Surprise! A new brewery opened Friday afternoon in Albuquerque. It would be easy to miss that The 377 Brewery was pouring beers at the corner of Yale and Gibson, directly west of an ubiquitous Applebee’s. The 377 has no social media page, not Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, so in the end it was just word of mouth that the doors were open.
Our own AmyO was in the area when she found out, largely thanks to her rabid Lobo fandom. I will let her explain via the email she sent my way.
“Once a season the boys all stay overnight in the RV tailgate lot. I stay at one of the airport hotels and they come over in the morning and take showers. Dave asked me which one I was staying at this time and I told him it was one I haven’t done before. To explain the location I told him it is directly across the street from where 377 is. That got me wondering about when 377 would open. I Googled, found the website, and a phone number embedded on the map page. I called it and one of the owners answered. I asked him if they had an opening date. He said, ‘Yes. Today. In a few hours.’ It was a total coincidence. They got word the (small brewer) license finally came through that morning and they said, ‘Do not mail it. We are on the way now to pick it up.’ I was not sure it would really happen so I waited until I checked in to the hotel and ran across the street to see for myself.”
Since I had already assigned AmyO to another story for the weekend, I went over on my own Saturday afternoon to check out The 377 for myself and give everyone an early preview.
A bit confused by the beers in the lineup, I emailed 377 head brewer Lyna Waggoner for some clarification. It turns out only the Black IPA is hers, brewed up at Enchanted Circle Brewing in Angel Fire earlier this year when she was filling in until Kyle Yonan was able to take over. Kyle was kind enough to return the favor by sending his Helles Lager, Peach Wheat, Plum Sour, and Oktoberfest down to Albuquerque.
Lyna said in her email that she is still not quite ready to brew at The 377, due to issues with the kettle burner and glycol lines that she hopes will be fixed this week. Once those fixes are made, she added that she is ready to brew up to five beers for the future grand opening of The 377, the date of which has not been determined.
For now, I can at least say that the Black IPA was hugely popular with the Saturday afternoon crowd. It is milder and less hoppy than Santa Fe, but then again, time may have muted the hops. It was still a pretty solid beer, all things considered.
The space itself is a little different than other breweries. It sits on the northwest corner of Yale and Gibson, more easily accessible for traffic driving southbound on Yale or westbound on Gibson. There is a parking lot on the southwest side of the building. Outside, there is a small patio that is completely enclosed by a fence. You have to go in through the brewery to reach the patio. Inside, there is a sizable bar and a lot of tables, both two-chair high tables by the windows facing Yale, and low tables that can seat up to four in the area that eventually opens out to the patio. They do have televisions above the bar, for sports fans.
The 377 does not have food, but there is space for a future kitchen and plans to have it open in a few months, the bar staff told me. They do hope to have food trucks parked outside most days.
Guest taps will keep the brewery going for now. In addition to the Enchanted Circle beers, they currently have beers from Quarter Celtic, including Pedro O’Flanagan Mexican Lager, and Santa Fe, including State Pen Porter.
Overall, The 377 has a comfortable atmosphere. There were several Air Force personnel hanging out at the bar on their day off. One would have to imagine Kirtland and Sunport employees could end up being a big portion of the customer base, along with college students and UNM and CNM employees as well. The presence of multiple nearby hotels should also help. Now, all The 377 has to do is get the word out there. AmyO found someone handing out printed fliers at the UNM football tailgate, but a lot of social media would be nice, too.
The Crew will keep tabs on the progress of The 377’s own beers. We will offer a more formal, in-depth preview in advance of the TBD grand opening.