Anytime you have a metaphysical experience you should follow it up with a beer. Which is why, after running around and exploring the magical world of Meow Wolf, we took a walk around the corner to reflect on our experience and trade notes about all of the craziness. Our destination was one of several craft breweries in the area, and since one couple in our group was now pushing a stroller we chose the closest: Second Street Brewery’s Rufina Taproom.
Not long after we began our walk we were looking longingly at Second Street Brewery’s patio which featured a very welcoming pergola and green canopy. The weather was hot and dry and we were anxious for a spot to thoroughly soak in the Santa Fe weather. We’d arrived shortly after they had opened so we had our pick of seating. Our group of eight (which included a toddler) was able to just sneak onto a picnic table outside. After we settled we were presented a tap list and food menu which included 10 of their beers, 2 guest taps, and various appetizers, sandwiches, and salads. We put in our drink order and were amazed that our server was able to remember 2 beers, 1 non-alcoholic drink, 2 flights of 4, and 1 flight of 6! I’m always surprised when people can do this. He did return to double check on one of the flights, but it turns out he had it correct anyway. That guy earns his tips!
While waiting for our drinks I took the time to wander their taproom. It’s a huge open space with a large bar in the corner. The wall behind that bar has windows that look onto the floor of their 20bbl production brewery. This is Second Street’s third location and houses a majority of their production output. Their original location has a 10bbl system and also has their own taproom. We also visited their second location next to the farmer’s market in the Railyard District later on in our trip. That location has much more of a restaurant feel than a brewery, so between the two I would prefer the Rufina location if I were forced to choose. There are a couple of interesting features in the space that were hard to miss. The first were some unique light fixtures that feature the familiar New Mexico flag design in white and black. The other is a funky mural that includes that aforementioned light fixture with seemingly random images emanating from it. I only recognized a couple, but I’m sure a local would be able to tell me how each makes perfect sense!
I returned to our table just as the beers were arriving. I began with a flight of four: ESB, Dragon’s Blood Sour, LVL Foreign Stout, and 2920 IPA. Out of those four, the stout was my favorite. A lot of people don’t like drinking darker styles of beer when it’s hot out but for some reason I don’t discriminate! It had a deep brown head, with dark roasted coffee flavors, and a clean dry finish. It paired particularly well with the BBQ sauce on my burger. Another thing worth mentioning was the head retention on the 2920 IPA. I drink the beers in my flights one a time. That usually means that by the second or third beer the head is completely gone. In this case the IPA looked like it had just been poured!
We finished things off by ordering a second round of drinks and watching a toddler sit on a picnic table and chew on a straw. I chose a pint of their Red and Yellow Armadillo Imperial Red IPA to finish things off. So far our trip to Santa Fe was going well. We’d survived extra-dimensional rifts and relaxed on yet another craft brewery patio. Second Street’s Rufina location was the perfect spot to catch some shade and acclimatize ourselves to the city. While the beer wasn’t my favorite of the trip, I would return for the taproom and some live music. There wasn’t any during our visit but if you check their website you’ll see that they have it quite regularly. I’d encourage anyone to give them a shot if you’re in the area, especially if your mind is reeling from a Meow Wolf adventure!