Recently as I made my way West from Denver, I wanted to spend a day or so in Santa Fe, NM and check out all that this quaint little southwestern town had to offer. Naturally, because it’s me we are talking about here, that meant stopping into a few of the local craft beer hangouts to sample some beers!
Though I was only in Santa Fe for 48 hours, I was able to make it to three different breweries and get a pretty good idea of the craft beer scene in this charming town. Each location offered its own distinct character and I tried a variety of fantastic beers in many shapes and styles!
The downtown location of Santa Fe Brewing was intimate, and you could tell this was the local watering hole as the bartended knew many of the patrons by name! Due to the smaller size, and limited natural light, I would say there was definitely more of a dive bar feel, but the wood paneled walls and abundance of plants gave me a great sense of comfort. The fireplace was a nice touch, and I could totally see myself here enjoying a pint on a cold, wintery Santa Fe day! The beers were tasty and my favorites were among the more creative offerings such as their Sunsetter; a farmhouse with Agave and Lime; and their Winter Warmer with Chili the Adobe Igloo. I love that their seasonal offerings really embody the nature of Santa Fe by using things such as Chilies and Agave!
My favorite brewery was the Railyard location of Second Street Brewing! All of the beers I tried here were fantastic and The City of Santa Fe actually was able to schedule some time for me to sit down and chat with Rod, the owner and brewmaster. Being told about the beers from the brewmaster himself while tasting makes for a whole different and unique experience. What I also liked about Second Street was that they are a restaurant as well. I like being able to grab lunch while tasting beers to make a whole day of it. I am planning on doing a brewery spotlight on Second Street Brewery, so keep your eyes peeled for that, but this is a stop that should be at the top of your Santa Fe Craft Beer list!
I received many recommendations to check out Rowley Farmhouse Ales, and as Farmhouses, Saisons, and Wild Ales tend to be some of my favorite styles I was more than happy to oblige! They had a nice variety of styles for patrons to try including a Barleywine and Wheatwine. I loved each beer I had, minus the Barleywine as that is a style I am still trying to teach myself to enjoy! But I will say compared to some other Barleywines I have had, this was definitely on the more manageable side for my palate. The space is incredibly cute with wooden, farmhouse motif, and there is a very nice covered patio, so you are protected from the elements year round. They also serve food, and I enjoyed a hefty portion of Green Chili fries to accompany my beer flight. Perhaps what I enjoyed most was the inviting and fun atmosphere that was created by the friendliness of the employees! I would definitely frequent this establishment often if I was a Santa Fe citizen, especially since they had a decent guest tap list as well! Obviously being in town for only a short time, I was only going to drink their beers, however I could see this being a top spot for locals wanting to try some out of state options!
As always, I had a great time checking out these Santa Fe Breweries, however I barely scratched the surface as there were many more to see. If you visit Santa Fe, I would absolutely recommend these three because I had such a lovely time, but if you have more time check out some of the others and let me know your thoughts. I would love to expand my beer horizon if I ever make it back! Cheers and happy beer traveling!