There are many one-of-a-kind traits that set Albuquerque’s Bow & Arrow Brewing apart from the other 9,000 or so breweries in the United States today, but if you ask their owners, it’s always been about the beer, first and foremost.
Bow & Arrow Brewing was co-founded and is owned by Shyla Sheppard and Missy Begay, who met while attending Stanford University. An avid homebrewer and former social impact investor, Shyla was raised in North Dakota’s Mandan, Hidatsa & Arikara Nation, and acts as the brewery’s President and CEO. Her other half, Missy, a full-time medical practitioner, was raised in New Mexico’s Navajo (Diné) Nation, and as Creative Director leads their branding, marketing, and design development.
Starting their own brewery in February of 2016, Bow & Arrow is unconventional in that it’s owned and operated by a Native American female couple, yet what they specialize in creating – wild, sour, and other styles featuring locally sourced ingredients is what’s built their name over the past five years.
Since 2017 they’ve worked with Head Brewer Ted O’Hanlan, formerly of Black Tooth Brewing in Sheridan, Wyoming, as well as Fullsteam Brewing in Durham, North Carolina. As Production Manager at the latter, he was an integral part of their “Plow To Pint” beers which focused on locally harvested and foraged ingredients.
Barrel-aged and mixed-culture beers had long been something Ted wanted to pursue. “I wanted to do more of that and dive into wild cultures,” says O’Hanlan. “That was what Shyla wanted, too, using ingredients from her culture and creating an identity around that.” Since Ted’s come on board, the brewery’s barrel program now includes over seventy barrels, as well as a 30 bbl foeder they purchased from American Solera in Oklahoma a few years back.
Released in October, Curio was their first foeder beer. They wanted their Farmhouse Ales to feature locally sourced ingredients and their own house mixed-culture of yeast and bacteria, which were captured from a peach tree on-site and in nearby lavender fields. In the fall they dry hopped Curio with fresh Neomexicanus hops, the only hop that’s truly native to North America which was foraged in New Mexico’s mountains. The brewery also takes pride in featuring other traditional Native American ingredients, such as Navajo tea (made from the plant Greenthread) and other locally sources ingredients such as Ancho chilies, prickly pear cactus, juniper berries, and New Mexican blue corn, among a number of others.
With our first ever shipment from Bow & Arrow Brewing arriving this week, we’re excited to offer a great variety of styles that effectively showcase their stellar work. Over the past few days the following cans and bottles, 7 in total, began arriving at stores throughout the Willamette Valley, including Portland and the Beaverton/Hillsboro, and will arrive in Bend next Tuesday:
- Buffalo Plaid – Baltic Porter ~ This winter classic was brewed for maximum comfort on cold days. This trusted go-to brew was cold-lagered and cold-fermented yet provides plenty of warmth and cold-weather protection. Discover big bold notes of dark chocolate and hefty espresso, a soon to be natural favorite! 7.6%
- Cosmic Arrow ~ Saison Ale aged in Oak Barrels with Brettanomyces, bottle conditioned in 375ml bottles. 7.7%
- Denim Tux ~ Crisp, refreshing lager with local blue corn. Gluten-reduced. 4.9%
- Desert Revival – Blackberry ~ We added a hefty dose of whole blackberries to this rad fruited sour series. Our barrel-aging process is often over a year long endeavor. We used a 12 & 18 month blend and re-fermented on blackberry purée. Available in 375ml bottles. 7.7%
- Scenic West – New England-style IPA ~ This landscape runs deep in our veins. Scenic West captures the spirit of the rugged mesas and welcoming solitude we call home. Simple, yet enchanting with a wild bouquet of El Dorado, Simcoe, Citra, and Mosaic hops. Thirst quenching, light desert dank with ripe citrus notes. 6.5%
- Sunbloom – Saison ~ Pure sunlight and rich desert bounty squeezed into one iconic can. Our American Saison brewed with prickly pear cactus and juniper berries – beautifully balanced, fruity aromatics. It’s the perfect holiday dinner pairing with that best of the Southwest vibes!
- Through The Desert On A Horse With No Name – New England-style IPA ~ For the journey seekers, sunshine believers & Southwest sand trekkers looking for some desert fun full of juicy orange citrus sounds and tropical hops buzzin’ around in the rad desert sun. Brewed with Arizona’s Sonoran White Wheat, Strata + Amarillo + Idaho 7 hops 8.2%
Content for this article sourced from: Bow & Arrow Brewing, Forbes, Craft Beer and Brewing, Toasted Sister Podcast, and Native Business Magazine.