OffKilter took delivery of their equipment back in June and say they will open in December. They are one of many new places scheduled to open in the coming months. (Courtesy of their Facebook page)

OffKilter took delivery of their equipment back in June and say they will open in December. They are one of many new places scheduled to open in the coming months. (Courtesy of their Facebook page)

A while back we had a story where I quoted a reliable source who said there are 31 applications for either breweries or taprooms in Albuquerque alone. Needless to say, this got some people fairly stirred up. Taking away the four pending taprooms we know about (Duel in downtown, Kaktus in Nob Hill, Marble in the NE Heights, Red Door in downtown), that leaves 27 potential places. Let us take stock of what is known, what is rumor, and try to figure out just what it all means. Oh, and we do have some updates on places outside of ABQ as well.

Confirmed forthcoming ABQ breweries

We know these places are coming because either A) we’ve visited them, B) they have a Facebook page/official website, or C) they have active or pending licenses via the State of New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department website.

1. Bow & Arrow Brewing (6th Street just south of I-40): We know the build-out is underway because someone emailed us photos, but those disappeared from our Facebook page not long after they appeared. Word is the owner is being very cautious and secretive, trying not to drum up too much hype/expectations too far in advance of their opening. We were told they hired a professional brewer from outside of NM, which can work (see James Warren at Blue Corn), instead of hiring an existing brewer from here in the state. At the pace they are on, an early 2016 opening is likely. You can check their website as they are not yet on social media.

2. Firkin Brewhouse & Grill (Brewery District on Columbia): In case you missed it, friend of the Crew Mario Caldwell took a lot of photos of Firkin. We tried their beers at Blues & Brews back in May and enjoyed them. I ran into some of their staff at NM Brew Fest over the weekend and they said a circa Nov. 1 opening is the plan. We will have a formal, full preview over there as soon as we can set up a time to visit. Until then, keep track on their Facebook page or their website.

This was the proposed location of Hops Brewery in Nob Hill, which may now be a dead project.

This was the proposed location of Hops Brewery in Nob Hill, which may now be a dead project.

3. Hops Brewery (Nob Hill): Back in early 2014 we saw the permit application posted in the window of a storefront in Nob Hill, across the street from Gecko’s on Central. Since then there have been rumors of issues involving the lack of parking, possible opposition from neighborhood businesses, and more. The pending application is still listed on the State website, though it dates from Oct. 31, 2013. This may be a dead project. One interesting detail on the application is the listed owner is “Los Ranchos Brewing LLC.” A possible Plan B? Any connection to a rumored brewery (see below) in the Los Ranchos area? There are more questions than answers here.

4. OffKilter Brewing (near San Mateo and McLeod): As we have noted before, this is the brewery owned by Mike Campbell, formerly of Cazuela’s and Tractor. While we have been unsuccessful in terms of contacting them, their official website now lists an opening month of December. If we finally hear back, we will get over there and get a preview posted before then.

Palmer Brewery and Cider House will share space with Left Turn Distilling. (Courtesy of their Facebook page)

Palmer Brewery and Cider House will share space with Left Turn Distilling. (Courtesy of their Facebook page)

5. Palmer Brewery and Cider House (inside Left Turn Distilling): For those not familiar with Left Turn’s location, it is at 2924 Girard, basically due south of La Cumbre on the other side of Candelaria. We know little about Palmer, but they do have a website up and a Facebook page.

6. Quarter Celtic Brewpub (inside ACE Courtyard at Lomas and San Mateo): Just in case you missed it, we already did a big preview of this potentially awesome new place.

7. Sidetrack Brewing (2nd Street between Lead and Coal): Meet another place that we already wrote up.

8. Starr Brothers Brewing (San Antonio west of San Pedro): Good lord, my father will be able to walk to this place from his house. Sorry, mom. Located in the more easterly of the two buildings that make up San Antonio Commons, this is just up the road from I-25. We have been in touch with them via email and they recently started their build-out. They still hope to open before the year is out, projecting mid-November. Look for a preview sooner than later. Until then, they are on Facebook and have a website.

AmyO got this photo of the brewing equipment in the old Stumbling Steer space.

AmyO got this photo of the brewing equipment in the old Stumbling Steer space. It will finally be used by a new brewing operation.

9. Sugar House Brewing (inside the former Stumbling Steer): OK, Sugar House is the name we heard, but we have also heard Sugar Water. Either way this place will be using the leftover equipment and space that was never used by the Steer. The folks behind Vernon’s Speakeasy, Vernon’s Open Door, and Wise Pies are the owners of this location. The story from the Journal a while back said the brewery would produce beers for all of those restaurants. We do not know if they will sell beers directly from the brewery.

10. The 377 Brewery (near Yale and Gibson): Brewery consultant JD Cummins told us there was a brewery going in south of UNM a while back. Nexus’ Kaylynn McKnight then told us it would be run by the second female head brewer in the state. This Saturday we met Lyna, the brewer herself, and exchanged business cards. Look for more on this brewery in the near future as we set up a time for an interview/tour.

Unconfirmed ABQ breweries

1. Flix Brewhouse and Movie Theater (somewhere on Coors): We heard a rumor that this chain, think Alamo Drafthouse, is moving in on the West Side. Basically it is a movie theater with its own brewpub, with beers brewed on site. Clearly this is something ABQ has been missing, and it goes one step beyond Violet Crown Cinemas in Santa Fe (which just has taps from area breweries). We will seek out more info.

2. Steel Bender Brewyard (2nd Street near Paseo del Norte): The rumors of a brewery opening in the Los Ranchos area have been persistent for a while. A source we trust passed along this name, but so far there is no additional info available, no website, Facebook page, or application to the state for a small brewers license.

3. Ventura Brewing (Paseo del Norte near San Pedro): The name comes from an old map of future breweries, so it may or may not be there. We are hearing rumors of a brewery in the area, though exactly where is unknown. One possibility is a building being constructed from the ground up near Chick-Fil-A, though that was idle speculation between myself and a reporter from the Journal. Just recently one of our Bullpen members heard of a brewery near Paseo and Wyoming; not sure whether it is this or not.

Even if those three unconfirmed places come to fruition, that still leaves a whopping 14 other breweries about which we have heard nothing. Unless they are extremely spread out and in the various corners of ABQ that are currently under-served (think far West Side, far NE Heights, and so on), we could be looking at oversaturation in the next couple years. That will likely produce more Broken Bottle-style casualties than we would like to see, but such is the nature of the industry.

* * * *

As promised, we also have news on breweries around the state. This is all pretty much taken from the State website, plus there are some Facebook pages and the like.

1. Ale Republic (Cedar Crest): We talked to the Republic guys a while back, when they were still in the midst of their Kickstarter campaign. Now they have their location, but alas (or hooray) it is not in Albuquerque, but instead on the east side of the Sandias in Cedar Crest. When they are ready for us to come visit, we will drop in and do a formal write-up.

2. Colfax Ale Cellar (Raton): After being told this was a dead or massively delayed project, a reader with connections to the owners informed us that things are progressing and Colfax hopes to open early in 2016. I guess the Crew will be stopping by during one of our future sojourns to Colorado. They are still listed as having a pending license on the state site, though it calls them Colfax Ave Cellar.

Farmington will be getting their second brewery soon.

Farmington will be getting their second brewery soon.

3. Farmington HUB — Brewery & Grill: This could be interesting with another Hub (see below), so this name may or may not stick. Or we could have a full-on brouhaha over naming in the state. Anyway, we know next to nothing about them, though they do have a website and a Facebook page. Guess we will stop in the next time we go to and from Durango.

4. The Grant Brewing Co. (Chama): They are listed on the state website as a pending application since May 6, but we cannot find any info beyond that. There is no website or social media page. Anyone know if this project is still in existence?

5. Hub City Brewing at the Rail Cafe (Belen): This application to the State was made back in 2013, so it may be a dead project. The Rail Cafe is located at 202 DeSoto Ave. in Belen, but they don’t have a website or a Facebook page that we can find. We are not even sure the cafe is open, much less that they are still planning a brewery.

They aren't open yet, but Milton's in Carlsbad already has merch for sale. (Courtesy of their Facebook page)

They aren’t open yet, but Milton’s in Carlsbad already has merch for sale. (Courtesy of their Facebook page)

6. Milton’s Brewing (Carlsbad): The last time we asked about new breweries, these guys responded right away. They have a website and a Facebook page up and running. The brewery is looking at a 2016 opening, but lord knows this part of the state needs more craft beer, so the wait should be worth it. When they get closer to opening, a road trip will beckon.

7. Pizzeria Da Lino (Santa Fe): Located at 204 N. Guadalupe, just off the Plaza, they are listed as having applied for a Small Brewer License on June 24. Luke or Julie, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to head over and see what is up with them making their own beer.

8. Sub Rosa Cellars (Santa Fe): Luke already wrote up a preview of this forthcoming, wholly unique new brewery.

We did hear that the seemingly dormant Rincon Brewing in Aztec may be revived under a different name. There is also talk of a brewery taking over the old Jackalope space in Bernalillo on Highway 550 near the Santa Ana Star Casino. We do know there will be a taproom of sorts opening in Bernalillo in the old Flying Star space, though as of right now we have not heard if they plan to brew their own. The combined coffeehouse/brewery in EDO on Central is apparently dead, at least at that location. If Theory manages to resurface elsewhere, we will track them down.

We're gonna need a bigger map soon.

We’re gonna need a bigger map soon.

So that is the info that we have right now. Have more details for us? Know of additional places? Please contact us at

Until these places come to fruition, you should have plenty of local options for quality craft beer to keep you satiated.


— Stoutmeister

The setting along Main Street at Expo NM was proper for this festival.

The setting along Main Street at Expo NM was proper for this festival.

The sudden appearance of colorful balloons in the skies over Albuquerque, along with the occasional onset of cooler weather (hey, this is New Mexico) is always a sign that the end of beer festival season is in sight here in these parts. One local festival always looms large over this time of year, and this year was no different, as the NM Brewers Guild held the 6th Annual New Mexico Brew Fest this Saturday at Expo NM. Stoutmeister, Porter Pounder, AmyO, and I were in attendance with friends and spouses in tow for another year of tasty libations. And yes, we were more coherent than during last year’s barrel-aged beer fiasco … (My head still hurts thinking about that one. — S)

Dark Side, dark beer: come on, do you expect anything less from us?

Dark Side, dark beer: come on, do you expect anything less from us?

As the NM Brew Fest has grown with each passing year, this year saw more changes to the festival with the move from the Villa Hispana to Main Street to accommodate more patrons. This definitely made for a great flow, less crowding, more shade, and more accommodation for breweries, distilleries, and food trucks. Yes, you read that right, distilleries; while New Mexico craft beers are always the focus of the festival, local spirits were also highlighted from places like Algodones, Distillery 365, Left Turn, and others. Food trucks were plentiful with the new location to fill bellies with something other than libations, with Soobak Korean Seoul, Irrational Pie, and about a half-dozen others.

As per usual, the folks holding early entry tickets were allowed to storm the gates at 11:30 and were treated to first crack at pours from breweries, as well as being treated to special beverages such as Beermosas and Bloody Marys. Moreso, this allowed for a relaxed pace, as there was a solid selection of new or special beers being offered from various breweries.  Here is a quick breakdown of some of the standouts from DSBC members:

Porter Pounder: (in no particular order) Turtle Mountain’s Gourd Dammit Pumpkin ale, Tractor Brewing Company’s Tractoberfest, Nexus’ Equinox, and Boxing Bear’s Chocolate Milk Stout.

Amy O: Back Alley Cali Common because I love a steam beer and they were out the last two times I tried to get it at the taproom. Turtle Mountain’s Hopshell IPA, and (still a favorite from when I tasted it at the beer fest at Cazuela’s) is Red Door’s Ryeson Sun Saison.

Stoutmeister: In no particular order, other than the order I drank them in … Rio Bravo’s Oktoberfest: good, traditional light marzen lager, true to style, one of their better offerings to date; Blue Corn’s Oktoberfest: another solid example of the style, good, clean, and crisp; Bosque’s The Rabble: massive, boozy pumpkin beer, but I could still taste the pumpkin amid the spices; Ponderosa’s Zaftig (Oatmeal Stout): roasted, chocolate, smooth goodness; Duel’s Goya (2015): massive monstrosity of a Belgian stout, thanks to Trent and Todd for the special preview of this as-yet-unreleased beer; Taos Mesa’s Great Scot Scottish: chewy, malty, more big-bodied than a lot of their beers; And of course Second Street’s Preacher’s Share (see below for more).

Giant Jenga: testing the sobriety of patrons.

Giant Jenga: testing the sobriety of patrons.

Me (Brandon): Bosque Brewing’s The Rabble: burly imperial pumpkin ale that gets the pumpkin and spice balance, boozy and bold.

Red Door Anniversary Double Red: yes, I am way behind on this one, but the hectic working dad life has me strapped for time. Regardless, this is a big ol’ West Coast-style red that is resiny as hell. I could probably only do a 6- to 8-ounce pour, but only because I need my taste buds. Delicious stuff.

Santa Fe Brewing Company Nut Brown (R2Beer2’ed with pinon): that pinon was a nice touch. Wonderful flavor and aroma.

Boxing Bear Chocolate Milk Stout: GABF silver medal winner. Need I say more?? Awesome beer.

Second Street’s Preacher’s Share: the general consensus among the Crew was that we would drink this dry, if it wouldn’t kill us of course. Amazing, developed well with age.

The NM Brew Fest attracted quite a large crowd this year, and it is always a favorite for newcomers to the craft beer world and veterans alike. Several of us talked with patrons from all around the state who traveled from places like Roswell, and even Lincoln! Both festival attendees and the folks from the breweries always seem to enjoy the festival, as witnessed in the camaraderie between all the brewery staffs. The love of great beer is our common thread, after all.

Feel free to let us know what your picks were for any standout beers, or your thoughts on the festival, and as always we can pass them along to the Guild. In the meantime, this brings the festival season to a close for this year. Now to retire to our caves for some strong ales and sports (provided our teams can ever again win some games …).

Until next time …


— Brandon Daniel

The last and arguably best NM beer festival of the year is this weekend!

The last and arguably best NM beer festival of the year is this weekend!

If your favorite brewery’s staff has a little extra kick in their step these days, it is probably because they all know that the final festival of the season is almost upon us. NM Brew Fest 6 is set for this Saturday at the State Fairgrounds from 1 to 6 p.m. (or 11:30 a.m. if you get a VIP ticket).

To get the lowdown on what is new and/or different this year from years past, I talked to NM Brewers Guild director Chris Goblet a while back.

“New Mexico Brew Fest 6, we got through five years, which is a great milestone for the Guild,” Goblet said. “This year the Guild has partnered with Hoppervision, who created New Mexico Brew Fest back in 2009. I kind of took the reins this year again and decided to follow the trail of legislation that we passed and focus on the reciprocity bill. So we’ve got four distilleries, a cider maker and a winery, and we’ll have 25 breweries. It kind of plays off this whole idea of drink local, which is our theme this year.”

A huge question with any VIP/early entry type of ticket is always what does someone get as a bonus with the extra money paid. Last year it was access to some rare, barrel-aged beers, that left a few of us (myself included) feeling a little overwhelmed later on.

“So for your early-bird entry, in addition to a number of specialty beers, you’re also going have your choice of a Blood Mary or a Beermosa to start the day,” Goblet said. “A beer festival that starts you off with a cocktail or champagne-beer concoction, not a bad way to begin the day.  Instead of being limited to a single beer station, Early Birds will have access to all of the breweries, wineries, and distilleries for that first hour.

“I really wanted to hype up the fact that we’re all manufacturing centers working together, playing together. We want this to become the largest local libations festival in New Mexico, so that every year we can grow and feature the new start-up producers. Our festival is a showcase of New Mexico-made alcohol.”

Another past problem with NMBF has been alleviated in terms of the space allotted.

“The big other change this year is we’re no longer in Villa Hispana,” Goblet said. “We’re going to move the festival to main street. It’s going to give us more square footage to accommodate up to 10,000 people. And we can have all the brewery trucks drive right into the festival to park.”

Of course, we know a major part of any event preview is to track down who is pouring what beers. The good news is that three of the four NM beers that won medals at the Great American Beer Festival will be available, as well as beers from BJ’s that won medals. These are all the lineups we received from attending breweries:

  • Abbey: Monks’ Ale, Wit, Dark, Dubbel, Tripel
  • Back Alley: Landon’s Lager (malt liquor), California Common, Hefen or Hell, Octoberfest
  • Blue Corn: Brown Paper Bag, Oktoberfest, Gold Medal Oatmeal Stout, Roadrunner IPA
  • Boese Brothers: La Onza White Ale, Steampunk Lager
  • Bosque: Riverwalker IPA, Brewer’s Boot Amber, Pale Ryder, Driftwood Oatmeal Stout, Scotia Scotch Ale, Bosque Lager, Oktoberfest, Humo Rojo
  • Boxing Bear: Body Czech Pilsner, Hairy Mit Hefe, Uppercut IPA, Standing 8 Stout, Oktobearfest, Noble Pale Ale, Body Slam Imperial Pilsner, Not Your Mom’s Cream Soda, and a special 1 p.m. tapping of the GABF silver-medal-winning Chocolate Milk Stout
  • Canteen: Dark and Lusty Stout, Dougie Style Amber, IPA, Pilsner
  • Cazuela’s: Acapulco Gold, Kilt Kicker, Calabaza, Papacabra
  • Chama River: Jackalope IPA, Pumpkin Ale, Sleeping Dog Stout, Rio Amber
  • Distillery 365: ESB, 4th of July Ale (plus Holy Ghost Vodka, Horsethief Rum)
  • Duel: Titian, Dark Ryder, Grunewald, Ara Pacis, Fiction, Bad Amber, Cezanne Denoument, plus a sneak peek beer
  • La Cumbre (which will be split between two tents): State Fair Cream Ale, A Slice of Hefen, Elevated IPA, Red Ryeot, Malpais Stout, Project Dank, Full Nelson, Witch’s Lit, VMO #3, Summer Strong
  • Lizard Tail: Belgian Abbey, ESB, Strawberry IPA, Biscochito Brown, India Black Ale
  • Marble: Wildflower Wheat, Farmhand Pale Ale, Red Ale, Imperial Red (2015 GABF bronze medal winner), Oatmeal Stout, Double White, Get Stoked, Mick’s Mac
  • Nexus: Honey Chamomile Wheat (2015 GABF silver medal winner), Cream Ale, Scottish Ale, Equinox
  • Picacho Peak: TBA, but we know they are bringing four kegs
  • Ponderosa: Rip Saw Red, Ghost Train IPA, Jubilee, Zatfig (Oatmeal Stout)
  • Red Door: Ryeson Sun Saison, Broken Arrow Pale Ale, Anniversary Double Red, Vanilla Cream Ale
  • Rio Bravo: Oktoberfest, Karl’s Hefeweizen, Rio Bravo Amber, Level 1 DRB IPA
  • Rio Nuevo: TBA
  • Santa Fe: Booth #1 — Happy Camper, Oktoberfest, Duke’s Anniversary Lager; Booth #2 — Nut Brown, Java Stout, Chicken Killer, and R2Beer2 will Randall the Nut Brown through roasted pinon (SFBC will also have one brewer at each booth to talk to customers about the beers being poured)
  • Second Street: Pivotal IPA, Fulcrum IPA, Trebuchet DIPA, Kolsch, Brown Ale or Red Comet, Boneshaker Special Bitter, The Preachers Share
  • Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande: TBA
  • Taos Ale House: TBA
  • Taos Mesa: 3 Peaks IPA, Cross Eye Rye, Great Scot Scottish, Wheeler Peak Wheat
  • Tractor: Almanac IPA, Farmer’s Tan Red Ale, Mustachio Milk Stout, Delicious Red Hard Apple Cider, The Ruggles, Traktoberfest
  • Turtle Mountain: Kosmonaut Kolsch, Altbier, Hopshell IPA, After Midnight Schwarzbier, Gourd Dammit

If I absolutely had to pick one beer that is not to be missed, it would be The Preachers Share, a barrel-aged imperial stout, at Second Street. Of course, that is probably the beer that did in the Crew in years past, so be careful.

All TBA lists above will be updated as soon as we get them, even the morning of the event, so if we are missing your favorite place, keep checking back. We will try to announce updates via Twitter and/or Facebook.

The Crew will be out for the VIP session, so if you see us, stop by and say hello.


— Stoutmeister

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

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

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

In case you could not tell by the weather outside, fall has definitely arrived. OK, so it pretty much happens every year with the Balloon Fiesta, which pretty much guarantees us our first batch of cold, wet weather. Along with the arrival of the season comes one of those seasonal beers that truly divides the craft beer community — the pumpkin ale. All around ABQ and parts beyond, pumpkin beers are now appearing on tap and, for the first time, in bombers. La Cumbre brought back Witch’s Lit (yes, we know, they changed the name, but they had to for bottle labeling purposes) on tap and this year it is available in bombers. Challenging it for supremacy is Bosque’s The Rabble, an imperial pumpkin ale also available in bombers and on tap. Getting in on the party (at least on tap), you can also head to Nexus today (Wednesday) at 4 p.m. for a release party for Equinox, their pumpkin spiced brown ale. Cazuela’s Calabaza has been on tap for a while now, while Ponderosa’s Pumpkin Butt (that’s really its name), Canteen’s Calabaza, and Chama River’s Pumpkin Ale join the fray this week. Blue Corn has a Pumpkin Porter nearly ready, as is Turtle Mountain’s Gourd Dammit, which will at the very least be available this Saturday at New Mexico Brew Fest 6 (full preview coming soon). Most of us in the Crew are willing to drink pumpkin ales, and Porter Pounder has announced plans to brew his annual version soon. But we want to know what you think, dear followers. Yay or nay on pumpkin ales? And yeah, you need to explain yourselves either way.

Meanwhile, there are a few new, non-pumpkin beers worth checking out around town. We have the full lineup below of Albuquerque Brewing’s offerings from their new brewer. Back Alley added Octoberfest and two old favorites, Cali Common and Poth’s Pilsner, to the lineup this week. Oktobearfest should put you in the season at Boxing Bear. Canteen teamed up with Left Turn Distilling to create Dutch Courage. Chama River also has Wet Hop IPA and Wee Bit Loco, their awesome Scottish Wee Heavy. Kaktus has unleashed the big, bold Umlaut Stout. Marble went and put their IPA on nitro and also has a sessionable pale ale, Get Stoked, and their new Scottish ale, Mick’s Mac. Tractor went retro with Pear Bear Cider.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn has their Oktoberfest on tap with two more seasonals soon to follow. Duel introduces their fall saison, Cezanne Denouement, plus Bad Amber is back. Second Street has fresh batches of Palisade Pale Ale, Red Comet, and Boneshaker Bitter.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of October 5.

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

Albuquerque metro area breweries

ABQ Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

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

Beers: Imperial IPA, Red Ale, Cherry Sour. ABP carries beers from Rio Grande/Sierra Blanca. Several times a year, ABP serves up the latest creation by local brewing hero and winner of the Samuel Adams Longshot competition, Ben Miller, or seasonal releases by Monks Brewing. Adam and I recently got to try two new brews from Benjamin Couger that are on tap at ABP. The Imperial IPA is a big old blast of hops, but not the usual suspects like Simcoe or Centennial (at least, we didn’t think so). The Red Ale is a smooth, biscuit-y delight. The new addition is a Cherry Sour, the first sour ever produced by the folks at RG/SB.

Albuquerque Brewing Co. — (505) 797-1842

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

Beers: Inaugural Blonde, Dukes Pale Ale, Possessive IPA, Rezerection IPA, Tom’s Green Chile Beer. Welcome back, ABC. Their new brewer, Carney (formerly of Santa Fe), sent us his updated list. He wants everyone to hurry over and try the Green Chile Beer, because it is going fast.

News: Next up are a stout and an imperial Irish red, both of which Carney hopes will be ready this weekend.

Back Alley Draft House — (505) 766-8590

(Sun–Weds 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Thurs–Sat 4 p.m. to midnight)

Beers: Cali Common, Hefen or Hell, Poth’s Pilsner, Berliner Weisse, Octoberfest. New brewer Peter Moore, who is taking over from Brandon Venaglia (bound in turn for Cazuela’s), shared a list of his newest offerings. The Cali Common and Poth’s Pilsner are back after a short absence. The Octoberfest is proper for the season.

Events: Sundays are Service Nights at Back Alley, with $2 off all beers for service industry workers. Bring your server’s ID and you will be rewarded. All beers are $1 off on Tuesdays.

News: Take note of BADH’s new winter hours above.

The Blue Grasshopper — (505) 896-8579

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

Beers: Beach Bum Pale Ale. The popular Beach Bum is back for another run. BG goes through their beers fast, so hurry out to try it. If you have not made it out there yet, the Grasshopper is located at 4500 Arrowhead Ridge Road in Rio Rancho, just off Highway 528.

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

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

Boese Brothers Brewery — (505) 382-7060

(Hours: Mon–Thurs 3 p.m.–midnight, Fri 3 p.m.–2 a.m., Sat noon–2 a.m., Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Patriot Porter, La Onza White Ale, Old Shonie Scottish Ale, Dr. Strangehop XPA, Amarillo Pale Ale, Oktoberfest. Welcome to the listings, Boese Brothers! We got a chance to sample their beers in advance of the recent grand opening. The Porter (6% ABV) is a pre-Prohibition style of American porter, more brown than black with strong roasted flavors smoothed out by the nitro pour. La Onza (5.4% ABV) offers up a big, citrusy kick for a Belgian-style witbier. Old Shonie (4.5% ABV) is also available on nitro; it is lighter than most of the other Scottish beers in the ABQ area. The Dr. Strangehop XPA (6.5% ABV) debuted recently, offering up a wonderful mix of the piney Willamette and more floral Mosaic hops. Amarillo Pale Ale takes the place of Steampunk Lager as the current rotating specialty beer. Also available for a limited time is the Oktoberfest.

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

News: They are still working on building their website. You can follow them on their Facebook page.

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

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

Beers: Scale Tipper IPA, Shellback, Spoondriver DIPA, Acequia IPA, Oktoberfest, The Rabble. All three Bosque locations are now up to date. Right now it is all about the hops, with a couple fall seasonals thrown in for good measure. The big monster is Spoondriver (8.5% ABV, 100+ IBU), a massive DIPA made with Nelson and New Zealand hops. The hop bite is massive, but it also has a smooth, sweet malt finish that has become the standard at Bosque (and a big reason, in our opinion, why their IPAs are so popular). Acequia, which just claimed a gold medal at GABF, is back on tap and is available in bombers as well this year. In our humble opinion, it is a near-perfect wet-hop IPA, even better than last year. If you need a break from the hops, Oktoberfest (5.1% ABV, 25 IBU) is a tremendous Marzen lager, one of the best brewed in this state, or at least in my humble opinion. The Rabble is an imperial pumpkin ale, available on tap and for sale in bombers. You can also find it on nitro in Las Cruces only. Scale Tipper (6.5% ABV, 95 IBU), the two-time NMIPAC winner and current National IPA champion, is on tap until supplies run out. Another recent addition is Shellback (5.6% ABV, 45 IBU), a single-hop pale ale made with Dr. Rudi.

Cask: From now on, Bosque will have their firkin filled every Wednesday, available only at Nob Hill. There does not appear to be a cask this week, but we will update this if they tell us otherwise.

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

Bombers of Scale Tipper are once again on sale at Bosque locations and over at Jubilation.

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

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

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

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

Beers: Body Czech Bohemian Pilsner, Oktobearfest, Umbers Cucumbers, Cream Pale, Not Your Mother’s Cream Soda, Noble Pale Ale, Body Slam Imperial Pilsner. Recent additions include the Oktobearfest (4.9% ABV, 27 IBU), Noble PA (5.8% ABV, 30 IBU) and Body Slam (7.4% ABV, 60 IBU). Before that came Not Your Mother’s Cream Stout (5.4% ABV, 10 IBU), the Cream Pale (5.5% ABV, 18 IBU), a hybrid of the two styles, and Umbers Cucumbers (5.6% ABV, 22 IBU), which as the name might imply is a cucumber beer. The Body Czech (4.3% ABV, 40 IBU) is a great way to start your flight. The Standing 8 Stout (6.3% ABV, 45 IBU), which is on tap at all times, claimed the 2015 Stout Challenge, held by the Crew before the last Super Bowl. Head on over to indulge in this beast of a beer.

News: Boxing Bear now has a happy hour. 10-, 16-, and 22-ounce beers are all discounted from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Growler Happy Hour then runs from 6 p.m. to close on those nights. Get $2 off a growler fill and $1 off a half-growler (they call ’em “squealers”). Also, every day at lunchtime (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), for just $10 you can get a pint and a panini of your choice.

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

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737

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

Beers: Irish Red, Oatmeal Stout, Dubbel, Cascade Pale Ale, Canteen Calabaza, Dutch Courage. The most recent additions are the Calabaza, a pumpkin ale, and Dutch Courage, a gin IPA made in collaboration with Left Turn Distilling. Before that came the Cascade, Dubbel, and Oatmeal Stout (which is quite wonderful this time around).

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

Events: Live music is back with the Alex Maryol Duo on Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m. and then the Cali Shaw Duo on Tuesday from 6 to 9 p.m.

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

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

Beers: Papacabra (Double IPA), Panama Red, Acapulco Gold (Mexican Lager), Chupacabra IPA, Piedra del Fuego Stoned Cream Ale, Beer for My Horses (Oatmeal Stout), Inebriator (Doppelbock), Kilt Kicker (Smoked Scottish), Calabaza (Pumpkin Ale). E-Rock and I had a chance to sample the Piedra del Fuego (5% ABV), which we both recommend. According to Cazuela’s menu: “This cream ale uses red-hot stones to super caramelize the sugars, creating a nutty, toffee-like flavor.” The Inebriator (8% ABV) and the Papacabra (9.7% ABV) are the biggest beers in the lineup. Cazuela’s was the first local brewery to tap a pumpkin ale, in their case the Calabaza, which was created by new brewer Brandon Venaglia.

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, Hank Brown Ale, Wet Hop IPA, Pumpkin Ale. Three-fourths of the taps changed this week, so you know there is fresh beer at Chama right now. Wee Bit Loco (7% ABV, 25 IBU) is a delicious, malty Scottish Wee Heavy. The Wet Hop and Pumpkin also fit the season.

Distillery 365 — (505) 221-6281

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

Beers: 365 ESB, 4th of July American Ale, Trail Rider Bicycle Beer. Distillery 365 is located at 2921 Stanford Dr., just south of Candelaria and not far from La Cumbre and Canteen. The 4th of July is their first beer to highlight the native Neomexicanus hops. It is a highly aromatic strong ale with very little bitterness. The ESB a simple English ale. This second batch offers up more flavor from the hops and malts. The Trail Rider, a radler, was so popular at recent events it’s now on tap full-time. They are also serving their house-made Holy Ghost Vodka and Horsethief Rum, a 100-percent molasses-based silver rum, plus guest taps from Red Door.

Events: 10 Drink Minimum will host a Cards Against Humanity night every Wednesday at 7 p.m.

This Friday will mark the final Outdoor Movie Night of the year. Starting at 7 p.m., pull up a chair, grab a drink, and enjoy the awesomeness that is “Young Frankenstein.”

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

News: Barrel No. 1 of their Tres Pistolas Bourbon has been filled, but it’ll be another two years before anyone can drink it. Good things come to those who wait, I suppose.

Oh, and Distillery 365 will open their first tasting room over at Green Jeans Farmery, the same site that is home to Santa Fe Brewing’s ABQ taproom.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

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

Beers: Oktoberfest, Bulls Eye IPA, India Pale Helles, Fresh Hop Amber, Berna Brown, Umlaut Stout, Bock, Helles Lager. In advance of Kaktoberfest (see our intro above), the taps got a shakeup this week. New are the Bulls Eye, IPH, Amber, Stout, Bock, and Helles Lager. Those plus the Oktoberfest should keep everyone happy for a while, right? The Umlaut Stout may be their best stout yet, a massive, roasted, beast of a beer. Kaktus is located at 471 South Hill Road in Bernalillo, for those who have still not made the trek.

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

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

Every Sunday, Kaktus is hosting a brunch special from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., with breakfast pizzas and drink specials.

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Miles from Cologne, Summer Strong, Full Nelson, VMO #3, Witch’s Lit. The monster here is an old favorite in Full Nelson, the DIPA from the hop gods, back for another run. The newest beers on tap are the Witch’s Lit, the awesome, slightly renamed pumpkin ale, and the VMO #3, a malty Marzen for those who can’t handle the hops or just want a seasonal change of pace. Before that came Miles from Cologne, an awesome kolsch, and Summer Strong, a massive, beautiful pale barleywine that debuted at MWBF. We should also note that the current batch of Project Dank, which debuted on tap and in bombers recently, was the first wet-hopped Dank they have ever done. The reviews are, well, off the charts.

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

Events: The live music this Saturday at 7 p.m. will be provided by Odd Dog. Yoga is back at the taproom every Sunday at 10:45 a.m.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

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

Beers: Long Nosed Tripel, Legless DIPA, Frilled Irish Red, Earless English IPA. During a recent visit I made sure to write down the updated seasonal list. The Long Nosed (9.2% ABV, 30 IBU) is one of the biggest beers on the menu. The Legless (8.5% ABV, 100 IBU) offers up quite the hop kick. Earless (6.4% ABV, 50 IBU) is in the classic English tradition. The Irish Red (5.3% ABV, 24 IBU) has the perfect malt profile, not too sweet, not too dry.

News: Lizard Tail’s happy hour runs seven days a week from 3 to 6 p.m. You get $1 off food, flights, and pints. Take note that Lizard Tail now opens at noon every day.

Events: Lizard Tail will host Geeks Who Drink every Tuesday at 8 p.m. Every Thursday will now feature karaoke from 8 to 11 p.m.

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739

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

Beers: Both locations — Double IPA, Farmhand Pale Ale, Get Stoked; Downtown only — Mick’s Mac, Nitro IPA; Westside only — none. We now have a breakdown of which seasonals are available at both Marble locations, Downtown and Westside. Get Stoked (4% ABV) is a sessionable pale ale, while Nitro IPA is of course the regular IPA served on nitro. Before those came the Farmhand PA (5.8% ABV). Double IPA is now for sale in bombers as well as being on tap. The new Mick’s Mac is a Scottish ale brewed with lager yeast for a one-of-a-kind flavor.

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

On the live music front downtown, Marble will host the Ghana Flood Disaster Relief Benefit tonight (Wednesday) with Jade Masque and Wamba performing.

Todd & the Fox follows Thursday from 7 to 10 p.m. The Blue Hornets drop in Friday from 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday features Let it Grow and Sunday features Turkuaz, both from 6 to 9 p.m.

At the Westside Taproom, Joanie Cere & Darin Goldstein take the stage Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. Joe and Vickie Price perform Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m.

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100

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

Beers: Kaylynn’s Altbier, U.S.S. Saaz, Plum Imperial Cream, Equinox. The Plum Imperial Cream debuted recently; the name pretty much says it all. Back for another run is the beer so good it’s named for its creator, Kaylynn’s Altbier (5.9% ABV, 22 IBU). Another recent addition is the Saaz (6.4% ABV, 30 IBU). As the name might imply, the Saaz is a single-hop beer made with, you guessed it, Czech Saaz hops. Equinox (6.5% ABV, 16 IBU) is back for another run of pumpkin-spiced brown ale goodness.

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

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

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

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

Beers: Amarillo Red, Robust Porter, Pi Vapor, Challenge IPA, English Summer Ale, Pre-Prohibition Pilsner, Belgian Pumpkin Ale. The Robust Porter and Pi Vapor, a California Common, are the newest additions to the lineup. Before that the English Summer, Pilsner, and new Belgian Pumpkin Ale jumped on board. The ESB and Tropical IPA are out for the time being. While Pi Brewing is not open to the public yet, they are able to brew and serve their beers next door at Nicky V’s. We’ll keep tabs on when Pi itself opens.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

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

Beers: (Regular) Ghost Train IPA, Rip Saw Red, Crosscut Kolsch, Bellamah Brown, American Wheat; (Seasonal) Spanglish Mexican Lager, Walther IPK, Jubilee, Pumpkin Butt. Ponderosa is located at 1761 Bellamah NW, which is just east of Rio Grande and due north of the NM Natural History Museum, in the bottom floor of a swanky-looking apartment/retail complex (they have a sign atop the building now that you cannot miss). Congrats to Bellamah Brown and American Wheat for joining the regular beer list, all by popular demand. Recent additions to taps are Pumpkin Butt (5% ABV, 20 IBU) and Jubilee (5.4% ABV, 18 IBU), which was brewed for the recent anniversary party. It is a hybrid of a malty amber ale and a smoked beer. The Walther IPK (6% ABV, 60 IBU), an India Pale Kolsch, and Spanglish (4.6% ABV, 18 IBU) were other recent additions.

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675

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

Beers: (Regular) Gateway Blonde Ale, Roamer Red, Threshold IPA, Paint it Black Milk Stout, Unhinged Cider, Trappe Door Wheat. (Seasonal) Broken Arrow Pale Ale, Vanilla Cream Ale, Ryeson Sun Saison, Anniversary Double Red. The most recent addition is the Anniversary Double Red  (7.7% ABV, 67 IBU), which has a deceptively low IBU count for a beer this hoppy. It’s got bite, it’s dry, it’s fierce, it’s right up there with the other best imperial reds in town. Before that came the Ryeson, which has to be the first rye saison we have ever of. The Vanilla Cream should get you in a summer mood. The Broken Arrow (5.4% ABV) was made with just Equinox hops for a rather unique, yet multi-faceted, flavor profile.

Events: Live music is back with Marty York on Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m., followed by The Draft Sessions open mic on Monday from 7 to 9.

Saturday morning will mark another round of Beer and Breakfast, with Barclays Premier League soccer on the telly! From 7 to 10 a.m. you can gather with friends for some food truck-supplied goodies with a pint of beer.

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

Rio Bravo Brewing Company — (505) 900-3909

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

Beers: Rio Bravo Amber, Karl’s Hefeweizen, Dirty Rotten Bastard IPA, Snakebite IPA, Black Angus Stout, Roadkill Red, Duke City Pils, Oktoberfest. You can find Rio Bravo at 1912 2nd St. NW, which is just south of I-40. The Amber (5.7% ABV, 53 IBU) offers up a more flavorful kick than most of its genre. The Hefeweizen (4.6% ABV, 26 IBU) has a big banana aroma, but the flavor is more balanced and smooth. Dirty Rotten Bastard (6.4% ABV, 77 IBU) is a “level one” IPA. Columbus is the primary hop in the DRB. Snakebite (7.4% ABV, 99 IBU) is the bigger “level two” IPA, armed with Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, Columbus, and Crystal hops. Another addition to the regular lineup is the burly Black Angus Stout (5.9% ABV, 25 IBU). It is not a milk stout, cream stout, chocolate stout, or coffee stout. It is just a stout, thick and strong with prominent roasted flavors, somewhat similar to Deschutes’ Obsidian Stout. Roadkill Red made a solid debut at MWBF. Want to learn more about Rio Bravo and their plans for the future? Check out our in-depth look.

Sandia Chile Grill — (505) 798-1970

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

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

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

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

Beers: Jack the Sipper, Traktoberfest, Pear Bear Cider, Big Sipper IPA, The Ruggles, Cowboy Blend Coffee Stout, Chocolate Milk Stout, Berliner Weisse, Summer Ale, Kristal Hefe, Dark Horse Lager, Pear Cider (Nob Hill only). The newest additions are perfect for the season in Jack the Sipper (7.8% ABV, 18 IBU), Tractor’s pumpkin ale that was made with 440 pounds (!) of real pumpkin, and Traktoberfest, which is back and just as good as ever. Before that came the Big Sipper IPA (5.8% ABV, 71 IBU), Chocolate Milk Stout (5.1% ABV), Cowboy Blend (5.5% ABV, 25 IBU), Summer Ale (7% ABV), and Kristal Hefe (6.6% ABV). Another recent addition is the Ruggles (4.4% ABV), a California Common-style beer that’s sweet and light and great for beating the heat. Berliner Weisse (5.1% ABV) is still available at both locations.

Events: Kamikaze Karaoke is back at Wells Park tonight (Wednesday) at 7 p.m. Thursday will feature a pLOUD music event as Alien Space Kitchen performs at 8 p.m. The In the Mix Series is back Saturday at 9 p.m. with DJ Clout. Returning on Tuesday is the Poetry and Beer Open Mic and Slam at 7 p.m.

If you are in Nob Hill tonight (Wednesday), check out Solos on the Hill with Kyle Martin at 8:30 p.m. Friday will feature a special art opening, All Our Worlds’ Future, at 7 p.m. Setting the Tone is back on Saturday with Buddha performing at 5 p.m.

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

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

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

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

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

Beers: (House) McDay’s Cream Ale, Oku Amber, Parasol White IPA, Hopshell IPA, Heidelberg Helles, Stauffenberg Stout. (Seasonal/specialty) Oktoberfest, After Midnight, AmeriKriek, Slack Tide Session IPA. 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. New to taps is TMBC’s take on an Oktoberfest. Before that came the Slack Tide (5.3% ABV, 75 IBU) and AmeriKriek, a kettle-soured beer dosed with cherries. Another recent addition is After Midnight, a schwarzbier dosed with black currant berries.

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

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: HALT!-bier, Brown Paper Bag, Oktoberfest. The most recent addition is the Oktoberfest. Another recent addition was Brown Paper Bag, an unfiltered malt liquor. HALT! is of course an altbier with a clever name and a great flavor.

News: Brewer James Warren said his Pumpkin Porter and McLeonard’s Single Malt Scotch Ale should be on tap quite soon.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

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

Beers: Bad Amber, Manikin (Scotch Ale), Marcel (Witbier), Fiction (IPA), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Titian (Golden Strong), Grunewald (Imperial Porter), Dark Ryder (Dark Strong), Stille of the Night (Belgian Dark Sour), Cezanne Denouement (Fall Saison), Ara Pacis (Barrel-Aged Imperial Golden Sour). The Bad Amber is back after a short absence. New to taps is the Cezanne Denouement, described as a fall saison.

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

News: Duel is opening an Albuquerque taproom that will be more than twice the size of the mother facility in Santa Fe. We’re on the case to get you all the details about the downtown location and its projected opening date.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

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

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

Events: $1 off growler refills in the tasting room on Mondays. $2 pint Tuesdays at the Eldorado Taphouse. On Wednesday, there is a $2 pint special in the tasting room. On Thursday, there will be $1 off growler refills at the Eldorado Taphouse.

News: The SFBC taproom is now open at Green Jeans Farmery in Albuquerque. Want details? Here is everything we learned from our visit.

Also, it is time for home brewers to starting submitting entries for the annual 12 Beers of Christmas at SFBC. They can start signing up Oct. 3 by emailing their proposal to

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

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

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Cream Stout, Brown Ale, Boneshaker Bitter, Trebuchet Imperial IPA, Palisade Pale Ale, Red Comet. The most recent additions are fresh batches of Boneshaker, Palisade, and Red Comet. Before that came the Brown Ale and Trebuchet. The Pivotal IPA and Boneshaker Bitter are often available for purchase in four-packs of cans.

Events: On the live music front, the original location will host The Alpha Cats on Friday. Saturday will feature The Shiner’s Club Jazz Band. The Railyard will play host to Lone Pinon on Friday and Swing Soleil on Saturday.

Every Tuesday night, the Railyard location will have Open Mic Night hosted by Ben Wright. Every Thursday night, Geeks Who Drink will be at the Railyard at 8 p.m.

Other breweries you need to visit

Bathtub Row Brewing — (505) 500-8381

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

Beers: Hoppenheimer IPA, Kappa’s Saison, Wildewood Amber, Black Point Stout, Wit Rock, Little Bird Blonde, Honey Vanilla Porter. We are proud to have Los Alamos’ first brewery amid our listings. The newest beer on tap is the Honey Vanilla Porter. Other recent additions are the Kappa’s Saison, a cucumber saison, and the Wildewood. Fresh batches of Black Point, Wit Rock, and Little Bird are on tap.

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

Twisted Chile Brewing — (575) 835-2949

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

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

Events: Twisted Chile will have their own music stage at Socorrofest this weekend. Live bands will perform Saturday from 12:30 p.m. to about 7:30 p.m. Twisted Chile beers will also be available in the beer and spirits tent.

* * * *

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


— Stoutmeister

Quit looking at this photo. Go buy some. And drink it. And rejoice.

Quit looking at this photo. Go buy some. And drink it. And rejoice.

So in case you missed it, but judging by the sales sheet at Jubilation, you haven’t, Founders Brewing has arrived in Albuquerque and the fun has only just begun. This week alone we have beer for sale at Jubilation right now, beers on tap at Nob Hill Bar & Grill on Wednesday night, a special tasting/sampling at Jubilation on Friday, and a Founders beer dinner at Heimat House on Friday.

First up, the beer dinner! It costs $65 per person and you can buy in advance via this PayPal link. It takes place Friday starting at 6 p.m. The pairings are as follows:

  • Starter: Toasted pumpernickel bread with a fig porter jam (All Day IPA)
  • Baked brie with amber caramelized apples (Blushing Monk)
  • Butternut squash bisque (Dirty Bastard Scotch-style Ale)
  • IPA crab cakes (Centennial IPA)
  • Goat cheese and Portabello-stuffed pork loin (Porter)
  • Stout chocolate brownies with lemon IPA pudding (Breakfast Stout)

If that does not look deliciously decadent … well, you might want to have your palate checked. Pronto.

UPDATE: As it turns out, Heimat House already has three Founders beers on tap at their bar. Dirty Bastard, Centennial, and (drum roll) Breakfast Stout are available as of today (Tuesday)!

It's like Christmas in October! Thank you, Jubilation.

It’s like Christmas in October! Thank you, Jubilation.

Then there is everything at Jubilation. They will have a free sampling of all the beers on Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. So what beers do they have for sale in bottles/cans/bombers?

  • Blushing Monk in bombers
  • Breakfast Stout four-packs
  • Curmudgeon Old Ale four-packs
  • Dirty Bastard Scotch-Style Ale six-packs
  • Porter six-packs
  • All Day IPA six-pack bottles and 15-pack cans
  • Centennial IPA six-pack bottles and 12-pack cans
We will see you all there.

We will see you all there.

Of course, we understand that for those new to Founders, you might want to try ’em before you buy ’em, or perhaps you just love everything twice as much on draft as you do packaged. So as a reminder, Nob Hill Bar & Grill is having nine different Founders beers (including the only-on-tap Redankulous Red IPA, plus the otherwise as-yet-unavailable Imperial Stout and Backwoods Bastard). That kicks off at 6 p.m. Wednesday. If you need even more incentive, if you come to that tap takeover, you will get a ticket that lets you in an hour early for KBS Night the following week. Basically, you guarantee yourself a pour of KBS, which otherwise will not be available in New Mexico for some time.

The Crew will see you all Wednesday night. Until then, hurry over to get some Breakfast Stout at Jubilation before we drink it all up. We’re totally serious, we will wipe out their supply if it’s not gone already. Sorry/not sorry.


— Stoutmeister

All right, just imagine that Red Door sign in the middle completely redone in neon for their new taproom.

All right, just imagine that Red Door sign in the middle completely redone in neon for their new taproom. Funky, huh?

The seemingly never-ending expansion of the local brewing scene includes not just new breweries, but existing breweries opening taprooms left and right. Even though they just celebrated their first anniversary, Red Door is joining the fray with plans to open a taproom downtown in the Simms Building. To get some further details about the space in Albuquerque’s first modern tall building, plus a possible timetable, I sat down with co-owner Matt Biggs last week.

NMDSBC: Are you guys crazy to be opening a taproom this soon? Or was it just the kind of opportunity you couldn’t pass up?

Matt: A little bit of both. We’ve always kind of gone back and forth on productive versus expansion. We try to balance that. There’s just an opportunity for us. I’m working on a couple projects in the building. The building owners really wanted a taproom so they kind of helped make it happen.

NMDSBC: It’s first floor, right?

Matt: Yeah.

NMDSBC: It seems like they’re trying to create a little retail space there. More and more you’re seeing breweries being viewed as an anchor tenant. Is that kind of how they wanted it with you guys?

Matt: No, they didn’t even … I don’t know, they just want that building to become a little more central to Albuquerque. It’s historic, it’s the first (modern) high-rise in the city. At this point we’re taking a big chunk of the bottom floor. I think we will be a pretty big tenant for them. I think we’ll be an attraction as well to people in the tower. I don’t know if they necessarily think of us as the primary tenant. We were actually looking at other projects prior to the brewery. I think this is just a nice addition to the building.

The Petersons, the landlords, they are pretty into the brewery scene as well. They’re landlords to quite a few of the breweries around town, like Boese Brothers and the new proposed Marble space. One of the Peterson companies both of those brewery (buildings). So they’re really invested in getting breweries into their properties because the breweries benefit the properties in general.

NMDSBC: So give me some specifics, what’s the layout going to be like, what’s the size of the joint?

Matt: The size is about 2,500 square feet, that’s real rough. It’s in the old bank in the building so there’s a vault in there, which is kind of weird. We may try to put in a stage, we’re kind of early on that. We like live music, but it’s not a huge spot. So that’s a potential (addition). And it should be kind of entertaining because the Simms Building Historic Society requires that all signs be neon, so we’re going to try to make a giant neon red door, hopefully.

NMDSBC: So it might have a giant retro feel to the whole place.

Matt: You see it, right?

NMDSBC: Yeah. … Lately there have been a lot of places announcing new taprooms and the first thing people ask us is “can they make enough beer to fill both places?” Are you guys worried about that at all?

Matt: Yeah, we definitely are. As of today, our limit is storage. So we’re working on a cooler expansion and a keg expansion. Our production isn’t significantly limited in how much beer we can produce, it’s more limited in how much we can store. So we’re addressing that. By the time the taproom opens we should be in a good space to do that. I don’t think we’ll have massive shortages. If we do I think we’ll have some guest taps early on. But that’s not really the plan, that’s kind of (Plan B). I think our production should be adequate for a second location by the time it opens.

We’ve still got to go through licensing. Those went out yesterday. We’re literally across the street from a school. We’ve got to find out how to reach out to them and make sure that’s not a problem.

NMDSBC: You were noting before that now with all the places opening down there you can almost do a mini-brewery crawl. You look at the concentration of places and there are good and bad things about it. You’ve got folks going to one place and then deciding, “Hey, let’s check out Red Door.” The flipside of that is people have been to four other places, they walk into your place and then stumble out. Do you guys have any concerns about that?

Matt: No, not really. Anytime you have alcohol over-serving is obviously a concern. Our servers at this location have always been good at mitigating those problems. So honestly I don’t have any concerns about that thanks to my staff. We hire competent people so that for me mitigates those issue.

And also breweries don’t pull in that crowd. That’s what Central is for. That’s a block away. They can go to the Library to get stumbling drunk. That’s not the crowd we’re going for and I don’t think they want craft beer anyway. Why would you drink craft beer to get shitfaced?

NMDSBC: When I was over at Sidetrack I looked out the door and saw apartments rising up in almost every direction. There really is a neighborhood vibe down there, as opposed to being in more of an industrial area here. Do you really hope to get into that neighborhood pub vibe down there?

Matt: I think with downtown it doesn’t have that residential feel yet, like other major cities. There isn’t a lot of live-work yet. I don’t think Albuquerque is in that league yet. We’re thinking of it more as a social area. You’ve already got Central there, where all the 21 to 24-year-olds go. There’s really nowhere else in the city where you can park and walk among multiple places. If you’re in your late 20s to 40s, so that’s what I see that area as. It’s kind of a more, I don’t know exactly the word, but a more reserved social area. Breweries are really popular but there are none that are really close to each other, besides maybe Back Alley and Chama (Microbar). Now you’re going to have five or six options in that area.

NMDSBC: In terms of the space itself, what do you need to do in terms of getting ready?

Matt: A lot, actually. The bathrooms are going to be organic to the building. Customers are going to be able to access lobby bathrooms so we don’t need to build those. The plumbing can be accessed straight through the floor, so you just drill straight down into the basement. So that’s actually pretty minimal as well, we just need to plumb the bar. And that’s it. We need to clean up the floor and do some lighting changes and get a giant neon sign. Other than that, decor and a bar and that’s it.

NMDSBC: So it sounds like after you get all the permitting done, it could pop up very quickly.

Matt: Yeah, a couple of months. We still need to do some build out. The State is moving surprisingly fast, actually they legitimately are. I sent in an application a couple weeks ago. They are already posting it and giving me a hearing date, which is fantastic. Then it goes to the City so we can apply for a waiver for being close to a school. Then it goes back to the State for final approval and then we’re good to essentially start the build out. So realistically, we could be looking at early next year. March is reasonable.

NMSDBC: So walking past the building from the street, looking at the layout, where specifically are you?

Matt: If you’re looking at the building, if you’re at the high school looking at the building, we’re on the left side, the east side.

NMDSBC: But that puts you right on 4th Street and Gold. So you can put up some exterior signage to make sure people know you’re there.

Matt: Gold really is going to be the bigger thoroughfare, which is going to be the bigger front for us. We’ve got about the third of the space of the front.

* * * *

Thanks to Matt for taking the time to chat, plus for the goblet of Anniversary Double Red. Such a good beer. We wish everyone at Red Door luck with their plans. And we all wish E-Rock had not moved out of downtown, because his old place would have made a great crash pad with all of these breweries and taprooms opening in that area.


— Stoutmeister

They may be serious about brewing, but when they're off the clock Justin and Kaylynn are anything but overly serious.

They may be serious when it comes to brewing, but when they’re off the clock Justin and Kaylynn are anything but overly serious.

Last week I got the chance for a two-for-one interview with our two local brewers who brought home silver medals from the Great American Beer Festival. Kaylynn McKnight of Nexus and I traveled over to Boxing Bear to join Justin Hamilton over a few pints to talk about their medal-winning experiences. Once I was able to sort through all the random tangents that we kept going off on, I got the pertinent parts of the interview typed up. Hang on, it is a bit of a wild ride with these two characters. We discuss everything from brewer fashion (sorry in advance, Marble staff) to barrel aging to driving on the freeway to the most important question everyone has been asking us in the Crew: When will the Chocolate Milk Stout be back on tap at Boxing Bear?

Oh, and in case you already forgot who won what, here is the link to the GABF story.

NMDSBC: Congratulations to you both for the silver medals at GABF. I know it was your (Kaylynn’s) first. Was it your first, Justin?

Justin: No, this was my second medal as a head brewer.

NMDSBC: So you did win one at Chama. I wasn’t sure going back through the records if you were there yet.

Justin: My first year at Chama in 2010, I won gold for the Baltic porter (Three Dog Night). That was the first year I had taken over at Chama, the first year I had entered at GABF as a head brewer.

Kaylynn: It was actually your recipe at the time?

Justin: Yeah, the Baltic porter was originally Jeff’s. I had changed the recipe. I altered it a fair amount, but I didn’t change the name. I’ve always regretted that. It was always associated with Jeff. It was his base recipe, I just changed it up. It was one of those things where I always to prove to myself that I could win a gold medal with my own recipe.

Being that the competition now is so much more fierce than it was in 2010, it’s a good medal to win. Especially being that there were some really good breweries that entered the Sweet Stout category including places like … Left Hand, they’re standard.

NMDSBC: (Justin) were the last one announced and (Kaylynn) as the first.

Justin: Yeah, I was actually driving in my car. I had to come here in the morning and of course that day things were all (screwed) up with our deposit, I had to go get change, I was like “Goddamn it!” So I had to run to the bank. Everyone was watching at La Cumbre. I left here and was driving. I knew it started. I had the Bluetooth in my car so I pulled up The Brewing Network on my phone and had it on my seat as I was driving.

The first category we were in was (number) 16, Session IPA, which was the biggest it’s ever been (161 entries). I was driving and thinking, “I’m going to be in the car when they announce it. Damn it, damn it, damn it!” I wanted to be at La Cumbre for that. What was yours? 14 or something like that?

Kaylynn: Something like that.

Justin: I heard Nexus Brewery and I was screaming while I was driving, “Way to go, Kaylynn!” People probably thought I was going crazy. I’m hauling ass down the freeway going 80, just trying to get to La Cumbre just to see this (online). I’m freaking out.

I come into La Cumbre, I park in the fire (lane) spot. I run into the pub and said, “I heard Kaylynn won!” They tell me, “John (Bullard) just won gold!” From there on out we were able to watch it all.
I missed those two, but then there wasn’t another New Mexico brewery winning for like another 20 categories.

Kaylynn: At least you got to see yours, though.

Justin: That was awesome. The worst part about watching it at La Cumbre or anywhere, The Brewing Network was lagging considerably. For at least two of my categories, it was stuck right in the middle. There were a couple where I had to go look online to figure out who won those. It was so stressful. Thankfully when our medal came up and got announced, it was live and it was working. I was sitting right next to Daniel (Jaramillo) and we both jumped up and yelled “Holy shit!”

Kaylynn: My parents were watching the awards ceremony, too. I guess right when I got to go up on stage the feed cut out.

Justin: The same thing happened during our medal! Because I was about to take a picture of those guys up on stage and send it to them. I see Kevin, he’s at the edge of the stage and then … pfft! I thought, “You pieces of shit, you’re called The Brewing Network! Network!”

Kaylynn: Right? You have to do better.

Justin: You know you’re going to have thousands of people streaming this thing. Get your shit right!

NMDSBC: It’s 2015, you would think they would know how to handle heavy traffic on the internet.

Justin: Exactly!

NMDSBC: You kind of wonder, though, did they plan properly with so many people this year competing, so many more people who love craft beer watching that thing, dragging that server down.

Justin: It’s incredibly hard, it’s got to be hard to deal with. But there’s people on this planet who know how to handle that stream.

It was so incredibly maddening. It was so hard to watch. For a brewer, it’s probably the most anxious you’ll ever feel in your life. Especially when you’re at the ceremony, being there is so much worse.

Kaylynn: And you’re hungover …

Justin: Yeah, you’re hungover. You’ve already done two beer festivals and you’re about to do another two more in the same day. You wake up early, you might have had breakfast, you might not. Who knows what you’ve done in the last two nights?

Kaylynn: And then they make you sit there the entire time, especially when the IPA category is last now.

Justin: And whoever chooses the music is just killing you. You’re just sitting there like on the edge of your seat, you’re getting this terrible feeling, unless you win. Then it’s great because you get to go up in front of all these people.

Kaylynn: I thought I was going to have a heart attack. In the 30 minutes after I sat back down my heart was beating so hard.

Justin: In 2010 when I won my medal, just to give you an idea of how different the event was, the awards ceremony took up a room about the size of three booths. I was maybe the size of this, this upper deck. You just had a little booth, they’d announce it. Then they started doing it in the hall. I haven’t gone in two years, so I only saw pictures. I heard there wasn’t a seat available. I was just like, this is getting insane.

Kaylynn: A lot of beards.

Justin: A lot of beards, a lot of weirdos, a lot of smelly guys. These guys can’t even clean up for potentially the one thing they’re going to be in front of a national audience for? It’s kind of funny. They’re all wearing foot-flops and looking kind of dirty.

NMDSBC: I even noticed that Marble’s group compared to last year when they all looked so well-dressed. Leah (Black) was wearing a nice dress, Anna (Kornke) had the stylish boots …

Justin: Where Josh (Trujillo) was wearing a suit!

NMDSBC: Yeah, this year everybody was up there in T-shirts and jeans.

Justin: I hope that’s not what it’s turning into. (But) the competition is so fierce. If you win a medal, it’s awesome. You have this really great thing to build your career. The whole thing is a crazy mess.

NMDSBC: (to Kaylynn) So you’re there — he’s watching from down here, driving like a maniac on the freeway — you’re actually having to sit there in that audience. Was that the first category you were entered in that came up?

Kaylynn: Yes, well, maybe. Did Other Strong Beer come up before that? It might have been later.

NMDSBC: I’ll look it up.

(Other Strong came after Honey Beer, as it turns out.)

Kaylynn: I’m pretty it was the first beer after Other Strong. Then we had the Scottish, then the weird Belgian, the Other Belgian Strong.

NMDSBC: At least you got it out of the way early. You’re sitting there with the hangover, waiting to hear something. Was it a shot of adrenaline when you heard your name?

Kaylynn: Oh, yeah, I remember standing up, waiting for Reina, skipping down the stairs while holding her hand. I remember going up on the stage, still questioning if I had heard it right. I was wondering if I was going up there and taking someone else’s medal?

I had to ask them and they were like, “You’re Nexus?” and I was like, “It is mine!” It was great. An amazing feeling.

NMDSBC: Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t that one of the first new beers you ever made at Nexus? It was Altbier and then that one.

Kaylynn: I’m pretty sure you’re right, yeah.

NMDSBC: I remember the first place I tried it was at the Railyards.

Kaylynn: That was the second seasonal I made at Nexus and it sold out pretty quickly, so I was able to convince Ken to put it on (permanently and replace the White. I was glad he did.

NMDSBC: It reminds me of something I heard from the Bosque guys when I interviewed them. John said the one thing he wants to win for in the future is for a house beer, rather than a specialty beer that costs a lot of money (to make) or something. And you did! For a house beer, is there a little something extra that comes with that? You can always tell people, don’t worry, it’s on tap at all times.

Kaylynn: I love that one. It’s really nice to always have it on.

Justin: I think the face that it’s a house beer for you is fucking amazing. That’s so great. I can’t imagine winning with a house beer, it would be great.

It’s one thing to have a one-off. We brewed the Chocolate Milk Stout once. I was lucky it came out so well. I was lucky to put some of it away for competition because it was so good. But for the fact that’s always on tap, that’s such a great marketing tool. I think it’s awesome. That’s so cool.

Kaylynn: I’m happy. (Laughs) I actually got phone calls from the National Honey Board today, they did an interview with me on the phone. I called to get the honey (locally). I sent Jim a text message, said thank you for selling me honey.

Justin: We used to use their honey at Chama. The fact that it’s local is cool.

NMDSBC: It’s almost a 100-percent local beer, basically.

Justin: He’s a great guy to deal with, too.

NMDSBC: It’s always good to have easy people to work with be a part of the supply chain.

Kaylynn: I wish I could get the chamomile locally. We have to get it from San Francisco.

NMDSBC: I don’t think it can grow locally in our climate.

Kaylynn: I’ve never seen a chamomile flower here.

NMDSBC: It probably needs more of a coastal, moisture-heavy environment.

Kaylynn: That sounds right.

NMDSBC: (to Justin) And then since yours isn’t on tap all the time, people are asking, when is it coming back? Are you guys making a fresh batch?

Justin: Yeah, we just got the ingredients for it. I have to make another couple batches of house beer first. We just got our new 20-barrel (fermenters) in, so we’re going to make a 20-barrel batch. We’re going to do a 20-barrel next Friday (Oct. 9). So we’re hoping it will be on tap, I’m guessing probably by the end of October. We’re planning to hit it hard. I’m planning to do some nitro versions, we’re going to do some cask versions, we’re actually going to take some and hopefully barrel age a little bit of it.

Kaylynn: You have barrels already?

Justin: We do have barrels, yeah. Right now we have our house stout in it’s Cabernet Sauvignon barrels, I believe. Or is it Pinot Noir? It’s a dry red. But it’s been aging in there for a few months. So we’re going to rack that off probably later this month. Then we’re going to rack on some brown, our Oso Otono Ale. We’re going to try to get some of that Chocolate Milk Stout racked on as soon as it’s ready. It will be the first round with the whiskey barrels. I’m hoping it will be nice and oaky and roasty and chocolate. That sounds great to me.

NMDSBC: I had a barrel-aged milk stout (35K) from one of the breweries in Louisville. They had it on tap at Anodyne. … I got a whole pint and said “This is outstanding.”

Justin: That’s what I’m hoping for. I haven’t played with a sweet stout in a barrel. I think it will work. If it comes out OK, that’s fine. Hopefully it comes out as something amazing.

NMDSBC: Well, I remember how popular it was on cask. You told me to come try it last year and I got here at 8 (p.m.) and it was out. Your staff said they had never had a cask run out that quickly.

Justin: I don’t know if I’m going to do the exact same (way). I did the Chocolate Milk Stout on vanilla beans that time.

NMDSBC: Well, to kind of wrap it up, for each of you personally, to go to a place with 1,552 breweries competing in 92 categories, out of 6,738 beers entered in competition, you each came away with a medal. The odds were stacked against you. What does it mean for you as a brewer and what you’ve been able to accomplish in the short time you (Justin) have been in this place and you (Kaylynn) have been in charge at Nexus?

Kaylynn: I’m just really appreciate all the people who have helped me out on the journey. It means a ton to me, I’m overjoyed, but I would not be here without Ken and all of my fellow brewers who help me out every day, let me borrow something, let me wash kegs at their brewery, anything. I’m overjoyed, but I feel it took a lot of teamwork to help me make good beer.

Justin: I think it’s cool because you’re such a good role model for people in this business. I think it’s awesome, actually. I remember talking about you at GABF like back when you started with Jeff in 2010. We go up there and there was some girl who was brewing at Pizza Port and I told her “there’s a girl who brews in Albuquerque!” There was like Jordy in Santa Fe and you were the only girl I knew that brewed here.

For me that was like, I was so psyched! Not only for the fact you came up in a male-dominated industry, but for the fact you shined, you kicked all those bearded assholes’ asses! Literally there were so many guys up there that were hurt because you went and brewed a better beer than they did. That to me is awesome, that’s so cool to me.

Kaylynn: I was wondering when I was looking at the Brewers Association (website), to see if they have any way to track all the female brewers that won. They said they didn’t know how to track that information, but they suggested getting a post out asking who else won. I don’t know if I’m willing to go to that length.

Justin: I don’t think there’s a lot of female winners. People like Anna are part of a brew team. She’s another awesome person, but it’s a lot more rare that I see female head brewers. It’s awesome that you’re putting up your recipes against a lot of dudes.

NMDSBC: Anyway, same question to you (Justin) before we drift too far off topic.

Justin: Honestly, it means a lot, for more than one reason. For the fact it was 100-percent my recipe, it was my company. I was thinking about it today the fact that … it’s weird to think back about these things. Going back a few years, I laid out the design for the brewhouse, I designed the beers, I designed a lot of stuff that’s happening here. So it’s really cool to have some reassurance that I’m doing a good job. Being in such a saturated, a really saturated industry, and then being someone who’s been in this industry for almost a decade, to keep yourself relevant in brewing I think is a fear, a little bit. You always want to be proudly remembered in this industry. You don’t want to be left behind.

I think GABF this year was kind of showing we’re still here. You (Kaylynn) are doing good, John is doing good, Marble is doing great. Not to say that nobody else is making good beer. It just really gave me that pat on the back I’ve been looking for a while. It lets me know I’m doing my job and going in the right direction, with not only my business, but my life. You put so much into a business and a career, you sacrifice so much of my life and my time, now I’m sacrificing time with my new child to do this. At least I know it’s for a reason.

It’s for something that not only means a lot to me, it’s starting to mean a lot to another people. That’s really good. Like Kaylynn said, it means a lot to the community, for me the support of the brewers, the community we know. There’s a group of really good brewers and friends that help us in anything we need. I think that community aspect is really important.

* * * *

A big thanks to Justin and Kaylynn for taking some time to talk. And for the pints. And all the stories I could not share, but enjoyed hearing nonetheless.


— Stoutmeister

Open door quality applies to more than the name

Posted: October 5, 2015 by amyotravel in Beer Bar Review
The bar inside Vernon's Open Door in the old Stumbling Steer space.

The bar inside Vernon’s Open Door in the old Stumbling Steer space.

It was a sad time for the west side earlier this year when the Stumbling Steer stumbled off into the sunset. Recently we learned that the new owners (the people behind Vernon’s and Wise Pies) opened a restaurant and bar in a portion of the building. What better time to make our first visit to Vernon’s Open Door than during an all-day NFL Sunday happy hour?

My other half and I sat down at the bar (now located on the south side of the building where you actually see the nice view of the mountains) and surveyed the two dozen beers on tap. I was craving red chile and wanted something to go with it that was a tad on the sweeter side, but light in body. Given the record-breaking heat of that day, I opted for an Avery White Rascal (Belgian wheat) because it reminded me of a softer version of Marble’s Double White. It fit the bill perfectly at a reasonable 5.6-percent ABV; light enough, yet retaining some subtle spice and orange peel flavors. It was a good compliment to the happy hour red chile cheese fries.

Being very curious about the operations and the future plans, I peppered the bartender with questions. She was very obliging and didn’t seem to think it was at all strange that I was taking pictures and asking questions. I never felt the need to explain my affiliation with the Crew. The open, honest, and friendly nature of the bartender, as well as one of the managers we casually chatted with is refreshing, and we felt very welcome.

I asked the bartender what she feels is their most popular tap. Without hesitation she replied, “La Cumbre Elevated. After that, anything from Bosque.” So then I inquired if the local beers in general sold better than the other craft beers. The response was a resounding yes.

The fairly impressive tap list, plus other alcoholic beverages.

The fairly impressive tap list.

Future plans include brewing operations, adding a Wise Pies to occupy a portion of the building, and also leasing out part of the space. I asked about the acquisition of the never-used-at-the-Steer brewing equipment and when they might start brewing on site. She said the owners are excited about the brewery side, but they have not yet hired the brewery staff. When they do have their own beer, they will not add taps for now but will evaluate which taps to replace. She said the first to go will probably be the Bacchus Old Brown sour because it’s just too unusual for most people despite the current sour trend.

Welcome to the west side, Vernon’s! We are glad your door is open.


— AmyO

The open sign at Broken Bottle will be turned off for good this weekend.

The open sign at Broken Bottle will be turned off for good this weekend.

It is a bit trite to say, but for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. As more and more breweries open around the Albuquerque metro area, there has always been the possibility that some might not survive in an increasingly competitive market. Other brewery owners have said a sort of reckoning is coming, where some of the smaller, less successful establishments will not stay open much longer. That prediction of sorts has come true as Broken Bottle Brewery will close their doors after tonight (Friday).

Broken Bottle was the first brewery on the west side of Albuquerque (if one does not count Rio Rancho-based breweries, which most of us know Rio Rancho would always prefer to be kept separate). They elicited mixed reactions from the craft beer community. They certainly had their fans, many from the surrounding area who treated BBB as their local pub/hangout. They had their detractors as well, those who criticized their ever-changing lineup and lack of consistency from batch to batch, even among their house beers.

In some ways, Broken Bottle can serve as a bit of a cautionary tale. Another brewery owner shared that there are currently 31 (!) applications for small brewing or taproom licenses with the City of Albuquerque. If we take out the four taprooms we know about (Duel in downtown, Kaktus in Nob Hill, Marble on Montgomery, Red Door in downtown), that leaves 27 new breweries. Subtracting Broken Bottle, there are 24 current breweries from small (Bistronomy B2B, Sandia Chile Grill) to medium (Chama River) to big (Marble, Tractor, La Cumbre). That would mean there will be more than double the number of breweries in town, or as friend of the Crew Matthew Reichbach likes to say, soon there will be one brewery/taproom per ABQ resident.

Location, a lack of proper brewing equipment, and other factors contribute to Broken Bottle's demise.

Location, a lack of proper brewing equipment, and other factors contribute to Broken Bottle’s demise.

I had the chance to stop by Broken Bottle on Thursday night and had a quick chat, nothing formal, with co-owner Chris Chavez. As he noted, “There must be a lot of money behind those places.” Opening a brewery is not cheap, as Chris and co-owner/brewer Donovan Lane discovered. They had enough money to open, create a perfectly comfortable, semi-stylish place to drink, but they never had enough money to purchase proper equipment in the back. While they had a small brewhouse, their beers fermented in plastic barrels as opposed to stainless steel containers that you see everywhere else. Did this affect the quality and consistency of the beer? Well, as anyone who home brews knows, batch to batch, the smallest things can affect flavor and mouthfeel and the like.

Broken Bottle did try to be different. They did not brew the usual beers you see everywhere else. It was not just a blone or amber, red, wheat, IPA, and stout or porter. They were adventurous, they were experimental, and sometimes it worked, sometimes it did not. In the end it did not work enough. Beer drinkers demand at least some consistency in the house beers; they expect variances in seasonals/specialties. For Broken Bottle, the house beers varied too much from batch to batch. The Incident Black IPA, initially our favorite of the regulars, changed over time. But as we know, hop contracts can change, and smaller breweries can have a hard time being able to keep the same ingredients to keep their beer consistent. In many ways, it again serves as something cautionary for other small establishments, who will face many of the same challenges as they open.

“We opened this place on our own terms and we will close it on our own terms,” Chris said. He could not disclose the fate of all those tables and chairs with people’s names on the back, a unique “gift” of sorts for those who contribute to the brewery’s opening on Kickstarter. What will happen to the foosball table, the remaining growlers and glassware, and the brewhouse in the back is tied up right now. Broken Bottle’s lease was up at the end of October, and in the end Chris did not want to seek out a new location (because let’s face it, that spot near Coors and Irving at the far end of the shopping center from the street was a lousy spot, barely visible from Coors in either direction). Without his partner, Donovan decided it was time to walk away as well.

The days of two (or more) friends turning home brewing into a profitable microbrewery are likely over. Now we see more of these large investment groups starting breweries, though even they draw some skepticism. Hopefully most have a sound business plan, but in an environment where they must stack up their brews against the award-winning offerings from places like Blue Corn, Bosque, Boxing Bear, Canteen, Chama River, La Cumbre, Marble, Nexus, Santa Fe, Second Street, and Sierra Blanca, it will be up to the strength of the brewers they hire. To compete in this environment, places cannot just hire their friend who’s competed with the Dukes of Ale. You need an experienced commercial brewer or assistant brewer to make it work.

We shall see how things turn out for those 27 new breweries, and whether even half of them get as far as opening their doors. For some, they may not even make it as long as the nearly four-year run of Broken Bottle. Others could surprise us all. However things turn out for them, there are lessons to be learned from Broken Bottle. The concept of the neighborhood pub brewery is a good one, one that can work in different parts of town where a brewery is removed from the big competition. Yet it is not a guarantee of immediate financial windfall. Places can break even, but for many people these days, is it enough?

If you are on the West Side tonight, and feel like saying farewell, Broken Bottle will open their doors one last time. Stop in, have a pint of Vanilla Stout, and wish them luck in their future endeavors.

Just always remember, there are no guarantees of success of life, much less in the world of craft beer.

— Stoutmeister

Just embrace the beer and the metal and everything will be just fine during your stay in Albuquerque.

Just embrace the beer and the metal and everything will be just fine during your stay in Albuquerque.

It’s that time of year again, when lots of folks from outside Albuquerque and New Mexico descend upon the Duke City for the Balloon Fiesta. While a lot of us locals grumble about the increase in traffic, even we’re big softies for the Fiesta (assuming we wake up in time). Well, we are, our dogs are not. They’re huddling in the corner thinking the end times are upon us.

Anyway, with all these newcomers visiting ABQ, and balloons not flying 24-7, they will all need something to do. So for our regular readers, there won’t be much here that you don’t already know. But if you have people in from out of town asking you, “What else is there to do here?” well now you have this post to show them that there is more to this town than balloons, green chile, and “Better Call Saul.”

We’ve updated this for 2015, since we’ve added just a few new breweries. If you’re just interested in the current slate of seasonal beers, as always, check out The Week Ahead in Beer. That feature runs every Wednesday.

Breweries near the Fiesta

If you needed proof of how good the beers are at Bosque, how does a gold medal from this year's Great American Beer Festival look?

If you needed proof of how good the beers are at Bosque, how does a gold medal from this year’s Great American Beer Festival look?

Bosque Brewing: (Original location) Located at 8900 San Mateo, Bosque is by far the closest to all the balloon action. Heck, you can walk there if you want to. The easiest way to get to Bosque is to take I-25 and get off at Alameda and go west, just like you would go to Balloon Fiesta Park. San Mateo is the first red light you’ll encounter and if you take a right and go north, Bosque will be ahead on your right. Bosque is not a huge place, so don’t be surprised if it gets crowded around happy hour. They have a menu of sandwiches and other items to munch on to keep your belly full. On the beer side, Bosque has been one of the biggest winners so far in 2015. Their Scale Tipper won both the National IPA Challenge and the New Mexico IPA Challenge (two years in a row). The Acequia IPA just claimed a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival in the Wet Hop Ale category. Both are available on tap and are for sale in bombers. Other top options from the regular menu are the Riverwalker IPA, Scotia Scotch Ale, and Driftwood Oatmeal Stout.

Kaktus Brewing: Just to the north of Albuquerque is the small town of Bernalillo, which has one brewery. Located at 471 South Hill Road, you can access it easily from the Highway 550 exit off I-25. Head west on 550 and then take a left and go south at Hill, which is the first red light you will encounter. Kaktus will be down the road on your right. A quaint, unique setting, Kaktus has rotating lineup of quality beers and a small food menu. We recommend the Full Bodied Stout, Berna Brown, and the Helles Lager, which is one of the better lighter (in color, not flavor) beers around. In addition to the Fiesta, you can also celebrate Kaktoberfest this Friday and Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. with live music, food specials, and plenty of beer.

Sandia Chile Grill: Located near the intersection of San Antonio and Wyoming, SCG is a restaurant with a small but good selection of beers. If you get off I-25 at San Antonio and head east, there is a shopping center on the northeast corner of SA and Wyoming just a mile-plus up the road. SCG is located near a Subway and the Sports and Wellness, behind the McDonald’s and Walgreens. We endorse the Rio Negro Stout, Red Ranger Irish Red, and Barb’s Barrel Hefeweizen, though the lineup tends to change a lot. If they have any of their meads available, get them, they have won some awards. SCG also has a smoker now, so check out some outstanding smoked meat dishes.

Albuquerque Brewing: The newest brewery in the area, ABC is located along the I-25 frontage road on the east side between Paseo del Norte and Alameda. You can also access the brewery via Wilshire Ave. from San Pedro. They recently changed brewers, so a new lineup should be available soon. They do not have food, but there is often a food truck parked out front.

Breweries in the far Northeast Heights

Lizard Tail: If you feel like getting away from the more crowded areas, head east on Montgomery until you reach the intersection with Eubank. Located in a shopping center on the southeast corner with a Pelican’s and the Dirty Bourbon Dance Hall (for country music lovers only), Lizard Tail is a neighborhood pub. They have a little food, but it’s mostly about the beer, which is more malt-forward than hoppy. The Belgian Abbey and Rye Stout are worth trying. If you do need some hops, go for the IPA or India Black Ale.

Breweries along the I-25 corridor

Most of these breweries can be accessed off the freeway between the Jefferson, Montgomery/Montano, and Comanche/Candelaria exits. Two are visible from the freeway, the others are tucked away but are very much worth making an effort to find.

Chama River: Right next to the Century Rio 24 movie theater is one of ABQ’s oldest and most respected breweries. You can access it via the Jefferson exit and the southbound frontage road. Chama is a restaurant with a full menu featuring a wide array of food. If you’re on a budget, it’s a good place to splurge. Personally, I think they might have the best BBQ ribs in town. On the beer side of things, Chama’s selection is plentiful, but not overly heavy. The Sleeping Dog Stout is a personal favorite. The Jackalope IPA, Rio Lodo Brown Ale, and Rio Chama Amber Ale are also popular. The current seasonal lineup includes the tasty Oxbow ESB ale and the Radioactive IPA.

Nexus Brewery: Located on the east side of the freeway, you can access Nexus via the northbound frontage road just north of the Montgomery/Montano exit. Also a restaurant, Nexus is unique in New Mexico for its soul food-style menu. The chicken and waffles is among the most popular dishes you will find in town. The food alone is well worth a visit, but make sure to try the beer while you’re there. The Scotch Ale, Cream Ale, Chocolate Porter, and IPA are all popular with customers. Nexus tends to be a more malt-forward brewery.

Canteen has a new 15-barrel brewhouse. You would be smiling, too.

Canteen has a new 15-barrel brewhouse. You would be smiling, too.

Canteen Brewhouse: One of two breweries tucked away in an industrial area located between Candelaria to the south and Comanche to the north (officially known as “The Brewery District”), you can find the Canteen Brewhouse (formerly Il Vicino Brewery Canteen) on Aztec Road. If you take the frontage road northbound, Aztec will be on your right as you go from Candelaria to Comanche. Head east a few blocks and the Canteen will be on your left. The Canteen usually has a huge selection of seasonals. There is a small menu of sandwiches (try the Piggly Wiggly, a pulled pork monstrosity) and other snack items. For beer, you can go with the popular IPA, Brown, and Stout. The current seasonal lineup includes the popular Irish Red.

La Cumbre: Just around the corner from Canteen is La Cumbre, one of the most highly regarded breweries in the state. If you love hops, this is your place to visit. The easiest way to find La Cumbre is to take Candelaria east from I-25 and then take a left (north) on Girard, which is the last street before you reach an overpass to cross a diversion channel. La Cumbre will be just north of Candelaria on the left (west) side of the street. Parking is mostly restricted around La Cumbre by the other businesses, so be careful not to park anywhere you might get towed. There is usually a food truck parked out front, but for the most part La Cumbre is a place to enjoy a pint or buy a growler or some bombers or four-packs of cans. The award-winning Elevated IPA tops the list of regular beers on tap, though I would also recommend the burly Malpais Stout. The current seasonal list includes the seasonal VMO #3, an Oktoberfest, and Full Nelson, a monstrous double IPA also available for sale in bombers.

Red Door: One of the newer breweries in Albuquerque, Red Door has become a popular destination at morning or night. It’s on Candelaria just west of I-25 on the north side of the street. There is usually a food truck parked out back for your culinary needs. Inside the spacious taproom, Red Door has a solid lineup of beers including the Roamer Red, Threshold IPA, and Paint it Black Milk Stout (served on nitro). Red Door also has one of the more potent ciders you can find in the Unhinged Cider (7.9% ABV). On the seasonal front, the Anniversary Double Red is a behemoth in flavor.

Distillery 365: Yes, they are first and foremost a distillery, but 365 also brews their own beers. They currently have an ESB and a strong ale. They are located on Stanford just south of Candelaria. Check out their popular Bloody Mary Bar on Sunday morning.

Breweries on the West Side

If you are staying west of the Rio Grande, the beer options are only getting better.

Pi Brewing: The brewery is operational, but all beers are served next door at Nicky V’s Neighborhood Pizzeria (same owners). They have a small but solid lineup, including the Challenge IPA, Amarillo Red, and Robust Porter. Of course, you can also chow down on lots of tasty Italian dishes at Nicky V’s. As for how to get there, Nicky V’s is located on Coors Blvd. just north of Paseo del Norte. The address is 9780 Coors on the east side of the road.

Boxing Bear has an awesome outdoor patio, too.

Boxing Bear has an awesome outdoor patio, too.

Boxing Bear: The biggest joint on the west side is Boxing Bear, which took over the old Elliott’s Bar space in the shopping center on the northeast corner of the intersection of Alameda and Coors/Corrales Road. There is a small menu of sandwiches and snacks. Brewer Justin Hamilton has made an impact with some big, bold beers. The Uppercut IPA packs a punch. The Standing 8 Stout and Hairy Mit Hefe are there if you don’t want to pummel your palate with too many hops.

Cazuela’s Seafood & Mexican Grill: Located on Sara Road just east of Rio Rancho Blvd./Highway 528, this Rio Rancho-based brewery is a full-on restaurant that also brews its own beer. The beer lineup changes from time to time, but at present we know the Chupacabra IPA, Panama Red Ale, Beer for My Horses Oatmeal Stout, and Piedra del Fuego Stoned Cream Ale are all on tap. Seasonals include Kilt Kicker, a smoked Scottish ale, and Calabaza, a pumpkin ale.

Turtle Mountain: One of the oldest and most respected breweries around, TMBC is located on Southern Blvd. just west of Highway 528 in Rio Rancho. Offering a full menu of awesome pizzas, calzones, sandwiches, and more, TMBC has plenty of culinary delights to go along with a strong lineup of beer created by new brewer Tim Woodward. Regular favorites include the Heidelberg Helles, Piedra Lisa Porter, Parasol White IPA, and McDay’s Cream Ale. The Oktoberfest tops the current seasonal list.

Marble Westside: The taproom is a hugely popular destination for beer drinkers, offering up most of the same beers as the main brewery downtown. Located just north of McMahon along Unser, they usually have a food truck out front and a lot of live music events.

Breweries in Uptown

The area around Coronado Mall and the Uptown Shopping Center, located between I-40 to the south and Menaul to the north along Louisiana Blvd., this is a popular destination for shoppers. There are not a lot of options here for beer, unfortunately.

ABQ Brew Pub: Featuring beers from Moriarty’s Rio Grande/Sierra Blanca Brewing (for those not in the know, Moriarty is a small town east of the Sandia Mountains along I-40), the Brew Pub has a solid food menu and more. Located on Uptown Blvd. just west of Louisiana, it shares a building with Uptown Sports Bar. Regular beers on tap include Rio Grande Outlaw Lager, Roswell Alien Amber, and the Pancho Verde Chile Cerveza. The Sierra Blanca Bonechiller Brown won a is a two-time medal winner at GABF, so make sure to check it out, too.

B.J.’s: It’s the big chain brewery/restaurant. It’s not local, so you can do better. Support local while you visit ABQ.

Breweries in Nob Hill

This is a very popular area located along Central between Girard on the west and Washington to the east. There are lots of shops and restaurants to visit.

Tractor: While the brewery is located near downtown (see below), the tap room has quickly become one of the most popular destinations in Nob Hill. Located at 118 Tulane SE, you can find Tractor fairly easily if you’re on Central. Just look for the Arby’s and/or Starbucks on the south side of Central. Tractor is located just behind Starbucks. The joint is jumping during happy hour and almost every night after 10 p.m., especially on weekends. Because they do not brew on site, Tractor can stay open until 2 a.m., unlike the breweries where they have to close at midnight. The staff at Tractor is among the friendliest and funniest in town. There is no food on site, but the restaurants around Tractor are no dummies; many will deliver your food straight to the tap room. And there is always at least one food truck outside. On the beer front, the regular menu includes the popular Almanac IPA, Farmer’s Tan Red Ale, and our favorite, the Double Plow Oatmeal Stout. You can also find Tractor’s IPA, Red, and Mustachio Milk Stout in six-packs at local liquor establishments all over town.

Kellys: One of the older and more popular establishments, Kellys features a full restaurant menu of favorite American and Mexican dishes. The insides features dozens of televisions showing sports from around the world, too, though most folks prefer the spacious patio to relax and unwind after a long day or week. The beers are decent, though not our personal favorites. The Red Ale, Scottish, and others are worth sampling. Kellys is best for the atmosphere and if you want to watch your favorite team in action on TV. For great beer, head elsewhere. Kellys is located on the south side of Central on Wellesley.

You can get your Bosque fix in Nob Hill, too.

You can get your Bosque fix in Nob Hill, too.

Bosque Public House: Located on Girard, just south of Central behind the Mannie’s Restaurant and next to a Walgreens, the Bosque taproom is a popular hangout for people of all ages, not just the college students from across the street at UNM. Take note that every Wednesday they try to have one of their beers on cask. The lineup is almost always the same as at the main brewery on San Mateo (see above).

B2B Bistronomy: Located on Central between Richmond and Bryn Mawr, this is a popular burger joint that brews their own beers, including a Coconut Porter. The burgers are not fast food, but gourmet, served in a laid-back atmosphere. They also have a sister location across the street from UNM near Yale and Central called Lobo Beast 101, though that location has far more guest taps than house beers, with a different food menu.

Nob Hill Bar & Grill: Not a brewery, but arguably the best beer bar in the city, with all sorts of awesome, rare beers on tap from around the country. How good is NHBG? When San Diego’s Ballast Point first came to New Mexico, this was the location of their first tap takeover event. When Michigan’s Founders Brewing debuts this coming Wednesday, it will be at NHBG, with nine (!) of their best beers on tap. Oh, and there is food, too, but we imagine your attention is focused almost solely on the beer.

Breweries around downtown

ABQ’s downtown underwent a major cleanup/renovation over a decade ago. There are lot of restaurants and more traditional bars worth checking out. Plus there are some good establishments for live, local music, such as Launchpad, Burt’s Tiki Lounge, and the Sunshine Theater. The best beer bar downtown is Sister, located on Central near 4th Street. It features a wide array of out-of-town (and out-of-country) beers on tap. For local beers, there are five options.

The Marble taproom went through a renovation earlier this year that has made it better than ever.

The Marble taproom went through a renovation earlier this year that has made it better than ever.

Marble: Located on Marble Street just north of Lomas Blvd. along 1st Ave., Marble is the largest local brewery. You can find Marble beers on tap at numerous other bars around town, plus you can buy six-packs and bombers of Marble beers all over the place as well. The downtown pub is attached to the brewery. It features a comfy patio out front with a music stage, and a recently renovated interior. There is a limited in-house menu of food, including chips & salsa, but there is almost always a food truck out front. On the beer front, the IPA, Red Ale, Wildflower Wheat, Double White, and Oatmeal Stout are among the most popular regular beers. For seasonals, make sure to try the Imperial Red, which just won a bronze medal at GABF. Marble also does a special cask beer every Friday.

Back Alley Draft House: Located on Central in the back of J.C.’s New York Pizza Dept., BADH is a small establishment that brews some of its own beers and also offers beers from other local breweries. You can order some pizza from NYPD and they will bring it back to you while you enjoy some solid local offerings as well as some unique out-of-state/country beers on tap. The current BADH lineup includes Hefen or Hell, Kentucky Common, and Berliner Weisse.

Chama River Microbar: In addition to its main location off I-25, Chama has a small tap room located next to the Sunshine Theater on 2nd Ave. just south of Central. Space is very limited, and there is only beer here. Check in via Chama’s main site to see what’s on tap. They usually have four to five regular beers and two seasonals on tap.

Tractor Wells Park: Tractor moved its brewing operation to this huge space at 1800 4th Ave. from Los Lunas, a town south of Albuquerque. While the brewing is humming in the back, the taproom has become a popular place with an external patio as well. Tractor hosts live music and other special events pretty frequently. The beer list here is extensive, with traditional favorites like those listed above with Nob Hill are always on tap. You can also find multiple seasonals, including Traktoberfest, Jack the Sipper, and Cowboy Blend Coffee Pale Stout.

The Draft Station: Located on Central just west of downtown before you get to Old Town is this taproom owned by the same folks as Chama River and Santa Fe’s Blue Corn Brewery. There is a rotating selection of local brews on tap.

Ponderosa: Another more recent addition to the local scene, Ponderosa is owned by the same folks behind Portland’s PINTS Brewery. It opened recently on Bellamah near the Natural History Museum and Explora. The easiest way to get there is to take I-40 to Rio Grande. Head south on Rio Grande and as you approach Hotel Albuquerque on the left, you’ll see the light for Bellamah. Turn left (east) and head to where the road curves south. Before the curve, turn into the parking lot for the brightly colored apartment building/retail complex. Ponderosa is on the first floor. They serve a full menu of food and a wide selection of beers, including Jubilee, their recent smoked amber brewed for their first anniversary.

Say hello to Boese Brothers, one of the newest breweries in town.

Say hello to Boese Brothers, one of the newest breweries in town.

Boese Brothers: One of two breweries to just open, Boese is located on the northwest corner of Gold and 6th Street in the heart of downtown. They have a mid-sized taproom and a small patio. The good folks up the street at Gold Street Caffe will deliver food you order from the comfort of your booth or bar stool at Boese. The beer lineup is a little different, with Dr. Strangehop XPA, Patriot Porter (on nitro), and La Onza White Ale. They may run out of their Oktoberfest by the time you read this. It was that popular.

Rio Bravo: The other newcomer to the area, Rio Bravo is north of downtown on 2nd Street just south of I-40. It is a huge place, with plenty of parking outside. They also rely on food trucks instead of making any of their own. Snakebite IPA, Black Angus Stout, Rio Bravo Amber, and Karl’s Hefeweizen are among some of the top sellers early on for Rio Bravo. They are hosting a four-day Oktoberfest celebration that started this Thursday and running through Sunday.

Breweries in Santa Fe and further north

If you are taking the time to head north to our state’s capital, don’t fret, there are plenty of beer options. Santa Fe Brewing, the oldest and biggest brewery in the state, is located south of the city along I-25 (there is also a second location in town). The tap room is small and cozy and features many of the brewery’s finest beers. You can also find SFBC beers almost everywhere in the state on bar taps or in bottle form at liquor stores. The most popular are the Happy Camper IPA, Nut Brown, and Java Stout. The current seasonal is Oktoberfest.

Within the city limits are two breweries that give you two locations apiece to visit. Blue Corn combines a restaurant and brewery that has recently been racking up the accolades. Blue Corn became the first non-ABQ brewery to win the annual IPA Challenge in 2013. Among its current beers on tap are Gold Medal Oatmeal Stout, End of the Trail Brown Ale, and Good Guys IPA, a triple IPA hop monster.

Best patio in the state? It is hard to argue with Second Street.

Best patio in the state? It is hard to argue with Second Street.

Second Street is a favorite of the Crew and has two locations, one on Second Street and one at the Railyard. While their IPAs are solid, our favorites at Second Street include their Kolsch, Cream Stout, and whatever variety of English bitter that brewer Rod Tweet has come up with. Second Street has a full food menu at both locations.

Duel Brewing is the most unique Santa Fe brewery. Brewing Belgian-style beers, Duel features some (very) high ABV beers, so be careful when you visit. There is a food menu to help you out. We recommend the Dark Ryder, Titian, and Grunewald Imperial Porter.

Another city up north visiting is Los Alamos, home to the famous National Labs, and now home to their first brewery, Bathtub Row. Tucked away near the center of town, they have unleashed a tremendous initial lineup, including Black Point Stout and Hoppenheimer IPA.

If you feel like heading up to Taos, make sure to stop along the way in Rinconada to visit Blue Heron. A small establishment located along the main road on the left/west side, Blue Heron has a small interior and cozy patio in the back. They also sell their beer in bottle form if you don’t have time to enjoy a pint. We highly recommend the La Llorona Scottish Ale, though at present it’s only available in bottles. Make sure to try the Aurora IPA and Penasco Porter if you have time for a pint. There is also a second Blue Heron location that opened in the nearby town of Espanola.

In Taos itself, stop by the Taos Ale House near the north end of town. The beers change fairly frequently, but if they’re available snag a pint of the Porter or Brown Ale. You can also visit Taos Mesa west of town. It’s a popular music venue, so watch out for expensive cover charges, but the beer is solid, particularly their Stout and Kolsch.

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If you have any questions, leave a message here on our site, or you can contact us on Facebook or Twitter (@nmdarksidebc), or even via email at

Welcome to ABQ and we hope that you all have a great time this week!


— Stoutmeister