CNM Completes State-of-the-Art Beverage Facility and Launches New Distilled Spirits and Wine Making Classes
Instructor Antonio Fernandez, left, works with students during one of the Distilled Spirits Technology classes.

CNM Completes State-of-the-Art Beverage Facility and Launches New Distilled Spirits and Wine Making Classes

The new facility is nearly 20,000 square feet and houses brand new brewing, distilling, and wine making equipment that will help CNM train job-ready students for these growing industries
March 07, 2023

CNM is proud to announce the launch of its state-of-the-art beverage facility in the Robert P. Matteucci building on Main Campus and welcomes you to attend an open house celebration on March 29 from 4-6 p.m. 

The new facility, which sits on the site of the old CNM bookstore and includes 10,000 square feet of renovation and an additional 9,500 feet of new construction, houses all of the equipment for the college’s Beverage Production & Management classes and will be the training facility for students studying Brewing as well as students in the new Distilled Spirits Technology and Wine Technology programs. The renovation also includes a Sensory classroom for tasting and a Demonstration Kitchen with expanded prep space. 

“We’re beyond excited to launch the facility and give our students access to cutting edge commercial equipment that will be foundational for their training,” says Victoria Martínez, the Associate Dean for Culinary, Beverage, and Hospitality in the School of Business & Information Technology.

CNM’s high-quality Brewing classes have been wildly popular for years and graduates have gone on to important jobs across the beer industry in New Mexico. Previous students did their commercial-level brewing at host breweries in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, but new students will now have access to commercial-scale brewing equipment on campus. Students will still collaborate with local breweries on innovative launches, but the on-campus facility will be home base.

This winter, the new facility also helped CNM launch the Distilled Spirits Technology program that’s designed to help train students in the fundamentals so they can immediately enter mid-level distillery positions.

“Distilled spirits are enjoying a revival across the country and they’re set to absolutely take flight here in New Mexico so we wanted to find a way to meet the needs of this growing industry,” Victoria says. 

The new Brewing and Distilled Spirits Technology equipment.

New Mexico is actually the oldest wine growing region in the United States and the industry will celebrate 400 years of wine production in 2029. To help this industry, which has also seen enormous growth, CNM invested in new wine making equipment and will launch the Wine Technology program in the fall and offer it every fall going forward to coincide with the grape harvest. The Wine Technology equipment will help students process about five tons of fruit and produce both still and sparkling wine. 

“The industry is working hard to elevate New Mexico wines and take them to the next level and our program is a big step in that direction,” Victoria says. 

Leading all the classes in the beverage programs are high-quality faculty with decades of experience in beverage production. Antonio Fernandez, an award-winning brewmaster who oversaw Ponderosa Brewing and also launched their distilled spirits business, teaches many of the brewing and distilled spirits classes. He along with Carrie Gurule of Gruet Winery and Ann Stecker of Sheehan Winery will oversee the Wine Technology classes. 

Students who want to complete a degree in any of the three beverage concentrations will receive an associate of applied science. But all three programs also offer certificates of completion.

“We know that our Brewing program will continue to be a success and continue to grow thanks to our new facilities. But we’re also very excited to train the next generation of students who will enter the distilled spirits and wine industries and undoubtedly make an important impact in those areas as well,” Victoria says.