Customer Highlight: Michelle & Tristan

We love our customers and their stories - from how they found Historic, their favorite beers, and why they choose to stick around and continue to try out all of our new brews through the years. Michelle and Tristan are two of these awesome customers, and we couldn’t wait to feature them for their love for craft breweries, delicious beers, tattoos, and friendship through it all.

Michelle and Tristan met in Phoenix about five years ago when Michelle moved there from New Jersey.  Tristan had lived in our sunny state her whole life and they became fast friends when they met, bonding over their love of travel, exploring, and trying great new beers. Although Michelle didn’t know much about the craft beer industry when she first moved to Arizona, Tristan quickly educated her on all of the awesome breweries across our state and as they took trips together it began to be a tradition to try out new breweries along the way.  

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Their first trip to Flagstaff together was in the summer of 2016, and this is when they first came across Historic Brewing Company. The girls were up in Flagstaff for a fun weekend trip to escape the heat and see the Highland Tournament, but no trip would be complete without a little brewery hopping. Their first brewery stop in town was our Barrel + Bottle House location in downtown Flagstaff, which is where they discovered Undercover Cucumber and a bunch of other tasty beers that have come and gone throughout the years.

Over the years they have come back to Flagstaff many times, and the majority of their trip is spent out on the patio of Barrel + Bottle House with a big flight shared between them to try out everything new that has been brewed since their last visit. Their current favorites include Pumpkin Piehole and Opposable IPA, but Undercover Cucumber is the beer they always come back to when it comes time to order a pint.

Michelle and Tristan have a tradition of getting matching tattoos each Christmas as their gifts to each other, and last Christmas they decided to make their love for Historic Brewing Company official with tattoos designed by Tristan herself. They decided on a hop and the coordinates of our downtown location - symbolizing their love for craft beer, Historic, and the hours and hours of good times they’ve spent at Barrel + Bottle House. When we heard their story and saw their amazing tattoos we couldn’t wait to meet them and get to know them more so that we could highlight just how awesome they are.

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We are truly honored to be a part of so many of their Flagstaff memories and we love that they can now always carry all their good times with them symbolized by their tattoo. Michelle and Tristan said that Historic Brewing Company is their favorite brewery in Flagstaff and that they love that each time they come to town they can come order a flight, grab a seat on the patio, and know that they are in for a good time with some delicious brews. Thanks for being so rad Michelle and Tristan, and we can’t wait to see you again next time you’re in Flag!

Red Leaves & Red IPAs

With the changing of the leaves, we too are ready for a little change. So we thought we’d switch it up when it comes to the traditional IPA, and add in a different flavor and hue to our favorite hoppy beer.  Our newest IPA, a red IPA named Red October, features Comet hops and a red, amber hue that is sure to please your taste buds and your senses.

Red October is a Red IPA which as a style is a bit different than other IPAs you may be used to. It is a bit maltier than a West Coast IPA and has a bit of a heavier mouthfeel. This particular Red IPA has some slight pine flavor notes as well as a lot of grapefruit notes from the Comet hops. It also has a bit of a breadiness and a long bitter finish that stays with you after you’ve taken your last sip.

Red October has an IBU of 63 and an ABV of 7% so it’s a bit stronger in flavor and alcohol content than everyone’s favor IPA, Opposable. This twist is worth trying though as this beer has a big hop flavor with a complementary malt finish and a lasting bitterness that’ll have you craving more. There are grapefruit flavors on the nose in this beer and those flavors carry all the way through the beer, as well as a slight sweetness to balance out the bitter hops.

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Comet hops are the star of this beer, which are a lesser used hop but one that we love for its slightly harsher flavor that changes up this style of beer. We also brewed this beer with Chinook, Tahoma, and Equaknot hops which help to balance out and brighten up the flavor. The malts are what give this beer its red, amber color, and most of that coloring comes from the Carafa 2 malts. This malt is de-bittered which lowers any added bitterness while giving it that rich color Red IPAs are known for.

Red October is perfect for someone who wants to switch it up and help us bring back the trend of Red IPAs. Our brewer’s assistant Austin loves this Red IPA because “it is malty but also hoppy, making it a great Fall IPA.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves and we can’t wait til you get your hands on a pint of this deliciousness which we will be pouring at all of locations while it lasts.

Special Release: Brandy Bear Arms

To celebrate our fifth year of craft beer and awesomeness, we decided to brew a special release beer that celebrates how far we’ve come as a brewery and how far we plan to grow into the future. This beer has been ten months in the making and damn, was the wait worth it. Brandy Bear Arms is our beloved Russian Imperial Stout with a twist - aged in Brandy barrels for ten months to add a uniqueness to this beer that you won’t find anywhere else.

Brandy Bear Arms has an IBU of 55 and an ABV of 9.5% and was barrel-aged to perfection. We took our Russian Imperial Stout, Bear Arms, with it’s dark roasted flavors and put it into Guild Wineries Grape Brandy barrels for a long deserved nap. We tasted this beer along the way, seeing how its complex flavors changed and evolved as it continued to age, until it was just right. Ten months later it was pulled from its restful slumber and put into kegs so that our family of Historic Brewing Company beer lovers could enjoy it at a celebration that will be as awesome as you all are.

Brandy Barrels

Brandy Bear Arms has a unique flavor that is unlike any other beer we’ve ever brewed and is definitely a change up from the traditional Bear Arms. It has less roasty, vanilla, or chocolate flavors, and more bread-like qualities paired with notes of dark fruit and a slight boozy, almost wine like, finish to it from the Brandy barrels. You are able to taste the dark malt flavors in this beer that pair well with the delicate flavors of plum and dark cherry. The aroma is biscuity and slightly sweet which translates to the taste of the beer as well. It has a full bodied flavor as well as a full bodied mouth feel but isn’t syrupy or too heavy.

This beer is perfect for anyone who loves a dark, full bodied beer and wants to experience the epicness that Brandy Bear Arms has in store for them. It’s unique in the best way possible and is the perfect beer for a celebration. Brandy Bears Arms is a special release beer and was made in a very small quantity and won’t be made again. We are releasing this beer at our five year anniversary party that is happening on October 13th at our Barrel + Bottle House location in Downtown Flagstaff. More details about this event are linked here but mark your calendars now because this party and the release of this beer is something you’re not going to want to miss. Cheers to five years of craft beer and awesomeness!

U-92 Free: Raise a Glass to Awareness

Flagstaff and Northern Arizona are known for their beautiful diversity in landscape, forestry, and for being home to some of the most amazing public lands - including the Grand Canyon and the Kaibab National Forest. Just these two spots alone bring in tourism and thousands of jobs for many locals to keep these public lands usable and just down right awesome. As a member of the Flagstaff and Northern AZ community we feel that it is important to protect our public lands and keep this area in tact for future generations, which is why we teamed up with two incredible organizations, AZ Wildlife and Trout Unlimited, to create a beer that will help bring awareness to what is happening on our public lands at this very moment.

Currently there is a twenty year ban on uranium mining that was put in place to help protect our precious lands and allow time for scientists to study our diverse landscape to better understand how mining might affect it. However, our current administration is trying to remove this ban so that they can mine in the Grand Canyon in hopes of finding more uranium. The groups that are fighting to remove the ban are trying to promote their case with false statements that the mining will bring in more jobs and help the economy. The numbers do not make sense on this claims though as so many of the jobs in Northern Arizona are based in outdoor recreation such as hiking, rafting, hunting, fishing, camping, and more and all of these activities and the jobs and tourism they bring could be at risk if we were to prematurely lift the ban and allow uranium mining on our public lands.

When we collaborated with AZ Wildlife and Trout Unlimited, all parties were clear that we wanted to find a way to bring even more awareness to this cause and find a fun way to inform the public of what is happening in their own backyard. We really don’t understand the diversity of the land in and around the canyon and messing with these lands and allowing mining could create and wreck havoc now and for future generations to come. Both of these local organizations are dedicated to protecting our community and lands and we at Historic Brewing Company were honored to work with them to create a beer that will be sold in hopes of raising awareness and money for this cause.

AZWF Brew With Us Group

Together with members of AZ Wildlife and Trout Unlimited, we brewed U-92 Free, a hoppy Amber Ale.  This beer makes a statement with amarillo hops as the star, giving the beer a distinct flavor that is hard to forget. It has an IBU of 47, an ABV of 5.8%, and a big hop flavor in the forefront without losing the malt backbone of the beer. We brewed this beer with 2-row and Crystal malts to give it a good base and to create some sweetness in the beer, as well as Columbus and Amarillo hops. The Columbus hops have a classic citrus, grapefruit flavor and were used to create a smooth bitterness throughout the beer, where as the Amarillo hops are the real stand out flavor in the beer. They have a hard to describe taste with notes of floral and citrus but in a way that is unlike any other hop variety.

U-92 Free is a medium-bodied, hop forward yet balanced amber ale. It has a lasting hop flavor and was brewed with the same water profile that we use to make our IPAs which makes the hops stand out even more. Even though this beer is hoppy, it still has distinct characteristics of an amber ale with its malt sweetness and bready amber flavors. Zach, our head brewer, said that this beer reminds him of an “amarillo hop candy” - if such a delicious thing were to actually exist.

This hoppy amber ale is reminiscent of beers that Zach used to brew when he was a homebrewer, and will not only help to bring awareness to the issues surrounding uranium mining in the Grand Canyon but will also please your taste buds as you become more informed.

We will be releasing this tasty brew on October 5th at Historic Barrel + Bottle House in Downtown Flagstaff while we raise money for the cause with a Pint Night Event. The proceeds from this Pint Night will go to helping keep the ban in place and we will continue to raise awareness for the cause with every pint of this beer we serve. We will be pouring this beer at all of our locations after October 5th while kegs last, so don’t hesitate when it comes to grabbing a pint of this special brew and learning more about how to keep the Grand Canyon and our lands U-92 free.

Grand Canyon Wine Company - Our Sister Company

Even though these blogs are normally focused on beer, beer styles, and all things hoppy and malty - here at Historic we are also a bunch of secret wine lovers. And I bet you didn’t know that within the Historic Brewing Company family of businesses we also produce wine and have a wine tasting room out in Williams. Our sister company, Grand Canyon Wine Company, produces Arizona wines in a variety of different styles, all custom made for us to be equally as awesome as our beers.

Every season, we work with local Arizona vineyards to create amazing wines that show off the diversity of the grapes grown in Arizona and highlight just how incredibly delicious drinking locally can be. Most of our grapes are grown in Verde Valley and Wilcox and we produce both red and white wines. We want to make producing, tasting, and drinking wine an experience that isn’t fussy or pretentious, but instead just downright awesome.

While the wine styles we produce change every year depending on what grapes  were grown that year, what styles are trending currently, and what just sounds damn good to drink, we always focus on producing the best wine that we possibly can. We serve our wines out of our Willams tasting room, our William's restaurant Station 66 Italian Bistro, Barrel + Bottle House - Williams and Barrel and Bottle House - Flagstaff in Downtown Flagstaff. We also sell full bottles in the tasting room and can ship our wines through online sales and our quarterly wine club membership.

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Our wine club membership is free to join and there is a package that fits every type of wine drinker out there. Members choose the right package for them depending on how much wine they’d like to receive and what styles they prefer to drink, and then they are shipped new bottles four times a year. You can join our wine club via the Grand Canyon Wine Company website or by coming into the tasting room in Williams and signing up in person. They also have a kickass Instagram that can keep you up to date on everything going on in the tasting room or around Northern Arizona.

The secrets out now, we not only love tasty beer at Historic Brewing Company but we also love a delicious glass (or three) of wine. If you haven’t had our wine yet, what are you waiting for? There’s a glass waiting for you today!

Celebrate with a Marzen

It’s the start of Oktoberfest, and you know what that means… It’s the time for Oktoberfest style beers, and plenty of them!

The festival Oktoberfest is traditionally celebrated to welcome in Autumn and all the abundance and agriculture that it brings with it, and what better way to celebrate than with a traditional German style Marzen? Well, lucky for you we’ve brewed a Marzen that’ll have you pulling out your lederhosen to wear while you smash back pints in celebration.

If you’re wondering what the hell a Marzen is or what makes it different from an Oktoberfest style beer, you’re not alone. This style of beer is much more obscure and not as heavily brewed in the US, but when it’s done right - damn is it delicious. Historically, and we’re talking pre-refrigeration, beers in Germany could not be brewed past the month of March because of the high heat and fermentation temperatures, so brewers brewed their last batches in the month of March (Marzen in German) and would age them in cooler temperatures through Spring and Summer to be then released in September and October.

This is how both Oktoberfest style beer and Marzens were created, and even though Marzens aren’t as well represented here in the US they are equally as popular as an Oktoberfest beer in Germany and other European countries. A Marzen is a lager style beer, different than the Oktoberfest ales, and are known for being a bit lighter and crisper. They are also traditionally brewed with Munich malts which gives the Mazen a distinct flavor.

Mission to Marzen

Our Marzen, named Mission to Marzen, is full of complex, malty flavors that aren’t too heavy, making it the perfect beer to drink day or night while you celebrate in style. This beer is brewed with three different malts: Pilsner, Vienna, and Munich, which are selected for their distinct flavor notes that add diversity and complexity to the beer. These malts give the beer a “bready” quality to it and Zach likens each malt to a different style of bread, which each bring a different flavor to the mix. Pilsner malts are like Wonder Bread, Vienna malts are like a good French baguette, and Munich malts are like a dark whole wheat bread. The mix of malt flavors is  what makes this beer unique and unlike other styles.

This beer has an ABV of 4.8% and 20 IBU, and is the perfect gold color. It was brewed in a single mash infusion, which is a bit different than how a Marzen would be brewed traditionally. However, we make this brew work on our system, we did a three hour boil to mimic the caramelization of the sugars that would happen if it has been brewed in a decoction mash. The long boil of this beer did the trick to make the perfect Marzen and helped to create a complex maltiness that really makes this beer a winner.

Mission to Marzen was released just in time for the Oktoberfest start date in Germany and will be tapped at all of our locations. It’s a seasonal beer so it won’t be around long - which means you better start celebrating now!