There has been a taproom, there have been a few bars with local craft taps, but the communities of the East Mountains have never had their own brewery. Until now, that is, as the Ale Republic Brewery opened its doors this weekend in Cedar Crest.
With a little time before another Isotopes homestand began, I hit the road Saturday afternoon. The good news was I knew what sign to look for along Highway 14 north of I-40. This was good because the map on Facebook was wrong (something the Ale Republic staff was aware of and has since fixed). For those planning to visit, just stay on 14 a ways north of the freeway exit. Keep going past the Greenside Cafe and Triangle Grocery. As you go down one hill and up the next, you will either see the tall, white Ale Republic sign on your right (east) side, or look for the sign for the Post Office. Turn right at that sign (the street is Arroyo Seco) and head to the third of four buildings back from the road. That’s the Ale Republic.
Is it small? Yes. Is that OK? Yes. A modest beginning is just fine. After heading inside, I ran into brewer/owner Patrick Johnson, who gave me the quick tour of the small operation. As he said, “We didn’t want to go too big right away, we just wanted to get the doors open and start serving beer.” There is a future option to move into the larger building behind the current one, though that will be a while from now.
As always, I could yammer on about what is there, or I could just show all the pictures of the interior.
There are multiple guest taps for now, as only the Blonde Ale is on tap right now. They have a Belgian Dubbel due up next and an IPA after that. The Blonde (6.2% ABV, 20 IBU) is an unfiltered, tangy little sucker. It almost has hints of apricot, and is definitely more robust than your average example of the style.
Look for some more formal events coming up from Ale Republic in the near future. We will add them to The Week Ahead in Beer and keep you all up to date on what the future holds.
Welcome to the NM craft beer community, Ale Republic! All of us, and especially the folks in Cedar Crest, are happy to have you!