Marble Brewery was born from the need to do more for the New Mexico brewing scene and is now celebrating a decade of success.
“I’ve been brewing in this town since 1999 and I’ve seen the brewing community head in slow and blossom over the years,” said Marble Brewing President Ted Rice. “Marble was born out of my aspiration to do more for the brewing scene in New Mexico. At the time when Marble opened in 2008 there wasn’t a local brewery that was built around having a community space. It was focused precisely on beer and a brewery that was packaging for local distribution. We saw an opportunity for providing an experience and a local flavor that didn’t exist.”
Rice moved to New Mexico in 1999 to become an assistant brewer at Blue Corn Brewery. He soon moved up to head brewer in 2000 and built up Blue Corn and Chama River Brewing Company. Working as a pub brewer since 1999 gave Rice the opportunity to engage consumers behind the bar and research their palates. A few years later, Rice took what he learned and began creating award-winning beers at Marble.
“We found a building and it was located off of Marble Avenue,” Rice said. “It is where the name came from but the space seemed perfect to us because it was located a little off center of Downtown. It had some parking attached and plenty of room for production and also a sizeable taproom. So when I looked at the production space and I saw about 5,000 square feet to brew with I said ‘Wow, if I can sell 5,000 barrels in this space.’ So we sold 5,000 barrels in our first full calendar year of operation so that would be 2009. And then we were just scrambling to keep up ever since then.”
Marble started with two brewers – Rice and Daniel Jaramillo, who is now head brewer at La Cumbre Brewing Company – and 10 to 15 beertenders. Marble now has 25 people on the production side and 130 employees. It also has expanded with a Westside taproom, which opened in 2012, and a Northeast Heights location, which opened in 2016.
“Realizing that we only have so much capacity downtown to fill our distribution needs I wanted to keep our taprooms thriving with fun and original flavors on a regular basis and so when we were presented with the opportunity of opening the Northeast Heights taproom and how much square footage we had to work with it was an obvious decision to install a pilot brewery or what we call the Mav Lab, short for the logo the Maverick. Our brewmaster Josh Trujillo is stationed at the Mav Lab full time, technically refining, creating and exploring new ways with ingredients that are the core of this effort that we have come to know and love.”
The Westside taproom started at 1,000 square feet and has undergone a couple of expansions. It now offers 350 seats and three bar areas. Marble is in the process of designing a 2,000-square-foot private event space at its Northeast Heights location.
There are several events planned as well as a tap and bottle release of its 10th Anniversary Ale Ringleader on Wednesday, April 18. The ale is based on Marble’s popular Double White but with an enhanced hopping from Cascade and a conditioning with Brettanomyces. The anniversary fun continues with an ’80s Prom on Thursday, April 19, at Marble’s Westside location. Wear your righteous ’80s gear, dance the night away to tubular jams, and capture some bodacious memories in the photo booth.
The grand celebration starts at noon and lasts until midnight April 21 at Marble Downtown. Admission is free before 3 p.m. and $5 per person after 3 p.m.
“This party has been about two years in the making,” said Barbie Gonzalez, Marble’s director of tap room operations. “We started discussing plans for this party a long time ago and wanted to make sure the 10 year was going to be a huge hit, a huge success. So obviously we’re really involved in community and we love to support the local economy, other artists, other local vendors. This year we wanted to bring everybody together for a big celebration. We have a fantastic music lineup. We are going to have a market, a mini market in the north parking lot. We’re going to work with some of those people we work with some of the people we’ve worked with in the past as far as fundraisers and local nonprofits having them onsite and we’re doing a different things this year where we’re having sort of this carnival sideshow circus theme. We’re going to have a lot of street performers on the day of the event as well.”