Hello, Bathtub Row!

Hello, Bathtub Row!

Bathtub Row Brewing celebrated their “Full House Party” this past weekend, with live music, food specials, and more. It was their way of saying, “Hey, all eight of our taps are now filled with our very own beer.” The good news is the people of Los Alamos turned out in droves, with a number of people driving up from ABQ and Santa Fe and elsewhere in New Mexico. Basically we all ended up learning that what Brew Crew Bullpen member Reid had been telling us for a while — Bathtub Row was making some damn fine beer.

With a big thanks to my friend Gabriel for the ride to and fro, I parked myself at the end of the bar that curves around the inside of the BRB space. In addition to bar seating and tables, there is also a “lounge area” by a fireplace that figures to roar in the winter. There is a spacious outside area as well, though how much of that is permanent and how much was just for the Full House Party was unclear (I should have asked, but the beer came first).

The rustic log tables and chairs were awesome.

The rustic log tables and chairs were awesome.

On tap this weekend were the Hoppenheimer IPA (sold only outside, due to the lack of tap space inside), Wit Rock, Big House Belgo Pale Ale, Little Bird Blonde, Mild at Heart, Posh Bitter, Le Becquerel Saison, Red Hammer, and Black Point Stout. Being the industrious beer drinker/writer that I am, I brought a notebook to jot things down as I drank each beer from the sample tray.

The first half of the flight, from left, Little Bird Blonde, Big House Belgo, Red Hammer, Black Point Stout.

The first half of the flight, from left, Little Bird Blonde, Big House Belgo, Red Hammer, Black Point Stout.

Little Bird Blonde (5.6% ABV): Very mild, definitely a starter beer. There was a hint of pilsner malt from a bit of crispness. Wheat notes were present as well. The finish included a slight apricot/peach sweetness. Brewer Hector Santana also brought out a sample of a second version made in a more English-style. I admittedly liked that one better, so hopefully it will be on tap soon (and then permanently, assuming it is cost-effective).

Mild at Heart (3.7% ABV) Ah, the English Mild, which as the name might imply, often lacks much flavor. This one was too thin, coming off as a bit of water-down ESB. The style just does not connect with Americans seeking bigger flavors. Best leave it on the islands.

Posh Premium Bitter (5.9% ABV) Better than the mild, more in tune with what Rod Tweet has been brewing over at Second Street. It was quite sweet, maybe a little too much, with hints of biscuit-y malt on the back end to dry things out.

Le Becquerel Saison (7.1% ABV) As Gabriel, and others, noted, it is big for a saison. There was not much of that farmhouse funk in the aroma that can drive some people (me) away. The spices were a tad muted, compared to others (think Marble). The malt bill gave it a bit of sweetness. In a way, this was the saison for the non-saison drinker.

The second half of the flight, from left, Mild at Heart, Posh Premium Bitter, Wit Rock, Le Becquerel Saison.

The second half of the flight, from left, Mild at Heart, Posh Premium Bitter, Wit Rock, Le Becquerel Saison.

Wit Rock (6.1% ABV) Like a lot of wits, this had ingredients that are do not agree with me from an allergy perspective. Gabriel, among others, enjoyed this beer, though, so if you like the style, it should work for you.

Big House Belgo (6.7% ABV) Dear lord is this a Belgian-style beer. The huge funk hits you right in the face from the aroma alone. The Belgian yeast produces an almost potent, astringent farmhouse flavor off the bat, but fear not if that is not your thing, it mellows out considerably as it warms. Then the sweeter, more citrus-like flavors come to the forefront and it drinks like a standard Belgian golden ale. It was definitely one of the more complex beers BRB brewed. I would expect some future modifications/tinkering.

Red Hammer Ale (7.1% ABV) Listed as a double red, this beer goes the opposite way of most West Coast-style reds. The sweet-but-dry malts are up front, with the hope kick on the back end. I thought I picked out some Southern Hemisphere hops in there, for the more flowery, less piney/citrusy flavors, but my poor palate may have taken too much by this point.

Hoppenheimer IPA (7.3% ABV) Definitely more in the East Coast vein, with a strong malt backbone and less bitter hops up front. It tends to be fairly sweet on the back. The aroma was not too strong, so perhaps a bit more on the dry-hopping could be in its future. Otherwise, if you like beers like Dogfish Head 90 Minute, you will enjoy the Hoppenheimer. It does not become death, the destroyer of palates. (Sorry, couldn’t resist)

Black Point Stout (4.8% ABV) I know, I know, my favorite beer was the stout. But … damn, this is a hell of a stout. I classified it as a classic American stout. It was not overly roasted/smoky, nor too sweet/chocolate-y, nor too creamy/milky. Instead, it hit all the right notes in between. In the cold of winter it might be a bit thin on the mouthfeel, but that would be the most minor of quibbles. Others who tried this feel the same way, it appears from my Untappd account. Just an excellent stout, especially considering the low, sessionable ABV. If you only have time to drink one beer at Bathtub Row, this is the one.

Overall, the quality of the beer, the location, the staff, and the general vibe of the crowd really combines to make Bathtub Row a place you have to visit. Sure, you may be surrounded by patrons with more PhD’s than you knew existed, but in the end, you are all there for great beer and good times.

I look forward to the next trip I take up the mountain. Bathtub Row, you have one Burqueno in support from now til the end of brews, er, time. (Same thing, really.)

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

A rare craft beer oasis in the desert that is Oklahoma.

A rare craft beer oasis in the desert that is Oklahoma.

I am not a fan of long road trips. I get antsy. So the prospect of again making the long, 12-hour drive to my mom’s house in Arkansas wasn’t sitting too well with me. I decided to break it up and spend the night in Oklahoma City and see what’s happening beer-wise in “The Big Friendly,” a nickname for what I usually just call OKC.

Oklahoma City’s reported population is 610,613 as of 2013, and the estimated 2014 census number is 620,602. I expected that with a population of this size, and the brewing industry exploding nationwide, there would be some interesting new breweries to visit. As it turns out, I had no idea what a chore it would be.

I had already been to Bricktown Brewery in downtown OKC on another trip and wasn’t very impressed. The hotels in the downtown area were too expensive that weekend, anyway, so I found a reasonable hotel on a major corridor with several restaurants nearby. I started performing a search for breweries on my phone. I saw that this month marked the sixth anniversary of a brewery not far from my hotel that I had yet to visit. I was concerned by the description on their website, though, that stated, “We created Mustang Brewing Company to make great, easy-drinking, session beers.” That did not sound very promising.

I never even had the chance to find out what their beer was like. I was going crazy using my phone to try to find their hours. I couldn’t believe it was so difficult on their website. I called multiple times but nobody answered the phone. Shockingly, the reason is that their taproom is only open a couple of times per month (WHAT?!?) and this was not one of those days. I couldn’t even find it on tap at the local establishments near the hotel. Fail.

One local OKC beer I tried on tap at a restaurant was Coop Ale Works IPA. It was pretty good — not overly hoppy or strong, yet definitely good enough that I knew I wanted to go visit the brewery. However, they are only open Saturdays from 1 to 5 p.m. Sigh.

The beers were nice, the tax on the beers, not so much.

The beers were nice, the tax on the beers, not so much.

I did finally manage to find one brewery that was open in OKC while driving back home to Albuquerque. Roughtail Brewing’s taproom is only open on Fridays from 4 to 10 p.m. and Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. I was actually driving through town at noon on Saturday. The brewery is three years old, the taproom is cute, they have multiple styles of their beers on tap, and I did like all their beers that I sampled: Hoptometrist Double IPA, Polar Night Stout, 12th Round Strong Ale, and 2nd Anniversary Red IPA. I felt like a pioneer that had accomplished a difficult mission. You’re welcome, beer expeditioners of the world! I wonder how many out-of-towners actually get there while just passing through. It’s not right on I-40; it’s about a 10-minute drive north of the freeway.

And, really, that’s about it for what you could visit brewery-wise right now in OKC. I am so not even kidding. We may bitch and complain about New Mexico beer laws, but they are improving. I am certain that the overly prohibitive laws in Oklahoma are stunting the growth of the industry there. And, as they say, “Wait! There’s more!” I don’t claim to know anything about what the regulations are, but I know from first-hand experience that the antiquated rules include imposing a hugely steep “liquor” tax on all beers over 3.2-percent ABV. Sorry, what year is this again? I was sure it was 2015. At Roughtail, we got one pint and four 3-ounce samples. The tab would have been $9.50, but with the tax it was $12.16. Do the math. Then go buy and drink your beer in some other state. Neighboring New Mexico, perhaps?

Arkansas is more progressive about beer than Oklahoma. Let that sink in for a minute.

Arkansas is more progressive about beer than Oklahoma. Let that sink in for a minute.

Arkansas has always had some wacky laws, too, but the brewery scene does get better when you get to Northwest Arkansas. I am pretty familiar with the breweries there. They even have an Ale Trail with a passport. I think that is pretty cute for a still somewhat rural area. I actually also saw pitchers for sale at one of my favorite Northwest Arkansas breweries: Core Brewing. I did observe both in Oklahoma and in Arkansas that many of the staff members at breweries lack basic beer knowledge. Everyone was very nice, but I couldn’t get many questions answered. Experiences such as these give me even more of an appreciation for the “beeristas” (as our editor is fond of saying) and other beer staff here in New Mexico. You’re awesome and we love you!

Cheers, Y’all!

— AmyO

DSBC Hat Trick is a weekly series dedicated to those craft beers from beyond the Land of Enchantment. Want to know what’s new and tasty in coolers gracing your favorite craft beer retailer? We’ve got you covered! Check out our three favorite picks for the week; you can’t go wrong with anything out of this trifecta. All beers located here are available at your local fine package liquor store, or other craft beer retailer. Onward to beer!

Remember that age old series called the Saturday Night Sixer? Yeah, me neither, probably because it has been dead for some time. However, we are returning with this new series to highlight three of our top picks for the week for craft beers from out of state. If you can’t find your favorite beer from around the state on shelves (pick a new store to shop at!) or can’t make it in to fill a growler at your local brewery, check out one of the fine selections we will be pimping out each week. This week we highlight two new breweries to shelves of NM craft beer retailers, Evil Twin and Stillwater. (Updated editor’s note: These beers are available at Jubilation and the Kellys on Juan Tabo in Albuquerque, as well as Susan’s and Kokoman in Santa Fe. — Stoutmeister)

We like our beers big

We like our beers big

WHO: Mono, by Stillwater Artisan Ales, 5.2% ABV

WHAT IS IT: A Galaxy dry-hopped pilsner, can’t get more refreshing than that for the dog days of summer.

SMELLS LIKE: A combination of forest and tropical. Citrus notes are abound with lemon zest and grapefruit, with a subtle hint of biscuit malt, grass, and pine.

TASTES LIKE: A crisp refreshing punch in the mouth. A mildly sweet and biscuit malt backbone paves the way for the burst of dry hopped goodness. Notes of pine, grapefruit, and lemon dominate, but in a pleasant way. The hop bitterness is punchy with each sip, but not enough so to be overwhelming or unpleasant. Finishes with a slight piney pop and orange notes. An extremely palate-friendly beer that even those who may not like their beers too hoppy can enjoy.

OVERALL: A pilsner that wants to be just a bit more adventurous and refreshing, Mono does a great job of showcasing the nuances of the Galaxy hop while maintaining that classic, refreshing pilsner style. This is a wonderful beer for the final stretch of the scorching days of summer.


WHO: Molotov Cocktail, by Evil Twin Brewing, 13% ABV

WHAT IS IT: An Imperial IPA that drinks like a barley wine … very much an East Coast-style IPA.

SMELLS LIKE: Well … smells like a barley wine. The hops are mostly prominent in this beer, with the majority of aromatics comprised of citrus, lots of earthy pine, some subtle apricot, and lots of caramel malt.

TASTES LIKE: Again … like a barley wine. Slightly rich in the mouthfeel, with a honey-like texture. A very complex malt bill, comprised of a lot of caramel notes, dried fruits, and biscuit. The hops on the palate are very mild; the pine and citrus notes gave out and I only picked up a hefty dose of apricot hop notes. Slight alcohol warming in the middle, which seems to help temper the sweetness of the malt bill.

OVERALL: This is actually a really delicious beer if you aren’t looking for a NM-style hop bomb that a lot of people are accustomed to. Grand hop aromas and a complex malt bill make up something that is deceiving for those who want to kill their palate, but give this a try and prepare to pick apart the complexities.


WHO: Soft Dookie, by Evil Twin Brewing, ABV 10.4%

WHAT: A rich bastard of an Imperial Stout that you may give a second thought to drinking after reading that name. Don’t be scared, though.

SMELLS LIKE: The complexity of quantum physics. Lots of roasted barley, caramel, dried fig notes. More subtle are the notes of licorice, dark chocolate, molasses, and vanilla (although the latter of those three pops more as the beer warms).

TASTES LIKE: Well, it doesn’t taste like dookie! Initially you will get a ton of roasted barley, caramelized sugars, and dark chocolate. The vanilla pops a lot in the middle and leads to a velvety smooth finish. But like pretty much all imperial stouts, this beer is best when warmed a bit; the dark chocolate gives way to more milk chocolate notes, and a delicate touch of coffee and other dried fruits. The vanilla aromatics increase the appeal of this beer as it warms, as well, and pair well with the rich molasses finish.

OVERALL: Get past the name, folks, as it does not taste like dookie … although that may be what it is supposed to cause if you have had too many of these. Anyway, a wonderfully complex beer for those who like their beers big and burly.


That’s all for this week’s edition of the DSBC Hat Trick, check in next week for more reviews. As always, if you have a suggestion for us, feel free to drop us a line. Until next time …

Prost!

— Brandon Daniel

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Time to party, Los Alamos!

Bathtub Row Brewing in Los Alamos is about to achieve yet another milestone. All of their taps will finally be serving home-brewed beer this weekend. Though the place has been open for months now, they’ve had to supplement their own limited number of brews with those from nearby breweries, including Santa Fe Brewing and Bosque Brewing. They’re certainly not Bud, Bud Light, or Bud Extra Light Gold Lite, so no one was complaining, but it feels good to finally have a full of array of homemade styles to choose from. To celebrate the achievement, BRB will be having a two-day “Full House Party” this Friday and Saturday, with bands and food trucks also in attendance. The taproom will have its normal operating hours both days, noon until 11 p.m. The schedule for bands and food.

  • Friday
    • Food truck: DB Royal (BBQ)
    • 3-5 p.m.: Alex Maryol
    • 5-7 p.m.: Merican Slang
    • (There is likely a normal, weekly Gordon’s concert in the park at 7 p.m., though I have no info about that)
  • Saturday
    • Food truck: Joe S Sausage and food pairings from Los Alamos Co-op Market
    • 3-5 p.m.: DK & the Affordables
    • 5-7 p.m.: Eddie and the Nomads
    • 7-9 p.m.: Boo Koo

I’ve seen some of these artists at the Pajarito beer festivals and other places, and they are talented. I’m sure that the food truck vendors are talented artists in their own right, too.

Now let’s get down to the beers! This is the official word on what will be on tap:

  • Little Bird Blonde
  • Wit Rock
  • Hoppenheimer IPA
  • Black Point Stout
  • Le Becquerel Saison
  • Mild at Heart (English Mild Ale)
  • Red Hammer Ale (Double Red)
  • Big House Belgo (American-Belgo Pale Ale)

This is sure to be a huge party, so if you’ve been biding your time and waiting for the right occasion to visit Los Alamos and BRB, this is it! You may even see a few Dark Side Brew Crew folks in the crowd. (Trying to organize a carpool from ABQ as I type this. — Stoutmeister)

Cheers!

— Reid

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s four breweries and a pair of newcomers, one down in Socorro and the other in Los Alamos, also joining the party.

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.

Make fun of the New Mexico Rail Runner all you want, but at least the folks running it are trying hard to get more people on board. This Saturday they are tying into the craft beer scene with the Rails, Trails & Ales Brewery Tour. Basically they are tying the Rail Runner into many of the existing brewery tours that are being run, from ABQ Trolley to the Duke City Pedaler to walking tours in Nob Hill and bicycle tours in ABQ and Santa Fe. The first 1,000 people to use the train to get to the sites noted on the website will receive a commemorative pint glass. You can also do a self-guided tour from any RR stop and still get the glass. So if your cabinets are not like ours, which are overflowing with commemorative glassware to the point of where we are seriously contemplating building new cabinets, go ahead and hop on board the train and then hit up one of the tours. Prices range from $20 to $50 for the guided tours and tickets can be purchased online via the link above.

Of course, there is also the Full House Party at Bathtub Row Brewing in Los Alamos, which will celebrate the fact that all eight of their house beers are now on tap, and that runs Friday and Saturday. We will have a full preview of the event on Thursday.

Meanwhile, there are barely any new beers around town this week. Bosque’s wacky Pink Elephants on Parade is now at all three locations, while Cumulus 2.0 debuts as the latest entry in the Monsoon IPA Series. Ponderosa is having a release party for Blanco Bock on Friday.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn has limited amounts of Barleywine and Imperial Stout on tap. Duel has brought back Manikin, while the new Hair of the Wolf is also available. Second Street tapped fresh batches of Pivotal IPA, Equinox Pale Ale, and International Pale Steam. Over in Los Alamos, the five beers to fill out their taps for this weekend are Wit Rock, Le Becquerel (Saison), Mild at Heart, Red Hammer, and Big House Belgo.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of July 27.

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

Albuquerque metro area breweries

ABQ Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

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

Beers: Imperial IPA, Red Ale, Cherry Sour. ABP carries beers from Rio Grande/Sierra Blanca. 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. Adam and I just got to try two new brews from Benjamin Couger that are on tap at ABP. The Imperial IPA is a big old blast of hops, but not the usual suspects like Simcoe or Centennial (at least, we didn’t think so). The Red Ale is a smooth, biscuit-y delight. The new addition is a Cherry Sour, the first sour ever produced by the folks at RG/SB.

Albuquerque Brewing Co. — (505) 797-1842

(Mon–Fri 1-10 p.m., Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun noon-8 p.m.)

Beers: Possessive IPA, SuMariOatmeal Stout, 505 Bananas (Saison). Located at 8620 Pan American Blvd., on the east side of I-25 and between Paseo del Norte and Alameda, ABC is now open and ready for business. In addition to the house beers, there are often guest taps, plus the plan is to have at least one beer on a nitro tap at all times. For more info on ABC, you can check out my advance preview. The Possessive and Stout are ready now, but the Saison may not be ready to pour just yet.

Back Alley Draft House — (505) 766-8590

(Mon–Weds 4 p.m. to midnight, Thurs–Sat 4 p.m. to midnight or later, Sun 4 p.m. to midnight)

Beers: Malt Tonic, Cali Common, Belgian Wit, Oak-Aged Pre-Prohibition IPA, Ryejus Red, Soroche IPA. An old favorite returns in the Soroche. The oak-aged version of the Pre-Pro IPA is now available. The Ryejus is also a recent addition.

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

All beers are $1 off on Tuesdays.

The Blue Grasshopper — (505) 896-8579

(Noon to 11 p.m. most days, call for more info)

Beers: Dunkel Weizen. The Dunkel Weizen went on tap recently. BG goes through their beers fast, so hurry out to try it. If you have not made it out there yet, the Grasshopper is located at 4500 Arrowhead Ridge Road in Rio Rancho, just off Highway 528.

News: Next up on the beer list is a Belgian-style IPA. They are also working on opening a patio soon and will have Cherry Bomb, which has been aging for six months, on tap to celebrate once it is open.

Click the link above to check out the new Blue Grasshopper website, with updated lists of guest beers, a full menu, and a full music listing.

Events: The Grasshopper has live music from 6 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday through Saturday.

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

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

Beers: Cumulus 2.0, Scale Tipper IPA, Pink Elephants on Parade, Driftwood on nitro, EKG Pale Ale (San Mateo and Nob Hill), Departure Witbier (Las Cruces only), Red Dawn IPA (Nob Hill and Las Cruces). All beers listed are on tap at all three locations, unless noted. You all have to be wondering what the heck is Pink Elephants on Parade (5.5% ABV, 12 IBU). Well, it earned this awesome description from the Bosque staff: “Enough with the fruit nuance, put it out in front! Packed with raspberry and cranberry puree, this American-style wheat ale clocks in at just over a one pound of fruit per gallon! On top of the fruity flavor contributions, the fruit adds a slight sweetness and tartness. Unfiltered, medium-full bodied, and colored with a Sandia sunset.” Red Dawn (5.5% ABV, 100 IBU), a hoppy red ale, was the second entry in the ongoing Monsoon IPA series. It is big in flavor but not in potency. The third entry in that series, Cumulus 2.0 (7.3% ABV, 90 IBU), is now available. It is a wheat/IPA hybrid modeled after one of the original beers in the Bosque lineup. Another recent addition is the Departure (4.9% ABV, 12 IBU), a witbier made with orange peel, coriander, and Belgian yeast. Scale Tipper, the two-time NMIPAC winner and current National IPA champion, is on tap until supplies run out. The other seasonal is the EKG Pale (5% ABV, 25 IBU), though it is already out in Las Cruces and should be out by the end of the week at Nob Hill. It will be replaced by the new Farm and Cherry. Driftwood Oatmeal Stout is now on nitro at all three locations. It is creamy, burly goodness personified in a beer.

Cask: From now on, Bosque will have their firkin filled every Wednesday, available only at Nob Hill. This week’s beer is TBA.

News: Congratulations to Bosque for winning their second straight NM IPA Challenge with Scale Tipper. Earlier this year, Bosque also claimed the Brewing News National IPA Challenge with Scale Tipper. It marks the second year in a row a New Mexico brewery won the NIPAC, following La Cumbre’s Project Dank taking the title last year.

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

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

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

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

Beers: (Regular) Paw Swipe Pale Ale, Hairy Mit Hefe, Standing 8 Stout, Ambear Ale, Uppercut IPA, Apple Bear Hard Cider; (Seasonal) Rye Mouth, Body Czech Bohemian Pilsner, Black and Blue Sour, Sucker Punch DIPA, Title Clincher IPA, Umbers Cucumbers. The most recent addition to taps is Umbers Cucumbers, which as the name might imply is a cucumber beer. It got high marks from the hopheads, believe it or not, during the NMIPAC. Prior to that, Boxing Bear unleashed the Black and Blue Sour, a purple-colored delight that does not overpower like sours often do. Title Clincher was made with about 10 pounds of hops per barrel; it came in seventh. Not bad for their first showing in the NMIPAC. If that’s not enough hops for you, try Sucker Punch (8.1% ABV, 125 IBU), a monstrous, piney, resinous DIPA. The Body Czech (4.3% ABV, 40 IBU) is a great way to start your flight. The Standing 8 Stout (6.3% ABV, 45 IBU), which is on tap at all times, claimed the 2015 Stout Challenge, held by the Crew before the last Super Bowl. Head on over to indulge in this beast of a beer. The Apple Bear Hard Cider (5% ABV) is now permanently on tap.

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

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

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

Broken Bottle Brewery — (505) 890-8777

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

Beers: Rob Van Winkle Stout, Xico (Chico) Suave, FREDD’s Apple Ale, Stinky Pinky Hefeweizen. This seasonal list may already be out of date, so call the brewery for an updated list. The Stinky Pinky (5.4% ABV) is a popular grapefruit hefe. The FREDD’s (5.2% ABV) is a hybrid of a cider and an American Ale. The Xico (6% ABV) is a spiced beer. The Rob Van Winkle (5.7% ABV) is a vanilla stout. Take note, the Drunken Hobo Milk Stout has replaced the Mulligan Stout in the regular lineup. Also joining the regular lineup now is the Elixir Vanilla Cream Ale.

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

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737

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

Beers: Irish Red, Bombshell Red, Hoppyweizer, Marzen, Centennial Pale Ale, English Summer Ale, Exodus IPA. The most recent additions are the English Summer and old favorite Exodus. Before that came Bombshell (5.6% ABV, 26 IBU), a sweet little red ale, and Centennial PA (6.2% ABV, 60 IBU), which has a nice backbone to balance out those hops. An old favorite, the Marzen (5.6% ABV, 22 IBU), also came back recently. The Hoppyweizer (6.1% ABV, 40 IBU) is a hopped-up wheat beer created in collaboration with the team at ABQBeer.com.

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

Events: Boris and the Salt Licks will perform Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m. on the patio. Next Three Miles will follow on Tuesday from 6 to 9 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), Chupacabra IPA, Piedra del Fuego Stoned Cream Ale, Beer for My Horses (Oatmeal Stout), Inebriator (Doppelbock), Primo (Brown Ale). E-Rock and I had a chance to sample the Piedra del Fuego (5% ABV), which we both recommend. According to Cazuela’s menu: “This cream ale uses red-hot stones to super caramelize the sugars, creating a nutty, toffee-like flavor.” The Inebriator (8% ABV) and the Papacabra (9.7% ABV) are the biggest beers in the lineup. I also recommend the Primo, a solid English-style brown ale that I finally got to try at Blues & Brews.

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

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

Beers: Schwarzbier, Cherry Tart, Lupulo Lager, Radioactive IPA. So which IPA did Franz Solo and Brandon select as their favorite at the final round of NMIPAC? Why, that would be Radioactive, Chama’s annual nuclear blast of hoppy goodness. It is joined on tap by Cherry Tart, a tart cherry sour, Lupulo Lager, an India Pale Lager, and our old favorite, Schwazbier.

Distillery 365 — (505) 221-6281

(Hours Mon-Thu 3-9 p.m., Fri 3-10 p.m., Sat noon-10 p.m., Sun 11-8 p.m.)

Beers: 365 ESB, 4th of July American Ale. Welcome to the listings, Distillery 365! They are located at 2921 Stanford Dr., just south of Candelaria and not far from La Cumbre and Canteen. The 4th of July is their first beer to highlight the native Neomexicanus hops. It is a highly aromatic strong ale with very little bitterness. The ESB a simple English ale. This batch has very little bitterness, but plenty of malt character. They are also serving their house-made Holy Ghost Vodka and Horsethief Rum, a 100-percent molasses-based silver rum.

Events: Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Distillery 365 has a build-your-own bloody mary bar. You can purchase three bloodies for just $20.

News: The second batch of their ESB is in the fermenter. They are continuously refining their recipes; this batch should be hoppier and maltier. Barrel No. 1 of their Tres Pistolas Bourbon has been filled, but it’ll be another two years before anyone can drink it. Good things come to those who wait, I suppose.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

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

Beers: Helles, Bier De Garde, ESB, Amber, Aye Aye IPA, Black Beauty Stout, London Porter, Jaison, Sweet and Dry Apple Cider. The most recent addition is Aye Aye, which owner Dana Koller described as the biggest IPA that Kaktus has ever brewed. The Jaison is a special saison, offering up a tangy, spicy medley of flavor. The Black Beauty is a sweet, creamy stout that is not too thick for the warming weather (well, we assume the weather is going to warm up here at some point). Kaktus is located at 471 South Hill Road in Bernalillo, for those who have still not made the trek.

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

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

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Acclimated DIPA, Fievre d’Abricot, State Fair Cream Ale, Male Stripper IPA. The most recent addition is Male Stripper, La Cumbre’s entry in NMIPAC. Just in time for the heat, the refreshing Fievre d’Abricot is back on tap. Another big addition is the State Fair Cream Ale, which is the official beer of the New Mexico State Fair (and pretty darned tasty, if you ask the Crew members who wiped out a four-pack on July 4). Also, for all of you hopheads, the Acclimated is back. It is Elevated’s bigger, hoppier brother. The Hop-Back Centennial has run out, but fear not, for it was only the first in a planned series of Hop-Back pale ales, assuming Jeff can get his hands on lots of whole leaf hops. Oh, and don’t panic about Project Dank and Red Ryeot no longer appearing here as seasonals. They are now part of La Cumbre’s regular lineup. Red Ryeot cans are now for sale around town and at the brewery.

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

Events: Live music is back this Saturday as Alex Maryol performs from 7 to 10 p.m.

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

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

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

Beers: Long Nosed Tripel, Legless DIPA, Oak Smoked Wheat, Apricot Wheat, Irish Red. Adam checked in from Lizard Tail recently with an updated seasonal list. The Long Nosed (9.2% ABV, 30 IBU) is one of the biggest beers on the menu. The Legless (8.5% ABV, 100 IBU) offers up quite the hop kick. The Oak Smoked Wheat (3.8% ABV, 30 IBU) is basically the renamed Gratzer from before. The Apricot Wheat (5.3% ABV, 10 IBU) fits the summer weather. The Irish Red was added more recently, Lizard Tail said on Facebook.

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

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

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

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

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739

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

Beers: Both locations — 111 Farmhouse, Hieronymus; Downtown only — Imperial Red, Nitroatmeal; Westside only — none. We now have a breakdown of which seasonals are available at both Marble locations, Downtown and Westside. The popular 111 Farmhouse (7.2% ABV) is back for another summer run and is now at both locations. The Hieronymus (4.5% ABV) was brewed in collaboration with Sun King Brewing. It is kettle-soured and and dry-hopped for a truly unique beer. Also, the nitro tap is back, and as you might guess by the name, Nitroatmeal is the Oatmeal Stout, but dear lord it is so good on nitro.

News: Marble has revamped their website. It kinda really kicks ass now. Click the link above to see what we mean.

Events: Brewery tours occur at the Downtown Pub every Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

In live music this week at the downtown pub, Picklefish performs tonight (Wednesday) from 6 to 9 p.m. The Squash Blossom Boys takes the stage Thursday from 7 to 10 p.m. Drastic Andrew Band performs Friday from 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday will feature a tribute to Jerry Garcia from 5 to 11 p.m. with the Lonn Calanca Band and Detroit Lightning performing back-to-back.

Meredith Wilder performs tonight (Wednesday) from 6 to 9 at the Westside Taproom. Lonesome Doves head west on Friday from 6 to 9.

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100

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

Beers: Q’s Omnipotent Wit, Prosperity Works Belgian Scottish, Extra IPA, U.S.S. Saaz. The most recent addition is the Saaz (6.4% ABV, 30 IBU), which replaces the T.N.G. Porter. As the name might imply, the Saaz is a single-hop beer made with, you guessed it, Czech Saaz hops. Also still on tap are Q’s Omnipotent Wit, a Belgian-style witbier, and the Belgian Scottish was the Beam Me Up Scottish made with Belgian yeast. One dollar from each pint sold goes to Prosperity Works, a local charity. Another recent addition is Extra IPA (7.5% ABV, 100 IBU), which should appease all the thirsty hopheads.

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.

News: The recent renovation/remodel at Nexus is nearly complete and they are fully open for business.

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: ESB, Tropical IPA, Amarillo Red, Bourbon Vanilla Porter, PiPA, Challenge IPA. The most recent addition is the Challenge IPA, which as you might guess is Pi’s NMIPAC entry. The Bourbon Vanilla Porter is an old favorite amongst the Crew. The Tropical IPA and Amarillo Red also call to us. 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. We’ll keep tabs on when Pi itself opens.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

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

Beers: (Regular) Ghost Train IPA, Rip Saw Red, Crosscut Kolsch; (Seasonal) Rauchweizen, Bellamah Brown, American Wheat, Raspberry Gose, Rosa’s Gose. Ponderosa is located at 1761 Bellamah NW, which is just east of Rio Grande and due north of the NM Natural History Museum, in the bottom floor of a swanky-looking apartment/retail complex (they have a sign atop the building now that you cannot miss). The Blanco Bock debuts with a release party Friday. Also on tap are the Bellamah Brown (5% ABV, 30 IBU), American Wheat (5.2% ABV, 16 IBU), and Raspberry Gose (5.5% ABV, 15 IBU). The smoky Rauchweizen (5.3% ABV, 17 IBU) earned high grades from folks when it debuted during ABQ Beer Week.

News: Next up on the beer front is a Barley Wine.

We just had an interview with new brewer Andrew Krosche.

Events: Keith Sanchez will perform Thursday at 6 p.m.

The Blanco Bock Release Party on Friday will feature Tres Pendejos from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri 11 a.m. to midnight, Sat 7 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Beers: (Regular) Gateway Blonde Ale, Roamer Red, Threshold IPA, Paint it Black Milk Stout, Unhinged Cider, Trappe Door Wheat. (Seasonal) Broken Arrow Pale Ale, Vanilla Cream Ale, Ryeson Sun Saison. The most recent addition is the Ryeson, which has to be the first rye saison we have ever of. The Vanilla Cream should get you in a summer mood. The Broken Arrow (5.4% ABV) was made with just Equinox hops for a rather unique, yet multi-faceted, flavor profile.

Events: Saturday morning will mark another round of Beer and Breakfast. From 7 to 10 a.m. you can gather with friends for some food truck-supplied goodies with a pint of beer.

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

Live music is back this week with Tiffany Christopher on Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m.

Sandia Chile Grill — (505) 798-1970

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

Beers: Son Ranger Irish Red, Barb’s Barrel Hefeweizen, Rio Negro Milk Stout, Rattlesnake IPA. These are the four core beers of SCG’s lineup, though we cannot guarantee they are on tap at all times. Give them a call to check and see which beers are available.

Tractor Brewing Company — (505) 433-5654 (Nob Hill Tap Room), (505) 243-6752 (Wells Park)

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

UPDATED >>> Beers: The Ruggles, Desert Heat DIPA, C+C IPA, Farmhouse Saison (Wells Park only), Tupac Cali Red, Berliner Weisse, Dry Apple Cider, Pear Cider, Berry Cider. The most recent addition is The Ruggles (4.4% ABV), a California Common-style beer, sweet and light and great for beating the heat. The Desert Heat (7.9% ABV) debuted recently, offering up a nice malt backbone to balance the heavy hops up front. Berliner Weisse (5.1% ABV) is back at both locations. The popular Tupac Cali Red (6% ABV) is also back for a second run. Another recent addition is the Saison (7% ABV, 25 IBU), an old world-style beer brewed with lemon and orange peel. And if you have friends who are living the gluten-free life, you can take them with you to Tractor and let them choose between four ciders, the standard Apple Hard Cider and four new seasonals in the Dry Apple, Pear, and Berry.

Events: The Thirsty Thursday Music Series returns to Wells Park with Russell James Pyle on stage at 8 p.m.

The Desert Darlings will perform their amazing belly dance routine, with Flamenco, on Friday at 8 p.m.

Saturday at Wells Park, there will be two free events. First up at 1 p.m. is 1st Draught: A Writer’s Workshop. That will be followed by What the Halcyon? A Listening Party at 9 p.m.

Sunday will feature Gesture Drawing & Beers with the Bergens at 1 p.m. at Wells Park.

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

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

Also, every Monday at Nob Hill features each of Tractor’s canned beers on sale for just $2.

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

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

Beers: (House) McDay’s Cream Ale, Oku Amber, Parasol White IPA, Hopshell IPA, Heidelberg Helles, Stauffenberg Stout. (Seasonal/specialty) Cannon Fodder DIPA, Pork & Brew Premium Lager, Care Bear Stare IPA, Kosmonaut Kolsch. 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. The most recent addition is the Kosmonaut Kolsch, a perfect beer for summer. The P&B Premium Lager, as its name might imply, was brewed for the recent Pork & Brew Festival. Cannon Fodder is a big old hop beast, but is not actually Turtle’s NMIPAC entry. That is the new Care Bear Stare, which we have to admit, might be the strangest name for a beer we have seen in a while. And that is saying a lot in this state.

News: 22-ounce bombers of Wilde Jagd, Turtle Mountain’s first bottled beer, are still for sale at the brewery.

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Orogrande, Citra Pale Ale, Imperial Stout, Barleywine. The most recent addition is the Citra PA (6.1% ABV, 55 IBU), a single-hopped delight. Before that they tapped Orogrande (6% ABV), a golden ale. Hoplon IPA, the runner-up at the NM IPA Challenge, and Midnight Red have run out. Blue Corn has brought Imperial Stout and Barleywine kegs out of the cellar to fill in until the next pair of seasonals are ready.

News: Blue Corn brewer James Warren said next up are the Night Train Schwarzbier, an annual crowd favorite, and HALT!-bier.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

(Mon–Sat open at 11 a.m., Sun open at 1 p.m.)

Beers: Hair of the Wolf, Manikin (Scotch Ale), Marcel (Witbier), Bad Amber, Fiction (IPA), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Titian (Golden Strong), Grunewald (Imperial Porter), Dark Ryder (Dark Strong), Stille of the Night (Belgian Dark Sour), Cezanne Printemps (Imperial Saison), Tantalus (Golden Sour), Cezanne Magnifique (Barrel-Aged Imperial Saison). The Stille of the Night debuted at WinterBrew to plenty of acclaim from the folks in attendance. The Cezanne Printemps promises to keep up the tradition of big, big beers from Duel, while the barrel-aged Magnifique is probably even bigger. Marcel and Dark Ryder are back after a short absence. The Hair of the Wolf was brewed to benefit Meow Wolf, a local arts collective. It is described as a spiced ale with other special ingredients. It is available in bottles in limited supply.

Events: Happy-hour Monday through Friday 4-6 p.m. (discounts for all draft beer), Growler Saturdays ($3 off growler fills).

Life Drawing every other Sunday beginning on April 19 (11 a.m.-1 p.m.) $22 includes a drink and a waffle. $15 for students (with ID), or if you don’t want a drink & waffle. Everyone draws from a nude model. People can call the brewery to reserve a spot.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

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

Beers: Black IPA, Chicken Killer, Highland Heath, Santa Fe Gold, Autonomous Collective IPA. The third entry in the ECS (Ever Changing Series) is now available on tap and in bombers in the form of Highland Heath, a barrel-aged Scottish ale that is just heavenly. The Freestyle Pilsner is now available on tap and in cans across the state. The Autonomous Collective would have been SFBC’s NMIPAC entry, but things did not go so well at VIPA. Instead, everyone will just have to drink it at the brewery while the supply lasts. The Santa Fe Gold is now for sale all around the state in six-packs.

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

News: SFBC will soon be opening a taproom in Albuquerque. We got to check out the new digs, with lots of pictures to show for it.

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.)

UPDATED >>> Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Cream Stout, 2920 Pilzner, Railyard Red, Pivotal IPA, Equinox Pale Ale, International Pale Steam. The most recent additions are the Pivotal and Equinox, two old favorites back for another run, plus the Pale Steam. Prior to that SSB tapped Railyard and 2920. The Pivotal and Boneshaker Bitter are often available for purchase in four-packs of cans.

UPDATED >>> Events: On the live music front, the Thursday Patio Series at the original location continues with Jaka’s final performance. Tiffany Christopher will perform Friday and Alpha Cats follow on Saturday.

Over at the Railyard, there will be a Friday doubleheader with Man No Sober and Jono Mansion. Saturday will feature the Santa Fe Reporter‘s Best Of Party. The new Sunday Patio Series will feature Gunsels all month.

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

Every Thursday night, Geeks Who Drink will be at the Railyard at 8 p.m.

Other breweries you need to visit

Bathtub Row Brewing — (505) 500-8381

(Mon–Weds 2–10 p.m., Thurs 2–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–11 p.m., Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Little Bird Blonde, Black Point Stout, Hoppenheimer IPA, Wit Rock, Le Becquerel (Saison), Mild at Heart (English Mild), Red Hammer (Double Red), Big House Belgo (Pale Ale). We are proud to have Los Alamos’ first brewery amid our listings. They currently have four house beers on tap and some guest taps, the latter of which they tend to cycle through pretty quickly. New this week is the Big House, a single-hopped pale ale with Azacca. The Black Point Stout is just screaming for us to come up and try it. The Hoppenheimer IPA has one of our favorite names of any beer in the state. All of the others are new this week, meaning BRB has all eight of their taps filled with their own beer at last!

Events: Bathtub Row hosts an Open Mic Night every Thursday at 6 p.m.

The Full House Party, when they have their full lineup of beers, will be a two-night event this Friday and Saturday. There will be five live bands (two Friday, three Saturday) and a whole lot of delicious beer (see above). Guess I know when the Crew will be heading up. Join us! A full preview will run Thursday.

Twisted Chile Brewing — (575) 835-2949

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun noon-8 p.m.)

Beers: Schwarzbar Black Lager, McFadden Scotch, Zia Pilsner, 790 IPA, Quebradas Sunrise Amber, Hose Co. 1 Red Lager, Twisted Black (IPA). Located in Socorro at 115 Abeyta St. W, Twisted Chile is the first brewery there to brew on site since Socorro Springs outsourced their brewing to Eddyline in Colorado several years ago. I got to head down there recently and enjoyed all the beers I sampled. Kudos to Twisted Chile for bring quality craft beers back to a town that needed ’em. The newest beers on tap are the Twisted Black, Hose Co. 1 Red Lager, Zia Pilsner, and McFadden Scotch. The popular Irish Stout, which came in third in our Stout Challenge, is temporarily out.

Events: Twisted Chile’s one-year anniversary is this Friday and Saturday. See our intro above for more info.

* * * *

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

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Santa Fe will have a new brewery before long, as local homebrew club president John Rowley has assured me. You’ve probably already heard the rumors. You’ve probably already seen their Facebook page. Well, at least 527 of you have. The Dark Side Brew Crew wouldn’t be the most-read beer blog in New Mexico if we didn’t bring you big scoops on the new breweries in town. And as Santa Fe is my territory, I promise to get you all the details as they continue to roll out. Recently John and I met at a (neutral) brewery and had a few pints. For two hours, we talked beer, the business, and hashed out the details of what will soon be Santa Fe’s fifth brewery.

DSBC: So tell us a little about yourself and your partners. What made you guys want to open a brewery in Santa Fe?

Rowley: So, I’ve been wanting to do a brewery for a while. It’s one of these things that, you know, as a homebrewer you kinda crave eventually to get into bigger and bigger batches. And for what I want to do, it’s mainly the barrels. You can’t really do the whole lot of 265-liter wine barrels in your garage.

DSBC: Not as a homebrewer.

Rowley: You can do one or two. Three or four and if you have a wife, she starts talking about divorce. But yeah, as a homebrewer you just want to grow and do bigger and bigger things.

DSBC: And you reach limitations at a certain level.

Rowley: For me, it’s like, I got all this beer. I can’t drink it all myself. I really want to share it with everyone. I can’t sell it as a homebrewer. I can’t really do anything with it. You can kind of give it away. You can do a little bit of trading, but it takes a while trying to convince people that this is better than (regular) homebrew. This is really good beer. So, I think the next logical step is to go pro. Let’s serve the local community with my passion. I want to make good beer. That’s all I want to do is make the best beer I can make.

DSBC: A worthy goal. Tell me a little about your partners.

Rowley: So, I have two partners. One partner is going to remain unnamed at this time. He’s a well-known chef. He’s got a local following of his own. I think that’s kind of advantageous. Santa Fe’s the kind of town where you need to have food. The City Council is not really too hip on places opening without a food component. We saw that with Duel. And everywhere there’s a beer place, there’s some food. Maybe not at Eldorado, but there is food, next door, and they bring it over, that kind of thing. But yeah, I think it’s responsible to have food. You’re selling beer. You don’t want people to get torn up and drive around.

DSBC: Plus, I think food sells beer, too.

Rowley: Yeah, they go together. It’s kind of a perfect pairing. I think a place that doesn’t have food can sell one or two pints, and then people are gonna get hungry and go somewhere else. I’d rather have a place that has some food. You can have more than a couple pints, have some food, a family-friendly place to hang out. People talk about tables turning over. You know, I don’t really care about that. Maybe my partners do. For me it’s more about having a good time and having a good experience for everyone. So, for that, we have a chef, well known, well regarded, (who) has that local following.

DSBC: That’s pretty important in Santa Fe. How about your third partner?

Rowley: My third partner is a chemist. I work with him at the lab. He’s a great guy. He bought the building. He has no brewing experience whatsoever.

DSBC: That’s where you come in.

Rowley: But, at the same time, he’s real friendly and a really personable guy. I think he would do well just hangin’ out and talking to people. And he’s actually expressed an interest in learning how to brew. So I think I’m gonna have to teach him at some point.

DSBC: Oh, he’s gonna have to learn.

Rowley: I was hopin’ to put him to work, more with the bottling and those kinds of things, because those are the things I don’t like as much.

DSBC: Teach him how to clean kegs.

Rowley: Yeah. (Laughs) You know, being a brewer is just a glorified cleaning man, really. You gotta clean, constantly. So, that’s fine, though. We’re gonna find … I’m hoping to find a good young brewer to kind of teach and hire full time. Cause I’m not gonna leave the lab right away. I’d like to find someone that I can have some faith in, someone that really sees the vision.

DSBC: Someone who listens.

Rowley: Yeah, and someone that’s a hard worker, too, someone with a big back, cause we’re moving barrels. What we’re doing is old school. It’s a combination of old-world and modern techniques. We’re not going to be making the next IPA Challenge beer. That’s not us. If we do the IPA Challenge, it’s gonna be a Brett IPA. It’s gonna be obvious that it’s ours. (Laughs) I don’t even know if we fit in that category.

DSBC: Oh, I don’t know. The IPA Challenge is pretty diverse. I wouldn’t let that stop you. But, anyway, let’s get back to your vision. You guys had this dream to open the brewery. But what makes believe that it might succeed here?

Rowley: Well, one thing I think about Santa Fe is we need more breweries. You hear all this talk nowadays about, are we saturated? Are there too many breweries? If you look back to pre-Prohibition, there was a brewery on every corner. There was a brewery serving this part of town and that part of town. It wasn’t these big macrobrewries. It was really very local.

DSBC: It was almost like the local bar.

Rowley: Yeah, it was almost like the local bar. And my grandfather had a bar in Rochester, New York, during prohibition. He ran it the whole time. I think he was sellin’ beer to cops. My mom said my grandfather would be real proud of me, if he was alive today. But, I really like the whole local kind of focus on your neighborhood kind of concept. And I really think that Santa Fe needs more of that. Santa Fe’s weird. We’ve got four or five breweries now?
DSBC: Mm-hmm. Four.

Rowley: You know, that’s not very many, if you think about it.

DSBC: We’re not keeping up with the population.

Rowley: We’re definitely not doing well. And Santa Fe’s a tourist town. We could do really well with more beer options. You go to Bend, Oregon, they’ve got like 10 to 15 breweries. You know, people go there because of that and I don’t see why Santa Fe can’t be like that. So, I’m not the only brewery opening. There’s a couple more coming down the pipeline and I think it’s great. It’s not gonna hurt the community to have more breweries.

DSBC: Hear, hear! Why don’t we talk about your brewery? What are your plans for Sub Rosa Cellars?

Rowley: What we plan to do, it’s kind of like two businesses in one. There’s gonna be a taproom. The taproom is gonna have a lot of guest taps. I’m not afraid of that. We’re not gonna be able to produce a lot of beer. We’re gonna be focusing on bottle conditioning. And we still have some taps. But I think a real big component is to have a lot of well-curated taps, so we’re gonna work hard to get as many cool beers as we can get.

DSBC: Awesome.

Rowley: And you know, there’s a lot of stuff like this, right now. But there’s a lot of homogeneity, too. You know, every place now has a Sculpin (IPA). Every place has this similar lineup. I want to work on a unique, well-curated beer list, and that will be a lot of our business, along with the food, and then we’re gonna be doing the brewery which focuses on bottles and bottle releases, something along the lines of Casey, I don’t know if you’ve been to Casey yet.

DSBC: Not that Casey.

Rowley: Something more rustic, traditional. So, it really is kind of two things in the same places. So, all of the fermentation is gonna take place in wood. You know, I’m not gonna buy any stainless steel fermenters. Everything’s gonna be done in puncheons, which are 130-gallon oak barrels, converted into primary fermenters. And hopefully we can do well and eventually we’ll move into foeders, which are bigger oak vessels. They don’t have quite as much character, but at the same time you can brew more beer. Places like Jester King, Crooked Stave, they have foeders. New Belgium is known for having the most foeders. I think it’s on my Facebook cover page, there’s a picture of the foeder wall at New Belgium, which is insane. It’s so big. Those aren’t our type of aspirations, but it’s really cool at the same time. I really have a thing for foeders.

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New Belgium’s Foeder Forest. Picture courtesy of John Rowley’s Facebook page. If you have a thing for foeders, does that make you a foedie? Or do you have a foed fetish? Those are the things that keep Luke awake at night.

DSBC: Tell me a little about the brewhouse.

Rowley: So, we have a three-barrel brewhouse. We’re also gonna be brewing with Santa Fe Brewing. I haven’t nailed down details with Brian (Lock), but every time I’ve talked to Brian, he’s on board with getting some contract work for me. And that would at least be a good way to get started. Or, if we’re in a pinch, and we need a lot of work.

DSBC: The larger brewery is a very possible way to get that done.

Rowley: Yeah, and you know, a lot of sour breweries do this. They don’t have their own brewhouse. Like the Rare Barrel in Berkeley, they contract out with Heretic.

DSBC: Now, is there any fear … I mean you’re not adding the Brett yet, so there’s no way of infecting the brewhouse or anything.

Rowley: No, no, it won’t hurt Santa Fe at all. There’s no chance. We’ll have clean totes. Yeah, we’ll just fill the tote with wort. It’s basically the same thing that Santa Fe Spirits was doing when Nick (Jones) started working there. He would make wort at Santa Fe Brewing, put it in a tote, move it over to their location and then pitch the yeast. I think we would ideally do the same thing. Or, if there’s a beer, say there’s a dry-hop, clean Saison that I want to do, Brian would be amenable to using my recipe and doing the whole thing and putting it into kegs. I don’t see that being something we do a lot of, maybe a few times, but to do a 30-barrel batch, that’s a log of kegs for me to deal with. I’m not really lookin’ to get into the keg distribution business.

DSBC: What are we looking at in terms of annual production projection? Also, will it mostly be bottle sales and such?

Rowley: Yeah, mostly bottle sales. Some percentage of the beer will go into kegs. I’m a real big fan of natural conditioning, so I like bottle-conditioned beers. I think the same could be said for keg-conditioned beers. Just add the sugar and let it do its own thing. It has this quality that you can’t really get from force carbonation. And I’m hoping that will be the case for us as well. I don’t do a whole lot of keg conditioning at home, so that’s something that I’m gonna have to learn how to work on. I usually bottle all these batches of the sour beers, just bottle the whole thing.

DSBC: Wow.

Rowley: And I really like that. And I think people will kind of appreciate that. We’re gonna try to do everything in 750-ml bottles.

DSBC: So champagne bottle size?

Rowley: Exactly, and so you have a bottle, you go share it with a friend. It’s really trying to promote more social drinking, being social with your friends and bottle sharing. There are some breweries selling the 375-ml bottles, single-serving, if you will. (Laughs) But, I’m not a huge fan of them. I like the social aspect of having the 750, bringing it to your friend’s house, or if you got a girlfriend.

DSBC: It’s like what Santa Fe Brewing is doing with their Los Innovadores and ECS beers.

Rowley: Yeah, and I like that concept.

DSBC: Sort of speaking of being social, are you guys thinking about any entertainment for the taproom? Is there a space for that?

Rowley: There’s not really a whole lot of space back there for that, but we do want to do something along those lines. I think what we’re planning on doing is doing kind of an outdoor area, kind of like Second Street, where they have that outdoor patio with the tree, and we would try to do a music thing out there. We’re not trying to focus on being a music venue. We might have a small component, and my partner Derek, he’s gonna work on that. He’s really gonna be the entertainment side of the business. He’s comfortable with that. He doesn’t even drink beer, which is weird.

DSBC: [Cue spit take.]

Rowley: He drinks those iced tea and lemonade mix … I can’t even say it.

DSBC: Arnold Palmers.

Rowley: Yeah. (laughs) He loves that shit. We might have to have one of those on draft, you know, a nitro version, a nitro cold brew.

DSBC: Dear god.

Rowley: Yeah, I don’t like the idea either.

DSBC: Speaking of what’s on draft, let’s talk about beer selection. Now, I keep hearing from people things like, “So I heard a sour place is opening up in Santa Fe.” Now, I know Sub Rosa Cellars is not a “House of Sours,” like Cascade, catering to only the most hipsterish of Santa Fe, but how about you set the record straight for the people?

Rowley: No, no, we don’t care for hipsters. We’re not looking to bring in those types of people. But we are looking at mixed-fermentation brewing. So, I’m gonna be brewing with a mixed house culture that I’ve been developing for a long time. I’m really happy with where it’s at right now. It’s a mix of wild captured yeast and lab wild yeast and some Brettanomyces. I don’t know how many strains of Brett there are in there by this point, probably nine. I have to really work on the clarification of that. I am gonna do some lab work, before we get started, just so we have like a slant that we can work off of. Right now I’ve just been re-culturing bottles that I make, so I’ve been using it over and over and over. And I can continue to do that, that’s not an issue. I really wanna do more lab work on that. I think there are a couple souring bacterias in there, so the beer is gonna sour. And I’ve also done a lot of Berliner Weisse Style, like lacto with primaries, and switch over to Brett. We’re gonna really do kind of a house culture beer, and that’s gonna be a mixed fermentation saison, and there are gonna be a lot of variants on that, like dry-hop versions. Some people like more herbal versions, Rosemary kind of stuff. That’s not really my thing, but I think we’ll probably throw one or two of those into the mix, just for diversity’s sake.

DSBC: So what would your lineup look like? If you had to …

Rowley: If I had to just guess, right now? Cause, really it’s gonna be organic. Like, OK, this week, what are we gonna do? You know, let’s do a cucumber Gose. That kind of thing. It’s really gonna be seasonal in a way. I’m gonna have a base saison. That’s gonna get a lot of treatments. We’re also gonna have a base sour beer, a golden sour beer, that’s gonna get a lot of different treatments as well. Probably the sour beer, itself, is gonna get fruited in many ways, cause I’ve been trying to develop this relationship with these guys in Velarde who grow a lot of fruit. And Crazy Rob’s got a guy that I haven’t met yet, and he’s really tight with him, he has a lot of trees, he has seven, eight hundred trees, all kinds of peaches, cherries, so I’m really hoping to get a relationship with that guy, once we get going, to actually go and pick through with him, and so yeah, fruited sours. I really have a thing for dark sour beer. I don’t think a lot of people do. Maybe that’ll be more of a winter time thing, like Oud Bruins, maybe like a Black Cherry Oud Bruin. We can fruit the saisons as well. But, really, it’s not gonna be a consistent thing. There’s gonna be a lot of variety with that.

DSBC: Now, something I see, when you look at little towns, you see people sort of gravitate toward one style of beer, or one beer that they like, and they really latch on, and they get really upset when that’s gone. What do you think makes Santa Fe a good place for mixed fermentation farmhouse ales on a seasonal rotation?

Rowley: I think there is a thirst for this beer here. No one’s doing this beer. I have a thirst for it! I have to go out and trade for it, brew it myself. And I understand, there’s really a big risk in doing this. If you’re a brewery like Santa Fe Brewing, and established, you can get away with that.

DSBC: And they did, with their Saison 88 for the 25th anniversary beer.

Rowley: Yeah and props to that. Gabe did a great job with that beer. I drank a lot of that beer.

DSBC: I think a lot of people could really like the saison, they just don’t know it yet.

Rowley: I think that’s probably true. People aren’t going to go out and buy 750’s of Saison Dupont. You know, that might be a classic example of a saison, but it’s really not a great example, I think. Saison is such an open thing. The style is really open to interpretation, and I really like kind of the more recent developments, the more American versions with a lot of dry-hops, more oats, less sugar, less thinness. I want to focus on more drinkable beers.

DSBC: And the saison has so many nuances …

Rowley: Yeah, definitely. Saison is my muse, and I want to treat her well.

DSBC: Excellent. One last question. How far are you guys along on your progress so far?

Rowley: We’ve applied for most of our permits so far. We basically own the building. We’re ready to go. We just need to start our build-out. So, where we’re at right now, is we’re doing a private placement. So, we’re selling approximately 28 percent of the company to investment. So, we’ve identified a fair amount of investors. Once we go through this private placement period, which is basically gonna take 120 days. And how that works is we’ve set a minimum of investment of $150,000, once we hit that number, we can start drawing that money out of the account and using it. We have a general contractor. He’s gonna do our build-out. He’s gonna apply for permits. We have an architect. He’s gonna draw it all up. Those are the first two things we need to do. We basically have it all laid out already. We know where everything’s gonna go. We know how it’s all gonna lay out, but we need engineering documents for the city. The architect’s gonna do that for us. That’s gonna turn into plans for the contractor. Once the permits for the construction begin then we’re gonna help and go in there and we’re gonna build the bar and tear out all the existing structure in that part of the building.

DSBC: I can see it now.

Rowley: The contractors will do work, as well. We’re gonna try to minimize as much of his work as possible, but he has a lot of work to do. I think our plan is solid. The cool thing is we’re not building a traditional brewery where we have to order a huge brewhouse and it comes in six months to one year later. Puncheons are already sourced. They’re all ready to go. We just have to set ‘em up. I mean, that’s gonna be the easiest part of the process. I’ve been personally building the brewhouse, myself. I’ve got a guy in Los Alamos I’ve been working with for years. He’s a fantastic welder. So the frame is already done. I just need a little bit more work on the heat shields, and then I can install the burners and the plumbing, and wire it all up, and then order kettles, and then we’re good to go. So really, the brewhouse is not going to be a limitation for us.

DSBC: It’s just things like electrical work, the plumbing …

Rowley: Yep, and the drains. That’s gonna take a little while. But I still think we’re gonna come in at a good time. I think we’re gonna be OK.

DSBC: So, I know how it works, with projected dates. You know where I work … so, do you have any kind of time-frame for our readers?

Rowley: We’re hoping for the beginning of the year. That’s our current number, which is a little less than 6 months now. It may bleed over a little bit, but I think that’s fairly realistic.

* * * * *

With the multitude of breweries opening up in New Mexico, and more on the way, I think I agree with John. The more the merrier. Let us be another great craft beer destination. When Marble pulled out of Santa Fe, we weren’t exactly lacking for good beer. (Thankfully.) And don’t get me wrong, they’re totally missed, but here in our small town we still have four solid breweries that I consider powerhouses in what they do and what they bring to the table.

But Santa Fe is not a craft beer town, either. Not yet. I still know too many folks that will only drink what dad used to drink. That will change with time and with more breweries appearing on the Guild’s map. Let the dark corners of the internet wonder if our little state is reaching the point of saturation. I don’t think we will, not for a long while, but in the meantime, more breweries means at least one thing — that brewers and craft businesses must continue to step up their game to keep us walking through their doors. But to all newcomers, I say welcome to our state of craft beer. Good luck to you all. I hope to be trying new brews of yours for years to come.

To Sub Rosa Cellars, I will say this: I couldn’t be more excited for your brewery to open its doors. Our town has too few examples of a carefully curated tap list. I’m thrilled for your business. As it is, you’ll get plenty of mine. The season of the saison is nearly upon Santa Fe. They may not know what they’re in for, but I really believe they’ll love it once it’s here.

Cheers!

— Luke
For more #CraftBeer info and more @nmdarksidebc news, follow me on Twitter @SantaFeCraftBro!

Kaylynn said we could reuse this somewhat ridiculous photo of her, so, we did.

Kaylynn said we could reuse this somewhat ridiculous photo of her, so, we did.

Many, many moons ago when we were in the midst of our NM Women in Brewing Series, I was asked by one of the Brew Crew writers when I was going to do a story on Nexus’ Kaylynn McKnight, the only current woman to hold the title of head brewer anywhere in the state. “I’m saving her for last,” I said before I went to interview her near the end of May. Fast forward two months and Kaylynn asked me if the story was ever going to run, or if it had already and she somehow missed it.

Well, I had been waiting to see if we had any additional stories in the series, and then life got in the way, and other beer news and events happened and, well, um, uh … Sorry it took so long. Here you go, Kaylynn. Our interview from long, long ago, in all of its glory.

(And as a side note, this is not necessarily the end of the series; if other stories pop up about women working in key roles in the craft brewing scene in New Mexico, we will still run them. As of now, however, none are planned. If you know of someone we should feature, drop us a line at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com).

NMDSBC: You’re unique in your position this state, which kind of has you caught between wanting to be seen as a brewer first, but at the same time there are a lot of women who look to you as a trail blazer of sorts. How do you balance that?

Kaylynn: It’s been kind of a hard balance between the two of them. I think it’s wonderful that I’ve gotten the opportunity and gotten to work so hard in being a head brewer. That’s hard enough as it is these days. There is a lot of attention focused on the fact I am a woman. It’s kind of novel because it’s so rare. But I really think that’s it hard for anybody to work their way up into this position. I don’t know, I just feel really lucky, but I was trained so well and supported by my parents, my fellow brewers, my friends. It kind of helped with that support.

NMDSBC: You ask people to judge a beer you made just on its quality, not as a beer made by a woman. What kind of feedback do you get from people in the beer community and the general public? Does it differ at all?

Kaylynn: That’s why I love sending off my beer to competitions. You get honest, brutal advice and feedback. It’s really nice, they don’t know who brewed it, they don’t necessarily know where it came from. Which is really cool, from GABF I got comment cards back. I haven’t entered anything in the State Fair, but I might next time it comes around. People that I know, when they come in, they’re just, ‘Oh, you’re doing a great job!’ They tend to be a little bit biased. I think that tends to be anybody’s friends, ‘Oh, I know the brewer, you gotta try this beer it’s so great!’ I think they tend to be a little biased for anybody whose buddy is brewing the beer.

I’ve actually heard some really good, what I think is unbiased feedback, when I’ve had a couple friends report to me that they’re sitting at another local brewery and they’ll overhear somebody else’s conversation saying, ‘Oh, man, the beer at Nexus has gotten so much better. This beer is awesome over there!’ It’s been really nice to hear things like that.

I love my friends, it’s nice to hear things back. I’ve run into groups of women that have come in here and had the beers and they’ll have a couple pints or flights and they’ll say, ‘We heard there’s a woman (brewing) and we came here to try your beer!’ That’s cool, I don’t mind. Getting more women to come in and drink, that’s always a good thing. It doesn’t have to be all about that.

NMDSBC: Do you ever find other women in the industry or those who want to get into the industry come to you more now for advice? Or are they still kind of shy about it? How has it worked since you’ve taken over here?

Kaylynn: Well, the women I know in the industry have all been good friends for a while. It hasn’t changed too much. The bartenders are always fun to talk to, go out and drink beers with and that. The other female brewers in town, we’ve been pretty close. There hasn’t been much change in going to each other and helping each other out.

NMDSBC: I know Santa Fe’s Monica Mondragon has started a Pink Boots Society chapter here in New Mexico. When you see something like that, is it a positive in your mind, is it something you’re interested in, or just how do you view it?

Kaylynn: I think it’s a positive. I think it’s a very cool thing. I would be really interested in going to one of her chapter meetings. I didn’t last time because it was after an event … it was after the Albuquerque brewing conference. I couldn’t make it out that day, but I’d be very interested in going to one some day.

I think it’s just great, Pink Boots Society gives women scholarship opportunities and more. When I was in the airport in Oakland, coming back from the Craft Brewers Conference, I ran into a lady sitting at a Gordon Biersch bar at the airport, and I happened to be sitting next to her and we started talking about the Draft Tower. She ended up being one of the founders of Pink Boots Society. We were talking about glycol lines, some really technical stuff. She gave me her card, said call me anytime. It was just wonderful to have that kind of community and meet another member of the Pink Boots Society in a random airport bar.

NMDSBC: I’ve actually been to that bar in the Oakland airport. I was so happy to find good beer.

Kaylynn: Oh, it’s great, right next to the terminal. They had Racer 5 on tap.

NMDSBC: Anyway, the question we’ve asked everyone to get their different viewpoints, sort of a nice way of saying it is what took so long for women to move back into brewing? Luke did the historical research that said women were the original brewers before men took over. It’s been a slow and steady growth, moving women out of the front-of-house where they have long been to the back-of-house, plus we’re seeing more and more women as customers of craft beer. So in your opinion, what took so long?

Kaylynn: That’s a good question. My first thought was maybe the demand for beer growing? … Lack of technology, heavier lifting, not a lot of women being able to lift them? I don’t know. That’s the first thing I can think of.

NMDSBC: Yeah, there is that perception, which is being proven wrong that women aren’t strong enough to do the heavy lifting. We joked once that Anna (Kornke) is ‘strong like bull’ at Marble, but the truth is she really is stronger than a lot of men.

Kaylynn: I finally can lift a keg by myself. I couldn’t when I first started. The first thing I think about, technology was pretty rough back then. Then the demand boomed, so they had to do something about transporting and packaging the beer, and technology is getting better now. I don’t know, I have no idea.

NMDSBC: Yeah, it’s a tough one. I think everyone has a different view. As for the increase in female customers, men are willing to go by themselves. Women used to always travel in groups for the fear that being a single woman in a bar leaves you vulnerable or something. And then there used to be this stereotype that women didn’t drink beer, they drank wine or mixed drinks and left the beer for the guys. That’s changing now, too.

Kaylynn: I think that’s another thing, too, more women start drinking beer or start knowing good, craft beer. It’s not just yellow, fizzy beer. Maybe they go and try a stout and love it. So then they home brew. Then they want to brew it on a bigger scale. All the different styles might be attracting more women to it.

NMDSBC: When you went up to the CBC, did you see more women present? Or was it hard to tell who was who in terms of what their jobs were and the sheer overwhelming number of all the people there?

Kaylynn: It’s so overwhelming, especially on the trade show floor, looking at all the shiny equipment. But, there was definitely a good ratio of women. The percentage around was higher. I know Anna went up there from Marble. Other than that, all the women I know from New Mexico that went up are taproom managers, bartenders, social media.

NMDSBC: If an aspiring female brewer came to you and asked for some advice as to what paths she should take to eventually became a head brewer, what would you tell her and how it would it differ now than when you were starting out?

Kaylynn: Depending on where they were coming from, whether it’s someone with no experience at all …

NMDSBC: Let’s say a college grad, cap and gown in hand.

Kaylynn: I would tell them, depending on their degree, a biology degree go Anna’s route and get into it. That would be an automatic foot in the door. But for me, there was no real degree starting out, be ready to do all the grunt work, be ready to get your hands dirty, be ready to spend your day in a warehouse that gets really, really hot and really cold, get sweaty and get covered in grain and yeast and hops and scrub the floors. Then, eventually, you might learn to transfer a beer, eventually brew it. You can’t (not) be ready to do hard work. That’s what the job is. If you go in expecting it to be glorious, it’s not that. That’s what I would tell somebody trying to get into the industry.

NMDSBC: The industry as a whole has exploded. There are probably a lot more people wanting jobs in it right now than are available. Do you ever sit back and go, ‘Phew, I’m lucky to get in it when I did’?

Kaylynn: Definitely. I can’t believe, when I go back to La Cumbre now and look around at their expansions and their new brewhouse, I think about when it was just me and Jeff back there and there were three fermenters and space for days. I’m just blown away by how fast this industry has blown up. Even when I used to go to Marble, that place has just blown up. I met all the guys working back there when there were five people. Now there’s 20 at any given time. I feel very lucky to have gotten in when I did and where I did. La Cumbre was a great place to learn.

NMDSBC: We’re starting to see a lot places becoming more serious about actual brewing degrees. Oregon State has a four-year program now. Do you see the industry going in favor of that way or still going more with the people starting as packaging technicians and working their way up the ladder? Will it differ between the bigger and smaller breweries?

Kaylynn: I think it could differ between the bigger and smaller places. I know UC Davis has the internship program. I think it’s a really good tool for people to learn. They know they have the book smarts, but they don’t necessarily have the hands-on experience, even when they go to intern at the brewery. Are they ready to work full-time in a brewery or open a brewery after completing that program? Personally, I don’t think so. But if you get hired in a brewery and get some experience, that’s a wonderful option. You should learn as much as you can. Knowledge is power, but experience is also (important).

* * * * *

Thank you again to Kaylynn for the interview and being patient while waiting for me to finally sit down and transcribe the recording. It also makes me realize that I am overdue for a Nexus trip to try some of her new beers and, of course, wolf down some chicken and waffles.

As I said above, if any of you out there know of a woman working in the industry who you think deserves a feature, drop us a line. I will be swamped with Isotopes coverage (17 home games in the next 22 days), but I have a whole army of writers. Right, Brew Crew?

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s four breweries and a pair of newcomers, one down in Socorro and the other in Los Alamos, also joining the party.

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.

Man, time flies. No, we are not just talking about the fact E-Rock’s 20-year high school reunion was last weekend (which sadly means mine is in a year; yes, I’m that old). We are also talking about the fact that this weekend Boxing Bear and Twisted Chile will be celebrating their respective one-year anniversaries. Yup, the Bear is already a year old. In that span they have made some great brews, hosted a beer festival, and hosted the final round of the IPA Challenge. Oh, yeah, and they even won the Brew Crew’s Stout Challenge back on Super Bowl Sunday in their first year of competing with Standing 8 Stout. Now it is their turn to say thank you to everyone with a two-day celebration. From their Facebook event page: “Come out and celebrate 365 days of Beary goodness with fun events Friday night and all day Saturday. Cali Shaw will be playing some awesome tunes from 6-9 p.m. on Friday. We’ll be tapping a couple of different very limited release libations (an apple mead and a funky sour Old Ale) to honor our homebrewing roots and connection to Southwest Grape & Grain. One will be tapped Friday night and one during the day on Saturday. We’ll also have SWAG giveaways for our Facebook followers. Follow our posts Friday night and Saturday for announcements to check with your server to see if you are the first to respond and collect your prize. Hats, T-shirts, pint glasses, etc. will be given away throughout the party. We’ll also have some special giveaways for our Champions Club members to thank them for their support during our first year. Check back for additional details.” So for everyone who does not have a couple of Isotopes games to cover this weekend, trek on out to the West Side and enjoy the festivities. Happy birthday, Boxing Bear! We can’t wait to see what you have in store for Year Two.

As for Twisted Chile, they are partying it up this weekend as well. Over the last year they have brought fresh, locally made craft beer back to a town that was screaming for it, while also providing great food and a venue for local musicians to perform. From an email: “We are having music by Gleewood on the (Friday) from 7 to 10 p.m. Mose McCormack Band (performs) on Saturday with pint & pizza specials and a special treat Saturday evening while the band is playing.” So basically you can do one anniversary party Friday and another Saturday. Aw, come on, if you survived NMIPAC, your liver can handle this, too.

Meanwhile, there are a few new beers around town this week. Back Alley has brewed up some Ryejus Red, plus a fresh batch of Soroche IPA and they have an Oak-Aged Pre-Prohibition IPA available. Bosque just tapped the Pink Elephants on Parade, another contender for most unique beer name of the year. Boxing Bear has unleashed another hit with Umbers Cucumbers. Chama River brought back Radioactive IPA, just as promised. Marble has Hieronymus, a kettle-soured delight, and the Nitroatmeal, which is their Oatmeal Stout on nitro. Nexus is heading for the stars on board the U.S.S. Saaz.

Up in Santa Fe, Second Street has brought back Railyard Red and Fulcrum IPA. Over in Los Alamos, Bathtub Row has a fresh batch of Hoppenheimer IPA. Down in Socorro, Twisted Chile debuts Twisted Black (IPA).

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of July 20.

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

Albuquerque metro area breweries

ABQ Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

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

Beers: Imperial IPA, Red Ale, Cherry Sour. ABP carries beers from Rio Grande/Sierra Blanca. 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. Adam and I just got to try two new brews from Benjamin Couger that are on tap at ABP. The Imperial IPA is a big old blast of hops, but not the usual suspects like Simcoe or Centennial (at least, we didn’t think so). The Red Ale is a smooth, biscuit-y delight. The new addition is a Cherry Sour, the first sour ever produced by the folks at RG/SB.

Albuquerque Brewing Co. — (505) 797-1842

(Mon–Fri 1-10 p.m., Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun noon-8 p.m.)

Beers: Possessive IPA, SuMariOatmeal Stout, 505 Bananas (Saison). Located at 8620 Pan American Blvd., on the east side of I-25 and between Paseo del Norte and Alameda, ABC is now open and ready for business. In addition to the house beers, there are often guest taps, plus the plan is to have at least one beer on a nitro tap at all times. For more info on ABC, you can check out my advance preview. The Possessive is back on tap after a short absence. For now, the 505 Bananas and SMO Stout are out, but brewer Mike Marsh said both should be back on tap by the end of the week.

Back Alley Draft House — (505) 766-8590

(Mon–Weds 4 p.m. to midnight, Thurs–Sat 4 p.m. to midnight or later, Sun 4 p.m. to midnight)

Beers: Malt Tonic, Cali Common, Belgian Wit, Oak-Aged Pre-Prohibition IPA, Ryejus Red, Soroche IPA. An old favorite returns in the Soroche. The oak-aged version of the Pre-Pro IPA is now available. The Ryejus is also new this week. Running out for the time being are the Ameriweiss and the popular Ladron’s Peak.

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

All beers are $1 off on Tuesdays.

The Blue Grasshopper — (505) 896-8579

(Noon to 11 p.m. most days, call for more info)

Beers: Dunkel Weizen. The Dunkel Weizen went on tap recently. BG goes through their beers fast, so hurry out to try it. If you have not made it out there yet, the Grasshopper is located at 4500 Arrowhead Ridge Road in Rio Rancho, just off Highway 528.

News: Next up on the beer list is a Belgian-style IPA. They are also working on opening a patio soon and will have Cherry Bomb, which has been aging for six months, on tap to celebrate once it is open.

Click the link above to check out the new Blue Grasshopper website, with updated lists of guest beers, a full menu, and a full music listing.

Events: The Grasshopper has live music from 6 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday through Saturday.

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

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

Beers: EKG Pale Ale, Driftwood on nitro, Scale Tipper IPA, Departure Witbier, Red Dawn IPA, Pink Elephants on Parade. All beers listed are on tap at all three locations, unless noted. You all have to be wondering what the heck is Pink Elephants on Parade (5.5% ABV, 12 IBU). Well, it earned this awesome description from the Bosque staff: “Enough with the fruit nuance, put it out in front! Packed with raspberry and cranberry puree, this American-style wheat ale clocks in at just over a one pound of fruit per gallon! On top of the fruity flavor contributions, the fruit adds a slight sweetness and tartness. Unfiltered, medium-full bodied, and colored with a Sandia sunset.” Red Dawn (5.5% ABV, 100 IBU), a hoppy red ale, went on tap recently as the second entry in the ongoing Monsoon IPA series. It is big in flavor but not in potency. Another recent addition is the Departure (4.9% ABV, 12 IBU), a witbier made with orange peel, coriander, and Belgian yeast. Scale Tipper, the two-time NMIPAC winner and current National IPA champion, is on tap until supplies run out. The other seasonal is the EKG Pale (5% ABV, 25 IBU). Driftwood Oatmeal Stout is now on nitro at all three locations. It is creamy, burly goodness personified in a beer.

Cask: From now on, Bosque will have their firkin filled every Wednesday, available only at Nob Hill. This week’s beer is Scale Tipper.

News: Congratulations to Bosque for winning their second straight NM IPA Challenge with Scale Tipper. Earlier this year, Bosque also claimed the Brewing News National IPA Challenge with Scale Tipper. It marks the second year in a row a New Mexico brewery won the NIPAC, following La Cumbre’s Project Dank taking the title last year.

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

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

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

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

Beers: (Regular) Paw Swipe Pale Ale, Hairy Mit Hefe, Standing 8 Stout, Ambear Ale, Uppercut IPA, Apple Bear Hard Cider; (Seasonal) Rye Mouth, Body Czech Bohemian Pilsner, K.O. Kolsch, Black and Blue Sour, Sucker Punch DIPA, Title Clincher IPA, Umbers Cucumbers. The most recent addition to taps is Umbers Cucumbers, which as the name might imply is a cucumber beer. It got high marks from the hopheads, believe it or not, during the NMIPAC. Prior to that, Boxing Bear unleashed the Black and Blue Sour, a purple-colored delight that does not overpower like sours often do. Title Clincher was made with about 10 pounds of hops per barrel; it came in seventh. Not bad for their first showing in the NMIPAC. If that’s not enough hops for you, try Sucker Punch (8.1% ABV, 125 IBU), a monstrous, piney, resinous DIPA. The newest before that were the Rye Mouth and K.O. Kolsch. The Body Czech (4.3% ABV, 40 IBU) is a great way to start your flight. The Standing 8 Stout (6.3% ABV, 45 IBU), which is on tap at all times, claimed the 2015 Stout Challenge, held by the Crew before the last Super Bowl. Head on over to indulge in this beast of a beer. The Apple Bear Hard Cider (5% ABV) is now permanently on tap.

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

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

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

Boxing Bear’s one-year anniversary party is this weekend. See our intro above for more details.

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: Rob Van Winkle Stout, Xico (Chico) Suave, FREDD’s Apple Ale, Stinky Pinky Hefeweizen. This seasonal list may already be out of date, so call the brewery for an updated list. The Stinky Pinky (5.4% ABV) is a popular grapefruit hefe. The FREDD’s (5.2% ABV) is a hybrid of a cider and an American Ale. The Xico (6% ABV) is a spiced beer. The Rob Van Winkle (5.7% ABV) is a vanilla stout. Take note, the Drunken Hobo Milk Stout has replaced the Mulligan Stout in the regular lineup. Also joining the regular lineup now is the Elixir Vanilla Cream Ale.

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

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737

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

Beers: Irish Red, Bombshell Red, Hoppyweizer, Marzen, Centennial Pale Ale, English Summer Ale, Exodus IPA. The most recent additions are the English Summer and old favorite Exodus. Before that came Bombshell (5.6% ABV, 26 IBU), a sweet little red ale, and Centennial PA (6.2% ABV, 60 IBU), which has a nice backbone to balance out those hops. An old favorite, the Marzen (5.6% ABV, 22 IBU), also came back recently. The Hoppyweizer (6.1% ABV, 40 IBU) is a hopped-up wheat beer created in collaboration with the team at ABQBeer.com.

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

Events: Live music is back at the Canteen. Keith Sanchez plays Sunday at 3 p.m. and Alex Maryol will be on the patio Tuesday at 6 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), Chupacabra IPA, Piedra del Fuego Stoned Cream Ale, Beer for My Horses (Oatmeal Stout), Inebriator (Doppelbock), Primo (Brown Ale). E-Rock and I had a chance to sample the Piedra del Fuego (5% ABV), which we both recommend. According to Cazuela’s menu: “This cream ale uses red-hot stones to super caramelize the sugars, creating a nutty, toffee-like flavor.” The Inebriator (8% ABV) and the Papacabra (9.7% ABV) are the biggest beers in the lineup. I also recommend the Primo, a solid English-style brown ale that I finally got to try at Blues & Brews.

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

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

Beers: Schwarzbier, Cherry Tart, Lupulo Lager, Radioactive IPA. So which IPA did Franz Solo and Brandon select as their favorite at the final round of NMIPAC? Why, that would be Radioactive, Chama’s annual nuclear blast of hoppy goodness. It is joined on tap this week by Cherry Tart, a tart cherry sour, Lupulo Lager, an India Pale Lager, and our old favorite, Schwazbier.

Distillery 365 — (505) 221-6281

(Hours Mon-Thu 3-9 p.m., Fri 3-10 p.m., Sat noon-10 p.m., Sun 11-8 p.m.)

Beers: 365 ESB, 4th of July American Ale. Welcome to the listings, Distillery 365! They are located at 2921 Stanford Dr., just south of Candelaria and not far from La Cumbre and Canteen. The 4th of July is their first beer to highlight the native Neomexicanus hops. It is a highly aromatic strong ale with very little bitterness. The ESB a simple English ale. This batch has very little bitterness, but plenty of malt character. They are also serving their house-made Holy Ghost Vodka and Horsethief Rum, a 100-percent molasses-based silver rum.

Events: Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Distillery 365 has a build-your-own bloody mary bar. You can purchase three bloodies for just $20.

News: The second batch of their ESB is in the fermenter. They are continuously refining their recipes; this batch should be hoppier and maltier. Barrel No. 1 of their Tres Pistolas Bourbon has been filled, but it’ll be another two years before anyone can drink it. Good things come to those who wait, I suppose.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

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

Beers: Helles, Bier De Garde, ESB, Amber, Aye Aye IPA, Black Beauty Stout, London Porter, Jaison, Sweet and Dry Apple Cider. The most recent addition is Aye Aye, which owner Dana Koller described as the biggest IPA that Kaktus has ever brewed. The Jaison is a special saison, offering up a tangy, spicy medley of flavor. The Black Beauty is a sweet, creamy stout that is not too thick for the warming weather (well, we assume the weather is going to warm up here at some point). Kaktus is located at 471 South Hill Road in Bernalillo, for those who have still not made the trek.

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

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

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Hop-Back Centennial Pale Ale, Acclimated DIPA, Fievre d’Abricot, State Fair Cream Ale, Male Stripper IPA. The most recent addition is Male Stripper, La Cumbre’s entry in NMIPAC. Just in time for the heat, the refreshing Fievre d’Abricot is back on tap. Another big addition is the State Fair Cream Ale, which is the official beer of the New Mexico State Fair (and pretty darned tasty, if you ask the Crew members who wiped out a four-pack on July 4). Also, for all of you hopheads, the Acclimated is back. It is Elevated’s bigger, hoppier brother. The Hop-Back Centennial has run out, but fear not, for it was only the first in a planned series of Hop-Back pale ales, assuming Jeff can get his hands on lots of whole leaf hops. Oh, and don’t panic about Project Dank and Red Ryeot no longer appearing here as seasonals. They are now part of La Cumbre’s regular lineup. Red Ryeot cans are now for sale around town and at the brewery.

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

Events: La Cumbre is taking Saturday off from live music this week.

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

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

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

Beers: Long Nosed Tripel, Legless DIPA, Oak Smoked Wheat, Apricot Wheat, Irish Red. Adam checked in from Lizard Tail recently with an updated seasonal list. The Long Nosed (9.2% ABV, 30 IBU) is one of the biggest beers on the menu. The Legless (8.5% ABV, 100 IBU) offers up quite the hop kick. The Oak Smoked Wheat (3.8% ABV, 30 IBU) is basically the renamed Gratzer from before. The Apricot Wheat (5.3% ABV, 10 IBU) fits the summer weather. The Irish Red was added more recently, Lizard Tail said on Facebook.

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

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

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

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

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739

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

Beers: Both locations — 111 Farmhouse, Hieronymus; Downtown only — Imperial Red, Nitroatmeal; Westside only — none. We now have a breakdown of which seasonals are available at both Marble locations, Downtown and Westside. The popular 111 Farmhouse (7.2% ABV) is back for another summer run and is now at both locations. The Hieronymus (4.5% ABV) was brewed in collaboration with Sun King Brewing. It is kettle-soured and and dry-hopped for a truly unique beer. Also this week, the nitro tap is back, and as you might guess by the name, Nitroatmeal is the Oatmeal Stout, but dear lord it is so good on nitro.

News: Marble has revamped their website. It kinda really kicks ass now. Click the link above to see what we mean.

Events: Brewery tours occur at the Downtown Pub every Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

In live music this week at the downtown pub, Todd and the Fox perform tonight (Wednesday) from 6 to 9 p.m. Burque Sol takes the stage Thursday from 7 to 8:15 p.m., followed by Innastate from 8:30 to 10 p.m. Boris McCutcheon & the Salt Licks perform Friday from 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday Nite Fever Blisters will be on the patio, you guessed it, this Saturday from 8 to 11 p.m.

Russell James performs tonight (Wednesday) from 6 to 9 at the Westside Taproom. Next Three Miles heads west on Friday from 6 to 9. They will be followed by The Real Matt Jones from 6 to 9 on Saturday.

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100

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

Beers: Q’s Omnipotent Wit, Prosperity Works Belgian Scottish, Extra IPA, U.S.S. Saaz. New this week is the Saaz (6.4% ABV, 30 IBU), which replaces the T.N.G. Porter. As the name might imply, the Saaz is a single-hop beer made with, you guessed it, Czech Saaz hops. Also still on tap are Q’s Omnipotent Wit, a Belgian-style witbier, and the Belgian Scottish was the Beam Me Up Scottish made with Belgian yeast. One dollar from each pint sold goes to Prosperity Works, a local charity. Another recent addition is Extra IPA (7.5% ABV, 100 IBU), which should appease all the thirsty hopheads.

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.

News: The recent renovation/remodel at Nexus is nearly complete and they are fully open for business.

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: ESB, Tropical IPA, Amarillo Red, Bourbon Vanilla Porter, PiPA, Challenge IPA. The most recent addition is the Challenge IPA, which as you might guess is Pi’s NMIPAC entry. The Bourbon Vanilla Porter is an old favorite amongst the Crew. The Tropical IPA and Amarillo Red also call to us. 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. We’ll keep tabs on when Pi itself opens.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

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

Beers: (Regular) Ghost Train IPA, Rip Saw Red, Crosscut Kolsch; (Seasonal) Midnight Kolsch, Rauchweizen, Collaboration Cream, Bellamah Brown, American Wheat, Raspberry Gose, Lemongrass Pale. Ponderosa is located at 1761 Bellamah NW, which is just east of Rio Grande and due north of the NM Natural History Museum, in the bottom floor of a swanky-looking apartment/retail complex (they have a sign atop the building now that you cannot miss). The most recent addition is the Lemongrass Pale Ale (5% ABV). Back for a second run is the Collaboration Cream (4.5% ABV, 25 IBU), which was made with help from the staff at Anodyne. Also on tap are the Bellamah Brown (5% ABV, 30 IBU), American Wheat (5.2% ABV, 16 IBU), and Raspberry Gose (5.5% ABV, 15 IBU). The Midnight Kolsch (4.3% ABV, 24 IBU) looks like a dark lager but still tastes like a sweet, light kolsch. The smoky Rauchweizen (5.3% ABV, 17 IBU) earned high grades from folks when it debuted during ABQ Beer Week.

News: Next up on the beer front is a Barley Wine.

We just had an interview with new brewer Andrew Krosche.

UPDATED >>> Events: RJ Perez of Ziatron will perform Thursday at 6 p.m.

This Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m., $1 from every pint sold will be donated to charity. In this case, it all goes to Doctors Without Borders. There will be a raffle with up to $1,000 in prizes donated by local breweries and other businesses. The raffle will take place at 2:30 p.m. For more info, check the Ponderosa Facebook page.

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri 11 a.m. to midnight, Sat 7 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Beers: (Regular) Gateway Blonde Ale, Roamer Red, Threshold IPA, Paint it Black Milk Stout, Unhinged Cider, Trappe Door Wheat. (Seasonal) Broken Arrow Pale Ale, Vanilla Cream Ale, Ryeson Sun Saison. The most recent addition is the Ryeson, which has to be the first rye saison we have ever of. The Vanilla Cream should get you in a summer mood. The Broken Arrow (5.4% ABV) was made with just Equinox hops for a rather unique, yet multi-faceted, flavor profile.

Events: Saturday morning will mark another round of Beer and Breakfast. From 7 to 10 a.m. you can gather with friends for some food truck-supplied goodies with a pint of beer.

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

Live music is back this week with The Green Billies on Thursday from 7 to 10 p.m. B-Man and the MizzBeeHavens will perform Tuesday from 7 to 9.

Sandia Chile Grill — (505) 798-1970

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

Beers: Son Ranger Irish Red, Barb’s Barrel Hefeweizen, Rio Negro Milk Stout, Rattlesnake IPA. These are the four core beers of SCG’s lineup, though we cannot guarantee they are on tap at all times. Give them a call to check and see which beers are available.

Tractor Brewing Company — (505) 433-5654 (Nob Hill Tap Room), (505) 243-6752 (Wells Park)

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

UPDATED >>> Beers: The Ruggles, Desert Heat DIPA, C+C IPA, Farmhouse Saison, Barley Wine, Tupac Cali Red, Half-Acre Hefe, Berliner Weisse, Dry Apple Cider, Pear Cider, Berry Cider, Goat Head Hador Doppelbock (Nob Hill only). The most recent addition is The Ruggles (4.4% ABV), a California Common-style beer, sweet and light and great for beating the heat. The Desert Heat (7.9% ABV) debuted recently, offering up a nice malt backbone to balance the heavy hops up front. Berliner Weisse (5.1% ABV) is back at both locations. Half-Acre Hefe (6.2% ABV, 10 IBU) has also returned just in time for summer. The popular Tupac Cali Red (6% ABV) is also back for a second run. Another recent addition is the Saison (7% ABV, 25 IBU), an old world-style beer brewed with lemon and orange peel. The 2015 edition of the Barley Wine (9.5% ABV, 65 IBU) is a giant malt monster, not too boozy but just enough to remind you that a few of these will leave you babbling alone in the corner. And if you have friends who are living the gluten-free life, you can take them with you to Tractor and let them choose between four ciders, the standard Apple Hard Cider and four new seasonals in the Dry Apple, Pear, and Berry.

Events: The pLoud Music Series returns to Wells Park this Thursday with Step In Blues on stage at 8 p.m.

Saturday at Wells Park, Tractor will host a special art opening for Wes Naman. The well-known ABQ-based photographer will be showcasing his work starting at 6 p.m. The 2Bers will provide music from 7 to 9 and then BuddhaFunk will spin for the In the Mix Series at 9 p.m.

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

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

Also, every Monday at Nob Hill features each of Tractor’s canned beers on sale for just $2.

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

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

Beers: (House) McDay’s Cream Ale, Oku Amber, Parasol White IPA, Hopshell IPA, Heidelberg Helles, Stauffenberg Stout. (Seasonal/specialty) Cannon Fodder DIPA, Pork & Brew Premium Lager, Care Bear Stare IPA, Kosmonaut Kolsch. 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. The most recent addition is the Kosmonaut Kolsch, a perfect beer for summer. The P&B Premium Lager, as its name might imply, was brewed for the recent Pork & Brew Festival. Cannon Fodder is a big old hop beast, but is not actually Turtle’s NMIPAC entry. That is the new Care Bear Stare, which we have to admit, might be the strangest name for a beer we have seen in a while. And that is saying a lot in this state.

News: 22-ounce bombers of Wilde Jagd, Turtle Mountain’s first bottled beer, are still for sale at the brewery.

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Midnight Red, Orogrande, Hoplon IPA, Citra Pale Ale. The most recent addition is the Citra PA (6.1% ABV, 55 IBU), a single-hopped delight. Another recent addition is Hoplon, Blue Corn’s NMIPAC entry that came in second overall. Before that they tapped Orogrande (6% ABV), a golden ale. Midnight Red is a big old beast of an imperial red that is just a huge dose of happy.

News: Blue Corn brewer James Warren said next up is the Night Train Schwarzbier, an annual crowd favorite.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

(Mon–Sat open at 11 a.m., Sun open at 1 p.m.)

Beers: Marcel (Witbier), Bad Amber, Fiction (IPA), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Titian (Golden Strong), Grunewald (Imperial Porter), Dark Ryder (Dark Strong), Stille of the Night (Belgian Dark Sour), Cezanne Printemps (Imperial Saison), Tantalus (Golden Sour), Cezanne Magnifique (Barrel-Aged Imperial Saison). The Stille of the Night debuted at WinterBrew to plenty of acclaim from the folks in attendance. The Cezanne Printemps promises to keep up the tradition of big, big beers from Duel, while the barrel-aged Magnifique is probably even bigger. Marcel and Dark Ryder are back after a short absence.

Events: Happy-hour Monday through Friday 4-6 p.m. (discounts for all draft beer), Growler Saturdays ($3 off growler fills).

Life Drawing every other Sunday beginning on April 19 (11 a.m.-1 p.m.) $22 includes a drink and a waffle. $15 for students (with ID), or if you don’t want a drink & waffle. Everyone draws from a nude model. People can call the brewery to reserve a spot.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

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

Beers: Black IPA, Chicken Killer, Highland Heath, Santa Fe Gold, Autonomous Collective IPA. The third entry in the ECS (Ever Changing Series) is now available on tap and in bombers in the form of Highland Heath, a barrel-aged Scottish ale that is just heavenly. The Freestyle Pilsner is now available on tap and in cans across the state. The Autonomous Collective would have been SFBC’s NMIPAC entry, but things did not go so well at VIPA. Instead, everyone will just have to drink it at the brewery while the supply lasts. The Santa Fe Gold is now for sale all around the state in six-packs.

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

News: SFBC will soon be opening a taproom in Albuquerque. We got to check out the new digs, with lots of pictures to show for it.

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

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

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Cream Stout, Latona Amber, St. George IPA, 2920 Pilzner, Railyard Red, Fulcrum IPA. New this week are the Railyard and Fulcrum, two old favorites back for another run. Prior to that SSB tapped St. George and 2920. The Pivotal and Boneshaker Bitter are often available for purchase in four-packs of cans.

Events: On the live music front, the Thursday Patio Series at the original location continues all month with Jaka, followed by Alex Maryol on Friday and Sisters Sweet on Saturday.

Railyard music includes Mushi Trio on Friday. AMP Concerts presents Joe King Carrasco y Los Side FX on Saturday. Lens Gens Bruyants will perform Sunday.

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

Every Thursday night, Geeks Who Drink will be at the Railyard at 8 p.m.

Other breweries you need to visit

Bathtub Row Brewing — (505) 500-8381

(Mon–Weds 2–10 p.m., Thurs 2–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–11 p.m., Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Little Bird Blonde, Posh Bitter, Black Point Stout. We are proud to have Los Alamos’ first brewery amid our listings. They currently have four house beers on tap and some guest taps, the latter of which they tend to cycle through pretty quickly. New this week is the Big House, a single-hopped pale ale with Azacca. The Black Point Stout is just screaming for us to come up and try it. Still available is the Posh Bitter (5.9% ABV, 54 IBU). The Hoppenheimer IPA figures to return soon.

Events: Bathtub Row hosts an Open Mic Night every Thursday at 6 p.m.

The Full House Party, when they have their full lineup of beers, will be a two-night event on July 31 and Aug. 1. There will be five live bands (two Friday, three Saturday) and a whole lot of delicious beer. Guess I know when the Crew will be heading up. Join us!

Twisted Chile Brewing — (575) 835-2949

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun noon-8 p.m.)

Beers: KC’s Traditional Irish Stout, Schwarzbar Black Lager, McFadden Scotch, OrgasBerry Wheat, Zia Pilsner, 790 IPA, Quebradas Sunrise Amber, Hose Co. 1 Red Lager, Twisted Black (IPA). Located in Socorro at 115 Abeyta St. W, Twisted Chile is the first brewery there to brew on site since Socorro Springs outsourced their brewing to Eddyline in Colorado several years ago. I got to head down there recently and enjoyed all the beers I sampled. Kudos to Twisted Chile for bring quality craft beers back to a town that needed ’em. The newest beers on tap are the Twisted Black, Hose Co. 1 Red Lager, Zia Pilsner, McFadden Scotch, and OrgasBerry Wheat. The Irish Stout came in third in our Stout Challenge.

Events: Twisted Chile’s one-year anniversary is this Friday and Saturday. See our intro above for more info.

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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

Now that looks like a relaxing place to enjoy a pint outdoors.

Now that looks like a relaxing place to enjoy a pint outdoors.

Moriarty is not known as much of a tourist attraction for people in Albuquerque and beyond. The last time any group probably flocked there were when baseball scouts showed up to watch Matt Moore pitch for the local high school (he is now in the Tampa Bay Rays rotation, for you non-seamheads out there).

Of course, Moriarty has long had its own brewery. The Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande Brewery has been out on the east side of Moriarty for many years, though it has mainly been just a production facility with a small taproom out front. Owners Rich and Sue Weber decided it was time to change all of that. Luckily for them, they had a huge area in back of the brewery that was sitting there, largely unoccupied. For several months, they have been working on creating the largest beer garden of any brewery in the state.

That garden was 90-percent complete as of last week. It features a running stream in the center, regulation-sized horseshoe pits in the back, a bocce ball court, a tetherball court (oh, what memories of elementary school in the 80s that thing recalls), and a whole lot more. There will be a bar out on the covered patio with its own set of dedicated taps. There is even a walk-in cooler just behind the bar, so no one in the back or the front will have to worry about someone else drinking up the supply of a certain beer.

Several trees have also been planted that, as they grow, will add to the shade and the general atmosphere. The plants will be fed via recycled water from the brewery, as well as with compost made from spent grain. All in all, it is an environmentally sound oasis in the desert. Rich and Sue invited me to join them and take a tour, so with a pint of their limited-release Whiskey Stout in hand, I sat down to chat about the beer garden and everything else that is going on with their brewery.

UPDATE: The grand opening party for the beer garden that is mentioned below has now been pushed back from Aug. 15 to Aug. 22. It will still feature live music and food trucks and will run from 2 to 8 p.m.

Horseshoe pits on the right, a little stream on the left.

Horseshoe pits on the right, a little stream on the left.

NMDSBC: So to start with, what inspired you to do all of this?

Rich: Well, part of it was the … utilizing the water and composting the barley. You can see the composters out there. Then the other part of it was more retail, less wholesale, get more people in. This place was just screaming for something like this.

NMDSBC: Plenty of people drink your beer, but very few I’ve ever talked to have been here. Was that part of the idea, too?

Sue: Yeah, to draw people. Every weekend we get new customers from Albuquerque. ‘Yeah, we wanted to take a drive out here.’ Now they’ll see it, bring their friends and come back.

Rich: It’s in its infancy now. The trees are going to grow. You’re going to watch it turn into a green, lush place in a while.

Sue: A little oasis in the desert.

NMDSBC: What has the evolution been like? Have you stuck to a master plan or adapted as you went along?

Rich: No, no, we started out with a set plan. We mapped it out. Last year we planted all the big trees. … We did have a hailstorm recently that did a little damage, but not too bad.

We pretty much stuck right to plan as far as the layout. I don’t think we had any (big) changes.

Sue: We opened the brewery in ’96. We’ve opened several restaurants, two breweries. We know about planning out and not making mistakes halfway in is essential. We created the budget, socked the money away, and when it came time to do it we got after it.

Oh, tetherball, nemesis of the uncoordinated elementary school kid 30 years ago.

Oh, tetherball, nemesis of the uncoordinated elementary school kid 30 years ago.

NMDSBC: The last couple of years have been big for you. You brought home two medals (gold in 2012, silver in 2013 for Bone Chiller Brown) from GABF, which is no small accomplishment. And you did the re-labeling of a lot of bottles, changed up the packaging …

Rich: We did the change the Pale (recipe).

NMDSBC: Right, but overall you’ve picked up some momentum, especially with the market changing, all the new breweries opening. You’re kind of out here on the outside looking into Albuquerque; what’s been your impression of the (craft brewing) evolution the last few years?

Rich: We like what we saw, because we started Jan. 1 to Jan. 15 this year, we (brewed) more than we did our whole first year. So we knew it was like to make beer when no was drinking microbrewed beer in New Mexico. It was pretty hard, it was pretty hard to get through the years. Most guys opening up now are selling more beer in no time flat than when we started. Everyone seems to be into it. From our standpoint, we think it’s great.

We know we’re not in Albuquerque, but we have ABQ Brew Pub, we brew there all the time. We’re going to brand that with the Alien, it looks like, so that will brand it closer to us. We might get another place in Albuquerque (or) we might not. We’re kind of kicking it around. We’re going to see how (the beer garden) plays out. It’s kind of nice being out here and not in the city.

Sue: Rich and I, and anyone knows us or has observed us, we kind of stick to our own little world and do our own little thing. But back to what’s going in Albuquerque, it’s always nice to see young guys and gals get together, open a place and have it be successful. That’s exciting. Most of the liquid coming out of there is good stuff. That’s important to every brewer in the state.

Rich: I don’t think it’s going to be the same as it was in the old days. You’re not going to survive long with lesser stuff. Now I think they’re going to disappear quick. There’s too much good stuff out there for anyone to tolerate anything that’s not up to status quo.

Sue: And the customer demands a lot more than they used to.

The patio bar was nearing completion last week.

The patio bar was nearing completion last week.

NMDSBC: I think the palates of everyone has changed. I used to be only a stouts and porters guy, mostly darker, maltier beers. When I first came here and drank IPAs, I couldn’t always get through them. My first IPA Challenge was rough. Now I can enjoy all styles of beers, even the big, resinous, Simcoe-heavy IPAs. But those are starting to change as well. Now we’re seeing more malt in the IPAs, like we have with Scale Tipper at Bosque. Do you get the sense there’s a constant evolution in terms of what’s being made and what people are drinking?

Rich: Oh, yeah. Everyone is shooting for that new, crazy, OK, let’s do it. We’re doing a cherry sour now over at ABQ Brew, because we want to branch out a little bit and do some crazy stuff. And then we were reading about the guys doing the yogurt ones, the Greek yogurt ones. Have you heard about that?

NMDSBC: No, I have not.

Rich: They’ve had pretty good luck. What they’ve done is they’re taking this Greek yogurt and they’re souring the kettle water on like Friday night or Friday morning. Monday they’re coming in and brewing right into it.

Sue: I don’t know if I want to try that.

Rich: When I was trained on brewing, we were trained to throw those things away. Now they’re shooting for them. But I know everyone is always talking about different styles, what’s going to be the next up-and-comer.

We’re going to have 17 beers on tap that we make. We’re up against a lot more than most breweries are in the state. Everyone asks why don’t you do more seasonals? Well, we do four or five seasonals, plus we do 17 regular beers. No one else comes close to doing 17 regular beers. We’re going to have 17 beers and a root beer on tap that we also make. We’ve been doing it 20 years. I always say we make a lot more of the English sessions, that was what I was trained on. I definitely specialize in the browns and ambers, things like that. We revamped our pilsner this year. 100 percent German malt. 100 percent German hops — well, not quite 100, we do use a little bit of Czech hops. And the German yeast.

We’re trying to put a couple more beers into style. It’s going good. Ben (Cougar) is having a blast brewing, he’s doing a lot more brewing than I am right now. Because I kind of came out here and took this on.

NMDSBC: That’s happening at a lot of the bigger breweries with the original brewers. Jeff at La Cumbre and Ted at Marble, both are taking on more administrative duties. Ted is almost never in the brewery anymore.

Rich: Yeah, I’m not going to do that. I’m going to stay a micro. We’re not going to go (big). We opened a micro to be a micro. I’m not going to forget that. I’ve got two boys, when they hit (the right) age, if they want to take it over and bring it to the next level, they can do it. I have no interest in being a regional brewery. I always say there’s two kinds of beer that are good, fresh and free.

The popular alien theme will even be seen on the walls near the beer garden.

The popular alien theme will even be seen on the walls near the beer garden.

NMDSBC: So there are no further out-of-state distribution plans?

Rich: We’re outside the state, we do a little in Oklahoma, a little in Las Vegas, Nevada, just because we like to go there. (Laughs) We do Arizona, a little bit in Louisiana, just Shreveport. And just a small market in Texas, San Antonio and a couple other counties around it. We may look at Colorado. I don’t know if we’re going to have the capacity.

NMDSBC: Colorado is so crowded, anyway.

Rich: It’s actually nice because it’s a bordering state. From a shipping standpoint, we have a channel up there.

Sue: We have a lot of customers up there. They’re always asking when we’re going to ship it up there, they’re tired of going to Farmington.

Rich: A lot of alien people. They love the alien.

NMDSBC: So back to the beer garden. You said you’re 90 percent done. When do you expect to have it finished out here?

Sue: We’re going to have our big, public grand opening on the (22nd) of August. We’re going to have food trucks and four bands. It’s going to go from 2 to 8 (p.m.).

Rich: It’s going to be sponsored by 94 Rock. It’s the 94 Rock Summer Bash.

Sue: So bands all day, food trucks, just a lot of fun. Bring the kids, bring everybody.

(Rich added that the taps at the outdoor bar were expected to be ready to pour last Friday.)

NMDSBC: Anything else you’d like to add?

Rich: Our pub in Ruidoso is just crushing it. It’s just home run central. We owned it and sold it and got it back five years later.

Sue: And then gutted it and rebuilt it.

Rich: We made a list of all the headaches we had the first time and eliminated all those headaches. It was the smartest thing we ever did. It just played out well.

Sue: We (re)opened a year-and-a-half ago, the majority of our staff is still there. Which is a huge testament, especially in the restaurant industry.

Rich: It’s been nominated for restaurant of the year. … My brother is our executive chef. We rotate our beers through. We have 10 handles on the wall and four drafts.

Sue: But back to the fun stuff we’re doing, the Whiskey Stout, the sour, stuff we haven’t delved into in the past, the restaurant drove a lot of that because the number one question with the locals was always what’s new, what’s different.

Rich: And the Milk Stout, I love the Milk Stout.

NMDSBC: The first time I had that was at WinterBrew. Really enjoyed it.

Rich: It’s been a blast for us doing this. I remember Jeff (Erway) came out here when I was building something, I think I was doing the silo. He came out here for a meeting and goes I thought you were an idiot for opening up out here but you’re actually the smartest one. He says nobody bothers you out here, do they? He’s right, nobody does. If I want to do something, I do it. I don’t have inspectors and bureaucrats, I don’t have all that crazy stuff.

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A big thanks to Rich and Sue for the hospitality, and the pint, of course. Their brewery might be a bit off the beaten path, but they are certainly doing their best to make it worth the trip. The beer garden will make for an excellent destination when you want to get a little bit out of town, but still want to make sure you are somewhere with quality craft on tap.

So head on out to the grand opening party on Aug. 15. Just try not to smack anyone senseless with that tetherball.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Yeah, the Crew enjoyed this one. From left, Stoutmeister, Adam, Brandon, Luke. And Laura is in the background, trying to mind her own business.

Yeah, the Crew enjoyed this one. From left, Stoutmeister, Adam, Brandon, and Luke.

We said it would be a battle to decide the best IPA of 2015. Some scoffed. Some were bewildered. Some guffawed, whatever that means. In the end, though, we were right.

This was really, really hard to pick the best out of 15 samples. On a warm, crowded (but not too crowded) day at Boxing Bear, the true IPA fans in the ABQ metro area and beyond gathered to determine once and for all who should take that coveted trophy home.

The result? Well, I have dragged it out this long … Bosque Brewing has repeated as NMIPAC champion!

Here are the top 15 IPAs in New Mexico, with their competition numbers for the final round in parentheses:

  1. Bosque (13) 146 votes
  2. Blue Corn (8) 78 votes
  3. Canteen (7) 57 votes
  4. Marble (5) 55 votes
  5. Second Street (10) 52 votes
  6. Chama River (14) 45 votes
  7. Boxing Bear (2) 39 votes
  8. Three Rivers (1) 30 votes
  9. Back Alley (15) 28 votes
  10. Spotted Dog (12) 18 votes
  11. Turtle Mountain (4) 14 votes
  12. Ponderosa (3) 11 votes
  13. La Cumbre (6) 9 votes
  14. (tie) Pi (11) and Taos Mesa (9) 8 votes

In the end it wasn’t very close. Bosque tallied 104 votes on Saturday, followed by Second Street (33), Canteen (32), Chama River (31), and Blue Corn (30).

The winning team of Bosque co-owners Jotham Michnovicz, left, Gabe Jensen, center, and brewer John Bullard, right.

The winning team of Bosque co-owners Jotham Michnovicz, left, Gabe Jensen, center, and brewer John Bullard, right.

“It’s the most expensive beer we’ve made since last year,” Bosque brewer John Bullard said of the current edition of Scale Tipper, which won for the second year in a row.

“It’s always different when it comes to Albuquerque,” John added. “You’ve seen it before, when beers really come from behind in Albuquerque. We’re making an IPA that’s dedicated for Albuquerque, really. That’s all we’re really trying to do. Las Cruces is catching on to that, but that’s really what it is.”

John has actually won three straight IPA Challenges, having captured his first title while still with Blue Corn back in 2013. He moved to Bosque and has not let up in his domination of the category.

“I would say it’s different for me; last year was his second,” Bosque co-owner Gabe Jensen said. “Really, I was thinking now we’ll sell the rest of the bombers.”

While Gabe was joking on that last point (somewhat, anyway), John stayed focused on the best way to handle the NMIPAC.

“It’s definitely exciting,” he said. “I wish more people would have more fun with this competition. That’s easy for me to say, (since) we’ve won it (twice). A lot of people were quite serious about this competition this year. But this competition was based on fun.”

It was a fun competition this year. Congrats to all the brewers who entered, it was a much tougher call for most of us than the final votes indicated.

A huge thank you to Boxing Bear for being an outstanding host. Kudos to your staff for their patience and timely service; we know it can get overwhelming at times with so many people on site.

Thank you to Chris Goblet and the NM Brewers Guild for putting on this competition, year after year, as it gets bigger and bigger.

And thank you to everyone who attended. We hope you all enjoyed yourselves as much as we did.

Until 2016, the Crew will see you all around the breweries and festivals.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister