As you can imagine, there are many logistics involved in moving a brewery from Los Lunas to downtown Albuquerque. Of course I am talking about the recent move of Tractor Brewing Company from Nelson Lane in Los Lunas to 1800 4th Street in the Burque. There are the heavy equipment movers (riggers) required to carefully lift fifteen and thirty barrel fermentation tanks onto flat bed trucks. As well as the brew house, comprised of the hot liquor tank, mash ton and kettle. Then there is the process of choosing locations for the fermentation tanks in the new brew area, carefully situating them over drains, making them accessible and leaving enough room in between them to slip through in a hurry. Glycol lines have to be installed and plumbed as well as the hooking up of the electrical components that are required to power the individual temperature control panels on each tank.
There was a lot of work to be done, work that thankfully we were able to accomplish without too many setbacks and hardly any failures, all in the name of getting back to brewing beer as quickly as possible. The move required our production to cease for about three weeks, what seems like an eternity in the brewery world. While we were not brewing beer, we were sure selling it, gladly supplying our established taproom in Nob Hill as well as the brand spanking new taproom attached to our new brewing location. The stockpile we had worked hard to build up before our last Los Lunas brew quickly began to diminish and it became even more evident that we had to get back in the brewing game as soon as all of the equipment was in place and functional.
About four weeks ago we got our maiden brew on and brewed a thirty barrel batch of our Farmers Tan Red Ale. Not coincidentally, this was the first beer we ran out of in our taprooms. Luckily we were not out for too long, our first Albuquerque batch of beer (the red) was kegged off this past Wednesday and immediately went back on tap both in Nob Hill and Wells Park. Haymaker Honey Wheat, which we ran out of in Nob Hill, was kegged on Thursday and back on tap the same day. We have been steadily brewing since we began with the Red and Honey, brewing the other three staples, Almanac IPA, Double Plow Oatmeal Stout, Sod Buster Pale Ale, as well as some other favorites including the Scotch, Pilsner and Farmhouse Ale.
As you probably realized, our Albuquerque brewery is substantially bigger than our old Los Lunas brewery, there is more room to get around and to work in, but so far it feels like we have limited ourselves the equivalent amount of limited space in our new brewery for old time’s sake. The equipment however is well organized, more accessible and quite the sight. Pride, not laziness is the reason why the door to the brewery has been open most days. If you were one of the many faces that peaked in, we hope you were as pleased with the results as we are. Many times we have mentioned to one another with a big smile, “It looks like a real brewery in here”.
A lot of hard work has gone into getting the brewery up and running again, the first reward to that hard work is serving our first two Albuquerque batches of beer. In the coming weeks, more beer will be ready, get kegged and served fresh from our taps. We hope you enjoy what you are drinking and if that door is open, you are welcome to peak your head in. If by chance the door is locked, just go ahead and give it a good ol’ farmers knock and we will be sure to let you in. Cheers.