The entirety of the iconic Route 66 might be a relic from the past, but the memories that were created along this historical roadway are still relevant today. And Junkyard on 66 Brewery is just one of the businesses along Route 66 that help keep the past alive. Located just off of I-40 in Grants, New Mexico, what was once just an auto salvage yard is now a sought after place to connect with travelers, hikers, and locals, alike.
Junkyard on 66 Brewery is bringing the nostalgia of road trips back to fruition. And while the entirety of what used to be a 2,400 mile connection of roadways linking the Midwest to the Pacific Coast has long since been decommissioned, there is still plenty to explore along what was once called “The Mother Road.”
Today, instead of hopping into your father’s old Buick with a cooler full of Mom’s special peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, you’re climbing up into your Class A with a full-size fridge full of everything from fresh vegetables to frozen pizzas. The vehicles that get you on the road might be a bit different, but it’s still a road trip. And in the 21st century, what is a road trip without a stop along the way at a brewery that also happens to be a Harvest Host? That also happens to be along the best road-tripping road ever – Route 66.
History of Junkyard on 66 Brewery
But this Harvest Host brewery isn’t your typical Host or typical brewery. This Harvest Host brewery celebrates its past while embracing the inevitable changes of the world. Welcome to Junkyard on 66 Brewery.
Beginning its days as an automotive salvage yard – Oscar’s Auto Salvage – over three decades ago, it continues to make history. Albeit that history is now ensconced in smells of grains in conjunction with the almost pleasant smell of stagnant oil and gasoline.
Veteran owned and operated, Henry Lackey took over the auto salvage yard, and in 2016 added a brewhouse to the still functioning junkyard. Lackey, a Route 66 local, set out to create a space for travelers and locals in hopes of helping to revitalize what was once a bustling Route 66 community. And what better way to do so than by giving new life to an already well-known space in Grants, New Mexico.
Lackey had one mission in mind for his community space. And that mission?
“To create renowned beer and delectable food while serving them in a unique and memorable setting.”
Meet Your Harvest Hosts: Junkyard on 66 Brewery
We’re in agreement. Junkyard on 66 Brewery is unique and memorable. Not only that, the space that Lackey has created is welcoming to all who pass through. Hikers included.
Grants, New Mexico happens to be the center of the Continental Divide Trail (CDT), an arduous thru-hike that crosses 3,100 miles spanning from Mexico to Canada. If we were hiking the CDT, a brewery would be on our minds, too.
While we’re not hiking 3,100 miles, we might be driving that. And making an overnight pitstop at a brewery as an RVer sounds just as appealing as if we were hiking. And Junkyard on 66 Brewery makes an overnight stop quite enjoyable.
Sitting on 10 acres, Junkyard on 66 can accommodate small rigs, big rigs, and everything in between. After checking in with the host at the brewery, you’ll be directed to a large gravel lot where you will find plenty of level space to set up comfortably for the night.
Because it is a gravel lot, it can flood when heavy rains come in, so they do not accept reservations greater than 48 hours in advance. And yes, heavy rains do occur, but being located in the desert, it’s not a common occurrence. On the other hand, if you need a place to stay at the last minute, you can just show up.
Reservation or not, Junkyard on 66 is easy to find with its bold red lettering greeting you immediately from the road. And while it might be the giant red letters spelling out “BREWERY” with each garage door labeled with its corresponding use that gets your attention at first, your eyes will immediately be drawn elsewhere.
Where? To the unique outdoor space surrounded by a creatively designed fence of well worn wheel rims, complete with car seats as benches. To the old car parts used as accessories strategically planted everywhere you look. To the space and the people that welcome you in like a local.
Upon entrance you’ll immediately be greeted with the front end of an old Chevy, vibrant with rusted shades of orange, blue and brown hues. The walls are emblazoned with license plates from across the years and across the plains. Not to waste anything from a junkyard of 35 years, the tables and chairs here are exactly what you would expect them to be – old hoods from classic cars, bench seats from trucks way past their prime, and any and every accessory from car parts upcycled to create a truly unique space.
Including the brewhouse right next to a car museum stock full of vintage and muscle cars. Cars full of stories and histories, and a color pallet to match. You can wander in awe, beer in hand, or simply sit back and relax. You are, after all, home for the night.
What’s on Tap
And when you’re home for the night at a brewery, you might as well enjoy a beer. Can you guess what the beer names are? You got it! Named after car parts.
How about a colada flavored lager called Rack & Piñon or their double Hefeweizen, the F-460?
Not a car name, but the U92 is also another option. This Belgian White is named after the uranium mining in the area.
They also recognize that not all RVers are beer lovers, so in addition to their craft beer they also offer select cocktails, wine, and sodas.
And what is beer without BBQ? Smoking their own meats on site, you can’t go wrong with a BBQ sandwich. It’s not quite Mom’s peanut butter and jelly, but we’ve grown out of that stage. It’s time for a real sandwich. Pulled pork or brisket, anyone? How about both?
Food service is available weekdays after 4:00 and all day on the weekends.
Beyond Junkyard on 66 Brewery
What would a trip to a brewery along Route 66 be without experiencing a bit more along this historic roadway? Along I-40, about 50 miles west of Grants, you’ll also come across the Historic El Rancho Hotel in Gallup. Relive the Hollywood western days when stars such as John Wayne, Rita Hayowrth, and Kirk Douglas set up camp here while filming. Park the RV and stay for the night or just stop in for a Southwestern style meal or mosey on up to the bar for a drink.
There’s more to the eye than you expect in the quaint desert town of Grants, including another brewery, Elkins Brewing Company. And before heading out of town, be sure to pay a visit to the New Mexico Mining Museum and the required drive through the Fire and Ice Arch in town commemorating Historic Route 66. But that’s not all! There’s plenty of hiking trails nearby earning you that much deserved beer and BBQ at Junkyard on 66 Brewery.
Want to stay longer and keep on playing in Grants? Harvest Hosts has got you covered with two more hosts. Grab a glass of wine at Uranium City Winery or play a round of golf at Coyote del Malpais Golf Course. Route 66 may be inching its way towards the history books, but Grants is alive and kicking.
Cheers from Junkyard on 66 Brewery
“Harvests Hosts is a great program that brings us a good majority of our customers. And Harvest Hosts members love to talk, and we welcome that talk.” (Isaiah, Beertender)
Come one, come all! Buy a spare part for your car or maybe even your RV. Revel in the vintage collection of vehicles while sipping on a craft beer and enjoying handcrafted BBQ. Converse with hikers coming off the CDT. Chat with locals about the beauty of New Mexico. You might even come across a traveler from Israel. It has happened here.
Because anything can happen along Historic Route 66. And anything that happens is definitely better at a brewery and salvage yard.
You finally made it to the Mother Road. Now celebrate with a beer and a car part! Welcome to Junkyard on 66 Brewery!
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Harvest Hosts is an RV membership program that allows self-contained travelers to overnight at unique locations around the country including farms, wineries, museums, breweries, and more! With 4741+ of host locations inside of our ever-expanding network, there’s an amazing experience waiting for everyone.
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Ken and April Pishna are craft beer and travel lovers. Also Harvest Host members, they live and work in their 24 foot RV, while traveling to drink good beer and explore all that Mother Nature has to offer. Together they founded Living a Stout Life to guide others along on their own craft beer and travel adventures. You can follow them on Instagram and Facebook.
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