Soon, Albuquerque, soon you will be getting the full Santa Fe Brewing Company experience. Soon, you’ll get to know them like I do, like family, like that crazy partying family that eats, sleeps, and breathes (and of course drinks) cerveza. No doubt you’ve already heard that Santa Fe Brewing Co. will be building a taproom in Albuquerque, but I’m not talking a mere extension, a cold room with a few taps, the bottles, and cans of the classic core and seasonal brews that I’m betting you’ve already seen in stores.
No, soon you will be getting your golden ticket. This Wednesday I did a brief phone interview with SFBC owner Brian Lock to iron out the details about the new Santa Fe Brewing Co. Taproom, which will be built into the Green Jeans Farmery, near I-40 and Carlisle. The Albuquerque Journal did a nice article on the business aspect of the space, but for my article, I wanted to focus on the beer and entertainment situation that you, Albuquerque beer fans, will get to enjoy, hopefully as soon as next spring.
DSBC: SFBC is opening up shop in ABQ, What does that mean for ABQ’s beer-drinking public?
Lock: I think it gives the Albuquerque beer aficionados a chance to try beers that aren’t available there on a regular basis that are available here at the tasting room, in Santa Fe.
DSBC: So which of SFBC’s beers will be available in Albuquerque?
Lock: All of our big beers and seasonal beers. We’re also going to introduce our Small Batch Saturdays, which we typically only sell here, and at our other off-site location (SFBC’s Eldorado taproom). We’ll be taking down our specialty beers and offering those on tap at that location in Albuquerque. And then we’ll also be able to offer some of the rarer specialty beers, the one-off beers, where we’ll only brew a 30-barrel batch and send the kegs to festivals or tasting rooms. So that’ll be included at the Albuquerque taproom, so they can get a chance to try some of that kind of stuff, too. There aren’t really any outlets that carry our barrel-aged beers, you know, our Los Innovadores series, the Single Barrel, the Kriek, the Oud Bruin. Some of those beers will now be available on tap down at that location as well.
DSBC: Will there be package bottles and six-packs available for purchase like the Ever Changing Series, etc.?
Lock: Exactly, yeah. We’ll do, like you said, our Ever-Changing Series. My plan is to try to install between 16 and 20 taps. We’ll probably have at least 12-14 of those always full of our stuff, and then my plan is to also offer some other local beers from Albuquerque and some of the other parts of New Mexico to kind of showcase what New Mexico has.
DSBC: I read that Roy Solomon made mention of a possibility of food, but will that be a separate crate? Has Santa Fe Brewing considered food trucks, which seem to be a popular solution for breweries and taprooms in Albuquerque?
Lock: Food trucks (are) exactly the direction we’re going. As a part of our design and build-out of the space, Roy’s agreed to have at least one parking spot dedicated for a food truck, maybe two. So we’ll at least have one food truck option all the time. We’re already working with some local food trucks there, and of course there might be some food vendors within the same development as well.
DSBC: What about music? Is there a possibility for live music or are there any zoning/lease conflicts that you’re aware of?
Lock: No, I don’t think there’ll be any conflicts with any of the other tenants there. My plan is to create probably an outdoor stage, nothing very large, but something were you could get a two- or three-person acoustic kind of set-up going for an outdoor stage patio. It might even be a rooftop kind of style. So, a lot of that’s still in the planning stages, but ultimately I would like the ability to do live music.
DSBC: SFBC has a unique, laid-back, (yet) fun vibe at the brewery which, in my opinion, sets it apart from many other breweries out there. It may be the people that work there, or the atmosphere, but has any thought yet been put into maintaining Santa Fe Brewing’s own special mix of beer and crazy?
Lock: Yeah, I hear what you’re saying. I was kind of waiting for a venue, or the opportunity to build something that was unique, kinda quirky. It was certainly my intention to make this space different than other tasting rooms. I definitely want to figure out how to incorporate some aspect of the beer, and utilizing the fact that we’ve got our own hop farm out in Rinconada. So, my idea is that at least every fall, when we’re harvesting our own hops, we’re able to showcase those hops at that location. We’ll have people see the beer, whether it’s going through a Randall kind of aspect, or something along those lines, where people can actually see the hops that we’re growing for the beers and then actually see the beer going through the hops.
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Well, there you have it, Albuquerque. It sounds like Lock is really pulling out all the stops to give you the full Santa Fe Brewing Co. experience. It’s almost like you’re getting a whole new brewery with all the new beers that will be regularly available, from the seasonals like the Black IPA that was just released, to the specialty beers like the Ever Changing Series, to the Small Batch (for which I just brewed a Winter Warmer last Saturday). It’s the full experience. And while it almost means nothing to me (ONLY because I live here in Santa Fe), I couldn’t be more excited for my Albuquerque beer drinking friends. (We’re excited, don’t worry. — Stoutmeister) Welcome to the family!