May 9, 2010

Profile: Prescott Brewing Company in Prescott, Arizona

Profile: Prescott Brewing Company
  • John and Roxane Nielsen, Director of Brewery Operations and Director of Business Operations
  • Located in Historic Downtown Prescott on the North Side of the Courthouse Plaza
  • 130 W. Gurley Street, Suite A, Prescott, AZ  86301
  • Established March 15, 1994 by the Nielsens
John and Roxane Nielsen, Owners of Prescott Brewing Company sitting in front of the brewery inside PBC
Photo courtesy: Lewis Marketing
Examiner: What makes your establishment unique?
Roxane: We’ve always taken the “made from scratch” philosophy from the brewery to the kitchen and have designed our menu at PBC to include as many “made from scratch” options, made with fresh ingredients, as possible.  PBC has always been committed to developing our own original recipes, each with their own little twists, that translate into an eclectic menu that can only be found at Prescott’s Hometown Brewery.  All of our breads and rolls are baked from scratch daily, along with our desserts, by our expert bakers.

Examiner:  What is a little known factoid about your place?
Roxane: PBC is the first operating brewery to brew in Yavapai County since before Prohibition. It was preceded by the  Arizona Brewery of 1864, originally located just steps away from where PBC is on Gurley Street, sharing a building which was also occupied by the Territorial Legislature; and the Pacific Brewery on Whiskey Row during the same time period. Both of these early breweries ceased to exist around the turn of the century, as best we can find out. PBC still remains the only brewery in Prescott and only one of two in Yavapai County, the other being Oak Creek Brewery in the Yavapai County section of Sedona.

Examiner:  What is your specialty?
Roxane: Our true specialty product would have to be our beers. All our flagship beers and approximately 45 specialty beers have been personally designed by owner and Brewmaster, John Nielsen, over the last 16 years.  And, he’s won 25 national and international awards for many of them. With respect to food specialties, our menu is so large and varied that no one thing really stands out – except maybe to bring attention to our fish & chips, which has always been our number one biggest selling single menu item.
Examiner:  What is your patrons' favorite thing about your establishment? What's your favorite?
Roxane: PBC has truly become a gathering spot. It attracts people of all ages. Our patrons can always find someone interesting to talk to. The bar area is fun, friendly, lively and entertaining. Our motto is “fun and friendly – brewpub style!”  People come in and there’s almost always someone they know. Our regular patrons feel a sense of belonging and have truly taken “ownership” of “their pub.” 
Our favorite thing is watching people have fun, families uniting over good food and good beer, non-alcohol drinkers enjoying one of our made-from-scratch old-time fountain sodas. I’ll never forget one Mother’s Day there was a group of 12, encompassing 5 generations within the family, all spending their family time at our restaurant.

Examiner: Anything new on the horizon that people can look forward to trying?
Roxane: We do a new menu every April and October, keeping the core menu items that have been so successful over the years, but also incorporating new ideas. We start developing thoughts and recipes for new menu time several months before that menu is due to come out. Our brewers are always introducing new beers as well, especially with the palate for different styles of craft beers growing and changing.  Belgian Dubbels & Triples are becoming very popular once again and we’ve had fun introducing those styles to our loyal guests.  We began canning our most popular beer, Liquid Amber Ale, last summer and it is being distributed throughout the Phoenix/Tempe areas. We’re in the process of design the exterior of the can for our Ponderosa IPA, our award-winning India Pale Ale that we hope to begin canning this spring/summer.  Why cans you ask?  Cans are the wave of the future for the microbrewing industry. They protect the quality of the beer better, no sunlight reaches the product, product does not deteriorate due to oxidation, the cans are recyclable, one can pack them in, pack them out, take them river-rafting…just a whole host of why the modern can is gaining in popularity with microbrewers.
Examiner:  What is the top thing you recommend visitors to your city do/see - besides your business, of course?

Roxane: We always recommend visitors make sure and spend some time at the Sharlot Hall Museum. It’s a whole outdoor campus full of many buildings that were saved and moved from within Prescott to the campus at various times throughout history, such as an original one room school house, the original Governor’s mansion, etc. It truly gives a sense of history and a sense of Prescott throughout the ages. Life-like mannequins and true old west surroundings. The museum campus holds events depicting what life in Prescott was like for the early settlers and their families in a way that gives people a real sense of the old west.

And, don’t forget [Prescott is] surrounded by thousands of acres of national forest and BLM land, suitable for hiking, camping, four-wheeling. We have 5 lakes for fishing, several public golf courses, a beautiful downtown plaza that has no “Keep off the Grass” signs, a thriving downtown art and antiques areas. Bluegrass Festivals, Oktoberfest Festivals, Antique and Arts & Crafts Shows on the Square/plaza, real old fashioned 4th of July and Christmas Parades, the list goes on and on. Prescott is the perfect get-a-way weekend when time is short, even more perfect when planning a week long trip. Many people use it as their home base for further exploration of Northern Arizona.
This article is part of a travel series profiling chefs, owners, managers and people behind the scenes of restaurants, hotels and other things of interest to tourists and locals alike across the Western US. These profiles also include a local favorite thing to see or do from the person at the helm in addition to him or her sharing the local flavor of their place.


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