Monday, December 10, 2012

A Wilderness rant

On this Sunday morning , I sit with the coolness of December on my ears and nose, watching my breath float away as I exhale. The creek's flow echoes off towering , warm sunlit cliffs that hold in the magic of this place. I am on day 2 of the annual Aravaipa Wilderness December fall colors trip that I think about on the hot days of summer as if it will never come. I count the days down already to next year's excursion.  The calmness I feel here is where I developed my passion and direction of Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co., and it still lingers in the air. Back home in the basin of the sun, our little company had a trying, somewhat difficult week. Nothing out of the norm, merely the ebbs and flows of business that keeps entrepreneurs up thinking at 3 am. The ebbs seem to be great at times, but we will push through them. The great news is my window cleaning days are officially behind me. The scary news: I have no income! The leap of faith left a company I started 6.5 years ago as a 24 year old knocking on doors and providing a service based on ethics and trust. Wow, I look back with a blissful eye. Moving on from that business isn't the safe route by any means. I am being led by my own dangerous (at times) passion , which seems to dictate my life at all angles. Taming it has been a learning experience, but as I sit here, chilly, full of warm oatmeal, and grinning from ear to ear, I am realizing that in my third month of being 30 I am more tame than ever.  I understand how to excite people and light the torch that we all carry. Admittedly, I didn't understand the details of this business as much as I should have.  Sure, we planned for a difficult road to opening a brewing company, and did everything we could to get it all right.  The truth: We lacked wisdom.  Wisdom isn't free and it usually comes from the worst moments, dangerously teetering along the tightrope of bad decisions. Documents sitting in front of us , aren't simply words dancing. They are your business, holding legal authority over anything related to passionate motions that mean well. The details have bogged us down, and we learned some valuable lessons these past few months. Patience, patience, patience, hard freaking work, along with the smartest people I know as our business advisers will get us through this to opening day.  I have drug some people through the mud of my dream, and I hope they all know that I will always be indebted to them for believing.  Believing when there is no progress for weeks and wondering if money will ever be made...EVER. I don't, and never will, take this lightly, and it has consumed me more than I could have ever predicted.

A quick up date: The city of Gilbert's planning committee is reviewing our project as we speak.  This meeting is to approve the construction project of AZWBC, hopefully in December.  We have made it so freaking far, and just a few more hurdles to opening our doors.

I'll quit rambling and go wade in the creek again for morning photography session to clear my mind.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

An epic novel is born. Apologies to weary eyes.

Recently I was invited to Russian River Brewing Company from a brewer and good friend Travis.  I finally found a moment to fly to the bay area and figured I had best visit some old friends and make some new ones. It's what I do.  My lovely, gracious, and oh so gorgeous wife gave me a few thousand flyer points and off I flew. Off to live a "glorified vagrant" life for 5 days.  When Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. is up and running, you'll probably notice some of the bay area influence.  I have many  family and friends here, and have frequented the area throughout the years gathering info, ideas, and sharing a few classy ales with some amazing people all over that area.  No one is a stranger in SF it seems, and I want to capture that  here in AZ.  Anyways, after very little planning I landed in COLD SFO and the B.A.R.T. became my savior.  A stop at toronado(hey spell check, quit changing it to tornado!) is always in order and a beer or two with the uh , friendly, uh, friendly like a sleeping alligator, bar tender and rented a truck up to Santa Rosa.  Every time I go to Lagunitas I am dumbfounded by their growth.  Lets be honest though, their pulled pork nachos deserve a spot in the pork and/or nacho Hall of Fames. This will be coming to a menu near you!  Onward to Russian River Brewing, a quick trip up the road.  The production facility is in an industrial park, and wreaks of spent grains and CO2 (more on the CO2 later). Upon entrance I see the infamous MoreBeer! 26 gallon brewing setup for their experimental brewing.  Yeah, the same one Tim and I bought and the sole reason this ridiculous idea got started.  That system  looked at me and said, "You bought yours because of me, hows that working chump".  So next, a brewery tour was in order.  The "Vinnie Way" was all over this place.  Rewind a bit. Vinnie Cilurzo (who was out of town on this occasion) is a brewing legend in the bay area and owns/operates Russian River Brewing Co.  If a word has come out of his mouth or written from his hand, it has probably been heard or read by me.  This trip was confirmation that, yes, he is insane in every good way.  The lab, the 60 bbl brewhouse, the fermentors, and the barrels.  Oh the barrels!  We made it into the taps and tasted the products.  A few unreleased beers, a few well known, and a few more touched me in the tongue and I touched back.  Great beers, as always, and with the brewers who made em.  I felt at home in the house that Pliny built.  We went to the pub and checked the 15bbl brewhouse there.  I ordered a vegan pizza and got beat up verbally by the Russian River brewing crew.  Punks!  The night will be remember as one of the greats.

Upon waking in an RV in the Russian River Parking lot at 6 a.m., I smelled something oh so sweet.  Grains!!!!! I was late to mash in!  Luckily, changing clothes wasn't part of the agenda, so I ran in to see Travis gripping coffee over the mash tun on the brew deck.  It's the system that Sam Calagione sold Vinnie a few years back, its, well, interesting. Damnation was being mashed and it was sassy in my nose. Not that I needed to confirm this, but brewers work HARD.  Sweat on a 45 degree morning is like a sunburn on a 110 degree day. Well... never mind, you get it.  A few ruff spots hear and there, and the lauter got to its thing flowing ahead of the boil.  I was the idiot who volunteered to mill grains for the next batch and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.  As the morning flew by I picked Travis's brain to borderline annoyance.  It was AWESOME.  What an amazing brewer that man be. He be real smart. Vinnie doesnt let ANYTHING with the initials O2 get by him.  CO2 is the only combatant to staling his beautiful beers and they sure use it.  I am not complaining, nor is the air-gas delivery guy, because this beer speaks for itself.  I caught the crazy bug even more and put some in my wallet. Crazy is good.

Getting back to SF for Breast Fest was a long traffic ridden drive.  The bridge held its breath as I crossed and I was in the city.  Breast Fest isn't a job for me to cover, but I met up with several faces I knew (Thanks Pitcher of Nectar for the tix).  A nice lil brewer laden group headed over to La Trappe after the fest. Sours and Belgians were flowing and I got to chat with Rodger and Claudia Davis formally of Drake's and Tripple Rock Fame.  They are starting Faction Brewing in the East Bay and we talked trials and tribulations.  Good stuff to hear from a legend.  A collaboration is in order with Faction next year sometime.  Some Sierra Nevada boys and I shared a few and talked some shop.   A few, or several, hours later the crowd finally slowed down and I slept on someones hotel room floor. With a Sheet and the window open.  Sore throats suck!

The next couple of days were filled with places such as Monks Kettle, Zeitgiesit, Southern Pacific brewing, and several more.  Berkeley was my last stop to visit the Drake's owned tap house, Jupiter, and my friend Jeff the brewmaster at Tripple Rock.  Ideas and beers were tossed around and off I went across the bay.  Another successful bay area recon trip (besides the 15 hr flight delay).  AZWBC will be better for it.

Where is the Toronado?

Travis and I sharing

Things need done.

Aaron getting his Aaron on.

We "bearded"
Barrel Love
The Vinnie Nail

Sharing with the brewers
The 15 bbl pub brewhouse
Travis and his B-I-L getting groovy at the pub

Bottling line 
Milling at the house that Pliny Built

Eating at the pork store on Hiaght/Ashbury is A MUST eveytime.

Breast Fest
Tree Beers!

Zietgiest and the trees.  We are getting trees at the pub.

These lights will be in the pub.

A lil gem that was Southern Pacific.

Like Whoa

Speaking the Gospel

Heat and Sun

OK back to earth, we found an architect that is weird enough even for me.  We had another visit to the proposed location (721 N. Arizona in Gilbert) and I thought the meeting went very well.  Thanks Eric at the Boulders for the referral. This means we have a contractor, an architect, a CPA, a lawyer, a building, and Gilbert City Council vote in order.  Life is good!  Lease negotiations are easy with good people.  We are blessed to have an easy going group to deal with.  I still say though, BEWARE homebrewers who want to go pro, these things can get mighty mighty risky!  You will pay for these minor things in the long run.  We will sign this lease as soon as we feel Gilbert officially approve's the plans.

Kickstarter swag is almost all here.  We decided, since the opening is still several months away, to look for possible locations to hold a AZWBC swag party.  This doesn't mean we are not going to send yours in the mail, it just means its much easier to hand it in person sans shipping.  Plus, parties are always fun.  Expect news on that soon.

Ok, back to planning, reading resumes, reading books and microscopes.  This one was too long, so next time I will talk about the Northern AZ yeast I collected, new recipes, and one last AZWBC tasting before we open.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Boom shackalaka

 I sit here writing the final touches on an extensive, ever changing, and, well, somewhat frustrating business plan. I don't know how many people actually take pleasure in writing these things, but I do believe this massive textual massacre of a plan will be a useful tool to clearly pave the future. As I write my dreams on paper on this the 4th of July, I actually believe in a crazy notion:  this dream is going to become reality.  I am struck with a certain prideful....let’s call it a tickle.  A prideful tickle?  Never mind, let’s just say I feel prideful.  The pride felt is from the ability to create this dream without any oppression of another man's idea. The American philosopher Eric Hoffer's quote, "There can be no real freedom without the freedom to fail." says it more eloquently than I.  So, with that sentiment, I wish you all a Happy Independence Day.  Put that crap beer down, and go find a local hand crafted beer that a crazy dreamer made.

Brewery news is slow this month; I even high-fived a snail out of impatience.  We are on the docket in the Gilbert's city council meeting for August the 3rd.  I believe we will not have any issues or bumps in the road.  No picketing and rock throwing needed, Gilbert is a progressive town these days.  We will be holding hands into the sunset and being taxed before we know it!  The lease is still only a promise at this point but negotiations are going as expected.  Next week we have set a goal to sign the lease and begin construction within two weeks.  July will leave some scars, lack of sleep, weight loss, and good ol' excitement.  That's the signs of progress!

We are trying to nail down our staff needs.  We are opening the search for a full time head brewer.  1+ year minimum of commercial brewing experience will be the main criteria of the job.   This job will entail day to day operations such as, cleaning, cleaning, and probably some cleaning.  Then we will get groovy from the mill to the serving tank and all that greatness in between.  I don't want to get to in depth with the requirements, just send resumes to  Only bearded men and women who could grow one if requested need apply.

I believe in what are doing.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Acetaminophen, coffee, and 115 degrees.

Another installment that is I, Jonathan Buford, reporting what's happening in the world of Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co.

The build-out is looking feasible.  That is, the estimates we have received won't break the budget.  Yay. OK, YAY!  The direction we take things will certainly take some work, but nothing seems out of the ordinary.  * A side note: please remember to not open fridges of previously abandoned restaurants.  A free tip that my stomach would prefer others not go through.*  Anyways, when you are plugging away at a business plan and dreaming up a vision you might, how do I say this, be an idiot at times.  The elephants and midgets may not be feasible, nor will the garden in the middle where you can "pick your own" sandwich toppings (so sad about that one, health code shmealth code).  With some great advice, and lets be honest, other peoples money, the vision for the atmosphere inside starts to take shape.  I love the outdoors, and I love it more in Arizona than any other state.  So we want to bring a little of that to 721 N Arizona Ave. without it looking like Zsa Zsa Gabor and the southwest made a turquoise love child.  After many o' travels and asking for wisdom from publicans, I have said vision for our place.  Natural wood, rusted ribbed sheet metal, photography of AZ, a rock wall (not to be confused with a rock wall that you can actually climb), a trail system, and many other artistic touches of this state. The menu will take you from Belgium to Germany (Schnitzel!)to England, and back to the USA.  That's where my brewing influences come from, so why not cook that way as well?  The brew system itself must be engaging to the viewing audience.  Why else are we throwing our souls into an abyss like this if we can't show patrons how we do it?  Viewing bearded, sweaty, and smelly men throwing  grains and hot water together will be perfect for a romantic lunch!  My point is, expect something unique. Something different.  I like people, I want to make beer for people who want to be made, err, uh, huh? I just want to enjoy myself and have everyone do the same.  I certainly understand why some pub owners stay in the back, its mind numbing to try and make a buck in this business and then you have to explain "what an IBU is", or "whats floating in my beer?" after a 12 hour shift. Call me naive, but that excites me.  It will be my personality inside a 4000sq ft building ( I think that's a positive?).  Once the lease has been negotiated we then will start construction.  Hopefully next time, we are talking about that.

Swag is slowly coming in.  Kickstarter rewards aren't easy to decide on. These are part of a marketing plan and I would prefer they don't offend people.  I hope we can have an opening gala to host a majority of you generous folks and then you can leave with some swag on that day.  Of course I can send them by snail, but it sure would be amazing to have everyone start us off with a bang while flashing our gear.  I want to have the party in 2012, that is the goal.

Finally, I hope to see you all at made in the shade.  I will be the one with the wort in my backpack as I want to do an open ferment in the cool pines of AZ.  Many of the deciduous and conifer trees secrete a sugar source perfect for our little yeasty boys to thrive in.  I will simply take some unfermented wort, let it open all night while we celebrate.... it being Saturday.  Then hopefully come home and analyze some healthy organisms!

Till next time.

Jonathan, husband of the wonderful Katie Buford.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Look! Over here! BEER NEWS!

Well, our state and city licence is now null and void as far as Queen Creek goes.  We have turned in our new application tot he state for Gilbert and life moves on again.   A lease should be locked up soon and we will now digress down the spiral that is making yeast and sugar dance.  I will be venting, crying, giggling and enlightening all with the progress from here on out as it should get interesting (again).

I am typing with 13 hrs of driving from Paso Robles, California behind me.  First off let it be known the the reason Firestone Walker Brewing Company is so successful is their complete and total love of the brewing community. I will always try and emulate the "Everyone is family policy" I receive from them. That followed by the best organization I've ever seen and , oh BTW, Mathew Brynildson is a fine brewer/human being. He enjoys people with passion as I do and we bounced that energy off of each other. They have been there for us during our Kickstarter campaign, all the advice on opening, and offering us some specs on our beer from their state of the art QC lab. Many other breweries out there have similar stories as I do. They deserve all the greatness they are experiencing. No brown nosing here, just some respect!

We will be hiring a head brewer in the coming months.  I will let you know when we will be taking resumes for that and a few other positions.  We are eyeing  January 2013 to begin brewing with the restaurant opening this September/October.  Excitement is upon us.  I have been lining up several out of state collaborations, in state, and one from the moon.  Our menu is going to be made for taste buds and bellies who need a new twist on pairing beer with gnosh.  Starting next month, our test batches will be moving back towards the Belgian influence.  A bier de mars, a coffee saison, and a basil/lime witt are on the docket.  We will be waiting for our wine barrels to arrive to commence with experiments on other eclectic and eccentric beers after bouncing idea's between our friends at Nebraska Brewing Co and Russian River Brewing Co. on working with wine barrels. Lot to lean as these beers take time to perfect so lets brew baby brew.

In cool, and downright purdy Pine, Arizona moves are being made in the AZ beer scene. The ownership is the same but the name "rimside grill" has been laid to rest and "That Brewery" is the new vision.    We stopped in after a exhausting backpack and were nourished with, well, beer.   The brewer was said to be in Colorado purchasing some brewing equipment but we were able to check out the 5 bbl system.  The menu is a good ol' pub menu and the burger I had was a beauty paired with a beer. San Tan was representing their too with the Hefe.   They should be brewing and selling at the pub sometime soon.  Northward bound is always a good thing!


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Location, Location, Location

Not to rile anyone up or anything, but, the future of AZWBC may rest on the SE corner of Arizona/Guadalupe in what was the "QQ" girll( great work Sherlock Weable for being the first to call this spot out!).   The "may" part is in the works, as we would be taking over a former restaurant that needs some serious cosmetic work.  We have a budget and that is what we are trying to nail down right now.  She is a butter face that we feel confident  that we can get her all purdy again.  It's got the Feng and lacking some shui.  It truly has all the potential in the world though, with a little love needed.   I get to tell my wife, " This is why we traveled to so many pubs in the past, so we can make things look like we know what we are doing!".   Even our contractor who met us at the site yesterday showed signs of excitement about the building.  So now the negotiations begin. Once we have a lease we can get the buildings blueprints and plan for our renovations.  Then on to the city and state licensing.  Walls will get knocked down after that and  the brew system can be purchased and installed at that point.  And finally, the federal permits. The opening day party will be one of the great events in AZ beer culture history.  The menu, art work, web site, and much more can proceed once we  have a home.

The kickstarter swag is coming in by the boxes and things look better than I expected.  There are still several things that I am working prices out for so don't expect anything until mid summer.  The stickers and patches are in and we are still working on a price point.  Kickstarter backers will get theirs first, as they are the reason we still have a heart beat to move forward with these plans.

I don't plan for any of this process to "hurry along" as with everything up to this point.  I will certainly keep everyone posted with all of the happenings with this process.  Cuddle up next to some fresh paint and watch it dry, or better yet, fill your boil kettles with ice water and wait for a boil.  The road ahead will be history soon.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

A new city, wild yeast, and a jab at internet voting schemes! All on this weeks episode:

Well, we are moving cities.  Gilbert, AZ has already won our hearts and now beginning to win our minds (and wallets).  That is a exciting prospect.  I'd say at this point  Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. will be the first brewpub/beer producer in Gilbert is well over an 95% chance.  You may say, "What took you so long?".  Eh, who cares how we got to this point.   The fact is that we are here.  Next is sending our consultant to do a complete analysis of the current property options. AKA, a smart guy with a computer and a calculator to tell us if it's worth our time.  Gilbert wants us, and we want Gilbert.  So things being "meant to be" definitely fits the situation right now.  Once the site is chosen the fun really begins.  This time, far from any fitness center!

Here is the first batch of Arizona Wild yeast gathered and propagated by Bryan, a friend of AZWBC:

I talked with a few good brewing friends at the Craft Brewers Conference about our AZ wild yeast experiments.  Only a few people understand why such an undertaking of such a wild beast, but it's great how many people are willing to give up proprietary information to help the cause. Malt may be the beer's boat, but yeast is it's sails( wow that was cheesy). We want local, carefully selected, desert yeasts to ferment a small quantity of the ales that we make.  Essentially here is what we are doing:    Every state has its own unique terroir  ,in other words, its unique environmental identity.  Most craft brewers reflect upon this local aspect to a certain degree.   Does that mean everyone should be to collecting  all the raw materials from AZ, architectural goods, and go crazy pulling yeast off of cacti?  Heck no, in fact the latter is dangerous (not the end product, but the chance of that yeast taking control of your brew house), ridiculous and, unnecessary.   It simply means to become a neighborhood's craft beer of choice, we must become part of that area's culture.  Not really that hard to understand and put into motion. A local landmark's name will simply do.  I'll admit though, being a mad scientist keeps me happy and tucks me in at night.  My feeling is, with a truly one of a kind terroir in AZ the yeast will reflect that.  The Belgians in the Senne Valley are still creating lambic style ales, ,with the bugs and critters floating around east of Brussels.  In Arizona, stories of the Papago Indians fermenting the pulp of the Saguaro inspire me.  Anyways, the first experiment went well and the quest continues.    Don't worry, 99% of our beers will be done with traditional ale yeast(s) and  the subsequent beers will be familiar to your taste buds.   (If anyone knows someone or has a few acres of private land containing a whole bunch of saguaro let me know!

We may not be "Beer City USA" according to clicks on a website,  but damn it feels good to be apart of the expanding beer culture in this city and state.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The onward push a half step at a time!

It's funny, when your dreaming in your garage thinking, "Wow, one day I'll be serving beer to so many people getting pats on the back and hugs for changing people lives".  Then you turn the burner off, throw into a fermentor, clean a little, and move on.  Oh those were the days :).  Yes we still brew 10-20 gallon test batches of homebrew every week.  Sure the joy and passion are still there (strong). What's changed is the amount of advice, people, and knowledge of how much this will really take. I am re reading books for the 3rd and fourth time.  Visiting as many breweries as possible (and nagging them).  Our business plan has changed 100 times, for 100 different reasons.  I have hit refresh on at least 25 times in the past ten minutes alone looking for that perfectly priced  brewing system for sale.   I have so many business cards in front of me I could start a bonfire!   My point here is, besides a caffeine buzz on the strongest cup o' coffee in a while, that we are going through the motions that many others before us already have, continue to do, and others to follow.  If we are lucky enough, we too can say one day, "Do you have enough money?" or, "Do you even know what it takes?".  That's why its easy for established brewers to say , "Go get em, we need more good beer in this state".  They earned the right to watch you squirm a little!  We press on, no looking back now.

Onto building/lease news: There is a second city in the mix and I can't tell if that's good or bad.  Queen Creek has been good to us, but devoting that much time, money, and effort warrants a listen to others.   Negotiations are usually between a jaded party and an ambitious one saying, "Sell us your lease and we are going to gut this place".  Then a huge number is passed across the table, and bam, the month long "waiting for them to budge" session begins (we are mostly talking to restaurants that are on the market). Remember, we had already been approved by the city and state before the fitness center said no.  We can do this all over again. The architect will be happy to take our money yet again.  I have really devoted our time this week to making something happen. It's a full time job at this point (and we all already have our jobs to deal with as well). For the best news yet: we are buying a commercial smoker after talking with the Alpine Beer Co. guys.  Yes, smoked meats!

A sledge hammer awaits, we just need some walls to knock down.

Take this travel tip:
Noble Hops in Oro Valley just north of Tucson.  I have only been twice, but both times I really enjoyed myself.  The views of the Santa Catalina mountains are as good as seeing the wall of taps.  They describe it as, "A 30 foot indoor/outdoor bar and patio offers breathtaking views of the mountains and is just about the perfect place to relax and refresh." It's a multipurpose gastropub where you can grab a beer after a hike alone Pusch Ridge, go on a first date, Friday night with the friends, or take the out of town family for lunch kind of place. Overall, It comes off as casual joint where anyone looking for a good craft beer will fit in, but it surely could pose as classy dining experience if needed (AKA a gastropub). The food is simply amazing and with that much beer pairing isn't an issue.  Just plan on everyone ordering a different item, and share away.   Oh, and BTW, they have several local AZ beers on draft.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Blog's and clowns, they both scare me...Oh well, I'll get over one of my fears. Let's fire up this blog! (Don't get any ideas you clowns out there)

Oh boy.  A Blog.  Well, I had best make this worthwhile.  First off, I apologize for the 6th grade (5th in most other countries) grammar at times. I strive to create beers that would make Louis Pasteur smile, but Walt Whitman will roll over a few times.  I'll keep the ! to a minimum, those tend to annoy me.  Anyways, on to the good stuff:

I'll just get this out of the way.  We are now officially three things that we weren't at the beginning of the  Kickstarter campaign.  Those things being: 1.) We are done fighting for the spot next to Trophy's Steakhouse.  So many weeks have passed, so little response.  L.A. Fitness has the final say (yes they actually have this written into the lease) and they made themselves clear.  They are not a fan of more alcohol, less parking, and let's be honest, less glory.   They will never see it our way.  I even gained 10 lbs to spite them, SO TAKE THAT!  Ok the beer, butter, and lack of hiking may be a small part of that. 2.) Moving forward we are officially going to be at least 7bbl.  Why not? We have a bank account, the knowledge to be successful,  and the market to sell. That's still small, but it fits our budget.  3 bbl was a lot to maintain in this city.  3.) We will now officially be "The Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co."  The whole operation will be ours.   The licence will say brew pub, and that's a good thing.

Now that's all fun and games on paper, but we are still left with a building search.  Every brewery goes through this.  My motto has regressed to, "Relax, don't worry, have a few to many beers".  To say we are being aggressive in our search is an understatement.  Hopefully, in the next month we will lock up a building, and get licensed to brew in that location.  The plan is to have guest taps and our food until the brewery is fully operational.  I don't like the idea of not brewing in a brewery, but trust me when I say that will only be for a short time.

Also, I want to do a local travel spotlight every week.  These are the places around this fine state that may lie along a road trip to the great outdoors, a small up and comer, or somewhere in between.  I have only one stipulation: It  must be an establishment I'd be proud to send AZWBC's beer to. First up:

Indian Gardens Oak Creek Market 3951 N. St Rt 89A Sedona, AZ 86336 - Most people that I know have driven right by this establishment due to the visual overload from highway 89A north of Sedona.  Heck, I did 25-30 times I bet.  "This is Arizona?" , "It's so green!", or my favorite, "the fall colors are stunning!" is what I hear on that stretch frequently.  Well, now you must stop.  They have 5 taps total and at least two are always AZ handles.  They have a nice sized cooler section with over 100 craft cans   and bottles (in singles and 6 packs) from US craft ,  local craft, and imports.  It's a beautiful sight to see when you don't have enough craft beer before a camping, fishing, or you are just plain thirsty after a nice day hike.  All beer no food? Heck no!  The food is definitely worthy to be paired with a tasty craft beer.  The words "organic" and "local" are tossed around a whole lot, which surely excites me.  After a chilly early spring drive, "The Gobbler" and its smoke flavor pair perfect with a bold stout.  "The Beast" and a sassy IPA intertwine to become create a euphoric  high ( of course a Sedona vortex or two helps with this bliss.)  The list could go on and on. Mix in some incredible local art, a warm cup of coffee,  a nice small camping/outdoors supply section, two wine taps, fresh desserts, clean bathrooms, and you'll get the gist of the place.  Go find out more for yourself, just let me know your going, I love an AZ road trip!

-Jonathan  Don't bother me to much though, I have a brewery to get started:)