JUL/JUL 2006 | REGIONAL | SOUTHWEST
By Ron Kloth
Arizona and New Mexico breweries took home their share of
medals in the 2006 World Beer Cup. The Southwest did especially
well in the Barley Wine category, which you would think would
be better suited for colder climes. Instead, our warmer region
swept the category! The brewers at Four Peaks
of Tempe had metaphorical visions of a 12-foot-tall hop-covered
beast lurking in the cellar for a year, and their visions
paid off as they took home the gold medal in the Barley Wine–Style
Ale category with Hopsquatch. Ted Rice from Chama
River (formerly Blue Corn) in Albuquerque won the
silver medal, and Brew Brothers in Reno took
the bronze. Both the Four Peaks and Chama River barley wines
were aged for over a year. So much for born-on dates.
Following up on the past two years of medals at the Great
American Beer Festival in the Wit Beer category, Derek Osborne
of BJ's took the silver with Nit Wit. “Doc” promises
to have a new batch of Nit Wit on by mid-August, after he
returns from his Fuller's apprenticeship in England in July.
The Desert Ridge Rock Bottom in Phoenix
took a bronze medal with Old Curmudgeon Scottish Ale. Fred
Kraus of Oak Creek took a bronze medal with
Olde Knicker Kicker in the Other Strong Ale category.
And finally, with its second medal in the competition, Four
Peaks won the bronze in the American-Style Strong Pale Ale
category with Hop Knot, my favorite Four Peaks beer. Hop Knot
IPA gets its peculiar name from the weaving of four different
hops added at four separate times during the brewing process.
Congratulations to all the winners.
Now that summer is upon us, it is time to make your plans
to attend the 14th annual Made in the Shade festival in Flagstaff
on July 22 at the Coconino County Fairgrounds. The festival
provides valuable funding to the Sun Sounds of Arizona group,
which provides access to print for individuals who are visually
impaired or physically unable to read.
Half of the fun in attending the Made in the Shade festival
is visiting the area's local breweries. With a population
of only about 50,000 people, Flagstaff has three great brewpubs
to visit. Beaver Street Brewery & Whistle Stop
Café was the area's first brewpub. It remains
the largest and has garnered many awards as the town’s
best bar and best restaurant over the years. Always on tap
at Beaver Street are Railhead Red Ale, India Pale Ale, R&R
Oatmeal Stout, Bramble Berry Brew and a host of seasonals.
On a smaller scale, Flagstaff Brewing continues
to shine as one of the town’s best music venues. It
has a constantly varied selection of handcrafted brews available.
The third brewery in Flagstaff, Mogollon Brewing,
is a brewery only half of the year; the other half, it is
a distillery. Some crazy state law prevents anyone from distilling
and brewing in the same month, so Mogollon alternates months.
Nonetheless, Mogollon Brewing continues to produce Apache
Trout Stout, Hefevenom, Horny Toad IPA, Superstition Pale
Ale and Wapiti Amber Ale.
And if by chance you don’t get your fill at the three
brewpubs in Flagstaff, Uptown Billiards continues to shine
as the best tap house in the area, with over 30 taps and a
nice selection of imported beers.
Down in the Phoenix area, July will be sports month at Papago
Brewing in Scottsdale, with the Dogfish Head/Papago
Bocce Ball tournament scheduled for July 7–8 and with
the fifth annual Papago Open Night Golf Tournament scheduled
for July 15. Papago has brought back the El Grande Nutz and
will be introducing a Belgian-style dubbel called Little Brother,
made with authentic liquid Belgian candi syrup, now available
for the first time in the United States. Corrales, N.M., resident
Stan Hieronymus, author of the new book Brew Like a Monk,
states that caramelized sugar syrup is what most Belgian brewers
of dark Trappist/abbey ales use. All but one of the Trappist
breweries use the syrup instead of the rock candy sugar that
has been used by American brewers up until now. Phoenix area
homebrewers can purchase the liquid candi syrup themselves
at the Homebrew Depot in Mesa.
Four Peaks brewers certainly have been busy recently. In
addition to having to find space on the walls for all their
new medals, they brewed a dry-hopped version of their Impale
Ale for their ninth anniversary. This summer, Jim Roper at
Four Peaks will have his excellent kolsch beer available.
When the Gilbert Brewery is built, Four Peaks plans to can
the kolsch there and would like to open up the naming of the
beer to Celebrator readers. You may submit a name to email@example.com.
The winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to Four Peaks.
The brewery is thinking of having a retro-can look (like a
1970s can of Schlitz, Blatz or Genesee), so bear that in mind
with regard to a name.
The fifth annual New Mexico IPA challenge among New Mexico
breweries is tentatively scheduled for three nights in July,
starting out at Wellhead Restaurant and Brewery
in Artesia on July 19, moving on to Turtle Mountain
on the 20th (in their new second location in Rio Rancho),
and finishing at Second Street Brewery in
Santa Fe on the 21st. Il Vicino is looking for a third straight
victory, but I have heard that the competition will be stiff
Tractor Brewing will be having a five B's
party at the Tractor Farm — Bikes, Bands, BBQ, Brew
and Babes — on June 9. The name pretty much sums up
what could be a bodacious party. Tractor Brewing is also going
Hollywood. Watch for Tractor Brewing brews in a new Warner
Brothers movie titled “Beerfest” and also in “Wild
Hogs,” a Disney flick that will probably be a big hit
starring John Travolta, Tim Allen, William Macy and Martin
Sadly, Pinon Brewing in Los Alamos has closed its doors.
However, there are some rumors that a couple of new places
hope to be open by the end of the year.
Ron Kloth is president of Papago Brewing
Company in Scottsdale, Ariz., and is on the board of the Arizona
Craft Brewers Guild. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.