Blue Grasshopper begins the difficult process of scaling back

The Blue Grasshopper in Wells Park has closed, but will eventually reopen under a new name after a period of transition.

A surprising post on Facebook changed our plans on Saturday, when we read that Blue Grasshopper Brewery was holding a “grand closing” of its location at Second Street and Summer in Wells Park. Taking a chance, I drove down and found co-owner Peter Apers was still around and willing to chat about everything that is going on with Blue Grasshopper at present and into the future.

The plan going forward is three-fold, Peter said, which makes sense considering Blue Grasshopper has three locations. The Wells Park location is closed and “in transition,” though Peter could not go into too many details. He said it could be about a 90-day transition, which should be enough time for all the permits and licenses to change. The place will reopen, but it will not be called Blue Grasshopper anymore. It had only been open since late May.

As for the other locations, Peter said one of the other original partners will be solely taking over the original Rio Rancho spot, which will also be renamed and rebranded. The Blue Grasshopper name will remain at the location on Coors across the road from Flix Brewhouse.

“It’s been stirring for a while,” Peter said of the change. “Myself, Greg, Barb, and Claude are all nearing 70. Running three locations at a 24-7 pace has been making us feel even older. It’s eating away at our motivation.”

Providing a venue for local musicians has always been important to the owners of Blue Grasshopper, and will continue at the location on Coors.

Blue Grasshopper always carried far more guest taps than taps of its own beer, and it will no longer be brewing. Peter said they will switch from a small brewer license to a beer and wine license, which fits since they currently sell more food at the Coors location than beer. It will also enable Blue Grasshopper to carry beers from outside of New Mexico, thus differentiating it from the many other places in the area that only carry local beers on the Westside.

“We’ve got a great formula and we want it to continue,” Peter said, particularly in terms of providing a performance space for local musicians. “This is the best solution.”

The formal announcements for the Coors and Rio Rancho locations will come soon enough. As more details become public, we will make sure to keep everyone updated.

Thanks to Peter for opening up about everything is happening. We wish him and his partners luck going forward.

— Stoutmeister

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