The next time you find yourself in Goodyear and in the mood for a cold craft beer, head to Saddle Mountain Brewing Company, located at 15651 West Roosevelt Street.
The brewery serves a line of its own hand-crafted ales, known as Taildragger Beers, a term that refers to airplanes first flown during World War II. The brewery's decor also includes several aviation references, as do many of the beer names, all of which serves as a testament to owner Jacob Hansen's love of aircraft.
You'll have 14 different beers to explore right now at Saddle Mountain, and all of the beers we tried during a recent visit were enjoyable — and brewed within the appropriate style guidelines, if you're a stickler for that kind of thing. The majority of the brews are also relatively low in alcohol content, making them accessible to the masses and easy to be consume in quantity.
Below is a list of beers we sampled with some brief notes about each one.
5G Pull: Belgian Wit, 5.2% ABV, 16 IBU
This beer is gold in color and easy drinking — a good introduction to craft beer for someone just stepping outside of macro brews. It's wheat-based, with light spicing likely both from spice additions (coriander) and from the yeast strain.
IFR Nitro Oatmeal Stout: 4.8% ABV, 31 IBU
This is a black beer with some coffee and roast in the aroma, though there's much more of both in the flavor. The subtle aroma is somewhat deceiving, as the roast and dark molasses flavors are very pronounced in the flavor profile and well into the finish. The beer is creamy from the nitrogen and leaves a pleasant lingering roast coffee flavor on the palate.
Tuskegee Red Tails: 5.5% ABV, 46 IBU
Beautiful red in color and very clear, this beer has a pleasant, clean hop character, but not a lot of body. As the beer warms, the flavor seems to pop more than it does when first served cold. It's another good introductory beer for those new to craft.
Ray's Gold: 6.5% ABV, 74 IBU
This IPA features fresh citrus, pine, and tropical fruit aromas and flavors. It's nicely balanced with bready malt as the base, featuring a lot of hop flavor. The high hop bitterness leaves a lasting bite, making this a nice palate cleanser. This is one of the brewery's best offerings and a must try for all hop lovers.
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Hop Snob: 6.9% ABV, 75 IBU
This self-described "West Coast IPA" features a plethora of pine and grapefruit aromas that smack the senses long before the beer even gets into your mouth. The hops are clearly the star — and may even be a little too intense — and the beer has a slight slickness and buttery character. Like the Tuskegee Red Tails, this beer improves greatly as it warms, truly showcasing the hops in all their glory.
300 Ft. Steve: 7.5% ABV, 90 IBU
This Imperial Red IPA is big, bold, and intense in a good way. The beer is crystal clear and burgundy in color. Tons of citrus-style hops sit upon a bed of caramel and lightly toasted malts to create a sizable backbone to support all the hops and give the beer some balance.
The Saddle Mountain is located at 15651 West Roosevelt Parkway in Goodyear. For more information, check out the Saddle Mountain Brewing Company website.
Dave Clark is a Certified Cicerone, Nationally-Ranked Beer Judge Certification Program Judge, and all-around beer geek .