Phoenix Beer Scene Inquiry

Discussion in 'Southwest' started by Brewfisted, Jan 25, 2018.

  1. sharpski

    sharpski Champion (835) Oct 11, 2010 Oregon

    Thanks all! Not gonna have time to make the 2hr drive to Tuscon, so I'll take my chances and be happy with what I get.
  2. Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse

    Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse Initiate (127) Jul 20, 2016 Arizona

    Given that you consider WH at least a notch below Tombstone, et al., I think your taste in IPAs may be similar to mine, as that appears to be an unpopular opinion. I'll have to get down to Tucson sometime and check out PV.
    breadwinner likes this.
  3. Beaverhuntr

    Beaverhuntr Initiate (34) Apr 20, 2018 Arizona

    I think Wandering Tortoise still has a couple kegs of Pueblo Vida on tap. I think they still have Bonfire DIPA and Chroma IPA. Wren House was just voted by Phoenix New Times as best brewery in Phoenix and Wandering Tortoise won best tap house.
    MonkeyBread and sharpski like this.
  4. breadwinner

    breadwinner Meyvn (1,200) Mar 6, 2014 California

    Yeah, man, I can only imagine you'd dig PV -- to me, they just get that balance of slightly softer feel, tropical/citrus hop + yeast ester combo, and subdued and (and this is key) not too heavy, nor sweet malt contribution. Honestly, I've drank a ton of hazies from all over this country, and I think they do it darn near well as anyone.

    Wren House (hops) haven't ever done a ton for me, I dunno -- I find a yeasty astringency, they always seem to lean more citrus rind-y than tropical, the feel is never quite right, etc. (They did a decent dortmunder a while back that I dug, though.)

    Tombstone I like more than WH, for sure, although I tend to find some of their hoppy stuff just a touch too heavy in the body (sweet as well), and there's a certain "rotting fruit" vibe I get from the yeast they use. (That's not uncommon amongst the hazies for me, so I think I'm just sensitive to it.)
  5. Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse

    Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse Initiate (127) Jul 20, 2016 Arizona

    Yeah, I definitely agree Tombstone tends toward the "dark" and heavy end of the style. It be nice to find someone who consistently puts out light and bright hazy IPAs. Thanks for the info!
    Beaverhuntr and breadwinner like this.
  6. Beaverhuntr

    Beaverhuntr Initiate (34) Apr 20, 2018 Arizona

    Well said , and I agree with it all. :beer:
  7. honkey

    honkey Zealot (539) Aug 28, 2010 Arizona

    This was an interesting topic to follow for me. I didn't want to chime in while it was still ongoing a couple weeks ago as I didn't want my posts to stifle the sharing of opinions about my own beer, positive or negative.

    I think the mention of my beers being dark and heavier vs. Pueblo Vida being bright is a pretty accurate depiction of our brewing philosophies. When I first started brewing hazy IPA's back in 2015, the style hadn't really evolved much at that point. Heady Topper was the prime example of the hazy style and I set out to brew something similar. I find a heavier malt presence in Heady, which is the result of their Pearl Malt. I opted to use a similar malt (Floor Malted Maris Otter) which gives a biscuity, bready flavor and is a bit sweet. Contrary to what a lot of people seem to believe, we don't use specialty malts in 90% of our IPA's. When I do, it's in our extremely hopped beers and it's just a VERY small portion of honey malt to try to mask the astringency that will come from those insane hopping rates... Mediocrity, Most Hops, and Baby Wyatt are the ones that have used it. I haven't strayed from that Maris Otter much in the last few years except for the occasional change to Pils malt to pair with certain hop varieties. Even the Pils malt that I use (Weyermann Extra Pale Premium Pils) has a slight honey like sweetness to it which is apparent in our German Style Pils as well. More recently, we released "Almost Wet Hop IPA" which uses Bohemian Floor Malted Pils malt which is also a bit heavier in flavor than most pils malt and features a doughy character that I really like. If you want to try a bright Tombstone IPA though, that would probably be the one to try.

    My hop lot selections for Citra, Mosaic, and Simcoe all are selected for their heavier (or darker if you will) flavors. The Citra has a ripe peach, mango, and lychee character, the Mosaic has an over ripe blueberry character, and the Simcoe has a tropical fruit punch character. The only "bright" hop that I use regularly is our Amarillo which I select a lot that displays the most ruby red grapefruit character. I also really like the Michigan grown Chinook which has an intense pineapple and an herbal quality to it. The reason I tend to stay away from the bright hops on a regular basis is because I feel like I can use a higher dosing rate with our other hops without getting a hoppy astringency. Lately though, as I drink a lot of hyped examples of NEIPA's, I've noticed that they frequently display an astringent character that I'm not a fan of, but that a lot of other drinkers either overlook or don't notice.

    We actually use the same yeast strain as Pueblo Vida and I think Wren House uses the strain on occasion, but only infrequently.

    In comparison though, Pueblo Vida most frequently uses a light Pils malt for their base malt and they do tend to use "brighter" hops. I have a lot of respect and admiration for both PV and Wren House (and I believe the respect is mutual) but I do think that we each have our own takes on the style, which is great for customers.
  8. Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse

    Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse Initiate (127) Jul 20, 2016 Arizona

    Thanks for the detailed insight! I meant the "dark and heavy" thing as a compliment, despite my stated desire to find something light and bright. Which I prefer depends on what I'm in the mood for. Definitely room for both! I always like to add a bit of Columbus to my NEIPAs in order to balance out the sweet, fruity flavors a bit.

    I've got a couple of cans of Almost Wet Hop in the fridge along with the Idaho 7. Now I'm extra looking forward to drinking it tonight.
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  9. Beaverhuntr

    Beaverhuntr Initiate (34) Apr 20, 2018 Arizona

    The Idaho 7 and Almost wet hop stuff is pretty good. I had Tombstones Wet Hop IPA a couple weeks ago and really enjoyed it. Pueblo Vida released a couple fresh hop cans yesterday too I think I'm gonna take a trip to Tucson and try those.. Cheers!
  10. breadwinner

    breadwinner Meyvn (1,200) Mar 6, 2014 California

    Thanks for this reply, Weedy -- it's thoughtful, gives a really cool view into your/Tombstone's style, and, most of all, I appreciate you allowing some plebes like us to give our opinions -- not all brewers would you have that magnanimity:slight_smile:

    Funny you mention Heady -- that's actually exactly the comparison I've thought of with some of your stuff, though I think Heady is probably a little more bitter than your usual approach. Malt and color-wise, though, definitely. Which, hey, that's not a bad archetype to set after in the least.

    Really cool to hear your take on hop selection, too, which I can definitely pick up in your beer and, in particular, your take on the Chinook you guys use. I always thought Chinook as much more of an herbal + pine sort of hop, but I recall having last year's fresh Chinook hop from you guys and thinking it was surprisingly "tropical". A while later, though, I had Tree House's Sap, which is all Chinook, and there were some similarities re: departure from the "traditional" Chinook profile. What I took from this is that a) you can definitely get Chinook hops to evoke other flavors than traditional herbal/pine and b) the yeast character in these hazies is so prominent that those esters (and this is just my opinion) can probably make a lot of hops act differently and pull out certain flavors (generally "tropical" or heavily "fruity" is what I'd say). Meanwhile, since you mentioned Amarillo as your "bright" hop, I guess it should be no coincidence that the Amarillo single hops you've done have been some of my favorite beers from you guys:slight_smile:

    Anyway, I really dig your takes and it was cool to see how they shed light on some stuff I'd perceived/guessed at.