Mar 31, 2014

The Beer Czar appears on the Filmlife Podcast!

This past weekend, I had the honor of being invited onto the "Filmlife" Podcast, to discuss spring and summer beers, and the state of beer in Arizona, and the country as a hole. We tried 6 different beers, and tasted them live, and discussed our thoughts about them.

My point of view
The beers we tried were;

1. San Tan's Mr. Pineapple
2. Bell's Oberon
3. Hanger 24's Orange           Wheat
4. Dogfish's Aprihop
5. Sasion Dupont
6. Unibroue's La Fin de  Monde

Mr. Czar behind the Mic!
So, if you would, check out the two part podcast! They are each about 1 hour (we talk a lot) and be
forewarned, they would probably be rated PG13, there is some language, so, careful if the kids are around!

You can check out the episode's of the podcast of Filmlife here, and it will walk you through how to listen them.

Also, you can find them, and please like them on Facebook here....
Follow them on Twitter here....

Rodger and Jesus

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends

The Beer Czar

The line up we had on the podcast

Mar 28, 2014

Jame Swann rides again!

Most people that read this blog on a regular basis, or spent more then 10 minutes in the Arizona beer scene, you have undoubtedly heard the name James Swann at least once or twice. James is a local craft beer guru here, that has been associated with such east valley stand outs as SanTan Brewing, Hungry Monk, The Watering Hole at Whole Foods, and The Perch.
Well, James has a new gig. James is now a representative for Young's Market, a local distributor here in Arizona, that handles just fine labels as Dogfish Head, Bison, Mission, Maui and now Full Sail. So you can bet you will be seeing James's smiling mug around beer festivals, dinners, tastings, and other events around.

So, lets welcome James to Young's, congrats, I hope to see you around very soon!

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends

The Beer Czar


Can you believe it, its Friday already, and its the last weekend in March too, already?? Wow, where did spring go? Can you believe it, summer will soon be upon us! So, without further delay, lets just jump right into it. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you, SLIF!!!!

Beer Czar on a Podcast!
Tomorrow, I will be joining the guys of FilmLife podcast, not to discuss film, but to talk about, what else, BEER! Because everyone loves beer, especially in the summer, so we will be tasting, and talking about spring and summer beers! I will be posting links to the podcast once it is up, but in the mean time, check out their stuff here.
If you are a fan of all things movies, you will be interested.
You can find them on Facebook here.....

Marinade your meat in beer, it could save your life!!!

Do you cook with beer? I do, quite a bit. In fact, there is a whole section of this blog devoted to "cooking with beer". One of my very first, and still one of my favorite "recipes" for cooking with beer, is just marinating a steak in Samuel Smiths Taddy Porter for at least a few hours (you can put onions, peppers and garlic in the beer too, optional) then just grilling the steak with just a little salt and pepper, and you've got a great steak! Well, I didn't know this was so good for me! Why is marinating meat in beer healthy? Its real science folks, check out this article........

More Beer and Health News.....
Well, now that we know cooking with beer is good for you, now we have proof that drinking beer also has some positive health benefits!! Check out this article, and learn all the wonderful things beer does for your body, aside from just making you super sexy and a great dancer!

Take Care of your Growler!
I was thinking of writing a piece on growler care, since growlers are become a very popular way of enjoying your favorite craft beers at home, especially those brewery's that don't can or bottle their beers. Well, while I was looking for some info on this to write the piece, I found this nugget, and realized, there is no reason to re-invent the wheel, these guys already did a great job of passing on this info, so, check out this piece at  The Best of Brews, and their piece on
Growler Care....

An Epic Illegal Beer Run...
Finally, this little piece from the AP, regarding some local, kind of beer news.....

"PHOENIX — A man is in custody in connection with more than 50 beer thefts over nine months at Phoenix-area convenience stores.
Phoenix police said Angelo De Leon allegedly targeted Circle K stores between May 2013 and last month.
Authorities said the thefts totaled nearly $6,900.
Surveillance video helped identify De Leon as a suspect.
He was arrested Wednesday and booked into jail on suspicion of 54 counts of organized retail theft."

There you have it folks, this weeks SLIF! So, head on head, and take in the weekend, and don't forget to check out Filmlife's site and podcast!

Remember, as always, however you decide to celebrate, relax and enjoy the weekend, do so in a responsible, smart and safe manner. If you drink, don't drive, if you drive, don't drink! Thanks, have a safe and happy, and fun weekend!

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends!

The Beer Czar

Mar 21, 2014

Hanger 24 comes to Arizona


Last night, I was lucky enough to attend the official launch party for the brewery Hanger 24, from Redlands California. I was told about this event about a week prior, and was informed it would be taking place at the Commemorative Air Force Museum hanger in Mesa, AZ. Now, for those of you that don't know me well, aviation history is one of my loves, in particular, WW II aviation. So, when I learned this, I just new I had to attended. So, invitation in hand, I made my way to east Mesa, to the Museum to welcome this new brewery to Arizona.

A little history of Hanger 24...
Hanger 24 is located in the old Norton Air Force Base building, across the street from the Redland Municipal Air Port in the 1970's. According to the company website, "Ben Cook, Founder and Master Brewer, has been brewing for 6 years, with last employment in the Quality Assurance Organization at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Van Nuys, CA. While learning about QA/QC at AB and majoring in Biology at California State University San Bernardino, Ben fell in love with Beer and its culture.  Wanting to learn more, he attended and graduated from the Master Brewers Program under Professor Emeritus Dr. Michael Lewis and Dr. Charles Bamforth at the University of California, Davis.  Following graduation Ben sought out and found the perfect brewing equipment, a great location adjacent to the Redlands Airport and aptly named his brewery Hangar 24."

Now, back to Mesa. If you have ever had the pleasure of driving through east Mesa in the spring, you can't escape the smell that wafts from this corner of the valley. Driving to, and arriving at the museum, I was greeted by the wonderful aroma of orange blossoms. It permeates the landscape in the part of the valley. Walking through the parking lot, towards the front door, the aroma was met with the sweet, smoky bbq smell pouring out of The Traveling Monk, the food truck that was catering this event. It was an odd combo, but strangely, the competing scents worked well together, making me hungry and anxious to get inside!
Upon walking into the main display hanger, we were met with a table to fill out name tags, info cards etc. Then walking passed that table, and into the expansive main display hanger, we were surrounded by a wonderful display of vintage aircraft, mostly WWII, but ranging from earlier, up through the Vietnam era.

Making my way around the various tables, I was able to sample some 7 different beers from this brewery.  Starting with their Orange Wheat, this refreshing, unfiltered aromatic beer was a great place to kick things off. What a wonderful addition to our summer beers available here in Arizona. This crisp, fresh tasting beer goes down easy, and was thoroughly enjoyable.

Their Betty IPA was next, and it was fantastic. One of the better IPA's I've had in a quite sometime. This complex bitter IPA was probably my personal favorite from the evening. A few of the other high lights from their light up included the wonderfully smooth Chocolate Porter, the bold Double IPA, a very pleasant California Spring Beer, the fruity, almost tart Vinaceous, and the malty, sweet Barrel Roll aged Barelywine.

I must say, this is one spectacular brewery. The entire line up I had this evening was just great. Not a weak beer at all, and a couple that I thought were just out of the park (the Orange Wheat and Betty IPA were my favorites, followed closely by the Chocolate Porter).

Jerry and Margaret
I was able to take the time and chat with a few
Whitney and Cory
 folks at attended to see how they like the beers. There seemed to be an overwhelming consensus that the venue was just awesome, and a perfect place to kick off a Brewery like Hanger 24. I had the great pleasure of talking to Army vet. of 24 years Jerry, and his lovely bride of 50+ years Margaret. Their son Paul owns Big Sticks Cigar Shop  over in Mesa Riverview. We had a great chat about his service, his sons business, and the beer were drinking. I also chatted with Whitney and Cory. Cory works at Arizona Wilderness Brewing. He was also very impressed with the beers on hand, and considering he is surrounded by great beer every day, that must means something!

Again, everyone I had the pleasure of chatting with was very impressed with the venue, and equally impressed with the beers. It was as perfect a match as you could make I think. Drinking a Hanger 24 beer, in an actual hanger, surrounded by vintage WWII aircraft, is akin to drinking a Guinness in a pub in Dublin, or a margarita on the beach in Key West, just goes together, quite naturally.

Ben Cook
I want to take the time, and personal thank, and welcome Ben Cook, founder, owner and Master Brewer of Hanger 24, for not only making such outstanding beer, and bringing to Arizona, but for taking the time to chat with me, and all the other last night about your beer. We share your excitement and enthusiasm in bringing this fine brew to our state. I look forward to many days around the pool this summer (and many more to come) sipping on an Orange Wheat, or camping with a Chocolate Porters around a camp fire. Your beer fits well here in our state, and I look forward to seeing it, and removing it, from store shelves. Thanks you again, and welcome to Arizona!

I also would like to thank Alec, and everyone at Golden Eagle Distributors for throwing on awesome party, and for allowing me to share it with you all.

So, keep an eye out for Hanger 24 on Arizona shelves, and grad a few, you will be glad you did.

For a complete set of pic's from the event, check out our Facebook page photo album here....

Hanger 24 Website here....

For more information on the Commemorative Air Force Museum, including schedules, hours rates, and even to book a ride on a vintage WW II aircraft, including the B-17 Sentimental Journey, or the B-25 "Maid in the Shade", check out their official website here.....

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends

The Beer Czar

Here is a just a look at a great video of both the B-17 Sentimental Journey, and the B-25 Maid in the Shade flying over Arizona. Its a beautifully done video, or two amazing old war birds. Nothing to do with beer, but I just love this video, and wanted to share it with you, since it is related to this post!

The B-17 Sentimental Journey

Mar 19, 2014

This is why the Budweiser Clydesdales were in downtown Chandler!

A few weeks ago, I share a few photos from down town Chandler showing the Budweiser Clydesdales in downtown Chandler. They were shooting a commercial for the Bud campaign to make Opening Day a National Holiday.

Well, here is the commercial, featuring not only Downtown Chandler, but also Mayor Tibshraeny (seen starting at 34 seconds) and The Wizard of Oz, Ozzie Smith!

Check out the ad here....

Kudos to Chandler! This is a pretty cool thing to happen! I just wish that a peak at SanTan Brewing's pub would have made the cut!

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends!

The Beer Czar

Mar 14, 2014

King James back behind the bar......

Good news west siders! My good friend and Arizona Beer Ambassador, James Swann (aka King James) will be guest bartender at Caballero's in Goodyear next week!

For you lovers of great beer, they will be serving up some FRESH Bell's Hopslam, and if that isn't enough to get you out there......Firestone Walker's Velvet Merkin will also be on tap, that is serious!

The event is next Wednesday, March 19th. The fun starts at 5, and goes till the kegs blow (or till they kick you out)!

I am going to try and make it out there, so, if I do, I hope to see you there, if not, have one for me, and tell my friend James the Beer Czar says hello!

Find Caballero on Facebook here....
Check out their website here....

Caballero is at
1800 N Litchfield Rd
Goodyear, AZ 85395

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends

The Beer Czar


Well, according to the calendar hanging on my wall, we have reached another weekend my friends!!! So, grab a beer, sit down, and enjoy this weekend edition of Sorry Liver, its Friday!!! Here is what's up....

Fill her up! (your growler that is!)
You can now get your growlers filled at the gas station! At least at some of them here in the valley! Check it out!

Beer On Tap at the Gas Station (3TV)

Is it Ale, or a Lager?
One of the most frequently asked questions I get, is "what is the difference between ale and lager?". Its really not something that most people, even a casual beer fan knows, well, a friend of mine sent me this article, that not only sums it up pretty easily, but also dives into the "science" of it.
Check it out here...

Hop Shampoo and Shave Kit!
Fathers Day, is sort of coming up, so, here is a little gift idea to get for the dad in your life. Shampoo and Shave cream made with hops!! I bet this smells SO good, check it out here......

Mr. Pineapple is almost here!!!
OK, its no secret, I am a HUGE fan of SanTan's Mr. Pineapple. One of my all time favorite beers to sip at the beach, or poolside. Well, its just a week and a day away! Next Saturday, March 22nd, is the official release date for Mr. Pineapple!! It also happens to be the same day as SanTan's Great American Beer and BBQ Festival, featuring Blues Traveler!!!! (more info here)....

Send Us your St Patrick's Day pictures!
St Patrick's Day is this coming Monday. Will you be attending a party this weekend, or Monday?, or tag us on Facebook.
f so, please, we would love to see and share your St Patrick's Day photos! So, send us your best pic's of you, dressed in your finest greenery, drinking green beer!!  Email you pic's to us at

So, there you have it my friends! Now, go out, and have a great St. Paddy's Day weekend! As always, please, have fun, but be smart, and stay safe!

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends!

The Beer Czar

Mar 13, 2014

Life Philosophy and Beer

A good friend of mine sent this to me, you may have seen it, you may not have. Its the "is the jar
really full" parable, with a twist, that includes beer, so, check it out, its well worth the very short read.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full.. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed..

‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things—-your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—-and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.. The sand is everything else—-the small stuff.

‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn.

Take care of the golf balls first—-the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented.
The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’ The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.

Thank you for sending this to me Daniell.
Until next time
Bottoms up my friends
The Beer Czar

Mar 11, 2014

Sleepy Dog Groupon....

Hey Arizona Craft beer fans,
My sister forwarded me this link for groupon for Sleepy Dog Brewing Company in Tempe!

The deal.......
$32 for Beer Tasting for Two with Glasses and 64-Ounce Growler from Sleepy Dog Brewery ($50 Value)

Sleepy Dog Groupon

There you go! Go check out Sleepy Dog, great little brewery, good bunch of guys over there, and solid beers! (my favorite is the Manje Azul!!!)

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends

The Beer Czar

Mar 10, 2014

A Beer Sports Drink??

OK, so Canada has given us some great stuff, hockey, Rush, Gordon Lightfoot,  The Mackenzie Brothers, Michael J Fox, my friend Bobby, I could go on. They have also given us some great beers(La Fin de Monde comes to mind).
They have also given us some not so great things....Justin Bieber, Carly Ray Jepson, Keanu Reeves, Nickleback, Molson get the point..

I am not sure which list this next product will fall under. Maybe some of my Canadian readers can help me out with.
A company in British Columbia called Vampt, has created a sort of beer flavored sports drink, aimed at helping you "recover" after a hard work out. Replacing valuable nutrients and other "fuel" lost in your work out.

Founder of Vampt, Ian Toews says this about his protein packed beverage....

""All beer contains proteins and nutrients that help the body recover, but a lot of that is taken out in the brewing process..... We're adding the important elements back in."

Along with more protein (7 grams per 12 oz. can, and only 77 calories) those important elements  added back to this drink include glutamine, Vitamin C, Zinc and sodium and potassium.

Sold in sexy, slender 12 oz. cans, this bad boy clocks in at the feather weight of 3.2% abv (not bad however, considering the manly Miller 64 is only 2.8%, but a little less then the popular Mich. Ultra, a comparative hefty 4.2% abv).

They plan on marketing this drink to both hard core fitness freaks (which I totally get, and think will probably work ell if done right) as well as hard core weekend warrior beer drinkers, which, to me, seems like it is missing the mark a bit. Miller tried marketing Miller 64 to this crowd, its not going well for them. Although, I am still shocked by how many people drink Ultra in a misguided attempt at catching a buzz, so who knows, this may just work. The marketing, if done well, could be great as well.

The really good news? They hope to have this gem on shelves by early 2015!!

I know this will be slammed by hard core beer geeks, snobs and fans, but really, this isn't meant for
them, and the would be wise not to even attempt to market to them. This is just looking to cash in on a segment of a market that does not include "real" beer drinkers. It would be like car guys making fun of a new bike that came out meant for little girls......

The one slam I think they will get from the beer community, that they deserve, and honestly, kind of bugs the shit out of me, the drink is listed as a "Lager Ale", um, which one is it folks???

If any of you have had it, let me know what you think, I would love to get my hands on it, and give it a test drive.

Or you could just do this.....
You can read more in a news bit here (this is how I heard of this....)

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends

The Beer Czar

Mar 6, 2014

The Great American Barbeque & Beer Festival, you need to be there!!!

Where else can you get Smoked tri-tip, skirt steak, brisket, BBQ chicken, pulled pork sandwiches, ribs, brats, wings, grilled corn, BBQ nachos, BBQ burritos, BBQ bacon wrapped fried Alligator, (yes you read correctly, that said BBQ bacon wrapped fried Alligator) mother klucker kabobs, BBQ sundaes, or redneck tacos, all in one place? As if that wasn't enough, you can wash it all down with a nice cold Mr. Pineapple? Downtown Chandler, that's where! In just a few short weeks, on Saturday, March 22nd, SanTan will be hosting the  annual Great American BBQ and Beer Festival, one of the valleys greatest festivals in my (and many others) opinion.

OK, aside from the amazing food already listed above, and access to as much Mr. Pineapple as you want, there is also some other great reasons to attend this event. Among some of them are.....

Over 60 pit masters showing us how its done....

Over 200 kegs of beer to wash it all down....(including Mr. Pineapple, did I mention that?

BBQ not your thing, how about Pea & Pa’s Kettle Corn, Frost Gelato, Paletas Betty, Sugarlips deep fried oreos, pickles, cheese, funnel cakes and ribbon fries....
Cakery, Kool Twist, Campfire Concessions, State Fair Lemonade, and Rita’s Italian Ice,

There will be wing, pie, brat and BBQ eating contests.....

How about a Tailgater’s Lawn, Ultra Star March Madness Lounge, Chester’s Harley Davidson Pavilion, Porkopolis VIP Quarters, Dickel Hoedown Rodeo Zone, Bulleit Bourbon BBQ Pit Row, DC Farmers Market, and an expanded kid’s play zone....

Still not sure you want to go? Did I mention there was live music? Not just any old live music, but music from Grammy Award winning Blues Traveler!

Opening up for Blues Traveler, fans can also enjoy  Craig Campbell, Laura Walsh, and Georgia Chrome.

Oh, and one more thing, TICKETS ARE ONLY $10!!!
(presale at Bashas' is only $8!! VIP for $125)

OK, if that doesn't get your ass there, then I am sorry, I can not help you. For those of you that realize that this is one of the greatest, most fun (and might I add best smelling) events in the east valley every year, I really hope to see you there!!

Gates open at 12pm, with BT hitting the stage at 8 for a 2 hour set.

For more info on where to get tickets, event schedule and everything else, check out the full press release from the HDE Agency here....

Official event website here....
Facebook page here....

So, I hope to see you all there! If you see me, say hello!

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends

The Beer Czar

Anchor Brewing Saison!

I love the sound of this beer for a couple of reasons. One, I love Anchor beer! OK, it may not be the greatest out there, but its damn good, and holds a soft spot in my heart. It was my go too craft beer in my early days of craft beer. After spending all day mountain biking the trails of Southern NH in my young adulthood, my friend Kris and I would peddle passed out favorite waterhole, and more often then not, stop in for a few glasses of beer. Anchor Steam beer was my go to at that time. The other reason I look forward to this brew, lately, I have developed a love of Saison, Farmhouse ales. Maybe it has to do with the 110+ degree temps here in the summer, or a changing palate, or both, but lately, I can't get enough of these crisp, lighter, but extremely complex flavors, that just lends itself to warmer summer conditions. I have yet to try this one (it hasn't reached Arizona yet) but I am on the look out, and will be sure to included it in my summer beer write up I do every year.

Until then, read about it from the official press release from Fritz and crew at Anchor Brewing.....

Anchor Saison™ Spring Ale (7.2% ABV) is a traditional Belgian-style saison with a California twist. The distinctiveness of roasted Belgian wheat malt is enhanced by the peppery, clove-like flavors of a locally cultured saison-style yeast. And, for this release, Anchor chose three California ingredients — lemongrass, lemon peel, and ginger — whose synergy adds a tangy crispness and herbal spiciness to this sharply refreshing, uniquely Californian saison.
Brewmaster Mark Carpenter suggests pairing the Saison Spring Ale with sushi or Vietnamese cuisine, which perfectly compliments the tangy, citrus notes of the beer.
Released in California this March thru May, Anchor Saison™ Spring Ale will be available in 6-packs and draught at select retailers and at the Anchor Brewing Taproom in San Francisco.
and check out this video about it....
Until next time
Bottoms up my friends
The Beer Czar
For more on this, and other great Anchor beers, check out their website here.....

Mar 5, 2014

Budweiser Clydesdales in Downtown Chandler!!

Not something you see everyday! The Budweiser Clydesdales were in downtown Chandler today. Now, regardless of how you feel about the beer, these animals are an impressive site! They were filming for a commercial for a campaign to make Opening Day a national holiday! I was unable to get down there, but I did want to share a few pic's from the day. Photos courtesy of the city of Chandler.
Passing in front of SanTan Brew Pub!

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends

The Beer Czar