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Everyone Comes For Brews and Painting With Duke City Paints-N-Pints

By Pamela Sosnowski

The paint and sip craze, where one learns how to paint a picture step-by-step while enjoying a glass of wine, has typically been a draw for female participants. Lisa and Christopher Castro, the owners of Duke City Paints-N-Pints of Albuquerque, may have discovered the secret to getting more men to join in on the fun: offer them beer.

"We have noticed that a wide variety of people sign up for our painting classes," Christropher Castro said. "Typically women sign up more than men. However, we have noticed the men who have never done a paint night can actually have a good time sharing the experience with their loved ones."

Duke City Paints-N-Pints typically hosts its painting events at local breweries, allowing customers to sample craft beer and cider selections. Regular participating breweries include Boxing Bear Brewing Company, Starr Brothers Brewing Company, Sandia Hard Cider, .

Class runs from one and a half to three hours and ranges in price from $25-35 depending upon the work involved in creating the finished piece. The cost of the beer or wine is included, and the fee does include all materials plus instruction at certain locations.

Although any student that signs up must be 21 or older to purchase the alcohol, the classes are actually geared towards all ages and as Castro explains, very family-friendly.

"The atmosphere we strive to have is comfortable and inviting," he said. "It also depends how the breweries or restaurants we host our events are set up. We try to have classes at local breweries that are welcoming to the whole family."

It's not necessary to know how to paint at all when attending a Duke City Paints-N-Pints class; in fact, most participants have never dipped a paintbrush into paint before. Patient instructors walk all attendees through their work step-by-step. Although the typical subject matter includes landscapes, still life scenes, and nature, in keeping with work that men will love to attempt the studio has offered characters from Breaking Bad and Star Wars for classes.

Duke City Paints-N-Pints can also hosts private groups, particularly for party sizes of 15 or more, but can also accommodate smaller groups with at least two weeks' notice. The studio is also a popular choice for fundraising events and will donate 25% of its proceeds to the highlighted cause for parties of at least 20 participants. If there are not enough attendees that wish to sign up, the studio will even help organize the class as a public fundraiser to help raise more money for a non-profit or charity.

Castro and his team love seeing people discover a new-found confidence after attempting their first painting, and stresses that Duke City Paints-N-Pints is for everybody.

"I love the aspect of coming together with strangers and sharing my passion for art and teaching them different techniques," he said. "The best for me is when someone says it's been years since they painted or did anything creative since elementary school. This can spark an interest or hobby to grow."

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