It is a new year, new look and new name for the former Blue Corn Brewery in Santa Fe.
After renovations and a revamped menu, the building is now home to Hidden Mountain Brewery, owned by Santa Fe Dining.
“We just wanted to, basically, use that name because it kind of presents an idea of northern Rio Grande Valley clean air, clean water, and we basically just built on that idea of a New Mexican concept, something that uses local ingredients and local climate,” said Rick Pedram, president of Santa Fe Dining. “We try to get as much of our stuff that we need to create the beers from local sources, so it just kind of blended itself really well together. And then we thought the best food that could possibly go with the beer would be barbecue and just kind of the concept of outdoors.”
The Hidden Mountain experience will be more elevated than the run-of-the-mill smokehouse.
“We wanted to do something just a little bit nicer than a regular barbecue house, so we kind of elevated a little bit almost to a gastropub kind of a concept, and so we make sure we use the highest-quality meats overall,” Pedram said. “All of our wood that we use to smoke the meat is actually New Mexican oak, and we take a lot of pride in making sure that we stay true to the traditional culinary concepts and culinary traditions of New Mexico when it comes to barbecuing.”
The barbecue offerings will be New Mexican-style.
“We wanted it to be New Mexican barbecue, and so everything from the brining process to what we use to actually smoke the meats and the long process of smoking the meat from 12 to 16 hours overnight in our smokehouse,” Pedram said. “Basically, we figured if we could get the protein or the main portion of every dish to taste great, you can do so many things around it. Everything from tacos to nachos to anything that you make using this delicious brisket or delicious pork or sausage or turkey is going to taste fantastic.”
Hidden Mountain may have changed the cuisine, but the brewery remains under the leadership of brewmaster Paul Mallory.
“(He) has been our master brewer for the last 4½ years, and he’s still with us,” Pedram said. “He knows how to make great beer. He’s going to basically do what he was doing before, because Blue Corn’s beer program was very successful. We’ve won many awards at so many competitions. So we’re going to keep the tradition of the beer going just the way it was. It was just the food that we changed a little bit and enhanced the menu.”
Wine by the glass is also available, and the location has a full bar for patrons who prefer cocktails.
“Everything is geared for being able to just sit down and relax, wait for your barbecue, and have either beer, wine or a cocktail, whatever you wish,” Pedram said. “It’s all about getting friends and family together. Hopefully, when things are lifted and when everybody gets vaccinated and things start getting better, we look forward to just having groups of friends and family get together again.”
The pandemic has not only affected dining throughout the state, but it has hurt many financially. Santa Fe Dining wants to help people in need by offering 50 free meals between 3 and 4 p.m. every Sunday at Hidden Mountain. Two of its other restaurants in Santa Fe – Maria’s New Mexican Kitchen and Rio Chama Steakhouse – also are offering free meals.
“We invite anybody that has been affected (by the pandemic), any families that are needy or they’re going through a tough time right now,” Pedram said. “… Anybody and everybody is invited to just drive up, no reservations necessary, no questions asked. They just basically drive up to our curbside and we will hand the families a bag with a family dinner for four people.”