Boxing Bear moves brewing operations to its Firestone taproom - Albuquerque Journal

Boxing Bear moves brewing operations to its Firestone taproom

Tap room manager Astrid Galarza pours beers at Boxing Bear’s Firestone Taproom and Brewery. Boxing Bear has transferred its brewing operations from the original location to the Firestone Lane location. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

Boxing Bear has said goodbye to its original brewing den near Corrales and hello to a new, larger operation at its Firestone taproom.

Brewers began mixing up their award-winning recipes at the new location near Jefferson and Alameda NE in mid-February after nearly two years of planning.

Operations manager and part owner Jay Knigge said the new space has 10,000 square-feet for the brewing operations as compared to the 2,500 square-feet that was available at the flagship location near Coors and Alameda.

“We were completely maxed out,” he said. “We couldn’t increase at that location especially seeing where package beer was going. We had no room for a canning line there. We had to disassemble part of the brewhouse to fit the canning line.”

As a result of the cramped quarters, he said during COVID they had to scale back on their wholesale packaged liquor to focus on providing canned products for the taprooms instead. That meant less product available at local stores.

Knigge said they began looking for a bigger location in 2020, not realizing the pandemic, along with restrictions, would last nearly two years. They found the Firestone property, which they named after the road it’s on, right before Covid lockdowns were put into place.

Assistant brewer Alan Castro works in the brewing area at Boxing Bear’s Firestone Lane location. Boxing Bear has transferred its brewing operations to the Firestone Lane location, which has 10,000 square-feet for brewing operations. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

They were able to open the taproom in May of 2021 but had to wait to shift brewing operations. In preparation for the move, they stopped brewing beer around Thanksgiving and slowly began transferring the equipment to the new location.

“We continued to brew (at the old location) and we had everything full,” he said. “Typically this is our slow season so it worked out well for us.”

Knigge said the move means people can start expecting to see Boxing Bear products back on the shelves at local grocery and convenience stores.

“Now our canning line will be set up permanently so we can do canning any day of the week now,” he said. “We don’t have to schedule it … We will have more can releases and this will allow us to get back into wholesale market.”

The Corrales Taproom will remain open but the area where the brewery once sat remains empty. Knigge said they have some plans for it but aren’t ready to reveal them just yet.

Anyone wanting a tour of the new brewery can send an email to info@boxingbrewing.com. The Firestone Taproom and Brewery is located at 8420 Firestone Lane NE. Visit boxingbearbrewing.com for hours and more information.

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