Sandoval Signpost


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Town toasts fun of first Brew Fest

Signpost Staff

The final numbers aren’t in, but the consensus is that the inaugural Mountain West Brew Fest was a good time for thousands of visitors to Bernalillo and a lot of work for town staff and the state’s craft brewers.

Whether the town will play host to a second annual brew fest is still to be worked out between the town government and the New Mexico Brewers Guild.

“For us it was fantastic,” said Dana Koller of Kaktus Brewing Company, Bernalillo’s only craft brewer. “What’s nice is it shows Bernalillo as just as supportive as the rest of the state for the brewery community.”

If there’s a second brew fest, Koller said he’ll be there.

More than fifty brewers, including ten from other western states, joined in the event held on Labor Day weekend at Loretto Park in northern downtown Bernalillo. The venue is a short walk from the Rail Runner Express station, which also connected to the park with free shuttle rides.

Numbers called “very preliminary” indicate from five-to-six thousand people attended to drink and sample beers. No police incidents were reported.

“It went great,” said Carla Salazar of the town’s Community Development Department. “It’s a first-year event; it’s a learning event. I didn’t meet anyone who didn’t enjoy themselves.”

Both Koller and Salazar said town staff and brewers’ employees worked long and hard to make the event a success.

The town and the guild, which co-sponsored the brew fest, were scheduled to meet in late September to go over the financial results and talk about the future, she added. The brew fest replaced the annual Bernalillo Wine Festival, which ended its 27-year run in 2014.

The festival, rebranded the New Mexico Wine and Jazz Festival, moved to Isleta Casino and also was held on Labor Day weekend.

Meanwhile, Kaktus on South Hill Road is doubling its brewing capacity in Bernalillo and open a secondary taproom in Albuquerque’s Nob Hill district. The target date for opening is January, although that may be moved up.

“Everything is running so smoothly, it’s so meant to be, that it may be as early as November,” Koller said.

Kaktus, a sponsor of last year’s Rio Rancho Octoberfest, is also relaunching that fall tradition after moving it to the Bernalillo brewery and renaming it Kaktoberfest. The October 2-3 event includes rock, jazz, and cowboy bands, one from Germany. Special events continue with more music and belly dancers on October 4, as Kaktus celebrates the second anniversary of its opening.

City of Rio Rancho has new website

The City of Rio Rancho has changed its website address from to, effective September 1, 2015. Visitors to the City’s website will still be able to use the old domain into 2016.

Mayor Gregg Hull supports the new web address, “I feel that the website address change will encourage visitors to find the website more easily and ease confusion. The current web address is bulky and can be difficult for people to interpret.”

In addition to the website address becoming, all staff email address domain parts will change from to For example, changes to

For more information about Rio Rancho municipal government,  visit Follow city government on Twitter (, and like it on Facebook (

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