I have been known to give my GPS, Samantha, a hard time. She is not great at finding the places I ask her to find. But in all truth, neither am I. This fact was proven while in Williams Arizona. When I arrived to Williams I was looking for the Grand Canyon Brewing Company. Samantha proudly spouted off “you have reached your destination” and like often, my destination was no where in sight. I was frustrated as I circled the street looking for the brewery. Usually I can pride myself often on my ability to find breweries but today my beer-dar was off. I could not find the brewery and gave up. Although I gave up on finding the brewery, I had not given up on finding beer, or another brewery.
I found a parking lot along Railroad Avenue and crossed the street, stopping at Historic Brewing Company. Like I said, I wasn’t going to deprive myself of beer just because I could not find Grand Canyon Brewing. Historic Brewing Company is out of Flagstaff Arizona, and opened in 2015. They have two other locations, the one in Williams and one in Sedona Arizona, both of which opened in 2016.
I found myself a seat at the bar and waited for the bartender. The wait was slightly ridiculous considering I was already seated however they were busy. The couple next to me tried to help me by saying “you’re going to have to shout at him to get his attention”. I refrained from yelling but the bartender could tell by my eyebrow raise I had been waiting awhile before he noticed me.
I forewent the beer tasting flight, 6 tastes for $15 USD and ordered four tasters. The flight arrives atop a book, with rounded out holes in the cover, to hold the beer. I was unclear of the connection of the book to the beer other than perhaps it was meant to make you look studious while drinking beer?
As I waited for my beer I skimmed over their upper scale pub menu. The food menu ranges from $5 to $15 for appetizers to plates up to $29 USD. The menu is inclusive of your typical burgers and sandwiches, but dressed with fancy cheeses and tantalizing sauces that elevate the flavors. The couple next to me ordered the bone marrow and crostini appetizer. It was the first time I had ever seen marrow appear on a menu and I side eyed the couple as they snacked on their bones. It looked a little caveman-ish but apparently bone marrow is rich in calcium, magnesium and potassium, so who am I to judge?
My four beers arrived and I began my tastings. The beer menu consisted of beers from the Historic Brewing Company, but also a collection of other guest breweries. I started with the Joy Ryed from Historic Brewing. This pretty red colored beer has a 5.5% Alcohol By Volume (ABV) and a 36 International Bittering Unit (IBU). This beer uses Chinook hops, even dry hopping after the initial brew process. I loves me some dry hopping! The rye flavor adds a nice spicy flavor that is thoroughly enjoyable.
Funkwerks was a guest brewery on tap out of Colorado. I gave their Sasion a try. This beer has a 6.8 ABV and a 23 IBU. I like my sasions spicy, full of coriander with a nice dry finish. What I got was a lemony beer with mild spices. It was a decent beer but sadly not what I had anticipated.
The next taste was the Enternal Sunshine of the Session IPA from Historic Brewing Company. This beer has a 5.2% ABV and a 45 IBU. I am a huge fan of session IPAs as they are lower ABVs with a decent IBU. This beer was fantastic with a nice hard bite at the end and flavors of grapefruit. Another dry hopped beer, which as I previously stated, ends in true love for me.
Up next was the Opposable IPA from Historic Brewing Company has a 6.8% ABV and a 55 IBU. This is an American IPA with Nugget, Summit and Cascade hops to give you nice citrus flavors. I liked this beer the best out of the bunch. Not really surprising as it was citrusy and hoppy. That pretty much guarantees a well liked from me.
I ventured off into uncharted territory for me next. I had finished my four tasters but felt compelled to try two beers that has caught my eye while sitting at the bar. The first beer was the Undercover Cucumber from Historic Brewing Company. This beer is a lager with a 5.2 ABV and a 25 IBU. I always enjoy a bit of cucumber flavor in my water, so why not give it a go in my beer? This beer was full of cucumber taste and is a light and airy beer just like a nice lager should be.
My last taste of the day was the Ryan Follow Your Dreamcile from Historic Brewing Company, although it was an odd name, I had high hopes. This beer has a 5.7 ABV and a 18 IBU. Like I said, I had high hopes… but, well, meh. It was not the orange Popsicle I was hoping for. In fact I did not taste much of the sweet orangey goodness I was looking forward to. It is also classified as a cream ale and that may have added to my discontent. I have yet to find a cream ale that I like.
I had finished cruising my way around Historic Brewing’s beer menu and it was time to head out. This brewery does make a nice stop after visiting the Grand Canyon, if you are heading south out of the park. They can be found at 141 Railroad Ave in Williams Arizona. There is also a handy free parking lot across the street. Be sure to take in part of Route 66 while you are there. Road signs, shops and gas stations all don the historic highway’s famous logo.
PS I never did find Grand Canyon Brewing. They are apparently located two blocks away from Historic Brewing… who knew? Certainly not me, or Samantha.