My very first experience with Arizona craft beer was Railhead Red at Beaver Street Brewery. It changed my life. For better and worse. I now know what good beer tastes like. But I also gained a few pounds. Well worth it. After hitting up Beaver Street periodically over the next year or so II was super excited when word came out that they were expanding and opening a new bigger brewery and restaurant which became what is now Lumberyard Brewing Company. Owners of what is quite possibly the best patio view in downtown Flagstaff Lumberyard has become an oasis of freshly made craft beer and amazing food.
In fact, another life-changing experience happened to me right on that very patio. I’m a huge fan of BBQ pulled pork. Hands down one of my favorite foods of all time. I also love mac n cheese because I’m an American. Seriously, you show me an American who doesn’t like mac n cheese and I’ll show you a terrorist. Well anyways, I’m looking over the menu and suddenly a single beam of light shone from the heavens with the sound of angels singing their heavenly tune filled my ears. I followed the shining heaven beam directly to the bottom corner of the menu and quickly realized the purpose of this beam: baked mac n cheese. Ok, you have my attention. But what fell slightly below is what really blew me away: “Don’t forget to include one of our add-ons” and on THAT list I quickly shuffled past everything and saw BBQ pulled pork. Done. Deal. I didn’t even look at the rest of the menu which is rare. My normal process is to narrow it down to about 4 things and then experience self-induced anxiety before making a decision that I immediately regret and dwell on for days. Not this time. I nailed it. And to top it off it was even better than I imagined it would be. So good that I think about that dish at least once a week and that was over 6 years ago! I have also not been able to eat mac n cheese without BBQ sauce ever since.
Oh yeah, guess what?! They have beer too. Really good beer.The Knotty Pine Pale is one of my go-to Arizona pale ales and their Red Ale is stellar as well. I’m a sucker for reds and Lumberyards red is fantastic. They even started a single hop series which I love. I want to know what each hop tastes like so that I know what to look for when making future selections. These guys have won awards. Like, the big kind. Not the “Most Shotgunned Beer at Glenns Bachelor Party” kind of awards. I’m talking Great American Beer Festival Gold Medal type of stuff. They know what they’re doing.
In this episode I sit down with Ken Wilson the sales manager at Lumberyard and an overall beer expert. Ken is also the president of the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild. Needless to say Ken knows his beer. We recorded this episode during the can release of “This Side Up”, the collaboration between The Shop, Dark Sky, and Helton so things escalated from a sound perspective really quickly. This was a misjudgment on my part but hey, you live and learn right. Anyways, Ken and I have a plan of doing a mini-series about the business of beer so you’ll be hearing more from him in the future. Enjoy the show!
Intro/Outro music is "La Negra Tomasa" by the awesome local Arizona band Fayuca
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