Sedona is one of the most beautiful cities in the state of Arizona. It has year-round warm weather, beautiful scenery, and fascinating museums. These are just some of the reasons it attracts almost three million visitors every year.
But did you know this city contains a range of varied breweries? Sedona’s beer history is as deep and rich as the brewing stills dotted throughout the city. From beers home-brewed by the early ranchers of the city to the craft beers of today, there’s so much to learn and enjoy.
Want to learn more about the history of beer in Sedona? We’ve put together this guide to help you out. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about Sedona breweries and local IPA.
When the Sedona area was first settled around the 1850s, most of the population were ranchers. These early inhabitants enjoyed beer as much as their ancestors. This local beer would normally be brewed at home or perhaps shared among a small group of friends or family members.
Early settlers in the city had their roots in Scotland, Germany, and other European countries. They brought different brewing techniques from their own countries. It’s likely that friends and family members might have shared different brewing techniques with these methods influencing the development of beer in Sedona.
Drinking at lunch breaks or even on the job was common for these laborers. Although now we would be shocked at the idea, workmen commonly drank beer during the day in these times. Beer provided a good source of energy for the hard work men had to do.
The warm weather also gave an added incentive for these residents to enjoy something cold. Beer was often the perfect way to relax and cool off after a hard day’s ranching. And many friendships and business relationships were formed over these homebrews.
During these early days, a number of saloons opened around town. These rough-and-ready establishments tended to brew a small quantity of their own beer. But much of their clientele preferred to drink hard spirits like whiskey, meaning beer remained largely an afterthought for decades.
During the 1950s, Sedona began to find its feet as a tourist town. People began to flock to the area to enjoy the unspoiled scenery and great attractions. And they brought a prodigious thirst with them, especially as they looked to wind down in the evenings!
This coincided with the opening of some of the first commercial breweries in the area. These early operations normally focused on cheap mass production without much thought given to taste and variety.
Still, as the tourism market grew year on year, the demand for beer increased, too. Many of the tourists visiting the city began to demand something better. People on vacation wanted to try something special and they had the money to pay for it.
Beer enthusiasts in the region spotted an opportunity. It wasn’t long before their dreams became a reality.
The 1990s Boom
The 1990s was something of a golden age for beer in Sedona. During this time, several new Sedona breweries opened, offering specialized craft beers. They made use of cheap land and a growing labor force in the city to open these businesses with low start-up costs.
One of the best-known Sedona breweries is the Oak Creek Brewing Company. They opened their doors in 1995 and quickly became famous for their quality products. Visitors seemed to love their ales, lagers, and local IPA.
Soon after, they began offering behind-the-scenes tours. This provided another stream of income, allowing these businesses to thrive and grow their operations. It also allowed them to increase beer sales!
Following the success of Oak Creek Brewing Company, other businesses in the area took note and scrambled to get in on the brewing craze. This gave customers many more options, with local IPA and a range of other homemade favorites hitting the local market.
The 1990s laid the foundations for a strong and diverse beer culture in the city. The recent removal of taxes on home-brewed beers at the federal level allowed companies to sell craft beers more profitably.
All these years of history have led to a beer scene in Sedona that is practically unrivaled in the state. Today, the various breweries of the city attract tens of thousands of visitors every year who enjoy touring the breweries or just trying their products.
Modern technology has increased the quality and range of beers available in the area. Now, customers can choose from dozens of locally-brewed craft beers, each with their own subtle flavors. They also have behind-the-scenes access to several breweries in Sedona and the Verde Valley.
Today, the fine locally-brewed beer of Sedona isn’t just sold in town. They are popular throughout the nation and beyond. That’s why
Book a Tour and Learn the History of Beer
If you’re interested in learning more about the brewing industry in Sedona, there’s no better way to do it than with a brewery tour. This allows you to see how these fine beers are brewed, right here in Sedona. You’ll also get to taste the beers and sample some new favorites.
We offer tours of a variety of craft breweries in Sedona, including the Sedona and Verde Valley tour. If you want to learn more about the history of beer in the area, this is an ideal activity. Check out our range of microbrewery tours today.