TorC Brewery Named Best Independent Brewery in NM by Web Giant

One of the driving forces behind the brewery’s success in Truth or Consequences is John Masterson, co-owner of Truth or Consequences Brewing Co. and director of beer. (Courtesy of Truth or Consequences Brewing Co.)

Recently, Yelp rounded up the nation’s top craft beer makers in commemoration of America’s Craft Beer Week.

Yelp, which publishes customer reviews and recommendations for different types of businesses, analyzed user reviews of breweries in each state to determine the best independent breweries.

The Truth or Consequences Brewing Co. of New Mexico, located in the city of the same name, won the highest honor for the state.

“At first we couldn’t believe it,” said John Masterson, beer manager and co-owner. “But then we thought about it and were like, ‘Well, the team just executed the mission. In a way, that makes sense.

Masterson thinks the positive reviews submitted on Yelp come from a combination of locals and passing travelers.

“We had a very kind and grateful welcome from the local community,” Masterson said. “TorC had a really thriving, vibrant and vibrant downtown. And that dried up a few years ago. And so what was really needed was a place for evening entertainment, and frankly, a meeting space where you could just have a casual beer with a co-worker and come up with a plan to grow a new business or to go on a date, et cetera. And so we have live music. So that was another thing that the community really appreciates. And so I think we probably had community members who were interested in helping us with our Yelp reviews and trying to help us out.

The owners have a hunch that many travelers have stumbled across them on their way to the popular hot springs in town.

“They probably kind of walked through the door already charmed by the experience of arriving in the historic downtown hot springs district,” Masterson said. “And then, once we were able to wow them with great customer service and great beer, they were also motivated to give us a little thumbs up on Yelp.”

Masterson and his wife, Marianne Blaue, were also travelers from Seattle who ended up in Truth or Consequences en route to Silver City. The couple fell in love with the city and decided to find a way to earn a living there.

“We developed a crush on the city very quickly,” Masterson said. “I was a lifelong brewer in a past life and (my wife and I) decided we had to find a way to have a life here. And then we said let’s have a beer and talk about it. Well, there was nowhere to get a beer in town. So the idea bloomed right there.

The couple opened Truth or Consequences Brewing Co. in 2016 along the city’s main street at 410 N. Broadway St. Their beer is served in Truth or Consequences’ dining hall and production facility. The brewery also has a satellite bar in Las Cruces.

“We’re happy to be on the main street of Broadway,” Masterson said. “There’s just a lot of visibility and now there are other companies popping up around us that are kind of enjoying some extra activity. This therefore creates additional economic activity and we are therefore very satisfied with our impact.

The brewery incorporates the city as well as outer space into the names of its beers. Dark Skies Oatmeal Stout commemorates the star filled skies of Truth or Consequences. Blood Moon Cherry Lager, which is a tart lager with cherries, was named in honor of the lunar eclipse of the same name. Supernova Double IPA, a “super hopped” hazy IPA, Omega Haze named after the Omega Nebula, as well as Mega Haze and Nebula Nectar, all pay homage to outer space.

“A lot of our beers have a kind of space theme just to acknowledge the fact that Sierra County, where we are, is also home to Spaceport America,” Masterson explained. “Obviously, New Mexico generally has a pretty rich space history…And that gives us the opportunity to express an almost artistic appreciation for the wonders of the universe. And it’s fun, well for me, to learn about it and then share some of the interesting things about space that we learn when naming beers.

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