Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Time to take notice of The 377 Brewery

Posted: July 19, 2017 by tahogue in Interviews, News

These tanks have been churning out some high-quality beers at The 377.

When I last wrote about The 377 Brewery back in November, it was literally in its infancy, having just recently opened the month prior. I’m more than happy to report that time, as well as experience, have definitely had positive impacts on The 377.

Upon entering, head brewer Lyna Waggoner was all smiles as she reported that her El CuCuy IPA had just finished in first place out of 35 entries in the preliminary round of the NM IPA Challenge at Duel Brewing ABQ on Saturday afternoon. My sample of El CuCuy (in Hispanic folklore, a mythical ghost-monster equivalent to the boogeyman) provided proof that the first-place finish was no fluke. It was a fragrant, satisfying, and refreshing IPA, to be sure. In a confident and excited tone, Waggoner said, “It’s on to the next round!” That round is tonight (Wednesday) at Picacho Peak Brewing in Las Cruces. Keep an eye out for the results.

In addition to that exciting news, there was the fact that the brewery’s Schwartzbier won Best of Class, Double Gold at the 2017 Denver International Beer Competition in April. Add it up and it is an impressive early track record, to be sure, and an indication of Waggoner’s commitment to brewing outstanding beers.

Obviously, awards are often the most satisfying accomplishment for a brewer, but when asked what she is the most proud of during her eight-plus months at the helm of The 377, Waggoner said, “The fact that I have been able to nail my recipes and provide multiple, well-rounded beers on tap.”

In terms of equipment and the environmental limitations that most brewers encounter with new brewery openings, she said, “I believe it’s the quality of the brewer, not the system.”

Well, look at that, The 377 has its first barrel. Oh, the possibilities!

She went on to say that she truly feels like she has her brewing system “dialed-in.” Waggoner said that her next plan is to venture into the wonderful world of barrel-aging, as she pointed to a whiskey barrel prominently displayed nearby.

After touring the improved layout of the equipment, I reflected on what Waggoner had said her goals were for 2017 during our first interview, and quickly realized that she has stayed true to them all. If you haven’t yet ventured over to the corner of Yale and Gibson, or if it’s been awhile since your last visit, do yourself a favor and stop in The 377 for some solid, award-winning beers! It is most definitely time to take notice of The 377 Brewery and head brewer Lyna Waggoner.


— Tom

Three Rivers is going all-out for its 20th anniversary party!

During a road trip through Southwest Colorado at the end of June, I was fortunate enough to stop in and say hello to our friends at Three Rivers Brewery in Farmington.

It had been about five months since I had previously visited as part of our Look Back/Look Ahead Series. This time, I spent the night in Farmington, which allowed me to really get the full Three Rivers experience. It was the first night of my three-night road trip, and I did not hold back. As a matter of fact, I have to give a shout out to Lou Go’s Taxi Service in Farmington for providing me with a safe and dependable transportation option. I was disappointed to see that neither Uber nor Lyft were available in the area, but Lou Go’s filled the void well with 24-hour service, clean vehicles, and friendly drivers.

I started at the Three Rivers Brewery Restaurant on the corner of the block. It was a Friday night and the place was packed, but I was able to find a spot at the bar, conveniently located next to the taps. It was my third time eating dinner at this bar, and I was returning with a high expectations for food quality after the previous visits. I ordered the dinner special for the week, which was Rock Shrimp & Andouille Jambalaya. It was excellent. Each element tasted fresh and savory, and was tied together with a flavorful, but not overpowering level of spiciness.

Take flight with this, um, flight!

Of course, my food was accompanied by a flight of beers, which carried the same high standards as the food, again as expected. My personal favorites on the flight were The Black (stout) and the Arroyo Amber. I also sampled others that were not in my flight. The Raspberry Wheat was exceptionally refreshing, and one of the most well-balanced fruity wheat beers I have had in recent memory. Personally, I would pick this beer on a hot summer day over most of the Gose options that seem to have exploded in ABQ this summer.

It resembles Franz Solo’s beer fridge!

After finishing dinner, I walked further down the block (past the Tap Room and Pizzeria, both of which were also a buzzing with activity) to the Three Rivers Brewstillery, which had been under construction during my previous visit. It was exciting to see the finished product.

I sat at the bar, examined the menu, and was drawn to the ‘Beer Geek Bottle List,’ as well as the fridge containing said bottles … some even in boxes… yeah, I definitely nerded out on this. It was at this point that head brewer (really, we can call him head of beverage operations, with the addition of the distillery), Brandon Beard joined me. I hadn’t given him much notice on my visit, so it was great that Brandon was able to meet up. Unfortunately, assistant brewer (now really head brewer), Patrick Liessmann, was out of town.

After popping a bottle of Kasteel Barista, a Belgian quad with chocolate and coffee, Brandon and I discussed the upcoming 20th anniversary of Three Rivers Brewery, which will be celebrated with a party this Friday, starting at 5:30 p.m.

They’re saving the Crew at least one bottle. We hope!

Let me be clear, if I was not going to be at a wedding event in Chicago on that day … I would be attending this anniversary party (He is not the only one missing this for a wedding. — S). Just hearing about the treats that will be available is enough to make any true beer lover salivate. If there are two things (in my mind) that set Three Rivers apart, it has been their success in, 1) incorporating exciting and rich ingredients such as peanut butter and coconut, and 2) barrel aging. Building on what they do best, Three Rivers will be releasing their 20th anniversary limited edition Black Lily Barrel Aged Stout in four variations — Bourbon Barrel, Bourbon Barrel & Peanut Butter, Rum Barrel, and Rum Barrel & Coconut.

Assistant Brewer Austin Jacobs brought out some samples of the Rum Barrel & Coconut, and I was in heaven. I won’t attempt to describe it in too much detail, aside from saying it’s an easy-to-drink barrel-aged beer; you can taste the alcohol content, but nothing like, say, a Marble Reserve (not hating on Marble Reserve, it has its place, too). The coconut is unabashedly present and delicious. It complements the beer in the same way a scoop of vanilla ice cream complements a mug of root beer.

Don’t take my word for it; try it while it lasts. Only a 100-count of 750mL bottles of each variation will be available.

Sorry, Andrew, we didn’t warn you that this job will include copious amounts of delicious foods.

Just when I thought that I had seen and tasted it all, executive chef Jay brought out three of the tapas dishes that are on the menu in the Brewstillery. After I was done complimenting him on the jambalaya that I had for dinner, I happily munched on what he had set in front of me. My pictures do not do this food justice. It’s much easier to take a good picture of a glass of beer then a platter of food.

Please go to the Three Rivers website to see the menu and specific descriptions. It was the perfect food to snack on after a night of beer drinking. Along with the tapas, I sampled a few of the craft cocktails that are available and they, too, were top notch. The Brewstillery drink menu could satisfy any preference at the highest level of quality.

Much thanks to Three Rivers Brewery staff for their continued hard work and success at providing high-quality, local products to the community — the food, the beer, the spirits, the whole package. The passion is visible in the people, and you can taste it in the products. On a more personal note, thanks to Brandon and Austin for hanging out with me and showing me a fun time.

A huge thanks to brewmaster Brandon Beard, on the right.

I encourage all NM craft beer lovers to plan a visit to Three Rivers Brewery, and enjoy what they have to offer. The upcoming anniversary party would be a great opportunity, but any time is a good time.

Furthermore, Three Rivers is a great place to grab a meal, or a drink, or just hang out, for anyone who might be spending a night near Farmington, or traveling through.

On behalf of the NM Dark Side Brew Crew, I want to say congratulations to Three Rivers Brewery on their upcoming 20th anniversary, and we look forward to another 20 years!


— Deezbeers

Drafty Kilt will host a brewery collectibles swap meet this Saturday.

The Roadrunner Chapter of the Brewery Collectibles Club of America is holding its 14th annual Brewery Collectibles Show this Saturday at Drafty Kilt. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and admission is free.

Roadrunner president Dan Scoglietti emailed the Crew to let us know that this has become a tradition to team up with brewer Mike Campbell, who has previously hosted shows at Tractor and Cazuela’s when he brewed at those places. The show has also been held at Kellys, Marble, La Cumbre, and Canteen in past years.

The goal of this swap meet is to bring together all sorts of collectors of old brewery and Americana memorabilia. There will be everything from cans to bottles to coasters and more. There will be free appraisals for anyone looking to clear out the garage of old items.

Dan wrote that he is hoping for a big turnout as national club officers and board members will be in attendance. Albuquerque is currently slated to host the 2019 National CANvention, though rumors are swirling that the unnamed city that was expected to host the 2018 edition has dropped out. Whichever year it turns out to be, it will bring some 400 to 500 brewery collectors to town to sell their wares, and plenty more craft beer enthusiasts as well.

Of course, the best part of having this event at a brewery is you will be able to enjoy a pint while perusing the collectibles. Try the new Covfefe Hefe, a strong contender for beer name of the year.


— Stoutmeister

Brewery hours will vary for the 4th of July

Posted: July 3, 2017 by cjax33 in News

A whole lot of breweries will be closing before these are launched tomorrow.

As a public service, we wanted to save everyone the time of searching 30-plus brewery Facebook/Twitter/Instagram pages and just list any and all schedule changes for Tuesday right here. You are welcome in advance. As more breweries post their times, we will keep updating this post.

Albuquerque metro area breweries (and one beer store)

  • Ale Republic: they are hosting a 4th of July Cookout from 5 to 8 p.m., though obviously this is now pending the status of that nearby forest fire
  • Blue Grasshopper (both locations): open normal hours (11 a.m.-10 p.m.)
  • Boese Brothers: TBA
  • Bosque (all locations): closing at 8 p.m.
  • Bow & Arrow: open 1 to 7 p.m.
  • Boxing Bear: closing at 7 p.m.
  • Broken Trail: TBA
  • Canteen: TBA
  • Cazuela’s: TBA
  • Chama River: TBA
  • Desert Valley/The Craftroom: TBA
  • Dialogue: TBA
  • Drafty Kilt: closed for the holiday
  • Duel (taproom): open normal hours, with $1 off beers all day and 10 percent off growlers
  • Flix Brewhouse: TBA
  • Jubilation: open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Kaktus (Bernalillo): TBA
  • Kaktus (Nob Hill): TBA
  • Kellys: TBA
  • La Cumbre: open noon to 6 p.m., with My Sweet Basil grilling up hamburgers and hot dogs (pick one or the other), plus a side, for $4, until supplies run out
  • Lizard Tail: open noon to 6 p.m.
  • Marble (all locations): open noon to 8 p.m.
  • Nexus (brewery): closing at 5 p.m.
  • Nexus (Silver taproom): closed for the holiday
  • Palmer: TBA
  • Ponderosa: normal hours (11 a.m.-10 p.m.)
  • Quarter Celtic: open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Red Door (both locations): closing at 7 p.m., with 64-ounce growler fills for only $7.50 all day, 32-ounce growler fills $4
  • Rio Bravo: TBA
  • Santa Fe (taproom): TBA
  • Sidetrack: open noon to 6 p.m.
  • Sierra Blanca: open normal hours
  • Starr Brothers: open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Steel Bender: closing at 3 p.m.
  • Tractor: TBA
  • Turtle Mountain: closed for the holiday

Santa Fe (and beyond) breweries

  • Bathtub Row: closed for the holiday
  • Blue Corn: TBA
  • Chili Line: TBA
  • Duel: TBA
  • Rowley Farmhouse Ales: open normal hours (11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.)
  • Santa Fe (both locations): TBA
  • Second Street (all locations): TBA

If you know of a brewery’s hours that is not listed here, please drop us a line at Thanks!

And have a festive Fourth!


— Stoutmeister

Well, hello there new IPA.

It has been quite a while since Santa Fe Brewing, the largest brewery in the state by production, has introduced a new year-round beer. In fact, it was when Black IPA went from seasonal to regular, though in that case it was a long-standing beer loved by many. This time around, SFBC went with something new.

This past weekend marked the debut of 7K IPA, the new hop-forward brew named for the 7,000-foot-plus elevation of the city, county, and brewery. SFBC brewmaster Bert Boyce was kind enough to carve out a half-hour on Friday afternoon to sit down at the Albuquerque taproom to chat about the genesis of just why he felt it was time to roll out a new hop bomb into a lupulin-saturated market.

“We wanted to try to make something more modern,” Bert said. “So, we’ve been playing around with the seasonal IPAs — Western Bloc, Autonomous Collective, Hipster Union, and Snowflake. We’re playing around with some different methods, materials, et cetera. We’re just taking a more modern, aggressive IPA, but that’s still very much in our style. When I say our style, I do mean the Santa Fe style and my personal style are aligned on this. I’m not trying to beat anyone over the head. I want this to be super approachable, friendly, drinkable, but just have big aroma and flavor.

“You have to have an IPA to compete in this town. (Happy) Camper is great and it is what it is. It does it for a lot of people, but I felt like we needed to make a statement.”

So how does 7K stack up against its packaged IPA brethren from Bosque, Canteen, La Cumbre, Marble, Sierra Blanca, and Tractor?

“That’s always a very loaded question, because I don’t want to specifically position ourselves against anyone,” Bert said. “We’re trying to make the beer we want to drink. But, that said, I’m going to take the back road to that question. I really like the idea of what a Northeast IPA is supposed to be. I feel the execution is sorely lacking a lot of times. I do believe, in line with my personal preferences for as long as I’ve been in the industry, is that people really don’t want (overwhelming) bitterness. They want flavor and aroma, but they don’t want bitterness and they don’t want aggressive astringency.”

That does seem to be true locally. The days of the IPA Challenge being so hop-heavy that the entries could peel the paint off the walls has been replaced by more balanced, more nuanced IPAs. Heck, that one style that so many beer geeks seem to love has become so prominent locally that it seems as though every brewery has one on tap now.

“That’s the whole juicy IPA phenomenon,” Bert said. “(But) how do you make that happen? It’s not easy. So we did it with a selection of (many) hop varieties and all of the other levers we had to make a beer that was super aromatic and yet super drinkable. I’m not trying to challenge anyone’s palate. You don’t have to like 100-plus IBUs to like this beer. So, I would say, given that, I’d say we’re less aggressive than Elevated. I love John (Bullard’s) beers, so I’d say it’s probably most similar to Bosque. There’s a little Eldo in there. From my palate, I think John uses a lot of Eldo, so I taste some similarities. I think it’s a little more substantial (in mouthfeel) than Marble. Better? Worse? Different? I don’t know. It’s just the beer that we arrived at after making all these other specialties for the last two years or so. (I told the staff) it’s time to make something year-round.”

I am hardly the IPA poet that Franz Solo is, but after downing a couple pints of 7K with Bert, I have to say he hit the nail on the head. His new baby begins with a powerful, yet inviting aroma, a veritable bouquet of fresh hops that draw you in. The beer that follows is flavorful without that overt bitterness. It is somehow smooth for an IPA, yet never loses its touch. There is a strong floral element that produces that mid-palate, in-mouth aroma sensation that gives you a moment of beer nirvana. The finish is clean, with mild sweetness and no bitter aftertaste. For an IPA, 7K is almost a pure hybrid of so many other styles, mixing the best elements of West Coast, East Coast, New England, and more. It feels like it has a heavy malt bill behind it without being heavy in the mouthfeel, if that makes any sense.

“To me, this is the fun in brewing, is tweaking people’s perceptions without changing the reality,” Bert said. “This beer is actually still incredibly dry, but we’ve done a couple things to get the perception that it still has some body. I was thinking about this this morning, I don’t know if it’s because I’m old and grumpy, but I want to drink multiple beers and enjoy them. I’m not into sipping anymore, I want to drink a beer. I think if you make it so substantial, oh, it tastes really good. But, how does it drink? I wanted to make a beer that drank well. Tweaking that perception of sweetness and a maltier body, while still not leaving you feel bloated, that’s where we’re taking a cue from the big guys. They’re not so dumb after all. They make a beer that still is drinkable.”

Though it is officially the first time 7K has hit taps and appeared in six-pack cans, SFBC was able to sneak it out in the market twice already to get some feedback.

“This is actually the third iteration, we just didn’t call the first two 7K,” Bert said. “We kind of snuck them out there. The feedback has been very positive. Usually it’s the aroma, like you said. I think we tweaked our methods enough to get a really strong aroma that is very inviting, but not menacing. That’s what we were going for. It’s big, it’s juicy, it’s fairly soft, well, I wouldn’t say soft, but on the softer side.”

Yeah, that about sums it up. A big thanks to Bert for taking the time to chat on a busy Friday. We look forward to enjoying plenty of 7K this summer and beyond.

We want to know what all of you think about 7K IPA. Leave us a message on our social media platforms or drop us an email at We expect a wide range of responses to this beer. Once we have several in hand, the rest of the Crew will share their impressions with you.


— Stoutmeister

It’s time to study up on beer! Well, the business side, at least. But you need that to get these!

Back amid all the chaos of ABQ Beer Week, our friend Angelo Orona sent us an email asking if we could help get the word out about the class he will be teaching at the University of New Mexico this summer, The Business of Craft Brewing. It begins this Thursday and runs through July 27 and runs from 6 to 9 p.m. every Thursday.

The class is open to non-UNM students, but take note, it costs $995. The course description goes as follows:

Do you have a passion for craft beer? The industry is growing like a weed, and breweries with business tools have a significant advantage over their competition. If you currently own (or dream about owning) a brewery, you owe it to yourself to understand the business of craft brewing.

This program will help brewers, entrepreneurs, and connoisseurs understand the industry’s history and trends. Over 8 weeks, you’ll learn about brewing beers, packaging porters, and selling stouts. When you finish the program, you’ll walk away with the ability to differentiate both your brew and your business.

The course schedule goes like this:

  • Introduction: Brewing in NM
  • Beer History, Ingredients, and Process
  • Processing & Packaging
  • Local Brewery Field Trip
  • Beer Science & Quality Control
  • Sales and Marketing Craft Beer
  • Local Brewery Field Trip
  • Wrapping Up & Setting Goals

This is the type of course for someone who wants to open his/her own brewery, or improve an existing brewery.

Use the link above to sign up.


— Stoutmeister

Congrats to Tractor for winning gold for Farmers Tan Red!

The results of the 2017 North American Beer Awards arrived today and five New Mexico breweries have combined to win eight medals.

Tractor Brewing won two gold medals, with Berry Cider taking the top prize in the Fruit Flavored Cider category. Farmers Tan Red Ale earned top marks in the Scottish-Style Light, Heavy and Export category.

Santa Fe Brewing brought home a gold for Happy Camper in the English-Style IPA category. It also earned a bronze in the English-Style Old Ale category for Chicken Killer Barleywine.

Dialogue Brewing earned a silver for Biere De Mars Attacks in the Biere de Garde category. The Berliner Weisse snagged a bronze in the Continental-Style Wheat Ale category.

Boxing Bear nabbed a bronze in one of the toughest categories, American-Style IPA, for Uppercut IPA.

Flix Brewhouse also picked up a bronze in the Belgian-Style Wit category for Luna Rosa (misspelled Luna Mosa on the awards list).

Congratulations to all the breweries! We will follow up with them next week.


— Stoutmeister

Quarter Celtic comes up big Down Under

Posted: May 19, 2017 by cjax33 in News

Quarter Celtic head brewer/co-owner Brady McKeown now has another five medals to smile about. (Photo courtesy of Quarter Celtic)

Thursday proved to be a very good day for Quarter Celtic Brewpub as the staff learned the results of the Australian International Beer Awards competition. QC racked up a total of five medals — one gold, three silvers, one bronze — out of the six entries they submitted to the competition, which features beers from around the world. QC was the only New Mexico brewery to compete.

I briefly chatted with co-owner/assistant brewer David Facey over a pint of Crimson Lass, which took gold in the Irish Red category. It was the only beer to win gold in that category, as the AIBA scores things slightly differently than, say, the Great American Beer Festival. Basically, everything is graded on a points scale. A beer that earns between 14 and 15.4 points receives a bronze, between 15.5 and 16.9 earns silver, and 17 and above earns gold. Thus, there can be multiples of each medal per category. Still, to say that Crimson Lass was the only beer to exceed 17 points in its category was fairly remarkable.

Bringing home silver were Quarter Porter in the Robust Porter category, Morbuck IPA in the Imperial/Double IPA category, and Clark IPA in the Australian Pale Ale category. Bronze went to Kill or be KILT in the Scotch Ale category, where no beer earned a gold medal (tough crowd).

David said a big reason for QC to enter a competition like this is to get a good idea of just where its beers fit in terms of categories. Nowadays there are so many to choose from, it can behoove a brewery to start long before GABF rolls around to try and figure out where it has the best chance to win a medal. As an example, Marble moved its Pilsner into the Keller or Zwickelbier category and continues to rack up the medals, rather than assign it to a German or Bohemian Pilsner category.

Regardless of the intent, anytime a brewery in just its second year of existence can pull in some hardware is a good thing, and testing the waters, so to speak, in advance of a major competition is always a good thing.

Next up on the awards docket? David was stopping by the brewpub to ship out QC’s entries to the upcoming North American Beer Awards, which should be announced some time in early June. That will be the last major national/international competition until GABF in October.

Congrats to Quarter Celtic on these awards. We forecast many more in the future!


— Stoutmeister

La Cumbre often pairs its beers with special offerings from the food trucks, but now it’s headed to the ultimate pairing event in Washington D.C. (Photo courtesy of La Cumbre)

One of the more unique little treats for members of the media during the Great American Beer Festival was the time we got to spend at a special beer and food pairing before the start of the Saturday afternoon session. It was a scaled-down version of the much larger annual event Savor: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience. The 10th anniversary edition of this event is set for Washington D.C. on June 2 and 3, and two New Mexico breweries will participate.

Longtime local powerhouse La Cumbre will be joined by relative newcomer Dialogue, and 84 other breweries, as their beers will join up with paired dishes from some of the nation’s best chefs and restaurants. All the attending breweries were selected from a lottery that had 300 applicants. Getting two of those from New Mexico is mighty impressive.

“Albuquerque has one of the best beer scenes in the country right now, and we are proud to be an ambassador for our city at this truly world-class event,” La Cumbre owner Jeff Erway said in a press release.

La Cumbre will have Elevated IPA paired with carrot hummus, popped lentils, and laffa, and Albus Quercus (saison) paired with pastrami cured salmon, potato blini, and creme fraiche. Dialogue is taking its Berliner Weisse and Scarlet Beh Gose, which will be paired with special dishes from Choptank Oyster Company. Anyone can check out the full menu here.

We realize most of you cannot get all the way to D.C. on short notice, but if you have friends there, let them know. Another option, of course, is to scan that there menu, find the best cook you know, and try to make some of those dishes to pair up with beers from our two local breweries, or others from around the region who distribute here. Or, heck, check on the pairings that pop out to you, and find a local beer that matches the one going with the dish you gotta try. There is nothing in the world that says you cannot try to emulate the best beer and food pairings yourself or with friends. Who knows? Maybe this could be a way to get that one friend or family member who claims not to like beer to see it from a new angle. It has worked for wine for years, after all.

Let us all raise a glass in a couple weeks to La Cumbre and Dialogue as they carry the banner of New Mexico craft beer back to the nation’s capital!


— Stoutmeister

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.


— Stoutmeister