When we think about craft beer hubs we usually think of southern California, Colorado, and Oregon. It is time we add Arizona to the list. Vines and Hops tasting room, located in Scottsdale Arizona is getting the word out about local beers.
Vines and Hops have 19 taps dedicated to Arizona craft beers. I spoke with one of the owners, Chad DeVille. I wanted to see what the trends are in the Arizona beer world.
“What I have seen is that craft beer keeps growing every year. It makes up 6 to 8 percent of the beer market share in Arizona.” Says Chad.
Since craft beer makes up 12 percent of the total beer sales in the U.S. there is obviously some room for growth information provided by brewersassociation.org.
Vines and Hops has seen its customers favoring beers from Tucson’s Dragoon Brewery. Trending right now in Arizona beers is the additions of specialty flavors. Like O.H.S.O.’s Peanut brittle or Sleepy Dog’s West Snout Chocolate Stout. There is no lack of creativity in Arizona beer flavors thus making beer tasting at places like Vines and Hops an exciting experience for even the most seasoned beer snobs.
“I like serving beer because you don’t really see beer snobs. People who are coming in and tasting beer are usually pretty open, and are just here to try new flavors.” Says Chad.
So If you do not know the difference between a stout and a lager, there is no need to be skittish about going into a beer tasting room in Arizona.
Speaking of the types of people enjoying Arizona’s beers, Chad tells me that it is mostly a younger crowd, but more and more people who grew up only knowing the big beers are now trying new beers. Chad mentions that he was surprised how receptive people were to the Arizona beers. “We started out with ten taps of all local, and we got positive feedback, so now we’re at nineteen taps of all local beers.”
Arizona has 78 breweries, and more are popping up each year. This has not gone unnoticed by the large brewing companies like In-Bev. In fact the purchase of Four Peaks two years ago made national headlines. Chad said he gets the occasional drinker who claims that Four Peak’s flagship, Kilt Lifter is not as good as it once was.
For the Arizonan reading this, or if you are planning a trip to Arizona, make sure to try the unique beers that are as eclectic as our beautiful state. Vines and Hops can help guide your drinking tour of the state.