Posts Tagged ‘Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery’

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, one in Red River, and one in Las Cruces 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.

While most of the Crew and most of the brewers all head off to Denver for the Great American Beer Festival this week, all of you still in New Mexico will not go without some fun. First up, the Albuquerque Mountain Rescue Brew Fest is back at Marble downtown this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. This is a huge fundraiser for the Albuquerque Mountain Rescue Council, so they pull out all the stops. There will be live music (see Marble’s entry below) all day, plus food trucks, vendors, games, silent auctions, and of course plenty of Marble beer.

Then it will be time for another edition of Metal Monday at Tumbleroot’s location on Agua Fria in Santa Fe. The lineup this time around features Red Mesa, The Horned God, and local favorites Black Maria. That kicks off at 8 p.m., so head over to support some epic bands while drinking some epic beer and spirits.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bosque tapped Beermosa last week, and Acequia Fresh Hop IPA is back this Friday on tap and in cans. Canteen is still beating what’s left of the summer heat with Munich Helles. Flix Brewhouse is feeling mighty German with some Das Umlaut Oktoberfest and Party on Garth Kolsch, plus Oo-De-Lally English IPA debuts Thursday. High and Dry drops a slew of new beers including Black Hole’s Son Porter, Silently Said Pale, and more listed below. Marble keeps the goses going with Ginger Plum Gose. Ponderosa keeps it fresh with Wet Hop Saison. Red Door sneaked in another batch of New England IPA last weekend. The 377 keeps the sours coming with an Oud Bruin that was aged seven months in wine barrels. Tractor introduces Citra Hefe while also bringing back the Javi Pre-Prohibition Lager.

Up in Santa Fe, things are quiet for GABF week.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of September 17.

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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, one in Red River, and one in Las Cruces 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.

Man, there is so much to cover again this week, what shall be the lead? Well, if you have been following us for the past six-plus years … OF COURSE IT’S THE METAL SHOW. Yes, metal is back at a brewery, only this time it is up in Santa Fe at Tumbleroot’s location on Agua Fria. This special Black Metal Takeover on Monday opens at 7:30, with tickets costing a measly $10. That gets you in to see Santa Fe’s own malevolent masters of metal, Dysphotic, as well as the new local group, Heretical Sect, featuring members of Superstition and ex-Predatory Light. Two traveling bands will also be on hand, with both hailing from the frozen wasteland, er, picturesque Midwestern state of Minnesota. Ashbringer and Amiensus are coming a long way to melt some faces, so make sure to load up your crew and head to Santa Fe for this epic set. Plus, it is a perfectly good excuse to finally try Tumbleroot if you have not been there yet.

As we noted, that is hardly the only big event this weekend. High and Dry is hosting Second Street as its guest brewery of the month, and there will be a special launch party tonight. Today will also feature a special ticket party for Saturday’s Albuquerque Hopfest, hosted by Steel Bender. That fun kicks off at 4 p.m. Friday night will see the First Friday Artwalk in downtown ABQ, with Boese Brothers, Sidetrack, and the Duel taproom all participating with art shows and live music. Saturday will of course feature Hopfest taking over the Isleta Casino, and we will have a full preview of that later this week. Finally, Sunday will see the new Crafts, Crops & Hops Autumn Beer Market at Canteen from noon to 7, with live green chile roasting, live music, multiple vendors, and, of course, delicious beer. No rest for the wicked this week, people.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bow & Arrow is releasing Peach Cosmic Arrow on tap and in bottles on Saturday. Boxing Bear sticks with its haze phase with MurkQueño Hazy IPA going on tap this Friday. Canteen brings back Raspberry Wheat and Fill in the Blanco (White IPA). Dialogue has a trio of newbies in What’s Golden Ale, Strazberry Berliner, and Young Guns Dank Wet Hop IPA. Kilt Check resurrects two old favorites in Covfefe Hefe and McRojo or No?. La Cumbre rolls out Quick and Easy Pale Ale, plus that delicious Dortmunder is on at both taprooms now. Marble added more Desert Fog, plus the Eastside IPA is now on tap. Sidetrack has more CO-MO IPA to keep everyone happy. Steel Bender goes big with the double release of Black (Hole Sun) IPA and OktoberFiesta on Thursday. The 377 should have more Ginger Beer and its Oktoberfest on tap by Friday. Toltec added a Mojito Kettle Sour a little while ago, and Dr. Rudi Single Hop should be out today. Tractor tapped this year’s batch of Traktoberfest on Tuesday, so get it while it’s fresh. Turtle Mountain has Tropical Menagerie and Macaulay Kolschin ready to go as soon as a couple taps open up, which should be this week.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn lightens up with some Covhefe.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of September 3.

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Rich Headley, and his epic goatee, pours us a cold one.

Back in June, even we were feeling the sweltering heat all the way up here in Santa Fe, it was hard to escape the slow simmer of city life even in the Sangres. And, when it gets too hot in the city, us Santa Feans just gotta get out of town. Well, one Wednesday, I did just that. I headed down Highway 14, passing Tumbleroot’s new brewing/distilling/taproom on my left, and Santa Fe Brewing Company’s main complex on my right.

And, vowing not to pick up any hitchhikers, as requested by the signs preceding the state pen, that is, unless they showed the right amount of leg — with my windows rolled down, Iron Maiden screaming across the Bluetooth, I breezed down the two-lane road with a cool sense of freedom. I was getting out of town, and loving the gorgeous, greenish landscape that sprawled out before me.

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Dat vista, tho.

Before I knew it, and I truly mean that, I was there, missing the turn. It was exactly across the road from the Shell Station and Lone Butte General Store. How had I gotten here in 17 minutes from the middle of town? When I’d lived in Albuquerque, last year, it was 30 minutes to anywhere from my corner of the grid. But, here I was at 3810 State Highway 14 N, the exact location of Beer Creek Brewing Company. (For the reader who keeps calling me out on not giving exact addresses. You are not forgotten, ma’am.) (more…)

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Recently I was attending a little meet-up of the Santa Fe brewers at Rowley Farmhouse Ales, and after many delicious beer samples from the local brewers, as well as some recent RFA collabs, RFA let me in on a little secret. Rowley Farmhouse Ales and recent IPA Challenge winner, Blue Corn Brewery, had a collaboration in the works. Seeing as there had never been a collaboration between these two breweries before, I wanted to get the story out to the public as soon as I could. During a very busy weekend, I caught up with both brewers to find out what exactly was going down in my town.

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RFA head brewer Wes Burbank at a recent collaboration with Pipeworks Brewing Company in Chicago.

First up, I met with Wes Burbank, the head brewer at Rowley Farmhouse Ales.

DSBC: I heard you guys are doing a collaboration with Blue Corn soon. Does Rowley Farmhouse Ales (RFA) have an official statement?

Burbank: Official Statement from RFA — Barleywine is dead, long live the new life, Pilsner! #PiL

DSBC: You guys are the kings of the collab over there at RFA. In one aspect or another RFA has been involved in at least six completed collaborations this year with many in the works. What do you feel collaborations bring to breweries and to the beer drinkers?

Burbank: Collabs are great because you get to see how other people brew on different systems. I’ve learned so much this way. It’s really great to be able to exchange little tips and tricks of the trade on brew days to make all our lives easier. There are lots of little things that pop up and you can say, “Oh, I have a clever trick for this!” I think specifically for us at RFA, we just think it’s fun, and we have the ability to do it. We don’t have a lot of core beers, and we love being able to brew new things when the (creative) spark hits. I think it’s great for the beer drinkers, because we’ll usually try stuff that we might not otherwise, either by combining things our breweries are known for, or just doing something crazy. I think it builds a sense of community, not just within the participating breweries, but sometimes with the consumers as well.

DSBC: Whose idea was the collaboration on this one? How’d it come about? Was it from the meeting?

Burbank: I’m not sure exactly where this originated, to be honest. We have been talking about doing one for a while, but usually it’s one of those several-beers-deep situations where it’s, “We should totally do a collab!” And, we finally found some time in our schedules to make it happen when we met for the first POETS (Piss Off Early Tomorrow’s Saturday) meeting. We are lucky at RFA to have a great Mayhem Coordinator (the fantastic Elissa Ritt), and she actually will follow up with this type of thing, which I think is a large part of why we do so many collabs.

DSBC: What are you looking forward to most about this collaboration?

Burbank: There are two things that really excite me about this. The first is we are going to do two versions of this beer — one traditionally at Blue Corn, then followed up by the same recipe at our place with our house culture, so with some added funk. It’ll be exciting to showcase both beers side-by-side!

The second thing I’m excited about is brewing with Paul (Mallory) and Andy (Lane). They both have been great to me since I moved here a couple months ago from Colorado, so I’m excited to work with them. I’ve recently been trying to get the Santa Fe brewing community together once a month to hang out and discuss beer. We just recently had our first get-together and I think it was a huge success. That actually started with Paul and I drinking on the patio at RFA, and we both thought it would be great for everyone to have a place each month where we can exchange ideas, talk shop, or just showcase our new beers. We brewers are a busy bunch, so having a planned time allows us the chance to schedule some time out to see what we’re all up to around town.

* * * * *

I also was able to get a statement from 2018 IPA Challenge winner, head brewer of Blue Corn Brewery, and all around good guy, Paul Mallory.

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Paul Mallory hoisting up the hardware at the 2018 IPA Challenge!

“I feel excited to be doing a collaboration with another brewery in Santa Fe,” Paul said. “I also am eager to see how things turn out, considering we’re doing something a little different in regards to collaboration.

“What inspired the collaboration was just running into John (Rowley) at his spot. We have both always enjoyed doing collaborations with other breweries. We got to talking and came up with a game plan.

“We are doing two different brews, one at Blue Corn, the other at Rowley. It’ll be the same malt bill, but we’ll pitch different cultures in each one. At Blue Corn we’ll be pitching a traditional Hefeweizen yeast, while at Rowley, they’ll be pitching their mixed house culture. It should make for two very different beers.”

When asked if Blue Corn will consider doing more collaborations in the future, Paul had this to say: “We are always looking for ways to make things more interesting for us as brewers, and for our customers. We enjoy doing collaborations with other breweries and local suppliers.”

* * * * *

Two Bavarian Hefeweizens from two different breweries — one thing’s for sure, whatever they do with them, whether it’s the more traditional handling or taking a bit of a more funkadelic approach, you can bet these beers will be well-brewed and delicious. These collaborations are good for our beer community, because we ARE a community. In times like these we have to remember that we’ve really got only one big enemy, and they have Super Bowl commercials and brewery-buying power. Through these collaborations we’re not so much worried about shelf space and sales figures. Instead, we declare that dilly dilly ain’t our dilly, yo. We’re one nation under a groove, gettin’ down just for the funk of it, and making good and interesting beer is all we need to focus on (from the beer-making side of things). To the independent craft beer community, we raise ‘em up!

Cheers!

— Luke

Also on tap for Rowley Farmhouse Ales:

Wednesday: In collaboration with metal band Veil of Maya, RFA is pouring their Ale of Maya at Anodyne.

“Ale of Maya is a double IPA brewed with Veil of Maya for the Summer Slaughter show on Weds 8/15 at the Sunshine Theater. Our friends at Anodyne are pouring the beer for us. It’ll be on tap Wednesday! Maybe you’ll see myself and some of the band there after the show having a couple. Ale of Maya is a West-Coast style DIPA, with lots of citrus notes. 9%ABV, and 66.6 IBU’s. \m/”  ~Wes Burbank

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Thursday: Join Rowley Farmhouse Ales at Tumbleroot Brewery & Distillery for American Funk. They’ll be pouring Greyscale and Kaffeeklatsch alongside Tumbleroot’s Gose and brand new Sour Red! Get four 5-ounce pours for $13 and enjoy live music from Earle Poole & the Girls, and Gary Farmer and the Troublemakers! I’ll be there for the whole funk and nothing but the funk!

American Funk

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I would like to thank my mother. And Oprah. And the Crew. And Chuck Norris. And Pete! No one like you, but you still fly! This one’s for the ladies! Fine… You can have it back, Paul.

Follow me on Twitter @SantaFeCraftBro for Untappd Snaps and #DarkSideBrewCrew Shenanigans. Also, follow @lostgramsofluke on IG if you’re so inclined. Quality not assured.

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Welcome to the scene, Tumbleroot!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tumbleroot Bisbee (Production Facility)

32 Bisbee Ct, Santa Fe, NM 87508

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Co-founder and brewmaster Jason Kirkman never stops working.

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

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


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

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

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

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Kirkman takes every issue, large or small, seriously.

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

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

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

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Fermenters ready for anything. They have to be.

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

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Be still, my heart.

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

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Just one of the incredible craft cocktails available at Tumbleroot.

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

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

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

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

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

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The first of many projects to bear fruit. Ha!

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

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

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The supply is already impressive.

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

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

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

Tumbleroot’s Agua Fria Taproom, Stage and Marketplace

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

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

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Now that’s a patio.

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

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

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

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

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

Beers:

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

Spirits

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

Cocktails

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

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There is a science to all of it.

Food

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

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

Music

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The Tumbleroot stage has plenty of bands coming soon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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— Luke

2017NMIPACround2-3

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

 

 

 

 

My Post-42

This Friday, Blue Corn is hosting their second annual Cask Festival at the southside location, bringing together at least half of the operational breweries north of La Bajada hill. OK, Burqueños, that’s that big hill between Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

Blue Corn organized this special event with seven excellent breweries on the roster, including one brand-new, not-yet-open (as of the writing of this article) place, Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery. Blue Corn has always been a great host for beer dinners. If you’ve read my articles, you’d already know it’s going to be an excellent way to spend your Friday night.

Why cask ales, you ask? Well, we all have mixed opinions about cask ales. Some of us enjoy them, some of us are indifferent. Some brewers don’t like to serve beer in them, but they’re a part of the industry, and some would argue it’s draught beer at its best. And, though the process has been around for ages, it’s not likely to go away any time soon, because it’s a part of beer history, and another interesting way to experience something we love.

With cask ales, something else is going on in the beer that makes it different and special, not just a foamy pour from a tap. You see, the active yeast used to carbonate the beer in these metal vessels continues to age the beer all the way until it has been tapped. As the beer ages and conditions, the CO2 created by the yeast will dissolve into the beer, smoothing out the flavors, blending as a painter does colors, and toning down the sharpness of the hops.

Oftentimes, and in a few of the cases below, brewers will add special ‘extras’ to these beers to give them a significant change in flavor profile, something they (as businesses) couldn’t do on a much larger scale, such as additions of fruit, extra dry-hops, honey, and so on. These flavors continue to condition with the beer, and give it more complexity than it had at the outset. Perhaps it loses something in the mouthfeel and in the warmer temperature, but it is still a fun way to test your palate with new flavors. Just imagine, for a minute, that if you could just cut straight through some of the high rocky peaks, you could discover the dense and beautiful vegetation at the bottom of the valley. And, there’s a history lesson in the process, if you really want to get into it. But, let that be your icebreaker at the event.

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Casks from the first Cask Festival at Blue Corn Brewery last year.

Blue Corn Brewery is no stranger to cask beers. As the title of the festival suggests, it’s not the first rodeo for the brewery. In fact, it’s not even the second. Blue Corn has held a few of these sorts of events in the past, and to great success. At one time, the brewery even used to release cask beers every Friday at the Draft Station in downtown Santa Fe. (Ah, the good ole’ days.) The best part of this event is that seven breweries are coming together on one night, to chill out, to laugh, to talk about everything from brewing process to mash paddle size … er, you know, brewer stuff. And, they’re totally accessible to you, the customers, if you’re not shy.

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Dave “Merkin,” head of R&D at Santa Fe Brewing Co., pours us a beer.

Go up to the guys with beards, glasses, or fruit-forward shirts. You’ll find them in the corners of the event — they’re the ones laughing the loudest, and having the most fun because they’re all buddies. They know how to enjoy these things, but, it’s not an exclusive club. These guys are friendly and will absolutely tell you about their favorite beer styles, favorite (other) breweries, favorite brewed beers, and so on. And, if you’re not feeling as chatty as I am after a couple beers, just ask them which brewery they brew for, and thank them for the hard work they do. Not all heroes wear capes, my friends.

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An appetizer from last year’s event.

Included in the price of these seven cask ales are seven appetizers of Blue Corn’s chef’s creation. In my experience, these bites have always been worth the price of admission, even without the beer.

Menu:

Blue Corn Brewery: Barrel Aged Imperial Stout with Cherries

            -Black Cherry Mousse with Chocolate Shavings

Santa Fe Brewing Co.: 7K All Day IPA

            -Marinated Pork Taco with Pickled Onions, Lime Cabbage and Cilantro

Duel Brewing: Fiction Belgian IPA with French Oak and Kaffir Lime Leaves

            -Salmon Ceviche with Habanero and Mango

Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery: Dry Irish Stout with Honey

            -Traditional Irish Stew

Second Street Brewery: XX ESB dry-hopped with Chinook and EKG

            -Beer Battered Alaskan Cod with Malt Vinegar Crisps

Bathtub Row Brewing Coop: Hoppenheimer IPA with Lemondrop Hops

            -Apple-Lemon Mini Cupcake with Mint

Rowley Farmhouse Ales: Biere de Garde with Brettanomyces

            -Gorgonzola Grilled Cheese with Herbed Portobello

Blue Corn was gracious enough to host this event, and we have a good number of participating breweries, but one is so new, that they haven’t sold a single beer in public, to my knowledge. Friday night at Blue Corn Brewery will be your first guaranteed chance to try a beer from Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery. I reached out to Jason Fitzpatrick, co-founder and manager of business operations, and asked him a few welcome-aboard questions.

DSBC: What does it mean to Tumbleroot to officially join the Santa Fe (as well as the whole New Mexico) beer scene?

Fitzpatrick: Joining the ranks of the talent brewers and operators in New Mexico is quite an honor. (Jason) Kirkman and I hatched the idea that was to become Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery two-and-a-half years ago, and the road was tough to get to this point. After many ups and downs throughout the process, we certainly have a greater appreciation for all of those who paved the way.

DSBC: What do you look forward to most about becoming part of this very vibrant scene? And, what are your hopes for your new establishment?

Fitzpatrick: We look forward to bringing something new and exciting to Santa Fe and New Mexico. We are inspired by bits and pieces of our experiences at taprooms, bars, restaurants, cocktail parties, family gatherings, concerts, and travels, and aim to bring all the best of those into one community-centric space. With a capacity for 400 people, our taproom can serve many different experiences at once. We hope that we have succeeded. We hope to become a second home for Santa Feans, and to inspire others to explore and connect with the community.

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Tumbleroot is here, as we saw with Jason Kirkman at Winterbrew 2018.

Why you should go?

For one thing, it’s always fun to taste a beer that’s exclusive to one event. It’s not something everyone can say they’ve had. And, it’s not something you’re likely to find again. The cask beers are usually very interesting, and certainly on the ‘extra’ end of the spectrum.

The food will be excellent and inspired, as it always is, because Blue Corn has a reputation to uphold for its beer dinners. I haven’t been let down yet.

Finally, this is a great opportunity to actually go up to and speak with brewers about what they do, how they make your beer, and what kind of beers they might be making next. Who knows? Your crazy suggestion might just end up in one of their fermenters and on the chalkboards. Or, as in my case, you might convince the brewer to brew something you once loved that’s no longer in the rotation.

The second annual Santa Fe Cask Fest is THIS Friday at 6:30 p.m. The cost of $30 per guest gets you a pour of each cask ale and seven appetizers, and a chance to shake the hand of most of the Santa Fe brewers. It’s a ticket with a built-in VIP pass, and you’re cordially invited. I look forward to seeing you there! To more beer beer events in Santa Fe, and a rapidly growing independent craft scene, we raise them up, cheers!

For reservations call 505-984-1800, or email manager@bluecornbrewery.com.
Address: 4056 Cerrillos Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87507

— Luke

2017NMIPACround2-3

If you see me at the event, say, “Hey!” I promise to be on my most reasonable behavior.

Hey, we know that brewer! Toltec’s Kaylynn McKnight and co-owner Diana Navarrette are getting the brewery ready for an opening this spring. (Photo courtesy of Toltec Brewing)

It has been a while since we busted out some Beer Notes, but the news was piling up in our inbox, so here we go again.

New brewery updates

By our count, there are 20 forthcoming breweries, plus one that just opened. Alas, there is also another that closed, as we note below. First up, the breweries with active small brewer licenses.

  • Callahan West Brewery (Mosquero): The brewery is open in this small town in Northeast New Mexico. It is located at 22 Main Street, on the west side of town, next to the Headquarters Restaurant. Details are scarce at this point, but there is a fledgling Facebook page, and we suppose it could make for an interesting summer road trip.
  • Cantero Brewing (ABQ-Brewery District): Slow but steady progress is apparent, with the brewing system now set up. We will drop the owners another line and see if we can get an advance tour/preview.
  • Elkins Brewing (Grants): There is still no website, no social media, or anything else about this brewery. If anyone out there has information, please send it over.
  • Red River Brewing: The staff seems to be putting the finishing touches on the interior of the completed building. Hey, someone had to benefit from the mild winter up north. It should be only a matter of time before we add Red River to our next Taos Trek (which we are way, way overdue to do again).
  • Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery (Santa Fe): Plenty of positive signs abound to the point of where we have to imagine it will be the next to open. Tumbleroot has begun brewing and distilling, and in addition is starting to book musical acts for its stage. Look for a preview in the coming weeks.

The snow finally showed up, but not before most of this new brewery was built. (Photo courtesy of Red River Brewing)

Now for all the breweries with pending small brewer licenses, who are, by and large, further away from opening.

  • 1933 Brewing (Rio Rancho): Located in the old Fat Squirrel building on Southern, we have seen construction getting underway. There is also a Facebook page and a website, finally, though neither have any real information.
  • BLUE (ABQ-Downtown area): We have no new updates about this brewery, which a source told us would be located somewhere along Broadway near Lead/Coal, similar in size and scope to Sidetrack.
  • Bonito Valley (Lincoln): The brewery’s Facebook page said it hopes to open by the summer along Highway 380 in Southeast New Mexico.
  • Brewstillery (ABQ-UNM area): We still have no information on this place.
  • Casa Vieja (Corrales): The existing event space may look to do some small batch beers, but will mainly use the license to sell beer and wine at the events it hosts.
  • Cloudcroft Brewing: Formerly known as Switchback Brewery, it will instead be named for the town it will call home in the mountains in Southern New Mexico. A full build-out is now underway, with a very rustic look to the site, which is quite appropriate.
  • Hollow Spirits (ABQ-Wells Park): The distillery/brewery has hired a head distiller, Trey Allen, but no projected opening date (or even month) has been listed.
  • Hopscotch Brewing (Artesia): First, the good news is that Deepwell Brewing is alive and well under a new name. The bad news is that it will take over the building previously occupied by Desert Water Brewing, which closed recently. Still, soon Artesia will be back to having two breweries, and that is a good thing.
  • Icebox Brewing (Las Cruces): There is a Facebook page, but beyond the address of 2825 W. Picacho Ave., there is no additional info.
  • Leaf & Hive (Santa Fe): One of two places looking to open in the capital city that will offer up mainly products that require a brewing license, but are not necessarily beer. The Facebook page says it will be honeybrew, a “heirloom cultured sparkling tea.”
  • Sourdough Mine Restaurant and Brewery (Socorro): Located in the old Twisted Chile space off the main plaza, the restaurant is already up and running.
  • Tall Pines Beer and Wine Garden (Ruidoso): This beer/wine bar has been in operation for a while. It remains to be seen how much (if any) beer it plans to brew.
  • Toltec Brewing (ABQ-West Side): The exterior signage is now covering all the entrances at 10250 Cottonwood Park NW. Inside, the brewery area appears ready, while the the taproom area is getting the final paint job. We can also confirm that former Nexus brewer Kaylynn McKnight will be running the brewhouse, while Adam Galarneau, formerly of Bosque, Marble, and Turtle Mountain, will be the general manager. Those are two talented and experienced people, a good sign of the commitment of the Toltec owners to putting their brewery on the map from the get-go.

That’s some swanky signage! (Photo courtesy of Toltec Brewing)

There are three other breweries we know are on the way, but have not yet applied for a license. We recently previewed Ex Novo Brewing and its plans to open in Corrales. HoneyMoon Brewery, a kombucha-centric operation, is coming to Santa Fe. Blu Dragonfly is coming to the northern town of Cimarron and has already joined the NM Brewers Guild far in advance of its opening.

If there are any other new breweries out there that we missed, please let us know.

We can also report that Guadalupe Mountain (Carlsbad) and Lost Hiker (Ruidoso) are now open and serving their own beers.

Politics and beer don’t mix here or anywhere

Well, so much for this legislative session.

One of the best things about breweries is how they are (usually) delightfully free of the venomous political discourse that has infected our country. Sadly, politics has a way of getting into the beer, and it rarely turns out well for any beer drinker, regardless of his/her affiliation.

Here in New Mexico, even after it passed both houses in the legislature, Senate Bill 204 died with a whimper when outgoing Governor Martinez killed it with a pocket veto. SB204 was designed to give breweries the ability to obtain private celebration permits. Currently, only distributors have these permits. Who knows why the governor did not like this bill, which had bi-partisan support.

It could be worse, however, as craft brewers in Maryland suffered a devastating defeat in Annapolis. Small breweries in Maryland face significant restrictions in how much beer they can brew and sell. Efforts to lift many regulations have failed, as the combination of macrobreweries and distributors have been opposed to giving craft breweries any advantages. Hopefully more progressive politicians will take another look at the situation next year.

Meanwhile, the announcement of pending tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum imports have left some in the craft beer industry worried. Those worries may be valid, as this story in the Wall Street Journal shows. (Thanks to Boxing Bear’s David Kim for the link.) A rise in the price of American steel and aluminum would benefit the manufacturers, but not everyone in the market may be able to afford those increases. That could hamper an industry that uses a hell of a lot of both metals. Ultimately, though, it is still early in the process, and time will tell what the full impact will be on the brewing industry.

Sampler tray

  • Little Toad Creek got some good news when its first taproom outside Silver City cleared a major hurdle. The City of Las Cruces has given its approval for the location at 119 N. Main St. Now all that remains is for state approval, which hopefully will come in advance of the Blazin’ Brewfest in May.
  • Red Door is looking to hire a new head brewer. We are working on finding out the details behind the departure of founding brewer Wayne Martinez.
  • Tart at Heart is returning to Sister for a fourth time on April 14. We will have more details as we get closer to this fun annual event.
  • Second Street will host the first Pilsner and Crab Fest at the Rufina Taproom on June 16-17. It will not be a competition, but a celebration of the style. We would love to see what other breweries bring to at least give us all the opportunity to do a side-by-side tasting.
  • Rejoice, haze lovers, for the Brewers Association has heard your cries. Three new hazy or juicy ale categories (pale, IPA, double IPA) have been added to the official ranks of the Beer Style Guidelines. Other categories have been added as well to reflect the ongoing evolution of craft beers. Click that link for more details.

That clears out the notebook for now. If anyone out there ever has any craft beer news to share, big or small, drop us a line at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com, or via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or just tapping on a Crew member’s shoulder if you spot one of us out and about at a brewery, taproom, or beer bar.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Cheers to the BA for all it does.

Yeah, it is definitely that time of year. The recaps and top 10 lists are being posted, the year-in-review stories are rolling along (like, uh, our Look Back/Look Ahead Series). When it comes to recapping the year in craft beer for the entire country, no one sums it up best quite like the Brewers Association.

It was another big year for craft beer, to say the least.

“Craft brewers continue to thrive, if at a slower pace, fueled by a passionate community dedicated to bringing innovation, jobs and beer across America—on Main Street and beyond,” said Bart Watson, the chief economist of the Brewers Association, in a press release. “Today, 83 percent of the population lives within 10 miles of a local brewery, meaning that the positive impact of breweries is being felt in communities all over the country.”

OK, that is pretty cool. What other stats does the BA have for us?

  • The number of breweries nationwide has now surpassed 6,000, with 98 percent of those falling under the craft banner. By the Crew’s count, 68 of those are in New Mexico, with at least six more active licenses for places that have yet to open their doors, but should in the next couple months (more on that down below).
  • All those breweries have created 456,373 jobs, a 7.5-percent increase from 2014. In turn, that has generated $67.8 billion for the U.S. economy, a 21.7-percent increase. Craft breweries in turn donated $73.4 million to charities.
  • The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act has support from both parties and will potentially pass through both houses of Congress and become law during this current session. So, yeah, I guess we will have to say that Congress will do one good thing.
  • It appears the term “beercation” is becoming more and more of a reality. The average craft beer drinker visits 3.5 breweries near home and 2.5 breweries within two hours driving distance (take note: the press release did not say whether this was 3.5 per week, per month, or per year; for the Crew, it would certainly be per week, sometimes even per day, when we are feeling frisky with our Lyft/Uber accounts). A survey by the BA found that 64 percent of craft drinkers like to visit breweries to try new beers on a regular basis. We will raise one to that.
  • The New Mexico stats on the BA website are for 2016, but they still tell a positive story. By the end of that year, there 57 breweries, ranking 26th in the country. More notably, the 3.9 breweries per capita (100,000 adults) ranks 11th nationwide. Breweries had an economic impact of $333 million (40th) or $226.26 per capita (35th). A total of 111,237 barrels (32nd) were produced, amounting to 2.3 gallons consumed per adult (21st).

Yeah, it is still a good era for craft beer. Here is hoping it continues into 2018 and beyond.

Embrace the darkness at beer bars, too

The quality of dark beers around town is straight fire.

Our friends over Rock & Brews wanted you all to know that the current dark beer lineup is fairly epic. As fun as it is to hit up the breweries first, don’t forget the beer bars, as they often pull in some exclusive styles from out of state that you can usually only get in bottles or cans.

Rock & Brews currently has Dogfish Head’s Vanilla Oak-Aged Worldwide Stout, which is otherwise a pricey purchase in four-pack bottles. The ubiquitous Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout lines up next to Worldwide. There is also the most recent iteration of the ultimate beer geek beer, Stone’s Imperial Farking Wootstout. The real surprise gem, though, is Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout. No, really, it is on tap. If that hefty price tag for a bomber is scaring you off, but you really want to know if it is worth it (we think so, but we’re biased), head over to Rock & Brews to try it first before you commit to a 22-ounce bottle or two.

Down at Sister Bar, at least as of the Gatecreeper show this past Monday (gotta say, impressive crowd showing, ABQ-area metalheads), there is still some of La Cumbre’s La Negra on tap. It has been out at the brewery for a while, so get some while it lasts (if it’s even still there, we apologize if it is gone by now).

Nob Hill Bar & Grill has a strong lineup, which you can find anytime via Untappd. The current black beasts of ahhh available are Bell’s Black Note and Kalamazoo Stout, plus 2016 and 2017 Bourbon County Brand Stout, and two old favorites in Oskar Blues Ten FIDY and Stone Xocoveza.

So much dark beer, so little time.

New breweries update

Hello to a new small town brewery!

Sticking with tradition in beer notes, here are the most recent updates on all the forthcoming breweries across New Mexico. As always, we only list breweries with pending or active small brewer licenses with the State.

  • BLUE (Albuquerque): Nothing new on this small brewery located somewhere near Broadway and Lead/Coal.
  • Bonito Valley Brewing (Lincoln): A newcomer to the list located in a small, historic town west of Roswell along Highway 380. There is a Facebook page that says the owners are aiming for a summer 2018 opening.
  • Brewstillery (Albuquerque): We still have no info on this combo operation in the Southeast.
  • Callahan West Brewery (Mosquero): The small town brewery has been in touch with the NM Brewers Guild about joining up in 2018, so it appears to be a go.
  • Cantero Brewing (Albuquerque): Now armed with an active license, the final parts of construction are underway.
  • Elkins Brewing (Grants): We have no new info on this business.
  • Glencoe Distillery and Brewery (Ruidoso): The license is active, but there is still no website that we can find, nor any social media. It remains a mystery.
  • Guadalupe Mountain Brewing (Carlsbad): The license is active here, too, and beer is now being brewed. We await the announcement of opening, which could come any week now.
  • High and Dry Brewing (Albuquerque): Construction appears to be mostly complete down near Adams and Lomas. The Crew is in touch with the ownership and we are working to set up an advance tour when they are ready.
  • Hollow Spirits (Albuquerque): Construction continues on this new combo spot in the Wells Park neighborhood. It is the brainchild of former Red Door co-owner Frank Holloway.
  • Lava Rock Brewing (Albuquerque): The West Side brewery is getting closer and closer to opening on Unser just north of Ladera.
  • Lost Hiker Brewing (Ruidoso): Yes, the license is active, now only a few final touches must be completed and there will be local beer in the mountains down south. Keep track of the progress on the Lost Hiker Facebook page.
  • 1933 Brewing (Rio Rancho): Another newcomer to the list, we have no info beyond a name and a zip code for RR. It is unknown if this brewery is related in any way to the former 1933 Brewing of Fort Collins, Colo., which closed at the end of 2016.
  • Red River Brewing: All this mild winter is not helping the ski industry up north, but it should enable RRB to finish construction and remain on track for an early 2018 opening.
  • Switchback Brewery (Cloudcroft): There is still no info online on this place. We would like to remind everyone, though, that there is a Switchback Brewing in Vermont, so a name change may ultimately be necessary.
  • Toltec Brewing (Albuquerque): The forthcoming West Side brewery took a big step by hiring a head brewer, but we have been asked not to reveal the identity of this individual just yet. Let us just say, however, that we are excited.
  • Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery (Santa Fe): There are lots of construction photos on Facebook, so it looks like a good bet to open sooner than later. The small brewer license is now active.
  • The pending licenses for off-site taprooms remains as follows — Little Toad Creek in Las Cruces (new!); Ponderosa at El Vado Motel redevelopment (getting close); Santa Fe Downtown Taproom; Starr Brothers Alehouse (location TBA); Tumbleroot in Santa Fe (they will not sell beer out of the production facility down the street). Also, the Milton’s taproom in Roswell has an active license, but it is not yet open as far as we know.

That is all for now. As always, if you know anything about anything, please drop us a line at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com or contact us via direct message on Facebook or Twitter.

Have a great weekend, and good luck with any last-minute Christmas shopping!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister