A visionary mixes cocktails and brews with soccer at Vision City Brewstillery

Martin Ulloa, a longtime participant in the local brewing industry, now has his own place.

Martin Ulloa, co-owner of Vision City Brewstillery, has a vision. A couple of months ago, Martin and his business partner Nico Muñiz took over the former PK’s Pizza space at the International Indoor Soccer Arena located at 1311 Cuesta Arriba Ct NE in Albuquerque.

The former small kitchen space is now housing a 1-barrel brewing system for their fledgling brewery. Martin said that system is enough to produce for the soccer arena clientele, and to try some R&D. They can pour four to five different beers right now, but hope to add more taps. They also had two cocktails available the day I visited.

Since they took out the old kitchen in the noble pursuit of brewing, Martin said he hopes to start having food trucks come to the arena. As a resident in the nearby housing development, with no food or drink options available to walk to, I would consider that a very welcome contribution.

The initial beer and cocktail lineup from Vision City.

I asked Martin about the name. Since Rio Rancho’s nickname is the City of Vision, Martin said he plans to ultimately start a primary base of operations there. They have been looking at various buildings, but have not made a final decision, though Martin said he hopes that will happen sooner than later. And, adding distilling to a brewery operation is not that difficult, he said. His vision is a 30-barrel system.

A former distiller at Hollow Spirits and a former brewer at Ex Novo, Martin said he loves German-style beers. This plays pretty well with the soccer clientele, as well. But, since he knows New Mexicans love their hoppy beers, the next beer he is brewing is a hazy IPA. Martin said he is very artistic, and brewing is not only about production, but it is actually artistically powered.

The brewing area is a bit cramped, but more than functional.

“Artists typically dream big and think big,” he said. “I’d like to encourage folks to come and drink, and just be part of a community and share ideas across the bar top. … What are you thinking about in your life? What is big in your life? What are your dreams in your business?”

Part of Martin and Nico’s vision is going to be attracting individuals who want to build and share their dreams.  I asked, “So kind of part brewery and distillery, and part think tank?” Martin replied that’s exactly right.

If you don’t want to stick around to enjoy your beer while watching soccer, you can take one of these bad boys home.

Even if you don’t play soccer, if you’re just a fan of watching soccer, come watch some league play and try one of Vision City Brewstillery’s beers or cocktails. It’s a unique, cozy venue. Right now, Martin said they are open every evening until league play ends, and open earlier on weekends at about 10 or 11 a.m.

Cheers!

— AmyO

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