Duel Brewery is closed, faces wage investigation

SANTA FE – Duel Brewery, which played something of a ground-breaking role in Santa Fe, has closed.

Efforts to reach Duel owner Trent Edwards by phone or messaging have been unsuccessful since Monday. A handmade sign on the front door of the brewery, at 1228 Parkway Dr. near Meow Wolf, says, “Duel Now Closed.”

Meanwhile, the state Department of Workforce Solutions is investigating the brewery on 10 claims of wage theft for alleged unpaid wages. The department has issued a subpoena for financial records from the business, according to a spokeswoman.

A handmade sign on the front door of Duel Brewery in Santa Fe indicates the business has closed. (MEGAN BENNETT/JOURNAL)

Duel, which offered food and sometimes music in addition to beer, helped break in what’s now known as the Rufina Arts District. Since the brewery opened in 2013, the former industrial area has developed with arts-related projects like Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return, galleries and theaters.

Also, while Santa Fe now has many craft brewers, Duel came along when just a small group of longtimers — Santa Fe Brewing, Il Vicino pizza restaurant and Second Street Brewery — were the main purveyors of local beer in the City Different. Duel has faced close-by competition since 2017, when Second Street Brewing opened its third Santa Fe location in the Rufina district.

Edwards staked out different ground than most local brewers, focusing on Belgian-style beers rather than super-hoppy products. An Albuquerque branch of Duel closed last year.

The Santa Fe Reporter weekly, in a news story this week, reported that Edwards messaged Duel employees about the brewery’s demise after the close of business on Jan. 27. Two former Duel employees told the Reporter they had since filed wage claims with the state.

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