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There are five local breweries serving craft beer in Las Cruces and three more New Mexico breweries with locations in the city.
Along with introducing you to all eight of these, this Las Cruces craft beer guide will also take you to nearby breweries in El Paso and Alamogordo.
Oh, and did I mention I personally sampled almost every brewery on this list?
Whether you’re a total crafty looking for your next new favorite brew or just getting into craft beer for the first time, this guide to craft beer in Las Cruces has everything you need to dive into the local scene!
Enjoying a beer from Bosque on my front porch with a view of the always-incredible Organ Mountains
My Overall Take on Craft Beer in Las Cruces
Craft beer is so subjective that it’s difficult to make a definitive statement that one brewery is good or another beer is bad. So, I thought it would be helpful to explain my personal beer preferences first, so if you have opposite tastes, you can do the opposite of everything I recommend in this guide.
Right now, I am very into sours and juicy IPAs. I also like porters and stouts with crazy flavors like peanut butter or coffee. I’m from Ohio, which has totally spoiled me when it comes to experimental breweries. The Las Cruces craft beer scene is in the earlier stages and a little more classic at the moment. If you love a solid traditional craft beer like an IPA or lager, you will be in heaven here.
Overall: The breweries in Las Cruces are good but fail to push major boundaries or experiment with their beers. Still, the brews are solid and the breweries are definitely worth visiting, and this is everything you need to know when you go!
Colorful interior of Picacho Peak Brewing Co.
Top 8 Breweries in Las Cruces
The five local, homegrown breweries in Las Cruces are Icebox, High Desert, Spotted Dog, Picacho Peak, and the Pecan Brewery. Additionally, you’ll find taprooms for Bosque (from Albuquerque) and Little Toad Creek (from Silver City), and Truth or Consequences Brewery (from T or C) as well.
1. High Desert Brewing Co.
High Desert has the best reviews of every brewery in Las Cruces, and I kind of get why. I feel like they best embody the ‘slow down and enjoy life’ spirit that goes hand in hand with a good craft beer.
While Icebox, Bosque, and Picacho Peak are growing at rapid paces, High Desert was founded in the 90’s and seems content with their single location. This gives them time to focus on the unique brews I love, and I appreciate that. I also appreciated that of every brewery I visited in Las Cruces; they were the only ones serving their own sour (it was blackberry cucumber, and it was delicious).
Dan and I went back a second time for dinner and had pub food – nachos and wings – outside. It was good (and super cheap), and the patio was lively and full of people safely enjoying the evening. Overall, I like High Desert a lot.
Outdoor seating at Icebox’s Boneyard Cantina in downtown Las Cruces
2. Icebox Brewing Company
Icebox is fairly new in Las Cruces but growing quickly. They have three locations, including the one pictured above – the Boneyard Cantina located smack in the middle of downtown. Dan and I ate dinner at the Boneyard Cantina, which has a small menu (the fish tacos were a clear winner for us) and a nice outdoor patio.
I tried the apple beer (two thumbs up, I’ve never had an apple beer that wasn’t a cider before), and the coffee pumpkin porter made with local beans from Picacho Roasters. It’s next door to Little Toad Creek Brewery, so a perfect place to start your evening if you want to try multiple Las Cruces breweries in one night.
Menu and small bar area at Spotted Dog (I got my beer to-go but this place definitely more suited to sitting down and chillin’ for a few hours.)
3. Spotted Dog Brewery
Spotted Dog also captures that lowkey ‘drink, chill, and relax’ vibe that I like. It’s in Mesilla, the historic (and best) neighborhood in Las Cruces, and is built in a traditional adobe house.
The only downfall of this brewery is that none of their beer was experimental in pretty much anyway – they served up a very typical IPA, lager, stout, red, etc., and I wanted something slightly more interesting.
However, they also serve food (which I didn’t sample but looked good), had a nice, cozy, dive bar vibe with indoor and outdoor seating. It felt like most of the people there were regulars, which is always a good sign. I probably wouldn’t pick up beer here to-go again because their strength is in their ambiance, but I recommend it as a great place to sit down outside for dinner, trivia, and a few brews with friends.
4. Picacho Peak Brewing Company
Picacho Peak started in Las Cruces and has a second location in nearby Alamogordo. When I went, they had a ton of beers on their menu – like, over 15 – and had a nice modern brewery with a good vibe.
They also serve food (tacos, burgers, etc.) but didn’t have any outdoor seating, so I just got my beer to-go. I really enjoyed the New England IPA and they had at least five other IPAs on the menu as well, so if that’s you’re favorite beer (like Dan) this is definitely the Las Cruces brewery for you.
Entrance and bar area at Pecan Grill and Brewery (definitely more of a sit-down restaurant than a place to go just for drinks.)
5. The Pecan Grill and Brewery
Pecan Grill & Brewery is the oldest brewery in Las Cruces and more a restaurant than a brewery. However, they did have many different beers on tap when I went, and their pecan beer is phenomenal.
I don’t like amber beers, but luckily the bartender insisted I try the pecan amber, and he was right. It’s delicious. (And the rest of Las Cruces seems to agree, because the pecan beer accounts for more than half their beer sales.)
The pecan beer is a nod to New Mexico’s legacy as a pecan growing state and a good reason to visit this brewery at least once during your stay in the city. Again, it’s definitely more of a sit-down restaurant than a bar, so go for a meal or just pop in to get a growler or six-pack to go if you don’t plan to eat. (You can find the pecan beer at liquor stores and grocery stores in the city as well.)
6. Bosque Brewing Co.
Bosque is the biggest name on this list. It has many locations: two here in Las Cruces, a couple in Albuquerque, and one in Santa Fe. Though they in Albuquerque you can find their beer in grocery stores all over the state now.
Here in Las Cruces, there’s one location across the street from the university with a nice outdoor patio usually full of students and another, larger tap house on Telshor. Both serve food and have modern, nice interiors. In addition to some interesting beers on tap when I went – like a light lemon gose – they have their own hard seltzers on tap as well.
Little Toad Creek has a nice outdoor patio and perfect location in the center of downtown Las Cruces
7. Little Toad Creek Brewery and Distillery
Like Bosque, Little Toad Creek is an interloper here in Las Cruces. Originally from Silver City, this is the brewery’s second location. If you’re in a group and looking for a crowd-pleaser, this is a great choice for your non-beer-loving friends because Little Toad Creek is also a distillery.
When we went, they had a watermelon cider on tap that I really wanted to try, but unfortunately, they were out. We got the IPA instead, and it was pretty good. Overall, I think the downtown location, lively vibe, and cocktails make this place a winner.
8. Truth or Consequences Brewery – Las Cruces
This is the newest brewery in LC and just opened recently. I’m currently in the middle of a dry month or two before the holidays, but this brewery is first up on my list when I start drinking again!
It’s the second location of the original Truth or Consequences Brewery from the town of T or C (which is about an hour from Las Cruces) and, at the moment, is just serving beer and no food (but they gave menus for nearby restaurants in the plaza whose food you can bring in). It has good reviews so far.
It’s not the best time to open a new location, so stop by and support them if you can (and let me know how your experience was in the comments below!)
Three fantastic sours from DeadBeach in El Paso – my official favorite brewery near Las Cruces
El Paso breweries near Las Cruces
If you live in Las Cruces or are visiting for an extended stay, you might be interested in more breweries and craft beer spots around the city. El Paso, Texas, is about an hour away and home to three breweries:
- El Paso Brewing Co.
- DeadBeach Brewing Co
- Aurellia’s Bottle Shop and Brewhouse
Aurellia’s is on the highway between the two cities, so it’s actually only 38 minutes from downtown Las Cruces and worth the drive. They have their own and guest beers on tap and a pretty good selection of craft cans and bottles for sale.
I also love DeadBeach because they specialize in sour beers, which are my favorite. If you’re into fruity, flavorful, experimental sours, this is the El Paso brewery for you. After trying (almost) everything on this list, I can pretty confidently say that DeadBeach is my favorite. It’s not in Las Cruces, but it’s great. If you love craft beer, go.
Finally, El Paso Brewing Co., which I popped my head into, but it is, admittedly, another brewery on this guide that I didn’t try. Their beer list just didn’t inspire me to purchase a growler to-go, so we went to DeadBeach and Aurellia’s instead, which both seemed to have slightly better atmospheres and more interesting brews. But, El Paso Brewing Co. is there for you if you want it.
The best breweries in Las Cruces
So, what is the best brewery in Las Cruces?
In the city proper, High Desert and Little Toad Creek are my personal favorites. High Desert is a winner because they served me a delicious cucumber blackberry sour and that’s all you need to do to win my heart, and Little Toad Creek comes out on top because they have a perfect location downtown with music, lights, and outdoor seating.
If we’re including nearby breweries in El Paso and Alamogordo, though, I have to say that DeadBeach and Aurellia’s have the best beer. Aurellia’s had experimental brews and sold them to-go in 16 oz. cans that they filled like growlers, so you can try a lot of types without committing to 64 ounces of them, and DeadBeach, again, came through with the sours. They fill 32 oz. cans to go and I haven’t tried anything from them that I didn’t like.
Between these four breweries, and the rest on this list, of course, there is a solid craft beer scene in and around Las Cruces and I hope this guide helps you enjoy it!
Ready to go?
Explore unique Airbnbs in Las Cruces – like this charming adobe house in historic Mesilla or this guesthouse in the mountains (that Dan and I loved living in for six months) – to book your stay. Then, check out more food, culture, and outdoors experiences in New Mexico to plan the rest of your trip!
This article is part of the Lovely Las Cruces series. Read the rest below:
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