For an authentically local dining and drinking experience, head to the Red River Brewing Company. Located on West Main Street, the new brewery opened last Memorial Day. New Mexico’s highest elevation brewery was founded by Michael Calhoun, who was born and raised in Red River, and his family. The brewery is already gaining a reputation for distinctive local beer and good food.
The rustic décor, including windmill fans, barn wood, and mining references, speaks to the history of Red River as a mining boomtown and place to homestead. Garage doors open to the patio on mild days and a fire outside keeps diners warm during snowy times.
The menu features a selection of starters, including nachos, chicken wings and more unusual fare like beer-battered fried pickle spears. You can try The Hatch Burger – covered in grilled Hatch green chile and cheddar cheese. There a variety of sandwiches, salads and desserts, including the Mile High Ice Cream Pie with layers of coffee and chocolate ice cream, topped with whipped cream and sweet peanut butter sauce.
And of course, there is beer – lots of beer. Fourteen different varieties are brewed on site like the Copper Chair Amber – a red brew with hints of biscuits and chocolate and the Ed Iver Pale Ale with its earthy spice and piney finish. All the beer is made here with clean, cold Red River water and grain from Monte Vista, Colorado. There is a house-brewed root beer and a selection of wines, including a Wicked Kreations Chokecherry wine.
The brew room is visible through the glass with its shiny silver tanks full of fermenting beer. The nearby cold room stores 25 tanks of beer connected with direct lines to taps at the bar. You might catch a glimpse of the oldest son Chris Calhoun at work as head brew master.
Michael Calhoun invites everyone to visit Red River Brewing Company for the opening of Red River Ski Area. “Along with all the natural snow, the ski area has some great snow-making capacity. We haven’t missed a Thanksgiving Day opening in 30 years,” says Calhoun.
Red River Brewing Company was named New Mexico Brewery of the Year by New Mexico Restaurant Association. Visit at 217 West Main Street in Red River; open daily at 11 am. Check out the menu at www.redriverbrewing.com or call (575) 754-4422.