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Best Breweries in Flagstaff, AZ

Best Flagstaff Breweries

Looking for the best breweries in Flagstaff, AZ? You have come to the right place! In my 2020 Flagstaff, AZ Brewery Guide, I’ll show you where to have some tasty cold ones in a beautiful town in Northern Arizona.

Where is Flagstaff, AZ?

Flagstaff is located in Northern Arizona about 2 hours north of Phoenix, AZ, and 1.5 hours from the south rim of the Grand Canyon. The town is quite opposite from what most people think of when they imagine AZ. Flagstaff is located at 7,000 feet of elevation and is amidst the largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest in North America.

Flagstaff is home to AZ Snowbowl, a ski resort that has been putting alot of time and money into development within the past couple years (finally getting gondolas next season!).

Summers are absolutely beautiful in Flag. Summer high temperatures average about 80 degrees F, while the rest of the state is averaging 110-120F. A big surprise to many people is the fact that Flagstaff, AZ averages about 100 inches of snow annually. This makes it the eight snowiest city in the US, getting more snow than the majority of Alaska!

Flagstaff is a fairly small town with a population of just about 75,000 people. Despite the smaller population, it is home to 8 breweries! Northern AZ sure loves craft beer!

Before we get to talking in depth about the breweries (since I know nobody came hear to read about weather), one thing that is important to note: elevation truly does make a difference with inebriation. Specifically, I mean that if you’re generally ‘feeling it’ after 2-3 beers at sea level or even 2,000ft of elevation, this is going to happen much sooner at 7,000ft! I highly recommend staying well hydrated while you’re up here, especially as you tend to forget about it when the weather is so beautiful!

Let’s get to the breweries!

#1: Dark Sky Brewing

I’m going to start this out with my personal favorite brewery, Dark Sky Brewing. Dark Sky was established in 2014, and the quality of beers has been increasing significantly (perhaps exponentially) since that time. They are located on Beaver St. in the downtown area.

What sets Dark Sky apart is the creativity and uniqueness of brews that you see coming from Ryan and company. There are new beer releases coming out every week, often with combinations of ingredients that you have rarely seen before. Despite this creativity, you can tell that the brewers really strive to put out quality beers. Some of the best beers that I have ever had (and I’ve had my fair share of craft brews) come out of this brewery.

I would highly recommend getting a flight here, so that you can experience the full variety of beers that Dark Sky brews!

Dark Sky, as of recently, is home to Pizzicletta which makes great wood-fired artisanal pizza. Get your craft beer and craft pizza fix all at once!

For more information, please visit:

#2: Mother Road Brewing Company

Mother Road opened its doors in late 2011. This brewery puts out high quality mainstay beers along with solid experimental batches.

Mother Road is most known for Tower Station, which if you spend any amount of time around beer drinkers in Flagstaff, AZ, you are bound to hear this name come up several times. Tower Station is a stronger (7.3% ABV) IPA that, in my opinion, bridges the gap between classic American IPA and a New England IPA. It is unfiltered, and has nice tropical fruit aromas, but it’s balanced with a bitterness that you don’t get from a typical NEIPA.

Other notable mainstay beers at Mother Road include: Daily Driver, which is a session IPA, the Kölsch which is a favorite of lighter beer drinkers, and lastly my personal favorite, Lost Highway, which is a strong (8% ABV) black IPA.

Mother Road’s main location is in the downtown area south of the train tracks on South Mike’s Pike. They did recently open a larger location just a couple miles east of downtown off of Butler Ave. This location was opened to keep up with the demand for production of its mainstay beers (mostly Tower Station).

The downtown location now has a food truck/trailer available as well!

For more information, please visit: Mother Road’s Website

#3: Historic Brewing Company

Historic Brewing was established in 2013. Their first location remains the eastern-most brewery in Flagstaff, AZ off of Huntington Drive. They have since opened tap rooms in downtown Flagstaff (South San Francisco St.) and Williams, AZ.

Zack at Historic does a good job of putting out solid mainstay beers along with interesting seasonal/experimental batches.

Opposable IPA and Piehole Porter are two mainstay beers of note. Opposable IPA is a classic American IPA with great balance of citrus and pine notes. Piehole Porter is a medium strength porter with aromas of chocolate and vanilla, combined with the sweetness and slight tartness of cherry. I may be consuming this very beverage while writing this post!

Two other beers that I highly recommend trying at Historic are the Salt River lager and the Undercover Cucumber blonde ale. The Salt River is a crisp lager with just the right amount of salt and lime. Perfect for a Flagstaff summer day! The Undercover Cucumber is a unique beer, light in body, with a very refreshing cucumber aroma and flavor. Definitely don’t knock it until you try it, as it may become one of your personal favorites too!

Both the brewery on the east side as well as the downtown taproom were recently remodeled. The downtown location serves classic pub food and has a variety of classic arcade games such as Skee-ball and pinball for your enjoyment.

For more information, please visit:

#4: Wanderlust Brewing Company

Wanderlust Brewing is located in the Sunnyside neighborhood of Flagstaff. This neighborhood is less than 2.5 miles east of the downtown area, which is a super reasonable bike ride along the Flagstaff Urban Trail System (FUTS) or a quick Uber/Lyft ride.

Nathan with Wanderlust has been producing quality beers since opening. Many of these beers have an interesting belgian or farmhouse touch. You may or may not have experience with the interesting flavors that these types of yeast can lend to a beer, but either way, it is definitely worth a stop into Wanderlust to sample some of these beers!

One of the most popular beers that comes out of Wanderlust is the 928 Local farmhouse ale. This beer is light, fruity, and flowery, but sneaks up on you with an 8% ABV that you don’t even notice! This beer is fermented with a wild-yeast from the area making it truly ‘Local’ to the 928 region!

Other favorites of mine include the Chateau Americana pale ale and the Pan American stout. The Chateau Americana is a pale ale well-balanced with American hops, but fermented with a Belgian yeast which gives it a very interesting touch. The Pan American is a solid all-around medium strength stout with notes of coffee and vanilla.

For more information, please visit: Wanderlust’s Website

#5: Beaver Street Brewery

Beaver Street Brewery is Flagstaff’s first brewpub, which opened in March 1994. They are located just south of the train tracks on Beaver Street in the downtown area.

Beaver Street Brewery itself brews smaller batches of its flagship beers along with a couple seasonal selections. Its sister brewery, Lumberyard, was opened later to keep up with production, this will be discussed below!

The brewery is an extremely popular place for lunch and dinner, and for good reason in my opinion, the food and pizza is great! One secret I’ll let the mrsmallbatchbrewer readers in on is, if you just go around the corner to the north on Beaver St., you’ll see Brews and Cues. This establishment is connected to the brewery and serves all the same beer and food without the crowds! You’ll thank me later!

My personal favorite beer at Beaver Street is the R&R Stout which is just what you want from an oatmeal stout. Absolutely perfect for a cool Flagstaff evening.

Some other mainstay beers at Beaver Street include the Conductor IPA (a classic west coast IPA), Railhead Red (a full-bodied red ale), and Red Rock Raspberry, which is a favorite among lighter beer drinkers in Flagstaff, pretty sweet but crushable especially on a summer day.

They do also have the Black ‘N’ Raz and Midnight Black IPA, which are not separate beers that are brewed on their own, but instead a mix of the stout and raspberry beer and the stout and IPA, respectively. Both of these pair well together and are definitely worth trying.

For more information, please visit:

#6: Lumberyard Brewing Company

As discussed above, Lumberyard and Beaver Street are highly related and were opened by the same owners.

I like to think of Lumberyard as the larger production brewery (you’ll see their cans around AZ); whereas, Beaver Street is the smaller local brewpub.

Lumberyard is located just south of the train tracks on San Francisco St. in downtown Flag. The brewery has a great patio with views of the peaks. They have a variety of tasty pub food that is reasonably priced.

My personal favorite beer selections at Lumberyard are the Hazy Angel IPA and the Snowbound Scotch Ale. Lumberyard has perfected a delicious NEIPA in the Hazy Angel, and the Snowbound is one of the better scotch ales that I’ve had the pleasure of tasting.

For more information please visit:

#7: Flagstaff Brewing Company

Flagstaff Brewing Company opened just after Beaver Street in July of 1994. They are located in the heart of downtown just off of Route 66 between Beaver St. and San Francisco St.

Flagstaff Brewing sports a variety of your classic beer styles from wheat beers, to pale ales, to stouts along with a great variety of whiskey.

My personal favorite at Flagbrew is their ESB. You don’t see all that many extra special bitters during these days of slushy IPAs and pastry stouts, but traditional bitters are beers that focus on drinkability with a superb balance of malt and hop bitterness. The Bitterroot ESB at Flagstaff Brewing does a good job of maintaining the aforementioned description.

Flagstaff Brewing is well known for their patio in the middle of downtown. They will often have live music on their outdoor stage that features many local artists.

The brewery has solid pub food that is the most reasonably priced amongst breweries in Flagstaff.

For more information, please visit: Flagstaff Brewing Company

#8: Grand Canyon Brewing and Distillery

Grand Canyon Brewing is the newest brewery to Flagstaff. They opened their location on the west side, just as you get into Flagstaff off of the I-17 last year (2019).

The brewery and distillery is based in Williams, AZ which is a small mountain town about 40 minutes west of Flagstaff. Williams is a gateway town to the Grand Canyon, the Grand Canyon Railway departs from there!

Grand Canyon is basically the only brewery on the southwest side of Flagstaff near NAU. However, as you may have noticed, Flagstaff is very small and this brewery is only located about 1.5 miles away from the downtown area.

If you are visiting Northern AZ for more than a couple days, I do highly recommend visiting their Williams brewery location. Their new brewery location as of mid-2017, is absolutely beautiful.

The Flagstaff taproom is fairly large in size and serves a good variety of food. They often will have sports playing on TVs, which is something you won’t get at many other Flagstaff breweries.

Their mainstay beers include an American Pilsner, a session IPA named the Trail Hike IPA, and the Black Iron IPA, which is not a black IPA, but instead named after the black iron railroad that paved the way to the Grand Canyon.

For more information, please visit:

#9: Drinking Horn Meadery

Drinking Horn is somewhat of a bonus for this article as it is not technically a brewery. However, there is no way I could leave this local meadery out of the article!

What is mead? Mead is simply an alcoholic beverage brewed with water, honey, and yeast. It can range from a very sweet dessert mead to a traditional dry mead.

Drinking Horn Meadery was started by Evan and his wife, Kelly, in 2014. They started in a small space in an industrial location here in Flagstaff. They have since moved into their Mead Hall, which is conveniently placed in the heart of downtown Flagstaff right off of Route 66. The new Mead Hall has a very unique climate and is open to bring whatever food you may find in the downtown area (or from home) in to enjoy with your mead.

In my opinion, Drinking Horn’s mead has been improving significantly since they opened. Another very knowledgable and experienced brewer, Nick, recently joined the team, so I only expect the quality of their mead to get even better!

For more information, please visit:

Touring the Breweries

One of the great things about Flagstaff, AZ is the proximity of its wonderful breweries to each other!

It is definitely reasonable to hit every single one within a day!

If I were coming from out of town, I would recommend stopping at Grand Canyon Brewing as it is located just off of I-17 as you arrive into town, from there I would make the drive over to Wanderlust Brewing, which is located just 2.5 miles east of downtown, once you’ve enjoyed some Belgian-inspired creations, I would make your way back to the downtown area. Every other brewery and meadery discussed in this article is located in the downtown area, within a half-mile distance of each other!

As always, please get a designated driver, Uber, Lyft, etc. when needed, and remember to stay well hydrated at elevation! A little Gatorade, Powerade, or even Pedialyte never hurts either!

If you’re looking for a way to keep track of your brewery progress throughout Northern AZ and the rest of Arizona, look no further than ‘Follow the Beer 2020: A Guide to Arizona’s Independent Craft Breweries’. I have no affiliation with this guide, but my wife and I have enjoyed using it while exploring Arizona’s great breweries!

I hope you enjoyed this guide to the best breweries in Flagstaff, AZ. This was definitely a different type of post for me, as I’m generally writing about small batch homebrewing. If you are interested in getting into homebrewing, feel free to check out my how-to articles on the subject!