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USA Radio
May 8, 2014

Santa Fe, New Mexico: Tastings & Tours

We awoke before sunrise to depart for New Mexico. We were sad to leave Colorado, but we got some amazing views of Denver at such an early hour from our plush rooms in the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel.

The flight to Albuquerque, New Mexico was quick and easy. The whole group sat quietly in awe as we took in the stunning landscape during the one-hour drive from the airport to Santa Fe. The desert mountain views were rich with colors and lush landscapes. We were eager to explore when we arrived in the Historic Santa Fe Plaza. We walked around the distinctive old town flanked with unique adobe-style buildings and explored the many museums and historic buildings. We browsed some of the Native American handcrafts sold outside the Palace of the Governors. We decided upon lunch at Tia Sophia, as it was hopping with locals. We sampled the various traditional New Mexican dishes including burritos, tacos and enchiladas, complete with the state’s renowned red and green chiles. We learned when the colorful chile sauces are ordered together they are referred to as “Christmas.” After lunch we headed to our hotel to check in.

The centrally located Hotel Santa Fe The Hacienda and Spa was a welcome sight after a long day of travel and sightseeing. The staff at the hotel was extremely welcoming as we stopped in to drop off our bags. The hotel’s authentic adobe architecture and Native American-inspired interiors accentuated the day’s exploration around the historic New Mexican town.

Craft Beer Spotlight

Santa Fe Craft Beer Brewery

We met Chris, a Santa Fe craft beer expert and local celebrity, at the hotel to explore several local breweries. The first stop on the tour was the Santa Fe Brewing Company. We had a delicious beer tasting, followed by a tour of the brewing and canning facility. Each of us had a favorite brew, Santa Fe Hefeweizen and Imperial Java Stout, were among the most popular.

2nd Street Brewery

The next brewery on the tour was the award-winning 2nd Street Brewery, known for its Pilsners. The brew master, Rod, poured samples direct from the source, and we quickly understood why their beer is world-renowned.

Marble Brewery

The third and final stop on the tour was the Marble Brewery, which was celebrating its opening day. The modern interior and vibe were a great way to round out the tour, giving the group a very diverse Santa Fe craft beer experience.

After the local brewery tour, we ducked out of a hailstorm and found refuge at the Santa Fe Distillery. The team relaxed with a few of the new distillery’s signature cocktails including the Dirty Brit, Whiskeyrita and Silver Manhattan. The weather broke and we seized the chance to catch the day’s last light and do some more sightseeing. Chris took us to Canyon Road and Acequia Madre —home to Santa Fe’s thriving art community— to get some pictures.

We finished up the day with dinner at a local tapas spot called La Boca. We asked the waitress to surprise us with a selection of the best house recommendations. A variety of Spanish cheeses, octopus carpaccio and traditional tortillas did not disappoint. We went back to the hotel full and happy with our day in Santa Fe.

Arizona’s next. We can’t wait to taste the delicious beers that wait for us there!

Read more about this Road Trip
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