Written and photography by CHERYL FALLSTEAD
Beer lovers have plenty to celebrate in Las Cruces with an ever-growing number of craft beer breweries available to explore. We now have no fewer than six venues, spread evenly throughout the area, where fine crafted beers can be enjoyed. From the venerable High Desert Brewery and more upscale Pecan Grill to the latest addition, Little Toad Creek, there’s a brew pub to match everyone’s tastes.
Let’s visit some of our local establishments and find out how you can bring some of the pub atmosphere home with you.
On a lovely Sunday fall afternoon, my husband, Brian, and friends Chas and Judy Miller headed out to visit three of our local breweries. They gamely offered to help research this article, willing to taste some pub grub and sample beers for the sake of Neighbors readers. We agreed that at each of our three stops, we would order flights to sample as many beers as we could.
Our first stop was Bosque Brewing Company on University, which has been in Las Cruces for four years and has a sister location that has been in Albuquerque for six, in honor of which they introduced the Brut IPA as their sixth anniversary brew.
Bosque Brewing Company has twelve beers on tap, featuring six staples and six changing specialty beers, including the new Pistol Pete’s 1888, which won the Bronze Medal at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver this September. They also offer a full menu of tempting fare to complement their beers. We were ready for lunch, so we had the falafel plate, their house-made hummus, crispy French fries, and street tacos. Not a scrap was left, so it was all deemed delicious.
We ordered two flights of six so we could sample every beer they had available and after careful consideration, we learned that overall, we all liked darker beers like Driftwood and Scotia, with Oktoberfest and Elephants on Parade getting nods of approval.
Bosque often has a special charity beer on their specialty list with $1 of each beer ordered going to a non-profit. They have occasional special events, too, hosted by a company called Moonlight Makes. On December 8 and 9, for example, they’ll be teaching people how to make adobe gingerbread houses. More information and tickets are at www.moonlightmakes.com.
Our next stop was the newest in town, Little Toad Creek Brewery and Distillery, which has its roots in Silver City where their beers and spirits are created. This Main Street venue just across from Plaza de Las Cruces offers a great spot to linger downtown after a play or performance, Downtown Art Ramble, or Farmer’s Market visit. While they don’t serve food other than snacks, food trucks take turns serving out back evenings from 5 to 9 p.m. and midday on weekends. You can also order from nearby restaurants or bring your own food.
Little Toad Creek hosts live music, with bands performing Friday and Saturday evenings and Saturdays at noon. Tuesdays evenings alternate between karaoke and open mic and Wednesday evenings at 6:30 is trivia night. A pile of games is available if you want to hang out with friends and try your hand at games like cribbage, Trivial Pursuit, or Battleship.
The flights at Little Toad Creek offer a choice of four or six beers, so we opted for a larger flight and included a cider for something light and crisp. Although they also serve other New Mexico brews, we concentrated on their own beers. We were split on our favorites between the darker beers like Pendejo Porter or Big an ever-growing number of craft beer breweries available to explore.