Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

High Desert Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
High Desert Brewing CompanyHigh Desert Brewing Company
BA SCORE
3.58/5
Good
86 Ratings
High Desert Brewing CompanyHigh Desert Brewing Company
PLACE INFO

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

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

(575) 525-6752 | map
highdesertbrewingco.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate

BEER STATS
Beers:
29
Reviews:
17
Ratings:
86
PLACE STATS
BA Score:
3.8/5
Reviews:
21
Ratings:
32
pDev:
13.42%
 
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Ratings: 32 |  Reviews: 21
Reviews by goatgoat:
Photo of goatgoat
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

 1,275 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Fee
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

A fine place - but not a good one. Primarily a neighborhood joint, there are some tourists visiting as well but not a good vibe on multiple visits. The beers are just ok, and typically weak overall. Drinkable - just not noteworthy. Food was just ok. Good service though - but it can't make up for other deficiencies. There are better breweries in Las Cruces.

 358 characters

Photo of eddysmith2911
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of 2beerdogs
3.61/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of BGsWo22
3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Photo of Junichi
3.54/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Photo of lcbeer
4.83/5  rDev +27.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

nice local brewery, not upscale but it has grew beer and decent food at fair prices

83 characters

Photo of Imslick
4.11/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

 480 characters

Photo of bauerodb
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.25

They brew good beer here. Food is more typical bar food.

56 characters

Photo of LXIXME
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of ONovoMexicano
3/5  rDev -21.1%

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.

 1,709 characters

Photo of Hoppybob
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of SouthwestBreweries
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of McIntosh
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

 1,324 characters

Photo of crowbar540
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of CTraft
3.3/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

 2,218 characters

Photo of soju6
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

 662 characters

Photo of WestValleyIPA
3.1/5  rDev -18.4%
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.

 519 characters

Photo of smanders
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
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!

 857 characters

Photo of gixxerman
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

 693 characters

Photo of RunDWP
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

 1,037 characters

Photo of patobandito
4.18/5  rDev +10%
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!

 1,137 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.14/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

 821 characters

Photo of bosstep
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

 770 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
High Desert Brewing Company in Las Cruces, NM
Brewery rating: 3.58 out of 5 with 86 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.