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UNM may consider campus taproom

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A proposed taproom on the University of New Mexico’s campus is worth a discussion, school President Bob Frank says.

Students Gus Pedrotty, 21, and Sara Collins, 21, pitched the idea earlier this semester. The two have started a petition that, as of Friday morning, had more than 400 signatures. They also stumped for the idea last week at a meeting, at which they said the taproom is a “no-brainer.”

The operation would make use of the numerous craft brewers already in Albuquerque and it would serve as a learning tool for students interested in the field. And they argued the taproom would act as community hub to bring law and medical students back to the main campus.

Of course, Pedrotty said, safety would be a priority and a three-drink limit, among other precautions, would be taken.

“It’s not a place where you’re going to go to get smashed,” Collins said.

Of course, UNM is surrounded by bars and other venues that sell alcohol. But Pedrotty said the point of the taproom is to add to students’ education. “We want the taproom to create a symbiotic relationship in the industry where UNM sells local craft beer and helps prepare students for the brew market, helping staff our fantastic and blossoming brew scene with our own dedicated and capable students and graduates,” Pedrotty said.

Pedrotty is set to graduate in the spring, but Collins has another year at the university, which means this push will continue.

To make the taproom a reality, a policy change would be needed, and that requires approval from Frank. And he said he would likely need regent input before deciding. The university would also need to secure a state license to sell alcohol.

Earlier last week, Frank said he initially was leery of the idea until he saw how the taproom at the Colorado State University worked. He said UNM should have a conversation about the taproom on campus.

UNM started selling alcohol to the general public this semester at football games, and the school expected to increase sales at basketball games later this year.