What began as a small brewery in a moderately-sized downtown building has now boomed into a New Mexico brewing empire.
Marble Brewery celebrates 15 years of operation next month and president Barbie Gonzalez took some time to reflect on what that means to her, its patrons, and the brewing community as a whole. Gonzalez started as a beertender at Marble Brewery ten years ago and worked her way up the ranks.
“It’s so interesting to see all of the evolution and how things just have evolved over time,” Gonzalez said. “And to be part of that entire process still blows my mind. I still have the same feelings that I had when I first started as a beertender. I’ll still walk into the facility, and I’m like, wow, we do all of this here.”
Marble Brewery has played a large role in the local brewery explosion.
“I think that New Mexico was really thirsty for something different,” Gonzalez said. “And the brewery environment sort of represented a different type of socialization that was extremely inclusive. Craft beer is just very inviting for everybody to have. This is a really beautiful experience that anyone can enjoy … Here in New Mexico, not just Marble, there are so many breweries that focus on the art of the craft and what goes into making craft beer and the ingredients that are chosen for every batch of beer. And I think that comes through and people are attracted to having a high quality experience like that.”
Standing out was key for Marble’s success.
“I think we put a lot of effort in not just producing a really high quality craft beer but it was all of the elements surrounding the beer itself, which is the experience,” Gonzalez said. “Drinking beer should be a full sensory experience and so what we tried to do was obviously provide people with all different kinds of flavors and all different types of profiles. But in addition to that, we made sure that our spaces also reflected the quality of the experience and created an experience within the space as well in conjunction with the quality of liquid that you’re consuming.”
Over the years Marble has expanded to three Albuquerque locations. Special releases and small batches are brewed up by brewmaster Josh Trujillo at the Northeast Heights location at 9904 Montgomery Blvd. NE. Head brewer Andrew Krosche handles brewing operations downtown at 111 Marble Ave. NW, while the West Side location at 5740 Night Whisper Road NW remains a taproom.
“We’re super lucky that not only do we have Josh and the rest of our amazing brewery team, but that we have that facility for experimentation,” Gonzalez said. “But that experimentation is not just isolated to the Mab Lab up in the Heights. We’re bringing a lot more experimentation into our production facility to give everybody an opportunity to express themselves creatively.
Marble has plenty to celebrate in April. Several events will run between April 17 and April 23 at each Marble location as well as a beer dinner at Scalo in Nob Hill. The brewery will host a 4/20 Party on April 20 at its downtown location that will feature live music and the release of its anniversary hazy IPA called Drink Me Hazy IPA. Its 15-Year Anniversary Party, which is themed “Through the Looking Glass,” will be held on April 22, also at the downtown location.
“What we’re trying to remind people is we’ve been here for 15 years, but we’re about to evolve and grow into this new direction,” Gonzalez said. “And so a lot of the things that we’re doing this year are experimenting with different types of hop varieties and bringing new beers into the mix as part of what is Marble’s next phase. So we want the party to showcase that we’re literally going through this process of evolution.”
There will be two components to the anniversary party.
“We’re going to have the traditional Marble component of really great beer, a really awesome live music lineup, and then we’re going to have this after party, where we’re going to be open a little bit later, and we’re going to do a little bit more of a DJ dance party event,” Gonzalez said. “We’re really excited about it because it’s the first time that we’re trying to create these two separate parties that are in conjunction with one another. We’re also going to be hosting a market that day, during the day, to kind of work with a lot of the vendors that we have worked with in the past and just kind of showcase that community partnership and love that we have.”
On top of the festivities, Marble will be running a quarterly series: The Lighter Side of Lagers and Alpha Acid Trip IPAs.
“There are two things that we really love that we’re really passionate about, that we feel that we’re really good at too, and those are lagers and hop forward styles,” Gonzalez said. “So we’ve created these two new rotating series that are going to be able to highlight the love that we have and the passion that we have for creating lagers and then the passion that we have on hop forward IPAs.”
Throughout the year, Marble has worked on more beer collaborations with other breweries. Its collaboration with Quarter Celtic, which is named The Old Celtic Maverick, will be released today as part of Marble’s St. Patrick’s Day party downtown.