It's taps for Downtown's Monks' Corner Taproom - Albuquerque Journal

It’s taps for Downtown’s Monks’ Corner Taproom

A cozy taproom that opened less than two years ago in the Imperial Building has called it quits, and caught some of its fans by surprise.

The Monks’ Corner Taproom on its Facebook page gave no reason for the sudden closure of the 73-seat venue at Silver and Third SW.

“Made with care and prayer, we’ve truly enjoyed serving you, your friends and your families at our humble establishment,” the post says. “Please continue to look for Monks’ Ales in stores and stay tuned for future updates.”

The taproom, in the ground floor commercial space at the Imperial, was operated by Abbey Brewing Co., a venture born at Monastery of Christ in the Desert near Abiquiu. The monastery is home to a small brewing system where all Abbey beers are tested and honed.

Since the first release of Monks’ Ale, in 2005, Abbey Brewing’s beers have been available in New Mexico in both on-premise and off-premise locations.

A brew-tiful thing

Construction is moving forward on Growler USA, a brewpub scheduled to open in a few months in Las Lomitas Plaza on the West Side. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

Although one beer purveyor has closed, another will soon be pouring its first suds on the West Side.

The first Albuquerque location of craft beer bar Growler USA, scheduled to open this fall, is under construction at Unser Boulevard and La Morada Place NW.

Growler USA, which will be run by franchisee Acoma Pueblo, focuses on partnering with growing craft breweries that are looking for another outlet to serve their products. The company takes its name from a container used for beer and has a multipronged approach to ensuring the brews it serves retain their quality.

Growler USA is a brewpub dedicated to offering only 100 percent American-made craft beverages and a food menu designed to celebrate the flavors of each drink. Each location offers a variety of regional and nationally recognized beverages, with up to 100 taps of craft beer, lagers, ales, draft wine, and handcrafted nonalcoholic beverages such as root beer and kombucha tea.

“As the craft beer industry continues to flourish and innovate, Growler USA is seeing immense success and demand in new markets,” John Kutac, president of Growler USA, said in a statement. “We’re excited to bring on these franchise partners to explore new territories, and plan to continue on this path of national expansion.”

New take on tea

A new shop to get a spot of tea has opened in ABQ Uptown.

NobiliTea, which carries an assortment of over 120 tea varieties, loose-leaf teas and drinks brewed fresh in the store, has leased a 1,000-square-foot retail space at 2240 Q St. NE. Gavin Fite, a commercial real estate broker with the Albuquerque office of Retail Solutions, represented the tenant in the recent transaction. The store is taking the space of the former Teavana.

Sol Rio hits Albertsons shelves

Word already is getting out about Sol Rio Coffee, and one large grocer is stocking the product in its stores.

Fans of the plucky new brand helmed by Allen Bassett and Jon Preist can now find several varieties at their nearest Albertsons. They include First Flight (light roast), Ladron Peak (dark roast) and a piñon flavor.

The company, which launched earlier this year, specializes in hand-roasted, organic coffee in special blends and natural flavors.

Bassett and Priest also operate a 7,200-square-foot property at Eighth and Bellamah NW in the Sawmill District. There, they roast and package beans and run a small retail shop in the front.

The sweet life

We love the “best-of lists” when it comes to food. Recently, a website called Simplemost set out on a sweet task. The authors scoured countless Yelp reviews, Trip Advisor entries, restaurant websites “and drooled over way too many pictures of confections “to bring readers the single most delicious dessert in each state. New Mexico’s winner is the birthday cake at the Range Cafe in Albuquerque.

“Every day should be your birthday and the folks at the Range Cafe make it possible for you to have birthday cake every day too,” according to the Simplemost posting. “The restaurant’s other desserts are to die for – like Life By Chocolate cake, and Death By Lemon tart – and supposedly the key lime pie is the best around.”

Steve Sinovic covers the retail, hospitality and tourism beats for the Journal. He can be reached at or by calling 505-823-3919.

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