Local Phoenix Brewery, Kitsune Brewing Company launched a new IPA on Feb. 15 honoring Black History Month. A portion of the sales from the IPA will be donated to the Black Girl Code, a non-profit organization that promotes tech education among young women of color.
Owner Tyler Smith left corporate life to open Kitsune Brewery Co. located on 32nd Street and East Bell Road last October with his wife Rebecca offering patrons craft beers brewed in-house.
Kitsune unveiled their newly crafted beer, Know History, an Amber IPA that Smith has been working on for quite some time and has been wanting to offer to the public. The Amber IPA is a black Cascade Citra Hop with 6.3% ABV.
Smith described the beer as, a “roasted chocolate IPA with a bitter bite, light and refresher.”
The design of the can will display the names of influential African Americans in history.
“The Amber IPA bitterness flavor, some fruity but there is this really cool roasted chocolatey almost caramel flavor, “Smith said. Adding, “The idea was a beer that offered a whole well rounding of just flavors that hit you in the face. But also, in a really cool harmonious way that they’re not overpowering each other.”
Tyler Smith has always had a passion for beer crafting and was finally able to share it with the community. At first, brewing started as a hobby but turned out to be a long-term passion.
“Before I decided on my next job, my wife was talking, and she told me, ‘you’re burned out. What do you want to do?’ I think I want to open a brewery and 2 ½ years later here we are,” Smith said.
The brewery is inspired by Japanese culture hence the name of the company, Kitsune meaning fox in Japanese. During his time in corporate life, Smith worked for corporate for PetSmart and Nike where he said he was influenced by Japanese culture which he has tried to incorporate into Kitsune.
“A lot of the aesthetic and ideas like walking into our brewery kind of comes from my Nike background of the idea of like, you want people to know two or three things before they even notice the beer,” Smith said.
Kitsune is decorated with dark tile backdrops, and quartz counters, with visible taps on the wall where customers can watch their beer being poured.
The brewery has a total of 15-16 beers on tap with ten being rotated on a regular basis throughout the month.
Smith has expansion plans. He plans to open a Ramen shop next door and grow the brewery around the Valley.
Smith has met and has gotten to work with so many great people in the brewing industry.
Assistant brewer Jeremiah Johnson who refers to himself as Smith’s right-hand man said part of the joy of brewing beer is surprising people.
“Creating a new product that people have never tried before and seeing the smile on their faces. I think bringing that environment in as a whole is my favorite thing,” Johnson said.
Smith works to create a sense of community and inclusivity at his business……
A few customers shared their thoughts on the Know History, Amber IPA.
“A lot of greatness, different flavors, very complex and very approachable” Mike Larsson, a Kitsune regular said.
Another regular added, “I like it, it’s smooth and cold, that’s how I like it,” Chuck Allison said.
“It’s smooth yet bitter on the back end, which I like but overall, very well-rounded beer IPA,” Tim Boyce, a Kitsune regular said.