Santa Fe Brewing Company
Forward-thinking, environmentally friendly, technologically advanced and the oldest brewery in New Mexico
Santa Fe Brewing Company has a long history in the Southwest brewing tradition, dating back to the late 1800’s when it was first incorporated in 1892. The name survived a number of closures during prohibition and the conglomeration of American brewing following that period, but the company was finally officially resurrected in 1988 when Mike Levis acquired an original 7-barrel brewing system and began brewing the Pale Ale that remains the Santa Fe Brewing Company’s flagship brew today.
Levis was determined to kickstart the local brewing tradition, and over the next decade, a number of beer festivals and competitions took notice of the brand and its growing lineup of unique and flavorful seasonal craft beers.
In 1996, the brewery was taken over by Ty Levis (Mike Levis’ son), Brian Lock, Dave Forester, and Carlos Muller. They relocated and upgraded the brewery to a “gigantic” 15-barrel frankenbrew system, which allowed Santa Fe to begin selling beer all over New Mexico and parts of Colorado. In 2003, Brian Lock bought out the other partners and relocated the brewery once again, this time expanding to a 13,000 square foot building at the top of New Mexico’s Turquoise Trail.
In the past six years, Santa Fe Brewing Company has grown even more, adding a canning line, expanding distribution, building an underground barrel cave for aging sour beers, and hiring Bert Boyce as the new Brewmaster to carry on the tradition of making the highest quality craft beers. The brewery also started its own hop farm in Rinconada, New Mexico, right alongside the Rio Grande. Here, four varieties of estate grown hops are being harvested (including Neomexicanus, a wild hop indigenous to Northern New Mexico and one of the only native North American hops suitable for brewing).
Santa Fe beers can be enjoyed at three different taproom locations, including the newest Albuquerque space that was built completely out of recycled shipping containers (one of the few ways the brewery shows its dedication to sustainability). The brewery is also solar powered and relies 100% on natural well water (meaning no water is wasted). While incredibly environmentally friendly, Santa Fe also garners serious awards for its lineup of premium craft beers - two of which were selected for this month's feature. Enjoy!