The other day, during a routine check of pending small brewer and small brewer offsite licenses, a new one popped up that caught our eye. The timing and the location stood out, in particular, as a busy Albuquerque brewery is making another move far to the east, and now a little bit south.
Red Door Brewing is heading to Roswell for its third offsite taproom, just a few months after its Clovis taproom opened up. I sat down with owner Matt Biggs and head brewer Matt Meier to talk about this latest endeavor, which they expect to open this fall.
“Yeah, we weren’t really looking right away, but I was in Roswell for a hunting trip last year and came across a building that was super cool,” Biggs said. “It’s down in the industrial area. It was an old barbecue restaurant. I want to say (before that it was) an old rail station. It was in a cool, industrial part of town. Anyone that knows Roswell there’s like a massive silo you can so from most of the town. It’s right across from that, a couple blocks off Main Street.”
Specifically, it is located on the northeast corner of the intersection of Railroad Avenue and East Third Street. That puts it two blocks east of Main Street/Highway 70 and one block north of East Second Street/Highway 380, the two main roads through Roswell.
“So I went and talked to people about it,” Biggs said. “The owner was super motivated to do something with it. It just kind of worked out. We actually kept kicking the can down the road to make sure Clovis was operating smoothly. We were supposed to execute a lease on Roswell in January, I think. We told them we weren’t ready. Clovis opened, had normal opening hiccups, so I spent about a month, not quite a month getting those resolved. Now it’s operating relatively smoothly. I’ve got a killer staff down there. They’re all trained up, all ready to go. We’ve kind of gotten our beer deliveries down.”
With the Clovis taproom locked down, that turned Biggs’ attention to getting Roswell going.
“It’s set up as a restaurant with a draft line, so very little,” Biggs said. “We’ll probably update the kitchen a little bit. There’s an event side of it. So basically the building we’ve leased is a three-component building. One side is the restaurant. One side is a covered breezeway that is actually kind of an indoor/outdoor patio. We’ll roll up the doors on it so it’s completely open. Then there’s an event space. The event space can’t be utilized because it’s not sprinkled, so once we kind of finalize that we can use it for special events.
“Then across the street is this massive pavilion that used to an old cotton warehouse. I want to say it’s ballpark 10,000 square feet. It’s just an old industrial warehouse. They’ve taken the siding off of it, they’ve electrified it, there’s water running into, there’s a barn owl living in the rafters, which is great because it keeps the pigeons down. We’ve also leased that as well. All of that we can utilize, the pavilion mostly for special events. It’s across the street from the restaurant, so we can’t operate it off the same license.”
To help prepare the brewery, Meier got some new toys to play with to keep up with the already increased demand between Clovis and the fact Red Door is now canning its Vanilla Cream Ale.
“In the preparation for this and with the shock of what Clovis was capable of, we bought four new tanks,” Meier said. “We got those in (a couple) weeks ago now. We’ve got three more 30 (barrel) fermenters and a 30 bright, which is going to be huge for us.”
“I think it’s over doubled our production,” Biggs added.
“Now, from my point of view it’s kind of funny, all right, we’ve got Clovis stable, we’ve got Clovis into a rhythm, I know what to expect, and it’s going to get all thrown upside down when Roswell opens,” Meier said.
Red Door will also have a new canning run soon, with Irish Red joining Vanilla Cream in package, keeping Meier plenty busy before Roswell opens.
As for the local response, Biggs and Rael found a receptive audience so far among the local politicians.
“We actually were just down there last week, and Dustin and I gave them a very short heads up,” Biggs said. “They were really nice and super welcoming. The mayor and the city councilor that manages our district and the city manager all bought us lunch. They were super enthusiastic. They’re pumped to see something going into that space. It’s been vacant for a little bit. I think they’re really excited to have another brewery in that district (near) the Main Street area. Black Cock (Brewery) is in a different part of town.”
Roswell is the fifth largest town in New Mexico after Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, and Santa Fe, so it is about time that it gets another craft brewing option. We wish Red Door plenty of luck keeping up with all of its far-flung and nearby customers.
A big thanks to the two Matts for meeting up today.
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