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Crushing it: Mother Road Brewing Company introduces a newer, lighter beer to their lineup

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It’s no secret that Flagstaff loves its breweries. Whether it's sipping on a Tower Station IPA after summiting Humphrey’s Peak or chilling a Conserve and Protect golden ale in Oak Creek, Mother Road Brewing has an undoubtable place in the typical Flagstaff resident’s recreating or relaxing routine.

Created here in Flagstaff in 2011, Mother Road CEO and co-founder Michael Marquess said inspiration for the company’s foundation originated from the founders’ love of nature, travel, motoring, history, food and of course, craft beer.

“Instead of fighting against better nature, we just decided we might as well open up a brewery and combine all those things together,” Marquess said.

With a lineup made easily recognizable by the art on the cans, Mother Road beverages can be found in grocery stores, bars, restaurants and in the hands of Arizona residents who also share Marquess’ love of craft beer. So, with such a strong fanbase, new products in the Mother Road lineup are subject to scrutiny fit for an HBO series finale.

However, Mother Road tends not to disappoint. Marquess said feedback from customers is key to help Mother Road continue to satisfy Flagstaff and all of Arizona’s craft beer cravings. He explained that those who set foot in the brewery are often easy to talk to and helpful for new products’ refinement. If a customer likes a product, Marquess said he and other Mother Road staff like to find out what exactly they enjoy about the beverage. If someone dislikes something, he explained that the discussion goes the same way, pinpointing ways to refine their beverages still in formal production.

Now in that refinement stage, Mother Road Brewing Co. is bringing a new beverage to the party. Cowgirl Crush is a beer with attributes unlike anything else the brewery has released. The company partnered with CULT Beverages in Phoenix to produce botanical organic flavors for this new beer. Having tested strawberry, blackberry, blueberry and more flavors, Cowgirl Crush’s final blend will bring unique botanical flavors to the taste buds of those who drink it.

Under 100 calories, Cowgirl Crush packs in more carbonation and fruity flavors, making it a fun, light option out of the Mother Road collection. Marquess described the beverage as something great to enjoy during the daytime and in warmer weather.

“We’ve actually had a lot of fun with it,” Marquess said. “I’ve been drinking it lately for meetings all the time because it’s crisp and it’s been nice and it’s gotten hot again. Yeah and it’s low alcohol, so I can have a couple of them and not be dumb.”

With its fruity botanical flavors, Marquess said the Cowgirl Crush beer has a rose-gold-esque color to it, which nicely compliments its can’s art, which certainly holds up to the other iconic cans.

Despite being quite different from what Mother Road already offers, Marquess explained that Cowgirl Crush is still very much on-brand for the brewing company; however some of the Mother Road brewers were not keen on going down the seltzer route like many of the big breweries have in recent years.

“Honestly, our crew was not excited about going down a seltzer route – we’re craft brewers,” Marquess said. “[Cowgirl Crush] is something that is delicious and handcrafted and something I think we’re going to be very proud of when we get to the final rendition.”

Cowgirl Crush follows the typical Mother Road suit, being a light and crisp option with unique flavors. Marquess also explained that Mother Road should not be pigeonholed as an IPA brewery. Despite having some of the most popular IPAs on the Arizona market, Cowgirl Crush is a beer that Marquess said will help round out the Mother Road selection.

Also in Mother Road fashion, the art on the Cowgirl Crush can is created by the team of local artists who designed the company’s other famous cans. Based on a 1940s Western movie poster, the Cowgirl Crush can depicts a cowgirl on the front and on the back, a cowboy in a ‘48 Ford custom convertible.

“What I love about Cowgirl Crush is that you’re left to make up your own mind,” Marquess said. “Is the cowgirl crushing on the cowboy? Is the cowboy crushing on the cowgirl? It’s kind of fun to have that little bit of a story and ambiguity on the front of the can. I just love our artists, they do amazing work.”

While Marquess said he’s excited for Cowgirl Crush’s big debut, the creative process of formulating a new beverage is truly the best part of brewing. The second best part, to him, is finding out someone is truly delighted by the product.


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