Bow & Arrow Brewing Co.
Five newcomers are defining New Mexico beer's identity.
By Michael Dax
Photography by Riley Russill
With more than 85 breweries serving a little more than two million people, New Mexico ranks 10th for breweries per capita. More breweries open in the state every month. Here are a handful of breweries helping New Mexico beer develop its own distinctiveness.
Bow & Arrow Brewing Co., Albuquerque
Bow & Arrow's founders have grabbed headlines. As Native American women, Shyla Sheppard and Missy Begay represent two underrepresented demographics in the craft beer industry nationwide. The quality of their beer — some of the best beer in the state — often gets lost in the shuffle. The majority of their creations feature local ingredients, including native plants. They brew with house-cultivated wild yeasts that lend their beers a distinct terroir.
Beer Creek Brewing Co., Cerrillos
On the scenic Turquoise Trail between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, Beer Creek Brewing Co.'s patios offer prime people watching. The brewery is a true standout, however, because its owners also run nearby Crossed Saber Hops Company. All of Beer Creek's suds feature hops grown on the farm.
Blue Corn Brewery, Santa Fe
Blue Corn Brewery has been a staple on the New Mexico beer scene since it opened in 1997. Thanks to head brewer, Paul Mallory, a New Mexico native who took the helm in 2016, Blue Corn has reemerged as one of the best breweries in northern New Mexico. In 2018, its Gatekeeper IPA won the hotly contested New Mexico IPA challenge.
Ex Novo Brewing Co.
Ex Novo Brewing Co., Corrales
Founded in Portland in 2014, founder and president Joel Gregory returned to his native New Mexico last year to join the state's booming craft beer industry. The Corrales taproom has developed a loyal following led by beers such as Perle Haggard Pils and the Most Interesting Lager in the World. Ex Novo has also branched out with beers grounded in local ingredients, such as their prickly pear berliner weisse, "Cactus Wins the Lottery."
Rowley's Farmhouse Ales.
Rowley's Farmhouse Ales, Santa Fe
At the 2019 Great American Beer Festival, Rowley's Farmhouse Ales won more awards than any other brewery in the state. It topped the podium as the Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year, and took home three medals for individual beers, including gold for its Meier in the German-style sour ale category.