Just in time for summer, it’s the Road Trip version of Top Taps!
Summer means road tripping and in honor of that summertime tradition, here are three places you should consider tripping out to this summer. We are covering the whole state with this edition of Top Taps, with one suggestion for the northern third of the state, one for the southern third, and one for the middle third. That way, the whole state is covered! So, get out there and start your beer-cation!
Regular readers of this blog know how I gush over Tombstone Brewing. They kind of have the Midas Touch right now with (almost) everything they do turning to gold. Chasing the Dragon and Citra Single Hop are outstanding IPAs, while their barrel program is producing outstanding flavored stouts. Their Calvados Imperial Stout is probably gone by now (it was amazing), but whatever else they got cooking/aging right now, it’s a good bet you’ll find something you love.
Tombstone is only open 11a – 7p each day, so plan your visit accordingly. Once the brewery closes, head over to Big Nose Kate’s Saloon for old west fun and drinkin.’
Flagstaff, Kingman, Williams and Pinetop all have outstanding options for beer travel, but if you can only choose one, choose Historic Brewing. They have outposts in Flagstaff AND Williams and in addition to their taproom on the far east side of Flagstaff (one of the more uber-cool places in town), they operate two brew-pubs—one in downtown Flag and the other in Williams.
You’re probably familiar with their Piehole Porter (ubiquitous in Phoenix), but head to the source and branch out a little by tasting Alternative Facts or their Opposable IPA. Undercover Cucumber is not quite my thing, but with around 16 house brews, they offer one of the larger selections of house brews in the northern regions of Arizona.
“Middle Arizona” is often dominated by the Verde Valley, but if you find yourself roaming the state’s mid-section, make it a point to find your way to Skull Valley (west of Prescott) and get yourself to Barnstar Brewing. This little outpost is way off the beaten path (heck, it IS the beaten path), but this is one of the most interesting drinking spots in the state. After four miles of unpaved road, Barnstar literally feels like an oasis. Outside of the brewhouse/taproom and the homestead, there isn’t another sign of civilization in sight.
The Citra Pale Ale is their best brew, but they have recently added a TIPA, the Tres Perros. Plan to spend more than an hour. After all the work to get there, you will want to spend some time soaking up the peace and quiet.