The Beer: Devil's Ale
The Brewery: SanTan Brewing Company
Location: Chandler, Arizona
Football season is in full swing and, of course, football means tailgating. If you’re going to tailgate, you might as well do so with a well-balanced, easy-drinking ale made right here in town. SanTan Brewing Company's Devil’s Ale is a logical choice.
Tasting Notes: This American-style pale ale leads with a beautiful bouquet of hop aromas projecting pine, grapefruit, and citrus. A combination of Simcoe, Cascade, and Centennial hops produces a fresh, clean, and refreshing flavor — but by no means is this just a hop showcase. A solid backbone of fresh bready malt with caramel flavor gives the beer its balance and makes it a fine pairing with several food options. It's an absolute natural with pizza, for example. The malt used to produce the beer is a nice complement to pizza's flavors, while the resiny hop character helps to cleanse the palate and make every bite taste like the first. Devil’s Ale pours a beautiful copper color, with a lingering off-white head that projects its fresh aroma into the drinker’s palate.
The Style: This beer is a borderline IPA but maintains its pale ale status thanks to its significant malt base. IPAs, by nature, are specifically brewed to be unbalanced; mostly hops and not a lot of malt. Devil’s Ale, on the other hand, puts up a fairly bold malt base to create a wonderfully balanced beverage, if still just slightly to the hop side of the hop/malt continuum.
Pale ales first originated in the Burton region of the United Kingdom in the early 1700s, and were known both as “pale ales” and “bitters.” (Pale referred the beer’s lighter color compared to the porters and stouts of the time; the bitter referred to the perceived bitterness the beer provided.) The style morphed into American Pale Ale in 1980 when Ken Grossman and his Sierra Nevada Brewing Company introduced Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, forever changing the face of the American brewing scene.
The Brewery: SanTan Brewing Company is proud to call its ales “Southwestern-style ales," a phrase that's indicative of the brewery's ability to fully ferment its beers, making them less sweet and easier to drink in the warm Arizona temperatures. Additionally, the brewery carbonates its beers slightly higher than the industry average, making them more effervescent and adding to drinkability while increasing the beer’s aroma. SanTan produces mostly ales, with the brewery's Oktoberfest Lager being the only lager beer SanTan produces.
SanTan Brewing Company, founded by brewmaster Anthony Canecchia, has been brewing great hometown favorites at 8 South San Marcos Place in downtown Chandler since 2007. The brewpub has been a popular attraction since its inception, and now the company produces much of its products at an expansive production facility on Warner Road, just a few miles northeast from the original brewpub.
Where to Find It: Besides having a Devil's Ale fresh on tap at the brewpub, you can get a SanTan Devil’s Ale at retail outlets in metro Phoenix. Most local grocery and beverage stores carry the beer. Outside Arizona, the brew is available in Southern California and Texas and soon will arrive in New Mexico. For more information, check out www.santanbrewing.com.