As New Mexico beer culture continues to thrive, it seems new breweries open their doors on a weekly basis; meanwhile, the established brewers are constantly turning out new styles, playful seasonals and experimental batches. It can be hard to keep up and try them all. What’s a committed New Mexico beer aficionado to do?
The answer, my beer enthusiast friends, is simple: Visit a beer bar. More and more local drinking establishments have come to our rescue, swooping in and catering to craft beer drinkers. These bars, bistros and even a movie theater offer a variety of local taps, and often some exotic options, too, so they are perfect for expansive sampling. By offering a mix of the novel and the familiar, they are crowd-pleasing in their scope. The broad variety makes them ideal for visitors who would like to try as many different New Mexico brews as possible, for novice beer drinkers hoping to try a range of styles and breweries, or for any group of beer-drinking pals who simply cannot agree on which is the best brewery to visit on any given night.
In Albuquerque, locavore restaurant Bistronomy B2B has been an ardent supporter of local breweries and wineries since they opened back in 2013. Today, in addition to their own line of house-brewed beers they have 22 taps from other New Mexico breweries. Bistronomy Marketing Associate Micah Merriman proudly proclaims, “We pick award-winning beers from only the best local New Mexico breweries. Many places offer large selections of beers from big name corporations, but we believe that New Mexico has far too many quality selections not to feature local breweries first.” She elaborates, “We want to cater to the taste of many different kinds of beer drinkers, and offer something for everyone.”
More recently, two Austin originals have found like-minded compatriots in Santa Fe beer drinkers. Violet Crown Cinemas and Whole Foods have both augmented their primary businesses with a tantalizing array of beers to enhance their customers’ experiences. Now patrons can enjoy a frothy cold one while watching a movie, or during their regular stop at the grocer.
Violet Crown Cinemas’ Bar Manager Steven Anderson explains the reasoning behind the theater’s beer selection; how offering 30 varieties of craft beers—both popular and obscure—mirrors the cinema’s concept of showing both indie and mainstream movies. “Not everyone is going to like a barrel-aged Belgian-style Grand Cru, but those that do are very appreciative of it,” he says. “I know not everyone has acquired a taste for bold, American hops, but Elevated IPA from La Cumbre is far and away our bestseller beer wise, and there is a reason for that; it’s reflective of New Mexico’s beer culture as a whole.”
Whole Foods Market is also seizing the opportunity to tap into the beer-drinking market with last fall’s addition of the Piñon Pub to their Cerrillos location. The pub has 24 diverse taps ranging from local standbys to wild imports. As Benji Fitts, Whole Foods’ metro marketing team leader, says, “We feel that a wide selection is important to our customers, who are seeking novel culinary and sensory experiences.” Continue reading