Posts Tagged ‘Black Snout Brewhouse’

The Black Snout interior provides ample seating for individuals, couples and groups to gather for a fresh brew and sports entertainment. Future plans also include patio seating out front.

On the first day of summer, a steady flow of thirsty people made its way to Black Snout Brewhouse when the newest Northeast Heights watering hole on Juan Tabo and Menaul opened its doors to the public on Friday.

Since our last visit a little over a month ago, the finishing touches have been put in place right down to the shine on the concrete floor, which by 7 p.m. had already seen some wear from the scuffle of feet throughout its opening day.

“It was spotless at 2 o’clock,” said owner Josh James, in between working back in the brewery, behind the bar, and out on the floor greeting guests and waiting tables, along with his wife/co-owner Natasha and about half of their eight total employees.

As expected on the first day, there was a decent amount of chaos, and the staff was somewhat slow to greet me and take my order at the bar when I first arrived, but that quickly changed after I sat down at a table.

Besides some minor back and forth with the fire marshal, Josh said the last leg of preparations for opening went fairly smoothly, and now he and Natasha are ready to take the next steps as brewery owners.

“Now that we’re open, thank goodness, the first thing I want to do is sleep,” Josh said.

The lounge seating area is a perfect spot for kicking back and watching a game. Soon, window shades will be added to further enhance the viewing experience on sunny New Mexico afternoons.

Otherwise, the immediate plans are to settle in and make minor changes as needed. Currently, the north wall is lined with TVs broadcasting a variety of sports channels, and already patrons are asking what will be done with the still mostly blank south wall.

Josh said that eventually he will add some more TVs to that side as well, but with future plans for a restaurant in the space next door, he doesn’t want to put too much money into something that will only be temporary.

“I don’t want to say just yet, but it’s going to be super exciting,” he said when asked for more details about the restaurant. “It kind of goes along with our theme here.”

The sports bar theme is supported in part by collaborations with local athletes, and organizations including Jackson’s MMA, in a business relationship that Josh said he hopes will be good for both the brewery and the community. Donated sports memorabilia already adorns the walls and the space behind the bar. Additionally, what Josh described as a “pretty exciting” endorsement announcement is in the works for the near future.

There is, of course, one more important element to the equation — the beer itself. Currently, Black Snout has three flagship beers: Half Guard Hefe, South Paw Porter, and Triple Double Hazy Pale Ale, along with the limited release, Gummy Bear Hazy Pale Ale.

The limited release Gummy Bear Hazy Pale Ale is fruity and delicious. Plus, it looks really cool in a pint glass.

The first attempt at brewing the Gummy Bear four years ago didn’t go too well, Josh said, and he has tried it again three or four more times since then. Brewer Josh Olivas got the final product right just in time.

“We ended up nailing it on the head when we were not sure if (the brewery) was going to work out,” he said.

Made with actual gummy bears, the brewing process is very specific and requires knowledge of water chemistry. Only one other brewery does it, Josh said, but in a completely different way. The initial aroma is tropical and fruity, like a handful of multi-flavored gummy bears, and the taste is a mild citrus with a very light hop finish. It’s rare that I can drink an entire pint of pale ale, but this one went down easily. Many others must have enjoyed it as well, as it was the best seller on opening day.

I also sampled the Half Guard Hefe and the South Paw Porter. Banana aromas and flavors shine in the Half Guard. Backed up by spicy cloves, it is banana bread in a glass. On first sip, the South Paw is pretty much what I would expect from a typical porter, but the finish is like biting into a bar of dark chocolate.

“We felt like we hit a home run on all of these beers,” Josh said.

In about a week, you can try them all at once when the first flights are unveiled. Growler fills will unfortunately not be available due to the quantity limitations of the 1-barrel brewing system, which Josh says comes with some challenges, but they are working to nail it down.

Guest taps from Santa Fe Brewing and Brew Lab 101 round out the current selection. In the future, Josh said he hopes to develop Black Snout’s relationship with these and other local breweries.

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The beer selection is small, but packs a punch.

As new breweries continue to open in the Northeast Heights and throughout Albuquerque, Josh said that their goal is not to compete with anyone else, but instead to support American-made beer and the local community.

“We’re just trying to be Black Snout,” he said.

Thanks to both Josh and Natasha for taking a few minutes of their busy first day to talk with me, and congratulations on the successful opening of their new brewery!

Cheers!

— Maureen

These guys are gonna be the next brewery to open in Albuquerque this Friday!

All of us in the Crew figured we would have a nice, relaxing June after ABQ Beer Week ended. Then, a new brewery opened. And, another one. And, another one. It has left a lot of people’s heads spinning, trying to remember what is open, and what is still on deck. To help out everyone else, and maybe even to help ourselves, we present the great guide of everything that has opened since about May 20, will be open soon, and what is much further down the road.

ALREADY OPEN

Ex Novo Brewing, Corrales: If you have not been to this most excellent NM version of the popular Portland, Oregon brewery, you are missing out. Its beers are now popping up at bars and restaurants around town, and you can pick up six-packs and four-packs, but really, you should drive up Corrales road a ways and enjoy the most excellent taproom that is adjacent to the big production brewery. It is right across the street from the fire station and Corrales Bistro Brewery (which does not, alas, brew its own beer). Just please remember to adhere to the strict 30 MPH speed limit.

Enchanted Circle Brewing Taproom, San Mateo and Osuna: The Angel Fire brewery’s taproom also opened during Beer Week. They have a full kitchen, and all the beers from up north. They are tucked into the same shopping center as Amy’s Donuts, right near Cliff’s amusement park.

Blue Grasshopper Brewing Taproom, Second Street and Summer: The latest addition to the Wells Park brewing scene is almost a carbon copy of the other two Blue Grasshopper locations, and that is just fine. Enjoy a wood-fired pizza and a huge beer list (mainly guest taps). They are still working on building the brewery in the other half of the building.

Hops Brewery Taproom, Los Ranchos: Located at 7226 Fourth Street, north of Osuna/south of Paseo del Norte, this charming little spot has a lot of beer, not much parking (carpool, please), and a limited food menu, but it often has food trucks pulling up for special occasions.

Thirsty Eye Brewing, Broadway and Gold: The neighborhood pub for EDo (East Downtown) is now open, serving coffee starting at 7:30 a.m. and beer in the afternoon/evening. We got a full preview of this spot from the good group of people who have made it a reality at 206 Broadway SE.

La Reforma Brewery, San Mateo and Alameda: We got to chow down in advance of the opening of this brewery in the old Bosque taproom space at 8900 San Mateo. The taqueria food, done Mexico City-style, is excellent, the beers are tasty, and as a result we think this is gonna be a popular joint for a long time to come.

Brew Lab 101, Rio Rancho: We did a full preview a while back, but now this long-awaited addition to the RR scene has opened as of Tuesday night. Featuring beer and cider, it is just west of Turtle Mountain on Southern, past the post office and before you get to Joe’s Pasta House. Speaking of which, you can bring in food from there and other local establishments so that you do not drink on an empty stomach.

ALMOST BUT NOT QUITE OPEN

Black Snout Brewhouse, Juan Tabo and Menaul: The good news is that we will be able to move these guys to the open list as of Friday night. The grand opening is set, so make sure to head on over and tell us what you think of the beers, the space, the whole thing. One of our writers is planning on a review to run early next week, just in case you want us to test the waters first.

Quarter Celtic Brewpub Taproom, Juan Tabo: Just around the corner from Black Snout, the QC taproom is very close to opening. How close? We just got invited to a soft opening/trial run for the spot. It should be ready for everyone well before July 4 rolls around.

FURTHER DOWN THE ROAD

Among those breweries still in the planning/built-out stages are the B2B Garden Brewery, on Comanche just west of Wyoming; Turquoise Trail Brewing, on Central near Juan Tabo; Hausammann Brewhaus, on Central across from UNM; Looking Glass Spirits & Long Lost Brewing, on Sixth Street just a few blocks south of Bow & Arrow; Desert Valley Brewing’s taproom on San Mateo, just a block south of where Enchanted Circle opened; and Tractor Brewing’s taproom in Los Lunas.

Breweries outside the ABQ metro area still on the docket include 575 Brewing (Alamogordo), Boogie’s Brewery & Distillery (Deming), Lauter Haus Brewing (Farmington), Piedra Blanca Brewery (White Rock), Public House 28 (Anthony), and off-site taprooms from Boese Brothers (Los Alamos), Icebox (Northeast Las Cruces), Lost Hiker (Downtown Ruidoso), Picacho Peak (Alamogordo), Red Door (Roswell), and Truth or Consequences (Las Cruces). Oh, and then of course there are the new Bosque taprooms coming to Santa Fe and Las Cruces (yes, a third one), but those do not have pending licenses yet with the State of New Mexico.

Got all that? We will do our best to keep you continuously updated. In the meantime, enjoy the new ones, support the old ones, and just in general have fun with the vast variety of breweries that we have across New Mexico.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The new Hops Taproom in Los Ranchos is ready for its grand opening this weekend.

Now that I am back at work (yay, money), the beer news is starting to pile up, so let us get to a few pertinent items.

First, though, in a moment of self-promotion, I will be giving a free talk about the history of brewing in Albuquerque this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at the Special Collections Library, which is located on the northwest corner of Central and Edith, directly across from the Artichoke Cafe. I will have copies of Albuquerque Beer: Duke City History on Tap for sale ($20, cash only), and this talk will include the story of how an Old West shootout impacted the first Southwest Brewery in 1884.

Moving along …

Here a taproom opening, there a taproom opening

We already chronicled how the third Blue Grasshopper location at Summer and Second Street opened its doors during ABQ Beer Week. It was far from alone among new offsite taprooms holding soft openings.

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The road to opening has been a long one for Black Snout Brewhouse.

It is the same story, but different. A new brewery seeks to open in Albuquerque. It optimistically targets a specific event-filled weekend as when it wants to open. Then it learns the hard way that the permitting and regulatory process involving the City of Albuquerque is a grueling process that takes far longer than it ever could have imagined. Throw in some unreliable subcontractors, and the process has dragged on far longer than was planned.

Thankfully for Black Snout Brewhouse, the end of the long road is seemingly in sight, more than three months after co-owner Josh James had hoped to open in time for the Super Bowl.

“I can go on and on about the City,” Josh said. “I’m sure you’ve talked to everyone (in the past). Between plumbers and between the City we’ve had like a three-or-four-month delay. It’s been wild, and they don’t care.”

After covering the local craft beer scene for more than seven years, all of us in the Crew have heard plenty of tales of woe throughout the process of getting a brewery open. Still, there are always new head-scratching moments.

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Say hello to the forthcoming Thirsty Eye Brewing, under construction now at Broadway and Gold. (Photo courtesy of Thirsty Eye)

It is a relatively quiet week out there, spring winds aside, so it felt like a good time to dust off the old beer notebook.

New brewery updates

We keep waiting for the number of forthcoming breweries to dwindle down, but that has not happened yet. There are currently five breweries with active small brewer licenses around the state which have yet to open their doors, another nine with pending licenses, and a handful of places adding a brewing license to an existing business.

  • 575 Brewing, Alamogordo (pending): This new brewery is being built from the ground up, with foundation construction having commenced on April 19 at 234 W. 8th Street.
  • B2B Garden Brewery, Albuquerque (pending): We do not have any updates on this space, located on Comanche just west of Wyoming.
  • Beer Creek Brewing, outside Santa Fe (pending): Our last trip out there found that business was going well and the brewing system was finally in place. For now, stop by and enjoy a pizza, guest beers, and even some collaboration beers made at other local breweries.
  • Black Snout Brewhouse, Albuquerque (active): The Crew will be stopping in early next week, which means that this brewery is nearly ready to open its doors on Menaul just east of Juan Tabo.
  • Boogie’s Brewery and Distillery, Deming (pending): There are no new updates for this long-awaited successor to Mimbres Valley Brewing.
  • Brew Lab 101, Rio Rancho (active): The projected timetable is for a late May opening. For more info, see our last story.
  • Ex Novo Brewing, Corrales (active): The first test batches are now running in the brewery hall, while renovations continue on the adjacent taproom building across the parking lot. We expect to return soon for a final preview story.
  • La Reforma Brewing, Albuquerque (active): The goal of opening in early June in the old Bosque location, on San Mateo north of Alameda, has not changed.
  • Lauter Haus Brewing, Farmington (pending): Progress continues on this new brewery, spearheaded by former Three Rivers head brewer Brandon Beard. The fun news? They have purchased some vintage arcade games for the taproom.
  • Looking Glass Spirits & Long Lost Brewing, Albuquerque (pending): We finally dug up an address for this newcomer, which will be located at 1803 Sixth Street NW, just three blocks south of Bow & Arrow. There is still no social media with which to follow the progress, so we will remain patient.
  • Piedra Blanca Brewing, White Rock (pending): We have no updates at this time on this brewery located in the town next to Los Alamos.
  • Public House 28, Anthony (pending): Other than the fact that this newcomer has already joined the NM Brewers Guild, we have no new info. It will be located outside Anthony at 10108 Highway 28.
  • Rail Brewery, Santa Fe (pending): We have no new updates.
  • Thirsty Eye Brewing, Albuquerque (active): The Crew has made contact with the owners and we hope to make our first trip over to 206 Broadway Blvd. SE sooner than later. You can follow their progress on Facebook.
  • Turquoise Trail Brewing, Albuquerque (pending): We have no new updates on this brewery, located on Central near Juan Tabo.

In addition to those breweries with pending or active licenses, we did learn more about the mysterious Context Brewing that popped up on the Brew to Do list that we wrote about recently. It is apparently the brewery going into a space at 816 Third Street NW. Former Brewers Guild executive director John Gozigian tipped us off to a possible brewery going into that space, but again, there is no pending license yet, so it figures to be a ways off.

New taproom updates

The home of the future Truth or Consequences Brewing taproom in Las Cruces. (Photo courtesy of T or C Brewing)

Yes, there are also more off-site taprooms still in the pipeline. Because of course there are, right?

  • Blue Grasshopper, Albuquerque (pending): Located in Wells Park, we wrote on this one before, and when there is more news to share, we will head back. We assume a license for the brewery half of the building is still in the works.
  • Boese Brothers, Los Alamos (pending): Our man Reid still has not figured out where this taproom is going to be located.
  • Desert Valley, Albuquerque (active): Progress continues on Wyoming near Comanche, which is where this taproom is replacing the former Red Door spot.
  • Desert Valley, Albuquerque (pending): Wait, what? There are two DV taprooms in the works? Yes, we have now confirmed a second one is indeed happening at 5231 San Mateo Blvd. NE. Located a block south of Osuna and the next taproom listed below, this space was under construction/renovation the last time we drove by.
  • Enchanted Circle, Albuquerque (active): The last batch of construction photos show the bar is in place, and states that the taproom is about two weeks away from being ready for opening at Osuna and San Mateo, in the shopping center on the northwest corner of the intersection.
  • Icebox Brewing, Las Cruces (pending): Even though the main brewery opened only recently, an off-site taproom is already in the works, though its exact location has not been revealed.
  • Picacho Peak, Alamogordo (pending): We have no new updates on this first off-site taproom for the Las Cruces brewery.
  • Quarter Celtic, Albuquerque (active): Construction continues apace up on Juan Tabo between Menaul and Indian School, but no opening date has been set.
  • Truth or Consequences, Las Cruces (pending): Yes, T or C is heading south to Las Cruces for its first off-site taproom, as that city is suddenly filling up fast. It will be located on East Lohman, not too far west from Interstate 25.

We will do our best to keep everyone up to date on all of these forthcoming places, as well as keeping an eye on the news at the existing places. May is going to be one heck of a busy month, including the Blazin’ Brewfest in Las Cruces (which will now be preceded by the new Las Cruces Beer Week!) on May 17 and then ABQ Beer Week, which begins May 23. Throw in some expected openings from some of the places above, and there will be no rest for the weary Crew this coming month.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Flix Brewhouse’s Unbreakable Glass earned one of four medals at the Best of Craft Beer Awards. (Photo courtesy of Will Moorman)

Here on this blustery Friday, it feels like a good time to stay indoors and catch up on some local beer news as we empty the notebook yet again.

Flix picks up four medals at Best of Craft Beer Awards

If there is a theme early on in 2019 to some of the beer competitions going around, it is that Flix Brewhouse has come to make a statement.

The brewery/movie theater, which makes all of its beers on premises in Albuquerque, earned four medals at the recent Best of Craft Beer Awards. Three other local breweries brought home another four medals, as well.

Flix earned gold in the Baltic-style Porter category with Darth Malt, and another gold in Belgian-style Witbier for Luna Rosa, which is a year-round beer. Flix also picked up a silver for James Blond in the Belgian-style Blonde Ale or Pale Ale category, and a bronze for Unbreakable Glass in the American-style Cream Ale category.

Those medals follow up a strong performance at the Beer Army Beer Wars last month. Congrats to Flix for making New Mexico proud again!

As for the other local winners, Sierra Blanca won gold for its Green Chile Cerveza in the Chili Pepper Beer category (that was how the competition spells Chili, so please don’t yell at us), and a bronze for Cherry Wheat in the Fruit Wheat Beer category. Rio Bravo brought home a silver for its Amber/ESB in the British Bitters category, while Abbey Brewing snagged bronze for its Monks’ Dark Ale in the English-style Mild or Brown Ale category.

Congrats to one and all!

New brewery updates: Things are moving again

Another new brewery is coming to the East Central/Foothills area. (Photo courtesy of Jonathan Carlson)

The end of the partial shutdown has several of the pending breweries around town back on track. Here is the latest that we know about each.

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Remember when Marble shared this photo of happy brewery representatives in Washington D.C.? Yeah, gonna guess they are not too happy with the government right now.

Most of us are aware of, yet personally unaffected by, the current partial shutdown of the federal government. Leaving the politics aside, it has nonetheless made things difficult on both federal employees and those businesses and people who rely on certain federal agencies. It did not occur to any of us in the Crew how this might affect breweries until we saw a tweet by a brewer out of town who complained about the shutdown of the TTB.

The TTB (Tax and Trade Bureau) is the government agency that handles almost everything related to breweries, and many other businesses, at the federal level. It has the greatest impact on breweries that package and forthcoming breweries, which of course means it has an impact all around New Mexico. To figure out just what that impact has been, I emailed two people who have extensive knowledge of such affairs, NM Brewers Guild executive director John Gozigian and La Cumbre president/master brewer Jeff Erway.

“The shutdown affects breweries in planning with pending brewer’s notices and existing breweries with label approval applications in the pipeline,” John explained. “Brewer’s notices (federal brewers permit) and COLAs (certificates of label approval) are both issued by the TTB, which is a federal agency.”

That is not good news for breweries in planning.

“Any federal brewers notice is in limbo right now and they will be set back by this,” Jeff wrote.

It also has a negative impact on packaging breweries such as La Cumbre.

“If a beer is to be sent out of state, it needs a COLA and those are also in limbo,” Jeff wrote. “We are having to hold on shipping a few beers to AZ and CO specifically because of this shutdown.”

To sum it up: The shutdown is bad for breweries. Just like it is for everything else.

New breweries update

Originally, we were just going to lead Beer Notes with this list, but obviously events in Washington are putting all of these places on hold, to some degree. Nonetheless, here is every brewery with either a pending state small brewer license or an active one that is not yet open. Here are the breweries projected to open in the ABQ metro area in 2019. We realize there are probably more than these, but no pending license means we will not include it yet.

  • Black Snout Brewhouse (pending): We already took a tour of this new brewery located in a shopping center on the southeast corner of Menaul and Juan Tabo. The brewery had hoped to be open by the end of the month, but that seems unlikely now.
  • BLUE/Gang of Four (pending): This very small brewery is set to open on Broadway next to the Exhibit 208 gallery, just south of Gold.
  • Brew Lab 101 (pending): The next brewery to open in Rio Rancho is moving along. Located on Southern near Unser, its owner has already contacted us and we are in the process of setting up our first visit/interview.
  • Brewstillery (active): We still have no info about this brewery/distillery combo that is set to open somewhere in the 87106 zip code (physical addresses are not provided beyond zip codes, FYI), or how it relates to the next entry.
  • Differential (pending): Listed as owned by Brewstillery, we do not know how this entry, located in the same zip code, differs from the other.
  • Colonia/San Mateo Beer Co. (pending): It appears as though this new brewery will move into the current Bosque Brewing location on San Mateo when that is relocated to the forthcoming Open Space Project. In other words, it seems to be a long ways off.
  • Ex Novo Brewing (pending): We just toured this forthcoming brewery in Corrales.
  • Looking Glass Spirits & Long Lost Brewing (pending): The newest addition to the list, we have been contacted by one of the owners and are working on setting up an interview time. It will be located somewhere in the downtown area.

Red River was not the last new brewery to open in the outskirts of New Mexico in 2018, and more are on the way in 2019.

2018 saw a lot of new breweries open up across the state, well outside the Albuquerque/Santa Fe corridor. Among the many were Blu Dragonfly in Cimarron, Bonito Valley in Lincoln, Cloudcroft Brewing, Hopscotch Brewing in Artesia, Red River Brewing, and Second Alarm Brewhouse in Jemez Springs. There are still a few more coming down the pipeline.

  • B3-BBQ, Burgers and Beer (pending): This Las Vegas-based restaurant is already open. We do not know if its owners plan to actually brew beer, or if they are going to use the license to keep guest taps flowing.
  • 575 Brewing (pending): Alamogordo is getting its first brewery in many years, but we do not know the exact location or its current progress.
  • Icebox Brewing (active): The newest Las Cruces brewery will be located on Picacho Avenue, east of Picacho Peak Brewing and basically due west of High Desert. No opening date has been announced.
  • Leaf & Hive (active): The latest addition to the Santa Fe scene has a soft opening scheduled for this Saturday.
  • Public House 28 (pending): We know nothing beyond the name for this brewery in Anthony, on the Texas border.
  • Rail Brewery (pending): This Santa Fe project for the Railyards area has been pending for a long time now. We do not know its status.
  • Santa Fe Spirits (pending): The existing distillery is either going to start making beer, or it just wants to be able to sell beer.

New taprooms update

Yes, 2018 was basically the year of the off-site taproom, but there are still more on the way. Someday, every commercial space in the state will be a taproom. (Hey, we can dream, right?) All of these are pending licenses.

  • Boxing Bear on Central: We already wrote about the brewery taking over the former 5 Star Burgers space on West Central.
  • Desert Valley: There are two pending licenses for DV taprooms, one located in the 87110 zip code, and the other in 87111. It is certainly ambitious, though not unprecedented, to open two taprooms at once.
  • Enchanted Circle ABQ: The Angel Fire-based brewery is opening a taproom in the shopping center on the northwest corner of San Mateo and Osuna.
  • Nexus Blue Smokehouse and Taproom: The long-awaited BBQ version of Nexus is getting closer to finally opening on Broadway south of Cesar Chavez. We will get more details in our forthcoming Look Back/Look Ahead Series on Nexus.
  • Quarter Celtic on Juan Tabo: We already wrote about the first off-site location, which will be on the west side of the road between Indian School and Menaul.
  • Red Door Clovis: Once again, we already wrote about the first bowling alley-based taproom, which will also be the first craft beer-specific place in the eastern town.
  • Starr Brothers Alehouse: This one has been pending for quite a while now, so we do not know if it is still happening or not. If it does, it will be somewhere near UNM.
  • Tall Pines Beer and Wine Garden Alamogordo: The Ruidoso-based small brewery is opening a second location down the mountain.

Got info on any of these pending breweries or taprooms, or any we missed? Drop us a line at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com.

A good deed note

Tractor has named the four nonprofits for its annual Beer for a Better Burque (BBB) program. The New Mexico Gay Men’s Chorus, New Mexico Horse Rescue at Walkin N Circles Ranch, Three Sisters Kitchen, and Albuquerque Area Firefighters Random Acts will be the beneficiaries for 2019. There will be special BBB nights on Tuesdays throughout the year where patrons can donate, plus special quarterly beer releases for each nonprofit sees $1 donated per pint, and other special themed events. You can donate at all four Tractor locations.

Good on ya, Tractor.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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

There will soon be two locations to get your Quarter Celtic beer-and-food fix!

We got some good news earlier today (Monday) in the form of an email from Quarter Celtic Brewpub co-owner Ror McKeown. He let us know that QC’s first taproom is now in the works at 1930 Juan Tabo, between Indian School and Menaul, with a projected opening date that “will loosely be February/March 2019.”

The taproom will be about 3,000 square feet, making it smaller than the original pub at San Mateo and Lomas. The taproom will still serve about 10 to 12 beers, like the original, and will have the full food menu as well. It will seat roughly 90 people, Ror wrote.

The location is on the east side of Juan Tabo, just north of Indian School and south of Menaul. Long ago, it was the location of the original Tomato Cafe.

QC will be joining what is quickly becoming a potentially crowded little area for beer. The new Black Snout Brewhouse will open in a few months at 11500 Menaul in a shopping center on the southeast corner of the Menaul/Juan Tabo intersection. That brewery has a pending small brewer license with the State of New Mexico.

Boxing Bear was long rumored to be opening a taproom in the still-unbuilt Snowheights Promenade at Eubank and Menaul. The status of both the taproom and the development is unknown at this time.

As more updates about the new QC taproom become available, we will share them with all of you.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister