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What others are saying about Wren House
From DRAFT Magazine, "Wren House Brewing Co.’s Who Hit John Grand Cru is a tasty beer with an uncommon twist: The 13% ABV imperial porter was aged in barrels that once held a special cuvee version of Berry White..."
Every year since 2014, the Arizona Society of Homebrewers (the nation’s biggest homebrew club) hosts and judges a competition among all the breweries pouring at the Strong Beer Festival, awarding medals in seven general categories and naming a sole beer Best in Show. This year, Happy Camp was that beer. It’s easy to see why the hazy imperial IPA won—its intense nose is like a mango-strawberry-grapefruit smoothie, while a sip adds peach pits and tangerine peel to the blend atop soft, sweet breakfast pastries. The dry finish with citrus peel bitterness is slightly higher than we see in most New England IPAs, but the finish is squeaky-clean and the 8.6% ABV is nigh unnoticeable.
Wren House could have been just like any other neighborhood bar in Phoenix — but it's special. Not only do they brew their own beer, they do it in a stylishly designed, repurposed house that dates back to 1922. That means some cool Phoenix history, and even cooler: cold craft beer. At this small scale, the brewery nimbly built a cast of dependable beers that run the gamut from Jomax Oatmeal Stout, brewed with coffee from the local Press Roasters, to the Hi Jolly American Wheat Ale, which folds chamomile and local desert honey into each batch. Finally, we've got a brewery and bar that reflects a new, tasteful, and modern vision for Phoenix.
Ruling societal norms dictate that beverages stay within their assigned daily territories: coffee in the morning; beer and wine after 5 p.m. You know the drill. But Wren House, one of the new stars of Phoenix’s revitalized brewery scene, is having fun mixing things up with a coffee- and oatmeal-infused beer that, God forbid, you might consider drinking before noon.
Between the weather and the culture, Portland, Ore., and Phoenix don’t have much in common. Drew Pool couldn’t do anything about the weather, but he wanted to try and do something about the beer. Pool, who had worked for Intel in Oregon, took over an old bakery in the center of Phoenix and got to work turning out a strong lineup of year-round beers under the guidance of former Big Sky brewer Preston Thoeny. “I think that kind of set us apart here in Phoenix,” Pool says of his focus on core beers. “Our IPA right now—we’ve been sold out for a week or so because we can’t keep up with demand even though we came into a super-saturated IPA market.”
This terrific little brewery set in a 1922 house features a clean design with white subway tile, a wood-topped bar and tables. The creative beer menu features the delicious Jomax Oatmeal Stout, made with Ethiopian beans roasted at the local Press Coffee. After fermentation, the beer is blended with cold brew coffee and creates a robust, memorable flavor combination.