May 2011 Hot Break

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In This Issue
From the President
SpringFest 2011 is Upon Us
PHX Urban Pub Crawl
Food n' Beer
Reader Contribution: Wild Ales
May General Meeting


Thursday, May 12, 5pm-8pm
@ Flanny's

Saturday, May 14

  May 2011 General Meeting 

Tuesday, May 17, 7pm-9pm

Thursday, May 19

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Despite the beautiful weather we've had the past few days, it's going to get hot. We know that, and we don't mind because we're Arizonans. Or not, and we're just motivated by something like Springfest 2011 to get out and about in the heat. What's Springfest? Get out from under that rock and read on below.

Hopefully this message gets to you before you make your Thursday evening plans, because we're having our weekly happy hour at Flanny's in Tempe. Too late for you? We'll be sure to plan for next Thursday as we're helping Mo and AZ Girls Pint out celebrate their first annivesary with a happy hour at SunUp Brewing.

There's lots more going on and more helpful information below, so without more delay, enjoy the May Hot Break.
From the President
By Rob Fullmer
ASH President Rob Fullmer

Congratulations! You live in the Arizona in the Sonoran Desert, USDA Hardiness Zone 9 where we average 7" of rain and have 300+ days of sun. If it's below 110 and you are in the shade, you are OK. You live in this; you drink in this; you brew in this.

Last Saturday was Big Brew. We had ASH brewers in all points in the state. What Ale's Ya' in the North, Brewers Connection in the South. I had the opportunity to brew with the Flagstaff Mountaintop Mashers at Oak Creek Brewing in Sedona. Met about a half dozen of their members (including former ASHer, Owen) and got to kludge together an improvised fermentation chamber in the Hampton Inn. It was a sweet deal; Oak Creek Brewing provided the hot liquor, base malt, yeast and $1 drafts. Something to consider next year!

 This Saturday is our Spring Fest. It's projected to be in the mid 90's and sunny. You've got this. You'll drink plenty of water and beer. You'll eat some great food. You'll stay out of the sun. Wear a hat. (They look cool, yo!) Jerry and the Spring Fest committee have got all the details worked out, so look for the announcement in this issue and on the site. Bring your homebrew, your Kolsch Kup entries and your side dish. Don't bring any glass (park rule). Have your club ID ready. All paid members can bring one adult guest. 

We've got a meeting on the 17th and we'll be collecting the kegs you've pledged toward Club Night at NHC San Diego, so bring 'em.

The 19th brings us a very special ASH Happy Hour over at Sun Up Brewing celebrating the 1 year Anniversary of Arizona Girls Pint Out. Uwe brewed up a special Martzen for the occasion.

The Ameri"CAN" festival is still looking for volunteers on the 21st. This inaugural festival will feature canned beer from over 40 breweries, many of which will be making their Arizona debut. It's a great opportunity and I hope that you all can take advantage of it.



SpringFest 2011 This Sat., May 14
Spring Fest is a celebration of homebrewing and beer culture! It is one of your perks as an ASH member and is one of the top beer festivals in the state. It pales only to the ASH Okoberfest. Traditionally this has been a smaller festival, but since ASH is growing, so grows Spring Fest. If you are a guest of ASH, relax and enjoy the homebrew made by ASH members and BBQ from Marty Gibson. Bargrass Revival will provide music and there will be games, bounce castles and face painting for the kids. There will be the 4th annual Kaptin's Kup given to the best Kolsch beer in attendance in memory of the late Mark Helms. Please RSVP.

When and Where is Spring Fest?
Spring Fest is Saturday, May 14th from 12 PM - 6 PM
Please RSVP.
Tempe Kiwanis
Ruben Romero Corporate Ramada
6111 South All American Way
Tempe, AZ 85283
 Who can attend?
Spring Fest is for ASH Members and their families. ASH also invites special guests from the Brewer's Guild, Brewmeister's Anonymous and those in the craft beer industry. If you are a member or are extended an invite, you may bring one other adult and your children.
Members and guests are:
  • All paid Members as of Friday May 13th at midnight. Paypal link
  • Please address any questions to or call 602-49Beers.
  • There will be no day of membership sales! GET IT DONE NOW!
What to Bring?
  • Homebrew - including rootbeer if you have it.
  • Your Side Dish. Please see the sign-up list!
  • Vegetarian or non-Pork/Beef main dishes if that's your thing.
  • Kolsch for the Mark Helms Kaptain's Kolsch Kup
  • Don't bring any glass (park rule).
  • Have your club ID ready. Guests, please bring a State ID or Drivers Licence.

ASH will supply BBQ, water and ice. 
Guild Members and Industry Guests - we only request that you come and have a good time. It's natural for you to want to promote your brewery and bring beer (we won't say no) but we really enjoy your presence, so please stop by and have fun! 

Phoenix Urban Pub Crawl 2011

by Rob Fullmer


Living in the South Mountain area of Phoenix gives me the opportunity to get to Central Phoenix (CenPho) for more than just ba

ll games. I've always felt that the East Valley members of ASH don't get to see all of the cool places to drink good beer; typically it's a $9 Fat Tire in the US Airways Center or Chase Field.


Rob at Local Breeze with a Bloody MaryWe started the day ambitiously at Local Breeze at 9AM. Local Breeze features a large outdoor patio and bar with plenty of shade. Brenda and I had some

outstanding Bloody Mary's and chase them down with Oak Creek Pale Ales. The beer list at Local Breeze is heavy on local beer and has a unique breakfast and lunch menu that recalls Pichkes in Scottsdale. That's when we met the third member of our group, Ben. Also, we ran into a very hung over and confused Roger.


We walked down McKinley past the famers market at the Downtown public market to the Turf Accountant, an Irish bar with OTB. Truth be known, we could have started our day here at 7AM. We settled in for pints on the patio right on 1st street. Coincidentally we ran into Rob, the bartender from Carly's, where we would head to later.


Beer Sample Tray at District Kitchen 

Dan found us at our our next location, District Kitchen. District is located in the Sheraton on 3rd St. The District features several local craft beers on tap and has sampler trays for tasting.

 Japanese Oyster Stout at Nobou at Teeter House

We headed North to grab some beers and lunch in Heritage Square. Our first stop was the Rose and Crown where we sat outside on picnic tables. For a change of pace, I suggested that we head next door to Nobuo at Teeter House, a Japanese Izakaya, or pub. Chef Nobuo is a James Beard award winning chef and has put together a unique place to sample Japanese beers.  These are not your father's Japanese beers.  We had Oyster Stouts, Japanese IPAs and Sweet Potato beers and soft-shelled crab sandwiches. 


Heritage Square is also home to Bar Bianco and Pizzaria Bianco. Each features outdoor drinking, a solid beer list and, of course, Pizzaria Bianco has world class pizza.


Continuing North we decided to head a bit off the plan and stopped by Bliss/Rebar where we met up with Keevin and Larry

Bliss features another outstanding outdoor bar area (seeing the trend here) and is a bit clubby at night, nut you can usually get a Lagunitas or a Sierra Nevada seasonal. 



Steve and Laura caught us at Carly's on Roosevelt. Carly's has salads and paninis and a pretty good Belgian bottle list. Nothing fancy, Orval, Westmalle, Duvel. They also have a number of craft taps. We also had a few of our friends show up and we entertained ourselves as we watched a bald shirtless man ran and rave on the street. Others in our group ogled at the bar mural of the shirtless reclining woman (yet another theme). Had we had more time we might have walked across the street and record shopped at Revolver records. 

Film Bar




When we did cross the street to was to head on over to the Film Bar, a place you could go to watch independent films, drink, or do one or the other or both. Film Bar offers bottles and cans of craft beer and imports like London Pride and Pilsner Urquell. It's bigger on the inside than it looks and also offers some cozy seating areas. I think we had a contest on how many bean bags we could sit on. 



After a couple of rounds we headed over to Roosevelt Tavern and ate dinner and partook of their taps and bottles. By now, Brenda and I had a solid 11 hours in and we had some biking to do, so we ended our evening. I'm not sure if anyone took my advice to go to the Lost Leaf or the Lexington Hotel. You'll have to ask the rest of the ASH urban explorers.



We also never made it to the Duce (bad beer, great place), Arrogant Butcher, Paisley Violin, Bikini Lounge (bad beer, great place), Ghost Lounge, Seamus McCaffreys, or Hanny's for cocktails.



I created a map of the places we hit and some we never go to. I'd love to do it again and expand it to the North Central Corridor.



Cheese and Beer Pairing Results


During the last General Membership meeting we discussed food and beer pairings. At the end of the night, we set up different cheeses and gave our members the task of experimenting with pairing the cheeses to different beer styles. Some members posted their thoughts on the wall of the club, here are some of the responses:

Blue Cheese:
"0-2 with sweeter beers-will have to keep trying to find something as I love both beer and blue cheese" -Garrick
"Blue with coffee stout = tasty"
"Goes great with cyser, sweet pairs w/ earthy"
"No Hoplo Ingles" -Ron

"Delicious w/ Alt Bier. Works w/ English Pale" -Ben
"Great with Saison- ok with wit..." -Garrick
"Cheddar with coffee porter = mellow and smooth"
"Hopago" -Ron
"Incredible w/ Oaked Schwarzbier"

"Not good with alt bier" -Ben
"Worked OK with mango strawberry wit" -Garrick
"Exceptionally balanced and delicious with the double red that tastes strangly of barley wine. Delish!" -J-Mal
"Good w/ English Pale Ale"
"Finally! Goat and Double Red (barley wine-ish) The sweet of the beer, the tang of the cheese!" -Jeff
"Outrageously good w/ traditional mead"
"No Hoplo Ingles" - Ron

"Brie is pretty much God-awful with the double red that tastes of barleywine"
"Would east brie with every meal. Haven't found a beer where it fails--particularly good w/ mango strawberry wit and saison. The sweetness of the beer bridged well with the creamy texture and flavor of the cheese." -Garrick
"Brie + Coffee Stout = Yuk
"No nut brown here tonight- works like a champ!" -Jeff
"No Hoplo Ingles or Oude Zuipers" -Ron

Wild Ales Contributing Writer Joshua Blackburrn

Fellow ASHer Joshua Blackburrn writes about his experiences brewing and sampling wild ales. If you have a story you would like to add to the monthly Hot Break, email

Greetings fellow brewers,

Wild ales seem to be the most beloved and disliked beers in the world.  Those of us who have a passion for sour beers understand the balance of subtle and extreme flavors that make up these unique beers and would like to create these ourselves.  Brewing wild ales requires you to invest a lot of time, thoughts and emotions, so what makes it worth it? One aspect is the price of commercial sours these days. At $15 to $30 a 750ml you can brew 5 gallons for the price of a bottle or two. They are also fun to brew for special occasions in the distant future like weddings, anniversaries, or birthdays.  Because they take 12 to 15 months to ferment, I like to plan them out for such events.  But I have found that not everything I've read about making these rare beers has provided the best results. Here are some findings and approaches from my experiences being an American wild home brewer.

Planning ahead is a big key to having a solid sour in the end. My thoughts are if you are going to invest this much time into a brew, don't cut corners. My process begins about a month before the actual brew day. First I build up what I call my "bug farm". This is a sanitized growler I dump the dregs from all the commercial sours I enjoy into. These beers are all bottle conditioned and usually contain live Brettanomyces (Brett), Lactobacillus (Lacto) and Pediococcus (Pedio). I've always gotten much better results using these dregs rather than the commercial yeast company's Brett or bacteria.  Another thing to think about is vessel space.  Your aging vessel will be occupied for quite some time, so plan accordingly.

Now let's take a look at these so called "bugs". Brettanomyces is referred to as wild yeast, the crazy cousin of saccharomyces, which is the standard form of yeast we ferment our beers with. It's known for producing the classic barnyard and sweaty horse blanket flavor found in some Belgian beers. I never thought the aroma of a sweaty horse blanket would make my mouth water. Lacto and Pedio are both forms of lactic acid producing bacteria. These two are the culprits responsible for creating the tart aromas and flavors found in sour beers. One thing that will help the bacteria create the lactic acid are the enzymes released from mashing corn. I like to have flaked maze make up 5% to 10% of my grain bill to produce these enzymes. High oxygen and hop levels can retard the growth of the lactic acid so this is something to keep in mind when designing your recipes.

When it comes to fermentation, my technique varies from the professionals. Every interview or book I've read states that they let the saccro have free reign in the primary and then transfer the beer on to the brett and bugs in the secondary, usually in a barrel. I have yet to achieve my desired level of sourness using this method and have heard the same thing from fellow wild home brewers. I believe the larger brewery does this for numerous reasons. Their primary fermentation can be done in their stainless steel tanks with just saccro with no risk of infecting a future non-sour batch. Then they rack it into barrels that are inoculated with the bacteria and add brett to lower the final gravity and dry out the beer. This way they don't need to spend time or money keeping cultures of the bacteria as well because they are now resident in the barrel. I have not yet purchased a barrel, so I like to add both yeast strains and the bacteria in the primary. I have achieved a higher level of sourness using this technique. I believe this is due to the lacto getting a chance to convert sugars before the yeast eats most of them. I will allow the primary fermentation to go for 3-4 weeks before racking to secondary.

In the secondary I add my spirit or wine soaked oak chips and fruit (if employed) where it will rest for 12-18 months. 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit is a good aging temperature for the brett and bugs to do their thing. It's a good idea to freeze and then thaw your fruit before racking the beer on to it because the low temperatures will harden and crack the cell walls of the fruit allowing the yeast full access to the fruits sugars. After about 6 months you should see a white skin grow across the top of the beer. This is called a pelical. The pelical is formed by the bacteria to limit the amount of oxygen getting into the beer. This is a good sign that the bugs are working their magic. This is also where a brewer's self discipline is tested. Try your hardest to limit the amount of samples you take as breaking that pelical will increase the amount of acetic acid producing bacteria will get into the beer. These bacteria will produce and strong vinegar-like flavors. I usually take samples at the 6 and 12 month marks and add more bugs from my farm if needed.

When sampling, remember that the beer will tell you when it's ready. Every source I've talked to or read has told me that their wild ales only get better with time, so if you're not happy at the 12 month mark just give it some more time and see where it goes.  The biggest thing I've learned is no matter how much time I've spent with my nose in books about Lambics or reading interviews with commercial sour brewers, I discovered that I had to find what worked for me and what I am trying to create. If you have any questions before you attempt a recipe feel free to ask through email or at one of the meetings. Finally, I am working on obtaining a barrel and would like to find some brewers to get together and start a Brotherhood of the Barrel. Please let me know if you are interested.

Thank you,

Joshua Blackburn


From the Editor: Thanks Joshua for your contribution. If any other members are interested in contributing to the monthly Hot Break, send your submissions to

May General Meeting Tuesday, May 17 7pm-9pm

The ASH General meeting will be at the new ASH Clubhouse, 2515 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale, AZ 85257.  We're in the storefront under the Rose Market sign.

The Homebrewer of the Year competition entry is due. This round is Porter.
Always keep in mind, if you visit a new brewery, find a cool beer spot, had a life-changing brewing epiphany, have a great project you're working on, or anything else you'd like to mention on Hot Break, email me; We want to see stories and photos from our members.


We'll see you at the General Meeting. Till then brew on and RDWHAHB






Your Club Board Members
ASH President Rob Fullmer
 - Rob Fullmer

Vice President - Ben Conner

 - Maureen Basenberg

Treasurer - David Schollmeyer

Communications - Tom Boggan

Arizona Society of Homebrewers

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