Jul 31, 2014

The last Summer Beer Dinner at El Palacio!!

El Palacio, Chandler, AZ
Anyone that reads this blog frequently has no doubt heard me talk at length about the beer dinners at El Palacio. If you have attended any of them, you will probably understand why.
These dinners are fun, affordable, educational, and best of all, delicious! If you have never been to a beer dinner before, these are GREAT dinners to start out with. They offer up very good, but very approachable beers, paired with exceptionally prepared Mexican fare prepared by Chef Anthony, who, I must say, is great at getting flavors to work together with the beer!

Chef Anthony!

Well, the last of the Summer Beer Dinners is coming up in a few weeks, Aug 13th, at 7pm. The dinner will feature the beers of Grand Canyon Brewing Co, paired with "off menu" items prepared specifically for this event as well.

Here is a look at what you can expect at this dinner.....

1.  Melon and Arugula Salad with Agave Vinaigrette paired with American Pilsner
2.  Carnitas Pastor Mac & Cheese paired with Sunset Amber Ale
3.  Italian Albondiga with Picante Alfredo Sauce & Cauliflower puree paired with Black Iron IPA
4.  Churro Zeppole with Pumpkin Porter Sauce paired with Pumpkin Springs Porter (read more about Pumpkin Springs Porter here...)
There will be a rep there from Grand Canyon Brewing to discuss the beer you will be drinking, and Chef Anthony will be on hand to speak about the food. I have been to a number of these dinners, and always walk away extremely pleased, and I have no doubt you will as well!
Reservations are required to attend,  and can be made by calling 480-802-5770 or online by clicking here..
Again, the cost of the dinner is JUST $25 per person, and remember you get 4 courses, with 4
different beers, not a bad deal at all!
I will say, this dinner has a HUGE added bonus of having Mac & Cheese on the menu!!
El Palacio is located on at the Crossroads Town Center off the Gilbert and 202.
2950 E. Germann Road,
Chandler, AZ
So please, make your reservations now, and I will see you there!!!!
Until next time
Bottoms up my friends!
The Beer Czar

Jul 28, 2014

Survivorman Beer? Yup, its coming!!!! (and I couldn't be more excited about it!)

I've been searching for a reason to talk about Les Stroud and Survivorman on this blog since about the time I first started doing it, well, here is my chance!!

OK, full discloser, I am not one of those types of people that are obsessed, or even interested in
celebrities. I don't get all crazy when I might spot some famous person out  in public. I could really care less about "famous" people. That being said, there are few famous people that I would be excited to meet if ever given the chance. Most of them I would love to meet, mostly because they have a talent or something I respect (mostly musicians). A few I would love to meet, Jimmy Buffett, Slash, David Gilmore or Tommy Emmanuel come to mind. There is one more person I would just love to meet as well.
That person is, none other then the Survivorman himself, Les Stroud! I have always loved the outdoors, and have been fascinated by outdoor survival, I even had a job some 15 years ago (before survival was "cool"), teaching young people how to survive and get rescued if they ever find themselves lost in the wilderness (in this case, the Sonoran desert).
For those of you that don't know who he is, Les Stoud is the brains behind and star of the hit TV show "Survivorman" on Discovery and The Science Channel. One of the few "legit" survivalists on TV I think, (don't even get me started on Bear Grylls!) and is even credited with helping create the genre. Its a show where he is dropped in the middle of some remote location, rain forest, tundra, desert etc. all alone, then films his struggles for the next 7 (and in some cases 10) days. Filming it all himself, no film crew, nothing, just himself. (There is a small production, and rescues team set up a mile or so away, but they are just there in case of an emergency)
Something like this......

Well, the reason I am talking about Mr. Stoud on my beer blog, is because he is teaming up with a brewery, to release a series of "Survivorman Beers" to be released starting in 2015!!! Stroud, himself Canadian, is teaming up with Lake of Bays Brewing Company in Baysville, Ontario. There is no news as to what types, or styles of beers that will be released yet, or how much Les himself with have his hands in the process, but you rest assured I will be keeping a VERY close eye on this, and come time, may be tapping a few Canadian friends on the shoulder in an attempt to get my hands on some of these beers!! If you want to read the full joint release from Les and the Brewery, you can read it here.

I am very excited about this! Two of my favorite things, Survivorman, and beer, coming together!!

This photo might be my favorite photo I ever found on the internet. Les Stoud is also a very successful musician in Canada as well (another reason I like him so much). Well, you recall, another one of my favorite celebrities is Slash, well, you can imagine my excitement when I saw this pic!!! Check it out! >>>>

Again, I will post more about this beer as I get the info, I just wanted to take a minute and geek out over two of my favorite things coming together in one glorious collaboration!

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends!

The Beer Czar

Jul 18, 2014

Making of Maskerpiece Porter

Recently I had the pleasure of taking part in a fun project that Masked Blogster and I came up with a while back. We decided that we wanted to brew a beer and record the process for an episode of the Masked Blogster's Maskerpiece Theatre
Chatting about our brew day
We decided we wanted to brew a porter (one of Blogster and I'd favorite beer styles). As we got talking, we decided we wanted to ad a little flavor to it, so we decided on a coffee chocolate vanilla porter, and we dubbed it "Maskerpiece Porter".
So, I contacted my friend "Braumeister Chris" and asked him if he could come up with a recipe for what we were looking to do, and he was happy to oblige!

So, one afternoon, we gathered in my garage, and set up Braumeister's brewing equipment, put plenty
of beer on ice, and spent the morning/afternoon brewing up a beer, drinking some beer, and recording the process as we went.
After a few weeks of fermentation, we again gathered together, this time in the official Maskerpiece Theatre studios, to sample the beer, and as always, chat about our thoughts on the beer, which, came out fantastic!

So, you can listen to the brewing, and tasting of Maskerpiece Porter,
you can check out the podcast here.....

You can check out a full set of photos from the entire event, check out our photo album on our Facebook page here.....

So, check it out, it was a lot of fun, and we are planning on doing it again sometime very soon!
I think we may try and Imperial version of Maskerpiece Porter!

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends

The Beer Czar

Jul 11, 2014

Maskerpiece Theatre talks to Mother Road Brewing Company....

This this week, I had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with The Masked Blogster as we chatting with my friend Dan Choiniere, Beer Ambassador for Mother Road Brewing Company in Flagstaff, AZ. Of coarse we talked about, and tried some Mother Road Beers (including their amazing Open Road English Summer Ale). We also chatted about craft beer here in Arizona, and the nation, and where we think Arizona beer is headed. As well as where we may see Mother Road in 5 or 10 years.

So, sit back, and have a listen. You can get the link to either stream, or download the podcast here...

To see some more photos from the evening, check out our Facebook photo album here...

For more on Mother Road Brewing company, check out there website, or Facebook page.

I am sure I speak on behalf of Blogster, when I say I want to thank Dan for taking the time to sit down with us, share is beer, his stories
and his knowledge with us. We greatly appricate it. If you see a Mother Road event, tap take over, or just a six pack on the shelf, check them out. I think this is an outstanding, and often (but not always) over looked Arizona Brewery. You will not be disappointed.

The beers we sampled on the podcast were;

Golden Road Kolsch style
Roadside American Pale Ale
Open Road English Summer Ale spiced with peppercorns
Lost Highway Black IPA (or American Stout)

If you want to try and find some Mother Road Brews, use the beer finder to track it down!

Thanks again to Dan, and the fine folks at Mother Road! Keep up the fantastic work you do!

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends!

The Beer Czar

Jul 10, 2014

Shock Top thinks Craft Beer "trys to hard"??? Pot, meet kettle.....

This is kind of a clever, funny ad, and I would probably enjoy a little more it if it wasn't a Shock Top ad (for those of you that did not know, Shock Top is brewed by ABInBev, or more commonly known as Anheuser Busch, or Bud, which is now a Belgian/Brazilian owned company). The idea of a talking tap handle is kind of an appealing, and amusing one, and leads me to think of what types of personalities our favorite craft beer handles would have, but that is a different topic for a different day.

In this ad, we see two spontaneous actors, um, I mean "customers" walk into a bar, and engage in a conversation with the Shock Top tap handle. Its cute, kind of funny banter, check it out...

A few things I find a little funny, and a bit hypocritical about this ad. For one, to imply craft beers are "trying to hard" its funny, especially when AB has become obsessed in recent years with competing with those same beers it is making fun of, in in many ways, fears. Releasing brands like Shock Top, to play the part of craft beers in order to pull craft drinkers (or at least people that want to try or experience craft beer) away from real craft beer, to their brand, pretending to be craft.

It also makes fun of the names of craft beers with lines like "what is that, 17 names, Willaby's Three Headed Unicorn? What is that?". So, in their defense, I tried to think of some of the longer beer names I could to see if this claim held any weight, at all. One of the longest names I did find, was a bit ironic, it was none other then "Shock Top's Honey Bourbon Cask Wheat Ale". So, its not 17 words, but it is 7. Before you write angry letters, I am sure there are longer names in the craft world, I am just saying, the one they used as an example (it was made up btw) is almost half as long as one of the beers they are promoting in this video....pot, meet kettle.

Now, if you like Shock Top, that's fine, I could care less. The issue I have with these "crafty" beers is,
they sort of pray upon uninformed consumers. I know a lot of folks that were shocked to learn Shock Top is an AB product, and that Blue Moon is made by Coors. They think they are drinking a legitimate craft beer, and are quite happy that these beers are normally far less expensive then "real" craft, so that these consumers will now have a hard time paying $10 a six pack for a craft beer, when you can get a sixer of Blue Moon for far less.

Again, I don't care if you like Shock Top, or Blue Moon, that is not my point here, simple just be an educated consumer, if you like Shock Top, and are fine with who makes it, that's cool, again, I have no issue with that. Just know what you are drinking, and choose what you drink wisely.

If you want to see all the ad's featuring "Wedgehead" the talking Shock Top orange wedge, you can check them all out on their You Tube Channel here. Like the beer, these ad's really pretend to be something they are not. Actors appearing to be "real" customers, talking to a beer "pretending" to be a craft beer. (That might be the strangest sentence I've ever written on this blog).

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends

The Beer Czar

Jul 9, 2014

Fibber Magees 2nd Annual Feast of Saint Arnold Indoor Beer Fest!!

Looking for something to do this weekend???? How's this sound???

40 Breweries
40 Beers
Got your attention yet??? I thought so....
Some of the best, coolest, rarest & geekiest beers North America has to offer, all under one roof and all indoors!
If you haven't been to Fibber Magee's yet. This is a perfect time to check them out. They have been stashing away some outstanding, rare, very unique and delicious beers!!
Also, they will be featuring some awesome Belgian food specials, live entertainment, raffles, prizes, giveaways and for one day, the best damn selection of craft beer in all of Arizona!
Come celebrate the patron saint of brewers and hop-pickers the way my fellow Irish do best, with BEER!


Get more info on their website here....
Or like them on Facebook here...

This event will be Saturday, July 12th, 11am until 2am.

Fibber Magees is located at
1989 W Elliot Rd,
Chandler AZ 85224


So, if your looking for something to do, by all means, stop by, have a few beers, have some food, and give thanks for the Patron Saint of Beer, St Arnold!

Hope to see you there

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends

The Beer Czar

Here is a complete list of beers, and descriptions that will be on hand for this event.....
Robust Black IPA hopped with 6 different high alpha hop varieties
Taku River
Rough Draft Export Series Red Ale with serious hop character
Anderson Valley
Huge Arker
Wild Turkey bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
Mocha Java
Stout brewed with cold steeped Euro-espresso roasted coffee
Bear Republic
Multiple award winning Special Imperial IPA
India Red Ale with tons of hops but enough malt body to balance
Belgian Tramp
Organic Belgian Quad brewed in collaboration w/ 8 Bay Area Brewers
Black Diamond
The Twelve
Belgian style Quadrupel with dark fruit flavors and a complex malt bill
Black Market
Imperial Brown Barrel Aged in used whiskey barrels with cocoa nibs
Borderlands / AZ Wilderness
Traditional English Barleywine made with locally-grown heirloom grains
A very complex, dark and obscure German-style sour ale
Dogfish Head
Sixty One
Continnually hopped IPA brewed with California Syrah grape must
Signal de Botrange
Farmhouse ale made in the tradition of the Wallonia region of Belgium
Sour Apple Saison
Belgian style Farmhouse Ale w/ Apples and 8 different spices
Firestone Walker
Rustic Sour red ale with a long lineage of oak-barrel influence
Old ale brewed with molasses and a complex malt bill, then oak-aged
Four Peaks
Bonehead Red
Blend of Barrel Aged Kilt & Barrel Aged Double Red
Goose Island
Bourbon County
Traditional English style Barleywine aged in third use bourbon barrels
Hangar 24
English Old Ale with an addition of freshly crushed Mourvedre grapes
Howe Sound
Total Eclipse of the Hop
Imperial IPA from Vancouver, BC, Canada
Barrel Aged IPA
That'll Do IPA aged in Rye Whiskey barrels
Iron Fist
Belgian style Trippel heavily hopped with imported European hops
Jolly Pumpkin
Biere de Mars Grand Reserve
Biere de Garde with a second fermentation with wild yeast in oak
Big Rapid Red
GABF Gold Medal Winning Imperial Red from Flagstaff
Mike Hess
Solis Occasus
Batch 27, Bronze Medal winning Cascade & Centennial IPA
Mother Road
Roadside Grove
Gold Medal winning Pale ale brewed with grapefruit zest
Hop Craic
Quadruple IPA with a warming alcohol character and emmense hops
Melange A Trois
Strong Belgian Pale with 6 months of French Chardonnay barrel aging
Oak Creek
Nut Brown on Steroids
Double Nut Brown Ale with Roasted Macadamia Nuts
A delicate pale ale with Colorado grown Riesling grapes aged on oak
Belgian Noel Style Strong Dark Ale brewed with 5 spices
Sam Adams
Third Voyage
Double IPA with big Cascade & Simcoe notes
Sierra Nevada
Electric Ray IPL
India Pale Lager brewed in collaborations w/ Ballast Point
Extra Love
Buster Nut Brown w/ Vanilla, Oak Cips, Agave & Molasses
Wee Peat
Lightly peat smoked Scottish Ale
Stochasticity Grapefruit Slam
A double IPA w/ 3 different hops and fresh grapefruit peel
Birthday Suit
21st Anniversary Sour Farmhouse Ale
Uncle Bear's
Oak Aged IPA
Oak Aged Ocean Beach West Coast IPA
Ephemere Cerise
Belgian Style White Ale brwed with fresh, wild, tart pin cherries
GABF Bronze Winning German Style Dark Unfiltered Wheat beer