Beer festival season is upon us, the official kickoff to fall in Albuquerque. First up is Marble’s Septemberfest, which will be held from noon to 5 p.m. this Saturday. Tickets are available online and at all three Marble locations. This year’s event will see some changes from previous formats, so to get the lowdown on what’s new and different I faced the difficult task of going to Marble, ordering a pint of Brau, and sitting down to talk with Marble media maven Leah Black.
Yeah, my job is tough.
Two years ago (and before) Septemberfest was held in the back parking lot of Marble and operated like a standard festival, with sampling tents set up amongst the participating breweries. The format was switched up with Son of Septemberfest last year, where it was held on the patio and inside the brewery. Last year you got a list of beers to sample, one per brewery, and after you had them all you picked your favorite and they filled your mug. It was a nice little event, though it got crowded pretty quickly. To alleviate that problem, Septemberfest is getting a little more space this year.
“It’s going to be from noon to five on the patio and we’re taking over the street,” Leah said, with the street she’s referring to being the actual Marble Ave., which runs along the south side of the brewery. They will close it off from 1st Street on the east to the alleyway on the west, with the main entrance at the Marble/1st intersection on the southeast corner of the brewery. “Anyone who’s just a normal patron will be restricted to the taproom until 5 o’clock, then we’ll open it all to the public.”
Live music on the patio stage will include The Cali Shaw Duo, Keith Sanchez & The Moon Thieves, Felonious Groove Foundation, and Reviva! The bands will be staggered and will continue through the night even after the paid portion of Septemberfest ends at 5 p.m.
There will some fun events as well. A dunk tank will be set up on the street. There will be face painting (so yes, you can bring your kids, as many Marble patrons often do) and games to play. There will be some food trucks present as well, to keep everyone’s bellies full of something other than just beer.
“It’s just going to be a good old time,” Leah said. “We wanted to do a different format this year. We wanted to use the new stage we have, the new patio structure.”
Now, as for the beers, here’s how it’s going to work. There are nine breweries plus Marble who will be donating one special keg apiece. Your $20 admission gets you a sample glass and 4-ounce samples of all 10 beers. After you’ve had them all (or as many as you can handle), you get a full pint of your favorite.
In alphabetical order by brewery:
- Blue Corn’s Schwarzbier
- Bosque’s Acequia Wet Hop IPA
- Boxing Bear’s Uppercut IPA
- Chama River’s Wee Bit Loco
- La Cumbre’s Project Dank IPA
- Marble’s Galaxy IPA
- Nexus’ Altbier
- Second Street’s Pivotal IPA
- Taos Mesa’s Old 96 Sticke Alt
- Turtle Mountain’s Saison du Soleil
In our Crew travels we’ve had a few of these before. Nexus’ Altbier was quite tasty and this offers up a nice way to compare it to Taos Mesa’s Old 96. If you haven’t been to the west side yet, this is a great opportunity to try Boxing Bear’s Uppercut IPA, which packs a punch but isn’t overwhelming on the hops. Compare and contrast it to Second Street’s tasty Pivotal IPA. And of course Project Dank is never to be missed (we don’t know which version this is, so let’s see what Jeff has in store for us all).
As for the new ones, we’re not going to rank them or anything, but we’re looking forward to Blue Corn’s Schwarzbier and Chama’s Wee Bit Loco (Scottish). They’re the darkest beers on the menu. Bosque and Marble’s IPAs are worth checking out and we’re curious what Tim did that Saison from Turtle.
Brandon and I look forward to seeing many of you out there bright and early (one of us has to go cover UNM-Arizona State later). We’ll be the bearded men in black who are probably spending way too much time trying to figure out the hops just from the aroma of the IPAs.