Thursday 17th May 2012
After an evening in the Grand Canyon Brewery in Williams I was very grateful for the late start presented to me today. I caught a bus at 11.30 from the forecourt of the Grand Canyon Railway's hotel. It is a regular service operated by Arizona Shuttle.
My destination was Flagstaff, about 45 minutes ride. It would be nice to say that it was along Route 66 but it went via its replacement, Interstate 40, and only in the two towns did the bus run on the original road.
The bus deposited me outside the rather fine building of the Amtrak rail station, originally built by the Santa Fe Railroad in 1926, see photo.
It is sandwiched between Route 66 and the double track intercontinental main line of the BNSF Railroad and contains the city's Tourist Office along with railway and bus offices.
The area around the station is home to four brew pubs but first I went on a journey.
The expedition proved to be rather fruitless as my first destination, the Mongollon Brewery about five miles out of town, was closed and on the way back, I couldn't find the premises of the soon to open Wanderlust Brewery.
It was a scorching hot desert day, so I didn't spend too much time searching and it was nearly 15.00 and I hadn't my first beer yet! I used the local bus route 66 (obvious, as it runs along the road itself) operated by The Mountain Line which was cheap and reliable.
The journey wasn't entirely wasted as I saw some interesting wildlife including an Armadillo, some sort of ground squirrel and a spectacular aerial fight between a crow and an eagle.
Back in town I alighted at the Downtown Transfer Centre (bus station) which in on the other side of the tracks to downtown and the station, but is very close to the Beaver Street Brewery.
This is a very large pub indeed and it is very comfortably furnished. There is a sizable bar area with the brewery visible behind, viewed through glass panels. The remainder of the pub was basically a large restaurant with an open kitchen where you see the chefs in operation.
It was opened in 1994. Two interesting sights as you come through the entrance are the old wood-burning stove in the middle of the room and an original wooden Waiting Room sign from the Great Western Railway (Britain). Sadly, there is only one side left. It was once V-shaped with another side.
Separate from all this, but still part of the building is Brews and Cues which, as the name implies, is a pool hall. It has the same beer and food menu as the main pub and boasts a lovely old bar and bar back. The entrance is shown in the top photograph.
I was slightly disappointed with the beer menu as three of the seven offerings were from the Lumberyard Brewery which I was visiting later. The two brew pubs are under the same management.
The list was as follows. From Beaver Street: R & R Stout, Hefeweizen, Alpine Amber and Lager del Sol. From Lumberjack Brewing: IPA, Red Ale and Raspberry Ale. I thought that a taster flight would not be the best way to approach these beers as I only fancied two from the home side so I ordered a glass of each.
R & R Stout was in the Oatmeal style and was well-balanced with a medium bitter aftertaste. Alpine Amber was also liked, an innocuous ale that nevertheless had a good medium bitter taste and finish.
One day I'd like to revisit to drink some more of the home-produced beers.
Beaver Street Brewery, 11 South Beaver Street, Flagstaff AZ
Main Pub and Restaurant: Open: Sun to Thurs 11.00-23.00; Fri to Sat 11.00-24.00
Brews & Cues: Open: Sun to Wed 11.30-01.00; Thurs to Sat 11.30-02.00
The pub is a few minutes from local buses
and five minutes from Amtrak Rail station and long distance buses.