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Spirits festival features several NM distilleries

Local craft spirits will be showcased during the New Mexico Distillers Guild’s first Spirits Festival.

The festival, on Saturday, Sept. 23, will feature several of the distilleries in New Mexico.

Eventgoers will receive a tasting glass to sample products offered by the distilleries, including Albuquerque’s newest distillery, Still Spirits; Broken Trail Spirits + Brew; and Left Turn Distilling, Albuquerque’s oldest distillery, according to Brian Langwell, vice president of the New Mexico Distillers Guild. Algodones Spirits, Little Toad Creek, and Santa Fe Spirits also will be part of the event.

“It will be a festival format, where there will be tastings, and we’ll have signature cocktails that we will have for sale, and we will all be selling our products,” “We will have bottle sales, and we will all of course be telling stories about our individual distilleries and kind of let everybody know about the distilling business in New Mexico.”

Langwell, who owns Left Turn Distilling, will be featuring all of his products.

“We make a really clean vodka,” he said. “We make a very unusual gin, which is basically a 150-year-old recipe. We make a very New Mexico product. It’s New Mexico piñon rum. It’s the world’s first and only piñon rum.”

All nine distilleries in the state are part of the guild.

“We’re going on two years,” Langwell said of the guild. “We’re just a guild to get all the distillers together to try and basically change some of our laws in the state. Trying to organize our thoughts, you know, we get together, we share ideas, we share recipes sometimes, and like I said, we’re trying to get some things changed in the state.”

The trend nationwide is that the distilling business is going to follow the same pattern that breweries did, Langwell said.

“The same thing is going to happen in New Mexico,” Langwell said of the growing distilling industry. “It’s happening in all the other states right now. … We’re actually on a growth pattern that doubles the growth pattern of breweries right now. It’s kind of interesting if you just look at the numbers. Ten years ago, there were basically seven or eight distilleries in the United States, and now there is over 1,000.”