People: The 5 Most “Beerfluential” Arizonians

Recently, I have noticed a sig­nif­i­cant increase in craft beer move­ment in the state of Ari­zona. Four or five years ago I could walk into a num­ber of places that offered craft beer and would have been one of the few cus­tomers that even knew what an IPA was. Now, almost every­where I go, I am hear­ing peo­ple ask for IPA’s, saisons, impe­r­ial stouts and cask con­di­tioned beers.

It got me won­der­ing what hap­pened in Ari­zona that may have caused the increase in aware­ness for craft beer. The con­clu­sion that I came to was that there were finally enough well-versed peo­ple in Ari­zona that have taken ini­tia­tive upon them­selves and have spread the word.

This list con­tains those in Ari­zona that I believe have the most “Beer­flu­ence” on our com­mu­nity. It was very dif­fi­cult to nar­row it down to 5. It was espe­cially dif­fi­cult to leave one par­tic­u­lar per­son (James Swann) off this list, but he was edged out by a hair, but check out our review of The Water­ing Hole to see how he has trans­formed a Whole Foods into a craft beer des­ti­na­tion. I hope you enjoy the list and we would love to hear your thoughts!

Chuck Noll

5) Chuck Noll
Sev­eral years ago, I found myself hap­pen­ing across a morn­ing show in which a gen­tle­man was talk­ing about his knowl­edge of beer. At the time, I had just moved from Col­orado and thought that I had more beer knowl­edge than any­body in Ari­zona. After watch­ing the show, I was crushed. I felt that instead of being an expert, I had barely scratched the sur­face com­pared to the guy talk­ing with the news anchors. I finally found that the guy’s name was Chuck Noll and he was employed at a dis­tri­b­u­tion com­pany here in our state. He had also com­pleted his Cicerone and was one of only a few to have done so in the Arizona.

Chuck has been instru­men­tal in bring­ing some great beers to Ari­zona through his posi­tion at the dis­tri­b­u­tion com­pany. It prob­a­bly wouldn’t be far from the truth to say that he may have been an early

men­tor for those search­ing out com­plet­ing the cicerone. I know Chuck has been a huge inspi­ra­tion to me and I enjoy chat­ting with him from time to time.

4)Rob Fullmer

Rob has immersed him­self deeply in the scene here in Ari­zona. Here is just a quick excerpt from his Google+ profile:

Rob Fullmer

Rob has been brew­ing beer for over 10 years and is well-known for hop­ping flights for beer fests and bre­wouts.  Rob’s trav­els have brought him to Bel­gium, Ger­many, the UK and 8 of the 10 Top US Beer Cities. Among Rob’s home­brew­ing acco­lades are win­ning the 2009 Papago GABF Pro-Am com­pe­ti­tion and a Best of Show in the 2009 Las Vegas Winterfest. Rob is cur­rently a mod­er­a­tor at Homebrewtalk.com, a board mem­ber of the Ari­zona Soci­ety of Home­brew­ers, a rec­og­nized BJCP beer judge. Rob is pas­sion­ate about spread­ing the cul­ture of beer to Phoenix.

If that doesn’t prove that he has his hands in every­thing, I am not sure what will. I have had the oppor­tu­nity to meet with him sev­eral times and have been impressed every sin­gle time. His knowl­edge of beer is beyond any that I have dreamed. But it is not just about his pas­sion for beer, he also has a pas­sion for spread­ing that cul­ture to oth­ers through­out Ari­zona. What is not men­tioned in his Google+ pro­file is that he is also the leader behind the blog web­site www.beerphxation.com which is com­mit­ted to help­ing Phoenix get its beer infor­ma­tion in one place. We hope to con­tinue to see Rob draw in Arizonians.

Anthony Canec­chia

3)Anthony Canec­chia
Anthony and the San Tan Brew­ery (our review) have been one of the most com­mu­nity involved brew­eries I have wit­nessed. They host din­ners very fre­quently rang­ing from fund rais­ers to din­ners, help­ing intro­duce new beers being unveiled to the state of Ari­zona (Maui Brew­ing). Fur­ther­more, he helped put together and host one of the most excit­ing and eye open­ing brewfests Ari­zona has seen, the Amer­i­Can Canned Beer Fes­ti­val (read our review of the event here).

Beyond events, Anthony has always been rev­o­lu­tion­ary as far as his inter­ac­tions with the gen­eral pub­lic. Sim­i­lar to other peo­ple on this list, I have met Anthony on a num­ber of occa­sions, and I have been treated as a long time friend. As a big time brewer, pass­ing on and dis­cussing indus­try infor­ma­tion is always appre­ci­ated by pas­sion­ate followers.

Andy Ingram

2)Andy Ingram
The first week I moved to Ari­zona, I made my first visit to Bev­er­age and More (BevMo) which had opened a few days prior to my move. I walked in to find out that a local brew­ery had their head brewer on loca­tion to chat with cus­tomers. Lit­tle did I know that I would be meet­ing the leader of the best sell­ing brew­ery in Ari­zona, Four Peaks. Meet­ing Andy was pretty awe­some, and I could tell that he was also enjoy­ing meet­ing his fans.

Since that day, Andy has con­tin­ued to expand the brew­ery, as well as develop him­self in the way of an influ­en­tial per­son in his indus­try. He cur­rently has a col­umn in the Ari­zona Repub­lic called “Beer Buzz” in which he dis­cusses beer top­ics rang­ing from basic infor­ma­tion to top­ics slightly more advanced. Four Peaks has gained a lot of recent pub­lic­ity nation­ally and have had their names on sev­eral lists of places to go for great beer. I am hop­ing some day they will begin dis­tri­b­u­tion out­side of the state (a first for Ari­zona) so other states  become aware of the our beer scene.

Mau­reen Basen­berg aka AZGPO

1)Maureen Basen­berg
It used to be that men would get together over a few pints and chat about beer. If you are begin­ning to notice that your lady knows more about beer and has been attend­ing beer events around the val­ley, you prob­a­bly have Mau­reen to thank for that. For those of you who don’t know, Mau­reen is the Ari­zona chap­ter leader of Girls Pint Out (AZGPO), a suc­cess­ful group of women who get together to drink and learn about beer.

The rea­son why I have her as num­ber one is because she has focused on the mar­ket seg­ment that the big brew­eries leave out by show­ing women that beer is not just for men. In addi­tion to run­ning AZGPO, she is also an active mem­ber in the Ari­zona Soci­ety of Home­brew­ers. Mau­reen and her hus­band Hunter brew fan­tas­tic and cre­ative beer (if you missed our review of their Lady Cloven­der, check it out here).

Over­all, I think each per­son has had an influ­ence, not only on me, but the whole state and I look for­ward to see­ing where they can take the state of Ari­zona. Prost!

Be Socia­ble, Share!

Patrick

Patrick Schroeder has two rules: 1) Drink beer good peo­ple brew. Craft brew­ers brew for the love of their craft so give every beer a try. B) Never drink the sed­i­ment cake. Other than that, Patrick spends his time home brew­ing, spend­ing time with his fam­ily and tip­ping back a few pints with fel­low beer lovers. If you wish to con­tact him, send an email to patrick@thebrewbros.com. You can also find him on Twit­ter under the name beerguru14. Prost!

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4 Comments

  1. Danegerousds says:

    Looks like I need to make one for Chicago! Then the US!

  2. My addi­tions would be:
    –Jef­frey from Brewer’s con­nec­tion. That guy has done a lot to get peo­ple brew­ing their own.
    –Uwe Boer from Sun Up Brew­ing. There’s nowhere else in the Val­ley where you can get cask beer any day … and it was his cask IPA that lured me into hoppy brews.

  3. Danegerousds says:

    What about the most influ­en­tial beer spots/locations in AZ? Any hon­or­able men­tions in the peo­ple department?

  4. Tim Hughes says:

    Beer in Ari­zona.. So many peo­ple to name from the first to start craft­ing beer and the many that brought Craft to AZ as well as the peo­ple that work so hard to bring in the small but elite. I would also like to men­tion the Home Brew­ers that work with pas­sion to bring about a twist or some tra­di­tion. I know it con­tin­ues and we all can find some­thing that beer brings to our fam­i­lies, life and our future. Cheers to all that help Beer in AZ,
    Tim Hughes

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