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Flagstaff becoming top craft beer destination in US

PHOENIX — The city of Flagstaff is a common getaway for Valley residents seeking clean air and a small-town feel, but the city is becoming a craft beer destination as well.

The city’s beer industry has grown significantly since introduction of breweries such as Flagstaff Brewing Company and Beaver Street Brewery 20 years ago. The city is now home to multiple breweries and craft-beer bars and pubs.

Rob Fullmer, executive director of the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild, said some of Flagstaff’s breweries have even begun to attract national attention.

“It’s got some great beer,” Fullmer said. “Lumberyard (Brewing Company) recently has won some award for its (India Pale Ale) and Pale Ale at the World Beer Cup level.”

The city is starting to put itself on the map when it comes to craft beer destinations according to Fullmer, who said the city has all the factors of a great beer town.

“To me what makes it a great craft beer destination is that it is a walkable city,” he said. “If you put in the address for Lumberyard for example, it gets a walk score of 91 out of 100 (and) that means you can walk to restaurants (or) grocery stores. If you live there, they call it a walker’s paradise.”

He said the city’s location also helps cultivate quality brewing and craft beer.

“The water quality there is ideal and I think brewers tend to the like the four seasons, I think they like to make beers around the concept of four seasons.”

The industry has been doing so well that Fullmer said the city’s breweries seem to do well even during slow tourism seasons.

Fullmer said he expects the city’s beer industry to continue to grow and for more people to look at it as a great beer city.

“What the beer scene has done up there for Flagstaff, I’d have to say that it has attracted a lot more people who come specifically for beer.”