“I just kind of pictured myself in a room with a lot of beer and thought, yeah, I can dig that,” says Trent Edwards, owner of Duel Brewing, Santa Fe’s newest microbrewery.
“You know what’s exciting?” asks Edwards (it’s a rhetorical question). “It’s the first brewery in 16 years, since Second Street [Brewery], to open.” And after a long dry spell, ladies and gents of this enchanted city: Duel Brewing.
But it wasn’t easy. Edwards encountered a bunch of hiccups on this winding road (a year and a half’s worth of hiccups).
“There were a lot of hurdles to get through, a lot of hurdles,” Edwards says. “I mean, there were five or six times that I wasn’t sure if I was gonna make it.” But with the help of four or five handfuls of people, it finally happened.
Edwards looks like glam rock, and so does his brewery. Hidden in the back streets of Cerrillos Road, it’s a beer house masked as a warehouse. But contrasting the unassuming exterior, the inside is adorned with paisley curtains, chandeliers, stained-glass windows, sconces and original artwork by Edwards. And to top off the razzle-dazzle, everyone gets a chance to sip foamy beer in chalices fit for a king.
Nearly two weeks old, Duel already has its fair share of regulars.
“You see over there,” Matt Onstott, Duel’s general manager and fellow beer enthusiast, points to the far end of the bar, “those guys are regulars…Dr. Field Goods.” And there sits the sous chef, the general manager and the bar manager of the mid-city restaurant, all three of them sipping out of chalices.
Fellow neighborhood hotspot Dr. Fields Goods Kitchen welded a friendship with the brewery from the beginning. In fact, the restaurant will supply the first Duel tap handle in town. And boy, does Duel take their tap handles seriously. Art pieces themselves, their beer levers are topped with one-of-a-kind sculptures, no single tap handle the same as another. But enough about tap handles (I could go all day): Duel also serves damn good beer.
They’ve got the Titian (named after the Venetian artist), a golden amber ale, mellow citrine sweet as syrup, which boasts a double-digit percentile of alcohol (11 percent, to be accurate). With six beers on tap, ranging from dark (Dark Ryder—also named after an artist—weighs in at 11 percent alcohol by volume) to a more conventional medium-bodied ale (Bad Amber—not named after an artist—is a friendlier 6 percent ABV), they’ve got some solid selection. Thirsting for a little different in your city? Check it out.
1228 Parkway Drive, Ste. D, 474-5301. Open daily.