Local Brewery Bottles up a Storm

by Administrator on 4 May, 2017 Business Profiles 457 Views
Local Brewery Bottles up a Storm


You might say it’s out of this world. The Alien Amber Ale is the best-selling brand of the Sierra Blanca Brewery, but it’s of local origin – right out of the East Mountains.

Owner and brew master, Rich Weber, has his origins in the Bronx. In 1995, he made the trek to New Mexico and opened Weber’s Grill in Ruidoso. Several of the micro brews he served along with his food sparked his interest in the industry. Weber eventually created the Sierra Blanca Brewery, named for the imposing tall white mountain that looms over southern New Mexico.

When opportunity knocked in the central part of the state, Weber opened the door. He wanted to move his product closer to the Albuquerque market. With its proximity to I-40, Moriarty became home to the brewery in 2006. With the move, Weber also acquired Rio Grande Brewery, consolidating the two operations into one. He and wife Suzanne make a home in the canyon of Tijeras, while the brewery is housed on the prairie at the Moriarty Industrial Park.
 
Sierra Blanca Brewery sells 11 brands, with Sierra Blanca Beer being its signature beer. They also brew the Green Chile Beer, but it’s the Alien Amber Ale that out-sells them all, labeled with the almond-eyed green man and made with eight types of barley.  Because of the novelty and taste, a lot of the Alien Amber Ale gets shipped out of state.

Sierra Blanca employs five people in the brewery, two sales people in the field, and Suzanne runs the office. They have a 500-square-foot tasting room and sell pints on site. Weber anticipates adding an atrium and larger space of walk-ins. The year is shaping up well; Weber is on track to manufacture 30,000 cases and 4,000 kegs by year’s end.

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Craig Springer

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