Well, we are moving cities. Gilbert, AZ has already won our hearts and now beginning to win our minds (and wallets). That is a exciting prospect. I'd say at this point Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. will be the first brewpub/beer producer in Gilbert is well over an 95% chance. You may say, "What took you so long?". Eh, who cares how we got to this point. The fact is that we are here. Next is sending our consultant to do a complete analysis of the current property options. AKA, a smart guy with a computer and a calculator to tell us if it's worth our time. Gilbert wants us, and we want Gilbert. So things being "meant to be" definitely fits the situation right now. Once the site is chosen the fun really begins. This time, far from any fitness center!
Here is the first batch of Arizona Wild yeast gathered and propagated by Bryan, a friend of AZWBC:
I talked with a few good brewing friends at the Craft Brewers Conference about our AZ wild yeast experiments. Only a few people understand why such an undertaking of such a wild beast, but it's great how many people are willing to give up proprietary information to help the cause. Malt may be the beer's boat, but yeast is it's sails( wow that was cheesy). We want local, carefully selected, desert yeasts to ferment a small quantity of the ales that we make. Essentially here is what we are doing: Every state has its own unique terroir ,in other words, its unique environmental identity. Most craft brewers reflect upon this local aspect to a certain degree. Does that mean everyone should be to collecting all the raw materials from AZ, architectural goods, and go crazy pulling yeast off of cacti? Heck no, in fact the latter is dangerous (not the end product, but the chance of that yeast taking control of your brew house), ridiculous and, unnecessary. It simply means to become a neighborhood's craft beer of choice, we must become part of that area's culture. Not really that hard to understand and put into motion. A local landmark's name will simply do. I'll admit though, being a mad scientist keeps me happy and tucks me in at night. My feeling is, with a truly one of a kind terroir in AZ the yeast will reflect that. The Belgians in the Senne Valley are still creating lambic style ales, http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style17.php ,with the bugs and critters floating around east of Brussels. In Arizona, stories of the Papago Indians fermenting the pulp of the Saguaro inspire me. Anyways, the first experiment went well and the quest continues. Don't worry, 99% of our beers will be done with traditional ale yeast(s) and the subsequent beers will be familiar to your taste buds. (If anyone knows someone or has a few acres of private land containing a whole bunch of saguaro let me know! Jbuford@azwildernessbrewing.com)
We may not be "Beer City USA" according to clicks on a website, but damn it feels good to be apart of the expanding beer culture in this city and state.