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Mountain West Brew Fest kicks off in Bernalillo today, in place of the town’s long-running wine festival

Liz Demko prepares her tent, where she will be selling hats and boots during the Mountain West Brew Fest this weekend at Loretto Park in Bernalillo. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Liz Demko prepares her tent, where she will be selling hats and boots during the Mountain West Brew Fest this weekend at Loretto Park in Bernalillo. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

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.

rw00_jd_05sep_brewfestlogopathMaría Rinaldi, the Town of Bernalillo’s director of the Community Planning and Development Department, said it was time to go in a different direction.

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.

Tents are going up in preparation for this Labor Day weekend's Brewfest in Bernalillo along Camnio del Pueblo. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Tents are going up in preparation for this Labor Day weekend’s Brewfest in Bernalillo along Camnio del Pueblo. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

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