Archive for February 7, 2019

Austin Giorgetta, the new head of brewing operations, aims to get Rio Bravo’s beer up to par with the rest of the New Mexico craft scene.

Around this time last year, the staff at Rio Bravo Brewing told us that some big changes were coming in 2018. Not all of those that did occur were obvious, but arguably the biggest move of all will start to have a telling impact in 2019.

That would be Austin Giorgetta, the new head of brewing operations, who is tasked with bringing Rio Bravo beers up to par with the rest of the vibrant Albuquerque craft scene. I sat down with Austin, and co-owner Randy Baker, for this entry in our annual Look Back/Look Ahead Series.

“We had to make the change to bring our beers up to what people expect,” Randy said.

Head brewer Ty Levis is still working at Rio Bravo, but Austin is clearly taking point on revamping the entire beer lineup, with an emphasis on making sure that all the Rio Bravo brews reflect the tastes of the modern craft consumer.

“I’m the head of brewing operations, so I pretty much decide what goes in the kettle, what we’re going to be producing, things of that nature,” Austin said. “There’s only two of us, so we’re still both brewing, we’re still both doing other work around the brewery. I guess, to say the least, I have the executive order on what we’re brewing, when we’re brewing it, how we want to change the taps, what we want to put in, things of that nature.”

To begin with, Austin will refocus the sizable beer menu.

“I’m looking to really change the menu here, make it unique,” he said. “We’re going to dwindle down to 16 different beers, probably actually 14, with two ciders on tap. I’m looking to keep eight core, three experimental, and three seasonal-type brews.”

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