Hallenbrick serves local beers / Photo by Megan Eaves
Sitting just off Jefferson in a commercial business park on Hawkins St., Hallenbrick Brewery enjoys two superlative titles: Albuquerque's newest brewpub, and most strangely placed bar in the world. But for those of us relegated to drinking at Chili's for a bar fix in the Northeast Heights, Hallenbrick Brewery is a welcome addition to the neighborhood.
Hallenbrick Brewery is the brainchild of Scott Hallen, who takes care of the nuts and bolts of brewing behind the scenes, and Jeff Brick, who plays the part of barman and voice of the new pub.
Inside: a homey, 'regulars' bar / Photo by Megan Eaves
Despite its strange location next to a computer parts company, Hallenbrick Brewery is nothing but cozy inside. Twinkle lights surround the windows, while tall dark wooden bar tables are dotted here and there surrounding a long, L-shaped bar, and old bicycles hang from the ceilings - an utterly Albuquerque addition. In a quirky back room, one lone couch invites drinkers to conversation and laughs next to the brewing vats. The whole place has a warm glow that invites you to pull up a stool and stay awhile. And the friendly demeanor of Jeff Brick, who seems to be constantly behind the bar pulling pints and chatting with patrons, suggests that this neighborhood haunt is here to stay.
Hallenbrick is all about the beer. They serve only great local microbrews (and a packet of chips for $1 if you're snacky), including a rotating lineup of Marble beers (last night they had the IPA, wheat and red), as well as Santa Fe Brewing Co.'s Pale Ale and Nut Brown, Il Vicino beers, Turtle Mountain Steam Ale and a Chama River Dr. Hop double IPA that will knock your socks off. As a relatively new brewery (they've only been open two months), they are also working on brewing their own Hallenbrick signatures, which I'm told will include an IPA (available this week), a stout and a lager. $4 will get you a pint of anything ($2 for a 1/2 pint), and you can also take home growlers - $3 for a new one and $8 for the refills. If you aren't sure what you like, ask for a free taster, which they are happy to give out.
Albuquerque Boys Choir performs / Photo by Megan Eaves
Another highlight at Hallenbrick Brewery is their apparent commitment to providing a gig space for some quality local music. On my recent visit last night, the Albuquerque Boys Choir, a trio of three soft-spoken gal musicians who croon out old timey, gospel inspired music, took the stage, or more the corner, and filled the little pub with sweet melodies. On a prior visit, my husband and I enjoyed the musical stylings of another Hallenbrick act: the Squash Blossom Boys, a bluegrass group. Other musical regulars at Hallenbrick Brewery include a lineup of fantastic folk, bluegrass, blues and roots artists that include Rex Warren, The Deteriorators, Three String Bale, the Gregg Daigle Band and many, many more.
Whether or not you live in the Northeast Heights, if you're a beer or music lover, you'll want to check out Hallenbrick Brewery: not a place for sports fans (one muted TV in the corner will subdue more conventional bar-goers), pop music or non-local brews!