RIO RANCHO, N.M. — The wine won’t be flowing in Bernalillo this weekend, but the beer will.
The town is kicking off its first Mountain West Brew Fest that will feature not only local craft beers but national breweries, as well.
For 27 years, the town held a wine festival on Labor Day weekend but decided that 2014 would be the last year.
She said the town decided to end its relationship with members of the New Mexico wine industry because the festival was no longer profitable.
She said the contract between the two sides was up for renewal and they could not come to an agreement on how profits would be split.
“It was successful until the end,” she said. “But we had seen a reduction in an attendance and, with growing costs, we felt it was an unequal distribution of profits.”
She said attendees should not think of the brew festival as “wine festival 2.0.” She said in addition to a different type of product, it will have a different feel.
There will be the traditional food trucks and live music but the biggest change is that the event is for ages 21 and older only.
“The wine festival was a family event,” she said. “We made the decision early in the process to have an adult-only event.”
Rinaldi said depending on the success of the event, the town will decide whether to bring it back next year.