THE EARLIEST KERNELS of 575 Brewing Company began fermenting in Bill Arnold’s Alamogordo kitchen. “I just bought a homebrew kit one day,” he says. “I made a mess, but it was kind of drinkable.” He expanded to the garage and began sharing with neighbors. “I just got interested. I’m the type that, once I start something, the next thing you know I’m engulfed in it.”
He and his wife, Vicky, are now happily immersed in the bustling warehouse-style brewery and beer garden they opened in Alamogordo in January 2020. Live music, camaraderie, food, and excellent craft beer are all on tap. “People come and they sit and talk for hours,” says Arnold. “Families, kids, dogs—and they’re not pressured to leave. It’s a relaxing environment, and that’s what we want.”
With four kids and seven grandkids, the Arnolds didn’t plan to open a brewpub. The idea bubbled up after they’d retired—Arnold in 2014, after a 26-year career as a Border Patrol agent, and Vicky in 2017, after teaching middle school English. They took several road trips up the California coast and into Canada, stopping at more than 100 craft breweries along the way. “We tried a bunch of beers and thought, Maybe we could do this,” Arnold says.
Read more: Craft beer creates community all over New Mexico.
To learn commercial brewing, Arnold spent a couple of years, off and on, apprenticing with Spotted Dog Brewery, in Mesilla. While working on a project at Los Alamos National Laboratory, he connected with Bathtub Row Brewing, where he helped mill grain and became familiar with its three-barrel brewing system.
When Arnold began developing his roster of beers for 575 Brewing, he named many for things you can see in Alamogordo. Sleeping Lady, a light American ale and his most popular beer, pays homage to twin volcanic peaks in the Sacramento Mountains that resemble … well, you guessed it. Sunspot, a Scottish ale, celebrates the Sunspot Solar Observatory, in the Lincoln National Forest.
With 15 house beers on tap, nosh plates of cheese, meats, and other treats, visiting food trucks, great mountain views from the patio, and a sprawling beer garden for live music, 575 Brewing caught on quickly. Friends, families toting chess and checkers, and military personnel from Holloman Air Force Base are all regulars, along with some ultramarathon runners who named 575 Brewing’s Dark Canyon Ale.
“We never envisioned the way we would blow up,” Arnold says. “I wanted a little Cheers, you know, where everybody knows your name.”
Bill Arnold recommends three of his favorite brews.
Rim Trail. Named for a popular trail in the Sacramento Mountains, the golden pale ale is Arnold’s go-to pint. “It’s one of the first beers I brewed in my kitchen,” he says.
White Sands Wit. The Belgian white is spiced with chamomile and coriander, which gives it a unique taste, he says.
Fallen Wings IPA. With every new keg of the hoppy India pale ale, 575 Brewing donates to the Fallen Wings Foundation, created by Holloman Air Force Base pilots to support the families of pilots and crew members everywhere who are killed while serving.