Flix beertender whets moviegoers’ whistles - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Flix beertender whets moviegoers’ whistles

May 16th, 2019 development
Flix beertender whets moviegoers’ whistles

Octavio Serrano
Staff Writer

Flix Brewhouse has been expanding across the nation since 2011, bringing its brewhouse movie theater concept to seven locations, including Chandler.

Growing right along with Flix is Marisa Bernal, Flix Chandler’s lead brewer who helps create its diverse beer menu.

Bernal moved to Arizona from New Mexico to manage the brewing side of Flix, which showcases light and dark ales, along with creative tastes like the Umbra chocostout, a smooth brew made with an abundance of chocolate malt.

For those who enjoy lighter tastes, the Luna Rosa is spiced with coriander and includes puree of blood oranges.

Bernal is eager to learn about Arizona’s culture and the tastes resdients enjoy. With her background in wine making, she wants to eventually create the perfect recipe for beer.

How did you get your start in craft beer?

I was in college and I was studying food science and technology. They allowed me to do an emphasis in fermentation science, so I did wine making. From there, it turned into an internship in California in Epoch Estate Wines in Paso Robles. I was part of the winemaking team. I was a winemaker first and then I turned into a brewer. I decided it was time to find another avenue. There were a lot of up-and-coming breweries in Albuquerque, so I figured why not take my love of beer and see if I can turn into a career.

What makes craft beer special?

The culture. I think every beer has its own personality and it really goes into the environment of who drinks it. We’re a family culture. We’re entertainment driven because of the movies, but we also tend to see families like to come. It’s a one-stop shop for dates, too. You come in and you have drinks, food and movies right here.

What regional breweries are doing it right?

Everything must be so clean. Everyone and anyone who brews beer, whether it’s home brewing or in a professional setting, knows how to keep the area 100-percent clean. The parts should be properly sanitized. I was just a Pedal Haus last night in Tempe and I love the beer there. It is always very clean and very crisp. I also like SanTan Brewing Company a lot. The people there are just amazing, and I can call them for anything.

What do you like best about the beer culture in Arizona?

I found it and everyone in it very welcoming. I, being a person who didn’t really know that much about brewing in general, was able to ask anyone. I could pick up the phone, call a brewer, introduce myself and ask them a question and they would answer it. As a community, we want to get better.

We are only as good as the weakest brewery. So, if we can each raise each other up, then why not? My favorite thing is getting to know the people. The palate in New Mexico is way different than the palate here. What people drink in New Mexico, they want those big hop-heavy beers. Here, it’s a little less hoppy. It’s interesting to see those different dynamics.

What about Flix’s beer program?

Every Flix Brewhouse location has its own brewery on site; we brew everything in house. It’s a two-man operation, myself and my assistant, and we run everything from the keg washing, to the tank cleaning, to the brewing, to the transferring. We are a seven-barrel system.

I have my seven fermenters and I actually have transfer hoses that go across my entire lobby that go into my serving tank. It’s directly connected to the draft system, so I don’t have to deal with any kegs. It’s actually very fun, all of our beers come out with movies.

What are your favorite beers?

We just put on a passion fruit Belgium blonde, it’s called Excelsior. We put it out for the Captain Marvel movie that just came out. Before that, I had a beer called Galaxy Raptor Cowboy IPA which was for “The Lego Movie 2.”

We will also have Scarlet Wit, which is for “The Avengers.” It’s going to be a raspberry berry. We just put a seasonal called Crambola Ale. It is a cream ale and it tastes fantastic. I don’t really have a direct specialty. I like to keep all over the place. If you saw my entire calendar, you would see a lot of different styles.

Flix Brewhouse, 1 W. Chandler Boulevard, Chandler, 480-476-8080, flixbrewhouse.com.