The defending champion of the National IPA Challenge has reached the Sweet 16, along with three other NM beers.

The defending champion of the National IPA Challenge has reached the Sweet 16, along with three other NM beers.

The snowstorm that hit Albuquerque this weekend kept most of us at home. Thankfully, wherever they are holding the National IPA Challenge, weather was not an issue. The annual event, held by The Brewing News, had its round of 32 this weekend, with four New Mexico breweries’ IPAs participating. The good news? All four are headed to the “Sweet 16.”

Bosque’s Scale Tipper (the 2014 NM IPA Challenge winner), Canteen’s Exodus, Second Street’s Fulcrum, and La Cumbre’s Project Dank (the defending champion) all advanced to the next round. The tournament started with 128 IPAs from across the country, with individual beers pitted head to head in a bracket not dissimilar to, say, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

This time around, Project Dank beat Half Moon Bay (Calif.) Brewing’s Clown Ninja IPA. Next up for Dank is a showdown with Laurelwood Brewing’s Extra Special Workhorse IPA, which had defeated Moylan’s Therapy Session IPA in the round of 32.

Scale Tipper, in the meantime, ousted Bear Republic (Calif.) Brewing’s Hop Shovel. Next up for Bosque’s heavyweight entry is The Brew Kettle’s White Rajah, which knocked out its sister beer from the Cleveland-based brewery, Rajanox.

Another Brew Kettle beer, A-4-1, was beaten by Fulcrum in the round of 32. In the adjoining bracket, Joseph James (Henderson, Nev.) Brewing’s Citra Rye was no match for Exodus. That sets up the unfortunate, all NM showdown in the Sweet 16 between Fulcrum and Exodus. We just say unfortunate because it means only three NM beers can reach the quarterfinals.

Follow along via the link above this coming Saturday for the next round of results. As we get closer to the finals, we will get more details from the participating breweries.

Surprise sale

Some news just pops up and makes us go “What?” Such was the case with this Facebook post today from the owner of The Local Brewhouse, the Northeast Heights taproom that was focused on having 30-plus NM beers on tap.

To all my wonderful friends. I want to let you all know that I have sold The Local Brewhouse. I was approached not long after we opened by a Investment group expressing interest to buy me out and after weeks of negotiations we have finally completed the deal and are now closed.
On April 1st I was set to start my Rio Rancho Brewhouse so the timing could not be better and I am looking forward to building it which will be my best work ever and I know your all going to like it.
My wife and I thank each and everyone of you for your support and look forward to seeing you all soon.
Steve.

So yeah, if I wasn’t working today I would be chasing down this story. As it is, I will be trying to get more info when I can, if I can. The Local had already become a popular destination for many folks, so here is hoping not much will change under the new ownership.

Know any beer-loving writers in Las Cruces?

One of the best moves in the last year for the Crew was to add Luke as our first Santa Fe-based writer. He has done a tremendous job covering the bustling brewing scene in the City Different. We are hoping that somewhere out there is someone with a similar passion for craft beer, and writing about said craft beer, down in the Las Cruces area. The southern half of our state still has a ways to go to catch up to the north, but they’re working on it.

If you have a friend or acquaintance down in the south who would be perfect for it, please let him/her know we are on the lookout. We will take applications via nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com.

As for the other towns in this state where there is a brewery or two — Artesia, Farmington, Las Vegas, Portales, Taos — if anyone out there wants to file an occasional story or update on those breweries or local beer-related events, we would welcome submissions. We are the New Mexico Dark Side Brew Crew after all, so just covering breweries along this central stretch of the I-25 corridor is not all that we want to be doing.

You gotta admit, Tractor hit it out of the park with this trophy for Battle of the Beer Geeks. Much like the IPA Challenge trophy, it will travel to the home(s) of the winning beer group every year.

You gotta admit, Tractor hit it out of the park with this trophy for Battle of the Beer Geeks. Much like the IPA Challenge trophy, it will travel to the home(s) of the winning beer group every year.

Sampler tray

  • We will be previewing the first batches of beer at Albuquerque Brewing Co. this week. Sometimes it pays to be a beer writer. You get to be the first members of the public to try new things.
  • Speaking of brewing, the Crew is headed over to Tractor Wells Park this Friday to brew up our entry for the second Battle of the Beer Geeks. In case ya’ forgot, we kinda won the event last year. Look for some live updates.
  • If we get the chance, we will post some photos from Marble’s renovated downtown taproom before it reopens (which is scheduled to be Friday). If we can’t take ‘em ourselves, we’ll call upon Leah Black, because she’s always got plenty of free time to help. Right, Leah? Hey, put that snowboard down!
  • There will be a new series of features coming throughout the month of March (and probably into April due to a certain editor’s about-to-be-insane sports coverage schedule). We need to start contacting the breweries to get things set up before I share any additional details.

That is all for now. As always, if you hear of any beer news, notes, or rumors, send them our way.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

SFBCIRA2015.4

Welcome back to tap, old friend.

Santa Fe Brewing just tapped their famous Irish Red Ale for the season. They threw a big party in celebration, and believe me, if you’ve ever spent any time, at all, with the Irish, you’d know to tell them that the “craic” was good, indeed!

SFBCIRA2015.5

Hey, if you’re gonna embrace your Irish side, go all the way.

Last Saturday, fun-seeking folks and families braved the cold for this festival of Irish fun. There were some delicious eats on the cheap and … bagpipes? OK, so maybe bagpipes are Scottish, but they still added to the overall mood of merriment, rather than incite any international incidents. Although, that sort of Brew-ha-ha is just SFBC’s style. We’ve all been to Oktoberfiesta where lederhosen and sombreros are the rule, not the exception.

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Technically, Braveheart was filmed in Ireland, so this works.

As mentioned, the very talented High Desert Pipes & Drums came up from Albuquerque to teach us a thing or two about how to rock in a kilt, or simply how to rock a kilt. They even played the theme to Star Wars when requested.

SFBCIRA2015.2

It does get crowded in the SFBC taproom, but the beer was worth the wait.

Despite the cold weather (when Santa Feans tend to be a bit shy about going out), there was a great turnout. It was fun to see my friends old and new, but as always, I was here for the beer. This malty masterpiece is one of my favorite seasonals that Santa Fe Brewing releases. It’s a beer that I could drink all day, and believe me, I certainly tried. And at 4.8-percent ABV, when your ride arrives, you’ll still remember you were the one who called him/her.

Fundamentally, I wasn’t a fan of the whole session idea at all, but with this beer, I’m starting to get it. It’s brewed not to be a huge new barrel-aged, palate-wrecking, one-off experience, but instead to be a good beer that fits a fun time. It’s brewed to fit a certain quality of taste and style, not just something you pour down your throat until the ABV finally adds up to inebriation. It’s brewed so that each mouthful is a reminder that you’re enjoying your experience on this planet, you’re having a good time, but you’re not in a frat-house anymore, ‘Flounder.’ This session is not meant to be shotgunned, and perhaps it’s not meant to be overly fussed over, either. Though if you’d like to, you’ll certainly find something special in its use of Noble and American hops, which give it just enough bitterness to provide balance. You’ll find something wonderfully deep and complex about the caramel malt character from the mostly Maris Otter bill, and you’ll find that when it comes to brewing, very few people can achieve that artfully dry finish as well as Head Cellarman Leif Rotsaert, the wizard behind the recipe. And this recipe’s been at SFBC since 2012, with hardly any tweaking.

SFBCIRA2015.3

It’s the opposite of a red menace.

In the polarizing world of beer tastings and beer bongs, this session beer finds itself somewhere in between, just chillin’. And it’s a party beer, don’t get me wrong. In the can, it’s ready for anything you can throw at it. But when I drink this one, I remember all of those long conversations over pints, late into those summer nights with my Irish friends at a pub. For those moments, and many others like them, this craft brew is for you. Sorry (Not sorry) AB-Inbev, this is the beer adults bring to the party. And party we must.

Santa Fe Brewing Company’s Irish Red Ale will be available on tap and in cans at the brewery and Eldorado Taproom as well as many other restaurants and bars and grocers near your hooley. But, it’ll only be available through the month of March, so drink up or stock up.

Sláinte!

— Luke

Barleywine2015.1

If this isn’t barleywine weather right now, we don’t know what is.

Blue Corn Brewery has been doing a few things very well recently. As a ‘beer journalist,’ it makes me glad to see a smaller brewery work so hard at all aspects of their business, whether it’s their food, service, beer, or planned events to further their brand. At every turn, it seems these guys are working hard to make it worth coming in for the family seeking a tasty meal, or worth it to the guy who needs a solid beer after a long day, or even worth it to the beer guys and beer gals like you and me, who are still very excited to see what our New Mexico brewers are going to do next.

The Thursday at the Brewer’s Table events are a nice example of Blue Corn going the extra mile to do things right. These events vary, as much in theme as they do in their execution, from brewfests to small, intimate dinners at the big table alongside the creators. It’s always a new event, but a few things never change. The food always wows, the beer is always excellent, and everyone has a great time. The prices can range anywhere from $10 to $45, but they’re pretty good at gauging value. These monthly events are a good time to catch up with family, meet new people, talk shop with other brewers, or bring your significant other for a different kind of date night.

It’s nice to see that Chef D continues to push his food toward the interesting and the innovative, yet it always manages to be impressive. And it’s also nice to see that Brewer James has not rested on his laurels, as he probably hasn’t stopped asking himself, “Okay, what’s next?” ever since he took the stage for his gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival last fall.

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A big old bowl of gumbo pairs nicely with barleywine.

For this event, it was Chef D’s Southwestern Gumbo paired with brewers James and Nick’s Barleywine. We were all pretty excited about the Gumbo, and it was well worth the wait all week. It was certainly not a traditional take on the famous Creole dish, but that’s not how Chef D rolls. He started with a thorough understanding of traditional gumbo and made it his own way, with all fresh and local ingredients from just down the road. But where traditional folks might have “zigged” towards southern Louisiana, Chef D “zagged” southwest-like. He smoked the Andouille sausage with mesquite instead of traditional hickory. Instead of green bell peppers in the “holy trinity” of what usually gives gumbo its soul, he used green chile, because that’s the brand of jazz we listen to in the City Different. The chicken-based broth was made with red chile instead of cayenne, and instead of okra, he used nopales. Finally, he topped the not-so-cajun-stewy-Andouille with cilantro dirty rice. Culture shock aside, it still hit that gumbo spot for me. It was hot, spicy, thick, and chunky, with lots of flavor and lots of different textures depending on where you played the fork. Awesome stuff. If I hadn’t known what was in it, I’d have believed it was indeed born on the bayou, but with a little more 505 kick. And green chile cornbread? Wow, and I’m not a cornbread person. Just wow. The meal was very Mardi Gras! All that was missing was the beads and the boobs, but c’mon folks, this is a family establishment.

A beer that pairs with gumbo has to be a big one. To compete with all the flavor and spice, it would have to be an IPA or an unyieldingly malty brew, one that won’t get buried, one that can hold its own in a Cajun cock fight. Blue Corn Brewery’s Barleywine 2015, I believe, is such a brew.

When I taste big beers such as this, I sometimes wonder how that brew day went. What did they do to wrestle so much monster into one mash? Luckily, for this brew day, Blue Corn had invited any and all beer enthusiasts to come in to see exactly how to trap a hulk in a mash tun. They even let me help out a little in the taming. To the trilling tunes of Jerry Garcia (because apparently that’s the music that soothes the beast), I fed said beast its breakfast. Thirteen or so grain bags later, I switched to the tun to pummel and prod the brute with the mash paddle. Up there on the rig, I felt like a lone sailor fighting off a Kraken. Later, into the malty spray of the roiling brown ocean, I poured the buckets of hops and hoped the monster would not reemerge. As it turns out, it was not seen again for six weeks, when manager Gustavo brought it to me in a shapely glass.

Barleywine2015.4

Brewers do like to put Crew members to work sometimes. It’s not like we’d ever say no.

I really enjoyed the beer. As far as Barleywines go, I’ve only had a few to compare it to, but when I talked inspirations with Nick and James that day, beers like Hog Heaven from Avery, Bolt Cutter from Founders, and Bigfoot from Sierra Nevada came up. Particularly special to James was Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog, but also another Barleywine he’d learned a lot from brewing at New England Brewing, called “Premeditated Murder.” My favorite example was Fred from the Wood, also by Hair of the Dog. The general theme was big, but simple and well-brewed.

Blue Corn’s Barleywine had a nice, vibrant color to it. The sweetness had eased a great deal since the first few samples, and it finished more like a beer than a waffle-topper. It went quite well with the gumbo, as expected, but maybe that’s why they invited gumbo to the party in the first place, to stand up to such a brew. Sometime between my first and second glass, I talked to James about the beer.

DSBC: So, though I was there for the brewing and got a pretty good long look at the recipe, for our readers’ benefit, what’s in this Barleywine?

James: A whole lot of everything. (Laughs) It’s a lot of malt. It’s a lot of hops. And towards the end, quite a bit of oak, too, to help balance things out.

DSBC: How long did you oak it for?

James: It’s been on oak for about three weeks. It’s been on a decent amount of oak spirals. And I think it imparted an interesting character to it, one that I really like, never having used oak spirals before for anything.

DSBC: What was your goal when you first set out to make a Barleywine?

James: I think every brewer’s goal is to build it bigger, faster, stronger. (Laughs) No, I wanted to build a Barleywine without using a lot of crystal malts or anything. Keep it simple. Let the kettle do its work, in caramelization. Kind of let time do its job. I think it turned out pretty well. And as with everything, changes for next year, build it bigger, faster, stronger.

* * * * *

Another successful Thursday at the Brewer’s Table has come and gone. If I haven’t convinced you yet to come out for one of these, or all of them, the next one is March 12. It’s going to be a very special Thursday at the Brewer’s Table. It’s Brewer James’ Anniversary Dinner! There will be several special beers at this event, paired with more amazing food as always (for details, see below), but don’t take my word for it. Make your reservations, join me, and see for yourself. I’ll be the little guy with the notebook, recorder, and slightly annoyed girlfriend due to my neglect. Kidding. I won’t bring my notebook this time.

See you there, and remember: life’s too short to drink bad beer.

Cheers!

— Luke

For all things #beer related and more NM Dark Side Brew Crew info, follow me on Twitter: @SantaFeCraftBro

Brewer James’s Anniversary Dinner

Imperial Gose — paired with Pork Belly Spring roll with sour ale gastrique, duck & Balinese pepper ravioli with mascarpone & chile dipping sauce.

Roadrunner IPA — paired with black lip mussels in yellow curry with grilled sourdough crostini.

Russian Imperial Stout — paired with Steak Island: coffee and brewer’s malt encrusted petit tender, seared and sliced on a potato island in a sea of grilled tomato and bleu cheese cream.

Barleywine — paired with salted cashew torte with tangerine curd, pink peppercorn phyllo crisp, and pomegranate molasses.

March 12, 6 p.m. Reservations required. $45 per person. (505) 438-1800

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with the reunified edition of The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s four breweries and one newcomer down in Socorro also joining the party. We tried hard to keep the state edition going, but without participation from the breweries outside the I-25 corridor, it was futile.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

This is one of those rare weeks where there is no major beer release, beer/food pairing event, festival, or anything. It’s just a regular old week, albeit a stupidly cold one. Rather than join in with everyone else and gripe about the weather, I wanted to reflect on some stuff I brought up earlier this week in regards to what seemed to us to be declining attendance/interest in some of the recent special releases. While most of you chimed in that there is no such as too many bottle nights, one person dropped a (rather inflammatory) post in which he complained loudly about the concept of paying extra money for beer. The majority of you who follow our site responded that you will pay anything for good beer and this guy was crazy. The more I think about it, however, I wonder if he has a slight point. While there are many of us who love craft beer, especially our local breweries, there is a huge sea of casual beer drinkers/customers out there. These are often the folks who just show up at their one favorite place, rarely trying other joints, and frequently just order the same style over and over. Or they just pick up the same four- or six-pack at the store to take home. We should not dismiss them (they do outnumber us die-hard fans), but at the same time perhaps the specialty beer release nights are the way we separate the two groups. If a certain beer style (not IPAs) is released, it might not attract the attention of the casual folks. That could explain some of the recent downturn in crowd size for beers like Marble’s Imperial Red and Santa Fe’s Belgian Strong. Those are not “mainstream” styles. Perhaps that’s all this was, just a blip, not the beginning of a bad trend. Hey, we can hope, right?

(In a late update, his issue was less with price and more with the quality of the special release beers; that’s not a debate I’m looking to have with anyone. People’s beer tastes are often as intractable as their politics and preference for music. That being said, to hell with politics and listen to metal.)

On the new beer front, there are a few new ones worth checking out around town. Bosque says good morning with Wake Up and Smell the Stout. Boxing Bear is prepared to knock you flat with Body Czech Bohemian Pilsner. Canteen has run out of Milk Chocolate Cherry Stout, but they tapped The Other Red and Cantenator Doppelbock to keep your malt fix going. La Cumbre now has Azacca Pale Ale. Red Door has tapped a home-brew-competition-winning recipe for Watership Brown. Tractor will release Oxbow Scotch Ale on Friday.

Up in Santa Fe, it’s pretty quiet this week, though we can confirm Second Street has Trebuchet IPA, Outlier Special Bitter, and Tres Equis Lager available.

And on the subject of cask beers, rather than listing them brewery by brewery in here, we’re doing something a little different. Since oftentimes breweries don’t know what they’re putting on cask until the day of (usually Friday), rather than just put “TBD” down below, instead we’re offering updates via our Facebook page and Twitter feed. Look for the “Firkin Friday” post every week on those social media sites. One of these days when we get around to upgrading the main website we will make it a permanent feature on there, but for now we’ll provide live updates as the breweries get us the information.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of Feb. 23.

To break down each “capsule,” I listed the brewery (with Web page linked), its phone number and hours of operation. Under “Beers” are the new or seasonal beers on tap for this week.

Albuquerque metro area breweries

ABQ Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–2 a.m., Sunday 10 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Petrus Aged Ale, Petrus Aged Red. Petrus Aged Ale and Red are high alcohol barrel-aged sours from a family-owned brewery in Flanders. Several times a year, ABP serves up the latest creation by local brewing hero and winner of the Samuel Adams Longshot competition, Ben Miller, or seasonal releases by Monks Brewing.

Back Alley Draft House — (505) 766-8590

(Hours 4 p.m.-11 p.m. daily)

Beers: Pre-Prohibition Malt Tonic, Poth’s Pilsner, Ladron’s Con Fuego, Back Alley Red, California Common, Soroche IPA. In case you missed it, we interviewed BADH’s new brewer, Brandon Venaglia. There are some exciting times coming, including a possible expansion. The Malt Tonic and Poth’s Pilsner are back after a short absence.

Events: Sundays will now be Service Nights at Back Alley, with $2 off all beers for service industry workers. Bring your server’s ID and you will be rewarded.

Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596 (main brewery), (505) 508-5967 (Nob Hill Public House), (575) 571-4626 (Las Cruces Taproom)

(Main brewery on San Mateo: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-midnight, Sun noon-8 p.m.; Nob Hill: Mon–Weds 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Thurs 11 a.m.-midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Sun noon-11 p.m.; Las Cruces: Sun–Thurs noon-11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon-midnight)

UPDATED >>> Beers: Old School Session IPA, Crystal Single Hop Pale Ale, Humo Rojo, Tandem Ryder Double Pale Ale, Wake Up and Smell the Stout (Nob Hill only), Slack Jaw Imperial Porter (San Mateo and Nob Hill), Scale Tipper IPA (San Mateo and Las Cruces), Bosque Dark Lager (Las Cruces only). All beers listed are on tap at all three locations, unless noted. The Old School (4.7% ABV, 60 IBU) is a mild little delight. The Humo Rojo (5.7% ABV, 16 IBU) is a smoke bomb and a half. The Dark Lager (5.5% ABV, 25 IBU) is similar in profile to Durango Brewing’s standout flagship beer. Slack Jaw (8.8% ABV, 45 IBU) is a monstrous delight; it’s on nitro at the brewery and should be on nitro at Nob Hill by week’s end. The Crystal Single Hop (5.6% ABV, 30 IBU) is new, while the Scale Tipper (6.4% ABV, 95 IBU) is back for another run. Riverwalker IPA (6.5% ABV, 90 IBU) is now the permanent IPA on tap at all Bosque locations.

News: The Bosque Public House is now open, located on Girard just south of Central. Bosque has also opened a taproom in Las Cruces, located in the former Mimbres Valley space across from New Mexico State at the corner of University Ave. and Espina St.

Bosque has a happy hour running from 3-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and all day on Sunday. Look for special menu items and get $1 off your favorite pints.

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

(Sun-Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.)

Beers: (Regular) Paw Swipe Pale Ale, Hairy Mit Hefe, Standing 8 Stout, Ambear Ale, Uppercut IPA, Apple Bear Hard Cider; (Seasonal) Sucker Punch DIPA, Iron Lung Smoked Porter, Black Eye-PA, Body Czech Bohemian Pilsner. The new Body Czech is a great way to start your flight. The Standing 8 Stout (6.3% ABV, 45 IBU), which is on tap at all times, claimed the 2015 Stout Challenge, held by the Crew before the Super Bowl this past Sunday. Head on over to indulge in this beast of a beer. The Iron Lung Smoked Porter (6.1% ABV) and Apple Bear Hard Cider (5% ABV) went on tap recently. The Black Eye-PA (6.2% ABV) is a hoppy yet malty black IPA. New to taps is the Sucker Punch (8.5% ABV, 125+ IBU), which as the name might imply could leave you on the floor if you’re careful.

News: Boxing Bear now has a happy hour. 10-, 16-, and 22-ounce beers are all discounted from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Growler Happy Hour then runs from 6 p.m. to close on those nights. Get $2 off a growler fill and $1 off a half-growler (they call ‘em “squealers”).

Also, every day at lunchtime (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), for just $10 you can get a pint and a panini of your choice.

Events: Geeks Who Drink will now be held every Wednesday from 8 to 10 p.m. at Boxing Bear.

Broken Bottle Brewery — (505) 890-8777

(Mon–Weds 4-11 p.m., Thurs-Fri 4 p.m.–midnight, Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Cracked Cork Barley Wine, End of Days Tripel, Twig and Berries Sahti, Tom Selleck Ale, Rip Van Winkle Vanilla Stout, Nacho Brau. Two old favorites are back in the burly Cracked Cork and End of Days. New to the menu is Twig and Berries. A Sahti is a Finnish style of beer using some unique grains as well as juniper berries. If you’re one of the lucky few to not be allergic to junipers, have at it! The Drunken Hobo Milk Stout has replaced the Mulligan Stout in the regular lineup. Also joining the regular lineup now is the Elixir Vanilla Cream Ale.

Events: B3 has $3 beers every Tuesday from open to close. On Wednesday, B3 will be hosting their open mic from 8-10 p.m., with signups starting at 7:30 p.m. Check out B3’s karaoke night every Thursday starting at 8 p.m.

B3 shows The Walking Dead every Sunday at 7 p.m. and Better Call Saul every Monday at 8 p.m.

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737

(Sun–Thurs noon–10 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–midnight)

Beers: Irish Red, Sasquatch Scotch, Kentucky Common, Black Rye PA, Opal Esteem, Exodus IPA, Cantenator Doppelbock, The Other Red. This year’s edition of Solstice Blackout has ended. Hurry over before the remaining Solstice beers — Sasquatch (8% ABV, 26 IBU) and Black Rye PA (7% ABV, 50 IBU) — run out. The Kentucky Common (5.4% ABV, 24 IBU) is a fairly recent addition. The Opal Esteem (5.7% ABV, 40 IBU) is a traditional steam-style beer brewed with German Opal hops. The Milk Chocolate Cherry Stout was wiped out in a hurry by all of you; good job, Burquenos. Another fan favorite, Exodus (7.7% ABV, 100+ IBU), is back for another run. The Cantenator (7% ABV, 20 IBU) and Other Red (5.6% ABV, 26 IBU) are new to the lineup this week.

News: The last barrel-aged beer in the back, waiting to be tapped, is American Stock Ale in rum barrels.

Canteen has begun filling Crowlers, 32-ounce aluminum cans that can be filled with any beer on tap. They get sealed up and can last for a lot longer than a regular growler. Then you bring back the Crowlers to be recycled and get some fresh ones.

Cazuela’s Seafood & Mexican Grill — (505) 994-9364

(Open daily 8 a.m.-10 p.m.)

Beers: Papacabra (Double IPA), Panama Red, Acapulco Gold (Mexican Lager), Hefeweizen, Chupacabra IPA, Piedra del Fuego Stoned Cream Ale, Beer for My Horses (Oatmeal Stout), Inebriator (Doppelbock), Primo (Brown Ale). E-Rock and I had a chance to sample the Piedra del Fuego (5% ABV), which we both recommend. According to Cazuela’s menu: “This cream ale uses red-hot stones to super caramelize the sugars, creating a nutty, toffee-like flavor.” The Inebriator (8% ABV) and the Papacabra (9.7% ABV) are the biggest beers in the lineup.

News: Cazuela’s is looking to potentially open a taproom on the east side of ABQ near Canteen and La Cumbre in the Brewery District.

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Guero IPA, Saul-utations IPL, Hank (Nut Brown), Kissy Face Chocolate Cherry Wheat. The Kissy Face (6% ABV, 22 IBU) was made for Valentine’s Day. It has a healthy amount of dark cherry puree and cocoa nibs in the mix. Saul-utations (6.3% ABV, 35 IBU) was brewed in honor of the new hit TV series Better Call Saul, which filmed part of an episode at the Chama Microbar downtown. It is an India Pilsner Lager, making it a hybrid of a traditional pilsner lager and an IPA.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

(Hours Mon-Thu 2-9 p.m., Fri-Sat 11:30-10 p.m., Sun 11:30-9 p.m.)

Beers: Helles Lager, Honk If You’re …, ESB, Amber, IPA, I’m a Little Teapot Short and Stout, Czech Pilsner, Brunette. The Helles Lager made its return recently. The regular IPA is back and has been joined by Honk If You’re …, a British-style mild ale. I’m a Little Teapot Short and Stout is Kaktus’ first barrel-aged beer. A bunch of the Crew gathered at Kaktus recently and the Brunette, a sweet, nutty brown ale, was a big hit with all of us. We gotta say, Kaktus is getting pretty good at naming their beers. Kaktus is located at 471 South Hill Road in Bernalillo, for those who have still not made the trek.

Events: Kaktus has several new weekday specials including $3 pints on Monday, $9 growlers on Tuesday, $6 bison nachos on Wednesday, and $8 Frito pie and beer on Thursday.

The Desert Darlings belly dancers perform from 6 to 8 p.m. on almost every Sunday. If you’ve never seen the Desert Darlings in person, you’re missing out.

Kaktus is also one of the sponsors of a huge upcoming St. Patrick’s Day celebration at the Railyards. You can find tickets and more info at the official website. It runs from 4 to 10 p.m. on March 17 and will feature beer, food trucks, music, dancers, and more.

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Azacca Pale Ale, Simcoe Pale Ale, Bohemian from Burque, La Llorona Baltic Porter, Hell Froze Over. The Azacca replaced the Munchener Dunkel last Friday. Brandon and I enjoyed the outstanding La Llorona Baltic Porter (8.9% ABV, 45 IBU). The Simcoe Pale Ale (5.5% ABV, 37 IBU) is still hanging around. A recent addition to taps is the Bohemian from Burque (5.7% ABV, 45 IBU), a Bohemian-style pilsner. Hell Froze Over (5.5% ABV, 30 IBU), La Cumbre’s take on a brown ale, is back for 2015. Though it is not on tap, you can buy bombers of Tres Padres, La Cumbre’s first Belgian-style Tripel, at the brewery. Oh, and don’t panic about Project Dank and Red Ryeot no longer appearing here as seasonals. They are now part of La Cumbre’s regular lineup. Red Ryeot cans are now for sale around town and at the brewery.

News: La Cumbre’s new and improved website is now up and running. Check it out by clicking the link here. Their online calendar now includes what food trucks will be serving, plus live music and a current draft list.

Events: The Green Billies perform Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m.

Yoga is back at the taproom every Sunday at 10:45 a.m.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

(Mon–Weds noon-9 p.m., Thurs–Sat noon-midnight, Sun noon-7 p.m.)

Beers: Whiptail Weisse, Bluetail Blonde, Horned Honey Pale, Reptilian IPA, Chameleon Amber, Basilisk Brown, Sanddigger Dubbel, Desert Night India Black Ale, Black Bearded Rye Stout, Smoot-tailed Oatmeal Stout, Prairie Lizard Porter, Biscochito Brown, Belgian Strong Dark, Belgian Abbey, ESB. Lizard Tail is up to 15 beers with a new ESB (6% ABV, 40 IBU). The Belgian Abbey (7.1% ABV, 25 IBU) and the Belgian Dark Strong (9.7% ABV, 30 IBU) are other recent additions, as one can probably tell since they have yet to be given lizard-themed names like the rest of the lineup. So far Lizard Tail has shown themselves to be more malt-forward than hop-centric. The oatmeal stout and porter are solid, while the IBA has shown improvement since its debut.

News: Lizard Tail’s happy hour runs seven days a week from 3 to 6 p.m. You get $1 off food, flights, and pints.

Take note that Lizard Tail now opens at noon every day.

Events: Lizard Tail will host Geeks Who Drink every Tuesday at 8 p.m.

Every Thursday will now feature karaoke from 8 to 11 p.m.

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739

(Mon–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10:30 p.m.)

Beers: There are no seasonals being poured on the patio at the Downtown Pub during renovations (see below for a link with more details). Only classics like the Pilsner, Amber, Wildflower Wheat, IPA, Red, and Double White are currently available. The Oatmeal Stout is not yet available on the patio. Take note that when the weather is too cold outside, they are frequently pouring beers in the back of the brewery. Check Marble’s Facebook and Twitter pages daily for details. The most recent quartet of seasonals — Double IPA, 2014 Imperial Stout, Belgian Quad, Imperial Red — may be available, all or some, at the Westside and Santa Fe taprooms, but call ahead to make sure they are there if you have a hankering for one or more. Anyway, this year’s batch of Imperial Stout (11% ABV) is a big, bold beast of a beer. If the bourbon flavor is too much, just let it warm for a bit and it will mellow out and the stout flavors will come forward. It is still at the Westside Taproom. A recent addition to taps is a hefty Quad (10.3% ABV), a big old blast of Belgian bad-assery.

News: So in case you missed it, the interior of the Downtown Pub will be closed until March 6 to undergo a much-needed renovation. Until then, you can still drink beers fresh from taps on the patio (weather-permitting). Also, every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday you can enjoy Studio 111 inside the brewery itself. See below for the schedule.

Events: Brewery tours occur at the Downtown Pub every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. (We are not sure if this is affected by the renovations or not.)

Studio 111 in the Brewery will feature DJ Halcyon this Thursday from 7 to 10 p.m. Leftover Soul will perform Friday from 8 to 11. Matty Be will then be on hand Saturday from 7 to 10.

Ali Holder and Daniel Thomas Phipps perform at the Westside Taproom on Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. They will be followed by Kevin Harig and Kyle Ruggles on Saturday, also from 6 to 9.

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Nexus Maximus, Warp 10 Golden Strong, Beam Me Up Scottish, Blackberry Hefeweizen. New this week is the Blackberry Hefeweizen, which should have you pining for summer in no time. The 2015 batch of Beam Me Up (9.5% ABV, 32 IBU) uses the same malt bill as the first batch from three years ago, but with a modified hop mix. The result will set it apart from the first two versions. Brewer Kaylynn McKnight has unleashed Nexus Maximus (7.6% ABV, 100 IBU), a big old DIPA that will have you chanting its name like you’re back in the Roman Coliseum. Another fairly recent addition to taps is the Warp 10 Golden Strong, an English-style golden ale.

Events: Nexus serves up Happy Hour All Day on Tuesday featuring $3 pints. Also on Tuesday, Nexus will be hosting their comedy open mic, Young Dumb and Full of Comedy, starting at 7:30 p.m. in the Sun Room.

Nexus has always hosted viewing parties for The Walking Dead in the community room, where you can also play Walking Dead pinball. The show is back this Sunday at 7 p.m. We’re guessing they will keep the TV on AMC for Better Call Saul on Mondays, too.

Pi Brewing at Nicky V’s Neighborhood Pizzeria — (505) 890-9463

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: PiPA, West Coast Red, Bourbon Vanilla Porter, Pre-Prohibition Pilsner, ESB, Peppermint Porter, Pumpkin Abbey Ale. While Pi Brewing is not open to the public yet, they are able to brew and serve their beers next door at Nicky V’s. The IPA and West Coast Red are both good hoppy beers. We’ll keep tabs on when Pi itself opens. For now, grab a pint and some tasty Italian food. The PiPA will now be a regular beer, replacing the Unchallenged IPA. The scrumptious Bourbon Vanilla Porter is back, replacing the Robust Porter. Recent additions to tap are the Peppermint Porter and Pumpkin Abbey Ale, while a fresh batch of ESB is on tap as well.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

(Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: Ghost Train IPA, Rip Saw Red, Crosscut Kolsch, Dunkelblitzen, Nikolaus Spiced Lager, Imperial Sawmill Stout, The Dark Demon ICDA, The Brauny Bavarian, Smoky the Beer. Ponderosa is located at 1761 Bellamah NW, which is just east of Rio Grande and due north of the NM Natural History Museum, in the bottom floor of a swanky-looking apartment/retail complex (they have a sign atop the building now that you cannot miss). The most recent addition to taps is Smoky the Beer (6.2% ABV, 40 IBU), a smoked porter. It should go well with that new meat smoker they have in the kitchen. The Dark Demon (8% ABV, 110 IBU) is an imperial Cascadian dark ale (basically a black IPA), and it is a devilish delight. The Nikolaus (5.2% ABV, 30 IBU) is a Weihnachtsbier, a traditional Bavarian dark lager brewed for the holidays. Brace yourselves for the Imperial Sawmill Stout (8.2% ABV, 65 IBU). The Brauny Bavarian (5.2% ABV, 15 IBU), a dunkelweizen, sticks with the German theme.

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675

(Mon–Thurs 2 p.m. to midnight, Fri–Sun noon to midnight)

Beers: (Regular) Gateway Blonde Ale, Roamer Red, Threshold IPA, Paint it Black Milk Stout, Unhinged Cider, Trappe Door Wheat. (Seasonal) Stormtrooper Imperial IPA, O.D.B. (Oaked Dark Belgian), Watership Brown. The first Red Door seasonal, Strong Scotch Ale, has finally run out. Sniff. To the rescue for all malt lovers comes Watership Brown, which won ABQ Beer’s holiday brewing competition. It’s a tasty delight, the kind of beer you can just enjoy slowly over the course of a lazy afternoon or evening. Red Door still has Stormtrooper (8.4% ABV, 110 IBU), the biggest beer they have brewed to date, for all you hopheads. The O.D.B. is quite a treat as well. The Trappe Door Wheat, a Belgian-style if you couldn’t guess by the name, replaces the Trapdoor Wheat in the regular lineup.

News: Take note of Red Door’s new weekday schedule for the winter months as they will now open at 2 p.m. instead of noon. Weekend hours remain the same.

Events: The Fabulous Martini-Tones will perform at Red Door tonight (Wednesday) from 7 to 9 p.m.

Saturday morning will mark another round of Beer and Breakfast. From 7 to 10 a.m. you can gather with friends for some food truck-supplied goodies with a pint of beer and a bit of English football on the telly.

There is also yoga at the brewery every Sunday at 11 a.m.

Sandia Chile Grill — (505) 798-1970

(Mon–Sat 8 a.m.–8 p.m., Sun 8 a.m.–6 p.m.)

Beers: Irish Red, Rattlesnake IPA, Smoked Stout. We’re still trying to get a current beer list from SCG. If we get one, we’ll update this.

News: Congrats to SCG on sweeping all three medals in the mead category at the 2014 State Fair Pro-Am, while also claiming a silver medal for Barb’s Barrel Hefeweizen.

The Stumbling Steer — (505) 792-7805

(Sunday-Wednesday 11 a.m.-midnight, Thursday-Saturday 11 a.m.-2 a.m.)

Beers: Bang Up Blonde, Hefferweizen, Pig Sticker Pale, Iron Horse IPA, Rawhide Red, Boneyard Brown, Hop Trough (Double IPA), Soiled Dove (Imperial Stout), Black IPA. While the brewery is being built in the back of the Steer, all of their house beers are being brewed off-site, but still using brewer Kirk Roberts’ recipes. The DIPA and the Stout are limited to two per customer, due to their high alcohol content (10% and 9.5% ABV, respectively). The Black IPA is the current seasonal beer, plus there are often one or two cask beers.

Tractor Brewing Company — (505) 433-5654 (Nob Hill Tap Room), TBA (Wells Park)

(Nob Hill is open Monday-Wednesday 3 p.m. to midnight, Thursday 3 p.m. to 2 a.m., Friday-Saturday 1 p.m. to 2 a.m., Sunday 1 p.m. to midnight; Wells Park is open Monday-Thursday 3 p.m. to close, Friday-Sunday 1 p.m. to midnight.
 Last call 30 minutes before close. 
No package after midnight.
 Brewery tours Saturday at 1 p.m.)

UPDATED >>> Beers: Little Red Rye-ding Hood, Winter Hop IPA, Barn Burner Pale Ale, Double Sickle DIPA, Luna de los Muertos Russian Imperial Stout, Ebony & Ivory, Turkey Drool, Oxbow Scotch Ale, Wonder Weisse (Nob Hill only), Half Acre Hefe (Nob Hill only). Tractor has revamped their beer list and pricing system. All of the Tractor Classics — Farmer’s Tan Red, Double Plow Oatmeal Stout, Almanac IPA, Sodbuster Pale Ale, Haymaker Honey What, plus now Pilsner #15, Mustachio Milk Stout, and Apple Hard Cider — are priced at $4 apiece ($3 for Beer Farmer’s Co-op members). All seasonal/specialty beers will now be $5 ($4 for members). Just about everyone in town has slightly increased prices in the past four months, but an extra 50 cents or a dollar shouldn’t bankrupt anyone, right? Anyway, on the seasonal front, Oxbow Scotch (7.7% ABV, 33 IBU) will be released at both locations this Friday. The 2015 batch of Luna (8% ABV), which debuted at WinterBrew, is a dark delight, loaded with flavor and decadently smooth. We love us some Turkey Drool (8% ABV) this time of year. It’s a brown ale with all sorts of holiday-themed spices and other added ingredients. This year’s batch is arguably the best yet. The wonderful Lauren Poole also showed us that if you mix the Drool with Mustachio to create Turkey Milk, it’s absolutely stupendous. The Little Red (5.8% ABV) has a malty rye kick and is still just $2 a pint. The Double Sickle DIPA (7.6% ABV, 110 IBU) is not an overwhelming hop bomb, but has a nice malty backbone to balance itself out. The Barn Burner (6% ABV, 52 IBU) is a bitter little pale ale that uses 40 pounds of El Dorado hops. The Ebony & Ivory (5.5% ABV, 25 IBU) is a “pale stout,” made with pale malt, pale chocolate malt, and caramel malt. It smells like a stout, but tastes like something a little different. The Winter Hop IPA (7% ABV) is back on tap.

News: Congrats to Tractor and their Mustachio Milk Stout, which won in the Best of Albuquerque competition from ABQ the Magazine. It may not be on tap but it is still for sale in cans just about everywhere.

Currently, all pints of Little Red RYE-ding Hood are just $2 and you can fill your growler for just $5. Time to make room for a new beer on tap!

Events: Kamikaze Karaoke takes over Wells Park tonight (Wednesday) at 7 p.m.

This Saturday features the In the Mix series with Nicolatron spinning at 9 p.m. at Wells Park.

Also, every first Monday of the month at both Tractor locations is Beer for a Better Burque night. For every pint you buy $1 can go to one of four charities that have partnered with Tractor. You can also opt to purchase a special growler with the logo of your favorite charity. So yes, that is this Monday.

In addition to Beer for a Better Burque, you can grab your own musical instrument and head to Nob Hill for the ultimate jam session. Tractor Tune Up, hosted by the Virginia Creepers, is now an official event happening every Monday starting at 7:30 p.m.

This coming Tuesday features Casey Mraz’s Music for What ALES You: Girl Power Edition at Wells Park. Head on over at 8 p.m. and sing along or just listen while you enjoy your pint(s).

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

(Kitchen hours: Mon–Tues 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Wed–Thurs 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sun 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Reminder: TMBC closes early when business dictates. Please call.)

Beers: (House) McDay’s Cream Ale, Oku Amber, Parasol White IPA, Hopshell IPA, Heidelberg Helles, Stauffenberg Stout. (Seasonal/specialty) Cafe Bella Coffee Porter, Munich Dunkel, Battle Royale Red, Phantom Sun Pale Ale. To help us out for now and the future, brewer Tim Woodward broke down what will be the regular beers on tap (under House) and the current list of seasonals. That’s a pretty solid regular lineup. I personally really enjoyed the new Stauffenberg Stout (it replaced the Piedra Lisa Porter in the regular lineup) and Amber, the latter of which trumps most of its genre in terms of flavor. The Heidelberg Helles (5.1% ABV, 25 IBU) has rejoined the regular lineup for good, or so Tim hopes. The newer beers here are the Dunkel (4.7% ABV), Phantom Sun (4.8% ABV), and Battle Royale (6.5% ABV). The red is hoppier than most, more akin to Marble’s Red than an Irish red. The Phantom Sun is a tart little sucker. The Dunkel is comparable to the one at La Cumbre.

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Toro Blanco White DIPA, Friar Bacon’s Mild, Gee-Eyed (Dry Irish) Stout, Wrinkled Kilt, Barleywine. The Toro Blanco White DIPA (9.1% ABV, 100+ IBU) is not to be taken lightly. The Friar Bacon’s Mild is a modest dark ale. The Gee-Eyed (4% ABV, 40 IBU) is a classic Irish dry stout. The Wrinkled Kilt (5.6% ABV) is a Scottish export that debuted recently. Pucker Up, a strawberry sour, will debut later this week. Barleywine debuted last week to plenty of acclaim from folks up in Santa Fe. Here’s hoping they send it our way via the Draft Station.

Events: The next Thursday at the Brewers’s Table will be on March 12. Stay tuned for more details, but we know it will be a four-course meal this time.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

(Sun 11 a.m.–8 p.m., Mon–Tues 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Wed–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Fiction (IPA), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Titian (Golden Strong), Dark Ryder (Dark Strong), Grunewald (Imperial Porter), Goya (Imperial Stout), Talbeaux 15 (Barrel-Aged Brett Pale Ale), Stille of the Night (Belgian Dark Sour). The Tableaux 15 and Stille of the Night debuted at WinterBrew to plenty of acclaim from the folks in attendance. If you like your beers big, Duel has you covered. Dark Ryder and Tititan check in at 11-percent ABV, while Goya (15.9% ABV) is an absolute monster of a beer. You can buy Goya in bottles at the brewery or down in ABQ at Jubilation.

Events: The life drawing session is $25 and is held each Sunday morning from 11-1 (although they are not open to the drinking public till 1 p.m. on Sun). You get the beverage of your choice, a Brussels-style waffle made with their own yeast and beer and then served with a Grunewald Syrup. Everyone then draws from a nude model. People can sign up through the website or call the brewery to reserve a spot.

After a quiet week, live music is back in droves at Duel. Magpie will perform tonight (Wednesday) at 7 p.m. Brennen Leigh and Noel McKay are back on Thursday at 7 p.m. And finally the trio of David Berkeley, Ben Wright and Josh Martin perform Friday at 7 p.m.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

(Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 2-8 p.m.)

Beers: Belgian Strong Ale, Black IPA, Deviator Doppelbock, Chicken Killer Barley Wine, Irish Red Ale. The second beer in the new Ever Changing Series is Belgian Strong Ale (9.6% ABV), which debuted last week to much acclaim from Luke, our Santa Fe writer. The Kriek, which won a bronze medal at GABF this year, is on sale around the state in bombers, but supplies are low. A fresh batch of Chicken Killer is now available. The Irish Red is available on tap and in cans across the state.

Events: $1 off growler refills in the tasting room on Mondays. $2 pint Tuesdays at the Eldorado Taphouse. On Wednesday, there is a $2 pint special in the tasting room, and the Sangre de Cristo Craft Brewers’ Meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the tasting room as well on the third Wednesday of every month. On Thursday, there will be $1 off growler refills at the Eldorado Taphouse.

News: SFBC will soon be opening a taproom in Albuquerque. Here are all the details that Luke could find. It sounds promising.

Another new beer on deck this month is the Single Barrel Sour, part of the Los Innovadores series (which gave you all Kriek, which you adore).

Second Street Brewery — (505) 989-3278 (Railyard), (505) 982-3030 (original location)

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sunday noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Cream Stout, LVL Stout, Trebuchet IPA, Tres Equis Lager, Outlier Special Bitter, Bastogne Bitter, Brown Ale. The Tres Equis, Outlier Special Bitter and Trebuchet IPA are back, while the LVL Stout made a rather excellent debut at WinterBrew and is now on tap. Right now Second Street pretty much covers everything from hoppy to medium malty to their classic Cream Stout. The Pivotal IPA and Boneshaker Bitter are often available for purchase in four-packs of cans.

Events: Live music is back this week at both locations. At the original location, Drastic Andrew plays Friday and Broomdust Caravan performs Saturday. MVIII Unplugged will be at the Railyard location Friday and Kitty Jo Creek performs Saturday.

Every Tuesday night, the Railyard location will have Open Mic Night hosted by Ben Wright.

Other breweries you need to visit

Twisted Chile Brewing — (575) 835-2949

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri–Sun 11 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: Pilabo Pale Ale, Venom IPA, English Porter, Zia Pilsner, 790 IPA, Hose Co. 1 Red Lager, KC’s Traditional Irish Stout, Swartzbar Black Lager, Apricot Wheat. Located in Socorro at 115 Abeyta St. W, Twisted Chile is the first brewery there to brew on site since Socorro Springs outsourced their brewing to Eddyline in Colorado several years ago. I got to head down there recently and enjoyed all the beers I sampled. Kudos to Twisted Chile for bring quality craft beers back to a town that needed ‘em. The newest beer on tap is the Apricot Wheat. Other recent additions are the Irish Stout, which came in third in our Stout Challenge, and Black Lager. Also of note are the 790 IPA (7% ABV) and the Hose Co. 1 Red Lager (6% ABV). The Zia Pilsner (5.25% ABV) is done in the German style. The Venom IPA (8.2% ABV) is the biggest beer on tap, as the name might imply.

Events: Tonight (Wednesday) is Open Mic Night hosted by Johnny Dean starting at 6 p.m. There will be food and drink specials.

Peter Chase and the Quadrupeds will perform Saturday from 7:30 to 10 p.m.

* * * *

That’s all for this week! If you have any questions or comments, leave them below or contact us on our Facebook page.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Some things just never seem to stop around here in Albuquerque. The weather will always be weird and unpredictable. The drivers will continue to stupify us with their, well, stupidity. And new breweries will keep opening.

Yes, this brewery is opening up, and much sooner than any of us expected.

Yes, this brewery is opening up, and much sooner than any of us expected.

Albuquerque Brewing Co. currently has their first lineup of beers in the fermenters and the bright tanks. They could be open in March, which we admit, caught us by surprise. We had heard about ABC last summer, but then things went radio silent. Now they are back up and running, much closer to opening than we could have expected.

There is nothing wrong with that, mind you. Most places would probably like to keep things quiet until the exact moment where they are ready to swing the doors open with beers ready. We look forward to trying those beers here in the coming days and will report back to all of you.

For the record, ABC will be located at 8610 Pan American Fwy., just south of Alameda where Wilshire Ave. meets the frontage road.

So beyond that, what else is on deck? Everything else is just rumors at this point. We know of Boese Brothers Brewing downtown at Silver and 6th, but word is it might be one of just three or four new breweries looking to open in that area. The guys at Ale Republic are getting ever closer to their own location and we know downtown was the area they preferred (or at least the area north of downtown where we already have Marble, Tractor Wells Park, and soon Rio Bravo). Another brewery may soon pop up near 12th Street and I-40, but again, it’s all just a rumor until someone wants to confirm it.

We don’t know what’s up with Hops Brewery, the small place in Nob Hill, either. It looks like we have some homework assignments to do here in the coming weeks. But as always, if any of you out there have any info on new breweries you would like to share, you can reach us at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com or via our Facebook and Twitter (@nmdarksidebc) pages. Or, heck, if you see us out and about in person, just buy us a beer and drop some knowledge.

How many special beer releases are too many?

How many special beer releases are too many?

Special beer release overload?

Many times we have asked for reader feedback and not gotten much, but we would really like to encourage some this time around. Recently at a few special beer/bottle releases, attendance was seemingly down compared to past nights. Luke and I started talking about why that might be the case, and Adam chimed in online and suggested maybe we’ve hit overload. There are so many breweries creating special beers, especially at this time of year, that in general the public may be a bit burned out. Luke talked to some beer distributors in Santa Fe who said that people in New Mexico only want “cans and kegs,” and don’t care much about bottles and bombers anymore.

So here are our two questions for all of you.

1. Have there been too many special beer releases lately and is that forcing you to limit your attendance at the special events?

2. Do New Mexicans really prefer cans and not care about specialty beers in bombers?

Let us know what you think on social media and we will share your thoughts. Let’s get a conversation going, over beer, of course.

Random stuff

  • Just for today, since it’s stupid cold outside, Marble will move their temporary tap cart inside to the back of the brewery. From 4 to 10 p.m., you can get your Marble fix on draft indoors. Only crazy people would be on the patio today, right?
  • Round Two of the Brewing News National IPA Challenge is in the books, with four of the nine New Mexico IPAs advancing. La Cumbre’s Project Dank, the defending champion, moved on along with Bosque’s Scale Tipper, the NM IPA Challenge winner, Canteen’s Exodus and Second Street’s Fulcrum. The round of 32 will be held this coming weekend. Here is the official bracket so you can follow along.
  • The next Thursday at the Brewer’s Table at Blue Corn will be March 12. It will include a four-course meal this time around. When they have the menu ready, we will share it. And then Luke will probably go eat all that food, drink all the beer, and make the rest of us jealous that he lives in Santa Fe.
  • A big thanks to Heimat House, where we had Brandon’s birthday dinner last night. The food was amazing and plentiful, the beer list was still so long that it took us forever to pick what we wanted, and overall it was a wonderful night. Brew Crew baby Bannon even slept through most of it, which his parents appreciated. If you still haven’t been to Heimat House, you need to get over there now. Just be prepared to have food to take home.
  • Oh, yeah, and we are already gearing up to defend our title at the Battle of the Beer Geeks. Remember that fun event that was part of ABQ Beer Week last year at Tractor Wells Park? We will be heading over soon to brew up Dark Side Donutbrau (once we settle on a recipe to give Josh and David). And since Tractor is going to make us a trophy and shirts, we may just have to turn this into something truly ridiculous this May. We’re sure the ABQ Craft Beer Drinkers Group, Babes in Brewland, Dukes of Ale, and so on will be overjoyed to see that. Right, everyone?

Until the next time I have a bunch of stuff I can throw in a notebook …

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Cazuela's won a bronze medal at the World Beer Cup in 2014 for their oatmeal stout, Beer for my Horses.

Cazuela’s won a bronze medal at the 2014 World Beer Cup in Denver for their oatmeal stout, Beer for my Horses.

Due to communication issues between the Crew and Cazuela’s, we were not able to include a story on them last month in the Look Back/Look Ahead series. We are happy to report that communication has been reestablished and the exciting news that I learned may just make up for the wait.

Let’s start with the year that was. On a beautiful Sunday afternoon on their patio — in February! — I sat down for a chat with owner Francisco Saenz.

NMDSBC: So, 2014, beer-wise …

Saenz: Beer-wise in 2014 we had a phenomenal year. Mike (Campbell, head brewer) won third place in the World Cup.

(NOTE: What Francisco is referring to is Beer for my Horses capturing a bronze medal in the Oatmeal Stout category in the 2014 Brewers Association World Beer Cup.)

Saenz: He also entered nine of our beers in the State Fair competition (Pro-Am), and I believe we got five first places (it was three gold and one silver, actually). And also People’s Choice for lager, which was the Inebriator (Doppelbock), so for being a new brewery we did really well for 2014. It’s been great!

NMDSBC: What would you say — do more new people now come looking for your food or for your beer when they come here for the first time?

Saenz: I would say it’s a combination of both. The beer has definitely been a great hit. It was great to put a microbrewery into my restaurant. We have always had a large customer base because of the food we make, but the beer has helped us out quite a bit.

NMDSBC: It’s such a large place. You have the room for the brewing so that’s great.

Saenz: I’m going to tell you we have some great beers to go with our food. We have the Piedra del Fuego that’s very popular, which is our stone (cream) beer. And we have our Acapulco Gold, which is a lager that is probably our most popular seller because it goes so well with Mexican food.

NMDSBC: I’ve had your beers. I have had them here at the restaurant a couple of times and also at various festivals. I’m not a big lager person, but I think it’s a great lager. I have even ordered a pint with food here because it does go so well with Mexican food.

Saenz: For a lot of people (coming here) it’s kind of an introduction to microbrew for them. But our beers are good. Mike’s been doing a good job. He has been with us since we opened up the brewery, which has been two years.

NMDSBC: You had a booth at the Rio Rancho Oktoberfest last year and I talked to your staff there. Hopfest was the next day, and they said you could not attend because you were low on beer.

Saenz: What happened in that situation was that we were running low on beer. In Rio Rancho, Oktoberfest is one of our main events. We didn’t realize it was going to fall on the same weekend.

NMDSBC: Yeah, that was rough. I hope they don’t do that again.

Saenz: I hope not either. It was one of those things. It was (too) difficult for us to pull out of Oktoberfest, and difficult for us to attend both of them and have beer for both of them. We definitely try to make all the events. Being a new brewery, we want to be in every place we can possibly be to have people taste our beer. It was disappointing because we had done it the first year. Hopefully this year it doesn’t fall on the same day and we will be at both places.

NMDSBC: I hope it doesn’t, because that was a rough weekend for me!

Cazuela's will be adding more equipment to keep up with the demand in beer.

Cazuela’s will be adding more equipment to keep up with the demand in beer.

A second location tops 2015’s to-do list

NMDSBC: So what’s happening for 2015? Is there anything new you are going to be involved in that you were not in 2014?

Saenz: We are looking to open up a taproom in the same vicinity as Il Vicino (Canteen) and La Cumbre.

(This is where I started to do a little happy dance in my chair.)

NMDSBC: Are you going to do a restaurant also?

Saenz: We are in the process of that. For sure it’s going to be a taproom, but we haven’t decided what food we are going to put there. It’s going to be a brewery/sports area because the existing people that are there (a family member) do futsal, basketball, indoor volleyball … It’s about 10,000 square feet of some sport going on. There will be a good sized, back taproom and we are planning to bring in some nice-sized TVs. During tournaments they probably average 300 to 600 people in there.

(Since paperwork, etc., always takes so long, there is no estimated 2015 date yet for the new taproom.)

NMDSBC: Is it going to be called Cazuela’s?

Saenz: That depends on the licensing aspect. If they don’t make me keep the same name we might change it up a little bit.

NMDSBC: Are there any new festivals that you plan on participating in that you have not in the past?

Saenz: You know we try to get in any festival that we can. If they invite us we are definitely there. The festival that used to be the Wine Festival …

NMDSBC: Yeah, Bernalillo. Now it’s going to be a beer festival.

Saenz: I am assuming we will definitely be in that. We typically go to any festival that we are invited to. We try to be at all of them.

NMDSBC: I’ve noticed your list of beers pretty much stays the same. That helps with consistency, I’m sure, but are you looking at any new styles?

Saenz: That’s something we have been talking about. Yes, we are looking at changing some things. Mike and I talk all the time about the beers. It’s difficult to take one of the beers off because they all do so well. But we are going to be trying some new, different things, and hopefully we can change up some seasonals. Mike has been brewing a long time. He’s pretty much set in his ways in what he likes to brew but I think that trying different things is the only way to stay alive — to come up with new beers and see what the people are liking out there.

NMDSBC: Do you have the room in your equipment to do that?

Saenz: Yes. There’s also room to expand. We have the humungous batting cage area. I would love to be able to do what Marble, La Cumbre do. Eventually the batting cages could disappear and we will try to brew as much as we can as soon as we start outgrowing this (location). With more fermenters and bright tanks we will be coming out with some new different things.

NMDSBC: Anything else you want to add?

Saenz: This summer is going to be a different summer for us. We are going to be doing more music on the patio. We are going to install screens and do UFC fights out here. We are going to be trying to promote a lot of bands. We will be doing a big Cinco de Mayo celebration. Every major holiday we will be having something different on the patio.

Cazuela's plans to have some fun events on the patio this summer.

Cazuela’s plans to have some fun events on the patio this summer.

* * * * *

The patio, by the way, is very large. There are both covered and uncovered areas. Francisco and I strolled over to the outdoor bar station where he explained that he plans on not only using the existing outdoor grill set up there, but also hopes to get a trompo (similar to a gyro spit) for al pastor meat.

All right then, that settles it — come on, summer.

Salud!

— AmyO

BeerPair2

The man behind the food half of those delicious pairings at Blue Corn.

Back in January, I attended Defrost Fest at Blue Corn Brewery. It was another excellent event put on by the Southside brewpub, which turned out to be a gathering of locals and even a “who’s whom” of the Santa Fe beer industry. It was an event in grand form, featuring a lot of amazing food and a lot of quality cask beer. And for their first time running this type of brewfest in their dining space, Blue Corn did extremely well. It all went smoothly for the guests, and everyone had a great time. It was a night of beer-tasting and merrymaking, but it was also Thursday at the Brewer’s Table and that meant that Chef D was once again serving up his beer-inspired (and beer-infused) treats from Shepherd’s Pie potato skins to malted crème brûlée. Between commanding the kitchen and dishing out some of his most delicious delectables to date, I pulled Chef David Sundberg aside to find out what’s the deal with pairing beer and food.

BeerPair1

Blue Corn has this whole indulging in food-and-beer pairings down pat.

DSBC: From a Chef’s perspective, what’s special about pairing food with a beverage, be it wine, or beer, or spirits?

Chef D: Chemically speaking, everything interacts. From more an ethereal standpoint, I think that if we stop and appreciate two things in conjunction with each other, they can lend their passions to each other. So, I, as a chef, am very passionate about what I do and my food, and I try and take the love that I have for my craft and for all the energy of the farmers and ranchers and growers and everything that it took to make that one plate of food, and I try and pour my own energy into that. I know the brewers and winemakers and distillers have that same incredible passion and the fervency for what it is they do in their craft, so one would hope that people consuming that would appreciate the two together and be able to extract some of those juices and energies.

DSBC: And so this is definitely different then just ordering a sandwich and something to wash it down.

Chef D: Yeah, like a burger and a coke, right? (laughs)

DSBC: Right.

Chef D: Right. No. If it needs washing down, you’re ordering the wrong food.

DSBC: Agreed. Now, the older trend was pairing wine with food. What do you think has changed, now, to allow beer pairing to take off like it has?

Chef D: Well, I think that people are opening their minds a little bit more. In Europe, beer’s been such a part of mainstream culture for such a long time, but here in the United States, especially after Prohibition, a lot of culture was destroyed. And also, just in terms of it being acceptable to have an alcoholic beverage and not be sinful or shameful … and since people kind of came out of Prohibition, wine was really one of the first drinks that broke the mold. Breaking that mold started sometime in the Seventies, and it became a high-brow thing, because wine was expensive. Beer was more of a working man’s drink. It’s not to say that there weren’t some great beers being made, but it was mass production, and it was all about on the same level of flavor profile and such. It was meant to be refreshing and you could toss back a bunch because you had a hard day in the mines.

DSBC: And so maybe because you had such limited variation at the time, you couldn’t pair it with a whole lot of varying flavors. Or, on the other hand, that lighter lager went with everything because it didn’t have much flavor to disagree with the flavors of different foods.

Chef D: Right. But now with the mindset of people enjoying craft beer, who have been enjoying craft beer for about two decades now, they can now open up to trying and matching a flavor with a complimentary flavor like people used to do with wine. And what I love about beer is that it’s much more flexible than many wines are.

DSBC: And that leads to my next question. Why does beer pair so well with food?

Chef D: It’s just, it has more variety. With wines, one of the greatest examples that someone gave me, a wine person, actually, is lemon. Lemon is very difficult to pair a wine with. It’s so incredibly acidic and direct on the palate that a lot of times it either just completely conflicts with the wine or it covers it up entirely. Whereas beer, you could have massive amounts of variation in beer. You’d have an easier time finding something to pair without being limited. Lemons would certainly go easily with lagers, because acidity and lagers go hand and hand. They complement each other nicely.

DSBC: And in New Mexico, what about spicy foods? I’ve had some great green chile really swallow up a wine.

Chef D: And that’s exactly it, too, so IPAs, which is one of the biggest recommendations we have here as well as one of the best sellers because spicy foods and IPAs are great. A lot of IPAs have a lot of citrus. They won’t overpower each other.

DSBC: They can stand in the same ring as each other and go toe-to-toe.

Chef D: Yeah. They can dance. And you can go with something crazy like a Scotch Ale, something super malty, which is going to completely counteract that high acidity, but if you have lemon on top of a piece of very rich fish, say sea bass, the maltiness of the sea bass will play in nicely with the maltiness of the beer, but the acidity of the lemon is going to cut through them both and voila, you’re ready for another bite.

DSBC: Interesting. I’ll have to try that! Now, last time I spoke with James (Warren) and Nick (Richardson), in the interview, they told me about how Blue Corn was becoming more beer-centric. How much of Blue Corn’s menu is inspired by the beer that’s served here?

Chef D: A good portion of it, even the New Mexican food. With the latest menu change, I started integrating beer into more of the New Mexican things. For example, our carnitas are cooked in chile and beer. And it just works. It works magically, because the beer helps in the enzymes as well as the maltiness of the beer and acids in it from the Co2 help to break down the meat so well, so it turns so juicy and delicious.

DSBC: One of my favorite surprising pairs is the Gold Medal Oatmeal Stout and the Flan. It was a pairing that lent so much to each other, but I never would have tried it if I hadn’t stumbled upon on it. What surprising pairings have you found?

Chef D: Oh wow! In the dessert category, I constantly surprise people. I don’t know that I’m regularly surprised anymore, because I’ve tried a lot of different things. I still get frequently surprised about how good pairings are. One of the biggest surprises that I had was when I first started and we did a three-way pairing between food, beer, and sake. So we had a five-course dinner and each course had one beer, one sake, and one food. And the most surprising part of it was how the sake and beer paired together. People would taste each, but they would taste linearly, and so we got them to taste in a triangle. They’d go back and forth, from the sake to the beer, from the beer to the food, from the food back to the sake. It was absolutely phenomenal how different everything was depending on which direction you went.

We worked with Ayame Fukuda from Shohko Café. The brewer at the time, Brad Kraus, and I, we went over there with eight beers and Ayame had 25 sakes pulled out. And we just tasted around until we found these really magical combinations, so when we found the sake and beer combos, I created all the food off of those. That was two months of creating the recipes. It was so much fun!

DSBC: It sounds like a fun experience! Finally, where would you recommend people start (with) pairing beer and foods?

Chef D: Very simple. Start with slightly less nuanced things. Start with things you know. So if you know how to cook a good steak, start with a good steak. Try it with an IPA. Try it with a Brown Ale, even a slightly maltier Stout; I wouldn’t go too dry on it. And try it with a light lager. Having those different beers, which are vastly different styles of beer, and each one is going to go well with that steak, but in incredibly different ways. And if you want to just create a good basis, you could start with popcorn, and make four different kinds of seasoning for the popcorn. You could make caramel popcorn, chile popcorn, and cheese popcorn and straight popcorn, and pull out 6 different beers and taste all of them together. It just gives you a really good basis, a foundation for understanding what in the beer affects the food. From there, you can take those lessons and learning and continue on. But here’s the kicker. You can do anything with anything, and it’s fine. You’re still having food and beer, so it’s going to be an enjoyable experience, but to do it well is pretty cool, and so to find those things that magically match together, they can take a good dining experience to the next level and make it an amazing experience.

* * * * *

I think we’re trying new beers and new flavor combinations because our palates have grown up a little just as we have, and now we’re looking for more than drinking just to get plastered and eating just to get fed (most of the time). And maybe that’s what it’s all about, expecting more out of our experience, whether drinking or dining, or both. Pairing can raise an experience from a 4 to an 8 or even a 7 to an 11. When I pair foods and beers, sometimes I get it wrong, but when I get it right, it’s an out-of-this-world experience. When we spend our hard-earned money dining out, rather than just grabbing fast-food, we want to get our money’s worth, don’t we? I do. I’m paying for more than just the food; I’m paying for a lesson, sometimes in culture, sometimes just in taste. What I’m really after is that experience that made getting out of bed and going to work just that much easier. And I’ll take a good “Wow,” any day.

For tomorrow’s Thursday at the Brewer’s Table, Blue Corn is releasing their Barley Wine. It’s a special creation of brewers James and Nick, and one I had a very small hand in brewing. Mashing-in and moral support counts, right? At 11.2-percent ABV this will be quite a big beer. Luckily, Chef D has prepared a gumbo just as big and just in time for Mardi Gras (okay, it’s a couple days late, but it’s still in season). I hope to see you all there. Don’t forget to make reservations, and laissez les bon temps rouler!

BeerPair3

Time to get spoiled again.

Cheers!

— Luke

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with the reunified edition of The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s four breweries and one newcomer down in Socorro also joining the party. We tried hard to keep the state edition going, but without participation from the breweries outside the I-25 corridor, it was futile.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

One of the great drinking holidays is now less than a month away. Yes, St. Patrick’s Day, when everyone is a little bit Irish and a lot stupid, will soon be upon us. To get everyone in the mood, Santa Fe Brewing is holding their annual Irish Red Ale release party this Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. at the brewery. We’ll be sending Luke over to do a full recap of the shenanigans, of course. I would go, but as per usual, I will be covering the NMAA State Swimming Championships at Albuquerque Academy. It’s an annual tradition that includes having my eyes burn from all the chlorine in the air. Anyway, Tacos y Mas will provide the food for the party, while High Desert Pipes & Drums will start playing music at 3 p.m. There will also be a “How Do You Enjoy Your Irish Red” photo contest online starting Saturday. Just tag your photos online with #StPattysFe and you will be entered to win a prize pack from SFBC.

On the new beer front, there are a few new ones worth checking out around town. Bosque has Slackjaw Imperial Porter now on nitro at both the brewery and the Public House in Nob Hill. There is also a Crystal Single Hop Pale Ale and Tandem Ryder Double Pale Ale, plus a fresh batch of Scale Tipper, last year’s IPA Challenge winner. Canteen has their own heavyweight IPA, Exodus, back on tap. Cazuela’s has Primo, a seasonal brown ale. A crowd favorite returns at Kaktus in the form of the Helles Lager. La Cumbre’s Azacca Pale Ale should be available by week’s end. Nexus has a new Blackberry Hefeweizen. Ponderosa is getting into a smoked theme with Smoky the Beer, a smoked porter.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn’s Barleywine will be tapped Thursday. Second Street has some new batches of Trebuchet IPA, Outlier Special Bitter, and Tres Equis coming soon.

And on the subject of cask beers, rather than listing them brewery by brewery in here, we’re doing something a little different. Since oftentimes breweries don’t know what they’re putting on cask until the day of (usually Friday), rather than just put “TBD” down below, instead we’re offering updates via our Facebook page and Twitter feed. Look for the “Firkin Friday” post every week on those social media sites. One of these days when we get around to upgrading the main website we will make it a permanent feature on there, but for now we’ll provide live updates as the breweries get us the information.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of Feb. 16.

To break down each “capsule,” I listed the brewery (with Web page linked), its phone number and hours of operation. Under “Beers” are the new or seasonal beers on tap for this week.

Albuquerque metro area breweries

ABQ Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–2 a.m., Sunday 10 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Petrus Aged Ale, Petrus Aged Red. Petrus Aged Ale and Red are high alcohol barrel-aged sours from a family-owned brewery in Flanders. Several times a year, ABP serves up the latest creation by local brewing hero and winner of the Samuel Adams Longshot competition, Ben Miller, or seasonal releases by Monks Brewing.

Back Alley Draft House — (505) 766-8590

(Hours 4 p.m.-11 p.m. daily)

Beers: Pre-Prohibition Malt Tonic, Poth’s Pilsner, Ladron’s Con Fuego, Back Alley Red, California Common, Soroche IPA. In case you missed it, we interviewed BADH’s new brewer, Brandon Venaglia. There are some exciting times coming, including a possible expansion. The Malt Tonic and Poth’s Pilsner are back after a short absence.

Events: Sundays will now be Service Nights at Back Alley, with $2 off all beers for service industry workers. Bring your server’s ID and you will be rewarded.

Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596 (main brewery), (505) 508-5967 (Nob Hill Public House), (575) 571-4626 (Las Cruces Taproom)

(Main brewery: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-midnight, Sun noon-8 p.m.; Nob Hill: Mon–Weds 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Thurs 11 a.m.-midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Sun noon-11 p.m.; Las Cruces: Sun–Thurs noon-11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon-midnight)

Beers: Old School Session IPA, Crystal Single Hop Pale Ale, Bosque Dark Lager, Humo Rojo, Slack Jaw Imperial Porter on nitro, Scale Tipper IPA. Tandem Ryder Double Pale Ale (Nob Hill only). All beers listed are on tap at both the brewery taproom and the Public House in Nob Hill, unless noted. The Tandem Ryder DPA should be on tap at the San Mateo location soon. The Old School (4.7% ABV, 60 IBU) is a mild little delight. The Humo Rojo (5.7% ABV, 16 IBU) is a smoke bomb and a half. The Dark Lager (5.5% ABV, 25 IBU) is similar in profile to Durango Brewing’s standout flagship beer. Slack Jaw (8.8% ABV, 45 IBU) is a monstrous delight, and now it’s on nitro and that is just plain awesome. The Crystal Single Hop (5.6% ABV, 30 IBU) is new, while the Scale Tipper (6.4% ABV, 95 IBU) is back for another run. Riverwalker IPA (6.5% ABV, 90 IBU) is now the permanent IPA on tap at all Bosque locations.

News: The Bosque Public House is now open, located on Girard just south of Central. Bosque has also opened a taproom in Las Cruces, located in the former Mimbres Valley space across from New Mexico State at the corner of University Ave. and Espina St.

Bosque has a happy hour running from 3-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and all day on Sunday. Look for special menu items and get $1 off your favorite pints.

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

(Sun-Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.)

Beers: Paw Swipe Pale Ale, Hairy Mit Hefe, Standing 8 Stout, Ambear Ale, Uppercut IPA, Sucker Punch DIPA, Iron Lung Smoked Porter, Black Eye-PA, Apple Bear Hard Cider. The Standing 8 Stout (6.3% ABV, 45 IBU), which is on tap at all times, claimed the 2015 Stout Challenge, held by the Crew before the Super Bowl this past Sunday. Head on over to indulge in this beast of a beer. The Iron Lung Smoked Porter (6.1% ABV) and Apple Bear Hard Cider (5% ABV) went on tap recently. The Black Eye-PA (6.2% ABV) is a hoppy yet malty black IPA. New to taps is the Sucker Punch (8.5% ABV, 125+ IBU), which as the name might imply could leave you on the floor if you’re careful.

News: Boxing Bear now has a happy hour. 10-, 16-, and 22-ounce beers are all discounted from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Growler Happy Hour then runs from 6 p.m. to close on those nights. Get $2 off a growler fill and $1 off a half-growler (they call ‘em “squealers”).

Also, every day at lunchtime (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), for just $10 you can get a pint and a panini of your choice.

Events: Geeks Who Drink will now be held every Wednesday from 8 to 10 p.m. at Boxing Bear.

Broken Bottle Brewery — (505) 890-8777

(Mon–Weds 4-11 p.m., Thurs-Fri 4 p.m.–midnight, Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Cracked Cork Barley Wine, End of Days Tripel, Twig and Berries Sahti, Tom Selleck Ale, Rip Van Winkle Vanilla Stout, Nacho Brau. Two old favorites are back in the burly Cracked Cork and End of Days. New to the menu is Twig and Berries. A Sahti is a Finnish style of beer using some unique grains as well as juniper berries. If you’re one of the lucky few to not be allergic to junipers, have at it! The Drunken Hobo Milk Stout has replaced the Mulligan Stout in the regular lineup.

Events: B3 has $3 beers every Tuesday from open to close. On Wednesday, B3 will be hosting their open mic from 8-10 p.m., with signups starting at 7:30 p.m. Check out B3’s karaoke night every Thursday starting at 8 p.m.

B3 shows The Walking Dead every Sunday at 7 p.m. and Better Call Saul every Monday at 8 p.m.

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737

(Sun–Thurs noon–10 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–midnight)

Beers: Irish Red, Wine Barrel-Aged Belgian Golden, Sasquatch Scotch, Kentucky Common, Black Rye PA, Opal Esteem, Milk Chocolate Cherry Stout, Exodus IPA. This year’s edition of Solstice Blackout has ended. Hurry over before the remaining Solstice beers — Sasquatch (8% ABV, 26 IBU) and Black Rye PA (7% ABV, 50 IBU) — run out. The Kentucky Common (5.4% ABV, 24 IBU) is a fairly recent addition. The Opal Esteem (5.7% ABV, 40 IBU) is a traditional steam-style beer brewed with German Opal hops. The Milk Chocolate Cherry Stout (8% ABV, 40 IBU) is back for another run. It won a bronze medal at GABF in 2012. Another fan favorite, Exodus (7.7% ABV, 100+ IBU), is back for another run.

News: The last barrel-aged beer in the back, waiting to be tapped, is American Stock Ale in rum barrels.

Canteen has begun filling Crowlers, 32-ounce aluminum cans that can be filled with any beer on tap. They get sealed up and can last for a lot longer than a regular growler. Then you bring back the Crowlers to be recycled and get some fresh ones.

Cazuela’s Seafood & Mexican Grill — (505) 994-9364

(Open daily 8 a.m.-10 p.m.)

Beers: Papacabra (Double IPA), Panama Red, Acapulco Gold (Mexican Lager), Hefeweizen, Chupacabra IPA, Piedra del Fuego Stoned Cream Ale, Beer for My Horses (Oatmeal Stout), Inebriator (Doppelbock), Primo (Brown Ale). E-Rock and I had a chance to sample the Piedra del Fuego (5% ABV), which we both recommend. According to Cazuela’s menu: “This cream ale uses red-hot stones to super caramelize the sugars, creating a nutty, toffee-like flavor.” The Inebriator (8% ABV) and the Papacabra (9.7% ABV) are the biggest beers in the lineup.

News: Cazuela’s Beer for My Horses won a bronze medal in the oatmeal stout category at the World Beer Cup in Denver and also captured a gold medal in the stout category at the 2014 State Fair Pro-Am.

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

UPDATED >>> Beers: Guero IPA, Saul-utations, Hank (Nut Brown), Kissy Face Chocolate Cherry Wheat. The Kissy Face (6% ABV, 22 IBU) was made for Valentine’s Day. It has a healthy amount of dark cherry puree and cocoa nibs in the mix. Saul-utations (6.3% ABV, 35 IBU) was brewed in honor of the new hit TV series Better Call Saul, which filmed part of an episode at the Chama Microbar downtown. It is an India Pilsner Lager, making it a hybrid of a traditional pilsner lager and an IPA.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

(Hours Mon-Thu 2-9 p.m., Fri-Sat 11:30-10 p.m., Sun 11:30-9 p.m.)

Beers: Helles Lager, Honk If You’re …, ESB, Amber, IPA, I’m a Little Teapot Short and Stout, Czech Pilsner, Brunette. The Helles Lager makes its return to taps this week. The regular IPA is back and has been joined by Honk If You’re …, a British-style mild ale. I’m a Little Teapot Short and Stout is Kaktus’ first barrel-aged beer. A bunch of the Crew gathered at Kaktus recently and the Brunette, a sweet, nutty brown ale, was a big hit with all of us. We gotta say, Kaktus is getting pretty good at naming their beers. Kaktus is located at 471 South Hill Road in Bernalillo, for those who have still not made the trek.

Events: Kaktus has several new weekday specials including $3 pints on Monday, $9 growlers on Tuesday, $6 bison nachos on Wednesday, and $8 Frito pie and beer on Thursday.

The Desert Darlings belly dancers perform from 6 to 8 p.m. on almost every Sunday. If you’ve never seen the Desert Darlings in person, you’re missing out.

Kaktus is also one of the sponsors of a huge upcoming St. Patrick’s Day celebration at the Railyards. You can find tickets and more info at the official website. It runs from 4 to 10 p.m. on March 17 and will feature beer, food trucks, music, dancers, and more.

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Munchener Dunkel, Simcoe Pale Ale, Bohemian from Burque, La Llorona Baltic Porter, Hell Froze Over. Brandon and I enjoyed the outstanding La Llorona Baltic Porter (8.9% ABV, 45 IBU). The Simcoe Pale Ale (5.5% ABV, 37 IBU) is still hanging around. A recent addition to taps is the Bohemian from Burque (5.7% ABV, 45 IBU), a Bohemian-style pilsner. Hell Froze Over (5.5% ABV, 30 IBU), La Cumbre’s take on a brown ale, is back for 2015. Though it is not on tap, you can buy bombers of Tres Padres, La Cumbre’s first Belgian-style Tripel, at the brewery. Oh, and don’t panic about Project Dank and Red Ryeot no longer appearing here as seasonals. They are now part of La Cumbre’s regular lineup. Red Ryeot cans are now for sale around town and at the brewery.

News: Azacca Pale Ale should be on tap by the end of this week.

La Cumbre’s new and improved website is now up and running. Check it out by clicking the link here. Their online calendar now includes what food trucks will be serving, plus live music and a current draft list.

Events: Odd Dog performs Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m.

Yoga is back at the taproom every Sunday at 10:45 a.m.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

(Mon–Weds noon-9 p.m., Thurs–Sat noon-midnight, Sun noon-7 p.m.)

Beers: Whiptail Weisse, Bluetail Blonde, Horned Honey Pale, Reptilian IPA, Chameleon Amber, Basilisk Brown, Sanddigger Dubbel, Desert Night India Black Ale, Black Bearded Rye Stout, Smoot-tailed Oatmeal Stout, Prairie Lizard Porter, Biscochito Brown, Belgian Strong Dark, Belgian Abbey, ESB. Lizard Tail is up to 15 beers with a new ESB (6% ABV, 40 IBU). The Belgian Abbey (7.1% ABV, 25 IBU) and the Belgian Dark Strong (9.7% ABV, 30 IBU) are other recent additions, as one can probably tell since they have yet to be given lizard-themed names like the rest of the lineup. So far Lizard Tail has shown themselves to be more malt-forward than hop-centric. The oatmeal stout and porter are solid, while the IBA has shown improvement since its debut.

News: Lizard Tail’s happy hour runs seven days a week from 3 to 6 p.m. You get $1 off food, flights, and pints.

Take note that Lizard Tail now opens at noon every day.

Events: Lizard Tail will host Geeks Who Drink every Tuesday at 8 p.m.

Every Thursday will now feature karaoke from 8 to 11 p.m.

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739

(Mon–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10:30 p.m.)

UPDATED >>> Beers: There are no seasonals being poured on the patio at the Downtown Pub during renovations (see below for a link with more details). Only classics like the Pilsner, Amber, Wildflower Wheat, IPA, Red, and Double White are currently available. The Oatmeal Stout is not yet available on the patio. The most recent quartet of seasonals — Double IPA, 2014 Imperial Stout, Belgian Quad, Imperial Red — may be available, all or some, at the Westside and Santa Fe taprooms, but call ahead to make sure they are there if you have a hankering for one or more. Anyway, this year’s batch of Imperial Stout (11% ABV) is a big, bold beast of a beer. If the bourbon flavor is too much, just let it warm for a bit and it will mellow out and the stout flavors will come forward. A recent addition to taps is a hefty Quad (10.3% ABV), a big old blast of Belgian bad-assery.

News: So in case you missed it, the interior of the Downtown Pub will be closed until March 6 to undergo a much-needed renovation. Until then, you can still drink beers fresh from taps on the patio (weather-permitting). Also, every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday you can enjoy Studio 111 inside the brewery itself. See below for the schedule.

Events: Brewery tours occur at the Downtown Pub every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. (We are not sure if this is affected by the renovations or not.)

Studio 111 in the Brewery will feature Leftover Soul this Thursday from 7 to 10 p.m. DJ Halcyon will perform Friday from 8 to 11. Dave Decibel will then be on hand Saturday from 7 to 10.

The Saltine Ramblers perform at the Westside Taproom on Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. They will be followed by Harmaleighs on Saturday, also from 6 to 9.

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Nexus Maximus, Warp 10 Golden Strong, Beam Me Up Scottish, Blackberry Hefeweizen. New this week is the Blackberry Hefeweizen, which should have you pining for summer in no time. The 2015 batch of Beam Me Up (9.5% ABV, 32 IBU) uses the same malt bill as the first batch from three years ago, but with a modified hop mix. The result will set it apart from the first two versions. Brewer Kaylynn McKnight has unleashed Nexus Maximus (7.6% ABV, 100 IBU), a big old DIPA that will have you chanting its name like you’re back in the Roman Coliseum. Another fairly recent addition to taps is the Warp 10 Golden Strong, an English-style golden ale.

Events: Nexus serves up Happy Hour All Day on Tuesday featuring $3 pints. Also on Tuesday, Nexus will be hosting their comedy open mic, Young Dumb and Full of Comedy, starting at 7:30 p.m. in the Sun Room.

Nexus has always hosted viewing parties for The Walking Dead in the community room, where you can also play Walking Dead pinball. The show is back this Sunday at 7 p.m. We’re guessing they will keep the TV on AMC for Better Call Saul on Mondays, too.

Pi Brewing at Nicky V’s Neighborhood Pizzeria — (505) 890-9463

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: PiPA, West Coast Red, Bourbon Vanilla Porter, Pre-Prohibition Pilsner, ESB, Peppermint Porter, Pumpkin Abbey Ale. While Pi Brewing is not open to the public yet, they are able to brew and serve their beers next door at Nicky V’s. The IPA and West Coast Red are both good hoppy beers. We’ll keep tabs on when Pi itself opens. For now, grab a pint and some tasty Italian food. The PiPA will now be a regular beer, replacing the Unchallenged IPA. The scrumptious Bourbon Vanilla Porter is back, replacing the Robust Porter. Recent additions to tap are the Peppermint Porter and Pumpkin Abbey Ale, while a fresh batch of ESB is on tap as well.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

(Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: Ghost Train IPA, Rip Saw Red, Crosscut Kolsch, Dunkelblitzen, Nikolaus Spiced Lager, Imperial Sawmill Stout, The Dark Demon ICDA, Dunkelweizen, Smoky the Beer. Ponderosa is located at 1761 Bellamah NW, which is just east of Rio Grande and due north of the NM Natural History Museum, in the bottom floor of a swanky-looking apartment/retail complex (they have a sign atop the building now that you cannot miss). The most recent addition to taps is Smoky the Beer, a smoked porter. It should go well with that new meat smoker they have in the kitchen. The Dark Demon (8% ABV, 110 IBU) is an imperial Cascadian dark ale (basically a black IPA), and it is a devilish delight. The Nikolaus (5.2% ABV, 30 IBU) is a Weihnachtsbier, a traditional Bavarian dark lager brewed for the holidays. Brace yourselves for the Imperial Sawmill Stout (8.2% ABV, 65 IBU). The Dunkelweizen (5.2% ABV, 15 IBU) sticks with the German theme.

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675

(Mon–Thurs 2 p.m. to midnight, Fri–Sun noon to midnight)

Beers: (Regular) Gateway Blonde Ale, Roamer Red, Threshold IPA, Paint it Black Milk Stout, Unhinged Cider, Trappe Door Wheat. (Seasonal) Stormtrooper Imperial IPA, O.D.B. (Oaked Dark Belgian). The first Red Door seasonal, Strong Scotch Ale, has finally run out. Sniff. But Red Door still has Stormtrooper (8.4% ABV, 110 IBU), the biggest beer they have brewed to date. The O.D.B. is quite a treat as well. The Trappe Door Wheat, a Belgian-style if you couldn’t guess by the name, replaces the Trapdoor Wheat in the regular lineup.

News: Take note of Red Door’s new weekday schedule for the winter months as they will now open at 2 p.m. instead of noon. Weekend hours remain the same.

Events: The El Paso band Next 2 the Tracks will perform at Red Door tonight (Wednesday) from 7 to 9 p.m.

Saturday morning will mark another round of Beer and Breakfast. From 7 to 10 a.m. you can gather with friends for some food truck-supplied goodies with a pint of beer and a bit of English football on the telly.

Sandia Chile Grill — (505) 798-1970

(Mon–Sat 8 a.m.–8 p.m., Sun 8 a.m.–6 p.m.)

Beers: Irish Red, Rattlesnake IPA, Smoked Stout. We’re still trying to get a current beer list from SCG. If we get one, we’ll update this.

News: Congrats to SCG on sweeping all three medals in the mead category at the 2014 State Fair Pro-Am, while also claiming a silver medal for Barb’s Barrel Hefeweizen.

The Stumbling Steer — (505) 792-7805

(Sunday-Wednesday 11 a.m.-midnight, Thursday-Saturday 11 a.m.-2 a.m.)

Beers: Bang Up Blonde, Hefferweizen, Pig Sticker Pale, Iron Horse IPA, Rawhide Red, Boneyard Brown, Hop Trough (Double IPA), Soiled Dove (Imperial Stout), Black IPA. While the brewery is being built in the back of the Steer, all of their house beers are being brewed off-site, but still using brewer Kirk Roberts’ recipes. The DIPA and the Stout are limited to two per customer, due to their high alcohol content (10% and 9.5% ABV, respectively). The Black IPA is the current seasonal beer, plus there are often one or two cask beers.

Tractor Brewing Company — (505) 433-5654 (Nob Hill Tap Room), TBA (Wells Park)

(Nob Hill is open Monday-Wednesday 3 p.m. to midnight, Thursday 3 p.m. to 2 a.m., Friday-Saturday 1 p.m. to 2 a.m., Sunday 1 p.m. to midnight; Wells Park is open Monday-Thursday 3 p.m. to close, Friday-Sunday 1 p.m. to midnight.
 Last call 30 minutes before close. 
No package after midnight.
 Brewery tours Saturday at 1 p.m.)

Beers at Nob Hill: Little Red Rye-ding Hood, Winter Hop IPA, Barn Burner Pale Ale, Wonder Weisse, Double Sickle DIPA, Half Acre Hefe, Luna de los Muertos Russian Imperial Stout, Ebony & Ivory, Turkey Drool.

Beers at Wells Park only: It’s the same list at both! Tractor has revamped their beer list and pricing system. All of the Tractor Classics — Farmer’s Tan Red, Double Plow Oatmeal Stout, Almanac IPA, Sodbuster Pale Ale, Haymaker Honey What, plus now Pilsner #15, Mustachio Milk Stout, and Apple Hard Cider — are priced at $4 apiece ($3 for Beer Farmer’s Co-op members). All seasonal/specialty beers will now be $5 ($4 for members). Just about everyone in town has slightly increased prices in the past four months, but an extra 50 cents or a dollar shouldn’t bankrupt anyone, right? Anyway, on the seasonal front, the 2015 batch of Luna (8% ABV), which debuted at WinterBrew, is a dark delight, loaded with flavor and decadently smooth. We love us some Turkey Drool (8% ABV) this time of year. It’s a brown ale with all sorts of holiday-themed spices and other added ingredients. This year’s batch is arguably the best yet. The wonderful Lauren Poole also showed us that if you mix the Drool with Mustachio to create Turkey Milk, it’s absolutely stupendous. The Little Red (5.8% ABV) has a malty rye kick and is still just $2 a pint. The Double Sickle DIPA (7.6% ABV, 110 IBU) is not an overwhelming hop bomb, but has a nice malty backbone to balance itself out. The Barn Burner (6% ABV, 52 IBU) is a bitter little pale ale that uses 40 pounds of El Dorado hops. The Ebony & Ivory (5.5% ABV, 25 IBU) is a “pale stout,” made with pale malt, pale chocolate malt, and caramel malt. It smells like a stout, but tastes like something a little different. The Winter Hop IPA (7% ABV) is back on tap.

News: Congrats to Tractor and their Mustachio Milk Stout, which won in the Best of Albuquerque competition from ABQ the Magazine. It may not be on tap but it is still for sale in cans just about everywhere.

Currently, all pints of Little Red RYE-ding Hood are just $2 and you can fill your growler for just $5. Time to make room for a new beer on tap!

Events: Solos on the Hill is back tonight (Wednesday) at Nob Hill with Alex Maryol performing from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.

The Thirsty Thursday music series is back at Wells Park as Eryn Bent will perform at 8 p.m.

This Saturday features the In the Mix series with Nicolatron spinning at 9 p.m. at Wells Park.

Also, every first Monday of the month at both Tractor locations is Beer for a Better Burque night. For every pint you buy $1 can go to one of four charities that have partnered with Tractor. You can also opt to purchase a special growler with the logo of your favorite charity.

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

(Kitchen hours: Mon–Tues 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Wed–Thurs 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sun 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Reminder: TMBC closes early when business dictates. Please call.)

Beers: (House) McDay’s Cream Ale, Oku Amber, Parasol White IPA, Hopshell IPA, Heidelberg Helles, Stauffenberg Stout. (Seasonal/specialty) Cafe Bella Coffee Porter, Munich Dunkel, Battle Royale Red, Phantom Sun Pale Ale. To help us out for now and the future, brewer Tim Woodward broke down what will be the regular beers on tap (under House) and the current list of seasonals. That’s a pretty solid regular lineup. I personally really enjoyed the new Stauffenberg Stout (it replaced the Piedra Lisa Porter in the regular lineup) and Amber, the latter of which trumps most of its genre in terms of flavor. The Heidelberg Helles (5.1% ABV, 25 IBU) has rejoined the regular lineup for good, or so Tim hopes. The newer beers here are the Dunkel (4.7% ABV), Phantom Sun (4.8% ABV), and Battle Royale (6.5% ABV). The red is hoppier than most, more akin to Marble’s Red than an Irish red. The Phantom Sun is a tart little sucker. The Dunkel is comparable to the one at La Cumbre.

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Toro Blanco White DIPA, Friar Bacon’s Mild, Gee-Eyed (Dry Irish) Stout, Wrinkled Kilt, Barleywine. The Toro Blanco White DIPA (9.1% ABV, 100+ IBU) is not to be taken lightly. The Friar Bacon’s Mild is a modest dark ale. The Gee-Eyed (4% ABV, 40 IBU) is a classic Irish dry stout. The Wrinkled Kilt (5.6% ABV) is a Scottish export that debuted recently. Pucker Up, a strawberry sour, will debut later this week. Barleywine debuts Thursday (see below).

Events: Thursday at the Brewers’s Table is back this week (Luke will have a full preview posted soon). This time around they are pairing the new Barleywine with Chef D’s Gumbo. It costs $10 and reservations are required, just call the number above.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

(Sun 11 a.m.–8 p.m., Mon–Tues 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Wed–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Fiction (IPA), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Titian (Golden Strong), Dark Ryder (Dark Strong), Grunewald (Imperial Porter), Goya (Imperial Stout), Talbeaux 15 (Barrel-Aged Brett Pale Ale), Stille of the Night (Belgian Dark Sour). The Tableaux 15 and Stille of the Night debuted at WinterBrew to plenty of acclaim from the folks in attendance. If you like your beers big, Duel has you covered. Dark Ryder and Tititan check in at 11-percent ABV, while Goya (15.9% ABV) is an absolute monster of a beer. You can buy Goya in bottles at the brewery or down in ABQ at Jubilation.

Events: The life drawing session is $25 and is held each Sunday morning from 11-1 (although they are not open to the drinking public till 1 p.m. on Sun). You get the beverage of your choice, a Brussels-style waffle made with their own yeast and beer and then served with a Grunewald Syrup. Everyone then draws from a nude model. People can sign up through the website or call the brewery to reserve a spot.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

(Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 2-8 p.m.)

Beers: Belgian Strong Ale, Black IPA, Deviator Doppelbock, Chicken Killer Barley Wine, Irish Red Ale. The second beer in the new Ever Changing Series is Belgian Strong Ale (9.6% ABV), which debuted last week to much acclaim from Luke, our Santa Fe writer. The Kriek, which won a bronze medal at GABF this year, is on sale around the state in bombers, but supplies are low. A fresh batch of Chicken Killer is now available. The Irish Red will return Saturday with a release party (see the intro above).

Events: $1 off growler refills in the tasting room on Mondays. $2 pint Tuesdays at the Eldorado Taphouse. On Wednesday, there is a $2 pint special in the tasting room, and the Sangre de Cristo Craft Brewers’ Meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the tasting room as well on the third Wednesday of every month. On Thursday, there will be $1 off growler refills at the Eldorado Taphouse.

News: SFBC will soon be opening a taproom in Albuquerque. Here are all the details that Luke could find. It sounds promising.

Another new beer on deck this month is the Single Barrel Sour, part of the Los Innovadores series (which gave you all Kriek, which you adore).

Second Street Brewery — (505) 989-3278 (Railyard), (505) 982-3030 (original location)

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sunday noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Cream Stout, LVL Stout, Fulcrum IPA, Super Comet, Rod’s Best Bitter, Bastogne Bitter, Rod’s Steam Bitter, Brown Ale. The Super Comet and Fulcrum IPA are back, while the LVL Stout made a rather excellent debut at WinterBrew and is now on tap. The Steam Bitter won a gold medal at the 2013 GABF. Right now Second Street pretty much covers everything from hoppy to medium malty to their classic Cream Stout. The Pivotal IPA and Boneshaker Bitter are often available for purchase in four-packs of cans.

News: Rod’s Best Bitter may already be out, but fear not, Outlier Special Bitter, Tres Equis, and Trebuchet IPA will soon return.

Events: Every Wednesday night, the Railyard location will have Open Mic Night hosted by Ben Wright.

Live music is back this week at both locations. At the original location, The Bus Tapes play Friday and The Barbwires perform Saturday. Watermelon Mountain Jub Band will be at the Railyard location Friday and Swing Soleil performs Saturday.

Other breweries you need to visit

Twisted Chile Brewing — (575) 835-2949

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri–Sun 11 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: Pilabo Pale Ale, Venom IPA, English Porter, Zia Pilsner, 790 IPA, Hose Co. 1 Red Lager, KC’s Traditional Irish Stout, Swartzbar Black Lager, Apricot Wheat. Located in Socorro at 115 Abeyta St. W, Twisted Chile is the first brewery there to brew on site since Socorro Springs outsourced their brewing to Eddyline in Colorado several years ago. I got to head down there recently and enjoyed all the beers I sampled. Kudos to Twisted Chile for bring quality craft beers back to a town that needed ‘em. The newest beer on tap is the Apricot Wheat. Other recent additions are the Irish Stout, which came in third in our Stout Challenge, and Black Lager. Also of note are the 790 IPA (7% ABV) and the Hose Co. 1 Red Lager (6% ABV). The Zia Pilsner (5.25% ABV) is done in the German style. The Venom IPA (8.2% ABV) is the biggest beer on tap, as the name might imply.

Events: Tonight (Wednesday) is Open Mic Night hosted by Johnny Dean starting at 6 p.m. There will be food and drink specials.

There will also be Ash Wednesday seafood specials today and throughout Lent.

* * * *

That’s all for this week! If you have any questions or comments, leave them below or contact us on our Facebook page.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Rio Rancho finally has another hometown beer. If you have ever doubted the demand for craft beers in “The City of Vision,” just keep reading.

Blue Grasshopper features one of their own beers and others from around the state.

Blue Grasshopper features one of their own beers and others from around the state.

The Blue Grasshopper has been serving local beers from other breweries and their own wood-fired pizza since they opened late last year through the help of a Kickstarter campaign. Now, they finally have one of their own beers on tap. I decided to make a quick stop over the weekend to check out this new beer, a 7-percent ABV “Dubbel Dunkel.” It’s a good thing I did because they are already almost out. They went through two kegs in the first four days and I would say that’s pretty impressive for the first offering from a small brewpub located in a strip mall behind a Wendy’s just west of Rio Rancho Blvd./Highway 528. This Dunkel offered some interesting dark, dried fruit notes (date? fig? raisin?) in the middle and a slightly bitter finish. It was not overly sweet. Additional points to them for starting out with something other than an amber or IPA.

There are several other beers coming online soon. The next beer will be an English Pale Ale that is carbonating now. Following the EPA will be a Golden Ale, a Sour Cherry Hefeweisen that is currently aging, and a Maibock, though not necessarily in that order. (Note: The brewer was not in-house at the time, so I was not able to talk to him or tour the production area.)

Patience seems to have paid off for this casual joint that has already gained quite a loyal local following. It’s easy to understand the loyalty, because from the moment you walk in, you are made to feel right at home. And it’s not just the customers who are loyal. Owners Greg Nielsen and Peter Apers are strong supporters of local musicians as well as local beer. I noticed that one of my favorite local performers played there recently. Greg researched the calendar for me to see when he will be playing next, and I could clearly see the calendar is quickly filling with regional talent. The beer list, pictured above, is pretty impressive and the aroma from the pizza oven almost convinced me to order a pizza even though I was on my way to dinner with friends.

So, what’s with the name “Blue Grasshopper?” Head over to their Facebook page and look for the story they posted on Feb. 13, 2015. Better yet, go check them out in person.

Cheers!

— AmyO

Renovations are underway at Marble’s downtown pub

Posted: February 16, 2015 by cjax33 in News
Tags:
Marble's downtown pub will have a whole new look when renovations are complete on March 6.

Marble’s downtown pub will have a whole new look when renovations are complete on March 6.

Power tools and hard hats are nothing new around Marble Brewery, which has already seen major recent renovations to the patio and the bathrooms, with the brewery expansion still to come. Before that happens, however, the pub/taproom at the main brewery will get a much-needed makeover.

Beginning today (Monday) and running until March 6, the interior of the pub will be closed. Don’t freak out, you can still order a beer on the patio (weather-permitting, and lately the weather has been permitting a lot) while all of this is going on. You will not be completely shut out from drinking fresh Marble beers on draft downtown, but there may be days you have to go without (or drive to the Westside Taproom) if Mother Nature reverts to her usual unpredictable self here in New Mexico. In addition to having beers served outside, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights Marble will have Studio 111 in the brewery itself. Specifically, it’s the area in the southwest corner where you may have attended a Beer 101 class during ABQ Beer Week in the past. There will be a DJ spinning tunes and even a disco ball hanging from the ceiling. Plus, the whole area will smell of hops and malts. We will have the listings as part of Marble’s entry in The Week Ahead in Beer.

Anyway, as for the details on the construction itself, I was lucky enough to run into Walt Gill of Modulus Design, the contractor, while I was enjoying a cask of Marble Red on Friday afternoon. He and his company were the ones who already redid the bathrooms back at the same time as the patio renovation, and lord knows how many of you have told us how much you love what they did to improve those bathrooms. (Do take note, there may be some days where the indoor bathrooms will not be accessible due to construction, so external facilities will be made available to customers on a temporary basis.) So with a glance at the plans, here is all that they will be doing in the next three weeks.

Blueprints are not the easiest things to discern, but this should give you a rough idea of the new look of Marble's pub. Note the stage in the northeast corner and the new communal tables in the center.

Blueprints are not the easiest things to discern, but this should give you a rough idea of the new look of Marble’s pub. Note the stage in the northeast corner and the new communal tables in the center.

First up, that wall where the office is in the northeast corner, and the office itself, will be gone. The lounge area currently in the southeast corner will be moved into the new area, which they will be able to convert into a stage so small musical acts can play there in the winter. E-Rock’s friends, The Lonesome Heroes, had to play Marble Westside when they recently came through town (it was before the weather got happy) and they told us they would really welcome the chance to play downtown in colder months since they really like the crowd there. It was not a dig against the Westside crowd, but having been to both, I can say the downtown crowd in general is younger and more in tune (pun intended) with the music. They’re still getting used to live music west of the river, it seems.

The floor underneath will be concrete now, as the current wood boards will be ripped up and then used elsewhere. Now you don’t have to worry about splinters should you stumble and the hit the ground. Just please don’t stumble and hit the ground. You might hurt yourself. And spill your beer. The latter would be tragic, especially if it were the Imperial Stout or Imperial Red.

There four-person tables that people try to pack a dozen friends around will be removed. In their place will be bigger, “communal” tables similar to the ones outside on the patio. Based on the blueprints, there look to be about four of these big suckers inside. There will be three in the center and one near the stage/lounge area.

The lounge in the southeast corner will be moving to the northeast corner, where it can be converted into a stage for live music.

The lounge in the southeast corner will be moving to the northeast corner, where it can be converted into a stage for live music.

Up above on the ceiling, all that duct work that is above the eastern side of the taproom will shift toward the west side, above the bar. The bar area will also be redone, giving everyone a little more room back there — Leah Black and the rest of the beeristas seemed very excited about the prospect of no longer weaving around one another and tripping over each other so constantly — which should in turn increase efficiency in terms of getting your beer to you even faster.

Add it all up and once again Marble is doing their best to make the onsite drinking experience better. Rather than get all swept up in just packaging and distributing, they are honoring their loyal, local customer base. So hopefully everyone can grin and bear it through the next three weeks. As long as the weather holds, you can still enjoy a pint on the patio, and the Studio 111 could be fun for those who enjoy DJs and dancing (we’re clearly not those people in the Crew, so instead you can hang out with us at the Napalm Death show at Sunshine on Feb. 24, which just happens to be Brandon’s birthday, too). Oh, and thanks to Leah for some of the additional information. We expect she’ll be sharing some amusing photos on social media of the staff getting their groove on after work beneath that disco ball.

We will keep everyone up to date on the progress of the taproom renovations, and hopefully we will soon see the start of the brewery expansion as well.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister