Fire at Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership under investigation

'We were already struggling incredibly'

By John Miller
jmiller@taosnews.com
Posted 7/2/20

The Taos County Fire Marshall's Office is investigating a fire that started at the Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership early Thursday morning (July 2).

Volunteers from Hondo-Seco, Taos Ski Valley and Taos fire departments responded to the blaze, which was put out after it caused damage to the roof of the music venue northwest of Taos.

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Fire at Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership under investigation

'We were already struggling incredibly'

Posted

Updated July 7 at 3:26 p.m.

The Taos County Fire Marshall's Office is investigating a fire that started at the Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership early Thursday morning (July 2).

Volunteers from Hondo-Seco, Taos Ski Valley and Taos fire departments responded to the blaze, which was put out after it caused damage to the interior and roof of the music venue northwest of Taos.

A post published on the brewery's Facebook page Friday afternoon (July 3) said the fire started around 2:30 a.m. Thursday and caused "significant fire and smoke damage." No one was injured, the post also said.

Taos County Fire Marshall James Hampton said an initial investigation determined that the fire appeared to have been started accidentally, but investigations were still ongoing as of press time Wednesday (July 8).

Jason Wylie, one of the breweries co-founders, said the fire happened a day before his team had planned to reopen the Mothership after it closed in early March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"We were hoping to re-open the Mothership alongside the Tap Room for take-out service beginning July 2," Saturday's Facebook post continued. "Unfortunately, the Mothership will remain closed until we can assess the situation and begin to rebuild."

Wylie said Taos Mesa Brewing also had a tentative plan in place to open dine-in service, but after Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued a warning of a rise in cases due to spikes in neighboring states last week, Wylie said they changed the plan to take-out only. The Tap Room opened as planned.

Wylie would not comment regarding how the fire might have started or provide more detail about the full extent of the damage that was caused while the fire marshall's office and his company's insurance agency continue their investigations.

He did emphasize, however, that the fire was yet another unexpected blow to his business following the pandemic, which has crippled or closed many other New Mexico small businesses so far this year.

"We were already struggling incredibly because of lack of revenue," he said. "We lost nearly 85 percent of our revenue since COVID closures happened in early March. That, coupled with this fire, is making it really difficult to have any of the capital that we need to pay our insurance deductible or pay our insurance premiums."

Although the brewery is insured, Wylie launched a GoFundMe campaign last week to help "rebuild a large portion" of the building.

As of Wednesday, it had raised just shy of $15,000, or roughly 30 percent of its $50,000 fundraising goal.

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