High tail it to Lizard Tail Brewing, ABQ’s newest microbrewery

Posted: August 25, 2014 by Brandon Daniel in Brewery Reviews
Tags: , , ,
Park your tail at the bar: Lizard Tail Brewing opens for business to thirsty patrons.

Park your tail at the bar: Lizard Tail Brewing opens for business to thirsty patrons.

Albuquerque has become a hot spot in the microbrewery industry over the past few years. This should come as no surprise to us locals, as we have become accustomed to the creations routinely offered up by the likes of La Cumbre, Marble, Il Vicino, Chama River … the list goes on, really. That being said, it is always nice to see a new brewery pop up in town that can offer up their own take on our craft beer favorites. If you happen to be a resident of the Northeast Heights in Albuquerque, you are usually reserved to finding a DD or cabbing it if you wish to partake in a pint with friends. Well, now you don’t have to look far, because Lizard Tail Brewing has set up camp right in your backyard!

Located in the same spot as the now-defunct Bad Ass Brewery, Lizard Tail Brewing opened up shop this past Friday and was received with open arms by craft beer lovers. The venue chosen for business has always, to me anyway, seemed like it was at a disadvantage as it is nestled in a shopping plaza which houses two other busy bars. After stopping in for their grand opening, however, I have no doubt about their ability to attract a crowd. The atmosphere was quaint and relaxed, with bar stools and tables alike filled with patrons. For those in the area looking for something other than your average macro brew, this is a welcome sight for your neighborhood. But enough about pretty decorations, on to the beers.

The current rotation of beers at Lizard Tail consists of Berliner Weisse, Blonde Ale, IPA, Amber, Oatmeal Brown, Honey Pale Ale, India Black Ale, Rye Stout, and the current seasonal offering of Belgian Abbey. I was in a bit of a time crunch when I stopped in, so I only opted for a single flight of four beers (don’t worry, Lizard Tail staff, I and the rest of the Crew will be back to try the rest!) Big selections yield difficult choices, but I opted for the Oatmeal Brown, Belgian Abbey, IPA, and the Rye Stout. The first thing that I noticed about all of the beer selections was a distinct malt bill in every batch, which I greatly appreciate.

A flight of Lizard Tail libations, from left to right: Oatmeal Brown, Belgian Abbey, Rye Stout, and IPA.

A flight of Lizard Tail libations, from left to right: Oatmeal Brown, Belgian Abbey, Rye Stout, and IPA.

The Oatmeal Brown was a bit lighter than I expected, coming off a bit more like an amber ale with a crisp finish, but drinks smooth and has a wonderful aroma that you will want to keep sniffing with each drink. The Belgian Abbey is one of the seasonal offerings that will be rotating in and out with the changing of the tree colors. Grab this one while you can, for it is a lovely summertime brew with a nice yeast complexity, subtle sweetness, and nice citrus notes that make this a great choice for these final hot days of the year.

For dark beer lovers (which we obviously are), the Rye Stout is a solid option. Pouring a deep, obsidian black, it has plenty of creamy mouthfeel, lots of coffee and roasted barley, with just a bit of rye kick in the finish to make this stand out. I found that I actually enjoyed this one better as it opened up a bit in temperature; a few degrees made it a tasty brew. Finally, the IPA — I was impressed. In this city we are spoiled with great IPAs, so this is always a category that can make or break a brewery. Lizard Tail’s IPA has a grapefruit-forward hop profile, with floral notes around the middle, with a bit of zest and peppery hints to boot. There is subtle malt sweetness for balance, and a lingering bitterness and nice finish. It’s a pretty impressive IPA from the new kids on the block!

Overall, Lizard Tail Brewing has something for everyone on the big board that greets you when you walk in. Dan and Ken revealed some upcoming creations to our Bullpen member Adam previously. You can look forward to a Porter, Biscochito Brown, Belgian Strong Dark ale, and several others. If you are hungry as well, there are always snacks and sandwiches available. But let’s face it, you will be there for the beer, and you damn well should. Lizard Tail is up and running and definitely offers up something refreshing for all craft beer drinkers here in town.

Until next time …

Prost!

— Brandon Daniel

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