RH 031 Craft 64

Craft 64

Show Notes

Retirement Segment

  • Recorded on location at Craft 64 in Old Town Scottsdale
  • Scott Hagen is one of 4 co-owners. He is originally from Scottsdale.
  • The building is an adobe house built in 1937. It’s one of the original buildings on Main St.
  • Prior to starting up Craft 64, Scott had a 20 year career in negotiating government contracts for Honeywell, Northrop Grumman and Electronic Data Systems in Phoenix and Washington DC.
  • After receiving an inheritance, Scott, recently divorced, decided to retire early in order to focus on raising his kids.
  • Scott manages his money with help from his father who retired at 60.
  • He favors Vanguard index funds in part due to low fees.
  • After a year his kids asked why he didn’t work (and he was ready for a change), so he began to look for something new to do.
  • He connected with friends who were looking to open a brewery and Craft 64 was born.
  • The name refers to the fact that when Craft 64 was opened, there were 64 breweries in AZ. There are now 110.
  • Scott says quality is the key to success. Quality of ingredients, service and people.
  • Building on the success of Craft 64 in Scottsdale, they’ve opened a second location in Chandler AZ
  • Scott has a business background and shortly after opening he realized that he isn’t in the restaurant business. He’s in the happiness business which includes many factors such as quality, ambiance and food.
  • A lesson learned. Restaurants are very difficult and not a good way to supplement income.
  • Scott’s investment risk was mitigated because he could absorb a loss. Fortunately that was not an issue.
  • Couple of things he carried over from his business background are management style, the importance of retaining good staff and how to price.
  • Scott doesn’t believe that financial intelligence depends on a person’s age. People of all ages make good and bad financial decisions.
  • They do not brew on site. They use a contract supplier who follows their recipes in terms of procurement and brewing.

Beer Segment

The beer segment begins at 11:30.

Craft 64
Craft 64
  • We tasted all eight of Craft 64’s beers in 2 flights of four. Here are the first 4 beers.
    • The first is a mango Shandy
      • A Shandy is a combination of lemonade and beer
      • The ABV is no more that 4.5%
      • It’s very easy to drink a lot of!
      • You get a little bit of beer on the back end but it really tastes like lemonade with a little bit of mango
    • The second beer is their flagship beer – Crafty Blonde
      • It’s a blonde lager (conditioned at low temperatures)
      • Most craft beers are ales in part because they take less time to brew. Ales take 2 ½ to 3 ½ weeks whereas lagers take twice as long.
      • It’s 5% ABV
    • The third beer is a hefeweizen.
      • It started as an American wheat ale that they decided to convert to full-on hefeweizen.
      • Scott is a fan of German hefeweizens which have notes of banana and/or spice. He prefers banana so this beer is brewed to bring that out.
    • The fourth beer is an amber
      • Scott thinks it’s the best beer they have on draft
      • It’s lighter than traditional ambers
      • You get some breadiness on the back end
    • Scott requires all servers to become Cicerone trained
      • First level Cicerones should understand how beer is made; the different styles and they should be able to direct customers to make an informed selection.
    • Next up is the second flight of 4 beers.
    • The first beer is Dubbel Trouble which is a Belgium dubbel.
      • ABV = 6 ½ %
      • The mouth feel is like bourbon. Very smooth and flavorful. No bitterness.
      • Belgians are good beers to age.
    • The second beer is a session IPA called Frolic which is infused with grapefruit
      • Session IPAs should be under 5.0%. Frolic is 4.5%
      • It’s a hazy version
    • The third beer, Hazy Hopperator, is a spinoff of their Smooth Hopperator (because it appeals to people who don’t like IPAs but they like that one).
      • Hazy Hopperator is in between a West Coast and East Coast style IPA.
      • This is Scott’s favorite beer. He describes it as having a smooth hop character without being overpowering.
      • It has 70 IBUs. Scott doesn’t overly rely on IBUs because other factors can affect perceived bitterness.
      • The ABV is 7.0%
    • The final beer from the second flight is a double IPA called Citrasaurus Rex.
      • Double IPAs traditionally start at 8% ABV and have 2X the malt bills.
      • This beer is 8.0% ABV and 80 IBUs.

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