery present, and we hear it was
one of the best events of the year so far. Ron also reports
that Papago is having a Uerige Doppel Sticke Alt tapping that
should happen in early June. This is the first time that Uerige
Doppel Sticke Alt is being released in this country, and there
will be only 10 kegs in the United States. Papago will have
two of them.
|Ron Kloth, Papago Brewery
in Scottsdale. Photo by Bob Barnes
Papago also has a new house beer coming up called El Rojo
Diablo, an 8%-plus imperial red ale that has 100 IBUs. Check
out Papago this summer, as this is the premier taproom for
craft beer in the Phoenix area.
Now, back to the hop festival. Little Guy Distributing is
slowly introducing the Dogfish line of beers to Arizona. The
90 Minute IPA was introduced at the GABF three weeks prior,
and the latest addition made the official Arizona debut at
Spring Hop II. Dogfish 120 Minute IPA was tapped with a long
line of people waiting for a sample, and it did not disappoint.
Another great beer served that night was Chuck Therio’s
Phreakin Porter, an 8%-plus imperial porter that was smooth
and deceptive. Chuck operates What Ales Ya, a great homebrew
shop in the northwest part of the valley where stacks of Celebrators
can be found. The Celebrator can also be found at Brewers
Connection, an east valley homebrew shop operated by Jeffrey
Haines, located in Tempe in the general vicinity of Four Peaks
Speaking of Four Peaks Brewing, Brewmaster
Andy Ingram and Head Brewer Jim Roper always represent Arizona
well, and they did Arizona proud again by hosting editor Tom
Dalldorf and me for a beer tasting and munchie session on
the patio of the Tempe pub in late April. Tom had an opportunity
to sample the Four Peaks 8th Street Ale, Kilt Lifter, Hefeweizen
and Hop Knot straight from the tank, as well as talk shop
with the brewers behind the beers. In addition to the regular
lineup, Four Peaks regularly brews some interesting seasonals.
Right now, you can sample the 7.5% abv Idle Hands Belgian
Strong Golden Ale, or the English dark Co-op Mild AK Ale,
an easy-drinking 3.2% beer. Both should be on tap when this
edition hits the streets in June 2005.
For the first time, Uerige
Doppel Sticke Alt is being released in this country.
There will be only 10 kegs, and Papago will have two
Not only were we able to sample the line of fine beers at
Four Peaks, but Andy and Jim gave us a complete tour of the
brewery that produces more great craft beer than any other
in Arizona. Four Peaks has two locations, one in Tempe by
ASU and the other in North Scottsdale right off of the 101
freeway. July is rapidly approaching Arizona, and that can
only mean one thing (besides being able to fry an egg on the
sidewalk): The annual Mudshark Homebrew Competition will be
held in Lake Havasu City at the Mudshark Pub on July 23, 2005.
It was only 120 degrees the last time I was in Lake Havasu
for this event, but owners Scott and Tina Stocking treat the
judges and participants like royalty, so it makes a little
perspiration worth the while. Mudshark is one of those pubs
that really goes the extra mile for its patrons, having a
regular lineup of great events throughout the year. So, homebrewers,
get ready to sweat that beer belly away in Havasu on July
In other Arizona brewing news, Uwe Boer is making progress
with building out his new pub located right next to the Sonora
Brewhouse on Camelback and Third Street. The new pub will
be called Brewer’s Den, and Uwe hopes to be up and brewing
sometime around September. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!
New Mexico brewers are getting ready for the annual IPA Challenge
on July 13–15. Current trophy holder and defending champion
Brady McKeown is hosting one of the evenings at Il Vicino
in Albuquerque. I did have the chance recently to stop by
the new Chama River Brewing Company in Albuquerque,
formerly known as Blue Corn. Brewmaster Ted Rice has some
great beers on tap, including an organic beer using Pacific
Gem hops from New Zealand. Very interesting flavor!
Don’t tell any chickens, but I also sneaked a few bombers
of Santa Fe Brewing’s Chicken Killer Barley Wine back
on the plane to Arizona for sampling at Spring Hop II. Rumor
is that homeland security could soon raise the threat level
for Arizona chickens from green to blue.
Pete Ricks covers craft beer in the Southwest
for the Celebrator Beer News and beerdude.com,
where he will pick 256 professional regular season football
games with .700 or greater accuracy in 2005.