Jun 10, 2013

Drink local, its SO worth it!

OK, I know lately I've been on my proverbial soap box shouting the merits of drinking local beer. A response I get, from time to time (admittedly, and thankfully less and less these days), is that Arizona beer just isn't up to par with the likes of California, Oregon, or Michigan beers. OK, fair enough, we might not be "the best" beer state in the country (yet), does that mean we can't, or shouldn't love our local beers? My beloved Red Sox don't win the World Series every year, nor do my Patriots win the Super Bowl year after year (at least not anymore.....) yet, I still love them, even if they aren't "the best" team that particular year. Same goes with beer. We might not be the best, doesn't mean we don't have some great local beers at our disposal.

James, Greg, and Pat
There was no finer example of this recently  then at the weekly Whole Foods "Friday Night Beer Class" this passed week. James Swann had put together a line up of 4 "local" breweries. Not local as in the valley, but rather from "3 corners" of the state as they put it. Two brewery's from spring break capital of Arizona, Lake Havasu City, College Street Brewhouse, and Mudshark Brewery. Flagstaff's Mother Road Brewing Company, and Tucson's own Dragoon Brewing Company. Each Brewery bringing with them between 1 to 3 beers with them for us to sample.

 First up, Keith from College Street  had 3 beers for us to try. First, Big Blue Van, an unfiltered Wheat Beer, with Vanilla and Blueberry. A refreshing, sweet and smooth beer, that should be a favorite of fans of good fruit beers. Next, he had their Spring Fling IPA. This was probably the closest thing I've had to a "session IPA" from Arizona, It was a crisp, refreshing IPA that has a light 5.5% abv. This would be a great IPA to have with dinner! Next was a very special beer, normally only available at the brew pub in Havasu. Keith brought a growler of Lamba Lamba Lambic! A wonderful, flavorful sour beer! I've said Arizona needs a good sour beer! Well, we have one!

The Czar, and Brandon from Mudshark

Next up, Brandon from Mudshark had just one beer for us. If you are only offering up one beer, better make it a good one! Well, he did! He had a barrel aged version of their Desert Magic. Their popular IPA, that has spent the last 6 months sleeping in a barrel. Awesome beer! A very smooth, balanced IPA, with a wonderful aroma! Very nice beer!

Pat pouring some samples
OK, I will admit, the one brewery I was most excited about trying was up next. I've been hearing a ton about Tucson's Dragoon Brewing Company. Hearing it called "Arizona's best new brewery" by more then a few folks who's opinion I trust. Pat was there from Dragoon, and brought with him a few great brews. First up, was their "Daisy", Dragoons take on a Berliner-weiss. This sort of hay-strew colored, tart, refreshing beer was very enjoyable, and one I could see myself enjoying about 3 or 4 more of! A low 4% abv, this is a beer that could be taken in large amounts! OK, I guess Arizona has at least 2 great sour beers!
Next up, Sarcosuchus, their double IPA. OK, for those of you that don't love cheesy Sci-Fi original movies like I do, this beer gets its name from the "supercroc" that prowled the swamps of the early Cretaceous Period, some 112 million years ago (give or take). Like the croc, this beer is an ass kicker! 6 different hops give this beer a huge flavor, and the 10.5% abv, well, that gives it the kick! They also brew this with local honey, I guess to try and soften up this powerful, reptilian beer. Very solid beer, I will seek this out again!

Love their logo!
Last, but certainly not least, Greg was there to offer up a few beers from Flagstaff's Mother Road Brewery. Greg brought 3 beers with him.and up first, was Euro-trash, their Belgian Pale brew. Very nice beer, with oddly, a hint of cinnamon?? Was that what I tasted?? Next up was a Rosemary infused brown ale (I didn't get the name of this one, I apologize). An interesting beer, that upon the very first sip, I though this would be a GREAT beer to marinade a steak it. Sort of a liquid post roast almost.
Last beer of the evening, was their 66 Chutes, a collaboration between Deschutes, and Mother Road. A bourbon barrel aged stout. Very nice, very drinkable stout, with nice hints of smokey wood.

All an all, a great showcase of some of just a few of the great beers Arizona now has to offer! I strongly
James, Keith and Brandon
recommend you seek out a few of these brews, or brewery's. Stop in, order a sampler of their stuff, and see what they have. I have no doubt, you will have some great beers, maybe even a new favorite. And don't forget, tell them The Beer Czar sent you!

And next time someone says to you "Arizona doesn't have any "great" beers" just reply to them;
"Really? Have you tried them all?" my guess is, no, not even close.

For more information on the breweries mentioned in this post check out below the post.

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends

The Beer Czar

College Street Brewhouse and Pub's website
Pat, from Dragoon

1940 College Dr,
Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403

Phone: (928) 854-2739

Mudshark Brewing's website
210 Swanson Ave,
Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403

Phone: (928) 453-2981

Dragoon Brewing Company's website
1859 W Grant Rd #111,
Tucson, AZ 85745

Phone:(520) 329-3606

Mother Road Brewing Company's website

7 Mikes Pike,
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Phone:(928) 774-9139

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