Beer Notes: The quiet time is upon us

Posted: October 21, 2014 by cjax33 in Beer Notes
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Put away those sample glasses. Don’t worry about what’s being served. Festival season for 2014 is over (well, save for one event, see below) and as such, the beer news is grinding (almost) to a halt. It’s the quiet period, which usually lasts from now through the holidays, and it can be maddening for a group of beer writers to keep finding things to write about.

Cheers to Tractor on their 15th anniversary and to this rather scrumptious Little Red Rye-ding Hood.

Cheers to Tractor on their 15th anniversary and to this rather scrumptious Little Red Rye-ding Hood.

Luckily it’s not too quiet, so there are still some things to keep us (and you, dear readers) entertained. This past weekend marked two celebrations as Santa Fe held their annual Oktoberfiesta and Tractor celebrated their 15th anniversary. We sent Luke, our Santa Fe correspondent, to the former, but it was his actually his birthday, so we told him that he didn’t need to work, just have fun (we think he did, but he may still be nursing a hangover, so we’re not about to call him or anything).

As for Tractor, work schedules and the like conspired to keep us away until later in the evening. Franz Solo and I popped in and found a random table in the hallway next to the brewery, between the taproom and the bathrooms. It made for a nice spot to people watch, as well as give us a chance to actually hear each other talk. The DJ was playing away in the main taproom, and other than a brief usage of The Song of Evil (if anyone follows me on Twitter @topeswriter, you know what song that is), it wasn’t too bad of a song selection. We did miss what Melissa told us was a rather epic drunk dance-off, but instead we got to enjoy hearing some stories from brewer David Hargis. We also enjoyed the Little Red Rye-ding Hood and Bulls Eye PA, while Franz alone got to have the Ruby Red Wheat. It was actually a relaxing couple of hours amid the festivities. Kudos to you and your wonderful staff, Tractor. Here’s to another 15 years.

Anyway, on with the random little tidbits of beer news for the week and beyond …

One more festival, then we rest

The NM Brewers Guild is again holding the Dia de la Cerveza down in Las Cruces on Sunday, Nov. 2. We have been trying to set things up to have a Las Cruces-area correspondent to join our Bullpen, but that’s still up in the air right now. Anyway, we know Bosque, which is opening a taproom soon in LC, and local boys High Desert will be there. We’ll work on getting a list of other breweries from the Guild as we get closer to the event.

After that, there’s nothing until the always awesome WinterBrew up in Santa Fe on Jan. 23, 2015. For more info, visit the Guild’s website.

We'll always come try a new porter, but when it's for a good cause, we guarantee our attendance.

We’ll always come try a new porter, but when it’s for a good cause, we guarantee our attendance.

Beer for a cause

There are a number of beers with eye-popping names being released right now, but all with a good cause behind them. Chama River’s Rasp-booby Wheat and Turtle Mountain’s Brown Ale for Boobies have both been out for a little while. Both beers were made to help breast cancer awareness this month (in case there were five of you left on earth wondering why all those NFL players are wearing pink lately).

La Cumbre is jumping into the mix with a release party this Wednesday for Peek-a-Boob Porter. LC will donate $1 from every pint sold to the YWCA to benefit early cancer screenings for women. The porter will be tapped at noon and there will be live music from The Rudy Boy Experiment from 6 to 9 p.m., while Adoughbe Pizza’s truck will be parked outside.

Then on Saturday at La Cumbre, the Cerveza for a Cause event will be hosted by The Q Active 20-30 Club. Again $1 from every pint sold will go to charity, in this case children’s charities, and this time it will work for any beer purchased between noon and 4 p.m. There will also be a charity art auction and a free brewery tour for the first 30 people to sign up. There will be a Dia de los Muertos theme, plus Django Rhythm Meat Grinder will perform. A&J BBQ Food Truck will be parked outside.

Deutschland meets Burque

The new Heimat House will be opening this weekend near the corner of Louisiana and Montgomery (right near a certain middle school that I used to attend). This German-themed restaurant will have a special Oktoberfest celebration Saturday. They will also have some 30 beers on tap, including many you can’t find anywhere else in New Mexico. We’ll be stopping in to visit them when they have a few free minutes to talk this week. Look for that preview soon.

But not, we’re still not gonna bust out the lederhosen. Franz Solo might have some hidden in the back of a closet, but the rest of us aren’t that brave to try to wear any.

Who will be the king of pumpkin beers in the ABQ area? We hope to find out soon.

Who will be the king of pumpkin beers in the ABQ area? We hope to find out soon.

Pumpkin challenge or not to pumpkin challenge?

We were originally gonna do a double beer challenge a few weeks ago along with the area’s selection of Oktoberfest beers, but there were so many different pumpkins scattered around we worried about palate destruction or just general drunkenness distorting our results. If everything breaks right with our collective crazy schedules, we may finally try to do a pumpkin beer challenge this weekend. It ought to be an interesting one, due to all the variations of pumpkin beers. This year we’ve seen pumpkin porters, pumpkin saisons, and there are still more pumpkin beers due out this week and beyond. It’s time to see what really is the best way to make a beer with pumpkin in it. Even if we know some of you despise pumpkin beers, it’s clearly a style that’s here to stay.

Sensory panels and big beers to brew

We were recently invited to participate in some of Tractor’s upcoming sensory panels, particularly in that’s dark beer season and our palates tend to be tuned to those. Whenever we figure out with the good Tractor folks how to set that all up, expect a story or two.

There’s also a good chance you may some Brew Crew beers on tap in the months ahead, and not just from small batch productions, either. We’ve had conversations with Canteen Brewhouse, Chama River, and Tractor about potential future brews on their main system. When I told the others, I’m not sure “ecstatic” is enough to describe their reactions. We’ll have more on all of that as it comes together.

Anything we’ve forgotten?

This is the time of year when we rely on outside input more than ever to let us know what’s going on out there. It can be anything from story ideas to news items big and small to pretty much anything dealing with beer.

For instance, here was a neat little item shared with us by reader Natalie B via our Facebook page: “So, with all the pumpkin beer talk I though I would pitch this to you guys and see if you think we would have any takers here. I just got back from a trip to the New England area to see the fall foliage and to, of course drink a beer or two. The very first place that we visited was a place called, Beer Works – across the street from Fenway Park. I have been a fan of Pumpkin beer since I first tasted it at Socorro Springs probably 6 or 7 years ago… well, they had a “Pumpkin Works” on their tap list and I ordered it. It came in a chilled glass rimmed with cinnamon and a little sugar, not crazy on the sugar but tastable. I know that it sounds strange but it tastes amazing!! Pretty much every tap room back there when you ordered pumpkin beer asked if you wanted a rimmed glass.. so this wasn’t just a single tap room fluke. Some places moistened the rimmed with water, a few with lemon or lime – not my favorite… but then we hit a tap room in Plymouth, MA and that is where the best was served. In this tap room they rimmed the glass with honey and then dipped it in the cinnamon/sugar… oh my goodness. It tastes pretty awesome. … I think you all seem to know EVERYONE and might have a better idea of someone that has pumpkin that might be open to the idea of trying something new. Even the guys that were with us thought that it tasted good so even though this might lean a little more to the girl side of beer drinking I think you might be surprised at just how many people would love a rimmed glass with their pumpkin beer!! Anyway, just something I wanted to share!!”

We had to admit, that’s a brilliant, creative way to serve a seasonal beer that the folks in New England came up with, and it’s something one of our local breweries (HINT) might want to try.

But that is the kind of stuff we’re looking for right now, even little creative tidbits in addition to news about brewery expansions or new places opening or staffs being shuffled or anything like that. We don’t have to fill our site with BIG NEWS all the time. Sometimes it’s the fun stuff that works out.

Anyway, thanks as always for reading. You can send us comments or news items or story suggestions via the comments section here, via Facebook, via Twitter (@nmdarksidebc), and via email ( Or just come up and say hello if you ever spot any of the bearded wanderers out at the breweries. We’ll be nice, we promise. Well, unless you’re singing along to anything by Neil Diamond. Isotopes season is over, we don’t have to listen to The Song of Evil anymore.


— Stoutmeister

  1. You’re not the only one tired of that song. Neil Diamond said on Graham Norton this week that he pretty much lets the crowd sing it now at concerts. Sounds like he’s pretty sick of it too.

  2. Antonio says:

    When are we going to get a story about the beers at B2B?

  3. […] here’s what we know is going on this weekend. Some of this is a repeat of Monday’s Beer Notes and/or Wednesday’s The Week Ahead in Beer, but you can never repeat good brewing news too […]

  4. […] here’s what we know is going on this weekend. Some of this is a repeat of Monday’s Beer Notes and/or Wednesday’s The Week Ahead in […]

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