The Week Ahead in Beer Metro Edition: Festival season is upon us

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with the Metro Edition of The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, giving you a list of their current beers on tap as well as any special events going on in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and Bernalillo. Look for the State Edition, which will include everywhere from Taos and Santa Fe up north to Las Cruces and Silver City down south, this Thursday.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.
Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

With Labor Day in the rear view mirror, the unofficial end of summer has come and gone. Sure, it may not feel like it outside, but just head over to Jubilation and check out the number of pumpkin and Oktoberfest beers on tap. If that’s not enough to convince you it’s fall, then Septemberfest will. Marble’s annual kickoff to autumn is also the kickoff to beer festival season in Albuquerque. Septemberfest will be held this Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. outside Marble’s downtown pub. Just $20 gets you 10 samples of beers from breweries across New Mexico and a pint of your favorite, plus there will be live music and more. I have the tough task of sitting down with the lovely Leah Black today to find out more details about this first awesome festival of the fall. Look for a full preview Thursday afternoon. And if that’s not enough, don’t forget tickets are on sale now online for both the seventh annual Hopfest (Sept. 20) and fifth annual NM Brew Fest (Oct. 11). There are a lot of other great beer events going on as well, so we’ll do our best to keep you updated.

In other big news of the week, today (Wednesday) is opening day at Ponderosa Brewing Co. Located at 1761 Bellamah NW, Ponderosa is now open for business. We’ll be checking it out today. There’s an entry below for Ponderosa, now with the initial beer list uploaded. Fear not, a full review is pending.

Perhaps due to the arrival of festival season, the breweries didn’t bring a lot of new beers or old favorites back to tap this week. Bosque has introduced a variation to the popular Mellow Brit, calling this version Rebel Brit. Chama River is feeling festive with Wee Bit Loco, a Scottish ale. Il Vicino has Elmo’s IIPA (see below for details). Kaktus has an Oyster Stout and Alanna’s Amber now on tap, plus the popular Helles Lager has returned. La Cumbre is bringing back La Roja later this week. Marble’s Wilderness Pale Ale will debut with a release party this Thursday. Turtle Mountain has unleashed the Saison du Soleil.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of Sept. 1.

To break down each “capsule,” I listed the brewery (with Web page linked), its phone number and hours of operation. Under “Beers” are the new or seasonal beers on tap for this week.

ABQ Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–2 a.m., Sunday 10 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Petrus Aged Ale, Petrus Aged Red. Petrus Aged Ale and Red are high alcohol barrel-aged sours from a family-owned brewery in Flanders. Several times a year, ABP serves up the latest creation by local brewing hero and winner of the Samuel Adams Longshot competition, Ben Miller, or seasonal releases by Monks Brewing.

Back Alley Draft House — (505) 766-8590

(Hours 4 p.m.-11 p.m. daily)

Beers: Soroche IPA, California Commons, Berliner Weisse. All the thirsty patrons drank up the last of the Kolsch, Pale Ale, and Ladron’s Peak. Brewer Addison Poth is hard at work restocking his supply of house beers. Don’t worry, though, as BADH always carries a large swath of beers from across New Mexico and the world.

Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun noon-8 p.m.)

Beers: Farmhouse Pale Ale, Pathfinder Pils, Fade to Blackberry Sour, Scale Tipper Batch #4, Rebel Brit. The Bosque Lager is temporarily out (guess you all liked it, didn’t you?) but will return soon. The Rebel Brit is a variation of the Mellow Brit. Also an American brown ale, it was brewed with London Ale yeast to produce a unique but tasty flavor. Pathfinder Pils (5.9% ABV, 35 IBU), a Bohemian style, is now on tap as well to help beat the last of the summer heat. It’s a delicious, malty-sweet beer. Scale Tipper #4 (7.4% ABV, 100+ IBU) is the latest in Bosque’s series of big IPAs and will be the batch they are taking to GABF next month.

News: Construction has begun on Bosque’s new taproom, the Bosque Public House, located on Girard just south of Central. Bosque has also signed a lease on a new taproom in Las Cruces, located in the former Mimbres Valley space across from New Mexico State at the corner of University Ave. and Espina St.

Bosque has a happy hour running from 4-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and all day on Sunday. Look for a revamped menu and get $1 off your favorite pints.

Beers in the more distant future will include a pumpkin ale, Oktoberfest, and a barley wine. Plus, Bosque is aging its Scotia Scotch Ales in rum barrels, and they just received a shipment of casks to start doing that as well. We’re a bit excited.

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

(Sun-Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.)

Beers: Paw Swipe Pale Ale, Hairy Mit Hefe, Standing 8 Stout, Ambear Ale, Sun Bear Summer Ale, Red Panda Session Red. Recent additions to the lineup are the Standing 8 Stout (6.3% ABV, 45 IBU) and Ambear Ale (5.2% ABV, 35 IBU). The other somewhat recent additions to the lineup are the Sun Bear (4.8% ABV, 30 IBU) and Red Panda (4.6% ABV, 65 IBU). Sadly, the popular Bear Knuckle DIPA has run out for now.

Broken Bottle Brewery — (505) 890-8777

(Mon–Weds 4-11 p.m., Thurs-Fri 4 p.m.–midnight, Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: 12 Step Apricot Ale, Wise Ass Watermelon Wheat, Atomic Rye Red, Elixir Vanilla Cream Ale. The Apricot, Watermelon, and Atomic went on tap recently, while the Elixir is the newest beer listed via BBB’s Facebook page.

Events: B3 has $3 beers every Tuesday from open to close. On Wednesday, B3 will be hosting their open mic from 8-10 p.m., with signups starting at 7:30 p.m. Check out B3’s karaoke night every Thursday starting at 8 p.m.

Cazuela’s Seafood & Mexican Grill — (505) 994-9364

(Open daily 8 a.m.-10 p.m.)

Beers: Papacabra (Double IPA), Panama Red, Acapulco Gold (Mexican Lager), Hefeweizen, Chupacabra IPA, Piedra del Fuego Stoned Cream Ale, Beer for My Horses (Oatmeal Stout), Inebriator (Doppelbock). E-Rock and I had a chance to sample the Piedra del Fuego (5% ABV), which we both recommend. According to Cazuela’s menu: “This cream ale uses red-hot stones to super caramelize the sugars, creating a nutty, toffee-like flavor.” The Inebriator (8% ABV) and the Papacabra (9.7% ABV) are the biggest beers in the lineup.

Events: Cazuela’s now features a live guitarist every Friday.

News: Cazuela’s Beer for My Horses won a bronze medal in the oatmeal stout category at the World Beer Cup in Denver.

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Hardscrabble ESB, Wee Bit Loco, Nutty Professor, Hefe Nice Day! Wee Bit Loco is a new Scottish ale. Hardscrabble (5.4% ABV, 35 IBU) is the new entry to the lineup. The Hefe Nice Day! (4.5% ABV, 15 IBU) won the Brew Crew’s recent Hefeweizen Challenge. Nutty Professor is a pecan brown that’s very sweet in flavor. You might want to get a waffle to go from across the freeway at Nexus and bring it over, then pour the NP on top.

News: Head brewer Zach Guilmette has revamped the recipe for Chama’s Jackalope IPA to give it a stronger kick and tastier palate. Franz Solo and I also highly recommend you try the revamped Sleeping Dog Stout. It’s creamy and burly and sweet and roasted … it’s got everything you want in a burly stout.

Il Vicino Brewing Canteen — (505) 881-2737

(Sun–Thurs noon–10 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–midnight)

Beers: Irish Red, Sessa’s Wet Hop IPA, Exodus IPA, Henhouse Saison, Panama Joe Coffee Stout, Elmo’s IIPA. The Elmo’s (10% ABV) is a modified version of the Elsa Imperial IPA with Mosaic hops added. Citra IPA (8.3% ABV, 65 IBU) and the return of Exodus (7.8% ABV, 100+ IBU) will keep the hopheads happy. Welcome back to a Crew favorite, the GABF gold-medal winning Panama Joe (8% ABV, 37 IBU). Speaking of GABF, Henhouse will be entered in the Pro-Am this year. Mike Archibeck teamed up with Doug to brew this unique new beer.

News: Il Vicino posted some pics on Facebook of the beers they are currently barrel-aging in the back. They’ve got Double IPA in tequila barrels, American Stock Ale in rum barrels, Belgian Strong Golden in wine barrels, and Panama Joe Coffee Stout in bourbon barrels.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

(Hours Mon-Thu 11:30-8 p.m., Fri-Sun 11:30-10 p.m.)

UPDATED >>> Beers: Kolsch, Oyster Stout, Banty Rooster (Hefe IPA), Helles Lager, Honk Ale, Alanna’s Amber, Banaweizen, Charlie Brown. The Oyster Stout replaces the Cream Stout, while the Helles Lager returns. The Alanna’s Amber is a new entry, taking the Solstice Pilsner’s spot on the roster. Located at 471 South Hill Road in Bernalillo, Kaktus is one of the state’s newest breweries. It is a small, casual place, similar to Blue Heron in appearance and comfort factor. Kaktus owner Dana Koller said fans can expect the nanobrewery to go through its most popular styles quickly, though they will always have something new and exciting available as a replacement.

Events: Kaktus has several new weekday specials including $3 pints on Monday, $9 growlers on Tuesday, $6 bison nachos on Wednesday, and $8 Frito pie and beer on Thursday.

The Desert Darlings belly dancers will perform from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sunday. If you’ve never seen the Desert Darlings in person, you’re missing out.

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Full Nelson, Saison d’Hommel, Fievre d’Abricot, Old Hop, New Hop. The newest beer on tap is Full Nelson (8.5% ABV, IBUs listed as “stupid”), a powerful DIPA that’s also available in bombers. If you need good hops but less of them, try Old Hop, New Hop (5.4% ABV, 41 IBU), an American pale ale that uses Centennial (old) and Simcoe (new) hops. The Saison (7.5% ABV, 35 IBU) and the Fievre (7.8% ABV, 25 IBU) are also available for sale in bombers.

News: We congratulate La Cumbre Brewing Co. for becoming this year’s National IPA Champion. Project Dank scored the win by edging out 127 other IPAs from around the country, including the likes of the venerable Fat Head’s IBUsive.

Brewer Jeff Erway says the popular La Roja will return to taps later this week.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

(Sun–Weds 9 a.m.–11 p.m., Thurs–Sat 9 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: German Blonde Ale, Berliner Weisse, Belgian Abbey, Honey Pale Ale, IPA, Amber, Oatmeal Brown, India Black Ale, Rye Stout. Both Brandon and I have had chances to visit Lizard Tail, which is the newest brewery in town located in the shopping center on the southeast corner of Eubank and Montgomery. They specialize is malt-forward beers. The German Blonde (5.5% ABV, 20 IBU) is a good place to start. The Berliner Weisse (4.3% ABV, 8 IBU) is not nearly as sour as most of its genre. The Belgian Abbey (6.8%, 25 IBU) is a good example of its style. The Honey Pale Ale (6.3% ABV, 35 IBU) has a nice little hop kick to it. The IPA (6.8% ABV, 70 IBU) has a good mix of Mosaic, Warrior, and Galaxy hops. The Rye Stout (5.5% ABV, 35 IBU) has a nice flavor but lacks body. The first batch of Oatmeal Brown (4.2% ABV, 25 IBU) needed some work, but I got to sample the second batch that will be on tap soon and it’s improved.

News: Lizard Tail’s happy hour runs Thursday through Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m. You get $1 off food, flights, and pints.

A Dubbel and a Porter are next up.

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739

(Mon–Sat 1 p.m.–midnight, Sun 1 p.m.–10:30 p.m.)

UPDATED >>> Beers: Red Light Lager, Brau, Double White, Imperial Red. Brau (7.1% ABV) is a new German-style Sticke Altbier. The Imperial Red is back on tap. This batch was brewed for GABF in Denver next month. Otherwise it’s a relatively light seasonal list as Marble is at capacity brewing the regular beers for distribution.

Cask: Check out Marble’s cask (a.k.a. “real” ale) selection on tap every Friday at the Downtown Pub.

News: A fresh batch of Imperial Red is headed to GABF soon. Hopefully it will also be on tap at the brewery soon.

Events: Brewery tours occur at the Downtown Pub every Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

The Wilderness Release Party is this Thursday at the Downtown Pub starting at 5 p.m. Wilderness is a pale ale brewed with the finest pine and spruce from right here in New Mexico. Proceeds will benefit The Wilderness Society. You can enjoy your pints with complimentary Taos Energy Bars and popsicles from Pop Fiz. Baracutanga will then take the stage from 7 to 10 p.m.

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Rye Pale Ale, Blackberry Hefeweizen, Altbier. Brewer Kaylynn McKnight cranked out a new seasonal in the Blackberry Hefeweizen while the popular Altbier has returned. The RPA (5.9% ABV) has somewhat muted rye flavor, while the sweeter malts tend to dominate this beer. It’s a good summer beer, perfect for sipping slowly on a hot afternoon.

Events: Nexus serves up Happy Hour All Day on Tuesday featuring $3 pints. Also on Tuesday, Nexus will be hosting their comedy open mic, Young Dumb and Full of Comedy, starting at 7:30 p.m. in the Sun Room.

Pi Brewing at Nicky V’s Neighborhood Pizzeria — (505) 890-9463

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Pi IPA, West Coast Red, Porter, Lost Grain ESA, Apricot Wheat. While Pi Brewing is not open to the public yet, they are able to brew and serve their beers next door at Nicky V’s. The IPA and West Coast Red are both good hoppy beers. We’ll keep tabs on when Pi itself opens. For now, grab a pint and some tasty Italian food.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

(Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m.)

UPDATED >>> Beers: Ghost Train IPA, Rip Saw Red, Crosscut Kolsch, Sawmill Stout, XPA1 Pale Ale, Helles Lager. Porter Pounder and I went over for the grand opening today (Wednesday) and came away with this full list of beers. Ponderosa is located at 1761 Bellamah NW, which is just east of Rio Grande and due north of the NM Natural History Museum, in the bottom floor of a swanky-looking apartment/retail complex. We will have a more formal review (with better directions) soon. As for the beers, they are all the initial batches, so expect some modifications/changes going forward. Needless to say we both liked the Stout (5.2% ABV, 22 IBU) the best, but we’re dark beer guys (then again, you could also call us dark beer snobs, so consider that). Porter Pounder liked the XPA1 Pale Ale (5% ABV, 35 IBU), which will always be a rotating single-hop pale ale. The Crosscut Kolsch (4.9% ABV, 25 IBU) is almost like a Kolsch/hefeweizen hybrid. The Ghost Train (6.2% ABV, 75 IBU) needs some work, but the brewer has already identified what went wrong in the first batch and is working on correcting that for the next run.

News: A double IPA was already in the fermenter and more German-style beers are on the way in the weeks ahead.

Sandia Chile Grill — (505) 798-1970

(Mon–Sat 8 a.m.–8 p.m., Sun 8 a.m.–6 p.m.)

Beers: Irish Red, American IPA. The American IPA was a new version of the Rattlesnake IPA brewed especially for the 4th of July. The Irish Red was also back on tap.

The Stumbling Steer — (505) 792-7805

(Sunday-Wednesday 11 a.m.-midnight, Thursday-Saturday 11 a.m.-2 a.m.)

Beers: Blonde, Pale, IPA, Red, Brown, Double IPA, Imperial Stout. While the brewery is being built in the back of the Steer, all of their house beers are being brewed off-site, but still using brewer Kirk Roberts’ recipes. The DIPA and the Stout are limited to two per customer, due to their high alcohol content (10% and 9.5% ABV, respectively). The Crew has already made two separate visits to the Steer to review the beer and food. We enjoyed it all.

Tractor Brewing Company — (505) 433-5654 (Nob Hill Tap Room), TBA (Wells Park)

(Nob Hill is open Monday-Wednesday 3 p.m. to midnight, Thursday 3 p.m. to 2 a.m., Friday-Saturday 1 p.m. to 2 a.m., Sunday 1 p.m. to midnight; Wells Park is open Monday-Thursday 3 p.m. to close, Friday-Sunday 1 p.m. to midnight.
 Last call 30 minutes before close. 
No package after midnight.
 Brewery tours Saturday at 1 p.m.)

Beers at Nob Hill: Hard Apple Cider, Pilsner Roja, Javi Light Lager, Milk Mustachio Stout, Berry Cider, C+C IPA, La Llorona Dry Hop Amber.

Beers at Wells Park only: Tupac Cali Red, L4 IPL, Maibock, Barley Wine, Berliner Weiss, FYFA IPA, Trekker Red Belgian Ale. All of the Nob Hill seasonals are also at Wells Park, which has 24 total taps (Tractor’s five regular beers have two taps apiece). The Pilsner Roja is a crisp, Marzen-style beer that tastes good in the hot summer months. If you need a hop punch to the face, the F.Y.F.A. (F— Yeah Friday Ale) is a much more hop-forward IPA than what Tractor usually creates. The Berliner Weisse Sour takes a traditional German-style weiss beer and twists it into a sour. It’s an acquired taste. The most recent additions to the lineups are the La Llorona Dry Hop Amber, which is drier yet more flavorful than most ambers, and Tupac Cali Red.

Events: On Wednesday, Tractor will be hosting another Cards Against Humanity night at Wells Park. This is a free event starting at 7 p.m. Food will by served by Nomad’s BBQ.

Geeks Who Drink is now setting up shop at the Wells Park Tap Room every Monday at 8 p.m. Bar cash for winners and bonus questions all night. Wanna see what GWD at Tractor has been up to? Check out the blog! Food will be served by Mystique.

Tractor’s Thirsty Thursday music series at Wells Park continues with Keith Sanchez performing at 8 p.m. Kimo’s Hawaiian BBQ will provide the food.

The In the Mix series continues Saturday at Wells Park as DJ Cloudface will perform at 9 p.m. Kimo’s again provides the sustenance.

Next Tuesday, Poetry and Beer will present a Qualifying Slam as poets try out for the 2015 ABQ Slam Team. It runs at Wells Park from 7 to 9 p.m.

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

(Kitchen hours: Mon–Tues 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Wed–Thurs 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sun 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Reminder: TMBC closes early when business dictates. Please call.)

Beers: (House) McDay’s Cream Ale, Oku Amber, Parasol White IPA, Hopshell IPA, Piedra Lisa Porter, Heidelberg Helles. (Seasonal/specialty) Monochrome Milk Stout, Pork ‘n’ Brew Brown Ale, Dog Daze Summer Lager, Saison du Soleil. To help us out for now and the future, brewer Tim Woodward broke down what will be the regular beers on tap (under House) and the current list of seasonals. That’s a pretty solid regular lineup. I personally really enjoyed the Porter and Amber, the latter of which trumps most of its genre in terms of flavor. The Heidelberg Helles (5.1% ABV, 25 IBU) has rejoined the regular lineup for good, or so Tim hopes. The newest beer on tap is the Saison du Soleil, a French/Belgian saison. I got to enjoy the decadently smooth Monochrome Milk Stout from a guest tap at Boxing Bear.

* * * *

That’s all for this week! If you have any questions or comments, leave them below or contact us on our Facebook page.


— Stoutmeister

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