Did you that know in 2018, Flagstaff received a commendation by Arizona Governor Ducey recognizing it as a leading Craft Beer City? Flagstaff is home to craft breweries that support key economic development sectors with a commitment to their craft, providing world-class brews both locally and throughout the world. Flagstaff is a craft beer hub of the Southwest that beckons locals and visitors to taste award-winning ales, while breweries receive recognition and honors regularly from the World Beer Championships and Great American Beer Festival.
Flagstaff’s local breweries have something for everyone’s craft beer palate, from distinctive IPAs and light-hearted sessions to limited-edition brews and Kšlsch-style ales. Now is the time to take a journey on the Flagstaff Brewery Trail and experience all the unique ales and microbrews. The Flagstaff Brewery Trail offers a self-guided beer tasting adventure and is also a perfect way to experience Flagstaff’s microbrew history. Plus, it’s fun! Download a free Flagstaff Brewery Trail passport at craftbeerflg.com or pick up a passport at the brewery and start the trek. Enjoy the Flagstaff Brewing Company, Beaver Street Brewery, Lumberyard Brewing Company, Historic Brewing Company, Wanderlust Brewing Company, Dark Sky Brewing Company (DSB) and Mother Road Brewing Company. Best of all, the journey ends with the treasure of a lasting trail memory with a special-edition commemorative pint glass available at the Flagstaff Visitor Center (One East Route 66).
What’s new in the local brewery scene? There is plenty on tap in Flagstaff’s thriving beer culture. Grand Canyon Brewing and Distillery is scheduled to open August 2019 at 1800 S. Milton Road, which will add another award-winning brewery to the Flagstaff list. Dark Sky Brewing (DSB) has more than 300 creative beer recipes and Pizzicletta recently opened its newest location at the DSB Taproom on Beaver St. in downtown. Wanderlust Brewing Company offers enticing brew selections and supports local and traveling artists featuring new rotating artwork on the tap room walls. Historic Brewing Company recently completed a huge renovation of their original Tap Room on East Huntington Drive and also opened a brand new space downtown that is connected to their existing Barrel + Bottle House location on South San Francisco.Flagstaff Brewing Company provides an atmosphere that is hopping with new music on a regular basis in addition to the latest brew on tap as well as rare whiskeys. Satchmo’s Cajun and Barbecue is coming soon to the menu at Mother Road Brewing Company Tap Room on Butler.
Sustainability efforts are evident in the Flagstaff community and local breweries are clearly all about elevating their eco-awareness actions. In 1994, Winnie and Evan Hanseth opened Flagstaff’s first brewpub, Beaver Street Brewery, and in 2002, opened a sister brewery, Lumberyard Brewing Company. The Hanseth family preserved history and restored the historical Halstead Lumberyard, the last remaining building from Flagstaff’s lumber era, for the Lumberyard Brewing Company. Mother Road Brewery donates 45,000 pounds of spent grain (post brew) to local cattle farmers, equating to a staggering 2.3 million pounds per year, as well as donating 3,000 gallons of yeast and hops per week to Forestdale farms to use as compost. Also, Mother Road Brewing Company recently partnered with the Arizona Game and Fish Department on the brew “Conserve and Protect Kšlsch-style ale.” Dark Sky Brewing (DSB) is dedicated to preserving Flagstaff’s dark skies, donating a portion of monthly beer sales to Lowell Observatory and Flagstaff’s Lunar Legacy.
Flagstaff’s beer tenders and brewmasters offer flavor in a variety of fun and delicious brews, from stouts and porters to lagers and pale ales. It may be difficult to find a favorite, so begin the adventure today on the Flagstaff Brewery Trail and discover Flagstaff.
By Meg Roederer
Meg Roederer is the communications specialist and film commissioner for the City of Flagstaff.