Bosque Brewing Company – Albuquerque, New Mexico

The Bosque Brewing Company, almost as far north on San Mateo as you can go

In 1978, the number of breweries across the fruited plain had fallen to an all-time, post-Prohibition low of 89.  That year President Jimmy Carter signed into law, a bill that legalized home brewing on a national level.  Since the craft brewing market began to pick up steam in the mid- to late-1980s  there has been no surcease in  sight. Today, there are more than 2,500 breweries operating across the United States with another 1,500 breweries in the planning stage.  According to the Brewers Association, as of 2013 the craft beer industry experienced  double-digit growth four straight years in both dollar sales and volume.

So what accounts for such growth in popularity of local beer?  Experts theorize that similar to the locavore trend in the culinary world, cervisaphiles (aficionados of beers and ales) have grown tired of being subjected to industrially brewed swill (anyone remember the “skunky” beer commercials?) and have discovered the pleasures of carefully crafted beer flavors made under the same roof where it’s consumed.  A similar evolution among consumers also transpired among oenophiles (wine connoisseurs) and coffee-drinkers.

Left: Italian Sandwich served with Kettle Chips. Right: German brats with housemade tarragon and sauerkraut

These trends have not been lost on the Duke City which in 2014 was named by as “America’s best mid-sized city in the country for beer.”   According to the Web site, Albuquerque is known for its “cultural diversity, authentic landscapes and genuine characters – and that extends to its brews. Residents here enjoy mostly sunny days and have their pick of micro-breweries that always have fresh beer on tap.”  As of May, 2014, Urbanspoon listed nineteen brewery restaurants in the metropolitan area from which cerevisaphiles can pick with others in the mill.  

The Bosque Brewing Company entered the keenly competitive craft beer foray in November, 2012 and, despite a location far from the beaten path, has experienced significant growth.  Thanks to a March, 2014 expansion, the brewery now has a production capacity of 3,500 barrels per year–ten times more than what it sold during its first year of operation.  A second location is slated to launch in late spring of 2014.  I wouldn’t be writing about The Bosque Brewing Company, however, if it didn’t also serve food that’s a notch or two above most pub food.

Red Pepper and Smoked Gouda Soup

Surprisingly–considering the quality of the food–the Bosque Brewing Company doesn’t boast of a large kitchen in which a staff of chefs, sous chefs, expediters and servers are preparing and serving your food.  Instead, all the food is prepared behind the bar on small countertop stoves and a panini press.  The restaurant’s motto is “Flavor Is Boss.”  In addition to seven sandwiches, the menu offers lighter fare such as salads, pretzels, soup of the day and green chile stew.  A happy hour (Monday – Thursday: 3PM to 6PM and all day Sunday) menu is a bit more expansive, offering such noshing favorites as chips and salsa, hummus and bruscetta.

The Italian Sandwich could also be called the Mediterranean Sandwich because several of its ingredients–grilled panini bread, capicola ham, salami, grilled onions, tomatoes, feta-Greek dressing and an olive tapenade with Gruyere cheese–would fit well on a Greek sandwich, too.  When you’ve got that many ingredients on a sandwich, those with a less assertive flavor profile may be a bit overpowered by stronger ingredients.  That was the case with the olive tapenade which just wasn’t discernible among the other components.  Frankly, none of the ingredients really stood out because there was such a melange of flavors that complemented one another.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Reuben with Kettle Chips

The special of the day during our inaugural visit was a German brats made with a housemade tarragon sauce and sauerkraut.  The tarragon with its sweet-tangy flavor and anise-like notes should be bottled and sold. It is that good! The bratwurst sandwich is thick, meaty and heavily spiced while the sauerkraut has a tangy, zesty flavor without the lip-pursing qualities of some sauerkraut. 

Soup of the day is not to be missed if it’s roasted red pepper and smoked Gouda soup.  While it’s undoubtedly even better on a cold winter day, it’s a delight any time of year and would probably taste just as good cold as it does steaming hot.  The smooth, mellow flavored smoked Gouda pairs exceptionally well with the vibrant sweet-savory-tangy flavors of the freshly roasted red peppers for a full-flavored and hearty soup. 

Perhaps no sandwich is as ubiquitous on deli and sandwich shop menus as is the Reuben, a sandwich with several variants, most delicious.  The Bosque Brewing Company’s version is very admirable in that the corned beef is piled high and the sauerkraut is plentiful.  It’s a delicious sandwich served with a heaping helping of Kettle chips. 

The Bosque Brewing Company is located almost as far north as you can go on San Mateo before its terminus, but if you’re thinking San Mateo east of I25, you’d be wrong. Make sure to consult your favorite mapping application before heading there. If the beers are comparable in quality to the food, this brewery is going places.

Bosque Brewing Company
8900 San Mateo, N.E.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
(505) 750-7596
Web Site:
LATEST VISIT: 11 May 2014
COST: $$
BEST BET: German Brats, Reuben Sandwich, The Italian Sandwich, Roasted Red Pepper and Smoked Gouda Soup

Bosque Brewing Company on Urbanspoon


  • Bosque has completely reimagined their menu at the San Mateo taproom. It is outstanding. I’d recommend the garlic wings, Bosque burger, and the duck poutine fries.

    Not only is the food outstanding, the beer incredible, and the staff friendly, they are also…
    My newest client at Western Assurance.
    This brewery will be known as THE southwestern brewery across the US in the next 3 years.

    • Jim Millington

      Well Ryan, I pretty much agree with you. Several of their sandwiches, particularly the Caprese and the Tarragon Turkey are wonderful and the soup of the day is always worth trying.

  • Sr Plata

    Ah, I see Sr Plata is still in the mentionable space. I meant no harm to my Ashkenazic brethren, fat fingers had their way. The Placitas Cafe was great and my company was superb. Next time, we must invite more for a great meal in a wonderful rustic area!


    I feel better.
    I asked Sr. Plata for a translation.
    He said he meant to write “eat” not “rat”.
    Thanks for the answer.

  • Schuyler

    No nastiness intended. I was poking fun at a comment Sr. Plata made in his review of the Placitas Cafe: “Anyways, the Placitas Cafe was a very quaint place, must return, nice to see locals rat in.”


    I’m intrigued by the term, “local rats from Placitas”?
    Sounds nasty.
    Is it meant to be a slap in the face?
    It sure feels nasty.

  • Schuyler

    That’s all well and good, but do they serve PBR? And is it frequented by the local rats from Placitas?

    • Jim Millington

      I will have to ask BOTVLR about the PBR because that is the type of thing my mind skims by on the menu (as opposed the the Village Person’s brain lock). At the San Mateo location I forgot to interview the customers as to their location of origin or species. I doubt that rats from Placitas could squeeze through the mob to get to the Nob Hill site.

  • Jim Millington

    We have been dropping by here occasionally because I like the beer, the small menu is quite good and its lonely location makes for a quiet atmosphere. Last Thursday however they FINALLY opened the Nob Hill location so we stopped last night. The German Brat was indeed wonderful as was the Italian. The quiet atmosphere was certainly gone though as every student at Mighty Lobo High on East Central was there. I can see how either could become a favorite depending on your mood.

  • Yes, this brewery is definitely going places. They just hired John Bullard as head brewer, a Great American Beer Festival Gold medal winner. The brewery has expanded its San Mateo Bl. location, and soon, the kitchen will expand into where the old, smaller brewhouse use to be. The brewery is planning to open a second tap room on Nob Hill, hopefully by the end of the summer. Great staff, great beer, and soon to be great food.

  • Foodie Star

    The terragon mustard on that Bratwurst was the best. I’m going to find out if they made it themselves or if they’ll tell me where to buy it.

    I gotta go there on a day when I’m not working so I can try their brews. My employer frowns on returning from lunch redolent with Bavarian brew. Or, with the miasma of Bavarian brew. 😉


    Dang it!!!! Forgot to mention: That is the most ‘lame’ Selfie I’ve ever seen!! Ya really gotta get with the program Gil!!!

    • Ah, yes, my self-indulgent, attention-seeking, socially-dependent narcissism on display for all too see. Vanity, thy name is Gil.

      Actually I chose not to Photoshop myself out of the image because of the slimming effect the window had on me.


    Went specifically for the Brat (on chalkboard/not menu)for the sauerkraut. Indeed is as described and a great remembrance of the Kapusta my Babci and Matka would make. Whoa, the couple of days it would take to air-out the flat of its telltale aroma per its time of ‘stewing’ and more so in winter! I recall both sliced the cabbage more finely tho. The Brat was fine, LOL, and the panini ‘roll’ was just right in terms of crunch without annoying chewiness; a very ample supply of kettle chips.
    ~ Had the Cumulus Wheat IPA which I think held its own in coming through with flavor to the sauerkraut!
    ~ Despite my favoring of Louis Sullivan’s design dictum of “Form follows Function” which I think my choice of my first TV is classic: i.e. it encapsulated the essentials without the big box/console look…I still prefer what some, e.g. the antidisestablishmentarians, might refer to as my fuddy-duddy ambiance of panelled walls/tufted, red leather…OK, vinyl…booths! Nevertheless, many Folks are obviously happy with ‘functional’ as the dozen bar stools and dozen tables were almost full up with a melange of after-work(?)imbibers…mid-week! being attentively served.
    ~ Alas I can’t share the “out-of-the-way” sentiment as it only took me 8 minutes to get here…tee hee! Before turning from Alameda onto the block to go on San Mateo, I could see I-25. Beyond that aren’t most places in ABQ about 15 minutes “away”? E.g. it’s 13′ from 100 First NW according to Google! In any event, they are working on a site adjacent to the perennial Mannie’s at the foot/head of Nob Hill. (Geesh, it took me longer to compose/edit this than it took to get there!!! L@M!)

  • Can't comment on the food

    When I went to Bosque Brewing some 14 months ago, the menu consisted of a couple of sandwiches (paninis) and maybe a salad or two. Was meeting some old co-workers who are nearby there for happy hour, so we did not partake of the food – just the libations.

    Beer was OK. Had one good, and one not-so good. For the life of me I cannot remember what they were called or even what they were.

    Looks like I’ll have to go back for that brat alone!

    Out of the way is one way of putting it. Think San Mateo/Alameda/I-25 and you’re in the neighborhood.

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