An edible Local Hero is an exceptional individual or organization working to create innovative, vibrant, and resilient local food systems in New Mexico. Last fall, edible readers nominated and voted for their favorite food artisans, growers, and advocates in nearly two dozen categories—including six new awards. Each issue of edible will contain interviews with several of the winners, spotlighting the important and exciting work they do. It is imperative to the local food movement that we come together as a community to support each other, our local economy, and our environment. Please join us in thanking these local heroes for being at the forefront of that effort.
Dave Crosley and Teresa Dahl-Bredine grew up together in Silver City, graduating from Silver High School in 1993. Dahl-Bredine studied theater at Yale University and then returned to Silver City to start a theater company, working in bars and construction to pay the bills. Crosley briefly used his degree in education to teach high school in Truth or Consequences and Hilo, Hawaii. He quit to open a custom motorcycle shop and dream of his one-day brewery. After many separate adventures, Crosley and Dahl-Bredine reunited and started Little Toad Creek Brewery and Distillery in 2011. They married in 2012 and continue to grow their business together.
Dave works in the brewery and distillery making beer and spirits. We call him the Beer & Booze Overlord. Teresa works with Little Toad Creek’s tasting rooms, outside sales, events, and marketing. We call her Everything Else.
How did you get to where you are now?
Our business began with the purchase of five acres in a remote area north of Silver City surrounded by the Gila Wilderness. It is a beautiful spot with corrals and barns and fields. We thought we would start a small sheep dairy there. The property also had a hotel and restaurant which we remodeled and quickly opened to have a source of revenue. We put the brewery and distillery in the garage. It had a ten-gallon still and a two-barrel brewing system. Well, the brewery and distillery were the elements of the business that took off, so the dream of sheep cheese had to hit the back burner. In 2013, we opened a tasting room in the booming metropolis of downtown Silver City. As a town of ten thousand people, it truly is a metropolis compared to the quiet country road where we began. In 2016, we finally expanded our production facility from “nano” to “micro.” The new production warehouse is in downtown Silver City, where we now have a 15 BBL brewhouse and a three hundred-gallon still. Due to our vastly increased production capacity, we are now looking at growth opportunities, including opening a tasting room in downtown Las Cruces in spring 2018 and dabbling with distribution, which we hope to increase throughout this year.
What makes Little Toad Creek unique?
Handfuls of love. It truly is a local craft mom-and-pop business. We personally touch every product we make and constantly strive to make them better.
What is a local food issue that is important to you? Why?
The pub is the gathering place for a community. Our rural areas have seen a drastic loss of community pubs as the scarce liquor licenses are bought out by the metropolitan bars and restaurants. A little bit of culture is lost with every backroad bar that closes. We are happy that we can provide a community pub with our brewery and distillery licenses, but surely wish New Mexico could figure out a solution to the liquor license problem.
How would you describe Silver City’s local food and drink scene?
Playful, local, real.
What is your favorite event held at Little Toad Creek?
Oktoaderfest! With Bavarian dancers, a keg toss, hammerschlagen, an all-day concert, and our best attempt at loads of German food, what’s not to love?
What’s next for the distillery?
We are trying hard to keep up with our specialty aged spirits: Sapo Grande Straight Whiskey, Toad Venom Spiced Rum, and Five Ducks Agave Reposado. So far they’ve only been available in our tasting room. We are aging in very small batches. We can’t wait to get our quantities up so we can share these awesome products with the rest of New Mexico.
Fill in the Blank:
My favorite cocktail is the Green Chile Cucumber Gimlet made with Little Toad Creek Diablo Verde.
The question people always ask me is: How do you keep up with it all? But I wish they’d ask me: What’s next?
My favorite thing about New Mexico is it’s still the best kept secret in the world. Laid-back people, unique culture, amazing landscapes—we can’t say enough about how much we love New Mexico. It’s in our blood. It will always be home.
I hope Little Toad Creek’s customers always have fun and feel like part of our neighborhood.