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Area businesses receive Venture Acceleration Fund awards

Money helps implement economic development plans and spur growth.
June 2, 2016
Using VAF funds, Taos Mesa Brewing will collaborate with state agricultural agencies to develop local barley for use in brewing, build a malting facility, and distribute through a dedicated production facility.

Using VAF funds, Taos Mesa Brewing will collaborate with state agricultural agencies to develop local barley for use in brewing, build a malting facility, and distribute through a dedicated production facility.

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The Center promotes the cultural preservation of all Pueblos—with a primary focus on the artists of the six Tewa-speaking Pueblos of Northern New Mexico.

“It’s a one-of-a-kind experience,” says Gary Feuerman about knocking back a cold one (or several) at Taos Mesa Brewing. “From the spectacular location near the Rio Grande Gorge in the shadows of the Taos range, to the architecture (a modified Quonset building with a glass façade), to the concert grounds, earthship amphitheater stage, and pagoda stage off the patio—it’s one of America’s coolest breweries.”

Now, that experience will become even more unique, thanks to a Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF) award that will allow the brewery to pursue a new Grain to Glass program. “We will arrange to have four local farmers dedicate a total of 20 acres in Taos County to grow barley to be malted at Colorado Malting Company for use in the first batch of TMB’s New Mexico Common Ale, which will be brewed and canned at TMB’s flagship brewery,” explains Feuerman, who is a partner at the brewery. “We are thankful, excited, and encouraged that the VAF acknowledged and supported our program, which employs a combination of ancient and cutting-edge technology.”

The VAF award, which was administered by the Regional Development Corporation (RDC) and also given to four other area businesses, is structured as a zero-interest loan—with repayment required only if a company is acquired, achieves certain revenue goals or leaves New Mexico within a certain timeframe.

“The projects that the VAF will invest in this year range from agricultural manufacturing to high-tech prototypes,” says Liddie Martinez, executive director of the RDC. “We were impressed by the quality of proposals we received this year, and are pleased to be able to provide important seed capital these five companies poised for growth.”

The awardees represent a diverse array of industries and are located in five of the seven counties that were invited to apply: Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Sandoval, Rio Arriba, Taos, San Miguel, and Mora. They include:

  • EcoPesticides (Santa Fe) is a manufacturer of biopesticides that are biologically based and environmentally friendly forms of pest control.
  • Mora Valley Woodworking (Mora) will manufacture funerary urns that utilize Northern New Mexico materials and are environmentally friendly.
  • Southwest PPE Services (Española) is a commercial cleaning service transitioning to Personal Protective Ensembles specialist, servicing fire fighters and first responders throughout the region.
  • Taos Mesa Brewing (Taos) will collaborate with State agricultural agencies to develop local barley for use in brewing, build a malting facility and distribute through a dedicated production facility.
  • Tibbar Plasma Technologies (Los Alamos) will develop a prototype device that will support new technology for high-voltage, direct-current transmission.

The VAF is a collaborative investment with a goal of adding jobs and revenue to the Northern New Mexico region. The VAF program has assisted 57 New Mexico companies through marketing and technology development activities.

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The owners of Taos Mesa Brewing.


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