Free skateboards don’t pay the bills: An interview with Rob Palmer

Man. Myth. Legend. And The Nupes is rather legendary, too.

A few personalities in the Albuquerque beer scene have a way of standing out, and no one would argue if you said that Rob Palmer is one of them. A former pro-skateboarder and now the owner of Palmer Brewery, Rob was kind enough to kick back, toss his killer mullet over his shoulder, and regale us with the story of how he hung up his board (professionally, anyway) and decided to make his name in the brewing industry.


How does one make the transition from skateboarding professionally to opening a brewery?

“Throughout skateboarding I always maintained a real job, because skateboarding hurts and I always wanted something to fall back on. The travel and skateboarding community as a whole are amazing!!! But, free skateboards don’t pay the bills. I had been home brewing for about 20 years and always wanted to open something of my own. That’s where Palmer brewery started.”

Who or what first inspired your love of craft beer?

“I lived in a house in California with several other skateboarders in the 90’s and we all loved craft beer! Mostly from Europe at that time. Then Riverside Brewing Company opened and we spent a lot of nights there. It was great having a local spot that produced great beer!”

What brought you to Albuquerque?

“My dad was living out here at the time, around ’98, I believe. He was having some health issues so I moved out here to spend some time with him and got some good years with him.”


Was it harder or easier than you expected to own and operate a brewery?

“I think everyone thinks that opening a brewery is going to be easy and profitable from the start, but that’s just not the truth, haha. It’s been a hard, but rewarding journey so far. Would not want to do anything else.”

How did you meet Brian Langwell and ultimately decide to team up?

“Brian and I had a mutual friend and we got introduced while he was opening the distillery. I would come in and help bottle and hang out. He was looking to expand his tasting room and it just made sense to add beer to the lineup.”


Can you still shred like a master?

“I do still skateboard, just not as much as I would like. I’ve been fighting a knee injury the last year or so, but it seems to be getting better and not worse. Dry needling and physical therapy have been helping a bunch.”

Last but certainly not least, what motivated the badass mullet?

“I have never had long hair, so I decided it was easier to grow it out then get haircuts. haha. I don’t like haircuts for some reason. It’s been long for three or so years, and you can’t just cut long hair off, you gotta have some fun with it. I think it’s going to be around for a bit!”

Go see Rob and the crew down at Palmer Brewery and Cider House from 4 to 10 p.m. on weekdays and for their amazing brunch menu on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.! You can also preorder super fun cocktail kits (mixers and garnishes included!) for pickup on Fridays.

May the beer be with you, always.

— Erin


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