Local First Arizona was thrilled when Borderlands Brewing Company offered to brew a special ale celebrating local flavors and local ingredients for our Independents Week celebration. The Borderlands Indie Week Horchata Cream Ale is a cream ale base with rice notes, cinnamon and vanilla. We asked Borderlands Brewing President, Mike Malloy to tell us a little bit about Borderlands and the creation of the Indie Ale. Can you tell us a little about Borderlands Brewing? “The idea for Borderlands started on the kick ball field of all places. My business partner Myles and I met there and found out we both had a passion for craft beer and home brewing. It wasn't long after our first batch of beer that we started talking about starting a brewery. We opened in December of 2011 to an amazing response. On our opening day we had lines around the block and we have scrambled to keep up with demand ever since. While our business is mostly in distribution of our beer to Phoenix and Tucson our tap room has a great atmosphere and we have live music 3 days a week showcasing great local musicians, and our walls which display the work of local artists made it a great place to hang out.”
What made you decide to open a business in Tucson? “After looking at the numbers opening a brewery in Tucson was a no-brainer. When we opened there were only 3 other breweries in a town which could easily support more than 20. Tucson's great mixture of cultures that includes locals, snowbirds, students, and tourists make it an ideal place to launch a business like ours. Tucson's sense of community is truly hard to beat. Despite there being a million people in the metro area it seems like everyone is connected by only 1 or 2 degrees of separation. We wanted to be a part of that.”
How does Borderlands support other local businesses in your community? “One of the central ideas we had in starting Borderlands is that we wanted it to be a reflection of the community. From the pecan orchards of Sahuarita to the prickly pear farms right here in Tucson we like to use as many local ingredients as possible. We recently just had a collabrew with Yellow Brick Coffee and brand new coffee roastery in town. We are also committed to working with local non-profits from the Arizona Human Society to the Watershed Management Group in helping to improve our community.”
Can you tell us about the inspiration for the Horchata Cream Ale? “There's nothing better after a night on the town then a great local taco or burrito and a nice large horchata. The mixture of creamy and cinnamon spice flavors in this Mexican soft drink are incredible and refreshing. We wanted to create a beer that paid homage to those flavors. Made with vanilla from Arizona Vanilla Company and cinnamon from the Food Conspiracy Co-op this special summer treat is not to be missed.”
The Borderlands Indie Week Horchata Cream Ale will be served throughout Indie Week at several locations including Tap & Bottle and Proper. Come by our Passport To Local Success shopping crawl on 4th Avenue on Saturday June 28th to try it to yourself and enter the Local First drawing to win free tuition to Borderlands Beer School a behind the scenes tour of Borderlands Brewery including samples, a pint on the house and an education in how great beer is made and what makes the different styles distinct.