Councilor wants to encourage more local beers at local events

Local breweries may have a chance to get themselves in front of more local drinkers if an Albuquerque city councilor has his way. Councilor Don Harris told New Mexico Political Report that his proposal would require Albuquerque venues to make a concerted effort to serve local beers, but that they would not be micromanaged. “It gives the organizer a lot of discretion,” Harris said about how venues would decide which beers to serve.Harris said he began “Seeing that in, some cases, there was no participation by local breweries” at many local events. Chris Jackson, the editor of the Dark Side Brew Crew, a website focused on New Mexico breweries, told New Mexico Political Report that legislation like this could be great for the local beer scene and could put New Mexico on the map as a “beercation destination.”

“Anything you can do to get exposure beyond word of mouth would be a good thing,” Jackson said. Jackson added that right now local breweries work together on “united front” to raise awareness of local brews.

ABQ City Council rejects city input on Santolina

The Albuquerque city council narrowly rejected a measure that would have called on the city to weigh in on a controversial planned development on the city’s West Side. Councilor Isaac Benton carried the bill Monday night, two weeks after the council rejected his introduction of similar legislation that would have also given the city a say on the Santolina master plan. Benton said the city had a right to influence the master plan based on the city and county adopted Planned Communities Criteria and the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Comprehensive Plan. But councilors rejected the bill on a 4-3 vote, with two members abstaining because their employers own some land where Santolina is planned to be built.

During the debate on the legislation, Benton stressed that he wasn’t asking for anything drastic. “We’re not asking for signoff approval,” he said.