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On A Tank of Gas: Beer!

On A Tank of Gas: Beer!

Tour the Best Brews ABQ has to Offer

Editor’s note: We hope you enjoy this quick tour of some of the local beer spots in town, and invite you to check them out. Please remember to be safe when you do so, and make sure the beer isn’t affecting your abilities to make good choices when you leave.

By Moriah Carty

So, it’s Saturday and you want an adventure, but you really want a beer. Why not combine them?

Believe it or not, there are more than 20 different microbrews throughout Albuquerque and surrounding areas.

This week’s adventure will take a tour of a few of them. The following breweries were selected for their interesting interior design and overall cleverness. This list is by no means comprehensive, just a few places to go.


Albuquerque to Kaktus Brewery, Bernalillo: 18 miles

togkaktus    Tucked away on a backroad in Bernalillo, Kaktus has one of the funkiest vibes for a brewery. Don’t let the distance scare you away, it’s absolutely worth the drive. Chairs hang from trees in the parking lot, and scattered about are brightly colored doors. The beer names are about as creative as the space:  Harry Porter, Shhtout, and so on.

When I think of Kaktus, I think of colors and eccentricity. Everything is a different color, every piece of art is a different medium, and the patio is a montage of outdoor fixtures. Overall, the space is mellow and cozy. A favorite place for a relaxing afternoon and tasty beer, which pairs nicely with their delicious pizza selections.


Kaktus Brewing Co. to Boxing Bear Brewing Co.: 14 miles

togboxing-bear   Boxing Bear almost feels like a pub with the low lighting and dark wood interior. Their menu also reflects that vibe, touting various Paninis and sandwiches.

Like Kaktus, their beer names are inventive, definitely taking the cake for cleverness: Paw Swipe Pale Ale, Ambear Ale, Uppercut IPA. All of their beer names relate to some aspect of boxing or bears.


Boxing Bear Brewing Co. to Red Door Brewing Co.: 8 miles

togred-door   Red Door Brewing Company is an all-time favorite. The vibe is relaxed but energized. The brewery hides amidst big industrial businesses.

Like Boxing Bear, Red Door showcases local artists, a new one every month. On occasion, they’ll have live music. If that’s not for you, they have a Nintendo 64 with Mario Kart. Though they don’t have a kitchen, delicious food is always nearby. They regularly have food trucks on site that suggest the food and beer to pair.

Red Door excels at their diversity of available beers, and they don’t disappoint. Porters are dark and IPAs robust, to name a few. Their cider (gluten free) is remarkably dry, and they do a fabulous hot cider in the winter – cinnamon sticks, honey and all.


Red Door Brewing Co. to Santa Fe Brewing Co., Albuquerque Tap Room: 2.4 miles

togsanta-fe-taproom    Most people know Santa Fe Brewery Company for their canned beer, but the delicious Happy Camper IPA is also available on tap at the Santa Fe Brewing Co., Albuquerque Tap Room. And if you’ve exhausted all the options, the tap room always has a guest brew on tap.

With one of the most innovative uses of space, the taproom calls shipping containers its home. The repurposed containers are also home to several other, mostly food, vendors. So be it pizza or tacos or burgers you desire, food options are abundant and savory. The tap room allows outside food in, so dinner can be had with a beer.


Remember, don’t drink and drive, but have fun. After a long day of drinking, it’s bed time.

Moriah Carty is an Albuquerque local with a strong sense of wanderlust.

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David Lynch is an award-winning film critic and journalist and the current editor-in-chief of the New Mexico Daily Lobo.

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