Turquoise Trail Brewing moving operations to Moriarty - Albuquerque Journal

Turquoise Trail Brewing moving operations to Moriarty

Turquoise Trail Brewing hopes to reopen its doors in Moriarty in the late spring. The brewery closed its Albuquerque location last year. (Courtesy of Sean Lawson)

Turquoise Trail Brewing has found a new location with a small town feel.

The brewery will be moving into a space in Moriarty that once housed a grocery store. A tentative opening date is scheduled for late spring.

Owner Sean Lawson closed the brewery’s original location off east Central in Albuquerque after unsettling criminal activity and homelessness kept patrons away. The brewery opened in July 2019 and operated for about three years.

“I just decided rather than keep funding this, I’m gonna move it,” he said. “I might as well just close it for a while and reopen. So currently (we are) moving out to Moriarty. I’m moving into a big space with a couple of restaurants, a coffee shop and an herbal store. We’re just gonna have a big common area … We’re gonna have a lot more space and have a lot more options.”

Once the brewery is in place in Moriarty it will offer a variety of craft beer options as it did at its original location.

“From a beer perspective, we were producing beers across the spectrum although we didn’t really touch base much on sour beers. With the souring process, for most beers, they really require that you have a separate set of equipment to do it and we just didn’t have that capacity. So I stayed away from it. But our most popular beers were our IPAs, especially our West Coast style IPAs. They did very well.”

More room means more taps and the Moriarty space will feature about 20 taps. Lawson also plans to utilize the space to upgrade to larger brewing equipment. The brewery currently has a three barrel brewing system and the plan is to expand to a seven or 10 barrel system. A bigger system would allow for enough production to can the brewery’s beer and sell at area retailers.

“That will be dependent on if I’m able to upgrade our equipment size,” Lawson said. “Because it’s three barrels, it’s not really enough production capacity to be able to adequately sell outside of your own taproom. But once you get to seven barrels or especially 10 barrels then you can start distributing locally. And I do want to do that. I would like to be able to can some of our beer and sell it in some of the local liquor stores, retail stores.”

Turquoise Trail Brewing is the result of Lawson escaping the monotony of his day job.

“I’ve been working in the investment securities industry for 25 years,” he said. “It’s been a good career. I’ve made pretty decent money doing it but it’s not the most exciting. The area of work I do within the securities industry is compliance. And compliance just isn’t that fun.”

Lawson, who was born and raised in Albuquerque, was living in Salt Lake City at the time that he decided to make the leap into the brewing industry. He returned to Albuquerque with his wife and daughter in 2018.

“I started homebrewing for 10 or 12 years before that,” he said. “(I) just thought it would be something interesting, something completely different than what I’ve been doing for a career in the past, and it would be fun. So I just decided to go for it.”

In the past, Lawson has handled brewing duties for Turquoise Trail and will continue temporarily at the Moriarty location.

“I do want to bring in another brewer just so that I can focus more on running the rest of the other parts of the business and I’m still going to be doing my consulting work because it brings in money. My job supports my habit.”

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