Best brewery in Sedona, IMHO. Rivals those in Albuquerque
First visit: August 22, 2012
The Oak Creek Brewery is several cuts above the tired, touristy crap that abounds in Sedona. The food is well prepared, and the brews are world class. The service is exemplary.
The Kraus family came to Sedona in 1993 with all their worldly goods and a dream, to brew great fresh beer the way Fred learned at the Gasthausbrauerei Hufeisen, or Horseshoe Brewery, in the picturesque village of Pottenstein, Germany. The dream became reality when they opened the doors of Oak Creek Brewing Co. in west Sedona.
Since February 1995 Sedona’s only Microbrewery has been known to locals and tourists alike as the place to enjoy delicious handcrafted brews in a relaxed, unique setting. In 2000 Fred Kraus, our brewmaster, decided to combine his brewing skills with his partners food industry skills, to open Sedona’s only brew pub. Their premium beers are brewed on site in the copper brewing tanks behind the beautiful oak bar. The display kitchen houses the rotisserie and wood fired oven used to prepare the house specialties, ‘Rotisserie Chicken and Pork Ribs’, and ‘Fire Kissed Pizzas’. Our beer and food are offered to you in a setting intended to make your experience fun with just a dash of old world charm.
After a long and arduous trek through some of Sedona’s rugged and beautiful back country in a Pink Jeep tour, we fell, exhausted and starving into the brewpub. And wow, duid we chow down.
Village Nut Brown Ale — 2004 Gold and 2002 Bronze Medal Winner, North American Brewers’ Association This northern Arizona favorite has a consistent nutty flavor with just a hint of spice in its depths. A slowly emerging bitterness crops up along the way and is unobtrusively incorporated into the smooth flow. It finishes with a gentle nuttiness and spiciness. Excellent with steaks, chops and ribs.
Oak Creek Amber Ale — 2001 Silver medal winner NABA. A deep copper-colored medium-bodied ale. It’s fresh flavor is smooth and carefully balanced with a nice mellowness and hint of caramel malt balanced by medium hop bitterness. It is an all malt beer that is naturally carbonated. It is very drinkable in it’s own and pairs well with all kinds of steaks, chops, roasted meats and spicy foods.
Three beer battered fried pickle spears served ith Ranch dressing.
These creations are beautifully battered and gently fried. Just a hint of crispness, and a fine, tangy taste.
Locally made Bratwurst, simmered in Gold Lager and served on a crusty roll with sauerkraut and whole grain mustard. Served with yet another fried pickle and a side od delicious, creamy slaw.
The brat is championship quality. Lightly spiced and very tender and juicy. Best sauerkraut I have had since I moved away from my German mother’s cooking. I would consider a special trip to Sedona for this.
Arugula, mandarin oranges, grapefruit, shallots, roasted almonds, fresh mint tossed with honey lime reduction.
Jane asked for this with a scoop of chicken salad, and they obliged. Utterly delicious, she said. And just the right flavors.
Caprese Chicken Sandwich
Grilled chicken breast, fresh mozzarella , vine ripened tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil and reduced balsamic vinegar on a crusty roll. With fries on the side.
Stephanie’s choice. Good choice. The chicken was quite tender and moist, and the spicing was just right. Good, crisp fries with no hint of oil. This is a winner.
And the kid had all this stuff:
This was a kid-size burger (thankfully for Susie) with a hungry-man size portion of those wonderful fries. The burger was, well, just a burger. But Susie loved it anyway. That is, the part that she could eat after picking through the fries. Eyes bigger than her stomach? Probably. But wait. There’s more. She decided to order a small (thankfully) pizza because she saw one go by on a server;s tray.
Cheese and Tomato Pizza
This was a small pizza with just cheese and tomato sauce. Susie bravely dug in, but bogged down after one slice. That gave me and her father a chance to try this pizza, and wow — was it good.
But wait. There’s more.
Our server came by to take dessert orders. Susie wanted chocolate cake. (I had been eyeing this, too, being one of my favorite desserts).
This came with two forks: one for Susie and one for me. The cake was beautiful. Drizzled with chocolate syrup ans the side was covered with pieces of dark chocolate and chocolate shavings. A true chocoholic’s delight. The cake was dark and oist and the icing was soft and creamy. One really fine hunk of cake.
Susie ate most of the icing and left me most of the cake. I began to wonder if she would be able to eat dinner than night (she could and did).
So take a Pink Jeep ride. Or not. But do go here for lunch and pig out on some marvelous pub fare. This place is destined to be among my favorites.