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Spirits festival will feature some of the best of NM distillers

Try some of the best vodka, gin, whiskeys and rums New Mexico has to offer at the second annual New Mexico Distillers Guild Spirits Festival.

Several New Mexico distilleries will participate in the event Saturday, Aug. 11, including Albuquerque’s Broken Trail Spirits + Brew, Hollow Spirits, Left Turn Distilling, Still Spirits and Tractor Brewing Co.; Santa Fe’s Santa Fe Spirits; and Silver City’s Little Toad Creek Brewery & Distillery.

Tractor Brewing Co. recently acquired a distilling license. It plans to begin with vodka and later venture into gin and whiskey, which take longer to age. The distillery operation is at its Wells Park location, on Fourth NW, which will soon serve spirits in addition to its craft beer and cider.

“We’re going to do our best to have something available in a bottle (at the New Mexico Distillers Guild Spirits Festival),” said David Hargis, Tractor’s head brewer. “If not, we will be there promoting what we’re going to be doing and possibly bring some drinks or some signature cocktails (in which) we actually use spirits from other distilleries here in New Mexico.”

Also new on the scene is Hollow Spirits, which is nearing opening. It will be on First NW between Marble Brewery and Dialogue Brewery. Hollow Spirits will have its vodka and gin available for tasting.

“For us, it’s kind of like the majority of distilleries, what you really do is start with the clear alcohols like vodka, rum, gin, something like that, because that is pretty fast, to go from grain to glass, it only takes 7 to 10 days for those things, but you have to pay the bills in order to do the aged stuff,” said Frank Holloway, Hollow Spirits owner and festival event coordinator. “So we want to do aged rum, aged agave spirits and, of course, the whiskeys, but those take time.”

The New Mexico Distillers Guild created the festival to encourage people to drink local.

“We’re trying to find our footing and basically want to start doing things like the festival,” Holloway said. “Hopefully, we can get our name out there to show people they need to drink local alcohol. … And that’s mainly one of the big reasons to do this distillery guild advantage, to get our name out there. There’s power in numbers, so we’re definitely trying to get everybody together.”