Website Champions Arizona Beer Scene for Love of the Brew
Published: Thursday, July 19, 2012
Updated: Thursday, July 19, 2012 17:07
Like most things that entertain and enlighten us, TheBrewBros.com, a website dedicated to beer reviews, news and events, was born out of love – of the brew, that is.
Founded in 2010 by Dane Mentzer, The Brew Bros began as an online forum for reviewing beer. That summer, Patrick Schroeder and Jonathan Jameson, two friends and craft beer enthusiast highly immersed in the Arizona beer culture, met Mentzer and decided to join the Brew Bros as contributing writers who helped the reviews become a resounding voice in the local beer community.
But with a lot on his plate, Mentzer was not able to manage the site himself, so in January of 2012, he sold Brew Bros to Schroeder and Jameson.
“Beer. Plain and simple,” Jameson said, is the reason why the boys took on The Brew Bros.
And for them, it really is that simple. Including Mentzer, who is still considered a part of the team, Brew Bros is comprised of nine guys, all avid beer lovers and drinkers in their own right, who dedicate their time to trying unique new beers, attending beer festivals and taking part in local beer events, then writing about it.
The Brew Bros have been criticized for not having negative reviews or negative thoughts about the industry in their writing, Schroeder said. They’ve found thjat negativity is counterproductive to what they hope to bring to the community.
“Sure we’ve had some negative experiences,” he said. “But whether it was a beer or a brewery or a person, we’re going to address it instead of blowing it up; we don’t want to do that, we want to encourage creativity through positivity,” Schroeder said.
You won’t find a cicerone or beer snob in the bunch. They aren’t experts by any means won’t pretend to know any more than you. The Brew Bros’ main concern is rallying the community for and around beer.
“In my mind,” said Bryan Myron, a contributing writer, “a lot of what we exist for is the coming together of people in the craft beer community.”
Although Brew Bros’ primary focus is in Arizona, their reach extends beyond the state with writers in Chicago and Wisconsin, and Myron, who travels often, visits beer festivals across the country and brings back his experiences to Arizona via Brew Bros.
“There’s 2,000 craft breweries in the country and we want to act like a liaison between the brewers and the beer community,” Schroeder said.
And so far, they’ve been just that. In the last year, Brew Bros has seen an exponential increase in readership on its website as well as an increase in attendance to different events they guys have hosted, Schroder said.
But a lot of that, they said, also has a lot to do with the state’s rising stance in national beer scene.
“There are certain stats that we’re seeing, where you can see that Arizona is moving up in the national craft beer scene,” Schroeder said.
In 2010‘s Beer City USA poll, Phoenix didn’t even make it on the ballot but just one year later the city placed in the top 15. Arizona is also in the top five for number of certified beer servers in the country and it should also be noted that Arizona is home to the nation’s largest home brewing club, the Arizona Society of Home Brewers, which at year’s end had 450 paid members.
“Social media has also been a huge factor in the spread of the craft beer community in getting the word out about events or special releases,” Schroder said.
The Brew Bros see themselves as extension of that – an outlet for local breweries and bars to spread the word about their craft beer and beer-related events.
“I hope that we have a part in making the Arizona beer community meaningful,” Myron said. “Not just for Arizonans, but to bring attention and get more support nationally for our local beer.”
As it stands, the Brew Bros are still trying to figure out how to grow and expand. They want the company have an impact, Jameson said, and they are working through the many ways that they can accomplish that. Currently, the company is leaning toward working with nonprofits and charities, such as the Beers for Brains Foundation, to give back to the community.
Until then, the guys will continue to learn and explore all aspects of beer and brewing through attending local and national beer events, trying new brews and sharing their thoughts with the rest of us.
“We really want Arizona to take pride in their local beer,” Schroeder said.
The Brew Bros recently teamed up with Sleepy Dog Brewery for a brewing session that resulted in The Brew Bros ESB. Starting this Friday, and for a limited time, beer enthusiasts can try this specially brewed bitter summer beer at Sleepy Dog Brewery in Tempe. Fifty percent of the proceeds will go to the locally based Beers for Brains Foundation.
The Brew Bros ESB Tapping, Sleepy Dog Brewery, 1920 E. University Drive #104, Tempe, 480.967.5476, Friday, July 27, 6:30 p.m., free