How I really won in Vegas

Posted: August 28, 2015 by amyotravel in News, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,
The beer is better, the lighting is not. Ah, casinos!

The beer is better, the lighting is not. Ah, casinos!

Hello, all. I just got back from Vegas and I have some exciting news for you. I had heard a rumor just before I left for my trip that Mandalay Bay casino was starting to serve craft beers on the casino floor. I could barely contain my excitement. Of course, this beer traveler had to take one for the team and check it out in person. (Oh, yeah, that’s taking one for the team, going to Vegas and all. — S)

I can confirm from my own personal experience this week that this is indeed true. Now, usually, when gambling at any of the Vegas casinos, the selection of free-while-gambling-beer is very limited. We consider it pretty “lucky” when we have more choices than Corona, Heineken, or Bud Light. If I can get a Dos Equis, I will on occasion settle for that, but usually I just get a vodka drink instead.

The craft beer list now available at Mandalay Bay.

The beer list now has some outstanding craft entries available at Mandalay Bay.

As excited as I was about this new development, I did start to question my sanity after having a couple of excellent (read: also much higher ABV) craft beers while gambling. The good thing is that since I somehow wisely didn’t carry a wallet/purse with me that afternoon. I was limited to spending only the cash I had in my pockets. Whew, that saved me from what might have been really dangerous.

If this works out for the Mandalay Bay Casino like I think it will, the practice will likely spread pretty quickly throughout the Strip. That would be great fun for craft beer lovers; but I do advise you to please proceed with caution, dear readers! Stay safe and practice responsible gaming.

Winning!

— AmyO

We cannot guarantee your level of Hopfest shenanigans will approach ours, but you can try.

We cannot guarantee your level of Hopfest shenanigans will approach ours, but you can try.

The Albuquerque Hopfest returns this weekend, featuring 70 breweries and a whole lotta beers down at the Isleta Casino. Once again, the Crew will be in attendance, as we are veterans of this annual event. So we present our picks for what beers to try and all the other advice we can think of sharing.

First up, if you do not have your tickets yet, click here and buy them. Pay extra for the Extra Hoppy Hour, which starts at 2 p.m. instead of 3. Trust us, it is worth it. You get those 60 bonus minutes to try your beers with short lines everywhere. So peg your favorites, see where they are on the map, and chart out a plan of attack. In general, we hit the side room first (west side of the main hallway), then the main ballroom, and finally outside.

While outdoor beer festivals are fun sometimes, the blazing heat plus dehydrating alcohol can be a bit much. Plan your time outside accordingly. It might be wise to go there earlier rather than later.

Take this note about the outside setup, it is a bit different this year. As event organizer Marne Gaston explained, they have moved out of that little courtyard area on the southwest corner of the building. That area will still have some tables and chairs in the shade for folks to enjoy, plus a grill serving up some tasty food, but the brewery tents are no out in the parking lot. As this is now the Xtreme Hopfest, that is also where the BMX stunt area will be, which is good because we were afraid they would be peeling riders off the walls if they set up the stage in the courtyard.

Backing up a little bit, we highly recommend folks take the Rail Runner down to Isleta (the train leaves downtown at 12:12 p.m.). There will be shuttles at the stop to take you up the hill to the casino/hotel complex. This is unless you have a designated driver, which can be good since the train out of Isleta leaves at 6:10 p.m., so you will have to clear out of the Hopfest area before the event officially ends at 6. Otherwise the next train leaves there at 8:15 p.m.

There is also the VIP area, which is in the room on the south end of the main hall. If you paid extra for that, you will be happy to know that Whole Foods will be providing food pairings to go with the available beers. We did not get a whole list of the pairings, but we do have the beer list and times they will be poured by the awesome Monica Mondragon and her staff of volunteers.

3 p.m. — Kiss Mix Cocktails

3:15 — Alaskan Imperial IPA

3:30 — Odell Trellis Garden Ale

3:45 — Widmer Bros. SXNW

4 — Santa Fe Highland Heath

4:15 — Marble Saison Brux

4:30 — Big Sky Ivan Imperial Stout

4:45 — Upslope Citra American Pale Ale

5 — Mother Road 3rd Anniversary Russian Imperial Stout

5:15 — Back Alley Ladron’s Peak

As for the beers for us non-VIPs, once again, we’ve broken it down so you don’t have to. Just remember that these picks are coming from a bunch of people who like dark beers and big-flavored hoppy beers. In the interest of time and space, we are skipping the cideries and hard liquor establishments. Please take note that will Distillery 365 does make their own beer, they are only bringing their vodka and rum to Hopfest. Also, Boese Brothers was a late scratch as they did not have enough people to staff Hopfest and their brewery. Just one of those weekends, we suppose.

We broke this down alphabetically by geography.

Side room (Premier Stage)

Adelbert’s: This Austin, Texas-based brewery specializes in Belgian-style ales, though they did not give us a list. We’ll have to see what they bring.

Big Bend: Another new brewery (to this event) from Texas (Alpine, to be specific), we’ll go with the Number 22 Porter, just to find out the significance of that number. (Also: Lager, Gold, Hefe, IPA)

BJ’s: We’ll go with the Whiskey Barrel Stout, though we are certainly not expecting anything on the level of, say, Marble Imperial Stout. (Also: Blonde, Red, IPA, Cider)

Bridgeport: Kingpin, a hoppy red ale, is our pick. (Also: Hop Czar IPA, Conviction Pale Ale)

Canteen: They brought Exodus. Enough said. (Also: Amber, Knights of the Canteen)

Cazuela’s: The Kilt Kicker, a smoked Scottish ale, is the current seasonal and our pick. (Also: Gold, Red, Stout, Piedra Del Fuego)

Santa Fe: We need more hops in our lives. Thankfully they brought Autonomous Collective IPA. (Also: Oktoberfest, Gold, Happy Camper, Nut Brown, Java Stout)

Sierra Nevada: The Harvest IPA is kinda funky this year, but worth sampling. (Also: Oktoberfest, Pilsner, Pale Ale)

Squatters/Wasatch: Polygamy Porter on nitro? Yes, please. (Also: Hop Rising, Doppelbock)

Other breweries in the room: Delirium Tremens, Guinness, Leinenkugels, Lucifer (Belgium)

Outdoor area

Big Sky: No list available, but they usually bring good stuff.

Durango: You cannot go wrong with the Dark Lager. (Also: Blueberry Wheat, IPA)

Left Hand: Good Juju wasn’t good enough, so they made Great Juju. Sounds funky. We’ll try it. (Also: Session IPA, Milk Stout, Oktoberfest)

Marble: In a shocker, we did not get a list from Marble. They like to surprise us. Yeah, that’s it.

Red Door: It’s the house beers, but we can never pass up Paint it Black Milk Stout. (Also: IPA, Red, Blonde, Cider)

Tommyknocker: We’re curious what the IPA & A Half actually is. (Others: Brown, IPA, Wheat, Amber)

Upslope: They’re only listed as bringing their IPA and Thai Style White IPA. We hope there’s more, but those are pretty decent.

Other breweries outside: Nuevo Cerveza, Pabst Blue Ribbon

Main ballroom

Abbey Brewing: You can never go wrong with the Tripel, but they have also promised a surprise beer. We love surprises, unless they are sours. Then we call them disappointments. (Also: Monks’ Ale, Dark Ale, Dubbel, Wit)

Alaskan: More hops, so we can catch Hopothermia. (Also: Pale Ale, Amber, Pumpkin)

Back Alley: Got an advance sample of the Pre-Prohibition Porter. I’ll go back for more, that’s for sure. (Also: Hefe, Red, Kentucky Common)

Ballast Point: Big Eye IPA gets lost in the shadow of Sculpin, but it is worth trying if you have not tried it. (Also: Pale Ale)

B2B: We are curious if their Oak-Aged IPA stacks up to Odell’s Barrel Thief. Option B is the always solid Coconut Porter. (Also: Red Rye, Cucumber Cream)

Dukes of Ale: The home brewers’ booth is always worth a visit. We have heard there will be a pilsner, wheat, hoppy red, and some ciders/meads available. Vote for your favorite.

Lagunitas: Pilsners are good. Imperial Pilsners are even better. (Also: IPA, Lil’ Sumpin)

Mother Road: The new Tower Station IPA will make its NM debut here. (Also: Roadside Grove)

New Mexico Craft Brewing: Sebastian Canyon Foreign Extra Stout was great at Blues & Brews, so odds are it will be great again. (Also: Session IPA, Steam, Porter, Cider)

Odell: Checked my Untappd listings, somehow I have never had their Okto. Gotta remedy that. (Also: IPA, Myrcenary)

Ponderosa: The name “Walther IPK” alone is worth trying. (Also: IPA, Wheat, Red)

Rio Grande/Sierra Blanca: It’s a toss-up between the Milk Stout and Black IPA. (Also: Chile Beer, Amber, Pale Ale, Brown)

Sandia Chile Grill: Clint makes good beers, but his meads win awards. Take your pick between the Dirty Steve and Legacy. (Also: IPA)

Ska: The Rudie Session IPA is new, so we’ll try that. (Also: Modus Hoperandi, Decadent)

Tractor: The new Big Sipper Session IPA is worth checking out, or you can go with The Ruggles, a steam beer. (Also: IPA, Stout, Red, Berliner Weisse)

Other breweries in the room: Boston Beer Co. (Samuel Adams), Goose Island, Kellys, Kona, Omission, Radeberger, Pyramid, Third Shift, Traveler, Widmer Bros.

Remember, all beer lists are subject to change, so we could all be in for some surprises.

See you all at Isleta.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The Tuesday announcement that Founders Brewing was coming to New Mexico in October was greeted warmly by most of the people we interacted with online or in person. However, more than a few folks seemed a bit disappointed that one beer was missing from the (outstanding) lineup of nine Founders offerings that will be at the Kickoff Party at Nob Hill Bar & Grill on Oct. 7.

Of course we are referring to KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout), one of the most sought-after beers in America. It can be hard if not impossible to acquire. Over the years the Crew has had a mere handful of bottles of this wonderful elixir, where the already excellent Breakfast Stout is aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels. Yet, we have never had the pleasure of enjoying the epic epicness on tap.

Drum roll …

Please don't drool on your computer.

Please don’t drool on your computer.

Oh, Oct. 14 is so far away, is it not? We all need things to look forward to in life, so at least we have this event.

To keep us satiated through September, though, NHBG and bar manager/craft lover extraordinaire Thomas DeCaro has lined up some serious goodness every Wednesday night.

Sept. 2: Avery Special Tapping featuring The Beast, The Maharaja, Samael’s, and The Reverend. The Beast (15-17% ABV, 63 IBU) is a Grand Cru. The Maharaja (10-12% ABV, 102 IBU) is a monstrous imperial IPA. Samael’s (15-17% ABV, 41 IBU) is an oak-aged English-style strong ale.  The Reverend (10% ABV, 24 IBU) is a decadent Belgian quad.

Sept. 9: Green Flash/Apline Tap Takeover featuring Hoppy Birthday, Pacific Gem Single Hop, Styrian Golding Single Hop, Green Bullet, Double Stout, and Hop Head Red. The Green Bullet (10.1% ABV, 100+ IBU) is a specialty release from Green Flash.

Sept. 16: Special tapping of a 2014 Alaskan Smoked Porter keg

Sept. 23: Special tapping of Odell Oak Haven (Peach Ale aged in whiskey barrels)

Sept. 30: Double Bourbon Barrel Tapping of Pumpkin Barrel Ale and Kentucky Barrel Ale from Lexington Brewing

That should keep everyone more than satisfied until KBS night.

Got any questions? Ask us and we will do our best to answer, or we will pass it along to Thomas and get back to you via the usual channels (Facebook, Twitter, this site, email, in person, etc.).

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.

Well, hello there, festival season. Good to see you again. Promise to take it easy on us this year, right? No? Oh, boy, here we go again. In case you had not heard, Hopfest is this Saturday from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Isleta Casino. Multiple local breweries will be involved, including Tractor, Santa Fe, Marble, and more. Tickets are still available online. We will have a full preview running Thursday with updated beer lists where available. If you have a hankering for getting out of town, however, head to Durango for the San Juan Brewfest, also on Saturday. There will be some good New Mexico representation up there from La Cumbre, Marble, and Santa Fe.

Besides the festivals, there is plenty else going on, most of which will be listed brewery-by-brewery below, as per usual. I did want to point out two events beyond those. This Sunday at Tractor Brewing is the latest meeting of the Pink Boots Society New Mexico Chapter. Pink Boots is open to any woman who works in the craft beer industry, whether brewing in the back of the house, serving out front, or working in an office role. If you are interested and would like to see if you qualify for membership, visit the official website. The meeting will start at 3:30 p.m. with Santa Fe Brewing’s Monica Mondragon running the show.

Prior to that, tonight (Wednesday) will see another awesome tap takeover at Nob Hill Bar & Grill. Starting at 6 p.m., four small-batch beers from Upslope Brewing will be available — Oatmeal Stout on nitro, Belgian Quad, English Mild, and Berliner Weisse. These are just the latest specialty beers offered up at NHBG, which of course will be hosting the awesome Founders Brewing Kickoff Party in October. We will have a separate story later about what other special Wednesday events are coming to NHBG in September, plus a note about another event in October featuring a certain beloved beer that will be making its debut in New Mexico.

A quick programming note, there is a very good chance that this column will appear on Thursday next week instead of Wednesday. That is because Franz Solo and I are heading up to Denver next week to see a metal show and (of course) drink some beer. Priorities, right?

Meanwhile, there are a few new beers worth checking out around town. Boese Brothers’ Dr. Strangehop XPA is now on tap and will be a permanent part of their lineup. Bosque has Shellback, a single-hop pale ale. Boxing Bear has the beer version of a cream soda, appropriately called Not Your Mom’s Cream Soda. Canteen’s delicious Oatmeal Stout has returned for another run. Chama River boasts some new Blueberry Kolsch. Kaktus kicked up some Target IPA and Basil Lager. Marble is feeling spicy with some Saison Brux. Ponderosa is having a release party Friday for Spanglish Mexican Lager. Rio Bravo has the burly Black Angus Stout now available as part of their regular lineup. Tractor will satisfy your sweet tooth with Chocolate Milk Stout.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn is busting out Brown Paper Bag, an unfiltered malt liquor. Second Street has brought in fresh batches of Rod’s Best Bitter, Mosaic IPA, and the new Centeno Amber and XXX Lager. Over in Los Alamos, Bathtub Row debuts the Wildewood Amber and Kappa’s Saison, a cucumber saison.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of August 24.

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 recently 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: SuMariOatmeal Stout, Brown Eyes. 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. The SMO Stout is available on CO2 and nitro.

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: Cali Common, Soroche IPA, Kentucky Common, Hefen or Hell, Penn Swankey. The most recent additions are the Kentucky Common, Hefen or Hell, and Penn Swankey. The Swankey is a black lager from the hills of Pennsylvania that predates Prohibition.

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.

Boese Brothers Brewery — (505) 382-7060

(Hours: TBA)

Beers: Patriot Porter, La Onza White Ale, Old Shonie Scottish Ale, Dr. Strangehop XPA, Steampunk Lager. Welcome to the listings, Boese Brothers! We got a chance to sample their beers in advance of the recent grand opening. The Porter (6% ABV) is a pre-Prohibition style of American porter, more brown than black with strong roasted flavors smoothed out by the nitro pour. La Onza (5.4% ABV) offers up a big, citrusy kick for a Belgian-style witbier. Old Shonie (4.5% ABV) is also available on nitro; it is lighter than most of the other Scottish beers in the ABQ area. Steampunk (5% ABV) combines the style of a California common/steam beer with a pale ale made with Cascade and Willamette hops, but it does so quite nicely. The Dr. Strangehop XPA (6.5% ABV) debuted over the weekend, offering up a wonderful mix of the piney Willamette and more floral Mosaic hops.

Events: Boese will have a happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, with $3 pints. You can also get $3 pints all day Tuesday and $6 growler fills all day Wednesday.

News: Still no word on the status of their website. You can follow them on their Facebook page.

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: Scale Tipper IPA, Bucketmouth Lager, Thunderhead Black IPA, Little Tipper, Shellback, Driftwood Stout on nitro. All beers listed are on tap at all three locations, unless noted. Bucketmouth Lager (4.4% ABV, 20 IBU) debuted recently and fits this scorching weather perfectly. The fourth and final entry in the Monsoon IPA Series, Thunderhead Black IPA (6.5% ABV, 95 IBU), is a wonderful mix of sweet and roasted malts with a whole lotta hops. Scale Tipper (6.5% ABV, 95 IBU), the two-time NMIPAC winner and current National IPA champion, is on tap until supplies run out. If that is too many hops, try the new Little Tipper (6% ABV, 35 IBU), a sessionable sibling. New this week is Shellback (5.6% ABV, 45 IBU), a single-hop pale ale made with Dr. Rudi. Driftwood Stout is back on nitro at all three locations.

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) Body Czech Bohemian Pilsner, Black and Blue Sour, Umbers Cucumbers, Cream Pale, C Legs, Not Your Mother’s Cream Soda. The most recent additions to taps are Not Your Mother’s Cream Stout, C Legs, a single-hop IPA brewed with Falconer’s Flight 7 C’s, the Cream Pale, a hybrid of the two styles, and 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. 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, Marzen, Knights of the Canteen, Saison, Scrumtralescent, ESB, Oatmeal Stout. The most recent addition is the Oatmeal Stout. Before that came the ESB and Scrumtralescent, a barrel-aged strong ale, back for another run. Also available are the Saison, Marzen, and Knights of the Canteen, a hoppy little ale with a Helles-style base.

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: Keith Sanchez will perform Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m. on the patio. The Fabulous Martini Tones 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), Kilt Kicker (Smoked Scottish). 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. The Kilt Kicker is the newest entry on the list, a smoked Scottish ale.

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

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

Beers: Oxbow ESB, Woot! Saison, Radioactive, Blueberry Kolsch. The Oxbow (6% ABV, 33 IBU) is smooth and a little biscuity, but not overly sweet. The Woot! Saison is a hopped up farmhouse ale. Old favorite Radioactive IPA is back for all you thirsty hopheads out there. The new Blueberry Kolsch falls at the opposite end of the spectrum.

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 second batch offers up more flavor from the hops and malts. They are also serving their house-made Holy Ghost Vodka and Horsethief Rum, a 100-percent molasses-based silver rum, plus guest taps from Red Door.

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: 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.)

UPDATED >>> Beers: Darkness Falls Stout, Target IPA, Yard Sale IPA, Tasty Red, Berna Brown, Wit, Basil Lager, Sweet and Dry Apple Cider. The most recent additions to the lineup are the Target IPA and Basil Lager. Before that came the Darkness Falls Stout, Berna Brown, and Wit. They join old favorites like Yard Sale IPA, Tasty Red, and the Sweet and Dry Apple Cider. Kaktus is located at 471 South Hill Road in Bernalillo, for those who have still not made the trek.

News: 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.

Events: 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, BEER. The most recent addition is BEER (4.6% ABV, 25 IBU), an American pilsner that is perfect for beating the late summer heat. Male Stripper was La Cumbre’s entry in NMIPAC. 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 The Green Billies perform 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, Frilled Irish Red, Earless English IPA. During a recent visit I made sure to write down the 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. Earless (6.4% ABV, 50 IBU) is in the classic English tradition. The Irish Red (5.3% ABV, 24 IBU) has the perfect malt profile, not too sweet, not too dry.

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 — Imperial Red, Double IPA, Dang Pale Ale; Downtown only — Brett IPA, Apricot Sour, Saison Brux; Westside only — none. We now have a breakdown of which seasonals are available at both Marble locations, Downtown and Westside. Dang Pale Ale returned recently by popular demand. The most recent additions are the popular Brett IPA, Apricot Sour, and the new Saison Brux.

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, Temporary Tattoos perform tonight (Wednesday) from 5 to 8 p.m. Moon Hat takes the stage Thursday from 7 to 10 p.m. Mala Mana performs Friday from 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday will feature Group Therapy from 8 to 11 p.m.

Gabe Tafoya performs tonight (Wednesday) from 6 to 9 at the Westside Taproom. Danny & The Harp head west on Friday from 6 to 9, followed by Gary Paul on Saturday, also from 6 to 9.

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100

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

Beers: Prosperity Works Belgian Scottish, Extra IPA, U.S.S. Saaz. The most recent addition is the Saaz (6.4% ABV, 30 IBU). As the name might imply, the Saaz is a single-hop beer made with, you guessed it, Czech Saaz hops. Also still on tap is the Belgian Scottish, which used the Beam Me Up Scottish recipe but 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 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 was 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, Rosa’s Gose, Lemongrass Pale Ale, Blanco Bock, Offbeat Wheat, Spanglish Mexican Lager. 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 (6.3% ABV, 40 IBU) and the Offbeat Wheat (5.2% ABV, 16 IBU) were the most recent additions. The latter is a modified version of the standard American Wheat with raspberries added. Also on tap are the Bellamah Brown (5% ABV, 30 IBU), American Wheat (5.2% ABV, 16 IBU), and Rosa’s Gose (4.7% ABV, 16 IBU). The smoky Rauchweizen (5.3% ABV, 17 IBU) earned high grades from folks when it debuted during ABQ Beer Week. The Spanglish debuts this week (see below).

Events: The Draft Sessions perform tonight (Wednesday) at 7 p.m.

Ponderosa will host a release party Friday for the new Spanglish Mexican Lager. Hub City Soundsystem will provide the music from 6 to 9 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.

News: An imperial red, brewed for Red Door’s upcoming first anniversary party, is now in the fermenter. It smelled wonderful when it was brewed last week.

Events: Saturday morning will mark another round of Beer and Breakfast, now with Barclays Premier League soccer on the telly! 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.

Rio Bravo Brewing Company — (505) 900-3909

(Mon–Thu noon–10 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–11 p.m., Sun noon–9 p.m.)

Beers: Rio Bravo Amber, Karl’s Hefeweizen, Dirty Rotten Bastard IPA, Snakebite IPA, Black Angus Stout. Welcome to the weekly listings, Rio Bravo! In case you were not aware, RBBC held their soft opening over the weekend with four of their own beers on tap, plus some guest taps. You can find them all at 1912 2nd St. NW, which is just south of I-40. The Amber (5.7% ABV, 53 IBU) offers up a more flavorful kick than most of its genre. The Hefeweizen (4.6% ABV, 26 IBU) has a big banana aroma, but the flavor is more balanced and smooth. Dirty Rotten Bastard (6.4% ABV, 77 IBU) is a “level one” IPA. Columbus is the primary hop in the DRB. Snakebite (7.4% ABV, 99 IBU) is the bigger “level two” IPA, armed with Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, Columbus, and Crystal hops. The latest addition to the regular lineup is the burly Black Angus Stout (5.9% ABV, 25 IBU). It is not a milk stout, cream stout, chocolate stout, or coffee stout. It is just a stout, thick and strong with prominent roasted flavors, somewhat similar to Deschutes’ Obsidian Stout. Want to learn more about Rio Bravo and their plans for the future? Check out our in-depth look.

News: The Duke City Pils is in the fermenters.

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: Javi Lager, The Ruggles, Cowboy Blend Coffee Stout, Chocolate Milk Stout, Berliner Weisse, Pear Cider, Tupac Cali Red (Nob Hill only), Dry Apple Cider (Nob Hill only), Summer Ale (Wells Park only), Kristal Hefe (Wells Park only). A quartet of recent additions highlight the lineup in the Chocolate Milk Stout (5.1% ABV), Cowboy Blend (5.5% ABV, 25 IBU), Summer Ale (7% ABV), and Kristal Hefe (6.6% ABV). Other recent additions are the old-favorite Javi Lager (5% ABV, 20 IBU) and the Ruggles (4.4% ABV), a California Common-style beer that’s sweet and light and great for beating the heat. Actually, they both fit that sessionable description. Berliner Weisse (5.1% ABV) is back at both locations. The popular Tupac Cali Red (6% ABV) is also back for a second run. 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 two new seasonals in the Dry Apple and Pear.

UPDATED >>> Events: The pLOUD Music Series returns to Wells Park on Thursday with the Silver String Band on stage at 8 p.m. There is an Art Fight on Friday at 7 p.m. In the Mix is back on Saturday at 9 p.m. featuring DJ Justin Credible.

Over at Nob Hill, they will host an Artist Mixer on Friday at 7 p.m. featuring current taproom artist Gaspar Salazar.

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, Cucumbersome Kosmonaut Kolsch, After Midnight, AmeriKriek. 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 AmeriKriek, a kettle-soured beer dosed with cherries. The Cucumbersome Kosmonaut Kolsch is a cucumber-infused version of the popular Kosmonaut, in case you could not guess. Cannon Fodder is a big old hop beast. Another recent addition is After Midnight, a schwarzbier dosed with black currant berries.

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: Night Train Schwarzbier, HALT!-bier, Drone Wars Braggot, Brown Paper Bag. The most recent addition is Brown Paper Bag, an unfiltered malt liquor. HALT! is of course an altbier with a clever name and a great flavor. The Night Train is always a big hit with the locals. A new creation is the Drone Wars, a braggot that is essentially a hybrid of a beer and a mead. That just begs to be tried. Oh, Draft Station, could you please get some down here in ABQ? Thanks! We appreciate it as always.

News: Blue Corn brewer James Warren said he is brewing three specialty IPAs. One is made wild hops from here in New Mexico, another is the Alpha Reaper 2.0, made with wet hops from Colorado, and the big kid in the bunch will be Good Guys IPA, brewed for the upcoming Alpha King Challenge.

Events: To commemorate the arrival of Brown Paper Bag, Blue Corn is having a food pairing special on Thursday. For $12, you get a pint of BPB plus three brown paper-wrapped food items — pigs in a blanket, a sweet-hot corn tamale, and fish in a bag.

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), 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), Cezanne Magnifique (Barrel-Aged Imperial Saison), Ara Pacis (Barrel-Aged Imperial Golden Sour). 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 $20 bottles in limited supply, with all proceeds going to Meow Wolf.

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

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, Oktoberfest. Welcome back, Oktoberfest, even if it does not even remotely feel like October out there. 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, Rod’s Best Bitter, British Mild, Agua Fria Apricot, Mosaic IPA, Centeno Amber, XXX Lager. The most recent additions are the new Centeno Amber and XXX Lager, along with fresh batches of Rod’s Best Bitter and Mosaic IPA. Before that came the British Mild and the Agua Fria, a sour. The Pivotal IPA and Boneshaker Bitter are often available for purchase in four-packs of cans.

Events: On the live music front, Alto Street Band performs Friday and Bill Hearne will be on stage Saturday.

Over at the Railyard, Tiffany Christopher performs Friday, with no live music this Saturday.

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: Hoppenheimer IPA, Mild at Heart (English Mild), Red Hammer (Double Red), Kappa’s Saison, Wildewood Amber. We are proud to have Los Alamos’ first brewery amid our listings. The recent Full House Party (check out the review) put a dent in the beer supply, with only Hoppenheimer, Milt at Heart, and Red Hammer surviving. To help fill space, BRB added Kappa’s Saison, a cucumber saison, and the Wildewood. Hopefully Black Point Stout will be back by the time the Mountain West Brew Fest rolls along on Sept. 5-6.

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

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), Venom 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 Venom IPA, 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: Roon will perform on the patio on Friday night. The Chuck Hawley Group will then take the stage Saturday at 7 p.m.

* * * *

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

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

As if we weren't spoiled enough by our own craft breweries ...

As if we weren’t spoiled enough by our own craft breweries …

Rejoice, craft beer lovers of New Mexico, one of the national heavyweights in the industry is at long last coming to our humble little state. Founders Brewing Co. of Grand Rapids, Michigan, will begin distributing to New Mexico this October via Premier Distributing. The news leaked out a couple weeks ago, though we were politely asked to remain mum until Founders made it official. Well, it is, and the Crew is dancing a proper jig in response.

“We’re thrilled to work with Premier Beverage to offer Founders for the first time in New Mexico,” Founders co-founder and CEO Mike Stevens said in a press release. “The addition of new markets is always exciting, and New Mexico affords us a great opportunity to reach a new audience of beer enthusiasts.”

This was also included in the email: Founders plans to include all of its year-round and seasonal ales in bottles, cans (as applicable) and kegs in the first shipments to these markets. There may also be some limited release available at select craft beer retailers following the launch—stay tuned to Founders website and Twitter handle (@foundersbrewing) for launch event information.

Being the impatient sorts that we are, and knowing that most of you are as well, we contacted Mike Breidenbach, the High Ends Brand Manager at Premier, for further details about what is coming, where it will be sold, and when those glorious beers will appear on our shelves.

The official distribution launch date is Monday, Oct. 5, with local beer retailers getting their supplies over the course of the week. Jubilation and all of the local establishments will be carrying Founders, along with places like Total Wine, Sprouts, and Whole Foods. There will be a sampling of as many styles as are available at Jubilation that week, with the exact day and lineup to be determined.

Mike did say he knows Centennial IPA, All Day IPA, Porter, and Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale will be available right away. Those are Founders core beers. The current seasonal that will be available is Breakfast Stout. (There is no word yet on when we will be getting the next batch of Kentucky Breakfast Stout, FYI.)

Oh, and then there is the matter of the kickoff party, which will be held at Nob Hill Bar & Grill on Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 6 p.m.

So ... many ... choices ...

So … many … choices …

So just in case you cannot read those labels, here are the beers listed:

  • Porter (6.5% ABV, 45 IBU), a beautiful robust porter
  • 2015 Blushing Monk (9.2% ABV), a Belgian ale brewed with raspberries
  • Imperial Stout (10.5% ABV, 90 IBU), dangerously smooth yet burly as hell
  • Dirty Bastard (8.5% ABV, 50 IBU), a monstrous Scotch ale
  • Curmudgeon (9.8% ABV, 50 IBU), an old ale that is oak aged for perfection
  • Centennial IPA (7.2% ABV, 65 IBU), a balanced IPA
  • All Day IPA (4.7% ABV, 42 IBU), a session IPA with a kick
  • Breakfast Stout (8.3% ABV, 60 IBU), a hefty coffee stout
  • Backwoods Bastard (10.2% ABV, 50 IBU), a barrel-aged Scotch ale

That should pretty much cover all beer lovers, but we would highly recommend you just try them all. Do not forget, NHBG has flights now, so if some of those ABV look like a bit much for a 10- to 16-ounce glass, you have another option. UPDATE: They will not be doing flights at NHBG for the kickoff party, at least not at the outset of the event. There may be limited sampling allowed after 7 p.m., but that will be determined by the size of the crowd and all. Things got a little too chaotic last time with the flights. The Crew will be happy to recommend beers if you are uncertain of what to try.

If anything else comes up regarding Founders that you need to know about, we will of course pass it along as soon as possible.

Now let us all just hope September flies by so October and all those delicious beers are upon us!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Enough little tidbits of beer-related news have come up with this week that they cried out for their own post. None was necessarily a full-fledged story, so voila, Beer Notes makes a triumphant return.

Brewer Doug Cochran is all smiles atop his new 15-barrel brewhouse throne at Canteen.

Brewer Doug Cochran is all smiles atop his new 15-barrel brewhouse throne at Canteen.

Canteen feeling swanky with new brewhouse

As some might have seen on their Facebook page, the mad scientists at Canteen have a new laboratory to play with in the form of a shiny 15-barrel brewhouse. This replaced the 7-barrel workhorse that served them so well, but with so many of you wanting more and more beer, they had to increase production. Rather than just ramble on writing about it, I took some glorious photos. Thanks to brewer Doug Cochran and the staff for letting me into their workplace for a few minutes.

CanteenNewBrewhouse2

There is a joke in here, isn’t there?

CanteenNewBrewhouse4

Proper labeling.

CanteenNewBrewhouse3

Just in case you could not figure this out on your own.

Safety first around the hot liquor tank!

Safety first around the hot liquor tank!

One brewery’s loss is another brewery’s gain

For a while now we have been wondering who would be replacing Mike Campbell as the brewer at Cazuela’s. Mike is departing to launch his own place, Off-Kilter Brewing, whose exact status remains a mystery to us. Hopefully we will get more on OKB in the near future, but for now the Crew has learned the identity of Mike’s successor — it’s Brandon Venaglia of Back Alley Draft House.

Yes, once again one local brewery has hired from another. We have seen it recently with Andrew Krosche moving from Marble to Ponderosa, and of course before that was the great brewer swap of ’14 when Chama River, Nexus, and Turtle Mountain all hired from other local establishments.

Brandon took over at BADH last fall after Addison Poth departed for San Diego. Brandon has kept up the Pre-Prohibition theme on many of the beers, including the current Penn Swankey and Pre-Pro Porter. Now he inherits a brewery that is known for beers like the Piedra del Fuego and Beer For My Horses Oatmeal Stout.

I was not able to do a formal sit-down interview with Brandon since it was just the two of us chatting over pints at BADH after his shift ended on Wednesday night, but to sum it up he has a lot of work ahead of him at Cazuela’s. From installing a grain mill to fixing some of the current equipment, those will be priorities, while the beer list should not change too much. His first seasonal beer will be an Oktoberfest.

As for BADH, the plan is for the current assistant brewer to take over, but we will have further updates if anything changes there. Once Brandon is settled in over at Cazuela’s, we will be sure to check in and create a more in-depth story about the transition.

Hello, you black beast of destruction.

Hello, you black beast of destruction.

More brews from the new kids

Boese Brothers and Rio Bravo hit the ground running last week, though neither had their full complement of beers ready to go. The good news is each has one more beer on tap for their second weekend of operation.

Rio Bravo has unleashed Black Angus Stout (5.9% ABV, 25 IBU), which as the name might imply, is a big old mean bull of a beer. This is not a sweet stout. There are no chocolate flavors. It is not creamy. It is just a good old-fashioned American stout, with pronounced roasted (but not overly smoky) notes throughout. If anything, I would stack this up to Deschutes’ Obsidian Stout. It is a stout for stout drinkers. So yeah, I already had one and cannot wait to go back for more.

Over at Boese Brothers, the Dr. Strangehop XPA is now on tap. My weekend to-do list includes stopping to try this fifth entry on the BBB menu. The official write-up from the beer menu reads, “The eXtra Pale Ale pairs a clean, slightly toasty malt bill with big-time American hop flavors and aromas. We start adding hops the second sweet wort his the kettle and don’t let up until this beer is in the keg. A simple but delicious combination of classic and new era hops creates bright, tropical, and citrusy flavors minus the lingering harsh bitterness commonly associated with IPAs. Stop worrying and learn to love the hops.”

Sampler tray

  • For those who missed out on discounted Mountain West Brew Fest tickets on Tuesday, fear not, for the NM Brewers Guild will be back at Kaktus Brewing in Bernalillo on Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m. You can save $4 off the price online by picking them up in person, plus you get to drink Kaktus beer, and there will be special prizes, giveaways, and other bonus swag. The folks from The Peak 100.3 FM will also be on hand.
  • We never did see a beer list for Saturday’s Bite of ABQ event at Balloon Fiesta Park. It was confirmed by event organizers that they are going through the distributors, not the individual breweries, so we imagine it will just be the canned/bottled offerings from local places (and those will depend on which distributors they have agreements in place with).
  • The ABQ Brew Pub, which is jointly owned by Rio Grande/Sierra Blanca and the proprietor of Uptown Sports Bar, is being re-branded as the Alien Brew Pub, it was announced on Twitter this week. We will get more info soon.
  • Some late additions to the music schedule at breweries: Ken Carpenter and the Nailers will perform at Albuquerque Brewing tonight (Friday) at 6 p.m. The Jir Project will perform at Lizard Tail tonight at 9 p.m. Oh, and I’ll Drink to That is back at Tractor Wells Park this Sunday at 4 p.m.
  • Speaking of Tractor, we bid a fond farewell to one of our favorite people there. Antal Maurer is moving on, though not moving away. We are glad that he is staying in ABQ and wish him luck in whatever comes next. Oh, and a big thumbs up on saving that puppy today. No, really, he did. Check Tractor’s Facebook page if you want to see pictures.
  • And a final congratulations of the day goes out to Marne Gaston, the tireless organizer of Hopfest, ABQ Beer Week, and so much more. Baby Boy Gaston will join mom, dad, and his big sister in six months. Unfortunately, as Marne noted on email, this once again precludes her from enjoying any of the great beers at Hopfest, which we will have a full list of next week.

See some of you at Wells Park tonight for the Desert Darlings show.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

All the tools a beer writer needs to get the lowdown on the state's newest and biggest upcoming festival.

All the tools a beer writer needs to get the lowdown on the state’s newest and biggest upcoming festival.

Festival season arrives on Aug. 29 with old favorite Hopfest back at Isleta Casino. While that event is one we know well, many have begun to ask the Crew about the next big one on the New Mexico calendar, the Mountain West Brew Fest. The event will replace the old Labor Day weekend wine festival at Loretto Park in Bernalillo, running from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 5, and Sunday, Sept. 6. It will feature over 50 breweries in attendance, from in-state and out-of-state, plus a whole heck of a lot more than just beer.

To get all the details, I met up with New Mexico Brewers Guild director Chris Goblet at Kaktus Brewing on Tuesday afternoon. Over a couple mugs of Berna Brown, we pretty much covered everything that you want to know, short of the specific beers available (a list that Goblet hopes to send over next week or the week after at the latest).

For now, to answer the first question most people have asked, here are the breweries scheduled to be in attendance.

New Mexico breweries: Abbey, Back Alley, Bathtub Row, Blue Corn, Boese Brothers, Bosque, Boxing Bear, Canteen, Chama River, Distillery 365, Duel, Kaktus, La Cumbre, Las Cazuela’s, Little Toad Creek, Marble, New Mexico Craft Brewing, Nexus, Pi, Ponderosa, Red Door, Rio Bravo, Rio Grande/Sierra Blanca, Santa Fe, Second Street, Tractor, Turtle Mountain

Out-of-state breweries: Anchor, Anderson Valley, Avery, Ballast Point, Big Sky, Boulder, Breckenridge, Deschutes, Full Sail, Green Flash, Lagunitas, Left Hand, New Belgium, Oskar Blues, Sierra Nevada, Ska, Stone, Upslope

That is a lot of breweries, but if MWBF comes off as expected, it might be just the right number.

“We are planning to the largest craft beer event by population, by ticket sales, by attendees, that’s ever happened (in New Mexico),” Goblet said, noting that in its 27-year history, the Bernalillo wine festival had anywhere from a peak of 28,000 visitors to 14,000 last year. “As a part of this transition into this new craft beer era, we’re going to take a wine festival and somehow replace it with a craft beer event. So we have no idea how many people to expect. It’s a first-year event. We have no idea if some of those wine drinkers will come join us or if they’re going to go to the wine festival at Isleta. It could either be a couple thousand people or it could be 10,000 people.

“And that’s the part that’s really exciting. Whenever you step into something new, you kind of have a sense of a first-year event but it’s kind of also a 28th year event. And that’s the big unknown. How many glasses do we bring? How much beer do we need? We’ve had a lot of brewers who are used to smaller, more intimate festivals. And now you’re talking about potentially four- to five-thousand people per day, descending upon a festival expecting to have a great craft beer experience. We’re trying to gear ourselves up, or ramp up, to accommodate what we think will be a pretty strong demand.”

While there are some California and Oregon breweries in attendance (Anchor, Anderson Valley, Deschutes, Full Sail, Green Flash, Lagunitas, Sierra Nevada, Stone), the hope is that the MWBF will grow into a major regional festival. New Mexico has long been a state caught between three regions — West Coast, Southwest, Rocky Mountain — but part of the thought in naming this festival Mountain West was to identify more with the latter.

“We chose the name Mountain West Brew Fest specifically because we’ve been wanting to continue to build our brand as one of the Rocky Mountain states for craft beer,” Goblet said. “Rocky Mountains, we’re the southernmost tip. The water from Colorado flows into New Mexico. We think that New Mexico has been doing an amazing job representing itself as a solid West Coast craft beer producer. So we wanted to make sure people identified New Mexico not just as a southwest (state) like Arizona, Texas, and Nevada, but really a Mountain West state.

“It also ties into the (college) sports teams and Labor Day weekend is the kickoff of athletics in the Mountain West Conference. There’s this idea that the beers coming out of the West are of the highest quality and we’re part of that brand. People say West Coast beer, but our identification is Mountain West beers.”

As one can tell from the list of in-state breweries, it is mainly those within spitting distance of the central Rio Grande Valley who are attending. Notables such as High Desert (Las Cruces), Spotted Dog (Mesilla), Roosevelt (Portales), The Wellhead (Artesia), 3 Rivers (Farmington), and Taos Mesa are absent. Well, only sort of absent, as Goblet explained.

“It’s a big holiday weekend, it’s an unknown event,” he said. “I don’t blame a few of our further-flung breweries, our frontier breweries as we call them, for calling this one in as an audible. We’ve made accommodations for our further-flung breweries to send their beers to the festival through our Premier Pass and Premier Tent. The idea being that they can’t come, but their beer can still be represented and poured by another brewery. So we’re going to try to have representation of all the breweries in the state that we can get. It’s a long haul, it’s an expensive weekend to come to Albuquerque so we understand for the first year that it was much easier for a lot of the Rio Grande corridor breweries to show up.”

That Premier Pass/Tent is the bonus setup for this event. It costs $10 extra and you can either buy it in advance or upgrade at any time while you are at the festival.

“So you’ve got your standard general admission of $20, a great price for a big, large-scale festival like this,” Goblet said. “You get your standard commemorative sampling glass with your two-ounce sampling line. It’s unlimited sampling like every other Guild festival. You can (also) purchase pints.

“But because this festival has traditionally drawn so many people, we wanted to create an upgrade for folks who wanted to get out of the sun, get a bit of space, have a bit more of an intimate experience. Each day we’ll have four or five bars inside the Premier Tent. The Premier Pass gets you access into an air-conditioned tent with 20 different beers that are not available in the rest of the festival that you can sample and purchase. We’re looking for rare, obscure, unique, interesting beer styles that aren’t (readily) available, limited edition, maybe some barrel-aged specialties.

“Plus, this is where you can go find beers from breweries not represented at the festival — Spotted Dog, High Desert, 3 Rivers, Taos Mesa, and a few others. So it’s kind of one step up, plus it’s air conditioned, so it has that creature comfort for folks who want a bit more exclusive experience.”

Considering the recent temperatures around New Mexico, something with air conditioning just screams “VISIT ME!” That it will also have unique beers available means you will probably find the Crew there.

In addition to all the beer, there will also be a farmers market on site, plus food trucks/vendors, and live music (Bottom Dollar String Band, Anthony Leon & the Chain, Detroit Lightning, Blaze the Nation, Squash Blossom Boys, The Porter Draw, and Soul Kitchen are all lined up to perform). Plus, in the spirit of Labor Day weekend, there will be beer games galore. No, not the traditional beer pong with beer (state law prohibits those, in case you were not aware), but stuff like corn hole, giant Jenga (thank Boxing Bear for that), and whatever else the breweries happen to bring along. Since it is also a giant grass field, picnicking is encouraged, and fear not, the breweries will protect you from any bears that wander in and try to steal your basket. (Right, guys? Right?)

“We all like to think about, it’s Labor Day weekend and what do you do on Labor Day weekend? You hang out with family and friends in your back yard, great beer, great food, you play games and sit in the grass and have a picnic,” Goblet said. “This festival provides that beautiful grassy landscape, (with the) Sandia Mountains in the backdrop. You have a farmers’ market on site where you can go get a picnic. You can go to one of the food vendors and grab a nice lunch. You can have a friendly competition with the games. You can go listen to a concert. The idea is that it’s one of these lounging kind of days, hanging out with friends, doing whatever everyone likes to do on Labor Day, which is kick back and enjoy.”

As for getting to and from the event, fear not, in addition to bribing that one friend/relative/spouse to be your designated driver, they are encouraging every alternative means of transportation that people can come up with for the weekend.

“We have orchestrated some special trains, so definitely check your Rail Runner schedule, there will be special trains coming to the event,” Goblet said. “So you’ve got your standard Rail Runner schedule, your special trains, whatever, by foot, by bike. If Trump will give you his helicopter you can land in the middle of the festival. The hope is that we’re centrally located, we’re between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. It’s an easy 35 minutes form Santa Fe, 15 to 20 minutes from Albuquerque, depending on how fast you drive.”

For the record, I got from ABQ to Kaktus, which is not far from the main site, in 10 minutes. But I drive like a lunatic. Just ask the rest of the Crew. There is a reason they will not ride with me unless absolutely necessary.

Come Labor Day weekend, however, I think the Crew will take advantage of those special Rail Runner trains. We will see many of you there, of that I am all but certain.

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.

Festival season is about to roar to life in a big, big way over the next few weeks, which will have beer lovers scrambling about. I got the scoop on the upcoming Mountain West Brew Fest (Sept. 5-6 in Bernalillo) and the NM Brew Fest (Oct. 10 at the State Fairgrounds), so look for those advance previews this week. We will also have all you need to know about this year’s Hopfest (Aug. 29 at Isleta Casino). Oh, and then there is also the Great American Beer Festival (Sept. 24-26 in Denver). Plus Durango’s San Juan Brewfest (Aug. 29) and the Telluride Blues and Brews Festival (Sept. 18-20). And probably a whole lot of others I have not yet added to my calendar. Phew. A whole lotta stuff is coming up, but do not fret, there are still things to do this weekend. We know many of you have not yet gotten over to either Boese Brothers or Rio Bravo, so now would be a good time to check them out. If you need something to do Friday night, might we recommend the Desert Darlings performing at Tractor Wells Park. Then on Saturday, carpool out to Moriarty for the grand opening of Rio Grande/Sierra Blanca’s awesome beer garden, which we previewed a little while back. Finally, chill out (metaphorically speaking) at Marble on Sunday as El Festival will have four bands playing in the late afternoon/early evening.

Meanwhile, there are a few new beers worth checking out around town. Back Alley has churned out fresh batches of Kentucky Common, Hefen or Hell, and Penn Swankey. Bosque is feeling sessionable with Little Tipper. C Legs, a single hop IPA, is on tap at Boxing Bear. Canteen has brought back their ESB and Scrumtralescent. Radioactive IPA is glowing again at Chama River. Marble heard you all and brought back Brett IPA, while Apricot Sour makes its debut. Tractor has planted Cowboy Blend Coffee Pale Stout, Summer Ale, and Kristal Hefe in their lineup. Turtle Mountain gets into the kettle-soured experience as well with AmeriKriek.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn has three new ones to try in Drone Wars Braggot, HALT!-bier, and Night Train Schwarzbier. Whiptail Pale Ale is on at Second Street.

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

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

Albuquerque metro area breweries

ABQ Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

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

Beers: 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 recently 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: SuMariOatmeal Stout, Brown Eyes. 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 SMO Stout is available on CO2 and nitro.

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: Cali Common, Soroche IPA, Kentucky Common, Hefen or Hell, Penn Swankey. New this week are the Kentucky Common, Hefen or Hell, and Penn Swankey. Not sure what the Swankey is. Oh, darn, gotta take a trip over to Back Alley this week. Shucks.

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.

Boese Brothers Brewery — (505) 382-7060

(Hours: TBA)

Beers: Patriot Porter, La Onza White Ale, Old Shonie Scottish Ale, Steampunk Lager. Welcome to the listings, Boese Brothers! We got a chance to sample their beers in advance of the grand opening this past weekend. The Porter (6% ABV) is a pre-Prohibition style of American porter, more brown than black with strong roasted flavors smoothed out by the nitro pour. La Onza (5.4% ABV) offers up a big, citrusy kick for a Belgian-style witbier. Old Shonie (4.5% ABV) is also available on nitro; it is lighter than most of the other Scottish beers in the ABQ area. Steampunk (5% ABV) combines the style of a California common/steam beer with a pale ale made with Cascade and Willamette hops, but it does so quite nicely.

Events: Boese will have a happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, with $3 pints. You can also get $3 pints all day Tuesday and $6 growler fills all day Wednesday.

News: The Dr. Strangehop XPA is in the fermenter and should be ready to debut soon. No word on the status of their website. You can follow them on their Facebook page.

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: Scale Tipper IPA, Bucketmouth Lager, Thunderhead Black IPA, Little Tipper, Summer Stout (also on nitro at Nob Hill and Las Cruces). All beers listed are on tap at all three locations, unless noted. Bucketmouth Lager (4.4% ABV, 20 IBU) debuted recently and fits this scorching weather perfectly. The fourth and final entry in the Monsoon IPA Series, Thunderhead Black IPA (6.5% ABV, 95 IBU), is a wonderful mix of sweet and roasted malts with a whole lotta hops. Scale Tipper (6.5% ABV, 95 IBU), the two-time NMIPAC winner and current National IPA champion, is on tap until supplies run out. If that is too many hops, try the new Little Tipper (6% ABV, 35 IBU), a sessionable sibling.

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) Body Czech Bohemian Pilsner, Black and Blue Sour, Title Clincher IPA, Umbers Cucumbers, Cream Pale, C Legs. The most recent additions to taps are C Legs, a single-hop IPA brewed with Falconer’s Flight 7 C’s, the Cream Pale, a hybrid of the two styles, and 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. 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, English Summer Ale, Knights of the Canteen, Saison, Dark American Lager, Scrumtralescent, ESB. The most recent additions are the ESB and Scrumtralescent, back for another run. Before that came the Saison, Dark American Lager, English Summer, and Knights of the Canteen, a hoppy little ale with a Helles-style base.

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.

The new brewing system is up and running at Canteen. Guess we have to go over and check it out. With a pint or two.

Events: Todd & the Fox will perform Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m. on the patio. M. Lockwood Porter with John Calvin Abney 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), Kilt Kicker (Smoked Scottish). 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. The Kilt Kicker is the newest entry on the list, a smoked Scottish ale.

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

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

Beers: Pan Am Pale Ale, Oxbow ESB, Woot! Saison, Radioactive. Pan Am (6.3% ABV, 65 IBU) offers up a tart but tasty hop profile. The Oxbow (6% ABV, 33 IBU) is smooth and a little biscuity, but not overly sweet. The Woot! Saison is a hopped up farmhouse ale. Old favorite Radioactive IPA is back for all you thirsty hopheads out there.

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 second batch offers up more flavor from the hops and malts. They are also serving their house-made Holy Ghost Vodka and Horsethief Rum, a 100-percent molasses-based silver rum, plus guest taps from Red Door.

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: 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: Darkness Falls Stout, Honk Ale, Yard Sale IPA, Tasty Red, Berna Brown, Wit, Sweet and Dry Apple Cider. The most recent additions to the Darkness Falls Stout, Berna Brown, and Wit. They join old favorites like Honk Ale, Yard Sale IPA, Tasty Red, and the Sweet and Dry Apple Cider. Kaktus is located at 471 South Hill Road in Bernalillo, for those who have still not made the trek.

News: 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.

Events: 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, BEER. The most recent addition is BEER (4.6% ABV, 25 IBU), an American pilsner that is perfect for beating the late summer heat. Male Stripper was La Cumbre’s entry in NMIPAC. 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 Jade Masque 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, Frilled Irish Red, Earless English IPA. During a recent visit I made sure to write down the 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. Earless (6.4% ABV, 50 IBU) is in the classic English tradition. The Irish Red (5.3% ABV, 24 IBU) has the perfect malt profile, not too sweet, not too dry.

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 — Imperial Red, Double IPA, Dang Pale Ale; Downtown only — Brett IPA, Apricot Sour; Westside only — Hieronymus. We now have a breakdown of which seasonals are available at both Marble locations, Downtown and Westside. 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. Dang Pale Ale returned by popular demand. The most recent additions are the popular Brett IPA and the new Apricot Sour.

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, Robby Overfield performs tonight (Wednesday) from 5 to 8 p.m. Pherkad takes the stage Thursday from 7 to 10 p.m. The Dregz perform Friday from 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday will feature the Green Billies from 8 to 11 p.m.

Sunday will feature El Festival, with four bands performing. Jade Masque goes from 3:30 to 4:30, followed by Wagogo from 5 to 6, Burque Sol from 6:30 to 7:30, and Baracutanga from 8 to 10.

Garry Blackchild performs tonight (Wednesday) from 6 to 9 at the Westside Taproom. Russell James Pyle heads west on Friday from 6 to 9, followed by David Berkeley on Saturday, also from 6 to 9.

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100

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

Beers: 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 is the Belgian Scottish, which used the Beam Me Up Scottish recipe but 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 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 was 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, Rosa’s Gose, Lemongrass Pale Ale, Blanco Bock, Offbeat Wheat. 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 (6.3% ABV, 40 IBU) and the Offbeat Wheat (5.2% ABV, 16 IBU) were the most recent additions. The latter is a modified version of the standard American Wheat with raspberries added. Also on tap are the Bellamah Brown (5% ABV, 30 IBU), American Wheat (5.2% ABV, 16 IBU), and Rosa’s Gose (4.7% ABV, 16 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 recently had an interview with new brewer Andrew Krosche.

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, now with Barclays Premier League soccer on the telly! 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 Real Matt Jones on Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. The Jack Brown Party takes over the stage on Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m.

Rio Bravo Brewing Company — (505) 900-3909

(Mon–Thu noon–10 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–11 p.m., Sun noon–9 p.m.)

Beers: Rio Bravo Amber, Karl’s Hefeweizen, Dirty Rotten Bastard IPA, Snakebite IPA. Welcome to the weekly listings, Rio Bravo! In case you were not aware, RBBC held their soft opening over the weekend with four of their own beers on tap, plus some guest taps. You can find them all at 1912 2nd St. NW, which is just south of I-40. The Amber offers up a more flavorful kick than most of its genre. The Hefeweizen has a big banana aroma, but the flavor is more balanced and smooth. Dirty Rotten Bastard is a “level one” IPA, similar to a session in that it sits at 4.8-percent ABV. Columbus is the primary hop in the DRB. Snakebite (6.6% ABV) is the bigger “level two” IPA, armed with Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, Columbus, and Crystal hops. Want to learn more about Rio Bravo and their plans for the future? Check out our in-depth look.

News: The Black Angus Stout should be ready soon, with the Duke City Pils coming along after that.

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: Javi Lager, The Ruggles, Tupac Cali Red, Berliner Weisse, Pear Cider, Dry Apple Cider (Nob Hill only), Summer Ale (Wells Park only), Cowboy Blend Coffee Stout (Wells Park only), Kristal Hefe (Wells Park only). A trio of recent additions highlight the lineup in the Cowboy Blend (5.5% ABV, 25 IBU), Summer Ale (7% ABV), and Kristal Hefe (6.6% ABV). Other recent additions are the old-favorite Javi Lager (5% ABV, 20 IBU) and the Ruggles (4.4% ABV), a California Common-style beer that’s sweet and light and great for beating the heat. Actually, they both fit that sessionable description. Berliner Weisse (5.1% ABV) is back at both locations. The popular Tupac Cali Red (6% ABV) is also back for a second run. 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 two new seasonals in the Dry Apple and Pear.

Events: Solos on the Hill is back at Nob Hill tonight (Wednesday) with Keith Sanchez performing at 8:30 p.m. Or you can test your own singing voice at Wells Park with Kamikaze Karaoke at 7 p.m.

In an off-site event, Tractor and The Grain Station are teaming up for Back to School Pint Night at the latter at 5 p.m. All Tractor pints will be $3 and there will be food specials as well.

The Thirsty Thursday Music Series returns to Wells Park with Eryn Bent on stage at 8 p.m. Stick around afterwards for the 3rd Thursday’s Comedy Night at 10 p.m.

The Desert Darlings return to Wells Park on Friday at 8 p.m. for their latest edition of Hops and Dreams. This time around there will be some guest dancers for even more fun.

The In the Mix series returns Saturday to Wells Park with DJ Justin Credible at 9 p.m. Before that on Saturday, head over to Nob Hill for Setting the Tone with Eryn Bent performing at 5 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, Cucumbersome Kosmonaut Kolsch, After Midnight, AmeriKriek. 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 AmeriKriek, a kettle-soured beer dosed with cherries. The Cucumbersome Kosmonaut Kolsch is a cucumber-infused version of the popular Kosmonaut, in case you could not guess. Cannon Fodder is a big old hop beast. Another recent addition is After Midnight, a schwarzbier dosed with black currant berries.

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: Night Train Schwarzbier, HALT!-bier, Drone Wars Braggot. The taps have turned over with the return of two old favorites and the arrival of a newcomer. HALT! is of course an altbier with a clever name and a great flavor. The Night Train is always a big hit with the locals. New is the Drone Wars, a braggot that is essentially a hybrid of a beer and a mead. That just begs to be tried. Oh, Draft Station, could you please get some down here in ABQ? Thanks! We appreciate it as always.

News: Blue Corn brewer James Warren said next up is the Brown Paper Bag, a malt liquor, which should be ready by Saturday. After that, he is brewing three specialty IPAs. One is made wild hops from here in New Mexico, another is the Alpha Reaper 2.0, made with wet hops from Colorado, and the big kid in the bunch will be Good Guys IPA, brewed for the upcoming Alpha King Challenge.

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), 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), Cezanne Magnifique (Barrel-Aged Imperial Saison), Ara Pacis (Barrel-Aged Imperial Golden Sour). 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 $20 bottles in limited supply, with all proceeds going to Meow Wolf.

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

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, Oktoberfest. Welcome back, Oktoberfest, even if it does not even remotely feel like October out there. 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, Rod’s Steam Bitter, Boneshaker Bitter, British Mild, Agua Fria Apricot, Whiptail Pale Ale. The most recent addition is the Whiptail. Before that came two old favorites in the Boneshaker and British Mild, while the new kid is the Agua Fria, a sour. Another recent returnee is the award-winning Rod’s Steam Bitter. 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 will feature Mushi Trio all month long. Jono Mason performs Friday and Swing Soleil will be on stage Saturday.

Over at the Railyard, Pigment performs Friday followed by Hot Honey on Saturday and the Gunsels on Sunday. The AMP Concert Series returns to the Railyard this Sunday night with the Red Elvises performing.

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), Posh Bitter. We are proud to have Los Alamos’ first brewery amid our listings. They have eight available taps, so we are not sure which of their own beers is the odd man out (we’re guessing Hoppenheimer), though that was likely determined by how much everyone drank recently at the awesome Full House Party. I especially enjoyed the Black Point Stout, but just about every beer was great. Check out the review.

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

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), Venom 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 Venom IPA, 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: There is an Open Mic tonight (Wednesday) at Twisted Chile. Jones and Miles will perform on the patio on Friday night.

* * * *

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

The staff is ready at Boese Bros. Brewing.

The staff is ready at Boese Brothers Brewery.

By the time you read this, Boese Brothers Brewery could already be open. No, do not stop reading just yet, but be aware that if it is after 2 p.m. here on Friday, Aug. 14, that the grand opening of Albuquerque’s newest brewery is underway. The good news is they will be open until 2 a.m., so you have some time.

The Brew Crew, with near record attendance, got the chance to visit Boese Brothers during a private, soft opening on Thursday evening. Along with Brandon, AmyO, Laura, Kristin, and Bharley Quinn, I got to pop in for a tour, a flight, a couple pints, and lots of conversation with the staff and other first-time customers.

Breaking down the nitty-gritty details first:

The beer menu for the grand opening. Only the XPA is not yet ready.

The beer menu for the grand opening. Only the XPA is not yet ready.

Boese Brothers will have four of their planned five beers on tap. Only Dr. Strangehop XPA was not ready for pouring. Your choices are Patriot Porter on nitro, La Onza White Ale, Old Shone Scottish Ale on nitro, and Steampunk Lager, which is their summer seasonal.

There is also Santa Sidra cider and two wines available for the gluten-free segment of the population that likes to come to breweries and not drink beer.

For those who are still unaware of the location, Boese Brothers is on the northwest corner of 6th Street and Gold Ave. It is right near a slew of downtown institutions, including the Kimo Theater, Anodyne, and Launchpad. It may now be the Crew’s go-to location for pre-gaming metal shows at Launchpad.

Even for the soft opening, the taproom filled up quickly.

Even for the soft opening, the taproom filled up quickly.

The interior of Boese Brothers is spacious. The decor fits with the general vibe of downtown. There is also a bit of a retro look. Be forewarned, however, it gets loud inside the taproom when it gets crowded. We have more on why that is and why there are no plans to install anything to cut down on the noise below.

Boese Bros. is working in partnership with Gold Street Caffe for food. There is a menu on the back of the beer cards with items such as tacos, a BLT, and french fries, which you can order. A very nice delivery person will then bicycle them over from the Caffe. It is just another example of one local business helping another.

Brandon has his eye on the heady Steampunk Lager.

Brandon has his eye on the heady Steampunk Lager.

Breaking down the beers, it was hard to say there was a singular favorite amongst the six of us. Each beer fits a different part of the beer spectrum, yet none are clones of other beers you can find around town. In that respect, Boese Brothers is doing something rather radical. There is no attempt here to mimic Elevated IPA or Wildflower Wheat or Scotia Scotch Ale or anything else. Some folks have cried out for a brewery to try something different. Well, Boese Brothers has heard you. (Whether these beers are different enough for some folks will be the subject of future debate on social media.)

The Patriot Porter (6% ABV) is based on 18th Century American porters. It is not black as night, as all derivations of the English style are, but instead a dark red. There are no chocolate malts to be found here. It is not a sweet beer, but burly and heavy with prominent roasted notes. Pouring it on nitro smooths it out quite a bit. Despite the lack of sweetness, it is not a bitter beer by any means. Even non-dark beer lovers could drink this.

Meanwhile, La Onza White Ale (5.4% ABV) is at the other end of the spectrum. It acts like a witbier, with heavy citrus notes from the lemongrass. There are also a lot of ginger and wheat notes throughout. If you enjoy a Belgian wit or Belgian golden ale, this beer is for you.

Old Shonie Scottish Ale (4.5% ABV) shows the difference between a Scotch ale and a Scottish. The former is what is actually served at Nexus and Bosque. It tends to be higher in ABV (usually 6 to 7.5%) and darker in color. Old Shonie is lighter in both aspects. It is smooth and light, though certainly the nitro plays a part in that. There are minimal caramel notes compared to bigger Scotch ales. This one goes well with our current scorching hot weather.

The Steampunk Lager (5% ABV) was Brandon’s favorite and I imagine it will be the favorite of Franz Solo as well, at least until the XPA is ready. It is similar in some fashion to the IPL style, though it is more hop-backed than hop-forward. There is a light, sweet lager flavor up front that lingers throughout. The hops here are Willamette and Cascade, so it has a strong, piney flavor typical of the IPAs you get in the Northwest. They are prominent but not overpowering in the beer. Again, this beer goes well with the current weather. About the best local comparison I could find for the beer was the seasonal Whirlpool Lager over at Bosque. Hopefully at some point both will be on tap at the same time so we can all compare and contrast them.

We look forward to going back to try Dr. Strangehop XPA (6.5% ABV) when it is ready.

“We’ve got the XPA finishing up primary fermentation,” George Boese told us. “We’ll dry hop that (Friday), too.”

Another cool thing that Boese Brothers has is what they do not have. Before you get confused, they do not have Shaker Pints. You know, the standard pint glasses that do little to enhance a beer’s flavor. Instead, each beer has its own unique glass. The Steampunk is served in a tall glass that helps bring out the hops (if you went to the IPA Challenge, you came home with a similar glass). The Old Shonie is served in a mug. Patriot Porter has a slightly curved top on its glass. La Onza comes in a goblet. If my not-so-good descriptions fail you, scroll to the bottom of the story for a picture. And at some point I will have to ask if these various glass styles have names yet.

George Boese gives the Crew a tour of the brewery.

George Boese gives the Crew a tour of the brewery.

Once we finished our flights and had our pints, George Boese took us on a quick tour of the brewery, telling more of the brothers’ story and giving us the chance to ask some one-on-one questions.

Boese Brothers has a brand-new, 15-barrel brewhouse working hard in the back.

“It’s all steam-powered, brand-new Premier stainless steel system,” George said.

All that shiny equipment sits in a space that was far from shiny when the brothers purchased it. The building had been used as a parking garage for a while.

“It was a dirty shell, too,” George said. “There were eight pigeons in here. Broken windows and stuff. It wasn’t painted like it is now. It was terrible.”

The work in the back has been impressive. It looks and feels like a real brewery, though unique with the setting. The windows are up top near the ceiling and there is one major garage door on the east wall. It has an almost rustic, old-school feeling, which fits with the taproom vibe in front.

The brewhouse control panel.

The brewhouse control panel.

As for the aforementioned loudness of the taproom, George said he actually prefers it that way. He rejected the call for any acoustic tiling or other sound-dampening implements.

“I don’t want to because that’s the original work of the building,” George said. “I know that it gets loud and echo-y in there, but I don’t want to mess with it. … Our general contractor tried to get us to put a false ceiling in there and do sheet rock around the building. Even though it’s not a historically registered building, the whole appeal to me was that it was an older building and it was something we could kind of bring back to life. We’re going to kind of deal with it the way it is. I’m really touchy about changing stuff like that.”

One thing Boese Brothers will continue to do is work with other local businesses and artists when it comes to adding to the decor. Almost everything seen out front in the taproom and on the exterior was made locally.

“The neon (sign) was made by a guy here in Albuquerque,” George said. “Our tap system, the tilework, the paintwork, the refinishing of all the furniture in there we did ourselves. To the maximum extent possible I tried to source stuff to Albuquerque. Our shirts were made down the street. Our menus were printed next door. I try to do as much as I can. Especially for us, we’re trying to help downtown change its reputation and do something different. We’re trying to partner up with as many (other businesses) as we can to help everyone out and maybe get people to help us.”

Changing that negative reputation of downtown will take time, but it is something Boese Brothers is looking forward to trying.

“I like the Brewery District, it’s awesome to have all that stuff out there, but we’re the only brewery that is in a neighborhood,” George said. “I am surrounded by people that live down here and walk down here. It’s not just a taproom, we’re trying to do everything right in the middle of Albuquerque. That’s our philosophy.”

Jaimie shows off the proper glassware that will be on display this weekend.

Jaimie shows off the proper glassware that will be on display this weekend.

We think Boese Brothers will be a great addition to the local brewing scene. They are just different enough to stand apart. Their location is not a detriment, but a plus. Downtown needed another craft beer option to go with Back Alley and the Chama Microbar. Now we have one. We look forward to hearing back from all of you after your first visits this weekend.

Welcome to the New Mexico craft brewing community, Boese Brothers!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Yup, we have another home brewer in the Crew.

Yup, we have another home brewer in the Crew.

From a wish to an idea to the bottled goodness we call beer, this is my tale concerning how I became a home brewer and the adventures I’ve had along the way. Twenty years ago I was in my parents’ home wondering what in the blazes was this odd aroma coming from the kitchen. My father, who has quite the penchant for making things, fixing things, cooking things, growing things all himself, was brewing beer. I recall bottling with him on a fair number of occasions around this time and perhaps a taste or two for my own curiosity.

Fast forward to the beginning of 2015. My wonderful wife had procured a three-gallon stainless steel stock pot for me some months back and I had made quite a few different turkey and chicken broths therein. It dawned on me that I ought to try brewing my own beer since I have a natural proclivity for cooking and enjoy doing so. With advice from the rest of the Brew Crew and a few other brewers I know, I went with Porter Pounder to Southwest Grape and Grain and procured the necessary equipment for brewing. As it turns out, for the basics of doing extract brewing you can purchase all of the necessary items for around $200, including your first batch.

The dunkelweizen in its infancy.

The dunkelweizen in its infancy.

In honor of my German heritage (among many others), I chose to do a dunkelweizen for my first batch. The excitement of brewing my first batch was just outstanding, and the resulting beer, which turned out better than I imagined, is a testament to what I learned from Porter Pounder and others alike.

Just a wee bit of grain for the oatmeal stout.

Just a wee bit of grain for the oatmeal stout.

The second batch was an oatmeal stout into which I added cold-brewed coffee. This one taught me a few lessons about stouts and yeast strains. Mrs. Solo and I followed the kit instructions to the letter and were surprised at the light color of the beer. This was compounded when the brew crashed early and needed a second yeast pitch and a heater (this was in March) to get to the target gravity. One suggestion I received was to steep my grains for longer than the suggested time by about two fold for dark brews and by about half for lighter brews to get maximum flavor and proper color when using extract primarily and only a portion of grain. Having tried this out, it is definitely helpful if one is brewing extract as my later brews have turned out better and better.

All the equipment one needs for brewing and bottling.

All the equipment one needs for brewing and bottling.

On the topic of yeasts, be sure to check what temperature range your yeast likes before pitching as that will help to avoid early crashes such as I experienced. The most important things I learned from these first two batches were cleanliness is godliness (so far I haven’t had a single contaminated batch), knowing the sweet spot on your stove or burner is paramount, knowing which styles demand racking for clarity, and being open to experimentation since that’s where you make a beer your own.

Upon victory, drink thine own beer, listen to metal, celebrate.

Upon victory, drink thine own beer, listen to metal, celebrate.

That’s all for this time, back in a week with more tales of brewing so y’all just chill, until the next episode. (I can neither confirm nor deny that Dre and Snoop have wormed their way back into the typical metal mayhem of my usual playlists.)

Brew on and Prost!

— Franz Solo