Experience Flagstaff beer by pedaling the Ale Trail

The Alpine Pedaler allows beer lovers to experience Flagstaff's best brews by bike instead of by car or on foot.

The Alpine Pedaler is Flagstaff's original cycle party. It's a pub crawl that involves pedaling the South Side Ale Trail, instead of walking or driving.

The rules of the road? Keep your feet moving to the beat! 

For every 15 minutes of pedaling, you're rewarded with 25 minutes at the bar. The first stop on the Ale Trail is Beaver Street Brewery.

"Flagstaff is becoming a beer mecca, so to speak, you know?" said Gary Blazevich.

He's the head brewer at Beaver Street.

"We have four staples, which is our red, our IPA, our stout and our raspberry ale," Blazevich said. "Amongst those, we also throw in probably 25 to 30 different seasonals throughout the year." 

Every pour has a taste of the south side. 

"We definitely try to incorporate local names into our beers. You know, the Rail Head Red, we're right next to railroad tracks, I mean 100 yards north of us the trains go by 100 times a day. The IPA, we used to call it Hop Shot IPA, you know, it's kind of a play on words for the hot shots, the fire people around here. And the Railroad Stout," said Blazevich.

With each stop on the trail, participants get a brew and a stamp on their passport. 

The Ale Trail started out as just a Flagstaff breweries as a lot of new places opened. It was a way for tourists and locals alike to go around and try all the breweries, give them a reason to go to each one. 

The next stop, the Lumberyard Brewing Company, is an extension of Beaver Street that opened to make room for more brewing. 

Kelly Hanseth, Manager Lumberyard

The Lumberyard was really a lumberyard that was built in the 1890's during Flagstaff's lumber era. 

"We actually rehabilitated the building to be keeping it with the old historic cultures that south side has," said Kelly Hanseth, a manager at Lumberyard. "We used a lot of the old wood, all the rough sawn wood  for trimmings on all of our booths and our bar top. We also use the old roof, the metal roof as our bar facade, and also decorations on the wall."

The brewery also keeps its operations sustainable by using recycled Flagstaff glass in their bar top and low-energy appliances. 

Brewmaster Gene Almquist keeps the beer flowing, running an operation focused on statewide distribution.

"It's a premier, stainless brewing system," said Almquist. "It's a 20 barrel brewhouse, and 40 barrel fermenters, as well as 80 barrel fermenters."

That's a lot of beer. And the Lumberyard has adopted a can-do approach when it comes to packaging their award-winning beer. 

"We are certainly behind the canning movement," Almquist said. "Cans were from day one in our business plan about five years ago. The reason we believe in cans is, well there's several reasons. One, is environmentally responsible packaging cans versus glass. It protects the beer far better in cans than it does in glass. The beer stays on the shelf a much longer time so the storage is superior to glass. All in all, it's a great package, more people recycle aluminum than they do glass."

Lumberyard Brewery gives a new meaning to green beer.

Copyright 2016 KPNX


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