When the Phoenix Ale Brewery and NYPD Pizza hold an event offering free beer, free pizza, and free swag, you don’t ask questions, you just go. On October 17th, they held a launch party to celebrate their new beer collaboration “The Keeper”, a beer made specifically for NYPD Pizza locations. They were nice enough to put us on the list for the small, invitation-only gathering (which we appreciate as fat, poor drunks).
NYPD Pizza CEO Rich Stark was on-hand to tell a little back-story about The Keeper; the story goes that NYPD Pizza approached the Phoenix Ale Brewery to make a beer that would pair perfectly with a meat pizza. While trying to brew a few batches to find the right combination of flavors that would go hand in hand with all that pepperoni, cheese, crust and sauce, they took a sip of one particular brew and declared, “Yup, that’s a keeper.”
The Keeper is a 6.3% Bière de Garde, a little bit darker than the Uptown Amber Ale (the previous NYPD/Phoenix Ale collaboration beer). I thought it was delicious, somewhat floral and slight hints of…you know what? I can’t pull this shit off – go read Beer Advocate or Rate Beer or whatever if you want to hear the beer nerds wax philosophical about the intricacies of malt and aromas, because I’m sure as shit not qualified to do it. Just know that it’s a darker beer that tastes pretty damn good. I mean…I can’t keep up with these people. Look at this shit:
“Poured into my Ruination Pint glass. Color is extremely light orange to almost piss yellow. Carbonation is super hyper and fills two thirds of the pint glass with a soapy and bright white colored head. The head rises very quick and drops just as fast. Lace is faint but does stick.”
Some dickhead really took the time to write this about Fretzy’s Unfiltered Ale. Who the fuck cares? Carbonation is super hyper? Who didn’t love you enough as a child that you have to write pretentiously on a beer-rating website you shitstain? Ok, sorry, tangent over.
They were kind enough to feed us with several varieties of NYPD Pizza. They had a mushroom/jalapeno pizza that was pretty awesome, and I have to say that I was thoroughly impressed with their BBQ Chicken Pizza…I’m not usually one of those people that goes for fusion pizza (you won’t catch me eating a cilantro mango pizza at California Pizza Kitchen), so a BBQ Chicken pizza isn’t usually on my radar.
But NYPD really pulled it off, they didn’t skimp on the cheese or the chicken, the red onions were a perfect addition, and I was just very impressed with how good it was – and the pizza had been sitting there for about a half an hour while everything got set up, so it wasn’t 100% fresh. Not that I’m complaining, just saying that if it’s that good and not fresh, imagine how good it would be right out of the oven.
When we were done eating, the co-founder of the Phoenix Ale Brewery George Hancock was kind enough to take us on a tour of the brewery itself. Having never toured a brewery before, we both found it insanely interesting. George’s knowledge just flowed out of him without an ounce of pretentious assholery or snobbiness, the guy was just a lifelong brewer who knew his craft extremely well and I was happy to soak up all his stories and anecdotes. George worked for Pyramid Breweries for decades before co-founding Phoenix Ale Brewery with the late Greg Fretz, so he obviously knows his beer.
We had a great time and met some interesting people – one woman told my wife that she was wearing a purple shirt to support anti-bullying, so my wife and another lady started telling each other they were going to beat her up. What I’m saying is, my wife is an asshole. Everyone seemed to be buzzing, plenty of folks (ourselves included) left with growlers full of scrumtrilescent (it’s a perfectly cromulent word, look it up) Phoenix Ale beer, and all in all it was a fun way to introduce the world to The Keeper.
Phoenix Ale Brewery also has Sonoran Brewing beers on tap, since it’s now brewed at Phoenix Ale, and they just this week tapped the first Phoestivus of the season, so there’s basically no reason not to go there and check out their beers. There’s also no reason to give me shit for the double negative in that last sentence.
The Keeper should be in most, if not all, NYPD Pizza locations by now and I’m sure they can tell you which pizzas it pairs perfectly with. And since we did have a pretty good experience when we reviewed their wings, you may want to think about getting a dozen of those as well. And then give us a call, and invite us to eat and drink with you. You’re buying though; again – we’re fat, poor drunks.
Thanks again, NYPD Pizza and Phoenix Ale Brewery!
beer, local beer, Phoenix, pizza, Serves Beer
This post was written by Xavvi