On the heels of the American Canned Beer Festival, Localist members were given the incredible opportunity to do an exclusive tasting in the new (and beautiful!) Brewer's Room at San Tan Brewing Company in Downtown Chandler. San Tan Brewing Company was the headlining sponsor for the AmeriCAN Canned Beer Festival and ended up taking a few awards for their delectable craft brews (Gold medal for Hefeweizen Wheat and Silver for Mr. Pineapple Wheat - congrats to STBCO!). To kick off the event the week prior, Localists were offered a four course menu tasting paired with four of the most popular canned beers from San Tan's brewery, along with the opportunity to win VIP tickets to the festival.
With a great group of Localists hailing the far corners of the Valley (Cave Creek, Paradise Valley, Downtown Phoenix, Glendale, Chandler, Gilbert), many of whom had not been to the brewery before, we began our event by meeting Clayton, the one of the brewers (see Clayton's Corner on the San Tan blog) and the head of Special Events for San Tan, Derek Hanson. Derek walked everyone through the history of San Tan Brewing Company, which started in 2007 and has grown to distribute not only throughout Arizona, but also now in Southern California. It was great to see another side of San Tan-- we frequently see the beer in the grocery store or at our favorite watering holes, but we found there is a lot more going on at the home base in Chandler.
After a warm welcome, we began the tasting - our delicious menu follows below.
Course 1: Blue Cheese Crumble, HopShock IPA
Course 2: Chipotle Bacon wrapped Shrimp, Devil's Ale
Course 3: Downtown Slider w/ Cheddar, Epicenter Amber
Course 4: Mr. P's Blondie, Mr. Pineapple
We had Brewer Clayton walking us through each course, talking about the pairings and why they made sense. Who would have thought to pair a hoppy beer with a salty food (like Bleu Cheese dressing on Buffalo wings)? It seems like common sense know that we know why the paring goes so well together, but more than a few of us had never made the connection before the event. THe crispness of Devil's Ale complimented the savory and butter Bacon wrapped shrimp, and the slider with Epicenter was a match made in heaven. To say that the dessert was delicious was an understatement, and the Mr. Pineapple beer complemented the Blondie perfectly (it was also made with the beer, which must have been the secret sauce). Our hats off to the chef!
The best thing about Localist events like these is when people get to meet each other who might not have had the opportunity before. Even better is when they have so much fun that they end up sticking around after the event is over. As we closed out the night, we saw more than a few Localists sticking around to taste other brews at the Brewery, and we saw a few of the lucky winners at the AmeriCAN beer Festival the following weekend! To stay up to date with upcoming Localist events and offers, visit our Localist event calendar here, and sign your friends up so they can enjoy the events along with you. Cheers until next time!