So back on Friday, Porter Pounder, Jason, and I went over to Red Door Brewing to check out the now-finished taproom and see just when they were opening. We found out it was going to be this week and agreed to hold off on a story until either the day of or the day before.

The Crew will be sitting somewhere around this bar when Red Door swings open.

The Crew will be sitting somewhere around this bar when Red Door swings open this week.

And then the Albuquerque Journal went ahead and published a short story online Saturday morning saying that Red Door was having its soft opening this Wednesday and grand opening Friday.

Sigh.

Anyway, we’re not mad at the Journal or anything, but it was definitely one of those “aw, shucks, we got scooped” kind of moments. It happens in the media business, even in the business of reporting on beer. We’ll still buy Jessica Dyer a beer if we see her out and about.

So, yes, Red Door will open its doors Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. (UPDATE: our earlier report that it’s opening Tuesday was off, that’s a special invite-only day for close friends of the brewery … and us, too), with the bigger shindig planned for Friday, running from noon to midnight. The good news is Red Door looks to be ready for the onrush of beer lovers who will descend upon its location at 1001 Candelaria NE (just west of I-25, on the north side of the street). The taproom should have room for about 95 people. The bar has plenty of space and they had a slew of glasses and growlers ready to go (not to mention a rather awesome wall decoration of growlers from all over America).

The growlers and glasses are ready. Are you?

The growlers and glasses are ready. Are you?

Oh, yeah, the beer. Brewer Wayne Martinez was our guide on our brief visit. It wasn’t ready for sampling quite yet (darn), but it will be ready Wednesday. The key, Wayne said, was to make sure the beer was 100 percent and not rushed. Considering what we all experienced over at Ponderosa, not rushing your beer is a very good thing. The plan is to have four beers and a cider — Threshold IPA, Roamer Red, Paint It Black Milk Stout, Gateway Blonde Ale, Unhinged Cider — on tap this week, with a fifth beer on the way shortly. Eventually the plan is to have six regular taps and up to six seasonals.

There are plenty of tables and booths for patrons, though the planned patio on the west side of the building will not be ready just yet. Wayne said they’re not sure when the patio will be done. They could hold off until next spring, or possibly have it ready soon. Nonetheless, the area outside the patio spot will be where the food trucks will park. Red Door will save some money (and stress) by skipping a kitchen and instead will rely upon the many awesome food truck options around town. Europa Roaming Kitchen will claim the space outside during Friday’s grand opening. Wayne said that a food truck schedule/rotation has been set up for most of the week already, with only a few early-week slots remaining.

The progress that the Red Door staff has made since my first visit earlier this year has been quite remarkable. It should all begin to pay off this week. All of us in the Crew will be making our way over to Red Door at some point. After all, it’s like I said, we have to try the beer finally!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Mere days after posting about how little there is going on in the sleepy little town of Los Alamos, I have returned to inform you about all of the upcoming activities in this bustling little party town. (I’m not going to go so far as to claim that my words actually caused these events, but you have to admit that it’s quite a coincidence) Without further eating of crow:

There will be beer and music at the Los Alamos Sciencefest this weekend, which runs at the same time as the Critical Mash homebrew competition.

There will be beer and music at the Los Alamos Sciencefest this weekend, which runs at the same time as the Critical Mash homebrew competition.

The Los Alamos Atom Mashers homebrewers club is hosting its second annual Critical Mash (heh, those atom guys!) Homebrew Competition this weekend. The entries have been submitted, and now it’s time for a weekend of judging. Mike Hall, the organizer of the event and a respected beer judge, passed along these impressive stats for last year’s event:

  • Entrants from six states, including New Mexico
  • 115 total entries
  • 62 participants, 23 judges, and seven stewards
  • Three judges, with at least one BJCP-certified or a pro, on every panel

This year’s event, which is part of a rivalry between the Sangre de Cristo Craft Brewers from Santa Fe and the Kansas City Bier Meisters, looks to match those numbers.  For more information, including times and locations, visit the event page on Facebook.

Los Alamos is also hosting a ScienceFest Expo this Saturday, and in conjunction with the Los Alamos Beer Co-op, there will be “Lyrics and Libations” (fancy talk for beer and bands) at Ashley Pond in the center of town. Several breweries and bands will be on hand throughout the afternoon, from 12:30 to 6. There will be Critical Mash folks in attendance as well, so it will be a great opportunity to talk beer! Abbey Brewing, Blue Heron, Santa Fe, and Tractor will be the participating breweries.

Another beer festival at Pajarito? Sure, why not?

Another beer festival at Pajarito? Sure, why not?

Looking ahead a little bit, the annual “Ullrfest” event will be taking place at the Pajarito ski lodge on Saturday, Sept. 20 from noon to 6 p.m. The beer events at Pajarito are always a blast, and Ullrfest is one of the biggest and best. The Jimmy Stadler Band will be playing, and while we don’t yet have a list of the breweries that will be attending, it will likely include your favorites. So block out your calendar now and plan to down a few beers to appease Ullr, who we hope will bless us with an abundance of snow this winter. Oh, and there is a costume contest. If only Franz Solo wasn’t working and the rest of the Crew weren’t at Hopfest that day, I’m sure they could come up with some crazy viking outfits to wear.

The Los Alamos Beer Co-op will also be hosting a “future home” celebration at 5 p.m. on Sept. 26 at the site of their future taproom, the former Canyon Bar and Grill. This event will feature Taos Mesa Brewery pouring beers and Higher Ground playing bluegrass music.

That’s it for now. Good work, Los Alamos!

Cheers!

— Reid

Durango Pic 15

The beautiful Colorado mountain town of Durango is an excellent “beercation” destination.

OK, New Mexico, I know many of you have made the trip up to Durango before. I know because I saw a lot of you there recently for the San Juan Brewfest. But for those of you who’ve never been, or haven’t been since you were a kid, let’s talk about Durango as a serious “beercation” destination. Sure, it’s great for the snow and the tons of excellent outdoor activities like mountain biking, hiking, and zip-lining (all-beer friendly, am I right?), but read about that stuff in Outside Magazine if you want—we’re here for the beer, and as far as beer goes, Durango, “The City of Brewerly Love,” does not disappoint.

In order to have a successful beercation, several things are needed. Each beercationer will do his or her own thing, but we generally end up with a similar story at the end. Necessary elements, in my opinion, are 1) a good brew scene, 2) easy and safe access to said brew scene, 3) modes of recovery, and 4) a good beer haul, because you’ll want to bring some of those hard-to-get beers back home with you. For all of those to happen, your beer-vay-cay destination needs a reasonable amount of breweries, brewpubs, beer bars, and an overall enthusiastic bend in beer’s direction. For ease of access, it needs decent mass-transit — trolleys, cabs, horse and buggy, whatever — or at least it should be within easy walking distance between all beer establishments and hotels. We beercationers are all about tasting responsibly, right? Right. And finally, your beercation destination has to be packed with locally stacked liquor stores. Durango had all of those in spades.

Durango 3

Public transport! In a beer town? How novel.

So, following the rules of beercationing set down by our forefathers, and some common sense, we planned everything in advance — a city known for its craft-beer passion, a centralized hotel, easy transportation routes, recuperation restaurants, and a list of beer bars, breweries, and liquor stores long enough to quench everyone’s thirsts.

Base Camp

For a successful hop-holiday, the first thing needed is a good base camp, somewhere near the beer scene/events, close enough to walk to or grab a cheap cab ride home from. Something easily named so you don’t forget it when the cabby’s asking, “Where to, buddy?” Seriously, try remembering which Motel 6 by the highway after several pints. For that, we chose the Durango Downtown Inn. It’s not a fancy hotel by any means, as fellow Bullpen member Amy O pointed out to me, but it’s comfortable and clean. And what more do you need for a beer trip, really? But located between 8th and 9th Streets and only two short blocks from Main Street (Brew Central), it’s an ideal place to stumble back to after a long night, or day of responsibly drinking copious amounts of good craft brews. I highly recommend the hotel, and as Amy O also informed me, it really is right next to a liquor store for a beer haul, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

Nightlife

Durango 1

In addition to multiple breweries, a good beer bar is a must-see.

As for the nightlife scene, there are plenty of breweries, taprooms, saloons, cantinas, pubs, pre-prohibition-era-style cocktail bars, wine bars, spiritoriums, dives … eeally, it’s pretty ridiculous how much variety there is for such a small town. There’s a lil’ sumthin’ sumthin’ for everyone’s tastes and bends even if it isn’t beer. For us, however, we would have been remiss if we passed on the royal beer treatment of Lady Falconburgh’s Barley Exchange that Friday night.

“Falc’s,” I tried calling it a couple times to locals, only to be received by faces scrunched up in confusion, followed by, “Oh, Falconburgh’s! Yeah, love that place!” Take note Brew Dogs. No need to sound Greek when in Rome. Falconburgh’s was a great place. Sure it was “college-y,” but it’s in a college town. It felt very “Falling Rock Tap House,” if you’ve ever been to Denver. But with 38 rotating beers on tap, it’s easy to remind yourself that you’re here for the beer!

Altbiers and porters and ryes, oh my! They poured a wide variety of styles from each end of the spectrum and everything in between. If you visit, don’t forget to sign up for a beer card if you plan on drinking there often. And you should! After drinking 100 different brews, you get your name and design on one of the bricks holding up the establishment. Talk about supporting local! Falconburgh’s is a worthy descent into brew-madness and well worth the climb back out. After some interesting and informative barhopping, we finally ended up back at base camp having closed out the Derailed Pour House with one of their house pours. Exhausted, it was definitely time for bed; we had a brewfest to attend the next day.

So ... many ... tap ... handles ...

So … many … tap … handles …

That weekend, we made the special brewcation up to Durango for their annual San Juan Brew Fest, a festival with over 50 breweries, four bands, and one good cause. If you haven’t done it already, read all about the experience here (San Juan Brewfest). But there are other events that are coming up for you to plan into your very own cerveztination. Why not visit for Durango’s Oktoberfest, which is the weekend of Sept. 27-28 in Buckley Park? Bring your palates and don’t forget your sunscreen!

Hangover Breakfast

The next morning after a brewfest, very few thoughts enter the hurting brain besides, Water. I need water. Where are my sunglasses? Tylenol. Why is everyone talking so loudly? A single image of a giant greasy meal fit for an army of one pops into view. You see this carb-monster whenever you close your eyes, and it’s all you can think about. Fooooooood …

Durango Pic 12

Sustenance is a must while on beercation.

On local recommendation, we dragged ourselves, zombie-style, to the Durango Diner, famous for their green chile, spelled c-h-i-l-i there. Amateurs! Ha! Ow. My head. They had a rather large menu filled with breakfast and lunch items, pretty standard diner fair but huge piping hot portions, one even named “The Cure” with everything but the kitchen sink in it. Oh, there was the “Kitchen Sink Omelet,” too. We went with a breakfast sandwich and a breakfast burrito. Now, my New Mexico amigos, I strongly suggest NOT ordering the red chile or Christmas. Their green chili is not our green chile, but it is still Hatch, and the recipe for the chile sauce is pretty tasty and with a familiar NM kick. But again, stay away from the red unless you want your burrito to taste like a chile cheese coney from Sonic, which is great as a chile dog. But we’re New Mexicans; we have a right to be snobbish about our chile. I won’t apologize for that. Interesting thing about Colorado is that they get the chile right in their beers. Try Pagosa Brewing Co.’s Chili Verde Cerveza and let me know what you think. Anyway, hangover cured! We were ready for our last bit of business, that is, the business of the beer haul.

The Beer Haul

As far as a good beer haul goes, you want to pair variety with friendly customer service. Durango has plenty of good options for liquor stores, but we chose Liquor World, as it was next door. We didn’t have time to drive around checking them all out, and so we reserved the others for a return visit, because there will be many. Oh, yes! There will be many. I want one of those Falconburgh bricks, all yellow, with a big red Zia Sun on it. Represent!

Durango 6

Don’t forget your friends at home before you leave.

Meanwhile, back at Liquor World, it seemed pretty run of the mill to me at first, but then, as always, this magical thing happens. You walk up to that familiar section of craft cans and bottles, just like you might see at Kelly’s, Total Wine, or Jubilation, except … lo and behold, there are new and exciting cans and bottles that we’ve never seen before! It’s like visiting a new candy store, except candy doesn’t magically change from state to state, unlike beer. I loaded up a few six-packs of purely Colorado stuff, biting my knuckles as I purposely passed up the six-pack of 90 Minute IPA from Dogfish Head. I was in Colorado and was going to bring home local.

I got a nice selection of different styles, and tried to keep to stuff I couldn’t get here in the good old NM without knowing a guy who knows a guy. I pulled some Avery Brewing Co. that I didn’t get to try last time in Boulder. I picked up some Steamworks Brewing Co., because I LOVED what they were throwin’ down. I really dug their Third Eye PA. The hops in that beer could totally bring you to a higher consciousness. I grabbed Odell because we somehow missed their tent at the brewfest, and I also threw in a couple Ska brews because according to the beer clerk, they would not be making the Mexican Logger anymore, due to some issue with production, that and I couldn’t leave Ska Brewing completely out of my Durango trip. It just wouldn’t seem right.

Summary

Durango 4

Flights of joy.

With four quality breweries around town and plenty of brew pubs and beer bars set right in their historic downtown area, this little mountain town is an excellent location to immerse yourself in Colorado beer. The nightlife and restaurants are as varied as the brews and drinks they serve, the people are friendlier than you could ever hope for, and the green chile is nice surprise on that side of the state border. And they show OUR local news! What’s up with that? With ideal locations to sleep, to cure hangovers, and to pull decent beer hauls, Durango is an excellent venue for a foam-filled beercation. Plus, it’s only about three and a half hours from Albuquerque.

Cheers!

— Luke

There was a big moment last week where Santa Fe Brewing announced its long-in-the-works plans for a major expansion. It was even covered by the mainstream media, seeing as how Governor Martinez was there and everything. And what did we all get to read about? Tesla. Yeah, the car battery factory mess was repeated in a story that should have provided details about our state’s largest brewery and their plans to get even bigger and better. So to help answer all those burning questions about what’s going on at SFBC, I trekked north Wednesday afternoon and met up with our Santa Fe correspondent for the Brew Crew Bullpen, Luke, and together we sat down with SFBC’s Alana Jones to get all the pertinent details on this planned expansion.

This will be the future look of Santa Fe Brewing. The offices and brewery will be in the existing building on the left. The new taproom, with a full patio and outdoor stage, will be in the center. The canning line and warehouse will be on the right.

This will be the future look of Santa Fe Brewing. The offices and brewery will be in the existing building on the left. The new taproom, with a full patio and outdoor stage, will be in the center. The canning line and warehouse will be on the right in a huge new extension.

Q: Most people are still interested in knowing the what, when, where, how. Take us through how this expansion is going to work.

Alana: So we’re thinking of it as kind of a two-phased expansion. The first phase will address the bottleneck that we currently have, which is our canning line. We plan on hopefully breaking ground on a new packaging hall/warehouse space in the next few months. We’re waiting on building permits. We would build that new building and then buy a new high-speed canning line. That would be kind of the first initial part of the expansion.

A high-speed canning line would really allow us to dig deeper into the markets we already sell in and then to launch new markets. Eventually the pressure would then shift to our brewhouse capacity. Because we’ll be able to add fermenters as we need them. We have a 30-barrel brewhouse now. We’re brewing about four days a week or so, three or four days a week, 24 hours a day on our brewhouse. Once we got to 24-7, then we would need to upgrade our brewhouse. That would be the second phase of the expansion. We haven’t decided what size brewhouse we’ll go with yet. But we’ve been thinking probably in the 100-barrel range.

Once we got to that point, we would probably also be hurting for some more warehouse space and would do an additional warehouse building onto the expansion.

(At this point Alana showed us the drawing you can see above and guided us through how things would now work. We’ve added directional markers to help you try and envision what she showed us.)

We would do an extension onto the existing building. This would be our new tasting room (in the middle) that would be a lot larger. Offices (on left) and sandwiched between eventually the new brewhouse that goes here (left of center) and the new packaging line that would be here (right of center). When you’re in the tasting room you can look onto both sides of the operation, which would be really cool.

Big outdoor patio area, big outdoor stage. When we first built this building our retail business was very small. It was kind of an afterthought. It would be very exciting for us to have an actual destination tasting room.

So we’re trying to get the canning line up and going as soon as possible. As far as the brewhouse portion I don’t want to give you a date on that yet because it’s just unclear how fast it’s going to happen. But eventually the goal is to have a capacity of 200,000 barrels on one.

A little more warehouse space could certainly help SFBC.

A little more warehouse space could certainly help SFBC.

Q: We had seen you had hoped to get to 200,000. Has there been any logistical stuff getting in the way so far? Any licensing issues? What have been the hoops you’ve had to jump through?

Alana: Building permit has been the big hoop. In order to do this project we’d have to tap into the city sewer. That’s another … there’s a lot of issues with the sewer that runs (near) here. It was owned privately and then it was owned by the city but it’s on county property. Basically the city and the county have to come to some sort of agreement about that line in order for us to move forward, to tap into it. That was proven a lengthy process.

That’s one of the big hurdles we need to overcome. At this point we are a septic system and we spend about $70,000 a year dealing with that. And that’s at 20,000 barrels. So we’re talking about more than 50,000 barrels, 100,000 barrels, we need to be in that sewer system.

We’re already looking into the water treatment plant which is actually what sparked this whole LEDA (Local Economic Development Assistance) Fund thing, was Brian (Lock) was starting applications for LEDA Funds to build the water treatment plant.

Q: A big part of the news last week was that you’ll be adding up to 105 jobs. What types of jobs are you going to be adding?

Alana: I imagine that we’ll just grow (naturally). I’ve been shocked at departments that I never thought we would need. Suddenly we need a warehouse department. That was always whoever is closest to the forklift would do it. I’m sure there will be things we haven’t even thought of that will come up. Some things that I would like to see would be expanding our lab program and maybe even having a sensory lab as its own department. I would also like to see our sales team get more filled out, especially for out-of-state markets. I’d love to have an HR (human resources) person so I wouldn’t have to do HR anymore, which is my dream. I’m sure there will be a lot of exciting new jobs coming up here and then of course adding onto existing staff.

Q: I know it’s hard to set any dates since you’re relying on people and agencies outside your control, but what is the hopeful date for the start of this expansion?

Alana: Well, I believe that we’re hoping we can have the new canning line up and going in about a year. So by the end of 2015, let’s say that we would be running our new line.

SFBC isn't kidding when they say Happy Camper IPA accounts for more than half of their production.

SFBC isn’t kidding when they say Happy Camper IPA accounts for more than half of their production.

Q: You walk into a lot of Albuquerque breweries right now and the seasonal lists are shrinking because they are at full capacity brewing their beers for packaging/distribution. How much is this an issue with SFBC?

Alana: Our Happy Camper IPA is our bread and butter. It’s more than half of all of our total sales. So we’re trying to do these other projects in order to prevent brewer IPA fatigue. So we started this Ever Changing Series. … That’s only going to be in New Mexico and we’re going to do one every quarter. It’s almost like doing another seasonal but it’s much smaller quantities than our seasonal so it can be more creative. There will be some on tap in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, very select accounts, maybe four of them. It will be very selective who gets this, only the best accounts for us. We do the ECS and for all of our releases there’s a lot of R&D that goes into it. We don’t just come up with a recipe and brew it on our big system. We brew it on our small system, let everyone taste it, we tweak it, we brew it again. So the brewers in addition to brewing Happy Camper IPA several days a week get to go on the small system. Right now they just did a wet-hop beer yesterday with local, New Mexico-grown hops. They just did a doppelbock today. They’re getting the opportunity to do a lot more fun, creative things. We really encourage that because otherwise you probably would get burned out.

Q (from Luke): What’s going to happen to the Los Innovadores series?

Alana: That’s still going. We have the Kriek out now. And I just tasted yesterday the single-barrel. We alternate between the Kriek and the single-barrel. The new single-barrel is amazing. I’m excited about it. We’re also going to be releasing a wild porter that was oak-aged as well for several months. It’s pretty nice as well. We’re just doing more and more in our barrel-aging program. Eventually that will be a whole department of its own, for sure.

So many beautiful barrels aging so many wonderful beers at SFBC.

So many beautiful barrels aging so many wonderful beers at SFBC.

Q: I think that pretty much covers everything. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Alana: Our goal is to be a national brand. And then also an exporter. We want to get the Santa Fe name out there. I think we’re well on our way. I think it’s exciting. Fun times around here. Crazy times.

* * * *

Luke got to try the Double White IPA that will be the first in the ECS series (I could not due to allergy-related reasons with the orange peel it’s infused with) and he rather loved it. How much? It’s one of the first times I’ve seen him give anything five stars on Untappd.

And thank you, Monica, for making sure along with Alana that he got to sample from that bottle. It’s quite the beer and we’re looking forward to seeing what other mad scientist moments the SFBC crew can have with this series.

Here’s hoping the City of Santa Fe and Santa Fe County can work out their differences quickly so SFBC can move forward on round one of the expansion. It’s all another sign of how well the craft brewing scene in New Mexico is doing when breweries can plan on expanding this ambitiously.

We’ll keep everyone up to date on SFBC’s progress. Thank you to Alana for taking time out of her very busy schedule to chat with us. Thank you to Max and Josh for keeping us updated for The Week Ahead in Beer. And thank you to everyone working tirelessly behind the scenes at SFBC to keep us all satiated with copious amounts of great beer.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with the second half of the now-divided Week Ahead in Beer. This edition covers all the breweries outside of Bernalillo and Sandoval Counties. From Taos to Santa Fe to Farmington to Las Vegas in the north, to Portales, Artesia, Silver City, and Las Cruces in the south, this edition will keep you up to date every week with as many breweries as we can reach.

Fear not, fans of Santa Fe's breweries, your listings will join with the breweries in the ABQ metro area next week.

Fear not, fans of Santa Fe’s breweries, your listings will join with the breweries in the ABQ metro area next week.

This is the last time we will run a State Edition for the foreseeable future. As I explained last week, we simply haven’t gotten enough responses from breweries outside the four in Santa Fe. Those four breweries will be folded into what has been the Metro Edition, which will continue to run every Wednesday as a single edition. If the breweries outside this portion of the I-25 corridor start contacting us, or we somehow establish more reliable communication, we can always restart the State Edition at a later time. What we don’t want is to be running outdated or incorrect information for all of you. These weekly features were designed to make life easier for beer drinkers, by giving them all the information they need in one place, and for the breweries, who could focus on beer and not worry about updating their own websites or Facebook pages. When I emailed the breweries below about this being the final edition without their protest/help, none of them responded, so that tells you pretty much everything you need to know.

The four Santa Fe breweries gave us updates for this week. For the other breweries, we are giving them one last listing, noting whether the information taken from their websites or our most recent visits are old or at least somewhat up to date. High Desert and Three Rivers tend to be the best at updating their own websites. For the rest, if you need the info, we’ll always have links to their official sites on the NMDSBC front page. If you’re passing through and have a desire to know what’s on tap, call them to find out. (And if you want, subtly remind them that you used to get all your info from us until they stopped providing it.)

To further help people organize any brewing adventures, rather than list the breweries alphabetically here as we do in the Metro Edition, they’re grouped by geographic region: Northwest (Farmington), Santa Fe area, Taos area, Northeast (Las Vegas), East (Portales), Southeast (Artesia), Southwest (Las Cruces, Silver City).

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of Sept. 8.

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.

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Berliner Weiss, Funkadelic Dunkel, Night Train (Schwarzbier), Scorched (smoked olde ale). The most recent German-style beer addition is the Night Train (5% ABV, 32 IBU), a darker lager made with two types of German malts and noble hops. The Funkadelic (5.8% ABV, 30 IBU) is a Bavarian-style brown ale, with Crystal hops added to balance the big malt bill. Scorched debuted last week. I got the chance to try both Funkadelic, which is exceptionally smooth, and Scorched, which is exactly the big old smoky blast you would expect.

News: In the works is an imperial red wet hop beer using 50 pounds (!) of Chinook hops from Colorado. An Oktoberfest and a pumpkin ale are in the works, while further down the line we are really looking forward to an imperial stout and a barley wine.

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: Study Series: Brown (Belgian-style Sour Brown Ale), Bad Amber, Fiction (IPA), Synne (Pale Ale), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Marcel (Witbier), Whistler (Blonde), Manikin Small Scottish-style Dark Ale, Oaked Grunewald (Barrel Aged Imperial Porter). Duel brewer Todd Yocham described the latest Study Series entry (5% ABV) like this, “A very malt forward light bodied brown ale, soured with Lactobacillus and accentuated by the fruity esters from our Trappist yeast.” The Fantin (7.5% ABV), which I tried and liked at Pajarito Summerfest, gets this summary, “Aromas of strawberry and pineapple accentuated by our Trappist yeast will keep you wanting more.” Todd also said his supply of the Oaked Grunewald is very limited, so hurry over before it runs out.

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., closed on Sunday)

Beers: Oktoberfest, Carne’s Peachy Camper. The Peachy Camper is this week’s entry for Small Batch Saturday, where peaches were added to some Happy Camper IPA, as the name might imply. Kriek, SFBC’s popular sour, is not on tap, but it is available in bombers around the state. The first beer in the new Ever Changing Series will be a Double White IPA, which potentially will debut late next week.

Events: $1 Off Growler Refills in the Tasting Room on Mondays. $2 Tuesdays at the Eldorado Taphouse. On Wednesday, there is a $2 Pint Special in the SFBC 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.

There will be two major homebrewing events at SFBC this weekend. Luke, our Santa Fe-based Bullpen member, has all of that covered.

News: SFBC will be providing beer at the Telluride Bands and Brews festival all weekend. SFBC will also be at the Los Alamos Science, Beer, and Bands event from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday. And, as they have been the last two weeks, SFBC will be at the Santa Fe Ski Basin Fall Gold sale, which will be held this Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

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, Cream Stout, Rod’s Best Bitter, Citra Weizen, Scotch Ale, Pajarito Pale Ale, Boneshaker Bitter, IPA, Steam Bitter. The ESB, Railrunner Pale Ale, and Railyard Red have run out, but Citra Weizen and Scotch Ale are back. This year’s Scotch Ale is a cherry wood smoked aged beer, which gives it a smoky yet sweet flavor profile, without being too much of either. It’s a big, thick, tough beer that’s not for the faint of heart.

Events: SSB Thursday’s Patio series features Bill Hearne. Catahoula Curse is playing Friday. Saturday will be Rescuefest, benefiting the Atalaya Search and Rescue. The event will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with multiple bands playing. It will also mark the seasonal debut of Atalaya Altbier, brewed in honor of the group.

Shows at the Railyard include Hot Club on Friday and Crazy 88’s on Saturday.

The Farmer’s Market Pavillion will be hosting the Green Chile Smackdown on Saturday. SSB’s Alien Burger will be among the competitors and SSB will host a beer garden for the event.

SSB will also have a beer garden for Sunday’s AHA Rally at the Railyard.

Every Wednesday night, both SSB locations host Game Night. SSB has game boards and dominoes or bring your own … oh yeah, they also have discounted pitchers!

Taos-area breweries

Blue Heron Brewery — (505) 579-9188 (original location), (505) 747-4506 (Espanola taproom)

(Original location: Sun-Tues noon–6 p.m., Wed-Sat 10 a.m.–8 p.m.)

(Espanola taproom, 100 Los Alamos Hwy: Wes-Thurs 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.–8 p.m., happy hour Weds-Fri 4 p.m.–6 p.m.)

Beers: Embudo Gold Golden Ale, Lava Rock Pale Ale, Tarantula Trek Red Ale, Ladybug IPA, Prieta Real Imperial Stout. These were the beers on tap at the original location during the Crew’s visit there earlier this summer.

Comanche Creek Brewing Company — (575) 377-2337

(Wed-Sat noon–6 p.m.)

Beers: Scully Mountain IPA, Deadman Pale Ale, Homestead Amber Ale, Iron Mountain Porter, Belgian Blond. These were the last beers updated a few months ago.

Eske’s Brew Pub — (575) 758-1517

(Mon–Thurs 4 p.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sun noon-10 p.m.)

Beers: Taos Green Chile Beer, The Chemist (Gluten-free), Blonde Betty, Artist Ale (English bitter), Millennium IPA, Red-Handed Ale, Naked Ape (Fruit beer). Reader 8BitHitman sent us this list a while back when he visited Eske’s.

Taos Ale House — (575) 758-5522

(Mon–Fri 4 p.m.-10 p.m., Sat noon-10 p.m., Sunday noon-8 p.m.)

Beers: Mosaic Lollipop Pale Ale, Mogul Imperial IPA, Simple Porter. These were the beers on tap during the Crew’s last visit.

Taos Mesa Brewing — (575) 758-1900

(Daily 11 a.m. – close)

Beers: Amarillo Rojo, Great Scot Scottish, Fall Down Brown, Superstitious Stout, Kolsch 45, 3 Peaks IPA. These came from the last email update a few weeks ago.

Northeast breweries

New Mexico Craft Brewing Co. — (505) 426-6079 (brewery), (203) 521-7908 (pub)

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

Beers: Oatmeal Stout, Kolsch, Dry-hopped Pale Ale, Cider, Red. We pulled these beers off their Facebook page a few weeks ago.

Northwest breweries

Three Rivers Brewery — (505) 325-6605

Beers: India Pale Ale, Sandstone Wheat, SHIPA – Citra, Papa Bear’s Golden Honey Ale, Red Mountain Wheat, Red Apple Flyer Cider, Orchard Street Raspberry Wheat, King Colona, NM Colona, 3 Rivers Scottish Ale, Arroyo Amber Ale, Thode’s Fat Dog Stuck in the Door Stout. This lineup was just updated on their website, which tends to receive bi-weekly updates from the staff. The NM Colona was the only new addition. It replaced the Longshot Light.

Eastern breweries

Roosevelt Brewing — (575) 226-2739

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

Beers: Eleanor’s Blonde Ale, Portales Pale Ale, Clovis Point IPA, Dirt Town Brown Ale, Happy Heifer Hefeweizen, Big Stick Stout, Black Water Draught Porter, Green Chile Lager, Wild Cherry Stout, Roosevelt Golden Lager, Wagon Wheel Wheat. These are the beers from their website.

Southeast breweries

Desert Water Brewing — (888) 959-9342

(Tues-Sat noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Hard Cider, Porter, Pilsner, Amber, Pale Ale. These are the beers listed on their website.

The Wellhead — (575) 746-0640

Beers: Cisco Canyon Blonde, Indian Basin Wheat, Wellhead Pale Ale, Crude Oil Stout, Roughneck Red, Wildcat IPA. These were the beers on tap when Amy O from the Bullpen visited Artesia a few months ago.

Southwest breweries

High Desert Brewing Company — (575) 525-6752

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

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Black IPA, Anniversary IPA, Octoberfest, Stout, Barley Wine. These are the beers currently listed on the HDBC website, which is updated pretty frequently.

Little Toad Creek Brewery & Distillery — (575) 956-6144

(Open Wednesday through Monday (closed Tuesday) from 11 a.m.-11 p.m., staying open late on Friday/Saturday.)

Beers: Helles Lager, IPA, Amber Ale, Robust Porter, Oatmeal Stout. These are their regular beers, via their website.

* * * *

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

sdccb_logo

Time for a big home brewing event.

Homebrewing is bigger than ever in New Mexico. Chances are you, or someone you know brews beer at home. But homebrewing is growing faster than we could have ever imagined just a few years ago and will only get bigger. As most of you know, we were recently ranked the 30th best state for beer. Ouch! And uh … challenge accepted! But you see, I may understand why. Two years ago I didn’t know that there were homebrew clubs with large memberships all over the state. Nor was I aware that there are homebrew supply shops in every major city, and have been here longer than our beer scene. And I had no idea that there were so many annual homebrew competitions like Critical Mash this weekend, or the State Fair Pro-Am competition, or the Enchanted Brewing Challenge back in May. I learned about all of this from a friend, just like you are now. And just like you, I was given a nudge to start homebrewing by a friend. So here’s your nudge.

So why should YOU start homebrewing? Aside from the obvious, producing beer, you would be joining the friendliest community in the world, in my humble opinion. Homebrewing is an incredibly rewarding hobby, social activity, public service, obsession, art-form, and one that you can get involved in with very little commitment. Well, you could commit a few hours a month or dedicate your entire life to the art of making beer; that’s pretty much up to you. My point is that you get way more out of brewing beer than you can ever put in.

That said, RIGHT NOW is a great time to start homebrewing, and if you already do homebrew, now is the best time to get further involved and start challenging yourself! One of the largest homebrewing competitions is coming to New Mexico in November, and even sooner, an AHA (American Homebrewers Association) rally is coming to Santa Fe Brewing Co. on Saturday. If you homebrew, you definitely shouldn’t miss either.

Santa Fe Open Brewing Competition

According to Sangre De Cristo Craft Brewers Club President John Rowley, the inaugural Santa Fe Open Brewing Competition is a challenge open to both professional and amateur (homebrewers). Anyone over 21 is free to compete and both pros and amateurs can register to enter, judge, or steward at Santa Fe Open. They need all the help they can get, folks, so come out, even just to steward a flight. And don’t worry, they’ll explain what that means once you are there. All medalists will win both medals and prizes. With over 50 amazing sponsors, local and national, there is a huge assortment of great prizes ranging from brew swag like hats, T-shirts, and pint glasses, all the way to some serious stuff like a seven-gallon stainless steel conical fermenter, courtesy of the competition’s title sponsor SS Brewing Technologies. Holy yeast feeder, Batman! No one will go home disappointed if they medal.

“This is a first for New Mexico as none of the other competitions award prizes,” Rowley said. “We are the first in the state to do this. It’s common in other states to win prizes with medals, but oddly nobody was doing this here, so we figured it was time to change that. I suspect others will follow in time. The brewing community brews some amazing beer in New Mexico, so we wanted to give something back to those who brew strong. So please brew your best beer and enter it up and you won’t go wrong.”

So start brewing New Mexico! I’m putting something in the fermenters on Friday, and you can bet your sweet can I’m going to enter it!

Additional Information

The competition is AHA/BJCP sanctioned. Amateurs are allowed to enter any and all styles listed in the BJCP 2008 Style Guidelines. Professionals are allowed to enter any specialty beer (categories 23A and 16E per the 2008 BJCP style guidelines). They ask that the pros make it interesting, as entries will be docked that are deemed to be closer to non-specialties than specialties. The competition will take place over the weekend of Nov. 7-9. Professional judging will take place Friday, Nov. 7 at 6:30 p.m., and amateur judging will take place all day and into the evening on Saturday, Nov. 8. Both judging events will take place at the Whole Foods Community Room, located at 1090 S. St. Francis Dr. The awards ceremony/potluck will be on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 9, at Santa Fe Brewing Co. around 1 p.m. If you have any questions or want to take a look at the many generous sponsors, just visit their Facebook page.

AHA Rally in Santa Fe

Saying that Santa Fe Brewing Co. is having a party on a Saturday is like saying something is brewing at SFBC. “Well, Duh!” (to quote my 90’s 10-year-old self). But this Saturday, something new is going down. The American Homebrewers Association, the national homebrewers club that brings us Zymurgy magazine, is coming to SFBC and they want you to join them. Come out for an afternoon of all things homebrewing. This is going to be a blast! On Saturday, you can join or renew your AHA membership at a discount. SFBC will be pouring complimentary beer samples. There will be gifts and prizes and you can rub elbows or share recipes with other avid homebrewers. I’ll be there, and my elbows will be washed in advance.

Now, to sweeten the deal, our friends at Mother Road Mobile Canning will be there to can your homebrew! What!? Yeah, you heard correctly. They want to put your brew in a can. Got something carbonated in a keg that’s just itchin’ to slip into something more … sexy? Bring your carbonated keg on down to the brewery and get your brew canned on Mother Road’s canning line, or just marvel at the awesomeness as it happens. Contact Mother Road if you’re interested in canning.

With these great events happening soon, if you’re a homebrewer in New Mexico, it’s an exciting time to be alive!

Cheers!

— Luke

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.

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

New Mexico is one of the most bicycle-friendly states in the country. Tying that love to another love, craft beer, has been beneficial to both cycling groups and to our breweries. Next Saturday (Sept. 20) at Marble will be a special event tied into the upcoming Big Ride for 1400 Miles event. That event will start in Austin, Texas, on Sunday and end in Denver in advance of the Great American Beer Festival in Oct. 2-4. It’s designed to help raise money and awareness for prostate health. Marble will tie into this by having a special Community Ride and Refueling Party next Saturday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., with proceeds going to Pints for Prostates. Riders can go one of two distances (12 miles or 63 for you crazy folks) with the ride beginning and ending at Marble. It costs $30 for registration right now through Marble, or $35 on the day of the event. You get a 1400 Miles T-shirt, entry to the Refueling Party (it’s $15 if you just want to go to the party but don’t want to ride), and you get to go on one of the two rides. There will be live music at Marble from Le Chat Lunatique, Alex Maryol and the Dirty Shades. The party will take place in the north parking lot at Marble’s downtown pub. The Supper Truck and Rustic Food Truck will be present to help refuel the riders with something other than beer. Contact Marble for more information.

With festival season in full swing and breweries gearing up for GABF next month, there were only a few new beers (or old favorites) popping up this week. Bosque’s Acequia Wet Hop IPA, our pick for the best hoppy beer at Septemberfest last weekend, is now on tap. Boxing Bear’s Uppercut IPA is back by popular demand. Chama River has brought back the potent Radioactive IPA, while also adding the Valle de Oro Pale Ale. La Cumbre has Across the Pond, a British-style IPA, and Tank 10 Red Ale.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of Sept. 8.

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: Soroche IPA, California Commons, Berliner Weisse. All the thirsty patrons drank up the last of the Kolsch, Pale Ale, and Ladron’s Peak. Brewer Addison Poth is hard at work restocking his supply of house beers. Don’t worry, though, as BADH always carries a large swath of beers from across New Mexico and the world.

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: Farmhouse Pale Ale, Fade to Blackberry Sour, Acequia Wet Hop IPA, Rebel Brit. The Bosque Lager is temporarily out (guess you all liked it, didn’t you?) but will return soon. The Rebel Brit is a variation of the Mellow Brit. Also an American brown ale, it was brewed with London Ale yeast to produce a unique but tasty flavor. Fade to Blackberry finds some balance between the sweet blackberry flavor and the usual tartness of a sour. Scale Tipper #4 (7.4% ABV, 100+ IBU) is out for the time being as the remaining stock is bound for GABF next month. In its place is Acequia, brewed with fresh-picked hops from Colorado. It was our pick for the best hoppy beer at Septemberfest last weekend.

News: Construction continues on Bosque’s new taproom, the Bosque Public House, located on Girard just south of Central. Bosque has also signed a lease on a new 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 4-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and all day on Sunday. Look for a revamped menu and get $1 off your favorite pints.

Beers in the more distant future will include a pumpkin ale, Oktoberfest, and a barley wine. Plus, Bosque is aging its Scotia Scotch Ales in rum barrels, and they just received a shipment of casks to start doing that as well. We’re a bit excited.

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, Sun Bear Summer Ale, Red Panda Session Red, Uppercut IPA. Recent additions to the lineup are the Standing 8 Stout (6.3% ABV, 45 IBU) and Ambear Ale (5.2% ABV, 35 IBU). The other somewhat recent additions to the lineup are the Sun Bear (4.8% ABV, 30 IBU) and Red Panda (4.6% ABV, 65 IBU). Sadly, the popular Bear Knuckle DIPA has run out for now, but the punchy Uppercut IPA is back.

Events: Boxing Bear has live music this Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. as Monday Catfish, a solo blues act, will perform on the patio.

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: 12 Step Apricot Ale, Wise Ass Watermelon Wheat, Atomic Rye Red, Elixir Vanilla Cream Ale. The Apricot, Watermelon, and Atomic went on tap recently, while the Elixir is the newest beer listed via BBB’s Facebook page.

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.

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). 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.

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 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)

Beers: Hardscrabble ESB, Wee Bit Loco, Radioactive IPA, Valle de Oro Pale Ale. Wee Bit Loco is a new Scottish ale and was our pick as the best malty beer at Septemberfest. Hardscrabble (5.4% ABV, 35 IBU) another recent entry to the lineup. Radioactive IPA (7.5% ABV, 100 IBU) was Chama’s standout entry in the IPA Challenge back in July. It’s back by popular demand. New to taps is the Valle de Oro (5.5% ABV, 35 IBU), which was brewed in honor of the Friends of Valle de Oro, the wildlife shelter in the South Valley. For every pint sold, $1 will be donated to the shelter.

News: Head brewer Zach Guilmette has revamped the recipe for Chama’s Jackalope IPA to give it a stronger kick and tastier palate. Franz Solo and I also highly recommend you try the revamped Sleeping Dog Stout. It’s creamy and burly and sweet and roasted … it’s got everything you want in a stout.

Il Vicino Brewing Canteen — (505) 881-2737

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

Beers: Irish Red, Sessa’s Wet Hop IPA, Exodus IPA, Henhouse Saison, Panama Joe Coffee Stout, Elmo’s IIPA. It’s rare that Il Vicino runs out the same lineup two weeks in a row. Clearly this is a sign that most of you need to get to the Canteen and drink more beer. The Elmo’s (10% ABV) is a modified version of the Elsa Imperial IPA with Mosaic hops added. Citra IPA (8.3% ABV, 65 IBU) and the return of Exodus (7.8% ABV, 100+ IBU) will keep the hopheads happy. Welcome back to a Crew favorite, the GABF gold-medal winning Panama Joe (8% ABV, 37 IBU). Speaking of GABF, Henhouse will be entered in the Pro-Am this year. Mike Archibeck teamed up with Doug to brew this unique new beer.

News: Il Vicino posted some pics on Facebook of the beers they are currently barrel-aging in the back. They’ve got Double IPA in tequila barrels, American Stock Ale in rum barrels, Belgian Strong Golden in wine barrels, and Panama Joe Coffee Stout in bourbon barrels.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

(Hours Mon-Thu 11:30-8 p.m., Fri-Sun 11:30-10 p.m.)

Beers: Kolsch, Oyster Stout, Banty Rooster (Hefe IPA), Helles Lager, Honk Ale, Alanna’s Amber, Banaweizen, Charlie Brown. The Oyster Stout replaces the Cream Stout, while the Helles Lager returns. The Alanna’s Amber is a new entry, taking the Solstice Pilsner’s spot on the roster. 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.

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

Kaktus will be one of four breweries pouring at the Rio Rancho Oktoberfest Sept. 19-20. Look for a full preview next week.

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Full Nelson, Saison d’Hommel, Fievre d’Abricot, Across the Pond, Tank 10 Red Ale. New this week are Across the Pond (6.5% ABV, 65 IBU), a British-style IPA, and Tank 10 Red Ale (6.8% ABV, 85 IBU), which sounds like a combo hop bomb/malt blast of a beer, just the way we like ‘em. The Full Nelson (8.5% ABV, IBUs listed as “stupid”) is a powerful DIPA that’s also available in bombers. The Saison (7.5% ABV, 35 IBU) and the Fievre (7.8% ABV, 25 IBU) are likewise available for sale in bombers.

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.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

(Sun–Weds 9 a.m.–11 p.m., Thurs–Sat 9 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: German Blonde Ale, Berliner Weisse, Belgian Abbey, Honey Pale Ale, IPA, Amber, Oatmeal Brown, India Black Ale, Rye Stout. Both Brandon and I have had chances to visit Lizard Tail, which is one of the newest breweries in town, located in the shopping center on the southeast corner of Eubank and Montgomery. They specialize is malt-forward beers. The German Blonde (5.5% ABV, 20 IBU) is a good place to start. The Berliner Weisse (4.3% ABV, 8 IBU) is not nearly as sour as most of its genre. The Belgian Abbey (6.8%, 25 IBU) is a good example of its style. The Honey Pale Ale (6.3% ABV, 35 IBU) has a nice little hop kick to it. The IPA (6.8% ABV, 70 IBU) has a good mix of Mosaic, Warrior, and Galaxy hops. The Rye Stout (5.5% ABV, 35 IBU) has a nice flavor but lacks body. The first batch of Oatmeal Brown (4.2% ABV, 25 IBU) needed some work, but I got to sample the second batch that will be on tap soon and it’s improved.

News: Lizard Tail’s happy hour runs Thursday through Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m. You get $1 off food, flights, and pints.

A Dubbel and a Porter are next up.

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739

(Mon–Sat 1 p.m.–midnight, Sun 1 p.m.–10:30 p.m.)

Beers: Red Light Lager, Double White, Imperial Red, Wilderness Pale Ale. The Imperial Red is back on tap. This batch was brewed for GABF in Denver next month. Wilderness is a pale ale brewed with local spruce and pine. A portion of the profits will be donated to the Wilderness Society. Otherwise it’s a relatively light seasonal list as Marble is at capacity brewing the regular beers for distribution.

Cask: Check out Marble’s cask (a.k.a. “real” ale) selection on tap every Friday at the Downtown Pub.

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: Rye Pale Ale, Blackberry Hefeweizen, Altbier. Brewer Kaylynn McKnight cranked out a new seasonal in the Blackberry Hefeweizen while the popular Altbier has returned. The RPA (5.9% ABV) has somewhat muted rye flavor, while the sweeter malts tend to dominate this beer. It’s a good summer beer, perfect for sipping slowly on a hot afternoon.

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.

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: Pi IPA, West Coast Red, Porter, Lost Grain ESA, Apricot Wheat. 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.

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, Sawmill Stout, XPA1 Pale Ale, Helles Lager. Porter Pounder and I went over for the grand opening last week. 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. As for the beers, they are all the initial batches, so expect some modifications/changes going forward. Needless to say we both liked the Stout (5.2% ABV, 22 IBU) the best, but we’re dark beer guys (then again, you could also call us dark beer snobs, so consider that). Porter Pounder liked the XPA1 Pale Ale (5% ABV, 35 IBU), which will always be a rotating single-hop pale ale. The Crosscut Kolsch (4.9% ABV, 25 IBU) is almost like a Kolsch/hefeweizen hybrid. The Ghost Train (6.2% ABV, 75 IBU) needs some work, but the brewer has already identified what went wrong in the first batch and is working on correcting that for the next run.

News: A double IPA was already in the fermenter and more German-style beers are on the way in the weeks ahead.

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. We’re going to dispatch E-Rock (he needs a new assignment) to re-establish our lines of communication with Sandia Chile Grill.

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: 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, Pilsner Roja, Javi Light Lager, Milk Mustachio Stout, Berry Cider, C+C IPA, La Llorona Dry Hop Amber.

Beers at Wells Park only: Tupac Cali Red, L4 IPL, Maibock, Berliner Weisse, Trekker Red Belgian Ale. 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. The Berliner Weisse Sour takes a traditional German-style weiss beer and twists it into a sour. It’s an acquired taste. The most recent additions to the lineups are the La Llorona Dry Hop Amber, which is drier yet more flavorful than most ambers, and Tupac Cali Red.

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.

Music is back at Nob Hill today (Wednesday). The new “Solos on the Hill” series begins with Cali Shaw performing from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. Joanie and Art’s BBQ will be parked outside for all your culinary needs.

Down at Wells Park tonight, the Pints and Politics series returns with “Political Speed Dating.” Ever wanted to get a few minutes with a local politician to ask him/her all the important questions? Grab a pint and take a seat and find out just who’s there. It starts at 7 p.m.

On Thursday, Wells Park will host a Millenial Mixer from 5 to 7 p.m. Come hang out with the rest of the under-40 set. (If you believe Generation X ends in 1979, there are still some of us Xers under 40, thank you very much.) Afterward, Tractor’s pLOUD music series at Wells Park continues with Burque Sol performing at 8 p.m. Kimo’s Hawaiian BBQ will provide the food.

The In the Mix series continues Saturday at Wells Park as Nicolatron will perform at 9 p.m. Kimo’s again provides the sustenance.

Next Tuesday, get ready for Beer and Bellies, as some of the city’s best belly dancers will perform at Wells Park from 7 to 9 p.m.

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, Heidelberg Helles. (Seasonal/specialty) Monochrome Milk Stout, Pork ‘n’ Brew Brown Ale, Dog Daze Summer Lager, Saison du Soleil. 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 Heidelberg Helles (5.1% ABV, 25 IBU) has rejoined the regular lineup for good, or so Tim hopes. The newest beer on tap is the Saison du Soleil, a French/Belgian saison. I got to enjoy the decadently smooth Monochrome Milk Stout from a guest tap at Boxing Bear.

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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.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Despite the title above, I don’t mind a good cider every now and again. But, seriously, a cider won a beer competition?

That was the case with this year’s State Fair Pro-Am competition for professional brewers. Santa Sidra’s A Tad Sweet was named Best of Show. Congrats to the folks at Santa Sidra, we’re sure they’re making good stuff, but come on, Pro-Am judges. SERIOUSLY?!

This year's State Fair Pro-Am results are finally posted.

This year’s State Fair Pro-Am results are finally posted.

All right, moving on from all that, here are the results boiled down into some nice stats. Hey, I cover a lot of baseball, numbers are a part of the game. Categories (typically) had a gold, silver, and bronze. No brewery won more than three golds, achieved by Blue Corn, Cazuela’s, Santa Fe, and Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande. Three Rivers won the most overall medals with seven (four silver, three bronze).

A breakdown, of sorts.

Abbey Brewing: 1 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze

B2B Bistronomy: 1 goal, 1 bronze

Back Alley: 2 gold, 2 bronze

Blue Corn: 3 gold, 2 bronze

Bosque: 1 gold, 3 silver, 1 bronze (plus Best Ale for Scotia Scotch Ale)

Boxing Bear: 1 silver, 2 bronze

Cazuela’s: 3 gold, 1 silver

Duel: 1 silver

High Desert: 3 bronze

Kaktus: 2 gold, 2 silver

Pi: 1 gold

Sandia Chile Grill: 1 silver (plus 2 golds, 1 silver, and 2 bronzes for mead, a category brewer Clinton Coker has been dominating for some time)

Santa Fe: 3 gold, 2 silver

Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande: 3 gold, 2 bronze

Three Rivers: 4 silver, 3 bronze

Tractor: 3 silver, 3 bronze

Take note that several major breweries (Chama River, Il Vicino, La Cumbre, Marble, Nexus, Second Street, Turtle Mountain) did not participate, so take these medals as you wish to interpret them.

The big awards, in addition to Santa Sidra’s A Tad Sweet, went to Bosque’s Scotia Scotch Ale for Best Ale, Cazuela’s Inebriator doppelbock for Best Lager, and B2B Bistronomy’s Coconut Porter for Best Specialty.

Abbey Brewing captured gold for its delicious Monks’ Dubbel Reserve in the Belgian and French Ale category. B2B’s Coconut Porter also took the Specialty Beer category. Back Alley doubled up on gold in Sour Ale (Berliner Weisse) and Belgian and French Ale (Belgian White). Blue Corn snagged golds in Light Lager (Training Wheels), American Hybrid Beer (HALT!-bier), and American Ale (End of the Trail Brown Ale). Bosque’s Scotia naturally took the Scottish and Irish Ale category. Cazuela’s earned a trio of golds in Pilsner (Acapulco Gold), Bock (Inebriator), and Stout (Beer for my Horses). Kaktus picked up a gold with Banaweizen in the German Wheat and Rye Beer category. Pi Brewing, in its first year competing, snagged a gold in IPA for Unchallenged. Santa Fe claimed gold in European Amber Lager (Oktoberfest), English Pale Ale (Pale Ale), and Strong Ale (Chicken Killer Barley Wine).

UPDATED >>> Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande snatched gold in three categories (Light Hybrid Beer, English Brown Ale, Spice/Herb/Vegetable Beer) for what was listed as Ben Couger. It seemed weird that one beer could win these categories, and today the SB/RG Facebook page explained that Ben Couger is a person. It’s the brewer who made these beers. The winning beers were Pancho Verde Chile Cerveza, Alien Wheat, and Bone Chiller Brown. That makes a lot more sense.

There was no gold handed out in the Fruit Beer category (why, we have no idea). There were also two categories (Porter, Smoke-Flavored/Wood-Aged Beer) where gold was awarded to the CBA. We assume that’s Craft Brewers Alliance, because no brewery in New Mexico has those initials, but honestly we have no idea. Anyway, congrats to the CBA.

Click on the link above for a full list of winners. See what you agree with and you disagree with.

Congrats to all the winners. We’ll be by to drink those beers when we can.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Los Alamos Beer Co-op hitting the home stretch

Posted: September 9, 2014 by reidrivenburgh in Interviews, News
Tags:

Greeting, beer-gazers! As the Los Alamos correspondent for the Dark Side Brew Crew, I don’t often have a lot of hometown news to write about. Los Alamos is kind of a sleepy little town out in the middle of the boonies, about 30 miles past your last shot at a locally-brewed beer. Well, changes are afoot to rectify that! Here in the smaller LA we now have a mega-Smith’s with a beer bar, but even more exciting, the Los Alamos Beer Co-operative (LABC) is aiming to open a brewery/taproom. I conducted an email interview with Micheline Devaurs, the president of the LABC and a long-time Los Alamos resident, to find out what’s going on.

(Disclaimer: I’ve been involved with the creation of the LABC since its very early days, and I also served with Micheline on its Board of Directors for a year.)

We borrowed this photo of the good folks at the Los Alamos Beer Co-op from their Facebook page. We don't think they'll mind.

We borrowed this photo of the good folks at the Los Alamos Beer Co-op from their Facebook page. We don’t think they’ll mind.

RR: What’s your background, and why did you want to create the LABC?

MD: I wanted to contribute to making our community a better place to live, and my passion is having a place where young people can work/live/play. I also wanted to have a gathering place where folks of all ages could meet and gather and hang out in the center of town. It’s all about building community and doing a small part to make our town a better place to live/work/play. And great craft beer is a way to help make this happen … plus there’s outdoor space (beer garden) and a park across the way.

Having lived here 30 years, I felt it was time I worked hard to make this happen.

RR: It seems like there’s a new brewery/brewpub opening every week these days in New Mexico. What’s your experience been like getting one off the ground?

MD: There are many new breweries sprouting up in NM, especially in Albuquerque. However, in Los Alamos, there is not yet a single craft brewery — we hope to be the first and on a cooperative business model. Our experience has been great. One does have to educate themselves about the process. However, the state was very helpful with regards to the state permitting. The federal TTB process online is a bit more complicated — we are working that now.

The experience of getting off the ground is all about making folks aware of what we are trying to do, and explaining our business model. It is a slow process of getting the word out and building community.

RR: Why did you decide to go with the co-operative business model? How does it work, and how will it affect the operation of the place?

MD: When I started, I didn’t know anything about business, so a cooperative model where those who join influence what we become seemed like a logical model. Also, it seemed exciting to be the first craft brewery on such a model in NM, particularly after the success of the cooperative markets in NM.

RR: Many of our readers are in the Santa Fe and Albuquerque areas. Most probably don’t know much about Los Alamos, aside from it being the home of that National Lab thing. How would you describe the town? Will a brewery/tap room work there?

MD: Los Alamos is a great secret if you like outdoor activities such as hiking or biking. There are a lot of trails, not a whole lot of people and all kinds of options, including Bandelier National Monument and the Valles Caldera. So check it out … and after you exercise, in a few months time hopefully there will be a craft brewery to go to to have a beer after your workout. We think a brewery will work because there aren’t many places to go and hang out in town — we need some!

The Los Alamos Beer Co-op will use Bosque's old brewing system, which they purchased earlier this year.

The Los Alamos Beer Co-op will use Bosque’s old brewing system, which they purchased earlier this year.

RR: This being a beer blog, we’re curious about your brewing facilities and the kinds of beers you envision creating. Related to that, have you hired a brewer?

MD: We have purchased a 3.5-bbl brewing system from Bosque Brewing as they move to a larger system. We plan on having ales and lagers, and also brewed root beer and wine (to meet that goal of being a gathering place in as many ways as possible). We are focused on getting a license (both state and federal) at this time (since we do have space and equipment). Next comes hiring a professional brewer. A good brewer and great consistent beer is KEY to our success. As I travel, I am struck that good, consistent beer is key to a good brewery (along with a comfortable, inviting space). We hope to have the same thing.

RR: Do you plan to bottle/can any of your beers or make them available “off the hill”?

MD: We plan to sell growlers at our location for folks to buy and take home. We also will have a distributor’s license so we can sell kegs to various restaurants/breweries in northern NM. We may partake in bottling, but NOT initially (takes different licenses than we are applying for to start).

RR: You recently announced the location of your tap room, a former bar in town. How are the renovations going and when do you expect it to open? Will there be food available there?

MD: We are working in partnership with the landlord to renovate the space. This is a great example of re-purposing space in the downtown and a landlord investing to make it happen. The space has been gutted to the walls, with the exception of the fireplace. Simplistically, we are responsible for redoing the inside and the landlord will redo the outside — the roof, handicapped ramp, covered portale in front, windows, and stucco/insulation. We are, as we speak, working the details of who is paying for what and who is doing what. We hope to apply for one permit for both interior and exterior renovations (from the city of Los Alamos) and get started on remodeling just as soon as the city/county approve that permit. The long lead time items are both the licenses (state and federal) and getting the space ready for our use.

We don’t plan to serve food; however there are several restaurants nearby (and one right next door) from which folks can purchase food.

The co-op projects to open early in 2015.

The co-op hopes to open early in 2015.

RR: Where can our readers go for more information or to join?

MD: Check out our website or send questions to info@losalamosbeer.coop. We welcome your support and interest and questions.

You can also find us at upcoming local events: Ullr Fest at the Pajarito ski hill on Sept. 20 (always a very popular event); a Science Fest Beer garden on Saturday; our Critical Mash homebrewer competition on Saturday and Sunday; and on Sept. 26, we’ll be hosting an event that will feature a band and Taos Mesa brewery outside of our new space. And finally, in October we’re going to be promoting a membership drive, in which current members will get awards for getting new members to join.  (Author’s note: Stay tuned for upcoming posts about a few of these events!)

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Our thanks to Micheline for taking the time to inform all of our readers about the LABC.  If you haven’t been to Los Alamos before, 2015 will be a great time to do it! Stay tuned for additional updates, including a post about the grand opening early next year.

Cheers!

— Reid

One festival down, many to go. Marble’s Septemberfest kicked off festival season on Saturday afternoon. It was a fun, efficiently-run event with a good crowd. Kudos to Ted and Amberly Rice and the hard-working Leah Black for putting it all together. It was never overcrowded and the beer line moved quickly. Remarkably, even with all those Arizona State fans in attendance, things stayed nice and civil. (Full disclosure: I am an Arizona alum. Fought the urge to just scream out “Scum Devils!” all afternoon.)

Yes, we wore black to an outdoor beer festival.

Yes, we wore black to an outdoor beer festival.

With Brandon along for the ride and his girlfriend Taylor handling the designated driver duties (we are gonna owe her so many beers after January), we got to the event right at the outset, which proved quite advantageous in getting our beers in a timely fashion. It also helped since one of us had to go to UNM to cover the Lobos-Sun Devils game later on. (Take a guess who.) We were later joined by Brew Crew Bullpen members Adam, Jason, and Paul, and the usual suspects from the ABQ Craft Beer Drinkers Group were there as well. Since Marble staffers were handling the pouring of the 10 beers on hand, the other brewers were free to just be beer fans like us and sample everything on tap. Blue Corn’s James Warren, Bosque’s John Bullard, Boxing Bear’s Justin Hamilton, and Nexus’ Kaylynn McKnight were among those who stopped by to say hello and talk a little beer.

We divided the 10 beers present into a malty category and a hoppy category. The only one that didn’t really fit either was Turtle Mountain’s Saison Du Soleil, a French/Belgian saison with some very strong Belgian yeast notes. We enjoyed all of the beers, but if we had to pick a top beer for each category, well …

Best hoppy beer: Bosque’s Acequia Wet Hop IPA

We do love La Cumbre’s hop monster Project Dank, and Boxing Bear’s punchy Uppercut IPA and Second Street’s Pivotal IPA were solid as well. The standout here was the brand-new Acequia. The fresh-picked, Colorado-grown hops arrived back on Aug. 24 and went straight into making this new IPA. It had an almost floral quality, with subtle pine and resin hints. It offered up a cool, refreshing mouthfeel, unlike the dryness that can be common with many stronger IPAs. The good news is this beer, as well as the other IPAs above, are all on tap at the breweries. Head over quick and try them out before they’re gone.

Since I did say “we” above, here are Brandon’s thoughts on the Acequia:

Acequia was very welcome on my palate. With bright floral notes, subtle bitterness, and an almost tropical finish, it proved to be the best hoppy beer of the bunch to quench your thirst with while still getting a dose of lupulin goodness. A tip of the hat also is due to the folks at Boxing Bear for impressing me with my first taste of the Uppercut IPA. (I know, I’m slacking … I’ll be in soon for a flight, guys!) Uppercut packs a resiny punch and complexity with minimal malt sweetness, making for a tasty treat.

The calm before the beer storm.

The calm before the beer storm.

Best malty beer: Chama River’s Wee Bit Loco

For some it is still a little warm outside for a Scottish Wee Heavy, but Zach and David are forward-thinking brewers over at Chama. They created a Scottish that has all the flavor you’d expect of the genre, but with a little lighter mouthfeel that one would expect from a summer beer. There were some good caramel and toffee notes on the edges of this beer, which hits strong with the peak smoke (but not too strong) and then mellows out considerably. It ended up being my choice for my full pint (shocker, I know, that I took the darkest beer on tap), though it was a tough choice over Acequia. Among the other malty beers, I enjoyed Nexus’ Altbier, which is smooth and sweet like you’d expect from a Nexus beer. If you’re in Santa Fe, stop by Blue Corn to try some Schwarzbier, or if you’re in Taos, definitely hit up Taos Mesa for the Old 96 Sticke Alt. This batch is improved over the last one they had back at … a festival a while ago. Perhaps WinterBrew? Or more recent? My brain can’t remember.

Anyway, here are Brandon’s more coherent thoughts on this beer:

Stoutmeister pretty much summed it up. My full pour pint went to Chama River as well for the Wee Bit Loco, a slightly smoky, malty mistress. The caramelized sugars and subtle roasted barley coat your mouth without being too rich, providing an east drinking version of the wee heavy Scottish style. The subtle smoked character of the malts provides extra character to keep you interested. Great job all around on this one.

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Septemberfest was a great start to festival season. Things are quiet this coming week, but remember that Hopfest is set for Sept. 20 at Isleta Casino, followed by NM Brew Fest at the State Fairgrounds on Oct. 11. In between there’s this little thing called the Great American Beer Festival in Denver Oct. 2-4, though none of the Crew was able to secure tickets this year. We’ll have to aim for press passes in 2015.

Anyway, fear not, for we have plenty of beer news coming up this week. Reid from the Bullpen will have an update on the Los Alamos Beer Co-op, Luke has a guide to taking a “beercation” in Durango, Brandon will have a guide for the novice craft beer drinker in your life, I’ll be getting the full lowdown on Santa Fe Brewing’s pending expansion, and who knows what else might pop up (looking at you, Red Door).

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister