Monday, July 21, 2008

SanTan Brewery

I finally visited SanTan this past Sunday. I had tried some of their beer back at the Strong Beer Fest in February and wasn't super impressed, but it is hard to turn down the fact that this is the closest microbrewery to my house. I don't count the Gordon Biersch that is much closer as it is a macro microbrewery with a chain of restaurants and cost to cost distribution. I wasn't in an IPA mood, so I started with their Big Red. It was a nice American red with a clean hoppy finish. I can't say that American reds are my favorite style, but it was good representative of the style. I followed this up with their Gordo Stout to have with my meal, pork adovada. They were out of rice so they doubled up on the beans, but that was fine. The stout was on nitro, but it could afford to be bigger if they are going to go with that serving style as the nitro held back the flavor too much for my taste. I would go with more roasted malt profile. I finished the night with their Oscuro. Despite the name this is an amber more than a brown and not that dark. This also came on nitro and I don't think this helps. The flavor was very reserved. I think that on CO2 this could be a really good beer, but I also have a feeling that they have altered the recipe a bit with the hop shortage. One of the brewers was there and he mentioned that they are having a real problem securing aroma hops, not that this is news to a homebrewer. I want to go back and try the Sunspot Gold which they are calling a blonde ale and give their "sesonal" IPA a shot. I think that my wife will really like the place and she is likely to enjoy several of the beers.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Made in the Very Wet Shade

So last Saturday I went tot he 2008 Made in the Shade beer fest. After last year being quite warm we were looking forward to the forecasted highs in the 70's, but didn't realize it would come with a cost, lots and lost of rain. We arrived at a little before 2 for the 2:30 VIP start and it looked like rain. By 2:00 it was raining and by 2:20 when they moved us out from under an awning and into a staging area for ticket checks it was coming down in buckets and hailing. Once my tickets were checked, my wife ran to the barn for tastings and I went out to enjoy a very wet fest all by my self. Stopped by the Sierra Nevada tent and grabbed a Bigfoot to help start the day out with the big stuff. Moved on to the Sonoran Inebriator and then went to see what folks had and find something new. I stopped by Stone to check for their 12th Anniversary, but they told me they couldn't score a keg. I settled for an Oaked Arrogant Bastard and kept looking for new things. I found a new old thing that floored me, Prescott Brewing's amber in a can. They were actually debuting it at the fest and we should see it in stores by the end of summer. Other highlights included my first taste of Dogfish Head's Midas Touch. Nice change from the standard offerings most breweries had. The other highlight came from the longest line we waited in of the day, Lost Abby. Serving from their signature champagne bottles, I had 2 tasters of Devotion Ale which was great and reaffirmed my love of a good Belgian.


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Bandersnatch in the Shade

I am trying not to get my hopes up too much, but I checked the list of breweries one last time before the fest this Saturday (particularly as I will be heading North on Thursday and have no internet access) and found that a few new breweries had been added including Bandersnatch!!!!

The aren't officially open yet, but they have announced a new location out in Buckeye so I won't be making many trips out to the new pub, but if they bring their milk stout to the festival then I just might set up camp in front of their booth for the afternoon.