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Category: Episode Review


(NSFW) Wait is that a guest host? Yup! This week Brandon and Chris talk craft beer with contributing author, for the Hoppy Craftsmen’s blog, Nate Libby. They talk about the AZBrewers Guild events, your holiday beer selections, and craft beer swag. But mostly Nate just gushes over Wilderness Brewing for 60 mins.

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InDepth Beer Reviews:

  • Firestone Walker – Firestone 20 (XX) Anniversary Ale
    • Rating – 4.5
    • Style – American Imperial Ale
    • ABV – 13%
    • A vibrant blend of beers aged no less than one year in a multitude of barrels and blended together by none other than the wine makers of Napa Valley to help make the rich/bold taste that is the 10th Anniversary of this Ale, for the Breweries 20th  This limited release was brewed to be enjoyed now, or cellared for another time, while we decided to enjoy now…there’s no doubt this would have only aged well.


  • Deschutes – The Dissident 2016 Reserve
    • Rating – 4
    • Style – Belgian-style Brown Ale
    • ABV – 10.9%
    • The second of our two barrel aged beers for this episode, this brew was aged for 22 months with cherries in French Oak wine barrels. Making for a sweet yet tart flavor that just rolls over your tongue. While Deschutes is better known for their hoppy and stouty brews, they have really come alive lately with the specially beers, and good for them for expanding and experimenting, whether it works or not it’s fun to try new things.


  • Arizona Wilderness – Big Guy Rye
    • Rating – 3.75
    • Style –Double IPA
    • ABV – 8%
    • Where do I start, if you live in Arizona (esp. the Phoenix area), and you’re a fan of craft beer, you know about the beards…if not, you are missing out! These guys are doing amazing things with beer!  From the Refuge IPA to the Superstition Stout and everything in between, their brews knock it out of the park.  If you are into supporting local, look no further, from the freshly picked fruits they use in the beers they brew, to the farm fresh veggies in their dining room…it doesn’t get much more local than Arizona Wilderness.


  • Arizona Wilderness – Picacho Pecan Pie
    • Rating – 4
    • Style – English Brown Ale
    • ABV – 7%
    • Anything that’s brewed with full pecan pies has to be good, right? The guys at Wilderness are just breaking to mold when it comes to craft beer innovation, and they are being recognize nation and worldwide for their accomplishments.  Keep up the great work gents.


*All rating an average of Chris and Brandon’s Untappd ratings.

Related articles:

Our Guest’s Articles:

Music Credit:

Porno Galactic by Concrete Dinosaur

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  • E-mail: hoppycraftsmen@gmail.com
  • Blog: http://hoppycraftsmen.wordpress.com

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This week Brandon and Chris talk about and try some of the newly released beers to Arizona. Including Modern Times, and Prairie Artisan Ales. Then they babble on about something they call Stoutapalooza. Good times ensue!

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Music Credit: Porno Galactic by Concrete Dinosaur


InDepth Beer Review:

  • Modern Times – Fortunate Islands
    • Rating – 3.75
    • Style – American Pale Wheat Ale
    • ABV – 5%
    • FINALLY!! Welcome to Arizona Modern Times, we can’t tell you how much we were looking forward to having MT brews available here and were surprised by the amount of beers they brought with them for their release parties. Among the specialties, were the staples and this one did not let down, a wheat beer that could pass for an IPA.  Smooth and not overly hoppy, almost like a session IPA.  Be on the lookout for this and other selections at your local bottle shop or brew pub.


  • Modern Times – Sleepless City
    • Rating – 4
    • Style – American Coffee Brown Ale
    • ABV – 5.7%
    • One of the Special Releases that MT brought for their release at Brass Tap in Mesa was this amazing coffee brown ale, and it did not disappoint. It almost seems as though coffee beers are going the way of the pumpkin beer with most breweries dabbling in them, the good thing is that unlike most pumpkin’s being made with spices instead of actual pumpkin…coffee beers are actually brewed with coffee beans and this helps make the coffee taste just all the more delicious.  And this one is certainly that.


  • Prairie Artisan – Bomb!
    • Rating – 4.5
    • Style – American Imperial/Double Stout
    • ABV – 13%
    • Chile Bomb, is really what it should be called…while it has a very bold chili aroma, it doesn’t leave a burning after taste. The spices just pull the chocolate notes out, providing a rich and smooth stout that is perfect for all beer connoisseurs alike.  Let these bad boys warm to room temp for the best taste.


  • Prairie Artisan – Christmas Bomb!
    • Rating – 4.5
    • Style – American Imperial/Double Stout
    • ABV – 13%
    • This one has more of a bourbon taste were the Bomb! had the chili’s. It gives the same beer a whole new life, crazy how a subtle tweak in ingredients can make a difference in the best way.  We’re so glad that Prairie Artisans is now available here in Arizona, they have such a great line-up of beers and we will definitely enjoy exploring them.


*All rating an average of Chris and Brandon’s Untappd ratings.

Related articles:

  • http://beersmithrecipes.com/viewrecipe/230918/fortunate-islands
  • http://beersmithrecipes.com/viewrecipe/632769/sleepless-city-coffee-brown
  • http://mouthbysouthwest.com/2016/11/15/cogburns-sports-bar-taking-over-former-house-of-brews-in-gilbert-for-3rd-location/
  • http://mouthbysouthwest.com/2016/11/11/twisted-cactus-brewing-opens-today-in-former-nosh-space-in-chandler/
  • https://www.brewbound.com/news/craft-beer-guild-pays-ttb-750000-settle-pay-play-violations
  • http://www.brewbound.com/news/arizona-coyotes-partner-santan-brewing-first-ever-yotes-pale-ale
  • http://draftmag.com/13-beer-off-flavors/
  • http://www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/beverages/why-are-so-many-craft-breweries-selling-their-beer-in-cans/ar-AAjcimJ?ocid=mailsignout

No matter what side you fall on, we can all agree on a few things. Beer is good, craft beer is great, and getting to do a show about craft beer is amazing!  This week Brandon and Chris split the isle and put aside differences to drink a few to the candidates and the whole election season. Mostly because its over now.

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Below you will find the in-depth reviews of the beers we enjoyed on the show and links to all the articles we talked about.

Music Credit: Porno Galactic by Concrete Dinosaur


InDepth Beer Review:


  • DESTIHL – Wild Sour Series: Plum Sour Stout
    • Rating – 4.5
    • Style – Sour Ale
    • ABV – 5.6%
    • This “stout” is sour up front with a great chocolate flavor to back it up, the low ABV makes for a smooth drink. It’s almost crazy to think of a sour stout, this is one that most beer drinkers might turn their noses up at, but it’s a surprisingly perfect combination of the two and anyone that passes it by is not doing their taste buds any favors.


  • Brooklyn – Post Road Pumpkin Ale
    • Rating – 3
    • Style – Pumpkin Ale
    • ABV – 5%
    • Another smooth pumpkin ales that doesn’t overdo it with the spices, it does carry a bit more clove flavor than some of its brothers, which helps it stand apart from many of the other we’ve previously tasted.  Slowly trying all that Brooklyn has to offer as they just recently became available to us here in AZ, but so far they have yet to disappoint.



  • Lagunitas – Wilco Tango Foxtrot
    • Rating – 3.25
    • Style – Double Imperial Brown Ale
    • ABV – 7.85%
    • If you’re not a fan of hops, turn back now…Lagunitas has not met a hop they don’t like and this one (like all their other beers) is no different and any brewery that cleverly names that beer W.T.F., well you better believe it’ll have you saying just that. This beer truly embodies the West Coast style and if you can handle a bold beer this one might just be up your alley.


  • Avery – Ale to the Chief!
    • Rating – 4
    • Style – Double Imperial IPA
    • ABV – 8.1%
    • In a tribute to our sitting President (Obama) and the newly Elected one (Donald Trump), this third adaptation of a beer that is brewed every four years for the Inauguration of the next or returning President, and the 2017 version boosts a bipartisan blend of malt and hops making for an incredibly smooth double IPA.  Be sure to crack a bottle on Friday January 20th to help welcome our next 45th Commander-in-chief.


  • Unibroue – La Fin Du Monde
    • Rating – 3.5
    • Style – Belgian Tripel
    • ABV – 9%
    • When all of America is talking about moving to Canada, as they do after any election any more, you can stay here and enjoy this lovey treat from the Great White North. With an impressive 96 on BeerAdvocate it really is one of the finest Belgian Tripels around, one that would even make the monks of ol’ take notice.  Enjoy a bottle with a friend and watch to see how these next four years play out, plus see if you can find the hidden meaning in the name and its relevance for this show.


*All rating an average of Chris and Brandon’s Untappd ratings.

Related articles:


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