Two Arizona beers make top 20 list for 2023
2023 was a good year for craft beer in the Valley.
Driving the news: Craft Beer & Brewing released its national list of the 20 best beers of 2023, and two of the entries were from Arizona:
- Jitterbug Perfume from Arizona Wilderness
- Radial Spines from 12 West Brewing Co.
Zoom in: Jitterbug Perfume is a mixed-culture beer that's barrel-aged for six months and rested on roasted organic beets, Meyer lemons and Indian coriander.
- It comes in a clear bottle that shows off its bright magenta coloring.
- "The dynamic push-pull between the earthy, bitter, fruity flavors of the beets and the tart citrus, offering a lifting freshness and a light touch of flinty fermentation funk, creates vivid yet unexpected contrast," per Craft Beer & Brewing.
- The reviewer wrote that the flavor is dry, with an aroma that "suggests berry-like sweetness that isn't there."
Of note: Arizona Wilderness is a staple of the local brewery scene, with two locations and a third coming.
Meanwhile, Radial Spines from Gilbert's 12 West sounded a bit more conventional.
- Reviewers described it as a hop-forward lager that melds "typically spicy-herbal pils hops with oranges, zest and a bit of tropical floral."
- It's medium-bodied with a "measured" level of hoppiness.
Jeremy's thought bubble: I tried some Jitterbug Perfume over the weekend and liked it more than I thought I would.
- The aroma is fruity and sweet, as you would expect with something that has such a bright red hue.
- But the taste wasn't quite what I imagined. I was greeted by something much drier. The fruitiness was there but muted.
- Since I prefer my drinks to be more dry than sweet, I was pleasantly surprised. It was much different from my typical beer choices, but I enjoyed it.
What's next: I wasn't able to find a bottle of 12 West's Radial Spines, which seems right up my alley, but I'm looking forward to trying it at some point, so if anyone knows where I can buy a bottle, let me know!
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