Oct 18, 2009

Battle of the Arizona Beers!

This past weekend, we (my wife, daughter and I) attended a “Battle of the Arizona Beers” at the Whole Foods Market in Chandler, Az.

This was a small gathering of breweries from through out Arizona, coming together with a sample of their different (hopefully best) beers, and allowing the public to “vote” on which one was their favorite via a secret ballot.

There was a total of 7 Brewery’s attending. BJ’s Brewery and San Tan Brewery, both from Chandler. Four Peaks out Tempe. Old World Brewery and Sonoran Brewery both from Phoenix. Prescott Valley Brewing from Prescott, and Nimbus Brewing, making the drive up from Tucson.

Each brewery had between 3 and 5 beers each to sample. I have to admit, that Arizona is getting better when it comes to beer. I had a good number of beers I would consider good. There was only one I didn’t care for, and that was The Old World Wit, but not because it was a bed beer, I just don’t care too much for Wits. Although, it’s a pretty typical example of the style

I did have a couple of beers I LOVED. They were both from Four Peaks One of my all time favorite “hop bombs” is their Hop Knot. A very citrus, pine flavored glass of hop juice! Not a lot of malt, just ALL HOPS! One any hop head would enjoy. By far, the BEST beer I have all afternoon was their Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, called Sirius Black. A dark, almost black, rich, heavy, high abv beer, that after just a 2 oz sample, I felt warm after! Probably the best beer I tasted out of Arizona. My far and away #1 vote. Followed by Hop Knot at #2.

My #3 was an odd choice. It was Cordillera Blanca from Sonoran Brewing. It means White Chocolate, and that is JUST what this beer tasted like. It tasted like liquid, carbonated white chocolate. I have NO idea how they did it, but everything about this beer was white chocolate. Not the greatest beer I have ever had, in fact, I’m not even sure I could drink a whole 12 oz’s, but what a unique, but pleasurable surprised. I gave them my #3 for the sheer uniqueness of this brew.

All in all, I was pretty impressed with the beer that was on display. While we might have a ways to go to catch up with other states, like California, Michigan, or Oregon, Arizona has come a long way in a few short years, and it seems I keep hearing about more brewery’s opening up. Who knows, in a 10 more years, we may just be up there with those states. Every year it gets better and better, and I am excited to see what the next few years have in store.

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