Beer Notes: The first full-fledged brewery opens in Clovis

That sign isn’t lying, Clovis’ first brewery is now open for business. (Photo courtesy of Bandolero Brewery)

In terms of craft beer, options were fairly limited out in Clovis for a long time, to put it mildly. A town of 38,000 people had no breweries or taprooms to call their own.

Things began to change a couple years ago, when Albuquerque’s Red Door Brewing opened a taproom in Clovis. Roosevelt Brewing, from nearby Portales, also set up a taproom in Clovis, though it is not currently open.

Taprooms are wonderful, but there is something a little extra special about having a fully operational brewery in town. As our headline might have tipped you off, the wait is over for Clovis, as Bandolero Brewery is now open at 421 North Main Street.

Bandolero has been through a series of soft openings (a grand opening is TBA), but is operational from a brewing perspective. The kitchen is not up and running yet, as a staff is still being hired.

Curry County is in the yellow, so Bandolero is open to customers inside.

We pass along our congratulations to everyone at Bandolero for being able to open up! It is never easy to open a brewery, much less during a global pandemic, so it is a positive sign that our state’s craft beer industry is still growing.

Bandolero was as filled as allowed for a recent soft opening. (Photo courtesy of Bandolero Brewery)

Changes to red/yellow/green tiers

The most recent update to the public health order included some amendments to how the colored tier system affects breweries and similar businesses. Under the yellow tier, breweries can have 33-percent indoor occupancy, up from 25. Outdoor occupancy remains at 75 percent, and all businesses must close by 10 p.m.

The majority of New Mexico’s counties with breweries are now in yellow, including Bernalillo, Sandoval, Santa Fe, San Juan, Colfax, Valencia, Curry, Roosevelt, Lea, Chaves, Lincoln, Grant, and Luna.

Breweries in green counties, with 50-percent indoor occupancy, include Bathtub Row (Los Alamos County), Taos Mesa and Red River Brewing (Taos County), and Sierra Blanca (Torrance County).

Only one brewery is in a new turquoise category county, with 75-percent indoor occupancy, and that is Truth or Consequences Brewing (Sierra County).

Unfortunately, there are still four counties in the red — Eddy County, which includes Milton’s and Guadalupe Mountain Brewing in Carlsbad, as well as The Wellhead in Artesia; Otero County, Otero County, which includes Cloudcroft Brewing and 575 Brewing in Alamogordo; Dona Ana County, which includes all five breweries in Las Cruces; and McKinley County, which currently has no breweries.

More forthcoming brewery updates

Construction continues at Echoes Brewery in downtown Albuquerque. (Photo courtesy of Echoes)

Public House 28, near Anthony, is progressing in terms of construction and preparation for opening this spring, with its small brewer license already active. You can follow the progress on Instagram.

Wanted Brewery and Distillery in Las Vegas, which still has its license listed as pending, also continues its buildout. Much of the brewing and distilling equipment is now in place. Wanted also has an Instagram page.

Though its license is listed as active, we have not seen any new updates from Baca House Brewing in Socorro since last spring.

There are no new updates to share about The Nuckolls Brewery in Santa Fe. One new pending license from Santa Fe is for the Travel Bug Coffee Shop, near the plaza. We will track down more info on this project soon.

In the Albuquerque area, Electric Cafe, which has an active license, has no new updates. It is located downtown on Copper between Second and Third Streets.

Echoes Brewery, in the old Burt’s Tiki Lounge space on Gold, continues its buildout, but there is no pending license yet.

We should have an update on the installation of a brewhouse at Painted Lady Bed and Brew rolling out sooner than later. We do not have an update on the pending small brewer license for Brickyard Pizza.

Also, in the surprise category, there is a new small brewer license pending for Cantero Brewing, which we had been told was closed for good. The twist here is the listed name of the owner, which is Lizard Tail Brewing. Yeah, we were a bit stunned, too. Expect more news on this soon.

Got any other news or tips for the Crew? Send us a direct message on social media, or email us at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com.

Keep supporting local!

— Stoutmeister

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