Beer Fiesta: Time to head to the mountains

Posted: July 24, 2014 by reidrivenburgh in Events, News
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Editor’s note: This makes the fourth debut story for a member of our Brew Crew Bullpen. This time around Reid tackles a preview of a beer festival right in his backyard of Los Alamos. Let him (and the rest of us) know how he did. And then head to Pajarito Mountain on Saturday afternoon! — Stoutmeister

Bosque, La Cumbre, Marble, Santa Fe, and Taos Mesa will be the featured breweries.

Bosque, La Cumbre, Marble, Santa Fe, and Taos Mesa will be the featured breweries.

We all know Albuquerque is a mile-high city. And you folks from Santa Fe reside at an impressive 7,200 feet. You’ve been doing a lot of high-altitude beer drinking, and you’re understandably proud of your training. Well, this weekend it’s time to really test yourself. The Los Alamos Beer Co-op is hosting its second annual Beer Fiesta at Pajarito Mountain, just outside of Los Alamos, where five breweries will be dispensing their wares at 9,200 feet! Add in a great band, great food, and the great outdoors, and you have some excellent reasons to make the trek up into the Jemez Mountains. Plus, tickets only cost $10.

The Los Alamos Beer Co-op (LABC) is looking to become the next great little brewery in New Mexico. It started as a dream a few years ago and has slowly progressed towards reality. Adopting the co-op business model (one of only a few brewery co-ops in the country), LABC is dedicated to bringing quality craft beers to Los Alamos. Known for its national laboratory, the town also has a knowledgeable community of homebrewers and beer aficionados. We’re all looking forward to having a place to get together over a good beer and get a growler filled. LABC is planning to start operations and open its taproom in early 2015.

In order to pull this off, LABC is in fund-raising mode, soliciting members and investors. One of the more fun ways to raise funds is to throw a Beer Fiesta. The inaugural event, also at the Pajarito ski lodge, was last summer and it was a huge success. This year’s event should be even bigger and better, with all proceeds again going to LABC. Five New Mexico breweries will be pouring their beers, and Felix y Los Gatos will be playing a great mix of blues, funk, zydeco, and rancheras. Thad Hahn, the coordinator of festival events at Pajarito, proudly said that the cafe at the lodge has the finest green chile cheeseburgers and first-rate Frito pies. And, being a mountain and all, there is excellent hiking and mountain biking available. (Nothing better than burning a ton of calories and kicking back with a beer on the deck!) The ski lifts will be running from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the beer-pouring/band-performing will take place from noon to 6. To spare attendees the several-miles drive up to the mountain, free buses will be running every half hour from 10 to 7 from Sullivan Field across the street from Los Alamos High School.

One of the themes for the event is “Keep it Co-op,” emphasizing the community-oriented nature of the co-ops in Los Alamos. Representatives from several of them will be on hand to explain the benefits of the cooperative business model.

At this point, you’re probably salivating for details about the breweries. Attending will be La Cumbre, Marble, Santa Fe Brewing, Taos Mesa, and Bosque. All of them make excellent beers, but of particular note is that Bosque happens to be the winner of the 2014 IPA Challenge, and they hope to bring some of their winning brew, Scale Tipper. As of this writing, we know a few of the lineups.

Bosque: Farmhouse Pale Ale, Pale Ryder, Brewer’s Boot Amber Ale, Kindling Golden Ale and maybe, just maybe a 1/6 BBL of Scale Tipper IPA

La Cumbre: Saison d’Hommel, What’s the ALTernative, Jenny’s Cream Ale, plus you can purchase cans of Elevated IPA, A Slice of Hefen, Malpais Stout, and bombers of the Saison and Project Dank IPA

Marble: Pilsner, Double White, Challenge IPA, and a new seasonal, Saisonette

Taos Mesa: Lunch Pale Ale, Hopper IPA, Wheeler Peak Wheat, and a new seasonal, Hopricot

They all sound like great summer beers. The beers sometimes run out, so be sure to arrive early!

A team of volunteers is working hard to bring you this Fiesta. For all of you skiers out there, a great way to thank them for the use of the mountain and lodge would be to invest in a season pass, available for discounted sale on the day of the Fiesta. For further information, visit

We hope to see you at the Fiesta!


— Reid

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