Brewing and distilling go hand in hand. When boiled with hops and grain, the liquid in the mash tun becomes wort, which a meeting with yeast will turn into beer. When grain is boiled without hops or other solids, however, the mash produces wash, the building block of whiskey distilling.
Collaborations between brewers and distillers can be lucrative -- brewers provide the wash for distillers to make into whiskey, and distillers provide used barrels for aging bigger brews like stouts and barleywines.
And it looks like we may see one such alliance come together in Tempe very soon.
A new distillery, Copper State Spirits, is tentatively set to open this fall in one of the vacant buildings west of Four Peaks' Tempe brewpub.
"They've asked us to make the first several washes for them," said Four Peaks head brewer Andy Ingram. "We're actually pretty excited about it; it's something completely new for us."
The best part? The principal on Copper State is none other than Rick Burch, bassist for local-band-made-good Jimmy Eat World.
We'll have more for you on the new distillery as info emerges.