Joe started beer in 1986 in Marble Canyon Arizona on an electric hot plate on our dresser in our apartment behind Cliff Dweller's Lodge where we lived and worked. Our job was in the restaurant or gas station store/motel lobby/ on US 89A on the road to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. He'd gotten his ingredients mail order from the back of Mother Earth News Magazine. In those days there were no home brew shops to be found most anywhere, and particularly none where we lived in the middle of nowhere.
Soon we moved to a mobile home with an actual kitchen and Joe graduated to a stove top. He also found a bottle-capper in an antique store in St George (possibly Hurricane) Utah. He also bought a grain mill from a store that sold bread making supplies and bee keeping equipment. He liked doing things from scratch even back then, choosing to grind grain by hand, over cans of malt syrup.
In the beginning he only brewed two gallons at a time, since there were only the two of us to drink it.
Since then he has never really stopped brewing beer. And look where his long-time hobby has led us now. An exciting new adventure.
History of Brewing in Arizona and
the Electric Brewing Company
Prohibition in the United States lasted from 1920 to 1933. Afterwards many breweries opened in Arizona, but the only successful one was the Arizona Brewery founded in Phoenix in 1933 by two brothers. It was eventually bought out by Canadian owned Carling in 1964 and that was the end of local brew in Arizona until many years later.
In 1978 Congress passed and then President Jimmy Carter signed House Resolution 1337, which among other things, legalized homebrewing allowing individuals "to produce wine and beer for personal and family use and not for sale”. This law helped pave the way for today's microbrew industry. However it left the details to the states to work out.
In 1978 Dave Harvan, an electrician and home brewer, moved to Bisbee at the age of 21. He thought he would like to start a brewery in the eclectic old town, but there were no laws in Arizona governing the opening of small breweries in the state. Rather than get discouraged, Dave headed to Phoenix in a second-hand tie and wingtips to lobby the state legislature in 1987.
Dave's Electric Brewing Company
Dave Established the brewery in his garage in 1987 in South Bisbee and called it Electric Brewing. His most popular beer was called simply Electric Beer and was a light American style lager. There it prospered until 1991 when Dave got into some trouble with the law.
In the year 2000, Dave, after studying welding at Cochise College, reopened the brewery in a new location in San Jose Square. The brewery underwent some changes over time. In 2007, a couple of guys, one Dave Hoffman and his partner Scott Burge, made a deal with Dave to reproduce some of Dave's original recipes in Tempe, and eventually Dave's Electric Brewpub was opened in 2009, the same year Dave was in an automobile accident which badly injured his back which in part aided his decision to put the place up for sale.
In 2013, Dave sold the brewery to a couple from New England who renamed the place Beast Brewing Company and they continued running it until about 2016. When the mortgage returned to the lender, the brewery sat for about four years. Up for sale and abandoned.
And the new Electric Brewing
Back in 1990, Joe and Natalie Fredrickson moved to Bisbee where Joe had recently gotten a job at Electric Dave's brewery. A short while before, Joe had made friends with Dave at a local home brew beer contest and Natalie and Joe fell in love with the town. While the job was short lived, home brewing and love of Bisbee was not.
They left for Flagstaff in 1996 but Bisbee always remained dear to their hearts and they visited when they could and then an opportunity to return came. The couple were looking for a new adventure and the brewery was for sale at the right price. Natalie and Joe bought the place on January 15, 2019. Their plan is to open the doors in July of 2020.