After a three year hiatus, 18 New Mexico breweries ignite Downtown Las Cruces as the Blazin’ Brewfest returns on June 3.
With admission, guests receive a commemorative pint glass and can sample craft beer from the around the state. The feeling of community from not only the breweries, but from the beer drinkers was palpable in the previous seven years of the Brewfest.
“In 2023 we are finally getting back to a sense of normal because of the pandemic. What a better reason than to come to together over the mutual love of craft New Mexican beer? I would really like to get people involved and excited about beer,” said New Mexico Brewers Guild (NMBG) Executive Director Ebbie Edmonston.
Breweries from all over the state will be at the festival, but priority was given to Las Cruces breweries with a lottery to determine the remaining spots. Edmonston said with this festival and future events, the NMBG wants to highlight breweries of the hosting city and give them the opportunity to shine.
Likewise, visiting breweries that attend give guests a way to sample beer they may not be able to get traditionally in Las Cruces. Edmonston said four breweries will be coming to this Brewfest for the first time: Ex Novo, Unhinged Brewing, Downshift Brewing Co. and Public House 28 Brewery.
Eddie Gutierrez and his wife Shelby co-own Downshift Brewing Co. in Ruidoso. They opened in 2022 and in just over a year, opened two other taprooms in Alto and Albuquerque. Eddie said they focus on the good in life and celebrate the things that make it great. A mindset applied across the board to the atmosphere, beer and food they create.
Downshift Brewing will have a nitro beer on draft with their Irish Dry Stout to bring something different to the brewfest.
“You only get so many beers to drink in life, you might as well make them as good as you can,” Eddie said.
Susan and Jerry Grandle opened Spotted Dog Brewery in 2014 in Mesilla. Jerry was a home brewer for 15 years and his passion for craft beer has created a friendly neighborhood feel to the brewery. Having been involved in Blazin’ Brewfests in the past, Susan said getting back into festival mode is what she is looking forward to and seeing people and letting them taste their beer. Spotted Dog will have a pale ale on tap among other favorites for the brewfest.
Icebox Brewing Company just celebrated its fourth anniversary in 2023. With three locations in Las Cruces and one in Hatch, the brewery has created a unique experience at each taproom.
Since the Brewfest is in June, Brian Weidauer, co-founder and general manager, said Icebox Brewing will serve beers that will be refreshing like their Mexican Lager, a new Strawberry Watermelon Shandy (that will raise money for the Community Foundation of Southern NM) and their All Dogs Go to Hefen.
Public House 28 has been open for about 18 months, but has quickly become a destination in Anthony, N.M. The brewery is on a half-acre outdoor garden.
“We believe that we have one of the coolest spots to hang out with family and pets in all of the great state of New Mexico. Our space is truly demonstrating why this is The Land of Enchantment,” said owner John Bruker.
This will be PH28’s first Brewfest and Burker is looking forward to the experience, sharing beer with a beer loving community and hanging out with the Enchanting New Mexico brewing community.