It’s been a while since the last Brewer’s Blog update… As it turns out, having two breweries is pretty time consuming! It’s been an exciting few months since the time of getting North up and running and we’re starting to settle into a routine. We’ve started some can releases so now we’re packaging at both breweries and one of the biggest challenges we’ve faced so far hasn’t been the increase in volume, but rather the increase in the amount of fermenters we have now. It’s been a really fun time on the creative side of things since we now have more flexibility to brew a wider array of styles and the brewers at North have brought a lot to the table with passions for some different styles than we have brewed in Tombstone.

On Monday in Phoenix, we’ll be canning Double IPA, Helles Dorado, and a new Chocolate Oatmeal Stout. The Chocolate Oatmeal Stout is a pretty traditional example of an English Oatmeal Stout that has a huge amount of Cacao Nibs courtesy of Zak’s Chocolate in Scottsdale. The use of both flaked oats and malted oats gives the beer a silky smooth mouthfeel and the use of a blend of chocolate malts and chocolate wheat provides the perfect chocolate base beer for the cacao. English ale yeast known for its high production of glycogens helps to round out the mouthfeel and also compliments the light fruity notes of the cacao. At 6% ABV, this will be a great stout for when you want to experience the rich malty flavors of a big imperial stout, but you want to drink a few in a sitting.

In addition to the three beers getting canned on Monday, next week we’ll also be releasing a sessionable table saison that features the use of local malts. More on that later!

Also on Monday, in Tombstone we’ll be canning a trio of collaboration beers with Ground Control. We’ll be bringing back two old favorites, Hops are My Co-Pilot IPA and These Hops Sure Can Fly DIPA. Getting added into the mix this year is Tombstone’s newest Triple IPA, Would Dock Again. At 10% ABV and 10 lbs of hops per barrel, this Triple should be right up your alley if you want intense hop aromatics. As usual with our Triple IPA’s, the beer is still dry and drinkable and hides its ABV very well. The use of Citra, Strata, and Cascade in the dry hop with Idaho 7 in the whirlpool creates a great combination of bright citrusy flavors along with candied peaches, cantaloupe, and lychee.

After this round of beers we’ll be bringing back our All the Hops series which we use to feature our select lots of Amarillo, Mosaic, Citra, and Comet. Normally we release these early in the year so we can show off our new year of hop lots as they come in, but this year we wanted to get to know the lots a bit better so we could tailor the recipe to maximize the attributes of each lot. This year’s Amarillo is much more floral and gives off less perception of bitterness than previous years, the Mosaic is displaying a lot of ripe blueberry character, the Citra is extra bright with tropical fruit aroma, and the Comet this year is really special in my mind with huge ruby red grapefruit contributions.

In addition to our normal hazy IPA rotation, I’m super excited to be brewing our first West Coast style IPA’s in the next few weeks! When I first started brewing a little over 10 years ago, West Coast IPA’s were all the rage and that’s what I brewed the most of for my first 5 years brewing commercially. I’ve wanted to find the time in the schedule to brew a West Coast ever since we opened, but with the demand for hazies, it hasn’t really worked out. Now that we have so many more fermenters available, we’ve got 2 of them on the schedule as well as a pale ale.

For the first one getting brewed in Tombstone, we’ll be brewing with some of my favorite classic IPA’s in mind. We want to really capture the old school spirit with a good clean base malt complimented with just a hint of crystal malt the same way that all the classic West Coast brewers that invented the style brewed them. The beer will be dry, have a high level of bitterness that will dissipate rapidly on the palate, and feature some premium “C” hops, Simcoe, and Amarillo. This is a beer where we don’t want to reinvent anything, but rather to revisit our roots and pay homage to the great brewers that paved the way for the current craft beer scene.

We’ve got a lot more coming up and will try to make these blog posts a bit more frequent as new beers are released. Cheers!