So,after a quick and profitable (beer-wise) trip to Florida, we headed to the this arid land for a few weeks, just North of the Mexican border in the little town of Sierra Vista, Arizona. We were on a grand-kids sitting mission while our daughter and son-in-law flew to Korea to pick up their new son.
So while there, I thought I'd check out the state of craft beer in the state of Arizona.
But what about beer produced in Arizona? There are some good ones. Nimbus Brewery in Tucson has a nice bunch of brews. I was able to get hold of their Old Monkeyshine Strong Ale at a restaurant. Very nice beer. It's fairly potent at 8.2% ABV, yet you wouldn't know it. It's quite smooth with hints of raisin and dark fruit. Tasty.
Further north (we were down near the Mexican border) in Chandler is SanTan Brewery. I had a number of their beers - the best being their Devil's Ale (American pale ale), and their Hop Scotch IPA. Devil's Ale had won a gold in the GABF and Hop Scotch a silver. Both are excellent beers. Wish we could get hold of the IPA up our way.
Why Oh Why Gen X and Gen Y?
Personally I think the GenX/GenY argument is nonsense. It implies that after a certain age, say North of 50, everyone becomes hopelessly stuck in their ways and is unwilling to try anything new. I think it has little to do with age. There are those out there who seek out new and interesting experiences in food and drink at all ages. For years there was little for these people to choose from in American beer other than light lager and lighter lager. With the increasing availability of craft brews, they are discovering the joy of beer with real flavor. The bad news for A-B and the other mega-brewers is that once you develop a taste for good beer, there's no going back to the same old same old.
No matter what generation you're a part of - X'er, Y'er or Boomer.
Alas, I was not present for this particular meeting. We were, as I mentioned, in Arizona awaiting the arrival of our newest grandson. From the sounds of it, we missed a great meeting. At this time, therefore, I will turn the controls over to Ron, our peerless statistician and recorder of comments.
But before we get to these, a couple of shout-outs need to be acknowledged. Firstly, to Tom Stevens, who is a friend of Hal with a condo in the Grand Tetons. He sent a 12 pack of Grand Teton sampler. This included: Teton Ale (an amber), Howling Wolf (a weisse beer), Sweetgrass (American Pale Ale) and Bitch Creek (Extra Special Brown). We didn't rate these, but enjoyed them prior to our official ratings. These are not available east of the Mississippi except to a distributor in Massachusetts and South Carolina. Although we didn't actuallly rate these samples, we did enjoy them and seemed to gravitate to the Sweetgrass.
A second shout-out goes to Leinenkugel, who sent us a sample of their Imperial IPA from their Big Eddy series. We did rate this after the Harpoons and the results will follow the main event.
Our meeting commenced with Harpoon's Summer Beer. This is a Kolsch style ale witha 5.0% ABV. It is available from April through August.
Color: Pale yellow
Pour: Decent head, fizzy and carbonated
Taste: Not much, a good lawn mower beer. Balanced - neither malty nor hoppy.
Overall Impression: As would be expected - between "Can't stand it" and " I could drink this."
Comments: "Good example of the style; A nice golf cart beer; Could be a boat beer; It's a good light summer beer; I would take this on a golf course before Coors Lite; It has a nice bitter, clean finish."
Rick's Notes: Thanks to Dan, I was able to sample some of the beers - including the Summer Beer. I felt it reminded me of a Pilsner - both in aroma and initial taste. Light, unoffensive beer. Best ice cold.
Our next beer, form Harpoon, was their UFO, a white unfiltered wheat beer. It has year-round availability in six-packs. It has an ABV of 4.8%.
Color: nice looking, unfiiltered, cloudy, pale
Pour: decent head, lasting lace
Aroma: fruity, citrus
Taste: sweet with notes of citrus, orange and spices
Overall Impression: Midway ("I could drink this")
Comments: "Mysterious translucency; Serve this really cold; I've tasted a lot worse; Light flavor and light malt; Not bad for a wheat beer; Similar to Blue Moon; Better than Circus Boy."
Next up (and a month late) was from the Harpoon Leviathan Series: their Uber-Bock. It is pretty big at 9.0% ABV and 26 IBU's. Beers from the Leviathan Series are available in 22 ounce 4-packs.
Up next, some Sam Adams and a few of our favorites.
The BOTB Guys