Humpback Chub: A Fish and a Beer

It’s time for our third beer release from our year long collaboration with the Grand Canyon Conservancy, and this time we brewed a delicious easy-drinking Blonde Ale. This Blonde Ale, named the Humpback Chub Blonde, was named after one of the endangered fish species that is found in the rivers of the Grand Canyon.  It is the only remaining chub species of fish still living and the highest population of this species is found within the Grand Canyon.

While the Humpback Chub fish has quite an interesting name and it’s not the prettiest thing to look at, we wanted to bring awareness to this endangered fish with our latest beer. Most of these fish live near the confluence of the Little Colorado River, however there are eight other small groups of fish that live in other parts of the Canyon. The Grand Canyon National Park is working to protect this species of fish through different efforts with the hopes of building back up this native species.

The Humpback Chub Blonde Ale has an ABV of 5% and an IBU of 20, with an aroma of floral honey and biscuit crackers. It is pale gold in color with a smooth finish. This beer has a slight hop floral taste to it that finishes with a malt sweetness similar to light honey. Humpback Chub Blonde is perfect for anyone that loves a smooth, refreshing beer and wants to help support an awesome local organization.

 
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We are releasing this beer on July 19th at our Beer Release Event at the Brewery from 6-8pm. The Grand Canyon Conservancy will be at the Brewery to help us celebrate and will be raffling off prizes as well. 10% of all keg sales from this beer will be going back to the Grand Canyon Conservancy, and we’ve got two more special brews up our sleeve this year to round out our collaboration with their organization. Keep an eye out for news about those brews, and in the meantime enjoy a Humpback Chub Blonde Ale!



Orange You Glad It's a Brown

Knock, Knock. Who’s there? Beer. Beer who? New Historic Brewing Company beer!

Our latest beer, aptly named Orange You Glad It’s a Brown, may have been inspired by every five year old’s favorite knock knock joke, but we can assure you that this beer is no laughing matter. This Burnt Orange Brown Ale is an exciting take on a Brown, with zesty citrus flavors and a charred sweetness. It has an aroma of chocolate, orange, and malt sweetness and the delicious aroma carries over into the flavors as well.

Orange You Glad It’s a Brown has an ABV of 5.4% and an IBU of 20 with flavors of burnt orange, chocolate malts, and a touch of herbal hop notes. It is a lighter Brown Ale with softer malt characteristics that compliment the charred orange flavors. To make this beer we took a brulee torch to orange peels and added those to the boil, and then later added additional orange zest at the end of the beer brewing process. This added a brightness and depth to the beer which helps bring in extra dimension that you wouldn’t get with just any old Brown Ale.

 
Orange You Glad Its a Brown
 

This Brown Ale was brewed with 2-row, amber, crystal-60, especial and chocolate malts, as well as magnum and perle hops. This beer is perfect for anyone who loves a good malty beer, or loves Brown Ales and wants something different and unique. The flavors in this beer is reminiscent of chocolate covered orange candies and immediately transform us back to our childhoods. Orange You Glad It’s a Brown will be released starting June 21st at all of our locations while supplies last.



Recipe Feature: Opposable IPA Hummus

Love hummus and also love beer? We’ve got the perfect recipe for you then! This creamy dip is the ideal appetizer to make for all your summer parties, BBQs, and get togethers. Plus it’s made with our delicious IPA Opposable which takes this hummus to the next level, making it unique and extra special. The Opposable IPA hummus is made with minimal ingredients, is full of flavor, and is easy to make (even for those who ruin everything in the kitchen). Make a big batch in advance to eat throughout the week or bring it along to share with friends during any summer event you have planned. Serve with chopped vegetables, tortilla chips, or pita and you’ve got your new go-to summer snack.

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Opposable IPA Hummus

-2 cans of rinsed chickpeas

-2 large cloves of minced garlic

-½ cup of tahini

-1 tablespoon of olive oil

-2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

-⅓ cup of Opposable IPA

-1 teaspoon of salt

Optional: Add in chili powder, fresh herbs, or jalapeno for even more kick.

1. Combine all ingredients except for beer in high speed blender or food processor.

2. Once well combined slowly add in beer until desired consistency.

3. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for 1-2 hours for flavors to meld.

4. Garnish with smoked paprika powder and serve.




What's the Deal with IBU?

IBU, or International Bitterness Units, if that number you see on tap signs, on the side of your beer can, and the thing you hear your hop head friend bragging about as he sips the latest double IPA. While we might all guess that based on the name it has something to do with how bitter the beer is - what does IBU really mean and how does it affect the taste of your beer, the style of beer, and everything else?

If we want to get technical, IBU measures the parts per million of isohumulones and other chemical compounds in a particular beer, which make up the acids found in hops that gives beer its bitter taste. However, there are a number of factors that go into how “bitter” a beer is and sometimes what is listed as a beer’s IBU, while scientifically accurate, this isn’t the whole story. A beer with a large malt profile, while also high in IBU, could be way less bitter and hop forward than a beer with a lower IBU that also a smaller malt profile. There’s also the element of extra added ingredients, such as coffee, spices, or fruit, that could give a higher or lower perceived bitterness while not affecting the IBU of the beer.

 
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So why the heck do we use this scale if it isn’t even accurate to taste? Well, because we are humans and we like to categorize things, but also it generally helps the consumer get a better idea of how the beer is going to taste when they order it. While knowing styles and other factors is also important, a person who generally goes for Porters and Stouts which have a lower IBU and a low amount of hops in the beer is going to know that they probably shouldn’t order the IPA on the menu with an IBU of 75. The IBU scale generally starts at 5 and ends around 120, however the IBU limit is infinite and I’m sure there will be plenty of brewers trying to push the envelope in the future as the trend of bigger and bolder beers continues to grow.

While IBU helps give the beer drinker clues about what they’re about to drink, it also helps the brewers know that they are on track when brewing different styles of beer or producing large amounts of one of their mainstay beers. If the IBUs are out of whack or not what they’re expecting, they know that something has gone wrong and it’s time to go back to the drawing board. So while IBU might not tell you everything you want to know about your beer and the true bitterness of your brew is variable depending on other factors, it is an important tool for both the consumer and maker of the beer and it can help you up your beer knowledge as a whole making you seem smarter and way more cool in front of all of your friends.



Powell Expedition Lager: A Celebration of Exploration

On May 24th, 1869, ten explorers began their 900 mile expedition to explore the “great unknown” beginning in Green River, Wyoming and traveling through treacherous river systems to end in present day Lake Mead. This journey was led by John Wesley Powell and the men who made it through the 95 day trip are responsible for much of the earliest known maps and information about the Grand Canyon and the river systems that run through this once undiscovered portion of the West. This year marks the 150th anniversary of this incredible expedition, and in collaboration with the Arizona Historical Society and the Pioneer Museum we created a beer that celebrates this exploration and our continued education about this region of the world that we are lucky enough to call home

The Powell Expedition Lager, is not only an ode to the men who went on that first journey to discover unknown lands, but it is also a brew that pays homage to the beers of the past. This Lager was brewed with Cascade hops, which is the quintessential American hop and is most like the wild American hops that would have been growing around the time of the first expedition. This beer was also brewed with Magnum hops for bittering and Pilsner, Vienna, Wheat, and Caramel Pils Malts. It has an IBU of 28 and an ABV of 4.5%, making it the perfect easy drinking Lager for any of your own adventures

 
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This speciality Lager has an aroma of cereal grains, lime peel, and the subtle aromatics of sweet honey. It is light straw in color and has flavor notes of citrus peel and citrus fruit, lager and malt grains, with some bitterness in the finish that does not linger but instead finishes crisp like a good Lager should. The Powell Expedition Lager is perfect for both newcomers to craft beer and those who just want a legendary Lager that is light and refreshing. It is a great beer to drink after a long hike or a day exploring the Grand Canyon like John Wesley Powell did many years ago.

This beer will be released for the first time on May 23rd at the Beer Release Party at our Eastside Brewery location in Flagstaff from 4-7pm. It will then be at the event put on by the Arizona Historical Society at the Pioneer Museum in Flagstaff on May 24th to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first expedition. This event is from 6-8:30pm and is free to the public. The Powell Expedition Lager will be on tap and there will be 150 commemorative pint glasses available for purchase as well.  Details for both events will be linked below, but be sure to come support both Historic and the Arizona Historical Society as we celebrate all things exploration with the Powell Expedition Lager!



Why Drink Arizona Wine?

Although Arizona wine has come a long way over the years, in both taste and recognition, it’s still not the first place that most people think of when it comes to top wine producing regions. So the real question is: why drink Arizona wine? What makes it special and why should it be at the top of your list when you go searching for your next bottle of wine?

While the Arizona wine industry was formed in the 1980’s, it took over twenty years before people really began using the region to produce grapes and understanding that amazing wine could be produced on Arizona soil. Most people when they think of Arizona immediately think of hot desert heat and cacti galore, but in fact this state in more varied in climate than most people know and there are a few regions in Arizona that have ideal climates for vineyards. The three most famous of those regions are Wilcox, Sonoita, and the Verde Valley. While there are a few other places in Arizona where wine can be and is produced, these three regions make up the large majority of wine acreage in the state.

 
Traveler on Shelf
 

The weather in these areas creates a microclimate with good temperatures, soil, and water that help produce grapes that turn into great wine. Each wine growing region in Arizona is slightly different because of the elevation, soil, typical weather, average rainfall, etc. Sonoita, located in Santa Cruz County, has been compared to the Burgundy region of France, and is home to some of the longest established wineries in Arizona. Wilcox, located in Cochise County, produces a wide variety of wines and the grapes produced here are used in wines all across the state. This region can be compared to the Rhone Valley in France, and the grapes grown in Wilcox are most known for being produced in soil rich in volcanic ash. Verde Valley grapes are similarly also produced in volcanic ash soil, giving them a complexity in flavor that bodes well to varietals such as Syrahs and Sangioveses.

Wineries and wine tasting rooms are popping up in major and small cities across Arizona, and Arizona wines are beginning to gain recognition and popularity among wine drinkers. This trend is not only exciting for those of us that like to drink and support local, but it is also bringing in tourism and excitement from other out of state wine lovers as well. This idea of drinking local, supporting the Arizona wine industry, and building even more excitement around this growing wine region, was what drove us to start the Grand Canyon Wine Company and our Tasting Room in Downtown Williams.

 
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The Grand Canyon Wine Company works with local Arizona wineries to produce our own wines, selected each year to reflect what has grown well in the region and what we want to showcase. In our Tasting Room, located on Historic Route 66, we not only feature our own wines but also many other Arizona wines. We have whites, reds, roses, sparkling, and everything in between that is produced within Arizona state lines. It’s our hope that by supporting and offering local wines to travelers from near and far that we can help everyone see why they should drink Arizona wine and why it should be one of the first places that comes to mind when you think of wine producing regions.




Blonde Stout - The Oxymoron of Beers

While “Blonde Stout” might sound contradictory and even a bit confusing, this beer style is worth exploring a bit more and definitely worth trying. Our Blonde Stout, named LA Face with an Oakland Booty, is full of all the flavors you’d expect from a dark Stout, but with the color and appearance of a Blonde Ale. This beer was first brewed by Historic Brewing Company back in 2017, and after much baggering by our managers we brought it back for you all to try.

This beer has an ABV of 7% and an IBU of 30 and was brewed with 2-row, oats, biscuit and bru malt, which gives this beer lots of malt flavor and depth. It has a strong aroma and flavor of coffee, hazelnut, and chocolate with a silky and full mouthfeel. LA Face is brewed like a traditional Stout, but does not have any roasted or chocolate malts added which typically make Stout style beers a dark, rich color. This Blonde Stout is a pale golden color but carries all the flavor characteristics of a dark beer, which makes it a real mind trick if you don’t know what you’re ordering.

 
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After the initial brewing process we added 8 lbs of local coffee, 10 lbs of cocoa nibs, and hazelnut extract to add even more flavor to this beer. You definitely smell the coffee and hazelnut in the aroma first, followed by a subtle chocolate roasted smell that makes you want to dive right into the beer. When you taste the beer you notice the sweet malt flavors first, followed by the strong coffee and nutty hazelnut flavors which round out into a dark chocolate finish.

The beer name LA Face with an Oakland Booty was inspired by Sir Mix a Lot, and just like the famous song we all know and love this beer will be your new jam. It’s an oxymoron for sure, but that just makes us want it even more. It’s full of delicious flavor and if you haven’t had a Blonde Stout before we can’t wait for you to try out this awesome style of beer. LA Face with an Oakland Booty is on tap now at our locations, so go seek out this tasty brew and see how many people you can trick with this light colored Stout.



Our Favorite Springtime Beer Styles

 
Pint on Winter Solstice on BHF Patio
 

Three cheers for Spring beers! The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and it’s finally porch drinking weather - which means it’s also finally time for our favorite Spring beer styles. Here’s a roundup of all of our favorite styles to pour while April showers bring May flowers.

  1. Berliner Weisse: It’s no doubt that here at Historic Brewing Company we are big fans of Berliner Weisse beers. They’re light, tart, full of flavor, and a crowd pleaser among sour beer fans and those that are slow to get on the sour beer train. Spring Berliner Weisse beers are bright, fruity, and the perfect beer for after a great trail run or for a breezy spring night. We are partial to our own Spring Soulstice Saure which features Azacca hops, giving it a flavor and aroma similar to Watermelon Sour Patch kids. It’s a subtle sour beer with a soft wheat flavor that pairs well with it’s tropical and citrus flavor notes.

  2. Munich Helles: Although Bavaria is home to so many incredible beer styles, one of their best and brightest beer styles is the Munich Helles. This style was first brewed by the Spaten Brewery and has since grown in popularity due to its simplicity and easy drinking nature. Munich Helles are yellow to gold in color and highlight the Pilsner malts giving it a malty sweetness accompanied by the slight hop bitterness. They are low in ABV and are perfect for any day filled with sunshine and good company.

  3. IPL: This hybrid style is gaining popularity, and for good reason. It combines the best of two of our favorite beer styles, blending together the hop flavor and bitterness from an IPA and the crisp and clean qualities lagers are known for. IPLs are a hoppy lager that help bring together the biggest hop heads and those that don’t stray too far from their love of lagers, giving them a beer to all celebrate together. While this beer style is versatile enough to enjoy all year round, it’s particularly delicious in spring and lucky for you we’ve got an IPL beer in the works right now which will be released early May!