Posts Tagged ‘Kaktus Brewing’

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

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

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

The big beer event of the week is WinterBrew up in Santa Fe on Friday, but that will get its own special article that I plan to run Thursday (with as many beer lists from the 17 participating breweries as I can get). The other big beer event of the week is Chama River’s 10th anniversary party, which will take place starting tonight (Wednesday) and run through Saturday. For those thinking “hey, they’ve been there for more than 10 years, haven’t they?” you are partially right. Chama originally opened as Blue Corn Albuquerque, but they changed the name, the menu, and more back in 2005, so that’s the anniversary they are celebrating. Tonight is Pint Night, where 10 percent of all beer sales will be donated to Big Brothers, Big Sisters. Thursday is the anniversary beer dinner. It’s $65 per person and by the time you read this they might be sold out, but check and see by calling 505-342-1800. It’s a six-course meal paired up with six beers. It will also be the first chance for folks to purchase bombers of the De-cen-ni-ale barrel-aged imperial stout. That monster of a beer (I got an advance sample from brewer Zach Guilmette, it might be the biggest, thickest, meanest barrel-aged imperial stout in New Mexico history; I’m not kidding, it’s straight up Kaiju monstrous) will then be available for sale starting Friday. Saturday will then be the 10th Anniversary Reception from 7 to 10 p.m., with live music, beer samples, and appetizers. Finally, Sunday will see a Chama tap takeover at the Draft Station ABQ, with proceeds to benefit Animal Humane New Mexico. You can even stop by and adopt a dog or cat from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Find a best friend and grab a pint? Win-win.

On the new beer front, things are picking up this week. Back Alley has fresh batches of Pre-Prohibition Malt Tonic and Poth’s Pilsner. Boxing Bear has busted out the Black Eye-PA. Chama River is tapping the Collaborator Doppelbock that they made with Blue Corn (it’s on tap there as well), plus the De-cen-ni-ale Russian Imperial Stout will be on tap by week’s end. Kaktus tapped Chinook IPA and Czech Pilz. La Cumbre’s Bohemian from Burque will go on later this week. Marble busted out some 2013 Imperial Stout and also has a Quad on tap. Nexus is getting into the DIPA game with Nexus Maximus. Pi has a fresh batch of ESB plus the new Peppermint Porter and Pumpkin Abbey Ale. Tractor is going big with the Double Sickle DIPA. Turtle Mountain has unleashed three new seasonals in the Munich Dunkel, Battle Royale Red, and Phantom Sun Pale Ale.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn has Gee-Eyed Stout, an Irish dry stout. Second Street has Mosaic IPA and the award-winning Rod’s Steam Bitter back on tap. Down in Socorro, Twisted Chile has a fresh batch of KC’s Traditional Irish Stout plus the new Swartzbar Black Lager.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of Jan. 19.

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

Albuquerque metro area breweries

ABQ Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

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

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

Back Alley Draft House — (505) 766-8590

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

Beers: Pre-Prohibition Malt Tonic, Poth’s Pilsner, Ladron’s Con Fuego, Back Alley Red, California Common, Soroche IPA. In case you missed it, we recently interviewed BADH’s new brewer, Brandon Venaglia. There are some exciting times coming, including a possible expansion. The Malt Tonic and Poth’s Pilsner are back after a short absence.

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

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: Prospector Milk Stout (all locations), Rio Grande Tortoise Black IPA (brewery only), Old Man Jameson (brewery and Nob Hill only), Acequia IPA, Pumpkin Spiced Ale, Whirlpool Lager (brewery and Las Cruces only), Bosque Dark Lager, Chocolate Brown (Nob Hill only), Jet Black Winter, Olde Bosky Porter (Las Cruces only). The GABF bronze medal-winning Acequia (6.5% ABV, 90 IBU) is back on tap. The Whirlpool Lager (5.9% ABV, 45 IBU) is a Mosaic-infused blast of happy. It hits you with big hop flavor at the beginning and then washes out with some sweet, smooth malts on the back end. It’s a uniquely wonderful beer. The Old Man Jameson (5.2% ABV, 18 IBU) is a tasty Scottish-style Export; think of it as a session version of Scotia Scotch Ale. The Bosque Lager will now be on tap year round, replacing the Kindling, which moves to the seasonal list (this is much as Driftwood Oatmeal Stout replaced Olde Bosky earlier this year). I got to try the Prospector Milk Stout (6.5% ABV, 20 IBU) when it debuted recently. It’s smooth as silk and a little less sweet and more robust than most milk stouts. It still retains a lot of stout character, which is a nice change from the more Left Hand-influenced versions. The Rio Grande Tortoise (6.5% ABV, 80 IBU) was brewed in collaboration with Turtle Mountain and is available at both breweries. The PSA is nearly out, so hurry over to help finish it off so a new beer can be tapped.

Cask: We’re waiting to hear what will be available this Friday.

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

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

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

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

Beers: Paw Swipe Pale Ale, Hairy Mit Hefe, Standing 8 Stout, Ambear Ale, Uppercut IPA, Chocolate Milk Stout, Iron Lung Smoked Porter, Black Eye-PA, Apple Bear Hard Cider. The Chocolate Milk Stout is hugely popular with Boxing Bear regulars, so hurry over before they drink it all up. The Iron Lung Smoked Porter (6.1% ABV) and Apple Bear Hard Cider (5% ABV) went on tap recently. The Black Eye-PA (6.2% ABV) is hoppy yet malty black IPA. Two of the Crew’s favorites are the Standing 8 Stout (6.3% ABV, 45 IBU) and Ambear Ale (5.2% ABV, 35 IBU).

Cask: Word is that Boxing Bear is taking a short break from casks. When they return, we’ll let you know.

News: Boxing Bear now has a happy hour. 10-, 16-, and 22-ounce beers are all discounted from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Growler Happy Hour then runs from 6 p.m. to close on those nights. Get $2 off a growler fill and $1 off a half-growler (they call ‘em “squealers”).

Also, every day at lunchtime (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), for just $10 you can get a pint and a panini of your choice.

Events: Karaoke Night on Wednesdays at Boxing Bear is no more. They will look for another weekly event in the future.

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: Cracked Cork Barley Wine, End of Days Tripel, Twig and Berries Sahti, Drunken Hobo Milk Stout, Tom Selleck Ale, Rip Van Winkle Vanilla Stout, Nacho Brau. The Drunken Hobo will soon replace the Mulligan Stout in the regular lineup, or so Franz Solo was told when he visited recently. The Nacho Brau is another of Franz’s favorite seasonals. Get over to BBB before he drinks it all up. Two old favorites are back in the burly Cracked Cork and End of Days. New to the menu is Twig and Berries. A Sahti is a Finnish style of beer using some unique grains as well as juniper berries. If you’re one of the lucky few to not be allergic to junipers, have at it!

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

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737

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

Beers: Irish Red, Pils Plz, Wine Barrel-Aged Belgian Golden, White Shine (White Wine), Sasquatch Scotch, Dark Side Baltic Porter, Schwarzbier, Black Rye PA, Panama Joe (aged in bourbon barrels). This year’s edition of Solstice Blackout is now available — Sasquatch, DS Baltic, Schwarzbier, Black Rye PA, Panama Joe are all on tap plus the Dark-n-Lusty Stout. It’s all six beers in sample format for $6. Trust us, it’s worth it, but it’s almost done for the year as the Panama Joe is nearly out (to be replaced by a TBD beer). Again, a huge thank you to head brewer Brady McKeown for letting us brew our Baltic Porter on his system. The resulting beer is a burly blast of smokiness, plus chocolate and toffee. Let it warm a tad (we recommend a full pint) and you will get a massive, multi-flavor profile. As for the rest, we loved the malty sweetness of this year’s Sasquatch. The Schwarzbier is a tart, earthy little beer. The Black Rye PA is pretty much a blast of rye goodness. And the Panama Joe, aged in bourbon barrels, needs a bit of warming to help the coffee and stout flavors catch up to the bourbon. Don’t worry, all of these dark beers are worth it. At least, we think so.

News: The last barrel-aged beer in the back, waiting to be tapped, is American Stock Ale in rum barrels.

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

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

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

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

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

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

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

Beers: Rise ‘n Shine Breakfast Stout, Collaborator Doppelbock, Gold Pale Ale, Coney Pale Ale. The Collaborator (7% ABV, 25 IBU) was brewed with the team at Blue Corn; it replaces the Rye on the Hog. Chama recently brewed up Rise ‘n Shine (5.8% ABV, 30 IBU), a traditional breakfast stout. Also debuting recently was the Gold Pale Ale (5% ABV, 45 IBU). The Coney Pale Ale (5.5% ABV, 45 IBU) is a mellow but still punchy little delight made with Mosaic and Falconer’s Flight hops, but it will soon be replaced by the De-cen-ni-ale Russian Imperial Stout (10% ABV, 85 IBU), which was aged in bourbon barrels.

Events: Chama River’s 10th anniversary blowout party begins tonight. For more info, see above or check their Facebook page.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

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

Beers: James Blonde, Winter Warmer Ale, I’ll Be Bock, ESB, Traditional Amber, Chinook IPA, Oatmeal Stout, Czech Pilz. The Chinook IPA and Czech Pilz joined the lineup this past week, joining a lot of other recent additions to taps. Sounds like a trip up I-25 may be in order soon. Kaktus is located at 471 South Hill Road in Bernalillo, for those who have still not made the trek.

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: Cafe Con Leche, Munchener Dunkel, Simcoe Pale Ale, Dunkel Jefe, La Llorona Baltic Porter. This year’s batch of Cafe Con Leche (7.8% ABV, 30 IBU) is a standout, or so says Franz Solo and I. It’s available on tap and for sale in bombers. Brandon and I enjoyed the outstanding La Llorona Baltic Porter (8.9% ABV, 45 IBU). The Simcoe Pale Ale (5.5% ABV, 37 IBU) and Dunkel Jefe (5.4% ABV, 15 IBU) are back, but that Dunkel is nearly out, soon to be replaced by Bohemian from Burque. Oh, and don’t panic about Project Dank and Red Ryeot no longer appearing here as seasonals. They are now part of La Cumbre’s regular lineup.

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

Events: On the live music front, Ziatron performs Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m.

Yoga is back at the taproom every Sunday at 10:45 a.m.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

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

Beers: Whiptail Weisse, Bluetail Blonde, Horned Honey Pale, Reptilian IPA, Chameleon Amber, Basilisk Brown, Sanddigger Dubbel, Desert Night India Black Ale, Black Bearded Rye Stout, Smoot-tailed Oatmeal Stout, Prairie Lizard Porter, Biscochito Brown, Belgian Strong Dark, Belgian Abbey. Lizard Tail is up to 14 beers with a fresh batch of Belgian Abbey (7.1% ABV, 25 IBU). That and the Belgian Dark Strong (9.7% ABV, 30 IBU) are the newest additions, as one can probably tell since they have yet to be given lizard-themed names like the rest of the lineup. So far Lizard Tail has shown themselves to be more malt-forward than hop-centric. The oatmeal stout and porter are solid, while the IBA has shown improvement since its debut.

News: Lizard Tail’s happy hour runs seven days a week from 3 to 6 p.m. You get $1 off food, flights, and pints.

Take note that Lizard Tail now opens at noon every day.

Events: Lizard Tail will host Geeks Who Drink every Tuesday at 8 p.m.

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739

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

UPDATED >>> Beers: Double IPA, 2014 Imperial Stout, 2013 Imperial Stout, Quad. The Brett IPA (6.8% ABV) and Barley Wine (10% ABV) are available in bombers but are not on tap anymore. The nitro tap is currently empty after you all drank up all the Porter. This year’s batch of Imperial Stout (11% ABV) is a big, bold beast of a beer. If the bourbon flavor is too much, just let it warm for a bit and it will mellow out and the stout flavors will come forward. And if you feel like a taste comparison, some 2013 Imperial Stout (11% ABV) is back for a limited time. New to taps is a hefty Quad (10.3% ABV), a big old blast of Belgian bad-assery. There is also the rotating “black handle,” which tends to feature some impressive “secret” beers.

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

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

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100

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

Beers: Dry Stout, Nexus Maximus, Warp 10 Golden Strong, Beam Me Up Scottish. The new Beam Me Up (9.5% ABV, 32 IBU) uses the same malt bill as the first batch from three years ago, but with a modified hop mix. The result will set it apart from the first two versions. Brewer Kaylynn McKnight has just unleashed Nexus Maximus (7.6% ABV, 100 IBU), a big old DIPA that will have you chanting its name like you’re back in the Roman Coliseum. The Dry Stout is bold and thick, the kind of burly beer you want in the winter (or year-round if you’re like us). Another fairly recent addition to taps is the Warp 10 Golden Strong, an English-style golden ale.

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.

While “The Walking Dead” is done until February, you can still play Walking Dead pinball in Nexus’ community room. It’s one of four pinball machines now available for some nostalgic fun.

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: PiPA, West Coast Red, Bourbon Vanilla Porter, Pre-Prohibition Pilsner, ESB, Peppermint Porter, Pumpkin Abbey Ale. While Pi Brewing is not open to the public yet, they are able to brew and serve their beers next door at Nicky V’s. The IPA and West Coast Red are both good hoppy beers. We’ll keep tabs on when Pi itself opens. For now, grab a pint and some tasty Italian food. The PiPA will now be a regular beer, replacing the Unchallenged IPA. The scrumptious Bourbon Vanilla Porter is back, replacing the Robust Porter. New to taps this week are the Peppermint Porter and Pumpkin Abbey Ale, while a fresh batch of ESB is on tap as well.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

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

Beers: Ghost Train IPA, Rip Saw Red, Crosscut Kolsch, Dunkelblitzen, Chocolate Pumpkin Porter, Marbelous (Imperial Rice Lager), Nikolaus Spiced Lager, Bavarian Belle Hefeweizen, Imperial Sawmill Stout, The Dark Demon ICDA. Ponderosa is located at 1761 Bellamah NW, which is just east of Rio Grande and due north of the NM Natural History Museum, in the bottom floor of a swanky-looking apartment/retail complex. New to taps is The Dark Demon (8% ABV, 110 IBU), an imperial Cascadian dark ale (basically a black IPA). The Marbelous (7% ABV, 32 IBU) was brewed as a tribute to Marble’s Ted Rice, whose staff has helped Ponderosa in their early months of existence. The Nikolaus (5.2% ABV, 30 IBU) is a Weihnachtsbier, a traditional Bavarian dark lager brewed for the holidays. The Bavarian Belle Hefeweizen (4.8% ABV, 15 IBU) debuted recently and may become a regular fixture in the lineup. Brace yourselves for the new Imperial Sawmill Stout (8.2% ABV, 65 IBU).

News: The next batch of brews will include Dunkelweizen and Ella Single Hop Pale Ale.

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675

(Mon–Thurs 2 p.m. to midnight, Fri–Sun noon to midnight)

Beers: (Regular) Gateway Blonde Ale, Roamer Red, Threshold IPA, Paint it Black Milk Stout, Unhinged Cider, Trappe Door Wheat. (Seasonal) Strong Scotch Ale, Stormtrooper Imperial IPA, O.D.B. (Oaked Dark Belgian). The first Red Door seasonal, Strong Scotch Ale, finally has some company with the new Stormtrooper (8.4% ABV, 110 IBU), the biggest beer they have brewed to date. The O.D.B. is quite a treat as well. The Trappe Door Wheat, a Belgian-style if you couldn’t guess by the name, replaces the Trapdoor Wheat in the regular lineup. After a short absence, the Unhinged Cider is back on tap.

News: Take note of Red Door’s new weekday schedule for the winter months as they will now open at 2 p.m. instead of noon. Weekend hours remain the same.

Red Door received a new shipment of their popular red T-shirts recently, so head on over and buy a few.

Sandia Chile Grill — (505) 798-1970

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

Beers: Irish Red, Rattlesnake IPA, Smoked Stout. We’re still trying to get a current beer list from SCG. If we get one, we’ll update the list.

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

The Stumbling Steer — (505) 792-7805

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

Beers: Bang Up Blonde, Hefferweizen, Pig Sticker Pale, Iron Horse IPA, Rawhide Red, Boneyard Brown, Hop Trough (Double IPA), Soiled Dove (Imperial Stout), Black IPA. While the brewery is being built in the back of the Steer, all of their house beers are being brewed off-site, but still using brewer Kirk Roberts’ recipes. The DIPA and the Stout are limited to two per customer, due to their high alcohol content (10% and 9.5% ABV, respectively). The Black IPA is the current seasonal beer, plus there are often one or two cask beers.

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

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

UPDATED >>> Beers at Nob Hill: Little Red Rye-ding Hood, Mustachio Milk Stout, Pilsner #15, Berry Cider, Barn Burner Pale Ale, Chocolate Milk Stout.

UPDATED >>> Beers at Wells Park only: Jack the Sipper, Double Sickle DIPA, Apple Cider, Ebony & Ivory, Turkey Drool. 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). We love us some Turkey Drool (8% ABV) this time of year. It’s a brown ale with all sorts of holiday-themed spices and other added ingredients. This year’s batch is arguably the best yet. The wonderful Lauren Poole also showed us that if you mix the Drool with Mustachio to create Turkey Milk, it’s absolutely stupendous. The Little Red (5.8% ABV) has a malty rye kick and is just $2 a pint. Jack the Sipper (7% ABV) is Tractor’s take on a spiced pumpkin ale. The new Double Sickle DIPA (7.6% ABV, 110 IBU) is not an overwhelming hop bomb, but has a nice malty backbone to balance itself out. The Chocolate Milk Stout should tide over your sweet tooth. The Barn Burner (6% ABV, 52 IBU) is a bitter little pale ale that uses 40 pounds of El Dorado hops. The Ebony & Ivory (5.5% ABV, 25 IBU) is a “pale stout,” made with pale malt, pale chocolate malt, and caramel malt. It smells like a stout, but tastes like something a little different. Also look for fresh batches of the Pilsner #15 at both locations.

News: Congrats to Tractor and their Mustachio Milk Stout, which won in the Best of Albuquerque competition from ABQ the Magazine.

Mustachio’s bigger, meaner brother, Luna de los Muertos Russian Imperial Stout, is aging in the back, including some in a barrel. Oh, man, that could kill us … but we’d die happy.

Currently, all pints of Little Red RYE-ding Hood are just $2 and you can fill your growler for just $5. Time to make room for a new beer on tap!

Events: The pLOUD music series is back at Wells Park on Thursday with Moonhat going on at 8 p.m.

This Saturday features the return of the In the Mix series with Cloudface spinning at 9 p.m.

Tractor will be pouring beers during many of the events at the Revolutions Theater Festival. Check out the calendar for more info.

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

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

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

Beers: (House) McDay’s Cream Ale, Oku Amber, Parasol White IPA, Hopshell IPA, Heidelberg Helles, Stauffenburg Stout. (Seasonal/specialty) Cafe Bella Coffee Porter, Munich Dunkel, Battle Royale Red, Phantom Sun Pale 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 new Stauffenburg Stout (it replaced the Piedra Lisa Porter in the regular lineup) and Amber, the latter of which trumps most of its genre in terms of flavor. The Heidelberg Helles (5.1% ABV, 25 IBU) has rejoined the regular lineup for good, or so Tim hopes. The newer beers here are the Dunkel (4.7% ABV), Phantom Sun (4.8% ABV), and Battle Royale (6.5% ABV). The red is hoppier than most, more akin to Marble’s Red than an Irish red. The Phantom Sun is a tart little sucker. The Dunkel is comparable to the one at La Cumbre.

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Monks Mesa (Belgian Blonde), Toro Blanco White DIPA, Collaborator Doppelbock, Gee-Eyed (Dry Irish) Stout. The Monks Mesa (4.5% ABV, 15 IBU) is a Belgian blonde table beer. The Toro Blanco White DIPA (9.1% ABV, 100+ IBU) is not to be taken lightly. The Collaborator (7% ABV, 25 IBU) was made with the brewing team at Chama River and is available now at both locations. The new stout (4% ABV, 40 IBU) should be at WinterBrew.

News: Blue Corn just brewed up this year’s batch of Barley Wine. It should be on tap in a few weeks. Check their Facebook page for pictures. Also on deck is a Scottish export.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

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

Beers: What WOOD Amber Do (Barrel-Aged Amber Ale), Fiction (IPA), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Marcel (Witbier), Whistler (Blonde), Titian (Golden Strong), Dark Ryder (Dark Strong), Goya (Imperial Stout). The lineup got a shakeup recently with some big beers joining the rotation. Dark Ryder and Tititan check in at 11-percent ABV, while Goya (15.9% ABV) is a monster of a beer. You can buy Goya in bombers at the brewery or down in ABQ at Jubilation. The most recent addition to taps is What WOOD Amber Do, which has to be the first barrel-aged amber we have seen. Hopefully brewer Todd Yocham will bring some to WinterBrew so we can try it. (HINT!)

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

Duel has live music this Friday and Saturday. First on Friday, David Berkeley will perform with Ben Wright, Paul Feathericci, and Josh Martin starting at 7 p.m. Saturday will feature Karen Jonas performing also at 7 p.m.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

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

Beers: Double White IPA, Black IPA, Deviator Doppelbock, Full Mast Kilt Scottish Ale. The first beer in the new Ever Changing Series is a Double White IPA, which Luke of the Brew Crew bullpen recently reviewed. The Kriek, which won a bronze medal at GABF this year, is on sale around the state in bombers. It will soon be on tap in Albuquerque for the first time. Look for it today at Nob Hill Bar & Grill and Thursday at Rock and Brews.

Events: $1 off growler refills in the tasting room on Mondays. $2 pint Tuesdays at the Eldorado Taphouse. On Wednesday, there is a $2 pint special in the tasting room, and the Sangre de Cristo Craft Brewers’ Meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the tasting room as well on the third Wednesday of every month. On Thursday, there will be $1 off growler refills at the Eldorado Taphouse.

News: SFBC will soon be opening a taproom in Albuquerque. Here are all the details that Luke could find. It sounds promising.

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

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

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Cream Stout, Rod’s Best Bitter, Boneshaker Bitter, Pivotal IPA, Mosaic Pale Ale, Mosaic IPA, Rod’s Steam Bitter. Get ready for fresh batches of the Mosaic IPA and Steam Bitter, which won a medal at the 2013 GABF. Right now Second Street pretty much covers everything from hoppy to medium malty to their classic Cream Stout. The Pivotal IPA and Boneshaker Bitter are often available for purchase in four-packs of cans.

Events: Every Wednesday night, the Railyard location will have Open Mic Night hosted by Ben Wright.

Live music is back this week at both locations. At the original location, the Gregg Daigle Band plays Friday and Broomdust Caravan performs Saturday. MVIII Unplugged will be at the Railyard location Friday and Blues Revue performs Saturday.

Other breweries you need to visit

Twisted Chile Brewing — (575) 835-2949

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

Beers: Pilabo Pale Ale, Venom IPA, English Porter, Zia Pilsner, 790 IPA, Hose Co. 1 Red Lager, KC’s Traditional Irish Stout, Swartzbar Black Lager. Located in Socorro at 115 Abeyta St. W, Twisted Chile is the first brewery there to brew on site since Socorro Springs outsourced their brewing to Eddyline in Colorado several years ago. I got to head down there recently and enjoyed all the beers I sampled. Kudos to Twisted Chile for bring quality craft beers back to a town that needed ‘em. The newest beers on tap are the Irish Stout and Black Lager, the latter of which is brand new. Other recent additions are the 790 IPA (7% ABV) and the Hose Co. 1 Red Lager (6% ABV). The Zia Pilsner (5.25% ABV) is done in the German style. The Venom IPA (8.2% ABV) is the biggest beer on tap, as the name might imply.

Events: Tonight (Wednesday) is Open Mic Night hosted by Johnny Dean starting at 6 p.m. There will be food and drink specials.

* * * *

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

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

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

There are quiet a few special tappings and events this week, with thankfully none of them happening on the same night. Tonight (Wednesday) is the Cuvee Rouge Release Party at all three Marble locations. The tapping of this special sour is at noon, but things really kick off at 5 p.m. at the downtown pub. The Cuvee Rouge will be paired with crispy duck egg rolls served by Street Food Institute. Meanwhile, this Thursday is the annual Defrost Fest at Blue Corn’s southside location in Santa Fe. The event pairs up cask beers from multiple breweries with special food dishes created by Blue Corn’s chef David Sundberg. It begins at 6 p.m. and costs $20 per person. You get three-ounce samples of each cask beer, plus a pint of your favorite, and appetizers. The casks are from Blue Corn, Bosque, Chama River, Duel, Santa Fe, and Second Street. RSVP by calling 505-438-1800 or emailing manager@bluecornbrewery.com. You can find more info on their Facebook page. If that’s not enough for you, Santa Fe is serving up four specialty beers dredged up from the cellar for Martin Luther King Day (Monday) from noon to 10 p.m. The beers are Whiskey Barrel Stout, Hot Hef (Green Chile Hefeweizen), Kicken Chicken (barrel-aged sour version), and Wet Hop IPA (made with New Mexico-grown Latir hops).

On the new beer front, it’s a very quiet week. Bosque has a new Dark Lager at their Nob Hill taproom. La Cumbre is getting a little German with a fresh batch of Munchener Dunkel.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn will tap a Collaboration Doppelbock and a Dry Irish Stout on Saturday. Second Street has fresh batches of Mosaic Pale Ale, Pivotal IPA, and Huell Melon Pilsner.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of Jan. 12.

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

Albuquerque metro area breweries

ABQ Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

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

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

Back Alley Draft House — (505) 766-8590

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

Beers: Ladron’s Peak, Ladron’s Con Fuego, Back Alley Red, California Common, Witbier, Soroche IPA. In case you missed it, we recently interviewed BADH’s new brewer, Brandon Venaglia. There are some exciting times coming, including a possible expansion. The Red, Cali Common, Wit, and IPA are all back after a short absence.

Events: Sundays will now be Service Nights at Back Alley, with $2 off all beers for service industry workers.

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: Prospector Milk Stout (all locations), Rio Grande Tortoise Black IPA (brewery only), Old Man Jameson (brewery and Nob Hill only), Acequia IPA, Pumpkin Spiced Ale, Whirlpool Lager (brewery and Las Cruces only), Bosque Dark Lager, Chocolate Brown (Nob Hill only), Jet Black Winter, Olde Bosky Porter (Las Cruces only). The GABF bronze medal-winning Acequia (6.5% ABV, 90 IBU) is back on tap. The Whirlpool Lager (5.9% ABV, 45 IBU) is a Mosaic-infused blast of happy. It hits you with big hop flavor at the beginning and then washes out with some sweet, smooth malts on the back end. It’s a uniquely wonderful beer. The Old Man Jameson (5.2% ABV, 18 IBU) is a tasty Scottish-style Export; think of it as a session version of Scotia Scotch Ale. The Bosque Lager will now be on tap year round, replacing the Kindling, which moves to the seasonal list (this is much as Driftwood Oatmeal Stout replaced Olde Bosky earlier this year). I got to try the Prospector Milk Stout (6.5% ABV, 20 IBU) when it debuted recently. It’s smooth as silk and a little less sweet and more robust than most milk stouts. It still retains a lot of stout character, which is a nice change from the more Left Hand-influenced versions. The Rio Grande Tortoise (6.5% ABV, 80 IBU) was brewed in collaboration with Turtle Mountain and is available at both breweries. The PSA is nearly out, so hurry over to help finish it off so a new beer can be tapped.

Cask: We’re waiting to hear what will be on tap this Friday, if anything considering the holiday.

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

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

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

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

Beers: Paw Swipe Pale Ale, Hairy Mit Hefe, Standing 8 Stout, Ambear Ale, Uppercut IPA, Chocolate Milk Stout, Iron Lung Smoked Porter, Apple Bear Hard Cider. The Chocolate Milk Stout is hugely popular with Boxing Bear regulars, so hurry over before they drink it all up. The Iron Lung Smoked Porter and Apple Bear Hard Cider (5% ABV) went on tap recently. Two of the Crew’s favorites are the Standing 8 Stout (6.3% ABV, 45 IBU) and Ambear Ale (5.2% ABV, 35 IBU).

Cask: Word is that Boxing Bear is taking a short break from casks. When they return, we’ll let you know.

News: Boxing Bear now has a happy hour. 10-, 16-, and 22-ounce beers are all discounted from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Growler Happy Hour then runs from 6 p.m. to close on those nights. Get $2 off a growler fill and $1 off a half-growler (they call ‘em “squealers”).

Also, every day at lunchtime (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), for just $10 you can get a pint and a panini of your choice.

Events: Every Wednesday (except today) is now Karaoke Night at Boxing Bear. It runs from 6 to 10 p.m.

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: Cracked Cork Barley Wine, End of Days Tripel, Twig and Berries Sahti, Drunken Hobo Milk Stout, Tom Selleck Ale, Rip Van Winkle Vanilla Stout, Nacho Brau. The Drunken Hobo will soon replace the Mulligan Stout in the regular lineup, or so Franz Solo was told when he visited recently. The Nacho Brau is another of Franz’s favorite seasonals. Get over to BBB before he drinks it all up. Two old favorites are back in the burly Cracked Cork and End of Days. New to the menu is Twig and Berries. A Sahti is a Finnish style of beer using some unique grains as well as juniper berries. If you’re one of the lucky few to not be allergic to junipers, have at it!

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

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737

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

Beers: Irish Red, Pils Plz, Wine Barrel-Aged Belgian Golden, White Shine (White Wine), Sasquatch Scotch, Dark Side Baltic Porter, Schwarzbier, Black Rye PA, Panama Joe (aged in bourbon barrels). This year’s edition of Solstice Blackout is now available — Sasquatch, DS Baltic, Schwarzbier, Black Rye PA, Panama Joe are all on tap plus the Dark-n-Lusty Stout. It’s all six beers in sample format for $6. Trust us, it’s worth it. Again, a huge thank you to Brady McKeown for letting us brew our Baltic Porter on his system. The resulting beer is a burly blast of smokiness, plus chocolate and toffee. Let it warm a tad (we recommend a full pint) and you will get a massive, multi-flavor profile. As for the rest, we loved the malty sweetness of this year’s Sasquatch. The Schwarzbier is a tart, earthy little beer. The Black Rye PA is pretty much a blast of rye goodness. And the Panama Joe, aged in bourbon barrels, needs a bit of warming to help the coffee and stout flavors catch up to the bourbon. Don’t worry, all of these dark beers are worth it. At least, we think so.

News: The last barrel-aged beer in the back, waiting to be tapped, is American Stock Ale in rum barrels.

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

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

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

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

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

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

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

Beers: Rise ‘n Shine Breakfast Stout, Rye on the Hog, Gold Pale Ale, Coney Pale Ale. Chama has brewed up Rise ‘n Shine (5.8% ABV, 30 IBU), a traditional breakfast stout. Also debuting recently are Rye on the Hog (7.3% ABV, 35 IBU) and Gold Pale Ale (5% ABV, 45 IBU). The Coney Pale Ale (5.5% ABV, 45 IBU) is a mellow but still punchy little delight made with Mosaic and Falconer’s Flight hops.

News: Chama River’s 10th anniversary blowout party begins Jan. 21 and runs through Jan. 25. It will include a special pint night, a beer dinner, a tap takeover at Draft Station, and, oh yeah, the debut of “De-Cenn-I-Ale,” a monstrous imperial stout that will be bottled (!) in addition to being on tap. I got to have an advance taste, so when I say monstrous, I’m talking Godzilla. Straight up Kaiju, folks. You’ve been warned. We’ll have more details as we get closer to the dates in question.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

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

Beers: James Blonde, Winter Warmer Ale, I’ll Be Bock, ESB, Traditional Amber, Maltz IPA, Roaster London Porter, Oatmeal Stout. There was another big tap turnover recently. Gone are the Gunslinger Brown, Helles, Red, German Alt, Jabberwocky IPA, and Peppermint Stout. The newest guys are the Winter Warmer, I’ll Be Bock, Traditional Amber, Maltz IPA, and Oatmeal Stout. Sounds like a trip up I-25 may be in order soon. Kaktus is located at 471 South Hill Road in Bernalillo, for those who have still not made the trek.

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: Cafe Con Leche, Munchener Dunkel, Simcoe Pale Ale, Dunkel Jefe, La Llorona Baltic Porter. This year’s batch of Cafe Con Leche (7.8% ABV, 30 IBU) is a standout, or says Franz Solo. It’s even on cask right now in addition to being available on a regular tap and in bombers. Brandon and I were equally complimentary of the outstanding La Llorona Baltic Porter (8.9% ABV, 45 IBU). The Simcoe Pale Ale (5.5% ABV, 37 IBU) and Dunkel Jefe (5.4% ABV, 15 IBU) are back as you all drank up the supply of the 4th Anniversary Barley Wine and the Gracias Por Fumar. Oh, and don’t panic about Project Dank and Red Ryeot no longer appearing here as seasonals. They are now part of La Cumbre’s regular lineup.

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

Events: On the live music front, Jade Masque performs Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m.

Yoga is back at the taproom Sunday at 10:45 a.m.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

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

Beers: Whiptail Weisse, Bluetail Blonde, Horned Honey Pale, Reptilian IPA, Chameleon Amber, Basilisk Brown, Sanddigger Dubbel, Desert Night India Black Ale, Black Bearded Rye Stout, Smoot-tailed Oatmeal Stout, Prairie Lizard Porter, Biscochito Brown, Belgian Strong Dark, Belgian Abbey. Lizard Tail is up to 14 beers with a fresh batch of Belgian Abbey (7.1% ABV, 25 IBU). That and the Belgian Dark Strong (9.7% ABV, 30 IBU) are the newest additions, as one can probably tell since they have yet to be given lizard-themed names like the rest of the lineup. So far Lizard Tail has shown themselves to be more malt-forward than hop-centric. The oatmeal stout and porter are solid, while the IBA has shown improvement since its debut.

News: Lizard Tail’s happy hour runs seven days a week from 3 to 6 p.m. You get $1 off food, flights, and pints.

Take note that Lizard Tail now opens at noon every day.

Events: Lizard Tail will host Geeks Who Drink every Tuesday at 8 p.m.

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739

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

Beers: Double White, Imperial Red, Pumpkin Noir, Imperial Stout, Brett IPA, Barley Wine, Nitro Porter, Cuvee Rouge. The Brett IPA (6.8% ABV) and Barley Wine (10% ABV) are available on tap and in bombers. The Nitro Porter is the latest entry in what Marble hopes will be a consistent series of beers on the nitro tap. This year’s batch of Imperial Stout (11% ABV) is a big, bold beast of a beer. If the bourbon flavor is too much, just let it warm for a bit and it will mellow out and the stout flavors will come forward. There is also the rotating “black handle,” which tends to feature some impressive “secret” beers. The Double White and Imperial Red brought home gold medals from GABF.

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

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

For more on the Cuvee Rouge release party tonight (Wednesday), see the intro above.

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100

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

Beers: Dry Stout, 2013 Barley Wine, Warp 10 Golden Strong, Beam Me Up Scottish. The new Beam Me Up (9.5% ABV, 32 IBU) uses the same malt bill as the first batch from three years ago, but with a modified hop mix. The result will set it apart from the first two versions. Brewer Kaylynn McKnight popped an aged keg or two of the Barley Wine. We’ve been able to get over there and try the Dry Stout and came away quite impressed. The Dry Stout is bold and thick, the kind of burly beer you want in the winter (or year-round if you’re like us). The second most recent addition to taps is the Warp 10 Golden Strong, an English-style golden ale.

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.

While “The Walking Dead” is done until February, you can still play Walking Dead pinball in Nexus’ community room. It’s one of four pinball machines now available for some nostalgic fun.

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: PiPA, West Coast Red, Bourbon Vanilla Porter, Lost Grain English Summer Ale, Pre-Prohibition Pilsner. While Pi Brewing is not open to the public yet, they are able to brew and serve their beers next door at Nicky V’s. The IPA and West Coast Red are both good hoppy beers. We’ll keep tabs on when Pi itself opens. For now, grab a pint and some tasty Italian food. The PiPA will now be a regular beer, replacing the Unchallenged IPA. The scrumptious Bourbon Vanilla Porter is back, replacing the Robust Porter.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

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

Beers: Ghost Train IPA, Rip Saw Red, Crosscut Kolsch, Dunkelblitzen, Chocolate Pumpkin Porter, Marbelous (Imperial Rice Lager), Nikolaus Spiced Lager, Bavarian Belle Hefeweizen, Imperial Sawmill Stout. Ponderosa is located at 1761 Bellamah NW, which is just east of Rio Grande and due north of the NM Natural History Museum, in the bottom floor of a swanky-looking apartment/retail complex. The Marbelous (7% ABV, 32 IBU) was brewed as a tribute to Marble’s Ted Rice, whose staff has helped Ponderosa in their early months of existence. The Nikolaus (5.2% ABV, 30 IBU) is a Weihnachtsbier, a traditional Bavarian dark lager brewed for the holidays. The Bavarian Belle Hefeweizen (4.8% ABV, 15 IBU) debuted recently and may become a regular fixture in the lineup. Brace yourselves for the new Imperial Sawmill Stout (8.2% ABV, 65 IBU).

News: The next batch of brews will include Dunkelweizen and Ella Single Hop Pale Ale.

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675

(Mon–Thurs 2 p.m. to midnight, Fri–Sun noon to midnight)

Beers: (Regular) Gateway Blonde Ale, Roamer Red, Threshold IPA, Paint it Black Milk Stout, Unhinged Cider, Trappe Door Wheat. (Seasonal) Strong Scotch Ale, Stormtrooper Imperial IPA, O.D.B. (Oaked Dark Belgian). The first Red Door seasonal, Strong Scotch Ale, finally has some company with the new Stormtrooper (8.4% ABV, 110 IBU), the biggest beer they have brewed to date. The new O.D.B. is quite a treat. The Trappe Door Wheat, a Belgian-style if you couldn’t guess by the name, replaces the Trapdoor Wheat in the regular lineup. After a short absence, the Unhinged Cider is back on tap.

News: Take note of Red Door’s new weekday schedule for the winter months as they will now open at 2 p.m. instead of noon. Weekend hours remain the same.

Red Door received a new shipment of their popular red T-shirts this week, so head on over and buy a few.

Sandia Chile Grill — (505) 798-1970

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

Beers: Irish Red, Rattlesnake IPA, Smoked Stout. We’re going to dispatch AmyO to re-establish our lines of communication with Sandia Chile Grill.

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

The Stumbling Steer — (505) 792-7805

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

Beers: Bang Up Blonde, Hefferweizen, Pig Sticker Pale, Iron Horse IPA, Rawhide Red, Boneyard Brown, Hop Trough (Double IPA), Soiled Dove (Imperial Stout), Black IPA. While the brewery is being built in the back of the Steer, all of their house beers are being brewed off-site, but still using brewer Kirk Roberts’ recipes. The DIPA and the Stout are limited to two per customer, due to their high alcohol content (10% and 9.5% ABV, respectively). The Black IPA is the current seasonal beer, plus there are often one or two cask beers.

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: Little Red Rye-ding Hood, Turkey Drool, Mustachio Milk Stout, Javi Light Lager, Berry Cider, Barn Burner Pale Ale, Chocolate Milk Stout.

Beers at Wells Park only: Jack the Sipper, Winter Hop IPA, Apple Cider, Ebony & Ivory, La Llorona Amber. 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). We love us some Turkey Drool (8% ABV) this time of year. It’s a brown ale with all sorts of holiday-themed spices and other added ingredients. This year’s batch is arguably the best yet. The Little Red (5.8% ABV) has a malty rye kick. Jack the Sipper (7% ABV) is Tractor’s take on a spiced pumpkin ale. The new Winter Hop IPA (6.4% ABV, 70 IBU) uses a blend of fragrant hops and caramel malts for a unique twist on the popular style. The Chocolate Milk Stout should tide over your sweet tooth. The Barn Burner (6% ABV, 52 IBU) is a bitter little pale ale that uses 40 pounds of El Dorado hops. The Ebony & Ivory (5.5% ABV, 25 IBU) is a “pale stout,” made with pale malt, pale chocolate malt, and caramel malt. It smells like a stout, but tastes like something a little different. La Llorona returns to taps this week.

News: Congrats to Tractor and their Mustachio Milk Stout, which won in the Best of Albuquerque competition from ABQ the Magazine.

Mustachio’s bigger, meaner brother, Luna de los Muertos Russian Imperial Stout, is aging in the back, including some in a barrel. Oh, man, that could kill us … but we’d die happy.

Currently, all pints of Little Red RYE-ding Hood are just $2 and you can fill your growler for just $5. Time to make room for a new beer on tap!

Events: Solos on the Hill is tonight at Nob Hill as Cali Shaw performs at 8:30 p.m.

The Thirsty Thursday series is back at Wells Park with Russell James Pyle going on at 8 p.m.

This Saturday is a pretty darned big show at Wells Park. Christian Gallegos’ “The Heart Show” will showcase many of his works of art. To celebrate, two big bands will be performing — Reviva and Red Light Cameras! It all starts at 6 p.m. and runs until midnight.

If that’s not enough, Sunday will feature the return of I’ll Drink to That at Wells Park at 4 p.m. This special benefit show is a mix of poetry, comedy, music, and more.

Tractor will be pouring beers during many of the events at the Revolutions Theater Festival. Check out the calendar for more info.

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

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

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

Beers: (House) McDay’s Cream Ale, Oku Amber, Parasol White IPA, Hopshell IPA, Heidelberg Helles. (Seasonal/specialty) Stauffenberg Stout, Cafe Bella Coffee Porter, A Little Somethin’ Pumpkin, Devil to Pay Double IPA, Wild Hunt Winter Warmer. To help us out for now and the future, brewer Tim Woodward broke down what will be the regular beers on tap (under House) and the current list of seasonals. That’s a pretty solid regular lineup. I personally really enjoyed the Porter and Amber, the latter of which trumps most of its genre in terms of flavor. The Heidelberg Helles (5.1% ABV, 25 IBU) has rejoined the regular lineup for good, or so Tim hopes. The newer beers here are the Stauffenberg Stout, Cafe Bella Coffee Porter, Devil to Pay DIPA (7.7% ABV, 125+ IBU), a hop monster for the holidays brewed with Cascade and Chinook, and the Wild Hunt Winter Warmer (7% ABV, 31 IBU), which was brewed with orange peel, nutmeg, fresh ginger root, clove, and molasses.

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Monks Mesa (Belgian Blonde), Toro Blanco White DIPA, Collaboration Doppelbock, Dry Irish Stout. The Monks Mesa (4.5% ABV, 15 IBU) is a Belgian blonde table beer. The only other seasonal currently tap is Toro Blanco White DIPA (9.1% ABV, 100+ IBU). All of you thirsty people in Santa Fe, plus thirsty tourists, have consumed all of the remaining specialty beers. Don’t worry, though, brewer James Warren is hard at work in the back cranking out more as fast as he can. The Collaboration and Stout will be out this Saturday.

News: Blue Corn just brewed up this year’s batch of Barley Wine. It should be on tap in a few weeks. Check their Facebook page for pictures. Also on deck is a Scottish export.

Events: See above in the intro for more information on Thursday’s Defrost Fest.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

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

Beers: What WOOD Amber Do (Barrel-Aged Amber Ale), Fiction (IPA), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Marcel (Witbier), Whistler (Blonde), Titian (Golden Strong), Dark Ryder (Dark Strong), Goya (Imperial Stout). The lineup got a shakeup with some big beers joining the rotation. Dark Ryder and Tititan check in at 11-percent ABV, while Goya (15.9% ABV) is a monster of a beer. You can buy Goya in bombers at the brewery or down in ABQ at Jubilation. The most recent addition to taps is What WOOD Amber Do, which has to be the first barrel-aged amber we have seen. Hopefully brewer Todd Yocham will bring some to WinterBrew so we can try it. (HINT!)

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

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

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

Beers: Double White IPA, Black IPA, Deviator Doppelbock, Full Mast Kilt Scottish Ale. The first beer in the new Ever Changing Series is a Double White IPA, which Luke of the Brew Crew bullpen recently reviewed. The Kriek, which won a bronze medal at GABF this year, is on sale around the state in bombers. It will soon be on tap in Albuquerque for the first time. Look for it on Jan. 21 at Nob Hill Bar & Grill and Jan. 22 at Rock and Brews.

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

See above for SFBC’s barrel-aged event on Monday.

News: SFBC will soon be opening a taproom in Albuquerque. Here are all the details that Luke could find. It sounds promising.

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

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

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Cream Stout, Rod’s Best Bitter, Boneshaker Bitter, Pivotal IPA, Mosaic Pale Ale, Red Comet, Huell Melon Pilsner. Get ready for fresh batches of the Pivotal IPA, Mosaic Pale Ale, and Huell Melon Pilsner. Right now Second Street pretty much covers everything from hoppy to medium malty to its classic Cream Stout.

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

Live music is back this week at both locations. At the original location, Barb Wire plays Friday and Bill Hearne performs Saturday. Swing Soleil will be at the Railyard location Friday and Alex Maryol performs Saturday.

Other breweries you need to visit

Twisted Chile Brewing — (575) 835-2949

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

Beers: Pilabo Pale Ale, Venom IPA, English Porter, Zia Pilsner, 790 IPA, Hose Co. 1 Red Lager. Located in Socorro at 115 Abeyta St. W, Twisted Chile is the first brewery there to brew on site since Socorro Springs outsourced their brewing to Eddyline in Colorado several years ago. I got to head down there recently and enjoyed all the beers I sampled. Kudos to Twisted Chile for bring quality craft beers back to a town that needed ‘em. The newest beers on tap are the 790 IPA (7% ABV) and the Hose Co. 1 Red Lager (6% ABV). The Zia Pilsner (5.25% ABV) is done in the German style. The Venom IPA (8.2% ABV) is the biggest beer on tap, as the name might imply.

* * * *

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

Cheers and Happy New Year!

— Stoutmeister

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

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

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

Well, here’s hoping you all survived the holidays. We’ve been overdue for a couple quiet weeks and that is just what is upon us. Of course, there is no time like the present to snag those WinterBrew tickets. Remember, it’s not as big as Hopfest or NM Brew Fest. There are a limited number of tickets available. I just bought mine last night since it sold out a week in advance last year. Beyond that festival on Jan. 23, everything is pretty quiet on the beer events front. Well, there are the openings of Bosque’s Nob Hill taproom (more on that quite soon, rest assured) this Thursday, plus Friday marks the grand opening of the Local Brewhouse, a taproom specializing in locally-made beers that is located in the shopping center on the southeast corner of Eubank and Montgomery, right near Lizard Tail. So yeah, we’ll have a sneak preview of that, too. It may be quiet in terms of events and the like, but the beer news never stops for all of us in the Crew.

On the new beer front, it’s a fairly quiet week, too. Bosque has resurrected the award-winning Acequia IPA. Broken Bottle has brewed up Cracked Cork Barley Wine, End of Days Tripel, and the new Twig and Berries Sahti. Canteen’s Irish Red is back once again. Chama River has Rise n’ Shine Breakfast Stout on tap at last, along with Rye on the Hog and Gold Pale Ale. Lizard Tail’s Belgian Abbey is back. Marble has Brett IPA and Barley Wine on tap as well as in bombers, plus their Nitro Porter made a surprise debut. Ponderosa has unleashed Imperial Sawmill Stout. Red Door has embraced the dark side (we’ll let ‘em use it once) with the new Stormtrooper Imperial IPA, plus there is a Belgian dark strong due out soon. Tractor has La Llorona back at Wells Park, plus look for the debut of Wonder Weisse at Albuquerque ComicCon.

Up in Santa Fe, Duel has busted out a new barrel-aged beer, What WOOD Amber Do.

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

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

Albuquerque metro area breweries

ABQ Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

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

Beers: 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: Ladron’s Peak, Ladron’s Con Fuego, Back Alley Red, California Common, Witbier, Soroche IPA. In case you missed it, we recently interviewed BADH’s new brewer, Brandon Venaglia. There are some exciting times coming, including a possible expansion. The Red, Cali Common, Wit, and IPA are all back after a short absence.

Events: Sundays will now be Service Nights at Back Alley, with $2 off all beers for service industry workers.

Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596

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

Beers: PSA (Pumpkin Spice Ale), Rio Grande Tortoise Black IPA, Acequia IPA, Prospector Milk Stout, Whirlpool Lager, Old Man Jameson. The GABF bronze medal-winning Acequia (6.5% ABV, 90 IBU) is back on tap. The Whirlpool Lager (5.9% ABV, 45 IBU) is a Mosaic-infused blast of happy. It hits you with big hop flavor at the beginning and then washes out with some sweet, smooth malts on the back end. It’s a uniquely wonderful beer. The Old Man Jameson (5.2% ABV, 18 IBU) is a tasty Scottish-style Export; think of it as a session version of Scotia Scotch Ale. The Bosque Lager will now be on tap year round, replacing the Kindling, which moves to the seasonal list (this is much as Driftwood Oatmeal Stout replaced Olde Bosky earlier this year). The IPA 65 (6% ABV, 75 IBU) is a slight variation on the IPA 57. I got to try the Prospector Milk Stout (6.5% ABV, 20 IBU) when it debuted recently. It’s smooth as silk and a little less sweet and more robust than most milk stouts. It still retains a lot of stout character, which is a nice change from the more Left Hand-influenced versions. The Rio Grande Tortoise (6.5% ABV, 80 IBU) was brewed in collaboration with Turtle Mountain and is available at both breweries. The PSA is nearly out, so hurry over to help finish it off so a new beer can be tapped.

Cask: We’re waiting to hear what will be on tap this Friday, if anything considering the holiday.

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

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

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

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

Beers: Paw Swipe Pale Ale, Hairy Mit Hefe, Standing 8 Stout, Ambear Ale, Uppercut IPA, Chocolate Milk Stout, Smoked Porter. The Chocolate Milk Stout is hugely popular with Boxing Bear regulars, so hurry over before they drink it all up. The Smoked Porter will debut by week’s end if everything goes right. Other recent additions to the lineup are the Standing 8 Stout (6.3% ABV, 45 IBU) and Ambear Ale (5.2% ABV, 35 IBU). We do love the Standing 8 as a collective.

Cask: The Smoked Porter, with vanilla beans added, will be on cask this Friday.

News: Boxing Bear now has a happy hour. 10-, 16-, and 22-ounce beers are all discounted from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Growler Happy Hour then runs from 6 p.m. to close on those nights. Get $2 off a growler fill and $1 off a half-growler (they call ‘em “squealers”).

Also, every day at lunchtime (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), for just $10 you can get a pint and a panini of your choice.

Events: Every Wednesday (except today) is now Karaoke Night at Boxing Bear. It runs from 6 to 10 p.m.

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: Cracked Cork Barley Wine, End of Days Tripel, Twig and Berries Sahti, Drunken Hobo Milk Stout, Tom Selleck Ale, Rip Van Winkle Vanilla Stout, Nacho Brau. The Drunken Hobo will soon replace the Mulligan Stout in the regular lineup, or so Franz Solo was told when he visited recently. The Nacho Brau is another of Franz’s favorite seasonals. Get over to BBB before he drinks it all up. Two old favorites are back in the burly Cracked Cork and End of Days. New to the menu is Twig and Berries. A Sahti is a Finnish style of beer using some unique grains as well as juniper berries. If you’re one of the lucky few to not be allergic to junipers, have at it!

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

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737

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

Beers: Irish Red, Pils Plz, Wine Barrel-Aged Belgian Golden, White Shine (White Wine), Sasquatch Scotch, Dark Side Baltic Porter, Schwarzbier, Black Rye PA, Panama Joe (aged in bourbon barrels). This year’s edition of Solstice Blackout is now available — Sasquatch, DS Baltic, Schwarzbier, Black Rye PA, Panama Joe are all on tap plus the Dark-n-Lusty Stout. It’s all six beers in sample format for $6. Trust us, it’s worth it. Again, a huge thank you to Brady McKeown for letting us brew our Baltic Porter on his system. The resulting beer is a burly blast of smokiness, plus chocolate and toffee. Let it warm a tad (we recommend a full pint) and you will get a massive, multi-flavor profile. As for the rest, we loved the malty sweetness of this year’s Sasquatch. The Schwarzbier is a tart, earthy little beer. The Black Rye PA is pretty much a blast of rye goodness. And the Panama Joe, aged in bourbon barrels, needs a bit of warming to help the coffee and stout flavors catch up to the bourbon. Don’t worry, all of these dark beers are worth it. At least, we think so.

News: The last barrel-aged beer in the back, waiting to be tapped, is American Stock Ale in rum barrels.

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

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

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

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

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

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

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

Beers: Rise ‘n Shine Breakfast Stout, Rye on the Hog, Gold Pale Ale, Coney Pale Ale. You will have to give us all a moment while we pay our respects to the dearly departed Obey the Darkside Stout. We hope everyone else out there got to enjoy ours and Chama’s collaborative creation. To help us in our mourning period, Chama has brewed up Rise ‘n Shine (5.8% ABV, 30 IBU), a traditional breakfast stout. Also debuting this week are Rye on the Hog (7.3% ABV, 35 IBU) and Gold Pale Ale (5% ABV, 45 IBU). The Coney Pale Ale (5.5% ABV, 45 IBU) is a mellow but still punchy little delight made with Mosaic and Falconer’s Flight hops.

News: Chama River’s 10th anniversary blowout party begins Jan. 21 and runs through Jan. 25. It will include a special pint night, a beer dinner, a tap takeover at Draft Station, and, oh yeah, the debut of “De-Cenn-I-Ale,” a monstrous imperial stout that will be bottled (!) in addition to being on tap. I got to have an advance taste, so when I say monstrous, I’m talking Godzilla. Straight up Kaiju, folks. You’ve been warned. We’ll have more details as we get closer to the dates in question.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

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

Beers: James Blonde, Winter Warmer Ale, I’ll Be Bock, ESB, Traditional Amber, Maltz IPA, Roaster London Porter, Oatmeal Stout. There was another big tap turnover this week. Gone are the Gunslinger Brown, Helles, Red, German Alt, Jabberwocky IPA, and Peppermint Stout. The new guys are the Winter Warmer, I’ll Be Bock, Traditional Amber, Maltz IPA, and Oatmeal Stout. Sounds like a trip up I-25 may be in order soon. Kaktus is located at 471 South Hill Road in Bernalillo, for those who have still not made the trek.

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: Cafe Con Leche, Mind Phoq, Simcoe Pale Ale, Dunkel Jefe, La Llorona Baltic Porter. This year’s batch of Cafe Con Leche (7.8% ABV, 30 IBU) is a standout, or says Franz Solo. It’s even on cask right now in addition to being available on a regular tap and in bombers. Brandon and I were equally complimentary of the outstanding La Llorona Baltic Porter (8.9% ABV, 45 IBU). The Simcoe Pale Ale (5.5% ABV, 37 IBU) and Dunkel Jefe (5.4% ABV, 15 IBU) are back as you all drank up the supply of the 4th Anniversary Barley Wine and the Gracias Por Fumar. Mind Phoq (6% ABV, 33 IBU), a coffee pale ale, is an experimental new beer. It uses an Ethiopian light roast from Prosum Roasters and is lightly hopped to showcase the coffee flavor. As LC said on their Facebook page, “It’s so good it will blow your mind!” Oh, and don’t panic about Project Dank and Red Ryeot no longer appearing here as seasonals. They are now part of La Cumbre’s regular lineup.

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

When Mind Phoq runs out, a Munchener Dunkel will take its place.

Events: On the live music front, Moon Hat performs tonight (Wednesday) from 6 to 9 p.m. Kyle Martin performs Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m.

Yoga is back at the taproom Sunday at 10:45 a.m.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

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

Beers: Whiptail Weisse, Bluetail Blonde, Horned Honey Pale, Reptilian IPA, Chameleon Amber, Basilisk Brown, Sanddigger Dubbel, Desert Night India Black Ale, Black Bearded Rye Stout, Smoot-tailed Oatmeal Stout, Prairie Lizard Porter, Biscochito Brown, Belgian Strong Dark, Belgian Abbey. Lizard Tail is up to four beers with a new batch of Belgian Abbey (7.1% ABV, 25 IBU). That and the Belgian Dark Strong (9.7% ABV, 30 IBU) are the newest additions, as one can probably tell since they have yet to be given lizard-themed names like the rest of the lineup. So far Lizard Tail has shown themselves to be more malt-forward than hop-centric. The oatmeal stout and porter are solid, while the IBA has shown improvement since its debut.

News: Lizard Tail’s happy hour runs seven days a week from 3 to 6 p.m. You get $1 off food, flights, and pints.

Take note that Lizard Tail now opens at noon every day.

Events: Lizard Tail will host Geeks Who Drink every Tuesday at 8 p.m.

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739

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

UPDATED >>> Beers: Double White, Imperial Red, Nitro Pub Ale, Pumpkin Noir, Imperial Stout, Brett IPA, Barley Wine, Nitro Porter. The Brett IPA (6.8% ABV) and Barley Wine (10% ABV) are available on tap and in bombers. The Nitro Pub Ale (4% ABV) is what Boddington’s was meant to taste like. It’s a creamy little delight. This year’s batch of Imperial Stout (11% ABV) is a big, bold beast of a beer. If the bourbon flavor is too much, just let it warm for a bit and it will mellow out and the stout flavors will come forward. There is also the rotating “black handle,” which tends to feature some impressive “secret” beers. The Double White and Imperial Red brought home gold medals from GABF.

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

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

This Sunday at the Westside Taproom is Fundraising Day. Three local non-profits will be on hand from 2 to 6 p.m. For every pint of beer purchased, you get a ticket to then donate to the non-profit of your choice. The tickets represent the money that Marble will later donate. The non-profits are ALS Association-NM Chapter, 516 Arts, and Working Classroom.

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100

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

Beers: Dry Stout, 2013 Barley Wine, Warp 10 Golden Strong, Beam Me Up Scottish. The new Beam Me Up (9.5% ABV, 32 IBU) uses the same malt bill as the first batch from three years ago, but with a modified hop mix. The result will set it apart from the first two versions. Brewer Kaylynn McKnight popped an aged keg or two of the Barley Wine. We’ve been able to get over there and try the Dry Stout and came away quite impressed. The Dry Stout is bold and thick, the kind of burly beer you want in the winter (or year-round if you’re like us). The second most recent addition to taps is the Warp 10 Golden Strong, an English-style golden ale.

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.

While “The Walking Dead” is done until February, you can still play Walking Dead pinball in Nexus’ community room. It’s one of four pinball machines now available for some nostalgic fun.

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: PiPA, West Coast Red, Bourbon Vanilla Porter, Lost Grain English Summer Ale, Pre-Prohibition Pilsner. While Pi Brewing is not open to the public yet, they are able to brew and serve their beers next door at Nicky V’s. The IPA and West Coast Red are both good hoppy beers. We’ll keep tabs on when Pi itself opens. For now, grab a pint and some tasty Italian food. The PiPA will now be a regular beer, replacing the Unchallenged IPA. The scrumptious Bourbon Vanilla Porter is back, replacing the Robust Porter.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

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

Beers: Ghost Train IPA, Rip Saw Red, Crosscut Kolsch, Demon Driver Double IPA, Dunkelblitzen, Chocolate Pumpkin Porter, Marbelous (Imperial Rice Lager), Nikolaus Spiced Lager, Bavarian Belle Hefeweizen, Imperial Sawmill Stout. Ponderosa is located at 1761 Bellamah NW, which is just east of Rio Grande and due north of the NM Natural History Museum, in the bottom floor of a swanky-looking apartment/retail complex. The Marbelous (7% ABV, 32 IBU) was brewed as a tribute to Marble’s Ted Rice, whose staff has helped Ponderosa in their early months of existence. The Nikolaus (5.2% ABV, 30 IBU) is a Weihnachtsbier, a traditional Bavarian dark lager brewed for the holidays. The Bavarian Belle Hefeweizen (4.8% ABV, 15 IBU) debuted recently and may become a regular fixture in the lineup. Brace yourselves for the new Imperial Sawmill Stout (8.2% ABV, 65 IBU).

News: The next batch of brews will include Dunkelweizen and Ella Single Hop Pale Ale.

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675

(Mon–Thurs 2 p.m. to midnight, Fri–Sun noon to midnight)

Beers: (Regular) Gateway Blonde Ale, Roamer Red, Threshold IPA, Paint it Black Milk Stout, Unhinged Cider, Trappe Door Wheat. (Seasonal) Strong Scotch Ale, Stormtrooper Imperial IPA. The first Red Door seasonal, Strong Scotch Ale, finally has some company with the new Stormtrooper (8.4% ABV, 110 IBU), the biggest beer they have brewed to date. A new Dark Belgian seasonal is on the way as well. The Trappe Door Wheat, a Belgian-style if you couldn’t guess by the name, replaces the Trapdoor Wheat in the regular lineup.

News: Take note of Red Door’s new weekday schedule for the winter months as they will now open at 2 p.m. instead of noon. Weekend hours remain the same.

Sandia Chile Grill — (505) 798-1970

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

Beers: Irish Red, Rattlesnake IPA, Smoked Stout. We’re going to dispatch AmyO to re-establish our lines of communication with Sandia Chile Grill.

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

The Stumbling Steer — (505) 792-7805

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

Beers: Bang Up Blonde, Hefferweizen, Pig Sticker Pale, Iron Horse IPA, Rawhide Red, Boneyard Brown, Hop Trough (Double IPA), Soiled Dove (Imperial Stout), Black IPA. While the brewery is being built in the back of the Steer, all of their house beers are being brewed off-site, but still using brewer Kirk Roberts’ recipes. The DIPA and the Stout are limited to two per customer, due to their high alcohol content (10% and 9.5% ABV, respectively). The Black IPA is the current seasonal beer, plus there are often one or two cask beers.

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

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

UPDATED >>> Beers at Nob Hill: Little Red Rye-ding Hood, Turkey Drool, Mustachio Milk Stout, Javi Light Lager, Berry Cider, Barn Burner Pale Ale, Chocolate Milk Stout.

Beers at Wells Park only: Jack the Sipper, Winter Hop IPA, Apple Cider, Ebony & Ivory, La Llorona Amber. 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). We love us some Turkey Drool (8% ABV) this time of year. It’s a brown ale with all sorts of holiday-themed spices and other added ingredients. This year’s batch is arguably the best yet. The Little Red (5.8% ABV) has a malty rye kick. Jack the Sipper (7% ABV) is Tractor’s take on a spiced pumpkin ale. The new Winter Hop IPA (6.4% ABV, 70 IBU) uses a blend of fragrant hops and caramel malts for a unique twist on the popular style. The Chocolate Milk Stout should tide over your sweet tooth. The Barn Burner (6% ABV, 52 IBU) is a bitter little pale ale that uses 40 pounds of El Dorado hops. The Ebony & Ivory (5.5% ABV, 25 IBU) is a “pale stout,” made with pale malt, pale chocolate malt, and caramel malt. It smells like a stout, but tastes like something a little different. La Llorona returns to taps this week.

News: Congrats to Tractor and their Mustachio Milk Stout, which won in the Best of Albuquerque competition from ABQ the Magazine.

Mustachio’s bigger, meaner brother, Luna de los Muertos Russian Imperial Stout, is aging in the back, including some in a barrel. Oh, man, that could kill us … but we’d die happy.

Currently, all pints of Little Red RYE-ding Hood are just $2 and you can fill your growler for just $5. Time to make room for a new beer on tap!

Events: Solos on the Hill resumes at Nob Hill as Carlos The Tall performs at 8:30 p.m.

The pLOUD music series is back at Wells Park on Thursday with Peg Leg Joe going on at 8 p.m.

This Saturday is the In the Mix series at 9 p.m. as Cloudface performs at Wells Park.

Wells Park will host a viewing party for the NCAA football championship game between Oregon and Ohio State on Monday at 6 p.m.

Poetry and Beer – Open Mic and Slam is back at Wells Park on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

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

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

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

Beers: (House) McDay’s Cream Ale, Oku Amber, Parasol White IPA, Hopshell IPA, Heidelberg Helles. (Seasonal/specialty) Stauffenberg Stout, Cafe Bella Coffee Porter, A Little Somethin’ Pumpkin, Devil to Pay Double IPA, Wild Hunt Winter Warmer. To help us out for now and the future, brewer Tim Woodward broke down what will be the regular beers on tap (under House) and the current list of seasonals. That’s a pretty solid regular lineup. I personally really enjoyed the Porter and Amber, the latter of which trumps most of its genre in terms of flavor. The Heidelberg Helles (5.1% ABV, 25 IBU) has rejoined the regular lineup for good, or so Tim hopes. The newer beers here are the Stauffenberg Stout, Cafe Bella Coffee Porter, Devil to Pay DIPA (7.7% ABV, 125+ IBU), a hop monster for the holidays brewed with Cascade and Chinook, and the Wild Hunt Winter Warmer (7% ABV, 31 IBU), which was brewed with orange peel, nutmeg, fresh ginger root, clove, and molasses.

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Monks Mesa (Belgian Blonde), Toro Blanco White DIPA. The Monks Mesa (4.5% ABV, 15 IBU) is a Belgian blonde table beer. The only other seasonal currently tap is Toro Blanco White DIPA (9.1% ABV, 100+ IBU). All of you thirsty people in Santa Fe, plus thirsty tourists, have consumed all of the remaining specialty beers. Don’t worry, though, brewer James Warren is hard at work in the back cranking out more as fast as he can.

News: Blue Corn just brewed up this year’s batch of Barley Wine. It should be on tap in a few weeks. Check their Facebook page for pictures. Also on deck are a dry Irish stout and a Scottish export.

Events: Next Thursday, Jan. 15, is Defrost Fest, an annual event at Blue Corn featuring special menu items and cask beers from Blue Corn, Bosque, Chama River, Duel, Santa Fe, and Second Street. We’ll have more details next week.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

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

Beers: What WOOD Amber Do (Barrel-Aged Amber Ale), Fiction (IPA), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Marcel (Witbier), Whistler (Blonde), Titian (Golden Strong), Dark Ryder (Dark Strong), Goya (Imperial Stout). The lineup got a shakeup with some big beers joining the rotation. Dark Ryder and Tititan check in at 11-percent ABV, while Goya (15.9% ABV) is a monster of a beer. You can buy Goya in bombers at the brewery or down in ABQ at Jubilation. New to taps is What WOOD Amber Do, which has to be the first barrel-aged amber we have seen. Hopefully brewer Todd Yocham will bring some to WinterBrew so we can try it. (HINT!)

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

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

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

Beers: Double White IPA, Black IPA, Deviator Doppelbock, Full Mast Kilt Scottish Ale. The first beer in the new Ever Changing Series is a Double White IPA, which Luke of the Brew Crew bullpen recently reviewed. The Kriek, which won a bronze medal at GABF this year, is on sale around the state in bombers, though it is no longer on tap.

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

News: SFBC will soon be opening a taproom in Albuquerque. Here are all the details that Luke could find. It sounds promising.

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

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

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Cream Stout, Rod’s Best Bitter, Trebuchet Imperial IPA, Boneshaker Bitter, Red Comet, International Style Steam. The Trebuchet Imperial IPA completes a “trilogy” with Pivotal and Fulcrum IPAs. The popular Boneshaker Bitter and Red Comet are back on tap this week.

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

Other breweries you need to visit

Twisted Chile Brewing — (575) 835-2949

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

UPDATED >>> Beers: Pilabo Pale Ale, Venom IPA, English Porter, Zia Pilsner, 790 IPA, Hose Co. 1 Red Lager. Twisted Chile has been open for a while as a restaurant, but as the name might imply, they are also brewing their own beer on site. Located in Socorro at 115 Abeyta St. W, they are the first brewery there to brew on site since Socorro Springs outsourced their brewing to Eddyline in Colorado. I got to head down there recently and enjoyed all the beers I sampled. Kudos to Twisted Chile for bring quality craft beers back to a town that needed ‘em. The newest beers on tap are the 790 IPA (7% ABV) and the Hose Co. 1 Red Lager (6% ABV). The Zia Pilsner (5.25% ABV) is done in the German style. The Venom IPA (8.2% ABV) is the biggest beer on tap, as the name might imply.

* * * *

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

Cheers and Happy New Year!

— Stoutmeister

As noted in the most recent edition of The Week Ahead in Beer, the Crew put out the call for everyone’s favorite beers from New Mexico breweries for 2014. The replies from our readers, not to mention from all of our writers, were fairly diverse. We’re not gonna do an ultimate ranking or anything — you don’t want to get us started when it comes to debating such things — but we thought we would share our favorites, as well as the favorites of our readers.

So without further adieu …

Crew favorites

Bosque's Scale Tipper won the IPA Challenge and naturally popped up on a lot of people's lists.

Bosque’s Scale Tipper won the IPA Challenge and naturally popped up on a lot of people’s lists.

Stoutmeister

Scale Tipper, Bosque: What’s this? A hoppy beer on my list? Well, it did win the IPA Challenge, after all. I do love a hoppy IPA sometimes, but throw in a strong malt backbone the way John Bullard did and, well, win a trophy.

Jet Black Winter, Bosque: This wasn’t barrel-aged, so it wasn’t overwhelmed by bourbon flavors. It wasn’t sweet, either. Just big, thick, and mean. Really mean. Which made it wonderful.

Russian Imperial Stout, Blue Corn: Smooth as hell, hiding its big ABV quite well. It was almost too easy to drink.

La Negra, La Cumbre: The 2014 batch came out early in the year, then they busted out a barrel-aged 2013 version. For all the talk of being the hoppiest brewery in ABQ, La Cumbre does malty monsters well, too.

4th Anniversary Barleywine, La Cumbre: See previous comment about malty monsters at LC. This was a sweet, wonderful barleywine aged in rum barrels for a rather different flavor profile.

We can't wait till the 2015 version of Luna De Los Muertos is tapped.

We can’t wait till the 2015 version of Luna De Los Muertos is tapped.

Stout #2286, Marble: This was a blended stout, a mad science experiment that just turned out so damn decadent. The bourbon flavor was there, but it was not overwhelming.

Bourbon Vanilla Porter, Pi: The best beer at Hopfest was full of sweet bourbon, a little roasted malt, and just enough bourbon.

Preacher’s Share, Second Street: Just darned ridiculous, my favorite beer of the otherwise forgettable Beer Premier. Yet another balanced, boozy, big stout.

Luna de los Muertos, Tractor: This was yet another big, burly, wonderful imperial stout. Can’t wait for the 2015 version. It’s coming soon, right, David? RIGHT?!

Turkey Drool, Tractor: The annual holiday treat did not disappoint this year. It was stronger than the 2013 version, but not as overpowering as the 2012 edition. All the flavors lived together in good balance.

And, yes, I could have put the beers I helped brew this year (Dark Side Baltic Porter at Canteen, Hammer Smashed Stout at Tractor, Obey the Darkside Stout at Chama River), but you already all know how much I love those.

Brandon, right, is just one of many who loved that there Preacher's Share from Second Street.

Brandon, right, is just one of many who loved that there Preacher’s Share from Second Street.

Brandon

Preacher’s Share, Second Street Brewery: This was the find of the day during the Beer Premier event at the Railyards. So good I was almost in tears. It made another appearance during NM Brew Fest, where I was again almost reduced to tears. Such a huge, multi-faceted imperial stout. Hats off to Second Street for cranking it to 11 with this beer.

Scale Tipper, Bosque Brewing: When John Bullard is your head brewer, you can expect quality beers. However, this beer was just a delicious monster. Not bitter enough to go into undrinkable territory, which says a lot given its 110+ IBU’s. Fruity/citrus notes were plentiful, which made it a great warm weather IPA. Well deserving of the win at the 2014 IPA Challenge.

PSA (Pumpkin Spiced Ale), Bosque Brewing: Yet another beer from Bosque, definitely my favorite pumpkin beer to hit the local scene this past fall. A wonderful spice blend that accentuated the pumpkin accompanied a malty ale base. Already looking forward to next year, hoping for another great batch.

Class VI Golden Lager, Chama River Brewing: There is a reason this beer took home the gold medal in its respective category at the 2014 GABF…it is just that damn good. Smooth and crisp, excellent malt profile. Wonderful stuff.

All of us were proud when our Hammer Smashed Stout won the Battle of the Beer Geeks at Tractor.

All of us were proud when our Hammer Smashed Stout won the Battle of the Beer Geeks at Tractor.

E-Rock

As I haven’t had as much time and/or money to follow the New Mexico brewery scene as I used to, I haven’t been keeping track of my favorite beers. The two beers that stick out the most to me were the two beers that I had the opportunity to help make at Tractor and the Canteen Brewhouse. The two beers that I am speaking of are the Hammer Smashed Stout and the Dark Side Baltic Porter brewed in collaboration with Tractor Brewing Company and the Canteen Brewhouse, respectively. The brew crew also did a collaboration beer with Chama River, but I was playing music and visiting friends in Texas when that was being brewed. Check out our stories on each of these brewing adventures.

Even though we brewed the Hammer Smashed Stout on a smaller system than we did on the Baltic Porter, the two beers had certain similarities that I really like in my beers, and I’m happy that I was able to be part of the creation of each. Brandon and Derek helped create the recipe for each beer, with some ingredients changing based on availability at each brewery. As such, I had very little impact on what went into the beers. People said “move that” or “stir this” or “get pizza,” and I said, “OK” and did whatever they said. In both cases, the beers I helped brew were big, dark beers that were also very smooth. I was very happy that we achieved those characteristics, and I would like to thank everyone for the opportunities to have those great experiences. Happy brewing and happy beer drinking!

You can all blame Franz Solo for the supply of Full Nelson running out so quickly.

You can all blame Franz Solo for the supply of Full Nelson running out so quickly.

Franz Solo

Whiteout, Marble: Wonderful balance of Belgian funk and tropical hops. A wonderful experiment which pays dividends in delicious flavors.

Full Nelson, La Cumbre: My pick for local beer of the year. Balanced malt and monster hop profile. Nelson Sauvignon shines brightly in this nearly perfect brew.

Tractoberfest, Tractor: Exactly what I love in a Märzen bier, mild sweetness and wonderful malt balance.

Alpha Reaper, Blue Corn: Hands down my favorite imperial red of the year. Boozy and brash with so many layers of hop bitter and sweet.

Scale Tipper, Bosque: Several versions of this came into existence this year and all were simply outstanding. IPA Challenge ’14 winner indeed.

Vienna Lager, Canteen: I am not usually a lager fan, but this was just wonderful through and through.

That there Paint It Black Milk Stout from Red Door, on the right obviously, was a decadent treat for us all.

That there Paint It Black Milk Stout from Red Door, on the right obviously, was a decadent treat for us all.

Mrs. Solo

She’s a busy paramedic, so she ranked ‘em for us real quick.

1. White Out, Marble

2. Scale Tipper, Bosque

3. Bourbon Vanilla Porter, Pi

4. Hairy Not Hefe, Boxing Bear

5. Paint It Black Milk Stout, Red Door

Porter Pounder

He’s busy on a film set and claims he could not remember most of the beers he had in the past year.

* * * * *

And all of the Crew’s other favorites deserved at least a mention here.

Good old Sleeping Dog Stout is one of our reliable favorites on tap year-round.

Good old Sleeping Dog Stout is one of our reliable favorites on tap year-round.

Honorable mention regular beers: Driftwood Oatmeal Stout and Scotia Scotch Ale, Bosque; Standing 8 Stout, Boxing Bear; Irish Red and Slow Down Brown, Canteen; Sleeping Dog Stout, Chama River; ESB, Kaktus; Malpais Stout and Elevated IPA, La Cumbre; Oatmeal Stout and Pilsner, Marble; Chocolate Porter and Scottish Ale, Nexus; Soiled Dove Imperial Stout, Stumbling Steer; Double Plow Oatmeal Stout and Mustachio Milk Stout, Tractor; Gold Medal Oatmeal Stout, Blue Corn; Java Imperial Stout, Santa Fe; Cream Stout, Second Street; La Llorona Scottish Ale, Blue Heron

Honorable mention specialty/seasonal beers: Ladron’s Peak, Back Alley; Prospector Milk Stout, Oktoberfest, and Cottonwood Anniversary Ale, Bosque; Sasquatch Scotch and American Stout, Canteen; Cosmic Dog, Chama River; Holiday Peppermint Stout, Kaktus; Cafe Con Leche, Witch’s Tit, and La Llorona Baltic Porter, La Cumbre; Imperial Stout, 2014 Brew Club Barley Wine, and Reserve Ale, Marble; Beam Me Up Scottish, Nexus; Strong Scotch Ale, Red Door; Black IPA, Stumbling Steer; Chocolate Milk Stout, Tractor; Oktoberfest, Turtle Mountain; Alpha Reaper and Malty-ness Monster, Blue Corn; Goya Imperial Stout, Duel; Oktoberfest, Santa Fe; Cherrywood Smoked Imperial Porter, Second Street

The Bullpen’s favorites

Yes, it was made in 2007, but they didn't tap this St. Bob's until July 2014.

Yes, it was made in 2007, but they didn’t tap this St. Bob’s until July 2014.

Adam

(He’s on vacation, so we just got a list. But what a list.)

St. Bob’s Imperial Stout ’07, Canteen (we counted it since it was tapped this year from the barrel)

Goya Imperial Stout, Duel

Elevated IPA, Full Nelson, Project Dank, La Cumbre

2014 Brew Club Barley Wine, From the Wood IPA, Imperial Stout, Marble

Preacher’s Share, Second Street

Luna de los Muertos, Tractor

AmyO

Bourbon Bacon Stout, Stumbling Steer: I loved it on its own, but it was pretty mind-blowing when eaten with bacon-wrapped dates at Bacon Fest. It could have partially been the festive atmosphere while enjoying all things bacon. But I enjoyed it very much the next day, too, at the restaurant.

East Kent Ale, Boxing Bear: I was pretty stunned that this beer was so good right out of the gate when they opened.

We're not sure if Luke got a cookie with his first pint of Marble Reserve, but we can hope.

We’re not sure if Luke got a cookie with his first pint of Marble Reserve, but we can hope.

Luke

Alpha Reaper, Blue Corn: This beer was big and just about my threshold for a beat-down-by-beer. It was a sign that things have changed at Blue Corn.

Class VI Golden Lager, Chama River: This is a reminder of what smaller craft brewers can do with a typically bigger brewery category. Well-executed, with craft personality, this lager is cold fermented for a month. Time is on this one’s side. Yes it is.

ECS Double White IPA, Santa Fe: This was a big bright breath of fresh-squeezed air from Santa Fe Brewing Co.

Junk Punch, Taos Mesa: Again, damn. This odd style, the Dopple Oktoberfest, comes together well to form one of the larger palate-pummels of the year. Just be careful how you ask for it.

Kriek, Santa Fe: This was a very well-balanced sour, with the right flavors coming through, and none of them overwhelming. Excellent on tap, it is easily my current favorite sour; and I’ve had my share of PNW sours.

Blue Corn's Russian Imperial Stout was delightful for being such a big monster.

Blue Corn’s Russian Imperial Stout was delightful for being such a big monster.

Reserve Ale, Marble: It’s strong and smooth, caramel-y, malty, and reason enough to officially add the word ‘bourbony’ to the dictionary.

Oaked Grunewald, Duel: This big, Belgian-style Imperial Porter is a heavy, dark, oak medium, nuanced with strokes of fruity tartness, spice, chocolate, and wine. It says my German Renaissance Painter shall utterly destroy your German Renaissance Painter.

Red River Ale, Chama River: This probably upset my current champion for ESBs. Balanced and very drinkable, it’s not particularly low on ABV, but it’s what I would call sessionable. Great from growler to glass.

Russian Imperial Stout, Blue Corn: It was exactly what I wanted in a Russian Imperial Stout, which is boozy, dark chocolate, creamy goodness. “And dat browned head, tho.”

Stout Americano, Marble: Almost a five for me, this beer had me heading back to Draft Station several times that week in March.

Reid

Full Nelson, La Cumbre, was his one single favorite. Then he had to get back to work at Los Alamos National Labs.

Readers’ picks

Many of our readers enjoyed this year's batch of the 505 collaboration beer for ABQ Beer Week.

Many of our readers enjoyed this year’s batch of the 505 collaboration beer for ABQ Beer Week.

Lonnie King (a.k.a. Darth Lupulus on Untappd)

My Top Five NM Craftbeers 2014

1. Project Dank, La Cumbre
2. Full Nelson, La Cumbre
3. Red Chile Brown, Canteen
4. Brokenberry Brown, Broken Bottle
5. Berliner Weisse, Tractor

Honorable Mentions

Oyster Stout, Kaktus
Year Two IPA, Broken Bottle
Threshold IPA, Red Door
FYFA IPA, Tractor
Abbey’s Mosiac, Marble
505-2014 (Albuquerque Beer Week Collaboration), various breweries
Odie Scotch, Tractor

Laura Claussen Spies (chief organizer of New Mexico Craft Beer Enthusiasts on Facebook)

Here are my highlights of NM breweries since my move here in October 2014!

A little Dank never hurt anyone, right?

A little Dank never hurt anyone, right?

Project Dank, La Cumbre: Complex IPA with citrus notes, tropical notes, some pine and a sweet, malty finish.

Elevated IPA, La Cumbre: Extremely hoppy! Big, big IPA. Heavy grapefruit and some tropical flavor.

4th Anniversary Barleywine, La Cumbre: Rich, fruity, malty barlywine, caramel and toffee. Big and boozy. Fun beer but a five-ounce pour was plenty.

Reserve Ale, Marble (hubby’s pick): Nice bourbon barrel-aged ale. I thought it was a barleywine. Sweet, malty, and heavy bourbon flavor.

Double White, Marble: Outstanding Belgian white. Orange, lime, lemon, coriander. I could easily drink three pints of this, unlike bigger beers that I love. One of the best witbiers I have tried anywhere. Complexity 8/10. Drinkablity 10/10

Beer for my Horses, Cazuela’s: Everything a perfect oatmeal stout should be. Heavenly chocolate aroma, thick mouthfeel, dark chocolate, and hints of coffee bitterness.

Gracias por Fumar, La Cumbre: Cannot drink a whole pint of this outstanding, barrel-aged smoked porter, but was very fun to try.

Special mention — Red Ryeot, La Cumbre: Fun, easy-drinking Red Rye IPA. Sweet, spicy, hoppy and complex. I order this one at the Blue Grasshopper, a brewpub close by. Hope it takes a while for them to tap out.

* * * * *

OK, that’s all from us. Most of you were too shy to offer your picks. Now you know what you’re up against. Unleash your opinions on all the various commenting forums! And then go drink more great New Mexico beer in 2015.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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

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

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

Welcome to the second of two major holiday weeks. To help you all out, we’ve gotten a listing of (almost all) the breweries’ holiday hours. Take note, some breweries are closed for New Year’s Day. These are the hours for today (Wednesday), AKA New Year’s Eve. Let this be your planning guide for last-minute growler fills.

  • Back Alley: unknown, contact the brewery
  • Bosque: 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Boxing Bear: regular hours
  • Broken Bottle: closes at 8 p.m.
  • Canteen: noon-10 p.m.
  • Cazuela’s: regular hours
  • Chama River: regular hours; dinner specials start at 4 p.m.
  • Kaktus: party starts at 7 p.m., ends at 1 a.m. (see more below)
  • La Cumbre: noon-8 p.m.; closed New Year’s Day
  • Lizard Tail: open till midnight
  • Marble: noon-9 p.m.
  • Nexus: unknown, contact the brewery
  • Ponderosa: last call will be at 9 p.m., same on New Year’s Day
  • Red Door: noon-9 p.m.; closed New Year’s Day
  • Sandia Chile Grill: unknown, contact the brewery
  • Stumbling Steer: unknown, contact the brewery
  • Tractor: regular hours
  • Turtle Mountain: regular hours
  • Blue Corn: regular hours
  • Duel: unknown, contact the brewery
  • Santa Fe: unknown for today, noon-8 p.m. New Year’s Day
  • Second Street: kitchen closes at 10 p.m., both locations; closed New Year’s Day
  • Twisted Chile: regular hours

Now that we’re done with that, I’m taking a suggestion from Jason in the Brew Crew Bullpen to compile a list of favorite beers for 2014. Going back through ye old Untappd (it has a purpose besides competitive badge-whoring, which I swear to god and my mother is a real sport), I looked up all the 5-star beers I had from in-state breweries. OK, so mine were pretty much a slew of imperial stouts — go ahead, be shocked — and other big, dark, malty beers, but what about the rest of you? Let’s try to put something together for Friday at the earliest, next week at the latest. Tell all of us in the Crew what were your favorites and a short explanation of why. You can contact us all of the usual ways, by commenting here on this page, getting at us on Facebook either publicly or by direct message, on Twitter (@nmdarksidebc), or via email (nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com). I’ll get the rest of the Crew and the Bullpen to cough up their favorites to see just how diverse our collective palates really are. There are no wrong answers here. It’s as subjective of a list as can be created. You can list one beer or up to 10. Let’s put a cap there. But don’t think it will be easy. There were a lot of epic beers brewed in New Mexico in 2014.

On the new beer front, it’s a fairly quiet week, though that is to be expected. Bosque brought back Old Man Jameson after a short absence. Boxing Bear hopes to tap a Smoked Porter by week’s end. Chama River likewise figures to have Rise n’ Shine Breakfast Stout to greet the new year. Kaktus had another major tap turnover with Winter Warmer, I’ll Be Bock, Traditional Amber, Maltz IPA, and Oatmeal Stout all taking over spots this week. La Cumbre brought back one fan favorite already in the Dunkel Jefe, with a release party set for Monday for Cafe Con Leche (see below).

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn will push the limits again with a white double IPA called Toro Blanco. Second Street has their own hop bomb in the Trebuchet Imperial IPA, plus new batches of Boneshaker Bitter and Red Comet.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of Dec. 29.

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

Albuquerque metro area breweries

ABQ Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

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

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

Back Alley Draft House — (505) 766-8590

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

Beers: Ladron’s Peak, Back Alley Red, California Common, Witbier, Soroche IPA. In case you missed it, we recently interviewed BADH’s new brewer, Brandon Venaglia. There are some exciting times coming, including a possible expansion. The Red, Cali Common, Wit, and IPA are all back after a short absence.

Events: Sundays will now be Service Nights at Back Alley, with $2 off all beers for service industry workers.

Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596

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

Beers: PSA (Pumpkin Spice Ale), Rio Grande Tortoise Black IPA, IPA 65, Prospector Milk Stout, Whirlpool Lager, Old Man Jameson. The Whirlpool Lager (5.9% ABV, 45 IBU) is a Mosaic-infused blast of happy. It hits you with big hop flavor at the beginning and then washes out with some sweet, smooth malts on the back end. It’s a uniquely wonderful beer. The Old Man Jameson (5.2% ABV, 18 IBU) is a tasty Scottish-style Export; think of it as a session version of Scotia Scotch Ale. The Bosque Lager will now be on tap year round, replacing the Kindling, which moves to the seasonal list (this is much as Driftwood Oatmeal Stout replaced Olde Bosky earlier this year). The IPA 65 (6% ABV, 75 IBU) is a slight variation on the IPA 57. I got to try the Prospector Milk Stout (6.5% ABV, 20 IBU) when it debuted recently. It’s smooth as silk and a little less sweet and more robust than most milk stouts. It still retains a lot of stout character, which is a nice change from the more Left Hand-influenced versions. The Rio Grande Tortoise (6.5% ABV, 80 IBU) was brewed in collaboration with Turtle Mountain and is available at both breweries. The PSA is nearly out, so hurry over to help finish it off so a new beer can be tapped.

Cask: We’re waiting to hear what will be on tap this Friday, if anything considering the holiday.

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

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

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

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

Beers: Paw Swipe Pale Ale, Hairy Mit Hefe, Standing 8 Stout, Ambear Ale, Uppercut IPA, Chocolate Milk Stout, Smoked Porter. The Chocolate Milk Stout is hugely popular with Boxing Bear regulars, so hurry over before they drink it all up. The Smoked Porter will debut by week’s end if everything goes right. Other recent additions to the lineup are the Standing 8 Stout (6.3% ABV, 45 IBU) and Ambear Ale (5.2% ABV, 35 IBU). We do love the Standing 8 as a collective.

Cask: The Smoked Porter, with vanilla beans added, will be on cask this Friday.

News: Boxing Bear now has a happy hour. 10-, 16-, and 22-ounce beers are all discounted from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Growler Happy Hour then runs from 6 p.m. to close on those nights. Get $2 off a growler fill and $1 off a half-growler (they call ‘em “squealers”).

Also, every day at lunchtime (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), for just $10 you can get a pint and a panini of your choice.

Events: Every Wednesday (except today) is now Karaoke Night at Boxing Bear. It runs from 6 to 10 p.m.

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: Drunken Hobo Milk Stout, Tom Selleck Ale, Rip Van Winkle Vanilla Stout, Nacho Brau. The Drunken Hobo will soon replace the Mulligan Stout in the regular lineup, or so Franz Solo was told when he visited recently. The Nacho Brau is another of Franz’s favorite seasonals. Get over to BBB before he drinks it all up.

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

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737

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

Beers: Fog Nozzle Smoked Marzen, Pils Plz, Wine Barrel-Aged Belgian Golden, White Shine (White Wine), Sasquatch Scotch, Dark Side Baltic Porter, Schwarzbier, Black Rye PA, Panama Joe (aged in bourbon barrels). This year’s edition of Solstice Blackout is now available — Sasquatch, DS Baltic, Schwarzbier, Black Rye PA, Panama Joe are all on tap plus the Dark-n-Lusty Stout. It’s all six beers in sample format for $6. Trust us, it’s worth it. Again, a huge thank you to Brady McKeown for letting us brew our Baltic Porter on his system. The resulting beer is a burly blast of smokiness, plus chocolate and toffee. Let it warm a tad (we recommend a full pint) and you will get a massive, multi-flavor profile. As for the rest, we loved the malty sweetness of this year’s Sasquatch. The Schwarzbier is a tart, earthy little beer. The Black Rye PA is pretty much a blast of rye goodness. And the Panama Joe, aged in bourbon barrels, needs a bit of warming to help the coffee and stout flavors catch up to the bourbon. Don’t worry, all of these dark beers are worth it. At least, we think so.

News: The last barrel-aged beer in the back, waiting to be tapped, is American Stock Ale in rum barrels.

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

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

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

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

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

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

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

Beers: Obey the Darkside Stout, Red River Ale, Radioactive IPA, Coney Pale Ale. The Red River (5.7% ABV, 33 IBU) is an ESB. The Coney Pale Ale (5.5% ABV, 45 IBU) is a recent addition to taps, made with Mosaic and Falconer’s Flight hops. Obey the Darkside (6% ABV, 65 IBU) is a delicious foreign export stout, or at least we’re biased enough to think so, but others we’ve talked to love it as well. The Radioactive (7.5% ABV, 100+ IBU) is back with a new recipe. I got to try a sample recently and boy, does it have some serious hoppy bite to it. It is nearly out and will be replaced by Rise n’ Shine Breakfast Stout, so get on over there and clear it out, hopheads. Us malt monsters want us a new wake-up beer for the new year.

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

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

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

Beers: James Blonde, Winter Warmer Ale, I’ll Be Bock, ESB, Traditional Amber, Maltz IPA, Roaster London Porter, Oatmeal Stout. There was another big tap turnover this week. Gone are the Gunslinger Brown, Helles, Red, German Alt, Jabberwocky IPA, and Peppermint Stout. The new guys are the Winter Warmer, I’ll Be Bock, Traditional Amber, Maltz IPA, and Oatmeal Stout. Sounds like a trip up I-25 may be in order soon. Kaktus is located at 471 South Hill Road in Bernalillo, for those who have still not made the trek.

Events: Kaktus is throwing a New Year’s party from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. You can try their new gourmet pizzas for free. Red Rocking Chair will provide music from 8 to 11 p.m., then the dance floor opens with the Desert Darlings belly dancers breaking it in for the rest of you. Oh, yeah, and it’s all free (except the beer, you still gotta pay for that).

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.

News: For the remainder of the year, all growler refills at Kaktus are just $8. Talk about happy holidays!

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Mind Phoq, Simcoe Pale Ale, Dunkel Jefe, Lazy Sunday, La Llorona Baltic Porter. The Simcoe Pale Ale and Dunkel Jefe are back as you all drank up the supply of the 4th Anniversary Barley Wine and the Gracias Por Fumar. Mind Phoq, a coffee pale ale, is an experimental new beer. It uses an Ethiopian light roast from Prosum Roasters and is lightly hopped to showcase the coffee flavor. As LC said on their Facebook page, “It’s so good it will blow your mind!” Oh, and don’t panic about Project Dank and Red Ryeot no longer appearing here as seasonals. They are now part of La Cumbre’s regular lineup.

Events: One of La Cumbre’s best annual brews, Cafe Con Leche, is back with a release party this Monday. We’ll have more details as we get them, but you can probably expect to see a few of us there in the evening.

Also, the Gregg Daigle Band performs Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

(Mon–Weds 3-9 p.m., Thurs 3-midnight, Fri–Sat noon-midnight, Sun noon-7 p.m.)

Beers: German Blonde Ale, Berliner Weisse, Belgian Abbey, IPA, Amber, Oatmeal Brown, India Black Ale, Rye Stout, Porter, Dubbel, Biscochito Brown, Belgian Strong Dark. Both Brandon and I have had chances to visit Lizard Tail, which is one of the newest breweries in town, located in the shopping center on the southeast corner of Eubank and Montgomery. They specialize in malt-forward beers. The German Blonde (5.5% ABV, 20 IBU) is a good place to start. The Berliner Weisse (4.3% ABV, 8 IBU) is not nearly as sour as most of its genre. The Belgian Abbey (6.8%, 25 IBU) is a good example of its style. The IPA (6.8% ABV, 70 IBU) has a good mix of Mosaic, Warrior, and Galaxy hops. The Rye Stout (5.5% ABV, 35 IBU) has a nice flavor but lacks body. The first batch of Oatmeal Brown (4.2% ABV, 25 IBU) needed some work, but I got to sample the second batch that will be on tap soon and it’s improved. The Honey Pale Ale (6.3% ABV, 35 IBU) has run out for a little while, but it will be back soon. The Porter (5.6% ABV, 35 IBU) is a semi-smoky, thick beer that goes perfectly with the cooler weather. The Biscochito Brown (8.5% ABV, 25 IBU) is not overly sweet. The Lizard Tail staff said the next batch will be a little maltier. The newest beer on tap is the Belgian Strong Dark (9.7% ABV, 30 IBU).

News: Lizard Tail’s happy hour runs seven days a week from 3 to 6 p.m. You get $1 off food, flights, and pints.

Events: Lizard Tail will host Geeks Who Drink every Tuesday at 8 p.m.

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739

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

Beers: Double White, Double IPA, Imperial Red, Nitro Pub Ale, Pumpkin Noir, Reserve Ale, White Out, Imperial Stout. A fairly recent addition is White Out (9% ABV), a burly Belgian-style ale. The popular Pumpkin Noir is nearing the end of its run. The Nitro Pub Ale is what Boddington’s was meant to taste like. It’s a creamy little delight. This year’s batch of Reserve Ale is a cacophony of flavors. Both it and the Brett IPA (which is not on tap) are available for sale in bombers at Marble and up at Jubilation. There is also the rotating “black handle,” which tends to feature some impressive “secret” beers. The Double White and Imperial Red brought home gold medals from GABF.

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

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

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100

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

Beers: Dry Stout, 2013 Barley Wine, Warp 10 Golden Strong, Beam Me Up Scottish. The new Beam Me Up (9.5% ABV, 32 IBU) uses the same malt bill as the first batch from three years ago, but with a modified hop mix. The result will set it apart from the first two versions. Brewer Kaylynn McKnight popped an aged keg or two of the Barley Wine. We’ve been able to get over there and try the Dry Stout and came away quite impressed. The Dry Stout is bold and thick, the kind of burly beer you want in the winter (or year-round if you’re like us). The second most recent addition to taps is the Warp 10 Golden Strong, an English-style golden ale.

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.

While “The Walking Dead” is done until February 2015, you can still play Walking Dead pinball in Nexus’ community room. It’s one of four pinball machines now available for some nostalgic fun.

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: PiPA, West Coast Red, Bourbon Vanilla Porter, Lost Grain English Summer Ale, Pre-Prohibition Pilsner. While Pi Brewing is not open to the public yet, they are able to brew and serve their beers next door at Nicky V’s. The IPA and West Coast Red are both good hoppy beers. We’ll keep tabs on when Pi itself opens. For now, grab a pint and some tasty Italian food. The PiPA will now be a regular beer, replacing the Unchallenged IPA. The scrumptious Bourbon Vanilla Porter is back, replacing the Robust Porter.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

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

Beers: Ghost Train IPA, Rip Saw Red, Crosscut Kolsch, Demon Driver Double IPA, Dunkelblitzen, Chocolate Pumpkin Porter, Borracho’s Breakfast Stout, Marbelous (Imperial Rice Lager), Nikolaus Spiced Lager, Bavarian Belle Hefeweizen. Ponderosa is located at 1761 Bellamah NW, which is just east of Rio Grande and due north of the NM Natural History Museum, in the bottom floor of a swanky-looking apartment/retail complex. The Marbelous (7% ABV) was brewed as a tribute to Marble’s Ted Rice, whose staff has helped Ponderosa in their early months of existence. The Nikolaus is a Weihnachtsbier, a traditional Bavarian dark lager brewed for the holidays. The Belle Bavarian Hefeweizen debuted recently and may become a regular fixture in the lineup.

News: The next batch of brews will include Dunkelweizen and Ella Single Hop Pale Ale.

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675

(Mon–Thurs 2 p.m. to midnight, Fri–Sun noon to midnight)

Beers: (Regular) Gateway Blonde Ale, Roamer Red, Threshold IPA, Paint it Black Milk Stout, Unhinged Cider, Trappe Door Wheat. (Seasonal) Strong Scotch Ale. The first Red Door seasonal, Strong Scotch Ale, debuted recently. We stopped by and wrote up a quick review and we’ve been back since to enjoy it again. Brewer Wayne Martinez said he hopes to have more seasonals on tap before the end of the year. The Trappe Door Wheat, a Belgian-style if you couldn’t guess by the name, replaces the Trapdoor Wheat in the regular lineup.

News: Take note of Red Door’s new weekday schedule for the winter months as they will now open at 2 p.m. instead of noon. Weekend hours remain the same.

Sandia Chile Grill — (505) 798-1970

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

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

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

The Stumbling Steer — (505) 792-7805

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

Beers: Bang Up Blonde, Hefferweizen, Pig Sticker Pale, Iron Horse IPA, Rawhide Red, Boneyard Brown, Hop Trough (Double IPA), Soiled Dove (Imperial Stout), Black IPA. While the brewery is being built in the back of the Steer, all of their house beers are being brewed off-site, but still using brewer Kirk Roberts’ recipes. The DIPA and the Stout are limited to two per customer, due to their high alcohol content (10% and 9.5% ABV, respectively). The Black IPA is the current seasonal beer, plus there are often one or two cask beers. We recently had their Bacon Bourbon Stout and Green Chile IPA on cask. Franz Solo loved the latter.

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

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

Beers at Nob Hill: Little Red Rye-ding Hood, Turkey Drool, Mustachio Milk Stout, Javi Light Lager, Berry Cider, Winter Hop IPA, Chocolate Milk Stout.

Beers at Wells Park only: Jack the Sipper, Barn Burner Pale Ale, Apple Cider, Ebony & Ivory. 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). We love us some Turkey Drool (8% ABV) this time of year. It’s a brown ale with all sorts of holiday-themed spices and other added ingredients. This year’s batch is arguably the best yet. The Little Red (5.8% ABV) has a malty rye kick. Jack the Sipper (7% ABV) is Tractor’s take on a spiced pumpkin ale. The new Winter Hop IPA (6.4% ABV, 70 IBU) uses a blend of fragrant hops and caramel malts for a unique twist on the popular style. The Chocolate Milk Stout should tide over your sweet tooth. The Barn Burner (6% ABV, 52 IBU) is a bitter little pale ale that uses 40 pounds of El Dorado hops. The Ebony & Ivory (5.5% ABV, 25 IBU) is a “pale stout,” made with pale malt, pale chocolate malt, and caramel malt. It smells like a stout, but tastes like something a little different.

News: Congrats to Tractor and their Mustachio Milk Stout, which won in the Best of Albuquerque competition from ABQ the Magazine.

Mustachio’s bigger, meaner brother, Luna de los Muertos Russian Imperial Stout, is aging in the back, including some in a barrel. Oh, man, that could kill us … but we’d die happy.

Currently, all pints of Little Red RYE-ding Hood are just $2 and you can fill your growler for just $5. Time to make room for a new beer on tap!

Events: It may be New Year’s Day, but why not have some live music? The Thirsty Thursday Series is back at Wells Park as Carlos The Tall performs starting at 8 p.m.

First up this Saturday at Wells Park is the Creative Coverage Cabaret at 6 p.m. Then next up is the In the Mix series at 9 p.m. as DJ N-Tox performs.

The Music For What ALES You series returns Tuesday as Casey Mraz will perform an R&B/Soul Night starting at 8 p.m.

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

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

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

Beers: (House) McDay’s Cream Ale, Oku Amber, Parasol White IPA, Hopshell IPA, Heidelberg Helles. (Seasonal/specialty) Stauffenberg Stout, Cafe Bella Coffee Porter, A Little Somethin’ Pumpkin, Devil to Pay Double IPA, Wild Hunt Winter Warmer. To help us out for now and the future, brewer Tim Woodward broke down what will be the regular beers on tap (under House) and the current list of seasonals. That’s a pretty solid regular lineup. I personally really enjoyed the Porter and Amber, the latter of which trumps most of its genre in terms of flavor. The Heidelberg Helles (5.1% ABV, 25 IBU) has rejoined the regular lineup for good, or so Tim hopes. The newer beers here are the Stauffenberg Stout, Cafe Bella Coffee Porter, Devil to Pay DIPA (7.7% ABV, 125+ IBU), a hop monster for the holidays brewed with Cascade and Chinook, and the Wild Hunt Winter Warmer (7% ABV, 31 IBU), which was brewed with orange peel, nutmeg, fresh ginger root, clove, and molasses.

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Snow Advisory, Monks Mesa (Belgian Blonde), Meltdown Chocolate Porter, Rakau Single Hop IPA. The Monks Mesa (4.5% ABV, 15 IBU) is a Belgian blonde table beer. The Meltdown used no less than 25 pounds of cocoa nibs. The Rakau, using a powerful New Zealand hop, is now on tap. The Snow Advisory (7.5% ABV, 17 IBU), a winter warmer, is nearly out after just a short time on tap. Guess it was popular. Its replacement will be the Toro Blanco White DIPA (9.1% ABV, 100+ IBU).

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

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

Beers: Bad Amber, Fiction (IPA), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Marcel (Witbier), Whistler (Blonde), Dark Ryder (Dark Strong), Grunewald (Imperial Porter), Goya (Imperial Stout). The lineup got a shakeup with some big beers joining the rotation. Dark Ryder and Grunewald check in at 11-percent ABV, while Goya (15.9% ABV) is a monster of a beer. You can buy Goya in bombers at the brewery or down in ABQ at Jubilation.

Events: How does some live music sound for New Year’s Day? OrnEtc will perform starting at 4 p.m.

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

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

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

Beers: Double White IPA, Black IPA, Deviator Doppelbock, Full Mast Kilt Scottish Ale. The first beer in the new Ever Changing Series is a Double White IPA, which Luke of the Brew Crew bullpen recently reviewed. The Kriek, which won a bronze medal at GABF this year, is on sale around the state in bombers, though it is no longer on tap.

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

News: SFBC will soon be opening a taproom in Albuquerque. Here are all the details that Luke could find. It sounds promising.

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

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

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Cream Stout, Rod’s Best Bitter, Trebuchet Imperial IPA, Boneshaker Bitter, Red Comet, International Style Steam. The Trebuchet Imperial IPA completes a “trilogy” with Pivotal and Fulcrum IPAs. The popular Boneshaker Bitter and Red Comet are back on tap this week.

Events: Alto Street Band performs Friday night at the original location and Eryn Bent performs Saturday. Shows at the Railyard will feature Handmade Moments on Friday and Mystic Lizard on Saturday.

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

Other breweries you need to visit

Twisted Chile Brewing — (575) 835-2949

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

Beers: Pilabo Pale Ale, Venom IPA, English Porter, Zia Pilsner. Twisted Chile has been open for a while as a restaurant, but as the name might imply, they are also brewing their own beer on site. Located in Socorro at 115 Abeyta St. W, they are the first brewery there to brew on site since Socorro Springs outsourced their brewing to Eddyline in Colorado. I got to head down there recently and enjoyed all the beers I sampled. Kudos to Twisted Chile for bring quality craft beers back to a town that needed ‘em. The newest beer on tap is the English Porter, which will get a more formal name soon. The Zia Pilsner is done in the German style.

* * * *

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

Cheers and Happy New Year!

— Stoutmeister

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

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

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

Welcome to the first of two major holiday weeks. To help you all out, we’ve gotten a listing of (almost all) the breweries’ holiday hours. Take note, EVERYONE is closed for Christmas Day. These are the hours for today (Wednesday), AKA Christmas Eve. Let this be your planning guide for last-minute growler fills and/or merchandise pickups.

  • Back Alley: closed all day
  • Bosque: open until 5 p.m.
  • Boxing Bear: open until 8 p.m.
  • Broken Bottle: closed all day
  • Canteen: open till 3 p.m.
  • Cazuela’s: open till 7 p.m.
  • Chama River: open till 8 p.m.
  • Kaktus: open till 7 p.m.
  • La Cumbre: open till 5 p.m.
  • Lizard Tail: open till 6 p.m.
  • Marble: open till 7:30 p.m., both downtown and west side
  • Nexus: open till 4 p.m.
  • Ponderosa: open till 5 p.m.
  • Red Door: open till 5 p.m.
  • Sandia Chile Grill: unknown, contact the brewery
  • Stumbling Steer: unknown, contact the brewery
  • Tractor: they’re going to stay open at both locations until the crowds fade away
  • Turtle Mountain: they’re doing the same as Tractor
  • Blue Corn: open till 10 p.m.
  • Duel: unknown, contact the brewery
  • Santa Fe: unknown, contact the brewery
  • Second Street: open till 8 p.m. at both locations

On the new beer front, it’s a fairly quiet week, though that is to be expected. Bosque has unleashed the Jet Black Winter, a Russian imperial stout, on nitro. Kaktus is feeling festive with Peppermint Stout and James Blonde is back as well. La Cumbre’s Lazy Sunday is back after a short absence and La Llorona Baltic Porter will debut today (see below). Nexus will transport you to the future with the third edition of Beam Me Up Scottish. Red Door has introduced a Belgian Wheat that will soon take its place among the regular lineup from here on out. Tractor has Ebony & Ivory, described as a “pale stout.” Turtle Mountain has unleashed some newcomers in the Stauffenberg Stout and Cafe Bella Coffee Porter.

Up in Santa Fe, SFBC still has Deviator Doppelbock and Full Mast Kilt Scottish Ale. We thought those went away during the 12 Beers of Christmas, but thankfully, they remain. Over at Second Street, Rod’s Best Bitter is back alongside Festivus Ale.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of Dec. 22.

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

Albuquerque metro area breweries

ABQ Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

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

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

Back Alley Draft House — (505) 766-8590

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

Beers: Pre-Prohibition Malt Tonic, Ladron’s Peak, Back Alley Red, Cali Common, Wit. In case you missed it, we recently interviewed BADH’s new brewer, Brandon Venaglia. There are some exciting times coming, including a possible expansion. The Pre-Prohibition Malt Tonic is a dark American lager that’s based on a 110-year-old recipe and will now become a regular beer at BADH. The Red, Cali Common, and Wit are all back after a short absence.

Events: Sundays will now be Service Nights at Back Alley, with $2 off all beers for service industry workers.

Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596

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

Beers: PSA (Pumpkin Spice Ale), Rio Grande Tortoise Black IPA, IPA 65, Prospector Milk Stout, Whirlpool Lager, Jet Black Winter. Say hello to the Jet Black Winter (10.2% ABV, 90 IBU), a monstrous Russian imperial stout that’s served on nitro. It’s big and mean, with next to no sweetness, thanks in large part to being dry-hopped. But damn, the nitro makes it so smooth. I highly recommend this beer, for what it’s worth, being the Stoutmeister and all. The Whirlpool Lager (5.9% ABV, 45 IBU) is a Mosaic-infused blast of happy. The Bosque Lager will now be on tap year round, replacing the Kindling, which moves to the seasonal list (this is much as Driftwood Oatmeal Stout replaced Olde Bosky earlier this year). The new IPA 65 (6% ABV, 75 IBU) is a slight variation on the IPA 57. I got to try the Prospector Milk Stout (6.5% ABV, 20 IBU) when it debuted recently. It’s smooth as silk and a little less sweet and more robust than most milk stouts. It still retains a lot of stout character, which is a nice change from the more Left Hand-influenced versions. The Rio Grande Tortoise (6.5% ABV, 80 IBU) was brewed in collaboration with Turtle Mountain and is available at both breweries. The PSA is nearly out, so hurry over to help finish it off so a new beer can be tapped.

Cask: We’re waiting to hear what will be on tap this Friday, if anything considering the holiday.

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

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

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

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

Beers: Paw Swipe Pale Ale, Hairy Mit Hefe, Standing 8 Stout, Ambear Ale, Uppercut IPA, Chocolate Milk Stout. Last week Boxing Bear put the Chocolate Milk Stout on cask and it sold out by 7 p.m., the first time that has ever happened with a cask, one of the servers told us. Now that it’s on tap it should last longer than a few hours, but you can tell already how popular this beer is with folks. Other recent additions to the lineup are the Standing 8 Stout (6.3% ABV, 45 IBU) and Ambear Ale (5.2% ABV, 35 IBU). We do love the Standing 8 as a collective.

Cask: We’re waiting to hear what’s on for this Friday, if anything considering the holiday.

News: Boxing Bear now has a happy hour. 10-, 16-, and 22-ounce beers are all discounted from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Growler Happy Hour then runs from 6 p.m. to close on those nights. Get $2 off a growler fill and $1 off a half-growler (they call ‘em “squealers”).

Also, every day at lunchtime (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), for just $10 you can get a pint and a panini of your choice.

Events: Every Wednesday (except today) is now Karaoke Night at Boxing Bear. It runs from 6 to 10 p.m.

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: Drunken Hobo Milk Stout, Tom Selleck Ale, Rip Van Winkle Vanilla Stout, Nacho Brau. The Drunken Hobo will soon replace the Mulligan Stout in the regular lineup, or so Franz Solo was told when he visited recently. The Nacho Brau is another of Franz’s favorite seasonals. Get over to BBB before he drinks it all up.

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

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737

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

Beers: Fog Nozzle Smoked Marzen, Pils Plz, Wine Barrel-Aged Belgian Golden, White Shine (White Wine), Tequila IPA, Sasquatch Scotch, Dark Side Baltic Porter, Schwarzbier, Black Rye PA, Panama Joe (aged in bourbon barrels). This year’s edition of Solstice Blackout is now available — Sasquatch, DS Baltic, Schwarzbier, Black Rye PA, Panama Joe are all on tap plus the Dark-n-Lusty Stout. It’s all six beers in sample format for $6. Trust us, it’s worth it. Again, a huge thank you to Brady McKeown for letting us brew our Baltic Porter on his system. The resulting beer is a burly blast of smokiness, plus chocolate and toffee. Let it warm a tad (we recommend a full pint) and you will get a massive, multi-flavor profile. As for the rest, we loved the malty sweetness of this year’s Sasquatch. The Schwarzbier is a tart, earthy little beer. The Black Rye PA is pretty much a blast of rye goodness. And the Panama Joe, aged in bourbon barrels, needs a bit of warming to help the coffee and stout flavors catch up to the bourbon. Don’t worry, all of these dark beers are worth it. At least, we think so.

News: The last barrel-aged beer in the back, waiting to be tapped, is American Stock Ale in rum barrels.

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

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

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

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

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

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

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

Beers: Obey the Darkside Stout, Red River Ale, Radioactive IPA, Coney Pale Ale. The Red River (5.7% ABV, 33 IBU) is an ESB. The Coney Pale Ale (5.5% ABV, 45 IBU) is a recent addition to taps, made with Mosaic and Falconer’s Flight hops. Obey the Darkside (6% ABV, 65 IBU) is a delicious foreign export stout, or at least we’re biased enough to think so, but others we’ve talked to love it as well. The Radioactive (7.5% ABV, 100+ IBU) is back with a new recipe. I got to try a sample Tuesday and boy, does it have some serious hoppy bite to it. It should keep the hopheads happy amid all these malty monsters popping up across the state.

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

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

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

Beers: James Blonde, Gunslinger Cherry Smoked Brown, Helles Lager, ESB, Red Ale, German Alt Lager, Jabberwocky IPA, London Porter, Holiday Peppermint Stout. The newest beers to try are the Gunslinger Cherry Smoked Brown, James Blonde, and the Holiday Peppermint Stout. The latter has a huge peppermint nose, but the peppermint and the roasted stout flavors exist in a nice balance once they hit your palate. Located at 471 South Hill Road in Bernalillo, Kaktus is one of the state’s newer breweries. It is a small, casual place, similar to Blue Heron in appearance and comfort factor. Kaktus owner Dana Koller said fans can expect the nanobrewery to go through its most popular styles quickly, though they will always have something new and exciting available as a replacement.

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

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

News: For the remainder of the year, all growler refills at Kaktus are just $8. Talk about happy holidays!

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: 4th Anniversary Barley Wine, Mind Phoq, C3-PA, Gracias Por Fumar, Lazy Sunday, La Llorona Baltic Porter. La Cumbre is having a release party for their new Baltic Porter today (Wednesday) from noon to 5 p.m. The Gracias Por Fumar, a smoked porter, was aged in wine barrels and is available on tap and for sale in bombers. Mind Phoq, a coffee pale ale, is an experimental new beer. It uses an Ethiopian light roast from Prosum Roasters and is lightly hopped to showcase the coffee flavor. As LC said on their Facebook page, “It’s so good it will blow your mind!” Another recent addition is the C3-PA (6.2% ABV, 43 IBU), a pale ale brewed with Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook hops. The 4th Anniversary is an English-style barley wine aged in rum barrels. It’s delightfully sweet, enough to hide the huge 10.5-percent ABV. You can also buy it in bombers at the brewery and Jubilation. Oh, and don’t panic about Project Dank and Red Ryeot no longer appearing here as seasonals. They are now part of La Cumbre’s regular lineup.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

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

Beers: German Blonde Ale, Berliner Weisse, Belgian Abbey, IPA, Amber, Oatmeal Brown, India Black Ale, Rye Stout, Porter, Dubbel, Biscochito Brown, Belgian Strong Dark. Both Brandon and I have had chances to visit Lizard Tail, which is one of the newest breweries in town, located in the shopping center on the southeast corner of Eubank and Montgomery. They specialize in malt-forward beers. The German Blonde (5.5% ABV, 20 IBU) is a good place to start. The Berliner Weisse (4.3% ABV, 8 IBU) is not nearly as sour as most of its genre. The Belgian Abbey (6.8%, 25 IBU) is a good example of its style. The IPA (6.8% ABV, 70 IBU) has a good mix of Mosaic, Warrior, and Galaxy hops. The Rye Stout (5.5% ABV, 35 IBU) has a nice flavor but lacks body. The first batch of Oatmeal Brown (4.2% ABV, 25 IBU) needed some work, but I got to sample the second batch that will be on tap soon and it’s improved. The Honey Pale Ale (6.3% ABV, 35 IBU) has run out for a little while, but it will be back soon. The Porter (5.6% ABV, 35 IBU) is a semi-smoky, thick beer that goes perfectly with the cooler weather. The Biscochito Brown (8.5% ABV, 25 IBU) is not overly sweet. The Lizard Tail staff said the next batch will be a little maltier. The newest beer on tap is the Belgian Strong Dark (9.7% ABV, 30 IBU).

News: Lizard Tail’s happy hour runs seven days a week from 3 to 6 p.m. You get $1 off food, flights, and pints.

Events: Lizard Tail will host Geeks Who Drink every Tuesday at 8 p.m.

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739

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

Beers: Double White, Double IPA, Imperial Red, Nitro Pub Ale, Pumpkin Noir, Reserve Ale, White Out, Imperial Stout. A fairly recent addition is White Out (9% ABV), a burly Belgian-style ale. The popular Pumpkin Noir is nearing the end of its run. The Nitro Pub Ale is what Boddington’s was meant to taste like. It’s a creamy little delight. This year’s batch of Reserve Ale is a cacophony of flavors. Both it and the Brett IPA (which is not on tap) are available for sale in bombers at Marble and up at Jubilation. There is also the rotating “black handle,” which tends to feature some impressive “secret” beers. The Double White and Imperial Red brought home gold medals from GABF.

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

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

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100

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

Beers: Dry Stout, 2013 Barley Wine, Warp 10 Golden Strong, Beam Me Up Scottish. The new Beam Me Up (9.5% ABV, 32 IBU) uses the same malt bill as the first batch from three years ago, but with a modified hop mix. The result will set it apart from the first two versions. Brewer Kaylynn McKnight popped an aged keg or two of the Barley Wine. We’ve been able to get over there and try the Dry Stout and came away quite impressed. The Dry Stout is bold and thick, the kind of burly beer you want in the winter (or year-round if you’re like us). The second most recent addition to taps is the Warp 10 Golden Strong, an English-style golden ale.

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.

While “The Walking Dead” is done until early 2015, you can still play Walking Dead pinball in Nexus’ community room. It’s one of four pinball machines now available for some nostalgic fun.

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: PiPA, West Coast Red, Bourbon Vanilla Porter, Lost Grain English Summer Ale, Pre-Prohibition Pilsner. While Pi Brewing is not open to the public yet, they are able to brew and serve their beers next door at Nicky V’s. The IPA and West Coast Red are both good hoppy beers. We’ll keep tabs on when Pi itself opens. For now, grab a pint and some tasty Italian food. The PiPA will now be a regular beer, replacing the Unchallenged IPA. The scrumptious Bourbon Vanilla Porter is back, replacing the Robust Porter.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

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

Beers: Ghost Train IPA, Rip Saw Red, Crosscut Kolsch, Demon Driver Double IPA, Dunkelblitzen, Chocolate Pumpkin Porter, Borracho’s Breakfast Stout, Marbelous (Imperial Rice Lager), Nikolaus Spiced Lager, Bavarian Belle Hefeweizen. Ponderosa is located at 1761 Bellamah NW, which is just east of Rio Grande and due north of the NM Natural History Museum, in the bottom floor of a swanky-looking apartment/retail complex. The Marbelous (7% ABV) was brewed as a tribute to Marble’s Ted Rice, whose staff has helped Ponderosa in their early months of existence. The Nikolaus is a Weihnachtsbier, a traditional Bavarian dark lager brewed for the holidays. The Belle Bavarian Hefeweizen debuted recently and may become a regular fixture in the lineup.

News: The next batch of brews will include Dunkelweizen and Ella Single Hop Pale Ale.

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675

(Mon–Thurs 2 p.m. to midnight, Fri–Sun noon to midnight)

Beers: (Regular) Gateway Blonde Ale, Roamer Red, Threshold IPA, Paint it Black Milk Stout, Unhinged Cider, Belgian Wheat. (Seasonal) Strong Scotch Ale. The first Red Door seasonal, Strong Scotch Ale, debuted recently. We stopped by and wrote up a quick review and we’ve been back since to enjoy it again. Brewer Wayne Martinez said he hopes to have more seasonals on tap before the end of the year. The Belgian Wheat replaces the Trapdoor Wheat in the regular lineup.

News: Take note of Red Door’s new weekday schedule for the winter months as they will now open at 2 p.m. instead of noon. Weekend hours remain the same.

Red Door has three merchandise bundles for holiday shoppers. For $70 you can get a special new insulated growler, a $10 gift card, and a hat or T-shirt. For $90 you get the growler, gift card, and a hoodie.

For Christmas Eve, Red Door is taking $1.50 off growler fills, so head on over.

Sandia Chile Grill — (505) 798-1970

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

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

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

The Stumbling Steer — (505) 792-7805

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

Beers: Bang Up Blonde, Hefferweizen, Pig Sticker Pale, Iron Horse IPA, Rawhide Red, Boneyard Brown, Hop Trough (Double IPA), Soiled Dove (Imperial Stout), Black IPA. While the brewery is being built in the back of the Steer, all of their house beers are being brewed off-site, but still using brewer Kirk Roberts’ recipes. The DIPA and the Stout are limited to two per customer, due to their high alcohol content (10% and 9.5% ABV, respectively). The Black IPA is the current seasonal beer, plus there are often one or two cask beers. We recently had their Bacon Bourbon Stout and Green Chile IPA on cask. Franz Solo loved the latter.

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

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

Beers at Nob Hill: Little Red Rye-ding Hood, Turkey Drool, Mustachio Milk Stout, Javi Light Lager, Berry Cider, Winter Hop IPA, Chocolate Milk Stout.

UPDATED >>> Beers at Wells Park only: Jack the Sipper, Barn Burner Pale Ale, Apple Cider, Ebony & Ivory. 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). We love us some Turkey Drool (8% ABV) this time of year. It’s a brown ale with all sorts of holiday-themed spices and other added ingredients. This year’s batch is arguably the best yet. The Little Red (5.8% ABV) has a malty rye kick. Jack the Sipper (7% ABV) is Tractor’s take on a spiced pumpkin ale. The new Winter Hop IPA (6.4% ABV, 70 IBU) uses a blend of fragrant hops and caramel malts for a unique twist on the popular style. The Chocolate Milk Stout should tide over your sweet tooth. The Barn Burner (6% ABV, 52 IBU) is a bitter little pale ale that uses 40 pounds of El Dorado hops. The Ebony & Ivory (5.5% ABV, 25 IBU) is a “pale stout,” made with pale malt, pale chocolate malt, and caramel malt. It smells like a stout, but tastes like something a little different.

News: Congrats to Tractor and their Mustachio Milk Stout, which won in the Best of Albuquerque competition from ABQ the Magazine.

Mustachio’s bigger, meaner brother, Luna de los Muertos Russian Imperial Stout, is aging in the back, including some in a barrel. Oh, man, that could kill us … but we’d die happy.

Events: The In the Mix series is back Saturday at Wells Park as DJ N-Tox performs at 9 p.m.

Wells Park will host a Pint for Pint Blood Drive this coming Tuesday from 4 to 8 p.m. See their Facebook page for more details.

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

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

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

Beers: (House) McDay’s Cream Ale, Oku Amber, Parasol White IPA, Hopshell IPA, Heidelberg Helles. (Seasonal/specialty) Stauffenberg Stout, Cafe Bella Coffee Porter, A Little Somethin’ Pumpkin, Devil to Pay Double IPA, Wild Hunt Winter Warmer. To help us out for now and the future, brewer Tim Woodward broke down what will be the regular beers on tap (under House) and the current list of seasonals. That’s a pretty solid regular lineup. I personally really enjoyed the Porter and Amber, the latter of which trumps most of its genre in terms of flavor. The Heidelberg Helles (5.1% ABV, 25 IBU) has rejoined the regular lineup for good, or so Tim hopes. The newer beers here are the Stauffenberg Stout, Cafe Bella Coffee Porter, Devil to Pay DIPA (7.7% ABV, 125+ IBU), a hop monster for the holidays brewed with Cascade and Chinook, and the Wild Hunt Winter Warmer (7% ABV, 31 IBU), which was brewed with orange peel, nutmeg, fresh ginger root, clove, and molasses.

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Snow Advisory, Monks Mesa (Belgian Blonde), Meltdown Chocolate Porter, Rakau Single Hop IPA. The Monks Mesa (4.5% ABV, 15 IBU) is a Belgian blonde table beer. The Meltdown used no less than 25 pounds of cocoa nibs. The Rakau, using a powerful New Zealand hop, is now on tap. New to the lineup is Snow Advisory (7.5% ABV, 17 IBU), a winter warmer.

News: Next up in the beer list is a White DIPA.

Events: Thursday at the Brewer’s Table Holiday Party is this week starting at 6 p.m. It costs $20 and reservations are required. For more info click the Facebook link here.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

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

Beers: Bad Amber, Fiction (IPA), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Marcel (Witbier), Whistler (Blonde), Dark Ryder (Dark Strong), Grunewald (Imperial Porter), Goya (Imperial Stout). The lineup got a shakeup with some big beers joining the rotation. Dark Ryder and Grunewald check in at 11-percent ABV, while Goya (15.9% ABV) is a monster of a beer. It will be available on tap and in bombers at the brewery this Friday.

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

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

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

Beers: Double White IPA, Black IPA, Deviator Doppelbock, Full Mast Kilt Scottish Ale. The first beer in the new Ever Changing Series is a Double White IPA, which Luke of the Brew Crew bullpen recently reviewed. The Kriek, which won a bronze medal at GABF this year, is on sale around the state in bombers, though it is no longer on tap. The 12 Beers of Christmas wraps up today (Wednesday) at 5 p.m.

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

News: SFBC will soon be opening a taproom in Albuquerque. Here are all the details that Luke, our Santa Fe correspondent, could find. It sounds promising.

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

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

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Cream Stout, Huell Melon Pilsner, Festivus Ale, Anniversary Ale, Rod’s Best Bitter. The  International Style Steam and Festivus Ale debuted recently, while the Huell Melon Pilsner is back after a short absence. The Anniversary Ale will see its recipe tweaked and will now feature a blend of Millennium, Columbus, Chinook, Citra, and Comet hops. Coming soon will be Trebuchet Imperial IPA, which completes a “trilogy” with Pivotal and Fulcrum IPAs.

Events: Swing Soleil performs Friday night at the original location and Christina Herr and the Wild Frontier perform Saturday. Shows at the Railyard will feature Eryn Bent on Friday and MVIII Unplugged on Saturday.

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

Other breweries you need to visit

Twisted Chile Brewing — (575) 835-2949

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

Beers: Pilabo Pale Ale, Venom IPA, English Porter, Zia Pilsner. Twisted Chile has been open for a while as a restaurant, but as the name might imply, they are also brewing their own beer on site. Located in Socorro at 115 Abeyta St. W, they are the first brewery there to brew on site since Socorro Springs outsourced their brewing to Eddyline in Colorado. I got to head down there recently and enjoyed all the beers I sampled. Kudos to Twisted Chile for bring quality craft beers back to a town that needed ‘em. The newest beer on tap is the English Porter, which will get a more formal name soon. The Zia Pilsner is done in the German style.

* * * *

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

Cheers and Merry Christmas!

— Stoutmeister

Greetings everyone, Stoutmeister here with the second post in the Look Back/Look Ahead Series for 2014-15. Our La Cumbre story ran last week. As the year draws to a close, rather than just write up a single summary review of the last 12 months in beer, I decided to take what free time I have and go talk in person to breweries in the ABQ area to get their thoughts on both the year that was and the year to come. I’m not going to put up any sort of schedule for this series, and it will likely extend beyond December and into January with other Crew members chipping in as well.

Kaktus' patio is one of the most popular spots around New Mexico to drink beer in the summer.

Kaktus’ patio is one of the most popular spots around New Mexico to drink beer in the summer.

Kaktus Brewing Co. just wrapped up their first full year up the road in Bernalillo. Despite being one of the smallest breweries in the state in terms of production, Kaktus managed to crank out a lot of unique and popular beers while keeping everyone cozy in their one-of-a-kind taproom.

“We’ve been open for one year and two or three months, roughly,” owner Dana Koller said. “2014 was our first full year and it was fantastic, better than what we expected. We’ve been obviously refining recipes, getting our equipment down pat, everything was running smoothly. Now we’re looking forward to adding some nice additions to our menu, like our food menu as well as our beer menu. So we’re pretty excited about that.”

Opening and operating a successful brewery can always be a challenge, but it is one that Dana, brewer Mike Waddy, and brewing mentor Mark Matheson have been able to navigate in year one.

Kaktus' beers pulled in four medals, one gold and three silvers, at the annual State Fair Pro-Am.

Kaktus’ beers pulled in four medals, one gold and three silvers, at the annual State Fair Pro-Am.

“I think really if there was any challenges it was more internal than external,” Dana said. “Just figuring out things with the equipment or the layout of our floor plan as we get more and more busy. Just kind of being inventive about that. Everything is going kind of the way we planned.”

Those plans included Kaktus entering its first beer competition, the annual State Fair Pro-Am, and coming away with a gold medal in the German Wheat and Rye Beer category for Bannaweizen, plus silver medals for ESB in English Pale Ale, London Porter in Porter, and Cream Stout in Stout.

“We submitted our first beers to the State Fair, won four awards there, so those were our first award-winning beers,” Dana said. “We’re just going to keep moving from there, because we’re not a bottling brewery. The majority of breweries that are opening now immediately are competing in distribution. We looked to not do that. We just wanted to be your classic community brewery and really just focus on making Bernalillo a proud place to have one of the best beers in the state.”

That approach, combined with Kaktus’ location and overall ambiance, have given the brewery a different crowd than what is seen around Albuquerque.

Any brewery that employs the lovely Desert Darlings, plus our own E-Rock (far left) and our buddy Frank is a good place to hang out.

Any brewery that employs the lovely Desert Darlings, plus our own E-Rock (far left) and our buddy Frank is a good place to hang out.

“Our crowd I would say is typically going to be 35 years of age and older, and families,” Dana said. “For the most part, I think we do harness a completely different clientele than a lot of the other breweries. It’s families or couples, not a lot of single people. It’s kind of a little bit of an older crowd. Which is great for us. But again, during the summer, we pull in people from Santa Fe and Albuquerque because of our location, we’re kind of a center point. We pull in people from both sides. At that point, if we’re doing music especially, we pull in a little bit of everybody.”

Keeping the entertainment as varied as possible has helped as well.

“When we’re thinking entertainment we’re thinking culturally,” Dana said. “And so we did bring in the (Desert Darlings) belly dancers every Sunday. Then we also the first Saturday of every month we host flamenco dancing. Along with the flamenco we usually invite the Guava Tree, which is Cuban-style sandwiches. They come down and do their grill and offer a different set of food, which is really fun. So that kind of switches things up a little bit.

“Where we’re trying to focus our entertainment is definitely a little more performance-driven than it is music-driven. Granted, people play music as a performance, but a little more activity is what we like. We are looking to expand our back patio and do an outdoor concert series in the future, something different like country music to change it up a little bit.”

Another photo of the Desert Darlings, because why not?

Another photo of the Desert Darlings, because why not?

Subtle improvements on tap for 2015

As much as the beers themselves can be considered seasonal, so can an entire brewery.

“It seems to be that Kaktus is going to be definitely more of a summer place than a winter place, because of our patio, the KOA Kampground being next door, things like that,” Dana said. “We’re planning on pulling in some business from Placitas by being a little inventive in how we do that. We actually just made our first batch of cider. We’re doing it the traditional way which considers it a wine. So we went ahead and got our wine license, which was just approved a couple weeks ago. So we should be hanging that license before the end of December, I’m hoping. Definitely by the end of January. That will allow us to serve ciders as well as beers.

“To complement the ciders we decided to bring in pizza as well. So you can see just got our new pizza oven. So we’re going to be doing some nice gourmet, definitely not your traditional pepperoni and sausage. It will be more gourmet-style with duck and elk and some vegetarian options, eggplant and green olive, things like that.”

Kaktus always wins the award for the most unique chairs of any brewery.

Kaktus always wins the award for the most unique chairs of any brewery.

Due to their small brewing output, Kaktus largely stayed away from the beer festival circuit, though that will change somewhat in the coming year.

“We’re definitely going to try to get involved where we can,” Dana said. “The thing for us is because we’re not bottling, it’s really in our best interest because we’re a nano-brewery, the festivals where people are just giving away tastings is a little bit more difficult for us. We will get there eventually, but we’re just not there yet. The festivals we’re goign to be focusing on are the ones where we can get full pints in people’s hands and let them enjoy a full pint versus just a small tasting.”

One big plan for Kaktus involves a certain Irish holiday in the early spring.

“We just rented the Rail Yards, so we’re going to sponsor the largest St. Patty’s Day event in Albuquerque,” Dana said. “It’s going to be March 17 on St. Patty’s Day. We’re hoping to fill the place with 900 people. We’ll be obviously the main focus as far as beer goes. But we’re going to create some community events on our own to get the word out about our brewery.”

Beyond that, Kaktus just hopes to continue to grow organically, getting the word out that there is good craft beer in a small town like Bernalillo just like Albuquerque to the south and Santa Fe to the north.

You can still hang out on Kaktus' patio, even in the winter months.

You can still hang out on Kaktus’ patio, even in the winter months.

“I’m most excited for 2015 where we’re going to grow our business,” Dana said. “It’s definitely the cider, offering a little bit more food kind of encourages people to come down this way, (and) the St. Patty’s Day event. And after that if everything goes well, we are kind of throwing around the idea of a (second) small taproom. But we’re kind of just taking our time with that. We want to make sure we do more here than open another place. It’s all good. We felt like we’ve grown 25 to 50 percent, which is our goal (again) next year.”

Thanks to Dana for taking some time to sit down and chat, and for the beer samples (it was an early interview, so I wasn’t ready for pints yet). I do recommend the Peppermint Stout, which has a nice balance between the peppermint and roasted malt flavors; Gunslinger Cherry Wood Smoked Brown, a rather unique beer that has some spicy hints around the edges; and the newly refined Red Ale, which sits about midway between Marble’s hoppy Red and Il Vicino’s malty Irish Red.

If everything actually goes to plan this week, we will have additional stories in this series from Bosque, Tractor, Ponderosa, and possibly more. Enjoy this wonderful week of good beer!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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

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

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

IPA Day and International Stout Day are just a couple of the big beer celebration holidays that have emerged in recent years. Today (Wednesday) is National Lager Day, celebrating an underrated beer style. Part of the reason that lagers are not as honored as their ale counterparts is an issue of time. Lagers take longer to ferment than ales, so it can be tough for smaller breweries constantly cycling through their beers to reserve a fermenter for extra time. Nonetheless, a lot of breweries around the ABQ and Santa Fe areas have still managed to keep at least one or more lagers on tap. Bosque Lager has joined the regular rotation there, replacing Kindling Golden Ale. Kaktus’ brewing system was actually a German lager system, so they almost always tend to have one or more lagers on tap. Among the new kids, Ponderosa currently has three lagers on tap, including a Schwarzbier, a Dunkel, and a new Imperial Rice Lager (see more below in their entry). It’s the middle of the week, so take a moment, slow it all down, and enjoy a nice lager to mellow out.

And for everyone wondering why we’re not leading with La Cumbre’s fourth anniversary party (this Saturday!), I will have a separate story on not just that event but a full review of 2014 and a preview of 2015 for one of ABQ’s most iconic breweries. Barring anything unexpected, look for that story Thursday.

On the new beer front, there is a wide variety of styles popping up. Bosque has replaced IPA 57 with IPA 65, while also adding the Prospector Milk Stout. Boxing Bear is jumping on the sweet stout train with their Chocolate Milk Stout. Canteen has busted out a new pilsner, PLZ PLZ. Kaktus is feeling festive with Holiday Peppermint Stout. La Cumbre’s Mind Phoq, a coffee pale ale, is one of the more unique beers you can try. Nexus is channeling their inner Trekkie with Warp 10 Golden Strong. Tractor has hopheads covered with Winter Hop IPA and malt lovers covered with Chocolate Milk Stout.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn has Snow Advisory, a winter warmer. Duel’s monstrous Goya Imperial Stout will debut Friday on tap and in bombers at the brewery (we hope they’ll send some bottles down to Jubilation, too, but no word on that yet). Second Street’s Anniversary Ale should be on tap for their 18th anniversary dinner this weekend.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of Dec. 8.

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

Albuquerque metro area breweries

ABQ Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

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

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

Back Alley Draft House — (505) 766-8590

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

Beers: Soroche IPA, Pre-Prohibition Malt Tonic, Ladron’s Peak. In case you missed it, we recently interviewed BADH’s new brewer, Brandon Venaglia. There are some exciting times coming, including a possible expansion. The Pre-Prohibition Malt Tonic is a dark American lager that’s based on a 110-year-old recipe and will now become a regular beer at BADH.

Events: Sundays will now be Service Nights at Back Alley, with $2 off all beers for service industry workers.

Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596

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

Beers: PSA (Pumpkin Spice Ale), Kindling Golden Ale, Olde Bosky Porter, Cottonwood Anniversary Ale, IPA 65, Prospector Milk Stout. The Cottonwood is a big old double red ale, similar to but still different than Marble’s Imperial Red; there’s more malt backbone here, a little less hop bite, but it’s still excellent. Also back on tap is an old favorite in the Olde Bosky Porter. The Bosque Lager will now be on tap year round, replacing the Kindling, which moves to the seasonal list (this is much as Driftwood Oatmeal Stout replaced Olde Bosky earlier this year). The new IPA 65 is a slight variation on the IPA 57. I got to try the Prospector Milk Stout when it debuted last Friday. It’s smooth as silk and a little less sweet and more robust than most milk stouts. It still retains a lot of stout character, which is a nice change from the more Left Hand-influenced versions.

Cask: The IPA 65 will be on cask this Friday.

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

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

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

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

Beers: Paw Swipe Pale Ale, Hairy Mit Hefe, Standing 8 Stout, Ambear Ale, Uppercut IPA, Oso Otono, Chocolate Milk Stout. Last week Boxing Bear put the Chocolate Milk Stout on cask and it sold out by 7 p.m., the first time that has ever happened with a cask, one of the servers told us. Now that it’s on tap it should last longer than a few hours, but you can tell already how popular this beer is with folks. Oso Otono, an oatmeal lager, looks like a standard ale in color but tastes like a robust brown. Another recent addition is Punkelweizen, a pumpkin/dunkelweizen hybrid. Their Facebook page described it as “liquid banana bread.” Other recent additions to the lineup are the Standing 8 Stout (6.3% ABV, 45 IBU) and Ambear Ale (5.2% ABV, 35 IBU).

Cask: Paw Swipe Pale Ale dry-hopped with Galaxy will be the featured firkin this Friday.

News: Boxing Bear now has a happy hour. 10-, 16-, and 22-ounce beers are all discounted from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Growler Happy Hour then runs from 6 p.m. to close on those nights. Get $2 off a growler fill and $1 off a half-growler (they call ‘em “squealers”).

Also, every day at lunchtime (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), for just $10 you can get a pint and a panini of your choice.

Events: Every Wednesday is now Karaoke Night at Boxing Bear. It runs from 6 to 10 p.m.

The Cali Shaw Duo will perform Friday from 6 to 9 p.m.

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: Drunken Hobo Milk Stout, Tom Selleck Ale, Rip Van Winkle Vanilla Stout, Nacho Brau. The Drunken Hobo will soon replace the Mulligan Stout in the regular lineup, or so Franz Solo was told when he visited recently. The Nacho Brau is another of Franz’s favorite seasonals. Get over to BBB before he drinks it all up.

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

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737

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

Beers: Fog Nozzle Smoked Marzen, The Highlander Scottish Ale, PLZ PLZ, Irish Red, Rye PA, American Stout, Wine Barrel-Aged Belgian Golden, White Shine (White Wine), Tequila IPA. The Tequila IPA (8.3% ABV, 100+ IBU) was aged in tequila barrels for eight months and is now ready for public consumption. A recent addition to the taps is Fog Nozzle (5.7% ABV, 22 IBU), a rauchbier, which has all the smoky goodness you need for this sudden drop in temperature. The Highlander (5.2% ABV, 25 IBU) is a tasty Scottish ale, and yes, you can shout “there can be only one!” when you drink it. Just not too loud, don’t want to startle the wait staff and have them drop a beer or anything.  The White Shine (9.75% ABV, 50 IBU) is a big old wheat wine that has some unique flavors. The Rye PA (7% ABV, 50 IBU) and the American Stout (7.4% ABV, 60 IBU) have been around a while, so get them while you can before they run out. I got to try the American Stout while interviewing brewer Brady McKeown about the name change to Canteen Brewhouse. It’s a big, bold, thick, mean-as-hell-yet-totally-lovable stout. It’s my kind of stout, and that’s saying something. The PLZ PLZ (6.5% ABV, 25 IBU) is a new pilsner.

News: The other barrel-aged beers in the back, waiting to be tapped, are American Stock Ale in rum barrels and Panama Joe Coffee Stout in bourbon barrels.

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

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

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

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

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

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

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

Beers: Face Time Porter, Red River Ale, Old Town Oat Brown, Coney Pale Ale. The Red River (5.7% ABV, 33 IBU) is an ESB. The Old Town (5.6% ABV, 25 IBU) looks light in color but not in its dry, roasted flavor. The Face Time (6% ABV, 40 IBU) is a smooth, delectable porter. Let it open up a bit and taste even more flavors. The Coney Pale Ale (5.5% ABV, 45 IBU) is the most recent addition to taps, made with Mosaic and Falconer’s Flight hops.

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

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

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

Beers: Oatmeal Stout, Gunslinger Cherry Smoked Brown, Helles Lager, ESB, Red Ale, German Alt Lager, Jabberwocky IPA, London Porter, Holiday Peppermint Stout. Kaktus has seen a massive turnover in beers recently with the Oatmeal Stout, Helles Lager, ESB, Red Ale, and London Porter returning to taps. The newest beers to try are the Gunslinger Cherry Smoked Brown and the Holiday Peppermint Stout. Located at 471 South Hill Road in Bernalillo, Kaktus is one of the state’s newer breweries. It is a small, casual place, similar to Blue Heron in appearance and comfort factor. Kaktus owner Dana Koller said fans can expect the nanobrewery to go through its most popular styles quickly, though they will always have something new and exciting available as a replacement.

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

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

News: For the remainder of the year, all growler refills at Kaktus are just $8. Talk about happy holidays!

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Lazy Sunday, Mind Phoq, C3-PA, Gracias Por Fumar. The Gracias Por Fumar was aged in wine barrels and is available on tap and in bombers. Mind Phoq, a coffee pale ale, is an experimental new beer. It uses an Ethiopian light roast from Prosum Roasters and is lightly hopped to showcase the coffee flavor. As LC said on their Facebook page, “It’s so good it will blow your mind!” Another recent addition is the C3-PA (6.2% ABV, 43 IBU), a pale ale brewed with Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook hops. The Lazy Sunday, a session IPA, is back on tap for the first time since April. Oh, and don’t panic about Project Dank and Red Ryeot no longer appearing here as seasonals. They are now part of La Cumbre’s regular lineup.

Events: La Cumbre’s fourth anniversary party will run all day Saturday. We’ll have a full preview Thursday as well as news about what’s to come for La Cumbre in 2015.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

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

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

News: Lizard Tail’s happy hour runs seven days a week from 3 to 6 p.m. You get $1 off food, flights, and pints.

Events: Lizard Tail will host Geeks Who Drink every Tuesday at 8 p.m.

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739

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

Beers: Double White, Double IPA, Imperial Red, Nitro Pub Ale, Pumpkin Noir, Reserve Ale, White Out. A fairly recent addition is White Out (9% ABV), a burly Belgian-style ale. The popular Pumpkin Noir is nearing the end of its run. The Nitro Pub Ale is what Boddington’s was meant to taste like. It’s a creamy little delight. This year’s batch of Reserve Ale is a cacophony of flavors. Both it and the Brett IPA (which is not on tap) are available for sale in bombers at Marble and up at Jubilation. There is also the rotating “black handle,” which tends to feature some impressive “secret” beers. The Double White and Imperial Red brought home gold medals from GABF.

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

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

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100

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

Beers: Dry Stout, Equinox Spiced Brown Ale, 2013 Barley Wine, Warp 10 Golden Strong. Brewer Kaylynn McKnight cranked out one returning seasonal in the Equinox, which is back by popular demand, and popped an aged keg or two of the Barley Wine. We’ve been able to get over there and try the Dry Stout and came away quite impressed. The Dry Stout is bold and thick, the kind of burly beer you want in the winter (or year-round if you’re like us). New to taps is the Warp 10 Golden Strong, an English-style golden ale.

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.

While “The Walking Dead” is done until early 2015, you can still play Walking Dead pinball in Nexus’ community room. It’s one of four pinball machines now available for some nostalgic fun.

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: PiPA, West Coast Red, Bourbon Vanilla Porter, Lost Grain English Summer Ale, Pre-Prohibition Pilsner. While Pi Brewing is not open to the public yet, they are able to brew and serve their beers next door at Nicky V’s. The IPA and West Coast Red are both good hoppy beers. We’ll keep tabs on when Pi itself opens. For now, grab a pint and some tasty Italian food. The PiPA will now be a regular beer, replacing the Unchallenged IPA. The scrumptious Bourbon Vanilla Porter is back, replacing the Robust Porter.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

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

Beers: Ghost Train IPA, Rip Saw Red, Crosscut Kolsch, Sawmill Stout, XPA1 Pale Ale, Helles Lager, Double IPA, Dunkel, Chocolate Pumpkin Porter, Schwarzbier, Breakfast Stout, Imperial Rice Lager. Ponderosa is located at 1761 Bellamah NW, which is just east of Rio Grande and due north of the NM Natural History Museum, in the bottom floor of a swanky-looking apartment/retail complex. The Imperial Rice Lager (7% ABV) was brewed as a tribute to Marble’s Ted Rice, whose staff has helped Ponderosa in their early months of existence.

News: The next batch of brews will include Dunkelweizen, Helles Hefeweizen, and Ella Single Hop Pale Ale.

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675

(Mon–Thurs 2 p.m. to midnight, Fri–Sun noon to midnight)

Beers: (Regular) Gateway Blonde Ale, Roamer Red, Threshold IPA, Paint it Black Milk Stout, Unhinged Cider, Trapdoor Wheat. (Seasonal) Strong Scotch Ale. The first Red Door seasonal, Strong Scotch Ale, debuted recently. We stopped by and wrote up a quick review and we’ve been back since to enjoy it again. Brewer Wayne Martinez said he hopes to have more seasonals on tap before the end of the year. After a short absence, the powerful Unhinged Cider (7.9% ABV) is back on tap as well.

News: Take note of Red Door’s new weekday schedule for the winter months as they will now open at 2 p.m. instead of noon. Weekend hours remain the same.

Sandia Chile Grill — (505) 798-1970

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

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

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

The Stumbling Steer — (505) 792-7805

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

Beers: Bang Up Blonde, Hefferweizen, Pig Sticker Pale, Iron Horse IPA, Rawhide Red, Boneyard Brown, Hop Trough (Double IPA), Soiled Dove (Imperial Stout), Black IPA. While the brewery is being built in the back of the Steer, all of their house beers are being brewed off-site, but still using brewer Kirk Roberts’ recipes. The DIPA and the Stout are limited to two per customer, due to their high alcohol content (10% and 9.5% ABV, respectively). The Black IPA is the current seasonal beer, plus there are often one or two cask beers. We recently had their Bacon Bourbon Stout and Green Chile IPA on cask. Franz Solo loved the latter.

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

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

UPDATED >>> Beers at Nob Hill: Little Red Rye-ding Hood, Turkey Drool, Mustachio Milk Stout, Javi Light Lager, Jack the Sipper, Winter Hop IPA, Chocolate Milk Stout.

Beers at Wells Park only: Berry Cider. All of the Nob Hill seasonals are also at Wells Park, which has 24 total taps (Tractor’s five regular beers have two taps apiece). We love us some Turkey Drool (8% ABV) this time of year. It’s a brown ale with all sorts of holiday-themed spices and other added ingredients. This year’s batch is arguably the best yet. The Little Red (5.8% ABV) has a malty rye kick. Jack the Sipper (7% ABV) is Tractor’s take on a spiced pumpkin ale. The new Winter Hop IPA (6.4% ABV, 70 IBU) uses a blend of fragrant hops and caramel malts for a unique twist on the popular style. The Chocolate Milk Stout should tide over your sweet tooth.

News: Congrats to Tractor and their Mustachio Milk Stout, which won in the Best of Albuquerque competition from ABQ the Magazine.

Mustachio’s bigger, meaner brother, Luna de los Muertos Russian Imperial Stout, is aging in the back, including some in a barrel. Oh, man, that could kill us … but we’d die happy.

Events: Art Fusion for a Cause returns to Wells Park tonight (Wednesday) at 8 p.m. There will be live music, poetry, art, and more. For $5 you can enter a raffle to take home some sweet prizes.

Tonight (Wednesday) at Nob Hill, the Solos on the Hill series resumes with Eryn Bent performing at 8:30 p.m. If you miss Eryn Bent tonight, she is the featured performer in the pLOUD music series Thursday at 8 p.m. at Wells Park.

The In the Mix series is back Saturday at Wells Park as Cloudface performs at 9 p.m.

I’ll Drink to That returns to Wells Park on Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m. with a dozen vendors for a holiday market and a dozen performers to entertain you while you shop and drink.

Both Tractor locations will be closed Monday for the staff holiday party.

Tuesday will see the return of Beer & Bellies Community Belly Dance Show at 7 p.m. at Wells Park.

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

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

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

Beers: (House) McDay’s Cream Ale, Oku Amber, Parasol White IPA, Hopshell IPA, Piedra Lisa Porter, Heidelberg Helles. (Seasonal/specialty) Cascade Session Pale Ale, Uberaltbier, A Little Somethin’ Pumpkin, Rio Grande Tortoise Black IPA. To help us out for now and the future, brewer Tim Woodward broke down what will be the regular beers on tap (under House) and the current list of seasonals. That’s a pretty solid regular lineup. I personally really enjoyed the Porter and Amber, the latter of which trumps most of its genre in terms of flavor. The Heidelberg Helles (5.1% ABV, 25 IBU) has rejoined the regular lineup for good, or so Tim hopes. A Little Somethin’ Pumpkin is served on nitro. The most recent addition to the lineup is the Rio Grande Tortoise Black IPA, a collaboration brew with Bosque that was created for a recent beer dinner. Now it’s on tap for everyone to enjoy.

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Snow Advisory, Monks Mesa (Belgian Blonde), Meltdown Chocolate Porter, Rakau Single Hop IPA. The Monks Mesa (4.5% ABV, 15 IBU) is a Belgian blonde table beer. The Meltdown used no less than 25 pounds of cocoa nibs. The Rakau, using a powerful New Zealand hop, is now on tap. New to the lineup is Snow Advisory (7.5% ABV, 17 IBU), a winter warmer.

News: Next up in the beer list is a White DIPA.

Events: Thursday at the Brewer’s Table Holiday Party is this week starting at 6 p.m. It costs $20 and reservations are required. For more info click the Facebook link here.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

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

Beers: Bad Amber, Fiction (IPA), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Marcel (Witbier), Whistler (Blonde), Dark Ryder (Dark Strong), Grunewald (Imperial Porter), Goya (Imperial Stout). The lineup got a shakeup with some big beers joining the rotation. Dark Ryder and Grunewald check in at 11-percent ABV, while Goya (15.9% ABV) is a monster of a beer. It will be available on tap and in bombers at the brewery this Friday.

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

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

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

Beers: Double White IPA, Deviator Doppelbock, Full Mast Kilt Scotch Ale, Black IPA. The first beer in the new Ever Changing Series is a Double White IPA, which Luke of the Brew Crew bullpen recently reviewed. The Kriek, which won a bronze medal at GABF this year, is on sale around the state in bombers, though it is no longer on tap.

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

News: SFBC will soon be opening a taproom in Albuquerque. Here are all the details that Luke, our Santa Fe correspondent, could find. It sounds promising.

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

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

Beers: Kolsch, International Pale Ale, Cream Stout, Imperial Porter, Boneshaker Bitter, Fulcrum IPA, Berliner Weisse, Anniversary Ale. The new International Pale Ale and Imperial Porter make their debuts this week, while the Pivotal IPA is back after a short absence. With the shift to December, some holiday beers are also on the way. The Anniversary Ale will see its recipe tweaked and will now feature a blend of Millennium, Columbus, Chinook, Citra, and Comet hops. The Festivus Ale will be due out around Dec. 18 in time for the next Cask-n-Curry Night. Also coming soon will be Trebuchet Imperial IPA, which completes a “trilogy” with Pivotal and Fulcrum IPAs. The Hull Melon Pilsner will also return for those who need a break from big hops. The Anniversary Ale should be on tap this weekend.

Events: Second Street’s 18th anniversary party is this Friday and Saturday. For $55 you get a prix fixe dinner with four courses. You also get a commemorative glass filled with the beer of your choice.

Also this weekend, Pollo Frito performs Friday night at the original location and Cloacas performs Saturday. Shows at the Railyard will feature Watermelon Mountain Jug Band on Friday and Greg Daigle on Saturday.

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

Other breweries you need to visit

Twisted Chile Brewing — (575) 835-2949

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

Beers: Pilabo Pale Ale, 790 IPA, Quebradas Sunrise Amber, German Pilsner. Twisted Chile has been open for a while as a restaurant, but as the name might imply, they are also brewing their own beer on site. Located in Socorro at 115 Abeyta St. W, they are the first brewery there to brew on site since Socorro Springs outsourced their brewing to Eddyline in Colorado. I got to head down there recently and enjoyed all the beers I sampled. Kudos to Twisted Chile for bring quality craft beers back to a town that needed ‘em. The newest beer on tap is the pilsner. They haven’t come up with a catchy name yet, but the staff seems to already be in love with this new style.

News: The popular Venom XL IPA will be back soon.

Events: Twisted Chile has specials running during Monday and Thursday Night Football every week.

* * * *

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

As we did for Santa Fe a couple weeks ago, we do now for the ABQ metro area. The Crew, and for once this is a multi-person endeavor, has set forth and compiled a list of breweries’ merchandise to give you a handy guide for your holiday shopping. Hey, you can’t always just buy people beer. I mean, you could, but sometimes you want a gift that lasts longer than it takes to down a growler of Turkey Drool. So to help out everyone, rather than force you to go to multiple breweries or skip from website to website to Facebook page to Twitter feed, we have put everyone’s beer merch lists together in this one place.

You’re welcome. We’re always up for pints as thank yous if you see any of us out and about.

Without further adieu, here’s what we all compiled. For the record, it went like this so you know who to ask for if something below is inaccurate or missing in action: Adam (Bosque and Lizard Tail), AmyO (Blue Grasshopper, Cazuela’s, Turtle Mountain), Brandon (Ponderosa), Franz Solo (Boxing Bear, Broken Bottle, Stumbling Steer), and Stoutmeister (Canteen, Chama River, La Cumbre, Marble, Nexus, Red Door, Tractor). Back Alley Draft House and Sandia Chile Grill do not have any merch, though both hope to get some in 2015.

The breweries are listed in alphabetical order.

Blue Grasshopper

Rio Rancho’s newest brewpub is still awaiting their first batches of beer. Right now they have one T-shirt, white with the logo on it, and some growlers, though those are plain and do not yet have the logo. They hope to have more merchandise, and beer, in the near future. You can only buy the shirts at the pub.

All the Bosque merch you can view in a single photo. (Courtesy of Bosque's Facebook page)

All the Bosque merch you can view in a single photo. (Courtesy of Bosque’s Facebook page)

Bosque

Bosque has a range of T-shirts branded with their regular beers available for $20, military and trucker hats also for $20, women’s fit work shirts for $35, growlers, stickers and patches all for $5, and a range of gift cards. We were told they have just added beanies, pullover hoodies, and thermal shirts, prices TBA. All of this is available for purchase on their website or at the taproom, though the newest items are not yet online. We’re definitely fans of the X-Men-like Scotia Scotch Ale logo and the new hoodies.

All the glassware you need this holiday season.

All the glassware you need this holiday season.

Boxing Bear

The west side’s newest brewery has plenty of gear hanging above the bar. They have black, white, and gray T-shirts for $18 ($20 for 2XL, $21 for 3XL), black hats for $14 or $30, and black hoodies for $35 ($40 for 2XL). There are growlers ($5), half-growlers ($3.50), and pint glasses ($5) for sale as well. The ultra-popular stainless steel mini-keg growlers ($40) are available for purchase. They don’t have a way to buy the merch off their website (yet), but you can take a look at it all here. And in the spirit of the holiday season, Boxing Bear is having a coat and blanket drive. The coats will be donated to Joy Junction while the blankets are for animals and will be donated to Animal Humane. Drop them off today (Friday) and grab a pint of the Chocolate Milk Stout with vanilla bean and cocoa nibs on cask. Dear lord that sounds ridiculously decadent.

Feel rustic with these ceramic mugs from Broken Bottle.

Feel rustic with these ceramic mugs from Broken Bottle.

Broken Bottle

The folks at BBB have quite the array of merchandise. In addition to T-shirts ($15) in various colors — plus long-sleeve shirts for $20 — they have hats ($20), logo pint glasses ($4), and of course growlers. If you need help carrying your half-growlers, you can get a Boston carrier for $10. It holds two half-growlers and is perfect for getting your beer home from the brewery when you don’t have a passenger in your car to hold on to them. BBB also has swanky ceramic mugs for when you’re feeling rather medieval when drinking at home. Blast some Amon Amarth and toast to the Norse gods.

Canteen's new growler is one of the best of its genre.

Canteen’s new growler is one of the best of its genre.

Canteen

They’re still bringing in new gear to replace the old Il Vicino stuff. They have special fleece sweatshirts ($45) for the winter months with sizes from XS to XL. T-shirts are available in both black (unisex) and gray (both men’s and women’s) for $25 in sizes from XS to XXL. Canteen has two styles of hats for $20 in both pre-washed denim and “trucker” style. There are three varieties of growlers available. The standard glass 64-ounce growler is $8.50, with $5.50 beer refills. Pella flip-top growlers cost $16 with $9 refills. Then there’s the new “fire extinguisher” custom powder-coated, double-walled stainless steel, vacuum insulated growlers. Those cost $66 and come with an optional Co2-driven keg attachment for $25.

For more on these special growlers, Bullpen member Reid (who purchased one) sent us this mini-review: “I would say that it’s nearly a perfect growler. It’s insulated (should keep it cold many hours), light, blocks any sunlight, and is pretty easy to open and close. I also have a few other insulated growlers, but they have twist-off caps and can be a pain to open when the pressure inside builds up. This one has a pop-top and shouldn’t have that problem. My only quibble is that once the latches are lifted up, the cap is free to just lift off on its own. If the cap was more permanently affixed to one of the latches, it would be more convenient, plus you wouldn’t have to worry about lining the cap up with the latches in order to close it. But these are minor complaints. I’d say it’s head and shoulders above any other growler I’ve seen.”

Cazuela’s

They hope to have T-shirts in soon, but you’ll have to go to the restaurant to buy them. They do have growlers ($5 empty, $10 filled) with their logo on them. You can also purchase gift cards that can be used for beer and/or food.

Chama River

All right, the info has been tracked down. So Chama has a special holiday gift pack for $45. In it you get four logo glasses with either the Chama logo or Tap the Source or both. In the middle of those glasses is the Tap 3 growler, a metal, insulated growler of goodness. If your cabinets have too many beer glasses already, you can get just a Tap 3 for $28. This is the same special growler sold at Blue Corn in Santa Fe and both Draft Stations. Beyond that, Chama has T-shirts for $12.95, long-sleeve shirts for $28, trucker-style hats for $13 with the Tap the Source logo, and work shirts for $35 that will make you look like Zach and David (but probably not brew like them; it’s not magic).

Kaktus

Right now they only have growlers, unless we’re told otherwise. You can buy a filled growler for $12. We’d assume it’s just $8 or so for the unfilled growler, but really, who buys someone an empty growler? I guess maybe if you’re shipping it out of state or something, otherwise that’s just silly.

We need that Malpais Stout shirt in our lives.

We need that Malpais Stout shirt in our lives.

La Cumbre

All of La Cumbre’s merch is available at the brewery only. Oh, darn, you might have to grab a pint or two when you stop by to pick up a gift. Their T-shirts come in a variety of styles and range from $20 to $25. The Malpais Stout shirt was my personal favorite (natch). Long-sleeve shirts cost $28. La Cumbre has multiple logo glasses. The standard pint glasses cost $5, while the imperial stout glasses are $6, and those tall, lanky hefe glasses are $8. You can buy glass growlers for $10 and mini-growlers for $5. La Cumbre will have special holiday growlers due in next week just in time for the fourth anniversary party (Dec. 13). These stainless steel hydro-flask growlers are insulated to keep your beer cold and fresh for longer than a glass growler. They will cost $50. Oh, and after Gracias Por Fumar became available in bombers this week, next up will be a Belgian-style Tripel in bombers. Jeff is trying to kill us all with these big, beautifully monstrous beers.

A comprehensive look at Lizard Tail's merchandise. (Courtesy of their Facebook page)

A comprehensive look at Lizard Tail’s merchandise. (Courtesy of their Facebook page)

Lizard Tail

Lizard Tail Brewing have the usual range of brewery merchandise available for your holiday shopping needs. T-shirts ($20), hats ($30), growlers ($6 for the growler, +$10 to fill it) and pint glasses ($5), as well as gift cards. Additionally they have recently introduced their Mug Club. Good from purchase until the end of 2015 the membership is $25 for the year and includes $1.50 off pints at the brewery or if you catch them out at any special events. You also receive a pint glass and sticker for signing up. All of this is available at the brewery for purchase.

Marble's merch will put you in the holiday spirit.

Marble’s merch will put you in the holiday spirit.

Marble

In the spirit of the season, Marble has created special holiday gift packs. For $25 you get a bomber of Reserve Ale with Joliesse Chocolate bars. If that’s not enough, their new stainless steel holiday growlers check in at $40 and have a nifty little holiday-themed image on the outside. The new winter hoodies check in at $30 and ladies’ pullovers will be available at the downtown pub next week. Marble has one of the best online merch sites around for all of their year-round gear. Marble has both men’s and women’s T-shirts for $20. They have two varieties of hats for $20, plus Marble sunglasses for $10. Stainless steel 20-ounce tumblers ($10) and leather koozies ($12) will help keep your beer cold. You can also snag a Marble messenger bag for $25. Hey, what better way to carry everything else home? Oh, and don’t forget to mark your calendars, the Imperial Stout Release Party is Dec. 17.

You gotta admit, bravery is required to wear this in public.

You gotta admit, bravery is required to wear this in public.

Nexus

Got the info for here at last. Nexus is taking this whole “ugly sweater” thing to a new level. After having an ugly sweater contest all November, the brewery has created its own ugly sweater. See that picture? Wow. That’s just plain epic. And a little 80’s retro, don’t you think? It almost needs a Pac-Man trying to eat a pint glass. Anyway, the hostess told me that it may be an eye-opener, but it’s also super warm on cold winter nights. If a fashionable young woman like her can buy one, anybody can, right? So it’s got that going for it and it retails for $20. Beyond the ugly sweater itself, there’s also an ugly sweater pint glass for $5 (patrons who went on the “ugly sweater brewery tour” last month got to take one home, now they’re available for everyone). All of Nexus’ gear is available at the brewery only; they do have plans to eventually start selling “swag” through the website, but it’s not ready online just yet. Other year-round merchandise includes hats ($14), V-neck T-shirts ($22), regular T-shirts in power blue, gray, and dark blue ($18), and brewery work shirts ($35). Full growlers cost $5, while the special blue half-growlers are $8.

The merch cabinet at Ponderosa is filling up. (Courtesy of their Facebook page)

The merch cabinet at Ponderosa is filling up. (Courtesy of their Facebook page)

Ponderosa

One of the city’s newest breweries has some merchandise available, though only at the brewery. They have T-shirts in several colors for $20. There are Ponderosa logo pint glasses for $6. And, like most places, they have growlers with their logo on them. In addition to selling items, Ponderosa is also holding a Holiday Toy and Food Drive with Montezuma Elementary School. Bring in toys and/or non-perishable food items to Ponderosa from today through Dec. 16 and you will receive a free order of hand-cut french fries.

Red Door

The new guys on the east side of town were happy to share what’s available. Right now they don’t have any specific holiday-themed merchandise, but they hope to get their stainless steel holiday growlers in for sale in the near future (exact dates are TBA). Red Door does have a gray, zippered sweatshirt for $40 to help keep you warm while you drink cold beer on cold days. There are also men’s and women’s T-shirts for $15. A special red shirt for women only costs $15 as well. New hats are coming in on Tuesday that will retail for $20. Both 64- and 32-ounce growlers sell for $4. Red Door also has gift cards for sale. Expect more gear to arrive in the future. They’re a pretty young brewery to already have as much as they do.

Stumbling Steer

In addition to all the great food, the Steer has gear you can take home. T-shirts cost $18 ($22 for long sleeves). You can get a logo pint glass for $5, or have them fill with beer first and then take the glass home afterward for $7. It’s $5 for a Tullup glass and $8 for a beer fill plus the glass. The Steer has growlers as well. Unfortunately, you have to go to the restaurant to buy everything as there’s nothing online. Wait, did we just say unfortunately? There’s nothing unfortunate about going to the Steer and being tempted by all of their great food and beer.

Tractor's extensive gear selection is visible inside Wells Park.

Tractor’s extensive gear selection is visible inside Wells Park.

Tractor

Tractor is one of the most internet-savvy breweries, so it’s no surprise they have a detailed online store. The winter collection features black zipper front hoodies for $35, special new orange hoodies for $35, ladies’ 3/4 sleeve Get Plowed retro shirts for $17, Sh*t Burquenos Drink long-sleeve shirts for $17, Brian Everett Design shirts for $20, ladies’ long sleeve Real Girls Drink Beer shirts for $17, navy long-sleeve logo shirts for $17, and two other T-shirts for $12. Just about every style of shirt is available for women and men. On the glassware front, you can get logo sample glasses, half-pint glasses, and full pint glasses for just $4 apiece. Full growlers are available at $4 and half-growlers are $5. You can also purchase $25 gift cards. They have reusable Tractor bags for $8 and two styles of hats for $10. And if you’re looking for a little literature, you can buy Carlos Contreras’ book Time Served for $12.95. He’s the gentleman behind the weekly Tractor newsletter and our main contact for all Tractor-related news.

Turtle Mountain

It’s business as usual at Rio Rancho’s favorite hangout. They have growlers and T-shirts (they were out of women’s shirts when AmyO went, but they said they’re getting new ones soon) that you can only buy in person. You can buy gift certificates online here.

* * * * *

And because Brandon is about to become a father for the first time, we asked him to check and see if any in-state breweries have baby/children’s clothing. What do you know, Santa Fe Brewing has “Half Pint” onesies for infants and T-shirts for infants and toddlers. They all cost $16 and are available online. Little Bannon will be dressed well once he arrives in January. Now we just need a brewery around town to make a little black hoodie for the kid so he fits in with all of his new “uncles” in the Crew. (We don’t think Mrs. Solo or AmyO have any hoodies, but we could be wrong on that.)

Got any additional merchandise info? Send it to us via direct message on Facebook, tweet at us @nmdarksidebc, or email us at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com.

Happy holiday shopping, beer lovers!

— Stoutmeister

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

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

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

Last week we gave thanks. This week La Cumbre says gracias, as in Gracias Por Fumar. The smoked porter is back and it’s getting released in bottles this time around in addition to going on tap at the brewery Thursday. This is not the GPF you might remember, though, as this batch was barrel-aged for a year. Yeah, La Cumbre is gonna beat us upside the head again with another big, delicious beer. And this is just one of several upcoming special beer release gatherings to help us get through the long days and nights. Also set in stone are La Cumbre’s fourth anniversary party and the release of a barrel-aged English Barley Wine on Dec. 10, followed by Marble’s Imperial Stout release party on Dec. 17. At some point soon we hope to hear when Tractor’s Luna de los Muertos Imperial Stout is coming out, not to mention a certain Dark Side Baltic Porter at Canteen and Obey the Darkside Foreign Export Stout at Chama River.

On the new beer front, it’s rather quiet, but that’s to be expected considering we’re coming off a holiday. Bosque has unveiled IPA 57; no, it does not taste like ketchup. Canteen has brought forth its Wine Barrel-Aged Belgian Golden to the masses after debuting it during a mug club event. Chama River’s Coney Pale Ale rolls into town. La Cumbre also has Mind Phoq, a coffee pale ale, debuting today (Wednesday). Ponderosa keeps on its German-style kick with a new Dunkel.

Up in Santa Fe, it’s even quieter. Blue Corn hopes to have their Winter Warmer available this coming Monday.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of Dec. 1.

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

Albuquerque metro area breweries

ABQ Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

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

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

Back Alley Draft House — (505) 766-8590

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

Beers: Soroche IPA, Pre-Prohibition Malt Tonic, Ladron’s Peak. In case you missed it, we recently interviewed BADH’s new brewer, Brandon Venaglia. There are some exciting times coming, including a possible expansion. The Pre-Prohibition Malt Tonic is a dark American lager that’s based on a 110-year-old recipe and will now become a regular beer at BADH.

Events: Sundays will now be Service Nights at Back Alley, with $2 off all beers for service industry workers.

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: Feral IPA, PSA (Pumpkin Spice Ale), Kindling Golden Ale, AdoptEx English Pale Ale, Olde Bosky Porter, Cottonwood Anniversary Ale, IPA 57. The Cottonwood is a big old double red ale, similar to but still different than Marble’s Imperial Red; there’s more malt backbone here, a little less hop bite, but it’s still excellent. Also back on tap is an old favorite in the Olde Bosky Porter. The Bosque Lager will now be on tap year round, replacing the Kindling, which moves to the seasonal list (this is much as Driftwood Oatmeal Stout replaced Olde Bosky earlier this year). The Feral IPA should quench your need for hops. Then there is the IPA 57 (6.6% ABV, 80 IBU), a new brew described as “a bold, aggressive American IPA. A pale malt backbone, accented by touches of wheat, honey, and caramel malts, sets the stage to showcase tropical fruit, pine, and spicy hop aromas and flavors from this hop blend.” For every pint of AdoptEx English PA sold, $1 will be donated to the Adoption Exchange of Albuqueqrue.

Cask: Bosque is taking a short break from doing a cask.

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

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

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

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

Beers: Paw Swipe Pale Ale, Hairy Mit Hefe, Standing 8 Stout, Ambear Ale, Uppercut IPA, Punkelweizen, Oso Otono, Apple Bear Cider. The new kid here is Apple Bear Cider. Oso Otono, an oatmeal lager, looks like a standard ale in color but tastes like a robust brown. Another recent addition is Punkelweizen, a pumpkin/dunkelweizen hybrid. Their Facebook page described it as “liquid banana bread.” Other recent additions to the lineup are the Standing 8 Stout (6.3% ABV, 45 IBU) and Ambear Ale (5.2% ABV, 35 IBU).

Cask: Yup, Boxing Bear is doing a cask. We’ll update this when we find out what it will be this week.

News: Boxing Bear now has a happy hour. 10-, 16-, and 22-ounce beers are all discounted from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Growler Happy Hour then runs from 6 p.m. to close on those nights. Get $2 off a growler fill and $1 off a half-growler (they call ‘em “squealers”).

Also, every day at lunchtime (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), for just $10 you can get a pint and a panini of your choice.

Events: Every Wednesday is now Karaoke Night at Boxing Bear. It runs from 6 to 10 p.m.

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: Drunken Hobo Milk Stout, Tom Selleck Ale, Rip Van Winkle Vanilla Stout, Nacho Brau. The Drunken Hobo will soon replace the Mulligan Stout in the regular lineup, or so Franz Solo was told when he visited the other day. The Nacho Brau is another of Franz’s favorite seasonals. Get over to BBB before he drinks it all up.

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

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737

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

Beers: Fog Nozzle Smoked Marzen, The Highlander Scottish Ale, Bender IPA, Irish Red, Rye PA, American Stout, Wine Barrel-Aged Belgian Golden, White Shine (White Wine), Tequila IPA. The Tequila IPA (8.3% ABV, 100+ IBU) was aged in tequila barrels for eight months and is now ready for public consumption. A recent addition to the taps is Fog Nozzle (5.7% ABV, 22 IBU), a rauchbier, which has all the smoky goodness you need for this sudden drop in temperature. The Highlander (5.2% ABV, 25 IBU) is a tasty Scottish ale, and yes, you can shout “there can be only one!” when you drink it. Just not too loud, don’t want to startle the wait staff and have them drop a beer or anything. Bender IPA (6.7% ABV, 85 IBU) was created when they mixed some of The Good Stuff and a Double IPA. The White Shine (9.75% ABV, 50 IBU) is a big old wheat wine that has some unique flavors. The Rye PA (7% ABV, 50 IBU) and the American Stout (7.4% ABV, 60 IBU) have been around a while, so get them while you can before they run out. I got to try the American Stout while interviewing brewer Brady McKeown about the name change to Canteen Brewhouse. It’s a big, bold, thick, mean-as-hell-yet-totally-lovable stout. It’s my kind of stout, and that’s saying something.

News: The other barrel-aged beers in the back, waiting to be tapped, are American Stock Ale in rum barrels and Panama Joe Coffee Stout in bourbon barrels.

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

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

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

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

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

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

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

Beers: Face Time Porter, Red River Ale, Old Town Oat Brown, Coney Pale Ale. The Red River (5.7% ABV, 33 IBU) is an ESB. The Old Town (5.6% ABV, 25 IBU) looks light in color but not in its dry, roasted flavor. The Face Time (6% ABV, 40 IBU) is a smooth, delectable porter. Let it open up a bit and taste even more flavors. The Coney Pale Ale (5.5% ABV, 45 IBU) is the newcomer to taps, made with Mosaic and Falconer’s Flight hops.

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

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

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

Beers: Oatmeal Stout, Gunslinger Cherry Smoked Brown, Helles Lager, ESB, Red Ale, German Alt Lager, Jabberwocky IPA, London Porter. Kaktus has seen a massive turnover in beers recently with the Oatmeal Stout, Helles Lager, ESB, Red Ale, and London Porter returning to taps. The newest beer to try is the Gunslinger Cherry Smoked Brown. Located at 471 South Hill Road in Bernalillo, Kaktus is one of the state’s newer breweries. It is a small, casual place, similar to Blue Heron in appearance and comfort factor. Kaktus owner Dana Koller said fans can expect the nanobrewery to go through its most popular styles quickly, though they will always have something new and exciting available as a replacement.

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

This Friday marks the anniversary of the end of Prohibition, so Kaktus is throwing a party. There will be $3 pints all day, with entertainment kicking off at 5 p.m. from the Desert Darlings and music from Cactus Quintet.

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.

News: For the remainder of the year, all growler refills at Kaktus are just $8. Talk about happy holidays!

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

UPDATED >>> Beers: Peek-a-Boob Porter, Lazy Sunday, Mind Phoq, C3-PA, Gracias Por Fumar. The Gracias is back with a Thursday release party (see above). Mind Phoq, a coffee pale ale, is an experimental new beer. It uses an Ethiopian light roast from Prosum Roasters and is lightly hopped to showcase the coffee flavor. As LC said on their Facebook page, “It’s so good it will blow your mind!” A recent addition is the C3-PA (6.2% ABV, 43 IBU), a pale ale brewed with Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook hops. The Lazy Sunday, a session IPA, is back on tap for the first time since April. The Peek-a-Boob Porter was made for charity, as $1 from every pint sold will go to the local YWCA to benefit early breast cancer awareness. Oh, and don’t panic about Project Dank and Red Ryeot no longer appearing here as seasonals. They are now part of La Cumbre’s regular lineup.

Events: Sunday morning yoga is back at La Cumbre this weekend. Starting at 10:45 a.m., get all nice and stretched out before football and pints. It’s just a $5 donation.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

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

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

News: Lizard Tail’s happy hour runs seven days a week from 3 to 6 p.m. You get $1 off food, flights, and pints.

Events: Every Tuesday at 8 p.m. Lizard Tail will host Geeks Who Drink.

The Jir Project will perform from 8:30 p.m. to midnight this Friday.

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739

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

Beers: Double White, Double IPA, Imperial Red, Nitro Pub Ale, Pumpkin Noir, Reserve Ale, White Out. A fairly recent addition is White Out (9% ABV), a burly Belgian-style ale. The popular Pumpkin Noir is nearing the end of its run. The Nitro Pub Ale is what Boddington’s was meant to taste like. It’s a creamy little delight. This year’s batch of Reserve Ale is a cacophony of flavors. Both it and the Brett IPA (which is not on tap) are available for sale in bombers at Marble and up at Jubilation. There is also the rotating “black handle,” which tends to feature some impressive “secret” beers. The Double White and Imperial Red brought home gold medals from GABF.

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

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

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100

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

Beers: Saisons Change, Dry Stout, Equinox Spiced Brown Ale, 2013 Barley Wine. Brewer Kaylynn McKnight cranked out one returning seasonal in the Equinox, which is back by popular demand, and popped an aged keg or two of the Barley Wine. We’ve been able to get over there and try the Saisons and Dry Stout and came away quite impressed. The Dry Stout is bold and thick, the kind of burly beer you want in the winter (or year-round if you’re like us). The Saisons Change packs a ton of flavor in every sip. It’s not spicy hot, but it will leave your tongue tingling with a strong Belgian yeast backbone behind the initial bite.

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.

While “The Walking Dead” is done until early 2015, you can still play Walking Dead pinball in Nexus’ community room. It’s one of four pinball machines now available for some nostalgic fun.

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: PiPA, West Coast Red, Bourbon Vanilla Porter, Lost Grain English Summer Ale, Pre-Prohibition Pilsner. While Pi Brewing is not open to the public yet, they are able to brew and serve their beers next door at Nicky V’s. The IPA and West Coast Red are both good hoppy beers. We’ll keep tabs on when Pi itself opens. For now, grab a pint and some tasty Italian food. The PiPA will now be a regular beer, replacing the Unchallenged IPA. The scrumptious Bourbon Vanilla Porter is back, replacing the Robust Porter.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

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

Beers: Ghost Train IPA, Rip Saw Red, Crosscut Kolsch, Sawmill Stout, XPA1 Pale Ale, Helles Lager, Double IPA, Dunkel, Chocolate Pumpkin Porter, Schwarzbier, Breakfast Stout. Porter Pounder and I went over for the grand opening recently. Ponderosa is located at 1761 Bellamah NW, which is just east of Rio Grande and due north of the NM Natural History Museum, in the bottom floor of a swanky-looking apartment/retail complex. As for the beers, they are all the initial batches, so expect some modifications/changes going forward. Needless to say we both liked the Stout (5.2% ABV, 22 IBU) the best, but we’re dark beer guys (then again, you could also call us dark beer snobs, so consider that). Porter Pounder liked the XPA1 Pale Ale (5% ABV, 35 IBU), which will always be a rotating single-hop pale ale. The Crosscut Kolsch (4.9% ABV, 25 IBU) is almost like a Kolsch/hefeweizen hybrid. The Ghost Train (6.2% ABV, 75 IBU) needs some work, but the brewer has already identified what went wrong in the first batch and is working on correcting that for the next run. The Double IPA (7.7% ABV, 90 IBU) provides plenty of hops; it was briefly out, but it’s going to be back on tap soon. The Schwarzbier (4.7% ABV, 24 IBU) debuted recently. It’s smooth and flavorful. The new Breakfast Stout (7.3% ABV, 40 IBU) is a smoky, malty, yet smooth beast of a beer. It’s another sign that Ponderosa’s beers are getting better with each batch. The Dunkel is now on tap, replacing the Oktoberfest. There is also word of a “secret beer” due out later this week. Keep an eye on Ponderosa’s Facebook page for details.

News: The next batch of brews will include Dunkelweizen, Helles Hefeweizen, Ella Single Hop Pale Ale, and something called Marbelous.

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675

(Mon–Thurs 2 p.m. to midnight, Fri–Sun noon to midnight)

Beers: (Regular) Gateway Blonde Ale, Roamer Red, Threshold IPA, Paint it Black Milk Stout, Unhinged Cider, Trapdoor Wheat. (Seasonal) Strong Scotch Ale. We were excited to try Red Door ever since they first invited us to visit many months ago. They are now open and their initial batches of beer are all quite good. The Roamer Red (6% ABV) was a favorite for Porter Pounder, sitting midway between hoppy reds like Marble and sweeter reds like the standard Irish variety. The Paint it Black (5.5%) is served on nitro, so it’s criminally smooth. The potent Threshold IPA (6.6% ABV) should appeal to local hopheads. Beware the Unhinged Cider as it checks in at 7.9 percent, but you don’t taste the alcohol. The first Red Door seasonal, Strong Scotch Ale, debuted recently. Don’t worry, we already stopped by and wrote up a quick review. You’re welcome, Albuquerque!

News: Take note of Red Door’s new weekday schedule for the winter months as they will now open at 2 p.m. instead of noon. Weekend hours remain the same.

UPDATED >>> Events: Tiffany Christopher will perform from 8 to 10 p.m. on Thursday.

Sandia Chile Grill — (505) 798-1970

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

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

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

The Stumbling Steer — (505) 792-7805

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

Beers: Bang Up Blonde, Hefferweizen, Pig Sticker Pale, Iron Horse IPA, Rawhide Red, Boneyard Brown, Hop Trough (Double IPA), Soiled Dove (Imperial Stout), Black IPA. While the brewery is being built in the back of the Steer, all of their house beers are being brewed off-site, but still using brewer Kirk Roberts’ recipes. The DIPA and the Stout are limited to two per customer, due to their high alcohol content (10% and 9.5% ABV, respectively). The Crew has already made two separate visits to the Steer to review the beer and food. We enjoyed it all. The Black IPA is the current seasonal beer, plus there are often one or two cask beers. We recently had their Bacon Bourbon Stout and Green Chile IPA on cask. Franz Solo loved the latter.

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

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

UPDATED >>> Beers at Nob Hill: Berry Cider, Barnstorm Ale, Little Red Rye-ding Hood, Turkey Drool, Mustachio Milk Stout, Javi Light Lager, Jack the Sipper.

Beers at Wells Park only: La Llorona Dry Hop Amber, Pilsner #15. 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). We love us some Turkey Drool (8% ABV) this time of year. It’s a brown ale with all sorts of holiday-themed spices and other added ingredients. This year’s batch is arguably the best yet. The Little Red (5.8% ABV) has a malty rye kick. Jack the Sipper (7% ABV) is Tractor’s take on a spiced pumpkin ale.

News: Congrats to Tractor and their Mustachio Milk Stout, which won in the Best of Albuquerque competition from ABQ the Magazine.

Mustachio’s bigger, meaner brother, Luna de los Muertos Russian Imperial Stout, is aging in the back, including some in a barrel. Oh, man, that could kill us … but we’d die happy.

Events: The Thirsty Thursday music series is back at Wells Park with Carlos The Tall performing at 8 p.m.

The In the Mix series is back Saturday at Wells Park as DJ Flo Fader performs at 9 p.m.

I’ll Drink to That returns to Wells Park on Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m. with a dozen vendors for a holiday market and a dozen performers to entertain you while you shop and drink.

Tuesday will see the return of Poetry and Beer: Open Mic and Slam at Wells Park at 7 p.m.

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

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

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

Beers: (House) McDay’s Cream Ale, Oku Amber, Parasol White IPA, Hopshell IPA, Piedra Lisa Porter, Heidelberg Helles. (Seasonal/specialty) Cascade Session Pale Ale, Uberaltbier, A Little Somethin’ Pumpkin, Rio Grande Tortoise Black IPA. To help us out for now and the future, brewer Tim Woodward broke down what will be the regular beers on tap (under House) and the current list of seasonals. That’s a pretty solid regular lineup. I personally really enjoyed the Porter and Amber, the latter of which trumps most of its genre in terms of flavor. The Heidelberg Helles (5.1% ABV, 25 IBU) has rejoined the regular lineup for good, or so Tim hopes. A Little Somethin’ Pumpkin is served on nitro. The most recent addition to the lineup is the Rio Grande Tortoise Black IPA, a collaboration brew with Bosque that was created for a recent beer dinner. Now it’s on tap for everyone to enjoy.

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Russian Imperial Stout, Monks Mesa (Belgian Blonde), Meltdown Chocolate Porter, Rakau Single Hop IPA. The Monks Mesa (4.5% ABV, 15 IBU) is a Belgian blonde table beer. The Imperial Stout is a behemoth of a beer that our Santa Fe writer Luke got to enjoy at a recent release party. The Meltdown used no less than 25 pounds of cocoa nibs. The Rakau, using a powerful New Zealand hop, will debut this Friday.

News: Don’t forget, Draft Station ABQ has the Russian Imperial Stout on tap. A few of us went down this past weekend to get some pints. It was just as good as Luke and James promised.

Next up in the beer list are a Winter Warmer, likely due out this coming Monday, and a White DIPA.

Events: Blue Corn’s holiday party is set for December. We’ll have more info as we get closer to the date.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

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

Beers: Danae (Golden Sour Ale), Bad Amber, Fiction (IPA), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Marcel (Witbier), Whistler (Blonde), Whistler on Wood (Oak-aged Blonde), Titian (Golden Strong), Dark Ryder (Dark Strong), Grunewald (Imperial Porter). The lineup got a shakeup with some big beers joining the rotation. Titian, Dark Ryder, and Grunewald all check in at 11-percent ABV. The Whistler on Wood is a oak barrel-aged version of the blonde ale. It’s only slightly higher (4.2% ABV) than the regular Whistler (4% ABV).

News: The Goya Stout (15.9% ABV) is due out soon. No, that ABV is not a typo. It’s that big. Please, oh please, bottle that and send it down to us via Jubilation.

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

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

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

Beers: Double White IPA, Deviator Doppelbock, Full Mast Kilt Scotch Ale, Black IPA. The first beer in the new Ever Changing Series is a Double White IPA, which Luke of the Brew Crew bullpen recently reviewed. The Kriek, which won a bronze medal at GABF this year, is on sale around the state in bombers, though it is no longer on tap.

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

News: SFBC will soon be opening a taproom in Albuquerque. Here are all the details that Luke, our Santa Fe correspondent, could find. It sounds promising.

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

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

UPDATED >>> Beers: Kolsch, International Pale Ale, Cream Stout, Imperial Porter, Boneshaker Bitter, Rod’s Best Bitter, Fulcrum IPA, Berliner Weisse. The new International Pale Ale and Imperial Porter make their debuts this week, while the Pivotal IPA is back after a short absence. With the shift to December, some holiday beers are also on the way. The Anniversary Ale will see its recipe tweaked and will now feature a blend of Millennium, Columbus, Chinook, Citra, and Comet hops. The Festivus Ale will be due out around Dec. 18 in time for the next Cask-n-Curry Night. Also coming soon will be Trebuchet Imperial IPA, which completes a “trilogy” with Pivotal and Fulcrum IPAs. The Hull Melon Pilsner will also return for those who need a break from big hops.

Events: Saturday is Second Street’s 18th anniversary, though they’re holding off on a party until Dec. 12-13. Check back for more details next week.

That’s all because this Saturday is the For One of Our Own Festival, with proceeds going to fight breast cancer. There will be live music all day at the original location from noon to 11 p.m. There will also be a silent auction. Click on Second Street’s website for more details, or better yet, sign up for their monthly newsletter.

Also this weekend, MV III performs Friday night at the original location. Shows at the Railyard will feature Santa Fe Revue on Friday and Red Racer on Saturday.

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

Other breweries you need to visit

Twisted Chile Brewing — (575) 835-2949

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

Beers: Pilabo Pale Ale, 790 IPA, Quebradas Sunrise Amber, German Pilsner. Twisted Chile has been open for a while as a restaurant, but as the name might imply, they are also brewing their own beer on site. Located in Socorro at 115 Abeyta St. W, they are the first brewery there to brew on site since Socorro Springs outsourced their brewing to Eddyline in Colorado. I got to head down there recently and enjoyed all the beers I sampled. Kudos to Twisted Chile for bring quality craft beers back to a town that needed ‘em. The newest beer on tap is the pilsner. They haven’t come up with a catchy name yet, but the staff seems to already be in love with this new style.

News: The popular Venom XL IPA will be back soon.

Events: Twisted Chile has specials running during Monday and Thursday Night Football every week.

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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