by Ray Pearson

This Stop: The LumberYard Brewing Company

Flagstaff, Arizona

To the uninitiated, Flagstaff, Arizona may seem like a sleepy little mountain town, undeserving of its location along the glorified Historic Route 66; but take a closer look, and you’ll see that in this groovy little town, there are many ways for a weary traveler to “get his kicks.”

While it may not have been a major tourist attraction for anyone but outdoor-enthusiasts in the past, Flagstaff has seen a major renaissance in recent years. Artists, gourmands, and entrepreneurs have descended upon the area seeking inspiration and opportunity in the shadowy majesty of the San Francisco Peaks. Fortunately, this renaissance laid the foundation for the development of a great food scene. On my travels, I got to experience one of the latest (and possibly greatest) additions, The LumberYard Brewing Company.

 “The Yard” which opened earlier this year, adds a new dimension to the food and drink world of downtown Flagstaff. The beer selection usually includes about ten varieties, ranging in alcohol content from a bit over 4% to nearly 11% ABV (alcohol by volume). Seasonal beers, like an Oktoberfest Marzen, add an ever-changing, dynamic element to the menu.

The food selection is top-notch, eclectic, and inexpensive; I couldn’t find anything over $10 on the three-page menu. Standouts include a Crunchy Cajun Catfish Po’boy, Louisiana Hot Links, Southwest Salad, and a delicious Calamari for noshing.


However, the most unique creation by Chef Nick was inspired by his wife Amber: “The Irish Egg Roll” is basically a twist on the Rueben – corned beef, sauerkraut, carrots and Swiss cheese rolled in an egg roll wrap and fried. Served with a side of Russian dressing and The Yard’s special mustard sauce, this baby is a real deal for under seven bucks. The LumberYard Gold Ale went beautifully with it!

With a name like “The LumberYard,” the restaurant and brewery doesn’t exactly encourage visions of creative pub-food and great beer, but locals know that the name is simply a nod to the building’s history. Owners Winnie and Evan Hanseth restored one of the last standing buildings from Flagstaff’s lumber era to create their second location in town. The polished cement floors, classy metal high tops and warm wood booths, all bathed in food-friendly light from high-tech halogen fixtures make The LumberYard a great place to relax and enjoy terrific sights and bites.

With your hunger and thirst satisfied, you might even find the motivation to check out the Historic Route 66 (just one block away), take a look at the shops and galleries that line the streets of the downtown sector, or wander over to the visitor center next to the railroad tracks where more than a hundred trains pass every day.

Keep your eyes open for more Sights and Bites on the road with Ray and join him on his next stop in Bisbee, Arizona at the Copper Queen Hotel.


About Ray

Ray is a nationally recognized single malt Scotch expert. He recently retired after 16 years within the spirits industry, including four as Glenfiddich U.S. Ambassador. Ray currently presents educational whisky seminars and tastings for corporate events, destination management companies, and national whisky shows. He is a photographer and member of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association.

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