So back on Friday, Porter Pounder, Jason, and I went over to Red Door Brewing to check out the now-finished taproom and see just when they were opening. We found out it was going to be this week and agreed to hold off on a story until either the day of or the day before.
And then the Albuquerque Journal went ahead and published a short story online Saturday morning saying that Red Door was having its soft opening this Wednesday and grand opening Friday.
Anyway, we’re not mad at the Journal or anything, but it was definitely one of those “aw, shucks, we got scooped” kind of moments. It happens in the media business, even in the business of reporting on beer. We’ll still buy Jessica Dyer a beer if we see her out and about.
So, yes, Red Door will open its doors Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. (UPDATE: our earlier report that it’s opening Tuesday was off, that’s a special invite-only day for close friends of the brewery … and us, too), with the bigger shindig planned for Friday, running from noon to midnight. The good news is Red Door looks to be ready for the onrush of beer lovers who will descend upon its location at 1001 Candelaria NE (just west of I-25, on the north side of the street). The taproom should have room for about 95 people. The bar has plenty of space and they had a slew of glasses and growlers ready to go (not to mention a rather awesome wall decoration of growlers from all over America).
Oh, yeah, the beer. Brewer Wayne Martinez was our guide on our brief visit. It wasn’t ready for sampling quite yet (darn), but it will be ready Wednesday. The key, Wayne said, was to make sure the beer was 100 percent and not rushed. Considering what we all experienced over at Ponderosa, not rushing your beer is a very good thing. The plan is to have four beers and a cider — Threshold IPA, Roamer Red, Paint It Black Milk Stout, Gateway Blonde Ale, Unhinged Cider — on tap this week, with a fifth beer on the way shortly. Eventually the plan is to have six regular taps and up to six seasonals.
There are plenty of tables and booths for patrons, though the planned patio on the west side of the building will not be ready just yet. Wayne said they’re not sure when the patio will be done. They could hold off until next spring, or possibly have it ready soon. Nonetheless, the area outside the patio spot will be where the food trucks will park. Red Door will save some money (and stress) by skipping a kitchen and instead will rely upon the many awesome food truck options around town. Europa Roaming Kitchen will claim the space outside during Friday’s grand opening. Wayne said that a food truck schedule/rotation has been set up for most of the week already, with only a few early-week slots remaining.
The progress that the Red Door staff has made since my first visit earlier this year has been quite remarkable. It should all begin to pay off this week. All of us in the Crew will be making our way over to Red Door at some point. After all, it’s like I said, we have to try the beer finally!