If you’ve been following along for more than a year, you know that Ricky and I have attended the Arizona Strong Beer Festival every year since we’ve lived here, and have had the chance to meet master brewers from places like BrewInMind. It’s the only beer festival (and there are a LOT!) that we will attend EVERY year. It’s, well, pretty much the best beer festival in Arizona. Some might argue that, but I believe it would be the consensus. It definitely features more rare beers than any other beer festival here. And that’s what we like – being able to try new beers that we haven’t had (and might never have again, who knows).
The last two years we have gone to the festival as press, covering it for our beer blog, 1001 Bottles. This year, we decided to just go all out and be regular, every-day, beer-drinking attendees. And so we did.
It’s funny, I’m not even really sure what to say about the festival. Obviously, I have been before. And I have enjoyed it every time. It seems to just keep getting better and better every year. I do need to figure out some easy way to control how much beer I drink, though. There are so many to try, it is very difficult!
I keep getting asked what was my favorite beer from the festival. I don’t know that I can pick a favorite. I have a list of over 30 different beers that I tried there. Here are some of the more memorable ones:
Sun Up Brewing’s Barrel Aged White Russian
I’ve had this beer one time before, I think, at the brewery. It’s located here in Phoenix, but is just not one of the breweries we manage to find our way to all that often, unfortunately. But it is SO good! I love big, thick barrel-aged stouts, and this one definitely didn’t disappoint.
Peoria Brewing’s Imperial Peanut Butter Porter
Here’s another big dark beer (of course, they’re my favorite kind!). I also really love peanut butter, so of course I had to try this one. And I loved it! It was the perfect balance of peanut butter, in my opinion.
Jack Daniels Kilt Lifter
In previous years of the Strong Beer Fest, it has seemed like Four Peaks typically always has the same beers at every festival. But this time, we got some brand new ones we’d never seen before. There was lots of new barrel-aged stuff, including the Jack Daniels Kilt Lifter. This one was quite good. Kilt Lifter is a great beer by itself, but it was fun to get the whiskey flavor in it for something different. Yum!
According to Ricky, this was the best beer of the day, and I can’t argue too much. I can’t argue because 1) I do remember this beer being good, and 2) well, unfortunately, I can’t remember this beer QUITE as well as some of the others. It was late in the day… but it was a good beer!
So once again, it was a successful Strong Beer Fest and a successful kickoff to Arizona Beer Week. I know there are plenty of beer events going on in the valley this week, so I hope if you live here you get the chance to check some of them out. Cheers!