Patrons of Toltec Brewing on Albuquerque’s West Side were disappointed to hear the recent news that the brewery and restaurant had closed after four years of business.
However, guests will be happy to hear that the space has been acquired by Bosque Brewing Co., which has been searching for a West Side location.
“When (Toltec’s owners) were looking to get out, we had been looking to get out to the West Side for a long time,” said Gabe Jensen, Bosque’s chief executive officer and co-owner. “And because of the pandemic, some of our other ideas didn’t quite pan out. Construction costs got crazy. So we were looking for a smaller kind of project on that side. So it just kind of worked out for us.”
The former Toltec space, which has its own brewing system, will allow Bosque brewmaster John Bullard to experiment and implement a barrel aging program. It also will feature about 16 taps for Bosque beers, seltzers and cider, as well as a cocktail program featuring New Mexico spirits including Altar Spirits out of Santa Fe and Dry Point Distillers from Las Cruces.
“We’ll probably take some of the fermenters out because we don’t need to produce at a high rate,” Jensen said. “We’ll just do a bunch of fun stuff. I know John’s looking at doing a barrel aging program over there. And just doing some stuff that we just can’t do up at (Bosque North Brewery and Taproom in Bernalillo).”
Bosque’s brewers are familiar with the brewing system at the former Toltec space. Bosque brewers stepped in a couple times over the years when Toltec was in-between brewers.
“They’re excited to really just experiment and be able to throw things at the wall, see what sticks kind of thing,” Jensen said.
Guests will not see major changes done to the former Toltec space other than some minor cosmetic renovations to coincide with Bosque’s branding. Former Toltec patrons may even see familiar faces return to the new Bosque location or now working at other Bosque locations. Hourly employees that worked at Toltec were offered positions with Bosque.
“We are really excited about the use of space,” Jensen said. “We’re pretty surprised about how many seats there are and it feels comfortable. There’s a good amount of seats for the size and the kitchen is set up a lot like our other kitchens. So that works out. I mean, almost identical. So it now works out really good for us. We can just implement what we do already.”
The food menus are consistent at all Bosque locations, with the exception of its Restoration Pizza locations in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, which have their own specialty menu. The Santa Fe location is currently under renovation and is tentatively scheduled to open in August.
Bosque is currently in the process of obtaining licensing for the West Side location, which takes between 90 to 120 days. The location is expected to open shortly after licensing is obtained. The West Side spot makes for eight Bosque locations in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.
“For me, multiple locations allowed us to do some more things that we hadn’t been able to do,” Jensen said. “And so that’s why we are really excited. There was already a good clientele (at Toltec). They had the revenue that made sense. They had some value there. So we’re excited to be part of that and being part of that community.”