Nestled just south of Sedona AZ, is a small town of 15,000 called Camp Verde, centered around the Verde River valley. Alex Goetting is a 32 year old who has founded a local watering hole in a small industrial area, where Verde Brewing Company provides some great craft beers to the local community and tourist population.
Take exit 287 off I-17 S , take a left past the new Starbucks, and head about 1/2 mile down Industrial Drive and the signs for VBC take you to a warehouse location that provides indoor and outdoor seating, great beers, and some tasty ‘pub’ food. Alex had just finished transferring beer to a bright tank, and took out some time to chat to The Brit about starting up, surviving the pandemic, and what the future holds. If you are out this way, this brewery offers a great ambiance for drinking well-made, solid craft brews. Cheers Alex, and thanks to the great wait staff there as well.
Play the audio podcast on our players above…or your favorite smartphone podcast app…we have a direct link to iTunes and Spotify below…and lots of other links on the sidebar!
We first found Big Thorn back in December of 2018 when we tasted their Wood Thyme Tart Gruit, and from then on we were hooked! It took us until September 2019 to arrange to visit the brewery, as it is 3 hours south of the B&Y pub down in Georgetown, IL. It was worth the wait, and co-owners Anna Schweig and Aaron Young showed us their brewery and fermentation room which was built by them, and remains one of the only off-the-grid breweries in Illinois. It’s amazing the quality of the brews produced by brewer Aaron, using local ingredients and fermenting them on different wood varieties to impart subtle flavors into their beers.
At the beginning of June, The Brit and his wife, the lovely Kimberlee, headed back down to the brewery to see how things had changed, post-pandemic. The amazing Tree House bar is still the centerpiece, but the addition of a food truck with a fantastic chef, has meant that you can add great food to the list of beers, making it possible to spend an entire day down on the ‘farm’.
The Brit brought back a selection of their bottles, plus a fantastic rice peach brew in a howler, and Anna contributed a bottle of the upcoming release for Father’s Day, Dad’s Bourbon Stout. Ken McMullen from Hopvine and Chuck Fort from Church Street headed over to the pub garden one hot and sultry afternoon, and we sample four of Big Thorn’s offerings. And as we sample we talk about electric Harley’s, electric SUV’s, foraging, and the lads do a little birdwatching as the population of birds visit the pub’s bird buffet! Oh, and we check out the ‘nodules’ on the bottom of the Big Thorn snifters, and find out what they do…yeah, it was definitely a laid back episode!
We highly recommend a visit to BTF&B very soon for anyone looking to experience something new in craft beer and breweries. Cheers!!