Beer festival season hits its highpoint in October both in New Mexico and nearby, starting with the fourth annual New Mexico Brew Fest this Saturday at the Villa Hispana on the state fairgrounds. With Valhalla (aka The Great American Beer Festival) and then Hopfest later in the month, beer drinkers will be kept awfully busy long before they pick out their Halloween costumes.

Twenty New Mexico breweries will be pouring their beers for our enjoyment this weekend.

Twenty New Mexico breweries will be pouring their beers for our enjoyment this weekend.

Brew Fest is the brainchild of the team over at Local iQ, bringing together your standard unlimited-samples-style festival with some food trucks and other unique elements. Still need tickets? Click here or hope they are still available at the door on Saturday when gates open at 1 p.m. (unless you have VIP tickets like Brandon and I, then it starts at noon).

Anyway, any good beer event preview must answer the following question: What beers are going to be on tap? Well, I contacted as many of the participating breweries as I could and here was what they had to say. I will continue to update this post if breweries make contact later today or Friday to give us their listings.

Oh, and as always, all beer lineups are subject to change.

Abbey Brewing: The monks don’t have an email or phone number because, well, they’re monks. We imagine they will be bringing some of their staples such as Monk’s Wit and Monk’s Ale, plus maybe their Tripel.

Back Alley Draft House: Addison is bringing back his White Ryeno that debuted at Beer Premier back in the summer. He will also have his IPA, Belgian White, and Imperial Russian Stout, the latter of which I am personally looking forward to finally trying.

Blue Corn: If you can’t make it up to Santa Fe on Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. for its debut, BC’s Pumpkin Ale will coming down, along with “maybe” an Oktoberfest and “some house beers” from the regular lineup, John said. I’ll take some Smoked Plaza Porter and Scottish Export, please.

Bosque: Four house favorites will be on hand in the Olde Bosky Porter, Ember IPA, Cumulus Wheat IPA, Scotia Scotch Ale, and Kindling Golden Ale. If you’ve never tried Olde Bosky before, shame on you. And here’s your chance to erase that shame.

Chama River: One of the only breweries bringing just seasonals, no regular beers, is Chama. (Thanks, Justin!) Prepare your tastebuds for Hop Slap, a special IPA, plus Apricot Wheat and the spicy Punkin Drublic. You can all enjoy those, but clearly the Porter for Pyros, a delicious smoked porter, is only for the Crew? Wait, it’s not? Oh, well, you’ll have to beat us to the Chama booth if you don’t want us to drink it all up.

Duel: I sent them an email but have not heard back. I am now sending them telepathic suggestions to bring down their Grunewald imperial porter and Night Watch, a barrel-aged porter. They can bring lighter-colored beers, too, but hey, it’s me. I am the Old Faithful of beer writers.

Il Vicino: If it’s a dessert beer you want, the mad scientists at the Canteen have just what you’re looking for in the Milk Chocolate Cherry Stout. Besides that lovely annual concoction, they will also have the Caliente IPA, Hell(y)es, Slowdown Brown, and the new Face First Pale Ale. Let us all sample in moderation so we do not end up face first on the ground of the fairgrounds.

La Cumbre: Brace yourselves, Jeff could be bringing up to eight of his beers, including the aged Barley’s Wine ’12. LC’s latest seasonals — Witch’s Tit, VMO #3, Project Dank, Hell Froze Over — will also be on hand along with staples such as the Malpais Stout, A Slice of Hefen, and Pyramid Rock Amber Ale.

Las Cazuelas: The Rio Rancho-based brewery will provide three of its beers for people to try, the La Jefe Hefeweizen, Panama Red, and Chupacabra IPA. I’ve never had the Red before, so I’m intrigued to see where it falls on the red ale spectrum (with Marble’s hoppy red on one end, Il Vicino’s Irish red on the other).

Little Toad Creek: This is a place we want to check out in person eventually (they’re down near Silver City). Until then, we’ll settle for trying their beer up here. Amber Ale, Stout, and IPA will be served Saturday. LTC also has a distillery, so they will bring their vodka, silver rum, and spiced rum, for those who want more than just beer. They will be making some mixed drinks, too, including Mojitos (somewhere, Sam Axe approves), Lavender Vodka Lemonade, Spiced Cuba, and more.

Marble: At last check, they are still putting their lineup together.

The crowd gathered at the Villa Hispana for last year's New Mexico Brew Fest.

The crowd gathered at the Villa Hispana for last year’s New Mexico Brew Fest.

Mimbres Valley: We contacted the Deming brewery via Facebook and attempted to call (number did not work) and send them a message on their site (also no bueno), but no dice on finding out the beers they are bringing north. Clearly an objective this Saturday will be to secure a line of future communication, if nothing else than to help E-Rock with The Week Ahead in Beer.

Nexus: Manuel will have some of the usual suspects available, such as the IPA, Scottish Ale, and Cream Ale. He is also hoping to bring some two-years-aged Barley Wine, because as he pointed out, this festival is all about having at least one big beer. And then drinking that big beer and regretting it the following day.

Rio Grande/Sierra Blanca: There are no surprises here as the team from Moriarity is bringing its Oktoberfest, plus stalwarts like the Rio Grande IPA, Rio Grande Green Chile Cerveza, and Roswell Alien Amber.

Sandia Chile Grill: The odds are they will not be attending (I would add why, but it was told to me off the record). It’s a shame, too, because Clint just brewed up a new stout that is a wondrous hybrid of an Irish dry stout and a cream/milk stout. So instead we’ll all just have to visit them at SCG and drink it there. Oh, darn.

Santa Fe Brewing: Two mainstays and two seasonals will be tapped from SFBC. The Happy Camper IPA and Imperial Java Stout will be there for those who like the beer version of flavorful comfort food. Hefeweizen and Oktoberfest will be tapped in the spirit of the season. I am curious to see if Oktoberfest is back to its good old self after we had what tasted like an off-batch at Son of Septemberfest.

Second Street: I left Rod a voicemail, but he’s busy brewing beer right now. Second Street just posted on their Facebook page that it’s time for their Oktoberfest beers. Please, oh please, bring some of those down to us this Saturday.

Taos Mesa: We have been over the whole (assumed) TMBC-doesn’t-like-the-Crew thing. This might be an opportunity to bury the hatchet. And of course an opportunity to try more of their beers.

Tractor: I have always enjoyed Tractoberfest in the past and it will make its long-awaited return at Brew Fest. In fact, I think we’re almost at the point where there will be enough Oktoberfest-style beers in town to have a Mini-Beer Battle to determine whose is best. That will be in the near future. Also expected to be on hand are the Hard Cider, Double Plow Oatmeal Stout, Haymaker Honey Wheat, and Farmer’s Tan Red.

Turtle Mountain: With so many beers to choose from, the Turtle team is still working on their list.

* * * *

Another shot from last year's Brew Fest. The crowd only gets bigger as the day goes along, so get there early.

Another shot from last year’s Brew Fest. The crowd only gets bigger as the day goes along, so get there early.

In addition to all that, there will be a VIP tent with lots of Belgian beers on tap (not my style, but I’ll give ’em a whirl), plus Whole Foods will have their Beer Village featuring craft beer heavyweights Deschutes, Lagunitas, Left Hand, New Belgium, Oskar Blues, Sierra Nevada, and Stone. Hopefully they bring something besides their regular beers that you can find all over town.

There will also be lots of food provided by Whole Foods, as well as The Supper Truck, Rustic, and The Last Call. I imagine many will go with the Oktoberfest theme food-wise, though having been to the actual event (in 1981 and 1982, so no beer for me, sadly, as I was just a little kinder), I always preferred the rotisserie chicken to the brats. If anyone brings the former, I’ll polka dance all over the place.

For the music lovers out there, Todd and the Fox, Mondo Vibrations, and the Keltic Cowboys will be on stage. If you prefer traditional German music, Die Polka-schlingel will bust out the classic Oktoberfest tunes.

Brandon and I will be among the crowd (odds are the rest of the Crew will be unable to attend due to lack of finances or having to work/play music that day), so if you see us in our Brew Crew shirts, say hello. We don’t bite. Well, except when fighting over hockey, but Pens-Flyers Round 1 isn’t until Oct. 17, so we should be fine.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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