* Note – I have been intending on starting the Beer Trekker portion of the blog for some time now and this is the first in what I hope is a long series about the craft breweries that I am lucky enough to check out. Check back on Tuesdays for more beer related articles. Cheers!!!
The brewery closed at 9:00 and I arrived there at 8:30 to try one beer, get a feel for the place, and then get back to town. The brewery is not in the touristy area of the Plaza or the hip Railyard district (not that there is anything wrong with these areas). Santa Fe Brewing Company (SFBC) is located just a stones throw away from the interstate in a light industrial part of town. I heard a rumor that they even have a couple of foosball tables so I was hoping I could get a game or two in before heading home.
As I walked from the parking lot, there were several people outside having a good time, locals I could only assume. I walked past them and into the tasting room where I presumed there were locals firmly seated at the bar. Some places I’ve been, locals don’t always commingle with tourists, and I wasn’t sure if I gave off the tourist vibe or not. As I’ve mentioned before, I typically try not to behave like a tourist but more like that of a seasoned traveler and was dressed in simple khaki shorts and a tee shirt.
I ordered a hefeweizen from the bartender and sipped on it for a while and was very pleased with my choice. SFBC’s version of a hefeweizen was crisp with hints of banana and cloves, having only a slight bitterness to it. While I was still milking the first beer (only one since I had to drive), a couple of locals next to me started chatting me up, and I immediately felt like this was going to be a comfortable place to spend an hour or so. Then another friend of theirs joined in on the conversation and it went on for some time. One of the ‘boys’ bought me my second hefeweizen and a round of Java Stout shots for everyone at the bar. I couldn’t have walked into a better crowd of locals that were so welcoming to me being the ‘outsider’ on unknown turf!
I then managed to dovetail myself into a tour that was being organized for a group of distributors from out of state. I stayed at the back and chatted it up with the owner about distribution in Colorado and Texas, the current challenges of expansion, and even craft brewing documentaries currently on Netflix. We even tasted beer right off of the canning line.
All in all, I had a great time at The Santa Fe Brewing Company. The staff was friendly, the patrons were so generous and fun to talk to, the atmosphere was upbeat and down to earth, and for me…the Hefeweizen was outstanding. And I didn’t even get to play foosball 😡⚽️!
On a side note, there are craft breweries popping up all across the U.S., and in some very unlikely areas, mainly wharehouse districts and industrial areas. Some of these areas might scare the beer snob away, but these are some of the best new breweries that are up and coming. For example We met up with a family member in Los Angeles, CA at Golden Road Brewing. It felt like we made a wrong turn it was so industrial, but once we found it we thoroughly enjoyed it. Upslope Brewing Company is a smaller craft brewery in the industrial part of east Boulder, CO. One of our favorites, hands down was the Kona Brewing Company. Even though this larger scale brewery with restaurant makes it feel like your sitting outside any normal restaurant with many different beer choices, it as well is a bit off the beaten path to get to in a wharehouse area, but once you’re there you don’t think about it, and you’re in Hawaii of all places. Welcome to the new art of craft breweries, it’s an exciting time to be a beer fan. Don’t blink or you’ll most surely miss one!