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

For Working Women, Focus On Beauty Erodes Self Confidence
In a guest post last month, “‘Princeton Mom’ Gives Dumb Advice On Marrying Smart,” Lisa Endlich Heffernan rebutted the argument that smart girls who don’t find husbands in college are destined for spinsterhood. Here she...
 
 
A Compelling Case for the Mid Cap Value ETF (IWS)
U.S. equity markets have struggled to maintain the bullish momentum seen throughout 2013. While the broader market has managed to stay afloat, certain sectors have fallen from the record highs enjoyed last year;...
 
 
CDC Would Sacrifice Kids To Cut Healthcare Costs
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) appears to have assumed a role that was never intended: reducing the ability of vaccines to save lives.  At their past two meetings, the CDC’s vaccine advisory...
 
 
How You'll Know It's Time To Kill Off One Of Your Products or Services
I got this question the other day. It seemed like a good idea when I started.  But, I am not making any money on my offering, nor do I seem to be gaining traction.  Is there any clear benchmark on when I should shut...
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Laura Prepon: Tom Cruise is hot
Laura Prepon thinks Tom Cruise is "hot". The 'Orange is the New Black' actress insists rumors she is dating the 'Mission: Impossible' star are untrue, but she is "flattered" by the speculation, even though she finds it...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Meryl Streep tired of awards
Meryl Streep "hates" inviting people to awards ceremonies. The 64-year-old actress - who has been nominated for an Oscar 18 times and won three of the coveted statuettes - picked up the 14th annual Monte Cristo Award by...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Leslie Mann regrets using marriage as inspiration for This Is 40
Leslie Mann regrets using her marriage as inspiration for 'This Is 40'. The 'Other Woman' star admits she became "annoyed" by the "invasive" questions about her relationship with director Judd Apatow when she starred...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
A Compelling Case for the Mid Cap Value ETF (IWS)
U.S. equity markets have struggled to maintain the bullish momentum seen throughout 2013. While the broader market has managed to stay afloat, certain sectors have fallen from the record highs enjoyed last year;...
Read more on Business Balla
 
CDC Would Sacrifice Kids To Cut Healthcare Costs
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) appears to have assumed a role that was never intended: reducing the ability of vaccines to save lives.  At their past two meetings, the CDC’s vaccine advisory...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Apple vs. Samsung Patent Case Pulls Google Into The Spotlight To Back Its Android Partner
There are a lot of interesting facts, presentations, and historical detail coming out of the Apple vs. Samsung patent case currently under way. It is also slowly reeling in Google’s flavour of Android into the spotlight...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Quentin Tarantino's Gawker lawsuit dismissed
Quentin Tarantino's lawsuit against Gawker has been dismissed. The award-winning director was furious when the website posted a link to a leaked copy of his 'Hateful Eight' script, forcing him to scrap plans for the...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
Catherine Hardwicke to helm Miss You Already
Catherine Hardwicke will direct 'Miss You Already'. The 58-year-old filmmaker will helm the picture which has Rachel Weisz and Toni Collette attached to star while Morwenna Banks penned the script based on personal...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
How You'll Know It's Time To Kill Off One Of Your Products or Services
I got this question the other day. It seemed like a good idea when I started.  But, I am not making any money on my offering, nor do I seem to be gaining traction.  Is there any clear benchmark on when I should shut...
Read more on Business Balla
 
New Impact Investment Fund At Columbia Launched To Solve Big Social Problems
A team of young social entrepreneurs has created an impact investing fund at Columbia University called 118 Capital that will operate as a nonprofit. The founders all have recent degrees from Columbia. 118 Capital will...
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