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Cantero to open in Brewery District

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Cantero Brewing Company is the newest addition to the Brewery District. Owner Katie Oueis is remodeling the building once occupied by Firkin Brewing. (Photo courtesy of Katie Oueis)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Cantero Brewing is about to join the landscape of what is sometimes called the Brewery District between Comanche and Candelaria east of Interstate 25.

Though in close proximity to La Cumbre Brewing Company and Canteen Brewhouse, owner Katey Oueis said Cantero is in the perfect spot.

“I’d been in the planning stages for over a year before I found a location,” Oueis said. “But the spot is perfect for us.”

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The building previously housed Firkin Brewing, which closed last November.

Leasing was handled by Bo Galles at Collier’s International. “It was a perfect fit. It is right off the freeway, and the building is already fitted infrastructure-wise for a brewery,” said Galles.

Oueis grew up near Ponderosa Winery, which is south of Jemez Springs, and said she learned a lot from the New Mexico-based vineyard about the fermentation process and how to market locally.

Oueis has big plans for the new brewing company, at 3351 Columbia NE. She is remodeling the interior of the 5,000-square-foot building and is adding a roughly 600-square-foot patio with a fireplace and “water feature.” There will be a full kitchen, brewing facility and 2,500 square feet of dining space.

Oueis plans to provide fresh local food in a farm-to-table model and said her menu will change throughout the year as different items come into season.

Oueis said she is motivated by her life struggles and a desire to make a difference.

“I was a single mom and, you know, I wanted better for my daughter and my family and myself,” she said. “I also wanted to put forth a female voice in this largely male-dominated (industry).”

Brewing duties will be headed by the team of David Rosebeary, who is strong with malts and darker beers, and George Gonzales, who will handle the hops.

Oueis said she plans to have construction work completed by late October or November, with an opening three weeks after that.

She said she plans later to expand to other parts of the city with two to three additional taprooms.

“We are currently mapping out locations,” Galles said. “It’s still very much in the planning stages.”

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