Toltec Brewing brings its new head brewer full circle

Brandon Venaglia is back in his old neighborhood. The well-traveled brewer, who went from Back Alley Drafthouse to Cazuela’s to Bathtub Row, has taken the open job at Toltec Brewing on the West Side of Albuquerque. “I went to Cibola High School,” he said, shaking his head. “I went all around the United States and…

Ex Novo brewer Chichura takes long and winding road back to New Mexico

Long before he ever brewed a beer in New Mexico, a young Dave Chichura visited Albuquerque on a two-month brewery tour of America in 1995. He visited the Rio Bravo Restaurant Brewery downtown and Assets Grille in the Northeast Heights. Those two breweries passed into history in 1998 and 2005, respectively, while the young beer…

What’s in the box?! Rowley Farmhouse Ales has big news

Recently I was sitting at Rowley Farmhouse Ales, talking about barrel-aged goodies with the bartender as I sipped on their latest edition of Agent Scully IPA. Chef and co-owner Jeffrey Kaplan then sauntered down the steps, as he often does at the end of the day to greet his customers and check on the business…

Broken Trail shakes things up with new brewer

My running joke with Matt Simonds, owner of Broken Trail Spirits & Brew, is that at least once a year he has to totally change up some part of the operation. Recently, Matt needed more space at the original location on Stanford for his increased production — especially for contract production of a nationally distributed, canned Moscow…

Marvelous Marblefest features a slew of new brews of a German variety

Long ago, Marble Brewery used to hold Septemberfest in its back parking lot downtown, featuring other breweries from around the state offering up their autumn beers. As the brewery grew and expanded, eventually swallowing that parking lot, Septemberfest disappeared into the memory of festivals gone by. Then along came Marblefest, a full-on German-themed beer event…

An Albuquerque brewer lends a hand to faraway Callahan West Brewery

There have long been stories of brewers helping out one another in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. It is rare, however, to see much interaction between the brewers in cities and those in the smaller rural towns around the state. Rio Bravo head brewer Ty Levis recently shared a story with us about the day he…

Bow & Arrow takes aim at Farmington with its 1st offsite taproom

The recent rumors of an Albuquerque brewery heading to the Four Corners proved to be true earlier this week, as Bow & Arrow Brewing officially announced it will be opening its first offsite taproom in Farmington. The Rambler Taproom is aiming for a winter opening, said Bow & Arrow CEO Shyla Sheppard, and is the…

Tractor finds its next head brewer just up the road at Turtle Mountain

It has been a few years since a head brewer has moved from one Albuquerque area brewery to another. That relatively static era is over as Tractor Brewing looked locally to fill its vacant head brewer position, finding the right man for the job at Turtle Mountain Brewing. Mick Hahn is jumping from one brewery…