Santa Fe for Beer Lovers: Best Breweries in the City Different

Cheers! Try some New Mexico craft beer!

Cheers! Try some New Mexico craft beer!

When it comes to food and drink, New Mexico is usually recognized for its rich food heritage - its unique blend of Hispanic, Native, and Anglo traditions and ingredients. Recently, however, New Mexico has been getting attention for a much newer trend - its explosion in craft breweries. In 2016, the Land of Enchantment was ranked #12 in the nation for breweries per capita, and while it isn't yet considered a craft beer destination like Oregon, Colorado, or Vermont, we think it's only a matter of time!

For beer-lovers, there has never been a better time to visit Santa Fe. Three new breweries have recently opened their doors, one of the city's biggest breweries has expanded to a shiny new brewing facility & taproom, and the food offerings at breweries have become top notch, meaning that you won't have to choose between a great meal and a great local brew. On top of that, more and more Santa Fe restaurants are taking their beer lists as seriously as their wine lists, and offering a range of unique New Mexico beers.

Here are our top brewery & taproom suggestions for visiting beer connoisseurs (all of the below places brew their own beer):

Duel Brewing Co.

Specialty: Belgian-style beers

Why we like it: Duel is one of Santa Fe's newer breweries, and although their beer list is small, it's full of creative and flavorful Belgian-style ales (think saisons). This is also a great spot for sour beer lovers! They're located in the Rufina neighborhood, one block from Meow Wolf, making it a great place to head after your Meow Wolf visit and ponder the mystery of the House of Eternal Return. They often feature live music in their industrial-chic taproom.

Food offerings: Duel's menu includes sandwiches, cheese & charcuterie plates, and bar snacks like German-style pretzels.

The details: 1352 Rufina Circle - (505) 395-6369 - Website

Rowley Farmhouse Ales

Specialty: Belgian-style beers

Why we like it: Another new addition to the Santa Fe beer scene, Rowley takes their brewing seriously, with the owner/head brewer splitting his time between brewing and working as a chemist at Los Alamos National Laboratories. They have been building their own beer list, with a focus on saisons and sours, as well as serving unique offerings from other breweries, from hoppy IPAs to salty goses. Their shaded outdoor area is a great place to spend a summer evening.

Food offerings: Rowley takes their food as seriously as their beer. They offer upscale gastropub fare, like braised flat iron poutine, green chile tuna melt, and duck banh mi.

The details: 1405 Maclovia St - (505) 428-0719 - Website

Chili Line Brewing

Specialty: Smoked beers (German-style rauchbier)

Why we like it: Santa Fe's smallest brewery also serves some of the most interesting beer in town. Chili Line - named after the now-defunct rail line that ran from Santa Fe to Colorado - draws inspiration from German rauchbier, which gets its smoky notes from drying malted barley over an open flame. Chili Line imports its barley from Bamberg, Germany, the capital of smoked beer. The beers range from subtly to intensely smoky - or you can order an IPA or German lager if you're looking for a more standard offering.

Food offerings: Chili Line shares a building with sister restaurant Pizzeria Da Lino, which serves up delicious homemade Italian fare, including excellent wood-fired pizzas. You can order off the restaurant's menu while sampling beers in the adjoining tap room.

The details: 204 N Guadalupe St - (505) 982-8474 - Website

Santa Fe Brewing Co.

Specialty: Always reliable range of IPAs, porters, stouts, and pale ales

Why we like it: Santa Fe's oldest brewery - it opened in 1988 - continues to stay relevant by pairing their popular "flagship" beers with creative seasonal and special releases. Some of the standouts on their flagship list are the Happy Camper IPA, the Black IPA, and the Imperial Java Stout. Their main brewery and taproom, off of I-25 in the south of town, doubles as a popular music venue (known as The Bridge). They also have a taproom in the suburb community of Eldorado. Unfortunately, neither of the taprooms are convenient to downtown, but you can always find their distinctive monochrome cans in bars and retail stores around the state.

Food offerings: SFBC does not have a food menu, but you'll likely find a food truck or two parked outside during music shows or other events.

The details (main brewery & taproom): 35 Fire Place - (505) 424-3333 - Website

Second Street Brewery (Railyard)

Specialty: Frequently changing mix of standard & creative beers

Why we like it: Since Second Street frequently releases new beers, there's always something new to try. Their beers range from standards like Kolsch and IPA to cream stouts and English-style bitters. Their Railyard location is a popular meeting spot for locals, especially during the summer, when they open their outdoor patio. This is also great place to catch local bands. Second Street recently opened a large brewing facility and taproom on Rufina Street, near Meow Wolf, and also has a taproom on 2nd Street (hence the name).

Food offerings: Second Street's popularity is due in part to their quality food offerings. They serve an eclectic mix of upscale pub food, lighter fare like soups and salads, and rich comfort food. Their green chile cheese burgers are a favorite!

The details (Railyard location): 1607 Paseo De Peralta - (505) 989-3278 - Website

Alison Nichols