Time again to report on some of the great breweries found along the road. While in the Sedona area I was able to visit a few great breweries in the area.
“Quaintest thoughts, queerest fancies come to life and fade away. What care I how time advances; I am drinking ale today.” – Edgar Allan Poe
While there I spent a day in Flagstaff visiting with one of my Arizona State Park cohorts. Of course we landed at a brewery, and one of my favorites – Mother Road Brewing. Good beer and good friends, doesn’t get much better than that! Not only is their beer good, but their story is a good one:
“It began on a road trip…
Driving on a dark stretch of two lane road, founders Michael and Alissa Marquess were pondering how to better live their creed of ‘finding joy in the adventure’. They came up with a plan that brought together their passions of craft beer, travel, Arizona and the enjoyment of life; they decided to create a brewery.
The Mother Road was the moniker given to U.S. Highway 66 by Grapes of Wrath author John Steinbeck, as he shared the story of the fictional Joad family, who traveled the road in hopes of trading desperation and heartache for hope and new beginnings. The Mother Road Brewery now resides along a lost portion of the storied highway, symbolizing both the journey we’ve made and our passion for craft beer, motoring and history.”
Although a huge tourist destination Sedona is home to only one brewery. Opened in February 1995 Oak Creek Brewing Company is Sedona’s only Microbrewery. With both a restaurant and a beer only brewery location even though it is the only Sedona option you can choose your type of experience. They had a seasonal red on tap “King Crimson” that was an awesome choice.
Founded in 2013 the Verde Brewing Company in Camp Verde claims to be a Farm – to – Mug Brewery creating handcrafted beers with local ingredients grown in the Verde Valley, Arizona. Tried a sampling of their beers on tap as well as checked out their pub menu. The beer, burgers and salads were definitely worth the trip.
Started in Pine, Arizona June 2012 THAT Brewery & Pub was successful enough to expand to a second location in Cottonwood Arizona. A cool offering is the THAT Arizona Trail Ale which is the official beer of the Arizona National Scenic Trail, a continuous, 800+ mile diverse and scenic trail across Arizona from Mexico to Utah. The Arizona Trail Association’s mission is to build, maintain, promote, protect and sustain the Arizona Trail as a unique encounter with the land. THAT Brewery and Pub in Pine Arizona is located just off the trail from Pine Trailhead. Part of the proceeds from every Arizona Trail Ale sold goes directly to the nonprofit association, allowing them to maintain and build additional trails. No better way to promote a good beer then to partner with a worthy cause.
“Give me a woman who loves beer and I will conquer the world.” – Kaiser Wilhelm
Changing gears from beer to cultural history, one of the many great things about traveling and exploring the country is getting to see such diverse and beautiful historical sites.
“Without an understanding of history, we are politically, culturally and socially impoverished. If we sacrifice history to economic pressures or to budget cuts, we will lose a part of who we are.” – Antony Beevor
The Sinagua left behind artifacts and ruins that provide us with examples of their lifestyle. They were a resilient, resourceful, and culturally diverse people who inhabited the forests, canyons, grasslands, and deserts of central and northern Arizona from about A.D. 600 through A.D. 1450. Sinagua, a name derived by scientist Dr. Harold S. Colton in the 1930’s from the Spanish words sin (without) and agua (water). There is uncertainty about the origins of these prehistoric people. Equally compelling is the mystery why they left the area. However, it has been discovered that they were peaceful village dwellers, strongly established in the rites and rituals of living in the Verde Valley.
Tuzigoot National Monument located near Cottonwood is the site of an ancient village or pueblo built by the Sinagua. The pueblo consisted of 110 rooms including second and third story structures. The first buildings were built around A.D. 1000.
Interestingly enough the site was first excavated by Caywood and Spicer, the principle archeologists who were only graduate students at the time! Since then the procedures for excavation and preservation of these sites has changed dramatically. It was interesting to see how preservation and archeological methods have changed over the years. Also interesting was that Tuzigoot was named by an Apache member of the excavation crew who suggested naming the pueblo after a near-by water source and suggested the Apache word for ‘Crooked Water’.
With views out over the Verde River Valley as well as the once copper mined areas around Cottonwood and Clarkdale it is an interesting location and site
Montezuma Castle National Monument
In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt celebrated the passage of the Antiquities Act by declaring four sites of historic and cultural significance as our nation’s first National Monuments. Among these was Montezuma Castle, which the President identified as a place “of the greatest ethnological value and scientific interest.” Although very few original artifacts remained in the structure due to intensive looting of the site, Roosevelt’s decision assured the continued protection of one of the best preserved prehistoric cliff dwellings in North America. The prehistoric cliff house above Beaver Creek has been misunderstood since the 1860s, when the first vagabond groups of miners and soldiers visited the area and misnamed it after the Aztec emperor, Montezuma.
Montezuma Castle located in an alcove above the Verde Valley about a third of the way up a 150 foot cliff carved by Beaver Creek. Composed of mainly freshwater limestone, this formation developed between eight and ten million years ago. Droughts that occurred while the limestone was forming caused evaporative salt to accumulate in some places. Millions of years later, the salt was used by the Sinagua. Montezuma Castle was built sometime between AD 1100 and 1350, and believed by archaeologists to be built by the women. Built of small limestone blocks, the five story cliff dwelling is reported to have had 65 rooms and had been roofed with sycamore logs, poles, sticks, and grass intertwined with mud. The curved walls, conforming to the shape of the alcove, were about two feet thick at the bottom and a foot thick at the top. Doorways were built less than five feet high and in a T shape to keep heat in and the draft out. Rooms were believed to have been used for not only living in but also as storage, burial grounds, community gatherings, and places to sit and work. This is a good place to visit and experience the cultural history of the valley.
“Our landscapes connect us to our history; they are the source of our character as a peopl, as well as our health, our safety, and our prosperity. Natural resources enrich us economically, yes. But they also enrich us aesthetically and recreationally and culturally and spiritually.” – Robert Kennedy, Jr
One of my very favorite rock art sites in Arizona, the V Bar V Heritage Site is the largest known petroglyph (rock art) site in the Verde Valley, and one of the best-preserved. It is a part of larger Beaver Creek area and it was crucial in determining the Beaver Creek rock art style, characteristic of southern Sinaqua culture. The site consists of 1,032 petroglyphs divided on 13 panels. The vast majority of images were created by the Sinagua from about 900 AD until about 1350 AD. It was once part of V bar V ranch, which gave it its name and it was bought by Coconino National Forest in 1994. Ranchers did their best to preserve the site from destruction, which is the main reason why the drawings are so well preserved.
Acquired by the Coconino National Forest in 1994, the site is protected and kept open to the visiting public for their enjoyment and opportunity to learn more about our national cultural heritage. An example of a great partnership, both the Verde Valley Archaeological Society and the Friends of the Forest volunteers provide interpretive tours and on-site management.
It is wonderful to see the great work of volunteers across the country in so many different agencies and organizations. It is because of these dedicated and talented folks that we are able to preserve and interpret the important historical, cultural and natural sites. When I was managing the California State Railroad Museum the over 500 volunteers donated hours equivalent to almost 70 full-time employees. Kudos to those that donate their time and talents, history will remain alive because of your work.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” — Winston Churchill