Welcome! Visit Our Website and Facebook Page For All the Latest!

Visit flagstaffaletrail.com and see us on Facebook for the latest from our Ale Trail!

Visit flagstaffaletrail.com and see us on Facebook for the latest from our Ale Trail!

Welcome to the Flagstaff-Grand Canyon Ale Trail! Visit our website and Facebook page for the latest updates and everything related to the craft beer hub of the Southwest!

For your Grand Canyon trip, stop by Cruiser’s Rt. 66 Cafe in Williams, Arizona

Cruiser's Rt. 66 Cafe in Williams, Arizona is a fun stop for the whole family on the Flagstaff- Grand Canyon Ale Trail

Cruiser’s Rt. 66 Cafe in Williams, Arizona is a fun stop for the whole family on the Flagstaff-Grand Canyon Ale Trail

The Flagstaff-Grand Canyon Ale Trail features discounts on the best craft beer in the Southwest. Cruiser’s Rt. 66 Cafe in downtown Williams, Arizona — a Grand Canyon gateway community — is a fun place for the entire family, it’s a stop on the Ale Trail and features the many fine craft beers from the Grand Canyon Brewing Company.

Grand Canyon Brewing Co. taps at Cruiser's Rt. 66 Cafe

Grand Canyon Brewing Co. taps at Cruiser’s Rt. 66 Cafe

Cruiser’s has a nice patio right on Route 66, there’s sometimes live music, good food and many outstanding beer choices to awaken any palate, with a full spectrum of hand- crafted-beer styles to appeal to any taste.

Here’s a cold pint of a tasty Grand Canyon Brewing I.P.A. — well deserved after a hike on the Bill Williams Mountain trails.

Grand Canyon beer

Grand Canyon beer by the Grand Canyon Brewing Co.

Bill Williams Mountain trailhead

Bill Williams Mountain trailhead is a few short miles from the Flagstaff-Grand Canyon Ale Trail!










At Cruiser’s Route 66 Cafe, there’s plenty to see, tasty barbeque and Mother Road memorabilia  surrounds you! Hey, how about daydreaming about a time when gas was that price and you filled up from this beauty of a pump!

Cruisers Rt. 66 Cafe, Williams, Arizona gas pump on patio (c)2014 Flagstaff-Grand Canyon Ale Trail

Cruisers Rt. 66 Cafe, Williams, Arizona — gas pump on patio (c) 2014 Flagstaff-Grand Canyon Ale Trail

The Best Beer & BBQ Pairings

The Best Beer & BBQ Pairings

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We might be packing away our swimsuits and white pants, but it’s not cold enough for your grease-stained tongs to hibernate. But if you’re going to throw a piece of meat onto the grill, stay away from drinking watery brews that might as well be melted ice. Fill your growler with some Flagstaff-Grand Canyon Ale Trail beer that pairs well with your BBQ.


A thick burger on a soft bun deserves the right kind of beer to complement its juicy flavors. The best beer to pair with your BBQ steak is a gently hopped pale ale or a lager with a hint of caramel like a Vienna Lager.


What pairs best with a medium-rare steak? Set down your steak knife for a pint of a rich, malty Belgian brew like a Dubbel style beer.

BBQ Ribs

When your ribs are dripping with sauce, your meal is best paired with a beer that pulls out the best flavors of the tender meat and the sauce. Try beers with caramel, toast, and dark fruit aromas like Doppelbocks and dark German lagers like Dunkels.

Pulled Pork

Smoked pork meat means beer that takes risks with its flavor. Serve yourself a pale lager like helles or a hoppy bitter brew like an IPA that pairs well with bold BBQ sauce and pulled pork.

Bratwurst or Kielbasa

IPAs are too much for these subtly flavored meats. As your bratwurst or kielbasa sizzles on the grill, drink a dark, crisp lager like a Munich Dunkel Lager style beer or a full-bodied, amber-hued brews like a Bock style beer.


Seafood is a lighter-tasting meat, so choose a beer that’s not so heavy. Saisons, especially farmhouse ales, complement grilled fish. If grilled veggies and shrimp are on the menu, pour yourself a wheat beer like a white ale or a cloudy Hefeweizen.

What Flagstaff-Grand Canyon Ale Trail beers pair well with your BBQ? Share your favorite brews below.

Ale vs. Lager: The Difference

Ale vs. Lager: The Difference

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Ales have been around thousands of years, as far back as the Sumerians and Egyptians, while lagers came about around the mid-nineteenth century.

But that’s not the only reason why these two beer styles are so different.

The main difference between lagers and ales come down to the type of yeast  used in the brewing process. It’s because this yeast determines what ingredients and brewing techniques can be used during the brewing process.


Ales, fermented at warm temperatures, are made with a top-fermenting yeast, meaning that the yeast rises to the top of the brew during fermentation. Ales usually have a stronger taste than lagers due to fast fermentation. That’s because ales can be brewed in as little as 7 days. Many countries even serve their ales at cellar temperature.


Lagers, fermented at cold temperatures, are made with a bottom-fermenting yeast, meaning that the yeast sinks to the bottom of the brew during fermentation. Lagers need at least a month to ferment in order to age properly. This longer, colder process produces esters, giving the lager a more fruity taste. Lagers tend to be cleaner, crisper, smoother and more mellow in taste. Lagers should always be served cold.

Can you remember all that? Here’s a chart that breaks down the difference between lagers and ales:

Ales Lagers
Fermented warm Fermented cold
Top-fermenting yeast Bottom-fermenting yeast
Quick brewing cycle Long brewing cycle
Served at cellar temperature(50-55 degrees Fahrenheit) Served cold(40-45 degrees Fahrenheit)

Do you prefer ales or lagers? Share your preference below.

Is Beer Really A Recovery Drink?

Is Beer Really A Recovery Drink?

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Cyclists, runners, climbers, hikers, yoga buffs—all of us love a pint or two along the Flagstaff-Grand Canyon Ale Trail. But can we really drink a pint shortly after a good workout?

In other words, can beer really be a recovery drink?

Intense exercise depletes your body of a lot of important vitamins, electrolytes and carbs. That’s why athletes choose sports drinks and coconut water. They’re full of the good sugar and nutrients that replenish the body after a hard workout.

Beer has some of that good stuff too that’s important for muscle recovery including sugary carbs, some electrolytes, and plant-based nutrients from the hops, yeast and barley.

So, what’s the catch? The alcohol in beer screws up everything.

Drinking alcohol leaves you dehydrated, making you feel even more depleted after running those miles or lifting those weights. Plus alcohol hinders the muscle recovery process after your workout.

To make beer an ideal recovery drink, alcohol needs to be eliminated from the beer. That’s right, the good stuff.

So, is beer really a recovery drink? The simple answer: not really.

Our suggestion? Stick to sports drinks, coconut water and H2O as your go-to recovery drink. Drink beer an hour or two later when you can enjoy it with friends along the Flagstaff-Grand Canyon Ale Trail. What’s the fun in drinking beer when you’re chugging it down while still panting for air?

3 Steps To Cleaning Your Growler

3 Steps To Cleaning Your Growler

Credit: chasecraftbeer.com


Breweries along the Flagstaff-Grand Canyon Ale Trail welcome you to bring your growler and have it filled with any beer on tap.

But first it must be cleaned.

Drinking from a dirty growler affects the quality taste of the beer filled inside of it. Plus, a bartender will not fill your growler if it is not cleaned properly—or at all.

We don’t want you to walk away from your favorite Flagstaff brewery with an empty growler. Make sure you follow these three easy steps to cleaning your growler so that you’re never refused service—or a quality beer drinking experience.

First, rinse your growler numerous times with very hot water. If possible, avoid using any bleach or detergents. When rinsing, swirl the water around the growler. Shake it to get as much water out as possible.

Second, turn your growler upside down and let it dry completely, preferably in a place where air still gets up in the growler’s tight spots where water can often linger.

Third, take it back to a brewery along the Flagstaff-Grand Canyon Ale Trail and refill it with a seasonal brew or with your favorite beer.

Rinse, dry, refill (and repeat). That’s it.

How often do you need to clean your growler? Tell us in the comments section below.

Why Beer Makes For A Great Marinade

Why Beer Makes For A Great Marinade

Credit: saveonbrew.com


Summer is the perfect time to pop open a beer from your favorite Flagstaff brewery and barbeque some brats, burgers, ribs, and pork chops. But before you throw your meat onto the fire, how about soaking it in some beer?

Beer is both a delicious beverage and an excellent way to marinade your meat. So instead of brushing some store-bought sauce, consider glazing your meat with your brew.

Here’s why:

Beer Marinades Are Excellent Meat Tenderizers

Beer is slightly acidic. This helps soften the meat fibers and lets you enjoy leaner cuts that are often too tough to eat.

Beer Marinades Don’t Alter the Meat’s Flavor

Wine and vinegar-based marinades don’t do the trick. Beer complements and even enhances the natural flavors of the meat.

Beer Marinades Fight Off Cancer

Cooking raw meat at high temps develops cancer-causing chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) on the meat, hiding within the juices and fat that drip down the meat while grilling. When you marinade your meat with beer, the antioxidants and polyphenols in beer target the PAHs. In other words, marinading your meat in beer releases the good substances to fight off the bad substances. That’s why if you marinade with beer, it’s important to soak your meat for at least four hours.

Here’s How To Marinade With Beer

  • Poke a few holes in the meat, preferably on both sides.
  • Put the raw meat in a sealable container or resealable bag before pouring in your favorite beer.
  • Seal the container or bag and store in the refrigerator for at least four hours, overnight for best results.
  • Take out of the fridge and throw the meat onto the grill.
  • Discard the beer marinade properly. Don’t drink or taste the beer marinade where raw meat has been soaking.

For what meats do you apply beer marinade? Share your recipes below.

How Beer is Carbonated

How Beer is Carbonated

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Carbonation is a favorite element of beer along the Flagstaff-Grand Canyon Ale Trail. It gives beer that light and refreshing feel in your mouth, not to mention enhancing the aromas and flavors of the brew. But how is beer carbonated? When does carbonation happen in the brewing process? How many ways are there to carbonate beer?

The simple answer: There are two ways to carbonate beer.

Forced Carbonation

This is when carbon dioxide is inserted into the beer. Once the beer is in a sealed (or soon to be sealed) container, carbonation is rapidly inserted into the liquid. Due to the high pressure, the beer absorbs the carbon dioxide.

This is the preferred method at most breweries. That’s because the turnaround time for a finished brew is quicker and there is little or no sediment at the bottom of the bottle or pint glass.

Natural Carbonation

This process allows yeast used to brew the beer to stay in the beer. Once beer is in its container, sugar is added before the container is sealed. That’s when fermentation kicks in again as the yeast eats the new sugar. Carbon dioxide is released by the yeast as it ferments, which is then absorbed into the liquid.

This method gives the beer a slightly yeasty bite, a thick and billowy head, tinier carbonation bubbles, and more beer lacing.

Which kind of carbonated beer do you prefer to drink? Share your preference below.

How Cold Should Beer Be Served?

How Cold Should Beer Be Served?

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Drinking beer at very cold temperatures isn’t uncommon. However, drinking all beer at these icy temperatures can harm the full experience of drinking craft beer. That’s because not all craft beer should be served at cold temperatures.

Good thing that the brewmasters at our favorite breweries along the Flagstaff-Grand Canyon Ale Trail know how to serve your pint at its best temperature. But what temperature is that? How cold should beer be served?

It all comes down to the style of beer.


No lower than 41 degrees Fahrenheit

This serving temperature is best for the lightest styles of craft beer. Examples include American Pale Lagers, Pilsners, German-style Helles Lager, lighter American Wheat Beer, light summer seasonal beers, sweet fruit-flavored Lambics, Kolsch, and Belgian-style white ales.


No lower than 46 degrees Fahrenheit

Most craft beers are best served at this temperature. It’s also the best temperature to store white wines. Examples include Pale Ales, Amber Ales, Brown Ales, Blonde Ales, Golden Ales, Hefeweizen, Stout, Porter, Dunkel, dark Wheat Beer, Tripel, dark sour ales, Amber lagers and darker lagers.


Around 53 degrees Fahrenheit

Is your beer high in alcohol content or richly flavored? If so, this is the best serving temperature for your beer. It’s also the best temperature to store red wines. Examples include English Ales & Bitters, India Pale Ales & double IPAs, most beer labeled Imperial, dark Abbye beers, Dubbel, Barleywine, Baltic Porter, Bock, and Doublebock.

The best temperature for drinking a beer truly depends on your personal preference. Which beer temperature category fits your beer drinking preference?

Does Beer Freeze?

Does beer freeze? We have all the answers on freezing beer.

Credit: Yelp


As temperatures outside go up, you want the temperature of your beer to go down. You can always count on an ice-cold beer along the Flagstaff-Grand Canyon Ale Trail. But some days, going past your front porch isn’t happening.

How can you still enjoy that chilled taste from your favorite Flagstaff brewery without leaving your house? Our suggestion: Try freezing your beer.

So, Does Beer Freeze?

The simple answer: yes. You can freeze beer by putting your six-pack or growler  in the freezer for a few hours. If your beer still isn’t cold, try popping the bottle cap—but don’t leave it in the freezer too long. After it’s open, beer freezes rapidly.

When Does Beer Freeze?

That depends on the alcohol content of the beer.

Since beer contains a high volume of water, it freezes at a relatively higher temperature than you’d expect. However, beer contains alcohol, so it still freezes at a lower temperature than water.

Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, while beer freezes at around 24-28 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure your freezer isn’t hovering around 32 degrees if you want to freeze your beer.

Why Does Beer Freeze?

The alcohol content in beer averages around 4-8%. That means aside from all the great ingredients in beer, beer is mostly water. Since water freezes, so does beer.

When beer freezes, the water molecules change from liquid to ice crystals. These crystals exclude the alcohol, sugar, and other ingredient molecules in the beer. Even if beer is mostly frozen, some liquid will still pour our—and it will be high in alcohol content!

Spirits have an alcohol content between 35-70%—a number too high to reach frozen levels. That’s why you can store hard liquor in the freezer without it ever freezing.

Does Freezing Beer Change It?

Freezing a beer doesn’t ruin the flavors or spoil the beer—as long as it’s in a sealed container.

As the beer freezes, the solubility of carbon dioxide increases. With a tightly sealed container and careful thawing, the carbonation won’t leak out of the beer.

Do you freeze beer? Share your stories below.