The Crew’s holiday beer merch guide — Santa Fe edition

Editor’s note: By popular request, the Crew is compiling all the info you will need on all the non-beer gifts you can purchase for others (or yourself) from our local breweries this holiday season. Luke, our Santa Fe-based writer, handled the breweries up there. We had hoped to get more of these stories ready before Black Friday, but heck, you’d all probably rather be hanging out at a brewery that day than the mall. Don’t worry, we’ll get the rest to you soon, as well as our annual story on brewery memberships, since those often make a great gift as well. You’re welcome. And don’t forget, breweries count for Small Business Saturday coming up this weekend. (Hint) — Stoutmeister

It’s already holiday shopping season. Okay, let’s face it, it’s been shopping season ever since Halloween was over and the stores traded in the ghouls and witches for elves and reindeer. Seriously, not even a day after. Well, based on a request from a reader who thought Hey! Beer geeks probably want beer stuff for Christmas, we decided to head out to the breweries, or really just look up from the barstools (in some of our cases) to find out exactly what they’ll be offering for the holiday season in terms of gifts, events, and specials. So get your re-usable shopping bags ready folks. Wait, is that just a Santa Fe thing? ::hangs head:: Anyway, coming at you hard is a torrent of Holiday beer merchandise from your favorite breweries. So, yes, grown-up (no doubt) craft beer fan, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as ABV and zymurgy and carbonation exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest gravity and hoppiness. On to the brew swag!

Blue Corn Brewery

Hello, Blue Corn gift basket.

Merchandise: Blue Corn is really swinging for the fences this holiday season, offering gift baskets of various size, price-points, and Blue Corn(y) names. I’ve never before been so excited to receive anything wrapped in cellophane, but behold the power of BEER! These fun-filled cellophane-wrapped goodie baskets include such wonderful things as Blue Corn’s new Tap Three aluminum growlers; Roadrunner IPA pint glasses; Craft-Beer Cookbooks, with an entry by Blue Corn’s own Chef D, as well as a crunchy snacks prepared by him. One even comes with a bottle of that crazy Mountain Black Berry Jalapeno Ambrosia sauce by Prairie Thyme to drizzle over any of your holiday foodstuffs. Others include growler fills and brew club memberships.

For your shopping convenience, head brewer James Warren has broken it all down for us:

“Blue Corn Brewery has some different gift baskets than the Cafe, but at the Brewery, these will be available:

1) “Blue Corn Beer Me”: Metal growler, one glass, and a 64-ounce refill. $38

2) “The Incredible Edible”: Cookbook, sauce, snacks, chocolate, and a T-shirt. $45

3) “A Book & Beer”: Metal growler, 64-ounce refill, one glass, cookbook, snacks and brew club membership. $70

4) “The True Believer”: Metal growler, two glasses, 64-ounce fill, brew club membership, snack, and chocolate. $60

Looks like Luke bought himself a gift basket. Can’t blame him.

“The baskets sold at both Blue Corn locations are as follows: $38 — includes one metal growler and two pint glasses; $45 includes one metal growler and four pint glasses. If purchased as a gift, we are also offering a fill ticket for $10. Normal fills are $12. The metal 64-ounce growler alone is $28.”

Brew club membership: “The brew club membership is universal with Chama River, Blue Corn Brewery, Blue Corn Café, and both Draft Stations. During the holidays, they are on sale for $10, for the year membership. The membership includes: $1.50 off 22-ounce beers, $1 off pints, $0.50 off 10-ounce beers, $1 off 64-ounce growler fills, $0.50 off 32-ounce growler fills, 10 percent off keg fills.”

Special events: On Thursday, Dec. 11 at 6 p.m., Blue Corn is hosting a very special Thursday at the Brewer’s Table Holiday Party! For this event, Brewer James and Chef D “invite beer lovers to celebrate all things beer!” For $20 per guest, you get two pints of your choice as well as delicious, specially chosen family-style bites. That’s not all! To get in the spirit, they’re doing a White Elephant Exchange where you bring in a beer-related gift worth at least $15 to participate and play by the traditional White Elephant gift-stealing rules. Blue Corn Brewery also has a very special secret gift, so make your reservations and come in your ugliest holiday sweater! See you there, and if you want to know what the last brewers table was like, check out this article.

For reservations, call (505) 438-1800.

Photo courtesy of Duel Brewing
Photo courtesy of Duel Brewing

Duel Brewing

Note: Special thanks to fellow Bullpen member Reid Rivenburgh for stopping in and asking a few questions. I’m sure they had to twist his arm to do a little sampling while he was there, too.

Merchandise: “Duel Brewing is selling their usual array of merchandise, including a growler with logo and a variety of nice shirts for men and women. If interested in the clothes, your best bet is to order online, since the inventory at the taproom is getting low. Of note, they will be selling their Goya Imperial Stout in 750-ml bottles. It’s supposed to be around a hefty 16-percent ABV, so it no doubt has a kick like a mule. We haven’t been able to test it, but it would certainly make a welcome stocking stuffer.”

Editor’s note: Brewer Todd Yocham said Goya is 15.9-percent ABV and will be on tap at Duel the “first week of December or so.”

Santa Fe Brewing Company

Merchandise: This year SFBC is offering their usual T-shirts, growlers, and pint glasses, etc. But they finally have those slick hoodies available and just in time for Christmas. If you missed your chance to grab a sweet Oktoberfest mug, there are still a few left. And with no date, use it for every Oktoberfiesta! Also available are the uber cool, black, stainless steel, insulated SFBC growlers, which I bought and reviewed one (see below). And Albuquerque beer lovers, come on up to the brewery and grab some cool SFBC swag and look like an old friend before the taproom hits your town!

Regular’s club membership: Club membership information courtesy of Josh at SFBC.

Cost: $50

Duration: 1 year from date of purchase

What it includes:

  • Membership club card accepted at all SFBC locations (Highway 14 tasting room, Eldorado Tap House, and coming soon: ABQ Tap House)
  • Exclusive “Regular’s Club” T-shirt
  • Happy Hour pints prices at all times
  • $5 discount on cases of packaged beer (excludes Chicken Killer)
  • 10 percent discount on keg purchases
  • Invitation to our Company Holiday Party

Special events: 12 Beers of Christmas — For 12 days in December, you can come out to the brewery to sample 12 different holiday-themed beers (each day) brewed by the Sangre De Cristo Craft Brewers Club, on the small batch system. Also, as far as shameless plugs go — I get one, don’t I? — my beer, “Piñon Roasting on an Open Fire,” is scheduled to be tapped on Dec. 17 at the brewery. With cinnamon, nutmeg, and piñon, it may just be a cookie with foam, or it might be a pretty decent Winter Warmer. Who knows? Come and find out! Get there early for each beer, because 10 gallons fly when you’re having fun.

Second Street Brewery

Merchandise: Second Street has various (and delicious) gift choices this year. According to the ever amazing Colleen, these great items will be available to deck your friends’ and families’ halls.

  • Hydroflask growlers and glass growlers, both large (64 ounces) and half growlers (32 ounces)
  • Both the Boneshaker Special Bitter and Pivotal IPA will be in cans (four-packs), which you can buy at either location.
  • Men’s and women’s long-sleeve shirts. There will also be some T-shirts at a discounted rate as well.
  • Don’t forget to keep your head warm, or keep the head of someone you love warm with one of Second Street’s stylish beanies.

    Take your pick of how to bring your favorite Second Street beers home.

Special Events: On Dec. 12 and 13 SSB will be celebrating their 18-year anniversary at the original location. They will have a prix-fixe menu (menu pending) and have live music both nights. Pollo Frito will be playing Friday and Cloacas will be performing on Saturday. Both shows start at 6 p.m.

Also, on Dec. 20, at the Railyard location, Kodama Trio will be playing the music of Charlie Brown Christmas and other holiday classics. That show starts at 7 p.m.

On Dec. 26, at the Original Location, Swing Soleil will be wrapping up the holiday season with holiday tunes starting at 6 p.m.

* * * * *

That’s it for Santa Fe’s merchandise and special holiday events. It looks like there’s a ton of great swag to fill those stockings and stuff under the tree. From canned and bottled beer to clothes and craft-beer cookbooks, there’s something sure to bring a smile to your favorite hophead. And seriously, what better way is there to shop, than with a cold brew or two?

But before I go, I wanted to add this.

Dear mom and dad, if either of you are reading this article … (Hint, hint.)

This nifty little growler makes for a great gift.
This nifty little growler makes for a great gift.

Review of the black Santa Fe Brewing Co. stainless steel growler

Description from the website: “Our new INSULATED, eco-friendly stainless steel growler keeps liquids hot or cold for hours as well as carbonated for days! This baby holds the same as our regular growlers — 64 ounces of pure beer-drinking bliss! Our Zia bottle cap logo is etched on one side of the growler.”

For this review, I came up with a few criteria for what makes a growler useful to me. 1) How long does beer last in the growler, i.e. stay fresh, carbonated, and keep a consistent taste? 2) How many times can you open it before that situation changes? 3) What is the whole beer experience like?

First off, I opened the beer after a weekend of sitting in my car through pretty inconsistent temperatures, due to … life. The growler had been filled to the brim, making the first pour a bit of a chore, but being served too much beer is seriously a non-issue. I think the shape of the mouth, which is more thermos-like than growler-like made the first few pours messy and inconsistent, but as with most beer issues, drink more and the problem goes away. It did. After several pours, the beer was coming out nice with a decent head. And the beer stayed cold all night, despite keeping it on the table and out of the fridge. Trying to catch up with “Sons of Anarchy,” a guy doesn’t have time for several return trips to the fridge. I can already tell that the double-walled insulation will make it an essential piece of camping equipment in the spring. Happy Camper jokes aside, even a week later the same beer tasted like it had the day it was tapped, with consistent carbonation and the clean distinctive flavors of the beer style. Stylish and effective, I highly recommend the stainless steel growler with four cute bartenders out of five. The growler retails for $50.


— Luke

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