Flagstaff. The craft beer hub of the Southwest. Over the weekend writer and author Roger Naylor had his superb made in Arizona feature story published on AZCentral.com and in the Arizona Republic. The title of the print version was, appropriately, Artisanal ales. There were many things we like about this piece including that some of our photos were published to illustrate it (see below). Also, we've excerpted some of our favorite passages. (in italics).
Dehydration is always a danger when exploring Arizona trails, so it's important to stop often to drink. Once you've had enough water, you will be ready to tackle the Flagstaff Ale Trail... "Beer tasting is becoming enormously popular for both serious connoisseurs and casual lovers of good brews," said Geoff Barnard of the Flagstaff Ale Trail...
"There is more of a boutique approach to craft beer. It's become cool to buy local, to support the local brewery," [Thomas Smith co-owner of Hops on Birch, a craft beer bar and nightclub in Flagstaff] said. Hops on Birch has 28 rotating tap handles, with more than half dispensing Arizona beers at any given time.
"One of the things we really focus on is balancing our beers," [Michael Marquess, owner and chief beer officer of Mother Road Brewing Co.] said. "Our Lost Highway Black IPA is a strong brew with 8 percent alcohol. This style tends to be very hoppy, but we worked hard to balance it." Mother Road also makes Roadside American Ale and Twin Arrows Brown Ale. The Gold Road Kolsch-Style Ale serves as a gateway brew, a clean, crisp beer with subtle fruit notes -- ...
Jeff Dicus is another Flagstaff home brewer who moved into the big leagues when he and his wife, Susanne, launched Cosmic Distributing and Cosmic beer. "I'm a true craftsman, Dicus said. "I spend way too much time experimenting with grain and hop profiles. The mineral-rich water in Flagstaff is perfect for my style of beer making... We have three flagship brews, Dirty Blonde, Irish Red and Full Moon Porter, and rotate seasonals."
Anyway, this fine article (see full article here) has many good parts. A couple of quick additions, things that didn't get mentioned is that Mogollon beer is available on the Flagstaff Ale Trail at the Green Room. McGaughs Smoke and Bottle is also a starting point on the new and improved craft beer tasting adventure in Flagstaff. Check out our seven wonderful breweries and craft beer partners soon... you'll be happy you did and you'll take home our souvenirs and memories from this craft brew hub of the American Southwest. Oh, check out Roger Naylor in AZ on Facebook ... you gotta like this guy!
Update for Monday, August 27, 2012: This feature story on Arizona craft beer and breweries was also re-published in USA Today and on the Brewing Report.com.