Tractor Brewing Company has hit Albuquerque’s art scene hard. Originally started in 1999 and reassumed by current co-owners Skye Devore and Brewmaster David Hargis in 2010, Tractor Brewing Company is a “completely ABQ based brewing operation and business” according to Carlos Contreras. Carlos is a poet, teacher, and is Tractor’s ‘Good Times Liaison’. The fact that Tractor has brought Carlos on board to bring good times to Tractor is a testament to how serious they are. I sent Carlos a list of questions about Tractor and what he sent back makes me happy to call Albuquerque my home.
“Tractor Brewing is an operation that believes in #AllThingsCraft: Beer, Community, and Art. Tractor is a home-grown business with a familial approach that employees nearly 40 New Mexicans without any sign of slowing down or scaling back.” — Carlos Contreras
Why do you care about the arts so much? You‘re a brewery, aren’t you supposed to be caring about hops, fermentation, and other beer related things?
We care about all those things equally I would dare to say. We are a brewery first (so the beer quality, availability, and innovation gets top PRIORITY in that case) but as far as “caring” about “other,” things, well, we just DO! Art, Community, and Beer is our three-tiered process. We want Tractor to be a lifestyle brand. Yes you can get our amazing beer in our tap rooms, in the can, and around town, you can also buy our merch, support our shows, and buy ART that supports community — we think that is awesome!
The music scene and the microbrewery scene have been in harmony in Albuquerque for a while now, but you guys have started to shake it up by doing things a bit differently. Can you talk about that?
It is in our nature at Tractor, to do things differently and shake things up. We have a number of “creatives,” on staff. Whether it is actresses bartending, or hula-hooping comedians selling our product in the market, we are always “different.” We have beer and bands like every other brewery — but often we team our “shows” large ones especially, like BBBands, up with a cause to benefit our city. To Tractor, it is about our “footprint” and impact in the city and neighborhood we exist in, just as much as it is about making great beer, and subsequently a profit.
Let’s talk about BBBands. I hear you are closing your parking lot at your Wells Park location.
BBBands is Saturday August 15th — the gates will open at 4pm for folks to begin purchasing tickets — we are open at 1pm that day, anyone wishing to stay can buy their ticket. 6pm will begin the bash — with Merican Slang, Youngsville, Red Light Cameras, and Mondo Vibrations, playing in that order. They will be “paired” with a non-profit, and through the gate, folks will get two votes — poker chips or something of the like, to drop in a box, to vote for their favorite band/organization pair. The pair with the most votes at the end of the night, WINS $500 for that non-profit. Bands will be setup on our South Patio, which is normally seating, but it will be a STAGE that day — we have permitted our parking lot to allow alcohol and will have TWO food trucks in the lot as well — this will put our capacity at 401 outside and 99 inside — 500 folks need to have a good time that night.
What non-profits are you helping with this event?
Animal Humane NM — committed to being the leader in next-generation animal shelters.
Blackout Theater Company — a different kind of theater.
Harwood Arts Center — a creative center for community and the arts.
Health Action NM — working to empower consumers to build healthy communities and secure better health care for their families.
Albuquerque has very few outdoor venues like what you are planning. Is Tractor modeling this after events in other cities or trying to create a truly unique ‘Burque’ experience?
That’s a tough one to answer — there are some great venues around town; we are just trying to use our space in every way possible. When we noticed the “Patio Stage” possibility, we quickly looked into permitting and are making it our way to go for big fundraisers and events — look forward to more parking lot partying in the future.
Below is a little look into the bands that will be performing. Red Light Cameras are gig magazine alumni, I’ve included a link to that issue. The videos for Mondo Vibrations, Youngsville, and Merican Slang are courtesy of TractorTV. If you can make it to the show on August 15th this is should give you a good idea of what to expect.
Mondo Vibrations at Tractor Brewing Company
Youngsville at Tractor Brewing Company
Merican Slang at Tractor Brewing Company
August 15th 4pm and beyond. Tractor Brewing Wells Park, 1800 4th Street NW 87102.