Keegan’s Grill in Chandler (Photo credit: Google +)
You don’t always get what you expect. For example, I didn’t expect to be sick for 3 weeks. I didn’t expect to miss the Phoenix Invitational Brewers Festival because I was sick. And I certainly didn’t expect it to be two and a half months since our last review that was focused mostly on wings.
These types of things tend to happen when you least expect them and sometimes there is not much you can really do about it. In this case, I had been wingless for weeks. I wouldn’t have been surprised if the doctor had told me I wasn’t sick I was just suffering with wing withdrawal. That would be if I had gone to a doctor, like a wimp. (Fine I went to the stupid doctor, shut up.)
As soon as we got a chance we picked a night we could go out and we picked a place that had a good reputation for wings. We picked another place randomly at first but the place didn’t have enough reviews saying the wings were good for us to visit it this time. We wanted something that sounded very reliable to deliver the wings we were craving. It had been long enough that we were not screwing around. So, based on some personal recommendations, and several good online reviews, we picked Keegans Grill & Taproom.
You poor baby, you’re bone dry. Let’s get some life-liquid in you.
We’re beer snobs…err…reviewers now, right? And as beer house reviewers, if there’s a festival that has 61 breweries participating in an outdoor event on a warm and sunny December day in downtown Phoenix, well I suppose it’s just our awful and terrible duty to find a way to cover it, right? Right. Right as shit.
The Phoenix Invitational Brewers Festival (PHX BrewFest) took place on December 7th and 8th in Heritage Square in Phoenix. Organized by Greg Fretz of the Phoenix Ale Brewery (and namesake of Fretzy’s Unfiltered Ale), it was a weekend scheduled specifically for craft brew enthusiasts. We wanted to check out both Friday and Saturday but we had a rather large prior engagement to attend to on Friday. As well, Tyler was extremely under the weather basically since the last time the Cardinals won a game so it was up to me to suffer through this terrible task of drinking delicious beer on a gorgeous day.
Being relatively unprepared for this event (we honestly didn’t even plan to cover it until the very last minute), the pictures and notes I have are mostly scattered and as you can imagine would be the case with a beer festival, the later the day got, the more scattered my thoughts got.
If you don’t get the reference…let’s face it, no one got that reference.
We’re finally back from hiatus! Oh, PS, we were on hiatus. Did we forget to tell you? Did you care? You know you didn’t care.
Anyway, it’s December, we’re two family-oriented jerks, so things get hectic. But we’re back and ready to put up some new reviews. This week we’ll be touching on the Phoenix Brewer’s Invitational, an event that happened in Heritage Square a couple of weekends ago, and then we’ll be turning back to a wing review of Keegan’s Bar and Grill.
Let us know if you have any beer or wing recommendations, we’re ready to get back into the swing of things!
After we made the decision to cover beer-centered places like breweries and ale houses in addition to our usual piles of hot wings at all the local dives we have visited some pretty great places and enjoyed quite a few incredible beers. From local favorites at Four Peaks to some really high quality stuff from Angel Trumpet, we have had a good run of it so far. I think we [read: Xavvi] have a good knack from finding interesting local places to get some great local and craft beers. If anything has been lacking in our write-ups so far it may be a deeper understanding of what makes a great beer great.
I do feel like we have a pretty taste for good, high quality beers but we aren’t great at explaining why they are good or describing their taste in any extensive detail. So far, we have covered up for any gaps in our knowledge with heavy use of subjective opinions and spending a lot of time describing the places overall instead of focusing only on the beers.
Still, while we have been lucky enough to visit some really cool places to grab some brews and share the experiences with you guys I figured it would still be nice to get a little better understanding of beer in general and some of the specific styles we have come across frequently. Maybe we could even start sounding like we half-way know what we are talking about. I mean, this certainly isn’t going to make me a beer scholar overnight or anything but I think it helps that we are putting in the effort to better our beer knowledge.
Photo Credit: Chow.com
Between going to the Suns game last night and Thanksgiving today I got a little behind on the regular post again. I will be working on it tomorrow in between bouts of my wife making me put up Christmas lights and help decorate the tree.
In the meantime, here is a link Xavvi found and I am stealing for a Buffalo-style turkey recipe.
We couldn’t possibly take a photo this cool, so we stole it from their Facebook.
When I was a kid, downtown Phoenix was a ghost town. The Suns still played at the Madhouse on McDowell and there were mostly trains and warehouses downtown, with the occasional skyscraper. I kind of imagine there was a lot of bum-rape and pee smell too, but I can’t back that up. When the Suns started construction on a new, state-of-the-art arena in 1990, the city was buzzing. Were we finally going to get a downtown district? Were new businesses going to come in and inject money and fun into the area and attract residents back into the core of this sprawl? We were all dying to find out. So, how did it go?
It went okay.
New skyscrapers started going up slowly and businesses moved in, kicking out the vagrants and the hobos and the warehouses (but not the bum piss smell). In a brilliant move in 1996, the Coyotes brought hockey…a sport on ice…to Phoenix, the hottest major city in North America. In 1998 the Bank One Ballpark (now Chase Field, a stupid name that I refuse to say) opened and brought professional baseball to downtown Phoenix. 3 major sports teams, the fifth biggest city in the nation, a bustling population with a housing boom, and a bit less bum-rape. So how was downtown at the end of the century?
See, here’s what downtown Phoenix didn’t get back then: unlike shopping centers in developing suburbs and stripmalls with grocery stores, unlike open-air malls with movie theaters and BevMos, unlike what any Phoenix real estate moguls had previously found success with, a downtown area can’t just sprout up by throwing money at it. It’s landlocked. It’s not going anywhere. There’s no incentive to make it better when we can just keep moving outwards and further away from the decay of a city that was never as much of an urban center as a loose affiliation of farming communities tied together by sporadic-but-sudden growth.
The beer list.
Note: Sorry for posting this late. I have not been feeling well the last couple of days and I fell behind.
We have wanted to review Four Peaks for quite a while. Xavvi and I both loved the place and we got a couple different wing recommendations for the place, specifically to try the Buffalo and Spicy Thai Peanut sauces that Xavvi reviewed in last week’s review. Given these things, Four Peaks was a natural spot to pick for our first review venturing out beyond wings into breweries and ale houses.
This isn’t to say that Four Peaks isn’t without its flaws. Sure, they make the most well known and some of the best tasting beer in Arizona, and they match that with great food and atmosphere, but parking is a bitch. They don’t have a regular parking area. You just have to find a spot somewhere along 8th Street and there are not a whole lot of spots to go around. So, when I spotted an open spot about a half a mile down the road I was quick to snag it.
Red lights aren’t just for whorehouses anymore!
The city of Phoenix (and its surrounding metro area) is a puzzling one to categorize. Few cities can claim such a massive influx of transplants from all over the country and it adds to the experience of Phoenix as a whole, for both good and bad. The benefit of such a transient population is that we’re a true melting pot of food, music, art and culture.
The biggest downside is the dearth of loyalty anywhere in this city.
In older cities, in Philadelphia or in New York City, in Chicago or in Boston, people are entrenched. It’s far more common to hear tales of people that will die in the same city they were born. Hell, half of them have probably never even left the damn city and honestly think the edge of the world is just outside the city limits. Not Phoenix though. The people that move here do so for the weather or the jobs or the cheap housing and they bring their families and their belongings but leave their loyalties elsewhere.
This creates a bit of a social dilemma for those of us born and raised in this beautiful city. We want to welcome newcomers with open arms, invite them to enjoy Phoenix and fall in love with it and watch angels cry with retard-joy and puppies fall from the sky with parachutes into their arms when they embrace it. But usually we’re just subject to everyone coming just to tell us how much better it is back in *INSERT YOUR CITY HERE* and how their sports teams beat our sports teams and their fans beat our fans and their food beats our food (Californians in PHX, I’m looking directly at you).
To a de-luxe brewery in the skyy-yyyyyy!
It’s been a little over a year since Xavvi and I visited our first hot wing joint together, Mister G’s Pizzeria (so what if the review didn’t go up until a little over two months later, shut up). When Xavvi suggested the idea that we start up a blog and write about weekly hot wing related adventures I was immediately on board, ignoring the fact that two fat guys writing about their favorite – and least favorite – hot wing places wasn’t exactly the quickest road to fame and fortune.
But here we are, over a year later and we are still putting up reviews each week. In fact we are doing it with far more consistency than when we first started out. Still, there is only so much you can say about hot wings from week to week without sounding somewhat monotonous. We’ve mixed in some other things besides just straight wing joint reviews from time to time – like our take on boneless wings and our recent foray into the vast Buffalo-wing-inspired-soup review market – but other than those brief departures we have pretty much stuck with our original focus: hot wing place reviews.
We’ve had several people wonder when we were going to branch out, a suggestion that we took but never got around to. Well, we finally talked it over and decided it was time to try some other things. Over the next couple of weeks we will officially be expanding the scope of the blog to include more than just our wing nights.
That color…it’s like a basketball had diarrhea.
The times, they are a-changin’! We started WhyDidIEatThis.com to find good spots for wings, but now we see that eating hot wings every week just isn’t a sustainable lifestyle. We’ve decided to start covering organic products and sustainable farms and we’re going to do our best to visit vegetarian and even vegan restaurants that support these ideals. We want our food to come from healthy places where we can gather under trees and have picnics. We’ve started eating flax seed and pomegranates and don’t even really miss that disgusting chunky heavy deep fried chicken wing crap anymore.
Ok, so everything I just wrote was a terrible lie and it makes me feel so gross. What I really mean is, we’re going to review something you can buy in Wal-Mart. That’s the change. That’s it. And veganism is really stupid.
Why would anyone choose to be vegan? Vegan chicks cant even give a blowie. That’s just so stupid. AND ALSO, HAM EXISTS. It exists. Are they stupid? That’s so stupid. Bacon. Come on. Don’t be stupid. Anything you can eat that’s vegan can be made better by adding some sort of animal to it. Salad? If you put some bacon on it then it’s at least got something you can pick out of the foliage. Vegan noodles with some sort of vegan sauce? Yeah, maybe with an assload of cheese and a side of “quit being a shitty cook and make something people want to eat, like meat.”