Beer Notes: Broken Trail and Kaktus plan on returning this Friday

Broken Trail’s Uptown taproom will reopen this Friday for at least to-go orders of beer and bottled spirits.

The number of breweries that have temporarily closed during this pandemic, eschewing the takeout-only model, is continuing to dwindle in the Albuquerque metro area. We have news on some planned reopenings, expanded hours, and more that just cried out for a Beer Notes.

Broken Trail ready to return to action

After shutting down its offsite taproom in Uptown at the start of the pandemic, Broken Trail is going to reopen this Friday just in time for its five-year anniversary. Hours will be 3 to 8 p.m., with a tentative schedule of Thursday through Saturday until some of the state restrictions are lifted.

Owner Matt Simonds emailed us the good news this week. There will be beer available to go (full lineup will be posted in The Week Ahead in Beer), and bottled spirits as well. Growlers will be $11 for a fill and a new glass, or $6 for a fill with a growler exchange (no refills, trade-in only). There will also be the special release of the anniversary bourbon.

In addition, during the recent Bloody Marys to-go event, customers were allowed to buy a nurse a drink. Any nurse can come by Friday and show their ID to cash in on the generosity of others.

We can also report that Broken Trail will not be reopening its small tasting room at the Green Jeans Farmery. That decision to permanently close that location had been building for some time, and since it did not offer beer anyway, there was little sense in keeping it on the back burner during these uncertain times.

Kaktus climbs back into the fray

Up in Bernalillo, a couple major “home improvement” projects have been completed at Kaktus Brewery, and it will also reopen on Friday. As we discussed in our Look Back/Look Ahead Series article earlier this year, Kaktus was aiming to remodel both its front and back patios. Those are now complete and looking good over on Instagram, and the rest of the brewery will now rev back up and welcome customers again.

Owner Dana Koller said in an email that the brewpub will be open for to-go orders at the very least, but like most places, he is hopeful the governor will allow at least a limited number of dine-in customers. Kaktus will have both fresh beer and new food items available.

“We fixed them (the patios) up to give more space for seating, we are adding a healthy drink menu and new food items that compliment take out orders such as sub sandwiches,” Dana wrote.

As for why Kaktus is opening up now, after about eight weeks of dormancy, Dana wrote that it was just the right time.

“(It’s for) the opportunity to open to dine-in,” he wrote. “We lover serving our guests. Because we built a good reputation off quality food and beer we want it to be accessible to our clients. We really want to be a dine-in environment, although we will be offering to-go (even though) it’s not where we want to be focused.”

Palmer and Left Turn add another day

After having settled on Friday as the best day for their pop-up sale, the dynamic duo of Palmer Brewery and Left Turn Distilling is adding Tuesdays as well. The new hours will be 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, though food will only be available on Fridays, with orders for food due by noon in advance of the 5-to-8 hours of operation. They will also have hand sanitizer available in addition to beer in crowlers and bottled spirits.

Palmer and Left Turn have truly appreciated the outpouring of public support after they were hit by burglars early on during the pandemic. Please keep supporting them as they gear up to be at full strength when/if some of the current occupancy restrictions are lifted.

Sampler tray

  • As noted in our recent mega-sized update with Red Door Brewing, the Downtown Taproom is being prepped for a possible reopening this weekend if some of the pandemic restrictions are lifted. Head brewer Matt Meier sent us a list of what beers will be available, so look for that in The Week Ahead in Beer.
  • Thanks to everyone who participated in the New Mexico Brewers Guild’s Net Sesh Fest last Saturday. All the breweries appreciated your support. Word on the street is that Albuquerque Beer Week, which normally starts around Memorial Day weekend, will also be going virtual this year. Stay tuned for details.
  • Second Street Rufina will move to being open seven days a week from noon to 8 p.m., with the kitchen back up and running as well starting this Wednesday. Look for a full menu with some customer favorites brought over from the Original and Railyard lineups. Once head brewer Tom Ludzia has recovered from having a tooth pulled (ouch!), we will be jumping on Zoom with the Second Street staff to review the 2019 Skookum Barleywine.
  • Speaking of Zoom reviews, we are working on one with Boxing Bear’s Justin Hamilton for his two newest seasonals, Citra Lager and Chin Hook Mountain IPA.
  • And finally, if anyone has information that they would like to contribute to our ongoing Beer History series (read the first article here if you have not already), please email us at or send us a direct message on social media! We are looking statewide, not just at places in Albuquerque/Santa Fe.

Keep supporting local!

— Stoutmeister

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