Wanderlust Brewing Co. – Flagstaff, AZ

Located at 1519 N Main St #102, Flagstaff, AZ 86004
Open Weds 4p-9p; Sat 2p-8p
http://www.wanderlustbrewing.com

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I find the term “Wanderlust” to be a bit complicated. On the one hand it evokes a sense of exploration and adventure. It’s undoubtedly positive to want to travel, learn more about the world around you and expand your life experiences. But I’ll admit that sometimes my desire to travel through Arizona finding new breweries and wineries can come from a need to run away from something rather than running toward something. I decided that a trip to Wanderlust Brewing Company in Flagstaff was necessary in order to find out what “wanderlust” really meant to me.

Downtown Flagstaff is probably my favorite spot to hang out in of all the places I’ve been to in Arizona so far. There are an endless number of options for food and drink and I’m hard-pressed to find reasons to venture outside it. But you’ll have to hop into a car and head east of downtown for about ten minutes in order to get to Wanderlust Brewing. The brewery is in a small, unassuming business park just off the beaten path.

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Superstition Meadery – Prescott, AZ

Located at 120 W Gurley St, Prescott, AZ 86301
Open Mon-Thurs 11a-8p; Fri-Sat 11a-10p; Sun 11a-5p
http://www.superstitionmeadery.com

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I hate to admit that after nearly a year of writing about Arizona microbreweries and vineyards I hadn’t heard of Superstition Meadery until recently. For those of you who aren’t aware, mead is the world’s oldest fermented alcoholic beverage made from honey. It’s usually described as “honey wine” though in some places in the world there are slight variations on the term and they’re not always considered synonymous. But for our purposes we’ll go ahead and not worry about those distinctions.

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Verde Brewing Company – Camp Verde, AZ

Located at 325 S Main St, Camp Verde, AZ 86322
Open Mon-Thurs, 11a-9p; Fri-Sat 10p
http://www.verdebrewing.com

The small town of Camp Verde sits just off of I-17, about an hour-and-a-half north of downtown Phoenix and an hour south of Flagstaff. The last time I was in this area I visited a brewery in the town of Pine. That was the first part of an adventure I called The Rural Brewer Tour, in which I planned to visit microbreweries in parts of the state that felt remote to city slickers like me. It was a rainy night when I drove through Camp Verde. The city looked like a ghost town on a moonless summer night. Raindrops hit my windshield and I could see the thunder roll in my rearview mirror.

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THAT Brewery – Pine, AZ

Located at 3270 N Arizona Highway 87, Mile Marker 267, Pine, AZ 85544
Open Sun-Thurs 11a-8p; Fri-Sat 11a-9p
http://thatbrewery.com/

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The Classy Alcoholic has been through many adventures since the start of this blog and has already traveled through most of Arizona’s major cities. But there is another area that lies just between two of the more prominent regions. This area is called the Mogollon Rim and it’s pretty much equidistant between Phoenix and Flagstaff. This region starts in Yavapi County around I-17 on the west and extends about 200 miles to the east to nearly reach the New Mexico border. If you’re driving around this area you’ll start to discover a lot of long, rural roads with green landscapes that don’t feel like most people’s typical idea of Arizona.

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Alcantara Vineyards – Cottonwood, AZ

Located at 3445 S Grapevine Way, Cottonwood, AZ 86326
Open Daily 11a-5p
http://www.alcantaravineyard.com

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Today’s adventure takes us to wine country in the northern part of Arizona. Specifically, the town of Cottonwood. It’s about an hour south of Flagstaff and ninety minutes north of Phoenix. Downtown Cottonwood has several winery tasting rooms located down a single strip of road. But on my way out there I drove through a stretch of land with mountains, cacti and little else. I pulled over to pee and check my phone when I quickly realized that I had little-to-no reception in this area. Neither Facebook nor Instagram were loading and I was having trouble delivering the travel pictures that I was trying to send to my ex-girlfriends via text so as to make them jealous of all my awesome adventures and make them realize that I was infinitely more fun than the losers they were dating now. Look at me driving out to wine country, Darlene! Does your shitty boyfriend ever take you on awesome adventures like these?!?

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Mother Road Brewing Co. – Flagstaff, AZ

Located at 7 S. Mikes Pike St, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Open Mon-Thurs 3p-8p; Fri 3p-9p; Sat 12p-9p; Sun 12p-8p
http://www.motherroadbeer.com

The term “Mother Road” is a nickname given to U.S. Route 66, the famous highway that stretches from Chicago to Los Angeles. Route 66 is historically significant because it ran through several rural towns which gave farmers in the early 1900s an easier way to distribute their produce. Plus the road was a huge boon to the U.S. trucking industry in the 30s, right around the time it started being a popular alternative to transporting goods via railroads. And if that wasn’t enough the highway was also the route taken by hundreds of thousands of people heading west to escape the U.S. Dust Bowl in the 30s.

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Caduceus Cellars & Merkin Vineyards – Jerome, AZ

Located at 158 Main Street, Jerome, AZ 86331
Open Sun-Thurs 11a-6p, Fri-Sat 11a-8p, 365 days a year
https://caduceus.org

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Northern Arizona is home to a region called Verde Valley, which itself is home to what’s known as a “Wine Trail.” I haven’t brought this up in any of my previous posts about vineyards so far because they were all preoccupied with some bullshit short story or whatever but a Wine Trail is a region that’s conducive to growing grapes for wine production due to its elevation. Arizona has three main Wine Trails and each one has its own handful of vineyards/wineries/tasting rooms.

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