New breweries update: Separating rumors from fact about the coming surge

OffKilter took delivery of their equipment back in June and say they will open in December. They are one of many new places scheduled to open in the coming months. (Courtesy of their Facebook page)
OffKilter took delivery of their equipment back in June and say they will open in December. They are one of many new places scheduled to open in the coming months. (Courtesy of their Facebook page)

A while back we had a story where I quoted a reliable source who said there are 31 applications for either breweries or taprooms in Albuquerque alone. Needless to say, this got some people fairly stirred up. Taking away the four pending taprooms we know about (Duel in downtown, Kaktus in Nob Hill, Marble in the NE Heights, Red Door in downtown), that leaves 27 potential places. Let us take stock of what is known, what is rumor, and try to figure out just what it all means. Oh, and we do have some updates on places outside of ABQ as well.

Confirmed forthcoming ABQ breweries

We know these places are coming because either A) we’ve visited them, B) they have a Facebook page/official website, or C) they have active or pending licenses via the State of New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department website.

1. Bow & Arrow Brewing (6th Street just south of I-40): We know the build-out is underway because someone emailed us photos, but those disappeared from our Facebook page not long after they appeared. Word is the owner is being very cautious and secretive, trying not to drum up too much hype/expectations too far in advance of their opening. We were told they hired a professional brewer from outside of NM, which can work (see James Warren at Blue Corn), instead of hiring an existing brewer from here in the state. At the pace they are on, an early 2016 opening is likely. You can check their website as they are not yet on social media.

2. Firkin Brewhouse & Grill (Brewery District on Columbia): In case you missed it, friend of the Crew Mario Caldwell took a lot of photos of Firkin. We tried their beers at Blues & Brews back in May and enjoyed them. I ran into some of their staff at NM Brew Fest over the weekend and they said a circa Nov. 1 opening is the plan. We will have a formal, full preview over there as soon as we can set up a time to visit. Until then, keep track on their Facebook page or their website.

This was the proposed location of Hops Brewery in Nob Hill, which may now be a dead project.
This was the proposed location of Hops Brewery in Nob Hill, which may now be a dead project.

3. Hops Brewery (Nob Hill): Back in early 2014 we saw the permit application posted in the window of a storefront in Nob Hill, across the street from Gecko’s on Central. Since then there have been rumors of issues involving the lack of parking, possible opposition from neighborhood businesses, and more. The pending application is still listed on the State website, though it dates from Oct. 31, 2013. This may be a dead project. One interesting detail on the application is the listed owner is “Los Ranchos Brewing LLC.” A possible Plan B? Any connection to a rumored brewery (see below) in the Los Ranchos area? There are more questions than answers here.

4. OffKilter Brewing (near San Mateo and McLeod): As we have noted before, this is the brewery owned by Mike Campbell, formerly of Cazuela’s and Tractor. While we have been unsuccessful in terms of contacting them, their official website now lists an opening month of December. If we finally hear back, we will get over there and get a preview posted before then.

Palmer Brewery and Cider House will share space with Left Turn Distilling. (Courtesy of their Facebook page)
Palmer Brewery and Cider House will share space with Left Turn Distilling. (Courtesy of their Facebook page)

5. Palmer Brewery and Cider House (inside Left Turn Distilling): For those not familiar with Left Turn’s location, it is at 2924 Girard, basically due south of La Cumbre on the other side of Candelaria. We know little about Palmer, but they do have a website up and a Facebook page.

6. Quarter Celtic Brewpub (inside ACE Courtyard at Lomas and San Mateo): Just in case you missed it, we already did a big preview of this potentially awesome new place.

7. Sidetrack Brewing (2nd Street between Lead and Coal): Meet another place that we already wrote up.

8. Starr Brothers Brewing (San Antonio west of San Pedro): Good lord, my father will be able to walk to this place from his house. Sorry, mom. Located in the more easterly of the two buildings that make up San Antonio Commons, this is just up the road from I-25. We have been in touch with them via email and they recently started their build-out. They still hope to open before the year is out, projecting mid-November. Look for a preview sooner than later. Until then, they are on Facebook and have a website.

AmyO got this photo of the brewing equipment in the old Stumbling Steer space.
AmyO got this photo of the brewing equipment in the old Stumbling Steer space. It will finally be used by a new brewing operation.

9. Sugar House Brewing (inside the former Stumbling Steer): OK, Sugar House is the name we heard, but we have also heard Sugar Water. Either way this place will be using the leftover equipment and space that was never used by the Steer. The folks behind Vernon’s Speakeasy, Vernon’s Open Door, and Wise Pies are the owners of this location. The story from the Journal a while back said the brewery would produce beers for all of those restaurants. We do not know if they will sell beers directly from the brewery.

10. The 377 Brewery (near Yale and Gibson): Brewery consultant JD Cummins told us there was a brewery going in south of UNM a while back. Nexus’ Kaylynn McKnight then told us it would be run by the second female head brewer in the state. This Saturday we met Lyna, the brewer herself, and exchanged business cards. Look for more on this brewery in the near future as we set up a time for an interview/tour.

Unconfirmed ABQ breweries

1. Flix Brewhouse and Movie Theater (somewhere on Coors): We heard a rumor that this chain, think Alamo Drafthouse, is moving in on the West Side. Basically it is a movie theater with its own brewpub, with beers brewed on site. Clearly this is something ABQ has been missing, and it goes one step beyond Violet Crown Cinemas in Santa Fe (which just has taps from area breweries). We will seek out more info.

2. Steel Bender Brewyard (2nd Street near Paseo del Norte): The rumors of a brewery opening in the Los Ranchos area have been persistent for a while. A source we trust passed along this name, but so far there is no additional info available, no website, Facebook page, or application to the state for a small brewers license.

3. Ventura Brewing (Paseo del Norte near San Pedro): The name comes from an old map of future breweries, so it may or may not be there. We are hearing rumors of a brewery in the area, though exactly where is unknown. One possibility is a building being constructed from the ground up near Chick-Fil-A, though that was idle speculation between myself and a reporter from the Journal. Just recently one of our Bullpen members heard of a brewery near Paseo and Wyoming; not sure whether it is this or not.

Even if those three unconfirmed places come to fruition, that still leaves a whopping 14 other breweries about which we have heard nothing. Unless they are extremely spread out and in the various corners of ABQ that are currently under-served (think far West Side, far NE Heights, and so on), we could be looking at oversaturation in the next couple years. That will likely produce more Broken Bottle-style casualties than we would like to see, but such is the nature of the industry.

* * * *

As promised, we also have news on breweries around the state. This is all pretty much taken from the State website, plus there are some Facebook pages and the like.

1. Ale Republic (Cedar Crest): We talked to the Republic guys a while back, when they were still in the midst of their Kickstarter campaign. Now they have their location, but alas (or hooray) it is not in Albuquerque, but instead on the east side of the Sandias in Cedar Crest. When they are ready for us to come visit, we will drop in and do a formal write-up.

2. Colfax Ale Cellar (Raton): After being told this was a dead or massively delayed project, a reader with connections to the owners informed us that things are progressing and Colfax hopes to open early in 2016. I guess the Crew will be stopping by during one of our future sojourns to Colorado. They are still listed as having a pending license on the state site, though it calls them Colfax Ave Cellar.

Farmington will be getting their second brewery soon.
Farmington will be getting their second brewery soon.

3. Farmington HUB — Brewery & Grill: This could be interesting with another Hub (see below), so this name may or may not stick. Or we could have a full-on brouhaha over naming in the state. Anyway, we know next to nothing about them, though they do have a website and a Facebook page. Guess we will stop in the next time we go to and from Durango.

4. The Grant Brewing Co. (Chama): They are listed on the state website as a pending application since May 6, but we cannot find any info beyond that. There is no website or social media page. Anyone know if this project is still in existence?

5. Hub City Brewing at the Rail Cafe (Belen): This application to the State was made back in 2013, so it may be a dead project. The Rail Cafe is located at 202 DeSoto Ave. in Belen, but they don’t have a website or a Facebook page that we can find. We are not even sure the cafe is open, much less that they are still planning a brewery.

They aren't open yet, but Milton's in Carlsbad already has merch for sale. (Courtesy of their Facebook page)
They aren’t open yet, but Milton’s in Carlsbad already has merch for sale. (Courtesy of their Facebook page)

6. Milton’s Brewing (Carlsbad): The last time we asked about new breweries, these guys responded right away. They have a website and a Facebook page up and running. The brewery is looking at a 2016 opening, but lord knows this part of the state needs more craft beer, so the wait should be worth it. When they get closer to opening, a road trip will beckon.

7. Pizzeria Da Lino (Santa Fe): Located at 204 N. Guadalupe, just off the Plaza, they are listed as having applied for a Small Brewer License on June 24. Luke or Julie, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to head over and see what is up with them making their own beer.

8. Sub Rosa Cellars (Santa Fe): Luke already wrote up a preview of this forthcoming, wholly unique new brewery.

We did hear that the seemingly dormant Rincon Brewing in Aztec may be revived under a different name. There is also talk of a brewery taking over the old Jackalope space in Bernalillo on Highway 550 near the Santa Ana Star Casino. We do know there will be a taproom of sorts opening in Bernalillo in the old Flying Star space, though as of right now we have not heard if they plan to brew their own. The combined coffeehouse/brewery in EDO on Central is apparently dead, at least at that location. If Theory manages to resurface elsewhere, we will track them down.

We're gonna need a bigger map soon.
We’re gonna need a bigger map soon.

So that is the info that we have right now. Have more details for us? Know of additional places? Please contact us at

Until these places come to fruition, you should have plenty of local options for quality craft beer to keep you satiated.


— Stoutmeister

13 Comments Add yours

  1. Hey guys, not sure if you got contacted or not about the Grant Brewing Co. or not yet. It is up and running brewing ciders up in Chama, NM, and the location name is The Brew House.

    1. cjax33 says:

      Still can’t find the location on Google Maps, but we’ll take your word for it. Any idea if they’re ever brewing beer, too?

  2. Richard says:

    Has any progress been made at the Freighthouse in Bernalillo? R

    1. cjax33 says:

      We heard there is progress being made, but no targeted opening date as of yet. We will ask around for more info.

  3. S says:

    Heard one is going in the old Damn Bar in Rio Rancho? Anyone know anything about that?

    1. cjax33 says:

      That’s just the reincarnation of the Local Brewhouse, the place that used to be next to Dirty Bourbon. The owner also owned the Damn Bar, so he’s just relocating the Local over there.

  4. Dave says:

    Any word on the old Farmer’s Feed store in Los Ranchos (north 4th)? The village is reporting it recently approved a brewpub for the location.

    1. cjax33 says:

      We had not heard of anything going in there. Guess we’ll have to investigate. Thanks for the tip!

  5. Kitson says:

    I’ve heard rumor of a planned Tenpenny brew pub in the North Valley. I think I have the name right.

    1. cjax33 says:

      Maybe that’s what’s going in the old Farmer’s Feed place as a previous person asked about.

  6. Jack Townes says:

    Grants is open in Chama,nice place ,weekly live music too. They have their own cider on tap ,guest beer taps at the moment.

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