Flagstaff: A Leading Craft Beer City
Coral Evans considers herself a “daughter of Flagstaff”. And for good reason. A 3rd generation Flagstaffian. Coral still lives in the Southside home that her grandfather build. She even DJ’s on Friday nights at the historic AZ Roadhouse which was established in 1954.
Before she was officially involved with city government (she held the positions of City Council Member and Vice Mayor before being elected Mayor in 2016) Coral was already a prominent community advocate. In 2006 the Murdoch Community Center was at risk of being sold thus leaving its fate unknown. She played a major role is ensuring that this building which held significant historical importance would remain a prominent structure in the community. The building was originally built as the Dunbar Elementary School which held an exclusively black student population during the time of segregation. Then 2 years before the historic “Brown vs. Board of Education” case Principal Wilson Riles & School Superintendent Cromer led a community force to defy state law and desegregate. Students were then moved from Dunbar to nearby neighborhood schools.
Coral understood the importance of this building and helped organize the neighborhood fight to keep it. And the neighborhood won. After that many people suggested she run for office. So she did. And she won. Again. In her campaign she focused on the importance economic development in the city of Flagstaff. The idea was to help small businesses grow.
Pointing to the major impact the wine industry has had on the Verde Valley Mayor Evans sees similar potential in Flagstaff with the craft beer industry. She recognizes that craft beer is more than just an alcoholic beverage. The craft beer community is a tight knit blue collar family-oriented community that provides jobs. Craft beer also crosses over into so many other prominent industries such as engineering, chemistry, environmentalism, and art. Even people who are not necessarily beer drinkers have a hard time not falling in love with the craft beer community.
Flagstaff is already a major tourist city so why not double down on making this a craft beer destination as well. Mayor Evans is proud to have award-winning breweries in her city and wants them to know that her and the City of Flagstaff supports them. With that she recently declared February as Craft Beer Month.
With 8 breweries within Flagstaff city limits there are plenty of options but I suggest you try them all. Doing so is fairly easy as 6 of these are within close walking distance right in the heart of downtown. With a city and mayor who support the craft beer community as much as Flagstaff does expect more great places to open in the years to come. Cheers!