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Arizona Beer reviewer

Saturday November 5th

The day had finally arrived after about 2 months of anticipation. The list of beer was enticing enough for all of us Beer Junkies, however the cause was even better! As I posted on here before, the Beer for Brains Foundation is a great cause

At 4:30 the volunteers started showing up to sign in and man their posts at pouring stations, registration areas, silent auction, merchandise booths, and others. I considered myself lucky to be a part of the pouring team as my passion for beer helped me help others around me as well as our guests. Before the event started “King James” a local beer expert stopped by our booth and gave us his description of Sonoran’s Pumpkin Spice ale, which consisted of cinnamon, nutmeg, and of course pumpkin. He also described this beer as a real beer, and not a pumpkin pie that over throws the hop character, “A very well balanced beer” he says to my friend and I running the booth. I fully agree with him to, by the end of that night, it proved to be a very popular item with the guests. My friend and I were pouring “Hoperation Ivy” by Ska Brewing, “A Raisin To Live” by San Tan Brewery in Chandler AZ, the Sonoran “Pumpkin Spice” in Scottsdale AZ, and a Scotch Ale made by Sun Up brewing.

After a few hours of pouring these four beers and helping others around us pour their beers when a rush of people came we were relieved by other volunteers and were given the opportunity to try all the beers that were available. Of course I had one beer in mind that I had always wanted to try and that was the 120 minute IPA by Dogfish Head , but it was unfortunately empty by the time I got to the keg. So if you’re one of the lucky guests that were able to sample this beer, please write about it on here! After I discovered that beer was empty I moved on to trying many of the beers on the list I linked to above, and I was continued to be impressed. The breweries that donated the beer for this event really out did themselves, and their support was appreciated a lot! After the band had stopped playing and many people got on stage had thanked everyone for showing up, there were tears and smiles in the crowd.

I just want to thank the Beer for Brains Foundation for putting on such a great event, and I hope that next year the event doubles in size again and even more support for this great organization is raised.

Appearance: Golden in color

Aroma: Floral aroma

Taste: Malty flavor with a citrusy hop finish

Mouth feel: Well carbonated, and leaves a crisp refreshing taste

Overall: I give this beer a B+. I wouldn’t say this is a beer that you need to travel hours to get, and is certainly not going to hit you in your face with any bold tasting notes, but it is certainly a refreshing beer that I enjoyed.


Style: Amber Ale

ABV: 5%

Serve at 43-47 deg F.

Located in Flagstaff , AZ and only distributed in AZ

Excerpt right from the brewers page…

“Wapiti Amber Ale.  This is our flagship ale and is pronounced “wop-eh-tee”.  The label for this beer is adorned with the majestic Wapiti (aka elk).  Wapiti are abundant in northern Arizona.  They are large and beautiful creatures, which is why we chose this animal to represent this beer.  Wapiti Amber Ale is hand crafted with mountain pure water, two row malted barley, yeast and Yakima Valley hops.  Our brewers use traditional methods to create this full-bodied amber ale with a distinct hoppy aroma.  Wapiti Amber Ale should be enjoyed cool, not cold, to best experience the complex character and flowery aroma. “

The Beer for Brains Foundation is a national, non-profit organization of craft-beer lovers, distributors and brewers, who are committed to:

  • Raising public awareness about brain cancer
  • Engendering compassion for its victims and
  • Helping fund groundbreaking research leading to a cure.

Based in Peoria, AZ,  are one of only a handful of beer industry-related charities currently operating in the United States.

And tomorrow you have the opportunity to help them by drinking beer at the Taste of Tops in Tempe, AZ. The BFBF will giving away merchandise, and also a Beer for Brains – RAREaffair™ ticket!

I’m looking forward to the main event at the Beer for Brains – RAREaffair™, I will be helping them for the first pouring session. So I hope to see you there! I also hope to see you tomorrow night at the Taste of Tops tasting room enjoying a pint and supporting this great cause!

Also let’s take a look at 13 beers that are a must try thanks to James Swann, one of Phoenix’s knowledgeable beer promoters.

Appearance: Copper in color with a white head

Aroma: Sweet malty smell with a dash of hops

Taste: More malts than hops which gives this beer a unique balance. Notes of caramel all the way through.

Mouth feel: Medium bodied, good carbonation and when served at proper temperature (and stored at proper temp) you can get the full affect.

Overall: Overall I would say that this is not the best beer that Oak Creek has to offer, however that being said, this is a delicious beer. Which should tell you what their other beers will be like when you try one! I give this beer a solid B.


Style: Amber Ale

ABV: 5.5%

I’m not sure how many brewers naturally carbonate or force carbonate their beers, but this beer is naturally carbonated. As a home-brewer and this being my preferred method of carbonation I really like this about this brewer. It is a lot more work to naturally carbonate a beer than to force carbonate with a bottle of CO2 plugged into the keg. Precise measurements of ingredients are required to hit the targets you want for your carbonation level.

*If you get the chance to go to Sedona, this is a stop that you must make! And make sure you get a hot dog!

On Saturday, November 5, 2011, the Beer for Brains Foundation will be hosting a RAREaffair™  at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona from 6:30 – 10:30pm (5:30 p.m. admission for VIPs.) RAREaffair™ provides the exclusive opportunity to enjoy over 75 rare craft-beers, wines, select spirits and cigars, local gourmet cuisine, three live bands, a silent auction, raffles, door prizes and more. The Beer for Brains Foundation invites anyone with a passion for excellence to join us in this celebration under the stars to raise awareness and funds for brain cancer research.


General $75.00 VIP $175.00 Designated Driver $30.00

To buy your tickets go HERE or follow them on facebook



 Check out the teaser list of beer by following this link!




Looking for a German pint? Then join me this weekend (14th, 15th, and 16th) or next weekend (21st, 22nd, and 23rd) at Haus Murphy’s 14th annual Oktoberfest for an authentic bier! There will be live music by GUGGENBACH-BUAM from Heidelberg, Germany. It will be an $8 cover plus food and drink for these events. They’re located at 5739 W. Glendale Ave. Glendale AZ. If you’re interested in the food menu, click here  but the more important list that we all need to know is the beer list Here. I’ll be trying the Franziskaner Dunkel that will be on tap, described as a “unfiltered dark wheat beer, dark roasted malt, mild caramel color; smoky roasted grain finish.” which comes in at 5% ABV.

Fun Fact:

The Franziskaner brewery has been able to trace its roots back to 1363 making it the oldest brewery in Munich, and the name “Franziskaner” was derived from the Franciscan monastery diagonally across the street. To learn more about this brewery check out their website.



Haus Murphy’s is offering a flight of Oktoberfest beers from September 26 thru October 13 for $10.  That is three .3 liter beers for $10.  That ends tonight so get out there tonight for this deal!

A few months ago I was able to take a tour of this site before it was put together and speak with the brewers in person. It was an experience that I enjoyed very much and I have been following the progress of these two gentlemen closely. I look forward to the first official batch of beer that they make and I plan to make the 2 hour trip north from where I am living to support them. Today they received their fermenters, and things seem to be going smoothly from their posts on facebook. Here are a couple of their pictures they posted:

Appearance: copper in color with a white head

Aroma: Very Floral

Taste: The Hops hit you right off the bat and stay with you till the end, and notes of citrus.

Mouth feel: This is a medium bodied Ale

Overall: This is a delicious IPA that seems to be a high ABV, but I guess the brewery is keeping that part a secret.

I’d give this IPA a “B” overall, in my own opinion. Let me know what you think in the comments after you try one yourself!


Style: American Indian Pale Ale

ABV: ?? Not labelled on the can and the brewery website does not list much info!

That’s right folks…Not only does Google make the best software for smartphones these days, but they also got with Dogfish Head to have them make a beer called Urkontinent. Now technically Google isn’t getting into the brewing industry and it seems that a few beer aficionados within the Google company spearheaded this project, my hat still goes off to this marketing.

Urkontinent went on Tap September 27th, and depending on how big a success this beer is, it could go into full distribution and you may find it in a store near you! But for now if you want to try it, the Google beer is on tap at the Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats pub in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

The Beer itself is a  Belgian Dubbel, and google beer aficionados suggested 100’s of ingredients from all over the world to make this beer. But the final recipe includes wattleseed from Australia, amaranth from South America, green roobios tea from Africa, Myrica Gale from Europe and what I think is a very interesting part is the Google Honey, which comes from Mountain View, California, where the company keeps their own bees at the Google headquarters. The ABV should be around 9% as well.

Check out the video here!

Or Check out there Google+


The day is Saturday and the smell of coffee is filling the hotel hallways. This is the day that we have been waiting months for now. I organized my things, camera…check, notebook….check, GABF tickets….double check. The event starts at 5:30pm but we knew we had to get in line by at least 3 or we would be waiting in a sea of people for eternity. After gathering our things, we head out to fill our grumbling stomachs with a hearty breakfast and pickup some snacks for the long wait the the convention center.

4 o’clock… “only 1 and half hours to go”….

4:30pm… I glanced back at the line and saw an endless sea of people wrapping around the building. I thought to myself, I’m so glad I got here hours early.

5:00pm… Man a megaphone is yelling at the crowd to stand up and crunch together because the time is nearly here!

5:30pm… It’s time….Let the games begin!

As we were funneled into the lobby of the convention center and up the stairs we heard the sound of bag pipes, and the excitement in the air could almost choke you!

We quickly traded our tickets for a the taster glasses and found our way to the nearest brewery booths and tried the yummiest beverage we could find. We continued to take our time sampling the West coast breweries and our taste buds danced with every choice. After awhile had gone by I decided I was going to need a bag to carry the free beer swag that we were all collecting, from bottle openers, to  beer cans with beads that had been poked through the top of the can so that you could wear the Oskar Blues name while you walked around…I saw the marketing gimmick but I still liked the can so I put it in the bag I had gotten and moved on.

6:30pm… I had tried all of the west coast breweries that I had heard of and many that I had not and decided that it was time to give the East coast guys a chance. I had tried a couple by this time but I wasn’t dazzled or amazed by some of the breweries. There were a few that I was impressed by in the Washington DC area, and Vermont areas has a good selection of IPA’s and Stouts were delicious.

8:00pm… By this time the samples had been flowing and the affects of the numerous 1 oz pours were starting to impair my taste buds and I knew it was time to stop passing my personal judgments on the beers I was trying. I knew all of these brewers had put a lot of hard work into this craft and I appreciated every drop they had made. So I thought to myself, “with only two hours left, I’d like to see what Denver had to offer for beer bars and breweries.” And we all found our way out of the maze of Brewery, home brewer supply, and beer related booths to the outside world and concluded that this event was a success.

Tips for next year:

Get to the GABF early! At least a couple hours early.

Bring pretzels, and fishing string and various snacks for making a necklace of FOOD.

Pace yourself, you don’t want to end up like those guys I saw getting carried out by their buddies.

Book a hotel downtown, cabs can get expensive!

Pro TIP:

Wear a costume…they’re awesome.


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