This edition of Beer Notes might count as the most random grab-bag of stuff ever. The news has started to pile up on our doorstep again, now it’s just a matter of finding that precious thing — time — in which to go more in-depth. Until then, well, here’s a summary of all the fun stuff.
Kickin’ it at the World (Beer) Cup
A good chunk of New Mexico’s brewers and other staffers were in Denver last week for the annual Craft Brewers Conference. While they posted lots of pretty pictures (OK, mostly goofy) on Facebook, showing us all the awesome time they were having and all the great beers they got to try, there was a beer competition underway.
The World Beer Cup handed out its hardware late Saturday night and three New Mexico breweries brought medals home. It wasn’t quite the haul compared to the Great American Beer Festival back in October, when eight medals were earned. Still, the WBC is nothing to sneeze at, especially since unlike GABF it has beer entries from around the world, not just the good ol’ U.S. of A.
Marble’s Pilsner took home gold in the Kellerbier or Zwickelbier category, beating out Viamelia from Italy and Wilderer Dunkel from Germany. Anytime you can top the Germans in what is essentially a German beer category, it’s a cause for celebration.
Il Vicino’s Panama Joe coffee stout, a gold-medal winner at GABF, took home silver in the Coffee Beer category, which had a whopping 109 entries. The gold went to Big Shot Espresso Stout from Twisted Pine Brewing in Boulder, Colo., while the bronze went home with Mocha Machine from Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, Calif.
If there was a surprise medalist it was probably Cazuelas’ Beer for My Horses, which took home the bronze in the Oatmeal Stout category out of 57 entrants. Gold went to Sless’ Oatmeal Stout from Iron Springs Pub and Brewery in Fairfax, Calif., while Pure Imagination from Verboten Brewing in Loveland, Colo., earned silver.
Congrats to all the winners. We will come by and drink them all up soon.
Brewery interviews in 3 … 2 … 1 …
I have personally been on a roll lately with all of these new brewery and new brewer interviews. I thought it was about to all slow down, but silly me, the beer news never really stops.
First up will either be the new brewer at Blue Corn, James Warren, or the members of the board of directors at the Los Alamos Beer Co-op. James has taken the reins at Blue Corn from John Bullard (now at Bosque, in case you forgot). Hopefully we will be able to meet up this week during the daytime (still have to cover those wily Isotopes at night) or early next week. The LABC members were of course proud to announce their new brewing system, purchased from Bosque, as they continue their quest to open the first brewery in Los Alamos hopefully by this fall. I will be getting the full story on just what is a beer co-op and their plans for the future.
Next week will also take the Crew to Santa Fe to meet with Second Street brewer Rod Tweet and his staff. They have sent us some exciting news about some future brews and other endeavors. We never pass up a chance to go to Second Street and sample some beers out on their awesome patio.
Oh, yeah, and we teased another new brewery opening here in Albuquerque. West side residents will have a new option with the opening of Pi Brewing Co., which will be owned and operated by the same folks at Nicky V’s Pizzeria, which is located on the east side of Coors just north of Irving. The brewery will be next door to the pizzeria. We will always approve the union of pizza and beer. Hopefully we can set up an interview time next week and try some of their beers, talk about the operation, and more.
In addition to all that we have (finally) touched base with the guys over at Boxing Bear Brewing, which will be opening in the near future in the old Elliott’s Bar location near Alameda and Corrales. We don’t have a specific interview time set up yet, as we want them to get to a point where they can take a breather from all the hard work they are doing to set up their operation.
If there are any other future breweries who want to get in touch, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us via Facebook or Twitter.
And now the random stuff
- Good luck to the Babes in Brewland, who will be having their brewing session at Tractor Wells Park tonight (Monday). We look forward to seeing what the ladies create on the pilot system for the upcoming Battle of the Beer Geeks event that kicks off ABQ Beer Week on Thursday, May 22 at Wells Park.
- Speaking of ABQ Beer Week, if you are not following it on Facebook, you’re missing out on all the event announcements that are popping up every day. We’re a little over a month away from 10 of the best days of the year. Don’t worry, even though I’ll miss part of it while attending a wedding in Chicago, the Crew will still have full daily coverage, including daily previews of all the events, and recaps and live coverage from all seven of us. And I’ll drink plenty of beer in Chicago to make up for all that I’m gonna miss here.
- There’s no party like a beer party, part one: La Cumbre is having a release party for its monstrous Father Nelson triple IPA on April 21. There will be bombers available for purchase and they will have it on tap as well. It’s like a hophead’s happy day. Cali Shaw will provide the music, and there will be special mug club discounts all night.
- There’s no party like a beer party, part two: If all the fun at La Cumbre wasn’t enough, the following day at Marble you can celebrate their sixth anniversary. Le Chat Lunatique will be taking the stage while both Barley Wine and Triple will be released. It will also be time for Marble mug club membership renewals.
- The Crew is having another brewing session this weekend, though it will be at Porter Pounder’s place instead of at a brewery. He has managed to get a hold of some wild hops and we want to brew with them while they’re still relatively fresh. Our plan (for now) is a black IPA, but we’ll see how things transpire.
- Speaking of brews, Brandon has bottled his Coffee Chocolate Porter. In a few months we will be popping those open during a grill session. Brandon will have a full story about his latest brew this week.
- And yes, I know that the beer guide to Isotopes Park did not happen before last Friday’s opener. Sorry about that, but I wasn’t able to get in touch with their concessions director. If I have time before a game this week, I will wander the concourse and write down all the beers I see there. There are a few hidden gems I have already spotted amid the usual suspects from the macrobreweries.
Well, that’s all for now. At least I hope it is. I always feel like I forgot a story or two while writing these notebooks. Until next time, enjoy your pints. I’ve got baseball to cover, so no beer till late at night for me. Don’t worry, I’ll survive.