Open Space Brewing and New Mexico Wild Beer Release Backs Wild and Scenic Designation for Gila River


Media Contacts:Luke Koenig, New Mexico Wild,, 443-676-3200

Alexa Tubbs, Open Space Brewing,, 856-986-5370

Click here for photos from the December 19th Brew Day event and Open Space Brewing.

Silver City, NM – New Mexico Wild has partnered with Grant Country’s newest brewery, Open Space Brewing. Together, they aim to bolster community support for the Gila River’s Wild and Scenic designation through the creation of a special edition beer. “Aldo’s Dream,” a Red IPA that celebrates not only the Gila Wild and Scenic effort but also the centennial anniversary of the Gila Wilderness, America’s first designated Wilderness, created in 1924 at the urging of conservation pioneer Aldo Leopold. It also provides an opportunity for the community to toast to future protections to come. New Mexico Wild and Open Space Brewing invite community members and supporters of Gila River protection efforts to join them at the release party will kick off at 12:00 pm on Saturday, January 20, 2024, with a toast at 1:00 pm. The Rockin Blue Geckos will perform and food vendors TGI Frybread and Big Tex BBQ Food Truck will be on-site.

One dollar of every “Aldo’s Dream” pint sold will be donated to New Mexico Wild to support ongoing work to secure Wild and Scenic designation for the Gila River and its tributaries.

In March 2023, U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján along with U.S. Representatives Gabe Vasquez, Teresa Leger Fernández, and Melanie Stansbury introduced The M.H. Dutch Salmon Greater Gila Wild and Scenic River Act in both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. This legislation would designate approximately 446 miles of the Gila River, the San Francisco River, and their tributaries. Passed in 1968 in response to the nation’s significant dam building legacy, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act provides permanent protections to the nation’s few remaining free-flowing rivers. This means that all future attempts to dam or divert designated rivers would be prevented. With the Gila as the last remaining undammed main-stem river in New Mexico and a history of attempts to dam and divert the river, this kind of protection is highly significant. Further, the Act also provides protections for other exceptional natural, cultural, and social values associated with the river, including the Gila trout, one of the rarest native trout species in the country. Importantly, the Act maintains existing water rights, has no effect on private property, and does not decrease access for recreational and traditional users.

On December 19, 2023, twelve members of New Mexico Wild, accompanied by New Mexico Wild’s Gila Grassroots Organizer Luke Koenig, gathered at Open Space Brewing for a Brew Day event where they were able to participate in the brewing process of this collaborative beer.

“A Wild and Scenic designation would provide the most significant protections for the Gila region since its Wilderness designation in 1924—the first of its kind in the world, that paved the way for the Wilderness Act 40 years later. In the centennial year of that landmark accomplishment, it’s the perfect time” said Luke Koenig, Gila Grassroots Organizer at New Mexico Wild. “Our partnership with Open Space Brewing highlights what this legislation means for all kinds of businesses – businesses that not only depend on clean water but also on the patronage from visitors and locals alike who come to the area for its natural splendor. That only exists because of these kinds of protections.”

Open Space Brewing’s owners, Alexa Tubbs and Matt Leef, express their commitment to protecting the Gila River. “The Gila River holds a special place in our hearts, and we are excited to use our brewery as a platform to contribute to its preservation. Together with New Mexico Wild, we hope to make a significant impact on the efforts to designate the Gila as a Wild and Scenic river.”

For more information on the release party taking place on January 20th and the campaign to designate the Gila River as a Wild and Scenic river, please visit

About New Mexico Wild:

New Mexico Wild is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection, restoration, and continued enjoyment of New Mexico’s wildlands and Wilderness areas. With a mission to engage and empower New Mexicans to advocate for the protection of their public lands, New Mexico Wild has been at the forefront of conservation efforts across the state and has been working towards a Wild and Scenic designation for the Gila River for over a decade.

About Open Space Brewing:

Open Space Brewing, located in Santa Clara, New Mexico, is a community-focused brewery founded by Alexa Tubbs and Matt Leef. Alexa and Matt bonded over their love for the Gila Wilderness when they met while hiking the Continental Divide Trail in 2019. After their thru-hikes, they returned to the Gila area to establish Open Space Brewing, a community hub fostering appreciation and preservation of the Gila Wilderness and the Gila River.