Brew Review

Brew Review: Great Arizona Beer Festival

Walking in to The Great Arizona Beer Festival on Saturday, we promised ourselves that we would not stumble out like blithering idiots.

Well, you know what they say about best laid plans.

So once again, the Brew Review team broke free from our office shackles and breathed in the sweet scene of freedom; this time at Tempe Beach Park. Awaiting us were brews lacking the potency of many of the ones we sampled at Mesa Strong Beer Festival but available in many more varieties.

We tried damn near all of them and recorded our impressions on a digital audio recorder. Unfortunately, the below 11 beers were the only ones we could make out from the recording. The rest were either terribly slurred except, of course, for the recording of one of us attempting to order a philly cheese steak from a large, inflatable duck that may or may not have actually existed.

Drunk, sober or drifting between the two, here are our impressions:

Brewery: Sonoran Brewing Company Brew: The Inebriator Impression: There's a big cartoon bulldog on the side of this beer for a reason. Sitting in our tiny plastic cup, it looked like a thick primordial ooze. The taste pretty much took as back to the stone age thanks to the high alcohol content. Normal beers put hair on your chest. The inebriator puts it wherever it wants.

Brewery: Sonoran Brewing Company Brew: White Chocolate Ale Impression: Cream Soda. This is absolutely crisp and delicious, but there's no getting around the fact that it tastes precisely like cream soda.

Brewery: New Belgium Brewing Brew: Mothership Wit Organic Wheat Beer Impression: Imagine that you can bottle a beautiful day on the coast. Take an imaginary sip of that with citrus notes on the front end and a clean finish.

Brewery: Boulder Beer Co. Brew: Hazed and Infused Impression: Really damn good. Be prepared for pineapple notes and a full, spicy flavor.

Brewery: Alaskan Brewing Co. Brew: White Wheat Ale Impression: Very smooth. This is a good all-around beer. It's not too strong without being bland.

Brewery: Coronado Brewing Company Brew: Red Devil Impression: Strong and bitter. If you like powerful brews, you'll love this, just watch out for the copper after taste.

Brewery: The Lost Abbey Brew: Hopp 15 Impression: Drinking Hopp 15 is a bit like running copper wire down your throat. It's bitter beyond what should be drinkable by a normal human being. This is a shame since we enjoyed Lost Abbey's Serpent Stout so much at Mesa Strong Beer last weekend.

Brewery: Widmer Brothers Brewing Company Brew: Long Hammer Impression: Generic yellow beer.

Brewery: Reaper Ale Brew: Mortality Stout Impression: To die for (it had to be said). Like Sonoran Brewing Company's Inebriator this is a powerful, delicious stout. Go out and find some now even if it kills you.

Brewery: Oggi's Pizza & Brewing Company Brew: The Asylum Impression: Incredibly sugary with a slight spicy flavor that is masked by its own sweetness.

Brewery: Pyramid Breweries Brew: Apricot Ale Impression: Perhaps the best fruit-flavored beer we've tried.

Brew Review will return to its regularly scheduled format after a few more gallons of water and some Tylenol this week.

Happy drinking.

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Jonathan McNamara