Above: Comanche Creek Brewing, in Eagle Nest. Photograph by Douglas Merriam.
Windows line the walls at Comanche Creek Brewing and look out onto the expansive porch. I cannot overemphasize the view from this porch. It leads to a meadow that Maria von Trapp would gladly frolic through and rolls for miles before meeting the rise of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the distance. You can gaze toward town and see Eagle Nest Lake or lose your thoughts in the mountains and big blue sky.
There’s a therapeutic vibe to big, open, natural spaces like this. Located just off NM 64 outside Eagle Nest, west of Taos on the Enchanted Circle, this microbrewery has a new taproom and beer that’s pretty great, too.
Kody Mutz and his wife, Tasha, opened Comanche Creek Brewing in 2010. They started home-brewing while living in Denver, where Tasha was a nurse and Kody worked in real estate, but the two had dreams of leaving the city and moving to the Eagle Nest area, where his family had property. “We’re just home brewers who made the leap,” Kody says.
Almost 10 years later, in May 2019, the couple opened their newly built taproom ahead of Memorial Day weekend. “The community is great. They’ve been really supportive. All the locals and what I call the part-time locals—people who have houses up here or people who come for the summer—they’re just always stopping by and they’re really friendly,” says Kody. “Everyone gets to know each other pretty easily.”
Read more: The Story of the Southwest Through Beer.
There’s a lot of history in the construction of the shiny new taproom. The rectangular space features a beautiful wooden bar made from the planks of a bridge that crossed over Comanche Creek, which runs through the brewery’s property. Trees from the Mutz property were hand-scorched, giving them a deep black tone, before being hammered into place to form the taproom walls. A giant log looms over the bar, nestled among a constellation of vintage light bulbs; it used to be a gatepost on the family’s land.
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Comanche Creek had five beers on tap the day I visited but has up to a dozen regular brews that the Mutzes plan to rotate. Along with their standards, they throw a sour or fruit beer into the mix, too. All are brewed on-site, and Kody says his brewing process is simple. “We try to keep it fairly basic and approachable. Our beers are typically real smooth and easy-drinking. We don’t go too crazy with the hops,” he says.
One of their most popular brews is the Homestead Amber, but I recommend the Gold Rush Kolsch, which was smooth, light, and perfect for a warm summer evening.
The brewery doesn’t serve food, but you’re welcome to bring your own. Outdoor games like horseshoes and cornhole are available, too, and you can always take a growler home to your own porch.
Comanche Creek Brewing
County Road B-24, Eagle Nest, NM 87718