One of the best parts of driving off the interstate is having all sorts of surprising, positive travel finds. This week we drove from Albuquerque back to Phoenix. We could have easily taken I-40 to I-17, but we decided to make Pinetop Brewing a destination. Fortunately, this took us off the interstate and allowed us to discover a cool spot- El Malpais National Monument.
El Malpais is a volcanic field filled with interesting terrain, sandstone formations, and caves. It was snowing lightly when we arrived, painting everything with a dappled white brush. A short walk took us to La Ventana Natural Arch with sandstone bluffs all around.
The drive on from there took us through a blinding snowstorm and finally over the mountains and towards Pinetop. Pinetop reminded us strongly of Big Bear, CA, one of our favorite places to visit. Pinetop Brewing is a large, standalone building on the side of Highway 260. A cozy brewpub, their beer is focused on Belgian styles, and they definitely delivered. Almost every beer they had was incredibly delicious, although not necessarily to-style.
We can definitely continue to recommend you enjoy the journey, not just the destination. Take the slow road- you never know what you’ll find!