Flagstaff Brewery Trail launches digital passport
Flagstaff is known as Arizona’s destination for all seasons, but it also has a renowned craft beer scene. We spoke with Dylan Prater, General Manager of Mother Road Brewery, about the Flagstaff Brewery Trail and their new digital passport on LoyalBrew.
Can you tell us a little bit about the history of craft beer in Flagstaff? When/how did it start and how has it evolved since then?
The Flagstaff craft beer scene began in 1994 when Winnie and Evan Hanseth, a System Analyst and Mechanical Engineer, moved back to their Flagstaff home to open Beaver Street Brewing. Not long after, Flagstaff Brewing opened up in the same year on Historic Route 66. Flagstaff beer scene began to gain notoriety in the mid 2000’s, helped by Beaver Street’s Hefeweizen winning gold at the Great American Beer Festival in 2007. Soon after, new breweries were opening in Flagstaff almost every year. Lumberyard Brewing opened its doors in 2010, followed by Mother Road Brewing Co. in 2011, Wanderlust Brewing in 2012, Historic Brewing in 2013, Dark Sky Brewing in 2014, and Grand Canyon Brewing in 2019.
The Flagstaff beer scene consists of taproom breweries, brewpubs, microbreweries and regional breweries with a community-driven mindset that pay homage to the history of Flagstaff and the natural wonders of Northern Arizona. The surge of breweries opening throughout the 2010’s helped boost Flagstaff to be known as a mountain town beer destination. In 2018, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey recognized the boom of the craft beer scene by deeming Flagstaff as Arizona’s leading craft beer city.
What are you personal beer and food recommendations on the Flagstaff Brewery Trail?
Beaver Street Brewing – I enjoy playing pool on the Brews n’ Cues side of the brewery, while enjoying a wood-fired pizza and the HopShot Red IPA
Dark Sky Brewing – I always enjoy tasting whichever new hop-blasted IPA is on tap while relaxing on their awesome patio.
Flagstaff Brewing – Best brewery for live music, right in the middle of Downtown on Route 66, and I’m all about the Bitterroot ESB
Grand Canyon Brewing – Awesome forestry-themed Tap Room and bar. I enjoy the splitting one of their flatbreads and the Prickly Pear Wheat Ale.
Historic Brewing – I always go for the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, and the Salt River Lager is a classic.
Lumberyard Brewing – situated in an old lumber building, my wife and I frequent the bar for any of their numerous burgers and a Flagstaff IPA
Mother Road Brewing – I may be biased, but I have never felt more ‘at home’ in a Tap Room than I have at Mother Road. Our new Tower Station variants, Tower Station – Roadside Grove and Turbo Tower Station pair perfectly with sharing our tacos and sliders menu with friends, family, and four-legged buddies on our outdoor patio.
Wanderlust Brewing – the PanAm Stout is probably my favorite dark beer in town, and we frequently are in the Tap Room for a round of darts
In addition to exploring the Flagstaff Brewery Trail, what do you recommend first-time visitors check out in the area?
Flagstaff is a little mountain town situated at 7000′ and nestled within the Coconino National Forest, which holds the largest swath of Ponderosa Pine trees in the country. The Grand Canyon is just over an hour’s drive to the North, and Sedona is just under an hour’s drive to the South. Flagstaff is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream town with a plethora of opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, disc golfing, camping, and wildlife observing. The Lowell Observatory is where Pluto was first discovered, and a visit to Flagstaff wouldn’t be complete without enjoying an evening stargazing.
What will people receive after completing the Flagstaff Brewery Trail passport?
Once participants complete the Brewery Trail, they will receive a commemorative pint glass to remind them of their experience!