See also: Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Craft Beer Bars Mat and Sharry Englehorn know and love craft beer, and in their travels through California, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado (where they've hoisted their fair share in the name of research), they concluded one thing: Phoenix doesn't have nearly enough places to enjoy it.
So they're leaving their old jobs behind (Mat's been in real estate, Sharry in property management) to open Angels Trumpet Ale House at 810 North Second Street in downtown Phoenix sometime between mid- to late August.
But it won't be beer business as usual for this suds-centric couple, who plans to offer 31 frequently rotated craft brews and take the ale house to the next level.
Located across the street from FilmBar, the '70s-era slump block building the two are renovating is family-owned (Mat most recently used it as his office), and in its new life, an impressive chunk of it will be devoted to a huge cooler.
Apparently, when it comes to coolers, size matters. The Englehorn's Big Bertha is located directly behind the bar, which means beer may be tapped using the direct-draw method. In other words, each beer maintains its freshness and tastes just as it was brewed to taste, because it has been drawn directly from the keg -- not sitting in the line for hours or even days.
Having a gigantic cooler also will allow the Englehorns to store beer casks (two of them, to be exact). If you're a beer geek, you already know that cask beer, which is unfiltered and unpasteurized, is served from the cask without any additional CO2 added.
Many beer experts maintain that the filtering and pasteurizing process removes or damages some of the best flavors and aromas of the original beer. Cask beer continues to mature, creating fresh, complex flavors and natural CO2. The Englehorns, who love the creamy mouthfeel of cask beer, will be consulting local breweries who occasionally produce cask beer (SunUp, Sonoran, Papago, and Four Peaks have all brewed them at one point or another) to determine how long each cask beer may be allowed to mature for optimum flavor.
The Englehorns also will offer beer flights and six draft wines (three white, three red). Down the line, they'll be planning beer-pairing dinners and casual beer classes, bringing in local experts from breweries and beer distributorships.
Because the Englehorns have just recently hired two young (and as yet, undisclosed) chefs, they can't be very specific about the menu except to say they'll be offering appetizers, salads, sandwiches, pizzas, and burgers, as well as daily and seasonal specials. They also plan to make use of wild game and to source local ingredients.
Meanwhile, the space promises to be ideal for hanging out and drinking beer -- sporting loads of windows and skylights, a polished concrete-topped bar and a 3,000-square-foot patio (eventually tree-shaded), furnished with couches and chairs, small tables and picnic tables (the latter to emulate European beer gardens).
And if you're wondering about the ale house's unusual name, "Englehorn" means "angel's trumpet" in German.
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Follow Angels Trumpet Ale House's progress on its Facebook page.