Tucson is no slouch when it comes to great beer. Several of the city's local breweries - including Nimbus, Dragoon and Thunder Canyon - have earned raves from discerning beer connoisseurs around the country. Now, there's a new player in town called Sentinel Peak Brewing Company, named after the landmark hill in west Tucson. This new "nanobrewery" promises to make a big contribution to Tucson's already vibrant craft beer scene.
Sentinel Peak describes itself as a nanobrewery, which means it uses a barrel-and-a-half system that can produce up to 45 gallons. In beerspeak, that's about three kegs' worth. Many of the beers are made with locally grown grains. The beer varieties were inspired by the owners' experience taste-testing different beers around the world, as well as personal preferences of family members and friends.
Tucson beer lovers have new reason to rejoice, thanks to the opening of Sentinel Peak Brewing Company, the city's latest nanobrewery — Photo courtesy of Sentinel Peak Brewing Company
Owners Matt Gordon, Jeremy Hilderbrand and Taylor Carter are Tucson-area firefighters with a passion for great brews. The trio raised the funds to launch their brewery with help from the tight-knit Tucson beer aficionado community. A big chunk of the building budget came from a crowdfunding Kickstarter campaign. Gordon, Hilderbrand and Carter only asked for $27,500, but ended up raising nearly $36,000.
The brewery plans to offer six types of beers at all times, including two rotating options and four regulars. The regulars will be the 1811 Desert Blonde, Salida del Sol Amber (a Mexican-style Vienna), the dark chocolatey Monsoon Dunkel and the aromatic Haboob IPA.
Seasonal specialties include the Summer Scorcher Citrus Ale, a bright and refreshing beer featuring American hops, citrus zest and a few subtle spices. It's designed to be a perfect antidote to a hot desert day. The brewery will also be serving small bites to complement its menu of craft beers.
Sentinel Peak is quickly establishing itself as a member of Tucson's craft brew scene, with a huge crowd attending its grand opening. The brewery plans on hosting special tasting events in the future.
The owners hope that Sentinel Peak becomes a neighborhood destination where families, friends and neighbors can gather at the end of the day to engage in conversation and share a good beer. With a commitment to exceptional, hand-crafted brews, the future looks bright for this local brewery, not to mention the Tucson beer scene.
Speaking of the city's beer scene . . Tucson now has a total of eight active breweries. But that number will soon jump to nine with the expected launch of the new Iron John's Brewing Co. in February 2014. The arrival of Sentinel Peak Brewing Company - and more bars and breweries opening soon - are solid proof that it's never been a better time for beer lovers in Tucson.