Archive for the ‘New Brewery Preview’ Category

The exterior of the renovated space that will house Differential Brewing at 500 Yale SE.

Three years after we first spotted the pending license, Differential Brewing (also known as Brewstillery) is finally ready to open its doors in Southeast Albuquerque. The grand opening starts this Friday at 4 p.m. and runs through the weekend. In advance of all that, I met up with head brewer Peter Moore for a tour of the property at 500 Yale SE, which is one block south of Coal on the east side of the street, not far from Quarters and the UNM sports facilities and Isotopes Park.

Rather than go for a fancy mishmash of treated wood and industrial metal, like so many other breweries in town, Differential will have a bit of a throwback look and feel.

“We’re looking for our vibe as brewery dive,” Peter said. “We all grew up in kind of the punk scene. It’s like a Joe’s except people aren’t chasing people out with knives, that kind of stuff.

“It doesn’t look pretty, but it’s functional.”

The north end of the taproom figures to be a popular spot for people watching.

The taproom space is an old gas station/garage, while the brewery room is located in an adjacent building on the property. There is a small patio beneath the garage doors facing Yale, and a much larger patio on the north side of the building. The entire property is owned by the Nellos family, who own Quarters, and Tino Nellos is one of the owners of Differential, along with Anthony Hanson, the former liquor store manager.

“That’s how we were able to get a hold of the buildings and that kind of stuff,” Peter said. “That has saved us a lot of money not having to pay rent while we’re doing construction. That would have wiped us out.”

Like so many others, Anthony was a homebrewer first, and that love of beer led him down the path of wanting his own brewery.

“I had been a homebrewer for over a decade,” Anthony said. “(Tino) had the property here and we thought that was the location to do it. Peter just happened to stumble into our orbit and was like, I can show you how to do that for real real. I used to run the liquor store down the street, so I know that side of the business just fine.”

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Owner Scott Salvas said he got the biggest sign possible to announce his forthcoming Brew Lab 101 in Rio Rancho.

The partial federal government shutdown has left many pending breweries in limbo, but that does not mean their owners are giving up the dream of opening in 2019. I trekked out to Rio Rancho on Wednesday afternoon to meet the owner of one of those forthcoming breweries, Brew Lab 101 Beer and Cider Company.

Owner/brewer Scott Salvas is doing everything he can to get ready for when the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is reopened, which will put him good position for a possible late May opening.

“It’s coming along,” he said of the space inside two suites in the shopping center at 3301 Southern Blvd., which is just a block or so west of Turtle Mountain. “If the government would get open to help me with the licensing stuff, that would be nice.”

Brew Lab 101 is taking over the former House of Football location for its taproom, while a former nail salon in the adjacent space will be home to the brewhouse and equipment.

“I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what (size) space did I want,” Scott said. “I originally wanted 3,000 square feet. We were looking at a space down the street. Unfortunately that deal fell apart literally two days before I was going to sign the lease, which is why I’m not open right now. That was only 3,200 square feet. Then I saw these two spaces up here.”

Owner/brewer Scott Salvas has plenty of room in which to operate.

The current shopping center has everything from a gym to a trampoline center for kids called to Elevate, to the long-established restaurant Joe’s Pasta House. It also has a lot of empty suites, the curse of the modern retail center, but also a boon for prospective business owners looking for a bargain.

That, plus Scott’s desire to see if he can translate his award-winning homebrews into an actual brewery, all combined to make Brew Lab 101 an almost reality.

“I had a passion for beer brewing,” Scott said. “I’ve been brewing for about eight years. I just started brewing beers and then having parties. I have a couple big parties a year. People would come and I think through the years the beer got better. People started giving me really good comments. Folks started encouraging me to think about it.”

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The sizable Ex Novo production brewery building is nearly complete in the center of Corrales.

It is almost a Merry Christmas for craft beer lovers living in Corrales. They can look to the heart of the village and see their own craft brewery rising up.

Ex Novo Brewing has gone from concept to almost-completed structure at 4895 Corrales Road. The 10,000 square-foot production brewery has taken shape in a lot on the west side of the street, across from the fire station and Corrales Bistro Brewery.

This will be the second Ex Novo, as the original is in Portland, Oregon. Owner Joel Gregory, however, is a Corrales native, and he wanted to bring his brewery home. Joel invited me to visit the construction site on Thursday afternoon.

“The last time we talked, all I had was dirt,” Joel said, referring to our first interview last year over beers at Steel Bender. “Now look at it.”

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A new brewery is coming to the Northeast Heights in early 2019.

The surge of breweries opening in the Albuquerque metro area has finally slowed to a trickle. Only five new pending small brewer licenses are listed with the State of New Mexico, and two of those (BLUE, Brewstillery) have been pending for so long, they might just be dead projects.

We know that Ex Novo Brewing is coming to Corrales, but it is still a ways off. We know almost nothing about the mysterious place called Colonia.

The only forthcoming brewery that we knew was progressing towards opening sooner than later was Black Snout Brewhouse, all courtesy of its Instagram feed and a short story from Albuquerque Business First. After a quick email exchange, I met up last week with co-owner Josh James at the still-unfinished space at a shopping center on the southeast corner of Menaul and Juan Tabo. Nestled in among a Ross Dress For Less, Goodwill, and Mario’s Pizza will be the latest brewery in town, looking to make its mark in a relatively under-served area.

“We kind of want to do a sports-themed brewery,” Josh said inside the 3,731-square-foot space. “What I wanted to do was like TRVE, like heavy metal, kind of dark, but I don’t think Albuquerque is ready for that. My wife (Natasha) and I are huge sports fans, so we went with that.”

At present, all Josh and Natasha, his co-owner, have is a hollowed-out space. There has been work at setting in the plumbing for the brewery and bar in the back, but otherwise it is currently just concrete floors and walls. Josh expressed optimism that construction would begin in earnest soon, possibly even this week.

“Right now, we have our federal license approved, we have our taproom approved,” he said. “We’re waiting on the State, it’s in legal review right now. Hopefully in like January, late January. I want to be open for sure by the Super Bowl. I’m just hoping and praying. Now comes a whole new set of headaches with permits and plan review.”

The initial plan calls for opening with a 1-barrel brewhouse, similar to what High and Dry Brewing is operating.

“We’re kind of doing it in a couple phases because I wanted to get going,” Josh said. “To open with we’ll be a nano brewery. We’ll be undersized for sure, but once we open, we get going, I collect a little bit of funds, then we’ll go into a 5-barrel system. Right now I’m getting quotes.”

The interior of the future brewery is bigger than it looks, as co-owner Josh James was happy to show us.

As many other brewery owners have learned, opening a brewery is not cheap.

“I didn’t want to take out loans or anything of that nature, this is all just self-funded,” Josh said. “It’s unbelievable. … This is an insane amount of money (an estimated $100,000), but it’s just my wife and I. This is our dream. Breweries are popping up everywhere, but this is in our (neighborhood). It is what it is, but no one is going to stop us from our dream, for sure.”

The current location at 11500 Menaul NE was sort of a four-times-a-charm for Black Snout.

“This is our third and final spot where we’ve tried to open a brewery,” Josh said. “We wanted to open one out in Placitas. I knew the owner of Anasazi Winery, his name (was) Jim Fish. We were like two weeks away from signing a draft. I was going to buy a half acre next to his winery and build like a production brewery out there and see where it went. He ended up passing away, so that kind of went out.”

Josh and his wife then looked at spots in Albuquerque. The first ran afoul of the apparent proximity to BJ’s Brewhouse.

“We tried down at Winrock Town Center,” he said. “There was some sort of conflict of interest, they didn’t want any other breweries, especially no little guys in there.”

From there, Josh looked at a spot that Cantero Brewing also had its eye on, but in the end neither ended up there.

“Finally, we landed on this spot where we thought this was cool,” he said. “This was like two years ago on San Pedro and Paseo (del Norte). It’s just now starting to go up. Like I said, a year before that, I had one meeting with the commercial real estate agent. He said he had spot, but I just never heard anything.”

In the end, Josh looked right near the area where he grew up.

“My wife and I came by and this was the spot if we’re going to do it,” he said. “I know the neighborhood, I grew up in the neighborhood, I know a lot of the neighbors. I went to high school at Eldorado, I went to middle school up here at Hoover. I remember when I was 10 years old, kicking the curbs, being a little punk walking around in my little death metal shirts.”

Josh did spend a day last week brewing with the staff at Starr Brothers, but otherwise he is following in their footsteps as a homebrewer looking to make the leap to the professional ranks.

“I’ve been homebrewing for 12 years now, never anything professionally,” Josh said. “I took the old college route, I got my undergraduate (degree) in civil engineering. I kind of did that. I got into brewing once I had graduated from college and then I got a job out in Phoenix. My buddies and I on the weekend, we would get together at Four Peaks Brewing over in Tempe. That’s what piqued my interest.”

Josh noted that “after years and years of getting some recipes together which we feel are of high quality,” he ended up with a spare bedroom full of 10 or so beers fermenting at a time. Natasha then decided it was time to give him that final push to get the ball rolling, which finally got Josh started on the project six years ago.

Those recipes will now create an initial beer lineup that will of course include an IPA or two, plus some fruited hefeweizens, a SMASH beer that Josh said he plans to simply call “Brewski,” and perhaps a Baltic porter. Oh, and of course the Black Snout Stout, which like the brewery is named for the family dog.

Slowly but surely, the far Northeast Heights is becoming a destination for craft beer drinkers, with Quarter Celtic opening a taproom just to the south of Black Snout on Juan Tabo, plus of course the existing taprooms by Canteen and Tractor on Tramway, and Marble Heights and Lizard Tail at Eubank and Montgomery.

We wish Josh a lot of luck going forward. There is still a lot of work to do if he is going to get the brewery open by the first weekend of February. If he does, we will be happy to add Black Snout Stout to our annual Stout Challenge. We will do our best to keep everyone up to date on the progress at Black Snout and all the other forthcoming breweries around the state.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

It’s go-time, at last, for Cantero Brewing!

In case anyone out there was unaware, the newest brewery in the Duke City will open this Saturday at 11 a.m. Cantero Brewing is holding its soft opening after a long, laborious process to get to this point. There will be at least five house beers on tap, the kitchen will be up and running, but as always, please be patient if things are crowded. The staff is still learning, the beers are still young, but there is plenty of optimism that now, finally, everything is going to be all right.

To learn a little more about what has been going on up to this point, I sat down Thursday with brewers David Rosebeary and George Gonzales, and brewery spokesperson Kane Oueis, while his wife, owner Katey Taylor, was busy zipping around making sure everything was ready for a friends-and-family opening that night.

“A lot of people said it’s taken a lot longer than normal for you guys to open, but it was honestly because we were fine-tuning everything,” Kane said. “We’re honestly perfectionists. We’re just not going to do it until we’re ready.”

“Why open your doors one day and shut them down the next day because they noticed one little bugaboo?” George added.

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That red building back there is the future home of Blue Grasshopper’s brewery and taproom in the Wells Park neighborhood.

The brewing conditions at the original Blue Grasshopper Brewery and Pub in Rio Rancho have always been more than a bit cramped. That will be changing in the future, but not through any expansion of that location. Instead, Blue Grasshopper is building a full-sized brewery in a renovated warehouse on the corner of Summer and Second Street in the Wells Park neighborhood.

I stopped by to visit brewer Peter Apers, who is overseeing the construction, on a smoky morning a couple weeks ago. (Remember the compost fire in the South Valley? Yeah, those were some unpleasant conditions to drive into.) Peter gave me a quick tour of the half of the 10,000 square-foot building that will be home to a taproom and a kitchen. The construction/demolition that day was largely focused on the half where the brewery will go.

“We needed a place to brew beer,” Peter said. “Neither of our places over there (on the West Side) really have the room. Rio Rancho can benefit from a full kitchen, so we need to get that brewing system out of there.”

The small brewhouse will become the pilot brewery at the new location, right on the north side of the bar/taproom area where customers can watch the brewers at work.

“This will be our pilot brewing system section,” Peter said. “We’re going to bring that small brewery over from Rio Rancho. We’ll do our recipe development here. The big space that you saw next door is going to be our main (brewing) area.”

The new brewhouse has not been ordered yet, but it could be one of the biggest in town.

“It’s still open for discussion, anywhere between 24 and 48 (barrels), but time will tell,” Peter said. “We’ll see how our beers are developed here and how that justifies growing that quick. If not, we’ll just do a co-op in there and put in a brew system we can co-op with the smaller brewers, give them a chance to go bigger. We have the space.”

A shot from earlier in the summer, courtesy of Blue Grasshopper, showing the ongoing interior construction.

Blue Grasshopper will still carry a large swath of beers from across the state. Peter said the cold room they are building can hold around 200 kegs, with the expectation of 100 beers on tap at any time.

“We’re going to represent all the brewing in New Mexico,” he said. We’re trying to get as many of their beers as we can. That’s been the whole idea from the beginning.

“The more beer you put on tap, the more space you need. It’s tough for our existing places to make that switch. They don’t the space to put in the (bigger) cold rooms, or the time to tear it all apart. It’s a bit premeditated.”

There will be a full kitchen on the south side of the taproom area to support all of that beer.

“This area also needs food,” Peter said. “There’s a lot of breweries here, but there’s really no food. For (Rio Bravo and Tractor) it was an afterthought, and it’s tough to do. Here we do it (in advance).”

Blue Grasshopper will also have a sizable patio on the east side of the building facing Second Street. As for the opening date, that is a long way from being set.

“We’re somewhere in the middle,” Peter said. “We’re taking it easy, baby steps. We’re in no hurry.”

There are still issues with the surrounding neighborhood that are beyond the control of Blue Grasshopper and the other nearby breweries. Peter said he hopes over time that the City of Albuquerque will be able to come with an actionable plan to deal with those issues.

“I think this area has tremendous potential as a brewery district, and it’s affordable,” he said. “That’s why we’re taking our time because (the City) is still trying to figure out how to grow this area, so to speak … figure out the infrastructure, all that stuff.”

The Crew will be sure to keep track of the ongoing progress for Blue Grasshopper. Thanks to Peter for the quick tour and interview.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The long-awaited opening is finally in sight for Cantero.

The Crew was invited to come get a sneak peek at the upcoming Cantero Brewing Company at 3351 Columbia Dr. NE in Albuquerque. If the address sounds familiar, it is because that is the site of the former Firkin Brewhouse.

I was anxious to get in there and see how much it has changed, and boy, has it. There is much more (and much larger) brewing equipment installed in the back now. In fact, they already are looking at needing more space.

The new equipment is just about ready to go.

Space is already at a premium in the back.

The brewpub area has transformed into something more modern and sleek. I remarked how it kind of reminded me of the feel of Toltec Brewery on the Westside near Cottonwood Mall, although it is a different layout overall. I found out that some of the work was done by the same contractor. It is bizarre, considering I have no design or construction background that my crazy brain picked up on it somehow.

Booths line the wall near the door to the kitchen and brewery.

The stone work is beautiful, and that in fact goes along with the name. Although I do know some Spanish, my fairly limited vocabulary did not include the word Cantero, so I had to ask what it means. It turns out it means stone cutter. So, there you go.

The sleek-looking interior of the taproom.

Some quick items to note. The targeted opening date is September 15. The staff said they plan on doing four or five house beers — American ale styles — to start with, and then add seasonals to the rotation. Some guest taps and wine will be served as well. There is a kitchen and they will have a full menu. The taps are ready to be installed (probably this week).

The cozy patio should be a draw for patrons.

The beautiful patio out front on the east side of the building will have about seven tables with both four-tops and a couple of two-tops, as well as a built-in area that fits seven.

Please enjoy the pictures and look for more information soon on their opening.

Cheers!

— AmyO

Say hello to the newest brewery in New Mexico, right off Exit 85 on the east side of Grants.

Every now and again, it feels good to get out of Albuquerque, even if only for a few hours. Our state has so much natural beauty, that even in this heat, it can be fun to explore the places we may not have been in years. Of course, beer makes any trip to the wilderness even better, especially when it is in a nice, air-conditioned brewery right next to one of the hottest places in the state.

Last week, Franz Solo and I ventured out to “Mordor,” also known as El Malpais National Monument, just south of Grants. After hiking in to the Lava Falls and enjoying the sense of near total isolation, we headed back up the road and went one exit further west to find the newest brewery in Grants. Elkins Brewing, which opened only a few weeks ago, is located south of Interstate 40 at Exit 85. It is a thoroughly charming little spot marking the entrance to the Lavaland RV Park, due west of the El Malpais visitor center.

We sat down at the bar and ordered a flight of the four available house beers — Blonde, Gose, Rye Ale, Bad Handle IPA — before brewer/owner Kade Elkins came out to say hello. Kade has to be the first brewer we have ever met sporting an Old West look.

You would be smiling, too, if you finally got to open your own brewery after 20 years of making beer at home.

“I’ve always wanted to have a brewery,” he said. “Definitely when I was in college was when I started, but maybe even back in high school. I was always interested in fermentation. I made all sorts of alcohol, moonshine-type stuff. I didn’t drink any, it could have killed someone.”

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If you’re gonna build a brewery in the mountains, go big.

A little back story: When I began learning about beer, real beer, all those years ago, it was because I had a dream of opening a brewery in a very specific location. This dream led to homebrewing, joining the local homebrew club, writing about beer for the Dark Side, and then working for a brewery for a minute or two. Long ago, I had wanted to open a brewery in Red River, one of my favorite mountain towns, a place I go every year for Oktoberfest. It’s been quite a few years after I had that initial dream, and since, I’ve found my place in the industry as a writer instead. And, though I no longer have any inclination to run a brewery, I still believed, wholeheartedly, that Red River wanted a brewery; no, it needed one.

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RRBC at Bacon & Brews prior to opening. From center to right, owner Michael Calhoun, son Chris Calhoun, and wife Sharon Calhoun. (I’m sorry I don’t know the other two nice ladies.)

Red River Brewing Company (RRBC) officially opened its doors to the public on Friday, May 25, right at the start of Memorial Day weekend. And, for one family, it’s been quite the ride from which they still have yet to come down.

I recently visited Red River with family from Norway. During that time, I was able to schedule an interview with the owner and his son, at some point between a hike and a chairlift ride. Though they wouldn’t be open for a couple of hours, owner Michael Calhoun let me in through the back with the grain. And, standing there next to the shiny brewhouse, I asked him how it all got started.

“The Calhoun family has always been into craft beer,” Michael said. “Sharon, my wife, and I grew up here. We were born and raised in Red River. And then, we were in Los Alamos for a while. When Bathtub Row (Brewing Co-op), opened up, we were having such a fantastic time at that place, that we realized that Red River could really benefit from having a brewery up there. And, my wife and I were looking for an excuse to get back up here to Red River. My dad, who’s involved in this business, had this awesome piece of land. This location, it’s phenomenal! My brother is an architect, and he was itching to do another project here in Red River. So, all these planets just lined up, and it just made sense. Everybody in the family was on board, so we just decided to do it.” (more…)

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Welcome to the scene, Tumbleroot!

It’s been a couple weeks now since the new brewery/distillery and concert space/taproom have been open, and it already seems as though new life has sprung up in Santa Fe’s brewery/entertainment/nightlife community. With all inspections passed, Tumbleroot’s doors have finally swung open at both of their locations. That’s right, both of their locations. In two short weeks, Santa Feans have already found their way to the hip new joint on Agua Fria Street to grab a beer or cocktail, and enjoy some excellent entertainment while they’re at it.

On three separate occasions, four, if you’re counting a purely personal stop, I visited the brewing facility and the taproom. On two of those trips, I sat down with the co-founding Jasons, Jason Fitzpatrick and Jason Kirkman. And then, on a separate instance, I brought the brewers from another local brewery to visit and conduct an across-the-board cocktail and spirit tasting of Tumbleroot, or an all-in-fun inter-brewery raid. Because, friends, I am but one beer writer.

First off, I met with co-founder and general manager Jason Fitzpatrick. Over a Pale Ale, in a small office, just behind the large stage, I asked him how it all got started.

“My partner Jason Kirkman and I worked up at Bathtub Row,” Fitzpatrick said. “And, the reasons that we went up there, separately, was to learn how to open a brewery.”

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Co-founder and GM Jason Fitzpatrick has come a long way since bartending on the Plaza.

Before that, Fitzpatrick worked at Marble Brewery, beginning as a bartender on the plaza in Santa Fe (now the Draft Station), and ending as vice president of Marble. He’s been in the industry for eight years, but he’s been in the restaurant and bar industry for sixteen years, between Scottsdale, Ariz., Los Angeles, and Santa Fe.

At Bathtub Row, he met Kirkman, where they’d worked together for about five months, before heading up to Denver for the Great American Beer Festival. There, they got to spend some time together, really talking about what it would take to open a brewery.

“We thought we had a similar aesthetic,” Fitzpatrick said. “And, just this idea of community and creating this sort of taproom. And, our skills really complemented each other well, because I’m on the business side, and he’s on the brewer/distiller side.”

As they toured around Denver, collecting inspiration and tossing around ideas, the idea of Tumbleroot was born.

Tumbleroot Bisbee (Production Facility)

32 Bisbee Ct, Santa Fe, NM 87508

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Co-founder and brewmaster Jason Kirkman never stops working.

Co-founder Jason Kirkman, head of brewing and distilling operations, is in charge of what goes into and comes out of the tanks, of course with input from his brewers and Fitzpatrick.

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Brewer Aaron Costello sniffs something delicious off the still, formerly of Chili Line Brewery and the local homebrew club.


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Brewer Brandon O’Brien brewed many different seasonal beers at home, including saisons and a chocolate coconut stout. From local Santa Fe homebrew club.

Kirkman was a biochemistry major in college who started homebrewing after taking a microbiology class, and his first job after college was working at a commercial brewery. He’d taught for years, but homebrewed all the while.

“(Kirkman’s) a bit of a savant when it comes to taking the ingredients and knowing what the end-product is going to be before doing it,” Fitzpatrick said.

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Kirkman takes every issue, large or small, seriously.

Kirkman has been homebrewing for over 20 years, but he’s worked the past couple years at Broken Trail Brewery and Distillery, learning how to become a distiller.

I finally caught up with the elusive (and very busy) Kirkman at the production facility in their much smaller, but no-less gorgeous wood-topped taproom. I asked him a few questions about the production side, as what sounded like A Tribe Called Quest bumped some ill beats in the background.

“We’re utilizing the brewery for the fermentation side of the distillation process and spirits production,” Kirkman said as he leaned over the bar. “We start with 100-percent organic base ingredients. If we’re going to do a rum, we’ll take some kind of cane product. We’ve been using organic evaporated cane sugar for the white, the gold rum. Basically evaporated cane juice, so it’s still got flavor and minerals and all that. And then, we’ll add our house yeasts. We’ll use beer yeasts. We’ll use some dry spirit specific yeasts. We’ve been throwing in a lot of French Saison yeast for spirit fermentation, for a little character and attenuation. For the Agave, we use 100-percent blue agave nectar, so we’re using a tequila specific yeast.”

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Fermenters ready for anything. They have to be.

Tumbleroot does all of its base fermentation utilizing the 10-barrel brewhouse, brewing equipment, and fermenters. The staff then puts it through the still, and, depending on the type of spirit, for example, if it’s a vodka, they’ll make a neutral spirit, pure distilling at a very high proof up to 95 percent of alcohol (the highest you can get off of a regular distillation of alcohol coming off the still). Tumbleroot doesn’t charcoal filter its spirits, as the staff wants people to taste some of the base ingredients in there. They want more natural flavor in what they’re creating, which is closer to the European way, Kirkman said.

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Be still, my heart.

When it came to choosing their spirits, the staff knew they wanted a full bar at the taproom. And, in order to do that, they distilled with variety in mind, also thinking along the lines of what spirits do we want to make for good cocktails?

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Just one of the incredible craft cocktails available at Tumbleroot.

“That’s why we have two types of gin, for different kinds of cocktails,” Kirkman said. “We have different kinds of vodkas (that are) great mixers. Our rums are more highly distilled than a lot of sipping rums that you age. Given time, we’d love to have more rye whiskeys. But, right now it’s basically cocktails, right? And, with our plan, we’re doing everything from basic ingredient to glass. We’re actually making mixers, simple syrups, our own vermouth, our own bitters.”

As far as beer philosophy goes, Kirkman said they’re focusing on seasonals. They want to have a regular rotation of seasonal beers and then a few that remain year-round, like their IPA and Farmhouse Ale. One seasonal they just released only days ago was their Maibock, which is the last of the spring rotation. They plan to have season-specific beers, but always present a wide variety in their seasonal rotations, with a sort of formula to their releases. Kirkman said they want to always do lagers, always a Belgian style, always an American style, and always a dark beer.

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Bourbon Barrel Belgian Dark Strong Ale with Cherries. Because hell yes. (Available in bottles only, amigo.)

As for barrel-aging, they currently have a Bourbon Barrel Belgian Dark Strong Ale with cherries on the menu.

“We’re infusing spirits and beer,” Fitzpatrick said. “We want to go back and forth in the barrel. So we’re going to get some barrels. For example, our next barrel project is getting some kind of barrels and putting our Navy Strength Gin in them. And, once the Navy Strength Gin is done, we’ll do a Barleywine that goes into those barrels. Once the Barleywine’s been in there, we’ll go back to spirits. So those barrels are going to be used multiple times. We’ll go back and forth between spirits and beer. We have our Rye Whiskey on now that was aged for 14 months. We have a bourbon in a barrel right now, and a Farmhouse Whiskey — it’s our Farmhouse beer recipe, distilled as whiskey. And, those will turn into beer barrels after we empty them.”

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The first of many projects to bear fruit. Ha!

Right now, Tumbleroot has a lot of irons in the fire, from 12 wine barrels full of sours, the Barleywine project, and barrel-aging more spirits. Kirkman talked of actually getting three different spirits barrels, and putting the golden Barleywine into each different barrel for very different effects. Now it’s just finding the time and the manpower to do it all.

The future of Tumbleroot production is wide open at this point. Kirkman said they’re going to focus on refining the base recipes. He’s looking forward to a rotating field beer in the summer, with wild-harvested ingredients or ingredients acquired from a local farmer. He’s definitely got more barrel projects in mind, bigger spirits that take more time to age, like Anejo, more whiskeys, and so on.

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The supply is already impressive.

Tumbleroot currently brews three times a week on its 10-barrel system, producing about 30 or 40 barrels a week, while sneaking in a fourth brew. But, of course, not all of it is beer.

“Each distillation, each 10-barrel fermentation, depending on what we do, can yield about about two-to-300 bottles,” Kirkman said. “And, that’s pretty much a weekly thing. That’ll keep us ahead, and then we can start distributing. But right now, with demand, I’m going to run out before I can make everything.”

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Tumbleroot’s 10-barrel system is already getting quite the workout

Tumbleroot’s Agua Fria Taproom, Stage and Marketplace

Location: 2797 Agua Fria St, Santa Fe, NM 87507

It took the Jasons and company just six months to transform the remnants of old Club Alegria into Santa Fe’s newest playground (for both children and adults), currently housed by Tumbleroot. But, it started long before that.

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Now that’s a patio.

They signed the lease on the Agua Fria location on October 24 of last year.

“It really took us a year to get to that point though,” Fitzpatrick said. “Part of it was going through the city process, special use permit and all that. We didn’t want to start doing work until we knew we’d be able to be in this space.”

Any issues they came across, they worked through them, and like any brewery trying to open within the city limits, they had to deal with city obstacles. And, if you’ve ever read one of my articles about a brewery opening in Santa Fe, you already know it ain’t easy like Sunday morning. The construction process took six months for them to become compliant, but then there was also meeting the goal of hitting the visual aesthetic they had in mind since GABF.

Opening two spaces at once wasn’t the original plan. Ideally, they wanted it to be once space. They looked for different spots around Santa Fe for a whole year. It just didn’t work out for the Jasonic Duo. After walking the Alegria space, they said they both loved the potential. They believed it was exactly what they wanted for the bar space, the stage area, the wide open hall. But, they also knew, right away, that they wouldn’t be brewing and distilling on site. This space was what they had in mind for the Tumbleroot experience, but a separate production facility was now necessary.

There are now eight taps at both locations, from which flow Kirkman’s creations.

Beers:

  • Tier 1: Dortmunder, Farmhouse, Irish Stout
  • Tier 2: Citra Pale Ale, IPA, Honey Hibiscus Wheat
  • Tier 3: Imperial Red Ale
  • Tier 4: Bourbon Barrel Belgian Dark Strong Ale with cherries

Spirits

  • Grain Vodka
  • Botanical Gin
  • London Dry Gin
  • Blanco Rum
  • Oro Rum
  • Plata Agave
  • Repasado Agave
  • Rye Malt Whiskey

Cocktails

Front-of-house operations manager Joe Haggard came up with the special cocktails mixed at Tumbleroot. Very well versed in mixology, he put together the special list, in collaboration with Kirkman and Fitzpatrick as seen in the picture below.

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There is a science to all of it.

Food

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They cut a hole in the fence for food trucks to serve people more easily. Genius.

They plan to keep their food situation simple, offering snacks but mostly utilizing food trucks to keep their patrons fed.

Music

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The Tumbleroot stage has plenty of bands coming soon.

Tumbleroot has music four nights a week. Tuesday is a songwriter’s showcase hosted by Bill Palmer. Wednesday is an open-mic night hosted by sound engineer, Jason Reed. Fridays and Saturdays, Tumbleroot hosts full bands from both in and out of state. The staff said they will also be working with AMP Concerts to bring in national shows, which they aim to be booking for late summer/early fall.

The occupancy is 400, both inside and out. Tumbleroot is open from noon to 10 p.m. from Sunday through Wednesday, and from noon to midnight Thursday through Saturday. Which, if I may note, is awesome to have another place open past 10 in this sleepy city.

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A familiar sight. Fitz, still doing what he loves, serving up a good time.

In Fitzpatrick’s words, what makes this space unique for Santa Fe is “what we’re able to do because of our size.

“That we can create kids’ areas,” he said. “We have intimate lounge areas. We have a bar that we created, so that people sit across from each other, and can meet and talk — without TVs, so that everybody’s not just staring at a screen, but instead, across the bar, interacting. So I think it’s the flexibility of the space. It can become so many different things, and from hour to hour, change.”

Tumbleroot officially opened the taproom on April 19. The production facility (taproom) officially opened on April 6.

For the future of Tumbleroot, Fitzpatrick said he wants to create community, or help foster community. That’s the focus of the Tumbleroot taproom space. A big part of what they want to do at the taproom is host different events, such as artist markets and fundraisers all built around the the local community. And, next year they plan on distribution, with accounts solely around Santa Fe, for now. Soon, however, they hope to build a real name for themselves within the yet unsaturated craft spirit business.

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Take the time to sit back and relax with all that Tumbleroot has to offer.

I’ve visited both spaces and tried everything on the menu at least once. The new Tumbleroot taproom is certainly something to behold. It’s a giant, but a gentle one. It has the funny tendency to make you want to return. And, though they’re dialing in the recipes for the beers, everything I had was solid, though different approaches than one might be expecting in some cases. Don’t expect heaps of heavy-hitting hops here, at least not yet anyway. The spirits are top-notch, light years beyond even our favorite store-bought high-end hooch, but then again, Santa Fe doesn’t produce bad spirits. Perhaps it’s all the churches? I kid. And, the cocktails are inspired, refreshing, and full of flavors that you can easily pick out, if you spend enough time sipping. And, sip you should, lest these spirits turn to poltergeists in larger numbers.

Something great and powerful has come to Santa Fe. But, something deeply welcoming, too. The bartenders and servers are some of the nicest you’ll find in the area, and the seats and smooth wood of the bar tops just beg you to sit a spell and relax. Bring the family, bring your buddies, or bring a date. All are welcome, and well-received. If you need service, just ask for a Jason. There may be more than two around.

For my full-on brewery raid, where I brought the brewers of Rowley Farmhouse Ales to taste everything Tumbleroot had to offer, stay-tuned for my next article. Until then, to exploring broadly, connecting deeply, cheers!

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— Luke

2017NMIPACround2-3

For more #CraftBeer news, and @nmdarksidebc info, follow me on Twitter @SantaFeCraftBro. Untappd: SantaFeLuke. Instagram: lostgramsofluke