Thump. Thump. Thump.
Those were not the noises I expected to hear when walking into a brewery, but that’s precisely what caught my attention when I stepped into Lauter Haus Brewing Co., one of Farmington’s newest additions to the Four Corners’ microbrewery scene.
Thump. Thump. Thump.
It took a while to pin down what was making the noise, which sounded like a pair of old sneakers in the dryer. A quick glance around narrowed it down.
It clearly wasn’t the rows of pinball machines, which line the walls of Lauter Haus’ vast, warehouse-like space. I could barely hear the pinging of the flaps over the thumps.
It wasn’t the brewing equipment, which is housed well outside of view of the patrons who frequent this hip little brewery, which sits on the edge of a residential neighborhood in a quiet part of town.
One more quick scan of the room and I was certain I had it figured out. The noise was being made by one raucous game — and by that I mean two-man team — of cornhole.
At some point in the not too distant past I probably would have found the thumping of bean bags hitting wooden cornhole boards to be obnoxious in a bar, but after a year of socially distanced drinking, I welcomed it. Any noise is welcome these days.
And, it’s not like cornhole is unusual in this northern New Mexico brewery. That, and some pretty stinkin’ good beer, are what Lauter Haus is known for.
Unlike most breweries in the area, Lauter Haus focuses equally on the brewing and the amusement. There are rows and rows of pinball games and other video games lining the walls of the metal building that houses the Haus. Along the walls are murals of iconic video game and cartoon characters, including at least one of the Ninja Turtles, with hops incorporated into the theme.
And, toward the back of the building are more cornhole boards than I’ve ever seen in one place, all lined up to what I can only assume are regulation distances. In total, Lauter Haus boasts over 1,500 square feet devoted to its cornhole court, which takes up a large portion of its indoor space. This place may be an adult playground, but it clearly doesn’t play when it comes to cornhole.
They don’t play when it comes to beer, either — a thought process I can get behind. There were only about six different beers on tap when I stopped by this Farmington brewery, but that was more than enough. With one sour beer, a raspberry wheat, a Mexican lager, and a few other more hoppy or heavy options, the beer menu felt curated, not lacking.
I love a good raspberry wheat, so I opted for the Chuck Berry 55% Raspberry Wheat, a beer that seemed perfect for a slightly warm spring day in Farmington. My drinking partner followed suit.
One sip of the Chuck Berry and I was sold. This raspberry beer is an unusual contender in a sea of overly flavored beers. What was surprising was that it isn’t heavy on the raspberry flavoring; there’s just a hint of fruitiness mixed into the golden wheat beer. There’s enough to give it a unique flavor, but not so much that it overwhelms the ol’ taste buds. In other words, it was perfect.
It didn’t take long to knock back that beer and find my way back to the bar for a second round. This time, though, I opted for the L-25 6% Kettle Sour. My drinking partner, on the other hand, went with the Marble Cerveza, a Mexican lager served in a tall glass.
I took a sip of both, and they were both equally solid choices. I prefer the mouth-puckering flavor of a good sour beer, so I sucked mine down faster than I’d expected to, with every intention of stealing the Mexican lager my drinking partner was sipping on.
As fast as I was, though, I wasn’t fast enough. He’d managed to down his just as quickly. Apparently Lauter Haus’ beers aren’t sippin’ beers. They’re chugging beers.
One more Mexi lager for the both of us and it was out the door, away from the thumping of the cornhole and the pinging of the pinball machines.
Given the chance, I’d have stayed longer, but that 45-mile drive back to Durango was calling. It won’t be long before I’m back at Lauter Haus, though, in the midst of the cornhole chaos and three-deep in a few new beers. Maybe next time I’ll venture out into the Easy as Pie Anniversary beer, or maybe even the Two Shovels Scottish Ale. It won’t take long to knock them all out — or to find my favorites at this hip little brewery.
Even in the midst of a pandemic, Lauter Haus was a win for me, and it’s a real win for the Four Corners, too. If you haven’t checked it out yet, be sure to remedy that in the near future. I can’t wait to see what they cook up next.
Lauter Haus is located at 1806 E. 20th St. in Farmington.