Archive for the ‘Taproom Preview’ Category

The lovely interior of the Grant Brewing Taproom in Carnuel.

There are days where we just get an “itch” to make a run over to the east side of the mountains, especially in the summer when our Jeep has its doors off and the bikini top on. Now, there’s a great place to stop for a tasty beverage on the way through the canyon. The Grant Brewery Co. Taproom just opened on June 28. It is located on the east end of Carnuel, on the south side of Route 66, just before Tijeras.

The actual brewery opened in September 2015 and is in Chama. This is an offsite taproom for the brewery. However, because of the time and expense involved in remodeling the 100-year-old building in Chama, owner/brewer Robbie Gonzales said he has not actually started brewing on his own yet. Robbie was an air traffic controller here in Albuquerque for 31 years before he retired to start The Brew House in Chama. We’re guessing he’s pretty good at handling stress. And, he told us if he serves someone the wrong beer or he runs out of his extremely popular cider or something, hey, at least no lives are on the line.

The lemon cider, on the left, is rather popular with customers.

He has his equipment now and hopes to start brewing soon, with his beers becoming available this fall. Right now, he does have two collaboration beers brewed with Sierra Blanca. There is an IPA (pretty malty for those of you looking for less of a hop bomb), and a super smooth stout. His two ciders he has on now are unique — one is apple with lavender, and the other is lemon. I had the lemon because it was so refreshing on a sticky, hot day. It reminded me of a cider version of a hard lemonade. The place was pretty quiet when we walked in, but at least 20-to-25 more people came in during the hour we were there, and it seemed at least one person in each group ordered the lemon cider. Some already knew about it, and some ordered it immediately after tasting it.

They are having a hard time keeping up with the demand on that cider. Robbie said they started making cider first, because his daughter (who was working there with him when we visited) has a wheat allergy and cannot drink the beers. However, there are also plenty of guest taps to choose from.

No, really, there is a taproom here.

The place itself is unassuming from the outside. When you walk up, it is a little difficult to find the right entrance, as it is connected to an event center. For over-21 events, they are able to open up a pass through window and sell beer directly to patrons inside the other space. Inside, the taproom is gorgeous. When they get better signage and maybe dress up the front a little, it will really start to get busy on the weekends, I am sure. There is a nice little patio on the north side. Robbie said they eventually want to start getting more food trucks. They had a food truck come out recently, and it worked out well as there is plenty of space.

Take a break from the horrid heat this month and head into the mountains for some cold beer and cider. Since they are new and settling in to what the best schedule will be, you might want to check their Facebook page for updates on current hours. Perhaps you may want to make it a little ale trail with visits to the Canteen Taproom on Tramway, The Grant Brewing Co. Taproom in Carnuel, and Ale Republic in Cedar Crest (plus the new Tractor taproom when it opens). Just stay safe and keep it cool out there. Jeep not required.

Cheers!

— AmyO

Say hello to the future Red Door taproom at Comanche and Wyoming.

The news broke last week that Red Door Brewing was set to open a taproom in the Northeast Heights this summer. It will be the second off-site taproom for Red Door, quite a ways from both their main brewery on Candelaria west of Interstate 25 and their taproom downtown in the Simms Building.

To learn more about how they came to the decision to take up space in the renovated multi-use complex on the southwest corner of the Wyoming/Comanche intersection, I sat down with head brewer/co-owner Wayne Martinez.

“We had actually been talking to them (Coe & Peterson) for a while,” Wayne said. “When you did your Look Back/Look Ahead (article), we’d already been talking to them. We just weren’t at a point where we wanted to say anything.”

The first place Coe & Peterson had in mind for Red Door was on the opposite side of town.

“We had been looking at (the former) Stumbling Steer, or that’s what they approached us with,” Wayne said. “The West Side is nice, but that location wasn’t for us. I think it will work out pretty well for someone else. It didn’t fit for what we are going for. So we told them that and they said we have this Heights location. Do you like the Heights?”

While Desert Valley will take over the old Steer spot this year, the Red Door ownership jumped at the Heights spot once they saw the developer’s plans.

“I think we got there and saw the outside of the building,” Wayne said. “This was awful, it looks like a doctor’s office in a strip mall from the 90s or something. Then they showed us the whole facade that they were going to redo. At that point I was sold. They told us what else they had planned for it, the Poki (Poki Cevicheria) restaurant. It just seemed like a good fit for us right now.”

Work is now underway on both the exterior and interior of the space for Red Door, Poki Poki, and other potential future tenants.

The east-facing side of the building includes that loft window above the bar where patrons can view the mountains.

“The space will probably be 1,500 square feet, but we’re probably going to do only 95 (person) occupancy,” Wayne said. “We’re looking at doing the same theme we have here with the (video) games. We’ll have a retro system up there. We’ll probably also do one or two pool tables.”

There will also be a second floor loft above the bar, with a window facing the Sandias that will likely give patrons a wonderful view at sunset. It will not be the only place to catch all those amazing colors in the sky before dusk.

“There will be an exterior patio,” Wayne said. “We’re on the southernmost part of the building. They put in two huge garage doors. We’re not going to have that big of a patio, maybe 20 to 25 people. That will be facing south. The food trucks will pull up right next to the patio.”

Wayne said that for now he is not worried about the impact a new taproom will have on Red Door’s beer production.

“We’re still focused on distribution even though we’re doing another taproom,” he said. “We’re really trying to push the West Side and a little bit of Santa Fe, too. As far as production goes, we’ll see how this taproom plays out. We’re definitely going to need to get some more kegs. But as far as major equipment, we should be OK.”

Wayne said the taproom location, which is fairly removed from any nearby breweries or taprooms (Marble Heights and Lizard Tail are the closest), fits into Red Door’s belief that the scene will become dominated by “local pubs” in areas of town that are underserved. It also should not have a major impact on the crowd sizes at the main brewery or downtown.

“We’re hoping so,” Wayne said. “We have planned for a little bit of cannibalization from this location. We’re just trying to be precautious based on numbers that are realistic. We’re kind of planning on that, hoping we can appeal to the whole crowd up there all the way to Tramway that doesn’t come down here.”

A glance inside shows a lot of work remains to be completed.

A new taproom fits Red Door’s current business plan, while also helping to attract new customers and push for future growth.

“It seems to be working for us right now,” Wayne said. “We have no plans of canning anytime soon. As far as the distribution plan goes there, it kind of makes sense trying to expand, trying to stay competitive.”

In this day and age, a brewery cannot sit back and watch its local compatriots run past. We applaud Red Door, Tractor, and all the rest aiming to move forward and continue their growth, while expanding craft beer’s reach into all corners of the metro area and state. We will keep everyone updated on the progress of the new taproom.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Ponderosa will soon be brewing for two … locations, that is.

Tucked away in the recent news about the renovation of the historic El Vado Motel on Central Avenue was a tidbit about a brewery taproom being part of the redevelopment. Ponderosa Brewing will open its first offsite taproom, with a fall opening being the target. In order to get a little more detail, I stopped by the brewery to chat with head brewer Antonio Fernandez.

Antonio said the same developer who remade the Sawmill District is overseeing the El Vado project. That developer, Chad Rennaker, is also the owner of Ponderosa and its sister brewery in Portland, Ore., PINTS Brewing.

“That’s been another project he’s been working on for a few years, actually,” Antonio said. “(He has been) getting the licensing and zoning, all kinds of things together for the new development with the El Vado. Finally, everything came together recently, just after the beginning of the year.”

The property at Central and New York Avenue will be redeveloped into a multi-use project.

“They’re planning on a boutique hotel,” Antonio said. “It’s going to be pretty nice, actually. Some park space, a few shops, a food pod kind of concept, and then we’re going to have a small Ponderosa Brewing taproom over there as well. Hopefully once (Albuquerque Rapid Transit) construction and all that on Central calms down and gets out of the way, with the proximity to Tingley Beach and being directly across the street from the BioPark, I think it could be a pretty nice little tourist destination. That’s going to be the site of our first off-site taproom.”

Ponderosa will only be taking its beers to the taproom. The food pod concept is similar to the Green Jeans Farmery, with multiple small eateries surrounding the Santa Fe Brewing taproom. Antonio said there will be anywhere from three to eight eateries.

In terms of mileage, the taproom will be awfully close to the mothership, but the belief is that it will attract a different crowd.

“It’s going to be a completely different vibe,” Antonio said. “There’s going to be a lot of out-of-towners staying there. I guess at some point there is going to be another development behind it, another parcel of land that’s going to include some condos, some apartments, buildings like that. There will be that neighborhood crowd at some point as well.

“It is pretty close to us, but right now it might as well be miles and miles away. Back in February they had a small light the sign, flip the switch kind of ceremony. The mayor was there, a couple city councilors. We just set up the jockey box and served some beer out in the dirt lot. There was nothing else going on besides a chain link fence and a lone backhoe waiting to get started.”

Anything that can help a brewery increase its customer base is a good thing. We wish everyone at Ponderosa luck with the taproom, and we will keep tabs on just when it will open later this year.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Well, that looks just heavenly. Hello, Monks' Corner, welcome to the party.

Well, that looks just heavenly. Hello, Monks’ Corner, welcome to the party.

We know, there have been a lot of grand openings and special events at new places all around town in the last few months. We are confident you can all handle at least one more. Right?

Start doing those growler curls, and prep your palates, for Monks’ Corner is coming to downtown on Wednesday, Oct. 5. This latest entry in the ever-expanding scene in the heart of Albuquerque is brought to us by Abbey Brewing. Located in the southwest corner of the new Imperial Building at 3rd Street and Silver, Monks’ Corner is currently in the final stages of preparation.

Sales rep/beer guru Angelo Orona provided me with a quick tour of the forthcoming taproom on Monday morning. A construction crew was still busy putting the finishing touches on the space.

“The idea is for this to be a focal point for the surrounding community here,” Angelo said. “As you can see, there are a lot of residents. The Imperial Building has a lot of rentals above us. We want to be collaborative with the neighbors and the other breweries that are around here.”

It was years ago when the Crew heard rumors of Abbey looking to put a taproom somewhere along Paseo del Norte. Those plans fell through, but new plans were made with downtown in mind. Once the Imperial Building, a mixed-use development with commercial spaces on the ground floor and apartments above, was complete, the idea of Monks’ Corner finally became a reality.

There is still work to be done with eight days until the grand opening.

There is still work to be done with eight days until the grand opening.

“Berkeley (Merchant) and his wife, Marie, designed this space,” Angelo said of Abbey’s general manager. “Everything’s very deliberate. If you notice, even the paint scheme is reminiscent of the area around the monastery. If you look at photos or if you’ve ever been up there … the cliffs around the monastery, this is the same color scheme.”

The space is 1,800 square feet in total, with room for about 80 patrons. There will be 20 taps, including a cider, made of the Abbey Monks beers as well as rotating guest beers.

“I’m the main person putting together the draft list right now,” Angelo said. “The one thing that I’m trying to focus on here is trying to get a lot of one-off beers, beers where there’s only one keg. I’m going to try to leverage some of my relationships and see if I can get some special stuff.”

That will not happen right away as far as the specialty/rare taps go, Angelo added, but over time.

Crackin’ Crab and Maya will be the neighboring restaurants. Maya is owned by Dennis Apodaca, whose restaurant Sophia’s Place is a popular North Valley establishment. Both restaurants will be joining forces with Monks’ Corner. Fans can expect some special beer and food pairings.

“Absolutely, that’s definitely in the cards,” Angelo said. “The one that I’m excited about is the seafood. … That’s pretty unique and interesting. I know Dennis is pretty innovative with his food, too. The idea is we’ll have some (Abbey) beers featured on his menu that pair well.”

A small, standing-room only patio is on the west side.

A small, standing-room only patio is on the west side.

There are some plans for live music and other events down the line, though those will wait until after the staff gets settled in and develops a consistent routine, Angelo said.

“One thing that we’re really going to focus on here, we were really fortunate to get a gentleman named Chris Pacheco,” Angelo said. “He’s formerly of Chama River. He’s going to be the GM here. He really, really wants to focus on — and I’m on board with this as well — on education of the staff and making sure that this is a place where people can feel like they can confidently ask a question and a get a good answer.”

That education will extend beyond the staff to the customers as well. Angelo is also the man behind Craft King Consulting, so expect a lot of Beer 101-style classes and more to take place at Monks’ Corner.

“Basically, we’re trying to make this a place that has small events that differentiate from other places,” he added.

Monks’ Corner will also have a merchandise area, a cooler for six-packs that can be purchased of Abbey beers, and yes, it will be licensed for growler sales right from the get-go. Now it is just a matter of crossing those final T’s and dotting the last I’s before the doors swing open next week.

Until then, we will keep tabs on any last-minute changes or developments. Otherwise, see you all at Monks’ Corner next week.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

It's like Where's Waldo?, but with Adam.

It’s like Where’s Waldo?, but with Adam.

Well, gosh, that was fun.

Marble opened their long-awaited Northeast Heights taproom on Wednesday night to a humongous crowd. There were a lot of familiar industry faces in the crowd, plus myself and Adam, but also what figured to be a strong mix of old and new customers. Things went off seemingly without a hitch, which was impressive for their “soft” opening. Heck, this was not soft. This was a full-on mosh pit of people and beer and more beer and more people. In the end, everyone kept on moshing without anyone being lost into the abyss.

I could keep rambling, but after two Stout Americanos and one Imperial Red, I’m gonna let the pictures tell the story. Take note, those two beers are on tap, along with White Out, The Duchess, and Red Light Lager, in addition to your usual favorites. The best part about Americano, Red, and White is that these are from the batches brewed to enter the competition at the Great American Beer Fesitval in October.

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As president/brewmaster Ted Rice told us, Marble had some really good people design this space (namely Modulus Design).

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It’s all kegs in the walk-in cooler for now, but there could be some grundies in there in the near future.

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The new 10-barrel pilot brewhouse is nearly ready to start working on some new specialty and seasonal beers that will soon be on tap at all three Marble locations.

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Those are a lot of fermenters. We’re excited for what they shall soon hold.

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Meet the loading dock door, or how they will get the beers brewed here to the other locations, and the beers from the mothership to taps here.

Hello and good-bye, patio denizens! See you Friday!

Hello and good-bye, patio denizens! See you Friday!

The 10-barrel brewhouse should be active in the next few weeks. Expect to see a lot of familiar faces from downtown brewing up here once or twice a week, creating new beers to be shared among all three locations.

A big thanks to Tony Calder for playing tour guide, plus thanks to Ted Rice, Barbie Gonzalez, Nate Jackson, Josh Trujillo, and all the rest of the Marble staff (seriously, there were so many) who worked hard to get this place ready to go. We would add Leah Black, too, but at this point we have thanked her so many times for so many different reasons, she’s probably saying “eh, whatever, just go drink more beer.” (But seriously, without her and her constant helpful updates, this would have caught us all by surprise. You rule, Leah!)

Oh, and this Friday will mark the grand opening, starting at noon. There will be special food dishes to pair with beers from Savoy, all starting around 5 p.m. You can also expect about four more special beers to make their return to taps. We would share, but we are sworn to secrecy. Also, we totally want to drink up one of them. (Damn, did that give it away?)

Just remember, the parking lot is somewhat limited in size, so if you can, take an Uber or carpool with friends. Or bike or walk if you live close enough.

Until Friday, when we will be the bearded guys in black in a corner with goblets of (REDACTED) waiting for you to join us, enjoy your Thursday.

Cheers, Marble staff, and thanks for the fresh Imperial Red!

Cheers, Marble staff, and thanks for the fresh Imperial Red!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The Red Door taproom will be ready to go this Thursday.

The Red Door taproom will be ready to go this Thursday.

Red Door will finally swing open the doors to their downtown taproom in the Simms Building this Thursday Friday starting at 11 a.m. It will be the second notable taproom opening of 2016 following Nexus Silver on the West Side.

I got a tour of the place last Friday, where construction was still buzzing as the last pieces were being put into place. The taproom is located on the lobby floor of the building in the northeast corner, right on the intersection of 4th Avenue and Gold.

The neon sign was a requirement by the owners of the Simms Building to keep with the retro vibe.

The neon sign was a requirement by the owners of the Simms Building to keep with the retro vibe.

Brewer Wayne Martinez showed me the space. He said it will seat 90 to 100 people. There was talk of a small patio on the east side, though that has been pushed back.

“With the zoning and everything, we’re more focused on in here,” Wayne said. “It wasn’t worth it to do that yet.”

The interior of the space will feature a long community table on the east side, but for the most part it will be a mix of four-top and two-top tables. The bar itself in the center is fairly long. There will also be a game room dubbed “The Vault.” It will feature a couch and a video game system similar to the setup at the main brewery, though with walls on three sides.

The space that used to be an actual vault will be the video game room.

The space that used to be an actual vault will be the video game room.

“That actually used to be a bank vault,” Wayne said. “This used to be a bank at one point. It still has that retro feeling.”

The retro look even extends to the ceiling, which has metal grating. It fits in with the Simms Building itself, which was built in the 1950s and is the oldest modern high-rise in Albuquerque. Much of the recent remodeling/rebranding of the ground floor has been done with sort of a Mad Men influenced vibe.

The main bar area will be surrounded by tables.

The main bar area will be surrounded by tables.

The taproom will have 11 beers on tap for the grand opening, from all the main beers like Threshold IPA and Paint it Black Milk Stout, to all the seasonals. Included will be a special new seasonal, Downtown Pale Ale, that will be ready.

“We’ll have two more taps than our main location, just because we’re going to expand that location in the next two months,” Wayne said. “It will probably be more seasonals, we don’t see it being any more year-round offerings.”

The taproom will be open every day at 11 a.m. It will close at 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, at midnight Friday and Saturday, and at 10 p.m. Sunday.

As noted, the entire Simms Building lobby area is rocking a retro decor.

As noted, the entire Simms Building lobby area is rocking a retro decor.

Red Door will also be partnering with one of their new neighbors, Radish, for food options. The restaurant will be shifting its hours, and adding some new dishes, to collaborate with the taproom. Look for that in the near future as well.

All in all, it will be another great addition to the downtown beer scene. Thanks to Wayne for the tour, and we look forward to enjoying some pints there this week!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Nexus Brewery expands to the West Side

Posted: June 8, 2016 by theshenerd in Taproom Preview
Tags:
Patio

Say hello to Nexus, West Siders!

Once breweries achieve some level of success, it seems the first thing they do is open another location. This was not the case for Ken Carson at Nexus. Even after the success of the food menu, national TV appearances, awards, and lines out the door, he was very cautious about his expansion plans. That patience has paid off with the opening of the Nexus Silver Taproom at 2641 Coors Blvd NW. It is an easy to get to location in an untapped market. This should spell success. It officially opens Thursday, but I got to poke around a bit during the soft opening Tuesday.

So, what’s different?

  1. No kitchen. People hoping for some chicken and waffles with Kaylynn’s exquisite brews are out of luck. That doesn’t mean no food, however. Ken is working to partner with eateries in the strip mall location to deliver food to patrons. There are also several restaurants that you can pick up food from and take into the taproom. Karim and I opted for Wing Stop, and I would say he was pleased …
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  2. The layout. The first thing I noticed was the ample patio (see above photo). Like the original location, the patio faces east so there is a bit less worry about roasting in the afternoon sun. Ken is sticking with later openings for now, but once the place becomes a hit (and it will be), some sort of shading option will become necessary for earlier in the day. The inside is very spacious and gives it an open and welcoming feel. I’ll let the pictures do the talking, but you will notice that it does not feel as cramped as the original location. We’ll see what happens when it’s full of people, though.
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What’s the same?

  1. The beer. It’s still delicious, and you can get all Kaylynn’s signature beers in addition to a few guest taps. Plus, they have the Salted Caramel Stout on tap. WIN!!! I was a very happy nerd and it was the perfect dessert after my wings. (Karim and I may have pestered Ken about serving it with a scoop of ice cream, or putting it on cask, or barrel aging it, or serving it on nitro … bless his patience with us as we geeked out!)
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  2. The service. Granted, it was a quiet evening there with it being a soft opening, but I was happy to see the friendly service that I love at the original location is still a priority at Nexus Silver. Every person I spoke with had genuine smiles on their faces and were eager to know what they could do to make the experience even better.

Since I had his attention, I asked Ken about the status of the Nexus Neighbor program. Regulars may have been frustrated by the system being out of commission. That’s nothing compared to the frustration Ken and the staff have been going through. What happened was this: The old payment system would not allow the two locations to communicate, meaning that points would not transfer from OG Nexus to Nexus Silver. The company hired to make the new systems communicate and upload the member database had a few glitches. This left the poor servers to manually enter each ticket. BUT, he also gave me this scoop: He will be giving bonus points to all Neighborhood members once the system is back online as a thank you for their patience and understanding. Did I mention that Nexus has good service? It starts at the top.

All in all, Ken has set himself up for success yet again. I can see Nexus Silver quickly becoming a regular hangout for the neighborhood, as well as those who happen to be passing by.

Cheers!

— Kristin

There will be a whole lot of space inside for Bosque to brew up to 15,000 barrels of beer in the near future.

There will be a whole lot of space inside for Bosque to brew up to 15,000 barrels of beer in the near future.

Long ago, the Crew heard rumors that Bosque Brewing was looking at moving into the old Jackalope building along Highway 550 just west of the Rio Grande in Bernalillo. Bosque managing director Gabe Jensen told us he was about 50-50 on moving into the property, but could offer up no further details.

Lo and behold, all these months later, Bosque held their second Insider event inside the cleaned-out Jackalope structure, which in the coming months will become the home of their new production facility. It gave all of us, customers and media alike, a chance to view the future of the fast-growing brewery’s biggest endeavor to date.

“What this place really helps us do … we are always feeling like we’re chasing our tail, always trying to figure out how do we fit another fermenter, how do we package?” Gabe said. “Oh, we can’t package, cause Jesse (Hiott) sold all of our beer. Oh, great, John (Bullard) won another award and now we don’t have any beer left. Something always comes up.”

Albuquerque Journal business writer Jessica Dyer got the initial scoop on the overall plan for the entire Riverpointe Vistas site redevelopment, which gives a good summation of what the future holds. The current structure will be expanded from 10,000- to 15,000-square feet, housing a production brewery and a taproom. Since we are not burdened by the space limitations of print, I made sure to get a more detailed breakdown of how Bosque will fit into the project from Gabe on Thursday night.

A rendering of how the building will look in the future.

A rendering of how the Bosque production facility will look in the future.

Blessed with 42-foot ceilings, Bosque will be able to move a whole lot of equipment into the structure. There will be a 30-barrel, four-vessel brewhouse that will enable them to produce 15,000 barrels a year to start.

“The brewery will allow us to (eventually) do up to 30,000 barrels a year,” Gabe said. “That’s not our goal in 2017 or anything like that. We did 4,000 barrels last year and we’re on pace for 5,000 but we are getting some more fermenters (at San Mateo). Hopefully, by summer we’ll be on pace for 7,000 or 8,000 over a 12-month period. Coming in here we should be able to do 15,000 barrels. What that’s going to allow us to do is package.”

Bosque will still do their specialty bombers of Scale Tipper and other unique beers, but for their primary house beers they will install a canning line in the northeast corner of the building. IPA and lager will be the first two beers, with Scotia Scotch Ale and possibly others down the road, Gabe said.

The 30-barrel brewhouse will be over there in the left corner where the bathrooms currently are (those will move to the opposite end for the taproom).

The 30-barrel brewhouse will be over there in the left corner where the bathrooms currently are (those will move to the opposite end for the taproom).

“This room, what this space is for is to make enough beer so we can finally package,” Gabe said. “When we do canning it will be over there in that (northeast) corner. … We’ll have a 30-barrel, four-vessel system over there in that (northwest) corner. Fermenting will be in this general (central) area and bright tanks over there (east wall). Cooler on the back end of the building and dry goods and receiving in the back (north end). If you walk back there, you’ll see a loading dock. (We’ll be) changing some walls and overhead doors and that kind of stuff, too.”

Gabe took me on a tour to give me a better idea of what will go where.

Looking to the south end of the building, where the taproom will eventually be set up.

Looking to the south end of the building, where the taproom will eventually be set up.

“This front half will be the taproom,” Gabe said, indicating the south end of the building that faces Highway 550. “I don’t know how many square feet it will be, but we’re still working on some of those details. It will be our biggest taproom that we will have, I do know that. There will be a patio outside, an upstairs mezzanine patio, and then from here back is brewery.”

Gabe later added it projects out to about 3,000-square feet or so. There will be an L-shaped bar in the southeast corner, plus there will be a bar outside on the east side of the building. This taproom will rely on food trucks rather than have a kitchen like San Mateo and Nob Hill.

The packaging hall will run down here, but with higher ceilings and the outer wall pushed out to the right (east).

The packaging hall will run down here, but with higher ceilings and the outer wall pushed out to the right (east).

Currently there is a sort of hallway that runs north-south along the east end of the building. That eastern wall will be pushed out some 30 feet, while the ceiling there will be raised up to 14 feet. The hallway will become the packaging area for the brewery, with glass windows so folks outside can watch the work going on inside.

The bulk of the fermenters will go to the middle of the brewery, where the ceiling is the highest.

“The big ones will be (here),” Gabe said. “At the beginning we’re getting some 90-barrels and we’re moving some 30-barrels over here (from San Mateo). That will give us capacity for a ton of beer.”

The existing loading dock and garage door on the north end.

The existing loading dock and garage door on the north end.

The bright tanks will be toward the east side, in between the packaging hall and the fermenters. Shipping and receiving will be out with the loading dock in the back, north end of the building. There is already an existing garage door and dock in place.

“The milling room will be on the outside of the brewery,” Gabe added. “We’ll have a silo out there. Then a little bit past that wall will be the (walk-in) cooler. It’s going to be kind of external. They’ll cover it to make it look like it’s part of the building.”

They can fit some pretty tall fermenters in the center.

They can fit some pretty tall fermenters in the center.

There are some lower-hanging beams in the center area that will be moved.

“They’re going up to the ceiling, is essentially what it is,” Gabe said. “We’ll hang glycol (lines) off them.

“The lights stay, the heaters stay, the AC stays. That’s how we were able to get approval from the landlord. The first plan was to have four suites and retail in here. And he asked if we wanted to take one of them. I said we wanted to take the whole building for the brewery. What do you think? He came back and said maybe we can do that.

“So, we’ve worked with Phil (Lindborg), who’s the developer. We’ve known each other for a long time. We had a (prior) relationship, so he called us first. A Bosque on the Bosque, it just fits.”

Lindborg and Harpal Singh are handling the development end of things. It will also include a 5,500-square foot restaurant and retail buildings that will be added elsewhere on the property.

“This place, which honestly I had my eye on before Phil called me,” Gabe said. “They snatched it up before we could, which ended up being a great thing because I think it’s going to be a great partnership with his development company.”

The exterior entrance on the west side.

The exterior entrance on the west side.

Angela Benson of Modulus Architects will now take over the massive overhaul of the Jackalope building for Bosque. Gabe, John, and the rest of the staff will continue to work with her on making sure everything is set in place for moving in later this year.

“(Phil) brought in a great architect,” Gabe said. “She sent me this rendering on Monday, we got a lot of good news on Monday including that rendering, and she said she got a little bit nervous because I didn’t respond right away. That’s because I got up from my desk and walked down to John’s office and said you’ve got to see this. We’re so excited because it embodies what we want to see here. I’m not an architect, I had some vision in my brain that I couldn’t explain. She made it even better, so we’re really excited about it.”

The new facility will not crush Bosque from a financial perspective.

“The lease is going to be expensive,” Gabe said. “But we can pay for it as long as we do the volume we did our first year out of San Mateo. I think we’ll be able to do that. 450 barrels, I think we’ll be able to sell that out of here.”

It pays to be a Bosque Insider. Or a beer writer. Well, it pays in beer, not actual money.

It pays to be a Bosque Insider. Or a beer writer. Well, it pays in beer, not actual money.

For anyone wondering, the San Mateo location is not going anywhere, not even the brewhouse and equipment already in place there.

“So, for those of you concerned or anxious or anything like that, we are not closing our current or original location,” Gabe said. “We will use that for our specialty beers, hopefully start a barrel-aging program — which we’ve started but I wouldn’t call it a program, just an experiment because we don’t have enough space to do a whole lot — hopefully get into some sours, all that kind of fun stuff. John and his crew have been really great at putting things out that are always something new. Every time you come to a taproom, something new is always coming out. He really thrives on that and that’s what the current location will allow us to do.

“Then, in here, we’ll make IPA. IPA and lager, exactly. We’ll be making IPA and lager all day long, and then sometimes we’ll make some stout, just for you, Chris.”

Aw, thanks, Gabe.

Closing on a serious note, this is all wonderful news for our craft beer scene in New Mexico. One of our most awarded and respected breweries is getting bigger. People outside of Albuquerque and Las Cruces will soon be able to enjoy Bosque beers. It never hurts to have another of our finest establishments packaging their products.

Oh, look who's back in the semifinals of the NIPAC.

Oh, look who’s back in the semifinals of the NIPAC.

Oh, and speaking of award-winning, we were still hanging out with the Bosque staff when we received word that Scale Tipper has advanced to the semifinals of the National IPA Challenge. It was pretty cool to congratulate John and the staff directly. Scale Tipper will face Barley Brown’s Pallet Jack in one semifinal, while Boxing Bear’s Bear Knuckle IPA will face Comrade Brewing’s Superpower IPA in the other. Bear Knuckle won an all-New Mexico quarterfinal over Turtle Mountain’s Adrift IPA.

The Crew will keep everyone up to date on the progress of the new Bosque facility. We look forward to someday enjoying a few pints while enjoying that amazing view of the river and mountains beyond.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The taproom is opening sooner than you might think. How soon? What are you doing Tuesday night?

The taproom is opening sooner than you might think. How soon? What are you doing Tuesday night?

Before the ugly, grueling Steelers-Broncos game kicked off Sunday, some of us in the Crew — myself, E-Rock, AmyO — headed downtown to check out the new Duel Brewing taproom. Much to our surprise, we were told the taproom would have a soft opening this Tuesday at 5 p.m. Before anyone heads over, here is a preview of just what the new space will entail.

The taproom is located at 606 Central Ave., between 6th Street and 7th Street on the south side of Central, right next door to the Launchpad. It is a humongous space, with a max occupancy of about 250 people, said general manager Milo Carrejo. That does not even count the forthcoming rooftop patio, which will not be ready for a while.

Duel's Todd Yocham regales the Crew with tales of the new taproom.

Duel’s Todd Yocham regales the Crew with tales of the new taproom.

We met with Milo and head of brewing operations Todd Yocham, who gave us a quick tour of the place before we settled in to taste some of the beers while they continued working on getting everything ready.

As noted above, the space is big, with high ceilings. There is a second floor/mezzanine in the back from when you walk in, where a rare beer bar and a special cellaring room will soon exist.

“We’ll have bottles upstairs in the rare beer bar and cellar-aged stuff in the cellar,” Todd said. “As soon as my towers come in, there will be 16 beers on draft up there. Well, up to 16 different beers on draft up there, depending on what we have. We’re going to release all four of our saisons from last year at once. They’re going to be up there until we run out. They won’t be down here. Last year’s Goya (Imperial Stout) and this year’s Goya will be up there. Pretty much all of our sours will be up there, just to keep things separate.”

The old theater seats are up on the mezzanine next to what will be the rare beer bar.

The old theater seats are up on the mezzanine next to what will be the rare beer bar.

Milo said he did not know if they will have that area open for anything besides seating. Until those towers come in, they only have four taps upstairs at the moment. The seating includes 100-year-old theater seats that have been in the building for, well, a century. They give people the opportunity to sit and overlook the downstairs area. It’s the ultimate people-watching experience.

The main floor features a zigzagging bar that runs north-south, with a 58-foot long beer cooler behind the bar featuring 80 (!) taps. There will also be tables on the other side of a series of dividing walls for a more private experience, plus there will soon be four community tables set up for larger parties. Duel will have a stage up front (the north end) underneath the big windows.

Looking down on the zigzagging bar.

Looking down on the zigzagging bar.

“I have everything that Duel makes and we’ll have some more guest (taps),” Todd said. “We’ve already got some from Bosque. We’re still going to be going through, figuring out what beers we’re going to have so we have a nice selection from people, not just the same old, same old.

“The beers are grouped into sections. Eighty taps, I know it looks overwhelming but I don’t (expect) to have 80 different beers on (right away).”

There will always be at least three beertenders working, Todd added, with each responsible for only one of those sections of taps (five total, 16 taps per section). There will also be a cooler on the east wall where people can purchase individual bottles/bombers of beers. Todd said he does not know if there will be any bottles poured at the bar. It seems more likely those would be poured upstairs at the rare beer bar when that is ready.

General manager Milo Carrejo hangs out behind the bar, which will feature 80 taps.

General manager Milo Carrejo hangs out behind the bar, which will feature 80 taps.

Next to the rare beer bar will be the aforementioned cellar, which probably marks the only time we have ever seen a cellar be upstairs.

“We’ve got a climate-controlled cellar,” Todd said. “As soon as I get it finished we’ll have wine and beer cellared in there. And then (later this) year at some point is the roof.”

That is the next project for the staff once they get interior ready.

“The roof is a project yet to be taken on,” Milo said. “Come the springtime, that’s something we’ll start getting set up for the summer. It’s basically spanning the full ceiling. A giant space up there as well.”

The front of the bar will feature an indoor stage for musicians.

The front of the bar will feature an indoor stage for musicians.

There will be space for live music on the roof, though for now the inside stage will suffice.

“We have a stage up front as well, so we’re prepared to have that,” Milo said. “I’m excited to do that. As you see, the design of the bar is more for a social gathering, keep people towards each other and talking instead of watching TV or checking their phones.”

Nothing may keep people away from their phones, but Duel will have some tasty little finger foods and the like to keep everyone from stumbling out on stomachs full of beer only. The menu will be geared toward Charcuterie plates, with meats, cheeses, breads, and the like. There will be a small preparation area near the south wall below the rare beer bar mezzanine. Duel is not planning to do a full kitchen like they have in Santa Fe, Milo said.

Cheers to the new taproom!

Cheers to the new taproom!

Like most places, Duel will have wine and cider for the gluten-free/intolerant crowd, mostly New Mexico brands, though Milo said their primary focus will always be on the beer.

Head on down to the soft opening Tuesday night, or you can wait for the grand opening on Friday, Jan. 29. Either way, Downtown Albuquerque has picked up another quality addition to what is fast becoming a booming craft beer scene.

Thanks to Milo and Todd for the tour, plus those tastings of Hmwwafiacfw (no, we never learned how to properly pronounce it) plus the 2014 and 2015 editions of Goya. In a shocker, the 2014 Goya was our collective favorite.

Oh, and a special thanks to AmyO’s boyfriend Dave, who snapped all the photos while we were touring and chatting.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister