Gotta Love a Lager

Beer drinkers across the world will agreed - you gotta love a lager. While this style of beer was born in Bavaria hundreds of years ago, using ancient methods of brewing beers in caves or cold beer cellars, this style of beer later gained popularity across Germany and America and is still one of the most popular styles of beer produced and drank worldwide.

Lagers made their way to America in the 1850s when Germans began migrating to the United States and brought with them their brewing techniques and Bavarian hops. This style of beer took off in popularity because of its ability to be produced with cheaper and more readily available ingredients, as well as its ability to be mass produced. While barley and other types of malt were harder to cultivate in America and more expensive to grow, lagers could be produced with portions of corn, wheat, and squash which was more readily available in America. American beer drinkers were also drawn to this style of beer because of its cleaner taste and its traditionally lower content of alcohol. They often associated darker beers with higher levels of alcohol, but enjoyed that they could have one or two of these lighter style beers at lunch without feeling the effects of alcohol that would prohibit them from going back to work after their noon meal.

“Beer is sacred business, a mood-altering food substance that may have preserved the human species. To drink beer is to be human.” ~Alan D. Eames

The rise in popularity of these lighter, cleaner beers that could be mass produced helped start the boom of large breweries across America. These larger breweries that produced lighter colored ales made it through Prohibition by changing their factories to produce things like ice cream and soft drinks, while the smaller breweries that produced darker beers didn’t last through the Prohibition period. Americans were accustomed to these lighter beers by the time breweries were able to produce beer again, and they lasted through the Great Depression as they were generally cheaper to make than darker beers.

American lagers today are produced in a specific way that allows for a longer fermentation done at a lower temperature which affects the yeast, keeping it from producing esters which gives the beer a cleaner flavor profile. There are also less hops used in lagers, so there is less bitterness in the beer overall. These lagers are light in color, crisp, and tend to have a high amount of carbonation. They generally are low in both IBU and ABV with a more neutral flavor quality that is not overly “hoppy” or “malty”. Americans lager have a very light mouth feel that is thirst-quenching, refreshing, and generally easy to drink.

Ocean Front and Peaks

Mexican lagers, another popular style of lager in the US and regions of Mexico, differ slightly from American lagers. This style of beer was first produced in Mexico when Austrian immigrants began to settle there and brew. Today Mexican lagers are not only produced in Mexico but by many big and small breweries all over the United States. These lagers use a special type of yeast that gives the brew it’s unique flavor and special distinction. In our beers Oceanfront Property, Salt River, and Sonoran Amber Lager we use a yeast strain from Mexico that creates a finished brew that is light, clean, and well-balanced

It’s no doubt that lagers have changed over the years in both brewing methods and taste, however, they still remain one of the most heavily produced beers across the United States and the world due to their ability to be mass produced and enjoyed by many. While big breweries may be the most known for producing lagers, small craft breweries also enjoy tackling lagers and making them even better, cleaner, and more delicious overall. The lager style continues to grow in popularity as new beer drinkers emerge and they all seem to echo the same sentiment - you gotta love a lager.

What's the Deal with the Mugs?

Are you someone that comes to Historic Brewing Company often? Do you want to be rewarded for drinking craft beer and get awesome discounts on stuff that you are going to buy anyway - all with a unique handmade beer stein to drink from? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then our Smug Mug membership is for you!

Everyday at our Historic locations we get the question - what’s the deal with the mugs? The handmade black and teal mugs that you have seen hanging on the racks in our bars and in the hands of our regulars are the beer vessels that are included in our Smug Mug membership, something you can become a part of today.

Smug Club Membership

The Smug Mug membership can be easily joined on our website by simply filling out a few questions and choosing between an annual fee of $100 or a monthly fee of $10. Once you do this and show it to one of our friendly bartenders you will be able to choose a unique mug of your choice that gets your name on it and gets to live at the location of your choice. From then on everytime you come into Historic you get to drink the beer of your choice from your mug, making everyone around you feel incredibly jealous.

Included in your membership are awesome benefits such as: $4 fills on any of our mainstay beers, $1 off speciality beers, and $2 off any of our to go beers such as the 16oz cans and the 32oz crowlers. You also receive 25% off food, 25% off any of our spectacular merchandise, and 15% off kegs to go from the brewery. You can also extend some of these benefits to another person on Smugday Sunday when you can bring in a friend or family member of your choice who will also get to drink out of a mug and get discounts on their beers that day.

The Smug Mug membership makes a great gift for someone you know who loves our beer, or a gift for yourself if you need an excuse to spend some more time at Historic. The membership benefits reward you for doing what you do best, drinking delicious craft beer, and it practically pays for itself with the savings you receive over the year. Join the coolest kids on the block today and get a mug of your own, you know you want to.  



Alternative Facts: It’s Gonna Be Huge

This isn’t fake news. Our Double IPA, Alternative Facts, is gonna be huge. This beer truly delivers when it comes to big flavor, a high alcohol percentage, and a high IBU - everything you’ve come to expect from a great double IPA. Alternative Facts is that classic double IPA brewed even better because it’s not as sweet and has a big hop flavor profile that will have you coming back time and time again. In fact, we think this beer is so good that it should run for president. Alternative Facts 2020 anybody?

Alternative Facts DIPA

This beer clocks in at 10% ABV and 90 IBU, packing a punch while still being drinkable, warming, and most importantly delicious. This gold aromatic ale is hop forward with notes of citrus and tropical fruits such as mango, setting it apart from other double IPAs on the market. It goes down a bit too easy for a 10% beer as you don’t get the overly strong alcohol tasting notes, but the high alcohol content helps to neutralize any hop bitterness in the beer. This means that you get a lot of hop flavor without the bitter aftertaste you might associate with a higher IBU beer. One of our bartenders, Kelsay - a self proclaimed double IPA consieurer, describes this beer as “one of the most drinkable dipas without sacrificing any flavor.” It’s truly fantastic in every way.

Alternative Facts was brewed using 2-Row Pale, Crystal 60L, Crystal 10L, and Carapils malts with Columbus and Mosaic hops. To create this double IPA we did a first wort hopping, which involves adding the hops to the kettle before we boil the water, creating a different than normal hop profile. This changes the flavor of the beer and also helps to give it a smoother bitterness overall. We also did the mashing in of this beer at a lower temperature so that more sugars would be converted into carbohydrates throughout the brewing process. This created more available sugars in the beer, giving additional “food” for the yeast to eat, therefore making the finished product more balanced and with a higher alcohol percentage - helping you to forget every other tasteless beer on the market.

Our double IPA is perfect for anyone that enjoys hops and wants to drink something that is really and truly delicious. This big flavor beer was born out of a desire to brew the best double IPA, a big flavorful beer with the best hops and the best water. A beer that we wanted to drink ourselves. Alternative Facts is currently being poured at all of our locations and is also available in 16oz 4 pack cans at our Barrel + Bottle House -Flagstaff, Barrel + Bottle House - Williams, Station 66 Italian Bistro and the Canyonlands Restaurant @ Bearizona. Come and have a glass yourself and see what all the hype is about - cause this beer is gonna be huge.  


Cold Beers & Wicked Trails: Best Hiking Spots in Flagstaff

One of the best things about living and working in Flagstaff is the abundance of nature all around us. We can be at a number of hiking and biking trails within minutes from any spot in town, and there’s always somewhere new to adventure. Whether you live in Flagstaff or are just in town visiting, you know that getting outdoors and hitting the trails is one of the best way to spend your days, followed by a cold beer at Historic Brewing Company afterwards of course.

Below is a list of some of the best hiking trails in Flagstaff that showcase all that beautiful nature that our town is known and loved for.

Piehole 32 ounce Crowler in Antelope Canyon, AZ

Sandy Canyon: This incredible hike is found right out of town off Lake Mary Road and has a free parking lot located off of a well maintained dirt road. There are signs that direct you to the start of the trail, and from this trailhead you can connect to a number of other trails including the Arizona Trail. This hike begins on the Walnut Canyon rim head before going down into the canyon. You can make this trail as long or as short as you want depending on what other trails you connect it to and how long you want to hike. This trail features an easy in and out of canyon and a beautiful meadow filled with a variety of different trees and nature galore. This hike is also dog friendly and is only moderately trafficked meaning that during off times you may have it all to yourself.

Distance: 3 miles (out and back)    

Difficulty: moderate

Best Season: Spring, Summer, and Fall

Piehole Porter 16 ounce can 4 pack

Campbell Mesa Trails: Campbell Mesa trailhead has a loop for everyone and is easily located near Continental Country Club and the I-40. There are three different single track loop trails measuring in length between two & five and a half miles. These trails are relatively flat but offer views of Mt. Elden, Anderson Mesa, and Mormon Mountain. The hikes are mostly shaded with more ponderosa trees than you can count, and frequent wildlife sightings. This trail makes you feel like you are way out of town, when in fact you are only fifteen minutes from downtown and only a five minute drive from our Eastside Historic Brewing Company location.

Distance: 2-5.5 miles (loop trail)






   Difficulty: easy

Best Season: All seasons

Hiking with 32 ounce Crowler can at Fat Man's Loop, Flagstaff AZ

Fat Man’s Loop: Another trail close to our Eastside taproom & production facility and conveniently located in Flagstaff is Fat Man’s Loop. This trailhead is located right across from the Flagstaff Mall and takes you up Mt. Elden. There are a number of other trails that begin from this trailhead, including Mt. Elden lookout, but Fat Man’s loop is a favorite with locals and visitors alike. This two and a half mile loop takes you among Ponderosa and White Fir pine trees and rock formations that were created during its volcanic creation. One of these rock formations is the reason behind the trails name as it can be a tight squeeze between two rocks to stay on the trail. This hike is mostly uphill for the first half but isn’t that strenuous and awards you with a view of the city and the nearby countryside as you climb.

Distance: 2.4 miles


   Difficulty: moderate

Best Season: Spring and Fall

This list is only a small example of all the wonderful hiking and biking trails that Flagstaff has to offer, with many more to discover on your own. Flagstaff offers so many opportunities to get outside and explore all of the natural beauty around you - so go get outside and make sure you reward yourself with a tasty brew afterwards!


What Makes a Porter, a Porter?

As both the craft beer industry and the home brewing hobby expand, new beer styles continue to emerge and existing beer styles are improved on and twisted to reflect modern times. One of the historically original beer styles, the porter, can now be seen on almost every tap list.  Porters have been refined, barrel aged, had additional flavors added to them, and been kept more traditional depending on the season, current trends, brewer’s preferences, and customers taste requests.

The porter style beer has been around since the early 18th century and was one of the first beers to gain popularity and helped to drive a revolution in brewing. While there are a few different stories about how porter originated, most people believe that it was created by London brown ale brewers who were being pressured to create better beers. These improved beers had more hops and were aged longer, and were named after the porters who carried goods around the city and were big fans of this new style of beer.

Although the recipe for a porter has changed over the years, it is still known for its depth of color and flavor. This style of beer ranges in color from dark copper to black depending on the variation and typically has an ABV between 4-7% and a lower IBU, usually in the range of 18-35. These beers don’t typically have much of a hoppy taste and aroma, but some porters do have a slight bitter flavor quality to them for balance. Depending on the exact style and the brewers addition to the beer, porters can have a roasted malt taste that may incorporate notes of chocolate, coffee, molasses, or toffee - just to name a few.

Porters are a favorite among many people, and this style continues to grow as new breweries and new beer lovers are born everyday. While this rich, dark, and complex beer may have traditionally been thought of as more of a fall or winter brew, it has defied any box it was previously put into and is now enjoyed year round. A porter brings a lot to the table with its mix of depth and drinkability, and will continue to be a beer that captures the taste buds of all those that try it.

Nitro Piehole Porter

Customer Highlight: Mike & George

Here at Historic Brewing Company we are lucky enough to have a lot of regulars who we not only get to see quite often, but who we also get to know on a deeper level than just their favorite beer to drink. Mike Marsteller and George Lavorgna are two of those customers, and some of our favorite faces to see pull up a barstool at the brewery.

Historic Brewing Company customers

Mike and George have both been in Flagstaff since 1980 but didn’t meet until 1993 when they were both working for Gore. While they knew each other at work for a few years, their friendship really began when Mike overheard George talking about one of his recent Grand Canyon hiking trips. Mike asked if he could tag along on the next one, and they’ve been each others main hiking/backpacking partners since then.

They have both hiked hundreds of miles in the Grand Canyon over the years and continue to make yearly birthday trips there, taking new and interesting routes when they can and exploring how the canyon has changed over the years. Mike and George have both also hiked the entire Arizona Trail in sections over their years here, and encourage anyone and everyone to explore the many amazing trails all over Arizona. They still do backpacking and hiking trips every chance they get, and are constantly pushing themselves to get outdoors and uncover new trails and adventures.

Customer Highlight - Flagstaff brewery

Both men have been coming to Historic Brewing Company since it first opened, back when you had to buy a pint glass to have it filled with beer, and long before the tap room looked like it does now. They come meet up at their favorite Flagstaff brewery to catch up, trade stories, and plan their next hiking adventure. They told me that they are “always looking for the next good hike and the next good beer.” While they often order different beers while at the brewery, they both agree that Deer Lord is one of their favorite beers of all time and are looking forward to its return on the taplist. These men bring a special energy with them when they come in for a beer, and their stories and future hiking plans keep us inspired to keep hitting the trails and to keep searching for good beer every place the trails end.