Goodyear Brewery Receives National Recognition
A three-peat in the sports world is rare. In the beer world, it’s even rarer.
That’s why Saddle Mountain Brewing Company in Goodyear is so proud of its back-to-back-to-back gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival. In early October, Saddle Mountain secured its third straight gold in the Scottish-style Ale category for its Taildragger Clan-Destine brew.
“Not only are we brewing the best beer in Goodyear; it’s literally the best beer in the country, especially that one,” said Neal Huttenhow, Saddle Mountain’s head brewer. "And I’ll put any of our other beers behind it."
The Taildragger includes nothing but traditional Scottish ale ingredients, including malted barley and Scottish-style hops. Most of the ingredients are imported from the United Kingdom, but the beer itself is crafted at Saddle Mountain.
Huttenhow created the Taildragger several years ago as a seasonal option, but he instantly learned he had a full-time winner on his hands.
“It’s really a kind of beer that spreads out and it’s good for all drinkers. It’s got a lot of flavor to it but it’s not overly hoppy, so it’s more open to the general public as far as the flavor,” he said. “I put it out, and in all honesty, a lot of people liked it at the pub, especially a lot of the guys at Palo Verde power plant, so much so that they actually made a petition for us to bring the beer back.”
So, Huttenhow brewed his Taildragger again, and the timing worked out so that he was able to enter the beer at the GABF. It won the Scottish-style Ale gold medal in 2017, and again in '18 and ’19. It also took home a silver medal at the 2018 World Beer Cup.
“It really does drive people in,” he said. “People really do start to recognize it as a quality beer, and when we have that, they know it’s a quality brewery. It’s also great when you’re brewing the best Scottish ale for the last three years. To me, it’s really awesome.”
Huttenhow said the Taildragger is one of Saddle Mountain’s three most requested beers. The other two: the Warhawk Cream Ale, a light offering which is popular among casual beer drinkers, and the Hop Snob IPA.
They’re three good reasons for any beer connoisseur to stop in for a pint.
“It’s absolutely the best beer you’re going to get. It’s fresh. You’re getting it right where it’s made,” Huttenhow said. “You come in on a day when I’m here, I’m more than happy to talk beer with you. You don’t always get to do that at other places. It’s right here in Goodyear and we’re making some of the best beer in the country.”