Friday 13th of September 2013 05:19:34 PM link
The thunderstorms finally abated in Flagstaff and as I was spending a month-long volunteer sabbatical from my So. California beach town (family affairs), I decided to get out in the beautiful 73 degree weather and try some local beers.
Since I had already visited the 5 breweries in town, I headed south through the mountains and down the canyon into Sedona. Now I have several friends who swear they've never seen a more beautiful place....some even say, spiritual. Perhaps....but I can't agree.
Oh by all means beautiful - it's red dirt filling the in the spaces between the evergreens and making majestic the desert mountains that surround the area...but the most beautiful? No.
But the trip was un-eventful -- not one horse-drawn carriage or Winnebago lumbering up or down the mountain grade and switch-back curves for the entire 30 mile journey.
Then I entered Sedona...and the tourists appeared because that's what this is....a tourist town filled with "authentic" Navajo rugs and jewelry stores and motels and restaurants and walker-people crossing the street whenever the mood strikes, stopping traffic dead in the intersection. Still I was going for beer and, in time, happened upon it after negotiating a roundabout and heading out State Route 179 south.
Oak Creek Brewpub is in an arts and crafts center. Well, no. One of the first things you see upon entering is a covered, elongated pink jeep advertising tours of the area. Arts and Crafts? I don't think so. A shopping center by any other name.....
The brewery is downstairs....the brewpub upstairs. I was greeted...well, wait. No. Actually, my frist sight upon entering was an older woman - hostess applying lipstick and, although she looked my way, I was not nearly as important as getting just the right amount of Crimson Blaze on those open lips.
I headed straight for the bar.
It's an open area that looks out over the mall so not my idea of a grand view. The beers were all $5.75 - burgers no less than $13 - pizzas priced at $20 so relatively expensive....but again, tourist area. This was a Friday (in mid - September) around noon and surprisingly, not very crowded so service (at least at the bar) was exceptional.
I tried a 7 sampler including a seasonal Orange Blossom Filtered Wheat with vanilla....actually quite good on this now 88 degree afternoon (since I had descended some 4000 feet from origin) but adding the slice of orange wedge obliterated the vanilla and the subtle orange in the beer resulting in a bland, fizzy slightly sweet drink. The Micro Lite was the basic Bud knock-off but with some body...so for anyone wanting to think their drinking a craft beer but not wanting to venture to far astray from their 7/11 staples, this would be their beer of choice. They could also choose the 49 Gold Lager which tasted exactly the same. The Amber was tasteless as most are and I've come to conclusion that this is the brew for all those who wish to believe they are craft beer knowledgeable. I can no longer understand why any brewery makes this style. The Hefe was passable but adding the lemon wedge turned it much too bitter to enjoy. The Pale Ale tasted like kerosene. The highlight was the Village Nut Brown that promised and delivered on its nutty taste...hazelnut for me...and this is the beer Arizonans can find almost anywhere in the state since the brewery bottling since 1999. A good brew to hang a reputation on. The Pullman porter has a slight bitter chocolate taste with a lingering hop bitterness. Not the worse example nor the best.
Several of these beers were Gold and Silver medal winners in years past at the Great American Beer and North American Beer Festivals so kudos for those accomplishments.
This was a fun Friday get-out-of-Flagstaff side-trip and a beautiful mountain / canyon drive. However upon my return, I was told I missed the best place....Oak Creek's Brewery /Tasting Room where apparently all locals do their drinking since it is unknown to tourists.
Well, damn! Next time, I'll know. But then, that's why I visit - to try new things, new places and become better informed. Like the the sign in the men's room reads; if you don't try, you don't know....and I'm paraphrasing. (see the photo)
Selection: 3.75 |
Atmosphere: 3.25 |
Service: 4.5 |
Saturday 8th of December 2012 09:16:23 PM link
I'd agree with the other reviews here for this location. Sedona tends to have two of everything, this is considered the tourist version. I would also agree that the beers are rather expensive in this location. I visited during the off-season for Sedona, so there were generally no people in the bar whe I visited.
Overall, I was pretty happy with the quality of the beers here, the IPA is a season and was quite good. They also had a seasonal imperial red that was also quite good. The nut brown, pale ale, and porter were also good. I wasn't impressed with the amber.
Overall, the environment is quite upscale resulting in the higher prices at this location. Definitely would recommend the "local" version at Yavapai.
Selection: 4.5 |
Atmosphere: 2 |
Service: 3.5 |
Sunday 9th of December 2007 12:55:38 PM link
Don't waste your time here.
I don't like doing poor reviews, but it just wouldn't be right to show the highlights without the lowlights.
This brewpub sits in a large, tourist-overrun shopping area. I was "greeted" by an overworked, underpaid hostess who saw me as just another person to have to deal with. I was shuttled to the bar and completely ignored by the bartenders not 18 inches from where I was sitting...I was invisible, for some reason. When a lull in the argument over shifts and the bitching about other employees occured, I squeezed in a request for a Doc's Pale Ale. Without once looking me in the eye or saying aword, the beer was efficiently served. Unremarkable, way overpriced, beer. I swilled it, dropped exact change (no tip; I can count on one hand the number of times I haven't found reason to at least leave a minimal tip, and this was one) and bailed.
Annoyances: All of the above.
Selection: 2.5 |
Atmosphere: 1 |
Service: 1 |