Editor’s note: The Crew cannot be everywhere in New Mexico, so from time to time we have to call upon a new contributor to help us out when news is breaking in the outlying parts of the state. When we got word a new brewery was opening in Las Cruces, we put the call out for a correspondent to do a write-up. Phil Stofanak answered the call and sent us this write-up on the newest addition to the craft beer scene in Southern New Mexico. — Stoutmeister
Picacho Peak Brewing is one of the newest breweries to hit the Borderlands, specifically Las Cruces. It’s tough to find as the area sits back off the road, but you will be looking for Grapevine Plaza and the gate will be on your right. Walking up to the place you notice that there is a lot of room to grow with numerous building on the property. They even have a large stage and chairs set up outside that you can move together or into the shade if needed. Dogs are welcome to Picahco and the grassy area was a welcome feeling to our pooch after a day at the lake. They were very accommodating and even brought out some water for him.
Once outside and after moving the table to the shade, we were met by our waitress, the daughter of the owner. It truly is a family affair. His son, Derrick, poured the beers behind the bar and took the check when we left. Even the grandparents had stopped in for a drink. They do have food on the menu and they were very open to making just about anything you could ask for if they had the ingredients. We had the chips and queso dip just to hold us over until dinner. The queso dip had just enough kick for us to know it was there. It was most likely not enough for people who enjoy hot stuff, but for us it was enough. It looked to be homemade and the price wasn’t bad, either. The queso paired well with most of the beers. I don’t really recommend queso dip and the smooth and stout though, I think that threw some taste buds off.
Picacho Peak serves five beers right now. None of the beers are particularly summery, but the IPA was light enough that it was decently refreshing for the 100-degree heat Las Cruces had when we visited. The Road Runner IPA comes in at 7.8-percent ABV and was not very hoppy for an IPA, so even a non-hophead would enjoy it.
The Javelina Black IPA has more of a malty base and is just as dark as the Smooth and Stout. My wife had to help out and tell me which was which, because they looked so similar. It was smooth to drink and overall not a bad black IPA. There was not much hop bite, but it does shine through just enough to know it’s an IPA.
Rojo Grande has a great reddish hue and is a very drinkable lager type of beer. Angelic Amber lives up to the name of Angelic, as it truly is heavenly. Overall, it has great body and the drinkability is high. The amber coloring and good taste would make this a great fall beer for sitting out and listening to some music at Picacho Peak.
The Smooth and Stout is just how it sounds. This type of beer is not my go-to choice on a 100-degree day, however it is still a solid choice for maybe when it gets to 40 or 50 degrees.
Picahco Peak Brewing would be a great place to hang out and catch some live music, which seems to be an ongoing theme judging by their Facebook page and the amount of events they are planning. They have plenty of seats and they also have sand bags, so you can play a game while drinking one of your favorite brews. Picacho has plenty of room to grow on their property and I wish them all the luck in their newest endeavor.
So if you are hanging out in the Las Cruces area and just want a chill place to have a beer and hang out with friends, then try out the newest brewery in the Borderlands.