Yay! Part 2. Exciting stuff. This is the part where I get to tell you about a new (to me) microbrewery in Phoenix, AZ, Sun Up Brewing.
Mike’s dad brought us to Sun Up one cold, miserable day during our vacation. You know, the day it SNOWED in Phoenix, which basically never happens. I have some terrible pictures on my phone to prove it. Anyway, Mike’s dad knew that local craft beer was just the ticket for a day like this. Plus he lives just a mile away, and is apparently a frequent flyer. Good beer genes run in the family. In fact, as we discussed our 10 year plan of opening a brewery, Mike’s dad was totally supportive. He said when he retires he’d be one of our bartenders, that is if we’d call the place “Bob’s Bungalow.” Soooo that’s probably never going to happen. Sorry Bob.
We ordered a couple beers right away after checking out their tap list (about ten beers total). I went straight for the IPA, “Trooper,” which our server ensured us was a favorite. Mike chose the cask, a hoppy pale ale, and Bob, as usual chose something dark, in this case, a black double IPA. The “Trooper” IPA (6.2% ABV and 60 IBUs) started off with kind of a creamy texture, which was especially strange for an IPA not on nitro. It was bitter from the simcoe hops they use, a little malty and quite balanced. Overall a very pleasant and drinkable IPA. Mike enjoyed his pale ale and Bob put down two of the black IPAs, so I guess he liked it. After a sip Mike decided he liked it too, so he ordered the black IPA for his second beer. I opted for the amber, which honestly, I was disappointed by. It had a very light mouthfeel, little head, and only a teeny tiny hop bitterness – which was unfortunate because the malt was completely overpowering. It tasted like a much crappier version of a Sam Adam’s Boston Lager to me. Mike tried it too, and summed it up nicely: Too simple, too malty. I did not finish it, which always feels wrong.
They were redeemed by their barleywine. Though I have to say, out of fear for another like the amber, I asked for a sample before ordering a whole beer. The barleywine had a nice caramel sweetness with enough bitterness to still be very well balanced at 9.5% ABV. A very good representation of the style. In addition to the beer, we each ordered food since we hadn’t eaten a real meal yet and it was suddenly 3 in the afternoon. I have to say the food was great. I ordered the fish tacos with sweet potato fries as a side and it was delicious. In fact, all of us loved our food, Mike had the bison burger, and good ol’ Bob ordered the fish’n’chips. Yum.
Overall I thought their beer was pretty good. Really, other than the amber, every single one was tasty and I would definitely go back. Plus it’s always exciting to find small local microbreweries. We kind of make it our mission to do so when we travel.
Next up on the blog is a fantastic three month old nano-brewery in Scottsdale. Stay tuned!