This Is Albuquerque: Duel Brewing

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Duel Brewing interior
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What is your business philosophy?

My business philosophy is really no different than my general outlook on life. Do your best work. Find some confidence. Stretch the boundaries. Be aware of the effects of your actions. Adapt quickly. Be a positive force.

What is your educational background?

I studied the science and art of photography. Back then it had to do with the study of color, density and light. I grew tired of taking pictures and fell deeply in love with painting. The best and the worst of all human emotional history is found within the timeline of painting. The rest of my education has come from my need to survive inside this society while trying to create something outside of myself.

What is your company’s greatest asset?

We insist on improving ourselves on a daily basis. We never feel like we have all the answers and this keeps us looking for something more. There are a lot of breweries in New Mexico. They’re doing some really good things. We work extremely hard to do what we believe should be done. We do our own thing.

What is your strongest business trait?

We insist on staying true to our vision.

Why did you choose to do business in Albuquerque?

We started our brewery in Santa Fe and since our Brewers license gave us the opportunity to have more than one taproom, we looked towards Albuquerque. It’s a great city and they take beer very seriously. We wanted to be a part of what is happening and believe Duel offers something previously left undone. Though only open now for one month, the initial response has been great!

What motivates you to succeed besides the desire to make money?

I’m a naturally motivated person. I believe we’re here to evolve. Evolution isn’t a joyride. Growing thumbs took a lot of pain and time. I want to be engaged in this process called life and I need to be motivated or else I’ll feel like death. Money is an end result of communication. I’m looking for value and I believe the money will take care of itself.

What successes in the past year are you most proud of accomplishing?

We’ve spent the past year working on the taproom in Albuquerque. It was a huge endeavor. It broadens the idea of Duel. I also believe our beer has come a long way in the past year. The HMWWA FIACFW was a great, unique, "one-off" beer. The concept for the beer from beginning to end really jazzed us. The pieces fell into place. We included a quote from Umberto Eco on the label. He actually just passed away the other day. His statement is a beautiful thought; an idea very significant these days: "Translation is the art of failure". I believe that says it all. This week we’ll be bottling Soutine. My mouth turned a somersault when I first tasted it. Maybe our best beer achievement to date.

What do you offer that the competition doesn’t?

Duel wants to contribute to the beer scene in a unique and positive way. I’m sure everyone else wants to do this also. Who wants to get lost? We just keep our heads down and make the beers that we expect ourselves to make.

How do you maintain your competitive edge?

Meditation and time travel.

How would you define your position within the marketplace or within your market segment?

Duel is an idea we continue to define. Besides trying to make the best beers we can make, we spend a lot of focus on the full taproom experience. We don’t really have any "new" ideas. People have been coming together and drinking beers for as long as anyone knows. We want a comfortable environment where people can gather and talk. We believe in the texture of human interaction. The world has turned into a lot of fractured pictures and noise. We want Duel to be a place where that all slows down. Humans work hard for the most part; they all deserve a rest from the noise.

What was your best business decision?

I love the beer made by Duel. They are unique beers with many ABVs far higher than most other beers made in the state. I like Belgian style beers. They’re fun to make. Fun to drink. I’m usually not part of any majority so I wanted Duel to be a welcome spot for people with different beer tastes. We decided to carry guest beers. Beers made by other New Mexico breweries. This decision made the Duel taproom more accessible to many more people.

What was your biggest missed opportunity?

The billion dollar lottery.

What contributions to the community (charitable or otherwise) are you most proud of?

The fall of the Western world will be when the arts are silent.

If you had to choose another career or start another business what would it be?

I’d be a playwright.

What’s your favorite saying or quotation?

"Never follow your talent"- Willem de Kooning

What book are you currently reading or what’s your favorite book?

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.

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