2014 promises to be a beer-y good year

Posted: January 2, 2014 by cjax33 in Events, News
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

A new year has dawned, so in the spirit of being lazy and not moving out of this here recliner, I decided a dreaded list story was in order. And no, this is not because this here Stoutmeister is still hungover from Franz Solo’s New Year’s Eve party. While I did drink some great beer (head for Total Wine for Squatters’ Outer Darkness, an amazing Russian imperial stout available in bombers), I did not drink too much. Just stayed up too late (5:30!) by the fire pit. So now that I’m relatively back to normal with sleep patterns and all, I decided the site could use some fresh content.

With all that rambling nonsense out of the way, here are all the beer-related events and activities all of us in the Crew are looking forward to in 2014. It is sort of in chronological order, though not all dates are set and known for sure.

The Tractor staff will be dancing again at WinterBrew on Jan. 24.

The Tractor staff will be dancing again at WinterBrew on Jan. 24.

1. WinterBrew, Jan. 24: The Brewers Guild’s annual event is back at the Santa Fe Farmers Market, which is right next to Second Street’s Railyard location. The cost is $17 and it runs from 4 to 9 p.m., though for anyone taking the RailRunner up you won’t arrive until after 6 p.m. Then again, there are some potent beers here (Duel’s Dark Ryder and Blue Corn’s Barrel-Aged Imperial Porter stole the show last year), so you probably shouldn’t be drinking for five hours. Small samples will eventually catch up to you.

2. The Crew’s Super Bowl Stout Challenge, Feb. 2: Before the big game kicks off, as we have the last two years the Crew will gather with growlers of all the regular stouts from ABQ-area breweries to pit them in a battle to the finish as to which is the best. Marble’s Oatmeal Stout won in 2012 before La Cumbre’s Malpais Stout wrested the crown away this past year. The Il Vicino brewers have told us they’re hell-bent to push Dark & Lusty atop the list this time around. We shall see who wins, but lord knows we will all be better off without the Ravens in the Super Bowl.

3. Dark Side Brew Crew Stout at Il Vicino, release date TBD: In case you missed it, but we’re giddy over the fact Il Vicino is brewing a small-batch in our honor. We kicked around some ideas with Zach and Brady recently, but expect a big, burly stout (I know, shocking coming from us) to be on tap some time in the New Year. And if everything works out, schedule-wise, Porter Pounder will be filming the entire brewing process and posting it on YouTube.

The entire Crew will gather again on Super Bowl Sunday to pick the ABQ area's best stout.

The entire Crew will gather again on Super Bowl Sunday to pick the ABQ area’s best stout.

4. Brandon’s birthday, Feb. 24: Whenever a Crew member celebrates a birthday, shenanigans follow.

5. Malt Madness, March: Il Vicino’s annual bracket to determine what is ABQ’s favorite IV beer will be back. We remember Sasquatch Scotch won in 2012, while it was Dark Matter Pilsner taking the crown in 2013. Can one of the IPAs rise up and take it back from the darker beers?

6. Denver bound, maybe early April: This is a very tentative trip, but Shilling and I would love to head north to watch Penguins (my team) vs. Avalanche (his team). While we are up there, several breweries will beckon. We shall see if our respective screwy schedules, and limited finances, enable this trip to happen.

7. Stoutmeister is getting old, May 4: My birthday is now a Star Wars holiday. People who have known me most of my life probably think this is appropriate. Anyway, with luck I will not be either A) on antibiotics or B) at a beer festival, causing my too-old-to-still-be-such-an-idiot self to finish my birthday emptying the contents of my stomach into whatever is handy.

The Crew may or may not put on another Dark Ages show, but there will be plenty of other events during ABQ Beer Week in late May.

The Crew may or may not put on another Dark Ages show, but there will be plenty of other events during ABQ Beer Week in late May.

8. ABQ Beer Week, May 22-31: The annual event is a little later this year, but we are fine with that. Expect plenty of beer-related events and shenanigans and fun. Blues & Brews will now be May 25, in the middle of the entire period, with Il Vicino’s Cask Fest now the closing event on May 31. As always, we will do our best to cover every event. Whether or not we put on our own event like last year with the Dark Ages show, that is to be determined.

9. Il Vicino’s 20th Anniversary Shindig, some time in summer: The date has not been set for this celebration, but expect lots of beer, new and old, and lots of fun.

10. SummerBrew, date TBD: The sunny companion to WinterBrew, it was on June 14 this past year, so it will probably be around then again. Brandon and Shilling went last year, hopefully this time I can join them.

11. Oregon Brewers Festival, July 23-27: We in the Crew could face a tough call. A lot of us would love to go to this event, but three of us are big Bayern Munich fans, and our club is playing the MLS All-Stars in Portland on Aug. 6. We might have to choose one over the other. This is all assuming, of course, that we have the funds to make either trip.

Blue Corn brewer John Bullard will be the man to beat for the IPA Challenge trophy in 2014.

Blue Corn brewer John Bullard will be the man to beat for the IPA Challenge trophy in 2014.

12. IPA Challenge, dates TBD: The Brewers Guild’s biggest annual event will return, with Blue Corn now holding the trophy after ending Il Vicino’s long reign. Dates and sites will be announced later.

13. Hopfest, date TBD: The biggest beer festival in New Mexico always used to be in August, but got bumped back to October this past year. We will see where it ends up on the calendar this time around, but hopefully it falls on a day that E-Rock and Franz Solo can attend, since they have both missed the last two.

14. Son of Septemberfest, date TBD: We assume this event at Marble, which was modified more along the lines of the IPA Challenge, will return.

15. Great American Beer Festival, Oct. 2-4: After skipping Valhalla in 2013, it calls to us again in 2014. Hopefully we can head up to Denver again this year.

16. NM Brew Fest, Oct. 11: The fairgrounds will once again be the site of this NM-centric beer festival.

The Crew hopes to return to Denver for the GABF in October.

The Crew hopes to return to Denver for the GABF in October.

17. All the December events: From the 12 Beers of Christmas at Santa Fe Brewing, to Solstice Blackout at Il Vicino, to La Cumbre’s anniversary party, there will again be plenty of good beer to keep us all from going insane during the holidays.

Other stuff to remember: all the other brewery anniversary parties, various Crew members’ birthdays throughout the year, potential beer-related road trips to Colorado, Arizona, etc., and all the new stuff to come and old stuff we have forgotten about. We will be keeping tabs on the various expansions going on with Bosque, Tractor, and all the other breweries, as well as their various other endeavors in terms of production/distribution/special brews, etc.

In other words, 2014 should be a blast. We look forward to writing about it and taking all of you along for the ride. Thanks for reading, as always.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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Comments
  1. Check out Bosque Brewing’s Amarillo Red now on tap. Pours a brilliant red color from the melanoidin malt, a touch of honey malt gives it a smooth sweet finish, and the Amarillo hops give it a framing, well-blanced structure. Good job, Jeff!

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