It’s National Beer Day and we’re raising our glasses to Shyla Sheppard, the female founder behind Bow & Arrow Brewing Co. Keep scrolling for a pitcher-perfect inter-brew that proves sometimes love is ale you need.
This National Beer Day, we’re toasting Bow & Arrow Brewing Co.! How did this un-beer-lievable brewery come to be?
Bow & Arrow was my dream after spending nearly a decade as a social impact investor here in the Southwest. Since experiencing my first hefeweizen in college, I’ve had a passion for brewing and craft beer.
Growing up, I have fond memories of my Magoo, my Grandma, working in her garden, making our traditional foods and sharing stories of our people. These experiences ingrained in me an appreciation for the bounty of the land, its connection to a way of life and to our history.
With a love of funky and sour beers and the Great American Southwest, I left my position with the investment firm in late 2013 to start Bow & Arrow.
Over the last couple years, beer has become the new wine - with breweries and craft ales taking over the drinking zeitgeist. Why do you think beer is having such a moment? How has its resurgence in popularity affected Bow & Arrow?
Beer is an approachable beverage and I think people are wanting, no, demanding, interesting takes on it and we are seeing a surge in both traditional styles as well as crazy, fun things like salted peanut butter chocolate stouts. Our interest in brewing with unique ingredients that are indigenous to our surrounding area has definitely captured our customers imaginations.
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If you were a Bow & Arrow ale, which one would you be and why?
Probably Savage Times Sour IPA. It’s this interesting combo of styles that’s unique, surprising and memorable.
What’s unique about the Bow & Arrow brews? How is the beer connected to the local area and New Mexico in general?
Our wild, sour and barrel-aged beers, along with our use of local indigenous ingredients has set us apart. I’m proud that our beers reflect the diversity of the area, and we add something special and unique to the craft beer industry.
We continue to devote time and energy to those things that inspire and motivate us, such as using local indigenous ingredients and launching new beer projects with a sense of purpose and meaning. Recently, we released our first foeder-aged series featuring our house mixed culture of locally captured yeast as well as different local botanicals and fruits. We foraged wild Neomexicanus hops, the only hop indigenous to North America, in the mountains here in New Mexico, we’ve foraged Navajo Tea, persimmons and sourced sumac berries from Navajo Agricultural Products. Each of these ingredients was featured in our foeder beer series. This reinforces what keeps us excited and we’ve found has set us apart.