It’s a big weekend for buying and supporting local here in the Valley. We have Small Business Saturday on the 28th and Small Brewery Sunday on the 29th. Of course, most people know about Black Friday shopping and the deals that can be had. But craft beer fans know it for another reason: special releases! Here are seven of the best beers you should seek out on Friday – and get there early because these won’t last long.
Flannel Buddies at Goldwater Brewing
This 12% ABV Imperial Stout is brewed with Mexican coffee, maple syrup, cinnamon, roasted pecans and cocoa nibs in collaboration with Dark Sky Brewing out of Flagstaff. Pre-orders start at midnight on Friday on the Goldwater ordering site with pickups at the Scottsdale and Mesa locations starting at 10 a.m.
GoGo Sour Rangers from Goldwater Brewing
You’re not seeing double. Yes, the good dudes at Goldwater have twice the reason to stay up late Thanksgiving night and place an online order after midnight with the release of the Black Ranger, the first in its annual release of sour series beers. Black Ranger is brewed with blackberries and black currants and it won’t last long.
Banan-Archy from O.H.S.O. (Gilbert only)
Part of O.H.S.O.’s Ales from the Crypt series, Banan-Archy is an Imperial chocolate-banana stout aged in Booker’s Bourbon Granny’s Batch 6-year-old barrels. This was one of my favorite beers I sampled last Black Friday and I’m still kicking myself for not buying more. It releases in cans at the Downtown Gilbert location only at 11 a.m. Friday. The Arcadia, Paradise Valley and Scottsdale locations will have it on tap.
Black Mage at 8-Bit Aleworks
If you have an early morning planned in the West Valley on Friday, stop into 8-Bit Aleworks in Avondale where they’re opening the brewery doors at 6 a.m. for the Black Mage tap takeover event. Black Mage is an oatmeal stout and in previous years 8-Bit has done variations with Tagalong Girl Scout cookies, amaretto–soaked cherries and chocolate-orange-raspberry blends. Expect two or three hacked versions of Black Mage along with some kegs from the cellar to fill the rest of the taps.
Sirius Black at Four Peaks Brewing
Imperial Stouts are the main theme of Black Friday and Sirius Black has been doing it for quite some time. This annual release by Four Peaks has been aged in Bourbon barrels for two years and is flavored with licorice root and cold brew coffee. The result is a 12.6% ABV beer that many make the pilgrimage to Tempe for.
Two Barrel Vault Beers from Dark Sky Brewing
I’m already jealous of anyone headed up the hill this weekend for cold weather and possible skiing or snowboarding at Snowbowl. Add to that these two strong beers releasing on Friday at Dark Sky and you officially did Thanksgiving weekend right in my book. Cursed Realm Imperial Stout is aged in Laws Whiskey Rye barrels for a 14% ABV beer rich in chocolate, vanilla and caramel. Ascension Wheat Wine was aged in Laws Whiskey Wheat barrels to give it a honey sweet taste. Both of these beauties are slated for a Black Friday release in cans at the Flagstaff brewhouse.
The Need for Mead! 20 percent off at Superstition Meadery
Here’s a bonus round for any non-beer drinkers out there. Superstition Meadery is offering 20 percent off all retail bottles at the Phoenix and Prescott locations. The deal started on Tuesday and ends Friday.