Brew Review

Brewery Review: Two Brothers Brewing Company in Old Town Scottsdale

The Brewery: Two Brothers Brewing Company
Location: 4321 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale

The Story: Two Brothers Brewing Company was founded 20 years ago in Warrenville, Illinois, by brothers Jim and Jason Ebel. By launching its newest venture, a brewpub located in Scottsdale, the brewery has given Chicago-born transplants an outpost to enjoy beers from back home. For longtime Phoenix residents, it's a positive addition to an already healthy craft scene, headed up by the talents of local brewmaster Rob Rodriguez. It's worth noting some of the beers at Two Brothers are brewed locally at the Scottsdale brewpub, while others are brewed and shipped in from Illinois.

The Beers:

Cane and Ebel
7.0% ABV, 68 IBU

A red rye IPA, this beer contains spicy rye notes on top of citrus/grapefruit aromas and flavors. This big beer provides lots of sweetness aromatically, while a clean hop flavor helps to cut and balance the sweetness on the palate. A moderate hop bitterness on top of a medium body with medium-high carbonation provides a pleasant, clean finish. Cane and Ebel is brewed with Thai Palm sugar that is suppose to add creaminess, though that wasn't really evident to us. The beer pours an eye-catching copper, almost red color. This is Two Brothers' flagship beer, and a must for those who enjoy a hop-forward experience.

Hop Dog West Coast IPA.
6.7% ABV, 86 IBU

Intense pine and orange citrus aromas lead on a base of bready malt. Flavors favor an orange citrus character, while a resinous quality fills the palate. Moderate carbonation provides a carbonic bite on this medium-bodied IPA, which is exactly the characteristic that makes an IPA a good palate cleanser. The beer is not totally clean due to some hop dissonance and leaves a slight burn upon the finish. Besides that blip, the beer is a good example of a traditional West Coast IPA. This beer is brewed locally.

Twenty-Plus Pilsner
4.8% ABV, 42 IBU

Drinkers will notice a super-aromatic floral nose from Czech Saaz and German Hallertau hops, as well as a pleasant grainy malt sweetness from pilsner malt and an unexpected hint of tartness. This hint of tartness is more prominent in the taste and is not expected for this beer style. A slight oxidative note also appears. If not for the oxidation and tartness, which do not belong, this beer shows the promise of being a fantastic German-style pilsner.

Lyin Eyes White Stout
5.0% ABV, 28 IBU

White stout is a new style on the brewing scene and tries to mimic the flavors of a traditional stout but in a much lighter, usually gold, outward appearance, as opposed to the traditional black. A slight coffee and distant malty sweetness exist aromatically, but the flavor is very different and much more robust. Big coffee and light roast lead the flavor, making for an experience comparable to drinking an iced coffee or mocha. Moderate bitterness provides a cleansing sensation, while hop flavor remains on the low end. A lingering coffee flavor is reminiscent of a coffee cordial candy. The head did not retain as it usually does in a stout and the beer poured a clear, golden color. Background notes of orange added complexity, helping to make this an interesting new take on a stout — one certainly worth checking out.

Ebel's Weiss Hefeweizen
4.9% ABV, 15 IBU

Equal parts banana and clove lead both aromatically and in the flavor while soft wheat provides creaminess and smoothness. A slight yeast tartness is typical and expected from the hefeweizen yeast and balances the other sweeter flavors nicely. The sweetness from high amounts of wheat transitions into a clean, refreshing finish. A very slight hint of oxidation is the only detriment, somewhat masking the otherwise world-class flavor profile of this beer.

Weisscracker Berliner Weiss
4.0% ABV, 5 IBU

Brewed locally,  Berliner Weiss is a style that's rapidly gaining popularity in the States. The beer is intended to be very light drinking and especially refreshing due to the extreme sourness created from the addition of lactobacillus. Weisscracker is kettle-soured with house lacto, meaning  the tartness is added rather than created naturally from fermentation byproducts. A tart straw/hay aroma is the only aromatic present, while an initial sharp sourness in the flavor gives way to a very pleasant malt sweetness upon the finish. The sharp sourness makes a fantastic palate cleanser. Like many Berliner Weiss beers, this example can be enjoyed with something sweet to cut the sourness. However, this example is good enough to be enjoyed exactly as is.

Two Brothers is open seven days a week. For more information, check the Two Brothers Brewing Company website.