If you don’t want to leave Rio Rancho for any of Saturday’s other big events, now you don’t have to!

Anyone traveling out to Rio Rancho in the last year or so has probably encountered the mass of construction-related chaos along Southern Boulevard, one of those projects that had to be done, but no one really wanted to endure. Well, the original plan was for that construction to be complete around now, so the City of Rio Rancho planned out a special Shop & Stroll event that included three breweries — Turtle Mountain, Brew Lab 101, and 1933 Brewing.

Well, the construction is not finished yet, but the party will still go on this Saturday from 3 to 9 p.m. It is a free event for people of all ages. Brew Lab 101 co-owner/brewer Scott Salvas sent us plenty of info to help encourage folks to brave those last orange barrels and celebrate all the businesses up and down this vital east-west artery in Rio Rancho.

For those who find it a little far to walk between each of the breweries, there will be free shuttles moving back and forth. Each brewery will have an extended outdoor beer garden into its parking lot, so ride share services or carpooling is recommended for anyone attending who cannot walk or bike from home. A different radio station will be broadcasting from each brewery.

Turtle Mountain will have its Oktürtlefest party going on, including a fundraiser for the St. Felix Pantry. There will be live bands playing outside including Judy & The Jets from 3 to 4 p.m., Brian Marshall 33 RPM from 4:30 to 6, Die Polka Schlingel from 6:30 to 7:30, and RJ Perez from 8 to 10. Games for people of all ages will include a magic mirror photo booth, a bouncy castle, and a dunk the clown tank (which, yes, will include owner Nico Ortiz, so somebody better send us a good photo of when he goes down for the first time). There will be a whole lot of authentic German festival food, including Shine’s traditional sauerbraten, authentic knockwurst and weisswurst, and locally made bratwurst with TMBC’s applekraut.

1933 Brewing is hosting a First Responders Appreciation Event from 4 to 9. It will also be the site of a color fun run that starts at 2. There will be beer, games, food, special vendors, and more.

As for Brew Lab 101, things kick off at 3 with the CARMA Battle of the Bands. CARMA is a charity that helps care for homeless animals. Corner House will perform at 5:30, followed by Hitmen at 8. Punchy’s Pizza, Karibu Cafe, and Wing It Up will be the food trucks on hand. There will be games, face painting, balloon animals, and a photo booth for the kids and people-who-still-act-like-kids. There will also be a special balloon glow at 7:30.

The goal of all of this, per Scott, is for this festival to become the new Rio Rancho Oktoberfest, held between the three neighboring breweries. Get on our there and show your support this Saturday to make it happen!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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Say farewell to summer and hello to autumn with beer!

After a long, hot summer that’s still pretty hot, it may seem strange to have a beer festival dedicated to snow, but it’s happening at Pajarito Ski Area near Los Alamos this Saturday. Ullrfest is an annual tribute to Ullr, the Norse God of Snow. The hope is that with enough people dressed in Viking costumes, and sufficient sacrifices of beer, that the ski season will be a bountiful one. If nothing else, it’ll likely be cool at 9,000 feet. (Does anyone remember what it feels like to be cool?)

While most readers of this blog are probably here for the beer news, we do want to let you know that there will be plenty of other activities going on. There will be a disc golf tournament, a Hoppy scavenger hunt for hidden beer cans along the mountain’s trails, lift service to get you to the top so you can search for said cans from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., a mountain bike race, a Viking costume contest, food from the cafe, and last but far from least, live music from Felix y Los Gatos (2-5 p.m.). Felix rocks, so it should be a grand party.

As always, beer is a large component of Ullrfest. Bring an ID to show that you’re over 21, of course. For an entry fee of $15, you get tastes of all the beers and a pint of your favorite, as well as a new, unique souvenir beer mug. The beer portion of the event runs from noon to 5 p.m.

ullr-mug

The nifty new mug you get for attending Ullrfest.

The following breweries will be in attendance, and Stoutmeister asked for and got most of the beer lists (if the last two pop up, we will update this post):

  • Bathtub Row: Hoppenheimer IPA, CojonHaze IPA, Festbier, Little Bird Blonde
  • Beer Creek: Coming Soon Pale Ale, Picture Rock Porter
  • Blue Corn: Gatekeeper IPA, Peach Gose, Oktoberfest, Whiteout Stout, Mexican Lager
  • Boxing Bear: OktoBEARfest (draft and cans), Bear Knuckle (draft and cans), Chocolate Milk Stout, Uppercut IPA, Apple Bear Cider
  • Canteen: TBA
  • La Reforma: Copper Canyon Pale Ale, La Ref Lager, Maximillian, Turbia Hazy IPA, Hi-Wit
  • Leaf and Hive: TBA
  • Red River: Campfire Cream Ale, Tucker Brau Oktoberfest, Catskinner IPA, Back 40 Farmhouse Ale
  • Second Alarm: Hotshot Kolsch, Caldera Copper Lager, Jemez Jefe Hefeweisen, Porter Landing Porter
  • Second Street: 2920 IPA, Vienna Lager, Black Canyon Porter, Sloppy Sloth Hazy IPA, Kolsch, XX ESB
  • Tumbleroot: TBA

If you’re going to be enjoying the beer, be sure to take the free shuttle that runs every half hour from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from the high school parking lot in town. It’s very convenient and priced right.

For additional information, visit the Pajarito Mountain event page.

Cheers!

— Reid

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s seven breweries, one in Los Alamos, one in Moriarty, one in Red River, one in Silver City, and one in Truth or Consequences also joining the party.

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

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

Hey, remember when last weekend was rather incredibly jammed with major events at breweries around town? This weekend might actually surpass that. In addition to Marblefest, which we already covered, there will also be events at seemingly every point on the map around the metro area and a little beyond. Going with seniority of events first, if you feel like getting a little ways out of town, then head to Sierra Blanca’s eighth annual Oktoberfest celebration on Saturday from 2 to 9 p.m. For $15 you get a bratwurst dinner and entry into the expansive beer garden. Kids 10 and under eat free, and they get their own kids zone with games and activities. Adults can enjoy the music from Rhythm Divine and Full Moon while sipping on the SB Oktoberfest beer. Back in town, both Rio Bravo (4th) and Ponderosa (5th) are celebrating their respective anniversaries on Saturday. Ponderosa will have Judy and the Jets performing at 5:30, plus a special cask of Margarita Lime Lager will be on tap, and there will be additional food and beer specials. Rio Bravo will be roasting chiles from 5 to 8, with a special beer tasting from 7 to 8, then Brandon Saiz performs at 8:30, followed by headliner Josh Grider at 9:30. There will also be prize giveaways including a one-night stay at Hotel Andaluz. Finally, out in Rio Rancho, to celebrate the end of construction on Southern Boulevard (yes, it’s done), the Shop & Stroll Street Party is taking over a stretch that includes three breweries — Turtle Mountain, Brew Lab 101, 1933 Brewing — all taking part in the fun. We will gather more information on this big, free event that runs from 3 to 9, with a charitable component and all sorts of beer-related fun. If there is anything we missed this weekend, please send us the info. It’s busy out there.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bombs Away has a fresh batch of Counter Charge Coffee Stout. Bosque grasps at Last Straw Hefeweizen. Canteen gets in the season with Oktoberfest, plus Falconer’s Arm Pale Ale is back. Ex Novo reinvents the acronym with Intense Berry Units. La Cumbre lands Jet Pilot Pale Ale. La Reforma brewed up Copper Canyon Pale Ale, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Alajaba Children’s Home in Creel, Chihuahua, Mexico, a longtime favorite charity of owners John Gozigian and Jeff Jinnett. Marble feels the season with Pumpkin Ale on tap and Pumpkin Noir returning on tap and in cans today (Wednesday). Nexus goes wild with Fest Bier, out today (Wednesday). Ponderosa also has its India Pale Lager on tap. Quarter Celtic recently added Burque Biergarten, a collaboration kellerbier made with Sidetrack, which also has it on tap. Other recent additions at Sidetrack are Octubre Fiesta and a new batch of Pub Ale. Steel Bender is doing a double can release of The Whole Shoe Belgian IPA and Blackberry Dynamite on Thursday. Thirsty Eye’s Oktoberfest hits taps this weekend.

Up in Santa Fe, Second Street is releasing Sloppy Sloth Hazy IPA on tap and in cans. Tumbleroot brings back Double Brown Ale and New School IPA, while also adding Festbier and Smoked Porter on nitro, plus three new sours in bottles (Pomegranate, Blueberry Raspberry).

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of September 16.

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There were just a few brewers in the house at Bosque North. See how many you can identify!

If your favorite brewery appeared to be missing its brewer on Tuesday, fear not, for he or she was likely working hard at Bosque Brewing in Bernalillo. Well, maybe not working hard, exactly, but that was the gathering place for representatives of some 20-plus breweries as the New Mexico Brewers Guild collaboration brew day took place.

Land of Enchantment Lager was the result, the brain child of a number of brewers, brewed on the Bosque brewhouse for release in the near future. The beer was described by Bosque’s Tim Woodward as “a mix of an India pale lager and a West Coast pilsner.“

While the Bosque team went to work, everyone else mingled, shared beers, shared stories, and devoured the ample supply of goodies from Dunkin Donuts, and later, Restoration Pizza.

Brewers Guild executive director Leah Black snaps a photo of Bosque’s John Bullard, center, and Tim Woodward atop their brewhouse.

Brewers Guild executive director Leah Black organized the entire day with help from the Guild’s board of directors and the staff at Bosque.

“I think it’s really important — the colla-BEER-ation — is what we’re all about,” Leah said. “It’s so cool to have the brewers pick each others’ brains. … We just felt like it was very needed for 2019. Today right now we have over 20 breweries, hanging out, commiserating over other people’s beers, sharing beers, it’s such a cool event.”

The beer recipe itself was a joint venture of multiple brewers.

“Bosque has graciously donated their production facility,” Leah said. “So (Bosque’s) John Bullard and Tim Woodward kind of helped as far as what we could do today and what (ingredients) they had. Jayson Wylie and Dave Kimbell, our technical committee on the board, they collabed with John and Tim to bring this recipe together with donations (of ingredients) from a couple of the breweries.”

Ponderosa’s Antonio Fernandez, center, gets the credit for naming the collaboration beer as Land of Enchantment Lager.

The name of the beer came from one brewer.

“It was actually, I think, Antonio (Fernandez) from Ponderosa (who) originally suggested it,” Leah said. “We all really liked it. It was so simple. It was perfect.”

The lager will be on tap at multiple breweries, though an exact release date is TBD, but likely in late October/early November.

“Right now, everybody here that’s in on the brew today, it will be at their respective breweries, and then anything that’s left, other breweries will be able to (order),” Leah said. “It will just depend on how many kegs we have left.”

A rough count of the breweries in attendance (it was a lot of people) included Roosevelt Brewing (Portales), Spotted Dog Brewery (Mesilla), Taos Mesa Brewing, and Santa Fe Brewing for those beyond the Albuquerque metro area. Breweries in town besides the host that had someone present included Bow & Arrow, Boxing Bear, Broken Trail, Canteen, High and Dry, Marble, Nexus, Ponderosa, Red Door, Sidetrack, Starr Brothers, Thirsty Eye, Toltec, and Tractor.

Just a few local beers were shared among the brewers, and one beer writer.

There were also a number of conversations between brewers, many of whom were meeting for the first time, that may lead to future collaborations. Throw in plenty of happy conversations about forthcoming beers, from the return of Vantablack at Boxing Bear to all sorts of malty and hop-forward creations around town, and it was a mighty good time on Tuesday afternoon.

Thanks to Leah for the invitation to join in and be a fly on the wall. A fly enjoying a fair amount of local beer, pizza, and donuts.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

It’s time to get your German food and beer fix at the annual Marblefest this Saturday.

Long ago, Marble Brewery used to hold Septemberfest in its back parking lot downtown, featuring other breweries from around the state offering up their autumn beers. As the brewery grew and expanded, eventually swallowing that parking lot, Septemberfest disappeared into the memory of festivals gone by.

Then along came Marblefest, a full-on German-themed beer event that perfectly captures the season, with other breweries joining in on the fun. The 2019 edition of this street party is set for this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (VIP only), and 2 to 11 for everyone else.

Thirsty for more knowledge, I met up with on-site events coordinator/social media director Geraldine Lucero, director of brewing operations John Heine, and head brewer John Carroll to learn what beers will be poured and all the other details the beer geeks of New Mexico need to know.

“Marblefest is like German and New Mexican culture combined, because we can’t do something that’s strictly Oktoberfest German-style, we’re really inspired by the culture, but ultimately we love New Mexico and want to bring as many aspects of it into our event,” Lucero said. “We’re excited.

“General admission is $5 at the door only at 2 o’clock. No dogs, no strollers, guys. Sorry, but you won’t be let in if you bring any of that.”

There will also be a special VIP event for the first three hours of the day.

“We have our VIP tasting session is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., tickets are available online for $20, day of they jump to $25,” Lucero said. “You get a commemorative tasting glass, six 4-ounce pours, and the delicious pretzel and mustard combo, plus live music from Mondo Vibrations.”

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Oh, sure, Red Door looks all calm and peaceful right now, but come Saturday, the party is on behind that, um, red door.

One can forgive Red Door head brewer Matt Meier for looking a little worn out of late. After all, he has a baby boy at home, in-laws in from way out of town, and for some reason, he decided to brew five brand-new beers for his brewery’s fifth anniversary party this Saturday.

Meier has not been at Red Door for all five years of its existence, but he said he is proud of how far the brewery has come.

“It’s huge, I’m particularly proud of it, that’s why I mouthed off and volunteered to do — I can’t say that anybody brought that up, it was my own doing, now I’m kicking myself a little bit — but let’s go do this, release five beers,” he said. “Don’t expect anything like that for six. I’ll do like one anniversary beer a year.”

All joking aside, Meier said he was pretty confident that such a feat was doable.

“From last year’s anniversary party to this year’s I’ve got a year under my belt here, so I knew what we’re capable of doing,” Meier said. “Even though I secretly doubted we could pull it off, I tried to keep those thoughts quiet.

“(But) I want to reiterate, never again.”

Red Door will be open at its usual time Saturday before the events begin later in the day.

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Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s seven breweries, one in Los Alamos, one in Moriarty, one in Red River, one in Silver City, and one in Truth or Consequences also joining the party.

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

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

Anytime a brewery steps up to help our four-legged friends is a moment worthy of praise. Boxing Bear is bringing back its popular take on Oktoberfest, DogtoBEARfest, this Saturday at the brewery on the Westside. Stop by between noon and 6 p.m. and a portion of all beer proceeds will go to Watermelon Mountain Ranch. You can also purchase a DogtoBEARfest commemorative stein, with proceeds from that also going to the charity. This is a dog-friendly event, so bring your pups. My Sweet Basil will provide German-themed food (if it’s anything like what they brought to La Cumbre on Oktoberfest can release day, you are in for a treat). There will also be local vendors including Fat City Eats, Treats, and Sweets, plus Pizza Pets and Nonsense, Simply Sola Decor, Chris McAfee’s artwork, Love and Ashes, and Pawsitively Amazing. Music will be provided by AAA Swing City Music from 3 to 6. Oh, and of course there will be two new canned beer releases in OktoBEARfest and the IPA Challenge-winning Bear Knuckle.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Boese Brothers has its Oktoberfest back on tap. Bow & Arrow brings back Wolf Eyes (Marzen) on Saturday. Cantero has more American Gold Ale and Mangofria Pale Ale. Casa Vieja has joined our listings, so look for their current lineup below. Ex Novo declared It’s Oktober Somewhere, while also trucking in some 503 to 505 Hazy Pale Ale. La Cumbre searches for the Endless Horizon, a tropical stout collaboration with Beachwood Brewing, in cans and on tap this Friday, along with more Acclimated APA and A Wise Man’s Fear DIPA. Red Door is adding five beers for its fifth anniversary party on Saturday, but you will have to wait for our full preview story to run to learn what’s what. Sidetrack has just added a, you guessed it, Oktoberfest to its lineup. Starr Brothers declares There Wolf with its marzen back on tap. Steel Bender goes on another Kettle Run: A Solo Hop Sour on Thursday. Thirsty Eye is throwing an IPA party on Saturday, adding Hart Hazy IPA and Sinister Vision DIPA to the lineup. Tractor brings back a seasonal favorite in Traktoberfest.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn joins in on the season with its own Oktoberfest. Rowley Farmhouse Ales brings back Fields of Rye on draft. Second Street races to Diablo Canyon with the charitable Atalaya Altbier in tow. Down in Truth or Consequences, T or C Brewing feels the night with Luna Park Pale Ale on Thursday. Out in Sierra Blanca, Oktoberfest is on tap in advance of the brewery’s big German-themed party on September 21.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of September 9.

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The Cantero Brewing parking lot will be site of Saturday’s anniversary party featuring three local guest breweries and a distillery!

The past chronicles of Cantero Brewing have noted that going from concept to opening was not an easy process, so please excuse the folks there if they want to throw one jumbo-sized party to celebrate a year in business.

“Honestly, all the things we went through this year, it was definitely a challenge,” co-owner Kane Oueis said. “I think the best way to end a challenge is to celebrate.”

“We wanted to invite our community to join in that, other breweries, just celebrate our accomplishments for the year, just support each other,” added his wife and co-owner Katey Taylor.

Cantero has done just that, bringing in neighbors like Canteen Brewhouse, Palmer Brewery and Cider House, and Left Turn Distilling to join in a party in the parking lot this Saturday from 1 to 7 p.m. In addition, Toltec Brewing will be making a rare trek eastward to take part in the fun.

“We love our neighbors, Canteen and Palmer, they’ve been so kind to us,” Kane said. “I’m not going to lie to you, we’re not used to that, not in business, at least. There’s a sense of camaraderie when something’s wrong, not when everything is going right. In this sense, everything is right, and there’s still this huge sense of camaraderie.”

“Camaraderie and support (was) definitely unexpected; we weren’t expecting that when we came into the brew scene,” Katey said.

UPDATE>>>Palmer and Left Turn will only be bringing spirits to make cocktails, while Canteen is bringing Oktoberfest, Sichler Green Chile Lager, High Plains Pilsner, and Exodus IPA, and Toltec is bringing Mystic Rye Lager, Raspberry Warrior, Sacred ALTar, and Lupulin Guardian IPA.

The event will span both the interior and aforementioned exterior of Cantero, which is located at 3351 Columbia Dr. NE.

“It’s going to be in our parking lot, we’re going to take a section and gate it off, putting some fencing up,” Kane said. “We’re going to have a 10-by-15 tent that people can sit under and drink.”

In addition to the guest breweries, there will be plenty of fun and games for fans of all ages to enjoy, along with some giveaways.

“We’re going to be giving a away a kegerator to a home brewer,” Kane said. “It doesn’t cost anybody anything. They just need to be present and talk to us about their home brewing experience. Then they get a raffle ticket, and that’s it.”

Throw in some hats, metal growlers, stickers, and other items, and plenty of folks should go home with more than just a full belly.

“We’re going to be running a different food menu, kind of limiting some things, so that way we can process things faster,” Kane said. “We’re still going to have the burgers, still going to have tacos, a lot of the favorites. As far as the beer goes, I know we are coming out with the Shaken Hazy, it’s a hazy milkshake IPA. We’re also bringing out our Glowdeo IPA.”

There will be live music as well, with Benny Bassett performing from 1 to 2:15 p.m., followed by the Julian Dossett Duo from 2:30 to 4:30, and the Dirty Brown Jug Band from 5 to 7.

The entire event will also give the Cantero staff a chance to reflect on that first year of operation, while also preparing for the second.

“This year just flew right by,” Katey said.

“It honestly feels like we just walked in here,” Kane said. “I’m not going to lie, it was a journey, a big journey. We now know that whatever we put our mind to, we can do. We’re new to this industry. There’s a lot of doubt in it. Now we understand it a lot better. We’re familiar with the clientele, with the process.”

A big thanks to Kane and Katey for taking the time to sit down and chat during this very busy week.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The location is the same, but a lot has changed. (And yes, technology failed us and we didn’t get a picture saved of the new bar area. We will try again soon.)

It was only a few years ago that Nob Hill Bar & Grill was regularly packed with beer geeks, there to enjoy a special tapping, tap takeover, or a giant introductory event for an out-of-state brewery new to town. Quietly, though, those nights seemed to fade away, until most events moved elsewhere.

Well, if the new owners of NHBG have it their way, those nights could return in the future. With a little time between the end of work and the start of Sunday Night Football, I stopped in just for a quick look around, and ended up having a quick conversation with one of those new owners, Jacob Fox, of New Mexico Capital Partners.

The restaurant half of the building is pretty much unchanged, just with some new tables and chairs. The bar, well, that is another story. Most of the bar area is now behind a wall. Fox said the plan is to transform it into a tiki bar. It will be completely separate from the restaurant. There is still a bar for the restaurant, albeit less than half the total size of its predecessor. It faces east now, and is well-lit and much more open.

There are eight beer taps, and at the outset Fox said it is only a temporary beer list that includes offerings from Ex Novo and La Cumbre. The goal is to eventually have a mix of in-town and out-of-state beers, but Fox said he wants the selections to be on the rarer side. While they have beers like Elevated and Mass Ascension right now, the goal will be to have rarer one-offs instead of the more mass-produced house beers that can seemingly be found almost anywhere. Fox and his partners have a friendship with Ex Novo owner Joel Gregory that predates the opening of the Corrales brewery, so expect to see a fair amount of unique Ex Novo offerings for those folks who find Corrales too far to travel to from the southeast.

In addition to those plans, Fox said he wants to amass a collection of rare bottles from some of the smaller distributors like Favorite Brands, which carries Prairie Artisan Ales and a number of others that are a wee bit popular with the hardcore beer geeks in these parts.

Beyond the beer, the food menu has also been redone by chef Sean Sinclair and his wife, Katey, who are part of the ownership group. There is also an extensive wine list and a revamped cocktail menu, for those who need a break from beer. (We hear such people exist.)

Fox is also an owner of Little Bear Coffee, and a new location for that popular spot is going in directly across Central in the former Disco Display House. Normally this would not be news on a beer site, but Fox said that the plan is to put a small brewery and distillery in that space in addition to the coffee shop. We await further updates on that plan and what final details it will entail.

Until then, stop by NHBG, give it a fresh look, and let us know what you think.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Life is better when you can get wet hop beers to go, like this here Fresh Hop Eliot IPA, available for a limited time at Ex Novo!

The other day a series of videos were posted by the folks at Bathtub Row Brewing in Los Alamos that showed the harvesting of the fresh, wet hops for their Ancones Wet Hop IPA. That was followed by Wednesday’s surprise arrival of Fresh Hop Eliot IPA at Ex Novo Brewing in Corrales (it was made at the Portland brewery).

Yes, wet hop season is upon us, a sometimes overlooked happy start to the fall season that is traditionally dominated by Oktoberfest-style lagers and, eventually, those pesky pumpkin beers.

For those new to craft beer, or at least the brewing process, most hops are dried and pelletized for longer shelf life, always stored cold. The bulk of all beers are brewed year-round with these hops. Every year, however, some of the hops are purchased whole and fresh, and then thrown into beers around the country to create some of the most unique brews of the season.

Hello there, Ancones, we wish we could make it up to Los Alamos to enjoy you. (Photo courtesy of Bathtub Row Brewing)

While I have not had the chance to ascend the mountain to Los Alamos, I did make a point of stopping at Ex Novo to try the Fresh Hop Eliot. There was at least one keg on draft, though the staff was unsure if another was chilling in the walk-in cooler across the parking lot in the brewery. Either way, get on over there to try it yourself if you are so inclined.

This Eliot was brewed with a heaping amount of fresh Centennial hops. It is a wonderful cascade of juicy, fruity flavors with a hint of pine. It coats the palate from start to finish, while providing a wonderful aroma. Basically, this is what a hop-forward beer should be, at least in my humble opinion.

The Fresh Hop Eliot is also for sale in four-pack cans. I took some to Franz Solo, who is on paternity leave, and once he attained some semblance of rational consciousness, he messaged back to announce his ecstatic approval of the beer.

It’s not a hazy IPA, but the Fresh Hop Eliot is pretty darned juicy.

Other breweries are likely hard at work at some stage of their own beers. Toltec head brewer Kaylynn McKnight posted photos on Instagram of her first wet hop brew being made. Other breweries may be brewing, may have already brewed, or perhaps they are just waiting on the freshest of fresh hops to arrive. We can only hope that Bosque’s award-winning Acequia Wet Hop IPA is in the works for this year.

This is a fun time for brewers, hop farmers (including several in our state), and customers alike. We take this moment to salute the wet hop beers for making these last lingering days of summer heat a lot more fun and refreshing.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister