Archive for October 15, 2013

Welcome to part two of our three-part series on Santa Fe’s non-distribution breweries. You can find our recap of Blue Corn here, with our recap of Duel still to come.

The patio at Second Street's original location might be the most comfortable place to enjoy a beer in New Mexico.

The patio at Second Street’s original location might be the most comfortable place to enjoy a beer in New Mexico.

Anyway, much as we did with Blue Corn, Franz Solo and I, Stoutmeister, snagged an impressive sampler tray of all the beers that Second Street currently has on tap at their original location. Kicking back on the picturesque patio under the Cottonwood trees, we enjoyed all the great variety that Second Street has to offer.

For those who have never been (shame on you), Second Street has one of the most varied lineups of any brewery in New Mexico. The lineup is almost constantly shifting, with only a few beers (Kolsch, IPA) staying on tap at (almost) all times. And the patio, in these final days of nice weather, is one of the best places to enjoy all of these great beers. Oh, and the food is pretty good, too (we had to eat at some point on this trip).

The bummer news has to come first: Rod’s Steam Bitter, which just won a gold medal at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival, was not on tap. Once we got over that bit of disappointment (seriously, Rod, we’ll drive back up there to try that beer if you have any left; or if you make another batch, we’ll be first in line), we hunkered down with the other nine beers that were on tap.

Just as before, we took our notes on my digital audio recorder after finishing the beers. We’re also including our ratings on Untappd that we posted.

Kolsch (4.6% ABV, 17 IBU)

The Kolsch is the Kolsch. It’s always good here. It’s always nice, sweet, light, yet flavorful. Just a quality, relaxing beer. — Stoutmeister

There is kind of a strange flavor on the front end of the Kolsch. I can’t tell if that’s due to allergies or what. Otherwise it was quite, quite good. — Franz Solo

Untappd rating: **** – FS, **** – S

Cascade Pilsner (5.7% ABV, 32 IBU)

This is kind of a dry-hopped pilsner. Quite good. Little drier. It didn’t have that sort of bitter crispness you sometimes get on the back end of a pilsner. Dry start, smooth finish. The Cascade hops definitely played into effect there. — Stoutmeister

The Cascade Pils is delightful from the start. The aroma, the flavor, exactly what I would ask for in a pils. — Franz Solo

Untappd rating: **** 1/2 – FS, *** 1/2 – S

Simcoe Pale Ale (6% ABV, 30 IBU)

It was just, you know, made with Simcoe, which is not my favorite hop. It was a pale ale, kind of light, smooth on the back end, all the Simcoe was at the front. — Stoutmeister

Standard pale, nothing to write home about. — Franz Solo

Untappd rating: **** – FS, *** 1/2 – S

Belgian Witbier (5.4% ABV, 14 IBU)

I skipped this one for health reasons. It had certain ingredients that do not go with my genetic makeup. — Stoutmeister

Definitely Curacao, oranges, definitely lime, but not enough Belgian (wit) to back it up, in my opinion. Kind of my lower-rated beer. — Franz Solo

Untappd rating: *** 1/2 – FS, NR – S

The sampler of goodness from Second Street. The Cherrywood Imperial Smoked Porter stands out among its lighter-colored brethren.

The sampler of goodness from Second Street. The Cherrywood Imperial Smoked Porter stands out among its lighter-colored brethren.

Altbier (5.5% ABV, 30 IBU)

It was kind of light. I had it right after my food, so it was hard to taste. Mild hints of caramel were just present enough. I’ll have to go back and try this one again. — Stoutmeister

I got more flavor out of this, more from the hops than anything else. It was like the Oktoberfest’s younger brother who did not ferment as long. — Franz Solo

Untappd rating: **** 1/2 – FS, **** – S

Oktoberfest (5.4% ABV, 21 IBU)

The Oktoberfest was phenomenal. It was very much brewed in the German style rather than sort of that new American style, which is sweeter. This was drier, very malty bodied, quality beer. — Stoutmeister

It was outstanding. Good aroma, good flavor, solid, classic Marzen. — Franz Solo

Untappd rating: ***** – FS, **** 1/2 – S

IPA (6% ABV, 60 IBU)

The house IPA had kind of an unusual mid-palate flavor. It was dry. That flavor was probably from one of the hops they use. It was a little different than other places’ regular IPA, which is fine. — Stoutmeister

The house IPA just kind of tame. Decent, but maybe not my favorite personal style. — Franz Solo

Untappd rating: **** – FS, *** 1/2 – S

St. George IPA (6% ABV, 60 IBU)

It was all right. Just a single-hopped IPA, but I have no idea what that hop was. It managed to be a little bit flavorful, but not the hop bomb I was expecting. — Stoutmeister

In my opinion more of an English style, which I kind of expected. It didn’t throw me off. I wasn’t expecting a hop bomb in the sense that as soon as I smelled it. It’s more like a Sammy Smith’s than the one we had at Blue Corn. I thought it was decent, not spectacular. — Franz Solo

Untappd rating: **** – FS, *** 1/2 – S

Cherrywood Smoked Imperial Porter (6.6% ABV, 45 IBU)

Our finisher was the porter. I had that at Brew Fest. It is outstanding. Just a beautiful beer. The smoke flavor is at the front. There is a smooth, mocha flavor at the back. Very well done. — Stoutmeister

It smells like peat, tastes like cherry and delicious smoke. I would drink this alongside Lava Stout as one of the best smoked beers on the planet. — Franz Solo

Untappd rating: **** 1/2 – FS, **** 1/2 – S

* * * *

Second Street is running Oktoberfest specials through the end of the month, which includes food (try the chicken schnitzel) and beer. The Rauchbier, the third German style of the month, should be back on tap soon alongside the Oktoberfest and Altbier.

Overall, Second Street remains one of our favorite breweries in the state. We love the variety that they produce over the course of the year. Make sure to stop in on your next visit to Santa Fe. If you’re up around the Railyard, you can visit that location, too, though their patio is not nearly as nice.

We will be back soon with our final review of our trip from Duel Brewing, which is making some forward strides after some initial hiccups that comes with opening a brand new brewery.


— Stoutmeister