Feb 28, 2014


Well, look what I found, its the weekend! Time for another installment of SLIF!! So, lets not drag this out, lets get right too it. Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, SLIF, Vol. XII....

 Beer Czar's Vertical Bigfoot Tasting
This passed weekend, I was lucky enough to host a great beer tasting party here at Casa de Czar. It was a vertical tasting of one of my all time favorite beers, Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot Barelywine. For those not familiar, a "vertical" tasting is a tasting of the same beer, of various vintages. We tasting examples of Bigfoot from the present 2014 version, down to 2009. It was a great time, with just awesome people. A small gathering of some of our good friends, and we were lucky enough to be joined by Ben VanderMeer, our local Sierra Nevada guru that provided a wealth of great information about the beer, and the company, and even provided a bottle of 2010 Barrel Aged Bigfoot, and some take home goodies for all those attending! Check out my full write up on this great time here.....

The Great Arizona Beer Festival
So, tomorrow is The Great Arizona Beer Festival. A large beer festival at Tempe Town Lake Park. 50 breweries, serving up some 200+ beers. I will be there (rain or shine, and its suppose to rain!) and will report back. If you are interested, and want to attend, get all the info here....

Want to take a bath?
 I've heard of taking a bath IN beer, how about taking a bath in a beer barrel? Well, you can in Zurich! This just looks awesome, and maybe something to ad to the bucket list....check out the full article and more pic's here....


Looking for St Patrick's Day Photos
Its just a few weeks away, that's right, that wonderful holiday synonymous with beer drinking, St Patrick's Day!!! We want to see your photos! If you already have a favorite St Patrick's party pic, send on to us, or plan on taking one at whatever St Paddy's Day event you attend, and we will post them soon after March 17th! Click here to get the details of where to send you pic's!

So, there you go! Have a great weekend! remember, whatever you do, where you go, remember to be safe, and smart, but enjoy your weekend, and your beer! If you take a fun beer photo, by all means, please share with us!

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends!

The Beer Czar

Feb 27, 2014

Share your St Patrick's Day Photo's!!!!

There are few holidays more synonymous with beer then St. Patrick's Day, so we figured, what a great time to do yet another "Friends and Fan's Photo's" So, if you find yourself attending a St. Paddy's Day party, or out to eat at a fine Irish dining establishment enjoying some Guinness, take a quick pic or two, and share it with us, we would love to show it off!

So, if you have a pic, or plan on taking one, once you have it, you can send it to us via email at thebeerczar@gmail.com, or tweet us @thebeerczar. Or tag us on Facebook, or post it to our fan page here.

So, get those camera's ready, grad a pint of Guinness, and smile!

Until next time


The Beer Czar

Feb 24, 2014

The Beer Czar's Vertical Bigfoot Tasting

For those of you that pay attention to this blog, you know I recently hosted a vertical tasting of one of my favorite beers, Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot barelywine. For those of you that do not know what a vertical tasting is, its basically a tasting of the same beer, over a period of different years, or "vintages". For this tasting, I had saved samples of Bigfoot from years ranging from 2009 to present. Six years of bigfoot! This was the first vertical tasting I ever hosted, and I learned a few things.....

One of the things I learned, that seems obvious, keep it small. I've hosted a number of tastings and beer parties of various sizes. While they are all fun, to me, the small, more personal and intimate settings are what works the best, for "serious" tastings. We hosted a summer beer tasting that was a TOTAL blast, sampling some 20+ beers, with upwards of 50 people. It was a great time, but a lot of work, and planning. At the bigfoot tasting, we had just 9 people total. Small enough for all of us to be able to sit around a couple of tables, in our living room, and all talk and discuss the beers we were enjoying without the need to yell across the house.

Second, know a lot about what you are serving, or do what I did and invite someone that does! One of those in attendance was
Ben VanderMeer. For those in the "community" know that Ben is our local rep for Sierra Nevada. I will also say, having an expert there in not only the beer we were having, but the company that makes it was just awesome. Not only was he able to tell us much about the beer, and the brewing process, he was also telling us tid bits like Sierra Nevada's founder Ken Grossman's own preference on how, and when is the best time to drink Bigfoot! Not only was Ben an amazing resource of information about Bigfoot, Sierra Nevada, and the Arizona beer scene in general, he also brought a few unexpected treats to the party, mainly, a bottle of 2010 Barrel Aged Bigfoot (aged in Whiskey barrels!) which was nothing short of amazing! He also brought a few goodies for the tasting attendees (Sierra Nevada glasses) and even some décor for the party! Thank you SO much Ben, it was great to finally meet you, and I would like you to know you are welcome here anytime!

The thing I learned the most from this tasting, and to me, is the reason why you do this sort of thing is  if you want to enjoy Bigfoot barelywine at its absolute best, let it sit for at least 2 years! This was the first time I ever had an aged bigfoot. Normally, I buy it, and drink it (with the exception to the six I set aside every year). I heard it ages well, and decided I would start cellaring it, until I had a complete "vertical six pack". Once that happened, I knew I wanted to host a tasting party.

Like I said previously, this was a small event (just 9 people) mostly due to the limited space we had, and the limited amount of beer I had set aside (maybe I should set aside a 12 pack from now on??). So, myself, my wife, and a few of our close friends (all fans of beer, and trying new beers) and Ben all gathered around the table, settled in and enjoyed 6 years worth of this amazing beer. Just looking at the six sample glasses in front of me you could just SEE the difference. It seemed the older the vintage, the darker the beer got. All while maintaining that slightly yellow, almost manila colored hear. An aroma seemed to sweeten as well as the years go by. The big hoppy nose sort of steps aside, giving way to a more balanced, caramely sweet smell. The flavor follows suit as well. While the big, in your face hoppy character maintains throughout the years, it does mellow a bit, and balances out nicely letting in more of that malty character. My favorite years were the 2012, and the 2010. Both were just a smooth, sweet, cup full of hoppy sweet goodness!

We finished off the evening with a small glass of whiskey barrel aged bigfoot that Ben provided. This beer was nothing short of amazing to me! You could smell the huge woody aroma wafting from this beer! You could taste the whiskey the very moment it touched your lips. What I loved most about it was the fact it left that warm tingly feeling in your mouth, the same one you get when you take a sip of fine whiskey or bourbon. Truly spectacular beer, again, thank you SO much Ben for brining that to the table!

So, again, my advice to you, when you buy bigfoot, try setting some aside for a year, or 2, or 4. You will be amazed at the subtle, yet very perceptible changes that take place in this beer. I know it takes an amazing amount of while power, but it is worth it, trust me!

I want to thank every one that was there, Daniell, Bobby, Chris, Julie, Nate, Sabrina and Ben, and especially my wife, Mrs. Czar for making this such a fun, and educational and stress free evening. I can't thank you all enough, and I can't wait to do it again, maybe next year???

You can see a complete set of photos from the event on our Facebook page here (like us while you are there if you haven't already!)

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends

The Beer Czar




Feb 18, 2014

Refreshing summer Beer "cocktails".

Who isn't ready for this???
I understand that most of this fine country is still knee deep in the fluffy white stuff. However, those of us in sunny warm Arizona are in the throws of a fantastic midwinter heat wave that has us prepping our pools and dusting off the flip flops. As a result, my craving for refreshing, crisp, citrus-y laden summer beers has started a bit earlier then years past. Because of that, I was on a quest to find a few ways to enjoy summer beers in different ways, and make sitting by pool with a beer something everyone, even those that don't always drink beer, can enjoy. I found a list of beer cocktail recipes on First We Feast, that they put together from other blogs. I found a few that stood out, and wanted to share with you. These cocktails sound amazingly refreshing to drink by the pitcher around the pool this coming summer. (I even included one 'warm" cocktail for those of you still struggling with Old Man Winter)

Quick and Easy Margarita Shandy

I am no fan of the currant wave of "shandy's" on the market, but this one, looks, and sounds quite tasting! Easy recipe to make, and one that most of your pool party going guests are bound to enjoy!
(recipe and photo from Serious Eats).



  • 1 (12 ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate
  • 8 ounces reposado tequila
  • 12 ounces water
  • 1 lime, thinly sliced
  • 24 ounces lager or pilsner, chilled
  • Optional: kosher salt for rimming glasses

Recommended Beers: Modelo Especial, Corona


1.In a large pitcher, combine limeade concentrate, tequila, and water. Stir until limeade is dissolved. Chill if desired, up to 6 hours, or proceed immediately to next step.

2. Just prior to serving, fill pitcher with ice, lime slices, and beer. Serve in salt-rimmed glasses if desired


   Southern Shandy
Another Shandy recipe, this one sounds fruity, refreshing, and again, perfect for sitting around the pool, and this one I think would be prefect for folks that aren't "into" beer.
Recipe from Pretty Plain Jane

  • 3 12 oz bottles of ice cold beer (not dark)
  • 4 cups of lemonade chilled
  • 1/2 cup peach brandy
Beer suggestion: Harp Lager, Amstel Lager
  1. Combine all ingredients and stir.
  2. Pour into glasses filled with ice.

Mother Redneck
This might just be the most refreshing beer cocktail of them all! Check out this fun, tasty beer cocktail.
Redneck Mother
Ingredients1 oz  ruby red grapefruit juice (fresh-squeezed!)
.75 oz sloe gin (preferably Plymouth brand)
12 oz beer
Ginger beer
Beer recommendation Lone Star, or other light American adjunct lager

Add the sloe gin and grapefruit juice to the bottom of a pint glass (or mason jar). Fill the remaining portion of the jar halfway with beer and top with ginger beer

Hot Beer Flip
Here is a contemporary take on an old, traditional drink recipe that dates back to colonial times. Recipe from DraftMag

  • 12 ounces pale ale
  • 1 1/2 ounces lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 ounce brandy or dark rum
  • 1 egg yolk (optional)
Beer suggestion: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Dale's Pale Ale

1. Heat 4 ounces of the ale with the lemon juice, sugar, ginger and cinnamon in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar has fully dissolved. Remove from heat.

2. In a large bowl, vigorously beat the brandy or rum with the egg yolk. Add the beer mixture and whisk thoroughly to combine. Transfer to a large glass or beer mug and top with the remaining ale, stir well and serve.

So, there you have it. A few refreshing, cool new ways to enjoy your beer by the pool (and one to enjoy thawing out sitting by the fire). Let me know if you try any of these, and let me know what you think. I will be mixing up a few pitchers of these this summer no doubt!
So, break out the Hawaiian print shirts, bikinis and plastic cups, summer will be here before you know it!

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends!

The Beer Czar

Feb 15, 2014

Open for Business!

Its been a long time coming it seems, for those of us following the progress of "The Perch" in
downtown Chandler, but the time has finally come. Last night, for the first time, The Perch Pub opened its doors (and rooftop) to the public for the very first time.
My wife and I were lucky enough to have a babysitter last night (it was Valentines Day after all, thank you Rachel!) and after our dinner party we attended, decided to see if the Perch wasn't too busy. We didn't get there till about 10, and we were told the crowds had died down a bit, although it was still quite busy when we got there, but it wasn't packed. My wife had never been inside before, so before we got a drink, I gave her a quick tour of the downstairs dining area, bar and the garden patio. The whole time making our way through the crowd with ease (there is a lot of room here!), and even getting a chance to say hello to a few friends we ran into along the way.

After our tour of the downstairs, we made our way to the rooftop patio, by far this already unique drinking hole's most outstanding feature. While it was pretty busy up there, it was not packed, and still had some seating available, and much like downstairs, it was very easy to make your way through what
crowd there was up there, due to the more then antiquate amount of space. We made our way to the bar, and before we even tried to get anyone's attention, a very attentive bar tender was in front of us, offering us a tap list, and making himself available for any question we had. After making our selection, and getting our beers (literally within a minute, very quick!), Mrs. Czar and I walked around the rooftop, checking out the sites of downtown Chandler, and City Hall, the rooftop view of the brew house, and garden patio, I even got to show off my very own contribution to the eclectic décor! ( I was asked to creatively cover up an unsightly hole that was in one of the walls at the top of the stairs, seen here on the right).

My wife and I were only there for about 2 hours, but I have to say, it was a great two hours. This being a soft opening, I was expecting at least some delays, confusion, mistakes, fire drills, tempers you name it. I saw NONE of that. The staff was just awesome! Helpful, friendly, willing to make the run up and down the stairs for you, make recommendations, brag about their new job, even pose for some photos. I have to tip my hate to James and his management team. The staff was VERY prepared. They were all fun, smiling and laughing, all while maintaining a certain level of professionalism that made our visit all the more enjoyable.

We didn't have any food while there, but I did see some of it, and it looked, and smelled fantastic, and I heard from a few other folks earlier in the evening that said they eat there, and really enjoyed it. I heard from more then one person say the hummus was outstanding! Next time I will report back about the food.

With a wine and tap list to keep even the most hardened beer snob satisfied (they haven't started brewing yet on site, hopefully within the month I was told), and a small, but intriguing, wide ranging menu, combined with the most comfortable, unique settings of any restaurant I have been to in the east valley, The Perch is a must stop for anyone. There is a family friendly atmosphere (did I mention they have a huge bird cage full of birds by the garden patio!), while at the same time evoking a very, cool, laid back, adult atmosphere (if that makes sense). I also think this is now probably the best place to take a date in the east valley as well!

I want to take a moment, to give a quick shout out to a few staff members that stood out, and made themselves available to us. They were friendly, helpful, and informative, and for that, I want to thank AK, AJ (behind the bar) and especially my new friend Carl, for the great conversation we had about the current and changing state of craft beer. There were many others, but sadly, I didn't get all of your names, and for that, I apologize. I promise I will in the future, as I plan on spending a fair amount of time there in the future. Thank you, all you guys were awesome!

If you have a chance, do yourself a favor, and stop by The Perch. If you are looking for a quite place for a glass of wine, or a fine beer, a great place to impress a date, or a dinner with your entire family, this is a perfect spot for any of them. If you do go, let me know what you think of it, I would love to hear your thoughts.

So congrats, to James, Rebecca and the gang at The Perch, its been a long time coming, but it was well worth the wait. You guys have a real gem, congratulations!

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends!

The Beer Czar

Feb 14, 2014

S.L.I.F. Vol XI

Well, here we are again, the weekend is upon us, and, well, its a big weekend coming up folks! Lots going on, so, lets not mess around, lets get right to it! So, here you are folks, SLIF, Vol. XI.

Arizona Beer Week starts tomorrow!
A big week for us beer lovers in Arizona. Tomorrow, The Strong Beer Festival is going to be held in Phoenix. Not only is this probably the most anticipated, best beer festival Arizona has to offer, it also marks the kick off Arizona Beer Week. As the name implies, this is a week long celebration of Arizona's growing and maturing beer scene. For complete news and events listings, go to their website here, and make your plans, there is just way too much going on to list here, so check out the website. You will find something!

Arizona Wilderness Brewery, in the news, AGAIN!
The beards at Arizona Wilderness Brewery have really set the Arizona beer scene on its head! As a result of being voted "best new brewery in the world" by Ratebeer.com, they have been pulled in all directions, getting calls from breweries far and wide, looking to collaborate. I know I say it a lot, but these guys are at the top of my favorite people in Arizona beer list. Their passion and personalities are infections, and the accolades they are getting are very well deserved. Its nice to see great things happening to better people! Check out their appearance on 12 News just this morning. Its a great look into the minds of these bearded beer geniuses.....check it out here....

Finally, The Perch is set to open!
After many delays, and set backs, The Perch Pub, a new Nano Brewery and restaurant will be opening its doors to the public tonight. My friend James Swann and crew will be welcoming the public, tonight, starting at 5:00. For a great look into the Perch, and a little of their back story, check out this write up in Mouth by Southwest.

Just note, tonight and tomorrow, are a soft opening. This is their first time opening their doors to the public. There staff is all new, their processes, and systems are all new, and the crowds are expected to be quite large. Don't go tonight expecting a perfect, wonderful experience, there will be some growing pains. Now, I have all the faith in the world that James and the gang will have a first class operation, but we need to give them some time to learn. So, that being said, hope to see you at the perch this weekend!!!

Blues Traveler coming to Great American BBQ and Beer Festival!!
This years Great American BBQ and Beer festival will have a major act if you needed some other reason to attend besides the amazing BBQ and awesome beer! One of my all time favorites, Blues Traveler will be headlining the concert!! This is VERY exciting news for me, and you can bet I will be there!!! For all the info you may need, check out the website here.....

Beer Cutlery!
I want to thank Adam (my cousin in law?) for this one. Its a kick started campaign to fund some awesome new flatware that every beer lover will want! Great idea, and you can even be a part of it if you like it that much, 40 days to go (62% to goal!)!! Check it out here.....

So, there you have it folks, have a GREAT long weekend. Enjoy the start of Arizona beer week. And remember, when you are out and about enjoying all the great beer this state has to offer for Arizona Beer Week, be smart, be safe, and plan ahead, DO NOT drive.
Until next time
Bottoms up my friends!
The Beer Czar
 (note, this pic is my contribution to the decor at "The Perch". Its at the top of the stairs in the back of the roof top patio, that lead down to the brewery, check it out when you get a chance!)

Feb 11, 2014

Cooking with Beer.....Winter Welcome Oatmeal Cookies

Its been WAY too long since we've posted anything on "Cooking with Beer", so here goes. This past weekend, my older brother, the Elder Czar, attended a great beer tasting event hosted by a friend of his. One of the things they had to eat was a "oatmeal and beer" cookie. My brother (who is a trained chef by the way) described them as "one of the best cookies I have ever had" to me. Well, me being such a huge fan of both beer and cookies, I just had to get the recipe. So my brother asked the hosts of the event, and this is the recipe they sent him.

So, check out these "Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Oatmeal Cookies", from the awesome beer cooking website  "Beer and Baking"

2 cups AP Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup cocoa nibs
2 sticks of unsalted butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
                                                                                    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                                                                                    1/2 cup beer syrup
                                                                                    1 1/2 cup chocolate chips


1. Make your beer syrup and set aside. See instructions above. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Using room temp butter (or microwave the butter for 15-20 sec.) beat the butter and brown sugar and white sugar in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until combined and color is starting to lighten and butter is getting fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and oats) together in a mixing bowl with a whisk until combined.

2. Add eggs one at a time into the butter until combined. Add the vanilla and the beer syrup to the butter, scraping down the sides of the bowl when needed. Add the flour mixture with the speed on low in batches until just combined. Fold in the cocoa nibs and chocolate chips until evenly dispersed.

3. Using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon, drop dough onto a cookie sheet that has parchment paper or a silpat to prevent sticking. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until slightly browned on the edges. Be careful not to over cook, they will become hard once cool. Rotating once during baking is optional. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

If you want to read the full recipe, check out Beer and Baking here, for complete notes and a little more from the author. Note, the photos also came off of this site as well, so I need to give them credit for that.

I can't wait to try these!! Let me know if you do, I would love to know how they come out!

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends

The Beer Czar

Feb 9, 2014

Big Announcment from the Great American BBQ and Beer Festival!

This state has a lot of awesome festivals, and I am not just talking beer festivals. We have a lot of great food festivals as well. Well, one of my favorites is a combo of both, that being The Great American BBQ and Beer Festival, hosted by SanTan Brewery! While more a food festival then a beer festival, there is still great beer to be had (all SanTan brews, nothing wrong with that), AMAZING BBQ to sample, and in the past, some pretty decent live entertainment. Well, this year, to go with the great beer and amazing food, they landed a pretty awesome (at least in my eyes) live act to enjoy as well. This years headliner of the festival will be none other then John Popper and the boys of Blues Traveler!! These guys have long been one of my all time favorite bands. I first heard them about my Sr. year of High School, saw them live for the first time about my Jr. year of college, and have been a faithful fan ever since. You can imagine my excitement at the news about them headlining. So, I will for sure be there, and I hope to see you there as well!!

Check out below for all the info, and links you will need!

I wish this was scratch and sniff!
This years festival will be March 22nd, in beautiful downtown Chandler.
Gates open at noon.

Tickets are available for just $8 presale at all Bashas' locations. Tickets will be $10 at the door.
Or order your tickets ahead of time now by clicking here......

This years list of activities include....
Bashas’ Backyard Throwdown Competition
Porkopolis Battle of the Bands
Can’t Stop Smokin’ BBQ Rib Eating Contest
Tastebuds Pie Eating Contest
Hungry Monk Wing Eating Contest
Von Hanson’s Brat Eating Contest

There will be various "zones" set up through out, those zones include....
SanTan Brewing Tailgaters’ Lawn
Ultra Star March Madness Lounge
Chester’s Harley Davidson Pavilion
Porkopolis VIP Quarters
Dickel Hoedown Rodeo Zone
Bulleit Bourbon BBQ Pit Row
Kid Zone
DC Farmers Market

Besides Blues Traveler, other act's preforming will include...

Craig Campbell
Laura Walsh
Georgia Chrome

So, I mean really, there is really no excuse for you not to come to this festival. Unless you hate great beer, your a vegetarian that also hates awesome music.....

I will see you there!

Until then....
Bottoms up my friends!

The Beer Czar

Feb 4, 2014

Looking for work?


Rooftop patio lounge.....
Are you looking for work? Be it full time, or a second, third job? Well, my friend James Swann is hiring for his new venture "The Perch Pub and Brewery". If you are a fan of wine, beer, food or birds, this is will be a cool place to work. One of the most unique, eclectic places I've seen here in Arizona, the Perch will offer up food, wine and beer (both brewed on site, and guest taps), and the plan on opening next weekend!! (Feb 14th) So, if you are looking for a job, call or stop by the Perch, they will be taking applications for all positions from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.

The rooftop Bar

The Perch is on 232 S Wall St, on the south end of downtown Chandler (right behind Planet Subs).
Stop in or call ahead


Or check out their Facebook page here...

Good luck

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends!

The Beer Czar