Oktoberfiesta Pic 2

Santa Fe Brewing is hosting a party and everyone is invited.

As I was driving home from Red River’s Oktoberfest last Sunday, I had a couple questions on my mind. How much Oktoberfest is too much Oktoberfest? And can anyone really have too much Oktoberfest in their lives? The answers that I came up with were thus: “too much” is too broad of a statement, and no, you can never have too much Oktoberfest! And that’s why the Germans celebrate this festival every year for 17 to 18 days. Well, tomorrow (Saturday), Santa Fe Brewing Company is hosting their fourth annual Oktoberfiesta at the brewery, just off of highway 14, at 35 Fire Place. Not to be confused with their Oktoberfest (Beer) Release Party, which I wrote about in August, this will be the real deal, whole enchilada, and sauerkraut meal. This, beer and fiesta enthusiasts, will be one Oktoberfest bash in true Santa Fe Brewing style that you do NOT want to miss.

This year, three bands and a house DJ will be playing/spinning/killin’ it all day from noon to 7, including the mariachi band, Mariachi Diferencia, the jam band, Pigment, and the cure to southwestern rock, The Strange. The roof will come down.

Also, throughout the day, true tests of Wit and Will shall be held — contests of six-pack holding, yodeling, and bratwurst eating, none for the faint of heart. What’s German for “Game on?!”

SFBC will also be hosting a beer tasting with three other great breweries. For a mere suggested donation of $5, Oktoberfesters, 21 and older, will get a taster glass to sample the brewsical stylings of SFBC, Canteen Brewhouse, Boxing Bear Brewing Co., and Bosque Brewing Co. Even Santa Fe Cider Works will be there selling something a bit different. (Wink, wink.) And for your noshing pleasure, local food trucks Joe’s Sausage and Tacos y Mas will be there on site.

It’s a great philosophy to “celebrate the season, for no reason,” but SFBC has a great reason this year, or three, actually. Even though this is an admission-free event, a portion of the day’s proceeds will go to benefit the Santa Fe Humane Society & Animal Shelter, the Esperanza Woman’s Shelter, and the Assistance Dogs of the Southwest. Haven’t I been saying it all along? Beer saves lives, man!

Oktoberfiesta Pic 1

This crazy shindig is a family friendly event, so bring out the kiddos. Bring Grandma. Bring that weird aunt that always wants to show off her inappropriate dolphin tattoo. Hey, maybe one of them can be the DD! (Fest responsibly, folks! If you booze it, don’t cruise it.) I’m already convinced this will be the party of the year; in fact, I will be there celebrating my birthday, because it’s my particular brand of bash. So grab your Dirndls and lederhosen (how many times will I say that this year?) OR sombrero and head out to Santa Fe Brewing Company for a wicked good time! See you there! Aye, Aye!

Salud!

— Luke

From SFBC Website:

Schedule of Events

Noon – 12:30 — House DJ

12:30 – 1:30 — Mariachi Diferencia

1:30 – 2:15 — Six-pack holding contest (sign up limited to first 10 people located at festival entrance). There will also be a men’s heat and a women’s heat.

2:15 – 3 — Brat-eating contest (sign up is limited to the first 10 people located at festival entrance)

3 – 5 — Pigment

5 – 5:15 — Yodeling Contest (sign up is limited to the first five people located at the festival entrance)

5:15 – 7:30 — The Strange

* all event times are approximate and subject to change

There is something almost eerie about a brewery taproom being so quiet before it’s open. Such was the case when I stopped by Tractor Wells Park on Wednesday morning. It won’t be the case the next time I’m there Saturday night.

Tractor is turning 15. Shenanigans are imminent.

Tractor is turning 15. Shenanigans are imminent.

That’s because Saturday is Tractor’s Quincenera, a 15th anniversary party for the ages. There will be live music, live artists, an auction, and oh, yeah, plenty of beer.

I was joined Wednesday morning by Antal Maurer of the brewing team and Carlos Contreras, Tractor’s events coordinator. The first thing they did was introduce me to the newest Tractor brew which will debut Saturday when the event kicks off at 5 p.m.

“So we have our special release this which is this,” Antal said. “It’s our anniversary wheat, (but) we’ll probably name it something more exciting between now and then. So it’s a wheat base and then we’ve added 25 grapefruits worth of meat as well as candied peel. Once we did all the candying ourselves as far as boiling it down until we got the bitterness out of the peel and then adding the sugar to the peel. So both the meat and the candied peels were added to the fermenter at knockout, along with some coriander, some cinnamon, and some ginger.”

The decision to do a special wheat beer was drawn in part from the popularity of Tractor’s regular Honey Wheat.

“One of our strong points has always been that our Honey Wheat is one of our staple beers,” Antal said. “It’s always been kind of an introductory beer for people who are learning about craft beer. I think that’s one thing that Tractor does really, really well. We’re very un-pretentious and we’re very open to educating people about craft beer. What better place to start than Honey Wheat or a wheat beer?

“(So) that’s one of the reasons we’ve gone with the grapefruit. It’s something that kind of stands out as a Tractor signature, being able to play with the grapefruit. Galena and Fuggles are the hops, there’s a little bit of Maris Otter. Two Row is our base malt, a little bit of Acid Malt to help out with the grapefruit as well.”

Going with a wheat beer in the fall might seem unusual as most breweries move away from the style after the summer, but since ABQ is still nice and warm during the day, it’s still a transitional period between the seasons.

“I’d say it’s a nice segway into fall from a nice, refreshing wheat beer that you would enjoy in the summer, but then a little bit of spice and a little bit of bitterness that’s going to make it a bit of a fall session beer,” Antal said. “Although it is about 6.7 (percent) ABV.”

Antal poses with Tractor's special anniversary wheat. It only took Carlos about 10 or 12 tries to get the picture right. (Photo courtesy of Tractor Brewing)

Antal poses with Tractor’s special anniversary wheat. It only took Carlos about 10 or 12 tries to get the picture right. (Photo courtesy of Tractor Brewing)

For those who prefer other styles of beer (or, like me, have allergy-related issues), Tractor will have some other new beers and some returning old favorites on tap as well Saturday. Antal said there will be a Red Rye, a new take on the popular C+C IPA, and a new Berry Cider.

As for the entertainment, Carlos provided a summary of all that will be seen and heard.

“So on your events first and foremost you have Porter Draw, they’ll go on at 5 (p.m.). So we have music basically from 5 to close, almost. Porter Draw will play 5 to 7. Keith Sanchez will play 7 to 9. Then you have Flo Fader who will DJ from 9 to almost close.

“On top of those guys you’ll have live painters and face painters. You’ll have people painting Dia de los Muertos-themed paintings that will go up for auction. And then Sparrow, who works here, she and her mom are going to be doing Dia de los Muertos face paintings.”

Local artists James Montoya, who specializes in Dia de los Muertos paintings (you can see some at Red Door and Tractor Nob Hill), and David Santiago, who did all of Tractor’s can designs, will be among those present.

There will likely be some brewery tours being held as well. And if you’re worried about all the beer without any food, fear not, for Mystique will be the food truck on site.

While we were chatting about Saturday, assistant brewer Josh Campbell stopped by to fill me in on two of the Crew’s favorite Tractor beers which are coming up. I even got to try one of them, though it’s far from being ready, but it is quite tasty already. The Luna de los Muertos, Tractor’s epic Russian imperial stout, has just gone into the fermenter and projects to be ready in one month.

“It’s a little boozier than I’m used to,” Josh said. “It’s got a little more of an alcoholic note to it. It’ll mellow out, it’s still young. But usually you’re starting to get a little more raises right now. We brewed it a little bit later and it hasn’t quite gotten there yet. But it’s wicked good.”

Oh, and Turkey Drool, that wonderful holiday beer that is a cacophony of flavors, is scheduled to be brewed this coming week. Thank the beer gods for that brew! A happy Thanksgiving is all but guaranteed!

Until then, the Crew will see all of you at Wells Park on Saturday night. Who knows, maybe they’ll even let us lead one of the tours. (Probably not. We might start drinking the Luna straight from the fermenter.)

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Red River 3

Cheers to beer in the mountains!

Every year, around the middle of October, we take the short trip up to Red River for their Oktoberfest celebration. Set in the small Northern New Mexico mountain resort town, Oktoberfest is an ideal excuse to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and spend some time drinking beer amid nature, as Thoreau intended.

On a typical Red River visit, we’ll head up on Friday after work, and make it into town just as the sun is going down. We have just enough time to check into the Auslander, a quaint array of condominiums just a ways off Main Street. We usually miss the moustache-themed pub crawl which begins at 5 p.m. in Brandenburg Park, but that’s okay. We’ll catch up with many of those mustachioed merrymakers later. First, before I do anything else, I have to have my traditional beer on the balcony, which is always the very piney Ranger IPA from New Belgium. Who knows how these traditions get started? But there, in the mountains, with the woods all around, there’s almost nothing better. That’s where my soul is let off the leash. Know what I mean?

After that Red River ritual, it’s time to head into town for some food and drink. There are many choices from Italian to Texas steak houses, which vary as much in quality as they do in style. But there’s local and Colorado beer on the menu at many places if you look just beyond the popular Oklahoma and Texas favorites. We found Tractor’s Almanac IPA over at Texas Red’s Steakhouse and it was like bumping into a new friend while out on the town.

Red River Pic 7

Hopefully that’s a dog and not a bear. No beer for bears!

After a good solid meal at Red’s, a short wandering will either take you next door to Motherlode Saloon or across the street to Bull o’ the Woods Saloon. After 9 p.m. your choices dwindle fast. You’re not exactly in the city, remember? As for us, we moseyed over to Motherlode, where they delivered on the promise of live music. Inside was packed pretty tightly with folk out for a two-step and a couple Shiner Bocks. It made for some interesting people … and dog-watching. Unfortunately, if you were looking to try some new or interesting beers at this bar, this wasn’t the place to do it. You would have to move on, and so we eventually did.

Red River 2

Don’t you wish this was your beer fridge?

At this point, if you haven’t already trekked home to your condo, you will undoubtedly end up at Bull O’ the Woods, as it’s the last bar standing. With a slightly younger and less cowboy-hat-clad crowd, this bar features more flat screen TVs, a larger seating area, and a wider array of drinks than most other places in town.

It doesn’t hurt that it has a nice beer stash, too. Where have you been all night? you wonder every time you see that glowing glass fridge. The selection of beers inside range from here to there, mostly here, but some way out there, like the lineup from Alaskan’ Brewing Co., or Boddingtons Pub Ale from Manchester, U.K. I had a Lucky U IPA from Breckenridge Brewing Co., which I rather enjoyed, even if those Colorado IPAs are maltier than I want them to be. All in all, it’s a well-kept dive, one of those places that reminds you that service is for city folk, and it’s all fun and games until someone buys you a fireball. Seriously, when did those things happen to today’s drinking public? Another good night in Red River quickly comes to an end.

Oh, lord, is that the chicken dance?

Oh, lord, is that the chicken dance?

Waking up in Red River, there is nothing better than cooking your own hangover breakfast, as most condos and cabins come fully equipped with a kitchen. Now that’s not to say that Red River is without its breakfast options. You can always eat at Yesterday’s Diner, which has great food, but you may be waiting until tomorrow for it. You’ve been warned.

But once everyone’s fueled and ready, head on down to Oktoberfest, and do so early, because they quickly run out of the “cool” taster glasses. You’ll still get a glass and a string of coupons, but you may be envious of the early-birds walking around with 2014 Oktoberfest Steins, and your pint glass says “River & Brews Blues Festival 2012.”

Red River 4

Prost!

In the spirit of celebrating all things German, there’s plenty of German food to fill der magen, from schnitzel to bratwurst and sauerkraut. If you’re all about that bass, (‘bout that bass), then you’ll be happy to know that Oom-Pah music emphatically fills that tiny mountain valley for the duration of the festival. You think it would get old, but it never does.

For those ambitious festers, there’s also a Mr. and Ms. Oktoberfest competition, complete with an obstacle course and a stein-holding contest for money, bragging rights, and a bright blue sash! So if you head up there, don’t forget your dirndls and lederhosen, because you could be crowned the next Mr. or Ms. Oktoberfest, and you’ll be the envy of all your friends!

But what would an Oktoberfest be without the beer?

Red River Pic 8

Traditional German attire meets … something.

Red River’s Oktoberfest is more of a German festival than what we’d call a brewfest, but you can’t go a few feet without bumping into people standing in those familiar brewfest lines. But here, nobody’s in a mad dash to sample, check their beers into Untappd, rinse, repeat. Here, you get poured plenty, and you can sample a decent amount of brews from a few of the usual suspects, such as Santa Fe Brewing Co., Abbey Brewing Co., Taos Mesa Brewing, and also Comanche Creek Brewing Co., a smaller, family-owned microbrewery from just outside Eagle Nest. Oh, and there’s Blue Moon, if you’re into the macrobrews. In addition to those, beers’ more sophisticated cousins were there too. Samples from the likes of St. Clair Winery, Las Nueve Ninas Winery, and Left Turn Distilling were also poured to add to the New Mexico craft flavor. This Oktoberfest had a little something for everyone’s tastes, but I can only speak for mine.

Comanche Creek brought their Homestead Amber Ale, Hop Harvest Ale, and Aspen Gold Oktoberfest, but personally, I wanted more from them. Taos Mesa brought their Black Widow Porter, Lunch Pale Ale, and Great Scot Scottish, I enjoyed the porter, but I just didn’t love the Great Scot as much as I wanted to. It was a wee bit lighter than I was expecting, but perhaps I’m spoiled by Great Divide and Oskar Blues in that category. I was surprised at how much we loved the Monk’s Dark Ale. It was just an outstanding brew. I would have taken that up to GABF with me, too.

Red River Pic 6

Good night, Red River.

When all is said and done, it’s a trip that I look forward to every year. I love getting out of town, where you actually feel like you’re getting out of town. There is nothing like drinking a beer in that fresh mountain air amid friends, family, and those gorgeous golden leaves of the aspens. It’s an Oktoberfest unlike our big city versions, and perhaps that’s what keeps me going back. On a deeper level, Red River has become my happy place. It’s my Walden Pond. It’s where my head is clear, my beer is transcendental, and my soul is free. I recommend at least a couple visits to Red River’s many events even if just for the spiritual suds alone.

Prost!

— Luke

For all other information on Red River’s Oktoberfest go to: http://www.redriveroktoberfest.com/

Ted Rice is a busy man these days. Marble Brewery’s co-founder/co-owner/brewmaster has barely had a chance to catch his breath since 2014 began. It didn’t get any easier, but sure was rewarding, when he and his team brought home two gold medals and the Small Brewery of the Year Award from the Great American Beer Festival in Denver earlier this month. Luckily, I managed to catch up with Ted at NM Brew Fest over the weekend and then we were able to carve out 20 minutes of his time Tuesday afternoon to try to sum up the wildest, busiest, most award-winning year in Marble’s history.

The Marble team, including Ted Rice on the left, poses with their trophies for Small Brewery and Brewer of the Year. (Photo courtesy of Marble Brewing)

The Marble team, including Ted Rice on the left, poses with their trophies for Small Brewery and Brewer of the Year. (Photo courtesy of Marble Brewing)

Q: So take me through the entire GABF experience, from winning gold for Double White and Imperial Red to Small Brewery of the Year.

Ted: “I walked into the theater just as the awards were starting. The rest of the gang was already there, they had a seat for me. I just sat down and took a deep breath and waited for it all to go down. I’ve been to the GABF as a professional brewer since 2000, so I’ve gone through the myriad of emotions that are involved in being a participating brewer. My heart used to palpitate each time a category would come up that I was entered in. Now I’ve reached that sort of level where it comes and goes.

“So I think that was maybe our second category (for Double White). Our first category we entered in the order of announcement was the American Style Wheat Beer with Yeast. So we didn’t win anything there. We entered the Wildflower Wheat there, it was a first-time entry. It has honey in it, but we didn’t want to enter that beer in the Honey Beer category because it’s not bursting with honey character. That one came and went and then Other Strong Beer came up. Just winning one medal, whether it’s bronze or let alone gold, is amazing.

“It’s a ton of fun these days when we’re coming to GABF with a big crew. Anticipation is high to deliver and thankfully we’ve been making great beer and been recognized I guess for the past four years in a row here.”

Marble's trio of brewers posed with their medals and awards in Denver. (Photo courtesy of Marble Brewing)

Marble’s trio of brewers posed with their medals and awards in Denver. (Photo courtesy of Marble Brewing)

Q: Seven medals in four years is an accomplishment. Leah (Black) captured some of the reaction this year in her videos posted to your Facebook page.

Ted: “When Chris Swersey is announcing the medals and you’re hanging on his every word, I don’t even look at the screen anymore, I just close my eyes and listen to him annunciate every single word. When you hear that ‘duh’ of Double and then ‘Double White,’ when it’s absolutely confirmed when he said ‘Marble,’ that’s when we jumped up.

“We’re all jumping up and down, we run down there, get our medal, come back and sit down. When the Imperial Red came up, that was the beer I was most confident as far as a medal contender. I just thought it tasted great, I tasted a bunch of other imperial reds on the floor and nothing else had that character. Two years ago we medaled at the GABF with exactly the same two beers, Double White and Imperial Red, but it was bronze and silver.

“We got an Imperial Red into GABF other times and also into the World Beer Cup, and those batches I didn’t feel were all that good, but those beers went to the final table. This year I was pretty confident that it was a really strong contender. Sitting back after winning Double White I was just like what could be better, let’s get gold for Imperial Red.”

One of Marble's top GABF awards now proudly adorns the window sill inside the downtown pub.

One of Marble’s top GABF awards now proudly adorns the window sill inside the downtown pub.

Q: And then came the big one. Were you even expecting that?

Ted: “Imperial Red was our last category. It didn’t really cross my mind that Small Brewery of the Year could be on the table. So we win Imperial Red and I move to a different section in the theater to go hang out with my friends from Telluride Brewing Company. My buddy says to me, nobody else has won two golds, you could win Small Brewery of the Year. I’m like, ‘No way!’ So I stayed there for the rest of the announcement. And lo and behold, we’re up there, grins ear to ear, accepting that award as well. After that, just walk on over to the festival floor, and just have some fun and try to keep it level, keep it real.

“The last thing these medals are going to do are go to my head. It’s only going to push me to keep performing at that level of excellence, batch after batch after batch.”

Q: What did you do after the ceremony?

Ted: “So during the afternoon session I think we basically ran out of both Double White and Imperial Red at that session. We probably should have rationed it, but it’s so hard to pick up the 5.2-gallon keg and feel it and say I’m going to save that for the Saturday evening session. Then we went over to Jack’s Fish House down in LoDo (Lower Denver, the area near Coors Field), just enjoying some cocktails and some nice plates. After Jack’s we went back to the festival floor, celebrated some more, and that’s pretty much it.”

Q: As a state, New Mexico earned eight more medals this year, tying last year’s mark, and pulled in a record five golds. What does this mean for the brewing scene here?

Ted: “It’s pretty amazing. Where have we come? We’ve come to be a force to be reckoned with. A lot of people, yeah, maybe dismiss us because we’re down here in this sparsely populated state. But as I always tell people, the people that live in New Mexico love big, bold flavors, so the brewers are following hand in hand with the citizens’ palates, just bringing big, bold flavors.

“I think myself and several of the other brewers that have been brewing in this state for a long time have kind of set this level of excellence that all the other brewers coming up through the ranks follow through. They’re kind of standing on our shoulders in a way. They have solid procedures set, they have solid flavor profiles set, and they’re able to build on those right alongside of us. That’s fun.”

Post-interview Imperial Red. Because why not?

Post-interview Imperial Red. Because why not drink a gold medal beer while it’s on tap?

Q: So all of that came after what can best be described as the busiest, craziest year at Marble. You’ve taken on a lot this year. Have you ever sat back and asked yourself, what am I doing? Am I crazy?

Ted: “It’s been huge, yeah. (But) I can’t turn it away, it’s only what I wanted. When we opened Marble we opened with five partners. At the beginning of this year we purchased the shares of two of the founding, managing members. And so that was just kind of inevitable that was coming down the pipeline. Those guys did a great job setting everything up. But it was just the right time for people to part ways.

“Our president and vice president were bought out as of the beginning of this year. I assumed some new roles there. Unfortunately it took me away from the brewhouse. I haven’t brewed since maybe January. Lord knows I walk through the brewery all day every day seven days a week. So I’m still there, steering it and everything. So there was that shift in ownership.

“Then we sold our distribution rights in Albuquerque and Santa Fe to National Distributing Company. And then we pretty much dissolved our distribution arm, Marble Distributing, which did a great job of getting our beer out to market. But we decided it was time to focus on running a brewery. We’d done as much as we possibly could with our distributing arm. So there was that change there.

“Then as far as projects and renovations, we renovated the patio. We renovated the bathrooms. We’re currently almost complete with the renovation of the Westside Taproom. Then we also had a really good showing at the World Beer Cup with the gold for our Pilsner and now GABF. Now we just sent our permit set to the City and also out to contractors for bid for our expansion here at 111 Marble Ave. So we’ll add 7,000 square feet and be able to more than double our current capacity. So that’s all coming together. I hope to break ground at the end of this year. I’m working on securing on all of my equipment right now. So I’m hoping I can take a deep breath in 2015, but I highly doubt that.”

The new Marble logo brought about a lot of varied opinions when it debuted this year.

The new Marble logo brought about a lot of varied opinions when it debuted this year.

Q: And don’t forget the new design for Marble. How did that re-branding ultimately play out?

Ted: “People call it a rebranding and I have to clarify it because my designer clarified it with me. Your brand is what you sell, products and services. Those things have not changed. We’re still selling the same great beer. We still have the same great environment, if not enhanced a little bit more. But we wanted a new visual representation for Marble Brewery. So yeah, we did that as well. There’s been a lot of talk about that. I think it’s all very positive. I’m ecstatic and I’m happy to have the Maverick.

“We knew people were going to push back, we knew people were going to be shocked. It was kind of interesting to see how deeply vested people were into that imagery. We live and breathe our beer, our images all the time. We knew it wasn’t a true representation of what the brewery has evolved into and what we really felt comfortable with. We knew it was time to move on. I know over time, hopefully those who didn’t really care for it at the get-go have embraced it and understand why we made that shift.”

Q: There was a perception among some people that National was doing more than just distribution, but was calling a lot of the shots, including the redesign. We know you’ve wanted to set the record straight, so here’s your chance.

Ted: “So there was this thing that Marble has sold out. Marble has always owned Marble and Marble still owns Marble. Marble is a little bit more consolidated these days in its ownership, but its ownership is still firmly in Marble. National Distributing always had the rights to distribute our beer outside of Albuquerque and Santa Fe. So what we did is we took our distribution rights that we owned and sold them to NDC so that way they can do a great job of getting our beer out to the consumer and we can do an even better job of brewing great beer. Marble never sold out. It was time to shift the focus on the business.

“Most breweries do not own their own distribution arm. Most breweries would prefer not to deal with distribution. Marble Distributing was not making any money. The purpose of Marble Distributing was to go out there and get Marble beer in as many accounts as possible. So once we did that and we were selling a bunch of beer, the brewery was picking up the slack financially for distribution. That scale of distribution business, it can’t really be a profitable entity. It was time to cut that, to tie off the bleeding.”

This is currently the north wall of Marble. It will be a little further north when the brewery expands by 7,000 square feet next year.

This is currently the north wall of Marble. It will be a little further north when the brewery expands by 7,000 square feet next year.

Q: So getting back to that whole brewery expansion bit you mentioned earlier, we’re always excited for an increase in production. Are we to assume that you’ll be pushing the walls north?

Ted: “Where our distribution cooler is now, there’s a big door right now, that will be the entryway into the new production space. In that production space there will be enough room for 12 150-barrel fermenters. There’s going to be a lager distribution cooler. There’s also going to be a nice piece of equipment that’s really going to help us increase yields … which is going to be a centrifuge.

“So the brewhouse will still say exactly where it is. In the current space where there are numerous fermenters, we’ll move them into the new space and then expand the packaging in our existing space, canning, bottling, and kegging. Right now it’s kind of a run around to achieve anything because the space is so tight. You have to jump through hoops to get from A to B.”

Ted's not kidding, it's pretty tight quarters in the back of the brewery.

Ted’s not kidding, it’s pretty tight quarters in the back of the brewery.

Q: What is Marble’s current output by year in barrels?

Ted: “So last year we did 12,500, this year we’ll probably do a little over 13,000. So not as much of an increase as we’ve seen in years past because there’s only so much we can do. I can’t really add another tank outdoors. I’m not really a big fan of using fermenters that are outdoors. It’s kind of an unpleasant work environment and it also has other concerns. So those things will move indoors.

“And then we’ve already secured more parking for our pub customers. So that’s going to be across the street right now where there’s a recycling business. We’re going to occupy that space middle of November and have additional parking. We want to make sure that it’s easy for people to come down here, whether it’s a place to lock up your bike or a place to park your car.”

Q: What’s going on with the taproom in Santa Fe?

Ted: “We’re staying in our current space for the near future. We’re just working on making that space the best kind of intimate beer bar that we can.”

Q: So you’re not moving into the bigger space upstairs?

Ted: “Not so sure what the timeline is on that right now. It’s going to be a little longer than anticipated, so we’re kind of in a holding pattern right now.”

Q: Anything else you would like to add?

Ted: “The cool thing about the Westside, if we can revisit that, we’re doubling the square footage (and) we’re tripling the seating. It’s going to have a much better flow when you walk into the space, it’s not going to be that congestion right there into the front. We’ve been turning away customers for a long time now because it’s just too crowded. So thank you (to the customers) for showing up and coming out and drinking our beer on the west side.

“We’re also adding a stage over there. And so we’re going to bring that component that we love at 111 which is live music, bring that to our brand over on the west side and double our capacity on the patio as well. It’s just going to be just like the mothership over here.”

* * * * *

A huge thanks to Ted for taking time out of his busy life to sit down and talk. It’s always nice to go straight to the top guy, plus this allows brewer Josh Trujillo to focus on the beer and Leah Black to keep working hard on planning all the great events going on at Marble in the near future. (They’re our usual contacts at Marble, in case some are wondering.) Marble will have a special release party tonight for their Pumpkin Ale (see The Week Ahead in Beer for more details). The Westside Taproom will hold a party to celebrate the completion of its expansion on Friday, Oct. 24.

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

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

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

This pumpkin beer thing might just be catching on, it seems. Multiple breweries around the ABQ and Santa Fe areas currently have one on tap, with Marble joining the party with an actual release party tonight (Wednesday). Starting at 5 p.m., you can enjoy a pint of pumpkin ale with complimentary mini-cheesecakes from Cuppycakes. Rio will provide live music from 6 to 9 p.m. Oh, and if you’re really into pumpkins, there will be a carving contest. You can purchase the locally grown pumpkins, just bring your own carving tools (so yes, this is the only time you’ll ever really be allowed to walk into a brewery with a knife). Judging will commence at 7 p.m. If you can’t make it to Marble, you plenty of other pumpkin options. Broken Bottle has Peculiar Pumpkin Porter, Canteen has Pumpkin Saison and Pumpkin Porter, Kaktus has Pumpkin Charlie Brown, La Cumbre still has Witch’s Tit, and Ponderosa has Chocolate Pumpkin Porter. There’s also Shattered Pumpkin up at Blue Corn. Chama River will soon be bringing back Punkin Drublic as well.

On the new beer front, it’s a fairly quiet week. Bosque’s Oktoberfest has joined the fray at last. La Cumbre has added Hell Froze Over, the second edition of their brown ale. Lizard Tail will tickle your sweet tooth with Biscochito Brown. Nexus has tapped Saisons Change, a Belgian dark strong, and a dry stout. Turtle Mountain has introduced Brown Ale for Boobies, benefiting breast cancer research, as well as Cascade Session Pale Ale and Uberaltbier.

Up in Santa Fe, the Small Batch Saturday beer at SFBC is Duskin’s Forgotten Rye.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of Oct. 13.

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

Albuquerque metro area breweries

ABQ Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

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

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

Back Alley Draft House — (505) 766-8590

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

Beers: Soroche IPA, Red Ale, Berliner Weisse, Octoberfest. We enjoyed the Octoberfest over at Hopfest, so hopefully it’s on tap for a while so we can get some more. BADH has been fighting to keep with demand lately, so we can’t guarantee all of these beers will be on tap through the weekend. Don’t worry, though, as BADH always carries a large swath of beers from across New Mexico and the world. Brewer Addison Poth highlighted the new Stone Reason to be Damned, a Belgian pale ale aged in red wine barrels, and New Belgium’s La Folie.

Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596

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

UPDATED >>> Beers: Oktoberfest, PSA (Pumpkin Spice Ale), The Box IPA, Bosque Lager, Bosque’s Burnin’ Red, Olde Bosky Porter, Simcoe IPA. The Burnin’ Red, with a new recipe, is back on tap. Also back on tap is an old favorite in the Olde Bosky Porter. We’ll have to head over and try the PSA and The Box IPA, which are the newest additions. The Lager is back by popular demand. And in a late update, Bosque’s Oktoberfest is now on tap. I got a sneak sample (OK, a full pint) last week courtesy of brewer John Bullard. It’s quite outstanding, just a massive, malty beer that’s not too sweet nor too dry.

Cask: We didn’t get a cask update yet. When we do, we’ll post it.

News: Construction continues on Bosque’s new taproom, the Bosque Public House, located on Girard just south of Central. Bosque has also signed a lease on a new taproom in Las Cruces, located in the former Mimbres Valley space across from New Mexico State at the corner of University Ave. and Espina St.

Bosque has a happy hour running from 4-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and all day on Sunday. Look for a revamped menu and get $1 off your favorite pints.

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

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

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

Beers: Glass Jaw Double IPA, Paw Swipe Pale Ale, Hairy Mit Hefe, Standing 8 Stout, Ambear Ale, Uppercut IPA, Oktobearfest. Boxing Bear is tapping into the season with their new Oktobearfest (extra point on the name), which is a hoppier variation on the traditional marzen style. Recent additions to the lineup are the Standing 8 Stout (6.3% ABV, 45 IBU) and Ambear Ale (5.2% ABV, 35 IBU). The Glass Jaw is now out in full force.

Broken Bottle Brewery — (505) 890-8777

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

Beers: 12 Step Apricot Ale, Wise Ass Watermelon Wheat, Atomic Rye Red, Elixir Vanilla Cream Ale, Stray Dog IPA, Cactus Juice, Oktoberfest, Peculiar Pumpkin Porter. The Stray Dog, Apricot, Watermelon, Atomic, and Elixir went on tap recently, while the Cactus Juice is the newest beer listed via BBB’s Facebook page. It’s made with prickly pears. The Oktoberfest went on tap last week and is a solid example of the style, having finished third in our recent Oktoberfest challenge.

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, Elmo’s IIPA, Pumpkin Saison, Pumpkin Porter, Mimosa Beer, Rye PA, American Stout. The Rye PA (7% ABV, 50 IBU) and the American Stout (7.4% ABV, 60 IBU) are the most recent additions. I got to try the American Stout while interviewing brewer Brady McKeown about the name change to Canteen Brewhouse. It’s a big, bold, thick, mean-as-hell-yet-totally-lovable stout. It’s my kind of stout, and that’s saying something. The Elmo’s (10% ABV) is a modified version of the Elsa Imperial IPA with Mosaic hops added. If you need to get your fall fun going, the Pumpkin Saison (6.5% ABV, 24 IBU) and Porter (7.2% ABV, 38 IBU) are a good place to start. We lean toward the porter, but, uh, we’ve got “Dark Side” in our name. The Mimosa (4% ABV, 12 IBU) has a wheat base infused with blood oranges.

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

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

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

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

Events: Cazuela’s now features a live guitarist every Friday.

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

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

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

Beers: Hardscrabble ESB, Wee Bit Loco, The Hound (Amber Ale), Valle de Oro Pale Ale. Wee Bit Loco is a new Scottish ale and was our pick as the best malty beer at Septemberfest. Hardscrabble (5.4% ABV, 35 IBU) and Valle de Oro (5.5% ABV, 35 IBU) are nearing the end of their runs and will soon be replaced by the Cosmic Dog (7% ABV, 25 IBU), a coffee stout, and the Raspbooby (5% ABV, 20 IBU). The latter beer is a raspberry wheat, brewed up to benefit Breast Cancer Awareness month as part of the “Toast for Tatas” campaign. The Hound (6% ABV, 40 IBU) was described as “a roasty fall amber.”

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

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

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

Beers: Kolsch, Oyster Stout, Helles Lager, Honk Ale, Fresh Hop Amber, Pumpkin Charlie Brown, Alt German Lager, Jabberwocky IPA. The Fresh Hop Amber, Alt German Lager, and the Pumpkin Charlie Brown are the newest entries, while the Jabberwocky returns after a brief absence. Located at 471 South Hill Road in Bernalillo, Kaktus is one of the state’s newest breweries. It is a small, casual place, similar to Blue Heron in appearance and comfort factor. Kaktus owner Dana Koller said fans can expect the nanobrewery to go through its most popular styles quickly, though they will always have something new and exciting available as a replacement.

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

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

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Across the Pond, Witch’s Tit, Meridian Pale Ale, Levitated (Imperial) Pilsner, Hell Froze Over. Hell Froze Over (5.6% ABV, 42 IBU) is the new kid on the tap list, returning for a second go-around after debuting last fall. It’s a brown ale, which as the name might imply is not something that’s made regularly. The Levitated (8% ABV, 82 IBU) is a cacophony of flavors. It’s not for the weak, despite being classified as a pilsner. It’s also available in bombers. The other somewhat recent additions include the popular seasonal pumpkin beer, Witch’s Tit (7.5% ABV, 30 IBU), Across the Pond (6.5% ABV, 65 IBU), a British-style IPA, and Meridian Pale Ale (5.4% ABV, 40 IBU). Oh, and don’t panic about Project Dank no longer appearing here as a seasonal. It is now part of La Cumbre’s regular lineup. And in more good news, Jeff Erway said Red Ryeot will soon return and become a regular beer as well.

News: We congratulate La Cumbre Brewing Co. for becoming this year’s National IPA Champion. Project Dank scored the win by edging out 127 other IPAs from around the country, including the likes of the venerable Fat Head’s IBUsive.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

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

Beers: German Blonde Ale, Berliner Weisse, Belgian Abbey, IPA, Amber, Oatmeal Brown, India Black Ale, Rye Stout, Porter, Dubbel, Biscochito Brown. Both Brandon and I have had chances to visit Lizard Tail, which is one of the newest breweries in town, located in the shopping center on the southeast corner of Eubank and Montgomery. They specialize in malt-forward beers. The German Blonde (5.5% ABV, 20 IBU) is a good place to start. The Berliner Weisse (4.3% ABV, 8 IBU) is not nearly as sour as most of its genre. The Belgian Abbey (6.8%, 25 IBU) is a good example of its style. The IPA (6.8% ABV, 70 IBU) has a good mix of Mosaic, Warrior, and Galaxy hops. The Rye Stout (5.5% ABV, 35 IBU) has a nice flavor but lacks body. The first batch of Oatmeal Brown (4.2% ABV, 25 IBU) needed some work, but I got to sample the second batch that will be on tap soon and it’s improved. The Honey Pale Ale (6.3% ABV, 35 IBU) has run out for a little while, but it will be back soon. The Porter (5.6% ABV, 35 IBU) is a semi-smoky, thick beer that goes perfectly with the cooler weather. The new Biscochito Brown (8.5% ABV, 25 IBU) is not overly sweet. The Lizard Tail staff said the next batch will be a little maltier.

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

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739

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

Beers: Double White, Rescue Craft Draft, Double IPA, Imperial Red, Barley Wine. The Rescue Craft is an English-style pale ale. Proceeds benefit the Albuquerque Mountain Rescue Council. Otherwise it’s a relatively light seasonal list as Marble is at capacity brewing the regular beers for distribution. There is the rotating “black handle,” which tends to feature some impressive “secret” beers. The Double White and Imperial Red both brought home gold medals from GABF.

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

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

Marble will hold a release party for their Pumpkin Ale tonight (Wednesday). Other beers coming up an English-style pub ale, which may be served on nitro, and an English-style chocolate stout. We’re sensing a theme here …

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100

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

Beers: Rye Pale Ale, Saisons Change, Dry Stout, Belgian Dark Strong. Brewer Kaylynn McKnight cranked out three new seasonals in the Saisons Change, Dry Stout, and Belgian Dark Strong. We’ve been remiss in visiting Nexus for a while; our chicken-and-waffles deficiency is starting to affect our daily lives, so we’ll have to head over soon and try those new seasonals while we indulge in one of ABQ’s great culinary delights.

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

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

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

Beers: Unchallenged IPA, West Coast Red, Robust Porter, Lost Grain English Summer Ale, Apricot Wheat. While Pi Brewing is not open to the public yet, they are able to brew and serve their beers next door at Nicky V’s. The IPA and West Coast Red are both good hoppy beers. We’ll keep tabs on when Pi itself opens. For now, grab a pint and some tasty Italian food.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

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

Beers: Ghost Train IPA, Rip Saw Red, Crosscut Kolsch, Sawmill Stout, XPA1 Pale Ale, Helles Lager, Double IPA, Oktoberfest, Chocolate Pumpkin Porter, Schwarzbier. Porter Pounder and I went over for the grand opening recently. Ponderosa is located at 1761 Bellamah NW, which is just east of Rio Grande and due north of the NM Natural History Museum, in the bottom floor of a swanky-looking apartment/retail complex. As for the beers, they are all the initial batches, so expect some modifications/changes going forward. Needless to say we both liked the Stout (5.2% ABV, 22 IBU) the best, but we’re dark beer guys (then again, you could also call us dark beer snobs, so consider that). Porter Pounder liked the XPA1 Pale Ale (5% ABV, 35 IBU), which will always be a rotating single-hop pale ale. The Crosscut Kolsch (4.9% ABV, 25 IBU) is almost like a Kolsch/hefeweizen hybrid. The Ghost Train (6.2% ABV, 75 IBU) needs some work, but the brewer has already identified what went wrong in the first batch and is working on correcting that for the next run. The Double IPA (7.7% ABV, 90 IBU) provides plenty of hops. The Oktoberfest (5.7% ABV, 17 IBU) is an interesting variation on the traditional style; we tasted wheat malts in the mix. The new Schwarzbier debuted last week.

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675

(Noon to midnight all week)

Beers: Gateway Blonde Ale, Roamer Red, Threshold IPA, Paint it Black Milk Stout, Unhinged Cider, Trapdoor Wheat. We were excited to try Red Door ever since they first invited us to visit many months ago. They are now open and their initial batches of beer are all quite good. The Roamer Red (6% ABV) was a favorite for Porter Pounder, sitting midway between hoppy reds like Marble and sweeter reds like the standard Irish variety. The Paint it Black (5.5%) is served on nitro, so it’s criminally smooth. The potent Threshold IPA (6.6% ABV) should appeal to local hopheads. Beware the Unhinged Cider as it checks in at 7.9 percent, but you don’t taste the alcohol. Red Door has been having trouble keeping up with demand. All six beers are on tap this week.

Sandia Chile Grill — (505) 798-1970

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

Beers: Irish Red, Rattlesnake IPA, Smoked Stout. We’re going to dispatch E-Rock (he needs a new assignment) to re-establish our lines of communication with Sandia Chile Grill.

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

The Stumbling Steer — (505) 792-7805

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

Beers: Blonde, Pale, IPA, Red, Brown, Double IPA, Imperial Stout. While the brewery is being built in the back of the Steer, all of their house beers are being brewed off-site, but still using brewer Kirk Roberts’ recipes. The DIPA and the Stout are limited to two per customer, due to their high alcohol content (10% and 9.5% ABV, respectively). The Crew has already made two separate visits to the Steer to review the beer and food. We enjoyed it all.

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

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

Beers at Nob Hill: 6% Humidity 9% ABV Cider, Barnstorm Ale, Javi Light Lager, Tupac Cali Red, La Llorona Dry Hop Amber, Berliner Weisse, Tractoberfest.

Beers at Wells Park only: Pilsner #15, Mustachio Milk Stout, 4 Seasons 1 Week Cider. All of the Nob Hill seasonals are also at Wells Park, which has 24 total taps (Tractor’s five regular beers have two taps apiece). The Tractoberfest is back and this year’s batch is one of the best yet. It’s just a malt blast of happiness. The other recent beer additions to the lineups are the Barnstorm Ale, La Llorona Dry Hop Amber, which is drier yet more flavorful than most ambers, and Tupac Cali Red. The 4 Seasons 1 Week Cider is a variation of the 6%-9% (these names, oy), slightly sweeter and it’s only 7.2-percent ABV.

Events: On Wednesday, Tractor will be hosting another Cards Against Humanity night at Wells Park. This is a free event starting at 7 p.m. Food will by served by Nomad’s BBQ.

Geeks Who Drink is now setting up shop at the Wells Park Tap Room every Monday at 8 p.m. Bar cash for winners and bonus questions all night. Wanna see what GWD at Tractor has been up to? Check out the blog! Food will be served by Mystique.

The Solos on the Hill series continues tonight (Wednesday) at 8:30 p.m. in Nob Hill as Alex Maryol performs.

Tractor’s Thirsty Thursday music series at Wells Park continues with Maryol also performing at 8 p.m. Kimo’s Hawaiian BBQ will provide the food.

Tractor’s 15th anniversary party will kick off Saturday at 5 p.m. We’ll have a lot more on that event later this week.

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

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

Beers: (House) McDay’s Cream Ale, Oku Amber, Parasol White IPA, Hopshell IPA, Piedra Lisa Porter, Heidelberg Helles. (Seasonal/specialty) Cascade Session Ale, Saison du Soleil, Brown Ale for Boobies, Uberaltbier. To help us out for now and the future, brewer Tim Woodward broke down what will be the regular beers on tap (under House) and the current list of seasonals. That’s a pretty solid regular lineup. I personally really enjoyed the Porter and Amber, the latter of which trumps most of its genre in terms of flavor. The Heidelberg Helles (5.1% ABV, 25 IBU) has rejoined the regular lineup for good, or so Tim hopes. Congratulations to Turtle Mountain on winning our inaugural Oktoberfest challenge. Unfortunately, it’s run out for now.

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Shattered Pumpkin, Oktoberfest, Scorched (smoked olde ale), Alpha Reaper (Imperial Red Ale). If the Alpha Reaper (9% ABV, 100 IBU) sounds imposing, that’s because it is. A wet-hopped imperial red, it was made with 50 pounds of fresh Chinook hops grown in Colorado. Now good luck keeping “Don’t Fear the Reaper” from getting stuck in your head. Scorched is exactly the big old smoky blast you would expect. Oktoberfest debuted last week and is quite the exceptional beer. It would have contended with Turtle Mountain for the top spot in our Oktoberfest challenge. Shattered Pumpkin (6.5% ABV, 20 IBU) was made with French saison yeast and 20 pounds of locally sourced pumpkin for a unique flavor.

News: An imperial stout is due out around Nov. 1 (they fit 900 pounds into the mash tun, for crying out loud), and they have begun brewing a Belgian blonde table beer.

Events: Blue Corn and Santa Fe Spirits will team up for a beer-cocktail dinner Thursday.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

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

Beers: Danae (Golden Sour Ale), Study Series: Brown (Belgian-style Sour Brown Ale), Bad Amber, Fiction (IPA), Synne (Pale Ale), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Marcel (Witbier), Whistler (Blonde), Manikin Small Scottish-style Dark Ale. Duel brewer Todd Yocham described the latest Study Series entry (5% ABV) like this, “A very malt forward light bodied brown ale, soured with Lactobacillus and accentuated by the fruity esters from our Trappist yeast.” The Fantin (7.5% ABV), which I tried and liked at Pajarito Summerfest, gets this summary, “Aromas of strawberry and pineapple accentuated by our Trappist yeast will keep you wanting more.” The Danae is the newest entry.

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

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

(Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., closed on Sunday)

Beers: Oktoberfest, Double White IPA, Duskin’s Forgotten Rye. The first beer in the new Ever Changing Series is a Double White IPA, which Luke of the Brew Crew bullpen recently reviewed. This week’s Small Batch Saturday beer is Duskin’s Forgotten Rye (9% ABV).

Events: $1 Off Growler Refills in the Tasting Room on Mondays. $2 Tuesdays at the Eldorado Taphouse. On Wednesday, there is a $2 Pint Special in the SFBC Tasting Room, and the Sangre de Cristo Craft Brewers’ Meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Tasting Room as well on the third Wednesday of every month. On Thursday, there will be $1 Off Growler Refills at the Eldorado Taphouse.

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

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

UPDATED >>> Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Trappist Strong Ale, Cream Stout, Rauchbier, Fulcrum IPA, Oktoberfest, British Mild. I got to sample the Rauchbier when I took my relatives to SSB for lunch recently; it’s not overly smoky, just smooth and balanced. The Oktoberfest was a big hit at NM Brew Fest and you can never go wrong with the Cream Stout. You can also pick up four-packs of cans of Boneshaker Bitter at the brewery. The good folks from Mother Road Mobile Canning stopped by again to team up with Second Street. We love teamwork when it comes to beer.

Events: Jaka will be the featured performer all October for the Thursday Patio Series. The Watermelon Mountain Jug Band is playing Friday at the original location. Broomdust Caravan plays Saturday.

Shows at the Railyard include Carolina Wray on Friday, Hot Club of Santa Fe on Saturday, and Drastic Andrew and the Cinnamon Girls on Sunday.

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

Other breweries you need to visit

Twisted Chile Brewing — (575) 835-2949

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

Beers: KC’s Traditional Irish Stout, Venom IPA. Twisted Chile has been open for a while as a restaurant, but as the name might imply, they will be brewing their own beer on site. Located in Socorro at 115 Abeyta St. W, they will be the first brewery there to brew on site since Socorro Springs outsourced their brewing to Eddyline in Colorado. As soon as a certain editor’s schedule clears up, I’ll be headed down there to do a formal review.

* * * *

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

No one got sunburned!

St. Bob's Imperial Stout '07, the best of the Brew Fest 2014.

St. Bob’s Imperial Stout ’07, the best of the Brew Fest 2014.

Well, that’s how we all looked back on NM Brew Fest 5 after a long, rough Sunday (our football teams, real and fantasy, didn’t help our hangovers, either). OK, we also looked back at the many great beers we drank and how much fun we had. From the VIP barrel-aged beginning all the way through to the end, this was one of the best festivals of the year. The fact it was almost entirely local didn’t hurt. It was great to see all the familiar faces from the breweries together in one place.

Kudos to the Brew Fest organizers for combining the VIP early entry with the barrel-aged beers. It was a wonderful beginning, and that extra span of time gave us all a chance to actually enjoy the beers rather than feel like we were pressed for time to get from station to station. So if we absolutely positively had to rank the best of the fest (barrel-aged only) …

1. Canteen’s St. Bob’s Imperial Stout ’07

2. Marble’s Imperial Stout

3. Marble’s Barley Wine

4. Pi’s Bourbon Vanilla Porter

5. La Cumbre’s La Negra 2013

Brandon, far right, and Stoutmeister, in the back, found plenty of time for shenanigans with their friends.

Brandon, far right, and Stoutmeister, in the back, found plenty of time for shenanigans with their friends.

Mind you, the gap from one to five is about as small as can be. And others argued for a different order (Marble’s Imperial Stout seemed to produce the most varied opinions, from love to meh). Other special beers we got to try included Odell’s Jaunt and Trellis, two Rochefort Trappist ales (#8 and 10), and Deschutes’ Black Butte XXVI. Thanks to Christopher Goblet and the Brewers Guild for providing those for us to sample.

As for the “regular” part of the festival, things went well as the lines never got too long (after the zoo debacle, hallelujah), and as per usual the crowd was great. There was no Comanche Creek nor Taos Mesa, but otherwise all the other breweries showed up with most of the beers they had promised.

Among the favorites, having consulted with the crowd, were Blue Corn’s Gold Medal Oatmeal Stout, Bosque’s Pumpkin Spice Ale, Canteen’s Dougie Style Amber, Cazuela’s Beer for my Horses (oatmeal stout), Chama River’s Cosmic Dog (coffee stout), La Cumbre’s Full Nelson (DIPA), Marble’s Brett IPA, Ponderosa’s Chocolate Pumpkin Porter, Red Door’s Paint it Black Milk Stout, Second Street’s Rauchbier, Stumbling Steer’s Imperial Stout, and Turtle Mountain’s Oktoberfest.

Jeff Erway brought home another prestigious award. He's getting good at that.

Jeff Erway brought home another prestigious award. He’s getting good at that.

Just about all of those beers are on tap at breweries around the ABQ and Santa Fe areas. For all of you who could not make it out to Brew Fest, head to your closest brewery and see what everyone is buzzing about.

And a special congrats to La Cumbre’s Jeff Erway, who was presented with his award from the Great British Beer Festival for Best American Cask Ale. Project Dank claimed that honor earlier this year, but we guess it takes a while to ship the plaque from Britain to New Mexico.

As for the Crew, festival season may be at an end for 2014, but we’ve still got plenty of stories to work on. I have an interview with Marble’s Ted Rice coming up to talk about everything from their GABF haul to future expansion plans and more. There are still more breweries on the way, so we’ll keep tabs on how those are progressing around town. Adam is working on a series about just what are the best bars for craft beer around ABQ (Luke will mirror that for Santa Fe). We’ll also be heading back to Blue Grasshopper when their beers are ready and we still need to visit Twisted Chile down in Socorro. Oh, and a pumpkin beer challenge is coming up for the Crew as well. Don’t worry, the beer scene is going to keep us plenty busy.

Good to see so many of you out there this weekend. We’ll see you around the breweries.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

On this sometimes dreary Friday, Jason from the Bullpen and I trekked over to Rio Rancho to visit Blue Grasshopper in advance of their weekend-long grand opening. We met with brewer Peter Apers around midday and chatted about everything regarding this small but potential-laden local brewpub.

These tanks will soon be filled with Blue Grasshopper's first batches of beer.

These tanks will soon be filled with Blue Grasshopper’s first batches of beer.

First off, where is Blue Grasshopper? Well, hop on Highway 528/Rio Rancho Blvd. via the Coors Bypass and head north. Once you get to Southern, where you usually turn left (west) to get to Turtle Mountain, keep going north. The third red light north of Southern, amid all the current construction chaos (which Peter hopes, upon completion, will keep things nice and quiet on 528), is where you turn left (west) on Ridgecrest. Once you pass the Conoco station on the southwest corner and the Circle K on the northwest corner, you’ll see a small side road leading north. Take a right there and then Blue Grasshopper will be on your left at 4500 Arrowhead Ridge Dr. SE.

The idea behind Blue Grasshopper for Peter was to create a true neighborhood pub feel in a suburb that’s more known for chain restaurants.

“I’m from Holland and I kind of grew up with beer because I was situated between the southern border of Holland with Belgium and western Germany; that’s ‘Beer Mecca,'” Peter said. “And so I’ve always been interested in beer.”

Peter moved to New York and lived there for 15 years, meeting his wife and starting a family. Once the children arrived, however, it was time to move to somewhere less expensive.

“I’m a hands-on guy, so I built this whole place by myself,” Peter said. “I’m a craft guy. I think we were at Broken Bottle, which is a great bar. So we thought why not open a brewpub? The idea was to be non-pretentious. Have as many New Mexico beers as we can. It sounded like a good idea.”

Pizza plus beer is always a winning combination. Wood-fired pizza adds something extra.

Pizza plus beer is always a winning combination. Wood-fired pizza adds something extra.

The grand opening will run from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on both this Saturday and Sunday, for those who don’t want to trek down to the state fairgrounds for the NM Brew Fest on Saturday afternoon, or for those from the west side who need somewhere to stop on the way home. All food served during the weekend, mostly in bite-sized sample format, will be free. Expect lots of pizza goodness and other fun grub.

Blue Grasshopper’s house beers are still about six weeks away, Peter said, though they already had a dozen-plus beers from other New Mexico breweries on tap, several of which were delivered while we were there.

The initial beer lineup will start with a dunkelweizen, followed by two varieties of amber, an IPA, and a true lager that will take about 12 weeks to fully age in the back. Operating on a three-barrel system with just one bright tank (for now), Blue Grasshopper will be the definition of a small pub for a while.

“For now, keg off the rest, and then hopefully went we start bringing in some money we can bring in some more tanks,” Peter said.

For now, beers from Abbey (Monks’), Nexus, Sierra Blanca, Marble, and more (19 total) will keep customers satiated. The grand opening will also see all foods served for free, with plenty of pizza samples from the wood-fired oven, imported from Italy. Having wood-fired pizzas to go with the beer was a primary impetus behind Blue Grasshopper.

“We knew that beer and pizza is an economy-proof concept,” Peter said. “It never gets old.”

Blue Grasshopper will have plenty of space for customers during their grand opening this weekend.

Blue Grasshopper will have plenty of space for customers during their grand opening this weekend.

In addition, there will be plenty of local, live music acts performing. Local art will adorn the walls, giving artists exposure to folks who might normally shy away from galleries and exhibitions. There will also be plenty of games for customers, from a retro “Galaga” gaming system to a chess board (!) and darts.

“We’re going to be oriented to performing and visual arts,” Peter said. “So we will allow artists to display their arts. We want to get a lot of live music.”

Blue Grasshopper is not built to compete with the big boys west of the Rio Grande, like Boxing Bear, Turtle Mountain, and The Stumbling Steer, but to help fill a niche for a local establishment committed to New Mexico craft beers, both their own and others from around the state.

“We’ve got 27,000 people living behind us,” Peter said. “Why do you think Turtle Mountain is packed every day? … People are hungry for another place and they don’t want to go to Albuquerque.”

We look forward to stopping by, if possible this weekend or at least in the days ahead. When the beers are ready to sample, we’ll surely head over to check them out. There is no such thing as having too many neighborhood brewpubs around the ABQ metro area.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Beer festival season wraps up (sniff) in our state with the fifth annual NM Brew Fest at Expo New Mexico (the fairgrounds) this Saturday. It promises to go out with a bang, thanks to a special early event admission where you get to taste multiple barrel-aged beers brought in by the NM Brewers Guild. Yes, they’re rolling out extra potent beer to start the event. Brandon and I may be doomed.

Festival season will end in style this weekend. (Photo courtesy NM Brew Fest)

Festival season will end in style this weekend. (Photo courtesy NM Brew Fest)

Anyway, here’s the lowdown on key things you need to know. Tickets are still available online but are selling fast, while there will also be tickets at the gate. The difference is online it’s $35 for early admission, $25 for general admission, while it’s $40 and $30 at the gate. So get ‘em online, people! Save that $5 for beer (or food). Gates open for early admission at 11:30 a.m., where you can go straight for the barrel-aged beers. Then at noon you can start hitting the regular brewery booths (full list below). General admission will then enter the fest at 1 p.m. and it lasts until 6. It’s 21-and-over only this year; sorry, no more parents bringing their little kids along while they sample.

The barrel-aged tasting is new for this year.

“We’ve had VIP kind of tickets in the past,” said Kevin Hopper, one of the event organizers who works for Local iQ. “It’s always just kind of been I don’t know if it fits, the whole VIP thing. We got into the mind of a beer aficionado and what do people love? They love to taste new and creative beers.

“I thought that, more so than a sealed off, VIP section would be a better experience for the people that come. Hopefully that will work out.”

For those worried about drinking on an empty stomach, there will be multiple food trucks/food stands. Nomad’s BBQ, Irrational Pie, Rustic, and Street Food Institute will all be there with their trucks, plus the new Heimat House (opening Oct. 25 at Montgomery and Louisiana) and Adieux Cafe will be represented. There will be live music as well.

If you need a ride, Uber will provide $20 off if it’s your first with the company. Just use the code nmbrewfest. If it’s not your first time using Uber, you can still get 20 percent off. Otherwise designated driver tickets are $10, and riding your bicycle is encouraged for those who live nearby (or are crazy bike riders with supreme endurance skills that should be in France every summer).

All right, now that all the nitty gritty stuff is out of the way, it’s on to the most important thing: The beer! We contacted a majority of the 20 breweries in attendance to find out what they’re bringing, plus the organizers from Local iQ and the Brewers Guild. Here’s what they had to say, starting with the barrel-aged beers. If we get any lists later on, we’ll go back and update this as many times as needed before we head over ourselves Saturday.

We can't promise you'll have as much fun at Brew Fest as we did last year, but you can always try.

We can’t promise you’ll have as much fun at Brew Fest as we did last year, but you can always try.

Barrel-aged specials: Odell Jaunt, Odell Trellis Garden Ale, BJ’s Bourbon Barrel Stout, Canteen St. Bob’s Imperial Stout, La Cumbre La Negra 2013, Marble Imperial Stout, Marble Barley Wine, plus Santa Fe’s Kriek and/or Double White IPA (not barrel-aged, but still tasty), and a TBA beer from the new Heimat House.

BJ’s: TBA

Blue Corn: Oktoberfest, Alpha Reaper (imperial red), Shattered Pumpkin, Gold Medal Stout (unless they run out at the brewery, in which case their IPA will replace this GABF gold medal winner)

Bosque: Rebel Brit (brown ale), Bosque Lager, PSA (pumpkin spice ale), Bosque’s Burnin’ (red rye), Olde Bosky (porter), and Oktoberfest (if it’s ready). The Box IPA might also pop up.

Boxing Bear: Glass Jaw Double IPA, Uppercut IPA, Hairy Mit Hefe, Standing 8 Stout, Oktobearfest

Canteen: Dougie Style Amber (GABF gold medal winner), Wet Mountain IPA, Pumpkin Saison, 28M Wheat

Cazuela’s: TBA

Chama River: Class VI Golden Lager (GABF gold medal winner), Jackalope IPA, Cosmic Dog (coffee stout), Red River Ale (Irish red)

Comanche Creek: TBA

La Cumbre: A Slice of Hefen, Elevated IPA, Project Dank IPA, Malpais Stout, Full Nelson (DIPA), Witch’s Tit (pumpkin ale), Meridian Pale Ale

Lizard Tail: In a late update from the Guild, they report Lizard Tail will no longer be in attendance. Bummer.

Marble: Imperial Red (GABF gold medal winner), Double White (GABF gold medal winner), IPA, Oatmeal Stout

Pi: Unchallenged IPA, Lost Grain English Summer Ale, Apricot Wheat, Bourbon Vanilla Porter

Ponderosa: TBA

Red Door: Roamer Red, Threshold IPA, Paint it Black Stout (on nitro), Unhinged Cider

Santa Fe: Happy Camper IPA, Kriek (sour ale), Hefeweizen, Oktoberfest, maybe Java Stout

Second Street: TBA

Stumbling Steer: TBA

Taos Mesa: TBA

Tractor: TBA

Turtle Mountain: McDay’s Cream Ale, Oktoberfest, Uber Altbier, Saison du Soleil, Hopshell IPA, Piedra Lisa Porter

Sorry we couldn’t get more lists. A lot of the breweries have been playing catch-up this week since a good chunk of their brewing staffs were in Denver for GABF. In the end, we expect a lot of pleasant surprises this weekend. We’ll see you all out there!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Among the six different New Mexico breweries who won medals at the Great American Beer Festival last weekend, Blue Corn and Chama River sit slightly apart from the rest. Both breweries brought in new head brewers this year, meaning for Blue Corn’s James Warren and Chama’s Zach Guilmette it was the first time either had taken the stage in Denver to receive a medal as the man in charge. Needless to say, “stoked” is probably an understatement for how they both felt when their medals were announced.

Chama River brewer Zach Guilmette poses with his GABF gold medal and Class VI Golden Lager. (Photo courtesy of Chama River)

Chama River brewer Zach Guilmette poses with his GABF gold medal and Class VI Golden Lager. (Photo courtesy of Chama River)

“All I do remember is after we won, I didn’t hear anything about the next seven categories,” Zach said after hearing Class VI Golden Lager won gold in the Bohemian Style Pilsner category. “As they kept announcing winners I was in shock, texting friends and getting texts from people. I was just enjoying that moment.

“Because leading up to that moment, you know how hard you worked, and every brewer in that auditorium feels like they have a shot. You worked so hard all year long for that one event. There are some great beer festivals and competitions throughout the year, but that’s the best competition to be a part of because you know not only is everyone there, but they’re all going to try to bring their best. You’re up against some of the best beers in the country. All you can do is sit in nervous tension, not even enjoy yourself until you finally hear your name called. Then there’s a small sense of relief for the rest of the (event).”

That sense of relief took a little longer for James before he heard Blue Corn’s Gold Medal Oatmeal Stout lived up to its name in the Oatmeal Stout category.

“Oatmeal stout was category 85 of 90,” James said. “The other four beers I’d entered had gone by, so I was kind of feeling a little bummed out, really. I was sitting there, just waiting for the last category to get around. I started looking around, thinking maybe I’ll get another donut. Then you hear your own name called, freak out, and just go ‘awesome.’ I don’t know if it’s even kind of hit me yet. I got right back here this morning and right back to it. It’s an awesome feeling. I’m glad I’m able to be a part of all the medals for New Mexico, all the golds, too.”

The GMOS won silver in 2013 when John Bullard (who helped Bosque Brewing earn its first medal with a bronze for the Acequia Wet Hop IPA) was still running the show at Blue Corn. Its name stemmed from winning gold way back in 2007, before even John was there. That name caused James to endure some initial grief, only for things to turn around.

Blue Corn brewer James Warren shows off his GABF gold medal for his Gold Medal Oatmeal Stout. (Photo courtesy of Blue Corn)

Blue Corn brewer James Warren shows off his GABF gold medal for his Gold Medal Oatmeal Stout. (Photo courtesy of Blue Corn)

“There were a few other brewers who were giving me crap about the name of it,” James said. “One brewer came back and apologized to me, told me he was wrong to make fun of the name. Said it was good luck. He said next year you ought to name it Small Brewpub of the Year Stout.”

Zach was up on stage for the second year in a row. With Il Vicino last year, Zach helped that team win a gold with his recipe for Panama Joe Coffee Stout.

“With Il Vicino, to win that gold medal for me personally, it was a big sense of accomplishment to get to that point,” Zach said. “But honestly, winning a gold medal this year with a Bohemian-style pilsner because that’s a specific style with specific guidelines. We’ve been brewing it for a couple hundred years. It definitely takes more work, more research, more practice.”

Of course, the one slight downside to having a lager win gold is an increase in demand for a beer that takes a while to brew.

“We’re already seeing an increase in Class VI Golden Lager’s sales,” Zach said. “People want that beer. So it’s always a challenge keeping up with a beer that as a lager it takes five or six weeks. There’s no shortcuts in making a lager. It’s always that balance between having enough and making sure what you have is still that gold medal caliber.”

James said in an email that he is planning to bring his stout to the NM Brew Fest on Saturday, but the demand is so high in Santa Fe that he is not sure he will have enough. Prior to that, James said that Blue Corn’s booth at GABF was slammed on the final night last Saturday by people looking to sample the stout.

“Yeah, we did,” he said. “You put up a sticker for the gold medal on your board behind your booth. So there were all these people running around looking for those. We got a big crowd after that.”

Both Zach and James said they were proud to be a part of New Mexico’s haul of eight medals, including a record five golds.

“It’s definitely a huge thrill,” Zach said. “I’m glad that I can share in the incredible increase in quality. I’m just happy to be a part of the growing beer scene and the great brewers we have in New Mexico. That was honestly one of the reasons I moved back to New Mexico. I brewed in Vermont, but you could see the growth in the New Mexico beer culture. I think would could all see it developing, the quality going up and up. For the year we’ve had as a state, all the medals, it’s a confirmation of what we all know, the quality of New Mexican craft beer rivals the best in the nation.”

Head on over to Blue Corn and Chama River to enjoy both gold medal-winning beers while there is still some left. Make sure to toast the brewers while you’re there. And then cross your fingers that both beers will be at Brew Fest as planned this Saturday.

Congratulations to James, Zach, and all the GABF winners!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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

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

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

If there was ever a week to trek out to a brewery and congratulate a brewer, it was this one. I had family in town until this morning (Wednesday), so I’m a bit behind on it, but for the rest of you, get out there and try one of the eight medal-winning beers available in this state. The Great American Beer Festival saw New Mexico pick up eight more medals, including five golds, as well as the Small Brewery of the Year for Marble. Marble’s Imperial Red and Double White both took home gold, as did Chama River’s Class VI Golden Lager, Blue Corn’s Gold Medal Oatmeal Stout, and Canteen’s Dougie Style Amber. The Canteen got a silver for the St. Bob’s Imperial Stout ’07, while Bosque and Santa Fe earned bronze for the Acequia Wet Hop IPA and Los Innovadores Kriek, respectively. Almost all of those beers are on tap or available for purchase, so what are you waiting for? Get out there and get busy!

On the new beer front, it was a little limited this week as most of the brewing staffs were in Denver and are playing catch-up. Still, there are some newbies to highlight. Bosque has PSA (Pumpkin Spice Ale), Bosque Lager, and The Box IPA on tap. Chama River will have Cosmic Dog (coffee stout) and Raspbooby, which will benefit Breast Cancer Awareness month, available by the end of the week. La Cumbre has added Meridian Pale Ale to their lineup.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn’s Pumpkin Ale will debut Monday. Duel has introduced Danae, a golden sour ale. Second Street expects to have a British Mild, Oktoberfest, and Fulcrum IPA on tap before the week is out.

I was a little pressed for time (had to help get my cousin and his family to the airport) this morning so I will go back and update this article later with more details by brewery. Also keep an eye out in the days ahead as I’m slowly hitting each brewery for their reactions to their medal-winning beers. And yes, we’ll have a full preview of NM Brew Fest before that event kicks off Saturday afternoon (and we’ll be there, of course).

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of Oct. 6.

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

Albuquerque metro area breweries

ABQ Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

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

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

Back Alley Draft House — (505) 766-8590

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

Beers: Soroche IPA, Red Ale, Berliner Weisse, Octoberfest. We enjoyed the Octoberfest over at Hopfest, so hopefully it’s on tap for a while so we can get some more. BADH has been fighting to keep with demand lately, so we can’t guarantee all of these beers will be on tap through the weekend. Don’t worry, though, as BADH always carries a large swath of beers from across New Mexico and the world. Brewer Addison Poth highlighted the new Stone Reason to be Damned, a Belgian pale ale aged in red wine barrels, and New Belgium’s La Folie.

Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596

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

Beers: PSA (Pumpkin Spice Ale), The Box IPA, Bosque Lager, Bosque’s Burnin’ Red, Olde Bosky Porter, Simcoe IPA. The Burnin’ Red, with a new recipe, is back on tap. Also back on tap is an old favorite in the Olde Bosky Porter. We’ll have to head over and try the PSA and The Box IPA, which are the newest additions. The Lager is back by popular demand.

Cask: Yup, Bosque is doing a cask now, because they love us all that much more (actually, they just recently acquired some casks to do these sorts of things, but we can pretend). This week’s cask offering will be an ESB.

News: Construction continues on Bosque’s new taproom, the Bosque Public House, located on Girard just south of Central. Bosque has also signed a lease on a new taproom in Las Cruces, located in the former Mimbres Valley space across from New Mexico State at the corner of University Ave. and Espina St.

Bosque has a happy hour running from 4-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and all day on Sunday. Look for a revamped menu and get $1 off your favorite pints.

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

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

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

Beers: Glass Jaw Double IPA, Paw Swipe Pale Ale, Hairy Mit Hefe, Standing 8 Stout, Ambear Ale, Red Panda Session Red, Uppercut IPA, Oktobearfest. Boxing Bear is tapping into the season with their new Oktobearfest (extra point on the name), which is a hoppier variation on the traditional marzen style. Recent additions to the lineup are the Standing 8 Stout (6.3% ABV, 45 IBU) and Ambear Ale (5.2% ABV, 35 IBU). The other somewhat recent addition is the Red Panda (4.6% ABV, 65 IBU), while the Sun Bear Summer Ale has vanished with the arrival of fall. The Glass Jaw is now out in full force.

Broken Bottle Brewery — (505) 890-8777

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

Beers: 12 Step Apricot Ale, Wise Ass Watermelon Wheat, Atomic Rye Red, Elixir Vanilla Cream Ale, Stray Dog IPA, Cactus Juice, Oktoberfest. The Stray Dog, Apricot, Watermelon, Atomic, and Elixir went on tap recently, while the Cactus Juice is the newest beer listed via BBB’s Facebook page. It’s made with prickly pears. The Oktoberfest went on tap last week and is a solid example of the style, having finished third in our recent Oktoberfest challenge.

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

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

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

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

Events: Cazuela’s now features a live guitarist every Friday.

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

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

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

Beers: Hardscrabble ESB, Wee Bit Loco, The Hound (Amber Ale), Valle de Oro Pale Ale. Wee Bit Loco is a new Scottish ale and was our pick as the best malty beer at Septemberfest. Hardscrabble (5.4% ABV, 35 IBU) and Valle de Oro (5.5% ABV, 35 IBU) are nearing the end of their runs and will soon be replaced by the Cosmic Dog (7% ABV, 25 IBU), a coffee stout, and the Raspbooby (5% ABV, 20 IBU). The latter beer is a raspberry wheat, brewed up to benefit Breast Cancer Awareness month as part of the “Toast for Tatas” campaign. The Hound (6% ABV, 40 IBU) was described as “a roasty fall amber.”

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

Il Vicino Brewing Canteen/Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737

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

Beers: Irish Red, Elmo’s IIPA, Pumpkin Saison, Pumpkin Porter, Mimosa Beer, Rye PA, American Stout. The Rye PA (7% ABV, 50 IBU) and the American Stout (7.4% ABV, 60 IBU) are the most recent additions. I got to try the American Stout while interviewing brewer Brady McKeown about the name change to Canteen Brewhouse. It’s a big, bold, thick, mean-as-hell-yet-totally-lovable stout. It’s my kind of stout, and that’s saying something. The Elmo’s (10% ABV) is a modified version of the Elsa Imperial IPA with Mosaic hops added. If you need to get your fall fun going, the Pumpkin Saison (6.5% ABV, 24 IBU) and Porter (7.2% ABV, 38 IBU) are a good place to start. We lean toward the porter, but, uh, we’ve got “Dark Side” in our name. The Mimosa (4% ABV, 12 IBU) has a wheat base infused with blood oranges.

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

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

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

Beers: Kolsch, Oyster Stout, Helles Lager, Honk Ale, Fresh Hop Amber, Pumpkin Charlie Brown, Alt German Lager, Jabberwocky IPA. The Fresh Hop Amber, Alt German Lager, and the Pumpkin Charlie Brown are the newest entries, while the Jabberwocky returns after a brief absence. Located at 471 South Hill Road in Bernalillo, Kaktus is one of the state’s newest breweries. It is a small, casual place, similar to Blue Heron in appearance and comfort factor. Kaktus owner Dana Koller said fans can expect the nanobrewery to go through its most popular styles quickly, though they will always have something new and exciting available as a replacement.

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

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

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Full Nelson, Project Dank, Across the Pond, Witch’s Tit, Meridian Pale Ale, Levitated (Imperial) Pilsner. The Meridian is the new kid on the tap list, replacing the Oktoberfest. The Levitated (8% ABV, 82 IBU) is a cacophony of flavors. It’s not for the weak, despite being classified as a pilsner. It’s also available in bombers. The other somewhat recent additions include the popular seasonal pumpkin beer, Witch’s Tit (7.5% ABV, 30 IBU) and Across the Pond (6.5% ABV, 65 IBU), a British-style IPA. The Full Nelson (8.5% ABV, IBUs listed as “stupid”) is a powerful DIPA, but the brewery has run out of bombers for sale. You may still find some around town. Project Dank (7.5% ABV, “a lot” IBU) is back with a fresh batch.

News: We congratulate La Cumbre Brewing Co. for becoming this year’s National IPA Champion. Project Dank scored the win by edging out 127 other IPAs from around the country, including the likes of the venerable Fat Head’s IBUsive.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

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

Beers: German Blonde Ale, Berliner Weisse, Belgian Abbey, Honey Pale Ale, IPA, Amber, Oatmeal Brown, India Black Ale, Rye Stout, Porter, Dubbel. Both Brandon and I have had chances to visit Lizard Tail, which is one of the newest breweries in town, located in the shopping center on the southeast corner of Eubank and Montgomery. They specialize is malt-forward beers. The German Blonde (5.5% ABV, 20 IBU) is a good place to start. The Berliner Weisse (4.3% ABV, 8 IBU) is not nearly as sour as most of its genre. The Belgian Abbey (6.8%, 25 IBU) is a good example of its style. The Honey Pale Ale (6.3% ABV, 35 IBU) has a nice little hop kick to it. The IPA (6.8% ABV, 70 IBU) has a good mix of Mosaic, Warrior, and Galaxy hops. The Rye Stout (5.5% ABV, 35 IBU) has a nice flavor but lacks body. The first batch of Oatmeal Brown (4.2% ABV, 25 IBU) needed some work, but I got to sample the second batch that will be on tap soon and it’s improved. We’ll have to go back to try the new Porter (5.6% ABV, 35 IBU) and Dubbel.

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

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739

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

Beers: Double White, Rescue Craft Draft, Double IPA. The Rescue Craft is an English-style pale ale. Proceeds benefit the Albuquerque Mountain Rescue Council. Otherwise it’s a relatively light seasonal list as Marble is at capacity brewing the regular beers for distribution. There is the rotating “black handle,” which tends to feature some impressive “secret” beers. Last Saturday they had a stout/barley wine blend. It was, oh let’s see, epic.

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

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

Marble will hold a release party for their Pumpkin Ale next Wednesday. Other beers coming up an English-style pub ale, which may be served on nitro, and an English-style chocolate stout. We’re sensing a theme here …

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100

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

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

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

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

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

Beers: Unchallenged IPA, West Coast Red, Robust Porter, Lost Grain English Summer Ale, Apricot Wheat. While Pi Brewing is not open to the public yet, they are able to brew and serve their beers next door at Nicky V’s. The IPA and West Coast Red are both good hoppy beers. We’ll keep tabs on when Pi itself opens. For now, grab a pint and some tasty Italian food.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

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

Beers: Ghost Train IPA, Rip Saw Red, Crosscut Kolsch, Sawmill Stout, XPA1 Pale Ale, Helles Lager, Double IPA, Oktoberfest, Chocolate Pumpkin Porter, Schwarzbier. Porter Pounder and I went over for the grand opening recently. Ponderosa is located at 1761 Bellamah NW, which is just east of Rio Grande and due north of the NM Natural History Museum, in the bottom floor of a swanky-looking apartment/retail complex. As for the beers, they are all the initial batches, so expect some modifications/changes going forward. Needless to say we both liked the Stout (5.2% ABV, 22 IBU) the best, but we’re dark beer guys (then again, you could also call us dark beer snobs, so consider that). Porter Pounder liked the XPA1 Pale Ale (5% ABV, 35 IBU), which will always be a rotating single-hop pale ale. The Crosscut Kolsch (4.9% ABV, 25 IBU) is almost like a Kolsch/hefeweizen hybrid. The Ghost Train (6.2% ABV, 75 IBU) needs some work, but the brewer has already identified what went wrong in the first batch and is working on correcting that for the next run. The new Double IPA (7.7% ABV, 90 IBU) begs to be tried in the near future. The Oktoberfest (5.7% ABV, 17 IBU) is an interesting variation on the traditional style; we tasted wheat malts in the mix. The new Schwarzbier debuted over the weekend.

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675

(Noon to midnight all week)

Beers: Gateway Blonde Ale, Roamer Red, Threshold IPA, Paint it Black Milk Stout, Unhinged Cider, Trapdoor Wheat. We were excited to try Red Door ever since they first invited us to visit many months ago. They are now open and their initial batches of beer are all quite good. The Roamer Red (6% ABV) was a favorite for Porter Pounder, sitting midway between hoppy reds like Marble and sweeter reds like the standard Irish variety. The Paint it Black (5.5%) is served on nitro, so it’s criminally smooth. The potent Threshold IPA (6.6% ABV) should appeal to local hopheads. Beware the Unhinged Cider as it checks in at 7.9 percent, but you don’t taste the alcohol. Red Door has been having trouble keeping up with demand. All six beers are on tap this week.

Sandia Chile Grill — (505) 798-1970

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

Beers: Irish Red, Rattlesnake IPA, Smoked Stout. We’re going to dispatch E-Rock (he needs a new assignment) to re-establish our lines of communication with Sandia Chile Grill.

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

The Stumbling Steer — (505) 792-7805

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

Beers: Blonde, Pale, IPA, Red, Brown, Double IPA, Imperial Stout. While the brewery is being built in the back of the Steer, all of their house beers are being brewed off-site, but still using brewer Kirk Roberts’ recipes. The DIPA and the Stout are limited to two per customer, due to their high alcohol content (10% and 9.5% ABV, respectively). The Crew has already made two separate visits to the Steer to review the beer and food. We enjoyed it all.

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

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

UPDATED >>> Beers at Nob Hill: 6% Humidity 9% ABV Cider, Barnstorm Ale, Javi Light Lager, Tupac Cali Red, La Llorona Dry Hop Amber, Berliner Weisse, Tractoberfest.

Beers at Wells Park only: Pilsner #15, Mustachio Milk Stout, 4 Seasons 1 Week Cider. All of the Nob Hill seasonals are also at Wells Park, which has 24 total taps (Tractor’s five regular beers have two taps apiece). The Tractoberfest is back and this year’s batch is one of the best yet. It’s just a malt blast of happiness. The other recent beer additions to the lineups are the Barnstorm Ale, La Llorona Dry Hop Amber, which is drier yet more flavorful than most ambers, and Tupac Cali Red. The 4 Seasons 1 Week Cider is a variation of the 6%-9% (these names, oy), slightly sweeter and it’s only 7.2-percent ABV.

Events: On Wednesday, Tractor will be hosting another Cards Against Humanity night at Wells Park. This is a free event starting at 7 p.m. Food will by served by Nomad’s BBQ.

Geeks Who Drink is now setting up shop at the Wells Park Tap Room every Monday at 8 p.m. Bar cash for winners and bonus questions all night. Wanna see what GWD at Tractor has been up to? Check out the blog! Food will be served by Mystique.

The Solos on the Hill series continues tonight (Wednesday) at 8:30 p.m. in Nob Hill as Cali Shaw performs.

Tractor’s pLOUD music series at Wells Park continues Thursday with Travis and Joel Band performing at 8 p.m. Kimo’s Hawaiian BBQ will provide the food.

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

Poetry and Beer will be back Tuesday at Wells Park with an open mic event starting at 7 p.m.

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

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

Beers: (House) McDay’s Cream Ale, Oku Amber, Parasol White IPA, Hopshell IPA, Piedra Lisa Porter, Heidelberg Helles. (Seasonal/specialty) Monochrome Milk Stout, Pork ‘n’ Brew Brown Ale, Saison du Soleil, Oktoberfest. To help us out for now and the future, brewer Tim Woodward broke down what will be the regular beers on tap (under House) and the current list of seasonals. That’s a pretty solid regular lineup. I personally really enjoyed the Porter and Amber, the latter of which trumps most of its genre in terms of flavor. The Heidelberg Helles (5.1% ABV, 25 IBU) has rejoined the regular lineup for good, or so Tim hopes. Congratulations to Turtle Mountain on winning our inaugural Oktoberfest challenge. You need to head out to Rio Rancho and try this excellent marzen for yourselves.

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Oktoberfest, Night Train (Schwarzbier), Scorched (smoked olde ale), Alpha Reaper (Imperial Red Ale). If the Alpha Reaper (9% ABV, 100 IBU) sounds imposing, that’s because it is. A wet-hopped imperial red, it was made with 50 pounds of fresh Chinook hops grown in Colorado. Now good luck keeping “Don’t Fear the Reaper” from getting stuck in your head. The most recent German-style beer addition is the Night Train (5% ABV, 32 IBU), a darker lager made with two types of German malts and noble hops, though it’s down the last keg. The Funkadelic (5.8% ABV, 30 IBU) is a Bavarian-style brown ale, with Crystal hops added to balance the big malt bill. Scorched is exactly the big old smoky blast you would expect. Oktoberfest debuted this past Monday and is quite the exceptional beer. It would have contended with Turtle Mountain for the top spot in our Oktoberfest challenge.

News: Blue Corn’s Pumpkin Ale is due to be tapped this coming Monday.

An imperial stout and a barley wine will be out later this year.

Events: Blue Corn and Santa Fe Spirits will team up for a beer-cocktail dinner on Oct. 16.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

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

Beers: Danae (Golden Sour Ale), Study Series: Brown (Belgian-style Sour Brown Ale), Bad Amber, Fiction (IPA), Synne (Pale Ale), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Marcel (Witbier), Whistler (Blonde), Manikin Small Scottish-style Dark Ale. Duel brewer Todd Yocham described the latest Study Series entry (5% ABV) like this, “A very malt forward light bodied brown ale, soured with Lactobacillus and accentuated by the fruity esters from our Trappist yeast.” The Fantin (7.5% ABV), which I tried and liked at Pajarito Summerfest, gets this summary, “Aromas of strawberry and pineapple accentuated by our Trappist yeast will keep you wanting more.” The Danae is the newest entry.

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

This Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. you can attend a tasting event of Duel beers at Jubilation. The only place outside the brewery you can purchase bombers of Duel beers is Jubilation, so this is a unique opportunity to snag some samples before you buy.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

(Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., closed on Sunday)

Beers: Oktoberfest, Double White IPA. The first beer in the new Ever Changing Series is a Double White IPA, which Luke of the Brew Crew bullpen recently reviewed. We didn’t get an update this week on Small Batch Saturday, but if one comes along we will add it to this article.

Events: $1 Off Growler Refills in the Tasting Room on Mondays. $2 Tuesdays at the Eldorado Taphouse. On Wednesday, there is a $2 Pint Special in the SFBC Tasting Room, and the Sangre de Cristo Craft Brewers’ Meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Tasting Room as well on the third Wednesday of every month. On Thursday, there will be $1 Off Growler Refills at the Eldorado Taphouse.

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, Trappist Strong Ale, Cream Stout, Rauchbier, Amber. The SSB staff hopes to have British Mild, Fulcrum IPA, and Oktoberfest on tap by the end of the week. I got to sample the Rauchbier when I took my relatives to SSB for lunch; it’s not overly smoky, just smooth and balanced. You can also pick up four-packs of cans of Boneshaker Bitter at the brewery. The good folks from Mother Road Mobile Canning stopped by again to team up with Second Street. We love teamwork when it comes to beer.

Events: Jake will be the featured performer all October for the Thursday Patio Series. Alex Maryol is playing Friday at the original location. Bill Hearne plays Saturday.

Shows at the Railyard include Kenny Skywolf on Friday, Alex Culbreth on Saturday, and Shiners Club Jazz Band on Sunday.

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

Other breweries you need to visit

Twisted Chile Brewing — (575) 835-2949

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

Beers: KC’s Traditional Irish Stout, Venom IPA. Twisted Chile has been open for a while as a restaurant, but as the name might imply, they will be brewing their own beer on site. Located in Socorro at 115 Abeyta St. W, they will be the first brewery there to brew on site since Socorro Springs outsourced their brewing to Eddyline in Colorado. As soon as a certain editor’s schedule clears up, I’ll be headed down there to do a formal review.

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

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister