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Author: natemlibby

Has it only been one year?

Could The Wandering Tortoise actually be celebrating just its first anniversary? I know it’s true, but it does seem hard to believe. Anyone that has been in the Wandering Tortoise know it is a special spot. Seeing that tap list when you walk in makes that clear, but it goes a lot deeper than that. The Tortoise is owned and operated by people that love beer and love providing a great place to enjoy beer. The owners, Justin and Shay, just get it. The Wandering Tortoise has been at the top of its game since opening because they have the experience and understanding of what it takes to make something special. They know it’s about the people. That’s clear with everyone they employ and every collaboration/partnership they bring into their shop. We all know that every business is dependent on making money, but some are different, some of these places are so genuine and driven to provide the best experience that sometimes they don’t seem to care. Continue reading

With the holidays fully in the rear view mirror I thought I would take the time to do a small write up on one of the latest breweries to open in the Valley. 12 West brewing is a member of the BARNONE Craftsman Community that recently opened in Gilbert. This new brewery is definitely at home in the atmosphere that has been created in the unique Barnone development. As you walk down the hall, passing the artisan shops that fill out this barn, you are dropped into the bar. A smaller bar with some high tops for community seating, but still a great space to enjoy the beer on tap and a nice patio attached.


Not typically a fan of flights, I went against that urge this time and got a flight of six beers that 12 West had to offer, oh and a full Pint of the Frontside IPA. There were a few standouts for sure. Starting with that Frontside IPA, It was love at first site. A seriously hoppy West Coast IPA with great body. This beer has a sturdy malt backbone but it doesn’t over power and makes sure all those hops smack you in the face. I could talk about that beer more but I think I’d rather just go drink one or four. Next notables were the Wild Card Pale Ale, Fresh Prince of Bel-Ale and the Mijo Triple IPA. Each of these beers was very good and made sure I’d be back for more. I enjoyed all of the beers I drank that day but flights are hard on the pallet and these are what stood out in the end. I recommend getting down to 12 West at your earliest convenience because the beer being made there is no joke. It’s located in an area that is only going to grow in popularity and I think 12 West is going to have a lot to do with that growth.

Nate Libby – Hoppy Craftsmen Blog Writer – feedmehops@outlook.com

The folks down at The Lost Abbey out did themselves on this one. I own far more beer totes and coolers than any one man should. I have one from any brewery that has sold them now or in the past and my collection only grows. While I may own too many, I think I have found my favorite one. This new soft-sided cooler with the Lost Abbey branding is just too badass. All of the red liners you see are interchangeable so you can customize the set up to whatever you need. fotor_148268142350885In the photos above I have mine loaded up for a day of Christmas drinking. One Pint Can, Two 32oz Cans, 1 750ml Bottle and 2 pint glasses, because you cant depend on anyone to have decent glassware these days. As you can see it has room for more. I put an ice pack in the pouch attached to the cover and went on my way. The quality of the zippers, outer fabric and inner liners is outstanding. I am giving this cooler the high honor of naming it as my new Official Beer Cooler for the Hoppy Craftsmen tastings on the podcast. I regularly have to travel with beer and I cant think of any classier way to do so. And at only $45, how can you go wrong?


Nate Libby – Hoppy Craftsmen Blog Writer – feedmehops@outlook.com


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