1912: The Year that Sparked a Brewery

By: Brooklyn Di Raffaele

With a patriotic start and beer flowing freely, 1912 Brewing Company opened their taproom doors to the Tucson area.

The family-owned and operated 1912 Brewing Company in Tucson, Arizona began when founder Allan Conger took his passion for homebrewing and turned to opening his own brewery.

“I’ve been homebrewing since 2004. I hung out in one of the fermentation classes, caught the brewing bug from my professor and proceeded to blow up my first porter in the closet. I was hooked from there. I continued to experiment and expand, then finally pulled the trigger in 2013 to open a brewery,” Allan said.

Allan is a native of the Grand Canyon State and wanted to be a part of the burgeoning craft beer scene. There are 12 breweries, and counting, in Tucson and 1912 Brewing Company is one of the newest additions to the beer community. Since Allan has pride for his home state, he named the brewery after the year Arizona was founded and proudly displays the Arizona flag in the taproom.

The brewery opened on July 4, 2015 to an eager crowd. Opening day was indicative of how their business would go since the taproom was at capacity for most of the day.

“Tucson is very diverse and so is the beer,” Allan said. “Everybody has a different palate and tastes something different in the beer.”

With a diverse craft beer fan base coming into the brewery the tastes are all over the spectrum. 1912 keeps eight different rotating beers on tap at once ranging from blondes, IPAs, saisons, sours, stouts, American ales, etc.

1912 Brewing Company Portland Kettle Works Client

They keep some of the favorite beers consistent on tap, otherwise the tap handles are a mystery; Allan likes to keep people guessing on what’s coming next. He loves to brew a wide array of beers to offer a drink to any taste, as well as to keep up his own brewing creativity. “If something sparks my curiosity, I want to make it.”

Continual brewing experimentation on recipes and tap offerings keep 1912 an engaging part of the community. Since the Tucson crowd doesn’t latch on to one particular beer type, Allan offers as much of a variety as he can with his beers. Part of the process for creating new beers for 1912 is taken from Arizona. The southwest United States has a flair and taste of its own and makes for great inspiration. One of Allan’s experiments is making a margarita beer, where he will age his blonde ales in tequila barrels.

Along with his recipes, Allan continues to collaborate with brewers across the state. 1912 Brewing Company has already worked with Ermano’s Craft Beer and Wine, Borderlands Brewing, Green Feet Brewing and his collaboration brews in the works are with Flux Brewing, Public Brewhouse, The Perch, Button Brewhouse and Arizona Beer House.

Creativity and variety are important values to 1912 Brewing and those values translate to every part of their brewery. From the recipe creations, to the local art displayed in the taproom- down to the brewing equipment itself.

Late last year, 1912 Brewing brought in Portland Kettle Works to manufacture their brewery equipment. Portland Kettle Works built 1912 Brewing a 3.5bbl Hopmaster steam system. The brewing system is fabricated with American-made steel and built in Portland.

“We picked PKW because of the creativity and the fact that they are American made and they came recommended from a friend that has a comparable electric system.”

With great equipment Allan is able to create great beer with ease, putting his energy into thinking about his beer.

1912 Brewing is a new addition to the Tucson craft beer scene and will continue to grow in their community and throughout the state.

For more information on 1912 Brewing Company, visit their website, or follow them on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Google+