Tyler Smith went from corporate life to his dream job when he opened Kitsune Brewing Co. in October 2022. The final blessing to make his dream happen came from his wife and business partner Rebecca who told him to do what made him happy. His dream was to push the envelope when making beer and to have local beer drinkers want more. Combine that of his love of Japanese culture and Kitsune “a protector” was born.
“I’ve been home brewing for more than 15 years. A family friend introduced me to it and I fell in love with the process,” says Smith, who’s worked for Nike and PetSmart. Throughout his career home brewing has remained his one constant in his life. “Right before I was about to take another job and move my family, my wife asked me if that would really make me happy or if I wanted to take my home brewing to the next level.”
With the Covid pandemic slowing his plan he used the time to find fellow brewer Marshall Norris of Simple Machine Brewing Company as a mentor and friend. Norris gave Smith space at Simple Machine to bring in two fermentation tanks and after a year and a half Tyler and Rebecca were ready to go at it on their own.
What’s brewing at Kitsune Brewing Co.
Known at first for IPAs, Kitsune Brewing Co. has become now known for its sour beers and pushing the envelope. Tyler wondered “How far we can push it” and released “Dirty Snowflake” a gray beer in appearance. He then wondered “Are people willing to try a gray beer?” and the response was “yes” they were.
There are between 14 and 16 beers rotating on tap with names and images inspired by Japanese culture. Kitsune Brewing Co. has also collaborated with local breweries Tombstone Brewing and Dark Sky Brewing Company. Food trucks on a rotating schedule park outside allow guests to enjoy food with their beers. They also have a BYOF (Bring Your Own Food) policy and allow for food to be delivered.
Future plans include distributing popular beers to local bottle shops and to open a ramen shop next door. “We want to expand so we can get more tanks,” he says of their future growth. “Hopefully, we will be successful enough to need more space.”
Guests can expect activities such as Trivia night every Tuesday at 6:30 and happy hour from 3 – 6 p.m. Monday – Friday. Kitsune Brewing Co. is at 3321 E. Bell Rd., Ste. B-5. Phoenix 85032.
Fate Brewing Company host’s the first annual Sour & Sweet Beer Fest Saturday August 13th at The Clayton House in Old Town Scottsdale. Fate’s director of Operations Steve Ellefson and Head Brewmaster Adam came up the idea for the new beer festival only a few months ago as they noticed the popularity of sour beers and no other festivals taking place during the summer. Sour beers are one way brewers can get creative using a “melting pot” of ingredients for unique flavor profiles.
“A crisp lager or sour hits differently on a hot Arizona summer day,” said Fate Head Brewer Adam Schmeichel. “So, we thought, ‘Why not bring together the best light and sour beers our brewing community has to offer into one festival?’ Thus, the Sour & Sweet Beer Fest was born. Best of all, we’ll be indoors.” Fate will be pouring their Blueberry Lemonade sour which uses lemons from Tempe’s Silent Orchard.
What to expect at Sour & Sweet Beer Fest
13 Arizona breweries will be pouring over 50 light & sour beers and ciders at the event that begins at 1 p.m. Familiar names such as Grand Canyon Brewing, Goldwater Brewing and Cider Corps are a few breweries that will be in attendance. Popular food trucks Dilla Libre, French Me and Eis Cafe will have food for purchase during the festival. A collaborative dessert from Fate and Eis will feature the Blueberry Lemonade sour and Birthday Cake ice cream for the festival.
Tickets for the Sour & Sweet Beer Fest are $45 for general admission which gets you 15 tasting tickets and a commemorative glass. VIP tickets are $65 and get you early entry at 12 p.m. and a commemorative t-shirt. Designated driver tickets are $10 and the event is rain or shine with no refunds. Tickets can be purchased online or at Fate’s Tempe or Scottsdale locations where you can save the processing fee. The event is for 21 & over and The Clayton House is at 3719 N.75 St. Scottsdale 85251. Free parking is located at the event or in the nearby Civic Center Library garage.
Nothing like starting your Saturday morning with a nice hearty stout or refreshing lager but come Saturday October 23rd you’ll able to sip on those and other beers at the debut of the nation’s first Morning Beer Festival. The festival will be one of the first events of the 2021 Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships at Westworld of Scottsdale and one of the new additions to the 10 year old event.
The gates open at 9:45 a.m. with festival and first polo match starting at 10 a.m. followed by “The World’s Longest Fashion Show” and “Canine Couture: A Dog Fashion Show Like No Other” in between matches. During the Morning Beer Festival guests will be able to sip on beers that taste good in the morning including Founder’s Breakfast Stout & Mudshark Brewing’s Morning Buzz Coffee stout. Guests will be able to purchase pints or flights of beer with accompanying meats such as bacon, ham and more.
In addition to fashion shows, polo & lacrosse matches attendee can enjoy DJ infused party tents with admission and VIP experiences are available for a more luxurious day in private tents and bottle service. General admission tickets start at $35 and include admission to the Morning Beer Festival and other field-side experiences.
VIP tickets and tables are available for purchase at The Polo Party and it’s where you’ll find more information and details.
Update: Rescheduled to October 24th and merged with Southwest Cider Festival. Details to come, purchased tickets valid in October.
With the popularity of sour beer and ciders the last few years it’s no surprise that they’ve have their own festival. The Gem City Sours & Ciders Festival comes to downtown Mesa’s Cider Corps on Saturday March 21st. A nickname for Mesa, Gem City was once by city officials for its abundant produce, shaded streets and modern buildings. More than 24 Arizona breweries and cideries from the southwest will be pouring their beers and ciders.
Cider Corps co-owner and cider maker Jason Duren organized the festival after noticing the similarities between sour beer and cider. “We love how collaborative our craft beverage community is. We talk with other breweries about the science behind lactic acid producing bacteria and how they impact the final taste of the beverage,” Duren explained. “The festival is a chance for people to discover what these styles are all about and sample what our region is creating.” Duren has experience not just making cider but by planning successful Southwest Cider Festivals in 2018 and 2019.
The festival starts at 2 p.m. for VIP ticket ($50) holders and 4 p.m. for General Admission ($35). In addition to early entry VIP ticket holders get 20 sample tickets, a commemorative t-shirt and glass. General Admission gets 15 sample tickets and commemorative glass. There will be live music, pub games and food trucks on hand to entertain and feed festival goers. The festival ends at 8 p.m.
To purchase tickets head to the Eventbrite link. Cider Corps is at 31 S. Robson, Mesa 85210.