Let the growling begin again

After nearly nine months since the City of Albuquerque ordered “HALT!”, Tractor Brewing was able to start filling growlers again on Monday at 5 p.m.

Nathan the Red has is in charge of two things at Tractor: filling growlers and rocking the best beard in town.

The saga of Tractor’s fight to sell growlers has been one that the Brew Crew has tracked since, well, we pretty much started the blog itself. Hey, as we noted on Tractor’s blog, the very name Dark Side Brew Crew was inspired by a Tractor beer (the PTO Smoked Porter) that yours truly was drinking on New Year’s in a friend’s backyard.

So as I celebrate with a pint of Mustachio Milk Stout in the comfort of my living room, I figured it would be a nice chance to look back at the timeline of how Tractor got from “NO” to “POUR” and how this former newspaper reporter got reminded of all the wonderful aspects of navigating local government.

January 26: The news came in that the City put a stop to Tractor’s growler sales, citing a single sub-paragraph in the Nob Hill Sector Development plan that blocked off-premises liquor sales. Needless to say, sadness abounded.

January 27: We did our best to “rally the troops” by asking people to keep visiting Tractor and buying pints to make up for the loss of growler sales.

Tractor played the entire growler adventure for some laughs, too, once it was over.

January 30: The good folks over at KRQE (Channel 13) picked up on the Tractor story.

February 10: Tractor took its first step forward by gaining approval from the Nob Hill Neighborhood Association to pursue an amendment to the sector plan. City Councilor Rey Garduno stepped up in support as well.

April 12: The Environmental Planning Commission gave a thumbs up to Tractor’s bid. I sat through part of this and boy, did I remember when I fell asleep at the Oro Valley (Ariz.) Town Council Meeting that I had to cover in college for class.

June 5: The big city council meeting had its delays, but in the end Tractor again secured approval. It really seemed like it was almost over, but …

Mustachio Milk Stout at home. Finally.

August 7: After a broken water pipe pushed things back two weeks, Tractor (and Broken Bottle and Bosque Brewing) went through its final meeting with city officials. So it was over, right? No, another wait kicked in, first for two weeks for a written reply of “yay” or “nay,” followed by yet another “protest period” that passed, thankfully, without protest. Got all that?

September 5: The Isotopes’ final game of the season was followed by a quick jaunt by this here sports writer/beer blogger to go fill my growler. And thus, it was over at last, the beer flowed, and we all rejoiced.

So head on over to Tractor, fill your growlers, and enjoy!


— Stoutmeister

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