Written by Alex Sipes
Perched casually on the intersection of Scottsdale and Shea roads in Scottsdale, Arizona, Fate Brewing Company has made a lasting impression among locals as the spot to go for quality craft beer and oven-baked pizza. We were drawn to the brewery by its ever-changing selection of beers.
As we walked in, we were welcomed by a gentleman named Travis Pack, who led us on a tour around the taproom and introduced us to the staff that day. Among those present was Adam Schmeichel, Fate’s master brewer. Adam graduated from the Culinary School of America in Hyde Park, New York, and was soon drawn to brewing.
“I was interested in brewing so I got a job at a brewery in Michigan and ran their café. I eventually stopped cooking and started brewing,” he explained, standing next to several barrels of aging beer. Adam takes creative control of all of Fate’s beer and brews each batch with passion and precision.
Being only a seven barrel system, the brewery is limited on how much beer that can be brewed at a time. Because Adam can only brew in smaller batches, the brewery is able to keep a wider variety of beers on tap. I was deeply impressed by how much Adam is able to do with such a modest setup. The brewery itself can be seen from every angle of the taproom, as it is contained in a glass room towards the middle of the building. I felt that this really brought the room together. As I sat at the bar, I realized I was literally surrounded by great beer.
Because of his experience at Fate Brewing Co., Travis has been “exposed to a lot of new beers and experimental stuff like brewing with cucumbers.” Travis was referring to Fate’s own Cucumber Single Hop Sour, one of the most unique and enjoyable beers I’ve ever stumbled across.
We sampled a total of five beers; the Single Hop Sour, Infringement Pilsner, Double Oatmeal IPA, Imperial Coffee Milk Porter, and Fate’s flagship American Pale Ale. I quite enjoyed the Infringement Pilsner and was surprised at its ‘heavier-than-expected, but not too heavy’ body. While the Double Oatmeal IPA scores high in IBUs, the hops weren’t overpowering and actually complemented the malt flavors quite harmoniously. Being a fan of heavier stouts and porters, I found myself going back to the Imperial Coffee Milk Porter, which is brewed using coffee from Cartel Coffee Lab in Tempe.
I couldn’t get this far and not mention Fate Brewing’s unique seasonal beers, their most ubiquitous being their Candy Bar Milk Stout, which will be released on Halloween this year. The brewery occasionally holds what they call a Fate Tap Takeover, where all 12 taps feature Fate beers, and Fate Fest, marking their anniversary. The brewery, which gets its name from the owner, Steve McFate, will be celebrating two years of Scottsdale craft brewing goodness in November.
As if Adam wasn’t busy enough brewing these unique beers, Fate Brewing has also collaborated with Ten Fifty-Five Brewing in Tucson, to release their Sour Stout, which is on tap as of July 16.
Fate Brewing is a fine example of what any craft beer enthusiast will appreciate; a healthy combination of innovation and modesty presented in a no-nonsense package. I will certainly be there for Fate Fest this November.