Growing up in a small town in Ohio my experience with beer was nothing like what I have available to me now. To me drinking craft beer meant drinking Killians. That was some off-the-wall shit back in my day. Pulling into the traditional annual summer Steve Miller Band concert at Starlake Amphitheater my friends and I proudly displayed our coolers full of Natty Light and Buttweiser. Jesus, how did we ever make it out of life alive?!?! Now granted, there is a proper time and place for every beer and what exemplifies a classic tune like "Take the Money & Run" quite like an ice cold Natty Light? Your not rocking out to that shit with a fucking $15 bottle of Firestone Walker Parabola Imperial Stout. You ever try to beer bong barley wine? Of course you haven't because if you did you wouldn't be alive to read this. Nothing flows through a funnel and tube quite like Busch Light.
Fast forward to late 2007. I had made the 2000 mile trek from my hometown to the big city of Phoenix. New place, fresh start.....let's try a new beer! The local Sprouts had Shiner Bock on sale and it looked cool so what the hell?!?! And I liked it. I knew my days of drinking low grade carbonated piss water were officially over. From there things took off. Within a few months I was an adventure in a new land. And then I had my first true Arizona-brewed beer: Railhead Red from Beaver Street Brewery in Flagstaff (now Red Ale from Lumberyard). I was in love. From that day I have been all about Arizona made beer. Lucky for me the numbers of breweries has doubled since then and no end in sight for that growth. I am excited to see where this journey takes us.
However, I have always wondered how a local brewery around my hometown would go over. Would the locals accept it or soak their torches in MGD and burn the place to the ground? Well, in 2015 three brave souls opened up Birdfish Brewing Company in the small town of Columbiana, Ohio to test that theory out. And it has treated them well. These 3 crazy bastards really do some whacky shit too. I had a dill pickle gose when I was there and it was surprisingly fantastic. They love to push the envelope and really mix things up.
In this episode I sit with 2 of the 3 owners. I talk with them about the challenges and joys of opening a microbrewery in a place where the craft beer culture barely even existed as well as how their existence is making some positive waves in the local community. I know this is an ARIZONA craft beverage podcast but I think you'll enjoy and appreciate what these guys are doing. And enjoy the Irish background music; I was lucky enough to beer there on St. Patty's Day to enjoy their Irish beers which were phenomenal.
Intro/Outro music is "La Negra Tomasa" by Arizona's own Fayuca
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