Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Pink Boots at Four Peaks

"Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings." ~Samuel Johnson

June 18: Last night Brewer-Owner Andy Ingram and his staff set me up with a prime parking spot right in front of the outdoor patio, and I plugged my 75 foot extension cord. Ahhh, air conditioning in the trailer. I wouldn't have had that in the teardrop!

As promised, here are the "washing her hair in a brewery bucket" photos. Andy was kind enough to set me up with 1/3 hot water from the liquor back and 2/3 city water for the event.

Andy manned the first of four batches of Arizona'a best-selling draft craft-brewed beer, Four Peaks' Kiltlifter Scotch Ale (6.1% ABV). Andy came in to start the brew at 4:00 am. Charlie Billingsley took over on the second batch.

Jim Roper handled their newish finicky filter. If any of you have a Velo FOF8, 8-meter horizontal DE Filter, please email Jim at brew@fourpeaks.com and give him your advice and secrets. Jim and Charlie have tried every variation suggested, yet still the filter wants to bleed through about half the time. I offered several suggestions based on my 3-meter vertical screen closed-erosion doser experience, but either Jim had already tried the suggestion, or we determined it wouldn't work on his open-dosing system.

Owner-Partner Jim Scussel joined us for lunch. (Photo above, L to R: Andy, Jim S., Teri, Jim R. and Charlie.) The food here is great. For lunch I had the Prime Rib sandwich with fried onions and red peppers on their house-baked beer bread (a thick soft pita-like roll-up bread made with their 8th Street Ale).

Four Peaks has swamp-cooler technology nailed down. Andy turned on the big cooler in the brewery at 5:00 am, and the brewery seemed to stay fairly cool until I left about 3:00 pm. Outside, the fog-misters made the patio feel like San Diego instead of 110 degrees.

Jim S. and Andy gifted me with a case each of their famous Kiltlifter and their 8th Street Ale. You know what makes the Kiltlifter such a great beer for Arizona? It tastes good cold and after it warms up. Unless you chug your beers, they tend to warm up quickly in Arizona. Four Peaks hopes to hit 16,000 barrels of production this year.

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