Updated: November 17, 2020 10:40 PM
Created: November 17, 2020 10:26 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The state is only on day two of the two-week statewide shutdown, but some local businesses already see it as an end.
Broken Trail Brewery and Distillery taproom announced it’s closing down permanently.
The taproom’s specialty brews and cocktails are more than picturesque, but a representation of New Mexico.
“We opened up as a brewery and distillery, but really wanted to do things like bourbon made with New Mexico grown corn, gin with New Mexico botanicals, juniper and prickly pear,” said Matt Simonds, owner of Broken Trail Brewery and Distillery.
Broken Trail Brewery and Distillery opened up in 2015, turning those ideas into popular spirits.
Simonds said they were part of that booming craft industry.
"Seeing the pieces start to fall, it can be very disconcerting as an industry, wondering where it’s going to stop,” he said.
Since the pandemic hit, there’s nothing booming about business.
“The expectation has been that we all have to jump in and do our part, that we’re all in this together,” said Simonds. “But I see small businesses, restaurants, breweries—we’ve played by the rules, we’ve done our part, we’ve done what we’re supposed to do and it doesn’t seem like it's done any good.”
He said they were able to open up briefly in August, but it was short-lived. On Friday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced a new statewide shutdown that forced many businesses to close their doors again.
“Of course when the actual public health order comes out and you see that it’s not a two-week closure, it’s a minimum of two weeks, right back to these gating criteria’s that took us two to three months to get through,” said Simonds. “That’s when we made the decision as a company that this just isn’t viable anymore.”
Even with no customers, rent is still due. Insurance and labor costs haven’t gone away. He said promises of state or local aid have fallen short.
"It’s the most gut-wrenching thing I’ve had to go through,” he said.
Simonds hopes the trail doesn’t end here for good. Starting Wednesday, they’ll be selling all the beers and spirits they have left with plans to close down permanently Saturday.
“To the people who have stuck with us, our fans, our customers, our regulars— just remember what that ethos was about. Let’s be good to one another, let’s be good people,” he said. “Let’s root for the breweries and restaurants that aren’t closing.”
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