What: “Terroir on Tap” Tap Takeover
When: October 17-21
Where: Good Oak Bar, 316 E Congress St, Tucson, AZ
Back in July of 2016 when I wrote “Fermenting the Wild” for Edible Baja Arizona, there were very few beers being made with native yeasts. Fast forward to the present moment and the sour revolution is full swing: we’re happily awash in cans of cucumber kettle sour, 750s of barrel-aged red ale, and bottles of local IPAs brewed with brettanomyces. The predecessor to all these beers was the spontaneous ferment–beer fermented by local and native microflora in open air vessels rather than by yeast strains first isolated in a laboratory and then introduced into sterilized wort. This year’s Terroir on Tap, running all week at Good Oak Bar, where I help organize events, represents a full bill of local brews influenced by native microflora.
The event features all Arizona-made beers brewed with yeast cultivated from the Arizona wild. This type of fermentation is non replicable–the unique ecology of native microflora varies from year to year and season to season. These brews embody and express diverse aspects of Arizona’s terroir. To taste them alongside one another is a treat, be it a rather sour one.
Beginning Tuesday, October 17, Good Oak Bar will devote its 8 taps to this eccentric family of wild fermented beers. A different brewer will be visiting the bar each night to talk about their beer with interested guests and to explain what ‘native microflora’ means to them and their process. Good Oak Bar will be pouring two mixed culture fermentation beers from the regional pioneers of the style. One ale, ‘Lazer Sound Waves,’ a bar favorite from Crooked Tooth Brewing Company, will be poured in addition to their intriguing horchata sour. Rounding out the tasting is an ever-popular Gose style ale from 1912 Brewing,who have made their mark on the classic, salty german style with the addition of local fruits and souring yeast cultures. Good Oak will also be receiving a small amount of beer from Wanderlust Brewing Company, out of Flagstaff, AZ, another one of Arizona’s pioneering breweries working with native microflora; their their house Saison ‘928,’ is brewed with a strain of yeast that was selected and cultivated from a naturally fermented, local cider.
The inspiration for this event took shape around the interviews conducted for “Fermenting the Wild,” which explored the use of local yeasts in beer and wine production. “Terroir on Tap” offers these unique beers to the Tucson public in a downtown setting in which they can be compared, consumed and enjoyed alongside one another, each expressing a unique aspect of our shared landscape. Totes designed by local artist Sharon Moon and CREAM Design and will be available for purchase to commemorate the event.