Hello, Burquenos, Stoutmeister here with an overdue post. Sometimes the Crew brainstorms up some cool-sounding ideas in between our debates over music, hockey, football, soccer, and of course beer. Brandon came up with an interesting one recently, so I’m making it official today. For January, and every month beyond, each member of the Crew will be picking the best seasonal beer on tap for that month. We might have some overlap, we might all pick something different.

The California Commons at Bosque Brewing is one of several beers up for Seasonal of the Month for January.

The California Commons at Bosque Brewing is one of several beers up for Seasonal of the Month for January.

The challenge, of course, is finding the time to try all the seasonal offerings around town. As E-Rock shows us every Monday, the beers change frequently, with some only lasting a few weeks and some for more than a month. In the future we will have certain, set rules, such as an eligible beer is only that which actually makes its debut in the month in question. For our first go-around with this, we’re going to allow some beers that debuted in December be eligible, if only because we’re kinda lazy and don’t necessarily want to go back and figure out debut dates.

Now, as much as we would love to just present our opinions and argue amongst ourselves, we would love to hear from you, gentle readers, as well. We would like to make this an interactive monthly experience. Send in your reviews and your comments on seasonal beers that you try. We will publish your opinions alongside ours. You can send them to us via Twitter (@nmdarksidebc) or via Facebook or via the comments on this page or via e-mail or heck, if you recognize any of us out and about, let us know in person. (We’re friendly and we’re always willing to talk to folks about beer.)

Personally, I have already gotten a head start on sampling seasonals around town. Hey, I guess there have to be some benefits to being a freelance writer and single; the primary one is that my schedule is mine to fill with whatever I want. That often means visiting breweries.

My candidates for Seasonal of the Month so far:

  • Goat Head Imperial Red at Back Alley
  • California Commons at Bosque
  • Me Llamo Lodo (imperial brown) at Chama River
  • Chocolate Porter at Nexus
  • Turkey Drool at Tractor

Clearly I still have some more breweries to visit, including Broken Bottle, Il Vicino, La Cumbre, Marble and Turtle Mountain. The plan is to knock out LC on Thursday, Turtle and Marble on Saturday, followed by BB and IV next week. Hey, there are still plenty of days left in the month, plus I might have to revisit some of the places I have already been to should they unveil any additional seasonal styles worth trying before Jan. 31 rolls around.

So once again, sound off on your favorite seasonal styles around ABQ for January and we will do the same. Any excuse to try lots of good beer and support our local breweries is a good one, right?

* * *

Clearing out some notebook stuff …

Do not forget to buy your tickets to WinterBrew, which is set for Friday, Jan. 25, in Santa Fe. I will be up there to try the long list of outstanding breweries’ offerings. Look for a full preview next week and a recap as well.

The Brew Crew is having a one-year anniversary party on Saturday, Jan. 26, at Back Alley. It is free and open for anyone and everyone to attend. There will hopefully be some new beers on tap at the Draft House just in time for this event. The shenanigans kick off around 7:30 p.m., so come and join us to talk about beer, drink beer, and listen to Brandon and I argue about the Flyers and Penguins.

Tickets for the New Mexico Cup, with a discount, are now available at Tractor. This competition-style event is set for Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Convention Center. The Crew will be serving as “celebrity judges” for the beer half of the event. We will have plenty more on that as the days grow closer.

ABQ Beer Week 2013 now has set dates. It kicks off on April 25 and runs through May 4, concluding with Blues & Brews at a new location, the Pavilion instead of Sandia Casino. May 4 also happens to be my 35th birthday, so, uh, wear a helmet.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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