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.

 
Hoppy
 

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

 
lager
 

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.

 
GCW Interior
 

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.

 
la face
 

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!

Elevate Nepal & the Sapana Coffee Stout

Each year as a company, Historic Brewing Company uses our Charity Brew With Us Program to collaborate with some amazing local charities to not only create an awesome collaboration beer, but to also raise awareness and money for organizations that we stand behind. This month we had the privilege of working with Elevate Nepal, Inc., a non-profit that is based out of Flagstaff and works to raise money for relief work and rebuilding projects in Nepal following the devastation of the 2015 earthquake.

The 2015 earthquake in Nepal was the largest natural disaster Nepal had experienced in over eighty years, and the aftermath of this huge earthquake destroyed many of the countries villages and killed and injured thousands of people. Although the government was able to provide some disaster relief, the hit that the country took and the decline of the economy after the natural disaster has meant that rebuilding efforts have been slow and stagnant. This means that many people are still living in cramped shelters and many children have limited access to education. Elevate Nepal, founded in 2017, has been working closely with the Nepalese people to improve conditions, provide children with schools, families with homes, and provide better sanitation and resources for all.

The founders, Dan and Anthony, visited Nepal for the first time in 2011 where they spent a few months trekking Mt. Everest base camp and volunteering in local villages. This is when they first visited the coffee farm near Pokhara and when they fell in love with the country and the values of the Nepalese people. After the devastation of the 2015 earthquake, the men came together to form Elevate Nepal in an effort to help the country rebuild itself and create more jobs within the villages and empower the communities.

We were lucky enough to get connected with Dan Maurer when he approached us about his yearly charity event that this year raised more than $12,000 for their current and future rebuilding projects. It was also then that Dan informed us about the amazing way the charity is raising money all year long and the agriculture they are helping build in this small village by working with the coffee farm and importing speciality Nepalese coffee into the United States. The Sapana coffee beans are grown in the shade of the Himalayan mountains and then imported to the US and roasted in Phoenix, before they sold to the public both online on their website and at their events. It is pesticide free, organic, free trade and speciality grade coffee, and Elevate Nepal is one of only three companies in the United States to import coffee from Nepal.

After learning about Elevate Nepal and the important work they are doing, we knew we wanted to partner up with them to create a kickass beer and help them raise money for even more rebuilding projects. This is how the Sapana Coffee Stout was born - a chocolatey, slightly sweet stout that is bursting with coffee flavor and subtle nutty notes. We used the Sapana coffee beans in this beer to truly infuse an element of Nepal and Elevate Nepal’s mission into every pint.

The Sapana Coffee Stout has lots of coffee flavor from the addition of Sapana coffee cold brew added in to the beer. It is a light-bodied, dry stout that has a good bitterness from the coffee and the hops. The aroma and flavor of this beer reminds our head brewer, Zack, of iced coffee with cream and sugar, making it an easy to drink dark beer. The Sapana Stout has an ABV of 4.8% and an IBU of 20, although the perceived bitterness is a bit higher because of the natural bitter qualities of the dark roasted coffee. This beer is perfect for both coffee lovers and beer lovers, and for those that want to support an awesome organization doing great work in the world.

 
Sepana Coffee Stout
 

This beer was first tapped at the Big Lebowski Charity Bowling Event on March 2nd at Starlite Lanes, but it is now also tapped at our Historic Brewing Company locations. Additionally, we will be hosting an awesome event at our Downtown Historic Barrel + Bottle House location to raise even more money and awareness for Elevate Nepal, and to give you all a chance to try this beer, the Sapana coffee, and even buy some Nepalese coffee beans to take home with you.

Join Historic and Elevate Nepal on March 23rd from 6-9pm for a pint night and coffee tasting. You can try the Sapana Stout side by side with the cold brew that was used in the beer, and $1 from each pint of the Sapana Stout sold that night will go back to Elevate Nepal. They are currently working on rebuilding a school that will allow 700 kids to continue their education, and by coming down to our event you can help support them in this project and their awesome mission as a whole. We hope to see you there, and if you can’t join but want to help out this cause go to Elevate Nepal’s website and read more about what they do, donate, or buy some Sapana coffee beans!



What is a Rye Beer Anyway?

While rye beer isn’t a style all on it’s own, adding rye to a beer changes a beer so completely that it might as well be. Rye is an ingredient that can be included into the malt mixture when brewing, transforming beer styles with it’s earthy, spicy taste. Rye has been added to beers for centuries, however, it is just now becoming trendy with most breweries producing a rye beer seasonally or as one of their mainstays.

Rye works best in more complex beers like IPAs, Pale Ales, and Stouts, but we have also seen it successfully added into lagers and pilsners. To be considered a “rye beer” the finished beer must have a significant amount of rye in the grain bill and strong rye flavors present within the beer. The addition of rye will add a characteristic spice to any beer, similar to pumpernickel bread. It can also change the color of the beer to include more of a reddish tone.

 
Joy Rye'd
 

We are a fan of adding rye to IPAs because the dry, astringent spice of the rye plays well and highlights the hop’s bold and bitter flavors. Our seasonal take on the Rye IPA is Joy Rye’d, a beer that Historic has been making for years with a devoted fan base of its own. This Rye IPA has a slight spiciness on the nose with a hop forward smell that is pleasant and not too aggressive, pulling you in from first whiff. As you sip Joy Rye’d you can taste the earthy flavors from both the rye and the hops that this beer is brewed with. This beer is crisp, with a malt forward taste and a strong hop backbone. The beer finishes with the rye aftertaste, hop bitterness and a delicious spiciness. It’s a definite rye spiciness, similar to the flavors that linger after you chew on a fresh piece of rye or pumpernickel bread and it lingers on the palate long after you’ve taken your last sip.

Rye beers have grown in popularity over the last ten years and we don’t see them going anywhere anytime soon. They contribute dimension, spice, and great flavor to the beer styles they are added to, and as more and more brewers get comfortable adding rye to their grain bill, we’ll continue to see new awesome rye beers emerge. Our Rye IPA, Joy Rye’d, is a favorite among many for its distinct flavor. This beer will be back on tap at all of our locations by the end of January, but it’s a small batch so don’t hesitate to expand your palate and grab a pint of it before it’s all gone.