My Post-16

Calling all beer geeks! Many of you have tried, or at least heard of the amazing beer, “Bomb!” from Prairie Artisan Ales (Tulsa, Oklahoma). Maybe some of you haven’t, but that’s OK, too. I’m not calling you out. If you haven’t heard of it, Bomb! is a huge, 13-percent ABV imperial stout aged on chocolate, coffee, vanilla beans, and ancho chile peppers. According to Prairie, “The peppers add just the right amount of heat to complement the intense coffee and chocolate flavors.” For those of you who have had this, you know it’s a big, chewy, complex-yet-pretty-balanced beer.

This Sunday, Rowley Farmhouse Ales is hosting an event at the brewery surrounding this crazy amalgamation of four separate flavorful imperial stouts. It’s not like any beer event I’ve ever been to in New Mexico. It’s called Prairie Bomb! Deconstructed. Is RFA just tapping Bomb!? No sir/ma’am! These mad scientists are messing with the very fabric of creation itself! Well, not exactly.

Other bars and taprooms have hosted similar Bomb! Deconstructed events, tapping all four variants and letting the public blend to their hearts’ content, but this is where the mad science of RFA comes in. According to chef and co-owner Jeff Kaplan, they have the actual recipe straight from Prairie.

Bomb! is made up of a blend of four different imperial stouts with four different flavor components and RFA has a keg of each.

Deconstructed Bomb! Chocolate – Imperial Stout with cacao nibs (13% ABV)

Deconstructed Bomb! Coffee – Imperial Stout with Spaceship Earth coffee (13% ABV)

Deconstructed Bomb! Vanilla – Imperial Stout with vanilla beans (13% ABV)

Deconstructed Bomb! Chile – Imperial Stout with ancho chile peppers (13% ABV)

During this event, you’ll get a flight including each deconstructed stout, plus the constructed Bomb! and of course, a beaker, you know, for science! With that flight full of Bombs! (wow, that’s something you can’t say near a TSA agent), you’ll get a chance to blend your Deconstructed Bomb! variants together, and Rowley and Kaplan will take it back to “the lab.” Then, whoever gets closest to the official artisan blend will win a couple of Rowley bottles and achieve supreme beer geek fame for all time.

rowleyBomb!

Now, it wouldn’t be a Rowley event without puppies. That’s right, this, as with many of Rowley Farmhouse Ales events, supports a local nonprofit to help make life better for our furry friends, something very near and dear to the Rowley crew. This event in particular is supporting NM Pets Alive, a local nonprofit life-saving program for at-risk doggos and kitties. They’re will also have some adoptable puppies on-site during the afternoon.

The event is all Sunday afternoon beginning at 11:30 a.m. To more Bomb!-ass beer events for great causes, cheers!

— Luke

2017NMIPACround2-3

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Expand your knowledge!

Take the biggest brewery in town, add in some homebrew clubs and a shop, a couple food vendors, and then toss in the most interactive museum in town, and voila, the Science of Beer is back!

Explora Science Center will be hosting this annual event in partnership with Marble Brewery on Friday from 7 to 11 p.m. The Dukes of Ale, Worthogs, and Southwest Grape & Grain will also be on hand to help educate everyone, from the novice to the expert, on all things beer.

Ticktest cost $12 for Explora members and $15 for everyone else. There may still be some available online, with the last 100 going on sale at Explora on Friday morning. The event sold out last year, so get them now if you want to go.

To get a little more detail, I caught up with Marble’s (very busy) off-site events and festival coordinator, Tammy Lovato, on Wednesday night after the Bites & Brews Challenge wrapped up at the Heights taproom.

“We did it for the first time last year, and it was so successful that we decided to do it again this year and do it even bigger and better,” she said. “That’s what Marble does.”

Marble staffers will host a series of special presentations throughout the night. Head brewer John Heine, brewer Jeff Priddy, lab director Stephanie Crownover, and packaging manager Nate Jackson will be among those on hand.

“The talks start at 7:40 and run till 10:20 with small intermissions in between,” Tammy said. “We’re going to list what each brewer is talking about, but it will start with Beer 101. Nate Jackson is going to talk about packaging and how important it is to properly package beer, because people often forget that’s an incredibly important step in people enjoying beer. We’ll have Stephanie talking about yeast, water management, and managing the lab. Then John Heine is going to talk about brettanomyces in the (brewery).”

In addition to Marble, the Dukes of Ale, Worthogs, and Southwest Grape & Grain will be doing live presentations on different aspects in the art and science of homebrewing. Those will include some live experiments and hands-on fun for the crowd.

Marble also will be providing the beer that will be poured at the event, lest anyone go thirsty. After an outcry last year for more beer, the brewery staff will step up.

“This year we have five beer stations instead of three,” Tammy said. “We sell 900 tickets, so we’ve doing five different stations so we can service more people, get people in and out quicker. We’ll have two that are cash-in-hand only. That will hopefully get people through the lines pretty quickly.

“We’ll have three stations that have draft beer. We’re bringing some cool beers like the Caffe Roggenbier that you’re drinking, we’ll be bringing the Doppelator, our cool new hazy, Southwest-style IPA (Desert Fog), we’ll have the Grapefruit Tangerine Gose, so lots of fun specials for people, and then of course our classic styles.”

Bringing cash instead of relying on credit cards is recommended for all stations to keep things flowing. There will also be food on hand courtesy of M’Tucci’s Italian and Malaguena’s Latin Tapas.

The best part of this entire event is how it all helps the museum.

“All of the money from the ticket sales go back to Explora,” Tammy said. “This is their biggest fundraiser for this time of year.”

Go get your beer education this Friday. And for the record, yes, that Caffe Roggenbier that I was drinking was quite good.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s six breweries, one in Los Alamos, and one in Moriarty 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.

Marble is taking the beer-and-food pairing game to a new level tonight (Wednesday) at the Heights taproom. The Brews & Bites Challenge will pit brewmaster Josh Trujillo and chef Israel Rivera from The Shop against head brewer John Heine and chef Tony Chiado from Kitsune. How does that work? Each chef and brewer has paired up a series of Marble beers with tapas-style foods (four total), with participants getting to vote on their favorite. It costs $30 and tickets are still available (but going fast) at the taproom. It runs from 6 to 8 p.m.

If you cannot make it there tonight, we have some other fun suggestions for the week. The Desert Darlings are back at Tractor Wells Park on Friday night at 8 for the latest edition of Hops & Dreams. This time around it’s the Quentin Tarantino Edition, so make sure to arrive early to get a seat (the joint was filled to the brim last month) to see what these wonderfully creative ladies can do with eight movies worth of costumes and fun. Another option will be to head over to Green Jeans Farmery for its third anniversary bash this weekend. Santa Fe Brewing will of course be at the center of the fun, with the release of the new Twisted Root on Friday. There will be live music, other special beer releases, food specials from Amore Pizzeria, animal adoptions from Watermelon Mountain Ranch on Saturday (noon-4 p.m.), and other charities will also benefit.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bombs Away brings back the High Speed Low Drag Lager. Bosque is feeling sessionable with Public House Pale Ale. Bow & Arrow is tapping Saison De Blanc on Thursday. Kaktus switches things up with some Rauchbier, Doppelbock, and California Common, and St. Paul’s Porter is back as well. La Cumbre has added Vienna Lager. Marble gets hoppy with 1272 IPA and Desert Fog, plus Jabroni Exxxtra and Session White. Ponderosa will have a Hefeweizen on tap by the weekend. Quarter Celtic resurrects Kill or be KILT, plus adds Dark Pedro. Sidetrack brings back Co-Mo IPA. Starr Brothers has a fresh batch of Black Friday.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn declares it’s clobberin’ time with SMASH Pale Ale. Rowley Farmhouse Ales is rollin’ with the Notorious BdG. Over in Los Alamos, Bathtub Row has Little Bird Blonde back on tap, plus newcomers in Dunkel Bock, Flat Cap Brown, and Lichtenheiner.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of February 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

Ale Republic — (505) 281-2828

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

Beers: Brune, Blonde, Strong Dark and Handsome, Eagle Claw, Tokyo Black, Single and Ready to Mingle. The most recent additions are the Tokyo Black (5.5% ABV, 24 IBU), an ale made with black tea, and Eagle Claw (4.8% ABV, 41 IBU), a farmhouse pale ale.

Alien 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: Call the number above for details on any small-batch beers currently available. They change frequently. The rest of the lineup is from the Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande family of beers.

Bistronomy B2B — (505) 262-2222

(Mon–Tues 4-9 p.m., Weds noon-9 p.m., Thurs–Sat noon-9:30 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

The Blue Grasshopper — (505) 896-8579

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

Beers: El Jeffe Hefeweizen, Friars Belgian-Style Single, June Bock German Lager. Rejoice, for Blue Grasshopper is brewing again! The Friars and June Bock are the more recent additions.

Live Music: Bands perform from 6 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday through Saturday. Click the link for the schedule.

Boese Brothers Brewery — (505) 382-7060

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

Beers: La Onza White Ale, Dr. Strangehop XPA, Duke City Lager, Washington’s Hatchet, Double Dead Red, Super Kreak, TruBlu Pilsner, Komrade Boese. The current seasonals include the Super Kreak, TruBlu, and Komrade, a Russian imperial stout, if you could not guess.

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

Bombs Away Beer Company — (505) 554-3204

(Hours: Mon–Fri 3 p.m.–close, Sat–Sun noon–close)

Beers: BABC IPA, Willie Pete Wit, Low Order Porter, Wild Card Spiced Ale, Proximity Pilsner, Actuator IPA, Long Delay RyePA, Boom Stick Brown, Counter Charge Coffee Stout, SNAFU Oatmeal Stout, Hazy Chain DIPA, Dunkelweizen, M1A1 ABQ Common, Imperial Session IPA, High Speed Low Drag Lager. We received a big tap list update from BABC, with eight beers coming off and five new ones joining the lineup. We will miss Stockpile Stout among the departed, but SNAFU is there to replace it. High Speed Low Drag Lager is back on tap.

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

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

Beers: Driftwood Oatmeal Stout, Camp Waconda, Moon Cannon DIPA, Public House Pale, John B. Juice, Southwest Session IPA. The Moon Cannon and Southwest Session both advanced to the second round of their respective brackets at the National IPA Challenge. Public House Pale and John B. Juice are the most recent additions.

Happy Hour/Discounts: 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.

Bow & Arrow Brewing — (505) 247-9800

(Mon-Weds 3–10 p.m., Thurs 3–11 p.m., Fri 3 p.m.-midnight, Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–9 p.m.)

Beers: (House) Sun Dagger (Saison), True Aim (Scotch Ale), Jemez Field Notes Lager, Nomadico IPA, Visionland Amber Ale; (Seasonal) Cosmic Arrow Brett Saison, Way Out West Sour Sumac, Desert Dynamo IPL, Sweetfetti Weizenbock, Thirsty Land: Foraged Series (Grisette), Coyote Waits (Barrel-Aged Imperial Mole Stout), Savage Times Sour IPA, Vanilla Daze Stout, Saison De Blanc. The sheer variety of styles on tap is quite impressive. Bottles of Dark Mesa, a barrel-aged quad with brett, are still on sale at the brewery, but the supply is limited. The new Saison De Blanc debuts Thursday.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Bow & Arrow has happy hour every Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Get $1 off 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: Simcoe SMASH, Low Rye-der IPA, Featherweight Session IPA, Strong Arm Pale Ale, Sucker Punch DIPA, Bear Trap Hoppy Ale, Das Bear German Pilsner, Bear Knuckle IPA. The most recent additions are the Bear Knuckle, Bear Trap, and Das Bear. There are still a few bottles left of the barrel-aged Standing 8 Stout. The Chocolate Milk Stout is on the regular and nitro taps.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 8-10 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: 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.

Broken Trail Brewery & Distillery — (505) 221-6281

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

Beers: Otero ESB, Lone Pine Pilsner, Sancho Saison, Pepe the Mule, Double Black, Raspberry Kolsch. OK, fine, Pepe the Mule counts as a beer, even though it is basically a Moscow Mule, but it was made with beer. Double Black and Raspberry Kolsch are the most recent additions.

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737 (brewery), (505) 200-2344 (taproom)

(Brewery: Sun–Thurs noon–10 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–midnight; Taproom: Open daily 3–10 p.m.)

Beers: Irish Red, Exodus IPA, Tuttle IPA, Oatmeal Brown, Munich Dunkel, Schwebock, Super Smalls Session IPA, Obey the Darkside Stout. Obey the Darkside Stout (8% ABV, 50 IBU) is now available, and take note that this batch is so good it has been entered in the World Beer Cup. You can try it side-by-side with Dark ‘n Lusty Stout, the winner of this year’s Brew Crew Stout Challenge.

Live Music (Brewery): Thursday—The Real Matt Jones, 6-9 p.m.; Sunday—Boris & The Salt Licks, 4-7 p.m.

Live Music (Taproom): Saturday—Julian Dossett Duo, 5-8 p.m.

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

(Open daily 8 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Papacabra (Double IPA), Acapulco Gold (Mexican Lager), Chupacabra IPA, Piedra del Fuego Stoned Cream Ale, Beer for My Horses (Oatmeal Stout). These are the regular house beers. Call the number above for an updated seasonal list.

Dialogue Brewing — (505) 585-1501

(Open daily noon-midnight)

Beers: Belgian Citrus IPA, Berliner Weisse, Blood Orange Berliner Weisse, Strawberry Berliner Weisse, Sour Raspberry, Idiot Sauvin, Belgian Cherry Wheat, Amber Ale, Vienna Lager, Coffee Lager, World as Will IPA, 505 Lager, Moloko Plus Milk Stout, Micro Hands Session IPA. The most recent additions are the Moloko and Micro Hands.

Weekly Events: Monday—Service Industry Night, 6 p.m.

Drafty Kilt Brewing — (505) 881-0234

(Sun 11 a.m–10 p.m., Mon closed, Tues–Thu 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Groundskeeper Willie Cream Ale, Wee Beastie Scottish Ale, Campbell Toe IPA, Outlamber Amber, Obliviscaris Oatmeal Stout. The Obliviscaris is back, having replaced the Covfefe Hefe, and boy does it taste good, as we proved with a fourth-place finish at our Stout Challenge. Take note, Drafty Kilt is now closed on Mondays.

Live Music: Saturday—Kookie Jones, 8 p.m.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.; Thursday—Blues Jam with the Rudy Boy Experiment, 7-10 p.m.; Sunday—Karaoke with Tobyriffic, 3-7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: $1 off pints and 20-ounce pours, Mon-Fri, 3-6 p.m.; “Just Because We Love You Club,” happy hour prices at all times for teachers, first responders, law enforcement, and military with ID; Growler Fill Days on Thu and Sun, $2 off new growlers, $1 off refills

Flix Brewhouse — (505) 445-8500

(Open daily 11 a.m.-midnight)

Beers: Nebulas New England IPA, Dr. Brownstone, Stuntman Light Lager, Say It Loud Coffee Stout. The Dr. Brownstone, Stuntman, and Say It Loud are the most are recent addition. Go try them out while watching Black Panther for the first (or 10th) time.

Hops Brewery — (505) 369-1378

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

Beers: Dad Joke (California Common), Tipsy Cow (Milk Stout), Warm Scottish Nights, An Irish Tan (English Bitter), Honey Wheat, Chica (Pale Ale), Hop Hill IPA. Hops has started out with these seven beers on tap, but they also have 31 more guest taps, just in case you don’t find one to your liking. The Hop Hill (7.1% ABV, 69 IBU) was the most recent addition.

Live Music: Saturday—Melissa Rios, 8 p.m.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Open Mic, 7-9 p.m.; Friday—TJ the DJ, 9 p.m.-midnight; Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

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

Beers: Helles Lager, ESB, Puddle Stomper IPA, St. Paul’s Porter, C-Thru Stout, Rauchbier, Doppelbock, California Common, Cider, DjinnJar Kombucha. The most recent additions include the Rauchbier, Doppelbock, and California Common. The C-Thru is what it sounds like, a pale blonde stout with a heavy coffee aroma and flavor.

News: We are sad to report that Kaktus has closed its Nob Hill taproom. Try as the staff might, the location on Monte Vista simply could never get going. Thankfully, the main brewery is still going strong in Bernalillo!

Weekly Events: Sunday—Brunch, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., The Desert Darlings, 6-8 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: 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.

Kellys Brew Pub — (505) 262-2739

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

Beers: (house) Apricot Ale, American Lager, IPA, Lobo Red Ale, Session IPA, Sleeping Dog Stout, 35 N Coffee Porter, Common; (seasonal) German Pilsner, Capspackler DIPA, Dortmunder, Oak-Aged Natalia. The lineup got a bit of a makeover, with American Lager and Common joining the regulars, bumping out the Blonde. The Natalia was originally made at Chama River and dear lord it was dark decadence in a glass. Get some quick before it runs out!

Live Music: Every Wednesday 6-9 p.m. and Sunday 3-6 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Thursday Pint night $1 off pints.

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Vienna Lager, Molinillo Stout, REDiculous IPA, Go For Broke DIPA, The Majestic Stag. Make sure to pick up four-packs of Siberian Silk, a lovely Baltic porter, and Go For Broke while they are available. The delicious Molinillo Stout is also available in bottles.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

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

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

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

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 8 p.m.; Thursday—Karaoke, 8-11 p.m.

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739 (downtown), (505) 508-4638 (Westside), (505) 323-4030 (Heights)

(Downtown: Mon–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10:30 p.m.; Westside: Mon–Thurs noon–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10 p.m.; Heights: Mon–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10:30 p.m.)

Beers: Ginger Kid, Chocolate Pinky, Grapefruit Tangerine Gose, Caffee Roggenbier, Desert Fog (IPA), 1272 IPA, Spruce Moose, Jabroni Exxxtra (Lager), Nitro Pub Ale (Downtown and Heights only), Doppelator (Downtown and Westside only), Cholo Stout (Heights only), Biscochito Wheato (Heights only), Cholo Smooth (Heights and Westside only), Hop Fudge Sunday (Heights and Westside only), Tropical Solution (Westside only), Robust Porter (Westside only), Downlowlander Scotch Ale (Westside only), Ol’ Maverick Barleywine (Westside only), Nitro Negra (Westside only), Session White (Westside only). There are so, so many beers between the three locations. Don’t feel bad if you can’t get to them all. The Jabroni Exxxtra, Session White, 1272 IPA, and Desert Fog (yes, it’s a hazy IPA) are the most recent additions. Remember, too, that Cholo Stout is now available in six-packs!

Live Music (Downtown): Music is done for the colder months, but will resume at 111 in the spring!

Live Music (Heights): Friday—Sol de la Noche, 7-10 p.m.; Saturday—Hatrick, 7-10 p.m.

Live Music (Westside): Friday—Julian Dossett Trio, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Todd Tijerina, 8-11 p.m.

Events (Heights): Today (Wednesday)—Brews & Bites Challenge, 6-8 p.m.

Weekly Events (Downtown): Saturday—Brewery tours, 2 p.m.

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100 (brewery), (505) 226-1055 (Silver Taproom)

(Brewery: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.–8:30 p.m.; Silver Taproom: Mon–Fri 4-10 p.m., Sat noon-10 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Bird of Prey IPA, Belgian Tripel, Dunkelweizen, Equinox, Imperial Pilsner (Silver only), Beam Me Up Scotty (Silver only). The most recent additions are Belgian Tripel, Dunkelweizen, Equinox, and Bird of Prey.

News: Nexus Silver now has food! Rejoice and check out the menu on their main website.

Happy Hour/Discounts (Brewery): Monday–Friday, $5 appetizers, 3-5 p.m.

Weekly Events (Silver Taproom): Saturday—a live DJ will perform; Sunday—a live band will perform at 2 p.m.

Palmer Brewery and Cider House — (505) 508-0508

(Tues–Sat 3–9 p.m.)

Beers: MWA (Malt With Attitude), Guero (Belgian Wit), Pool Session Pale Ale, Cockness Monster (Scotch Ale), Switch Stance Stout, BRO (Double IPA). Palmer shares a building with Left Turn Distilling on Girard south of Candelaria. This batch of Cockness Monster is fresh and tasty.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

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

Beers: Spanglish, Gold Medal Pilsner, Saphir Single-Hop Pale Ale, Hop-Mosa, Bernalillo County Stout. The most recent addition is the Pilsner, which was brewed in the German style. Get some of that delicious BC Stout before the supply runs out! A new Hefeweizen will replace Spanglish by the weekend.

News: You can now find India Pale Lager 2.0 for sale in cans, at the brewery and at local liquor stores, including Total Wine, Bird of Paradise, Jubilation, Kelly’s, and Quarters!

Quarter Celtic Brewpub — (505) 503-1387

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

Beers: S’More Than a Beer, Coco Orastie (Orange) Stout, Beag IPL, Clark IPA, Test Batch #1 IPA, Dark Pedro, Kill or be KILT. S’More Than a Beer was made with graham crackers, lactose, and chocolate. Beag is a little brother to the Mor-Buck IPA. The Clark and beastly-but-good Test Batch, both advanced to the second round at the National IPA Challenge. Dark Pedro and Kill or be KILT are the most recent additions.

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675 (brewery), (505) 990-3029 (downtown taproom)

(Brewery hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri 11 a.m. to midnight, Sat 7 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Downtown taproom hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Wyoming taproom hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Beers: Putin on the RIS, Strong Scotch Ale. The Strong Scotch is back on tap. Putin on the RIS is a Russian Imperial Stout, in case you couldn’t guess, and it’s quite tasty.

Weekly Events (Brewery): Monday—The Draft Sessions, 7-9 p.m.

Weekly Events (Taproom): Today (Wednesday)—Paint it Black Open Mic Comedy, 7-9 p.m.; Thursday—Art at the Bar, 5:30-8:30 p.m.; Sunday—Parents’ Day Out, noon-3 p.m.; Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7-9 p.m.

Rio Bravo Brewing Company — (505) 900-3909

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

Beers: Rio Bravo Amber, Weizen, Dirty Rotten Bastard IPA, Snakebite IPA, Roadkill Red Ale, La Luz Lager, Barrel-Aged Porter, Vanilla Porter, NM Pinon Coffee Porter, Oatmeal Stout, Level 3 IPA, Lemongrass Wit, Blueberry Mint Gose, Imperial Kolsch, Razberry Sour, Belgian IPA, Pink Boots Pale Ale, Marzen, Grapefruit Launcher IPA, Schwarzbier, Cherry Cuvee, Cascade Pale Ale, Porter 4 Humanity, Grab ‘Em By the Putin (Russian Imperial Stout). There are two barrel-aged beers on tap in the Porter and Putin. The Blueberry Mint Gose is the most recent addition. There are also guest taps featuring beers from around the state now available.

Live Music: Thursday—The Squash Blossom Boys, 6-8 p.m.; Friday—Rudy Boy Experiment, 7-9 p.m.; Saturday—Isaac Aragon Trio, 8-11 p.m.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Loungy Wednesdays, 6-8 p.m.; Friday—Headliners Comedy presents Friday Night Fools ($5 cover, event only), 9:30 p.m.; Sunday—Pints & Planks with Yoga Zo; Family Funday, 2-5 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Happy hour Monday-Friday, 2-6 p.m., $1 off pints

Sidetrack Brewing — (505) 832-7183

(Mon–Thurs 3–11 p.m., Fri 3 p.m.–midnight, Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Turntable Series IPA: Track 2, Guera American Blonde Ale, Dark Engine Stout, Buzz Bomb, Pub Ale, Single Barrel Stout, Locomotive Breath IPA. The Single Barrel Stout and Locomotive Breath are the most recent additions. Buzz Bomb is a delicious coffee pale ale made in collaboration with the folks next door at Zendo.

Cask: The Locomotive Breath and Dark Engine are in the firkins.

Events: Friday—Cheap Thrills First Friday Art Show, 6-11 p.m.

Starr Brothers Brewing — (505) 492-2752

(Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day)

Beers: Starrstruck IPA, L.A. Woman (Blonde), Red Zepplin, Lampshade Porter, Brown Chicken Brown Cow, Starrphire Pilsner, Foggy Monocle, Thunderr Ale IPA, Phantom Limb Black Rye IPA. The most recent additions are the Thunderr and Phantom Limb, both back for another delicious hoppy run.

Steel Bender Brewyard — (505) 433-3537

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

Beers: (house) Skull Bucket IPA, Red Iron Red, Sparkfitter Amber, Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch, Blue Bullet Stout, Steel Bender Lager, The Village Wit; (seasonals/specialties) Compa Los Ranchos Lager, Oh Gs (Ginger and Grapefruit Gose), Skull Crusher DIPA, Manana Tropical IPA, Cow Plow Brown Ale, Village Innuendo. The most recent additions are the Cow Plow and the Village Innuendo (Cherry Wit), which debuts today (Wednesday). There are still bottles of The Judy, a peach saison aged in Chardonnay barrels, for sale at the brewery.

The 377 Brewery — (505) 934-0795

(Open noon-11 p.m. most days)

Beers: (house) 377 IPA, Dieterhosen Hefe, El CuCuy (DIPA), Fat Brown Guy (Porter), Red Horse NM Lager, Schwarzbier, Berliner Weisse, Naked Ale (Pale); (seasonals) Loonies Lime Saison, Short Wee Heavy, Milk Stout, Peach Wheat, Kolsch, Scottish Ale, Say Juan Saison, Skin Walker Triple IPA, Plum Cherry Sour, Imperial Cream Ale, BBA (Barrel-Aged Dark Lager). A trio of new additions hit taps this week with Plum Cherry Sour, Imperial Cream Ale, and BBA, which is made with coffee, cocoa, and vanilla.

News: Bottles of Bourbon Barrel-Aged Milk Stout aged with dark cherries are still available.

Weekly Events: Sunday—Open Mic/Jam Session, 5 p.m.

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

(Nob Hill: Sun–Weds noon–midnight, Thurs noon–2 a.m., Fri–Sat noon–2 a.m.; Wells Park: Mon–Thurs 3 p.m.–close, Fri–Sun 1 p.m.–midnight; Four Hills: Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–2 a.m.)

Beers: Three-Two Amber, Barrel-Aged Leche de Luna, Imma Pale Ale, Spiced Cider, Pete’s Porter, Pecan Ale, Turkey Drool, Chocolate Milk Stout, Explora G&T Cider, Nitro Cowboy Coffee (Wells Park only), Oud Bruin (Wells Park only), Vulgar Display of Porter (Four Hills only), 2016 Stein Wine (Four Hills only), Ghost Ranch IPA (Wells Park and Four Hills only), American Wild Ale (Wells Park and Four Hills only), Jack the Sipper (Four Hills only), Belgo American Pale Ale (Four Hills only), Cascara Cider (Four Hills only). An archived batch of Vulgar Display of Porter is available for a limited time. Barrel-Aged Leche de Luna is an imperial chocolate milk stout with a serious kick.

News: Do not fret, Berry Cider is still on tap, but since it is now a year-round offering, we will no longer be listing it with the seasonal/specialty brews and ciders here.

Live Music (Wells Park): Today (Wednesday)—Singer/Songwriter Showcase, 8 p.m.; Thursday—Black Hats ‘N Pearl Snaps, 8 p.m.

Live Music (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Sloan Armitage, 8:30 p.m.; Saturday—Garry Blackchild, 5 p.m.

Live Music (Four Hills): Saturday—Nathan Fox, 7 p.m.

Other Events (Wells Park): Friday—Hops & Dreams with the Desert Darlings: Quentin Tarantino Edition, 8 p.m.; Saturday—Hurdle and Yay! Carl Petersen: A Magical Evening of Wonderment, 8 p.m.

Weekly Events (Wells Park): Monday—Super Tractor Gamers Night, 5:30 p.m.; Tuesday—Kamikaze Karaoke, 7 p.m.

Weekly Events (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Writing Wednesdays, 5 p.m.; Monday—Tractor Tune Up, 7:30 p.m.

Weekly Events (Four Hills): Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Tractor now has a late happy hour from 9 p.m. to midnight on Mondays with $2.25 classic beers and $3.25 seasonals. 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.

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: Infinitesimus Imperial Stout, Yum Yum OG, Ahmnata Khappa Pale Ale, Thundermouse IPA, McSmack. The McSmack and Thundermouse are the most recent additions. Don’t fret if you can’t make it over in time before the stout runs out as brewer Mick Hahn said he’s holding back three barrels for special future releases.

News: Can’t Catch Me Copper Lager is now part of the main lineup and should be on tap year round.

Cask: Tuesday—Kiwi Teeth

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Open daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: SMASH Pale Ale, La Santa Oscura, Blue Corn Mexican Lager, Witty Hop Pun IPA. The La Santa Oscura is a delicious, holiday spiced dark lager. Witty Hop Pun is Blue Corn’s entry in the upcoming National IPA Challenge.

Chili Line Brewing — (505) 500-7903

(Mon–Sat 4–11 p.m., Sun 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: El Jefe (Rauchweizen), Antonio Bandito (Dunkelweizen), Llorona Lager, La Bamba (Rauchbier), Stara Baba (Oak Smoked Polish Gratzer), Jacona Stout, P.G. (Pinche Guey) IPA. The Jacona and P.G. are the most recent additions.

Live Music: Every night at 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Reverse happy hour after 9 p.m. includes $1 off pints, $6 appetizers, $10 entrees and pizzas.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

(Brewery: Mon–Sat open at 11 a.m., Sun open at 1 p.m.; ABQ taproom: Mon–Thurs 2 p.m.–midnight; Fri–Sun noon–midnight)

Beers: Bad Amber, Marcel, Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Duchamp (Sour Wit), Cezanne Magnifique, HMWWA FIACFW, Cezanne Verite, Fiction (IPA), Lourd of Funk, Titian, Dark Ryder, Grunewald, Goya. This batch of Cezanne Verite is barrel aged and it is also for sale in bombers. The Titian, Dark Ryder, Grunewald, and Goya (13.3% ABV) are the most recent additions, available on tap and in bombers.

Live Music (SF brewery): Friday—Next 2 the Tracks, 7 p.m.; Saturday—Sunbender, 7 p.m.

Other Events (ABQ taproom): Thursday—Drag Queen Trivia, 8 p.m.

Weekly Events (ABQ taproom): Tuesday—Bike-In Brew, 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts (Brewery): Happy hour Mon–Fri, 4-6 p.m. (discounts for all draft beer), Growler Saturdays ($3 off growler fills).

Happy Hour/Discounts (ABQ taproom): Happy hour Mon–Fri, 5-7 p.m.

Rowley Farmhouse Ales — (505) 428-0719

(Open all week from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Beers: Fields of Rye, Agent Scully – Season One, Episode Five (IPA), Germophile (Berliner Weisse), Fruhschoppen (Hefeweizen), Little White Lies (Belgian Blonde), Conduit (Belgian IPA), Bosco P. Coltrane (Chocolate Brown), Petit Blanche – Amarillo, Sarlacc First Order (Imperial Saison), Notorious BdG. The Agent Scully is a series of IPAs which will vary by hop combinations. Episode Five is the most recent iteration. The Notorious BdG, aged in apple brandy barrels, is the most recent addition to the lineup and is also available for sale in bottles.

Events: Sunday—Pulls for Pups with Prairie Artisan Ales, 11:30 a.m. (the Crew will have more on this event later in the week)

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

(Main taproom: Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 2-8 p.m.; ABQ taproom: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–11 p.m.; Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight; Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Adobe Igloo, Hipster Union IPA, Lustgarten, Oh Helles No (ECS), Lustgarten Lager, Imperial Pastry-Free Porter. With the colder weather almost upon us, Adobe Igloo makes its annual return. Hipster Union is also back. The most recent additions are Lustgarten, a lager with a hint of raspberries, Oh Helles No, and the big Porter.

Live Music (ABQ taproom): Thursday—Dos Gatos, 6 p.m.; Friday—Vintage Brew, 6 p.m.; Saturday—Cornbread Gumbo, 6 p.m.

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

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, 2920 IPA, Agua Fria Pilzner, Low Winter Sun Sour, Summer Rain Sour, Chinook Pale Ale, Boneshaker Special Bitter, St. George IPA, Imperial IPA, Vienna Lager. The benefits of having two brewhouses are now apparent as Second Street is loaded with more beers than ever. The Vienna Lager is the most recent addition.

Live Music (Original location): Friday—The Busy McCarroll Band, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—Mystic Lizard, 6-9 p.m.

Live Music (Railyard): Friday—Half Broke Horses, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—Sarah Mohr, 6-9 p.m.

Live Music (Rufina): Thursday—Shiii Waaa, The Hammeritz, Cult Tourist, 8:30 p.m.; Saturday—Holy Knives, Golden General, John Francis Mustain, 8:30 p.m.

Weekly Events (Railyard): Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 8 p.m.

Other breweries you need to visit

Bathtub Row Brewing — (505) 500-8381

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

Beers: Hoppenheimer IPA, Wit Rock, Pennsylvania Swanky, Dunkel Bock, Flat Cap Brown, Little Bird Blonde, Lichtenhainer. With a new brewer in place, BRB shakes up the lineup. Old favorites Hoppenheimer, Wit Rock, and Little Bird are joined by some fascinating newcomers in the Dunkel Bock, Flat Cap, and Lichtenhainer, a sour ale.

Sierra Blanca Brewing — (505) 832-2337

(Mon–Thurs 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Fri –Sat 11 a.m.–9 p.m.)

Beers: Cranberry Sour, Interstella Vanilla, Cherry Wheat, Single Hop IPA, Whiskey Stout. The Whiskey Stout and Cranberry Sour are the most recent additions. Cherry Wheat is available in bottles and won a gold medal at GABF in 2017.

* * * *

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

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The 2018 edition of the National IPA Challenge is underway, with New Mexico breweries having won the last four titles, including these two by Bosque.

The National IPA Challenge, hosted by the Brewing News, gets harder and harder every year. Want proof? Look no further than the fact that of the 18 entries from New Mexico, nine were knocked out in the first round this year, the results of which were announced today.

Add to that some tough sledding in the Imperial IPA bracket (five of 10 eliminated), Specialty IPA bracket (four of seven eliminated), and a virtual bloodbath in the Session IPA bracket (six of seven eliminated), and if any New Mexico brewery comes out on top, it will be an epic achievement.

The main IPA category is actually now three brackets, which will eventually converge to produce a single winner (as we understand it, the site does not explain much). Anyway, of the 18 New Mexico entries, here is what advanced and what each IPA will face in the second round.

  • Bosque’s Scale Tipper (2015 and 2016 champion) defeated Storm Breaker’s Handful of Hops; will next face Pinthouse Pizza’s Electric Jellyfish
  • Boxing Bear’s Bear Knuckle (2016 and 2017 NMIPAC winner) defeated Asian Brewing’s Shook; will next face Berryessa’s Separation Anxiety
  • Boxing Bear’s Uppercut defeated Gizmo Brew Works’ The Assist; will next face Foolproof’s Backyahd
  • Canteen’s Tuttle defeated Standard’s West Coast IPA; will next face Big Ditch’s Hayburner
  • Canteen’s Hop Baller defeated Morgan Territory’s Motorboatin’; will next face Big Dog’s Peace, Love & Hoppiness
  • La Cumbre’s Project Dank (2014 and 2017 champion) defeated Locavore Beerk Works’ Lilly Hammer; will next face Barley Brown’s Pallet Jack (2013 champion)
  • Quarter Celtic’s Clark defeated Oak Highlands’ Derelict; will next face Southern Tier’s Nu Skool
  • Quarter Celtic’s Mor-Buck defeated Rio Bravo’s Snakebite in an all-New Mexico matchup; will next face Fremont’s Mountain Daisy
  • Three Rivers’ IPAC Nugs had a bye and will next face Old First Ward’s The Streaker

That second-round matchup between Project Dank and Pallet Jack is unfair. That should be held much, much later in this competition. But, hey, we didn’t make the brackets, nor do we know how the brackets are decided.

Those NM beers that bowed out early, along with Snakebite, were as follows: Blue Corn Witty Hop Pun, Boxing Bear Strong Arm, Ponderosa Hop-Mosa, Santa Fe 7K and Happy Camper, Sierra Blanca Single Hop IPA, Steel Bender Skull Bucket, The 377 El Cucuy (which lost to Pallet Jack).

The Imperial category, which was divided into two brackets, saw half the NM entries advance, though two had byes.

  • Bosque’s Moon Cannon had a bye and will next face Locavore’s 2 Fingers
  • Boxing Bear’s Sucker Punch defeated Pressure Drop’s Panic Attacks; will next face Good City’s Reward
  • Quarter Celtic’s Test Batch #1 defeated Gizmo’s Trojan Horse; will next face Lakefront’s Strange Neighbor
  • Rio Bravo’s Level 3 had a bye and will next face Sunriver’s Resin Nation
  • Tractor’s Acreage defeated Wolf’s Ridge’s Howling Moon; will next face Laurelwood’s Megafauna

The Session IPA bracket was rough, with only one of seven NM entries advancing, and in the cruelest way possible. Bosque’s Southwest Session defeated Three Rivers’ R & T in another all-local showdown. The eliminated included Boxing Bear’s Featherweight, a bronze-medal winner at the Great American Beer Festival, as well as Dialogue’s Micro Hands, Kellys Session IPA, Quarter Celtic’s Beag, and Rio Bravo’s DRB.

As for the Specialty IPA bracket, where the beers get really wacky, three of the seven entries lived to see another day.

  • Quarter Celtic’s Just Peachy Clark defeated Six Rivers’ Rosemary Thyme; will next face Bron Yr Aur Brewi’s Black Mountain
  • Steel Bender’s Manana defeated Gizmo’s Black Hop Down; will next face Three Creeks’ Raptor
  • Steel Bender’s Red Iron Red defeated Brew Kettle’s F.N. Awesome; will next face Midland’s Lime Rock

The fallen in the category included Boxing Bear’s Tropic Thunder, Dialogue’s Belgian Citrus, Ponderosa’s Hop-Mosa, and Rio Bravo’s Graepfruit Launcher.

Round Two will be held over this coming weekend. We will post the results as soon as we can find them on the labyrinthine website!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The third annual Stout Invitational in Los Alamos was a big hit, for man and beast alike. (Photo by Jason Rutledge)

The third annual Stout Invitational went down this past Saturday at Bathtub Row Brewing in Los Alamos. Something seemed to come up the first two times, so this was the first that I could attend.  Stouts aren’t my first choice, but a beer challenge less than a mile from my house? I have to go.

I went to the 4 p.m. slot (the event is divided into three 90-minute sessions). Things were very  busy when I got there at 3:45. Despite the chaotic scene, the servers did a great job of giving everyone a tray with the 16 samples. As always with these sorts of events, I started out strong, but things got fuzzy and it became difficult to sort out the good from the great. Most of the stouts in attendance were worthy efforts. A few, such as the barrel-aged monster in spot No. 1 (which we later found was a massive 13-percent ABV!) and the sweet one at No. 5 stood out to me. The four of us at the table split 50/50, two preferring No. 1 and two (including me) selecting No. 5. Several others could have won in my book, but in the end you have to commit to one.

Jason Rutledge of Los Alamos, a member of the board of directors of Bathtub Row, emceed the event, kicking things off and later announcing the winners. For those who haven’t heard, here are the results:

  • 1st place: Three Rivers (beer #7)
  • 2nd place: Rio Bravo (beer #1)
  • 3rd place: Red Door (beer #5)

Kudos to Three Rivers for taking the prize! Their stout was a coconut one, and to be honest, it was not the favorite at our table, but enough people were in the mood for a tropical stout to give it the win. You now have extra motivation to visit them in Farmington if you haven’t yet.

Jason was kind enough to send us a bunch of photos that he took at the event. I’ve included them below mine. He’s a much better photographer, as you can see. He’s also a famous beer photographer. If you’d like to follow him on Instagram, he’s @jrutled.

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The winners and the mapping from brewery to beer number.

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Jason Rutledge announces the winners. Brewers Guild director John Gozigian (facing Jason) looks on.

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Jason kicks things off, with general manager Doug Osborn applauding on the side.

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Let the judging commence!

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A busy day at Bathtub Row.

 

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Yeah, that’s a good way to end the day.

The event was a lot of fun and gave a bunch of people an opportunity to check out Los Alamos. A big round of thanks to all of the people who helped: Jason, Doug Osborn, and the crew at Bathtub Row; John Gozigian and the New Mexico Brewers Guild; the s’mores servers out at the fire pit; and all of the breweries that participated. Here’s to next year’s Invitational!

Cheers!

— Reid

A certain beer writer will be appearing on a live podcast recording and signing copies of his book tonight at High and Dry Brewing.

Shameless self promotion is not usually my thing, but I felt compelled to share this event. Tonight (Friday) at 7 p.m., High and Dry Brewing will host a live recording of the City on the Edge podcast featuring yours truly. We will be delving into the history of Albuquerque’s brewing scene, which of course I wrote about in Albuquerque Beer: Duke City History on Tap.

City on the Edge focuses on different aspects of local history, politics, culture, and more. Co-host Ty Bannerman, who has written for the Weekly Alibi and numerous other local publications, is a big craft beer fan. He asked me to come on board and chat about the book and how the scene continues to evolve (such as Chama River closing last year). After I am done yapping about the past, High and Dry brewer/owner Andrew Kalemba will hop on to talk about the newest brewery to join our scene.

High and Dry just had a huge opening weekend, with lines down the block from its location at 529 Adams NE, which is just south of Lomas. Many of the brewery’s own beers were wiped out by thirsty first-time customers, so Andrew has been busy cranking out new batches.

I will have a few remaining copies of the book for sale for $20, which I will be signing as well. If you have procrastinated in the past about picking one up, well, this may be your last chance until perhaps ABQ Beer Week. Of course, if you already have a copy and do not have a signature, please bring it by and I will sign it free of charge.

Or you can just swing on by, enjoy a beer at a fresh new brewery, and I figure at some point we will be taking questions from the audience.

Cheers to the weekend!

— Stoutmeister

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Head brewer Brandon Venaglia, assistant general manager Ashley D’Anna, and general manager Doug Osborn are now running the show at Bathtub Row.

It’s time for one of the more distant breweries to report in for the Look Back/Look Ahead Series.  Bathtub Row Brewing entered its third year of business and had some substantial changes in personnel, but things are still going well in Los Alamos.

Before we get into the details, we want to let everyone know that the third annual NM Brewers Guild Stout Invitational will be held at Bathtub Row this Saturday. As in previous years, the event will bring together breweries from all over the state to showcase their finest stouts. Granted, the weather isn’t frigid and snowy (though it is colder in Los Alamos than in Albuquerque), but it is still a fine time of year to take in some darker brews. At the Invitational, you’ll be able to indulge in 16 samples of stouts, along with a pint of your favorite. Voting will occur, but unlike the IPA Challenge, this event is more collegial and low-key. It’s more of an excuse for everyone to take a road trip and have fun. There will be three two-hour sessions, at noon, 2, and 4 p.m. The breweries that will be in attendance:

  • Ale Republic
  • Bathtub Row
  • Blue Corn
  • Bosque
  • Canteen
  • Duel
  • Kaktus
  • Ponderosa
  • Quarter Celtic
  • Red Door
  • Rio Bravo
  • Santa Fe
  • Sidetrack
  • Spotted Dog
  • Three Rivers
  • Tractor

As of Tuesday, some tickets were still available. They can be purchased in person at Bathtub Row or online.

Now back to our regularly-scheduled programming. I sat down with general manager Doug Osborn and head brewer Brandon Venaglia to discuss the year gone by and the year ahead.

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The new fire pit adds heat and ambiance to the outdoor seating area, welcome additions now and at any time of the year.

DSBC: Let’s look back at 2017. I know you had staff changes. I’m looking at two of them right here. (Yet it) feels like you’ve been here forever, Doug.

Doug: I officially took over January 1, but I didn’t really take over until (previous GM Jason) Fitzpatrick was finished with the transition, which was I think almost four months after the fact. I’ve only been here three out of four quarters. It’s going well, it’s good. Co-ops have their own challenges. I was more focused on bartending and service, and now I’ve become more focused with accountants and attorneys.

DSBC: Attorneys?!

Doug: We’re actually researching copyrights right now, for naming our beers and things of that nature. I’d rather not even go into that because it’s kind of convoluted. We have certain beers that the name is being used somewhere else. We’re trying to figure out where we stand with that. It’s interesting, it’s a different mentality than just putting cold beers in people’s hands, which before was my focus, getting everybody the best beer they could as quick as they could. We borrowed a bunch of money from the community to start this place up, and this January was the first installment of paying them back. Every quarter all the folks who ponied up cash to get this place open will be paid back over the next four years.

DSBC: Is that working out okay?

Doug: Like any debt position, it’s a pain and you don’t want to do it, but we’re in a position where it’s not a problem.

DSBC: That means good planning on your part, and everyone that came before you.

Doug: The people before me. This is more of a Lego structure than people realize. We have a lot of little hands in there. There’s a lot of people involved (and) that can be a really good thing, or a really bad thing, where you try to not overlap with what people are doing. We have more committees than your average bar.

DSBC: You just want to be the king sometimes.

Doug: Sometimes it’s nice to just make decisions and do what you want to do, but I also believe that if you get enough smart people in the room, usually the right decision is made, even if it takes more time to get made.

DSBC: So you’re getting comfortable in the role now.

Doug: We’re getting there. We’ve made rookie mistakes, but nothing that most people would even notice.

DSBC: Didn’t affect the beer!

Doug: Didn’t affect the beer, didn’t affect the serving of the beer. Any time you start talking about liquor licenses, events, the taproom, insurance, workman’s comp, slips and falls, it’s a whole different learning curve. When I came up as a bartender and a taproom manager, cold beer in hand is the end-all. That’s not the case for a general manager. I have a lot of people helping me.

DSBC: Including this one right here. (Gestures to Brandon.) 2017 was interesting for you. Most of it you weren’t here (for), but you’re getting into the flow of things.

Brandon: I’m getting into the flow of things. It take some time to figure out where all of the pins go. We’re slowly organizing things around my personality. They tended to have strong personalities, the people that came before me, in one way or another. I’m bringing my own.

DSBC: That’s part of the job. Was there anything in 2017 that stood out?

Doug: We’re still in an upward growth curve. In 2017 we had just over double-digit growth, which is good for a business in its third year. A lot of hours went into the member loan program, as I mentioned. (The) fire pit is finally finished. That was the holy grail of fire pits; it seemed like it took forever. A lot of little things that you don’t think of, too. Up until a few months ago, all we had were the standard pint glasses. Now we have pilsener glasses, we have glasses with a wider mouth so you can get a better smell compared to the ones we had before that had more of a closed mouth.

DSBC: That’s a subtle thing, but it matters.

Doug: It’s subtle, but it counts, especially when you’re sampling. Ashley is our new assistant general manager. As my dad likes to say, I don’t have that many shopping days before Christmas and before I’m old enough to retire, (so) I want to make sure there’s a person who can do basically everything I can do when I walk out the door. I like to tell these guys, when I drop dead on this floor, there needs to be somebody who has a set of keys to this place. I don’t want them having to rummage around in my pockets. Ashley’s the new assistant manager, which is a new position. She’s taking on more duties than any taproom manager ever took on. Her job description is everything I do.

DSBC: It’s probably good to have a little redundancy there.

Doug: It’s very good. She and I are still trying to figure out how to not duplicate work. How to not answer the same email. We’ve streamlined a lot of process. I’ve been involved in a lot of startups where your first two years are just figuring out if you have a viable product. We’re past that, we finished that hurdle. We’re just out of diapers and learning how not to put a fork in the light socket. We’re inventing and re-inventing systems as we go that have never been in place as we go, simply because we’ve never had the volume to worry about.

Also, another thing that’s really cool is that it allows us to have a historical perspective about what we’ve done. “What did you do last February?” Well, we didn’t have a last February, but now we do, so we have something to judge off of. That’s been really interesting. Numbers don’t lie, and we can compile numbers. We can take a look at it and see that such-and-such beer sold as fast as it did.

Ashley’s dad was the main accountant for the county, and he’s retired. He’s pointing us in the right direction. He’s an Excel wizard. He’s looking at some of our data and telling us what’s coming into play. Because we’re a co-op, we draw on a lot of people. Because of my love of baseball, I love stats, and he’s introducing us to stats I never would have thought about. Like Hoppenheimer (IPA) is our biggest seller. That’s great, we can say we sold X amount over the year, but he’s telling us things like how fast it sold, which beers it sold against. We sold $5,000 worth of Hoppenheimer this month, great, but you can’t compare this month to August. Volumes in August are so much greater.

DSBC: The customer base here changes month to month.

Doug: We’ve had some interesting trends. We’ve had down days we can’t explain. Is it the snow? Is it economic trends? A little bit of both? Who knows? But, we have people helping us.

Brandon: We have a lot of engineers in the room.

DSBC: If science needs to be done, this is a good town to do it (in).

Doug: When you’re first starting to walk and then run, then you can make plans for the future. Do we need to consider canning, bottling, kegging, selling, getting a wine grower’s license to brew your own cider? We didn’t have that historical data before. It’s all good information. What we sell up here is completely different from what I sold at Marble in Santa Fe.

DSBC: That was about five years ago? Have things changed that much?

Doug: Very different. Different palate. IPAs are always strong. Barrel-aged stuff was very popular for a while, and I think lagers are coming back. We go through lagers faster than I’ve ever seen.

DSBC: Interesting. We also have an international community here. Maybe the Europeans prefer it?

Doug: Maybe. We always did well with the Pilsner at Marble, but not as well as we’ve done with Brandon’s Mexican Lager. Some of (the) other lagers have done really well, and I don’t know if that’s geographic location or it’s a market trend. Hard to say.

DSBC: It is a weird little community.

Doug: It is, it’s not as cut and dry as we like to think it is.

DSBC: Moving to 2018, are you expecting to make any changes in the brewing area?

Brandon: It’s going to be a little tough. We need to cruise for a while. We need to get the most out of what we have.

DSBC: It’s a good-sized system for this size place?

Brandon: Well, the amount of fermenters is. We’ve got it down to the point that our regular brew day is almost the same as a 7-barrel brew day. If we had a 7-barrel system, which we don’t; we have half that, but we’re still putting in seven barrels to brew.

Doug: We have a 3.5-barrel brewhouse and 7-barrel fermenters.

Brandon: We could go to a 7-barrel system, but it won’t happen this year. It’s going to be tough for a while. We’re doing well producing what we do. Hopefully in the future we’ll get to that, or even beyond that.

Doug: I think the focus for us going forward, though who knows because we have a board of directors, too, is to finalize some of the things we’re doing here. We’re going to focus on this taproom and this brewhouse before going out and conquering the world. This year we’re going to stop, take a breath, pay our bills, staff up, put our “A” team in place. Figure out where we are in the world.

DSBC: Nothing wrong with that.

Doug: People can experience some success relatively quickly in this industry. New taprooms, new systems, this, that. I think we’re getting a lot of use out of this place. We could always improve sales, but I think we need to find out who we are first (and) then refine that before we expand.

Service in this town has gotten better. Pajarito Brewpub is doing a very good job. Laura at Pig ‘n’ Fig is serving beer now, and she’s doing a very good job. Blue Window has moved and is doing a good job. The VFW is doing a lot of promotion and trying to get our customers, and they should. There’s still a lot of expansion to happen with all of our businesses. Across the way, UnQuarked is getting better and better.

DSBC: They even have beer now.

Doug: Yeah, the competition has upped their game. The product is better across the board. It’s good for all of us. We have a good relationship with most of the people that are our competitors.

DSBC: You’re not looking to get into food, right?

Doug: Not yet. We’ve got the pizza place across the street that just opened up. It’s great, they have things we don’t have. They have an arcade. Parents come for a beer and kids go play video games. Having pizza and salad and wings allows us to send our customers to go get food. We don’t have to clean a kitchen. Food’s hard. Margins aren’t great. It’s a good thing for everybody. Even the chocolatier across the way, and Sirphey is available at UnQuarked.

DSBC: Anything else coming for 2018?

Doug: I’m fiscally conservative, so I don’t like debt on my books. I want to pay off member loans as soon as possible. It’s a more than manageable amount, but if I can pay it off I will.

DSBC: And once it’s paid off, that’s it?

Doug: That’s it, no more debt service. At that point, we’ll probably pay dividends to our owners. But, before we consider that, I want to make sure my employees have health benefits. We’re a co-op, which means we need to be kinder and gentler across the board to our community and our employees. If our employees are worried about their kid’s dental appointment or whatever, then they’re not efficient employees. As a co-op, we don’t have to show huge margins and there’s not a small number at the top taking advantage of the profits, there’s going to be more profit to be shared. We’re up to around 18 employees now. There’s 10 to 15 families that cash checks to keep their lights on. If we can provide more of that type of good will in our community and amongst our employees, then that’s the next goal.

DSBC: You mentioned that you’re getting a cider license?

Doug: We’re going to fill out the paperwork. I have the paperwork on my desk. Boxing Bear has a great product. Their cider is what we use. I like the guys there. They’ve been nothing but fantastic. People like their cider. It’s a gluten-free option. We’re going to run the numbers and see, does it make more sense to sell Boxing Bear’s or make our own? I’d love to do it, (and) if we can, we will.

DSBC: Well, hopefully we’ll look forward to a cider.

Doug: It takes a long time, six to eight months. We have some time to figure out if it’s worth it.

DSBC: OK, that’s it then. Thanks for your time.

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 six breweries, one in Los Alamos, and one in Moriarty 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.

Ah, yes, Valentine’s Day is upon us again. Good luck to all of you in relationships. Me, I’m just thinking back to 20 years ago, when I was a sophomore in college, attending a “Bitter Single People’s Party” with a gallon of vodka in a plastic jug and drinking Jenga, and then the flu hit and I could only make it to the kitchen sink. (How I survived college is a mystery.) Anyway, all these years later, now I know about delicious craft beer and responsible drinking. Speaking of craft beer, our breweries are celebrating this holiday for couples and single folks. Broken Trail has a special Raspberry Kolsch on tap. Dialogue is hosting a couples edition of Paint and Sip (tickets are $35 at the brewery). Kaktus has a pajama party at the Bernalillo brewery from 6 to 9 p.m. Red Door welcomes the touring band Whitherward at the brewery from 7 to 9 p.m. Santa Fe is offering up $1 off all Lustgarten pints and package at the ABQ taproom, plus pizza specials from Amore and a pair of live DJs. Steel Bender has the Village Innuendo (Cherry Wit) going on tap today, plus a new offer of a couples membership, which would cost you $10 less than two separate memberships (and it’s good for pairs of friends, too, not just romantic couples). Tractor has DJ Wae Fonkey spinning at Wells Park, while Los Metamorfos performs during the annual EX-orcism at Nob Hill. The biggest event of the day, however, is at Marble, where the latest edition of CRAVE pop-up beer dinner runs from 7 to 9 p.m. Chef John Katrinak from Soo Bak Foods has created a four-course meal to pair with Marble beers. It’s $70, with tickets for sale at the brewery. Hurry over before it sells out.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bombs Away drops a slew of newcomers, including SNAFU Oatmeal Stout, Hazy Chain DIPA, Dunkelweizen, M1A1 ABQ Common, and Imperial Session IPA. Boxing Bear brings back its award-winning Bear Knuckle IPA. Broken Trail also unveils Double Black. Canteen added Obey the Darkside Stout last Friday (yes, we helped make that), plus Schwebock, Oat Brown, and Super Smalls Session IPA. Flix Brewhouse will be singing with Dr. Brownstone, plus Stuntman Light Lager Returns and Say It Loud Coffee Stout debuts Thursday. La Cumbre has a fresh batch of REDiculous IPA, plus 1968 IPA and The Majestic Steed, a Scottish Wee Heavy, and Go For Broke DIPA will be out in cans and on tap this Friday. Marble adds Chocolate Pinky, a blonde ale with cherries and chocolate, plus Caffee Roggenbier. Starr Brothers brings back Thunderr Ale IPA and Phantom Limb Black Rye IPA. Steel Bender also has Cow Plow Brown back on tap. Turtle Mountain has fresh McSmack, plus Thundermouse IPA arrives.

Up in Santa Fe, Second Street chills out with some fresh Vienna Lager.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of February 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

Ale Republic — (505) 281-2828

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

Beers: Brune, Blonde, Strong Dark and Handsome, Eagle Claw, Tokyo Black, Single and Ready to Mingle. The most recent additions are the Tokyo Black (5.5% ABV, 24 IBU), an ale made with black tea, and Eagle Claw (4.8% ABV, 41 IBU), a farmhouse pale ale.

Alien 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: Call the number above for details on any small-batch beers currently available. They change frequently. The rest of the lineup is from the Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande family of beers.

Bistronomy B2B — (505) 262-2222

(Mon–Tues 4-9 p.m., Weds noon-9 p.m., Thurs–Sat noon-9:30 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

The Blue Grasshopper — (505) 896-8579

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

Beers: El Jeffe Hefeweizen, Friars Belgian-Style Single, June Bock German Lager. Rejoice, for Blue Grasshopper is brewing again! The Friars and June Bock are the more recent additions.

Live Music: Bands perform from 6 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday through Saturday. Click the link for the schedule.

Boese Brothers Brewery — (505) 382-7060

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

Beers: La Onza White Ale, Dr. Strangehop XPA, Duke City Lager, Washington’s Hatchet, Double Dead Red, Super Kreak, TruBlu Pilsner, Komrade Boese. The current seasonals include the Super Kreak, TruBlu, and Komrade, a Russian imperial stout, if you could not guess.

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

Bombs Away Beer Company — (505) 554-3204

(Hours: Mon–Fri 3 p.m.–close, Sat–Sun noon–close)

Beers: BABC IPA, Willie Pete Wit, Low Order Porter, Wild Card Spiced Ale, Proximity Pilsner, MKDeuce Pale Ale, Actuator IPA, Long Delay RyePA, Boom Stick Brown, Counter Charge Coffee Stout, SNAFU Oatmeal Stout, Hazy Chain DIPA, Dunkelweizen, M1A1 ABQ Common, Imperial Session IPA. We received a big tap list update from BABC, with eight beers coming off and five new ones joining the lineup. We will miss Stockpile Stout among the departed, but SNAFU is there to replace it, along with Hazy Chain, Dunkelweizen, M1A1, and the Imperial Session.

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

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

Beers: Driftwood Oatmeal Stout, Camp Waconda, Down in the Hollow, Old Man Jameson, Scale Tipper IPA, Southwest Session IPA. Welcome back, Scale Tipper, a two-time National IPA Championship winner (2015 and 2016). The Southwest Session and Camp Waconda, a s’mores-style stout, are the other recent additions.

Happy Hour/Discounts: 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.

Bow & Arrow Brewing — (505) 247-9800

(Mon-Weds 3–10 p.m., Thurs 3–11 p.m., Fri 3 p.m.-midnight, Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–9 p.m.)

Beers: (House) Sun Dagger (Saison), True Aim (Scotch Ale), Jemez Field Notes Lager, Nomadico IPA, Visionland Amber Ale; (Seasonal) Cosmic Arrow Brett Saison, Way Out West Sour Sumac, Desert Dynamo IPL, Sweetfetti Weizenbock, Thirsty Land: Foraged Series (Grisette), Coyote Waits (Barrel-Aged Imperial Mole Stout), Savage Times Sour IPA, Vanilla Daze Stout. The sheer variety of styles on tap is quite impressive. Bottles of Dark Mesa, a barrel-aged quad with brett, are still on sale at the brewery, but the supply is limited.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Bow & Arrow has happy hour every Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Get $1 off 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: Simcoe SMASH, Low Rye-der IPA, Featherweight Session IPA, Strong Arm Pale Ale, Sucker Punch DIPA, Bear Trap Hoppy Ale, Das Bear German Pilsner, Bear Knuckle IPA. The most recent additions are the Bear Knuckle, Bear Trap, and Das Bear. There are still a few bottles left of the barrel-aged Standing 8 Stout. The Chocolate Milk Stout is on the regular and nitro taps.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 8-10 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: 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.

Broken Trail Brewery & Distillery — (505) 221-6281

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

Beers: Otero ESB, Lone Pine Pilsner, Sancho Saison, Pepe the Mule, Double Black, Raspberry Kolsch. OK, fine, Pepe the Mule counts as a beer, even though it is basically a Moscow Mule, but it was made with beer. Double Black and Raspberry Kolsch are the most recent additions.

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737 (brewery), (505) 200-2344 (taproom)

(Brewery: Sun–Thurs noon–10 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–midnight; Taproom: Open daily 3–10 p.m.)

Beers: Laid Back Lager, Exodus IPA, Tuttle IPA, Oatmeal Brown, Munich Dunkel, Schwebock, Super Smalls Session IPA, Obey the Darkside Stout. The Laid Back is also available in six-pack cans. Obey the Darkside Stout (8% ABV, 50 IBU) is now available, and take note that this batch is so good it has been entered in the World Beer Cup. You can try it side-by-side with Dark ‘n Lusty Stout, the winner of this year’s Stout Challenge.

Live Music (Brewery): Thursday—Georgia Parker, 6-9 p.m.; Sunday—Silver String Band, 4-7 p.m.

Live Music (Taproom): Saturday—Boris McCutcheon & Alex McMahon, 5-8 p.m.

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

(Open daily 8 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Papacabra (Double IPA), Acapulco Gold (Mexican Lager), Chupacabra IPA, Piedra del Fuego Stoned Cream Ale, Beer for My Horses (Oatmeal Stout). These are the regular house beers. Call the number above for an updated seasonal list.

Dialogue Brewing — (505) 585-1501

(Open daily noon-midnight)

Beers: Belgian Citrus IPA, Berliner Weisse, Blood Orange Berliner Weisse, Strawberry Berliner Weisse, Sour Raspberry, Idiot Sauvin, Belgian Cherry Wheat, Amber Ale, Vienna Lager, Coffee Lager, World as Will IPA, 505 Lager, Moloko Plus Milk Stout, Micro Hands Session IPA. The most recent additions are the Moloko and Micro Hands.

Weekly Events: Monday—Service Industry Night, 6 p.m.

Drafty Kilt Brewing — (505) 881-0234

(Sun 11 a.m–10 p.m., Mon closed, Tues–Thu 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Groundskeeper Willie Cream Ale, Wee Beastie Scottish Ale, Campbell Toe IPA, Outlamber Amber, Obliviscaris Oatmeal Stout. The Obliviscaris is back, having replaced the Covfefe Hefe, and boy does it taste good, as we proved with a fourth-place finish at our Stout Challenge. Take note, Drafty Kilt is now closed on Mondays.

Live Music: Friday—Daddy Long Loin, 5 p.m.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.; Thursday—Blues Jam with the Rudy Boy Experiment, 7-10 p.m.; Sunday—Karaoke with Tobyriffic, 3-7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: $1 off pints and 20-ounce pours, Mon-Fri, 3-6 p.m.; “Just Because We Love You Club,” happy hour prices at all times for teachers, first responders, law enforcement, and military with ID; Growler Fill Days on Thu and Sun, $2 off new growlers, $1 off refills

Flix Brewhouse — (505) 445-8500

(Open daily 11 a.m.-midnight)

Beers: Nebulas New England IPA, Dr. Brownstone, Stuntman Light Lager, Say It Loud Coffee Stout. The Dr. Brownstone and Stuntman are recent additions, with Say It Loud joining them this Thursday, just in time for the arrival of Black Panther on screen.

Hops Brewery — (505) 369-1378

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

Beers: Dad Joke (California Common), Tipsy Cow (Milk Stout), Warm Scottish Nights, An Irish Tan (English Bitter), Honey Wheat, Chica (Pale Ale), Hop Hill IPA. Hops has started out with these seven beers on tap, but they also have 31 more guest taps, just in case you don’t find one to your liking. The Hop Hill (7.1% ABV, 69 IBU) was the most recent addition.

Live Music: Saturday—Sloan Armitage, 8 p.m.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Open Mic, 7-9 p.m.; Friday—TJ the DJ, 9 p.m.-midnight; Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

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

Beers: Blondie, Helles Lager, Winter Wheat, ESB, Black IPA, Puddle Stomper IPA, Oatmeal Raisin Stout, St. Paul’s Porter, Imperial Stout, C-Thru Stout, Cider, DjinnJar Kombucha. The most recent additions include C-Thru, Blondie, Winter Wheat, Black IPA, Puddle Stomper IPA, St. Paul’s Porter, and the delectable Oatmeal Raisin Stout. The Imperial Stout is now available, too.

Weekly Events (Nob Hill): Thursday—The Desert Darlings, 7-9 p.m.

Weekly Events (Bernalillo): Sunday—Brunch, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., The Desert Darlings, 6-8 p.m.

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

Kellys Brew Pub — (505) 262-2739

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

Beers: (house) Apricot Ale, American Lager, IPA, Lobo Red Ale, Session IPA, Sleeping Dog Stout, 35 N Coffee Porter, Common; (seasonal) German Pilsner, Capspackler DIPA, Dortmunder, Oak-Aged Natalia. The lineup got a bit of a makeover, with American Lager and Common joining the regulars, bumping out the Blonde. The Natalia was originally made at Chama River and dear lord it was dark decadence in a glass. Get some quick before it runs out!

Live Music: Every Wednesday 6-9 p.m. and Sunday 3-6 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Thursday Pint night $1 off pints.

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Einbeck Two Step, Molinillo Stout, REDiculous IPA, 1968 IPA, The Majestic Steed. Make sure to pick up four-packs of Siberian Silk, a lovely Baltic porter, while they are available. The Molinillo Stout is also available in bottles. Go For Broke DIPA debuts in cans and on tap this Friday.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

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

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

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

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 8 p.m.; Thursday—Karaoke, 8-11 p.m.

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739 (downtown), (505) 508-4638 (Westside), (505) 323-4030 (Heights)

(Downtown: Mon–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10:30 p.m.; Westside: Mon–Thurs noon–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10 p.m.; Heights: Mon–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10:30 p.m.)

Beers: Ginger Kid, Chocolate Pinky, Biscochito Wheato, Grapefruit Tangerine Gose (Downtown only), Spruce Moose (Downtown only), Citra IPA (Downtown only), Caffee Roggenbier (Downtown only), Nitro Pub Ale (Downtown and Heights only), Doppelator (Downtown and Westside only), Double IPA (Downtown and Westside only), Cholo Smooth (Heights only), Cholo Stout (Heights and Westside only), Hop Fudge Sunday (Heights and Westside only), Tropical Solution (Heights and Westside only), Robust Porter (Heights and Westside only), Downlowlander Scotch Ale (Heights and Westside only), Ol’ Maverick Barleywine (Westside only), Nitro Negra (Westside only). There are so, so many beers between the three locations. Don’t feel bad if you can’t get to them all. The Chocolate Pinky, a blonde ale infused with cherries and chocolate, and Caffee Roggenbier are the most recent additions.

Live Music (Downtown): Music is done for the colder months, but will resume at 111 in the spring!

Live Music (Heights): Friday—The Bus Tapes, 7-10 p.m.; Saturday—The Gershom Brothers, 7-10 p.m.

Live Music (Westside): Friday—Sol de la Noche, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—String Dinner, 8-11 p.m.

Events (Downtown): Today (Wednesday)—CRAVE, 7-9 p.m.

Weekly Events (Downtown): Saturday—Brewery tours, 2 p.m.

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100 (brewery), (505) 226-1055 (Silver Taproom)

(Brewery: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.–8:30 p.m.; Silver Taproom: Mon–Fri 4-10 p.m., Sat noon-10 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Bird of Prey IPA, Belgian Tripel, Dunkelweizen, Equinox, Imperial Pilsner (Silver only), Beam Me Up Scotty (Silver only). The most recent additions are Belgian Tripel, Dunkelweizen, Equinox, and Bird of Prey.

News: Nexus Silver now has food! Rejoice and check out the menu on their main website.

Happy Hour/Discounts (Brewery): Monday–Friday, $5 appetizers, 3-5 p.m.

Weekly Events (Silver Taproom): Saturday—a live DJ will perform; Sunday—a live band will perform at 2 p.m.

Palmer Brewery and Cider House — (505) 508-0508

(Tues–Sat 3–9 p.m.)

Beers: MWA (Malt With Attitude), Guero (Belgian Wit), Pool Session Pale Ale, Cockness Monster (Scotch Ale), Switch Stance Stout, BRO (Double IPA). Palmer shares a building with Left Turn Distilling on Girard south of Candelaria. This batch of Cockness Monster is fresh and tasty.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

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

Beers: Spanglish, Gold Medal Pilsner, Saphir Single-Hop Pale Ale, Hop-Mosa, Russian Imperial Stout. The most recent addition is the Pilsner, which was brewed in the German style. Get some of that delicious RIS before the supply runs out!

News: You can now find India Pale Lager 2.0 for sale in cans, at the brewery and at local liquor stores, including Total Wine, Bird of Paradise, Jubilation, Kelly’s, and Quarters!

Quarter Celtic Brewpub — (505) 503-1387

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

Beers: S’More Than a Beer, SMASH Comet Session IPA, Coco Orastie (Orange) Stout, Beag IPL, Clark IPA, Test Batch #1 IPA. S’More Than a Beer was made with graham crackers, lactose, and chocolate. Beag is a little brother to the Morbuck IPA. The Clark and beastly-but-good Test Batch, made for the National IPA Challenge, are the most recent additions.

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675 (brewery), (505) 990-3029 (downtown taproom)

(Brewery hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri 11 a.m. to midnight, Sat 7 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Downtown taproom hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Wyoming taproom hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Beers: Putin on the RIS, Strong Scotch Ale. The Strong Scotch is back on tap. Putin on the RIS is a Russian Imperial Stout, in case you couldn’t guess.

Live Music (Brewery): Today (Wednesday)—Whitherward, 7-9 p.m.

Weekly Events (Brewery): Monday—The Draft Sessions, 7-9 p.m.

Weekly Events (Taproom): Today (Wednesday)—Paint it Black Open Mic Comedy, 7-9 p.m.; Thursday—Art at the Bar, 5:30-8:30 p.m.; Sunday—Parents’ Day Out, noon-3 p.m.; Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7-9 p.m.

Rio Bravo Brewing Company — (505) 900-3909

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

Beers: Rio Bravo Amber, Weizen, Dirty Rotten Bastard IPA, Snakebite IPA, Roadkill Red Ale, La Luz Lager, Barrel-Aged Porter, Vanilla Porter, NM Pinon Coffee Porter, Oatmeal Stout, Level 3 IPA, Lemongrass Wit, Blueberry Mint Gose, Imperial Kolsch, Razberry Sour, Belgian IPA, Pink Boots Pale Ale, Marzen, Grapefruit Launcher IPA, Schwarzbier, Cherry Cuvee, Cascade Pale Ale, Porter 4 Humanity, Grab ‘Em By the Putin (Russian Imperial Stout). There are twobarrel-aged beers on tap in the Porter (new recipe!) and Putin (new batch). The Blueberry Mint Gose is the most recent addition. There are also guest taps featuring beers from around the state now available.

Live Music: Thursday—RJ Perez, 6-8 p.m.; Friday—Still Closed For Repairs, 7-9 p.m.; Saturday—Pherkad Rocks, 8-11 p.m.; Sunday—Keith Sanchez, 2-5 p.m.

Other Events: Friday—Valle de Oro Fundraiser, 5-9 p.m., Wonder Woman Assertiveness Training, 6-8 p.m.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Loungy Wednesdays with Tony and Rachel, 6-8 p.m.; Friday—Headliners Comedy presents Friday Night Fools ($5 cover, event only), 9:30 p.m.; Sunday—Pints & Planks with Yoga Zo

Happy Hour/Discounts: Happy hour Monday-Friday, 2-6 p.m., $1 off pints

Sidetrack Brewing — (505) 832-7183

(Mon–Thurs 3–11 p.m., Fri 3 p.m.–midnight, Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Turntable Series IPA: Track 2, Guera American Blonde Ale, Dark Engine Stout, Buzz Bomb, Pub Ale, Single Barrel Stout, Locomotive Breath IPA. The Single Barrel Stout and Locomotive Breath are the most recent additions. Buzz Bomb is a delicious coffee pale ale made in collaboration with the folks next door at Zendo.

Cask: The Locomotive Breath and Dark Engine are in the firkins.

Events: Friday—Cheap Thrills First Friday Art Show, 6-11 p.m.

Starr Brothers Brewing — (505) 492-2752

(Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day)

Beers: Starrstruck IPA, L.A. Woman (Blonde), Red Zepplin, Lampshade Porter, Brown Chicken Brown Cow, Starrphire Pilsner, Foggy Monocle, Thunderr Ale IPA, Phantom Limb Black Rye IPA. The most recent additions are the Thunderr and Phantom Limb, both back for another delicious hoppy run.

Steel Bender Brewyard — (505) 433-3537

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

Beers: (house) Skull Bucket IPA, Red Iron Red, Sparkfitter Amber, Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch, Blue Bullet Stout, Steel Bender Lager, The Village Wit; (seasonals/specialties) Compa Los Ranchos Lager, Oh Gs (Ginger and Grapefruit Gose), Skull Crusher DIPA, Manana Tropical IPA, Cow Plow Brown Ale, Village Innuendo. The most recent additions are the Cow Plow and the Village Innuendo (Cherry Wit), which debuts today (Wednesday). There are still bottles of The Judy, a peach saison aged in Chardonnay barrels, for sale at the brewery.

The 377 Brewery — (505) 934-0795

(Open noon-11 p.m. most days)

Beers: (house) 377 IPA, Dieterhosen Hefe, El CuCuy (DIPA), Fat Brown Guy (Porter), Red Horse NM Lager, Schwarzbier, Berliner Weisse, Naked Ale (Pale); (seasonals) Loonies Lime Saison, Short Wee Heavy, Milk Stout, Peach Wheat, Kolsch, Scottish Ale, Say Juan Saison, Skin Walker Triple IPA, Plum Cherry Sour, Imperial Cream Ale, BBA (Barrel-Aged Dark Lager). A trio of new additions hit taps this week with Plum Cherry Sour, Imperial Cream Ale, and BBA, which is made with coffee, cocoa, and vanilla.

News: Bottles of Bourbon Barrel-Aged Milk Stout aged with dark cherries are still available.

Weekly Events: Sunday—Open Mic/Jam Session, 5 p.m.

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

(Nob Hill: Sun–Weds noon–midnight, Thurs noon–2 a.m., Fri–Sat noon–2 a.m.; Wells Park: Mon–Thurs 3 p.m.–close, Fri–Sun 1 p.m.–midnight; Four Hills: Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–2 a.m.)

Beers: Three-Two Amber, Barrel-Aged Leche de Luna, Imma Pale Ale, Spiced Cider, Pete’s Porter, Pecan Ale, Turkey Drool, Chocolate Milk Stout, Kahlua Porter, Nitro Cowboy Coffee (Wells Park only), Oud Bruin (Wells Park only), Vulgar Display of Porter (Wells Park and Four Hills only), 2016 Stein Wine (Wells Park and Four Hills only), Ghost Ranch IPA (Wells Park and Four Hills only), American Wild Ale (Wells Park and Four Hills only), Jack the Sipper (Four Hills only), Belgo American Pale Ale (Four Hills only), Cascara Cider (Four Hills only). An archived batch of Vulgar Display of Porter is available for a limited time. Barrel-Aged Leche de Luna is an imperial chocolate milk stout with a serious kick.

News: Do not fret, Berry Cider is still on tap, but since it is now a year-round offering, we will no longer be listing it with the seasonal/specialty brews and ciders here.

Live Music (Wells Park): Today (Wednesday)—DJ Wae Fonkey, 8 p.m.; Thursday—High Desert Playboys, 8 p.m.; Friday—Gato Malo, 5 p.m.; Saturday—Dave Martinez, 8 p.m.

Live Music (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Los Metamorfos, 8:30 p.m.; Saturday—Cali Shaw, 5 p.m.

Live Music (Four Hills): Saturday—Melissa Rios, 7 p.m.

Weekly Events (Wells Park): Monday—Super Tractor Gamers Night, 5:30 p.m.; Tuesday—Kamikaze Karaoke, 7 p.m.

Weekly Events (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Writing Wednesdays, 5 p.m.; Monday—Tractor Tune Up, 7:30 p.m.

Weekly Events (Four Hills): Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Tractor now has a late happy hour from 9 p.m. to midnight on Mondays with $2.25 classic beers and $3.25 seasonals. 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.

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: Infinitesimus Imperial Stout, Yum Yum OG, Ahmnata Khappa Pale Ale, Thundermouse IPA, McSmack. The McSmack and Thundermouse are the most recent additions. Don’t fret if you can’t make it over in time before the stout runs out, brewer Mick Hahn said he’s holding back three barrels for special future releases.

News: Can’t Catch Me Copper Lager is now part of the main lineup and should be on tap year round.

Cask: Tuesday—Ahmnata Khappa

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Open daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Farmhouse Funkalicious, La Santa Oscura, Blue Corn Mexican Lager, Witty Hop Pun IPA. The La Santa Oscura is a delicious, holiday spiced dark lager. Witty Hop Pun is Blue Corn’s entry in the upcoming National IPA Challenge.

Chili Line Brewing — (505) 500-7903

(Mon–Sat 4–11 p.m., Sun 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: El Jefe (Rauchweizen), Antonio Bandito (Dunkelweizen), Llorona Lager, La Bamba (Rauchbier), Stara Baba (Oak Smoked Polish Gratzer), Jacona Stout, P.G. (Pinche Guey) IPA. The Jacona and P.G. are the most recent additions.

Live Music: Every night at 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Reverse happy hour after 9 p.m. includes $1 off pints, $6 appetizers, $10 entrees and pizzas.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

(Brewery: Mon–Sat open at 11 a.m., Sun open at 1 p.m.; ABQ taproom: Mon–Thurs 2 p.m.–midnight; Fri–Sun noon–midnight)

Beers: Bad Amber, Marcel, Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Duchamp (Sour Wit), Cezanne Magnifique, HMWWA FIACFW, Cezanne Verite, Fiction (IPA), Lourd of Funk, Titian, Dark Ryder, Grunewald, Goya. This batch of Cezanne Verite is barrel aged and it is also for sale in bombers. The Titian, Dark Ryder, Grunewald, and Goya (13.3% ABV) are the most recent additions, available on tap and in bombers.

Live Music (ABQ taproom): Thursday—Chris Chavez, 8 p.m.

Live Music (SF brewery): Friday—Broomdust Caravan, 7 p.m.

Weekly Events (ABQ taproom): Tuesday—Bike-In Brew, 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts (Brewery): Happy hour Mon–Fri, 4-6 p.m. (discounts for all draft beer), Growler Saturdays ($3 off growler fills).

Happy Hour/Discounts (ABQ taproom): Happy hour Mon–Fri, 5-7 p.m.

Rowley Farmhouse Ales — (505) 428-0719

(Open all week from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Beers: Fields of Rye, Agent Scully – Season One, Episode Five (IPA), Germophile (Berliner Weisse), Fruhschoppen (Hefeweizen), Little White Lies (Belgian Blonde), Conduit (Belgian IPA), Bosco P. Coltrane (Chocolate Brown), Petit Blanche – Amrillo, Sarlacc First Order (Imperial Saison). The Agent Scully is a series of IPAs which will vary by hop combinations. Episode Five is the most recent iteration. The Sarlacc First Order is the most recent addition to the lineup.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

(Main taproom: Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 2-8 p.m.; ABQ taproom: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–11 p.m.; Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight; Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Adobe Igloo, Hipster Union IPA, Lustgarten, Oh Helles No (ECS), Lustgarten Lager, Imperial Pastry-Free Porter. With the colder weather almost upon us, Adobe Igloo makes its annual return. Hipster Union is also back. The most recent additions are Lustgarten, a lager with a hint of raspberries, Oh Helles No, and the big Porter.

Live Music (ABQ taproom): Friday—Rise of Seekalae, 6 p.m.

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

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, 2920 IPA, Agua Fria Pilzner, Low Winter Sun Sour, Summer Rain Sour, Chinook Pale Ale, Boneshaker Special Bitter, St. George IPA, Imperial IPA, Vienna Lager. The benefits of having two brewhouses are now apparent as Second Street is loaded with more beers than ever. The Vienna Lager is the most recent addition.

Live Music (Original location): Friday—Big Cedar Fever, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—The Bill Hearne Trio, 6-9 p.m.

Live Music (Railyard): Friday—Garry Blackchild, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—Red Ninja, 6-9 p.m.

Live Music (Rufina): none this week

Other Events (Original): Thursday—Cask ‘n Curry, all day

Weekly Events (Railyard): Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 8 p.m.

Other breweries you need to visit

Bathtub Row Brewing — (505) 500-8381

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

Beers: Hoppenheimer IPA, Wit Rock, Hoppen Mother, Oatmeal Stout, Pennsylvania Swanky, Ranch School (Pale) Ale. With a new brewer in place, BRB shakes up the lineup. Old favorites Hoppenheimer and Wit Rock are joined by some fascinating newcomers, such as the Hoppen Mother, a blend of Hoppenheimer and a barrel-aged brown ale dry hopped with a ton of Mosaic.

Sierra Blanca Brewing — (505) 832-2337

(Mon–Thurs 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Fri –Sat 11 a.m.–9 p.m.)

Beers: Cranberry Sour, Interstella Vanilla, Cherry Wheat, Single Hop IPA, Whiskey Stout. The Whiskey Stout and Cranberry Sour are the most recent additions. Cherry Wheat is available in bottles and won a gold medal at GABF in 2017.

Live Music: Friday—Eryn Bent, 6 p.m.

* * * *

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

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The long road to opening is nearly over for Lava Rock.

The first of two finish lines is in sight at Lava Rock Brewing. After enduring many a delay, the newest brewery on the West Side will open, sans its own beers, this month. That second finish line, the one with its beers on tap, well, that is still obscured by the sluggish bureaucracy of the City of Albuquerque.

I met with brewer Aaron Walters for a quick tour of the nearly finished space last week at 2220 Unser Blvd. NW, just north of Ladera. The taproom, with guest taps installed, and kitchen are ready to go, and the doors should be open to the public before February ends. Look for an official announcement on the Lava Rock Facebook page soon.

The brewery, well, that will take longer.

“The brewhouse, which may or may not be,” Aaron said, pointing to the equipment that is set up, but not actively in use. “The whole boiler situation is what we’re having. We got close to installing a new one. Then we thought the cost to install one and to buy the equipment, it’s almost cheaper to buy a new system here in the States and have that installed. We may just risk that and bring a new one in, but it’s not 100 percent, yet.”

Issues with the control box on the brewhouse have kept Lava Rock from starting up its own brews.

It all stems from a change in how the City of Albuquerque operates. In the past, the City has allowed breweries to send over all the information on their systems before installing them, to make sure everything is up to code in advance. This time, though, the City inspectors said the system had to be installed and in place before they could inspect it.

“We wasted tons of money just waiting and waiting, not doing anything,” Aaron said. “That’s the sad thing, with stuff like this, they tell you to get your license … it changes, since last time it was just send us a picture of your equipment. This one they said, no, we want it set up, we want to see it in the physical location where it’s supposed to be. Wait a minute, now we have to order it, so what if it doesn’t pass inspection? Which it didn’t, so now we’re screwed.”

The problem, according to the City, is with the electrical system.

“This has been a thorn in our side dealing with the City and stuff,” Aaron said. “When we got this thing, I specified some things as UL (Underwriters Laboratories) listed, which is this, the main (control) cabinet. Years ago, they said you only need to have the main cabinet UL listed, we don’t care about anything else. Anything but that can be CE-listed. Now they’ve changed it, all of a sudden, nope, we want everything has to be UL-listed. Anything with electronic parts has to be UL listed.”

Eventually, beer will be made here.

With all of that still up in the air, and money going only in one direction, the ownership team at Lava Rock decided it was time to open, even without the brewery operational.

Aaron said he was still hopeful that he can brew some small batches of his own beer and have those available.

“We’re maybe, possibly doing our beers on the small batch, small scale until we get our system situated,” he said. “Of course that’s up in the air. I hope so, so I can at least get some of ours out there.”

When the beers are ready, big or small batch, Aaron has most of his recipes ready to go.

“I’m thinking right now, I’ll do what everyone is doing with the two IPAs, have one IPA that’s going to be regular and one that’s going to be rotating on a seasonal tap,” he said. “I’m thinking about doing a porter, a red, an amber, a wheat, and a variation of the stout I did before, the java stout. Eventually I’d like to get into putting a lager on tap, but I want to see how our flow is running. I don’t want to tie up a fermenter.”

The taproom/restaurant two-thirds of the building is ready to go.

Aaron and his father, Bill, who is part of the ownership team, were previously part of the short-lived Firkin Brewhouse in the Brewery District. That operation failed due to a combination of a fallout between the partners, as well as the fact the location was barely visible to the public. Lava Rock, on the other hand, sits on a busy north-south street, close to Interstate 40 and near several growing neighborhoods.

The closest craft beer establishment is the Nexus Silver taproom, 2.4 miles away to the east on Coors. The next closest breweries are Flix Brewhouse (5.3 miles) to the north and Ponderosa Brewing (5.2 miles) to the southeast, on the other side of the Rio Grande. That leaves Lava Rock on a virtual island as a potential neighborhood pub.

“We’ve had a really big response, people driving by, walking in to ask if we’re open,” Aaron said. “At minimum, we’re getting three or four phone calls a day asking if we’re open. It’s been really responsive, which is great.”

There will soon be customers to fill all these bar stools.

The building in total is nearly 6,000 square feet. It can hold 150 people inside and another 80 on the patio, which is still under construction. Considering all the desert sand outside, that should be fine while Albuquerque gets through its windiest months.

On the food side, the full menu includes brewery staples like a Bavarian pretzel, nachos, and wings for appetizers. The entrees include multiple sandwiches and hamburgers, including the option to build your own burger from a long list of ingredients.

The food and guest taps will start things off for Lava Rock this week. Then it is just a matter of being as patient as possible while the rest of the process works out with the City.

“It’s been up and down, man, like it always is,” Aaron said. “Everybody tells stories about what they’ve gone through (trying to get open). It sucks.”

We wish Aaron and the Lava Rock team nothing but good luck from here on out.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Business was up at Ponderosa in 2017, with plenty more on deck for this year.

It was all about the little things at Ponderosa Brewing in 2017. Whether it was doing a bit of remodeling, experimenting with new beer styles, introducing a canned beer for the first time, or just focusing on making the brewery into a true neighborhood pub, it all seems to have paid off.

“2017 was really good, actually,” head brewer Antonio Fernandez said. “Everything was kind of on a pretty big uptick for us. Our customer base was bigger, our sales were bigger, I brewed more beer than we’d ever brewed before, we sold more beer than before. The business growth was really positive this past year. We’ve had a pretty steady curve of growth.”

Antonio and I sat down recently over a goblet of his Russian imperial stout, which he named Bernalillo County Stout, for Ponderosa’s turn in our Look Back/Look Ahead Series. It was a busy early afternoon on a weekday, which seemed to back up his point about business being up at the Sawmill District brewpub.

“One of the other big things that we’ve seen is that while we’ve sold a lot of food … at this point we’re selling as much beer as food,” Antonio said with a smile. “It’s 50-50 now, which is cool. That makes me happy.”

Ponderosa also continued to branch out beyond the confines of its four walls in 2017.

“We increased our distribution quite a bit,” Antonio said. “Last year at this time we were having our beer distributed through Bosque. They sold their distribution (to Admiral Beverage) and we got out of that deal. We had to get a rezoning thing done with the City and get our wholesaler’s license. You probably saw it on the way in, we’ve got our little van.”

Antonio said Ponderosa now has beer on tap at around 20 other establishments, ranging from bars to restaurants, mostly in downtown and the North Valley.

“It’s been really nice (feedback),” he said. “What’s been good for us is a couple of our normal styles are ones that no one else makes regularly, our kolsch and our brown ale. I don’t think anyone makes a kolsch year round. Our brown ale is really popular for the same reason. It’s probably one of only three or four browns made year round.”

Ponderosa found success with its first canned beer in 2017, and more styles are on deck for this year.

This past year also saw the first canned beer from Ponderosa as its India Pale Lager was sold at liquor stores and retailers around town.

“It was basically kind of like a test run to see if there’s any interest out there in the market,” Antonio said. “I decided to go with something different. You see a lot of IPA out there in the market. We did a small test run on the cans with Mother Road (Mobile Canning). It’s been most popular here in the taproom, we sell a lot of six packs (here). It’s been successful enough for us that we’re counting on doing a couple more brands (in the future).”

Antonio said the Blood Orange Wit, a big hit in the taproom, is one under consideration. The other could be a German-style pilsner.

While more cans are on deck, the biggest project of 2018 remains the first off-site taproom. It is still under construction at the El Vado Motel redevelopment on Central near Tingley.

“It’s been delay after delay,” Antonio said. “That’s how it is with construction. It will probably be open later in the spring.”

The cold room was under construction, with the draft system to follow. Antonio said they were still waiting for some of the equipment to arrive.

“My ultimate goal is that it will be open by (ABQ) Beer Week,” Antonio said. “That would be perfect if we could make that happen. But, I’ve been in this town long enough to know that if you say you’re going to open by June, I’ll see you in December. That’s just the way it is with any place that serves beer in this town.”

Even with delays on the construction of Ponderosa’s first off-site taproom, head brewer Antonio Fernandez still has plenty to smile about of late.

The first retail outlet, Metal the Store by Metal the Brand artist Michael Wieclaw, opened this past Friday at El Vado. Even Mayor Tim Keller was in attendance, which shows how much support the project is receiving from the City of Albuquerque. Plenty of folks in attendance said they were looking forward to the Ponderosa taproom opening in the future.

“It’s going to be a small taproom,” Antonio said. “It will have 10 taps to mirror what we have here on tap at all times. We thought about doing some more taps and bringing in some guest taps as well. That could be nice, but I don’t know where we are on that.”

There will be up to six different eateries at El Vado, and Antonio said they are hoping to be certified to where customers can purchase beer and take it out to any part of the complex. That might be a tough sell with the State of New Mexico, which did not allow that at Green Jeans Farmery with Santa Fe Brewing.

While all of that is going on a few miles away, Antonio is staying focused on the beer.

“I’ve been experimenting with a lot more beer (styles),” he said. “I brewed a lot more lagers. I’ve been getting into that lately. We’ve got a few more coming out. There will be a lot more fruit beers, actually. They were really popular.”

Another new beer is the result of a conversation with a couple of Ponderosa customers.

“We’re going to have a cool project coming up in a couple weeks,” Antonio said. :We’re going to partner with General Mills. We have a couple guys that work there that are regulars here. We got to talking, so we’re going to brew up a Cinnamon Toast Crunch Stout. We’re going to get a big bag of that and throw it in the mash tun.”

If the beer is a hit, expect more cereal brews in the future, he added.

The first remodeling project opened up the south end of the taproom.

In addition to new beers, there have also been some physical changes at Ponderosa.

“There are some different innovations on the south side of the restaurant,” Antonio said. “We pulled out all the booths and put in the high-top tables. It really opened up the area. It’s a lot brighter and more inviting now. It’s turned from overflow seating to where people want to go sit down.”

With that area done, the next bit of remodeling will be behind the bar.

“We’re going to move the office back in (the southeast corner),” Antonio said. “I’ll be taking over this entire (central) space. We’re expanding some more stuff into my brewery. I can move all my grain into that area. I’ll be able to add another tank. We’ll get a little more capacity, take some pressure off when I’m doing lagers.”

Speaking of lagers, Antonio said he hopes to have more fun with those during ABQ Beer Week in late May/early June.

“We’re trying to organize a small beer festival that we’ll do here just for lagers,” he said. “There will probably be six to eight breweries, everyone brings over a keg of beer. Kind of your standard format, get a sample at each one, then a glass of your favorite.”

Overall, Ponderosa will be a more active participant in the annual 11-day series of beer-centric events.

“We’re planning on doing quite a bit more for Beer Week this year,” Antonio said. “Last year we did the beer and tapas pairing every day. We’re planning on doing that again this year because we had some pretty crowds every day. We’re also going to do a full beer pairing dinner in here one of the nights now that we’ve got a stable, veteran kitchen staff. We’re going to be on track to do that.”

All of that is part of the plan at Ponderosa as the beer scene evolves around the country.

“There are over 6,000 breweries nationwide now, but if you read all the statistics, the beer-drinking base is actually shrinking,” Antonio said. “It’s making it tougher and tougher. I’d really like to focus on being a neighborhood pub, being a regular place for people. We have a lot of regulars. That’s what I personally see as the future of craft breweries.”

Thanks to Antonio for taking the time out for an interview, and for being patient when it came to this story being published (it got bumped by breaking news more than once). Make sure to head over to try the Bernalillo County Stout before the supply runs out.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister