Welcome to Sacred Brewing!

An Update…

Where to start? Well, I had surgery last November and had my right hip replaced. The referred knee pain went away almost immediately and recovery was much better and quicker than anticipated. But, over the course of a few months, my left knee and hip have begun to bother me more and more… I decided to get this over with and move on, so have scheduled surgery for my left hip in mid-April. After that, I should be fully bionic! ūüėÄ In the meantime, I have been working on beer cocktail recipes, which I have posted a handful of, brewing some new and old recipes, and working on my new 14 tap keezer for the house. I feel that this will allow me to have the full lineup of Sacred beers to test prior to opening and possibly even assist with potential investors. In fact, last week I updated the business plan for Sacred and plan on moving forward after surgery to obtain funding.  I’m looking forward to getting past these health issues and showing the world (well, Phoenix to start) what Sacred Brewing Co. is and can offer when it comes to beer and vegetarian food. In fact, our Mission Statement is: “To brew beer that elicits excitement and challenges the conceptions of this sacred beverage, using only the highest quality and sometimes unconventional ingredients, while being mostly organic and vegetarian.” Let’s get this party... read more

Beer Tonic

Before I found and began to enjoy beer, I really liked myself a good vodka tonic with a splash of lime. Anyone that has tried a vodka tonic, knows that they can be very dangerous, as they tend to go down very easily. A few weeks ago, I was wanting a vodka tonic, but also a beer, so I figured, why not try to create a beer cocktail with them? I started off with my Wood Betony Amber and although that was tasty, it just didn’t pop. Next, I tried my friend Josh’s homebrew, Longview Brewing Company’s Grapefruit Pale, and that was a whole lot better! I realized that I was on to something, but of course I ended up drinking the last bottle of his beer in testing the recipe out. I moved on to other beers like Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale and Prairie’s Tulsa Rugby Ale, which both proved tasty. So, what are the ingredients you ask? Do you want to learn more about the cocktail? I’ll be glad to tell you… This recipe includes vodka like a traditional vodka tonic, so go with whatever you like (I am a fan of Ketel One, Tito’s and Kirkland brand), as well as a special liqueur that I recently found. It’s a jasmine liqueur from Greenbar Craft Distillery and although it isn’t overly aromatic like jasmine flowers, it adds a really nice complexity to a mixed drink. The ingredients in Fruitlab Organic Jasmine Liqueur are jasmine flowers, green & black tea, citrus, and cane sugar and it’s not overly sweet like a lot of liqueurs are. The only other specialty ingredient... read more

Basil Grapefruit Beer Cocktail

If you are like me and love grapefruit and basil separately, have you ever thought of combining them? Now’s a better time than any then! I’ve actually come up with a recipe for a beer that incorporates basil and grapefruit in a nice refreshing summer ale, but haven’t brewed it. Well, as of a few months ago, I was finally able to try a drink at a local coffee bar that utilized these flavors. I was immediately sold! Since then, I have been playing with the flavors and have a nice cocktail recipe that I really like.  The other night, I was (not-so-patiently) waiting for my Salty Se√Īorita (a gose with a ton of Organic lime juice and zest, which tastes like a beer margarita) to be done and kegged… So, I decided to take some grapefruit juice and add it to my regular gose, which is called What Gose Around Comes Around; it was mighty tasty and all I could think about was adding basil to it! That’s when the concept for this drink was created and turning my new favorite cocktail into this delectable beer cocktail. I’m not kidding you, this beverage is so easy drinking and enjoyable, so be prepared!!! With the multitude of goses available on the market today, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one for use in this recipe. I have of course included more than one suggestion for reference, but it’s up to you and your taste preferences. Note that my gose, which I am using in this recipe, is a 3.8% beer with coriander, salt and a short sour mash to create... read more

Pumpkin Beer Cocktail

This will be the first of many posts that incorporates the new concept for this blog, now called The Tao of Brew. I intend to provide various beer cocktail recipes, vegan/vegetarian food pairings, and informative how-tos on topics like creating tinctures, hop salts, kombucha, and various forms of lacto fermentation. If you have any suggestions, contact me and I am more than happy to entertain them.  So, let’s get this party started! I know that many people don’t like pumpkin beers and think they are an abomination to the world of craft beer, let alone beer as a whole. Well, I am not one of those people; I personally love pumpkin beers and the spice profiles that they bring to the table. Of course, anyone that knows my beers and brewing style, wouldn’t be surprised, as I am known for my outlandish use of herbs and spices. In fact, for years, I was known as “23” to friends in the community, due to my beers constantly being entered into category 23 Specialty in competitions. This beer cocktail is simple and fun in my opinion and is perfect for the multitude of pumpkin beers that have been filling up shelves for the last month or more. Optimally, I would be using my own Sacred Brewing Co. pumpkin beer, entitled Something Spice & Everything Nice, but since that isn’t available publicly (yet) and I also wasn’t able to brew any this year, we will be going with a commercial example available here in Arizona. Don’t worry though, as I have listed a handful of options for people on the East Coast as... read more

It’s Been a While!

Where to start??? First of all, I can’t believe that it’s been over a year since my last post and for that I apologize. Let’s catch you up and I’ll try to keep it as short as possible. Well, I completed brewing school last year and yes, I passed! ūüôā I got back home and was considering taking a position in the brewing world while I worked on my brand, but decided to put that on hold until I got back from a belated honeymoon with the wife. We went to the United Kingdom for just over 2 weeks; we started in London and worked our way around the country to end with the last week in Scotland. It was magical and an amazing experience, but a few days in my right knee started bothering me. As our trip progressed, my knee bothered me more and more, but we were walking 8-10 miles a day in the beginning, so I just suffered through it. Needless to say, by the time we got to Scotland I was hurting and adjusting my walk to compensate for my knee. I survived the trip and we had a wonderful time, but my knee and legs were very unhappy by the time we got home. I didn’t have insurance at the time, so tried to deal with the knee pain by seeing a physical therapist, chiropractor, getting shots in my knee, and body work. I managed to heal the muscles that had shut down, but after a few months, it was still bothering me, so I signed up for insurance to start January of... read more

Almost Done with School…

Well, time has sure flown by and I am getting ready to head out to Vermont for my residential week¬†for brewing school. It has definitely been intense, but I have learned a lot for sure! I can say that I am not a fan of thermodynamics (the extreme calculations), flow rates and a lot of the engineering that I have learned, but have enjoyed the deeper look into brewing at a professional level. This week is the last lecture and it is Brooklyn Brewery’s own Garrett Oliver discussing beer and food pairing. I am thoroughly enjoying this one and may have to get a copy of The Brewmaster’s Table after I get back! So, what will I be doing in Vermont specifically? Well, I’ll be brewing on the school’s system, which is actually also a brewery called Drop-In, and doing filtration, as well as laboratory work.¬†Every day we will also be completing various organoleptic sensory analyses with beer and off-flavors and working with raw materials. Finally, we will be taking our Final Exam next Friday, so wish me luck!!! What are my plans when I get back? I am looking to find a brewery that I can gain some experience on a larger system and work at part-time. I will of course continue to work on my recipes and hone them into a consistent offering. This should be a little easier once I get back, as there hasn’t been enough time to brew since starting school and brew-days when they have occurred, have been few and far between… Then it will be on to the business plan and getting... read more

Brew Happenings

My last beer-related post was in early January about the upcoming batches of¬†Crimson & Clover (Irish Red with Rye) and a Raspberry Chipotle Stout that I was getting ready to brew that weekend… I also said that I would take pictures and of course forgot until the fermenters were in the fermentation chamber, so at least got the shot at the left. As per my previous post, I am now in brewing school, so decided to try and get as many batches in process before the coursework started on 1/20. Not only did I manage to get the above two beers brewed, the following weekend I knocked out my Kolsch 45 and a batch of the Roasted Grapefruit IPA. An update on these beers follows: All but one of the beers are still in the fermenter and that being the Crimson & Clover, which I kegged yesterday. It’s my version of an Irish Red, similar to Smithwick’s¬ģ, but without the corn syrup and with Organic maple syrup instead. The base is also primarily organic and this was my first time using a traditional Irish Ale yeast in the beer. I think this turned out really well, as the traditional yeast finished out for the most part clean and added a hint of diacetyl, which is common for the style. The beer clocks in at a low, easy-drinking 3.4% and just got placed on tap, so we’ll see how it progresses. The Raspberry Stout base is basically a Dry Irish Stout, but a little over the typical alcohol range, currently around 5 1/2%. The beer received almost 2 lbs of... read more

Back to School

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I really do have good reasons for it, I promise!!! On January 20th, I officially started my brewing education with the¬†American Brewers Guild. The program is Intensive Brewing Science & Engineering and is 23 weeks total; it is distance-based with DVD lectures, reading and online content (10-15 hours total a week). The course culminates with one residential week at the school/brewery in Vermont for hands-on brewing and lab, as well as sensory training. I’ve been signed up for this program for 2 years now due to the wait list, but after just two weeks, am happy that I waited. The program is extensive with 6-9 hours of DVD lectures taped at the school with various professionals from the industry as guests. The first week consisted of Brewing Science and Sensory Methods and I’m not going to lie, that first lecture started off with some intense Biochemistry that had me wondering what I got myself into… After getting my hands on some Chemistry for Dummies and other reference books, I think I have a better grasp. This last week was very interesting as it went into everything Malt, with discussions on the Biochemistry of malting (which, I surprisingly found very interesting), the process of malting and equipment, as well as specifications. Today is the start of week 3 and we will be covering Water this week. I’m sure there will be some more Chemistry, but know that it will build on the previous weeks and should go well. As you know, being on this site, the end goal is opening... read more

Bourbon & Old Ales

  Over the last few weeks, I have completed two dual batch brew days… The first round of the two included Smokey Joe and Bourbon Nectar. Smokey Joe is a brown porter with a base of organic pale ale malt, caramel and dark malts. It is currently sitting on Bourbon-soaked vanilla beans and will be getting a concentrated addition of smoked coffee before bottling. Bourbon Nectar is one that I am really looking forward to, as it is a specialty Bourbon beer, with organic 2 row as the base and a hint of honey malt. The beer is currently at 8.3% and super smooth; the magic will happen soon, when it gets transferred over Bourbon soaked oak and will age for 6 weeks. The brew day for this first batch went pretty well and was improved even more when we had Hot Bourbonies! For those of you that don’t know, Hot Scotchies is actually the term, and typically consists of the sweet liquor that is extracted from the grain, combined with Scotch; a very simple, but amazing elixir. Well, we found out that it is even better with Bourbon, when mixed with the sweet liquor from the Smokey Joe! The second round was Old Cinnamon Ale and Winter Solstice Ale and occurred this past weekend, mainly due to the fact that it was a long holiday weekend. Old Cinnamon is… An Old Ale, you guessed it! It has an organic pale ale malt base with some other English and roasted malts. It gets cinnamon and brown sugar in the boil, along with additional cinnamon, vanilla, ¬†sweet orange peel and... read more

Busy Week

As the title suggests, it was a busy week with work and beer events… Last Thursday was the Grand Opening of my friend Eric’s Coworking on 15th Ave. location. Eric invited us to have our beer at his event, so we brought a keg each of Pineapple Wit and the Extra Special IPA. The event went really well and was a blast! The Pineapple Wit was a hit as usual and we came close to killing the keg, but surprisingly the IPA was enjoyed by many people as well, even those that weren’t specifically IPA people. It was great to meet new people and see how enthusiastic they got about the different flavors and profiles of the two beers. It wasn’t fun to tell them that our beer isn’t available anywhere at this time, but felt good to hear the interest and enjoyment of these beers. Saturday and Sunday was the OHSO Bike-In Beer Fest that supported Ingleside Middle School PTO. The really cool part was that a¬†handful of us from Arizona Society of Homebrewers brewed a porter last month at OHSO and we each did our own additions into the secondary, which were served at the event. The different renditions turned out really well in my opinion and those attending seemed to really enjoy them as well. The offerings of the porter were pumpkin, smoked, mocha, persimmon and coffee, with the coffee being mine, having coffee of course with some cinnamon and vanilla (see below picture). People really seemed to enjoy the beers and the hits were definitely the pumpkin and the coffee, in addition to a blend... read more

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