Editor’s note: Once again, one of our new Bullpen writers makes his debut with the Look Back/Look Ahead Series entry for one of the newest breweries here in town. Please share some feedback to let Tom know how he did. Thanks! — S
If you’re looking to grab a “patriotic pint,” look no further than The 377 Brewery near the corner of Yale and Gibson in southeast Albuquerque. The new brewery, a furniture store in a previous life, is named for the 377th Air Base Wing stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base. As you enter, it feels as though you stepped inside an airplane hangar with beer taps, and what’s not to love about that?
Another bonus is the fact that many components of the brewery equipment are located in and around the seating area (awesome for us beer geeks). With red tabletops, blue and silver chairs, and Old Glory hanging proudly on the wall, it’s evident that the owners designed the brewery with strong, American pride. Although a grand opening remains unscheduled for now, a soft opening occurred in late October. Head brewer Lyna Waggoner, one of only two women to hold that job in the state, recently sat down to reflect on 2016 and, more importantly, look forward to what lies ahead for The 377 in 2017 and beyond.
Like so many breweries before, The 377 overcame one obstacle after another before finally opening its doors. Through all the trials and tribulations, Waggoner said she remained focused on one thing — brewing.
“I live for brewing beer,” Lyna said. “I continuously home brewed the entire time the owners, Cliff Sandoval and Fred Attencio, were dealing with everything besides the beer itself.”
Waggoner said her goal was to continue to perfect her award-winning recipes (she has won many home brewing competitions, including at the State Fair), so that once she began brewing on site, the beer would be as consistent as possible. Waggoner is also a landscape designer, and also applied her talents in that area at the brewery.
As for food offerings, the current plan is the reliable and time-tested food truck concept. Future plans, however, include a pizza oven within the brewery building itself. While currently their 12 taps feature creations from Enchanted Circle, Tractor, Santa Fe, Quarter Celtic, and Sierra Blanca, rest assured that Waggoner is busy brewing her own classic and traditional lineup. Lyna’s brews will include a traditional IPA, black IPA, session IPA, robust porter, oatmeal stout, best bitter, Scottish export 80, imperial crème, hefeweizen, saison, and a kolsch. Waggoner said that her goals for 2017 include “dialing in her recipes, brewing competitions, barrel-aging, sours, and eventually special releases and seasonals.” With a list like that, co-brewer Tammy Pluym should be kept quite busy as well.
The 377’s location serves KAFB, Sandia National Labs, the Sunport, and numerous surrounding hotels and, of course, UNM. Their stated goal is to become the premier UNM tailgating location, making for a perfect stop either before or after a Lobo basketball or football game. Future expansion will include an indoor/outdoor concept, featuring a retractable canvas roof and an entertainment pavilion, including a stage. When a military patron stops in, they are encouraged to provide their signature on one of the overhead beams, just above the bar. A fitting nod to those whose serve, as they themselves are served a pint.
It would appear the sky is the limit for The 377 Brewery going forward in the ever-expanding Albuquerque brew scene!