FLAGSTAFF, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- Flagstaff is known for many things, including NAU, skiing and Route 66. But now, the northern Arizona town is starting to be known for its brewery scene!

Flagstaff's south side has become something of a beer mecca.

Gary Blazevich is the head brewer at Beaver Street Brewery.

"I consider myself a beer geek," he said. "Definitely a local favorite would be the Railhead Red; it's a transitional beer. You're gonna get a little bit of malt flavor to it. It also has a little bit of a fruity essence to it from the yeast. It's a really easy drinking beer, not too hoppy, not too malty, really medium, along the line here."

And every pour has a taste of the city's south side.

"We definitely try to incorporate local names into our beers," said Blazevich. "The Railhead Red - we're right next to the railroad tracks. I mean, a hundred yards north of us, the trains go by a hundred times a day. The IPA, we used to call it the HopShot Red IPA. You know, it was kind of a play on words on hotshots, the fire people around here. And the railroad stout."

At Mother Road Brewing Company just around the corner, naming the beer is just part of the fun.

The brewery gets its name from John Steinbeck's moniker for Route 66 in the Grapes of Wrath. And a piece of the original stretch of road is in every glass.

"The Goldroad section is outside of Oatman, Arizona," he tells us. "It's that great, winding, serpentine stretch. It's magnificent, if you ever get a chance to drive that. Twin Arrows of course, from the old trading post at twin arrows. The trading post is mostly gone but the arrows are still there. And then our Roadside, our Roadside was gonna be called Jackrabbit, after Jackrabbit, Arizona, which I think is one of the coolest stops ever. However, there's a brewery up in Colorado that has that name, so we named it roadside for the roadside attractions that populate Route 66.

Blazevich has had some fun with job titles as well.

He calls himself the "CBO," or Chief Beer Officer. His head brew master? The yeast whisperer.

"This is our where our yeast ferments into sweet wort down into alcohol."

And while this yeast whisperer may have his craft down to a science, he still has to run some thorough tests.

"The most important thing about beer is tasting it along the way, making sure that everything is happening the right way," he says.

And it certainly tastes like fall!

 


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