Editor’s note: Shilling wrote this with Jan. 1 in mind, but we had to hold off until things were finalized with our anniversary party. What party? Read on and find out! — Stoutmeister

Happy New Year, folks!

Man, it feels like its been forever since I’ve gotten to write one of these. The Great American Beer Festival usually marks the end of festival season, which means things slow down quite a bit in the brewing world. Well, sort of; we do stay busy with the many new beer tastings that happen over the fall and winter months.

The good news is that the new year will bring us some new beer festivals and events.

NMBG 3x5 WntrBrew

The New Mexico Brewers Guild presents WinterBrew, January 25 at the Santa Fe Farmers Market from 4-8 p.m.

You can purchase tickets at nmbeer.org and at the entry of the event. The ABQ Craft Beer Drinkers Group highly recommends purchasing your tickets in advance and taking the RailRunner to and from the event.

The Brewers Guild calls the event “a craft beer and comfort food festival.”  We are bringing Derek, our resident “foodie,” along for the ride (as of now), so he should be able to judge the culinary delights while Stoutmeister and Brandon focus on the beer.

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B.J.’s Brewhouse presents the inaugural New Mexico Cup, February 16 at the Albuquerque Convention Center from 1-7 p.m.

We are very excited for this event because many of the Brew Crew members will be present as celebrity judges. (Editor’s note: When we know what this entails, we will share it, but to call us excited would be an understatement, and it’s not just because they think we are celebrities. — Stoutmeister) This will be a beer and wine competition and festival for New Mexico only, a sort of scaled-down GABF. Breweries that have signed so far include Back Alley, Bosque, Broken Bottle, Il Vicino, Kellys, Marble, Nexus, Rio Grande/Sierra Blanca, Sandia Chile Grill, Santa Fe, and Tractor. We would love to see more breweries from the north (3 Rivers, Taos Ale House, Blue Heron, 2nd Street, etc.) and from the south (High Desert, Mimbres Valley, Roosevelt, Wellhead) sign up as well.

You can buy tickets online here.

* * *

Last, but not least, the New Mexico Dark Side Brew Crew will be kicking off the new year with our first anniversary party. That’s right, the NMDSBC turns one this month. We will be celebrating downtown at Back Alley Draft House on Saturday, Jan. 26 from 7:30 p.m. until closing. For those who have never been to Back Alley, it is located behind J.C.’s New York Pizza Dept. on the north side of Central between 2nd and 3rd Streets. Back Alley is owned by NYPD, so you can enjoy a wide selection of microbrews — including in-house beers plus Goat Head, Chama River, La Cumbre, Marble, Santa Fe, and many more from around the country — while still being able to order pizza and other food from NYPD.

We felt that this would be a perfect place for our little shindig. All of our readers are invited to come down, share a pint and talk beer with us. We hope that everyone can make it out and pack Back Alley!

Come on out and start the new year by supporting your local breweries!

Prost!

— Jon

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