New Mexico Distillers Guild

New Mexico Distillers Guild

New Mexico is commonly referred to as the craft beer capital of the southwest, but the craft distillery scene, though younger than the brewing community, is looking just as, if not more promising. There are amazing craft distilleries cropping up all over The Land of Enchantment, from Santa Fe to Las Cruces and beyond, and, at least in part, it’s the New Mexico Distillers Guild we have to thank for this.

Staffed by legends of the New Mexico craft distillery scene, this organization is dedicated to building something legendary out of the modest but highly passionate community of spirit makers across the state, and today, we’ll be taking a look at their operation.

But first, let’s discuss some of the legislation pertaining to the distilleries of New Mexico.

New Mexico Distillery Legislation

As a relatively new sector in the New Mexican economy, the legislation surrounding craft distilleries is also quite young, but below you’ll find the key information as it currently stands.

State Fees

At $6.06 per gallon of spirit produced, tax excise rates are relatively low in New Mexico, which is certainly an incentive to give a distillation business a shot, and many people have!

Licensing Requirements

A craft distiller’s license will set you back $750 in New Mexico, and any off-site locations will cost an additional $200. 

To apply for a license, you must submit an “on-site production plan” that declares that you plan to only produce alcohol on the site referenced in the application.

You must also enclose a tax registration certificate bearing your name, as well as a copy of a federal basic permit to distill alcohol. Photos of the prospective production site and equipment are also a must, as is the aforementioned licensing fee.

Finally, distillers have to provide proof of tenancy at the property photographed, as well as a detailed floor plan of said property. But this is only the most basic of applications. Differing circumstances may call for a more expansive and complex application process.

What’s more, if you plan on growing your operation and taking a step into the commercial world of spirit distillation, a manufacturer’s license is required, which carries an annual cost of $3,000 per year.

New Mexico Distillers Guild (1)


Unlike most other states, rather than imposing a production cap on distilleries, New Mexico imposes a production baseline, but this can be just as damaging to business growth and the distillery scene as a whole.

Not long ago, to qualify for a craft distillery license, you had to be capable of producing no fewer than 1000 proof gallons of spirituous liquor, meaning distillers with more modest budgets couldn’t set up large enough operations to qualify for eligibility.

Thankfully, this baseline has now been reduced to 500 proof gallons, which has been a large step forward for making the state more distiller and grassroots-friendly.

Who Are The New Mexico Distillers Guild?

Founded in 2014, the New Mexico Distillers Guild was established by leaders of the New Mexico distillery industry, with the common goal of nurturing the scene and helping their fellow spirit artisans produce high quality liquor and thrive commercially.

The board of directors includes:

  • Scott Feuill — President: Founder & Distiller at Taylor Garrett Whiskey, a distillery focused on sustainable, all-natural production processes. Scott’s goal is to marry the distilling traditions of the past with the scientific advances of the now to produce the best whiskey imaginable without harming our shared home.
  • Chris Leurig — Vice President: Master Distiller at Safe House Distilling Co., a distillery based in an old financial building, dedicated to taking the artistic DNA of New Mexican culture and distilling it into their spirits.
  • Skye Devore — Government Relations: Owner of Troubled Minds Distillery, an Albuquerque operation catering to the mad geniuses of the population, the restless creators that pursue their vision to the fullest.
  • Caley Shoemaker — Secretary / Treasurer: Co-Founder & Master Distiller of Altar Spirits, a distillery that understands that sometimes the cutting edge can only be found by looking back instead of forward. They examine the real local roots of spirits in order to apply traditional wisdom to their modern craft.
  • Frank Holloway — Events & Marketing: Founder of Hollow Spirits, a distillery that, contrary to Altar, embraces the avant-garde, leaving the past where it lies to push boundaries with their spirits.

New Mexico Distillers Guild members:

  • Taylor Garrett Spirits located in Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Safe House Distilling Co. located in Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Troubled Minds Distilling located in Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Hollow Spirits Distillery located in Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Altar Spirits located in Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Albuquerque Distilling located in Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • 505 Spirits Distillery located in Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Algodones Distillery located in Algodones, New Mexico
  • Dry Point Distillers located in Lac Cruces, Mew Mexico
  • La Reforma Taqueria, Brewery, Distillery located in Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • One Distillery located in Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Left Turn Distilling located in Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Mother Trail Beverage Company located in Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Little Toad Creek Brewery & Distillery located in Silver City, New Mexico
  • Rolling Still located in Taos, New Mexico
  • Red River Brewing Company & Distillery located in Red River, New Mexico
  • Santa Fe Spirits located in Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Still Spirits located in Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • All the Things Craft Cocktails & Mixers using Spirits from Troubled Minds Distilling located in Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Three Rivers Brewery Block- Brewstillery Lounge located in Farmington, New Mexico
  • Tumbleroot Brewery & Distillery located in Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Vara Winery & Distillery located in Albuquerque, New Mexico & Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Ponderosa Spirits located in Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm located in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Associate Members:

  • Tapi USA
  • Albuquerque Whiskey Society
  • Abe Equipment

Where Is The New Mexico Distillers Guild Headquartered

You can find the New Mexico Distillers Guild headquarters at 15 Calle, Alfredo, Algodones, NM 87001 in Sandoval County, Albuquerque.

What Does The New Mexico Distillers Guild Do?

The ultimate goal of the NMDG is to advocate for New Mexican distilleries in any way it can. They offer two levels of membership. The first is the Associate Membership, which is aimed at non-DSP holders. It costs $250 a year, and benefits include:

  • Exposure via features on their website and inclusion on premier vendor list
  • Presentation opportunities at the guild in order to introduce new agendas and tell your story
  • Access to a member forum full of handy information and support

The second option is the Distillery Membership, aimed at those who do own a DSP. Annual fees amount to $450, and benefits include:

  • Full immersion in the distillery community
  • Legal support and representation to advocate for your distillery
  • Access to tons of educational resources
  • Exposure via features on NMDG website, trail, socials, and occasional media coverage
  • Access to special offers from local suppliers
  • Invitation to participate in all Guild-run events

All this is to say that the New Mexico Distillers Guild has made it their mission to spread awareness of their craft throughout the state and beyond, as well as support those interested in joining their community. 

Final Thoughts

There you have it — The NMDG is all about bolstering the craft distillery community, even if that means clashing with local legislatures in order to make life easier for their fellow distillers across the state.

It’s a non-profit organization, as all proceeds from membership fees are injected right back into the community with the intention of driving progress for all subscribed distilleries.

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