How could a simple magazine article change so many lives? Will it did in 1993.
Co-Founder’s Dick and Jean Wilson read an article about the up and coming trend of “Brewpubs”. Just not another restaurant, but one that brewed their own beer. In 1993 there were a mere 250 microbreweries and brewpubs. They quickly called their daughter Winnie Hanseth and told her about concept, hoping this would bring their daughter and her husband back to Flagstaff to live with their two children.
As it happens, one of the first Craft Brewers Conferences was in a few weeks away after the phone call. Winnie and Evan quickly dropped off their children at the neighbors and boarded a plan to New Orleans – the site of the Conference. The conference was small those years, a total of around 600 participants attended. (Today there are over 10,000 attendees)
The conference inspired and motivated Evan and Winnie to put their house on the market and moved to Flagstaff. Together with Winnie’s parents, Dick and Jean, they found the perfect spot to open the brewpub, on the Southside of historic downtown Flagstaff. Using the money from the sale of their house they bought the brewing equipment that Beaver Street Brewery still uses today.
In March of 1994, Beaver Street Brewery opened its doors as Flagstaff’s first brewpub. Over the years Beaver Street Brewery’s beer has been well received by the public and has won numerous awards. With little space, small capacity, and high demand for Beaver Street Brewery’s beer, owners Winnie and Evan Hanseth looked for an opportunity elsewhere to brew more beer and start distribution throughout Arizona.
Just when they had exhausted many possible locations around Flagstaff, the city of Flagstaff put out a request for proposal for the historical Halstead Lumberyard Building, built in the early 1900’s, and had been abandoned for 8 years. After being granted the proposal, Winnie and Evan rehabilitated the lumber building to become our sister brewery Lumberyard Brewing Company.
Lumberyard Brewing Company continues to brew the flagship Beaver Street Brewery beers, formed from Flagstaff’s original brewpub: Railhead Red, Flagstaff IPA, and Red Rock Raspberry. Even though some of their names have changed, these are still the great beers that started their journey here in 1994.
Beaver Street Brewery’s original brew house is still active today supporting Beaver Street Brewery with their flagship beers and seasonals to those that are visiting Flagstaff’s first brewpub.
History of the Building
The building in which Beaver Street Brewery resides, has long been the site of businesses run by merchants who have understood the value of personal service.
1938 – Merle Sauer and Henry Hutchinson opened the Complete Food Market on the corner of Beaver Street and Phoenix Avenue. Sauer and Hutchinson offered doorstep delivery and emphasized knowing each customer by name.
1947 – The market expanded with the construction of the portion of the building now occupied by Beaver Street Brewery and Whistle Stop Café. The market was renamed the Food Town Super Market.
1955 – The west section of the building was added. Constructed of Malapais rock, the addition included second story office space and a basement that was frequently flooded by runoff from the Rio de Flag, which currently runs under this building
1965 – The Market was one of the three largest grocery stores in Flagstaff. It closed permanently around 1984. After that time, the building was occupied by a Factory 2-U clothing outlet and a National Furniture Store.
1994 – Beaver Street Brewery & Whistle Stop Café opened for business following nine months of remodeling. We soon expanded outdoors with our unique beer garden featuring native-grown hops.
2001 – Beaver Street Brews & Cues opened its doors. This unique game room caters to adults of all ages. An antique Brunswick Bar is the center of attention, along with five Connelly Ultimate Billiard tables, digital juke box, board games, and big screen TV’s.
Today – The owners, management, and staff of Beaver Street Brewery & Whistle Stop Café strive to carry on the tradition of personal service that made small businesses like Food Town Super Market both unique and successful.