Posts Tagged ‘Red Door Brewing’

The next Red Door taproom in Roswell is in a rather large building. (Photo courtesy of Ali Cattan)

The other day, during a routine check of pending small brewer and small brewer offsite licenses, a new one popped up that caught our eye. The timing and the location stood out, in particular, as a busy Albuquerque brewery is making another move far to the east, and now a little bit south.

Red Door Brewing is heading to Roswell for its third offsite taproom, just a few months after its Clovis taproom opened up. I sat down with owner Matt Biggs and head brewer Matt Meier to talk about this latest endeavor, which they expect to open this fall.

“Yeah, we weren’t really looking right away, but I was in Roswell for a hunting trip last year and came across a building that was super cool,” Biggs said. “It’s down in the industrial area. It was an old barbecue restaurant. I want to say (before that it was) an old rail station. It was in a cool, industrial part of town. Anyone that knows Roswell there’s like a massive silo you can so from most of the town. It’s right across from that, a couple blocks off Main Street.”

Specifically, it is located on the northeast corner of the intersection of Railroad Avenue and East Third Street. That puts it two blocks east of Main Street/Highway 70 and one block north of East Second Street/Highway 380, the two main roads through Roswell.

“So I went and talked to people about it,” Biggs said. “The owner was super motivated to do something with it. It just kind of worked out. We actually kept kicking the can down the road to make sure Clovis was operating smoothly. We were supposed to execute a lease on Roswell in January, I think. We told them we weren’t ready. Clovis opened, had normal opening hiccups, so I spent about a month, not quite a month getting those resolved. Now it’s operating relatively smoothly. I’ve got a killer staff down there. They’re all trained up, all ready to go. We’ve kind of gotten our beer deliveries down.”

The pavilion across the street from the taproom will be used for special events. That’s Red Door operations manager Ali Cattan to give an example of the sheer size of the space. (Photo courtesy of Matt Biggs)

With the Clovis taproom locked down, that turned Biggs’ attention to getting Roswell going.

“It’s set up as a restaurant with a draft line, so very little,” Biggs said. “We’ll probably update the kitchen a little bit. There’s an event side of it. So basically the building we’ve leased is a three-component building. One side is the restaurant. One side is a covered breezeway that is actually kind of an indoor/outdoor patio. We’ll roll up the doors on it so it’s completely open. Then there’s an event space. The event space can’t be utilized because it’s not sprinkled, so once we kind of finalize that we can use it for special events.

“Then across the street is this massive pavilion that used to an old cotton warehouse. I want to say it’s ballpark 10,000 square feet. It’s just an old industrial warehouse. They’ve taken the siding off of it, they’ve electrified it, there’s water running into, there’s a barn owl living in the rafters, which is great because it keeps the pigeons down. We’ve also leased that as well. All of that we can utilize, the pavilion mostly for special events. It’s across the street from the restaurant, so we can’t operate it off the same license.”

To help prepare the brewery, Meier got some new toys to play with to keep up with the already increased demand between Clovis and the fact Red Door is now canning its Vanilla Cream Ale.

“In the preparation for this and with the shock of what Clovis was capable of, we bought four new tanks,” Meier said. “We got those in (a couple) weeks ago now. We’ve got three more 30 (barrel) fermenters and a 30 bright, which is going to be huge for us.”

“I think it’s over doubled our production,” Biggs added.

“Now, from my point of view it’s kind of funny, all right, we’ve got Clovis stable, we’ve got Clovis into a rhythm, I know what to expect, and it’s going to get all thrown upside down when Roswell opens,” Meier said.

Red Door will also have a new canning run soon, with Irish Red joining Vanilla Cream in package, keeping Meier plenty busy before Roswell opens.

Another view of the taproom building looking from south to north. (Photo courtesy of Ali Cattan)

As for the local response, Biggs and Rael found a receptive audience so far among the local politicians.

“We actually were just down there last week, and Dustin and I gave them a very short heads up,” Biggs said. “They were really nice and super welcoming. The mayor and the city councilor that manages our district and the city manager all bought us lunch. They were super enthusiastic. They’re pumped to see something going into that space. It’s been vacant for a little bit. I think they’re really excited to have another brewery in that district (near) the Main Street area. Black Cock (Brewery) is in a different part of town.”

Roswell is the fifth largest town in New Mexico after Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, and Santa Fe, so it is about time that it gets another craft brewing option. We wish Red Door plenty of luck keeping up with all of its far-flung and nearby customers.

A big thanks to the two Matts for meeting up today.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

It’s go-time, again, and we will help prepare you for all that is to come.

Some mornings you glance at the old beer calendar and try to figure out what to write about. Well, at least that’s how it works for us, and our glance today brought us to the stark realization that ABQ Beer Week 2019 is just 10 days away. Guess we should probably get our annual early preview up, right?

Most of these events can be found here at the official site, but if we list any below that do not appear there, fear not, someone just has to upload the final details. For each day we picked at least one event to highlight. When Beer Week starts next Thursday, we will have a daily preview for each and every day, plus some breakout features on certain events.

As we do every year, we seriously advise saving up some money for Lyft/Uber usage, or take this opportunity to cash in any owed rides from friends/family.

Thursday, May 23

This is definitely a double-event day, at minimum. Start your day at Marble Heights for the annual Beer, Cheese & More. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online. It sells out, so get ’em early. You get a tray of delicious Marble beers paired with select cheeses and other foods from Whole Foods Market. The event runs from 5 to 7 p.m. When you are done, grab a ride down to Tractor Wells Park for Sour Hour with Rowley Farmhouse Ales. This one also starts at 5 but runs until 10, so they should have plenty of beer left after you are done at Marble. Grab a tray of select RFA and Tractor sours and enjoy the sounds of McMahon & Littlebird, who perform at 8.

Other events to consider: Firestone Walker tasting at Stone Face Liquors, 4 p.m.; Bell’s Brewery tasting at Jubilation, 4 p.m.; Laid Back Lager Jogger 5K at Canteen Brewhouse, 5 p.m.; Beer Making 101 Class at Casa Vieja Brewery, 6:30 p.m.; Drinking Songs Themed Karaoke at Red Door Candelaria, 7 p.m.

Friday, May 24

The opening weekend is pretty packed, in case you have not looked at the schedule yourselves. Once again, we have two events in two different parts of town that are both worth checking out. The order you go in is up to you, but for these two, we definitely recommend you do not drive. Nob Hill Bar & Grill is hosting the 21 and Over event this year (it was at Sister last time), which features a collection of national craft breweries that are 21 years old or older (get it?). Each will be offering up some of their rarer one-offs rather than just the same old stuff. The one that has us the most excited is Firestone Walker’s Maple Parabola Imperial Stout. We will unveil the other seven entries soon. Meanwhile, at the same time over at Tractor Wells Park, Truth or Consequences Brewing is engineering at tap takeover and bomber sale. If you have not made it down to T or C to try this excellent brewery, now is your chance, plus you can take home beers like Truth Serum Barleywine.

Other events to consider: Social Capital Key-Lime Pie release at both Canteen locations, noon; High and Dry Brewing and Taos Energy Bar collab release, noon; Wild & Sour Beer Tasting with Steel Bender, Rowley Farmhouse Ales, and Bow & Arrow at Jubilation, 4 p.m.

Saturday, May 25

This day is nice, as the events are more spread out across the day. Start your day off with the Mini-Cask Fest at Quarter Celtic, which starts when it opens at 11 a.m. Four select QC beers will be served in firkins, and you can sample all for just $5, and/or grab a pint of your favorite. Don’t fill up too much on food, though, as the Annual Food Truck Battle is going down at Red Door Candelaria at 1 p.m. After a potential afternoon siesta, head downtown to Sister for the Ex Novo Brewing Release Party at 6 p.m. If you have not been lucky enough to try the beers from the original in Oregon, enjoy the first tasty offerings from the new Corrales brewery.

Other events to consider: Donuts & Beer Pairing with Bristol Doughnut Co. at Steel Bender Brewyard, 11 a.m.; Cider Day Night Fever at Tractor Nob Hill, all day

Sunday, May 26

There’s really just the annual Blues & Brews Festival at Sandia Casino. We will have a full preview of that one soon.

Monday, May 27

Double up on the Memorial Day activities with Marble’s annual music festival at 2 p.m. You can also hit the all-day Smoke-Out at Steel Bender, though that only goes until the delicious smoked meats run out. We would honestly recommend you fatten up at Steel Bender first, then dance it off at Marble later.

Other events to consider: Tamarind Sour Release and Karaoke at Cantero Brewing, 11 a.m.; Karaoke for a Cause at Red Door Downtown, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, May 28

Things start slowing down a bit now that the holiday weekend is over. If you missed Ex Novo at Sister, head over to Jubilation at 4 p.m. for a tasting of their packaged offerings. Then motor down to Canteen Brewhouse for a Scholarly Happy Hour with Asa Stone at 6. She is the only certified advanced Cicerone in the state, so she might have some insight into taking your love of beer to the next level.

Other events to consider: Special Release of Mangose at Quarter Celtic, all day; Beer and Grilled Cheese Pairing with Cheesy Street at Tractor Westside, 5 p.m.

Wednesday, May 29

Another relatively quiet day, so kick back and relax with the Rebel Donut and Beer Pairing at Tractor Four Hills at 4 p.m. This one ran out of donuts in a hurry last year, so while more will be on hand this year, do not expect them to last. Then you can head down to Red Door Candelaria for a lecture on hops and climate in New Mexico at 7 p.m.

Other events to consider: Steel Bender Tap Takeover at M’tucci’s Market & Pizzeria, all day; Founders Barrel-Aged Beer Dinner at the Salt Yard, TBA

Thursday, May 30

This is another busy day. Start it off at any time at Steel Bender for the Saison de Luxe release party. This collaboration with Ex Novo is a barrel-aged brett saison. There’s a Bell’s Brewery Tappening at O’Niell’s Heights from 5 to 7 p.m. You can also sign up for two beer dinners featuring La Cumbre at Nob Hill Bar & Grill and one at Toltec Brewing on the westside, starting at 6 and 6:30, respectively.

Other events to consider: Upslope Brewing tasting at Jubilation, 4 p.m.; Odell Pint Night at Billy’s Long Bar, 5 p.m.; The Great Gatsby Edition of Gin & Jazz at Tractor Wells Park, 5 p.m.

Friday, May 31

Close out the month of May with all sorts of beer-and-food-pairing events. Marble will have a beer and cheese pairing at Jubilation at 4 p.m. Canteen Brewhouse is hosting a beer and taco pairing at 6 p.m. Dialogue Brewing is hosting at beer and food pairing with M’tucci’s at 6 p.m.

Other events to consider: Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout tapping at Two Fools Tavern, 5 p.m.; Drag Queen Bingo: Pride Edition at Tractor Wells Park, 8 p.m.

Saturday, June 1

The new month begins with Kaktus Brewing hosting the Farm House Ale Event at Loretto Park in Bernalillo from noon to 6 p.m. We will have a full preview of this mix of beer, food, live country music, and more.

Other events to consider: Worthogs Homebrew Club Demonstration at Casa Vieja Brewery, 1 p.m.; Pop Fizz Paleta Pairing with Rio Bravo and host High and Dry, 2 p.m.; Beer, BBQ and Bites Pairing with Asa Stone at Canteen Brewhouse, 6 p.m.; Steel Bender Beer Dinner at Artichoke Cafe, 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 2

It all wraps up, finally, with plenty of concluding events. If you still have a hankering for cask beers with some mangy jazz, hit up Le Cask Lunatique at Steel Bender at noon and enjoy some brews with Le Chat Lunatique.

Other events to consider: Hoppy Birthday to Us! anniversary party at Casa Vieja Brewery, noon; Bike Part Drive benefiting Esperanza Bike Shop at Canteen Brewhouse, 2 p.m.; Green Jeans Farmery Beer Week Event, TBA

* * * * *

That is all from us for now, but look for a lot more info starting next Thursday. We will see you all out and about during Beer Week.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

There’s a beer party on Friday and everyone is invited!

It is not often that a beer festival, big or small, sneaks up on us, but that was the case with the Bacon Jam Block Party. This neighborhood event, which will feature four breweries, is set for Friday from 2 to 11 p.m.

The new restaurant Bacon Jam is located on the southeast corner of Girard and Candelaria, and neighbors Palmer Brewery and Left Turn Distilling have been instrumental in helping the owners prepare for this mini-festival, which is free to the public.

“He’s just wanting to have a get-together to introduce his new restaurant, Bacon Jam, to the neighborhood,” Left Turn owner Brian Langwell said of the Bacon Jam owner. “And, let everyone know there’s a bunch of breweries in the neighborhood. … (But) they usually know that. The theory was we’re going to get every brewery in the neighborhood together and do this. We got every brewery except La Cumbre. They didn’t see the need to send someone half a block down the street.”

Rather than block off part of Girard, the party will be contained in the large Bacon Jam parking lot and patio that faces Candelaria.

“We’re going to serve on their patio outside,” Brian said. “The four breweries that are participating are Red Door, Canteen, ourselves Palmer and Left Turn, and Cantero. We’re going to set up our little portable booths out on the patio out there. They’ll do beers and we’ll do cocktails. We’re going to block off the majority of their parking lot out there, have a stage out there and do live music. I know the guy from Bacon Jam is going to do food specials so everybody can try his food.”

If you have driven up Candelaria recently, you might have noticed this spot, which will be the setting for the block party.

The Left Turn/Palmer tasting room will be open during the festival.

“We’re going to be doing really simple stuff (at the festival),” Brian said. “We’re going to have limited staff.”

“If they want the fancy stuff, they can come in here,” Rob Palmer added.

The festival will mark the debut of the new Left Turn bourbon, which is being readied for bottling as soon as the labels arrive, Brian said.

Take note, this is not a free sampling festival. Beer will be sold in pints, only. A portion of the proceeds will go to the charity Warehouse 508.

As for the beers being poured:

  • Canteen: Fill in the Blanco (White IPA), High Plains Pilsner, Boysenberry Wheat, Munich Dunkel
  • Cantero: IPA, Deaf Dog Brown, Brew-ha-rista (Red Chile Stout), Cream Sour
  • Red Door: Rickety Cricket (Green Tea Raspberry Hefeweizen), Lemongrass Pils, Unhinged Cider

“It’s just basically a big block party to introduce Bacon Jam to the neighborhood,” Brian said. “I’m just the guy that did the permits.”

Thanks to Brian and Rob for the quick chat and the helpful info, and of course for wading through those giant stacks of paper to get those permits done.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s seven breweries, one in Los Alamos, one in Moriarty, and one in Red River also joining the party.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Hey, remember last week, when we barely had anything to write about? Yeah, that is so not this week. Thursday through Saturday is just kinda bonkers, and that is leaving out all the Marble anniversary events we previewed separately. First up, there is some truly blackened black metal descending upon Tumbleroot’s Agua Fria location in Santa Fe this Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Local heavyweights Dysphotic are joined by touring bands UADA and Wormwitch for a head-banging good time. Then on Friday night, keep that Game of Thrones buzz going in advance of the next episode on HBO, as the Desert Darlings return to Tractor Wells Park for the GoT edition of Hops & Dreams. Need to get out and move more? Then head downtown Saturday afternoon for the third annual Easter Beer Hunt. It’s a grownup egg hunt, and the different colors of plastic eggs correspond to the three participating breweries — Boese Brothers, Red Door, Sidetrack — with different prizes inside that can be redeemed at each brewery. Only three eggs can be redeemed at each location, and please do not start until noon. For those who do not drink beer, you can also redeem some of the eggs at The Brew for coffee. Saturday will also feature a slew of 4/20 events, including special ones at Rio Bravo (market and live music), Turtle Mountain (smoked BBQ), and Truth or Consequences (cannabis education).

On the new beer front this week, there are a few other options to check out. Bombs Away finds itself in Condition Red Ale. Bosque recently rolled out Sunshine Stout, Mango Mujer, and W-Altbier White. Canteen has Cabana Lager back on tap to get you ready for Cinco de Mayo a little early. La Cumbre has Father Nelson back on tap and in bottles this Friday, plus Hell Froze Over Brown Ale and Chew & Swallow Oatmeal Stout are on tap again. Marble has Cerveza on tap now, and it will come out in 19.2-ounce cans on Saturday, plus you can also get Mountain Fog and Tea Gary IPA on tap. Red Door gets a little funky with Rickety Cricket. Tractor resurrects Acreage IPA. Turtle Mountain has a smoky little marzen called The Rauchette.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn is feeling ruthless with Cutthroat Rye Pale Ale. HoneyMoon unveils Pearsephone, a pear elderflower kombucha. Rowley Farmhouse Ales has moved on to Season Two, Episode Seven of Agent Scully IPA, while also bringing back Biere de Mars and adding Oyster Stoutish. Tumbleroot is feeling the season with Maibock. Further north in Red River, RRBC has Raspberry Campfire Cream Ale. Down south, Truth or Consequences hops to it with Deep Space Dankety-Dank.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of April 15.

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You do not need to wear a bunny hat to enjoy Tart at Heart’s beer lineup this year, but you could.

After waiting patiently, the beer list for Saturday’s Tart at Heart 5 is finally set and ready to go. For event details, check our previous story.

Twenty-one of the beers that will be available for sampling are from 10 local breweries, with the other eight coming from out of state for Saturday’s 2-to-5 p.m. event at Sister Bar.

If any last-minute changes occur, we will update this list. UPDATE: It turns out The 377 Brewery is also in attendance, bringing two more local sours to the event.

  • Bell’s Brewery: L’Appel du Vide-Blackberry Sour
  • Boulevard: Love Child #9
  • Bow & Arrow: Cosmic Arrow, Desert Revival
  • Canteen: Social Capital with jasmine and raspberry
  • Cantero: Tamarind Sour
  • Dialogue: Sour Raspberry, ODB Kettle Soured English Mild
  • Firestone Walker: Bretta Tangerine
  • Goose Island: Bourbon Country Bramble Rye
  • La Cumbre: Blood Orange Sour
  • Marble: 111 Rosé, Abbey Brett
  • New Belgium: Transatlantique Kriek
  • Odell: Brett Golden Sour Ale
  • Red Door: Blueberry Pie Berliner Weisse, Lemonade Stand
  • Rio Bravo: Cherry on Brett
  • Rowley Farmhouse Ales: Cote d’or Pinot Noir, Greyscale, Sonora Weisse, Grandissant (VIP only)
  • Steel Bender: Pucker Up Buttercup, Brett Innuendo, Ned’s Sour Pail, Ned’s Sour Pail with boysenberry, Viejo Agrio
  • Stone: Winter Harvest-Vintage 2014
  • The 377: Freya, Cosmos
  • Upslope: Wild Christmas

Pack some antacids, leave the car at home, and have fun this weekend. After all, there will only be about two-and-a-half hours between the end of this and the start of the New Mexico United game.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s seven breweries, one in Los Alamos, one in Moriarty, and one in Red River also joining the party.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

OK, remember when we said that Marble’s Stout Americano was the last packaged dark beer release of the year until fall? Well, happily, we were wrong, as this Saturday our friends at Red Door are releasing Mail Order Russian Imperial Stout. There will be 22-ounce bottles of this 9-percent ABV stout, aged in oak barrels, available at the brewery on Candelaria, with a smaller number for sale at the new Clovis taproom. All three Red Door locations will also have a non-barrel-aged version of the stout on tap. Sidedoor Kitchen will have breakfast ready for those brave souls who want to show up at 7 a.m. There will also be special T-shirts for sale. Just in case we don’t wake up early, please try not to buy up the supply before the mostly nocturnal Crew shambles on down there.

Another event that we wanted to highlight is Beer on Beer, a special beer dinner taking place at Tractor Wells Park on Saturday at 6 p.m. The event benefits Three Sisters Kitchen and costs $40 for a four-course meal where each of the dishes is made with a specific Tractor beer, and then served with a different, but still complementary, beer. First up is a cheese course made with Field Beer and paired with Acreage IPA, followed by a salad made with Berry Cider and paired with Pilsner 15, a lamb dish made with Scotcholate and paired with Farmer’s Tan Red Ale, and a chocolate dessert made with Luna de los Muertos Russian Imperial Stout paired with Milk Mustachio Stout. There are only 25 seats available, so go here to get tickets.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bosque is rolling out beers from the minds of its non-brewing staff, starting with Brewer’s Bruises, a blueberry lavender gose. Canteen brings back Laid Back Lager on Thursday, just in time for baseball’s Opening Day (there will also be $1 hot dogs). Marble added Mavbear with brett, a collaboration with Boxing Bear, and From the Wood Saison. Nexus lands a fresh batch of Bird of Prey IPA. Ponderosa, at last, has Coco Puffs Baltic Porter on tap. Starr Brothers rolls out Altonymous, an altbier. Steel Bender brings back a summer favorite from last year, Schnitz N Giggle Dortmunder Lager, on Thursday and Bossy Guava Hazy IPA on Friday, the special collaboration for the New Mexico chapter of the Pink Boots Society. Toltec taps the NM Brewers Guild collaboration Gracias Greg, a Mexican lager.

Up in Santa Fe, things are quiet for the moment. Over in Los Alamos, Bathtub Row added Irish Export Stout on nitro.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of March 25.

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Red Door head brewer Matt Meier has been kept plenty busy with canning Vanilla Cream Ale, along with everything else at the brewery and beyond.

Red Door head brewer Matt Meier has been a busy man of late. Not only has his brewery started canning one of its most popular beers, Vanilla Cream Ale, but it also opened a new taproom in Clovis, and on top of all that work, he and his wife welcomed their first baby into the world.

Amazingly, Matt was not sound asleep when I stopped by the main Red Door location on Candelaria last week for an interview for our annual Look Back/Look Ahead Series.

“Actually, this month marks a full calendar year since I’ve been at Red Door,” Matt said. “It was awesome. I had a great time. I felt we grew a lot. Obviously, signing on with a distributor (Premier) last year that was able to take us statewide. Our taprooms have seen sustained growth in the last year, and now with the most recent opening in Clovis … within a year now, not to mention cans, cans was huge, and then (this Saturday) we’re going to be releasing Mail Order Russian Imperial Stout in bottles.”

Matt paused to take a breath before continuing.

“Stuff like that we couldn’t have dreamed of a year ago,” he said. “We’ve got two new tanks in. We’re able to (brew) two batches a day now. Jason Larson, the assistant brewer, he’s moved into more of an assistant brewer role instead of just a cellarman. We’re just trying to put out some volume now. Last year was the first year we did over 1,000 barrels, which I thought was pretty cool to do (in my) first year.”

An actual hot liquor tank makes Matt a happy brewer.

As Matt noted, it all starts in the brewery, which saw its first major new pieces of equipment arrive in some time.

“We didn’t have a hot liquor tank before,” he said. “It was heating up all the day’s water in the kettle and sending it off to an empty fermenter and then brewing with that. In order to do two batches a day, we’d have to entirely clean out the kettle after the first batch, rinse it out and get it nice and clean, and then fill it back up with cold water, wait for that to heat, and start all over again. That wasn’t really ideal. Now that we’ve got a hot liquor tank we’re able to stagger our batches where the first batch goes into the kettle and the second batch gets smashed in. It’s stuff that most of the production breweries have been doing for a while now. That’s huge for us.”

Red Door also purchased a new 30-barrel bright tank, and old 30-barrel fermenter used as a temporary hot liquor tank can now be used for beer. Matt said those two tanks, specifically, are used for the production of Vanilla Cream Ale for cans. The old 15-barrel fermenters and brights handle the beer for kegging.

Moving into packaging for the first time has been an up-and-down experience so far for Red Door, but more on the positive side.

“The reception has been great, (but) it’s not without any headaches,” Matt said. “For a little while there there were a couple cans that were mis-seemed that didn’t get caught on the canning line. Tracking those down and going back through every sign can that we did to make sure it doesn’t go out to market, that’s been a fun headache. But, that’s just growing pains, and after a first run with a canning line we’re unfamiliar with and they’re unfamiliar with us, those things are going to happen. I shouldn’t say we’re surprised, it was just a little bit of a headache.”

The biggest of the fermenters is responsible for getting that Vanilla Cream Ale ready for canning.

Matt said the next canning run, which is done by the folks at Mother Road Mobile Canning, will take place April 8, with hopefully one more run after that at the end of April. Each run will feature 200 to 300 cases.

“Our distributor originally allotted only 30 accounts based on the first 200 cases that we sold them, just because they didn’t know what we could do,” Matt said. “Now with the second batch coming through we can say all right, take that list of 30 and expand it to 60, slowly start creeping cans out into the market.”

Of course, with any accomplishment, be it cans or elsewhere in the brewery, there comes the inevitable question of what is next. Matt said there are no current plans to add a second canned offering anytime soon.

“That’s definitely down the line,” he said. “At some point this year I’m sure we’ll have a conversation about maybe a couple more fermenters and another bright tank, but those thoughts are just dreams right now. If we’re going to go with another style of beer in a can, the next one we’ll probably lean towards is our Irish Red. To get to that point, though, we want to get real comfortable with what we’re doing with Vanilla and keep up with the demand for Vanilla before we start with another brand out in cans.”

Red Door owner Matt Biggs, second from left, and his staff celebrated the grand opening of the Clovis taproom this weekend. (Photo courtesy of Red Door)

Packaging has certainly been a big focus of late in the brewery, but outside of town, Red Door has been revving up its latest taproom. This one, however, is not in Albuquerque, but in far-off Clovis. Located inside a bowling alley, the taproom officially held its grand opening over the weekend, after our interview.

“Just the reception we got from announcing we were going to open a taproom and then soft opening weekend, I think it’s a great decision of ours to move down to a market that doesn’t have a craft scene, but it’s definitely thirsty for one,” Matt said.

Once upon a time I met some Air Force personnel in Oklahoma who had previously served in New Mexico. Those who served at Cannon AFB, next to Clovis, complained that they had next to no craft beer options compared to their compatriots who were stationed at Kirtland. That crowd alone should keep Red Door busy, plus the other options in town are fairly limited to a handful of restaurants with beer-and-wine licenses, and a few bars that can charge a cover anytime they feel like it. Throw in the fact that Red Door will stay open until 11 p.m., while most others close at 10, and the taproom should be plenty busy.

“They’re on an island,” Matt said. “Luckily, we have a ton of space to work with down there. There’s a second walk-in cooler that’s at our disposable, so it can actually be an off-site warehouse cooler for me if I needed it to be. So them running low on beer isn’t going to be a hassle and us making more beer and trying to find a place in our cooler to store it isn’t going to be that big of an issue, at least for the foreseeable future.”

Red Door owner Matt Biggs also chimed in after arriving late with an apology for misreading the time.

“It was an experiment, (so) we’ve got to wait to see how it goes and see what the challenges of going out to a really remote location are,” he said. “We’ve already run into a few of them.”

More Red Door kegs could be headed to Clovis after the grand opening was a smashing success.

Based on a couple of Facebook posts after the grand opening was finished, it appears Red Door ran low on some unspecified supplies in Clovis, though they assured the new fans all is well and there is still beer available. It will just mark another change in what has been a constant stream of changes for the brewery since it opened years ago.

“We haven’t had a year where we didn’t have a bunch of big changes, either publicized or not,” Matt Biggs said. “This is sort of par for the course for us. We’re waiting for the year where we don’t have a ton of changes, and then I’ll be happy about that.

“It’s been going fine. Brewing is a crazy industry right now with all the taprooms and stuff. Breweries opening and closing, all that stuff. I think it’s going to get crazier. I think 2019 is going to be a huge year for probably less openings and more closings. But, I guess we’ll see how that shakes out, see who’s the competition at the end of the year.”

Well, all of us in the Crew will try to remain optimistic, but we still wish everyone in the ever-growing, ever-evolving industry plenty of luck. A big thanks to Matt and Matt for the interview. Hopefully they both get some rest after this past weekend.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Beer Creek co-owner Rich Headley is one of the most enthusiastic, upbeat persons you will meet in the industry.

Seeing as how it had been a while, last summer to be exact, that anyone from the Crew visited Beer Creek Brewing, I headed out to the charming little stop on Highway 14 to catch up with co-owner Rich Headley on a recent rainy afternoon.

Rich was his usual boisterous self when I arrived an hour before regular opening hours. He certainly has reasons to be in a good mood, not the least of which was the arrival of the 5-barrel brewhouse and full equipment in recent weeks (brought up from Arizona during one of our recent snowstorms, no less). Up until now, Beer Creek has lived off a beer-and-wine license, though the staff has collaborated on three beers with other area breweries, all of which are currently on tap.

Before tasting those, Rich offered me a tour, since a lot had changed since Franz Solo and I visited long ago, shortly after Rich and his partners had taken over the property.

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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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Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s seven breweries, one in Los Alamos, one in Moriarty, and one in Red River also joining the party.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Red Door became the latest brewery to can one of its regular offerings earlier this week. The Mother Road Mobile Canning team came to the brewery on Monday to package the Vanilla Cream Ale. It is now available at the brewery and the downtown taproom, as well as at select retailers. It was a nice present for head brewer Matt Meier, who is going on paternity leave for the birth of his first child. Red Door becomes the ninth local brewery to can one of its flagship beers. It is a crowded market, but it is nice to see a different style go into cans.

There are a couple of Mardi Gras-themed events this week as well that are worth checking out. Tractor Wells Park will again host the Desert Darlings for one of their Hops & Dreams on Friday night at 8, complete with a Bourbon Street theme this time around. We would also be remiss not to point out that the Darlings will be celebrating the birthday of one of their own, Shannon, with a dance party at Kaktus on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Back in Albuquerque, The 377 Brewery will host a Brazilian Pre-Carnival Party on Saturday night at 8. Bring your mask and prepare for a night of Brazilian music, food, and more.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bombs Away perks up with Java Nut Brown Ale. Bosque had a big tap turnover with Belgo Pale Ale, Peach ‘n Berry Sour, Map & Compass Pale Ale, Frostbit Wit, and Marahute Hazy DIPA now available. Boxing Bear is feeling feisty with Bulldog English IPA. La Cumbre rolls out Luck of the Draw DIPA in cans and on tap this Friday. Marble once again summons the Thunder From Dortmunder. Starr Brothers capitalizes on its soccer ties with 505 Reds – Liverpool Red Ale. Tractor lightens up with Wavey Hour Ale.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn marches forward with Royal Road Farmhouse Ale. Further north in Red River, RRBC brings back its Scottish Ale.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of February 18.

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