High Desert Brewing Company

High Desert Brewing CompanyHigh Desert Brewing Company

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

1201 W Hadley Ave
Las Cruces, New Mexico, 88005-2422
United States

(575) 525-6752 | map

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Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 31
Photo of Imslick
4.11/5  rDev +9.6%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I've sampled most of their beers and never had a bad beer. In fact, they're all very good.

Just wish the place was cleaner. Tables are all sticky with grease and in general, the appearance is not very clean. In fact, I've thought about bringing my own mug since they don't seem to care much about cleanliness when you watch them clean glasses.
That being said, I still go there regularly since the beers are so good.

I've never taken my wife there, she'd never even sit down.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3/5  rDev -20%

Given that Las Cruces doesn't have the beer scene that Albuquerque does, this place ain't so bad, but I think they could use some competition. Yes, I know there's some Mimbres Brewing or something of that nature also in Cruces, but I've heard it's hardly anything to write home about.

Despite my less than favorable intro, I'd say I do like the beers here.

I started with the barleywine which had some tough shoes to fill after I'd so recently enjoyed a number of good ones, including La Cumbre's version. I found this one to be lacking in hop aroma and taste and to be generally undecided as what it was meant to be. It simply lacked any distinctive taste that could have and should have made it memorable.

I followed this with a flight that included the Rye IPA, Black IPA, Porter, and an ESB. I started with the ESB and found it to be quite good. It seemed highly sessionable---I didn't see ABV or IBUs posted anywhere, but then again I wasn't sitting at the bar--- and wasn't a hopbomb. I then moved to the Rye and found it to be just as peculiar as the barleywine. It was sweet to start and had a soda-like quality and taste that didn't please me any. In fact, the Rye was my least favorite.

The Black IPA had a good hoppy nose with that roasty, maltiness you'd expect both on the nose and in taste. I enjoyed it and probably wouldn't have minded another.

Finally, the porter was good and true to it's style. It too had the dark, roasty notes and a good, thick body. This certainly would make a good quaffer for winter months.

I didn't try the food though it looked decent, but if I return it would be to try more beers and see if these guys are consistent and worthy of a fourth or fifth star.

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Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I was told this was, "the Selin's Grove of the west," so I knew right away I had to stop in on our way to El Paso. Very nice outdoor seating area is the first thing I noticed, the sun was just about down so we decided to head inside and get a table there while we could and after getting one of the last tables available we got down to the business at hand. Atmosphere was solid, tons of people all over the place enjoying themselves while having a few beers on a Friday night. Quality was pretty good, I loved the glasses my sampler came in as they were like skinny mugs. The space itself was a little...eclectic? I guess I would say but I liked it. Service was good, we only really had to wait once and that was for the check but by then they were being slammed with people so it wasn't a huge deal to me. Selection was solid, they didn't have anything overly exciting on but their main beers were all solid and they had about 12 on so there was plenty to choose from. I wasn't overly hungry so I just got an appetizer but I did try about half of the ruben sandwich which was awesome. Prices were great all around, I didn't really notice anything I would consider overpriced. Overall I had a great time checking out this pub. I do see a bit of Selin's Grove in this place and you locals have an awesome spot on your hands.

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Photo of CTraft
3.3/5  rDev -12%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

When I lived in Las Cruces, this is the bar that my friends and I would frequent the most. It is the only brewpub, and the only brewery, in Las Cruces, and has a great atmosphere.

The beer, in my opinion, is just average. It is not distinctive, and is nothing special, but it is good. I prefer it over mass-produce rubbish any day. It is also the only beer that is local to Las Cruces, so it does have that distinction.

The food is excellent! I have never had a bad meal here. It's mostly sandwiches, burgers, fries, nachos and other such pub fare - of the southwest variety. If you do get the nachos, share with a bunch of people, or have it as your meal. Even the small size will blow you away with its enormity. They are awesome, though, and a fixed with the works - sour cream, green chile, black olives, ground beef if you want it, cheese, etc.! Highly recommended.

Service is a bit disorganized. There are few staff who do everything (bartending, waitressing, etc.), and have a hard time keeping up with the crowd. My first time there was a Wednesday evening, and it was moderately crowded, and I had a really hard time getting someone's attention just to order a burger. Once I finally got my order in, though, it came promptly and was delicious! You have to be very assertive to grab their attention, if they are available. If you are at a table, you'll hardly ever see your waiter again after the initial beer/food.

High Desert has a very chill atmosphere. Everyone is pretty friendly and approachable. You'll find mostly young professionals or NMSU grad students and some older folks who just love to relax and have a beer and chill with other locals. No college frat boys here. I have made a bunch of friends here and often see some of the same people. They also have live music on Thursday nights, mostly local folk artists and the like, which attracts a good crowd. Other than that it's mostly people milling about and chatting, and can get a bit crowded.

Overall, High Desert is a must for anyone visiting Las Cruces. Although the beer is not overly impressive, it's nice to sip on while chilling with friends new and old in a relaxed atmosphere, and listening to some local tunes occasionally.

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Photo of soju6
3.9/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

The HDBC is a small place, well hidden off of the main drag in Las Cruces, NM. I think this gives the place a unique ambiance. They have 10-11 beers on tap, the main brews and a number of seasonal and specials on tap. They range from Barleywine to Lagers. I had the ESB and IPA which were quite good. I think the thing that got my attention was the number of people stopping in for growler refills.

Everyone was very friendly and enjoyed my stay. The food menu is pretty basic but good. Their motto is " None of our beers suck". So far I have not had a sub par brew. I have not had all of their beers but am working on it when ever I am in the area on business.

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Photo of WestValleyIPA
3.1/5  rDev -17.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I've been here several times. In days of yester yore I used to enjoy the beer most righteously. Their barley wine was the very first I tried, and the first in a long line of fails. Recently I returned after a long residence in California. The IPA there is complete rubbish. Funktastic. I still enjoy the nachos and food there, but the beer really isn't up to snuff. If you're a local, and haven't ventured forth, it's really not a bad place. If you're experienced in the world of the craft brew, it's pretty dang awful.

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Photo of smanders
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Was recommended this place by a number of coworkers while I was in Las Cruces recently. I'm glad I took them up on it. HDBC has one TV (usually sports), 13 tables, 9 bar stools, attractive waitresses, tank tops/t-shirts for sale, coasters hanging from the ceiling, pictures of locals hung around the bar, AND take out orders available. All in all, it has everything a beer advocate needs to call it his/her local watering hole. Pints are $3, pitchers are $11, and most food orders are between $5 and $10. I personally recommend the Green Chile Cheese Burger.

Smokers have to light up out front, and not every bartender knows what type of hops goes into which beer, but old and young alike hang out at this place where the locals are quite friendly and more than happy to help you narrow down your selection. If I lived in the area, I would be here weekly!

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Photo of gixxerman
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Cool place, despite the fact that it was 94 degrees at 9:00 PM. There was a band there and they were pretty packed.

I ended up outside talking with some folks about the different advantages/disadvantages of living in New Mexico vs the northeast. A few IPAs later and I was ready to head indoors to the AC.

Service was pretty good even though they were at SRO capacity. everyone was very friendly, and eager to talk to a new face in the crowd.

They close a little earlier than most places I am used to (midnight), but they are right smack in the middle of a residential neighborhood.

I would like to go back when they were not so busy, grab a seat at the bar, and really soak the place in.

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Photo of goatgoat
3.75/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Just met an old friend in Las Cruces. Thanks to BA I found out about High Desert.

It's a weird pub bordering a weird residential/industrial section of town. It's a little hard to find due to it's being in a house looking like building. We had to flag down a lady in the grocery store parking lot before we got good directions. The inside is a little rough, nothing special at first glance. Some hops and barley painted on the door jams, nothing impressive. My buddy and I stayed on the patio. But the people are great. Everyone was friendly, talkative and there were a variety of well-behaved pooches roaming about.

The beer was good, with a few stand outs and a one questionable selection (octoberfest). They had a good selection of styles on their list, though only about half were available at the time. Their Anniversary Ale was very tasty as well as their highly hopped amber.

All I had was the fried zucchini sticks and they were tastyl. But it takes effort to make something fried and covered with ranch taste bad. General pub fare.

The service was a little hit-or-miss. Sometimes a little slow, but always friendly.

This was my first extended stay in Las Cruces, and this place was the center of my evening's entertainment. Perfect after a hot day in the desert.

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Photo of RunDWP
4.05/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I'm here today to tell you another example of all that is good with beer in America. It's the High Desert Brewing Company in Las Cruces, New Mexico. It's a local watering hole, with some of the friendliest locals you'll find to gather together to get a good beer. All sorts of postcards and other stuff from patrons decorating the place. In the back, by the restrooms, you'll find one of the finest collections of Elvis Presley paintings on black velvet assembled West, or East, of the Mississippi.

But you're probably reading this to know what the beer is like, and I'm here to say, good to great. I can personally vouch for the Amber Lager, the Pilsner, the Porter, IPA and Oktoberfest. Haven't tried them all, but imagine that most of the others are pretty good as well. Had the green chile fries and the carrot cake, so can't vouch for all the grub, but what I had was delicious. Both times, had really friendly and helpful waitresses.

I expect to be back in Las Cruces again someday, and when that time comes, you'll find me here.

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Photo of patobandito
4.18/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I go to school in Las Cruces, and this is now one of my regular hangouts. The beer is just great and not too expensive. Me and a friend can slit a pitcher and have lunch for about $7 dollars each. The service is usually good, although I have been once or twice when they were busy and the waitress I got (Both times!) was just very...snippy. Other than that minor complaint, this is so far my favorite brewpub, but that just might be because its close.

The beers I've tried include:
Hefeweizen - excellent
Wheat - excellent, though very very light
Peach Wheat - a bit fruity for my tastes, but not bad
Oktoberfest- Excellent
Imp Stout- not a fan of stouts, but according to friends its great
Anniversy Ale - great
ESB - Great
Holiday Ale- definatly the holiday beer with the most character I have ever had. Very good.
Steam Beer- also a great selection. Not too bitter, just right.

The food is standard bar fare, but I believe that they have some of the best Green Chile cheese fries on the planet.

Overall, I love this place, and I will continue going. The Beer selection is always different with usually 9 or 10 on tap. Excellent!

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Photo of woodychandler
4.14/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

My old Navy buddy, CrustyJurkowski, picked me up at the bus station and this was our first stop of my visit.

The front door opened onto a white tile floor to the left, along with standard restaurant tables and chairs. The lavatories were also over on that side, through an archway. The small, "U"-shaped, blonde wood bar sat up a short step with several standard tables and chairs along the walls. The back bar consisted of their coolers, taps, and a ceiling-full of coasters. Along the far wall was a window overlooking the brewhouse. It was kind of a small place, but I was not complaining.

They had eleven beers on tap during my visit, but by that point, I had learned to eschew samplers in favor of a full serving of my favorite style(s). According to them, "None of our beers suck and our food kicks ass!" Perfect.

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Photo of bosstep
3.38/5  rDev -9.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Have visited here 3 times in 8 years, not that close--since I live in Santa Fe.

First time, I thought beer was top-notch by current standards at the time, with 8-10 to choose from. Viisted last year and found the lineup to be much the same. A bit surprised that there did not appear to be any newer styles, such as Double IPA, Beligian. Again, I don't visit too often, still a much better than average brewpub.

I must comment on this distrurbing practice however, I took several clean, empty, standard size growlers with me, and was informed that HD does not fill any growlers, except those with it's own logo.

STOP this ridiculous, self-serving practice. Your battle is not with other brewpubs. It's with AB, Miller and Coors. Promote your industry, don't hinder it.

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Photo of iron78
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Stopped in while driving through the area. Was a fun stop after being on the road for a couple of days.
The building has the outside "local" look for the southwest. Being December, was a bit cool to sit out side, but looks like it would have been a good place to have a brew some evening.
Inside it had a older, worn feel. Ceiling covered with coasters from other beers/bewpubs.

I found the service good, polite and helpful.
Just had an appetizer, quesadilla. Was good, had nice pepper kick.

The IPA had nice balance, good hop flavor. Found the Barley wine to have a bit too much alcohol burn, but otherwise good. They had quite a few beers on tap, and a good variety of styles too.

A nice low key place.
I'll stop by again if I go that way.

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Photo of SidSales
3.4/5  rDev -9.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 2

Visted this place recently (13/09) whilst on holiday from the UK.

Smallish place with stools around the bar and about a dozen tables for dining, tables also outside. Fire limit inside is 57 persons - so that gives an idea how small. Difficult to find although our driver knew of the place so that was ok.

10 beers on tap which were:-
Wheat Ale
Peach Wheat
American Pale Ale
Bohemian Pilsener
Steam beer
Imperial Stout
Barley Wine

Got to say most of the beers were ok with the Imperial Stout and Barley Wine being dangerous.

Food very average, I had the Bratwurst which gave me the sh*ts all of the following day. As there is little to do in this area you have not got much choice.

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Photo of MikeFromMarsPA
2.3/5  rDev -38.7%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 3 | food: 2

We arrived in Las Cruces on a Wednesday evening just after the dinner hour, so the place wasn't all that full. After about five minutes, our server arrived and asked us what we wanted. I ordered the exact same thing I order every time I visit a brewpub for the first time: one sample of every beer they make on tap. Our server rolled her eyes and said, "That's going to take a while, I'm really busy" and then stood there, expecting me to change my order to something more convenient for her. I didn't, and she left.

Our sampler arrived relatively quickly (apparently she wasn't that busy after all) and we went through them. They had 8 regular beers on tap, which were all average and competent but uninspired. The ninth beer we sampled (which we were charged extra for) was their Anniversary Ale, a limited batch to celebrate 10 years in business. The Anniversary Ale was excellent, and was pretty much the redeeming value of this place.

We each ordered a burger. For $6.99 we got your basic burger-fries combo. Again, nothing inspiring. The kind of burger that comes in a big frozen stack in a box from somewhere else.

The atmosphere is that of a friendly but run-down little dive, if you're into that kind of thing. If you're into beer coasters stuck to the ceiling with chewing gum and pictures of Elvis on black velvet on the walls, then you'll be in heaven.

We washed down our food with a pint each of the Anniversary Ale. I noticed that the cooler behind the bar was full of pre-filled growlers, which is never a good sign, since they were probably sitting there for a day or two already, so I decided to go out to our car and get one of our empty growlers to fill with the Anniversary. I came back in and set our growler (from the amazing Etna Brewery in CA) on the bar. Before I could even ask our server to fill it for us, she comes up to me and says "If you brought that in to get filled, we can't do it. It's house policy." I've not been to too many places that are so wantonly disrespectful of the universal beer karma that they won't fill someone else's growler. So, I asked innocently enough, "Why is that?" to which I get a retort "Because that's what the owners of the place said. That's what 'house policy' means."

Needless to say, we left fairly quickly after that. I never tip less than 18%. Well, almost never.

I won't be going back here, and I wouldn't encourage anyone else to try this place either. The Anniversary Ale was the only thing above mediocre about it, and it's just a limited batch. Let's hope that at some point over their second decade in business, the owners and staff get a freakin' clue.

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Photo of russpowell
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

I was lucky enough to get dinner here, so I was able to sample a few more brews than normal

This place looks like it used to be a mexican or italian restaraunt. Place is decked with loads of beer coasters on the ceiling, this place has the feel of a local hangout. Although the area looks kind of run down there was really good mix of folks in there, skewing much younger then my old ass. The patio looked like a cool place to hang out.

All the beers I tried were above average (ESB, Oktoberfest) to very good (Imp Stout). The growlers were just flying outta there!

Service was great, granted I was sitting at the bar, but they took care of me & had a good attitude

There were 9 beers on tap & both lagers & ales were well represented. The dark bock & the imp stout were my favorites

The food selection & quality was just average pubgrub, more an accompanyment to the beer versus a draw in it's own right

The beers were $3.75 a pint, $2.75 for a 10 oz draw. Food was a little pricey. I would go again if down that way to be sure

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Photo of 86sportster883
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I drove about 40 miles one afternoon to visit this place while staying down in El Paso, TX. It was certainly worth the trip. It's a real low key place that I originally drove right past. A small one story building mostly obscurred by the trees in front. I walked in, not even sure that the place was open, and was pleasantly surprised. It's a small place for sure. About a dozen tables of various sizes and a small bar that could accomodate about 10 bar stools. The place was empty except for the bartender, a couple of locals at the bar and myself. Little Feat was playing on CD when I walked in (or some cover of Sailin' Shoes), and a mix of blues, bluegrass and Reggae seemed to follow. I sat at the bar, and the bartenter, as well as the other patrons, were frendly. Fox news (sound off, closed captioning on) played on the single large TV and provided the source materiel for most of the dialog/humor at the bar.

I really liked the atmosphere. Good music, friendly folks, very casual. It's not the place you would go if you wanted to impress a date, that is, unless she really likes beer. And this place has quite a selection. On tap they offered 11 of their own beers; a Wheat ale, a Peach Wheat, IPA, American Pale Ale, Amber Ale, Brown Ale, Stout, a Steam beer, Dark Bock, Holiday Ale and a Barley Wine. I sampled all but the Wheat and the Barley Wine and was really impressed with most. Their APA was one of the best I've had. Their IPA was very, very drinkable, not over hopped or overly bitter. The Peach Wheat had such a strong Peach nose that I thought for sure it would be too sweet for my palate, but it turned out be be an amazingly well balanced wheat beer. I was distracted by something during the Steam beer and inhaled it before I remembered to pay attention to the style. All I can say is that the Steam will be my choice as a session beer next time I return. I even liked their Holiday style offering, which is typically not a beer style I like at all. Their T-shirt slogan is "None of our beers suck!" and from what I sampled, I would have to agree.

Didn't try the food. Didn't even pick up the menu. The one special of the day was, Pulled pork w/pickle slices on a kaiser roll served with potato salad on the side for $7.99. It sounded tempting, but I had other plans.

UPDATE: Returned for dinner and drinks on 5/15/07, a weekday evening when the place was practically full. The food was slightly better than average and the service was super friendly, but not great. I was still impressed by the beers I had, the dark bock and foreign stout. Unfortunately, there was one obnoxious foul-mouthed NMSU professor making as ass of himself at the bar that just seemed to detract from the whole experience.

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Photo of AndrewKoransky
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

We stopped by this little place on a vacation to the natural wonders near the El Paso area. Former reviewers mentioned their small batches of beer... as a result, they had the largest selection of brewpub brews than I've ever seen in a brew pub. They had nearly 10-12 custom beers on tap if I recall. And some of them were very good beers. The place itself had character, but it was definitely one of the smallest brewpubs I've been in. Had that kinda lovable hole-in-the-wall feel to it. The food wasn't terribly memorable, but I won't forget the beer. If are you in the El Paso or Las Cruces area, and you love beer, this place is not to be missed!

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Photo of sideshowrob
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This place surely holds the title for "Worlds Smallest Brewpub"! Literally it is a converted bungalow - They still have two Apartments for rent at the back of the shop! Unfortunately, it's furnished about as well as the standard straight-out-of-college type apartment, as well.

I admit I was very aprehensive upon entering this place. Still though, A brewpub is a brewpub, so in I went. Very impressive tap list! They seem to be able to keep about ten beers on tap, and they use a small 100bbl system - lot's of batches, lots of fresh brew, and I'm sure a very, very busy brewmaster!. I tried the Scotch Ale, which was VERY smoky/peaty one night, and then modestly so the next; the Dark Bock, and the IPA. All were good beers. The small batches means they can tinker with the recipies often - the beer you get one night may not be exactly the same the next time.

Good food as well. Pretty standard New Mexican fare. No complaints about service, all wait/bar staff were friendly and attentive. This really, really seems to be neighborhood hang out, as many people knew the staff very well. They didn't seem to mind "outsiders" at all.

Well worth the trip if you're in the area. Definately not a tourist trap!

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High Desert Brewing Company in Las Cruces, NM
3.59 out of 5 based on 83 ratings.
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