How powerful is the past? Extremely powerful. We can learn from it as a guideline of great successes and extreme failures. It's a definition of who we are and where we truly came from. Lets be honest though, we can't change the past. It's the future that truly holds all of the power.
Speaking of past: I can remember in 1999-2000 "ish" a time when a new band named, "Jimmy Eat World" was coming into the scene as a mega player in the rock world. Their album titled "Clarity" was, to say the least, revolutionary, dynamic, and darned near perfect (to some of us music fans). Bleed American was where I really began my in-depth enjoyment of the music that the band was creating. I was scheduled to see Jimmy Eat World in concert for my first time in Sept of 2001.The show was at the New Port Music Hall in Columbus Ohio. The show never happened, as the date of that day was Sept. 11th. I always wondered what the heck did they do, stuck in C-bus Ohio for that day with all of that grief. Years later, as I am sipping beer with Rick Burch, their bassist, I found the answer. They were devastated and wondered aimlessly in the fields of Ohio, pondering the tragedy, as most of us were doing as well. , In my mind back then, the band was a legendary figure that was almost surreal. With wisdom, you come to realize in life, everyone is normal, and has to all fight to survive the same way. Don't get me wrong, as these guys have stayed together for 20 years making amazing music. They really are a class act group of guys, with a love for the state they started in and continue to live in.
Rick and I have became good friends over the past few months. Our passion for AZ is certainly something that we have in common. A few months back, we were talking about his upcoming Futures 10 tour, when he let me in on the meaning behind the name, and the title song "Futures". Essentially, Jim, the front man and lyricist, was expressing the need to be proactive to make a better future. We are in a world with he power to vote, and make changes with our daily actions. Over that very pint is where Rick and I forged the #Futures10 Saison idea and story based on the bands original sentiment. Our meeting over a pint wasn't the only occurrence to help shape this collaboration beer. You see, I never thought the road behind my house meant more than a word. I never knew that Sossaman Road lead to a revolutionary plot of land which holds the long time farmed land called Sossaman Farms. Now I know. This farm along with a gentleman named J.D. Mclelland changed my life, and the future of AZ forever. I must make a long story short, so I digress in summary. J.D., Steve Sossaman, and Chris Bianco, of Pizzeria Bianco, began a project a couple of years ago, which was to highlight the emergence of the AZ heritage grain scene. Over the years, they have constructed a small AZ project into a project of national pride. In form of a documentary, Rise of the Grains, highlights the national effort to rebirth indigenous grains, and the farmers who grow them. Steve Sossaman and many others are changing the future, based on the ignorance of the past. That's the torch that I, Rick, and many others carry.
That pint of beer that Rick and I shared became 2 and 3 pints, but what really came out of that invigorating conversation was a spark. An idea. A desire to change the future. We wanted to make a beer that highlighted a bands 10 year album release, Arizona agriculture, and just plain Arizona. We wanted 10 AZ ingredients and most importantly, we wanted to give the profits to organizations who would greatly benefit our community. When Jim, Tom, Zach, and Rick walked through our brewery doors this morning, the energy was high, and the passion was endless. We talked about our charity choices, and how excited we are to send some funds there way. As Arizona Wilderness we chose The Arizona Chapter of the MS society. Sarah, who reps them locally, was kind enough to stop by for the shenanigans. She was a great wealth of knowledge and clearly passionate about her subject. My wife has had MS for near 10 years now, and we are honored to be a part of the MS Society. Jimmy Eat World all chose "Little Kids Rock", a foundation which supports kids' right to have quality and relevant music education in their lives. Music has meant a whole lot to them, and it's a sad fact that the arts are usually the first programs to be cut in public schools. Little Kids Rock and The MS Society we are honored to be on board with your efforts!
It's base is a saison. We love saisons for there versatility and lets be honest, they were brewed in farmhouses with the ingredients grown on the farms. Originally we thought the 10 ingredients would be difficult to gather and find. NOPE!
Here are the 10 AZ ingredients:
1. Prickly Pear Fruit (Thanks to the Siphon Draw Apothecary for allowing us to legally pick fruit on their private land. Look these guys up as they are a business changing the future!)
2. AZ chamomile- Yep, it grows wild here in AZ! Again, thanks to a friend for allowing us to use flowers from his yard!
3. AZ sun dried salt. From a Glendale salt mine to your glass! Sun dried AZ salt is just better! (Hayden Flour Mills)
4. Queen Creek Mesquite Honey (The Bee Dudes)
5. Bay leaves (Thanks to Joe Johnson and Agritopia farms!)
6. Purple Barley (Sossaman Farms, Hayden Flour Mills)
7. Blue Beard Barley (Sossaman Farms, Hayden Flour Mills)
8. Sonoran White Wheat (Sossaman Farms, Hayden Flour Mills)
9. Emmer (Farro) Wheat (Sossaman Farms, Hayden Flour Mills)
10. Red Fife Wheat (Sossaman Farms, Hayden Flour Mills)
Wow, look at that! Arizona produces baby! Blue beard has officially made its debut appearance, not only in beer, but in ANY commercial product. Thanks for allowing us to showcase your amazing and tasteful product.
This will be released at our pub the last week of Oct. The main events will be Oct 29th at the Rialto Theater in Tucson, and Oct 30th and the Marquee Theater in Tempe. Go see a great AZ band who puts great effort into changing the future!
I sincerely hope, with all of my heart that the efforts of Arizona Wilderness are changing the future of Arizona. I will go to the grave trying, I can promise you that!
Jonathan (proof read by Rick, and he approves)