Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with the Metro Edition of The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, giving you a list of their current beers on tap as well as any special events going on in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and Bernalillo. Look for the State Edition, which will include everywhere from Taos and Santa Fe up north to Las Cruces and Silver City down south, this Thursday.
Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.
The third and final round of the IPA Challenge will take place this Sunday at Tractor Wells Park. There are still tickets available which you can buy online at nmbeer.org or at Wells Park itself. For those who want to know a little about what they’re getting into, several area breweries are actually serving their IPA Challenge entries. Contrary to what some people have thought, these are not the regular or house IPAs being served. Almost every brewery involved (there are 16) has brewed up a special IPA for this event. Why not brew these year-round? As John Bullard from Bosque told me recently, his Scale Tipper: Batch 3 IPA is the most expensive beer that Bosque has ever brewed. The sheer amount of different hops being used (some breweries are dumping in eight to 10 pounds per barrel) makes these beers so costly. So to help the breweries out money-wise, go drink some of their Challenge beers. Among those on tap are Radioactive IPA at Chama River, the aforementioned Scale Tipper at Bosque, Sabbatic-ale at Il Vicino, India Stupid Ale at Turtle Mountain, and Jabba Wocky IPA at Kaktus (though owner Dana Koller said the specific batch submitted for the Challenge was oaked). Right now it does not appear that La Cumbre (Project Dank), Marble, Nexus, or Tractor has their entry on tap, but then again, none of them have actually identified their entry by name. Some breweries choose to keep things secretive, others are more open, and there’s nothing wrong with either approach.
There are several new, non-IPA beers on tap this week worth highlighting. Il Vicino brings back Vienna Lager, plus every day they will be tapping one or two of the 50 beers from their recent anniversary party (see below for more on that). La Cumbre has resurrected Like Mother Like Daughter, a pale ale, while adding Jenny’s Cream Ale to tap. Turtle Mountain adds to the summer beers with Blackberry Tart Cherry Wheat.
Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of July 14.
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.
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: Belgian White, Red Ale, Imperial IPA, Ladron’s Peak. The Ladron’s Peak debuted at Beer Premier to a lot of “wow!” from the crowd. It’s one of the most unique beers in the state, brewed with “NM blue corn, mesquite honey, juniper, sage and Mormon tea,” said brewer Addison Poth. In addition to the house beers and brews from other local breweries, Back Alley currently has Stone’s Collective Distortion IPA, Rogue Farms 7 Hop IPA, New Belgium’s Lips of Faith Gruit, and Green Flash’s Le Freak.
Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596
(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun noon-8 p.m.)
Beers: 505-2014 Collaboration, The Last Straw Hefeweizen, Close to Clever Saison, Farmhouse Pale Ale, Scale Tipper: Batch 3. The lineup is unchanged from last week, but that’s OK because it’s pretty darned good. The Scale Tipper series’ third entry is also Bosque’s entry for the IPA Challenge. Don’t forget, though Blue Corn may technically hold the title of defending champion, Bosque’s John Bullard was the brewer there last year when they won. The Last Straw is one of the best American hefes I’ve ever had. The Close to Clever debuted at The Beer Premier. It’s got that farmhouse funk aroma, but if you get past that it’s got a solid saison flavor.
News: Construction has begun on Bosque’s new taproom, the Bosque Public House, located on Girard just south of Central.
Bosque has a happy hour running from 4-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and all day on Sunday. Look for a revamped menu and get $1 off your favorite pints.
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: Stinky Pinky, Vienna Saaz-age, DADU Honey Wheat Ale, Triad IPA. The Stinky Pinky (5.3% ABV) is a hefeweizen infused with grapefruit. The Vienna Saaz-age (5.5% ABV) is a single-hop (Saaz) and single-malt (Vienna) beer. The DADU (8.2% ABV) is almost like a beer/mead hybrid. The Triad (6.6% ABV) uses a mix of three hops for a bigger, bolder flavor, plus additional dry hopping has given it a stronger aroma.
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.
News: The next round of seasonals in the works includes Cheeky Cherry Wheat, Barely Legal Oak Stout, 12 Step Apricot Ale and Wise Ass Watermelon Wheat.
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, Robusto Porter, Chupacabra IPA, Piedra del Fuego Stoned Cream Ale, ESB, Beer for My Horses (Oatmeal Stout). E-Rock and I had a chance to sample the Piedra del Fuego Stoned Cream Ale, 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.”
Events: Cazuela’s now features a live guitarist every Friday.
News: Cazuela’s Beer for My Horses won a bronze medal in the oatmeal stout category at the World Beer Cup in Denver.
Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800
(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)
Beers: 505-2014 Collaboration, Apricot Hefeweizen, Summer Smoke, Cascading River, Radioactive IPA, Hop the Pond ESB. Summer Smoke is a smoked rauchbier, one that I finally got to try last week. It’s got the right balance between the smoky opening and a sweet, smooth, malty finish. The Cascading River (5% ABV, 50 IBU) is a single-hop Cascade pale ale. The new Apricot Hefe (4.5% ABV, 15 IBU) makes its debut as another summer-themed beer.
News: Head brewer Zach Guilmette has revamped the recipe for Chama’s Jackalope IPA to give it a stronger kick and tastier palate.
Il Vicino Brewing Canteen — (505) 881-2737
(Sun–Thurs noon–10 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–midnight)
Beers: Apricot Saison, Fest Beer, American Stock Ale, Vienna Lager, Boysenberry Wheat, Cerveza-rita. In the wake of their awesome 20-year anniversary party, the Canteen staff will be rolling out the kegs of the beers from that event. The lineup figures to change almost daily, so you never really know what you’re going to get when you visit the Canteen. As of Tuesday, it was the Barley Wine and Sweet Sandarine Porter, but it appears Franz Solo and I finished off the latter, opening a tap for the Sabbatic-ale (7.7% ABV, 100+ IBU), Il Vicino’s IPA Challenge entry. I guess you’ll have to visit them frequently to try as many great beers as possible. Hmm, they may have thought out this strategy.
News: Il Vicino recently brought home two medals from the North American Beer Awards. Dougie Style Amber won a gold medal, while Irish Red took home a bronze.
Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072
(Hours Mon-Thu 11:30-8 p.m., Fri-Sun 11:30-10 p.m.)
Beers: Red, Cream Stout, Banty Rooster (Hefe IPA), London Porter, Choice ESB, Basil Lager, Banaweizen, Jabba Wocky IPA. Located at 471 South Hill Road in Bernalillo, Kaktus is one of the state’s newest breweries. It is a small, casual place, similar to Blue Heron in appearance and comfort factor. Kaktus owner Dana Koller said fans can expect the nanobrewery to go through its most popular styles quickly, though they will always have something new and exciting available as a replacement. The popular Jabba Wocky IPA is back on tap this week.
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.
Kaktus is running specials on pints and growlers for July 4. You can fill your growler for just $8, while $3.50 gets you a pint. But take note, Kaktus will close at 7 p.m. so the staff can go enjoy the fireworks, too.
The Desert Darlings belly dancers will perform from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sunday. If you’ve never seen the Desert Darlings in person, you’re missing out.
La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225
(Open every day at noon)
Beers: Grange’s Red Card 4ALS, What’s the ALTernative, Jenny’s Cream Ale, Like Mother Like Daughter. The Red Card (8.4% ABV, 100 IBU) is a beer brewed in honor of former UNM soccer player Pat Grange, who died of ALS. Proceeds from this beer will go to ALS research. I got to try this beer with the Solos; it’s a wonderful, bold red ale, with strong hop and malt flavors that make it one of the burliest, yet tastiest beers you’ll get to have this summer. Kudos to Jeff Erway and his staff on creating this beer and doing it for a great cause. Like Mother Like Daughter (5.9% ABV, 45 IBU) is a pale ale brewed with a “mother hop” (Simcoe) and a “daughter hop” (Mosaic). Jenny’s Cream Ale (5.4% ABV, 15 IBU) is named for La Cumbre’s taproom manager as it’s her preferred style of beer.
News: We congratulate La Cumbre Brewing Co. for becoming this year’s National IPA Champion. Project Dank scored the win by edging out 127 other IPAs from around the country, including the likes of the venerable Fat Head’s IBUsive.
Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739
(Mon–Sat 1 p.m.–midnight, Sun 1 p.m.–10:30 p.m.)
Beers: Double White, Iron Horse Extra IPA, Extra Special Bitter, Heidi’s Raspberry Tart. There’s nothing new on tap this week, but this is a pretty solid lineup to fall back upon. The Iron Horse (8.0% ABV) uses a blend of experimental hops for a one-of-a-kind taste. In addition, $1 from every pint sold of Iron Horse goes to the Ales for ALS campaign. Pints cost $5.50, add $6 extra for a growler. The ESB (4.7% ABV) uses West Yorkshire yeast and English malts for a, well, very English beer.
Cask: Check out Marble’s cask (a.k.a. “real” ale) selection on tap every Friday at the Downtown Pub.
News: In April, Marble was presented the gold medal at the World Beer Cup for their Pilsner!
Events: Brewery tours occur at the Downtown Pub every Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100
(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)
Beers: 505-2014 Collaboration, Shepard’s Session IPA (5.3% ABV, 41 IBU), Beam Me Up Scotty II (9.6% ABV, 37 IBU), Honey Chamomile Wheat. The Shepard’s is a little sweeter and creamier than you might expect from a session IPA. There’s nothing wrong with being different. The Beam Me Up is back, ready to brawl with your palate like Celtic and Rangers fans in Glasgow. It puts the heavy back into the Scottish Wee Heavy style. The Honey Chamomile Wheat is a unique little beer that made its debut at The Beer Premier. Get a sample and let us know what you think.
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.
Sandia Chile Grill — (505) 798-1970
(Mon–Sat 8 a.m.–8 p.m., Sun 8 a.m.–6 p.m.)
Beers: Irish Red, American IPA. The American IPA was a new version of the Rattlesnake IPA brewed especially for the 4th of July. The Irish Red was also back on tap.
News: Sandia Chile Grill will have $2.50 pints of the American IPA on the 4th.
The Stumbling Steer — (505) 792-7805
(Sunday-Wednesday 11 a.m.-midnight, Thursday-Saturday 11 a.m.-2 a.m.)
Beers: Blonde, Pale, IPA, Red, Brown, Double IPA, Imperial Stout. 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 Crew has already made two separate visits to the Steer to review the beer and food. We enjoyed it all.
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: Hard Apple Cider, Trekker Red Belgian Ale, Maibock Lager, Pilsner #15, Juniper IPA, Pilsner Roja, Hard Berry Cider.
Beers at Wells Park only: L4 IPL, C&C IPA, F.Y.F.A. IPA, Dry Cider, Apple Cider, Berry Cider, Mustachio Milk Stout, Barley Wine. All of the Nob Hill seasonals are also at Wells Park, which has 24 total taps (Tractor’s five regular beers have two taps apiece). The Pilsner Roja is a crisp, Marzen-style beer that tastes good in the hot summer months. If you need a hop punch to the face, the F.Y.F.A. (F— Yeah Friday Ale) is a much more hop-forward IPA than what Tractor usually creates.
Events: On Wednesday, Tractor will be hosting another Cards Against Humanity night at Wells Park. This is a free event starting at 7 p.m. Food will by served by Nomad’s BBQ.
Geeks Who Drink is now setting up shop at the Wells Park Tap Room every Monday at 8 p.m. Bar cash for winners and bonus questions all night. Wanna see what GWD at Tractor has been up to? Check out the blog! Food will be served by Mystique.
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, Piedra Lisa Porter. (Seasonal/specialty) Stars & Stripes American Lager, Blackberry Tart Cherry Wheat, The Fitzgerald Session IPA, N.B. SMaSH Pale Ale, Pork ‘n’ Brew Brown Ale, India Stupid 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 Porter and Amber, the latter of which trumps most of its genre in terms of flavor. The newest beers on tap are the Blackberry Tart Cherry Wheat and the India Stupid Ale, which is TMBC’s entry in the IPA Challenge.
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That’s all for this week! If you have any questions or comments, leave them below or contact us on our Facebook page.