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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Oak Creek Brewing Co. – Sedona, AZ

Located at 2050 Yavapi Dr, Sedona, AZ 86336
Open Mon-Thurs 4p-Close; Friday-Sun 12p-Close
http://oakcreekbrew.com

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I know that a lot of people equate Arizona with sadness, racism, regressive politics and sadness. And I can’t deny that any of those things are valid. Even someone as devoted to this state as I am can sometimes wonder what the hell he’s still doing here. Walk into most bars in Phoenix wearing a suit, tie and matching pocket square and just say the word, “Obama,” out loud and you’ll quickly start going online to figure out how much it costs to move to southern California. Like, you know it’s crazy expensive to live there but maybe you can live in the areas where the Mexicans without papers live? That can’t be too expensive, right?

Wrong! You’re too poor to live anywhere else, you loser. So you’re stuck here crying over your Fine Arts degree and wondering what you did to deserve such a torturous existence!

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Beaver Street Brewery & Lumberyard Brewing Co. – Flagstaff, AZ

Beaver Street is open Sun-Wed 11a -1a and Thurs-Sat 11a-2a
Located at 11 South Beaver Street #1, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
http://www.beaverstreetbrewery.com

Lumberyard is open Sun-Tues 11a-11p and Weds-Sat 11a-2a
5 South San Francisco Street, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
http://www.lumberyardbrewingcompany.com

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Flagstaff is the most un-Arizona place in Arizona that we’ve been to so far. The drive in to town is accentuated by pine trees, and if you don’t think it’s weird to see green trees in the Arizona desert then you’ll definitely be blown away by the sight of snowy mountains off in the distance. Historic downtown Flagstaff is home to four breweries and two more can be found by driving 10 to 15 minutes east on Route 66. We’ll talk about those two some other time though because today we’re sticking to downtown. For the first time in the blog’s history we’re talking about two locations in one post. I know that seems like cheating but like I’ve told many an ex-girlfriend before: it’s not cheating because they’re related, baby.

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Black Hole Beer Company – Prescott, AZ

Note that as of April 2016 the Black Hole Beer Company taproom has closed. The place is now a bar and grill operated by different owners. This review of their taproom is now considered a historical document.

I mentioned last week that I didn’t want this blog to appear Phoenix-centric because I know the place can overshadow other, cool parts of Arizona. As a way to show my commitment to highlighting the off-beaten paths of my state I’m writing about a startup brewery in the town of Prescott named Black Hole. This place only opened in April of 2014 and already shows great signs of longevity. More about that in a bit. First, I should mention that Prescott is a beautiful town which, curiously enough, is pretty much equidistant from Flagstaff and Phoenix. Those of you who’ve never been are advised to pay it a visit.

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