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Tapping the Heights: Quarter Celtic expands, opens brewpub on Juan Tabo

Assistant manager Julian Garcia prepares tables as the Quarter Celtic Tap Room gets ready for the dinner crowd. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

Quarter Celtic Brewpub has received a lot of love from residents of Albuquerque’s Northeast Heights, so it was a no-brainer to open a taproom there.

“I think we kind of felt, in looking around, the Northeast Heights for a while has been kind of barren of good beer offerings,” said Julian Garcia, Quarter Celtic Tap Room assistant manager. “That’s starting to change, so we wanted to get up here and be a part of that, and kind of get our foot in the door up here. There’s a big population of craft beer drinkers up here that we feel have been underserved for a while. So we just wanted to get up here. We have a ton of people that come and visit us at the original location saying, ‘I love this place. I travel here from Tramway and Lomas or Indian School and Juan Tabo,’ so it just felt like a really good fit. We love all the neighborhoods around here.”

Patrons in the area Garcia has spoken with have voiced their happiness in making a shorter trip to the 3,000-square-foot taproom on Juan Tabo, which opened recently. The original location is at San Mateo and Lomas NE.

“A lot of people go, ‘We always go to the other one, but this one’s closer. It’s great,’ or they’ll wander in kind of unfamiliar with Quarter Celtic,” Garcia said. “They might not be familiar with our other location, but they’re excited about an Irish place in this part of town. So they’ll wander in, ask to see the menu, and go ‘Oh, you do craft beer,’ or they’re aware of us from the beer side of things, not the food side of things. In talking to people, it’s been really fun to sell our concept, because we make great food and we make great beer.”

The taproom features the same food menu as the original brewpub. Guests can enjoy the same fish and chips, wings and Celtic fare, as well as the same specials, such as Mór-buck Mac & Cheese Monday, Taco Tuesday, and Wing Wednesday.

“People love our fish and chips,” Garcia said. “We’re always getting rave reviews. I’ll come over to bus a table and their plate’s clean, so definitely our fish and chips are absolutely worth trying. And then great Irish stuff like our shepherd’s pie, Scotch eggs, that kind of thing, so if you’re not into Irish food, we’ve got burgers, wings. We’ve got something for every palate, but our Irish offerings, I think, are really solid.”

The taproom also will carry Quarter Celtic’s staple beers Mór-buck India pale ale, the Crimson Lass Red Ale, Pedro O’Flanagan’s Mexican Lager and MacLomas Stout, as well as rotating seasonals. Local cider and wines also are available.

“We’re selling a lot of the Mór-buck IPA,” Garcia said. “The Mór-buck IPA is always going to be really popular, since it’s a really IPA popular town. The Mexican lager, the Pedro O’Flanagan’s, is really popular. It’s one of our best-sellers overall. For anyone who hasn’t tried it, it’s kind of a classic Mexican lager – really refreshing, easy-drinking lager.”

Co-owner and head brewer Brady Mckeown keeps the beer selection interesting. He is offering Dark Pedro, which has a light caramel malt character that lends a bit of sweetness to Pedro O’Flanagan’s Mexican Lager, according to Quarter Celtic’s Facebook site. The Rosé Marie is a refreshing option for patrons who prefer wine, Garcia said.

“I feel like Brady does a great job of rotating through fun styles, like the Raspberry Pedro, for example, or the Scotch ale,” Garcia said. “He does a great job of fun beers, things that are up and coming, like the sour beers.”

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