The great Albuquerque brewery boom seemed to sputter out in 2012 and 2013, as only Bosque Brewing opened in the former year and no new breweries appeared in the city limits in the latter year. In fact, only three breweries — Little Toad Creek near Silver City, Kaktus Brewing in Bernalillo, and Duel Brewing in Santa Fe — opened this past year. The state’s largest city has seemingly reached its limit for breweries. Or has it?
If recent rumors and whispers are true, then 2014 is about to blow up with new breweries popping up all over the metro area. This does not even include the new taproom/brewhouse for Tractor on Fourth Street, nor Bosque’s new taproom in Nob Hill, plus a rumored Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande taproom also in Nob Hill. Up until recently, the only new brewery the Crew knew of was The Stumbling Steer, which wanted to open last fall, but ended up being delayed until late January/early February due to licensing issues stemming from the government shutdown this past autumn.
Reader Phil Leckman informed us via Facebook on Monday that he saw indications of a new brewery downtown. Thus, we put the word out and asked if people had heard of this possible brewery or any others. The response was significant. In addition, we were told of possible breweries/taprooms on Central west of downtown, at the former Elliott’s Bar off Alameda, at the former Farside Brewery location in the Northeast Heights, and finally of a new brewery in Nob Hill near Central and Carlisle. Not content to sit around and wait for more info, I, Stoutmeister, hit the road in search of some answers. Here is what I found out.
West side: Elliott’s Bar, a large, seemingly nice establishment near the intersection of Alameda and Corrales, has closed its doors. Reader Kevin Murray passed along news that a friend had seen brewing tanks being moved into the space, and we had heard rumors of a brewery looking to open in that general vicinity. I checked out the space, but there is no visual evidence. I could not see any evidence of brewing equipment from outside, and there was no one around to ask about what might be going on. There are two large cargo trailers (the kind you might see on a train, minus any wheels) sitting in the parking lot outside. There are no permit/license-pending signs in the windows, nor any indication that someone else is taking over the space. We do not doubt what Kevin’s friend might have seen, but for now things look like it could be a long while before there is any brewing going on here. If anyone on the west side ever sees anything new happening at this location (it’s off the beaten path for the six of us), please let us know.
Northeast Heights: Farside Brewery, previously Bad Ass Brewery, was a small operation in a shopping center on the southeast corner of Eubank and Montgomery. It closed its doors for good early in 2013, unable to shake its reputation as a sub-par establishment among the ABQ beer-loving community. The space has sat vacant since, even as changes have occurred to the many other liquor-selling establishments in the shopping center (e.g. Hooligans is now The Vault). Now, up in the old Farside/Bad Ass sign above the space, there is a sign saying “Coming Soon Lizard Tail Brewing.” That is all there is, however. No one was present when I went by, and all the blinds were drawn so I could not see inside. There is no permit application posted in the window, either. Projecting when Lizard Tail opens is impossible at this point.
Central west of downtown: By the info on the sign in the door, this location at 1720 Central Ave. SW will be the new Chama River taproom. We do not know if this is the end of the Micro Bar next to Sunshine Theater (if anyone at Chama would like to contact us, please do). The only problem we foresee with this location is that it is directly across the street from Manzano Day School, a private institution that has some wealthy backing that might not like a taproom anywhere near the students. It does not take much to get a NIMBY attitude from folks. Currently there is nothing inside the building, so there figures to be a lot of work to be done before this is ready to start serving beer to customers. Any protests to the liquor license must be filed by January 22, so we should know the fate of this taproom sooner than later.
Downtown on Second Street: This is the location that reader Phil told us about. It is located in a two-story building on 413 Second Street, about halfway between Lead and Coal on the west side of the street, directly across from Gertrude Zachary. There is no brewery name listed on the permit application displayed in the front window. The application says there will be a hearing on January 21 to determine whether or not the city will approve the conditional use permit. We have never heard of a possible brewery opening here, so this site remains a total mystery, one we will be endeavoring to find some answers with in the very near future. If anyone out there has additional info, please send it our way.
Nob Hill: Marne Gaston sent us info on the opening of Hops Brewery, which should not be confused with the aforementioned SB/RG and Bosque taprooms elsewhere in Nob Hill. Hops will be located at 3507 Central Ave. NE, directly across from the Nob Hill Business Center and just a couple storefronts due west from the Satellite Coffee near Central and Carlisle. Hops has two permit applications posted in its windows, one to brew its own beer and another to sell beer from other in-state breweries. The space is not very large, but word is they will set up the brewing system in the basement and use the entire upstairs as the taproom. Much like the unnamed brewery on Second Street, Hops will also get its hearing on its permit applications on January 21. Sounds like I will be getting up early and heading downtown that day to see what transpires.
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If there are any other possible new breweries out there, please let us know. You can leave a comment here, direct message us on Facebook, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if any of the new brewery owners/brewers want to get in touch, please do. We would love to sit down and talk about what you have in store for us all in the coming months.
Raise a pint to 2014. It’s going to be one heck of a busy beer year.