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These days, it seems a new brewery or taproom opens in Albuquerque every week. Here at Albuquerque Business First, we can't cover all of them. But this new brewery under construction, called The 377, is unique for several reasons.
First, it's in an area farther away from other brewery districts, such as those Downtown or in industrial parks near Candelaria Road.
Located at 2027 Yale Blvd. SE, the brewery hopes to pull in customers from Sunport Airport and Kirtland Air Force Base. The 377 name honors the base, which is home to the 377th Air Base Wing.
Second, the businesspeople behind the new venture, Cliff Sandoval and Fred Atencio, are some of the few if not only Latino brewery owners in the state. The two don't brew beer, but said they've been craft beer lovers for a long time and have restaurant and business experience.
Sandoval used to own The Adobe Grill restaurant on 6th Street and Silver Avenue in Downtown for 10 years. He also worked in construction and was a construction oversight manager for a company that built T.G.I. Friday's restaurants. Atencio used to be a regional manager for a music business.
The 377 brewery is being built in an existing space, a former furniture store. Sandoval and Atencio are doing all the construction themselves, which will have a airplane hanger look. Sandoval said the venture will start small, in part because the brewery is self funded. The brewery will have a seven barrel system and a seating capacity of about 80.
"We had the opportunity to go big, but we looked at a lot of brewery business models and the ones that were successful started out small," Sandoval said.
The third aspect that makes the brewery unique—Sandoval and Atencio hired one of the few woman brewers in the state, Lyna Waggoner, to be their head brewer. Waggoner won a silver medal at the New Mexico State Fair for her German Pilsner. She also won two gold medals for her Mexican lager and her Roggenbier style beer.
- From Stephanie Guzman, Reporter, Albuquerque Business First