All is well at Tractor’s new Wells Park location

Posted: February 1, 2014 by cjax33 in Events, News
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Four out of the six Brew Crew members were contemplating what to do with ourselves on a quiet Friday afternoon when the good word came down that Tractor’s new Wells Park taproom was going to be open for business at 5 p.m. So off we went, to indulge in some of the 16 beers on tap and to check out the joint now that it’s all nice and finished.

The Crew enjoys their first pints at Tractor's new Wells Park taproom. From left, Porter Pounder, Brandon, Stoutmeister.

The Crew enjoys their first pints at Tractor’s new Wells Park taproom. From left, Porter Pounder, Brandon, Stoutmeister.

Overall, we (Stoutmeister, E-Rock, Brandon, Porter Pounder) gave it thumbs up for the beer, the ambiance, the laid-back crowd, and the great staff behind the bar. From the beer standpoint, our collective favorite was the Luna de los Muertos Imperial Stout, a burly 9.2-percent ABV beast that delivers on all the strong, roasted qualities we expect from an imperial. It is right up there with Nexus’ Imperial Stout as the best in the metro area that are not barrel-aged imperials.

Other favorites among the four of us were the Sticky Fingers Brown Ale, which offers up a unique flavor from the maple syrup used in its construction, and the Barley Wine, which topped all the beers on the board in ABV at 9.5 percent. It was neither too sweet nor too “boozy,” instead coming off as an almost sessionable barley wine, if such things are to be believed.

There were so many choices we had to sample them all.

There were so many choices we had to sample them all.

There are 24 total taps, though only 16 distinct beers were available (they had double taps for the regular beers, while the seasonals took one tap apiece). Other seasonal beers on tap included a Black Lager, Javi Lager (formerly known as the Man der Damm), Black IPA, Berry Cider, BarnStorm Ale, Pilsner, ESB, and the new C+C IPA. That’s not a reference to ’90s band C&C Music Factory (given Skye Devore’s affinity for music from that era, it wasn’t bad a guess), but instead to the two hops involved, Chinook and Cascade, which give it a high citrus quality in flavor.

With plenty of tables and a few booths inside, plus a slew of seats along the giant bar, there was more than enough room for everyone attending the soft opening. The grand opening might get packed today, but we think this will always be a very comfortable place to sit back and enjoy a beer. The crowd was a little older and more mellow than you get in Nob Hill, though that could change and evolve over time.

It was a successful soft opening Friday for Tractor. Head over Saturday for the grand opening.

It was a successful soft opening Friday for Tractor. Head over Saturday for the grand opening.

There was plenty of parking in the lot out front and along both Hinnett and 4th Street, something you can’t always say about Nob Hill when it’s at peak hours (4-7 p.m. and 10 p.m.-midnight). Oh, and there was a food truck parked outside, so no one went hungry if they were so inclined to get a bite to eat with their beers. Much like Nob Hill, Tractor should cultivate a nice, symbiotic relationship with food trucks at Wells Park, too.

Considering how much work still needed to be done when we previously visited, we have to say that the Tractor staff did an amazing job preparing things for everyone. We can’t wait until the brewhouse moves up from Los Lunas in the coming months.

Check out our Facebook page for a larger gallery of photos that E-Rock and I took during this visit.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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Comments
  1. Thomas Molitor says:

    It’s getting real interesting in the NM nano-micro beer scene. Everyone appears to be expanding. Market economics prove that there will be a real shake-out soon. I remember the No. Cal. nano scene and the winners were able to pick up brew equipment at 20 cents on the dollar as breweries tanked.

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