Friday, April 20, 2018

Spontaneous Spontaneity

Lambic, noun:
A type of Belgian beer brewed with raw wheat, aged hops and wild yeast in wooden casks, and fermented for at least a year with yeast added through spontaneous fermentation.

That's the traditional definition as defined by the Senne River Valley lambic brewers. But, if we do it, what is it? Is this just for fun?

In the wild west of the current craft beer market, one is most likely led to wonder: What’s going to happen next? Peering around the corner of the new market, through the dusty canyons with monolithic distant vistas, your gaze will most likely fall on some new creative endeavor that seems very captivating. It’s a catchy tune, this one. Then, propelled by social marketing “it factor”, the new style of beer is catapulted into a realm so meteoric that it suddenly goes into a tail spin that sends it sputtering to its fiery conclusion. Is this a problem? Well, not exactly. Things come and go, and I get that. Trends are trends. Truthfully, we at AZWBC too are enamored with the nagging “what next?” quest that has, at times, made us a bit anxious about it. Even with our “Wilderness Way” parameters, the ones that ensure that we utilize ingredients sourced from Arizona and to build a stronger community, we feel that at times we may have crossed our own ethical barriers. We have frequently fallen into the, “Brew what’s in right now” category. It can get a bit obnoxious to create beer this way. This introspective notion has created a desire in us to reach into the soul for direction and for truth. For beer, dammit!

Having said that, we know it’s all good. Brew on baby! Seriously, it’s all good. With one caveat. One important notion to remember: We adore Belgian brewing history which tends to contradict the willy-nilly approach that some of the current trends are following. We admire the philosophical approach of not having a philosophy. That substance can create sustenance.  Truthfully, we just really like Belgian ales.

In Wallonia’s hay day, the saison was a reaction to having the raw ingredients to create beer and the farm hand’s desire for a thirst-quenching beverage.  In many instances, these rustic ales were more potable than the local water supply. The monastic monks brewed with a methodology that has stood the test of time. Even during a horrible dismantling of many monasteries during WW2, the lore of monastic brewing carried on. There are a plethora of beautiful styles, such as the Belgian pale and witbier, with a lineage worthy of a book.

So, where does lambic stand with its Belgian cohorts historically? I feel like it’s possibly the most scientific/unscientific beverage in history. It is a style that has a background with ebbs and flows similar that of Belgian politics. It’s a confusing style to place a marker on and, to say the least, has been both extremely popular and extremely unpopular over the decades. It’s a style of beer that is relatively inexpensive and easily found in Brussels.
What’s crazy is it’s the same style that is expensive and pretty damn hard to find in the U.S.

 As I digress, I must proclaim that this is not a history lesson on lambic brewing. It’s an ode to the notion of it. It’s an honoring of the serendipitous inspiration which caused us to embark on a journey of spontaneity. I continue to the point….

For Pat and I, creating spontaneously fermented beer was inspired by the like of legendary brewers such as Cantillon’s Jean Van Roy,

 Arman Debelder, Frank Boon and Pierre Tilquin. So, we embarked on Belgian travels to delve into the art of lambic brewing, understand the science and meet these purveyors of the lambic craft. We pulled nails, visited the historic first town which originally made lambic, Lembeek, partook in blending sessions and shared inspirational stories with some of the current cast of lambic brewing. We haven’t been accepted into the Senne River Valley lambic brewers club by any means, but nevertheless we feel much more confident approaching the subject of making spontaneous beer in our home state.  

With a few trips, books, home experiments and microscopic cell counting parties under our belts, we decided we couldn’t simply make these beers at the brewery. Not with our desire to tell the story of how amazing Arizona is! I must mention: Creating a mobile coolship was something we had been inspired by from brewers such as Gabe Flethcer, of Anchorage Brewing Co, Shaun Hill of Hill Farmstead, Jeff Stuffings of Jester King and Chase of American Solera. There were many skilled brewers who led this creative endeavor and we admire them and thank them for the inspiration. We too had a desire to take this project mobile…so, WE DID!

To begin the mobile coolship project, we contacted our welder and after a few different design attempts, we were ready to take off. It just so happens that our good buddies from Brooklyn, Other Half Brewing, were set to come to AZ and hang with us. Before we could get the question out of our mouth’s to the 3 OH boys, they emphatically said, “YES!” We greatly admire Other Half’s desire to spread knowledge of craft beer. They had a healthy sour program and we wanted this project to be brewed as collaborations with breweries who made a commitment to creating sour beer.  They were the perfect “First”.

That initial brew day consisted of a turbid mash made of pilsner malt and Sonoran White Wheat. A 2-hour boil, boiled with aged hops and transfer to barrels which were fastened beneath the coolship and voila! We were mobile!

We love showing out-of-towners the Mogollon Rim, so that was the destination. That evening our camp was filled with a magical energy. A void of chaos. Seriously, it was bliss.
The temperature dropped…40F….35….30..28. After we demolished a cooler of beer and a handle of bourbon, right about when that overdue moment of squeezing deeply into my sleeping bag hit, I leaned over the shallow 120 gallon vessel to peer at the cooling wort. Shit, it was frozen! What does this mean?!?! How will this effect it? That’s what I love about this project. You see, to brew spontaneous beer, we shouldn’t do it just to do it. 

We must remember this old time, legendary brewing style is still evolving. It still needs to be a learning lesson to the consumer and the brewing industry. It isn’t a novelty at all.

  Sure, much of the history of lambic brewing may consist of folklore and tales based on un-provable minutiae, but the action of partaking in spontaneous inoculation should be held sacred. We hope we did justice to the world of craft beer in our actions.

Currently our sour room is fully inundated with the Arizona “bugs and critters” and we are thrilled with that (which is one of the big secrets in spontaneous brewing). As we monitor each rendition (currently there are 5), we want to inform the consumer of the happenings. I’ll admit, like many Belgian brewers are admitting, these historical styles aren’t very lucrative these days. So, between lactose beers and hazy IPA’s, we plan to commit to brewing spontaneously fermented ales and showcasing what we find. It’s the least we can do.

This series of beer, determined at that first joyful camp, will be called, “Camp Coolship”. The renditions will focus on isolating areas of Arizona in their cooler season, which is prime for capturing yeasts and bacteria needed for spontaneous fermentation.  The first vintage will be bottled this week, naturally conditioned and ready in June. June happens to be just in time for Other Half’s annual festival held in Brooklyn so get yo’ palate ready NYC!
Obviously, we will release it in Arizona as well.  The beer, which aged in neutral French oak barrels for 24 months, is what the universe delivered us.  It’s where it must be. The tasting notes are, well, it’s quite beautiful!! 

And so, the story continues.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

New Ventures, New Worlds, Same Vision

I’m currently planted, ever so comfortably, on the banks of the Aravaipa Creek with sandstone cliffs towering over me. The sun its warmth into the depths of Aravaipa Canyon, where I lay. As I ponder the future, I am being subtly reminded of the beauty of the current moment. I am being reminded to enjoy the bliss that has already been created, allowing for the next moment to begin.
Aravaipa Creek, which dissects opposing canyon walls, flows through the heart of one of the hottest and driest areas on Earth. It’s ability to showcase magnificent charm in such a brutal landscape is quite unique and rather unmatched by many of it’s cohorts. It's yet another example of Arizona's incredible diversity and beauty. While I rest along the soggy bank of the creek, my eyes are led to follow the mesmerizing current of running water, which is softly and ever so elegantly meandering its way along the canyon floor as if it were made of silk. The clusters of cottonwoods and sycamores lining the creek are illuminating the water with their fall golds and rusty reds. I find content in objectively detailing the needs that nature has fulfilled by noticing its inner workings and slight details.

For instance, in the summer leaves beg the sun for its powerful energy while working simultaneously with the trees root system to create substantial energy. Then, in the fall season those same leaves abide by the rules of nature by creating sugars for the roots, so the tree will last through the dimness of winter. They essentially make a sacrifice for the greater good. Yet, do the leaves fall and becomes waste? No, as nature wouldn’t allow waste! In an instant, they fall to their next purpose: to re-energize the Earth’s soil.

This notion reminds me of a premise we believe in at Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. which simply states, “Give as much energy as you receive”. It shouldn’t take much for me to convince you that nature’s philosophies can translate directly to a healthy business objective. This ponderous thought sequence I seem to be entranced by is similar to the process that was the impetus to the brewery.
About 7 years ago, after crossing a Wilderness sign on a backpacking trip, I felt the sudden notion of bringing the Wilderness ethics and ethos to the pint glass. Now, I can smile at this memory because Mother Nature is still nurturing my busy mind. It’s revealing yet again and reminding me to perform every action on purpose, with a purpose.
Why does this chain of thoughts even matter? Because Patrick and myself both agree that it’s time to start a new chapter in the Wilderness story, which needed a clear and logical direction. We found that direction. It’s time to birth a new journey to better perform as an entity and enhance its ability to take a stand for our company values. Downtown Phoenix, Wilderness is coming to you! (Don't worry, Gilbert still remains the same as our headquarters!)
With that cat out of the bag (a funny pun as a mountain lion was just spotted monitoring us as we hike along the creek), I’ll give you 3 good reasons why this new location is important to us.
1. We’ve Matured: As a company, we’ve allowed wisdom to reformat old programs and begin new ones. No longer are we hanging by the lack of experience thread that restricted us to reach for goals and new levels of performance. We have a team that has moved past good intentions and onto incredible performance. We know what we are doing and why we are doing it. It’s time to repeat that process, sans the shitty times!
2. To us, it still matters to be “Craft”: We greatly admire the craft breweries who continuously rise the tide of authenticity and quality. This expansion will allow us to continue our efforts to give back what we’ve learned. We also believe that a business should contain a proverbial soul which continually progresses its own growth and development, bettering the world around it. Expanding our presence to downtown Phoenix allows us to continue as an authentic craft brewery while enhancing and growing the objective. We will continue our efforts to uphold our sustainability efforts (solar, reclaimed rain water, efficiently using natural lighting, recycling, composting food waste, etc), but also progressing our farm to pint/table initiatives. Remember, in the beginning of company’s operations, we had farmers extremely surprised by our desire to use their products. Now we are seeing growth in the local farming institution!

3. DT PHX is HAPPENING!!: In our travels, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed the identity each urban core has to offer all around the globe. Sure, we prefer the Wilderness and the natural wonders of the World, but the city centers are a splendid showcase of the surrounding people’s abilities, feelings and artistic culture. As we become more cerebral to the needs and desires of human-kind, we sense the true desire to create a community that is exuberant, exciting and full of a creative culture. From Copenhagen to Los Angeles, Geneva to Brooklyn, Vienna to Atlanta, Curitiba to Vancouver, Reykjavik to Kansas City, Vienna to Miami... a revolution is burgeoning among like-minded folks who have pushed the boundaries of both the culinary and craft beverage culture. The great thing is that they are all thriving! We believe that Phoenix, one of the planet’s youngest cities, is ripe for greatness. The hanging fruit is ready for the pickin’. We will be bringing our experiences from travel to a downtown that is on the cusp of a cultural explosion.
Now, for the Details:
The DTPHX location was inspired by numerous influences. Think the beer gardens in Germany combined with the brash "it-is-what-it-is" style of San Francisco’s Zeitgeist. We will combine the goodness of our Arizona beef burgers and the multitude of Arizona produce, raised by farmers that we trust and admire. The artistic direction we will choose shall express the site as an urban oasis dawning AZ nature photography and murals created by local artists. The massive outdoor space will showcase Arizona trees and plants which will be an open environment allowing the patio gardens to be enjoyed wherever you prefer to sit. We have chosen the counter service direction to better serve the large-scale audience more effect and efficiently. We want to be a good fit for the already badass companies down there and enhance each other. We are honored that so many folks in the municipal sector are excited for our new endeavors, and we promise to deliver!
Who: Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co DTPHX
Where:  201 E Roosevelt St in Downtown Phoenix
 What: A counter service style burger restaurant serving our own Wilderness beers, Arizona wines and cocktails on draft with a large-scale patio bier garden 
More What:  An awesome packaged (to-go) beer program! This new location will increase our bottle and can inventory greatly, as well as our ability to get it to our awesome customers. More releases with more packaged beer as well as a strong inventory of bottle conditioned ales. 
When:  Spring of 2019 is the objective

In the long run, Patrick and I desire to fulfill everyone’s expectations of AZ Wilderness, while continuing to pursue a greater objective. That greater objective is to be a positive force for the great state we call home. We desire the canyons, riparian waterways, deserts, mountains, pine forests, birds and bees... and so on, to be cherished and protected. We desire charitable initiates and initiatives that better the community around us. Can that coincide with a brewery serving burgers? Yes! We, as owners, must be conscious in our efforts to not simply create commerce, but to make commerce drive conservation and community. That is Patrick and I’s core commitment.
We all create our own destiny. Rather than talking about ours we are diligently making it happen. Thanks for all the support up to this point and let us all raise a pint to the future of Arizona!

Jonathan Buford

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Middle Eastern Adventure

Photo courtesy of @Matt Coats
When Yazan Karadsheh, the owner of the Jordanian craft brewery Carakale, walked into Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. this past February, I immediately was drawn to something in him that I had yet to understand. He shared his story of when he was attending college at The University of Colorado and a new future had been shown to him. He was in a Boulder bookstore and noticed a book showcasing the best breweries in the World sitting on the shelf. Being a proud Jordanian citizen, Yazan quickly flipped to "J" only to find that page skipping his native land. In that instant, he felt that instinctual and provocatively insane urge to make his own history, while forging a unique bond with his homeland. We shared stories of the hardships of the brewing industry, and how far we've come. It quickly became clear how his proverbial mountain to climb was MUCH more difficult than our climb. It took him 3 years just to obtain permits to open his brewery! I was inspired to hear his story which was based on an undying perseverance. We shared a beer together and quickly struck up a friendship. I knew that Patrick and I had European travels upcoming in May, so I suggested we brew a collaboration beer. As we entertained the collaboration idea, I had another idea regarding a Dead Sea salt gose. An idea that would be brewed with salt harvested straight from the Sea. The Dead Sea is a saline sea that separates Jordan and Israel and happens to be the lowest point below sea level, on dry land.  That's all it took to inspire both Yazan and I.  So, the dates were set.
In our past travels, we've realized the incredible importance of documentation. We believe the stories being told are a showcase for a global craft beer community. The idea of a TV show or a short documentary highlighting the events that encompass the overall story began to take hold. We spent months discussing business with various film teams, including Hollywood based teams that are uber-connected to the film scene. In the long run, we called our talented friends Matt Coats
Matt Coats
and Taylor Mason, 

Taylor Mason
who happened to document last year's #campcoolship. They too were inspired by the story, so much so they decided to do whatever it took to make it happen sans the overreach of Hollywood.  Both Taylor and Matt are high level videographers and photographers having worked with Superstars like Kendrick Lamar, BeyoncĂ©, Lady Gaga, and MANY more. They also happen to be craft beer lovers and they too were inspired by the prolific story of the cross global collaboration.  So, the crew was set and the road to the collaboration began.
Prior to our visit to Jordan, we had several phone calls with Yazan and his brew team to discuss the brew day and the general flow of our visit. They had never brewed a gose at Carakale before, but they were well versed in all things kettle sour. We quickly learned how talented Carakale's brewers Jordan and Andrew were. After sharing the "Wilderness Way" of kettle sours, we all felt the excitement regarding the trip. It's amazing to be the first craft beer collaboration in a country that hardly supports any craft alcohol culture. This was also set to be the first ever gose brewed in Jordan's history. It isn't an easy venture, to say the least, to get the essentials like raw materials to the brewery just outside of Amman. The grain and hops need to be ordered 6 weeks ahead of time with imminent delays to be accounted for.  Think about that! We had a conversation 8 weeks before a normal brew day and they feared that the grain, which slowly travels from England by boat and land, might not show. You quickly feel the hardships of the whole team at Carakale Brewery. The salt, grains, lactobacillus (souring bacteria) and hops were ordered and the travel plans were set. Damn we anticipated this one! 
As the trip approached we heard a variety of different stories, clichĂ©s and misconceptions regarding Jordan.  Some were people's general perceptions of the Middle Eastern lifestyle. I'll just get this out of the way now: Jordanians, just like the country's landscape, are beautiful. Upon arrival, we were treated like Kings and our entry to the Middle East went off without a hitch. Ok, I'll admit, they could use a driving lesson or two, but so can many Americans!  The night that we landed Yazan greeted us and made sure we had a hotel. We had spent the previous week with team Mikkeller in Copenhagen for the annual Mikkeller Beer Celebration which was full of excessive partying, as we do. We needed rest for the impactful week to come. To avoid boredom and excessive wordplay, I'll simply share the timeline and photos from here, with a nice sentimental wrap up.

Day 1 (Monday): -Arrival to Amman
Photo courtesy of @Matt Coats

After arriving at 2 am, we slept a few hours. We took the long drive from the Amman Airport Hotel into second circle. The cab drive into Amman was pure insanity and we quickly learned to get used to this driving style. We met Yazan and the film crew over a traditional Jordanian lunch.
This was another thing to get used to on our visit: the food is incredible! Yazan had a talented artist friend commissioned to create the beer's label. We smoked hookah while tossing ideas around for the beer's name, ranging from ridiculous to hilarious and inappropriate. We settled on "Dead Sea-rious", a play on words which fundamentally points to the underlying perspective we want to highlight, which is to remember to not be so serious in life! We eventually made our way to Amman's spectacular old town market to fetch spices, play a traditional Arabic guitar (Oub),
Photo courtesy of @Matt Coats
followed by a visit to the old Roman Colosseum

which was a breath-taking display of ancient Roman's influence on the Middle East. We eventually made our way to Carakale situated in the Blue Valley
just outside Amman. After a few beers and the initial tour we headed to the town of Madaba, 45 min SE of Amman. Yazan’s father was raised in Madaba as well as Yazan himself. He and his family are, well, a bit famous there. We met his cousin, Jamil, who had dinner plans for us.  This meal, an unforgettable occasion to say the least, was one of the finest meals of our lives. The kitchen had an old a brick oven kitchen, with an old-world patio setting. We finished the evening with libations which sparked hilarious conversations into the late night.

-Tuesday: We awoke in Madaba, groggy and jet-lagged. Oh well, let's go! We headed to the town’s historic Church, which was established 150 years ago by Yazan's lineage. One of the reasons it was built was to preserve the oldest tile made map of the dead sea region dating back to 560 A.D.
Photo courtesy of @Matt Coats
Upon exiting, a group of Indian tourists noticed Patrick looked like Jesus. Oh shit this was such a funny moment unfolding in front of me. It started with a man boldly exclaiming, "Look it's Jesus!" That spawned into numerous selfies and even a few moments of truth by a few traveler's wondering if this Arizona Jesus was the real thing. Turns out a famous Danish photographer, Jacob Holdt,
Patrick and famous photographer, Jacob Holdt
happen to snag a photo of the action. We later learned he had previously won a Pulitzer prize for his work. Patrick is famous!  After another delicious and somewhat divine meal
Photo courtesy of @Matt Coats
Photo courtesy of @Matt Coats

created by a man who started the restaurant 25 years prior, we headed towards the dead sea. Upon our arrival my mind was racing in dismay. This desert landscape was mesmerizing with its spectacular display of desolation. It truly is other-worldly.
As we snaked our way to the sea, no one other than Yazan knew what was in store. For all we knew we would be spending the night under the stars alongside the Dead Sea. Well, Yazan had a trick up his sleeve and decided to treat us to a 5-star resort deep in the Dead Sea Valley.
Hell yeah! We quickly moved ourselves to the beach and began the ancient ritual of being perplexed by the bodies buoyant nature in the salty sea. It truly is mind blowing.
Photo courtesy of @Matt Coats

We applied a thick layer of mud to our toxin-filled bodies and allowed the mud to dry.
Photo courtesy of @Matt Coats
After re-soaking in the salt water, there is a calmness to the soul. A true rebirth to the inner-being. It was surreal and should be on everyone's bucket list. We enjoyed the evening with Carakale beer and rested. Another spectacular day.
Photo courtesy of @Matt Coats

-Wednesday:  Collaboration Brew day.
Photo courtesy of @Matt Coats
Brewers Andrew and Jordan were crushing it, and had been for several weeks. Jordan (the country), being a predominantly Muslim country, is greatly influenced by the Muslim holiday Ramadan even though Yazan himself does not practice the Muslim religion.  They had to play catch up before the shutdown of the countries alcohol sales came into effect. They mashed, then sent the wort to the kettle.  The lactobacillus, coriander, and sea salts were added and it was official, the country’s first Gose was in the tank! That evening Yazan took us to his cousin’s restaurant in Amman where we ate an old-world traditional Middle Eastern meal of goat’s testicles, lamb brains, chicken livers, and hummus. Yum! 
Photo courtesy of @Matt Coats

-Thursday: Wadi Rum here we come!
Photo courtesy of @Matt Coats
As we embarked on the adventure we could hardly have comprehended what amazing day was to come. The 3-hour drive had many aspects that reminded me of Arizona's deserts. Jordan may not have the same green mountain to low desert contrast as Arizona does, but it's beauty lies in its ability to strike you with awe.  Unbelievable views stated as we descended into Wadi Rum. We arrived at the site of a couple of Bedouin guides who vowed to take us where they took Matt Damon while he was filming the movie "Martian".
Photo courtesy of @Matt Coats

Photo courtesy of @Matt Coats
Photo courtesy of @Matt Coats

Photo courtesy of @Matt Coats
The filming consisted of 2 vehicles, one with Yazan, Patrick and myself while the other truck romped through the desert behind us. The enchantment of Wadi Rum is incomparable to anything else. We filmed through sunset and sipped authentic
Photo courtesy of @Matt Coats
Photo courtesy of @Matt Coats
Photo courtesy of @Matt Coats

Bedouin coffee, which was a real treat. This part of the documentary will be prolific! We ended the night at a primitive hotel in the desert, under a clear night dotted with stars.
Photo courtesy of @Matt Coats

-Friday: Petra!
Photo courtesy of @Matt Coats

Photo courtesy of @Matt Coats

Photo courtesy of @Matt Coats

Photo courtesy of @Matt Coats
 Again, we had little expectations upon arrival to Petra. The long, winding dusty road in makes you believe it's impossible to find. Though, upon arrival, you quickly realize how much of a tourist trap it is. Not to fret though, the payoff is incredible! A .5-mile romp through a winding slot canyon dumps you right into the ancient city. Talk about captivating! The treasury, known to many from Indiana Jones and the lost crusades, is a magnificent structure formed in 315 B.C. right out of the red rock. We had a security guard (for the filming) and he lead us up to a tribal hut high above the cliffs. We worked a badass scene, thanks to Taylor's nimbleness, where he was high in the cliffs while filming us riding camels through a slot canyon. Seriously, Petra is spellbinding. That evening we celebrated our film wrap up and enjoyed Amman.

-Saturday, we flew away from the country we quickly grew to love. A small piece of our Wilderness soul was left behind. Sad Face.

Wrapping up:
To say it simply: Patrick and I were profoundly affected by our trip to Jordan. But, not so much for the obvious reasons. Sure, the culture has some contrasting values and the differences can make simple tasks, to a newcomer, somewhat difficult at times. The overall fact is simple: everyone on the planet is connected based on the ultimate desire for a significant survival. In other words: they have the same struggles and desires and the same wants and needs as we all do. Amman and Phoenix too had many comparable and somewhat coinciding facets of their perspective societies. The main one being that they both have a desert soul. Like Phoenix, Amman was filled its perpetual emptiness with millions of compassionate beings, many of which were outsiders of Jordan , there to begin a new chapter to their lives. At one point we were encountered by a dust storm
Photo courtesy of @Matt Coats
and Yazan was surprised we didn’t flinch due to having experienced many dust storms in our own backyard. Jordanians learn English early on in their schooling making visiting Americans experience an easy transition. Amman’s newest part of town had night clubs, music stores, coffee shops, burger joints, hip restaurants and cocktail lounges. The countryside was filled with farmers and sheep herders dawning the traditional garb that 1970’s Hollywood somewhat confused and clouted the imagery with a disingenuous theme.

The theme of the documentary and the collaboration could have been easily convoluted. We weren’t filling a void, nor were we there to talk politics. We were there to extend, and take the extended, olive branch that we believe the world-wide craft beer scene once offered to us. We must continue the ideal that we’re in this together.
Photo courtesy of @Matt Coats
 It’s a shame some governments can’t get along due to conflicting histories and cultural differences. But, for Yazan and myself, we just really like beer. More importantly: We really love celebrating the planet that we live on.


(stay tuned for the documentary)

Also, an incredible story on Carakale here:

Photo courtesy of @Matt Coats

Photo courtesy of @Matt Coats

Photo courtesy of @Matt Coats

Photo courtesy of @Matt Coats