A rather early preview of a beer-filled weekend

Posted: December 17, 2013 by cjax33 in Events, News
Tags: , , ,

Stoutmeister here, back after stops today at Santa Fe Brewing and Nexus. For the former Porter Pounder and I were there to try the Biscochito Stout as part of the 12 Beers of Christmas (not bad, but a little too many holiday spices at the front, needs more balance) and for the latter I was supposed to interview Ken today for Nexus’ entry in the Look Back/Look Ahead Series for 2013-14, but he got stuck running errands all day. If you go to Nexus, you’ll notice some structural changes behind the bar, so it’s been a busy time over that I’m sure we’ll recap when we reschedule the interview. Also, try the new Imperial Stout. It’s a big, burly monster that was not aged in any kind of barrel. It’s just a mean, raw stout that is not for the weak of palate.

Two years ago, before the Crew was, well, the Crew, we met over Solstice Blackout trays at Il Vicino. It's back this weekend. We'll take clearer photos, we promise.

Two years ago, before the Crew was, well, the Crew, we met over Solstice Blackout trays at Il Vicino. It’s back this weekend. We’ll take clearer photos, we promise.

So anyway, with all that in the past, I figured today was as good a day as any to preview some events this upcoming weekend. Whenever Christmas falls in the middle of a week, it can lead to some holiday travel chaos the previous weekend (or even worse, you’re stuck at the hellhole known as Terminal 1 at LAX, trying to fly home on a Monday or Tuesday; thankfully, I am no longer a SoCal resident). Well, for those not traveling, there is plenty of beer-related stuff to do right here in New Mexico.

First up, on Friday, is the Dark Beer Festival at 6 p.m. at The Bird of Paradise (5409 Gibson Blvd. SE). This event is being brought to us all by the same crew responsible for the annual Dark Matters Film Festival. All of the beers will be on draft, and those of us in the Crew get an early bird (pun intended) preview an hour before the general public. The beer list sent to us includes Old Rasputin, Sierra Nevada Narwhal and Dunkelweizen, Odell Fernet Porter and Friek, Alaskan Barley wine, Kostritzer (“Germany’s finest Schwarzbier”), and a slew of Belgian beers — Petrus #9, Troubadour Imperial Stout, and Enamel Tripel. There may be even more beers beyond this group.

Admission is a suggested $5 (tax deductible) to the Dark Matters Film Festival. You get a 6-ounce tasting glass, at which point you can choose among four different flights of three beers apiece. Those flights cost $8 apiece, so bring some friends to defray the costs and, of course, to share all those high ABV beers. There are also wines and cocktails for those wild and crazy friends/relatives/significant others who do not like beer. But honestly, leave those folks at home and enjoy the black brews.

For more info, contact the organizers at info@darkmattersfilmfest.com.

If all that isn’t enough, Saturday will feature the return of one of our favorite annual delights, the Solstice Blackout at Il Vicino. The Canteen will provide a tray of dark beer samples for your enjoyment. This year’s lineup will include a black IPA, stout, coffee stout, brown porter, smoked porter, and a robust porter. I personally will be there after I wrap up my day of actual work (!) at the New Mexico Bowl. The freelance sports writer may be an endangered species, but he is not yet extinct.

Want to enjoy Taos Mesa's beers after skiing? You can now at their new taproom at the ski valley. It's next door to where they're holding the 18th annual Taos Brew Master's Festival on Saturday.

Want to enjoy Taos Mesa’s beers after skiing? You can now at their new taproom at the ski valley. It’s next door to where they’re holding the 18th annual Taos Brew Master’s Festival on Saturday.

Oh, yeah, and then for the really adventurous types among you, head on up to Taos for the 18th annual Taos Brew Master’s Festival, kicking off at 4:30 p.m. at the Taos Ski Valley. The event will be held at Tenderfoot Katie’s and the Martini Tree at the base of Chair 1. It will feature around 30 breweries and the cost to get in is $25, pretty much a festival standard nowadays. The Albuquerque Journal just ran a story on the event in their Venue section with a list of all the breweries expected to participate.

If you get to Taos early and need some place to kill time without heading back into town, head over to the new Taos Mesa taproom also located in the Ski Valley near the post office. It’s the TMBC version of the Chama Microbar, by all appearances. Its hours are noon to 6 p.m., so you won’t be able to stop by after the festival.

If there are any other beer-related events this weekend in New Mexico, let us know and we’ll update this post throughout the week. Until then, we’ve got to get back to preparing for Festivus at Brandon’s house (yes, there will be feats of strength, airing of grievances, and rum ham) on Sunday. Pray for us all.


— Stoutmeister

  1. Brennan Foster says:

    Thanks for the write-up on our Dark Beer event. Just one note: it is a $5 suggested entry fee, (tax deductible as Dark Matters is a non-profit.) The flights are $8 each for flights of extremely rare and potent fare! We received 6oz tasting glasses so we are doing 4 different flights featuring 3 beers each. That is a great deal, and bring your friends so you can handle it all.

  2. […] A rather early preview of a beer-filled weekend […]

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