The Friday Pint #137 – Kingman House of Hops Golden.

This week’s beer is one of six Arizona brewed beers I drank on February 10th at the House of Hops in Kingman, AZ.

Golden is the House of Hops house beer. I had tried it once before drinking it for the purpose of this blog. Neither time offered up anything that could really get me enthused about the beer.

Whilst drinking, I noted that it seemed bland and boring. It might be a beer that reveals more over time, but it’s not really a beer I’d want to drink again and again, especially when there are other choices on the same bar I know I’ll enjoy and get more out of.

I also wrote that Golden is “not a beer to sit and devour, and not a beer to refresh and enjoy without thinking about it either”. This was followed up by “balanced in a boring way”

The House of Hops will soon have a brewery right next door to it. Rickety Cricket is currently being built ready for opening later this year. I’m not expecting to like everything (even my favourite breweries have had brews I wasn’t a fan of) but I’m hoping they’ll have brews that are more exciting than Golden.

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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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