By Mark Molinaro
          Chef Lecturer, School of Hotel and Restaurant Management

This week is Arizona Beer Week and we’re fortunate to be in a community with such a thriving culture.

To celebrate the craft of home-brew, my School of Hotel and Restaurant Management Beer Basics class was invited to tour Mother Road Brewing Company.

As part of NAU’s Northern Arizona Craft Beer Association we’ve been able to collaborate with local brewers, including HRM alumni Michael Marquess from Mother Road Brewing Company and John Peasley from Grand Canyon Brewing Company. Our club worked with the brewers on recipe development, production and promotions, culminating in a release party. We are looking at brewing another collaboration beer in partnership with Mother Road for our school’s 30th anniversary next year.

Our students are passionate about what they do and it’s exciting to serve as their advisor. Our club built a hop trellis, which has been growing hops, brewing herbs and peppers for three seasons. Their understanding of how to cultivate and use local ingredients through this project has amplified their engagement with the emergent craft beer market.

The club meets regularly, plans brewing sessions and events and typically focuses on one beer style per month. One of our most popular events is Family Weekend when we brew a Pumpkin Ale and for the pairing, parents bring in pumpkin fudge and pumpkin bread that we serve with cheddar ale soup.

AZ Beer Week

Mother Road employees give Mark Molinaro and students a tour as part of Arizona Beer Week.

Our club also volunteers with local craft beer events to help pour alongside professional brewers. It’s a great opportunity for students to connect with local industry and get to know the folks in our neighborhood. Three of our club members now have jobs working at professional breweries and that number is growing.

It’s hard to boil down everything we do in our kitchen and present it through words and pictures, so I invite you to stop by the kitchen for a visit.

If you are interested in the art of craft beer, find us on Facebook and join the fun!