Beaver Street Brewery is located at 11 S. Beaver Street in Flagstaff. For more information, call 928-779-0079 or visit beaverstreetbrewery.com.
© Geoff Gourley
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In Burgers They TrustThat's the motto at Beaver Street Brewery in Flag-staff, where the Hanseth family gives customers what they want: big burgers and homemade beer.
By Kelly Kramer
Flagstaff Winnie Hanseth doesn't mince words when it comes to burgers. In fact, she sees things as being pretty much cut-and-dried. "Our Lumberjack burger is just a really big burger," Hanseth says. "And people like big burgers."
Hanseth, who owns Flagstaff's famed Beaver Street Brewery with her husband, Evan, and her parents, adds that a sense of family makes the brewery stand out from its counterparts.
"Our menu sells really well across the board, but that's not the only thing that makes a difference here," she says. "We work with our employees weekly and try to empower them. They have a special sense of ownership and pride in the restaurant."
That's how it was with the former tenants of the building. When Merle Sauer and Henry Hutchinson opened the Complete Food Market on the corner of Beaver Street and Phoenix Avenue in 1938, they learned each customer's name. As the market evolved into the Food Town Super Market in 1947 and eventually became one of the three largest groceries in Flagstaff during the 1960s, the down-home attitude continued.
"This is just a great location," says Hanseth, who converted the grocery into the brewery in 1994. "It always has been."
Today, the majority of the restaurant's summer visitors are out-of-towners who come for wood-fired pizzas, the Lumberjack and Beaver Street burgers, and meatloaf sandwiches, while winter visitors include Flagstaff locals who clamor for homemade chili and the "soup of the moment."
Of course, a brewery wouldn't be a brewery without beer, and that's what Beaver Street does best. With four regular potions on draft and a slew of seasonal offerings, Beaver Street's brewer works right behind the bar, conjuring up ales, stouts and lagers that are known for their intense colors and flavors. Try the Rail Head Red. A local favorite, it's brewed from a combination of crystal and caramel malts and aptly named for the restaurant's location — just one block north of Flagstaff's train station. Another good option is the Hefe Weizen, which won a gold medal at last year's Great American Beer Festival. Creamy, malty and slightly sweet, this superb wheat beer is the perfect way to wash down a Lumberjack.