Brewing Arizona by Ed Sipos
These days it seems that a week doesn't go by without the announcement of a new brewery/brew pub in Arizona. And while that may be a slight exaggeration, there is no doubt that brewing local craft beer is big and getting bigger. Arizona has over 50 registered breweries and counting.
But as Ed Sipos point out in his encyclopedic Brewing Arizona, this blossoming of local beer is not a new phenomenon for our state. Between the late 1800s and Prohibition 40 years later, well over 100 small brewing operations started up in one form or another throughout Arizona.
Few of these efforts survived more than five years, and those breweries that did survive were dealt a death blow, first by Arizona state Prohibition in 1914 and then by nationwide U.S. Prohibition in 1920. Five start-up breweries took advantage of the repeal of Prohibition in 1933 to jump into the Arizona market – the best-known and most successful being Arizona Brewing Co., with its flagship A-1 beer. A-1 lasted through multiple acquisitions of the state's only brewery until its Phoenix facility was closed in 1985. (The name A-1 was licensed on and off by other breweries up until 2011.)
The second half of the book describes the ups-and-downs of Arizona's beer renaissance from 1990 to the present time. No effort is too small to attract Sipos's attention, resulting in a comprehensive look at our modern brewing era.
Our only complaint regarding the book is its lack of descriptive information on the beers produced by each brewery. You can remedy that situation by stocking up on a selection of local brews and quaffing a few as you peruse a century of beer in the Grand Canyon State.
Brewing Arizona: A Century of Beer in the Grand Canyon State by Ed Sipos
(University of Arizona Press, 2013)
Appeals to: History buffs, Drinkers, Thinkers