Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Local Tragedy

OK, it's not really a tragedy, but it feels like one. My favorite local microbrewery is no more. Mogollon has been sold, and will be turning into a typical bar. It's a minor event compared to all the real problems in the world, but it's a real loss in my personal world.

For over ten years, Mogollon has been a fixture in my life. A friendly place where local folk debate politics over beer, and tourists from all over the world are welcome. All the co-bloggers here at Pygalgia are regular patrons. Mogollon always felt more like a community than a bar, having that "Cheers" sense of "everybody knows your name." The funky, rustic decor was a fitting home for a mixed clientele of river runners, laborers, aging hippies, professionals, veterans, artists, and musicians. And Mogollon had another special attraction:

The beer. Put simply, the guys at Mogollon make the finest of hand crafted ales. These are full-bodied brews that are meant to be appreciated. My personal favorite (and official beer of this blog), the "Horny Toad IPA", is about as good an India Pale Ale as you'll ever find. The aggressive hoppiness isn't for the faint of heart, but Zymurgian, Sweaterman, Gandhisxmas, and I are all fans of sophisticated brew. I'm still coming to grips with the very real possibility that this may be the very last batch, as between the changes and the world wide hop shortage, there are currently no plans to brew any more.
Changes happen in our lives. The bar has been sold to new owners who hope to attract a younger, more upscale clientele. The brewing operation is moving and becoming a subsidiary of a major distributor, and will be focusing on larger scale production of fewer styles.
There are other bars and other microbreweries in the neighborhood, and life will go on. But none will be a real substitute. Mogollon has been a special place for more than ten years; a haven of sanity in a time of madness. When the sign comes down at the end of this month it will be the end of a local fixture. I wont be alone in my grief.


gandhisxmas said...

I agree, Mogollon will be missed and it will be interesting to see what happens. When I moved back to Flagstaff in 2004 I was lucky to find the happy hour crew discussing politics...I had found a group of smart and sophisticated people who see through all the crap. I hope the discussions can continue! I am thinking htta the happy hour scene COULD stay the same...I was talking to BG about it and he wants to see the Mog have different times...i.e. college kids and professionals blowing money late while the happy hour crowd does it thing...we will see...I just hope im not hanging out at Flag Brew...Ughhh.

But yes, Horny toad ipa will be missed even though it kicks my ass everytime.

rebecca said...

Amen, children.. it truly is the end of an era. I too have spent the past 10 years hanging out there, literately,physically and emotionally(well, and some other bars too.. Father Time, please let me/ us know if you could, a day or two before the sign comes down,there should be some sort of ceremony for all the regulars, a mogollon version of "taps".complete wiyh drinking and smoking on the sidewalk!

pygalgia said...

Hiya, Bex! Glad you left a comment. Of course we'll hold a wake when the sign comes down.

Anonymous said...

Oh, man. This is a shame. I hate to see things like this come to an end.

My regrets and beer condolences.

Mauigirl said...

So sorry to hear this, Pygalgia. There is nothing worse than losing a favorite bar, especially if it is a brewpub making fine brews. There was a pub in London we enjoyed whenever we went there (and we went a lot back in the 80s on free tickets) that featured a large variety of real ales made on premises. It was a great place to hang out and meet local beer afficionados. We were really upset when we went one year and it was gone and had turned into a chain-type Irish pub.

FranIAm said...

This makes me so sad too- from afar. I had a real sense of the place from your posts.

I am very sorry about this!