The end is nigh for the Bosque San Mateo taproom. A Farewell Fiesta is scheduled for this Saturday to say good-bye to the original location, and rather than mourn its passing, the Crew and some of the staff got together to share memories, stories, and more.
“We just want it to be a celebration,” said director of culture and engagement Jessica Griego. “Just give one final thank you, but not (totally) final, to everyone who’s supported us over the last six-and-a-half years. We don’t have any of our current co-workers scheduled that day so that they can enjoy themselves. We’re (the owners) going to be serving beers.”
First, we wanted to make sure everyone has all the info about the event itself, so events coordinator Ezekiel “Zeke” Gomez joined the staff interview.
“We really just wanted to throw a big party to say good-bye,” Zeke said. “That taproom has so many memories. So many people have come from that taproom. I started at that taproom.”
The fiesta starts at 3 p.m. and runs until 9. Tickets cost $10 and can be purchased online or at the door, and Zeke promised that there will be plenty of tickets held back for door sales. The entire parking lot will be fenced in, so the Crew recommends that you take an Uber or Lyft to this one, as there will also be the Food Truck Festival at the Balloon Fiesta grounds nearby, which could create a bit of a traffic snarl on Alameda.
Once the fans arrive, there will be a tent featuring a wide range of vendors, three food trucks, outdoor beer stands (as well as beers poured inside), and a music stage.
“I’m really proud of the music lineup that we have,” Zeke said. “The first band is our co-worker Steve’s band N Company, the second is Cali Shaw Band, and the third is Baracutanga, which is my personal favorite local band. They’re a Latin band, they have members from all over the world, different Latin countries. They’re really fun, I love them. And then, DJ Wae Fonkey, who I go way back with, he’s really popular, I love everything he does.”
The vendors will include Cody Saint Arnold, MRMR Design, Enchanted Sugar, Danny Hart Design, Vanessa Bowen & Enchanted NM, Native Artists in Action, and Secret Chamber Seven. The food trucks are My Sweet Basil, Sanchez Tacos, and Elevation 5312.
“They’re making empanada batter with our Bosque Lager,” Zeke said.
The entry ticket includes one free pint of your choice, Zeke added, and there will be special beer tappings at 6 p.m. Some of the beers mentioned included Scale Tipper and Strawberry Sabotage, but expect some surprises as well.
Everything going on Saturday has planned out by Zeke, which comes as a relief to the ownership team.
“I’m excited, because it’s kind of weird that this is the first one that we’ve thrown,” managing director Gabe Jensen said. “We’re always doing so much, so it’s nice to have someone (Zeke) who can focus on it and I can be like, ‘Oh, this is awesome.’”
Zeke credited the entire Bosque team.
“It’s super nerve-wracking just because the music element, I’ve never dealt with staging and sound equipment,” Zeke said. “But, luckily we have a co-worker named Wes who has a business doing this. He’s rented equipment to events in Las Cruces, he’s put on shows before, he manages two local bands, he DJs himself. It’s pretty awesome to have his expertise, otherwise I’d be so afraid to do something like this. I’m really hard on myself, yes.”
As a final note, anyone under 21 can attend for free as long as they are with their parent(s) or legal guardian(s).
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We asked some of the Bosque staff to share their favorite memories of the taproom and brewery, and then we decided to share ours, as well. If you have any favorite memories, send them our way to email@example.com, or comment on social media.
I still remember like it was, yesterday … it was about three weeks after brewing our first beer … I was standing on top of the “brewhouse” and it finally sunk in, we had a brewery, it really happened. I also remember flooding the Subway next door, multiple times … I wonder why they moved out?
— Gabe Jensen
I won’t ever forget a time shortly after we opened, a tri-clamp got knocked off one of the serving vessels that used to be in the walk-in cooler. Three barrels of beer (Olde Bosky Porter) came gushing out and seeping out of the walls. I was bartending at the time and was trying to stay calm out front while standing in a puddle of beer. Peeking my head in the back revealed everyone scrambling to contain the mayhem while trying not to let the customers know what was going on.
— Jotham Michnovicz
I think my favorite was during the brew day with (John) Bullard the first time, and we had the cold liquor tank that we had water in, and I was filling my water bottle. The tri-clamp came off and it just started gushing all over, and I was trying to stop it. It was so embarrassing. Tim (Woodward) and John were trying to get it back on. Everyone blamed me, but it was just loose!
— Jessica Griego
Do you remember your first beer at Bosque? Because I do — Olde Bosky Porter. Even now I remember being pleasantly surprised by how solid this porter was. It hit all the points of what I was looking for in the style, and gave me a lot of optimism that these guys would continue cranking out solid beers. Brewed on the old system at the original San Mateo location, which will be closing up shop as the team has obviously moved on to bigger and better things. And, good for them, they’ve put in hard work to build what has become one of the staples of the craft beer community in New Mexico. But, personally, I’ll fondly remember those early days in the original taproom. Even for a new brewery, I do recall feeling the original taproom was small, even thinking to myself “they are screwed if they blow up!” and yes, I can now eat my words on that. But, the beers were consistent even early on; I remember being impressed with Kindling, which I found flavorful for a new brewery doing a kolsch. That tiny spot also served to bring a lot of new friends and faces into the mix of our community and even the DSBC’s little world. It will be a little sad to see the spot go, but some things weren’t meant to be tamed.
Man oh man, the great memories from this space running into friends and coworkers and John Bullard to boot. Looks like my first visit was back in early September 2013 when I had a flight starting with Engaano Hefeweizen, which I thought was decent at the time. Standout memories for me would be mainly hop-related, with the first couple rounds of the now legendary Scale Tipper leaping to mind alongside the ludicrous hopsplosion that was Moon Cannon in its infancy. There were many other IPAs I enjoyed here (must not forget Acequia, Spoondriver, Cirrus, and many others), usually joined by my lovely wife, who has more of a malt proclivity these days, and we certainly had our fair share of Scotch ales, pumpkin ales, porters, stouts, and all of the barrel-aged monstrosities. It was always such a nice atmosphere hanging out there, and I will miss the old stomping grounds immensely. So raise up a Scale Tipper or a Fresh Start to one helluva great beginning for Bosque! Skål!
— Franz Solo
Our memories are meeting our good friends there every couple of months because they live near Tramway/Paseo, and at the time there was nowhere for them to go! Back in the beginning, when they barely had any food, I messaged the friends to see what they have to say, because even though it’s not far from our house, it was always them that suggested it. But, they are at Spring Training in Arizona right now, so I may not hear back. Teaching Dave’s cousin from California to drive a standard by giving her the reins of the Jeep, and having to go to Bosque to have some beer after that. She didn’t think she liked beer until she tasted Elephants on Parade.
I didn’t spend a whole lot of time at Bosque, but one visit that stands out is when I jogged over on a summer day that was hotter than expected, and found that they had two double IPAs on tap, Moon Cannon and another that I forget. What a welcome way to cool off! I could always count on them having something interesting on the specials menu. And, my wife was always happy to stop for the carne adovada tostadas, which better reappear on a menu at another location!
One of my fondest memories of Bosque San Mateo was meeting Stoutmeister there after work to plan our southern brewery trip (in 2017). Within minutes we were joined at our small table by the entire brewing staff. Stories were shared; oh, the stories that were told! It was one of the very few times the stories were better than the beer at that place. Sure, I’ll raise a toast to that happy place. Cheers!
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Finally, for myself, I just remember walking into the unfinished space back in September 2012. The Crew had only been around for about eight months or so, and I was accompanied by two of our original members — E-Rock and Shilling — who have since departed. It was Kevin Jameson, not Gabe or Jotham Michnovicz, who did most of the talking in that first interview (my, how times had changed). The operation was small; we marveled at how they got the equipment in that tiny back room (what is now the kitchen). The most impressive things that stood out to me were the ornate bar top (which is being saved, FYI), and the enthusiasm and confidence from those four founders who were about to take a giant leap into the great unknown. On every subsequent visit, from my first sip of Olde Bosky Porter (the beer that was lost on that fateful day, as Jotham described above) to the many days sharing pints with the brewing staff, to finding random sports games on TV, to battling for tables amid the giant parties and other random gatherings of people, this random little strip mall space became a second home. Though the faces changed many times behind the bar, there was always someone who remembered me, someone who was there with a smile and some variation of a simple question — “stout, or something else today?”
I will miss Bosque San Mateo, but I am also looking forward to its successor, La Reforma. We will have more details on the Bosque/La Reforma partnership on Monday.
“We’re saying good-bye to the past and then hello to the future with La Reforma,” Jess said.
Until then, I hope to see many of you at the Farewell Fiesta on Saturday.