Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company Features AZ Fine Swine Mangalitsa
As photographer Debby Wolvos has traveled the state, she has had the privilege of meeting and getting to know the people behind our local food community—be they farmers, ranchers, bakers, artisan food producers or chefs. This photo series explores the relationships, inspirations and ingredients from these producers.
The fifth entry in this two-year photojournalism series features Jonathan Buford and Patrick Ware, co-founders of Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company in Gilbert. Their featured dish is the aptly named Notorious P.I.G. pork sandwich, featuring Mangalitsa pork from AZ Fine Swine in Mesa, paired with the brewery’s Superstition Coffee Stout.
I recently met brewmaster Ware at the brewery, and later caught up with Buford at the AZ Fine Swine farm, along with Perry and Brenda Hunsaker (co-owners of the farm with Brenda’s parents, Billy and Nora Maynard). The Mangalitsa pigs raised by the Hunsakers are an heirloom breed originally from Eastern Europe and noted for their curly hair and deep red meat.
DEBBY WOLVOS: Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company uses Mangalitsa pork from AZ Fine Swine for their pork dishes. The beauty of their collaboration is the sustainability of the process: the Mangalitsa pigs eat spent grains from Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company and the pork (a pig per week) goes to AZ Fine Swine’s West Valley butcher, who processes every part of the pig for Arizona Wilderness.
JONATHAN BUFORD: Not only did Perry want our spent grain, he had the same vision: to get more Arizona meats on our menu. So we have this great collaboration and no waste.
DW: What is your inspiration for the Notorious P.I.G.?
JB: We wanted to combine the pork burger, the pork belly and bacon for an over-the-top experience. The AZ Fine Swine’s Mangalitsa pigs produce delicious, fatty, marbled meat.
DW: Patrick, how did you develop the Superstition Coffee Stout?
PATRICK WARE: Finding the perfect union between coffee and beer was the goal. The Superstition Coffee Stout recipe was inspired through hiking in the Superstition Mountains and always keeping a focus on incorporating locality (Superstition Coffee Company).
DW: Highlighting Arizona’s agricultural community is key for you, and all of you seem to be having a great time with this co-op.
PW: Absolutely. Perry is the perfect guy to team up with us. Our shared collaboration is working so well. It’s all sustainable. It’s a win-win for us, and for Arizona.
Our pop-up event for this article will be a dinner featuring AZ Fine Swine pork at Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company in Gilbert on December 18. For more information and tickets, see azwilderness.eventbrite.com. For info on future events follow Edible Phoenix on Facebook , or sign up for our e-newsletter. For more information about our featured producers, see azwbeer.com and azfineswine.com.