The new Box Canyon Brewery is set up to brew several of its own beers. Several of the brews have musical inspiration.
Courtesy Photo

A place to sit, relax, and quaff a beverage while conversing with neighbors. That’s the vision of the owner and operator of Box Canyon Brewery, opening for business with limited hours on Wednesday, Dec. 21, at 102 Manzanares.

David Chavez is turning the long-standing address known for coffee into a brewery and pub.

“The vision for what we want to do is definitely community-based and pub-like. Not just a brewery or brew pub where you’d come in and grab a pint and a sandwich,” Chaves said. “We want to be a community hub. We want to be a place not only where you not only come to celebrate with a beer, you come to sit down and chat with your neighbors. You may not agree with their views on whatever the topic of the day is, but you’re able to sit across the table from them enjoying a beer and having a conversation.”

In other words, he said, creating a casual vibe for socializing over an ale or lager, beers that he as brewmaster has designed with Socorro in mind.

The handcrafted beers available at Box Canyon Brewery include a hazy IPA he’s named M Mountain Obscured, inspired by  …  what else? “M Mountain on foggy days.”

His stout is called Under The Big Black Sun, inspired by a song by the rock band X, and an ale called Time Of The Preacher, inspired by a song on Willie Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger album.

“And our cream ale is called Mudder’s Milk,” a name taken from an episode of the sci-fi series Firefly.

“Everything we serve will be on tap,” Chavez said. “We want to have five house beers on tap, and two guest taps of craft beer from breweries in Albuquerque.”

He also plans to introduce two or three seasonal beers, such as a lighter lager or wheat beer for example.

As brew master, Chavez has years of experience working in and around breweries in the Albuquerque area.

“For me, the experience of the beer is the minute you get it to your nose, you’re smelling pie or smelling mango or different things,” Chavez said. “And then you taste it, get the little trace elements of that, and then that final dry finish. That whole experience of imbibing is what we want people to take away from what we’re doing when it comes to the beer.”

Unlike a typical brewery, most of which are micro-breweries, Box Canyon Brewery falls into the category of what’s referred to as a nano-brewery.  The difference between a microbrewery and a nano brewery is based on the amount of beer it produces.

“Anything under a seven-barrel system is the way I understand it,” Chavez said. “There’s no such thing as an easy business to run, but a nano-brewery is a little more controllable. A bit easier to keep your arms around things, so to speak.”

With four fermenters and two conditioning tanks, he’ll brew smaller batches at a time, providing a variety of ales, stouts, porters and lagers.

In addition to the beverages, Box Canyon Brewery will offer three different panini sandwiches, three different wraps, three different salads and a black bean Frito pie with red chile.

“We’ve also got a savory black bean pie with corn, onions, green chile, and ladled with red chile,” Chavez said. “I always wanted to try something like that, so I created a new recipe and perfected it over the years. I’ve been serving it to friends for about 10 years.”

Music will be an intrinsic element on the weekends.

“I’m a guitar player, and Paula plays ukulele, so music is important for us,” he said. “We’re looking to have live music on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and also have an open mic night—The Draft Sessions.”

He believes the ambiance and character will set it apart from other places.

At last week’s city council meeting, Box Canyon Brewery was granted a small brewer’s liquor license, and Chavez is currently waiting on permission from the state level to begin brewing.

In the meantime, he said two guest taps will be providing the beer on the soft opening.

“This project that we’re endeavoring has been a dream for me and my wife, Paula (Sims), for the past eight years,” Chavez told the councilors. “We wanted to do something that would be a community space where people could take pride in what they have around them. A friendly space encouraging community and creativity to the residents of Socorro. That’s what we’re going for.”

Hours for Box Canyon Brewery during their soft opening will be 2 p.m.-9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 21-22, and 2 p.m.-midnight Friday, Dec. 23.