FROM ARIZONA BEER WEEK :: Brewing Up Hope

by David Daugherty on March 8, 2012

On Feb 25th, Papago Brewing, along with Little Guy Distributing sponsored a truly worthwhile charity beer festival to mark the end of Arizona Beer Week 2012.  What made this so worthwhile is that Papago donated 100% of the proceeds to the MISS Foundation.

I’ve enjoyed going to beer tastings and beer festivals in the past but this one stood out as The MISS Foundation is a 501 (c) 3, volunteer based organization committed to providing crisis support and long term aid to families after the death of a child from any cause. MISS also participates in legislative and advocacy issues, community engagement and volunteerism, and culturally competent, multidisciplinary, education opportunities.  If for no other reason, it was well worth the $20 dollar admission… and there was plenty of beer to drink!

Arizona Beer Week 2012

Some of the brewers on hand for the event; Sonoran, The Phoenix Ale Brewery, Four Peaks, Deschutes, Big Sky, Coronado Brewing, San Tan Brewing Co., Odell Brewing Co., New Belgium, Sierra Nevada and more.  I went with my friend Bryan, who had never been to a beer festival, we grabbed our tasting glass and beer tickets and immediately hit the Odell tent.  I had the Coconut Milk Porter.  I’m not a big fan of coconut in general, but this offering I did like. There was a strong aroma of coconut to the nose and in the mouth feel but things became uniquely interesting when the chocolate and vanilla hit the taste buds soon after. (Ed. Sometimes you feel like a nut…)

So many beers to talk about, New Belgium’s new spring beer called Dig, Sierra Nevada’s XXX, certainly brews to take note of, and on and on but there were two that I really enjoyed.

Four Peaks Hopsquatch photo courtesy of Scenic Brews

Four Peaks Hopsquatch Barleywine was the first.  Made in the American style, this hopped up barleywine is one of my favorites.  Poured a nice reddish color, the aroma sweet, following with a menagerie of flavors, including caramel and toffee, a grapefruity citrus, and strong. The ABV sitting at 11.5%, the 5 oz serving I had was enough of a tease for me to want more, but there were still so many brewers to check out.

The other of my favorites was Idiot IPA, from Coronado Brewing Co. on Coronado Island, California.  Brewed with over three pounds of hops per barrel and an ABV at 8.5%, I enjoyed this brew for what it was and yes, after the barleywine, this one did me in.  I have had their Islander Pale Ale (IPA) which is somewhat milder and tamer, but Idiot does just what the description from the brewery says, “Watch out, this unfiltered ‘San Diego IPA’ has been known to reduce even the most intelligent to a blithering ‘idiot.’”

Once again, thanks to Papago Brewing for supporting such a worthy cause.  If you’re interested in finding out more about MISS or would like to make a donation, the website for the foundation is http://www.misschildren.org/.

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