So I usually try to keep Beer Notes limited to once a week, but this weekend screamed out for some sort of preview. Originally we were going to have a sneak preview of Heimat House, the new German restaurant/brewpub in the Northeast Heights, but they got just a bit busy preparing for their grand opening and we won’t be able to stop by until later this evening. Don’t worry, we’ll still get you all the info you need, it just may not run till Monday.

Back Alley says good-bye to one brewer and hello to another this weekend.

Back Alley says good-bye to one brewer and hello to another this weekend.

Now it’s just a matter of trying to figure out how to cram all of this beer goodness into our schedules. And to make it worse, I have to take some folks to the airport at 5:30 a.m. Saturday. So if any of you run into me Saturday night and I seem completely out of it, it’s not the beer. Well, it might be partly the beer.

Brewery by brewery, here’s what we know is going on this weekend. Some of this is a repeat of Monday’s Beer Notes and/or Wednesday’s The Week Ahead in Beer, but you can never repeat good brewing news too many times. At least I hope you can’t.

Back Alley bids adieu

Brewer Addison Poth is leaving for San Diego, so there will be a going-away party Saturday night at the Draft House. Two special beers, Ladron’s con Fuego and Poth’s Pilsner, will be on tap. For more details, go back to Week Ahead.

Bosque turns two

We gotta start writing down when breweries are having their anniversaries so we are not caught unprepared. Otherwise we could have given this a full write-up. As it is, the Bosque crew is celebrating all weekend long. There will be all sorts of as-yet-unannounced prizes and giveaways, so if we get details I will update this (yeah, I’ll head over there this afternoon). They are tapping their Cottonwood Anniversary Double Red (9.5% ABV, 90 IBU), a monster beer from brewer John Bullard. You just know it’s gonna be epic.

Boxing Bear steps into the cask ring

Brewer Justin Hamilton and his staff are trying to make cask Fridays a regular thing, so let’s all support them if we can. First up is their Uppercut IPA dry-hopped with eight ounces of Equinox.

The 2013 version of the wondrous St. Bob's is on tap at Canteen.

The 2013 version of the wondrous St. Bob’s is on tap at Canteen as of this afternoon.

Canteen just did what?

The mad scientists have just put the 2013 St. Bob’s Imperial Stout (12.1% ABV, 90 IBU), a barrel-aged behemoth, on tap as of this afternoon. It’s just one keg, so haul ass over there and get some. Lord, this plus that Bosque Double Red … this weekend could be rough.

La Cumbre pitches in for charity

UPDATED >>> Following up on Wednesday’s Peek-a-Boob Porter release for breast cancer awareness, LC will be hosting the Cerveza for a Cause event NEXT Saturday from noon to 4 p.m., not this Saturday. Whoops. Was typing this up so fast I misread the date. Anyway, for every pint sold, $1 will go to the Q Kids Foundation. There will also be a silent art auction and a raffle, plus live music from Django Rhythm Meat Grinder.

And yeah, La Cumbre has a cask up, in this case today (Friday) it will be Elevated IPA dry-hopped with Mosaic. Pints are just $3.

More room for more beer equals a party. Woots.

More room for more beer equals a party. Woots.

Marble Westside gets larger

Marble’s taproom out west has increased in size and is open again, so now it’s time to celebrate. The event runs 5 to 10 p.m. tonight, with complimentary hors d’ouevres from M’Tucci’s Kitchina from 5 to 7. Live music will be provided by Russell James Pyle at 5 and Merican Slang at 7.

If you can’t get to the west side tonight, head downtown as Alex Maryol performs from 8 to 11. Then on Saturday, the downtown pub will host the Hops & Harvest Fest, benefiting the Downtown Growers Market. That lasts from 2 to 9 p.m. and will feature live music and more.

Red Door gets into the season

The new guys will have a Pumpkin Carving Contest this Sunday at 5 p.m. You can bring your own pumpkin or buy one there for $8. You do have to bring your own carving equipment. There will be prizes for the winners and maybe even some consolation prizes for everyone else. They are hoping to make this an annual event, so head on over.

* * * * *

OK, that seems to be all the events going on this weekend. If there are any more events to add or you need further details on anything listed here, contact us the usual ways (email: nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com, Twitter @nmdarksidebc, Facebook, or the comments section below). I will try to get some more details about Bosque soon. While enjoying a Double Red. Followed by a St. Bob’s at Canteen. Followed by a stop at Heimat House. Followed by cask at Boxing Bear. Followed by a stop at Marble Westside. Small beer samples only for me today/tonight.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

I attended the Southwest Bacon Fest at the Balloon Park this past Saturday. Normally, I might not write up any information on a bacon festival for a beer website. However, quite a few local breweries were there. And goodness, many of those beers went so well with the bacon food items. In particular, I had Pi’s Bourbon Vanilla Porter with some bacon-wrapped dates. That was fabulous. I enjoyed a “BLT” from Chama as well. This was their version of a “red beer” or “bloody beer.” It was Bacon, Lager, and Tomato. It is a refreshing way to cleanse the palate after some heavy, heavy food and beer.

It's doesn't look like a beer, but that's Chama River's BLT (Bacon, Lager, and Tomato) from last weekend's Bacon Fest.

It’s doesn’t look like a beer, but that’s Chama River’s BLT (Bacon, Lager, and Tomato) from last weekend’s Bacon Fest. (Photo courtesy of Chama River)

I like bacon just fine. But really, it was the weather, the venue, and the local breweries that sold me. Oh, and full disclosure, I won a ticket for this event when I attended Hopfest. Only one, though, so we still had to buy one ticket. This is a nice festival and the weather was perfect for sitting around and enjoying New Mexico craft brews and some very interesting uses of bacon.

It seems each festival comes with its challenges (I’m looking at you, ABQ BioPark Zoo; that one still hurts). I had finished my final beer because although the festival ended at 6 p.m., the beer purveyors let us know they had to stop selling at 5 p.m. That was a little disappointing since we didn’t get there until 3:30, but I had some delicious stuff and I was basically OK with it.

I will not mention any names, but I happened to overhear a very heated conversation. One of the smaller breweries got in an argument with the people in charge because they said they weren’t notified they had to stop selling at 5 p.m. until it happened at the event. According to this smaller brewery, one of the larger ones didn’t bother to stop selling. He said it wasn’t fair and that there was not equal treatment. Hopefully the miscommunication can be avoided up front next year.

At the end, we wandered over to the charming folks from The Stumbling Steer. They had coupon tickets (good for the following day only, Sunday) for $3 house beers. I knew from previous visits that on Sundays you can ask for and get free pint glasses of bacon (shhhh!) while they last. We did make it over there the next day. So, yes, more bacon. And I ate it with the Bourbon Bacon Stout they had on cask.

For $3 with the ticket, seriously, what in the world could be more perfect?

Cheers — to beer and to bacon!

— AmyO

This past Saturday, as promised (or as warned), I attended Santa Fe Brewing Co.’s grand swingin’ shindig, Oktoberfiesta, and it was a perfect end to a great festival season. Now let me begin by saying that Stoutmeister had told me that I didn’t have to work because it was my birthday, and so it was certainly NOT my intent to be on the job. I didn’t take any notes, mental or otherwise, nor did I conduct any interviews, and if I did, there were none that I can remember. In fact, I believe I said “off the record,” so many times, that it has officially become my new nickname. I honestly did my best not to come away with any content. But somehow, somewhere deep down, the journalist in me decided he was going to document the event. And so, in the aftermath, I found a few pictures between the two of our phones. And while I may not have captured all the important shots, or hit all the important angles, or really have taken much of anything in focus, I have a few pictures for you guys. The following is the only stuff deemed appropriate enough to share with our friends and readers of the Crew. Hopefully, the pics might show tiny bit of how it all went down. Enjoy!

Oktoberfiesta! - 4

Oktoberfiesta has officially begun!

Oktoberfiesta! - 3

Jerome and Miggs of the Sangre De Cristo Craft Brewers. These guys are brewing their famous Biscochito Stout on the small batch system for SFBC’s “12 Beers of Christmas.” Can’t wait to try it!

Oktoberfiesta! - 5

Now that’s a sample!

Oktoberfiesta! - 7

These happy campers are enjoying the music of Pigment.

Oktoberfiesta! - 9

The bratwurst eating contest. The before picture. Note: After picture not available. It was NOT a pretty sight!

Oktoberfiesta! - 1

And they’re off!

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If bratwurst wasn’t your thing, Food Truck Tacos Y Mas was there serving up some New Mexico deliciousness! Taster glass photo-bomb!

Oktoberfiesta! - 12

A little serenading with dinner? Not exactly. That’s the yodeling contest. Riiiiicooooolaaaaa! No?

Oktoberfiesta! - 8

How weird! It’s The Strange! These guys rock, even a man down.

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That poor fellow is out of beer! Quick, someone get him an Oktoberfest, STAT!

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This gentleman has acquired one of the very last of the Krieks! My prediction is that he became very popular before the night was through.

When the dust settled on Sunday morning, I was happy to have made the trip out to 35 Fire Place, and thrilled as always, to have made it home safely. (The cab system in Santa Fe is still amazing.) Oktoberfiesta was a party to remember, if remembering is at all possible after an event like that. I would do it again and again, but not in a heartbeat. I need some time. I think I’ve finally reached my Oktoberfest and brewfest limit for the year, but what a few weeks it’s been! There have been some great Oktoberfest events and some amazing Oktoberfest beer. Great job New Mexico! You absolutely nailed the season and the style. Oktoberfiesta certainly pushed me over the top. And for that, I can’t thank them enough!

My head still hurts and my liver may be threatening to walk, but my heart is full, and my soul is now repaired of the damage of the daily grind. But wasn’t that the point of beer in the early days? To be there for you after a rough day, and smooth you through to the next? We live in a great state folks, where the beer is bigger than dad’s after-work medicine. We live in a place where the beer scene is in full swing and only growing stronger. We live in a time when anyone with the courage to pour something new into their taster glass can become a pioneer. We live on the Frontier of Beer, where every weekend there’s something new to drink and something fun to do, if you just look for it. If fest season is over for now, I’m okay with that. I’ll breathe. I’ll recharge. I’ll count my dropping degrees until Imperial Stout, Winter Warmer, and Black IPA season. Guys and gals, brewfest season has come to a close, but our great NM beer is not going anywhere, and I promise, neither are we. For now, see you around the taps. As always, think globally, drink locally, and come to the Dark Side. We have beer.

Oktoberfiesta! - 13

For beer info and Brew Crew updates, follow me on Twitter @SantaFeCraftBro

— Luke

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.

We start this week with news of a brewer change. After running the show for a while now, Addison Poth is leaving Back Alley Draft House. He will be heading out to San Diego, where many more brewing opportunities will await. A new brewer has been named, and both he and Addison will be at the latter’s going away party this Saturday. After many tasty brews in one of ABQ’s hidden gems, we thank Addison for all of his good service to our beer community. Operating on a small system in a place that seems more suited to pizza parties, he has nonetheless produced some solid styles, including the wonderfully unique Ladron’s Peak earlier this year. To help celebrate the end of this little era, Addison brewed up a variation called Ladron’s con Fuego, where they took some actual granite from the real Ladron, heated it up, and put it into the wort. The result, Addison said, was one of the most complex beers he has ever tasted. We can’t wait to head over to try this one, as well as the new Poth’s Pilsner, which was brewed with a pre-Prohibition recipe from the Poth’s and Sons Brewery, which never reopened after Prohibition ended. It should be another unique variation on a traditional style. Good luck to Addison on his new path! We’ll miss you, buddy!

On the new beer front, it’s a fairly quiet week. Broken Bottle has tapped their Drunken Hobo Milk Stout and Debacle Pumpkin Ale. Canteen has The Good Stuff, a session IPA. Kaktus has brought back James Blonde while adding Harvest Amber and Oktoberfest. La Cumbre’s Peek-a-Boob Porter debuts with a release party tonight, plus they have a limited supply of 2013 La Negra imperial stout on tap. Tractor’s Ruby Red Wheat, Little Red Rye-ding Hood, and Bulls-Eye PA all debuted during Saturday’s 15th anniversary party. Turtle Mountain’s A Lil’ Somethin’ Pumpkin is being served on nitro.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn’s Belgian Blonde Table Beer will be out soon. Second Street’s Amber and Berliner Weisse are back. Down in Socorro, Twisted Chile’s potent 790 IPA is back as well.

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

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

Albuquerque metro area breweries

ABQ Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

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

Beers: 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, Berliner Weisse, Poth’s Pilsner, Ladron’s con Fuego. See our intro on the upcoming brewer change at Back Alley, plus info on the two new beers, Poth’s Pilsner and Ladron’s con Fuego.

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: Oktoberfest, PSA (Pumpkin Spice Ale), The Box IPA, Bosque Lager, Bosque’s Burnin’ Red, Olde Bosky Porter. Bosque’s Oktoberfest is just a malt blast of goodness, not overly sweet nor too dry. The Burnin’ Red, with a new recipe, is back on tap. Also back on tap is an old favorite in the Olde Bosky Porter. The Lager is back by popular demand. The Simcoe IPA has run out, but The Box is more than enough hops to keep you satiated.

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.

To staff the new locations, Bosque will be holding a job fair from Nov. 4-6. Send your resume, a brief note about why you want to work for Bosque, and your preferred location to work at and available interview times in one tidy email to employment@bosquebrewing.com. Applications are due this Friday. See their Facebook page for more details.

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

Beers in the future will include a pumpkin ale, barley wine, ESB, imperial red, and a new IPA. 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. 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. The Oktobearfest has run out, sadly. But a new pumpkin ale is now being brewed.

UPDATED >>> Cask: Yup, Boxing Bear is doing a cask. Rejoice! This Friday they have Uppercut IPA dry-hopped with eight ounces of Equinox hops. Next week, prepare yourselves for a Dunkelweizen with blackberries and dark chocolate.

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: Stray Dog IPA, Cactus Juice, Peculiar Pumpkin Porter, Drunken Hobo Milk Stout, Debacle Pumpkin Ale. Cactus Juice is made with actual prickly pears. New to taps this week are the Drunken Hobo Milk Stout and the Debacle Pumpkin Ale. Compare that to the Peculiar Pumpkin Porter and see which is the better style.

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, Pumpkin Saison, Pumpkin Porter, Mimosa Beer, Rye PA, American Stout, The Good Stuff. New to taps this week is The Good Stuff (5.7% ABV, 70 IBU), a session IPA. The Rye PA (7% ABV, 50 IBU) and the American Stout (7.4% ABV, 60 IBU) are fairly 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. 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: Wee Bit Loco, The Hound (Amber Ale), Rasp-booby Wheat, Cosmic Dog. Wee Bit Loco is a new Scottish ale and was our pick as the best malty beer at Septemberfest. The Cosmic Dog (7% ABV, 25 IBU), a coffee stout, and the Rasp-booby (5% ABV, 20 IBU) are recent additions to tap. 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: James Blonde, Oyster Stout, Honk Ale, Harvest Amber, Pumpkin Charlie Brown, Alt German Lager, Jabberwocky IPA, Oktoberfest. The Harvest Amber, Oktoberfest, and the popular James Blonde are the newest entries, while the Jabberwocky came back recently after a brief absence. Located at 471 South Hill Road in Bernalillo, Kaktus is one of the state’s newer 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, Meridian Pale Ale, Hell Froze Over, 2013 La Negra, Peek-a-Boob Porter. Yeah, they’ve busted out a batch of barrel-aged La Negra, a massive imperial stout worthy of the elder gods. The Peek-a-Boob Porter was made for charity, as $1 from every pint sold will go to the local YWCA to benefit early breast cancer awareness. Hell Froze Over (5.6% ABV, 42 IBU) is one of the newer kids 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. If you’re looking for something to sip slowly, Across the Pond (6.5% ABV, 65 IBU), a British-style IPA, and Meridian Pale Ale (5.4% ABV, 40 IBU) are available. 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.

Events: Peek-a-Boob Porter gets its own special release party tonight (Wednesday). See La Cumbre’s Facebook page for more details.

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.

Events: There will be live music Saturday at 9 p.m. Also, every Tuesday at 8 p.m. Lizard Tail will host Geeks Who Drink.

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.

News: 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 able to get over there and try all three and came away quite impressed. The Dry Stout is bold and thick, the kind of burly beer you want in the winter (or year-round if you’re like us). The Saisons Change packs a ton of flavor in every sip. It’s not spicy hot, but it will leave your tongue tingling with a strong Belgian yeast backbone behind the initial bite. The Belgian Dark Strong is almost too sweet; it would go great as dessert after any of Nexus’ awesome food dishes.

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 Schwarzbier (4.7% ABV, 24 IBU) debuted recently.

News: The next batch of brews will include Breakfast Stout, Dunkles, Dunkelweizen, Helles Hefeweizen, Ella Single Hop Pale Ale, and something called Marbelous. We’re down for a Breakfast Stout at any time of day.

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, though all six beers were on tap last 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: Bang Up Blonde, Hefferweizen, Pig Sticker Pale, Iron Horse IPA, Rawhide Red, Boneyard Brown, Hop Trough (Double IPA), Soiled Dove (Imperial Stout), Black IPA. 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. The Black IPA is the current seasonal beer, plus there are often one or two cask beers. We recently had their Bacon Bourbon Stout and Green Chile IPA on cask. Franz Solo loved the latter.

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: 4 Seasons 1 Week Cider, Ruby Red Wheat, Barnstorm Ale, Javi Light Lager, La Llorona Dry Hop Amber, Pilsner #15, Tractoberfest.

Beers at Wells Park only: 6% Humidity 9% ABV Cider, Berry Cider, Mustachio Milk Stout, Little Red Rye-ding Hood, Bulls-Eye PA. 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 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. The newest beers on tap were brewed up for Tractor’s 15th anniversary. The Ruby Red Wheat is loaded with grapefruit. The Little Red has a malty rye kick. The Bulls-Eye is a solid IPA.

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.

Pints and Politics is back at Wells Park tonight (Wednesday) at 6 with “Know Your Initiatives.” Come learn about the issues and the candidates while enjoying a good pint or two.

Tractor’s pLOUD Music Series at Wells Park continues Thursday with Waylaid performing at 8 p.m. Kimo’s Hawaiian BBQ will provide the food.

Saturday’s In the Mix Series at Wells Park will feature DJ Shakedown performing at 9 p.m.

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

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

Beers: (House) McDay’s Cream Ale, Oku Amber, Parasol White IPA, Hopshell IPA, Piedra Lisa Porter, Heidelberg Helles. (Seasonal/specialty) Cascade Session Ale, Saison du Soleil, Brown Ale for Boobies, Uberaltbier, A Little Somethin’ Pumpkin. 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. However, they’ve added A Little Somethin’ Pumpkin, which is served on nitro. Yeah, that sounds pretty damn intriguing to us.

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 Nov. 13 (they fit 900 pounds into the mash tun, for crying out loud), and they have begun brewing a Belgian blonde table beer that will hopefully be ready next week.

Events: Blue Corn’s imperial stout will be released with a special party that will require reservations on Nov. 13. Starting at 6 p.m., for $10 you get a pint of stout with three small dishes. Not a bad deal for a beer of that power.

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.)

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Trappist Strong Ale, Cream Stout, Rauchbier, Amber Ale, Oktoberfest, British Mild, Berliner Weisse. The Amber and Berliner Weisse are back on tap this week. 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. Bus Tapes are playing Friday at the original location. Eryn Bent plays Saturday.

Shows at the Railyard include the Alto Street Band on Friday, Swing Soleil on Saturday, and Shriner’s 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, 790 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

Be one of the “300” in Los Alamos

Posted: October 21, 2014 by reidrivenburgh in News
Tags:

Okay, the “300” we’re referring to aren’t those ol’ Greeks with their ripped abs and crazy blood-lust.  These “300” are you, gentle readers, with keg-abs and wacky beer-lust! The Los Alamos Beer Co-op (LABC) is making its final push to recruit members and get the funds necessary to open up their brewery and taproom.

Be one of the 300!

Be one of the 300!

Much progress has been made this year, with the purchase of a brewing system from Bosque Brewing in Albuquerque and the rental and renovating of a retail space in downtown Los Alamos. A few more hurdles remain, however; little things, like hiring a brewer and staff, completing the renovations, etc. This is where you come in. By purchasing a membership (lifetime or one-year) or investing in a member loan, you can help make this happen. And now, there are extra benefits to doing so. During the months of October and November:

  • NEW Members will receive a FREE LABC pint glass and token for one free beer.
  • Existing members will receive a token for one free beer for EACH NEW MEMBER they recruit.
  • Member Loan Incentives (including more free beer and other excellent rewards) can now be earned by recruiting new members or new investors.

Nice! So, if you’ve been putting off getting involved, there’s no better time than now to make the move. If you have made the move, encourage someone else to make the move!

The LABC is still aiming for a grand opening in early 2015. Just think, a place in Los Alamos to grab a great beer and fill your growler.

For additional information about the LABC, including all of the details about membership and loans, visit www.losalamosbeer.coop.

Cheers!

— Reid

Put away those sample glasses. Don’t worry about what’s being served. Festival season for 2014 is over (well, save for one event, see below) and as such, the beer news is grinding (almost) to a halt. It’s the quiet period, which usually lasts from now through the holidays, and it can be maddening for a group of beer writers to keep finding things to write about.

Cheers to Tractor on their 15th anniversary and to this rather scrumptious Little Red Rye-ding Hood.

Cheers to Tractor on their 15th anniversary and to this rather scrumptious Little Red Rye-ding Hood.

Luckily it’s not too quiet, so there are still some things to keep us (and you, dear readers) entertained. This past weekend marked two celebrations as Santa Fe held their annual Oktoberfiesta and Tractor celebrated their 15th anniversary. We sent Luke, our Santa Fe correspondent, to the former, but it was his actually his birthday, so we told him that he didn’t need to work, just have fun (we think he did, but he may still be nursing a hangover, so we’re not about to call him or anything).

As for Tractor, work schedules and the like conspired to keep us away until later in the evening. Franz Solo and I popped in and found a random table in the hallway next to the brewery, between the taproom and the bathrooms. It made for a nice spot to people watch, as well as give us a chance to actually hear each other talk. The DJ was playing away in the main taproom, and other than a brief usage of The Song of Evil (if anyone follows me on Twitter @topeswriter, you know what song that is), it wasn’t too bad of a song selection. We did miss what Melissa told us was a rather epic drunk dance-off, but instead we got to enjoy hearing some stories from brewer David Hargis. We also enjoyed the Little Red Rye-ding Hood and Bulls Eye PA, while Franz alone got to have the Ruby Red Wheat. It was actually a relaxing couple of hours amid the festivities. Kudos to you and your wonderful staff, Tractor. Here’s to another 15 years.

Anyway, on with the random little tidbits of beer news for the week and beyond …

One more festival, then we rest

The NM Brewers Guild is again holding the Dia de la Cerveza down in Las Cruces on Sunday, Nov. 2. We have been trying to set things up to have a Las Cruces-area correspondent to join our Bullpen, but that’s still up in the air right now. Anyway, we know Bosque, which is opening a taproom soon in LC, and local boys High Desert will be there. We’ll work on getting a list of other breweries from the Guild as we get closer to the event.

After that, there’s nothing until the always awesome WinterBrew up in Santa Fe on Jan. 23, 2015. For more info, visit the Guild’s website.

We'll always come try a new porter, but when it's for a good cause, we guarantee our attendance.

We’ll always come try a new porter, but when it’s for a good cause, we guarantee our attendance.

Beer for a cause

There are a number of beers with eye-popping names being released right now, but all with a good cause behind them. Chama River’s Rasp-booby Wheat and Turtle Mountain’s Brown Ale for Boobies have both been out for a little while. Both beers were made to help breast cancer awareness this month (in case there were five of you left on earth wondering why all those NFL players are wearing pink lately).

La Cumbre is jumping into the mix with a release party this Wednesday for Peek-a-Boob Porter. LC will donate $1 from every pint sold to the YWCA to benefit early cancer screenings for women. The porter will be tapped at noon and there will be live music from The Rudy Boy Experiment from 6 to 9 p.m., while Adoughbe Pizza’s truck will be parked outside.

Then on Saturday at La Cumbre, the Cerveza for a Cause event will be hosted by The Q Active 20-30 Club. Again $1 from every pint sold will go to charity, in this case children’s charities, and this time it will work for any beer purchased between noon and 4 p.m. There will also be a charity art auction and a free brewery tour for the first 30 people to sign up. There will be a Dia de los Muertos theme, plus Django Rhythm Meat Grinder will perform. A&J BBQ Food Truck will be parked outside.

Deutschland meets Burque

The new Heimat House will be opening this weekend near the corner of Louisiana and Montgomery (right near a certain middle school that I used to attend). This German-themed restaurant will have a special Oktoberfest celebration Saturday. They will also have some 30 beers on tap, including many you can’t find anywhere else in New Mexico. We’ll be stopping in to visit them when they have a few free minutes to talk this week. Look for that preview soon.

But not, we’re still not gonna bust out the lederhosen. Franz Solo might have some hidden in the back of a closet, but the rest of us aren’t that brave to try to wear any.

Who will be the king of pumpkin beers in the ABQ area? We hope to find out soon.

Who will be the king of pumpkin beers in the ABQ area? We hope to find out soon.

Pumpkin challenge or not to pumpkin challenge?

We were originally gonna do a double beer challenge a few weeks ago along with the area’s selection of Oktoberfest beers, but there were so many different pumpkins scattered around we worried about palate destruction or just general drunkenness distorting our results. If everything breaks right with our collective crazy schedules, we may finally try to do a pumpkin beer challenge this weekend. It ought to be an interesting one, due to all the variations of pumpkin beers. This year we’ve seen pumpkin porters, pumpkin saisons, and there are still more pumpkin beers due out this week and beyond. It’s time to see what really is the best way to make a beer with pumpkin in it. Even if we know some of you despise pumpkin beers, it’s clearly a style that’s here to stay.

Sensory panels and big beers to brew

We were recently invited to participate in some of Tractor’s upcoming sensory panels, particularly in that’s dark beer season and our palates tend to be tuned to those. Whenever we figure out with the good Tractor folks how to set that all up, expect a story or two.

There’s also a good chance you may some Brew Crew beers on tap in the months ahead, and not just from small batch productions, either. We’ve had conversations with Canteen Brewhouse, Chama River, and Tractor about potential future brews on their main system. When I told the others, I’m not sure “ecstatic” is enough to describe their reactions. We’ll have more on all of that as it comes together.

Anything we’ve forgotten?

This is the time of year when we rely on outside input more than ever to let us know what’s going on out there. It can be anything from story ideas to news items big and small to pretty much anything dealing with beer.

For instance, here was a neat little item shared with us by reader Natalie B via our Facebook page: “So, with all the pumpkin beer talk I though I would pitch this to you guys and see if you think we would have any takers here. I just got back from a trip to the New England area to see the fall foliage and to, of course drink a beer or two. The very first place that we visited was a place called, Beer Works – across the street from Fenway Park. I have been a fan of Pumpkin beer since I first tasted it at Socorro Springs probably 6 or 7 years ago… well, they had a “Pumpkin Works” on their tap list and I ordered it. It came in a chilled glass rimmed with cinnamon and a little sugar, not crazy on the sugar but tastable. I know that it sounds strange but it tastes amazing!! Pretty much every tap room back there when you ordered pumpkin beer asked if you wanted a rimmed glass.. so this wasn’t just a single tap room fluke. Some places moistened the rimmed with water, a few with lemon or lime – not my favorite… but then we hit a tap room in Plymouth, MA and that is where the best was served. In this tap room they rimmed the glass with honey and then dipped it in the cinnamon/sugar… oh my goodness. It tastes pretty awesome. … I think you all seem to know EVERYONE and might have a better idea of someone that has pumpkin that might be open to the idea of trying something new. Even the guys that were with us thought that it tasted good so even though this might lean a little more to the girl side of beer drinking I think you might be surprised at just how many people would love a rimmed glass with their pumpkin beer!! Anyway, just something I wanted to share!!”

We had to admit, that’s a brilliant, creative way to serve a seasonal beer that the folks in New England came up with, and it’s something one of our local breweries (HINT) might want to try.

But that is the kind of stuff we’re looking for right now, even little creative tidbits in addition to news about brewery expansions or new places opening or staffs being shuffled or anything like that. We don’t have to fill our site with BIG NEWS all the time. Sometimes it’s the fun stuff that works out.

Anyway, thanks as always for reading. You can send us comments or news items or story suggestions via the comments section here, via Facebook, via Twitter (@nmdarksidebc), and via email (nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com). Or just come up and say hello if you ever spot any of the bearded wanderers out at the breweries. We’ll be nice, we promise. Well, unless you’re singing along to anything by Neil Diamond. Isotopes season is over, we don’t have to listen to The Song of Evil anymore.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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.