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Breakout Brewer: Bow & Arrow

Bow & Arrow Brewing moved the needle in a positive direction when it opened, giving locals a chance to see beer as modern and sleek while also experiencing Native American flavors. The result is a brewery unlike the others.

John Holl Dec 30, 2019 - 10 min read

Breakout Brewer: Bow & Arrow Primary Image

It was a different time in New Mexico’s beer history when Bow & Arrow Brewing Co. opened three years ago. Cofounder Shyla Sheppard was ready to shake things up. She, too, was at a crossroads professionally. Having worked in finance, she was completing a 10-year stint as a social impact investor and was trying to decide whether she had another decade to commit to that career.

Her thoughts went back to her college days when she was introduced to craft beer through pints at a Gordon Biersch restaurant in California. At the time, glasses of hefeweizen were a revelation, and soon she began learning about other styles, ingredients, and processes. Vacations were spent visiting breweries and learning about the industry.

“I was fortunate that after 10 years of taking other people’s money and turning it into other people’s dreams, I had learned a lot about passionate entrepreneurs,” Sheppard says. “I saw firsthand a lot of the takeaways that come with startups and what it takes to get through the rough times and those long days of grinding it out at all hours. I took that to heart when I thought about the brewery, but when I saw the beer environment in New Mexico, I thought I could bring something unique and different.”

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John Holl is the author of Drink Beer, Think Beer: Getting to the Bottom of Every Pint, and has worked for both Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine® and All About Beer Magazine.