ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Central New Mexico Community College is known for offering hands-on classes to get New Mexicans started on a new career. And now, that includes new hands-on equipment for brewing and distilling.

The school just opened a brand new beverage education facility. It’s located on the Main Campus.

Sitting where the old bookstore once sat, the facility holds all the gear and equipment needed for students studying brewing, distilled spirits technology, or wine technology, according to Central New Mexico Community College (CNM). There’s also a tasting and demonstration kitchen.

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CNM’s new facilities. Images courtesy CNM & Rusty Rutherford

“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,” Victoria Martínez, the associate dean for culinary, beverage, and hospitality in the School of Business & Information Technology, said in a news release. “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.

CNM offers multiple degree and certificate programs related to beverage production. Most recently, the school launched the Distilled Spirits Technology program, aimed at helping students prepare for mid-level positions in distilleries.

CNM’s beverage classes are led by teachers such as Antonio Fernandez, who was involved with Ponderosa Brewing. Other teaching experts include Carrie Gurule (from Gruet Winery) and Ann Stecker (from Sheehan Winery), CNM says.