Archive for September 24, 2015

Get your hop bomb fix, all in one place.

Get your hop bomb fix, all in one place.

Hop harvest season is upon us, in case you have not noticed by all the pictures of brewers stuffing their noses in mounds of fresh-picked hops that are floating around social media these days. Of course, one could argue hop season is year-round in New Mexico, judging by IPA sales remaining steady even in the colder months. To capitalize on this endless love of hoppy beers, Angelo Orona and his company, Craft King Consulting, are putting another tasting event at Sister Bar. Last time around it was the Tart at Heart, celebrating sour beers. This time they are calling it Palate Fatigue.

The event will take place on Saturday, Oct. 17, at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $35 in advance and $40 at the door, but take note that Tart at Heart sold out before the day of the event. You can purchase hard copy tickets at Sister, Jubilation, and the Kelly’s on Juan Tabo. You can also buy them online via Hold My Ticket.

To learn a little more about the event, I sat down with Angelo over at La Cumbre during the Full Nelson release, because after all, if you are going to talk hoppy beers, you might as well be drinking one of the hoppiest in all the land.

NMDSBC: So tell me all about Palate Fatigue. How did you come up with this crazy-sounding, hop-forward, craft-beer tasting event?

Angelo: In keeping with our theme of curating interesting and esoteric beers, like we did for Tart at Heart, we wanted to do an event that’s seasonally appropriate. October being the high season for hop harvest, we thought it would coincide nicely with the hoppy beers that are going to be in season at this time.

NMDSBC: Set-up wise, is it going to be a lot like Tart at Heart? Are you changing anything at all?

Angelo: It will be very similar in the setup. One difference will be this event will be unlimited tasting. Some of the best, most hoppy beers that are out. We are curating a list of specialty beers from regional breweries, local breweries, and some from across the world as well.

NMDSBC: So it’s pretty much IPA, double IPA, triple IPA.

Angelo: Yeah, so hop-forward beers will definitely be showcased. Our intention is to make the majority of them resinous, hop bomb, hop-forward beers. There may be a couple of curveballs thrown in. One idea was to have one very light, very easy-drinking beer thrown in as a sort of palate cleanser, rather than a palate wrecker.

NMDSBC: You list a few of the (local) guys here, Santa Fe, Ponderosa, La Cumbre, Bosque. People are always going to ask what kind of beers do you have? What’s coming? Do you have a list at this point?

Angelo: We do. So Lagunitas is going to send us something special, a keg of their Waldos’. Green Flash has Green Bullet and a Triple IPA that they’re going to send. We’re considering doing Le Freak from them, which is a Belgian IPA. Green Flash is really a brewery that does some hop-heavy beers, but hasn’t been showcased in New Mexico. So we partnered with them to get something special.

We’re going to get some beers from Alpine, which is the partner of Green Flash. We’re thinking of doing Duet and Hoppy Birthday. Breckenridge is going to likely have a beer that we’re going to debut at the event, which is a barrel-aged IPA with some sort of melons, though I don’t know specifically what they are yet. I’m waiting on the information for that.

Upslope is going to send us some Imperial IPA. Avery is going to send us something special. We’re likely to have Ballast Point Dorado Double IPA and Habanero Sculpin. And Wasatch has a real nice Ghost Rider White IPA that we’re going to feature. Ska also has a few … it’s going to be a special barrel-aged Modus (Hoperandi) and then Mandrino, which is aged on Mandarin oranges.

Those are some of the regional offerings, but we’ll also have specialty beers from a lot of the local breweries as well.

NMDSBC: I’m guessing those (local) lists will be finalized closer to the event itself.

Angelo: Yes. So the idea is to really have as many exclusive beers at the event as we can, or if they’re not exclusive at least debut at the event.

NMDSBC: I know something you wanted to do at Tart at Heart was to educate people about the beers they were drinking, since sours are still a new style for a lot of folks. People around here think they know a lot about IPAs, or is there more for them to still learn?

Angelo: Absolutely. We’re going to step up the educational component at this event. There will be a table that will feature different hops in their different forms. We’ll likely have some pelletized hops. If we can get our hands on some whole-cone hops we’ll do that. Hop plugs are another thing that we’re going to seek out, just so people know the difference between what these hops look like, smell like, and feel like.

Also we’ll have a better sort of program to have descriptions of the beer. Last time we had them on a projection (screen) over the event, but this time it’s likely we’ll have a small map so people can make their way around and have fuller descriptions of each beer.

NMDSBC: You’re doing the pre-sale at the door, but last time you guys sold out before?

Angelo: We did sell out.

NMDSBC: So you’re encouraging people to buy in advance.

Angelo: Buy your tickets as soon as you can. This event is likely to sell out just like Tart at Heart. This time we do have slightly more capacity. Last time we were limited to 150. This time we’ll have seating for about 200 folks. You can buy hard-copy tickets at Sister Bar, Jubilation, and Kelly’s Juan Tabo. The soft copies are through Hold My Ticket.

NMDSBC: And there is a charity.

Angelo: There is a charitable component to the event. A portion of the proceeds are going to the Aljaba Casa Hogar Children’s Home, which is located in Mexico. It’s a charity that I’ve been involved in for the last couple years. It was strongly supported by Marble Brewery while I was there. Each year we do several trips to support this children’s home. It has 45 children there that are cared for by the folks there. The proceeds will go to make sure they have what they need for school supplies, medicine, and so on.

Angelo added there would be a special IPA brewed by Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande just for the event, so we also have that to look forward to in October.

So hurry up and go get your Palate Fatigue tickets in advance. The Crew will see you at Sister in a few weeks.


— Stoutmeister

Fate Brewing has opened a second, bigger location in South Scottsdale.

Fate Brewing has opened a second, bigger location in South Scottsdale.

Editor’s note: While it does receive the attention of Arizona Wilderness or a bigger place like Four Peaks or SanTan, Fate Brewing is one of the best breweries in the Phoenix metro area. AmyO stopped in during a recent visit to watch some terrible football game. (Woe be the hapless Lobos.) At least the beer was good. — Stoutmeister

One of my favorite breweries in Scottsdale recently opened a second location. The original Fate Brewing is on Shea Boulevard just east of Scottsdale Road. It occupies a small footprint in a nondescript strip mall. Despite that limited space, they were cranking out great beer and food. Now, Fate has added a spectacularly beautiful brewery and taproom just south of Old Town Scottsdale on Scottsdale Road. It is easily accessible by bus or trolley for those staying in the downtown/Old Town area. It is also just a block south of Papago Brewing in Papago Plaza.

My three companions and I were excited visit to Fate South. We all had samplers because we were curious to see if the expansion changed the quality of the beer. If anything, the tasting experience (both for food and beer) is even more positive because there are more types to choose from, and everything we tasted was very good. Some offerings were better than good.

Some of the best beers in Arizona.

Some of the best beers in Arizona.

The samples we chose were: Oh my Gatos! Golden Ale, Bamberg Hefeweisen, Grape of Thrones APA, Pale Down Unda APA, Baby Oats IPA, and Export Stout. We also ordered some pizza dough “focaccia” with marinara, sweet potato fries with “Fate Sauce” (a spicy, thousand-island-y fry sauce), and a hummus platter at happy hour pricing.

We sat at the bar and the bartender was funny and engaging. He joked around with us quite a bit. My group was having a discussion about how the smoked malt in the Bamberg Hefeweisen was odd and made for a very unique version of the style. We were unsure if we would order a whole pint. But then I put a fry with the sauce in my mouth, followed by a hearty sip of the Bamberg. Oh, wait, whoa there. That completely changed the flavor of the beer and it was an amazing combination. The bartender overheard and said with a huge grin, “Are you totally doing a beer and food pairing? How awesome!”

The choices were plentiful.

The choices were plentiful.

Some tasting notes: We had a consensus on an overwhelming favorite — the Grape of Thrones. Oh, my, that is very complex and yet meticulously balanced! It was like Grapefruit Sculpin’s younger cousin from the suburbs. The runner up was the Export Stout. It wasn’t super thick or overpowering, but that was good on a day where the temperature climbed over 100 degrees. Although it was a little lighter than expected, it was full of smooth, rounded, coffee goodness.

If you find yourself in Scottsdale, I heartily recommend a visit to Fate. Put Fate in your own hands!

Stop by and say hello the next time the Lobos are set to get killed by the Sun Devils.

Stop by and say hello the next time the Lobos are set to get killed by the Sun Devils.


— AmyO