When Second Street Brewery opened its original location at 1814 Second St. on Dec. 4, 1996, they offered just three beers. "We added an IPA a month later," president and brewmaster Rod Tweet says. "Our mode was always slow and steady growth."
Cut to now, 21 years later, and Tweet and company have created over 200 recipes, opened two other wildly popular locations in town and, as of this weekend, the business itself is finally old enough to drink. "The 20-year anniversary was kind of a big one for us," Tweet explains, "but we got so caught up opening the Rufina Taproom that we decided to focus on our 21st anniversary—21 has a nice ring to it."
Tweet has big plans for the upcoming year, too, from the opening of the Rufina location to more group activities, a wider variety of music and food and, he says, expansion into the world of wholesale. "By the beginning of the first quarter of 2018, you can expect to see draughts in more places around town, and by the end of that first quarter, six-pack cans, which will be an IPA," he tells SFR. "And then we'll take it from there."
Tweet also says that he and his brewers have spent time digging back through the archives for recipes Second Street hasn't served in some time. "We solicited input from the brewers and staff, and there will be 21 beer recipes this year that aren't part of the regular rotation," he says. "Throughout the year, these beers will be all over the map with everything from a maibock we haven't done in eight or nine years, and wheat beers, some barley wine—it's a pretty long list."
Tweet also says that Rufina Taproom manager Mariah Scree is organizing a weekly Sunday night gathering for service industry folk, complete with beer discounts and more unannounced goodness.
As for this Saturday's celebrations at the brewery's original location, beer, food and music fans can look forward to the beers they know and love (plus some surprises), music from former Second Street Railyard open mic host Ben Wright (of D Numbers) and Norteño trio Lone Piñon, plus a specially designed menu from longtime chef Milton Villarubia III.
"It's like the cliché—time flies," Tweet muses. "I can't believe it's been 21 years, because it's just gone by so fast; how did this happen? I just kept coming in to work." (Alex De Vore)
Second Street Brewery's 21st Anniversary Party
5 pm Saturday Dec. 9. Free.
Second Street Brewery (Original),
1814 Second St.,
By now you've hopefully got SFR's hot little Writing Contest issue in your hands (out Nov. 29) and have thus read its many fine fiction and non-fiction tales. Good. That's a start. But we wanted to take it one step further, specifically in the form of a public reading from this year's winners at Meow Wolf. Celebrity judges/authors Ariel Gore and Hampton Sides will be on hand to facilitate alongside the talented local wordsmiths, as will SFR staffers. And we think you'll be delighted by the winners' takes on this year's theme, Take it Back. Lord knows we were, and we know words. Most of 'em, anyway. (ADV)
SFR Out Loud:
6:30 pm Wednesday Dec. 6. Free.
1352 Rufina Circle,
Just about a month ago, we told you all about the debut solo efforts of one Johnny Bell (Music, Nov. 7: "Saved by The Bell") who had formed a pretty stellar band called The Visitors to help progress the musical place of the banjo quite nicely with a self-titled EP. At the time, Bell said they probably wouldn't play very often, so mark your calendars immediately for the official album release party. The Visitors are joined by none other than Luke Carr and Leticia Gonzales—fantastic solo musicians in their own right—in the picturesque and acoustically mind-blowing San Miguel Chapel. (ADV)
Johnny Bell and the Visitors Album Release:
8 pm Friday Dec. 8. $10 donation.
San Miguel Chapel,
401 Old Santa Fe Trail,
Look, we get it—this time of year becomes musically kinda crazy, right? They've been pushing out Christmas songs on the radio for weeks, and it seems to get worse every year. But something always seems to happen the further we get into December; the once-annoying songs seem right, the weather catches up with the time of year and some holiday spirit kicks in. Enter the Schola Christmas Concert, one of the most Christmassy things one can do and a fantastic a cappella reminder that these songs are deeply ingrained. We also hear that in addition to non-Christmas hits like "Ave Maria" and "Auld Lang Syne," the group has a few tricks up its collective sleeve. Only one way to find out what they might be. They sing a few more times this year, too (Dec. 17, 19 and 29), so keep an eye out. (ADV)
Schola Christmas Concert:
6:30 pm Tuesday Dec. 12. $15-$20.
207 Old Santa Fe Trail,