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How Craft Beer and Tourism Collide in a Great Way in Arizona

Originally published at CraftBeer.com.

Arriving in Flagstaff, Ariz., it can be hard to keep one’s thoughts focused on beer. That’s no knock on the local craft beer scene, though. It’s more of a testament to the vibrancy of the town and its natural surroundings.

Tree-lined mountains begging to be climbed by adventurers surround the high-elevation city. Northern Arizona University students can be seen cycling around town or simply enjoying conversation on Heritage Square, a brick plaza in the center of Flagstaff.

But despite the many attractions vying for my attention—shops, coffee, bikes, music, scenery—craft beer managed to stay on my mind. Specifically, the Flagstaff Ale Trail.

I met Joanne Hudson, of the Flagstaff Convention & Visitors Bureau, at Diablo Burger. While we ate, I got an intro to the local craft beer scene before heading out to discover for myself how this marketed trail has impacted Flagstaff’s brewing culture. Continue reading

arizona / culture / outdoors / post / travel

Traveling Arizona Reveals Two Very Different Sides

I landed at Phoenix’s SkyHarbor airport straight from Belgium. If you want a jarring juxtaposition of American life versus European, fly straight from a city with roots in the Middle Ages to a state just finished celebrating their centennial. The differences are unavoidable, stabbing you in the eyes with every turn.

First, I’m picked up because the light rail goes to Tempe and I need to get to Scottsdale. Then you roll onto massive highways. I’m talking as many as seven lanes in one direction whereas Brussels, essentially the capital of Europe, seemed to limit themselves to three lanes on their highway.

SUVs and trucks fly by at speeds in excess of 80mph like they’re on the run from Johnny Law. Except here, 75mph is usually perfectly legal and 80-85mph is accepted.

Point is, if anyone wanted to prove that Americans like things bigger, they need only to point to Greater Phoenix. Like Dallas, everything is super-sized to twice the amount an average American probably needs. Continue reading