K.J. Castle, Demand Media
The only thing better than relaxing with an ice-cold beer is knowing where that beer came from and who brewed it. If you live in or are visiting Arizona, breweries and brewpubs across the state have opened their doors to beer-lovers wanting to explore the brewing process. However, not all local breweries offer tours, and many require you call in advance — check online before you visit.
Barrio Brewing Co.
At any given time, Barrio Brewing Co. (Barriobrewing.com) offers 10 to 12 of its own beers on tap. The brewery is located in the historic Arrmory Park neighborhood of Tuscon and offers free 30-minute tours for groups of at least eight people. After the tour, settle down with a glass of Tuscon Blonde, referred to as a “starter beer,” or the seasonal NCAALE, brewed annually to celebrate the University of Arizona’s wildcat basketball team.
Another Tuscon brewery, Nimbus (Nimbusbeer.com) has been open for more than 15 years. While it began by brewing just 400 kegs a year, it now tops 60,000 kegs annually. Housed in a warehouse with towering ceilings and cement floors, the brewery can be toured in 10 minutes if you call in advance. It offers six beers on tap, plus a seasonal brew, to indulge in after your tour.
Beaver Street Brewery/Lumberyard Brewing Company
Head north to the mountains of Flagstaff for the next stop on your brewery tour. Beaver Street Brewery (Beaverstreetbrewery.com) is a family-owned business catering to locals, of-age students at the nearby Northern Arizona University and tourists who are still shocked to see there are pine trees and snow in Arizona. Due to lack of space, the family opened a second location in downtown Flagstaff, deemed Lumberyard Brewing Company (Lumberyardbrewingcompany.com), and that’s where you can get your free tour if you call in advance. The company offers seven beers on tap, including Lumberyard Red Ale, which won the silver medal in the 2010 World Beer Cup.
Flagstaff Brewing Co.
This northern Arizona brewery is intimate, producing just 2,000 kegs annually, but staff members at Flagstaff Brewing Co. (Flagbrew.com) will take you on a free tour if requested. The portfolio includes nine beers, four of which will be on tap during your visit.
Phoenix Ale Brewery
In the state’s capital of Phoenix, this brewery (Phoenixbrew.com) is not a brewpub with tables and a menu, but rather features a tasting room where you can try one of four brews, including the Watermelon Wheat Ale. Brewery tours are held daily. While you can’t sit down and enjoy a beer on the premise, you can taste the beers and buy your favorite to go in a bottle, growler or keg.
About the Author
K.J. Castle began writing and editing professionally in 2007 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Pennsylvania State University. She’s currently on staff at a nutrition magazine and enjoys running and cooking.
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