The New Mexico Brewers Guild has a new executive director and she has hit the ground running.
Right off the bat, Ebbie Edmonston is planning one of the guild’s most popular events, WinterBrew. The New Mexico craft beer celebration takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20, at the Santa Fe Railyard, 1607 Paseo de Peralta, in Santa Fe.
The event, sponsored by Second Street Brewery, will feature additional brews from Beer Creek Brewing Co., Bosque Brewing Co., Ex Novo Brewing Co., Hidden Mountain Brewing Co., HoneyMoon Brewery, La Cumbre Brewing Co., Marble Brewery, Ponderosa Brewing Co., Red River Brewing Co., Sandia Hard Cider/Late Shift Lager House, Rowley Farmhouse Ales, Rumor Brewing Co., Santa Fe Brewing Co., Steel Bender Brewyard, Turtle Mountain Brewing Co., and Unhinged Brewing. The participating breweries were selected using a lottery system.
“WinterBrew is actually one of my favorite events,” Edmonston said. “I’ve personally been going to WinterBrew for a number of years. It’s a really great time and I’m really excited to see it come back to the farmers’ market. I think a lot of the breweries are probably glad to have it back as well.”
Eventgoers will receive a commemorative glass, 15 tasters, and one pint of their choice. VIP tickets are $40 and general admission entry is $30, plus fees, at nmbeer.org/events.
“I’m excited to see what kind of beer they bring,” Edmonston said. “Sometimes the brewers will keep the special stuff toward later in the evening. This year, I think the big difference we have done is VIP ticketing. For an extra $10, you can come in at five o’clock versus six o’clock for general admission. That’s kind of cool if you want to avoid the crowd because it does get really busy towards the end. But if you want to start a little bit earlier and then maybe leave sooner, that’s the way to go.”
WinterBrew is only one of several guild events that Edmonston is looking forward to.
“I’m really going to try and focus on just learning,” she said. “Every event is different. WinterBrew is coming up first, but then after that we have the Stout Invitational, and then we have our golf tournament in May. So it’s really going to be learning how each of those events are unique, but also the similarities. And then, in the year following, I really hope to reach more breweries and get more people signed up.”
New Mexico breweries continue to shine and bring home accolades from large competitions such as the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup. Edmonston hopes to expand on it as well as increase guild events in the future.
“I would definitely love to add some events,” she said. “I think that’s going to be like a second year, long-term goal. This year, I really just want to focus on learning as much as I can. The learning curve is quite large. I’m sure that I might mess up here and there, but I’m a firm believer that you learn from your mistakes. So every mistake I make, it’s just going to be a learning opportunity for me to do it better the next time. Let me figure out how to do all of the events that are currently on the docket and then we can talk about adding stuff, because there’s definitely some ideas I have.”
Edmonston’s appreciation for New Mexico craft beer is what drew her to place her name in the hat when the guild’s executive director position became available.
“I have been involved with beer in Santa Fe since 2014, when I moved here,” she said. “I think I’ve gone through phases of my life where I was absolutely in love with beer and it was my whole world. And then life happens and I got a bit distracted. I’m coming back around to falling in love with it again. I recently went on a trip to Europe, and to Belgium, and Oktoberfest in Germany, and it just kind of reignited my passion.”
As a member of the New Mexico Pink Boots Society, she has immersed herself in the local brewing scene. The organization assists, inspires and encourages women and nonbinary individuals in the fermented/alcoholic beverage industry through education, according to its website. Edmonston hopes her role as executive director of the guild and her participation in the society will help push women in the brewing industry to the forefront.
“I think being a female in a male dominated industry you kind of get pushed towards the back a little bit,” she said. “People don’t take your word as strongly as they would somebody else. So meeting other females who were in similar situations, I thought that was great. It kind of helps reignite that fire again and realize you’re not alone.”