The White Mountains of Arizona is a popular destination for people looking to escape city life for a chance to experience all the things Mother Nature has to offer.
In just three hours, people can drive from Phoenix and be in wide-open spaces, surrounded by big trees while biking, hiking and fishing.
The area is also known for some great restaurants to grab food and drinks.
One new place on the mountain is Black Horse Brewery located north of mile marker 333 on AZ Highway 260 on Burton Road in Linden.
“I like to say it’s 7.2 miles from the light near the Highway 260/60 intersection in Show Low,” said Black Horse Brewery sales and marketing manager Michael Forney.
Forney, his brother Jacob, dad Ralph and mom Julie opened up the micro-brewery almost a year ago.
“Where the brewery is located a lot of people think they’re in the wrong spot,” Forney said. “It looks like your driving down someone’s driveway.”
Well, you’re driving down someone’s driveway, his parents. The huge garage on the property was converted into the brewery.
“It has grown well beyond our expectations,” Forney said. “We originally opened in mind with just being a production brewery.
“The idea was to sell beer to restaurants and then it kind of just took on a life of it’s own,” Forney continued.
The family not only sells their handcrafted beers to restaurants in the area, they serve it in the Hole in the Wall Tap Room that has expanded from a bar with only 5 seats to another lounge area and outside patio.
“We have 11 different beers that we make,” Forney said. “The top three sellers include the Black Stallion Lager/Ale, Gold Dust and Friday Nite IPA.”
The brews are inspired by German recipes and modern and unique blends made with all-grain and all-natural ingredients.
“My dad was stationed in Germany and they have their own type of beer,” Forney said. “When he got back to the U.S., he couldn’t find any beer he liked to drink, so he made his own.”
Forney’s dad is the master brewer. What he shared with family and friends for the last 30 years at home is now reaching a much larger audience.
“The process to make a beer from start to finish is 21 days,” Forney said.
A process the Forney family is willing to show customers. They give tours to those interested in learning how they create the craft beer.
As for the future, Forney is hoping to expand the brewery.
“We would like to open up a second location in downtown Show Low and possibly have a restaurant with it too,” Forney said.
So where did the Forney family get the Black Horse Brewery name?
Forney said it goes back again to his dad’s time being in the United States Army. He was part of the Black Horse Regiment.
The brewery also makes homemade root beer and ginger ale, which visitors looking for a non-alcoholic option can drink.
The Black Horse Brewery is celebrating its one-year anniversary at the end of the month. For more information, visit www.blackhorsebrewery.us