Beer Notes: Fall catch-up with all 7 of the Santa Fe area breweries

Chile Line’s new patio offers a lot more room for beer drinking shenanigans.

As summer draws to a close, and the air finally begins to cool, we in the Crew get a special tingly feeling in our black-shirted bellies; a special grin curls upward beneath our beards, and not just because it’s soon to be hoodie season. And, it’s not just because (most of) our freezers are packed to the gills with fresh roasted green chile. No, it’s because we’ve all have made a little extra room in our fridges and our cold black hearts for fall beer releases including those of a certain, shall we say, festive quality. And, though we’re certainly feeling the electric buzz of excitement of another Great American Beer Festival looming just beyond the horizon, we also know that here at home, our breweries are hard at work, making the best beer and beer experiences for us all, so that those happy beer tingles continue to last us long into the slow season.

With September now officially here, we in the Crew figured it was a good time to check in with the seven Santa Fe area breweries to find out what they’re working on, and what they’ll be pouring in your glass this fall.  

Are you here for the pizza or patio experience? (Scratches head.)

Beer Creek Brewing Co.

For Beer Creek, I’m told there’s not much to report on the new taproom front. You might remember that they found a location just off Zia Road. It’s happening, don’t you worry, co-owner Rich Headly assured me, but they’re likely still quarreling with a post-pandemic city permitting processes that businesses everywhere know and loathe all too well. But, they haven’t slowed a step at home base. They just brewed up another batch of Golondrina’s Gold with the good folks of the eponymous locale, and they are very close to making some big changes that will double their production. You can be sure that we’ll have bigger story on their progress as it develops. Something you can try right now if you’re headed out to their paradise of a patio, is their appropriately named End of Summer American Wheat Ale.

Chile Line Brewery

This fall finds Chile Line Brewery working all the live-long day as they continue to evolve their taproom and its use. They now have a bit more space inside for live music and late-night karaoke. And, with plenty of entertainment coming down the line, CLB is a must-remember as a cure for those weekday woes.

They’ve also added a whole new patio out front, with plenty of room for letting off steam. Yes, Chile Line is alive and chugging, and brewmaster and owner Alexander Pertusini says much of their continued success is due to his excellent crew, like Daniel, Sarah, and Chile Line’s main bartender Gisele, who everyone says is “fantastic.” And, of course, their head brewer Andrew who’s been brewing for at least five years, and head brewer for about two, has done a lot to keep the brewery on the right track.

“Andrew‘s been coming out with a lot of different seasonal beers,” Pertusini said. “We got an apricot sour made with apricots from our backyard, and we’re also doing a chipotle pineapple sour that is getting great feedback.”

With a steady supply of rotating seasonals and cores, there are plenty of choices to take home in cans. Check out Putazo, their Euro Style Pilsner, and Ahuevo, their Yerba Matte infused beer next time you pull into the station.

Hidden Mountain Brewing Co.

It’s no secret anymore, but if you haven’t heard it from us by now, Hidden Mountain Brewing Co. has a new, but familiar head brewer on the brew deck. You’ve probably already enjoyed one of his beers before, if not at Tumbleroot, then maybe back when he was assistant brewer at Blue Corn Brewery (that is, back when Hidden Mountain was called Blue Corn Brewery). I promised Andy Lane I would let him settle into his first job as solo brew-jefe, and so my 20 questions with him will be coming soon. In the meantime, Andy told me that there are some new seasonals headed our way, with a dark Mexican lager, and of course Hidden Mountain’s Oktoberfest.

“We should also be bottling and releasing a collab with Altar Spirits, a whiskey barrel-aged scotch ale by the end of the year,” Lane said.

On the event front, Lane and the Mountain have quite a full dance card. First, they’ll be serving samples at the annual golf tournament at the Santa Fe Community College on Monday, September 12. They’ll be at the 2022 Wine and Chile Fiesta on the 23rd of September, and finally Hidden Mountain will make it’s way up north to GABF! Wish ‘em luck!

The anniversary four-pack. (Photo courtesy of the Rowley Farmhouse Ales)

Rowley Farmhouse Ales

Rowley Farmhouse Ales is certainly not sitting out 2022, either. They are celebrating six years in the business this Sunday. They’ll feature all-day Sanctuario Nectarine Beermosas, and (only) if you’ve already placed your order, lobster and/or clawbster rolls. It’s already shaping up to be smash of a party, but then BAM! They’re dropping a very limited four-pack of Grandissant varietals, Grandissant- Flor, Grandissant- Flor with Rainier Cherries, Grandissant- Flor with Montmorency Cherries, and Grandissant- Flor special Cherry Blend, and they come in a cute bag that you can take with you to all your fancy day-drinking parties. RFA is also doing a special Frambozen draft and bottle release at exactly 6 p.m. that day, so tell Siri or Alexa, or whoever runs your life these days to remind you, because you don’t want to miss out. This Oud Bruin has been aged for 40 months in Woodford Reserve barrels and fruited with whole frickin’ raspberries for three months.

They’re also tapping one of Jenn’s brand new recipes, a special Vienna Lager, for the crispy-boi-fan-people in all of us. And, just like last year, there will be some sweet special limited-edition commemorative merch, so make sure you head out there to try some of the best mixed-ferm and barrel-aged beers in New Mexico, from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Get ready for more outdoor events at SFBC Headquarters.

Santa Fe Brewing Co.

Owner Brian Lock told me that SFBC has added a few fresh new faces to the brewhouse(s) recently, with Mike Tona, brewing production manager, from Deshutes Brewery (Bend, OR), new brewer Tim Farrell, from Boulevard Brewing Co. (Kansas City, MO), and Craig Williams, new operations manager, from Elysian Brewing Co. (Seattle). I certainly plan to sit down with them soon to get more of their story and what big plans they have for the brewery, but for now, SFBC is busy gearing up for another big Oktoberfiesta bash, full of art and entertainment, Oktoberfestivities, plenty of blue-checkered beer, and all to support three great local causes. This always-fun event is not one to miss, if you’re in the Santa Fe area. Saturday, October 1, 1-9 p.m.

(Photo courtesy of Second Street Brewery)

Second Street Brewery

If you hadn’t noticed the leaves on the ground here in Santa Fe just yet, and if this heatwave still got you confused AF, you’ll know it’s officially fall in Santa Fe, when Second Street drops their silver-medal winning Oktoberfest, right after they drop their gold-medal winning Brown Ale, which are now both out draft and in cans. Hello, fall!

Owner Rod Tweet said, “(Oktoberfest) is tasting great,” and also that they’ve brought the House IPA formulation down to Rufina Brewhouse to release in 12-ounce six-packs, in just about eight days! I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to bring home a little nostalgic taste of the Oldery.

For some fun upcoming events at Rufina, Second Street is hosting Atalaya Rescue Fest, where you can get both lost and found as you support Atalaya Search and Rescue, on September 17, and they’ll be pushing their own beer down the tracks on the Sky Railway, for their turn on the New Mexico Ale Trail, a really fun tasting event by train car from Santa Fe to Lamy and back, where George RR Martain actually won’t leave you hangin’ at the end of the line. Second Street Rufina is also already working on their ghoulish figure as they ready themselves for Nightmare on Rufina St, on October 28. If I was you, I would start thinking of how to make your costume work with your dancing shows right meow.

Every Friday, DJ Pygar provides the tunes for Tumbleroot’s patio.

Tumbleroot Brewery & Distillery

With former brewing assistant Michael Chavez stepping up into the head brewer position, and new brewer Matthew Kumagai now working full-time, co-owner Jason Kirkman told me that Tumbleroot is indeed ready to start exploring a little more broadly, meaning they are moving ahead with their downtown tasting room and bottle shop. Featuring beer, spirits, and the artwork of his talented wife, the new tasting room will be called Tumbleroot Pottery Hub, and will surely be the place for some deep connections. They, along with that whole side of town, are hoping for a fall opening. And, back at Agua Fria street, the shows are still shaking the foundation, and the beers and spirits are soothing our souls, with Hindsight 2020 whisky still available, a smoked porter nearly ready for the glass, and an Oktoberfest by the end of the month, just in time for the Bavarian nuptials.

Wishing you a great Fall from the Dark Side North and from all the Santa Fe breweries!

Cheers!

— Luke

Also, in other beers news, favorite beer legend Ernie Bob is serving full-time at Fire and Hops, and Tuesdays at Second Street Railyard.

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