Arizona’s Seven Best Breweries

The rise of Arizona’s craft brewing scene is quite impressive. Great locally crafted beers can be found throughout the state. At first most breweries were confined to tourist destinations and college towns, but now they are popping up everywhere from strip malls to roadside stops. Really, I’ve yet to find a brewery I didn’t love, but these seven special spots are listed here from north to south. I won’t focus on their food because I know that you’re going for the beer, but all of these spots serve up excellent pub style grub worthy of washing down with some refreshing beer.

Beaver Street Flagstaff Whenever I visit my old friends in Flagstaff, inevitably they bring me to Beaver Street Brewery. There is not a miss on tap. Their Big Rapid Red and Hopshock are both award winners at the Great American Beer Festival. Hopshock is a bit on the hoppy side, but another favorite of mine. The Big Rapid Red is full bodied and tasty.

Oak Creek Sedona For me Oak Creek’s award winning lineup has always been all about the Nutbrown Ale. They may have other great beers but this is the brew that first turned me on to local craft beers. It is often found in the premium beer section at the local grocer, but always tastes best from the tap, and in the cool air of Sedona. This beer alone is worth braving the busy crowds in Sedona.

Prescott Brewing Company Prescott Prescott Brewing Company serves up a perfect example of the amber ale style, called Liquid Amber and it is simply delicious. It is a beer that could appeal to almost any beer drinker. The Petrified Porter is also a great wintertime brew (or anytime-brew depending on your feelings regarding dark beers). Of course I must mention their Prescott Pale Ale which is another great Arizona example of the style.

Four Peaks Tempe You should drink Kilt Lifter Scottish ale, enough said. This joint brews with attitude and a sense of humor. When a beer called Kilt Lifter is the tastiest offering, you know the brewery is up to mischief. Not only are the beers fun, they are also award winning. Check out their cask ales for something a little out of the ordinary.

SanTan Chandler For me the DevilAle is a perfect pale ale and is the best beer in the state. If I had a house beer, this would be mine. It’s the type of beer that I have to set down limits, and it reminds me of the old ad, “I bet you can’t have just one.” I can find their beers at the local grocery store and at the University of Phoenix Stadium. Also worthy of note is the HefeWeizen Wheat which is cloudy and fruity just like it should be.

Nimbus Tucson For me the Old Monkey Shine is the best of their line up, and it reminds me of what a great English pub beer should taste like. Also I appreciate that they resurrected the A1 beer label which is Arizona’s original beer, and a brewery that has been long defunct. However, the beer is a little too much like a light lager for my taste, but I respect their nod to the old school.

Mudshark Lake Havasu City It shouldn’t surprise anyone that a city known for spring break insanity cranks out a great local brew. They are one of the few guys to keep a Belgium White on the menu year round. If you’ve ever been to Lake Havasu when it is 120 degrees you will appreciate the Belgium White.

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