Four Peaks Kilt Lifter

Today I cracked a can of Arizona’s most popular local beer, and one of my first American crafts many years ago: Four Peaks Kilt Lifter. While it isn’t as much of a statement as I personally like a Scottish style to be, it still holds a special place in my heart (I think it made me feel like a man when all my buddies were drinking cheap swill).

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Kilt Lifter starts with an especially sweet brown sugar nose followed by a bready malt taste.  Light carbonation, light mouth feel, and some light caramel in a nice clean finish.  Hops aren’t very present and it drinks like a session beer.

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Kilt Lifter | Four Peaks Brewing Company (Tempe, Arizona) | Scottish Style  Ale | 6.0% ABV 

My final recommendation:  Grab a 6 of cans and drink  them with Dad.  He’ll appreciate the smooth flavor, how easy it is to drink, and that always-classic aluminum can that he’ll be chuggin’ from.

 

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Fireside Chat

Good evening, friends.  I hope this address finds you in good company, cozy and warm.  Perhaps you’re relaxing with a loved one beside a crackling fire, or visiting with family and friends while a Christmas tree sparkles in the background.  Wherever you may be, you are most likely in need of the perfect beer to pair with the season and add to your holiday spirit.  “Like a kick in the butt and a hug at the same time,” 21st Amendment’s Fireside Chat winter spiced ale is the kind of beer that makes every holiday occasion just a little more festive.

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A not-so-subtle twist on a English-style ale, Fireside Chat elevates the traditional with the addition of cocoa nibs and a unique collection of hand selected spices from 21A’s co-founder and Brewmaster Shaun O’Sullivan.  The result is a Winter Warmer brewed “to share and to celebrate the warmth, aromas and flavors of the season.”  Sweet malt and fruit on the nose.  Alcohol present up front, but finishes smooth with a bitter spice and lingering warmth on the tongue.  Simply put, I LOVE THIS BEER and nobody should have to celebrate the holiday’s without it.

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Fireside Chat | 21st Amendment Brewery (San Francisco, CA) | Winter Warmer | 7.9% ABV

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LumberYard Flagstaff IPA

Arizona’s most decorated IPA hails from Flagstaff, Arizona where the fresh air and tall pines must have influenced the flavors in this little can of happiness!  A true-to-the-style brew, LumberYard IPA is mild on the nose, which is surprising considering the grapefruit and pine that it boasts to the tongue.  A lot of hops up front, a kick of fruit and pepper in the middle, and a solid malt on the home stretch.  It left a proud and somewhat arrogant bitter on my palette which I enjoyed for a second before going right back for more.  The biggest thing that stood out to me about this beer is the fact that I only bought one.  So stupid.

LumberYard Flagstaff IPA | Lumberyard Brewing Company (Flagstaff, Arizona) | American IPA | 6.1% ABV

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Arizona football, Arizona beer

I find it quite appropriate to enjoy an amazing Arizona craft beer on the day that the Arizona Cardinals kick off the NFL pre-season in front of a national audience at the Hall of Fame Game.  No two things go better together than football and beer, and that is what today is about.

Tempe’s Four Peaks Brewing Company has made one for the books with what I understand to be Arizona’s favorite IPA, Hop Knot.  According to the brewery, “Hop Knot IPA gets its name from weaving seven different hops added at seven separate times during the brewing process.”  Crack the can for a blast of bright, fruity hop aroma.  She pours a cloudy orange-amber with a foamy white head that sticks around for a while.  Hop Knot starts dry on the palette, ramps up with some fresh citrus and grass, and then finishes dry again with a lingering malt flavor.

I very much like this beer… classic, balanced and most importantly all-American.  The perfect beer to enjoy in anticipation of some Arizona Cardinals pre-season football.

 

Hop Knot IPA | Four Peaks Brewing Company (Tempe, Arizona) | American IPA | 6.7% ABV 

All About Altitude

This award-winning ESB comes from Lumberyard Brewing Company in Flagstaff, AZ where “it’s all about altitude.”  In 2010 it was awarded the silver in its category, so my expectation were high.  Lumberyard delivered.  Pours a beautiful amber color with a thin head that disappears quickly.  Mild and sweet malts finish hoppy and bitter.  Kinda makes me wish I was drinking it beside a campfire on a cool Flagstaff evening.  I’m regretting only buying a single when I was in AZ, at only 5.8% this beer is perfectly sessionable.  Good stuff, Lumberyard… Can’t wait to try the IPA!

Red Ale | Lumberyard Brewing Company (Flagstaff, Arizona) | Special Bitter | 5.8% ABV

Sunbru Sunday

Kicking off the Arizona lineup is Four Peaks Brewing Co’s Tribute to the German Kölsch, Sunbru.  Beautifully light and pale in color, and equally light and a bit sweet on the palate.  Sunbru finishes dry, just the way you want it to on a warm, sunny day.  This might be the perfect day-drinking beer for those hot Tempe days, but I’m thankful to be enjoying it in the warm Los Angeles sun.

 

Sunbru | Four Peaks Brewing Company (Tempe, Arizona) | Kölsch -Style Ale | 5.1% ABV 

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BCR: Arizona Edition

A few friends hitched a ride back from Phoenix with us, kicking off the Arizona edition of the Beer Can Revolution.  Stay tuned for new posts on Arizona canned creations from Four Peaks Brewing Company (Tempe), Prescott Brewing Compan (Prescott), Lumberyard Brewing Company (Flagstaff), and SanTan Brewing Company (Chandler)… plus a few from Ska Brewing Company (Durango, CO) who made the trip back as well.

Brew Free or Die!

The second (although quite delayed) installment in my 21A series.  If I could find this in LA, it’d be my go-to IPA.  Big, bold and bitter, but well-balanced with a clean finish; everything you’d hope for in a classic west coast IPA.  In a word… respectable.

…and as is the case with all 21’s Amendment beers, the can art is bad ass.

Brew Free! or Die IPA | 21st Amendment Brewery (San Francisco, California) | American IPA | 7.0% ABV | $8.99/6-pack.

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21A is Back in Black

Friday night greeted me with a special doorstep delivery from an establishment I’ve been ever-curious about… San Francisco’s 21st Amendment Brewery.  In a note to the brewery, I expressed my interest in their beer and asked where I might find it in the LA area.  A timely response from Diana notified me of the unfortunate lack of distribution in Southern California.  21A demand seems to have exceeded supply… a good problem to have if you ask me.  Thankfully, Diana wasn’t content to let the conversation stop there.  She was so kind as to send me a few sample, which you’ll be reading about here in over the next few days.

First to shine is the 21st Amendment Back in Black – a rich and complex black IPA  shy of neither hop nor malt.  Instead of favoring one, it embraces the bold presence of each, boasts them proudly and frankly confuses me.  The jet-black color intrigues, the cocoa and coffee scent persuades, and the perfect balance of pine, citrus, and roasted malt delivers.  This beer is truly like no other.  Without a doubt, Back in Black is a must-drink in the Beer Can Revolution lineup.

Luckily for us all, 21A has worked out an agreement with bevmo.com for delivery, so fresh cans of California beer are but a click away!  Do yourself a favor… order them all.

Back in Black | 21st Amendment Brewery (San Francisco, California) | Black IPA | 6.8% ABV | $8.99/6-pack.

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