November 20, 2008

Random Notes from Arizona

The lovely wife and I just got back from a work/vacation trip to AZ. For the work portion we stayed at the JW Marriott Starr Pass. I was shocked to see so many craft beers on tap. Every restaurant we ate at in the resort (I think we ate at all of them) had some type of craft brew on tap. Lots of New Belgium beers (Fat Tire, 1554, and at least one other), Alaskan Amber, a Four Peaks (I think), and Nimbus Pale Ale served at all of our social functions (in bottles). I didn't really have a chance to take notes on anything (too busy), but I rememember liking the Sierra Nevada slightly better than the Nimbus (I had them back to back), but I drank more Nimubs, just to support a local brewer. Really the only glitch was one night at dinner (after just ordering a bottle of wine for the table, so I was locked into wine for a bit), I found out that the resturant had an IPA on tap (the server didn't know there was more than one type of IPA). After repeately (gently) inquiring about the IPA the server reported back that it wasn't an IPA, but an unmarked keg that no one knew what it was. He brought a sample of it and it was pretty good - definetly not an IPA - maybe an amber, but more brown ale flavor than most ambers. It was an interesting experience and a great resort for craft beer.

After the work portion of the trip was finished we went to spend a couple of days in Phoenix. I was able to try Oskar Blues Gordon - what a great beer! I only had a couple of them, but I really enjoyed them (maybe more so just because we can't get it here?). Again, didn't really take any notes on it, but really enjoyed it. The next night I had a bomber of Alesmith IPA - it was pretty good, but not as good as some of the IPAs I've had recently.

I've noticed that I've got quite a few IPAs in the fridge, and I'm thinking about having a blind tasting/sampling event with a small group of my friends. Any suggestions on a format - I'm thinking we'll maybe try 8-10 IPAs and blind rank them from best to worst. I am a bit concerned about how much we'll need to drink to really get a good taste, and how much of some of the random beers I have (or don't have, as the case may be).

Also, anyone know the law regrading having beer shipped in from another state or how shipping works when visiting another state? I was tempted to try to put some beer in my luggage, but didn't want all my stuff getting ruined if there were an accident, and I thougth about trying to carry some on the plane, but wasn't sure how that would work with a briefcase and laptop. Any suggestions on how to bring beer back home when visiting another state, but not driving?


ps - to Hoosier Beer Geek - I really like the green shirt!

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