Did you know that Mudshark Brewery and Public House has a Route 66 connection? That may come as a surprise as the brewery is in Lake Havasu City which is about a dozen miles south of the post 1952 alignment of that storied highway.
The link our Route 66 connections is our award winning Buzz Honey Lager. The honey used in this unique and tasty brew comes from hives at Oatman, Arizona.
At the dawning of the 20th century, discovery of rich gold deposits on the western slopes of the formidable Black Mountains sparked the last major gold rush in Arizona. That was the cornerstone for Oatman, a mining boomtown that propsered mightily in the years bracketing WWI.
During the teens an ever increasing flow of traffic along the National Old Trails Road added to the towns propserity. In late 1926 the road was designated U.S. 66.
By the 1930s the luster of the mining bboom had began to fade but Route 66 kept the old town alive and thriving. Then in 1952, to bypass the steep grades and hairpin curves, the highway was realigned through Yucca. Oatman entered a precipitous decline and by 1970 the population had slipped from the the thousands to less than 50 hearty souls.
The Route 66 renaissance that commenced in the 1980s transformed Oatman. Today it is a destination for legions of international Route 66 enthusiasts.
But the Route 66 connection isn’t limited to Oatman. Our Buzz Honey Lager is sold at the Sportsman’s Saloon on Route 66 in Kingman, Arizona.
Dating to 1906 this historic watering hole opened as the Palace Saloon. The capstone has the date and the name Lovin, a reference to Henry Lovin. Lovin was a pioneering Mohave County rancher and businessman. He was also the county sheriff, served on the committee that drafted the Arizona state constitution, and was the counties first state representative.
Author, historian, and humorist Jim Hinckley, creator of Jim Hinckley’s America, and the voice for the narrated self gudied historic district walking tour developed by Kingman Main Street, often stops at the historic saloon for a Buzz Honey Lager after leading tours. Many Route 66 enthusiasts pause on their journey hoping to get an autograph for their copy of Travel Route 66, The Route 66 Encyclopedia, Murder and Mayhem on The Main Street of America: Tales From Bloody 66 or Ghost Towns of Route 66.
For locals as well as Route 66 enthusiasts overnighting in Kingman, the time capsule saloon is a popular place to wet the whistle. On October 12th a new chapter in the venerable old bars history will be written.
Zdenek Jurasek of the Czech Route 66 Association is leading, Doga, an award winning Czech rock band, and forty of their fans on a Route 66 tour. They will be performing in free concerts in select cities, including at Sportsman’s in Kingman.
Getting your kicks on Route 66 takes on a whole new meaning when your sipping Buzz Honey Lager in a territorial era Arizona saloon while listening to a legendary Czech rock band!