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The Beer Circle » Beer, IPA, Phoenix Ale Brewing Co. » The Phoenix Ale Brewing Company’s Camelback IPA

The Phoenix Ale Brewing Company’s Camelback IPA

This posting is coming to you from Phoenix, AZ! Of course, now that I’ve actually adjusted to the 3 hour time change, I’m flying home tomorrow. Bah. At least I will be flying home after visiting one more brewery- but more on that to come later in the week.

I spent the weekend in Tucson for a good friend from Illinois’ wedding. Because the groom is also a beer lover, we hit Nimbus Brewpub on Friday night after the cocktail party. I tried their brown ale and their oatmeal stout; both were pretty solid, though I preferred the brown ale.

Clearly not Pennsylvania


On Sunday we came up to Phoenix; I was actually born in Phoenix, and my brother lives here now, so I’m kind of familiar with the area. More importantly, I’ve done some research on the beer. Last night I got to try the San Tan Brewing Company’s Sex Panther,  a double chocolate porter. It was pretty tasty, though I expected more chocolate from it. Today I was on the search for something I hadn’t heard of before, and I stumbled upon the Phoenix Ale Brewing Company’s Camelback IPA. Camelback Mountain is in Phoenix, and my brother almost was stung by a baby scorpion on it when he was like 6. You have to watch out for the babies, as they are actually more poisonous than full grown scorpions.

Camelback IPA comes in at 66IBUs. The Phoenix Ale Brewing Company only opened recently– reviews on Beer Advocate and Rate Beer start in the very end of November. The bottle declares it a bold, assertive ale with big hop character. It strives to have balance between the bitterness of the hops by pairing it with a big and complex malty body; like a brisk hike up Camelback, it will leave a lasting impression.

Phoenix Ale Company Camelback IPA
Camelback IPA poured a nice amber color with about half an inch of foam. That dissipated fairly quickly, but a thin layer stayed on top of the beer, slightly thicker around the edges. Some, but minimal lacing.
In terms of the aroma, there didn't seem to be much of one; what little I got was more malty than hoppy. There's a certain level of sweetness to the aroma
This one tastes a bit stale; it's heads and shoulders above the Sprecher IPA2, but that's not terribly stiff competition. I don't get much of the malt flavor, and the hops aren't very present in the front end of the beer. For apparently having four types of hops (nugget, williamette, fuggle and east kent golding), I don't get any nuance. It's just one bitter flavor. This isn't something I would order again given the opportunity, but it's not god awful.
For being unfiltered, it tastes pretty thin to me. Carb was pretty low; too low for a bottled IPA in my opinion
The sixer was 8.99 at the sketchy liquor store. I would have preferred something else, but I don't feel like I wasted my money.
Overall, I'm glad I gave this new brewery a chance. I really wish that they had bottled on dates so that I could have a better sense if the beer might be a little past its prime. According to Beer Advocate they had some problems with infection towards the end of last year; I know that they're a very new brewery, but somewhat stale tasting with infection problems isn't really a reputation that you want to get.

Beer Stats
Style: American IPA
Serving: Bottle
Size: 12oz
ABV: 6.10%
BA Score: N/A (5 Reviews)
RB Score: 40

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Written by Paige Deckert

Paige is a fifth year graduate student at Penn State; she received her craft beer education while bartending during undergrad at the University of Illinois. Over several months, Rogue’s Dead Guy served as her gateway beer, because it was $2/pint on Thursdays, and thus offered the highest ABV/$. This eventually turned into enjoyment, and everything is history from there. Her first legal beer was Robert the Bruce on cask at the Blind Pig in Champaign, followed by the Duchess de Bourgogne. Paige has visited over 15 breweries, including Great Divide, Bells, Jolly Pumpkin, Three Floyds and Dogfish Head, with plans to add more in 2012 via trips to San Diego, Phoenix, and Austin. Paige became friends with Russ (and subsequently Garrett) when they became friends on untappd. She clearly remembers seeing a check-in of his and thinking, “Who is this clown checking into Miller Light at the Shandygaff?” Soon thereafter he introduced himself at a Zeno’s beerfest, and they bonded over their beer geekery (sans adjuct lagers). Find Paige Deckert on Google Plus

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