Tucked away in a beautiful natural setting sits Jemez Mountain Brewhouse.
The recently opened brewery, located at 17691 N.M. 4 in Jemez Springs, offers plenty of local craft beers, including a few of its own. The brewery is slowly building up to brewing on-site, but currently has its beer brewed by Mother Trail Beverage Company in Albuquerque. Guests can find the brewery’s Bohemian Rhapsody Pilsner and its Up the 4 IPA, which is a West Coast style India Pale Ale. Soon guests also will be able to sip on the brewery’s New England IPA.
“It’s gonna be lighter on the hops, not super hoppy like you’ll get from other ones,” co-owner David Martinez said of the Up the 4 IPA. “We want it to be more on the lighter side. You do get a nice grapefruit and a tangerine aroma off of it right away. And it finishes with a nice little sweet tiny finish. We wanted to keep that IPA kind of on the lighter side just so it is more enjoyable for everybody.”
The Bohemian Rhapsody is a Bohemian-style pilsner that is also on the lighter side.
“It’s like a Czech pilsner,” Martinez said. “It’s brewed with German malt and hops. It’s a really nice pilsner. Very crisp. And it’s just really easy drinking and you can probably drink it all day, if you’re going camping or something like that.”
The brewery currently does not have its own brewing system but hopes to install one in the fall.
“We’re hopefully looking to try to get like a 7-to-10-barrel system in here, if possible,” Martinez said. “We’re gonna have to really look and see what size we can fit, but that’s kind of a dream.”
It was also a dream of Martinez to open his own business.
“I actually was going for more of a restaurant type of thing back in college,” he explained. “But during college, I actually got into a beer group called the ABQ Craft Beer Drinkers. I’m not sure if they’re still around, but they are a wonderful group of people. Not only did we travel to all the breweries throughout New Mexico, but you know, we had our own little social parties, and we brewed our own beer. We really just got down and talked about what the beer was about. It really helped me learn what the whole beer scene was about. That really struck my interest to get more involved with craft beer and brewing.”
The opportunity to open a brewery arose when Second Alarm Brewhouse closed. Martinez and his business partners decided to rent the building from the village of Jemez Springs to open their own brewery.
“Jemez Springs is a wonderful place,” Martinez said. “I’ve always felt that this place was a very special area. I’ve been coming up here since I was a kid. We just got the opportunity to open up this place (with) Second Alarm closing down. The place had already been a brewery. So a lot of it was already set up.”
The Jemez Mountain Brewhouse building has served many roles over the years.
“Our building has been, I believe, a prison, the old firehouse, the old American Legion, so it’s been multiple things throughout the years,” Martinez said. “We’re renting it from the (village of Jemez Springs). Right now we can (accommodate) about 60 people I want to say. That’s including my staff. We don’t have an outside patio right now or outdoor seating. But that’s what we’re hoping to do this fall is to take that step.”
Martinez said there is plenty of room to expand and plans on turning its small parking lot into a front patio.
“It’s only like four parking spaces so we’re going to get rid of it and just put the front patio out here for that,” Martinez said. “There’s already parking right beside us on the other side so we’re gonna actually take that out and put a nice little patio out there. We also want to start growing our own hops out here. I know we’re not gonna be able to grow enough to have a huge batch, but we thought it would be really cool if we could do like a 10 or 20 gallon batch with our own hops every summer, every year.”