Located at 130 W Gurley St, Prescott, AZ 86301
Open Sun-Thurs 11a-9p; Fri & Sat 11a-10p
Prescott Brewing Company is probably the polar opposite of the last brewery I visited in this town: Black Hole Beer Company. Prescott Brewing has a traditional sports bar feel and the place gets packed when there’s a big football game happening and has hostesses that tell you it’ll be twenty minutes before a table is available on a busy day. If Black Hole is the hip, young, new Indie band amassing cult appeal then Prescott Brewing is Coldplay. Shut up, I love Coldplay.
Prescott Brewing has a long history and has been a familiar fixture for many people. Just like Coldplay. The beers at Prescott Brewing offer a variety of styles that have been honed to perfection after years of experimentation. Just like music from Coldplay. By the end of my visit to Prescott Brewing I had had enough beers to make me feel something resembling a human emotion and ended up drunkenly weeping in public over my ex-girlfriend Juniper who just left me for a male stripper with a cobra tattooed on his face. Just like every time I listen to Coldplay.
Prescott Brewing is located downtown right next to Prescott’s historic Courthouse Plaza where hundreds of community events are held every year including things like concerts and poetry readings. It’s also just right around the corner from Whiskey Row, a block on the nearby Montezuma Street that used to house over 40 saloons in the late 1800s. That number decreased significantly after the entire block went up in flames in the disastrous Fire of 1900 that started in a place called the Scopel Hotel where a group of miners were drunkenly lighting their farts and accidentally spread the fire onto the hotel room curtains. That may sound like an odd thing for miners to be doing but don’t forget that back in the early 1900s the average age of miners in Arizona was about 11 years old.
Anyway, I walked into Prescott Brewing Company and was told it would be a bit of wait for a table. Lucky for me, then, that I refuse to sit anywhere other than the bar when I go to a microbrewery. I’ve mentioned before that the thing I love most about microbreweries is the feeling of drinking a beer while sitting a mere few feet away from the tanks where the beer was born. It feels like I’m eating a baby right in the middle of the maternity ward. And sitting at the bar gives me the same feeling by being as close to the taps as possible. I sat in my place and ordered a flight. I also took notice of the fact that Prescott Brewing has a nice selection of scotch whiskey available behind the bar. I filed that information away for next time I visited this place because today it was all about beer.
There were eight beers on tap the day I went and I was told that Prescott Brewing can have as many as eleven at one time. Eight was a good number, though. I’ve been to breweries that have as few as two or three of their own brews in a flight and some that had as many as thirteen of their beers on tap. Hell, the place we visited just last week had sixteen different beers available if you count their seasonals that were left over from the winter. And while I absolutely feel that more beer is objectively better than less beer I also love places that have only a few brews as long as it feels like they’re putting the same amount of effort and love into each of the drinks they produce. It’s like my Aunt Cassandra used to say: “Beer flights are like penises. They don’t have to be super long. They just have to be memorable and also they should always go from light to dark.”
Well in honor of Aunt Cassandra sharing those words of wisdom with me on my 16th birthday I’ll start off Prescott Brewing’s flight by telling y’all that the lighter side of the flight includes the Lodgepole Light cream ale, the Willow Wheat and the Liquid Amber. The latter stuck out to me in particular because it had only the slightest taste of hops that gave the beer the extra punch that would intrigue a craft beer newbie. As a man who spent his early twenties swallowed in the sea of Bud Light cans I can tell you that the Liquid Amber would definitely have been a great introduction to a light beer with real flavor.
And now that I think about it, most of Prescott Brewing’s beers are newbie friendly. Their Prescott Pale Ale and Ponderosa IPA are both delicious and have a strong hop taste to them without it being overwhelming. I’ve found that few craft beer newbies warm up to IPAs if they’re overly hoppy so the Ponderosa IPA would be a great way to introduce someone to the citrusy, slightly bitter flavor without carpet-bombing their taste buds till kingdom come.
At this point I should take a break from beers and mention that Prescott Brewing has an extensive food menu as well. At first glance it looks typical of a brewpub, what with the nacho and pretzel appetizers, their soups and salads, sandwiches, burgers and handmade pizzas. But look closer and you’ll find that Prescott Brewing’s food is made from scratch wherever possible and offers variations on the standard brewpub with things like a steak or chicken fajita plate, a grilled tilapia plate, spinach enchiladas, stir fry, chicken pot pie and even blue mussels steamed in their Lodgepole Light cream ale beer. These things are far beyond most of the brewpub menus I’ve seen throughout this project. I wasn’t too hungry when I was at Prescott Brewing (despite being a fat asshole) so I opted for a simple plate of spicy chicken wings. I have to say that they were some of the best wings I’ve ever had. They were suitable spicy but had such strong flavor that you’ll shiver with joy in every bite. If the rest of the menu is as good as those wings were then I highly recommend you try every single one of the foods.
So after I soaked up some of the booze with a bit of the foods I continued on with the flight and ended up on the darker side of the sampler. The Petrified Porter was a dark beer with hints of a coffee taste and a great overall flavor. I was starting to think that the hardest part of today’s trip would be choosing a favorite beer from the flight. But then I came across Prescott Brewing’s chocolate porter. It’s called the Achocolypse and it had the perfect amount of a liquid dark chocolate taste to make this beer my favorite. Coincidentally enough, “Achocolypse” was also the stage name of the male stripper with a cobra tattooed on his face that my ex-girlfriend Juniper left me for. Luckily, Prescott Brewing cans the Achocolypse so you can take your brews to-go, which, yes!
A couple of years ago Prescott Brewing opened a separate brewing facility to accommodate their increased production and their ability to can their beers. You can now go to liquor stores in many parts of Arizona and buy cans of the Liquid Amber, the Ponderosa IPA and the Achocolypse with more to come, I’m sure. The brewery itself also sells cans in twelve packs as well as 22oz bottles that are referred to as “bombers.” And, of course, growlers are available as well.
Breweries that can and bottle their brews are essential for Classy Alcoholics because you can fill up your beer fridge with dozens and dozens of these beers without seeming like you have a drinking problem. Your collection of local brews just indicates that you have discerning tastes and are interested in supporting the microbreweries in your community. Whereas a beer fridge stocked with dozens and dozens of PBR cans can legally be used as evidence against you during your statutory rape trial, even if your girlfriend is over 18. Yet another reason why you should always drink local.