I will admit I was way too curious. When I found out a new brewery would be opening at an actual junkyard in Grants the same weekend friends and I would be driving back through there from Vegas, I had to stop by and see the place for myself. First off, it is really hard to find. If you try to map it on your phone, good old Google will try and direct you to a spot about three or four miles away. We made the mistake of believing the map and could not find it anywhere. So, we asked a couple of locals, but they did not know what we were talking about. Just as we were about to give up, one of our group saw a Facebook post from the owner explaining the Google mix-up, and including the correct directions.
Route 66 Junkyard Brewery has probably one of the most unique venues for a brewery that I have ever seen, and I tend to “beer travel” quite often. I was not able to spend much time talking to the owner, so I will let the pictures do the talking and just point out a few key aspects.
1. The owner, Henry Lackey, was losing about $100,000 a year on the junkyard (Oscar’s Auto Salvage, which he purchased about four years ago), and he decided it was time to do something different with the property. However, the junkyard remains, hence the name of Route 66 Junkyard Brewery.
2. They are cash only! And, at least for now, they are serving their one beer and several guest beers from kegs in the back of an old truck parked inside the main area. The kegs are surrounded by ice and the servers sit in the back of the truck and pour pints from the kegs. Eventually they plan on having eight or nine of their own beers on tap at any given time. The “tables” in this seating area are re-purposed old car hoods.
3. A full band (The MLC out of Albuquerque) was playing on the opposite side of the room from the beer tanks, in front of an old school bus. The setup was complete with stage lighting and sound mixing. This demonstrates how much space there is inside.
4. There is an additional pub room with tailgates for tables and a bar made from another old truck.
It was pretty slow on the holiday Monday, but the owner said that over the rest of the opening weekend there was a consistent average of about 30 people.
If you find yourself on a road trip that takes you through Grants, stop by and see this one-of-a-kind place. Just remember, unless or until Google Maps updates the directions, the Route 66 Junkyard Brewery is off of I-40 using exit 85, not 81-B.
Luckily there were no issues with any junkyard dogs.