The Friday Pint #136 – Black Bridge Brewery Cliffdweller DIPA

This week is Arizona Beer Week. As a result, I took myself back down to Downtown Kingman to sample some of the Arizona beers available in the House of Hops. They will be featured in future installments of The Friday Pint.

Before I made it to the House of Hops, I paid another visit to the Black Bridge Brewery. This time it was to try Cliffdweller DIPA, a collaboration with the State 48 brewery of Surprise, AZ. Cliffdweller stands at a mighty 10.8%, and whilst not the strongest beer available on the tap list, it arguably drinks like it is. Wicked Poison in contrast, is a deceptively easy drinking 14.2%

The description of Cliffdweller posted on the brewery’s Facebook page stated that it was brewed using fresh hops from the Pacific Northwest, including Simcoe, Columbus, Centennial and Cascade. These hops aren’t used lightly either, and it would seem many were used in the bittering stage of the boil. Cliffdweller is easily the most bitter beer I’ve had since moving to America, and quite possibly since I moved out of London a few years back.

The bitterness is to the point where it becomes rather difficult to pickup or think about anything other than that. I did however get hints of pine, which in that moment reminded me of Art Brew’s Pine Tree Beer. Other than that, I was unable to note anything about this beer.

Whilst I was there, the bartender also gave me a small sample of Cliffdweller mixed with 80 Shilling. The harshness of the bitterness was reduced slightly, but not enough for the mix to be something I’d drink reguarly. I would though, drink Cliffdweller again, albeit in a smaller amount than I did on Friday,

Cliffdweller DIPA will be available at Black Bridge Brewery, and at State 48 brewery whilst it lasts.

At the time of posting, Arizona Beer Week is approximately half way through. For those of you reading near Arizona who might like to pay a visit, it ends on Saturday February 18th.

 

On a related note, Black Bridge Brewery won gold at the Arizona Strong Beer Festival with their Katastrophic Humiliation barleywine.

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The Friday Pint #135 – Black Bridge Brewery No Pricks Allowed

A new year, a new numbering system. Out with the old way of starting from zero each year, and in with the new way of numbering each new Friday Pint post sequentially. Is this actually #135? I’m not sure, but it’s close enough, and if any of you actually bother to go back and count, you might want to reconsider your life choices.

As for the matter of why I’m here, typing; I actually went out and drank some beer today.

Back when I last wrote something for this segment, way back in March of last year, I was living in Pittsburgh, looking forward to trying all the beers the local area had to offer. Now, I find myself in Kingman, Arizona, a small city in the northwest of the state. Fortunately for me, Kingman just so happens to have it’s own brewery, with a second being built across the road from it.

The brewery that exists now is Black Bridge Brewery. It is situated on East Beale Street in the Downtown Kingman area. It was founded in 2013.

I have visited the brewery a few times since moving to the area in July. On a couple of occasions I have even written posts for here, yet they have not made it. By now, I have more or less tried each beer from the main range at least once. There are those I have enjoyed, and those that I have not. Eventually, I’ll tell you what those beers are.

As for today’s beer, today I drank No Pricks Allowed.

No Pricks Allowed is a 7.9% Prickly Pear Belgium Blonde. It’s rose in colour, and was co-brewed by Janelle, who was my server today. Based on my first impressions, I wasn’t really impressed with the beer. It’s not something I’d rush to drink.

That being said, I do think I was drinking it in the wrong circumstances. No Pricks Allowed seemed like a very easy to drink beer, and one that would make a great addition to summer parties. I think I would probably drink it with some added fruit, or as part of a cocktail or mix.

Which brings me nicely to Prickly Ginger (4.1%), a blend of the aforementioned No Pricks Allowed, and Black Bridge Brewery’s ginger beer. The addition of the ginger beer for me gives the drink a much needed flavour kick. Whilst there wasn’t anything overtly wrong with No Pricks Allowed, I personally found it lacking in flavour.

The last beer I tried whilst at the brewery today was Angry Elf, a 9.5% Russian Imperial Stout that was originally brewed as a home brew by one of the brewery’s bar staff. It will be featured at the Arizona Strong Beers Festival on February 11th, along with No Pricks Allowed, and Wicked Poison.

Angry Elf is among the most stoutiest of stouts I’ve tried in a long time. It is certainly the stout that has tasted most like burnt treacle I’ve had. Imagine a glass of liquid treacle toffee. Now imagine that sugar burnt even more, enough that only a hint of the sugar remains. That’s more or less where Angry Elf sits. It’s very much a cold winter’s night by the fireplace sipping stout. If only we had more of those in Arizona.

In the next edition of The Friday Pint, I’ll be trying beers from elsewhere in Arizona. Arizona Beer Week runs from the 9th to the 18th of February.

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