A party delayed: Hidden Mountain Brewing holding pandemic-postponed grand opening celebration

Hidden Mountain Brewing Co. in Santa Fe will have two cask tappings and a couple of new beer releases during its grand opening celebration, July 23 and 24. (Courtesy of Ophelia Bernardino)

Hidden Mountain Brewing Co. is finally throwing the party it was unable to have when it first opened.

The brewery at 4056 Cerrillos Road in Santa Fe will hold its grand opening celebration today and Saturday, July 24.

“We officially reopened our doors as Hidden Mountain Brewing Co. on Inauguration Day, which was Jan. 20 this year,” said Rick Pedram, president of Santa Fe Dining. “And at that time, things were still, I guess, more restricted than they are now. We just wanted to open right during that time and wanted to kind of get to know our neighbors and introduce the operation in Santa Fe, hoping that when the pandemic was over or when we were on the other side, when things started opening up, we would already have a presence, instead of waiting until now, for example, to do the opening.”

The festivities will begin with a ribbon cutting at 3 p.m. today. A cask tapping at 4:30 p.m. and an announcement of raffle winners will follow at 6 p.m. On Saturday, guests can enjoy a cask tapping at 2 p.m. and live music on the patio by SMOOTH from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Raffle winners will be announced at 6 p.m. Each event-goer will receive one free raffle entry. Raffle winners will receive a T-shirt, a $50 gift card and a Hidden Mountain sticker.

Hidden Mountain Brewing Co. in Santa Fe offers New Mexican-style barbecue. (Courtesy of Ophelia Bernardino)

“We’re very excited to have this grand opening, because we didn’t really have a chance to have the big celebration and have the big party when we reopened in January, and I think this is a perfect time,” Pedram said. “Of course, that weekend coincides with the Spanish Market, so there’s going to be thousands of people coming to Santa Fe. We thought maybe this would be a good weekend just because of the traffic and the people come in to also introduce our product to all the thousands of people that are coming to Santa Fe.”

The release of a summer rye IPA and a tangerine wheat will be part of the grand opening.

“The summer rye IPA and tangerine wheat, those are going to be full batches, and we’re just going to tap them both on Friday (July 23),” head brewer Paul Mallory said. “The Summer Rye IPA has about 20% rye and is dry-hopped with Azacca and Citra hops. … It’s a lighter IPA, lighter in color, easy drinking. And we put enough rye in there. (There is) some definite rye flavor in there at that amount, but not overwhelming, of course.”

The tangerine wheat is an “easy drinking summer beer.”

“We’re using tangerine puree, so no extracts or anything like that, just full fruit puree,” Mallory said. “And that one’s pretty straightforward, pretty self-explanatory. It should have a little tartness from the tangerine, a little sweetness to balance out the tartness.”

Two cask tappings will also take place.

“As for the casks the Friday night, we’re gonna do a different version of the wheat beer with a different fruit,” Mallory said. “And then for Saturday, we’re going to do a special kind. We’re just going to honor the guy that we named the brown ale after, Feathers. He’s one of our best regulars. And when we reopened, we didn’t have his favorite beer on, the brown (ale), and he kept coming back anyway. And I couldn’t look him in the eye anymore and not have a brown on tap. So I made a new brown, and I named it after him.”

Feathers’ Brown Ale is available on tap, and a there will be a cask tapping of a special version created for one of the brewery’s favorite customers and veteran.

“We love him and we just wanted to celebrate him,” Mallory said. “And since that Brown has been on tap already, we’re just kind of doing a cask tapping of a special version of that brown. … And that one will just have some fun ingredients to accentuate some of the brown maltiness and the multi-flavors of the beer.”

Over the past several months the brewery has tweaked a few things, including its menu.

“What’s been great about this last six months is that because it’s a new menu and a new operation, and you know, basically a new restaurant and new concept, just like any other concept, when you first open up, you know, you learn and you make a few mistakes, and you kind of learn from those mistakes, and you make some adjustments,” Pedram said. “And the last five, six months has definitely put us in a position to be able to do that. We’ve gone through some menu changes. Paul has been working on the beer to make some adjustments. And then, of course, for a period of time, as most other restaurants and breweries did, we went through a staff shortage problem, where we actually had to close the operation two days a week, just because we didn’t have enough staff to open seven days a week. And we’ve finally reached the point where now we’ve been able to secure enough staff where after the grand opening we are going to at least add one day.”

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