Originally Published: September 6, 2013 6 a.m.
PRESCOTT - Granite Mountain Brewing lives up to its name by specializing in handcraft beers, and currently has six beers on tap.
However, it also offers a "lite fare menu" for patrons who want to eat.
And while patrons have to be at least 21 to drink beer, part-owner Amanda Richardson deems Granite Mountain Brewing "family friendly," with many patrons bringing their children.
"The beer is the primary draw. We do have people that come here specifically for the food," Richardson said.
Richardson described the establishment as a "casual, comfortable place for the community" to enjoy "high-quality food and beverages."
Richardson, her husband, Michael Stanger, and another married couple - Audra Yamamoto and Damon Swafford - opened the brewery in August 2012 in the former Monk's restaurant downtown.
The couples' shared love of food and beer "propelled" them to start an underground beer-tasting movement during which they hosted a series of seven beer-tasting events over a 13-month period, they stated on their website, www.GraniteMountainBrewing.com.
Stanger also entered his first brewing contests, and won four gold medals at the 2010 and 2011 competitions of the Arizona Society of Homebrewers.
Stanger, the head brewer, indicated opening the brewery was not the first thought on their minds.
"Originally, we did not know what we were going to do," he said. "We were going to start with the underground tasting events."
The couples relied in part online on Kickstarter to raise money to finance opening the brewery.
The couples bring diverse backgrounds. Stanger was a self-taught home brewer for 13 years, Richardson said. Richardson said she has a background in natural resources, and works full time for a local government.
Yamamoto, a native of Hawaii, said she owned a catering business in Alaska. Her husband, Swafford, is a software consultant for a company in the San Francisco Bay area.
Yamamoto said, "It is mostly Michael and I doing the (brewery) business."
The owners said they draw a diverse clientele of people who enjoy craft beers.
Swafford quipped, "Craft beer brings craft people."
Richardson interjected, "We are talking about high-quality people."
She said the owners have purchased a liquor license to start serving wine, mead (honey wine) and hard cider beginning in the fall.
Richardson said she enjoys the brewery's customers, "the way they have embraced the place. We get to be creative with beer and food."
Granite Mountain Brewing features a one-page menu.
Menu items start with a garlic dill pickle at $2 and peak with the ploughman's lunch for $7. The ploughman consists of a summer sausage, a wedge of Vermont cheddar, fresh apple, house-fermented pickles and a whole-grain mustard drip. It is served with a wedge of spent grain bread.
Other food items include pretzels, and cheese and salsa for $3 apiece, bratwurst and nachos for $5 apiece, and a panini (grilled sandwich) of the week for $6.50.
Granite Mountain Brewing offers brews on tap that include Bradshaw blonde, Thumb Butte American brown ale, Hotshot red ale and Pulaski porter. Customers may buy beers at 10 ounces, a pint or growler fill.
In terms of food, mustard dip is popular.
"You can dip bread in it," Stanger said. "You can serve bratwurst with it."