Destination Beers: Flagstaff
Jeff Gibb is the guy behind “West Coast Food + Beer”. Follow him to keep up with his lifestyle of eating good food, drinking craft beer, and lifting weights to try to counter all the calories he takes in. Cheers!
Phoenix is HOT. We all know that. We love it for nine months out of the year… but then June, July, and August are all scorchers. Temperatures get up to 120 degrees (and as crazy as it sounds, sometimes even more).
So, what do us Phoenicians do when it gets like this? Drive to Tucson? While they do have killer beer over there, unfortunately it’s not an option. It actually might be hotter down south. OK, it’s definitely hotter in Tucson. The obvious and most frequent choice, then, is to drive up to our awesome cities in Northern Arizona! Flagstaff, Prescott, and Sedona are all amazing places to travel when wanting to cool off. This article is the first of a few in a mini-series covering these cities and the beer they have to offer. Today we’ll focus on the beautiful, lumberjack-filled, gem of the north called Flagstaff.
Breweries for Phoenicians to Check Out When Venturing Up to the North This Summer
Mother Road Brewing – est. 2011
7 S Mikes Pike St, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Dog Friendly Patio: Yes
Featured Beer: Lost Highway / Double Black IPA / 8% ABV / 100 IBU
Mother Road Brewing Co. is a killer brewery that is continuously growing. What’s awesome about them is that they stick to what they do best. Out of all Flagstaff breweries, they have the biggest presence in Phoenix due to their huge distribution of their (gorgeous) canned beers. Tower Station IPA, Lost Highway Double Black IPA, and Gold Road Kolsch are all readily available in pretty much every grocery store, liquor store, and even some gas stations in Phoenix. In Flagstaff, the brewery is nestled into a super cool, historic corner building that also houses Flagstaff Bicycle Revolution and the ever popular Pizzicletta. Mother Road expanded its patio in the last few years to not only be bigger, but also provide tableside service from the kind guys at Pizzicletta – which is widely known as being some of the best pizza in all of Arizona, if not the best (some argue Pizzeria Bianco is #1, but it’s safe to say they’re both amazing). Long story short, you can get some of the best AZ beer AND AZ pizza at the same time here. Well done, gents. P.S.: When it gets cold they’ve got plenty of heaters and a few firepits to keep you warm (not that Phoenicians are wimps or anything!).
Historic Brewing – est. 2013
Brewery/Taproom: 4366 E. HUNTINGTON DR., FLAGSTAFF, AZ 86004
Barrel & Bottle House: 110 S. SAN FRANCISCO ST. FLAGSTAFF, AZ 86001
Dog Friendly Patio: Yes
Featured Beer: Piehole Porter / Cherry Vanilla Pie Porter / 5.5% ABV / 16 IBU
Historic is a fun, family-owned brewing company that provides some tasty brews. Their most popular beer, Piehole Porter, is one that does get some good distribution down into the Phoenix valley. It’s not quite dessert, but it is the perfect amount of sweetness to compliment the dark, roasty porter features and a hint of hop bitterness. The actual brewery is located in East Flagstaff, a little bit out of the way if you are staying in the downtown area – but the good news is their Barrel & Bottle House is right on San Francisco St. in the heart of downtown. They serve up some classic beer styles, but a lot of fun ones as well, in a hip, rustic setting accompanied by friendly service. In the last year or so they began offering a full food menu, so you don’t even have to leave to get snacks!
Dark Sky Brewing – est. 2014
117 N Beaver St A, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Dog Friendly Patio: Yes, and inside too!
Featured Beer: Too many to choose!
The reason Dark Sky doesn’t have a “Featured Beer” is because they brew SO many, and they change all the time! One of Dark Sky’s claims to fame is that they have brewed over 300 different beers since they opened up shop in 2014. A few favorites throughout their existence have been “Roasted & Toasted,” a toasted coconut and roasted grain imperial oatmeal stout, and “Mountains of Mosaic,” a super-hopped IPA with mosaic hops and citrusy, floral notes. One thing that’s so awesome about Dark Sky is it is basically “dog-city” when you walk in. It’s one of the most dog-friendly breweries in Arizona (email me about any others!), and it does a great job of reflecting the Flagstaff vibe that so many people have fallen in love with. Due to their love for dogs, they do not have a food kitchen… but they do have an awesome food truck aptly named “Hangry” right off the back patio.
Lumberyard Brewing – est. 2010
5 S San Francisco St, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Dog Friendly Patio: No
Featured Beer: Railhead Red / Amber Ale / 5.8% ABV / 50 IBU
Lumberyard is a bit different than some of the other breweries on this list – they are a crazy blend of a solid brewery and a country dance club! During the day, Lumberyard is an awesome lunch and beer spot that’s really nice to relax at for good grub in a cool, old lumberyard building. At night, they start pouring their signature “yard jar” cocktails, blast the music, and encourage dancing. This unique place gets packed, and it is so much fun. Make sure to check out their sister brewpub, Beaver Street Brewery, as well.
Other killer breweries to check out in Flagstaff:
If you’re also needing other recommendations when in town, take a look below.
“When I’m not looking for a brewery, where can I find a…”