OK younglings. We’re on to my last stop for the Phoenix trip. For my last day of the conference I chose to go to the brewery that was closest to my hotel (walking distance even) because that’s always when I’m pretty shot and don’t feel like going on much of an adventure. I got in touch with the Phoenix cadre and had those that could make it show up at Mother Bunch Brewing for dinner and drinks. As I walked up to the brewery, I was not really struck with an overload of impressions one way or the other.
Once inside, it was much of the same. Apart from the mural featuring a nun, Mother Bunch looks pretty much like a lot of other brew pubs.
Mother Bunch Brewing 1 #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA
I know full well that there is a great story behind this brewery. There always is. You just need to find it. One of the most difficult things for me, as a blogger who is always on travel, is to get access to the right people at breweries to have meaningful conversations. I could call in advance and try to set up interviews. But, I rarely know exactly when I’ll be able to get to a brewery (If, in fact, I can really know if I’ll make it to that brewery at all). So much of my trips is random adventure seeking on the side as far as brewery visits go. My paying job always comes first. Every once in a while, I catch a break and the adventure finds me. At The Perch Brewery I had a great conversation with a local, regular customer who ended up introducing me to the right person to get me the interview with their head brewer. At Mother Bunch, my big break came through an avenue I’ve not experienced before. As I was walking around the brewery taking pictures, a group of people from the conference recognized me and asked just what the hell I was doing. Once I explained the blog to them (and gave them some coasters), one of them indicated that the unassuming looking woman sitting at the bar happened to be the one of the owners/brewers (Julie Meeker). He then introduced me to her and she agreed to an interview. As I expected, there is a lot more to this brewery than you see on the surface. Check out the interview to hear the full story.
Here are some better pictures of the da Vinci like mural depicting the brewing process. I was not able to get a great picture of it, but if you stand just the right way, the sight lines from the “grain to glass” on the wall closest to the camera should match up with the sight lines on the pint at the far end of the hall.
I also found out (if you can believe it) more interesting information from Julie. The name Mother Bunch comes from the character of an alewife and storyteller in early chapbooks. Also, the mural with a nun features Hildegard of Bingen, a 12th century nun who was the first person to document the use of hops in beer in Germany. Mother Bunch is definitely about celebrating the role of women in brewing history and in the present craft beer community. I couldn’t agree more.
So, my last-night-of-travel-fatigue-laid-back brewery visit turned out to be one of the one of the more adventure packed stops on the trip. I’m glad I was up for it. I had a great meal with the Phoenix cadre, got a growler of Mother Bunch – Kiss my Kottbusser for the collection, and then walked back to the hotel to crash.