Burning Man, Craft Beer and Sustainability: Taos Mesa Brewing

Jan 10 2014, 12:16pm CST | by

Burning Man, Craft Beer and Sustainability: Taos Mesa Brewing

It is Wednesday night in January and the Taproom in Taos Ski Valley is packed. No more than 15 feet wide, skiers stream in and out, sharing a beer after a day on the mountain or filling their growlers before heading home.  Customers ask co-founders Peter Kolshorn and Gary Feuerman for recommendations amid the hustle and bustle.  An offshoot of  Taos Mesa Brewing, the new digs are only a few weeks old but already have the quirky vibe that the flagship brewery is famous for.

The Sangre de Cristo Mountains form a remarkable backdrop for the brewery, whose environmental design was envisioned by Kolshorn. The builder learned sustainable building practices from Michael Reynolds, the architect behind Earthship, an off-the-grid housing provider.

“I injected my design ideas into the very linear, boring quonset,” says Kolshorn.  “We ended up with the great east-facing windows that capture the mountains.”

The building receives between 85% and 90% of its heating from the sun thanks to Kolshorn’s design.  Carft beer company Sierra Nevada is also one of Kolshorn’s inspirations as the company is almost entirely carbon neutral.

“We should be off-the-grid in 5 years,” says Feuerman.  “We are already set up for that, but we ran into capital issues with some of the projects.”

Salvaged materials played a large part in construction, from a concrete bar filled with objects like metal gear wheels and spoons to a dance floor that was built using old tires.  When a Borders Books closed in Santa Fe, the founders paid $200 dollars for almost all the shelving in the store, repurposing the wooden and metal shelves to hold LED lights and help with acoustics. Acknowledging that not all of their salvaging projects have been a success, Irion recalls the enjoyment of the process.

“To give our concrete floor intrigue we threw gallons of crushed glass into the slab as we were floating it,” says Irion.  After spending days grinding it down, they were left with their “poor mans terrazzo” that covers the foyer, bathroom and bar floor.

At first glance the four co-founders, including brewer Jayson Wylie, might seem like an unlikely group, with backgrounds ranging from law to entertainment, but they insist that it has helped make the brewery a success.

“All of our combined skills has made it work.  We were a bare bones budget, raising money just to get building up,” says Feuerman.  The company has 52 investors, including the four founders who own 57% of the company. “We have all run businesses before but nothing like this dynamics on this scale.”

Named one of the coolest breweries in America by Travel and Leisure Magazine,  the brewery is 16 months old and has hopes to distribute to Santa Fe and Albequerque by the summer.

“The original concept for this business came about when my band rented a warehouse a quarter of a mile away,” says Irion.  The band hosted parties in the desert in the early 2000s but after a few hiccups with the police they were shut down.  However, the sentiment lived on.

“There was such a sense of freedom and endless possibilities  that exuded from those performances. I knew I’d spend the rest of my life trying to recapture that feeling,” says Irion, “Gary was in that scene as well, so he remembers. Peter Kolshorn’s thing was Burning Man, so his vision was similar.  Taos Mesa Brewing is our best approximation [of those influences].”

Boasting concerts packed with 500 people, the brewery has quickly become a mainstay of the Northern New Mexico entertainment scene.

“We have two-stepping on Sunday night and techno on Friday,” says bartender Kim Pelton. “That is what is great about it.  There is an eclectic draw.”

Source: Forbes Business

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

3 Steps To Landing A Web Designer Internship
As a web designer myself, I can relate to young web designers who are just starting out and looking for a way to get their foot in the door. It’s very hard to start because many companies are looking for experienced...
 
 
4 Dow Stocks Under Accumulation
The choppy nature of the 1st quarter is not surprising after the action in 2013. The sharp declines in the Nasdaq 100 and biotechnology stocks have caused some technical damage that would normally take time to repair....
 
 
Bank Deposits, Structuring, and Asset Forfeitures
This is a version of an article originally published in the Winter 2014 issue of the White Collar Crime Committee Newsletter, Criminal Justice Section, American Bar Association.  For the original article, including full...
 
 
Is Big Data A Potential Distraction?
Over recent months, I’ve read numerous articles that have reported that many executives are struggling with ‘Big Data’. In fact, many studies report that upwards of 50-60% of executives say that their firms are weak or...
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

VW banks on China to reach part of its 2018 goal this year - CEO
Strong sales growth in China will help Germany’s Volkswagen AG clinch its sales target of 10 million vehicles annually well ahead of 2018, the current objective, VW Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn said at the start of...
Read more on Auto Balla
 
3 Steps To Landing A Web Designer Internship
As a web designer myself, I can relate to young web designers who are just starting out and looking for a way to get their foot in the door. It’s very hard to start because many companies are looking for experienced...
Read more on Business Balla
 
4 Dow Stocks Under Accumulation
The choppy nature of the 1st quarter is not surprising after the action in 2013. The sharp declines in the Nasdaq 100 and biotechnology stocks have caused some technical damage that would normally take time to repair....
Read more on Business Balla
 
Bank Deposits, Structuring, and Asset Forfeitures
This is a version of an article originally published in the Winter 2014 issue of the White Collar Crime Committee Newsletter, Criminal Justice Section, American Bar Association.  For the original article, including full...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Is Big Data A Potential Distraction?
Over recent months, I’ve read numerous articles that have reported that many executives are struggling with ‘Big Data’. In fact, many studies report that upwards of 50-60% of executives say that their firms are weak or...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Does Doing Good In Business Imply Doing Less Well?
Many entrepreneurs still don’t understand that building a business culture today of doing good, like helping people (society) and planet (sustainability), is also a key to maximizing profit. Employees and customers...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Melissa Joan Hart: Celebrity pressure is gym motivation
Melissa Joan Hart admits the pressure of being a celebrity encourages her to go to the gym. The 38-year-old actress - who gained 60lbs while pregnant with her third child in 2012 - recently lost a dramatic 40lbs and...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
iPad Sales Predicted to Decrease in Q2 2014
The iPad might be unable to generate a blockbuster sale in the second quarter of 2014, as a new report claims that the device might experience a declined sale in the specific period.The report has been published by...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
New Photos Reveal the iPad Air 2 with Integrated Front Panel and Display
The next model of iPad Air might get a thinner shape, as a number of photos reveal that the device will include its front panel integrated with the display, rather than being separated.The photos have been unveiled by...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Pebble Is Winning The Wearables War and What That Means For The iWatch
Some suggestive data indicates that the Pebble smartwatch, which sold 400,000 units in 2013, has the most staying power of the first batch of consumer wearables. null Want a clear indication that what these numbers show...
Read more on Business Balla
 
 
Auto Balla Sexy Balla Sport Balla TV Balla Politics Balla Movie Balla Apple Balla Business Balla Ad Balla Celebrity Balla