We started our April update on all the local breweries and their ongoing adjustments under the current stay-at-home regulations with La Cumbre on Monday. From here on out, we will try to put all the responders in alphabetical order, though if more come in beyond the other nine we have received, it might not strictly stay in that order.
This time around, we head to the East Mountains, where Ale Republic is still in operation to serve nearby communities like Tijeras and San Antonito. Co-owner/brewer Patrick Johnson was gracious enough to reply to our questions.
NMDSBC: What pandemic era innovations have worked out for your brewery?
Johnson: We are using this era as an excuse to get into canning. We are building a simple semi-automated can filling machine from scratch. Couple that with a circa $3,000 Oktober seamer and bam, you’ve got a canning operation!
NMDSBC: Has online ordering (should you have it) been a bonus or a headache?
Johnson: We use Square and it has worked very well.
NMDSBC: Have sales remained constant or are they fluctuating week-by-week, day-by-day?
Johnson: Ebbing and flowing. We’re not able to establish any real trends with so little data.
NMDSBC: Have customers responded positively to any beer/food discounts? Or have you found most people are still unaware?
Johnson: Yes, we dropped prices to keep people happy.
NMDSBC: What are some ideas you have coming up? Please include any special beer releases you would already like to start letting people know about.
Johnson: We’re limited in tank space, so we haven’t done any lagers yet. We are doing our first one (this) week — a Belgian Pilsner
NMDSBC: If the stay-at-home order is extended to mid or late May, or even beyond, is there a point where the current to-go-only model is not going to be feasible for your brewery?
Johnson: We should be okay for the time being — especially with any governmental assistance.
Ale Republic has also expanded its food menu, so be forewarned, visiting their Facebook page might make you hungry with all the photos.
A big thanks to Patrick for responding and keeping us up to date on what is happening on his side of the Sandias. We wish him and everyone at Ale Republic good health and good fortunes!
Keep supporting local!