Editor’s note: While working on a film crew recently, Porter Pounder was in the Clovis-Portales area in Eastern New Mexico and asked all of us if there was anything to do there. I told him to stop by Roosevelt Brewing and check it out. He did that and wrote up a full review of the beers he tried. — Stoutmeister
I grudgingly got this flight while disappointed their other porter and their brown weren’t available the evening I happened to be there, but I was instantly, and pleasantly, surprised by the overall quality of this small town brewery. The open mic night added to the atmosphere and the decor was beautiful. The staff was extremely knowledgeable about their brewing process and the details of the beer. The brewing equipment is right out front for you to admire and experience the process while you eat and drink off their full menu (including some awesome bacon green chile cheese dip and various beer-infused cupcakes).
Old Man Kohl’s Kolsch (4.9% ABV): Super sweet smelling. Almost like champagne. The light bubbles embellish that texture on your tongue. A beautiful, clean beer to start the night off.
Happy Heffer Hefeweizen (4.9% ABV): Bold wheat with just the smooth, palate cleansing-style citrus flavor. For me this went really with the pizza I ordered, too, and balanced really well as an overall beer.
Green Chile Lager (5.0% ABV): My pizza was loaded with various chiles as it is and then having this potent, strongly chile-flavored beer (which is also cooling and crisp in its finish) was heaven. This definitely rivals one of the better-known chile beers I had at Twisted Pines in Boulder, Colo. What makes this one so good is that the heat does linger just enough for the chile fan like me to enjoy. You can drink it all day and never scald your mouth, but enjoy the beautiful tingle of some delicious NM-grown green chile.
Windblown Beeliner Weisse (3.5% ABV): With options like lemon lime, raspberry, red grapefruit, and grape among others, if you like fruit imparted beers you will love these. I tried the raspberry and our good friend Brendan tried the red grapefruit. They definitely taste of extracts to build up the flavors, but they’re smooth and light which is perfect for this style of beer.
Eleanor Blonde (3.5% ABV): The light, airy hops off the nose tip off your taste buds for a smooth beginning. The hops leave a sweet and slightly bitter layer that coats your mouth subtly. This is a great local beer to take tailgating or to parties to just share that fans of any style beer will probably enjoy in the end.
Clovis Point IPA (7.0% ABV): You can tell from the first sip that this is one of their heaviest alcohol content beers. Despite my being typically not much of a fan of IPAs, I was pleased with this one. I personally like an IPA to taste of some good hops without being so bold that it destroys my taste buds. I like them smooth, just like this one where you can’t get too much hop flavor, and then I can enjoy the rest of my flight tasting without this still remaining on my palate.
Black Water Porter (8.0% ABV): Not surprisingly this was my finisher. Subtle coffee and cocoa flavors emerge to overtake and coat your palette. Still my favorite of the night and what I’m sticking to the rest of the night. It seemed to be the biggest crowd pleaser at my table, as well, as almost everyone I was with was having a taste of this wonderful, rich porter.
All the beers tonight are very clear surprisingly, with little or no head or body, but what’s more important is the consistency of the beer and the flavors. With a lower alcohol content series of beers mostly across the board, you have to expect less body, but take in the array of flavor they bring to the table instead, thus making them fully worth the stop if you’re in the Portales area.
— Porter Pounder