Posts Tagged ‘Kaktus Brewing’

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with the Metro Edition of The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, giving you a list of their current beers on tap as well as any special events going on in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and Bernalillo. Look for the State Edition, which will include everywhere from Taos and Santa Fe up north to Las Cruces and Silver City down south, this Thursday.

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

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

We must be nearing autumn because Marble is starting to crank out the beers and events and other fun things they like to do every fall. First up, today (Wednesday) they are having a special beer release party. Red Light Lager is back and they are releasing it as a collaboration beer this year with the Audubon Society. It kicks off at 5 p.m. and $1 from every pint sold will benefit Audubon. The band Science! will perform on the stage from 6 to 9 p.m. as well. You can also pair up the beer with Focaccia slices from the good guys over at Bosque Baking Co. (Not to be confused with Bosque Brewing Co., but don’t you all think they need to collaborate on something soon?) Following that event, Marble has “something hatching” this Friday. The rumors/buzz is that Marble’s beer bottles and cans will be going through a major re-branding. They’ll still be called Marble, and the beers will still taste the same, but the outside appearance will change. We’re not sure exactly how much else will be impacted by these changes; it’s been pretty hush-hush over there, but we’re damn curious to see what’s up. They’re having a party on the patio to celebrate it all. And if all that wasn’t enough, Marble is bringing back Septemberfest on Saturday, Sept. 6. Just $20 gets you in for 10 four-ounce samples of beers from around the state, plus a pint of your favorite, and you get to listen to great music, eat awesome food, and hang out with lots of cool fellow beer drinkers. Maybe even those oddball bearded metal heads in the black shirts with the red logos on them. Tickets are for sale at all three Marble locations and online at HoldMyTicket.com.

Also, if you scroll down this week you’ll see a new brewery entry! Lizard Tail Brewing had their soft opening last Friday and will have a grand opening this Friday. They already have a number of beers on tap, which we have listed below. We’ll do our best to make sure the grand opening is covered this week. Welcome to the ABQ Area Brewing Community!

The breweries are back to cranking out their seasonals, with some old favorites coming back to tap as well. Bosque smooths out with Bosque Lager. Chama River has gone to class with the Nutty Professor, a Pecan brown ale. Il Vicino has brought back its powerful American Stock Ale, plus the Vienna Lager and the Hefeweizen. La Cumbre will release Father Nelson this coming Monday both on tap and in bombers. Marble also has Brau, a German Sticke Alt, on tap. Nexus is preparing to release Blackberry Hefeweizen and will bring back Altbier this week.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of August 18.

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.

ABQ Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

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

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

Back Alley Draft House — (505) 766-8590

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

Beers: Soroche IPA, Pale Ale, Kolsch, California Commons, Berliner Weiss, Ladron’s Peak. Berliner Weiss and Ladron’s Peak are the most recent additions to the lineup. The Ladron’s debuted at the Beer Premier earlier this summer and was a huge hit. It’s one of the most unique beers you will ever taste (and thusly hard to describe). Can’t wait to head over, order some grub from NY Pizza Dept. next door and enjoy a pint or two.

Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596

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

Beers: Farmhouse Pale Ale, Kick the Can IPA, Pathfinder Pils, Bosque Lager. The Lager (4.8% ABV, 20 IBU) is the newest addition to the lineup. Pathfinder Pils (5.9% ABV, 35 IBU), a Bohemian style, is now on tap as well to help beat the last of the summer heat. It’s a delicious, malty-sweet beer. But if you need a good dose of hops, Kick the Can (7.2% ABV, 100 IBU) has you covered.

News: Construction has begun on Bosque’s new taproom, the Bosque Public House, located on Girard just south of Central.

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

Scale Tipper: Batch 4 has been brewed and will be on tap in the near future. The next entry in Bosque’s big IPA series will be taking the trip to Denver in October for the Great American Beer Festival. Also keep an eye out for the Blackberry Sour, which is due on tap quite soon. Other beers in the more distant future will include a pumpkin ale, Oktoberfest, and a barley wine. Plus, Bosque will be aging its Scotia Scotch Ales in rum barrels, and they just received a shipment of casks to start doing that as well. We’re a bit excited.

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

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

Beers: Paw Swipe Pale Ale, Hairy Mit Hefe, Black Bear Stout, Uppercut IPA, Sun Bear Summer Ale, Red Panda Session Red. The newest additions to the lineup are the Sun Bear (4.8% ABV, 30 IBU) and Red Panda (4.6% ABV, 65 IBU). Sadly, the popular Bear Knuckle DIPA has run out for now, while both the Paw Swipe and Black Bear were out temporarily as of Sunday but should be back soon. The Uppercut IPA (7.6% ABV, 100 IBU) certainly packs a punch, but has a nice malt backbone to balance itself out.

Broken Bottle Brewery — (505) 890-8777

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

Beers: Stinky Pinky, DADU Honey Wheat Ale, Triad IPA, Barely Legal Bourbon Oak Stout, 12 Step Apricot Ale, Wise Ass Watermelon Wheat, Atomic Rye Red. Both the Apricot and Watermelon went on tap recently, while the Atomic Rye Red is the newest beer listed via BBB’s Facebook page. The Stinky Pinky (5.3% ABV) is a hefeweizen infused with grapefruit. The DADU (8.2% ABV) is almost like a beer/mead hybrid. The Triad (6.6% ABV) uses a mix of three hops for a bigger, bolder flavor, plus additional dry hopping has given it a stronger aroma.

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

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

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

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

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

News: Cazuela’s Beer for My Horses won a bronze medal in the oatmeal stout category at the World Beer Cup in Denver.

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

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

Beers: Chamahawk Pale Ale, Double Rainbow, Nutty Professor, Hefe Nice Day! New to taps this week is the Nutty Professor, a Pecan brown ale. Another recent addition is the Chamahawk (6.7% ABV, 60 IBU), a burly pale ale. The Double Rainbow (4.8% ABV, 20 IBU) is a blackberry beer. The Hefe Nice Day! (4.5% ABV, 15 IBU) won the Brew Crew’s recent Hefeweizen Challenge.

News: Head brewer Zach Guilmette has revamped the recipe for Chama’s Jackalope IPA to give it a stronger kick and tastier palate. Franz Solo and I also highly recommend you try the revamped Sleeping Dog Stout. It’s creamy and burly and sweet and roasted … it’s a damn contradiction of a beer, but it’s wonderful.

When the Sun Dog Kolsch does run out, the Pecan Brown (5.8% ABV, 25 IBU) will take its place.

Il Vicino Brewing Canteen — (505) 881-2737

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

Beers: Aztec Lager, Irish Red, Fest Beer, Vienna Lager, American Stock Ale, Hefeweizen, Sessa’s Wet Hop Cascade Pale Ale, Galaxy IPA, Citra C-Hop Shop IPA. Sadly, Hop Kwondo run its course at the Canteen. The C-Hop Shop IPA was the first of the IPAs to kick, followed by Exodus. There are still plenty of hoppy beers on tap, plus the Aztec, Irish, Fest, Vienna, Hefe, and the Stock Ale — back after a short break — will have you covered if you prefer malt-forward beers.

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

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

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

Beers: Amber Ale, Cream Stout, Banty Rooster (Hefe IPA), London Porter, Choice ESB, Solstice Pilsner, Banaweizen, Jabberwocky IPA. The Amber is the newest kid on the menu, replacing the Lil Red Wagon. The Solstice is another recent addition, brewed with two types of Belgian malts and German hops. It’s sweet and refreshing on a hot day. Located at 471 South Hill Road in Bernalillo, Kaktus is one of the state’s newest breweries. It is a small, casual place, similar to Blue Heron in appearance and comfort factor. Kaktus owner Dana Koller said fans can expect the nanobrewery to go through its most popular styles quickly, though they will always have something new and exciting available as a replacement.

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

There will be lots of live music at Kaktus this week. Thursday will feature Latin music from a live guitarist from 6 to 8 p.m. Guitarist Jimmy Phiefer will perform Friday from 6 to 8 p.m.

The Town of Bernalillo will have its official wine poster signing at Kaktus on Saturday starting at 4 p.m.

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

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Saison d’Hommel, Fievre d’Abricot, Old Hop, New Hop. The newest beer on tap is Old Hop, New Hop (5.4% ABV, 41 IBU), an American pale ale that uses Centennial (old) and Simcoe (new) hops. The Saison (7.5% ABV, 35 IBU) and the Fievre (7.8% ABV, 25 IBU) are also available for sale in bombers.

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

Monday will mark the release party for another big old hop bomb of a beer. Full Nelson, a powerful IPA, will return both on tap at the brewery and for sale in bombers.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

(Hours TBA)

Beers: German Blonde Ale, Honey Pale Ale, IPA, Amber, Oatmeal Brown, India Black Ale, Rye Stout. The initial lineup from Lizard Tail, located in the shopping center on the southeast corner of Eubank and Montgomery, looks quite promising. I or one of the other Crew members will try to attend their grand opening party (see above). The biggest beer on the menu is the IPA (6.8% ABV, 70 IBU), while the India Black Ale (6.6% ABV, 70 IBU) can match it for hoppiness. Lizard Tail is more of a malt-forward brewery, so we’re looking forward to trying the Rye Stout (5.5% ABV, 35 IBU) and Oatmeal Brown (4.2% ABV, 25 IBU).

News: Two more beers are on the way in the Berliner Weisse (4.3% ABV, 8 IBU) and the Belgian Abbey (6.6% ABV, 25 IBU).

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739

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

Beers: Red Light Lager, Brau, Double White, Iron Horse Extra IPA, Extra Special Bitter, Saisonette, India Pale Lager. Brau (7.1% ABV) is a new German-style Sticke Altbier. One of the newer beers on tap is the IPL (5% ABV, 62 IBU). It’s the first beer brewed by Andrew, a member of the Marble brewery team. The Iron Horse (8.0% ABV) uses a blend of experimental hops for a one-of-a-kind taste. In addition, $1 from every pint sold of Iron Horse goes to the Ales for ALS campaign. Pints cost $5.50, add $6 extra for a growler. The ESB (4.7% ABV) uses West Yorkshire yeast and English malts for a, well, very English beer. The Saisonette (4.2% ABV) is one of the lower alcohol beers we’ve seen this summer.

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

News: In April, Marble was presented the gold medal at the World Beer Cup for their Pilsner.

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

As noted above, Marble will have a special release party for the Red Light Lager today (Wednesday) at 5 p.m.

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100

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

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

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

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

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

Beers: Unchallenged IPA, First IPA, West Coast Red. 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. You can try the last of the First IPA (75 IBU), or go for the bigger Unchallenged IPA (100 IBU). The West Coast Red is a hoppier red. We’ll keep tabs on when Pi itself opens. For now, grab a pint and some tasty Italian food.

News: Lost Grain English Summer Ale was supposed to be on tap last Friday. This week, Pi IPA was supposed to hit taps along with a fresh batch of Vanilla Bourbon Porter.

Sandia Chile Grill — (505) 798-1970

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

Beers: Irish Red, American IPA. The American IPA was a new version of the Rattlesnake IPA brewed especially for the 4th of July. The Irish Red was also back on tap.

The Stumbling Steer — (505) 792-7805

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

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

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

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

Beers at Nob Hill: Apple Cider, Javi Light Lager, Pilsner Roja, Berry Cider, Berliner Weisse Sour, C+C IPA.

Beers at Wells Park only: L4 IPL, Maibock Lager, Trekker Red Belgian Ale, Barley Wine, Juniper Xtra Pale Ale, Scotch Ale, Milk Mustachio Stout, F.Y.F.A. IPA, La Llorona Dry Hop Amber, Otter IPA. All of the Nob Hill seasonals are also at Wells Park, which has 24 total taps (Tractor’s five regular beers have two taps apiece). The Pilsner Roja is a crisp, Marzen-style beer that tastes good in the hot summer months. If you need a hop punch to the face, the F.Y.F.A. (F— Yeah Friday Ale) is a much more hop-forward IPA than what Tractor usually creates. The Berliner Weisse Sour takes a traditional German-style weiss beer and twists it into a sour. It’s an acquired taste. The most recent additions to the lineups are the La Llorona Dry Hop Amber and Otter IPA.

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

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

Tractor’s Thirsty Thursday music series at Wells Park continues with Seth Hoffman performing at 8 p.m. Kimo’s will provide the food.

Club Cultura will kick off Friday night at 9 p.m. at Wells Park.

Tractor is introducing a new series called In the Mix: DJs on the Wells Park Patio. DJ Halcyon will perform Saturday at 9 p.m. Kimo’s will provide all your culinary needs once again.

Sunday will feature not one but two events. First up is the latest I’ll Drink to That at 7 p.m., with TED Before BED kicking off shortly thereafter at 7:30.

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

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

Beers: (House) McDay’s Cream Ale, Oku Amber, Parasol White IPA, Hopshell IPA, Piedra Lisa Porter. (Seasonal/specialty) Monochrome Milk Stout, Berry Cherry Wheat, Pork ‘n’ Brew Brown Ale, Dog Daze Summer Lager. To help us out for now and the future, brewer Tim Woodward broke down what will be the regular beers on tap (under House) and the current list of seasonals. That’s a pretty solid regular lineup. I personally really enjoyed the Porter and Amber, the latter of which trumps most of its genre in terms of flavor. The newest beer on tap is the Monochrome Milk Stout. I got to enjoy this decadently smooth beer from a guest tap at Boxing Bear.

* * * *

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

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The Dark Side Brew Crew gathered last weekend for a blind taste test to determine the best hefeweizen in the ABQ metro area. Mrs. Solo and I hosted the event with Stoutmeister, E-Rock, Porter Pounder, and Brandon present from the original Crew. Only Shilling was absent due to his job. Brandon’s awesome girlfriend Taylor handled the pouring of the beers so as not to disrupt the blind taste test format for any Crew member.

The growlers and half-growlers for the Hefe Challenge. That's Kaktus in the Tractor half-growler.

The growlers and half-growlers for the Hefe Challenge. That’s Kaktus in the Tractor half-growler.

This challenge was first conceived in late May during beer week. Mrs. Solo and I were intent on expanding our Dark Side beer challenges beyond our Super Bowl of Stouts and this year’s mini Irish Red challenge. Of the available summer seasonal brews we considered Pilsner and Kolsch before agreeing with the Crew that Hefeweizen was the ticket.

From our Duke City breweries we managed to acquire five distinct entrants which battled for supremacy on a lovely Sunday afternoon. Our challengers were as follows (in order of tasting): Cazuela’s Hefeweizen, Kaktus’ Bananaweizen, Chama River’s Hefe Nice Day!, Boxing Bear’s Hairy Mit Hefe, and La Cumbre’s A Slice of Hefen. We would have liked to have had a couple of other entrants (Bosque’s hefe would have been a contender), but sadly they were not available at the time of our challenge.

A rare gathering of multiple Crew members. Clockwise from left, Stoutmeister, Porter Pounder, E-Rock, Brandon, Mrs. Solo, Franz Solo. Picture courtesy of Brandon's awesome girlfriend.

A rare gathering of multiple Crew members. Clockwise from left, Stoutmeister, Porter Pounder, E-Rock, Brandon, Mrs. Solo, Franz Solo. Picture courtesy of Brandon’s awesome girlfriend.

Our field of five ran the gauntlet of what one finds in a Hefeweizen — hints of banana, wheat, tart citrus, and yeasty goodness. We were 5-1 in our decision of a champion. With 92.5 out of a possible 120 points, Chama’s Hefe Nice Day! is our choice for best Hefe in ‘Burque. Second place goes to Boxing Bear with 85.5 points, third place to Cazuela’s with 81.5, fourth place to La Cumbre with 80, and fifth place to Kaktus with 52. (Take note on Kaktus’ low score, the keg blew halfway through filling the half-growler, so they had to change kegs. Perhaps batch #1 and #2 were a bit different, resulting in some strange flavors that we don’t normally associate with Kaktus’ beers. — Stoutmeister)

We rated each of these brews using the same criteria as our stout challenge: aroma, flavor, mouthfeel, and finish. Our consensus was that Hefe Nice Day! had a good banana flavor with hints of clove, and a nice, thick mouthfeel to back up the also well-received aroma. I (Franz Solo) was impressed with the orange citrus aroma and the banana bread flavor of our champion.

This was a nice and strong field of hefeweizens which we thoroughly enjoyed. So until the next beer battle this fall (we’re hoping for Oktoberfests or pumpkin beers), grab a pint of local hefeweizen and enjoy!

Prost!

— Franz Solo, Mrs. Solo, and the rest of the Crew

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with the Metro Edition of The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, giving you a list of their current beers on tap as well as any special events going on in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and Bernalillo. Look for the State Edition, which will include everywhere from Taos and Santa Fe up north to Las Cruces and Silver City down south, this Thursday.

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.

Normally this is the part of TWAIB where I focus in on a major event or find some sort of theme with a new beer or two. The thing is, there’s really nothing this week. And that’s just fine. This is a quiet week where everyone can kick back and enjoy their beer. There are plenty of new beers around (see next paragraph) to try, plus now would be a good time to catch up on your favorites or some you have missed. Head over to one of the smaller events around town, or catch a band at Marble or Tractor. There are beer events coming in the near future. Plus we’re expecting to soon announce the official openings of Lizard Tail Brewing, Pi Brewing, and the Albuquerque Draft Station. (Though their VIP opening was not open to the press, as we might have mentioned on Facebook the other day.) It appears Septemberfest is coming back to Marble on Sept. 6 (nothing official on that yet), and beyond that there will be the bigger festivals in the months to come. Until then, relax and unwind with a pint or two. Especially all of you poor teachers and/or parents. It’s the first week of school. You don’t just want a pint, you need a pint.

UPDATE >>> While Pi Brewing has not technically opened yet to the public, they are selling their beers next door at Nicky V’s Pizzeria, so we’re adding them to the list. See more below!

The breweries are back to cranking out their seasonals, with some old favorites coming back to tap as well. Back Alley brought back its Berliner Weiss and the wholly unique Ladron’s Peak. Boxing Bear will debut Sun Bear Summer Ale and Red Panda Session Red. Chama River is doing the chop with the Chamahawk Pale Ale. Il Vicino brought back Fest Beer. Kaktus brewed up a fresh batch of Amber Ale. La Cumbre has Old Hop, New Hop on tap. Tractor will debut the La Llorona Dry Hop Amber, plus they’ve brought back Otter IPA.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of August 11.

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.

ABQ Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

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

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

Back Alley Draft House — (505) 766-8590

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

Beers: Soroche IPA, Pale Ale, Kolsch, California Commons, Berliner Weiss, Ladron’s Peak. Berliner Weiss and Ladron’s Peak are the most recent additions to the lineup. The Ladron’s debuted at the Beer Premier earlier this summer and was a huge hit. It’s one of the most unique beers you will ever taste (and thusly hard to describe). Can’t wait to head over, order some grub from NY Pizza Dept. next door and enjoy a pint or two.

Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596

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

Beers: Close to Clever (saison), Farmhouse Pale Ale, Ember IPA, Pathfinder Pils, Kick the Can IPA. Ember IPA is going to become a seasonal as Bosque will rotate various IPAs for the rest of the year. Once Bosque’s new hop contracts kick in next year they will decide on whether to reinstate Ember to the regular lineup or go with a different IPA. Kick the Can IPA boasts a good hop kick with a dry finish. Pathfinder Pils, a Bohemian style, is now on tap as well to help beat the last of the summer heat. It’s a delicious, malty alternative to the hoppy Kick the Can.

News: Construction has begun on Bosque’s new taproom, the Bosque Public House, located on Girard just south of Central.

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

Scale Tipper: Batch 4 is being brewed this week. The next entry in Bosque’s big IPA series will be taking the trip to Denver in October for the Great American Beer Festival. Other beers in the more distant future will include a pumpkin ale, Oktoberfest, and a barley wine. Plus, Bosque will be aging its Scotia Scotch Ales in rum barrels, and they just received a shipment of casks to start doing that as well. We’re a bit excited.

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

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

UPDATED >>> Beers: East Kent Ale, Paw Swipe Pale Ale, Hairy Mit Hefe, Black Bear Stout, Uppercut IPA, Sun Bear Summer Ale, Red Panda Session Red. Brewer Justin Hamilton said he hoped to have the new Sun Bear (4.8% ABV, 30 IBU) and Red Panda (4.6% ABV, 65 IBU) on tap before this week is out and lo and behold, they were tapped Wednesday. Sadly, the popular Bear Knuckle DIPA has run out for now. The Uppercut IPA (7.6% ABV, 100 IBU) certainly looks like it packs a punch. It seems like we’ll have to make another trip to the west side to see what this new contender has in store for us. On past visits we’ve really enjoyed the Black Bear Stout and Hairy Mit Hefe. Boxing Bear is off to a great start.

Broken Bottle Brewery — (505) 890-8777

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

Beers: Stinky Pinky, DADU Honey Wheat Ale, Triad IPA, Barely Legal Bourbon Oak Stout, 12 Step Apricot Ale, Wise Ass Watermelon Wheat. Both the Apricot and Watermelon went on tap this past weekend. The Stinky Pinky (5.3% ABV) is a hefeweizen infused with grapefruit. The DADU (8.2% ABV) is almost like a beer/mead hybrid. The Triad (6.6% ABV) uses a mix of three hops for a bigger, bolder flavor, plus additional dry hopping has given it a stronger aroma.

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

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

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

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

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

News: Cazuela’s Beer for My Horses won a bronze medal in the oatmeal stout category at the World Beer Cup in Denver.

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

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

Beers: Chamahawk Pale Ale, Double Rainbow, Sun Dog Kolsch, Hefe Nice Day! New to taps this week is the Chamahawk (6.7% ABV, 60 IBU), a burly pale ale. The Double Rainbow (4.8% ABV, 20 IBU) is a blackberry beer. Sun Dog (5.1% ABV, 23 IBU) and the Hefe (4.5% ABV, 15 IBU) are perfect beers to beat the summer heat, but if you haven’t had the Sun Dog yet hurry over as the supply is nearly out.

News: Head brewer Zach Guilmette has revamped the recipe for Chama’s Jackalope IPA to give it a stronger kick and tastier palate. Franz Solo and I also highly recommend you try the revamped Sleeping Dog Stout. It’s creamy and burly and sweet and roasted … it’s a damn contradiction of a beer, but it’s wonderful.

When the Sun Dog Kolsch does run out, the Pecan Brown (5.8% ABV, 25 IBU) will take its place.

Il Vicino Brewing Canteen — (505) 881-2737

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

Beers: Aztec Lager, Irish Red, Fest Beer, Sessa’s Wet Hop Cascade Pale Ale, Galaxy IPA, Citra C-Hop Shop IPA, Exodus IPA. Sadly, Hop Kwondo run its course at the Canteen. The C-Hop Shop IPA was the first of the IPAs to kick. There are still plenty of hoppy beers on tap, plus the Aztec, Irish, and the Fest — back after a short break — will have you covered if you prefer malt-forward beers.

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

Events: A special Mug Club event is set for Monday. Head into the brewery with your membership card to get a burger and a pint for just $5. The select beers will include the Double IPA (not from the tequila barrels, that’s not ready yet), Day of the Dead (aged Belgian dark strong), and Farmhouse Rye on cask. It will run from 5 to 8 p.m.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

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

Beers: Amber Ale, Cream Stout, Banty Rooster (Hefe IPA), London Porter, Choice ESB, Solstice Pilsner, Banaweizen, Jabberwocky IPA. The Amber is the new kid on the menu, replacing the Lil Red Wagon. The Solstice is another recent addition, brewed with two types of Belgian malts and German hops. It’s sweet and refreshing on a hot day. Located at 471 South Hill Road in Bernalillo, Kaktus is one of the state’s newest breweries. It is a small, casual place, similar to Blue Heron in appearance and comfort factor. Kaktus owner Dana Koller said fans can expect the nanobrewery to go through its most popular styles quickly, though they will always have something new and exciting available as a replacement.

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

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

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Grange’s Red Card 4ALS, Like Mother Like Daughter, Saison d’Hommel, Fievre d’Abricot, Old Hop, New Hop. The Red Card (8.4% ABV, 100 IBU) is a beer brewed in honor of former UNM soccer player Pat Grange, who died of ALS. Proceeds from this beer will go to ALS research. I got to try this beer with the Solos; it’s a wonderful, bold red ale, with strong hop and malt flavors that make it one of the burliest, yet tastiest beers you’ll get to have this summer. Kudos to Jeff Erway and his staff on creating this beer and doing it for a great cause. Like Mother Like Daughter (5.9% ABV, 45 IBU) is a pale ale brewed with a “mother hop” (Simcoe) and a “daughter hop” (Mosaic). The newest beer on tap is Old Hop, New Hop (5.4% ABV, 41 IBU), an American pale ale that uses Centennial (old) and Simcoe (new) hops. The Saison (7.5% ABV, 35 IBU) and the Fievre (7.8% ABV, 25 IBU) are also available for sale in bombers.

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

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739

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

Beers: Double White, Iron Horse Extra IPA, Extra Special Bitter, Saisonette, India Pale Lager. The newest beer on tap is the IPL (5% ABV, 62 IBU). It’s the first beer brewed by Andrew, a member of the Marble brewery team. The Iron Horse (8.0% ABV) uses a blend of experimental hops for a one-of-a-kind taste. In addition, $1 from every pint sold of Iron Horse goes to the Ales for ALS campaign. Pints cost $5.50, add $6 extra for a growler. The ESB (4.7% ABV) uses West Yorkshire yeast and English malts for a, well, very English beer. The Saisonette (4.2% ABV) is one of the lower alcohol beers we’ve seen this summer.

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

News: In April, Marble was presented the gold medal at the World Beer Cup for their Pilsner.

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

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100

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

Beers: Rye Pale Ale. Checking at 5.9-percent ABV, the RPA is the lone seasonal beer currently on tap at Nexus. The rye flavor is somewhat muted, while the sweeter malts tend to dominate this beer. It’s a good summer beer, perfect for sipping slowly on a hot afternoon. There should be other new seasonals on tap in the near future, but business is nuts (as it is every summer) right now, so Nexus is just trying to keep all the regular favorites on tap at all times.

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

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

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

Beers: Unchallenged IPA, First IPA, West Coast Red. 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. You can try the last of the First IPA (75 IBU), or go for the bigger Unchallenged IPA (100 IBU). The West Coast Red is a hoppier red. We’ll keep tabs on when Pi itself opens. For now, grab a pint and some tasty Italian food.

News: Lost Grain English Summer Ale should be on tap by Friday. Next week, Pi IPA will hit taps along with a fresh batch of Vanilla Bourbon Porter.

Sandia Chile Grill — (505) 798-1970

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

Beers: Irish Red, American IPA. The American IPA was a new version of the Rattlesnake IPA brewed especially for the 4th of July. The Irish Red was also back on tap.

The Stumbling Steer — (505) 792-7805

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

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

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

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

Beers at Nob Hill: Apple Cider, Javi Light Lager, Pilsner Roja, Berry Cider, Berliner Weisse Sour, C+C IPA.

Beers at Wells Park only: L4 IPL, Maibock Lager, Trekker Red Belgian Ale, Barley Wine, Juniper Xtra Pale Ale, Scotch Ale, Milk Mustachio Stout, F.Y.F.A. IPA, La Llorona Dry Hop Amber, Otter IPA. All of the Nob Hill seasonals are also at Wells Park, which has 24 total taps (Tractor’s five regular beers have two taps apiece). The Pilsner Roja is a crisp, Marzen-style beer that tastes good in the hot summer months. If you need a hop punch to the face, the F.Y.F.A. (F— Yeah Friday Ale) is a much more hop-forward IPA than what Tractor usually creates. The Berliner Weisse Sour takes a traditional German-style weiss beer and twists it into a sour. It’s an acquired taste. New to taps this week are the La Llorona Dry Hop Amber and Otter IPA.

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

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

Tonight (Wednesday), Wells Park will host Art:Fusion for a Cause by The Guild of Ethical Tattooists. There will be an open mic for any musician, poet, or comedian who would like to come down. There will be tattoo artists on site as well. It begins at 8 p.m.

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

Tractor is introducing a new series called In the Mix: DJs on the Wells Park Patio. Nicolatron will perform Saturday at 9 p.m. Kimo’s will provide all your culinary needs once again.

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

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

Beers: (House) McDay’s Cream Ale, Oku Amber, Parasol White IPA, Hopshell IPA, Piedra Lisa Porter. (Seasonal/specialty) Stars & Stripes American Lager, Blackberry Tart Cherry Wheat, N.B. SMaSH Pale Ale, Pork ‘n’ Brew Brown Ale, Dog Daze Summer Lager. To help us out for now and the future, brewer Tim Woodward broke down what will be the regular beers on tap (under House) and the current list of seasonals. That’s a pretty solid regular lineup. I personally really enjoyed the Porter and Amber, the latter of which trumps most of its genre in terms of flavor. The newest beer on tap is the Dog Daze Summer Ale.

* * * *

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

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with the Metro Edition of The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, giving you a list of their current beers on tap as well as any special events going on in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and Bernalillo. Look for the State Edition, which will include everywhere from Taos and Santa Fe up north to Las Cruces and Silver City down south, this Thursday.

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.

Tomorrow (Thursday) is the annual holiday — well, it should be a holiday, c’mon, Congress, get on it — known as National IPA Day. New Mexico’s favorite style of beer gets celebrated like it does, uh, every day around here. Anyway, most places will just have their IPAs as is, but there are a few good deals. La Cumbre will have a special cask of Project Dank dry-hopped with Citra. You just know LCBC will be packed. If you want more space to stretch out with your IPA, head over to Tractor Wells Park, where all the IPAs on the menu will be $3 from 3 to 7 p.m. And of course Hop Kwondo is still going on at the Il Vicino Brewery Canteen. Grab a tray of six excellent IPA samples. Ridiculous headbands, such as the ones that Franz Solo and I were wearing last Friday, are no longer available, but it’s more about the beer than silly photos, right? Right?

Also this weekend, the Crew will be hosting a mini-beer battle of the metro area’s available hefeweizens. We’ll be pitting La Cumbre’s Slice of Hefen up against Kaktus’ Banaweizen, Cazuela’s Hefeweizen, Chama River’s Hefe a Nice Day!, and Boxing Bear’s Hairy Mit Hefe (thus quite possibly marking the first competitive event for a Boxing Bear beer). Look for our recap next week.

There are only a few new beers on tap this week worth highlighting as most breweries have not unleashed any new styles. This summer has been exceptionally busy (Marble’s Westside Taproom even ran out of IPA briefly) for all the breweries just to keep up with demand for their regular beers. If you see a brewer around, make sure to thank him/her for all the hard work. Back Alley brought back its Kolsch and added a California Commons. Bosque has brewed up Pathfinder Pils and Kick the Can IPA. Boxing Bear is taking a swing with Uppercut IPA. Il Vicino brought back Aztec Lager and still has the IPAs for Hop Kwondo. La Cumbre will have a special bottle release party Wednesday for their Fievre d’Abricot. Turtle Mountain has released Dog Daze Summer Lager. (UPDATE) Marble has added India Pale Lager to the lineup, while Nexus has Rye Pale Lager.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of August 4.

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.

ABQ Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

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

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

Back Alley Draft House — (505) 766-8590

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

Beers: Soroche IPA, Pale Ale, Kolsch, California Commons. The Kolsch and California Commons are the most recent additions to the lineup. Brewer Addison Poth teased that he has a bunch of new beers coming as well. Can’t wait to head over, order some grub from NY Pizza Dept. next door and enjoy a pint or two.

Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596

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

Beers: Close to Clever (saison), Farmhouse Pale Ale, Ember IPA, Pathfinder Pils, Kick the Can IPA. Ember IPA is going to become a seasonal as Bosque will rotate various IPAs for the rest of the year. Once Bosque’s new hop contracts kick in next year they will decide on whether to reinstate Ember to the regular lineup or go with a different IPA. Kick the Can IPA will join the lineup in the middle of this week. Pathfinder Pils, a Bohemian style, is now on tap as well to help beat the last of the summer heat.

News: Construction has begun on Bosque’s new taproom, the Bosque Public House, located on Girard just south of Central.

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

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

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

Beers: East Kent Ale, Paw Swipe Pale Ale, Bear Knuckle Double IPA, Hairy Mit Hefe, Black Bear Stout, Uppercut IPA. The new Uppercut IPA (7.6% ABV, 100 IBU) certainly looks like it packs a punch. Looks like we’ll have to make another trip to the west side to see what this new contender has in store for us. On past visits we’ve really enjoyed the Black Bear Stout and Bear Knuckle Double IPA. Boxing Bear is off to a great start.

Broken Bottle Brewery — (505) 890-8777

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

Beers: Stinky Pinky, Vienna Saaz-age, DADU Honey Wheat Ale, Triad IPA, Barely Legal Bourbon Oak Stout, Cheeky Cherry Wheat. The Stinky Pinky (5.3% ABV) is a hefeweizen infused with grapefruit. The Vienna Saaz-age (5.5% ABV) is a single-hop (Saaz) and single-malt (Vienna) beer. The DADU (8.2% ABV) is almost like a beer/mead hybrid. The Triad (6.6% ABV) uses a mix of three hops for a bigger, bolder flavor, plus additional dry hopping has given it a stronger aroma. The Vienna and the Cherry are nearly out.

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

News: The next round of seasonals in the works are 12 Step Apricot Ale and Wise Ass Watermelon Wheat.

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

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

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

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

News: Cazuela’s Beer for My Horses won a bronze medal in the oatmeal stout category at the World Beer Cup in Denver.

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

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

Beers: Radioactive IPA, Double Rainbow, Sun Dog Kolsch, Hefe Nice Day! The three new seasonals have joined Radioactive (7.5% ABV, 100+ IBU), Chama’s IPA Challenge entry. The Double Rainbow (4.8% ABV, 20 IBU) is a blackberry beer. Sun Dog (5.1% ABV, 23 IBU) and the Hefe (4.5% ABV, 15 IBU) sound like perfect beers to beat the summer heat.

News: Head brewer Zach Guilmette has revamped the recipe for Chama’s Jackalope IPA to give it a stronger kick and tastier palate. Franz Solo and I also highly recommend you try the revamped Sleeping Dog Stout. It’s creamy and burly and sweet and roasted … it’s a damn contradiction of a beer, but it’s wonderful.

Il Vicino Brewing Canteen — (505) 881-2737

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

Beers: Aztec Lager, Irish Red, Sessa’s Wet Hop Cascade Pale Ale, C-Hop Shop IPA, Galaxy IPA, Citra C-Hop Shop IPA, Exodus IPA. Hop Kwondo is still going strong at the Canteen. You can order the six IPA sampler (the five listed above plus Wet Mountain), or individual pints of your favorites. If you need a malty break, the Aztec and Irish should have you covered.

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

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

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

Beers: Lil Red Wagon, Cream Stout, Banty Rooster (Hefe IPA), London Porter, Choice ESB, Solstice Pilsner, Banaweizen, Jabba Wocky IPA. The Solstice is the newest addition, brewed with two types of Belgian malts and German hops. Located at 471 South Hill Road in Bernalillo, Kaktus is one of the state’s newest breweries. It is a small, casual place, similar to Blue Heron in appearance and comfort factor. Kaktus owner Dana Koller said fans can expect the nanobrewery to go through its most popular styles quickly, though they will always have something new and exciting available as a replacement.

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

Cowboy and Killer will provide live music Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m.

The Desert Darlings belly dancers will perform from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sunday. If you’ve never seen the Desert Darlings in person, you’re missing out. Plus, their music will be performed by The Khans, a two-man group comprised of our very own E-Rock and our good friend Frank.

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Grange’s Red Card 4ALS, What’s the ALTernative, Jenny’s Cream Ale, Like Mother Like Daughter, Saison d’Hommel. The Red Card (8.4% ABV, 100 IBU) is a beer brewed in honor of former UNM soccer player Pat Grange, who died of ALS. Proceeds from this beer will go to ALS research. I got to try this beer with the Solos; it’s a wonderful, bold red ale, with strong hop and malt flavors that make it one of the burliest, yet tastiest beers you’ll get to have this summer. Kudos to Jeff Erway and his staff on creating this beer and doing it for a great cause. Like Mother Like Daughter (5.9% ABV, 45 IBU) is a pale ale brewed with a “mother hop” (Simcoe) and a “daughter hop” (Mosaic). Jenny’s Cream Ale (5.4% ABV, 15 IBU) is named for La Cumbre’s taproom manager as it’s her preferred style of beer.

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

For National IPA Day on Thursday, La Cumbre will have a special cask of Project Dank dry-hopped with Citra.

Events: This Wednesday, La Cumbre will host a special bottle release party for the Fievre d’Abricot. Adoughbe Pizza will provide special pizza pairings from 2 to 10 p.m., while the Cali Shaw Band will play from 6 to 9 p.m.

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739

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

UPDATED >>>> Beers: Double White, Iron Horse Extra IPA, Extra Special Bitter, Saisonette, India Pale Lager. A late addition to taps this week is the IPL, which checks in at 5-percent ABV and 62 IBUs. It’s the first beer brewed by Andrew, a member of the Marble brewing team. The Iron Horse (8.0% ABV) uses a blend of experimental hops for a one-of-a-kind taste. In addition, $1 from every pint sold of Iron Horse goes to the Ales for ALS campaign. Pints cost $5.50, add $6 extra for a growler. The ESB (4.7% ABV) uses West Yorkshire yeast and English malts for a, well, very English beer. The Saisonette (4.2% ABV) is one of the lower alcohol beers we’ve seen this summer.

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

News: In April, Marble was presented the gold medal at the World Beer Cup for their Pilsner.

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

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100

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

UPDATED >>>> Beers: Rye Pale Ale. Checking at 5.9-percent ABV, the RPA is the lone seasonal beer currently on tap at Nexus. The rye flavor is somewhat muted, while the sweeter malts tend to dominate this beer. It’s a good summer beer, perfect for sipping slowly on a hot afternoon. There should be other new seasonals on tap in the near future, but business is nuts (as it is every summer) right now, so Nexus is just trying to keep all the regular favorites on tap at all times.

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.

Sandia Chile Grill — (505) 798-1970

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

Beers: Irish Red, American IPA. The American IPA was a new version of the Rattlesnake IPA brewed especially for the 4th of July. The Irish Red was also back on tap.

The Stumbling Steer — (505) 792-7805

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

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

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

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

UPDATED (beers and events) >>>> Beers at Nob Hill: Hard Apple Cider, Javi Light Lager, Pilsner Roja, Berry Cider, Berliner Weiss Sour, F.Y.F.A. IPA, C+C IPA.

Beers at Wells Park only: L4 IPL, Maibock Lager, Trekker Red Belgian Ale, Barley Wine, Juniper Xtra Pale Ale, Pilsner #15, Scotch Ale, Milk Mustachio Stout. All of the Nob Hill seasonals are also at Wells Park, which has 24 total taps (Tractor’s five regular beers have two taps apiece). The Pilsner Roja is a crisp, Marzen-style beer that tastes good in the hot summer months. If you need a hop punch to the face, the F.Y.F.A. (F— Yeah Friday Ale) is a much more hop-forward IPA than what Tractor usually creates. The Berliner Weisse Sour takes a traditional German-style weiss beer and twists it into a sour. It’s an acquired taste.

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

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

Tractor’s Thirsty Thursday music series at Wells Park continues this week with Carlos the Tall performing from 8 to 10 p.m. Kimo’s will provide the food.

Saturday will feature the Doggie Dash and Dawdle Kickoff party from 1 to 4 p.m. at Wells Park. You can register for the 32nd annual Dash and Dawdle while enjoying free music, food, and beer. There will also be an Animal Humane mobile adoption unit for those of you who don’t have a dog to enter.

Tractor is introducing a new series called In the Mix: DJs on the Wells Park Patio. DJ N-Tox will perform Saturday at 9 p.m. Kimo’s will provide all your culinary needs once again.

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

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

Beers: (House) McDay’s Cream Ale, Oku Amber, Parasol White IPA, Hopshell IPA, Piedra Lisa Porter. (Seasonal/specialty) Stars & Stripes American Lager, Blackberry Tart Cherry Wheat, N.B. SMaSH Pale Ale, Pork ‘n’ Brew Brown Ale, Dog Daze Summer Lager. To help us out for now and the future, brewer Tim Woodward broke down what will be the regular beers on tap (under House) and the current list of seasonals. That’s a pretty solid regular lineup. I personally really enjoyed the Porter and Amber, the latter of which trumps most of its genre in terms of flavor. The newest beer on tap is the Dog Daze Summer Ale.

News: This Friday, TMBC will unleash a special cask of Monochrome Milk Stout doused with fresh raspberries. Mmm, dessert. Look for a full release of Monochrome in the near future.

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

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with the Metro Edition of The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, giving you a list of their current beers on tap as well as any special events going on in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and Bernalillo. Look for the State Edition, which will include everywhere from Taos and Santa Fe up north to Las Cruces and Silver City down south, this Thursday.

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.

Boxing Bear Brewing Co. has opened its doors to good reviews from the ABQ-area beer-loving crowd. The grand opening was last Friday, following a special invite-only opening Thursday attended by yours truly and Franz Solo. While there were some naysayers who felt we “overhyped” Boxing Bear, most people seemed to agree with us that they’re serving some pretty darned solid beers for their first batches. Are they on the level with local heavyweights like Il Vicino, La Cumbre, or Marble? No, not yet, but for first-batch beers they were all of high quality, and in time we think this will be a heavyweight brewery in its own right. And before everyone screams “over-saturation!” again, take this into account. There are 15 breweries listed here in the Metro Edition. Across the country, there are 45 breweries within 20 miles of downtown Asheville, N.C., which has a metro population of 425,000 people. The ABQ area is now estimated to have surpassed 900,000 people. In an area with more than twice the population, we have one-third the number of breweries. Maybe there are too many breweries concentrated in certain parts of town, but the West Side is not one of those parts.

Anyway, that was my random soap box rant of the year. Back to business. There are only a few new beers on tap this week worth highlighting as most breweries have not unleashed any new styles. Bosque is nearly out of Scale Tipper, the IPA Challenge winner, but has a Bohemian Style Pilsner coming soon. Chama River has unleashed three new styles in the Double Rainbow (blackberry ale), Hefe Nice Day!, and Sun Dog Kolsch. Il Vicino tapped a barrel-aged version of its Stovepipe Porter, plus Hop Kwondo is on its way back Friday. Kaktus has added Solstice Pilsner.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of July 28.

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.

ABQ Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

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

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

Back Alley Draft House — (505) 766-8590

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

Beers: Soroche IPA, Red Ale, Imperial IPA, Pale Ale. The Soroche IPA and Pale Ale are the most recent additions to the lineup. In addition to the house beers and brews from other local breweries, Back Alley currently has Stone’s Collective Distortion IPA, Rogue Farms 7 Hop IPA, New Belgium’s Lips of Faith Gruit, and Green Flash’s Le Freak. 

Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596

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

Beers: The Last Straw Hefeweizen, Close to Clever Saison, Farmhouse Pale Ale, Scale Tipper: Batch 3, Ember IPA. Ember IPA is going to become a seasonal as Bosque will rotate various IPAs for the rest of the year. Once Bosque’s new hop contracts kick in next year they will decide on whether to reinstate Ember to the regular lineup or go with a different IPA. Speaking of IPAs, Scale Tipper just won the IPA Challenge. Congratulations to John Bullard and his entire brewing staff on their victory. The supply is running low, so hurry over to get the last of this championship brew. The Last Straw is one of the best American hefes I’ve ever had. The Close to Clever debuted at The Beer Premier. It’s got that farmhouse funk aroma, but if you get past that it’s got a solid saison flavor.

News: Construction has begun on Bosque’s new taproom, the Bosque Public House, located on Girard just south of Central.

A Bohemian Style Pilsner is almost ready and should take the tap spot that currently belongs to Scale Tipper when it runs out.

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

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

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

Beers: East Kent Ale, Paw Swipe Pale Ale, Bear Knuckle Double IPA, Hairy Mit Hefe, Black Bear Stout. These are all house beers that (we believe) will be in the regular rotation from here on out. Let us all sit back and give Boxing Bear a little time before they start cranking out the seasonal/specialty beers. My personal favorite was the stout, but the DIPA got very high marks from many others, including Franz Solo.

Broken Bottle Brewery — (505) 890-8777

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

Beers: Stinky Pinky, Vienna Saaz-age, DADU Honey Wheat Ale, Triad IPA, Barely Legal Bourbon Oak Stout, Cheeky Cherry Wheat. The Stinky Pinky (5.3% ABV) is a hefeweizen infused with grapefruit. The Vienna Saaz-age (5.5% ABV) is a single-hop (Saaz) and single-malt (Vienna) beer. The DADU (8.2% ABV) is almost like a beer/mead hybrid. The Triad (6.6% ABV) uses a mix of three hops for a bigger, bolder flavor, plus additional dry hopping has given it a stronger aroma. The Vienna and the Cherry are nearly out.

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

News: The next round of seasonals in the works are 12 Step Apricot Ale and Wise Ass Watermelon Wheat.

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

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

Beers: Papacabra (Double IPA), Panama Red, Acapulco Gold (Mexican Lager), Hefeweizen, Robusto Porter, Chupacabra IPA, Piedra del Fuego Stoned Cream Ale, ESB, Beer for My Horses (Oatmeal Stout). E-Rock and I had a chance to sample the Piedra del Fuego Stoned Cream Ale, 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.”

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

News: Cazuela’s Beer for My Horses won a bronze medal in the oatmeal stout category at the World Beer Cup in Denver.

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

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

UPDATED >>>> Beers: Radioactive IPA, Double Rainbow, Sun Dog Kolsch, Hefe Nice Day! The three new seasonals have joined Radioactive (7.5% ABV, 100+ IBU), Chama’s IPA Challenge entry. The Double Rainbow (4.8% ABV, 20 IBU) is a blackberry beer. Sun Dog (5.1% ABV, 23 IBU) and the Hefe (4.5% ABV, 15 IBU) sound like perfect beers to beat the summer heat.

News: Head brewer Zach Guilmette has revamped the recipe for Chama’s Jackalope IPA to give it a stronger kick and tastier palate. Franz Solo and I also highly recommend you try the revamped Sleeping Dog Stout. It’s creamy and burly and sweet and roasted … it’s a damn contradiction of a beer, but it’s wonderful.

Il Vicino Brewing Canteen — (505) 881-2737

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

Beers: Fest Beer, American Stock Ale, Vienna Lager, Irish Red, Hefeweizen, Cerveza-rita, Stovepipe Porter (barrel series). In the wake of their awesome 20-year anniversary party, the Canteen staff will be rolling out the kegs of the beers from that event. The lineup figures to change almost daily, so you never really know what you’re going to get when you visit the Canteen. I guess you’ll have to visit them frequently to try as many great beers as possible. Hmm, they may have thought out this strategy. The Irish Red is a classic, loved by many (especially my mom, who I think loves that beer more than me). The Stovepipe Porter is a small batch and will only be on tap for a limited time.

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

Hop Kwondo is returning to The Canteen on Friday. This year’s sampler tray of IPAs will include Sessa’s Wet Hop Cascade Pale Ale, C-Hop Shop IPA, Wet Mountain IPA, Galaxy IPA, Citra C-Hop Shop IPA, and of course Exodus IPA. Hop Kwondo should run through IPA Day, which will fall on Aug. 7 this year.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

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

UPDATED >>> Beers: Lil Red Wagon, Cream Stout, Banty Rooster (Hefe IPA), London Porter, Choice ESB, Solstice Pilsner, Banaweizen, Jabba Wocky IPA. The Solstice is the newest addition, brewed with two types of Belgian malts and German hops. Located at 471 South Hill Road in Bernalillo, Kaktus is one of the state’s newest breweries. It is a small, casual place, similar to Blue Heron in appearance and comfort factor. Kaktus owner Dana Koller said fans can expect the nanobrewery to go through its most popular styles quickly, though they will always have something new and exciting available as a replacement.

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

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

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Grange’s Red Card 4ALS, What’s the ALTernative, Jenny’s Cream Ale, Like Mother Like Daughter, Saison d’Hommel. The Red Card (8.4% ABV, 100 IBU) is a beer brewed in honor of former UNM soccer player Pat Grange, who died of ALS. Proceeds from this beer will go to ALS research. I got to try this beer with the Solos; it’s a wonderful, bold red ale, with strong hop and malt flavors that make it one of the burliest, yet tastiest beers you’ll get to have this summer. Kudos to Jeff Erway and his staff on creating this beer and doing it for a great cause. Like Mother Like Daughter (5.9% ABV, 45 IBU) is a pale ale brewed with a “mother hop” (Simcoe) and a “daughter hop” (Mosaic). Jenny’s Cream Ale (5.4% ABV, 15 IBU) is named for La Cumbre’s taproom manager as it’s her preferred style of beer.

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

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739

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

UPDATED >>> Beers: Double White, Iron Horse Extra IPA, Extra Special Bitter, Saisonette. E-Rock stopped by the downtown pub and snapped a photo of the beer board, so hooray, we have an updated list. The Iron Horse (8.0% ABV) uses a blend of experimental hops for a one-of-a-kind taste. In addition, $1 from every pint sold of Iron Horse goes to the Ales for ALS campaign. Pints cost $5.50, add $6 extra for a growler. The ESB (4.7% ABV) uses West Yorkshire yeast and English malts for a, well, very English beer. The Saisonette (4.2% ABV) is one of the lower alcohol beers we’ve seen this summer.

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

News: In April, Marble was presented the gold medal at the World Beer Cup for their Pilsner.

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

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100

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

Beers: 505-2014 Collaboration, Shepard’s Session IPA (5.3% ABV, 41 IBU), Beam Me Up Scotty II (9.6% ABV, 37 IBU), Honey Chamomile Wheat. The Shepard’s is a little sweeter and creamier than you might expect from a session IPA. There’s nothing wrong with being different. The Beam Me Up is back, ready to brawl with your palate like Celtic and Rangers fans in Glasgow. It puts the heavy back into the Scottish Wee Heavy style. The Honey Chamomile Wheat is a unique little beer that made its debut at The Beer Premier. Get a sample and let us know what you think.

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.

Sandia Chile Grill — (505) 798-1970

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

Beers: Irish Red, American IPA. The American IPA was a new version of the Rattlesnake IPA brewed especially for the 4th of July. The Irish Red was also back on tap.

The Stumbling Steer — (505) 792-7805

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

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

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

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

Beers at Nob Hill: Hard Apple Cider, Maibock Lager, Pilsner Roja, Hard Berry Cider, Berliner Weisse Sour, C&C IPA.

Beers at Wells Park only: L4 IPL, F.Y.F.A. IPA, Trekker Red Belgian Ale, Barley Wine, Juniper Xtra Pale Ale, Pilsner #15, Scotch Ale, Milk Mustachio Stout. All of the Nob Hill seasonals are also at Wells Park, which has 24 total taps (Tractor’s five regular beers have two taps apiece). The Pilsner Roja is a crisp, Marzen-style beer that tastes good in the hot summer months. If you need a hop punch to the face, the F.Y.F.A. (F— Yeah Friday Ale) is a much more hop-forward IPA than what Tractor usually creates. The Berliner Weisse Sour takes a traditional German-style weiss beer and twists it into a sour. It’s an acquired taste.

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

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

Tractor’s Thirsty Thursday will feature Jason Riggs and his guitar from 8 to 10 p.m. at Wells Park. Kimo’s BBQ will provide the food.

On Friday, Pints and Politics: “Happy to Vote” will feature voter registration during happy hour from 6 to 8 p.m. at Wells Park. Irrational Pie and Street Food Boulevard will be outside.

Tractor is introducing a new series called In the Mix: DJs on the Wells Park Patio. Cloudface will perform Saturday at 9 p.m. Kimo’s will be back for all your culinary needs.

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

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

Beers: (House) McDay’s Cream Ale, Oku Amber, Parasol White IPA, Hopshell IPA, Piedra Lisa Porter. (Seasonal/specialty) Stars & Stripes American Lager, Blackberry Tart Cherry Wheat, The Fitzgerald Session IPA, N.B. SMaSH Pale Ale, Pork ‘n’ Brew Brown Ale, India Stupid Ale. To help us out for now and the future, brewer Tim Woodward broke down what will be the regular beers on tap (under House) and the current list of seasonals. That’s a pretty solid regular lineup. I personally really enjoyed the Porter and Amber, the latter of which trumps most of its genre in terms of flavor. The newest beers on tap are the Blackberry Tart Cherry Wheat and the India Stupid Ale, which was TMBC’s excellent entry in the IPA Challenge.

* * * *

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

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with the Metro Edition of The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, giving you a list of their current beers on tap as well as any special events going on in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and Bernalillo. Look for the State Edition, which will include everywhere from Taos and Santa Fe up north to Las Cruces and Silver City down south, this Thursday.

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.

The IPA Challenge has come and gone, leaving us all exhausted but happy. A record 361 fans came out to vote at Tractor Wells Park on Sunday, handing this year’s crown to Bosque Brewing. The good news is that many of the Challenge entries are still on tap around town, so you can still go enjoy your favorites or just go try them if you were unable to attend. Among the best of the bunch on tap are Bosque’s Scale Tipper, Marble’s Challenge IPA (second), Chama River’s Radioactive IPA (third), and Turtle Mountain’s India Stupid Ale (fourth).

There are several new beers on tap this week worth highlighting. Back Alley has Soroche IPA and Pale Ale in the lineup. Il Vicino has brought back their Irish Red and Hefeweizen. La Cumbre has Saison d’Hommel back on tap. Tractor went a little different with its new Berliner Weisse Sour.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of July 21.

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.

ABQ Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

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

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

Back Alley Draft House — (505) 766-8590

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

Beers: Soroche IPA, Red Ale, Imperial IPA, Pale Ale. The Soroche IPA and Pale Ale rejoin the lineup this week. In addition to the house beers and brews from other local breweries, Back Alley currently has Stone’s Collective Distortion IPA, Rogue Farms 7 Hop IPA, New Belgium’s Lips of Faith Gruit, and Green Flash’s Le Freak. 

Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596

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

Beers: The Last Straw Hefeweizen, Close to Clever Saison, Farmhouse Pale Ale, Scale Tipper: Batch 3, Ember IPA. Ember IPA is going to become a seasonal as Bosque will rotate various IPAs for the rest of the year. Once Bosque’s new hop contracts kick in next year they will decide on whether to reinstate Ember to the regular lineup or go with a different IPA. Speaking of IPAs, Scale Tipper just won the IPA Challenge. Congratulations to John Bullard and his entire brewing staff on their victory. The Last Straw is one of the best American hefes I’ve ever had. The Close to Clever debuted at The Beer Premier. It’s got that farmhouse funk aroma, but if you get past that it’s got a solid saison flavor.

News: Construction has begun on Bosque’s new taproom, the Bosque Public House, located on Girard just south of Central.

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

Broken Bottle Brewery — (505) 890-8777

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

Beers: Stinky Pinky, Vienna Saaz-age, DADU Honey Wheat Ale, Triad IPA, Barely Legal Bourbon Oak Stout. The Stinky Pinky (5.3% ABV) is a hefeweizen infused with grapefruit. The Vienna Saaz-age (5.5% ABV) is a single-hop (Saaz) and single-malt (Vienna) beer. The DADU (8.2% ABV) is almost like a beer/mead hybrid. The Triad (6.6% ABV) uses a mix of three hops for a bigger, bolder flavor, plus additional dry hopping has given it a stronger aroma.

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

News: The next round of seasonals in the works includes Cheeky Cherry Wheat, 12 Step Apricot Ale, and Wise Ass Watermelon Wheat.

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

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

Beers: Papacabra (Double IPA), Panama Red, Acapulco Gold (Mexican Lager), Hefeweizen, Robusto Porter, Chupacabra IPA, Piedra del Fuego Stoned Cream Ale, ESB, Beer for My Horses (Oatmeal Stout). E-Rock and I had a chance to sample the Piedra del Fuego Stoned Cream Ale, 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.”

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

News: Cazuela’s Beer for My Horses won a bronze medal in the oatmeal stout category at the World Beer Cup in Denver.

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

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

Beers: 505-2014 Collaboration, Apricot Hefeweizen, Summer Smoke, Cascading River, Radioactive IPA, Hop the Pond ESB. Summer Smoke is a smoked rauchbier, one that I finally got to try last week. It’s got the right balance between the smoky opening and a sweet, smooth, malty finish. The Cascading River (5% ABV, 50 IBU) is a single-hop Cascade pale ale. The new Apricot Hefe (4.5% ABV, 15 IBU) makes its debut as another summer-themed beer.

News: Head brewer Zach Guilmette has revamped the recipe for Chama’s Jackalope IPA to give it a stronger kick and tastier palate. Franz Solo and I also highly recommend you try the revamped Sleeping Dog Stout. It’s creamy and burly and sweet and roasted … it’s a damn contradiction of a beer, but it’s wonderful.

Il Vicino Brewing Canteen — (505) 881-2737

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

Beers: Fest Beer, American Stock Ale, Vienna Lager, Irish Red, Hefeweizen, Cerveza-rita, Sabbatic-ale IPA. In the wake of their awesome 20-year anniversary party, the Canteen staff will be rolling out the kegs of the beers from that event. The lineup figures to change almost daily, so you never really know what you’re going to get when you visit the Canteen. I guess you’ll have to visit them frequently to try as many great beers as possible. Hmm, they may have thought out this strategy. Sabbatic-ale (7.7% ABV, 100+ IBU) was Il Vicino’s IPA Challenge entry. The Irish Red is a classic, loved by many (especially my mom, who I think loves that beer more than me).

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

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

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

Beers: Red, Cream Stout, Banty Rooster (Hefe IPA), London Porter, Choice ESB, Basil Lager, Banaweizen, Jabba Wocky IPA. Located at 471 South Hill Road in Bernalillo, Kaktus is one of the state’s newest breweries. It is a small, casual place, similar to Blue Heron in appearance and comfort factor. Kaktus owner Dana Koller said fans can expect the nanobrewery to go through its most popular styles quickly, though they will always have something new and exciting available as a replacement.

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

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

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Grange’s Red Card 4ALS, What’s the ALTernative, Jenny’s Cream Ale, Like Mother Like Daughter, Saison d’Hommel. The Red Card (8.4% ABV, 100 IBU) is a beer brewed in honor of former UNM soccer player Pat Grange, who died of ALS. Proceeds from this beer will go to ALS research. I got to try this beer with the Solos; it’s a wonderful, bold red ale, with strong hop and malt flavors that make it one of the burliest, yet tastiest beers you’ll get to have this summer. Kudos to Jeff Erway and his staff on creating this beer and doing it for a great cause. Like Mother Like Daughter (5.9% ABV, 45 IBU) is a pale ale brewed with a “mother hop” (Simcoe) and a “daughter hop” (Mosaic). Jenny’s Cream Ale (5.4% ABV, 15 IBU) is named for La Cumbre’s taproom manager as it’s her preferred style of beer.

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

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739

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

Beers: Double White, Iron Horse Extra IPA, Extra Special Bitter, Heidi’s Raspberry Tart. We didn’t get an update from Marble this week, so the lineup could be completely different than what we have here. The Iron Horse (8.0% ABV) uses a blend of experimental hops for a one-of-a-kind taste. In addition, $1 from every pint sold of Iron Horse goes to the Ales for ALS campaign. Pints cost $5.50, add $6 extra for a growler. The ESB (4.7% ABV) uses West Yorkshire yeast and English malts for a, well, very English beer.

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

News: In April, Marble was presented the gold medal at the World Beer Cup for their Pilsner!

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

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100

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

Beers: 505-2014 Collaboration, Shepard’s Session IPA (5.3% ABV, 41 IBU), Beam Me Up Scotty II (9.6% ABV, 37 IBU), Honey Chamomile Wheat. The Shepard’s is a little sweeter and creamier than you might expect from a session IPA. There’s nothing wrong with being different. The Beam Me Up is back, ready to brawl with your palate like Celtic and Rangers fans in Glasgow. It puts the heavy back into the Scottish Wee Heavy style. The Honey Chamomile Wheat is a unique little beer that made its debut at The Beer Premier. Get a sample and let us know what you think.

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.

Sandia Chile Grill — (505) 798-1970

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

Beers: Irish Red, American IPA. The American IPA was a new version of the Rattlesnake IPA brewed especially for the 4th of July. The Irish Red was also back on tap.

The Stumbling Steer — (505) 792-7805

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

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

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

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

Beers at Nob Hill: Hard Apple Cider, Trekker Red Belgian Ale, Maibock Lager, Pilsner Roja, Hard Berry Cider, Berliner Weisse Sour.

Beers at Wells Park only: L4 IPL, C&C IPA, F.Y.F.A. IPA, Barley Wine, Juniper Xtra Pale Ale, Pilsner #15, Scotch Ale, Javi Lager. All of the Nob Hill seasonals are also at Wells Park, which has 24 total taps (Tractor’s five regular beers have two taps apiece). The Pilsner Roja is a crisp, Marzen-style beer that tastes good in the hot summer months. If you need a hop punch to the face, the F.Y.F.A. (F— Yeah Friday Ale) is a much more hop-forward IPA than what Tractor usually creates. The Berliner Weisse Sour takes a traditional German-style weiss beer and twists it into a sour. It’s an acquired taste.

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

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

Tractor’s pLOUD Music Series returns Thursday at 8 p.m. with Next Three Miles performing. Kimo’s BBQ will provide the food.

I’ll Drink to That is back Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m. Irrational Pie will be parked outside for all your food needs.

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

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

Beers: (House) McDay’s Cream Ale, Oku Amber, Parasol White IPA, Hopshell IPA, Piedra Lisa Porter. (Seasonal/specialty) Stars & Stripes American Lager, Blackberry Tart Cherry Wheat, The Fitzgerald Session IPA, N.B. SMaSH Pale Ale, Pork ‘n’ Brew Brown Ale, India Stupid Ale. To help us out for now and the future, brewer Tim Woodward broke down what will be the regular beers on tap (under House) and the current list of seasonals. That’s a pretty solid regular lineup. I personally really enjoyed the Porter and Amber, the latter of which trumps most of its genre in terms of flavor. The newest beers on tap are the Blackberry Tart Cherry Wheat and the India Stupid Ale, which was TMBC’s excellent entry in the IPA Challenge.

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

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The people have spoken and there is a new/old king of the IPA in New Mexico.

Bosque's brewing staff poses with the IPA Challenge trophy. From left, head brewer John Bullard, assistant brewers Ira Strain-Bey and Ryan Jameson, and founding brewer Gabe Jensen.

Bosque’s brewing staff poses with the IPA Challenge trophy. From left, head brewer John Bullard, assistant brewers Ira Strain-Bey (holding the trophy) and Ryan Jameson, and founding brewer Gabe Jensen.

The 2014 IPA Challenge came to a close Sunday evening at Tractor Wells Park with Bosque Brewing taking home the trophy for the first time. It was the second straight victory for brewer John Bullard, who won his first Challenge last year when he was with Blue Corn.

“It feels good, man, it feels really good,” John said Sunday. “It’s way more rewarding this time with a brewery that supports me entirely. It’s really good.”

Bosque co-owner and founding brewer Gabe Jensen was all smiles after the final votes were announced. John and his assistant brewers, Ryan Jameson and Ira Strain-Bey gathered to hold the trophy aloft.

“I don’t even know what to say,” Gabe said. “I’m so proud of John and Ryan and Ira. Those guys, oh man.”

Bosque racked up 65 votes in the final round 106 total. Marble made it closer in the end, piling up 61 votes (including mine, the rest of the Crew who attended — Franz Solo, Mrs. Solo, Brandon — went with Bosque) to finish second overall with 77 votes. Chama River (72), Turtle Mountain (56), La Cumbre (55), and host Tractor (36) followed. Add it all up and no one at Bosque ever felt like they were going to run away with the trophy.

The very first tray of all 16 IPA Challenge beers was served to Stoutmeister. We know how shocked you all are at this news.

The very first tray of all 16 IPA Challenge beers was served to Stoutmeister. We know how shocked you all are at this news.

“No, I never thought that once,” John said. “I was pretty nervous today. This was the best Challenge I’ve seen yet. There was a huge amount of great beers in this lineup. It was tough competition. It was a lot of fun, though.”

Gabe said he felt the closer competition made for a more exciting, and nerve-wracking, finish to this year.

“Compared to last year, not that there weren’t a lot of good beers, but John ran away with it,” Gabe said. “This year, I didn’t know which one to vote for. There were several really good beers, even some that didn’t get that many votes, I thought they were right there. It’s obvious the level (of talent) is coming up.”

A total of 361 people voted at Tractor, which by most accounts was an all-time high for the final round. Despite starting a few minutes late, the entire process went smoothly and efficiently. The Tractor staff did a great job keeping the line moving and helping people throughout the day. Kudos to Skye Devore and all of her employees, they made this one of the best finales to date.

The Crew tackles the Challenge. Clockwise from bottom left, Stoutmeister, Brandon, honorary Crew member Lea, Franz Solo, and Mrs. Solo.

The Crew tackles the Challenge. Clockwise from bottom left, Stoutmeister, Brandon, honorary Crew member Lea, Franz Solo, and Mrs. Solo.

As for the beers, the field of 16 was outstanding this year. There was no undrinkable beer among them, though the gap between the favorites and the also-rans did emerge. Bosque’s Scale Tipper, Marble’s Challenge IPA, Chama River’s Radioactive, Turtle Mountain’s India Stupid Ale, and La Cumbre’s Project Dank were clearly the crowd’s choices, but the gap between them was not that high. (And yes, it was a very tough decision for all of us, too.)

The key to Scale Tipper’s victory? A big old dose of quality hops balanced with a malty backbone that made it a heavyweight masterpiece.

“This year was a lot bigger,” John said. “This was a way bigger beer than last year. I think that had a lot do with the flavor impact. Massive hopping rates, man.

“We even mashed higher to keep more of that malt presence in there.”

Many people that the Crew talked to felt that #8 (which was Scale Tipper) was the biggest and burliest beer of the bunch.

“I heard word of ours being over-the-top,” Gabe said. “I think by itself it was. Yes, we did that on purpose and I’m OK with it.”

The huge turnout of beer lovers included plenty of folks from other breweries. Among those we crossed paths with were Kaylynn McKnight and Ken Carson from Nexus, Zach Guilmette and David Facey from Chama River, James Warren from Blue Corn, and Nico Ortiz and Tim Woodward from Turtle Mountain. Add it all up and craft brewing is doing great throughout New Mexico.

“It’s growing fast, it’s strong, it’s alive, and we all support each other, that’s the best part of this whole thing,” John said.

Thanks to everyone who set up the IPA Challenge — a special shout-out to Christopher Goblet of the Brewers Guild for his tireless work — and to everyone who attended the event. We think a good time was had by all. This was one of the most fun events we have been to in all our years of covering and participating in the Challenge. Next year should be even more fun.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister and the rest of the NMDSBC

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with the Metro Edition of The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, giving you a list of their current beers on tap as well as any special events going on in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and Bernalillo. Look for the State Edition, which will include everywhere from Taos and Santa Fe up north to Las Cruces and Silver City down south, this Thursday.

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.

The third and final round of the IPA Challenge will take place this Sunday at Tractor Wells Park. There are still tickets available which you can buy online at nmbeer.org or at Wells Park itself. For those who want to know a little about what they’re getting into, several area breweries are actually serving their IPA Challenge entries. Contrary to what some people have thought, these are not the regular or house IPAs being served. Almost every brewery involved (there are 16) has brewed up a special IPA for this event. Why not brew these year-round? As John Bullard from Bosque told me recently, his Scale Tipper: Batch 3 IPA is the most expensive beer that Bosque has ever brewed. The sheer amount of different hops being used (some breweries are dumping in eight to 10 pounds per barrel) makes these beers so costly. So to help the breweries out money-wise, go drink some of their Challenge beers. Among those on tap are Radioactive IPA at Chama River, the aforementioned Scale Tipper at Bosque, Sabbatic-ale at Il Vicino, India Stupid Ale at Turtle Mountain, and Jabba Wocky IPA at Kaktus (though owner Dana Koller said the specific batch submitted for the Challenge was oaked). Right now it does not appear that La Cumbre (Project Dank), Marble, Nexus, or Tractor has their entry on tap, but then again, none of them have actually identified their entry by name. Some breweries choose to keep things secretive, others are more open, and there’s nothing wrong with either approach.

There are several new, non-IPA beers on tap this week worth highlighting. Il Vicino brings back Vienna Lager, plus every day they will be tapping one or two of the 50 beers from their recent anniversary party (see below for more on that). La Cumbre has resurrected Like Mother Like Daughter, a pale ale, while adding Jenny’s Cream Ale to tap. Turtle Mountain adds to the summer beers with Blackberry Tart Cherry Wheat.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of July 14.

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.

ABQ Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

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

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

Back Alley Draft House — (505) 766-8590

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

Beers: Belgian White, Red Ale, Imperial IPA, Ladron’s Peak. The Ladron’s Peak debuted at Beer Premier to a lot of “wow!” from the crowd. It’s one of the most unique beers in the state, brewed with “NM blue corn, mesquite honey, juniper, sage and Mormon tea,” said brewer Addison Poth. In addition to the house beers and brews from other local breweries, Back Alley currently has Stone’s Collective Distortion IPA, Rogue Farms 7 Hop IPA, New Belgium’s Lips of Faith Gruit, and Green Flash’s Le Freak. 

Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596

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

Beers: 505-2014 Collaboration, The Last Straw Hefeweizen, Close to Clever Saison, Farmhouse Pale Ale, Scale Tipper: Batch 3. The lineup is unchanged from last week, but that’s OK because it’s pretty darned good. The Scale Tipper series’ third entry is also Bosque’s entry for the IPA Challenge. Don’t forget, though Blue Corn may technically hold the title of defending champion, Bosque’s John Bullard was the brewer there last year when they won. The Last Straw is one of the best American hefes I’ve ever had. The Close to Clever debuted at The Beer Premier. It’s got that farmhouse funk aroma, but if you get past that it’s got a solid saison flavor.

News: Construction has begun on Bosque’s new taproom, the Bosque Public House, located on Girard just south of Central.

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

Broken Bottle Brewery — (505) 890-8777

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

Beers: Stinky Pinky, Vienna Saaz-age, DADU Honey Wheat Ale, Triad IPA. The Stinky Pinky (5.3% ABV) is a hefeweizen infused with grapefruit. The Vienna Saaz-age (5.5% ABV) is a single-hop (Saaz) and single-malt (Vienna) beer. The DADU (8.2% ABV) is almost like a beer/mead hybrid. The Triad (6.6% ABV) uses a mix of three hops for a bigger, bolder flavor, plus additional dry hopping has given it a stronger aroma.

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

News: The next round of seasonals in the works includes Cheeky Cherry Wheat, Barely Legal Oak Stout, 12 Step Apricot Ale and Wise Ass Watermelon Wheat.

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

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

Beers: Papacabra (Double IPA), Panama Red, Acapulco Gold (Mexican Lager), Hefeweizen, Robusto Porter, Chupacabra IPA, Piedra del Fuego Stoned Cream Ale, ESB, Beer for My Horses (Oatmeal Stout). E-Rock and I had a chance to sample the Piedra del Fuego Stoned Cream Ale, 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.”

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

News: Cazuela’s Beer for My Horses won a bronze medal in the oatmeal stout category at the World Beer Cup in Denver.

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

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

Beers: 505-2014 Collaboration, Apricot Hefeweizen, Summer Smoke, Cascading River, Radioactive IPA, Hop the Pond ESB. Summer Smoke is a smoked rauchbier, one that I finally got to try last week. It’s got the right balance between the smoky opening and a sweet, smooth, malty finish. The Cascading River (5% ABV, 50 IBU) is a single-hop Cascade pale ale. The new Apricot Hefe (4.5% ABV, 15 IBU) makes its debut as another summer-themed beer.

News: Head brewer Zach Guilmette has revamped the recipe for Chama’s Jackalope IPA to give it a stronger kick and tastier palate.

Il Vicino Brewing Canteen — (505) 881-2737

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

Beers: Apricot Saison, Fest Beer, American Stock Ale, Vienna Lager, Boysenberry Wheat, Cerveza-rita. In the wake of their awesome 20-year anniversary party, the Canteen staff will be rolling out the kegs of the beers from that event. The lineup figures to change almost daily, so you never really know what you’re going to get when you visit the Canteen. As of Tuesday, it was the Barley Wine and Sweet Sandarine Porter, but it appears Franz Solo and I finished off the latter, opening a tap for the Sabbatic-ale (7.7% ABV, 100+ IBU), Il Vicino’s IPA Challenge entry. I guess you’ll have to visit them frequently to try as many great beers as possible. Hmm, they may have thought out this strategy.

News: Il Vicino recently brought home two medals from the North American Beer Awards. Dougie Style Amber won a gold medal, while Irish Red took home a bronze.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

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

Beers: Red, Cream Stout, Banty Rooster (Hefe IPA), London Porter, Choice ESB, Basil Lager, Banaweizen, Jabba Wocky IPA. Located at 471 South Hill Road in Bernalillo, Kaktus is one of the state’s newest breweries. It is a small, casual place, similar to Blue Heron in appearance and comfort factor. Kaktus owner Dana Koller said fans can expect the nanobrewery to go through its most popular styles quickly, though they will always have something new and exciting available as a replacement. The popular Jabba Wocky IPA is back on tap this week.

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

Kaktus is running specials on pints and growlers for July 4. You can fill your growler for just $8, while $3.50 gets you a pint. But take note, Kaktus will close at 7 p.m. so the staff can go enjoy the fireworks, too.

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

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Grange’s Red Card 4ALS, What’s the ALTernative, Jenny’s Cream Ale, Like Mother Like Daughter. The Red Card (8.4% ABV, 100 IBU) is a beer brewed in honor of former UNM soccer player Pat Grange, who died of ALS. Proceeds from this beer will go to ALS research. I got to try this beer with the Solos; it’s a wonderful, bold red ale, with strong hop and malt flavors that make it one of the burliest, yet tastiest beers you’ll get to have this summer. Kudos to Jeff Erway and his staff on creating this beer and doing it for a great cause. Like Mother Like Daughter (5.9% ABV, 45 IBU) is a pale ale brewed with a “mother hop” (Simcoe) and a “daughter hop” (Mosaic). Jenny’s Cream Ale (5.4% ABV, 15 IBU) is named for La Cumbre’s taproom manager as it’s her preferred style of beer.

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

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739

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

Beers: Double White, Iron Horse Extra IPA, Extra Special Bitter, Heidi’s Raspberry Tart. There’s nothing new on tap this week, but this is a pretty solid lineup to fall back upon. The Iron Horse (8.0% ABV) uses a blend of experimental hops for a one-of-a-kind taste. In addition, $1 from every pint sold of Iron Horse goes to the Ales for ALS campaign. Pints cost $5.50, add $6 extra for a growler. The ESB (4.7% ABV) uses West Yorkshire yeast and English malts for a, well, very English beer.

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

News: In April, Marble was presented the gold medal at the World Beer Cup for their Pilsner!

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

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100

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

Beers: 505-2014 Collaboration, Shepard’s Session IPA (5.3% ABV, 41 IBU), Beam Me Up Scotty II (9.6% ABV, 37 IBU), Honey Chamomile Wheat. The Shepard’s is a little sweeter and creamier than you might expect from a session IPA. There’s nothing wrong with being different. The Beam Me Up is back, ready to brawl with your palate like Celtic and Rangers fans in Glasgow. It puts the heavy back into the Scottish Wee Heavy style. The Honey Chamomile Wheat is a unique little beer that made its debut at The Beer Premier. Get a sample and let us know what you think.

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.

Sandia Chile Grill — (505) 798-1970

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

Beers: Irish Red, American IPA. The American IPA was a new version of the Rattlesnake IPA brewed especially for the 4th of July. The Irish Red was also back on tap.

News: Sandia Chile Grill will have $2.50 pints of the American IPA on the 4th.

The Stumbling Steer — (505) 792-7805

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

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

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

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

Beers at Nob Hill: Hard Apple Cider, Trekker Red Belgian Ale, Maibock Lager, Pilsner #15, Juniper IPA, Pilsner Roja, Hard Berry Cider.

Beers at Wells Park only: L4 IPL, C&C IPA, F.Y.F.A. IPA, Dry Cider, Apple Cider, Berry Cider, Mustachio Milk Stout, Barley Wine. All of the Nob Hill seasonals are also at Wells Park, which has 24 total taps (Tractor’s five regular beers have two taps apiece). The Pilsner Roja is a crisp, Marzen-style beer that tastes good in the hot summer months. If you need a hop punch to the face, the F.Y.F.A. (F— Yeah Friday Ale) is a much more hop-forward IPA than what Tractor usually creates.

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

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

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

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

Beers: (House) McDay’s Cream Ale, Oku Amber, Parasol White IPA, Hopshell IPA, Piedra Lisa Porter. (Seasonal/specialty) Stars & Stripes American Lager, Blackberry Tart Cherry Wheat, The Fitzgerald Session IPA, N.B. SMaSH Pale Ale, Pork ‘n’ Brew Brown Ale, India Stupid Ale. To help us out for now and the future, brewer Tim Woodward broke down what will be the regular beers on tap (under House) and the current list of seasonals. That’s a pretty solid regular lineup. I personally really enjoyed the Porter and Amber, the latter of which trumps most of its genre in terms of flavor. The newest beers on tap are the Blackberry Tart Cherry Wheat and the India Stupid Ale, which is TMBC’s entry in the IPA Challenge.

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

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The two main themes from Round Two of the IPA Challenge tonight (Tuesday) at Roosevelt Brewing in Portales were 1) there was a great turnout (83 voters) and 2) those voters were all over the place in their selections.

The voting totals from Round Two in Portales. The number on the left was the beer's designation for the blind taste test. Voting totals are on the right.

The voting totals from Round Two in Portales. The number on the left was the beer’s designation for the blind taste test. Voting totals are on the right.

No brewery out of the 16 participants garnered more than 10 votes, while everyone had at least one vote. Santa Fe Brewing won the night with 10, while Marble was last (!) with just one vote. In between were a whole bushel of breweries, with the overall voting totals only changing ever so slightly in the overall order going into Sunday’s grand finale at Tractor Wells Park.

Bosque Brewing picked up seven votes to expand its overall lead to 41, while second-place Chama River picked up just three votes for 27 total and third-place Il Vicino added just two for 23 total. Fourth place now features a four-way tie between Blue Corn, La Cumbre, Santa Fe, and Tractor, all of whom have 18 votes total.

For the sake of reference, here are the overall voting totals. The first number in parentheses was the voting total from Saturday’s Round One at Second Street, with the Roosevelt/Round Two voting following.

  1. Bosque 41 votes (34/7)
  2. Chama River 27 (24/3)
  3. Il Vicino 23 (21/2)
  4. Blue Corn 18 (12/6)
  5. La Cumbre 18 (12/6)
  6. Santa Fe 18 (8/10)
  7. Tractor 18 (15/3)
  8. Second Street 17 (12/5)
  9. Marble 16 (15/1)
  10. Turtle Mountain 16 (14/2)
  11. Cazuela’s 14 (7/7)
  12. High Desert 14 (8/6)
  13. Kaktus 14 (5/9)
  14. Roosevelt 13 (5/8)
  15. Taos Mesa 13 (8/5)
  16. Nexus 7 (4/3)

As noted many times before, the final round of the IPA Challenge will be this Sunday at Tractor Wells Park (1800 N. 4th Street, for those who still haven’t been there) from noon to 4 p.m. Tickets are still available online at nmbeer.org and on site in advance and (if there are any left) at the door Sunday.

We will have our guide to how to survive the Challenge, should it be your first or if you’re looking to improve upon last year, this Friday.

Until then, we say good show, Portales. For a town of maybe 20,000 people (probably less), you had a solid turnout. Congrats to everyone at Roosevelt Brewing for helping to make that happen, and to the Brewers Guild, as always, for organizing this event.

See many of you Sunday afternoon.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Editor’s note: Welcome to the first story by a member of our new Brew Crew Bullpen. Luke, being our first Santa Fe-based writer, headed over to Second Street Brewery for Round One of the IPA Challenge on Saturday. His enthusiasm for this is shining through every part of this story. Enjoy! — Stoutmeister

16 breweries. One winner. No mercy.

IPA Challenge pic 1

The 2014 IPA Challenge got off to a great start this weekend at Second Street Brewery in Santa Fe.

Luke here, the newest member of the Bullpen and the Santa Fe correspondent. Another year for the battle of the IPAs, and bragging rights are once more on the line. But the IPA Challenge is about more than just bragging rights. Well, OK so it’s mostly about bragging rights in a state that hails its hoppiest hitters. But despite all the limits being pushed and the ingredients being tweaked, I’ve learned that the IPA Challenge makes brewers better brewers, and makes us beer drinkers better as well.

Sixteen breweries (listed in the photo below) brought specially brewed IPAs to Second Street Brewery in Santa Fe on Saturday to compete in the first leg of an event unique to our state. The 12th running of the NM IPA Challenge had such a wide spectrum of IPAs that there was something for everyone’s palate, making it easy for no one to choose just one favorite. The IPAs ranged everywhere from colorful and complex to pure Pinesol, from questionably sessionable to hardcore ABViolators, and finally from malt-forward monsters to absolute hoptomic bombs.

It was not an easy event to judge. With a tray of 16 IPA-filled tasters in front of me (only identified by numbers), it was hard not to be intimidated. Thankfully, Todd Yocham, head of brewing operations at Duel Brewing in Santa Fe, helped me find a more efficient way to judge and smudge, something akin to “Hot or Not” until you’ve found your fave. Duel Brewing did not participate in the event, but Todd is no stranger to how we do things out here in the Southwest, high noon style.

When asked if he wanted to brew a beer for the competition he said, “Oh hell, yeah! Yeah. We talked seriously about doing it this year, but with some other events and things, and we’re still small. It would take more time than we have at the moment.” Busy with their expansion plans (Stoutmeister will have more in The Week Ahead in Beer State Edition this Thursday), it’s only a matter of time before we’ll see something from Duel, and I can’t wait for them to toss their 10-gallon hats in the ring.

But for the brewers that are currently in the Challenge, they were certainly in it to win it, no matter what style of IPA they made. I got to speak with Rod Tweet, Second Street’s brewer, very briefly, as that part-man, part-brewing machine does not stop moving for more than a minute at a time. He told me about Second Street’s IPA: “We took our Pivotal IPA and leveraged it so it’s Fulcrum (IPA). We amped up the dry hopping for four extra points of gravity and used nine hops in the beer. There’s a lot of complexity in there. We’re real happy with it. We made one that we want to drink.”

James Warren, head brewer at Blue Corn, had a similar approach. “I tried to do something balanced,” he said. “We use a really nice base malt for it.” He then mentioned some surprising hops, which I won’t divulge until after folks in all three competition locations have had a taste.

And of course I had to ask James, since John Bullard won last year with his Resurgence IPA at Blue Corn just before he left for Bosque, was there any pressure on new head brewer to bring it back? “Absolutely!” he said. “I absolutely want to see it back at Blue Corn. But I’ve had so many great beers in the last three months that it’d be hard to be disappointed.” I asked what it meant to the brewery to win, and he said, “It’s great to me, as kind of the new guy in the New Mexico brew scene, to come out and do this, but it also means a lot to other people in the brewery, besides me, already having that trophy.” But in the end, he said, confidently, “I made a beer I wanted to make.” I can dig that.

The numbers listed before each beer were what they were marked as for the blind taste test. The numbers to the right are the voting totals.

The numbers listed before each beer were what they were marked as for the blind taste test. The numbers to the right are the voting totals.

Well folks, with the results in out of 204 votes cast between noon and 4 p.m., it seems that John has the lead so far and could be on his way to earning another trophy for his new brewery, Bosque. But as we all know, it ain’t over till it’s over. There are still the second and third legs of the competition at Roosevelt Brewing in Portales on Wednesday and at Tractor Wells Park in Albuquerque on Sunday. Who knows how the judges will cast their votes? Only tastes and time will tell.

But bragging rights aside, these competitions are great for the industry. Chris Goblet, of the New Mexico Brewers Guild said, “The brewers knew early on how fun it would be to have a competitive competition, a friendly competition amongst the brewers in a category that was really exciting and interesting. So in 2002, these folks came together and had the first challenge and we realized very quickly that it was a great opportunity to really get to know the style.

“And so we’ve talked about, in the future, doing other events like the ‘Peak of the Pisners’ or ‘Land of the Lagers,’ where we would be able to get people to really have the opportunity to taste multiple beers on the same platform, so they could really start to educate their palates as to the diversity of style and what a style should taste like.”

Todd added, “It’s really about the camaraderie of the brewing industry here in New Mexico, gettin’ together and throwin’ down. It’s not important who wins, but it kinda is! (laughs)”

All the participants that I spoke to seemed to be enjoying themselves as well. Local homebrewer and Sangre De Cristo Craft Brewers Club head Jim Steinbach said, “I had a hard time (to pick a winner). I had it down to about five. There were three that were what most people would consider a standard IPA and there were two kind of outstanding IPAs that I liked.” He also wanted to see Challenges for new styles like a stout challenge in the winter. (Way ahead of you there, Jim. — Stoutmeister) Non-IPA drinker Kyle, from Massachusetts, said it was easier now to pick the IPAs he liked, after trying 16 different ones. Chelsea, from Washington, DC., said it was much harder to pick a winner, being an IPA fan. And thanks to fellow bullpen member Reid for joining us in the midst of battle, and for those life-saving pretzels!

So what does all this all tell us? Bullard’s beers are tough hombres, tasting is teaching, and people from other states are here for the NM beer! So cheers and good luck to the brewers. May the hops be with you!

— Luke “Skyhopper”