Red River Brewing breaks ground

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With the recent demolition of what many Red River locals still refer to as "the old Chevron," Red River Brewing Company has begun construction.

"We've knocked the old building down and the new one is going up," said Michael Calhoun, partner and general manager of the craft beer company. "We'll be open this winter by December or January. We'll be operating under a [New Mexico] small brewer's license. We're going to focus on selling right here in Red River at first. We might sell elsewhere later on, but that's not our main objective.

"We've selected a contractor from Alamosa, Colorado: Van Gieson and Company. They do hotels and restaurants and other commercial projects in Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico. It's a family business. We like that."

The "we" in this case refers to Calhoun's business partners: other members of his extended family. "It's definitely a Calhoun family business."

Brother Brian, a principal architect from RTA Architects out of Colorado Springs, designed the building. He also designed the Main Street Mercantile/Calhoun Real Estate building next to Der Markt, which is owned by the brothers' father and stepmother, Ted and Linda Calhoun.

Michael Calhoun, a Los Alamos resident who grew up in Red River, has retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory after working in software development for 25 years. With their children in college, he and his wife, Sharon, are in the process of relocating back to Michael Calhoun's hometown.

"I will be the general manager at the brewery," he said. "Red River Brewing Company will not be just another place to have a beer and eat while in Red River, but another reason to visit Red River.

"RRBC is good for Red River because it broadens the local economy, creates jobs for locals and adds another dining option for our visitors. This will make Red River a destination for craft beer lovers. You find craft breweries in most small mountain resort towns. They make their communities better places.

"We hope to produce good locally produced craft beer. Red River's positively fabulous water is going to make exceptional beer. We've had it tested and it's perfect, just perfect for beer."

A personal passion for craft beers, hobby brewing and his hometown helped spur Michael Calhoun. Although he is himself a hobby brewer, the company will bring in a skilled brewmeister.

"We'll be hiring for all positions later this fall. Send your contact information to Michael@RedRiverBrewing.com if you're interested and we'll put your name on our list so we can stay in touch as we get closer."

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