The Week Ahead in Beer: Some final thoughts on special beer releases

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with the reunified edition of The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s four breweries and one newcomer down in Socorro also joining the party. We tried hard to keep the state edition going, but without participation from the breweries outside the I-25 corridor, it was futile.

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.

This is one of those rare weeks where there is no major beer release, beer/food pairing event, festival, or anything. It’s just a regular old week, albeit a stupidly cold one. Rather than join in with everyone else and gripe about the weather, I wanted to reflect on some stuff I brought up earlier this week in regards to what seemed to us to be declining attendance/interest in some of the recent special releases. While most of you chimed in that there is no such as too many bottle nights, one person dropped a (rather inflammatory) post in which he complained loudly about the concept of paying extra money for beer. The majority of you who follow our site responded that you will pay anything for good beer and this guy was crazy. The more I think about it, however, I wonder if he has a slight point. While there are many of us who love craft beer, especially our local breweries, there is a huge sea of casual beer drinkers/customers out there. These are often the folks who just show up at their one favorite place, rarely trying other joints, and frequently just order the same style over and over. Or they just pick up the same four- or six-pack at the store to take home. We should not dismiss them (they do outnumber us die-hard fans), but at the same time perhaps the specialty beer release nights are the way we separate the two groups. If a certain beer style (not IPAs) is released, it might not attract the attention of the casual folks. That could explain some of the recent downturn in crowd size for beers like Marble’s Imperial Red and Santa Fe’s Belgian Strong. Those are not “mainstream” styles. Perhaps that’s all this was, just a blip, not the beginning of a bad trend. Hey, we can hope, right?

(In a late update, his issue was less with price and more with the quality of the special release beers; that’s not a debate I’m looking to have with anyone. People’s beer tastes are often as intractable as their politics and preference for music. That being said, to hell with politics and listen to metal.)

On the new beer front, there are a few new ones worth checking out around town. Bosque says good morning with Wake Up and Smell the Stout. Boxing Bear is prepared to knock you flat with Body Czech Bohemian Pilsner. Canteen has run out of Milk Chocolate Cherry Stout, but they tapped The Other Red and Cantenator Doppelbock to keep your malt fix going. La Cumbre now has Azacca Pale Ale. Red Door has tapped a home-brew-competition-winning recipe for Watership Brown. Tractor will release Oxbow Scotch Ale on Friday.

Up in Santa Fe, it’s pretty quiet this week, though we can confirm Second Street has Trebuchet IPA, Outlier Special Bitter, and Tres Equis Lager available.

And on the subject of cask beers, rather than listing them brewery by brewery in here, we’re doing something a little different. Since oftentimes breweries don’t know what they’re putting on cask until the day of (usually Friday), rather than just put “TBD” down below, instead we’re offering updates via our Facebook page and Twitter feed. Look for the “Firkin Friday” post every week on those social media sites. One of these days when we get around to upgrading the main website we will make it a permanent feature on there, but for now we’ll provide live updates as the breweries get us the information.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of Feb. 23.

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.

Albuquerque metro area breweries

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: Pre-Prohibition Malt Tonic, Poth’s Pilsner, Ladron’s Con Fuego, Back Alley Red, California Common, Soroche IPA. In case you missed it, we interviewed BADH’s new brewer, Brandon Venaglia. There are some exciting times coming, including a possible expansion. The Malt Tonic and Poth’s Pilsner are back after a short absence.

Events: Sundays will now be Service Nights at Back Alley, with $2 off all beers for service industry workers. Bring your server’s ID and you will be rewarded.

Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596 (main brewery), (505) 508-5967 (Nob Hill Public House), (575) 571-4626 (Las Cruces Taproom)

(Main brewery on San Mateo: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-midnight, Sun noon-8 p.m.; Nob Hill: Mon–Weds 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Thurs 11 a.m.-midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Sun noon-11 p.m.; Las Cruces: Sun–Thurs noon-11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon-midnight)

UPDATED >>> Beers: Old School Session IPA, Crystal Single Hop Pale Ale, Humo Rojo, Tandem Ryder Double Pale Ale, Wake Up and Smell the Stout (Nob Hill only), Slack Jaw Imperial Porter (San Mateo and Nob Hill), Scale Tipper IPA (San Mateo and Las Cruces), Bosque Dark Lager (Las Cruces only). All beers listed are on tap at all three locations, unless noted. The Old School (4.7% ABV, 60 IBU) is a mild little delight. The Humo Rojo (5.7% ABV, 16 IBU) is a smoke bomb and a half. The Dark Lager (5.5% ABV, 25 IBU) is similar in profile to Durango Brewing’s standout flagship beer. Slack Jaw (8.8% ABV, 45 IBU) is a monstrous delight; it’s on nitro at the brewery and should be on nitro at Nob Hill by week’s end. The Crystal Single Hop (5.6% ABV, 30 IBU) is new, while the Scale Tipper (6.4% ABV, 95 IBU) is back for another run. Riverwalker IPA (6.5% ABV, 90 IBU) is now the permanent IPA on tap at all Bosque locations.

News: The Bosque Public House is now open, located on Girard just south of Central. Bosque has also opened a 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 3-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and all day on Sunday. Look for special menu items and get $1 off your favorite pints.

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

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

Beers: (Regular) Paw Swipe Pale Ale, Hairy Mit Hefe, Standing 8 Stout, Ambear Ale, Uppercut IPA, Apple Bear Hard Cider; (Seasonal) Sucker Punch DIPA, Iron Lung Smoked Porter, Black Eye-PA, Body Czech Bohemian Pilsner. The new Body Czech is a great way to start your flight. The Standing 8 Stout (6.3% ABV, 45 IBU), which is on tap at all times, claimed the 2015 Stout Challenge, held by the Crew before the Super Bowl this past Sunday. Head on over to indulge in this beast of a beer. The Iron Lung Smoked Porter (6.1% ABV) and Apple Bear Hard Cider (5% ABV) went on tap recently. The Black Eye-PA (6.2% ABV) is a hoppy yet malty black IPA. New to taps is the Sucker Punch (8.5% ABV, 125+ IBU), which as the name might imply could leave you on the floor if you’re careful.

News: Boxing Bear now has a happy hour. 10-, 16-, and 22-ounce beers are all discounted from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Growler Happy Hour then runs from 6 p.m. to close on those nights. Get $2 off a growler fill and $1 off a half-growler (they call ’em “squealers”).

Also, every day at lunchtime (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), for just $10 you can get a pint and a panini of your choice.

Events: Geeks Who Drink will now be held every Wednesday from 8 to 10 p.m. at Boxing Bear.

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: Cracked Cork Barley Wine, End of Days Tripel, Twig and Berries Sahti, Tom Selleck Ale, Rip Van Winkle Vanilla Stout, Nacho Brau. Two old favorites are back in the burly Cracked Cork and End of Days. New to the menu is Twig and Berries. A Sahti is a Finnish style of beer using some unique grains as well as juniper berries. If you’re one of the lucky few to not be allergic to junipers, have at it! The Drunken Hobo Milk Stout has replaced the Mulligan Stout in the regular lineup. Also joining the regular lineup now is the Elixir Vanilla Cream Ale.

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.

B3 shows The Walking Dead every Sunday at 7 p.m. and Better Call Saul every Monday at 8 p.m.

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737

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

Beers: Irish Red, Sasquatch Scotch, Kentucky Common, Black Rye PA, Opal Esteem, Exodus IPA, Cantenator Doppelbock, The Other Red. This year’s edition of Solstice Blackout has ended. Hurry over before the remaining Solstice beers — Sasquatch (8% ABV, 26 IBU) and Black Rye PA (7% ABV, 50 IBU) — run out. The Kentucky Common (5.4% ABV, 24 IBU) is a fairly recent addition. The Opal Esteem (5.7% ABV, 40 IBU) is a traditional steam-style beer brewed with German Opal hops. The Milk Chocolate Cherry Stout was wiped out in a hurry by all of you; good job, Burquenos. Another fan favorite, Exodus (7.7% ABV, 100+ IBU), is back for another run. The Cantenator (7% ABV, 20 IBU) and Other Red (5.6% ABV, 26 IBU) are new to the lineup this week.

News: The last barrel-aged beer in the back, waiting to be tapped, is American Stock Ale in rum barrels.

Canteen has begun filling Crowlers, 32-ounce aluminum cans that can be filled with any beer on tap. They get sealed up and can last for a lot longer than a regular growler. Then you bring back the Crowlers to be recycled and get some fresh ones.

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), Primo (Brown Ale). 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.

News: Cazuela’s is looking to potentially open a taproom on the east side of ABQ near Canteen and La Cumbre in the Brewery District.

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

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

Beers: Guero IPA, Saul-utations IPL, Hank (Nut Brown), Kissy Face Chocolate Cherry Wheat. The Kissy Face (6% ABV, 22 IBU) was made for Valentine’s Day. It has a healthy amount of dark cherry puree and cocoa nibs in the mix. Saul-utations (6.3% ABV, 35 IBU) was brewed in honor of the new hit TV series Better Call Saul, which filmed part of an episode at the Chama Microbar downtown. It is an India Pilsner Lager, making it a hybrid of a traditional pilsner lager and an IPA.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

(Hours Mon-Thu 2-9 p.m., Fri-Sat 11:30-10 p.m., Sun 11:30-9 p.m.)

Beers: Helles Lager, Honk If You’re …, ESB, Amber, IPA, I’m a Little Teapot Short and Stout, Czech Pilsner, Brunette. The Helles Lager made its return recently. The regular IPA is back and has been joined by Honk If You’re …, a British-style mild ale. I’m a Little Teapot Short and Stout is Kaktus’ first barrel-aged beer. A bunch of the Crew gathered at Kaktus recently and the Brunette, a sweet, nutty brown ale, was a big hit with all of us. We gotta say, Kaktus is getting pretty good at naming their beers. Kaktus is located at 471 South Hill Road in Bernalillo, for those who have still not made the trek.

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

Kaktus is also one of the sponsors of a huge upcoming St. Patrick’s Day celebration at the Railyards. You can find tickets and more info at the official website. It runs from 4 to 10 p.m. on March 17 and will feature beer, food trucks, music, dancers, and more.

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Azacca Pale Ale, Simcoe Pale Ale, Bohemian from Burque, La Llorona Baltic Porter, Hell Froze Over. The Azacca replaced the Munchener Dunkel last Friday. Brandon and I enjoyed the outstanding La Llorona Baltic Porter (8.9% ABV, 45 IBU). The Simcoe Pale Ale (5.5% ABV, 37 IBU) is still hanging around. A recent addition to taps is the Bohemian from Burque (5.7% ABV, 45 IBU), a Bohemian-style pilsner. Hell Froze Over (5.5% ABV, 30 IBU), La Cumbre’s take on a brown ale, is back for 2015. Though it is not on tap, you can buy bombers of Tres Padres, La Cumbre’s first Belgian-style Tripel, at the brewery. Oh, and don’t panic about Project Dank and Red Ryeot no longer appearing here as seasonals. They are now part of La Cumbre’s regular lineup. Red Ryeot cans are now for sale around town and at the brewery.

News: La Cumbre’s new and improved website is now up and running. Check it out by clicking the link here. Their online calendar now includes what food trucks will be serving, plus live music and a current draft list.

Events: The Green Billies perform Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m.

Yoga is back at the taproom every Sunday at 10:45 a.m.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

(Mon–Weds noon-9 p.m., Thurs–Sat noon-midnight, Sun noon-7 p.m.)

Beers: Whiptail Weisse, Bluetail Blonde, Horned Honey Pale, Reptilian IPA, Chameleon Amber, Basilisk Brown, Sanddigger Dubbel, Desert Night India Black Ale, Black Bearded Rye Stout, Smoot-tailed Oatmeal Stout, Prairie Lizard Porter, Biscochito Brown, Belgian Strong Dark, Belgian Abbey, ESB. Lizard Tail is up to 15 beers with a new ESB (6% ABV, 40 IBU). The Belgian Abbey (7.1% ABV, 25 IBU) and the Belgian Dark Strong (9.7% ABV, 30 IBU) are other recent additions, as one can probably tell since they have yet to be given lizard-themed names like the rest of the lineup. So far Lizard Tail has shown themselves to be more malt-forward than hop-centric. The oatmeal stout and porter are solid, while the IBA has shown improvement since its debut.

News: Lizard Tail’s happy hour runs seven days a week from 3 to 6 p.m. You get $1 off food, flights, and pints.

Take note that Lizard Tail now opens at noon every day.

Events: Lizard Tail will host Geeks Who Drink every Tuesday at 8 p.m.

Every Thursday will now feature karaoke from 8 to 11 p.m.

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739

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

Beers: There are no seasonals being poured on the patio at the Downtown Pub during renovations (see below for a link with more details). Only classics like the Pilsner, Amber, Wildflower Wheat, IPA, Red, and Double White are currently available. The Oatmeal Stout is not yet available on the patio. Take note that when the weather is too cold outside, they are frequently pouring beers in the back of the brewery. Check Marble’s Facebook and Twitter pages daily for details. The most recent quartet of seasonals — Double IPA, 2014 Imperial Stout, Belgian Quad, Imperial Red — may be available, all or some, at the Westside and Santa Fe taprooms, but call ahead to make sure they are there if you have a hankering for one or more. Anyway, this year’s batch of Imperial Stout (11% ABV) is a big, bold beast of a beer. If the bourbon flavor is too much, just let it warm for a bit and it will mellow out and the stout flavors will come forward. It is still at the Westside Taproom. A recent addition to taps is a hefty Quad (10.3% ABV), a big old blast of Belgian bad-assery.

News: So in case you missed it, the interior of the Downtown Pub will be closed until March 6 to undergo a much-needed renovation. Until then, you can still drink beers fresh from taps on the patio (weather-permitting). Also, every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday you can enjoy Studio 111 inside the brewery itself. See below for the schedule.

Events: Brewery tours occur at the Downtown Pub every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. (We are not sure if this is affected by the renovations or not.)

Studio 111 in the Brewery will feature DJ Halcyon this Thursday from 7 to 10 p.m. Leftover Soul will perform Friday from 8 to 11. Matty Be will then be on hand Saturday from 7 to 10.

Ali Holder and Daniel Thomas Phipps perform at the Westside Taproom on Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. They will be followed by Kevin Harig and Kyle Ruggles on Saturday, also from 6 to 9.

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100

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

Beers: Nexus Maximus, Warp 10 Golden Strong, Beam Me Up Scottish, Blackberry Hefeweizen. New this week is the Blackberry Hefeweizen, which should have you pining for summer in no time. The 2015 batch of Beam Me Up (9.5% ABV, 32 IBU) uses the same malt bill as the first batch from three years ago, but with a modified hop mix. The result will set it apart from the first two versions. Brewer Kaylynn McKnight has unleashed Nexus Maximus (7.6% ABV, 100 IBU), a big old DIPA that will have you chanting its name like you’re back in the Roman Coliseum. Another fairly recent addition to taps is the Warp 10 Golden Strong, an English-style golden ale.

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.

Nexus has always hosted viewing parties for The Walking Dead in the community room, where you can also play Walking Dead pinball. The show is back this Sunday at 7 p.m. We’re guessing they will keep the TV on AMC for Better Call Saul on Mondays, too.

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: PiPA, West Coast Red, Bourbon Vanilla Porter, Pre-Prohibition Pilsner, ESB, Peppermint Porter, Pumpkin Abbey Ale. 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. The PiPA will now be a regular beer, replacing the Unchallenged IPA. The scrumptious Bourbon Vanilla Porter is back, replacing the Robust Porter. Recent additions to tap are the Peppermint Porter and Pumpkin Abbey Ale, while a fresh batch of ESB is on tap as well.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

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

Beers: Ghost Train IPA, Rip Saw Red, Crosscut Kolsch, Dunkelblitzen, Nikolaus Spiced Lager, Imperial Sawmill Stout, The Dark Demon ICDA, The Brauny Bavarian, Smoky the Beer. 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 (they have a sign atop the building now that you cannot miss). The most recent addition to taps is Smoky the Beer (6.2% ABV, 40 IBU), a smoked porter. It should go well with that new meat smoker they have in the kitchen. The Dark Demon (8% ABV, 110 IBU) is an imperial Cascadian dark ale (basically a black IPA), and it is a devilish delight. The Nikolaus (5.2% ABV, 30 IBU) is a Weihnachtsbier, a traditional Bavarian dark lager brewed for the holidays. Brace yourselves for the Imperial Sawmill Stout (8.2% ABV, 65 IBU). The Brauny Bavarian (5.2% ABV, 15 IBU), a dunkelweizen, sticks with the German theme.

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675

(Mon–Thurs 2 p.m. to midnight, Fri–Sun noon to midnight)

Beers: (Regular) Gateway Blonde Ale, Roamer Red, Threshold IPA, Paint it Black Milk Stout, Unhinged Cider, Trappe Door Wheat. (Seasonal) Stormtrooper Imperial IPA, O.D.B. (Oaked Dark Belgian), Watership Brown. The first Red Door seasonal, Strong Scotch Ale, has finally run out. Sniff. To the rescue for all malt lovers comes Watership Brown, which won ABQ Beer’s holiday brewing competition. It’s a tasty delight, the kind of beer you can just enjoy slowly over the course of a lazy afternoon or evening. Red Door still has Stormtrooper (8.4% ABV, 110 IBU), the biggest beer they have brewed to date, for all you hopheads. The O.D.B. is quite a treat as well. The Trappe Door Wheat, a Belgian-style if you couldn’t guess by the name, replaces the Trapdoor Wheat in the regular lineup.

News: Take note of Red Door’s new weekday schedule for the winter months as they will now open at 2 p.m. instead of noon. Weekend hours remain the same.

Events: The Fabulous Martini-Tones will perform at Red Door tonight (Wednesday) from 7 to 9 p.m.

Saturday morning will mark another round of Beer and Breakfast. From 7 to 10 a.m. you can gather with friends for some food truck-supplied goodies with a pint of beer and a bit of English football on the telly.

There is also yoga at the brewery every Sunday at 11 a.m.

Sandia Chile Grill — (505) 798-1970

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

Beers: Irish Red, Rattlesnake IPA, Smoked Stout. We’re still trying to get a current beer list from SCG. If we get one, we’ll update this.

News: Congrats to SCG on sweeping all three medals in the mead category at the 2014 State Fair Pro-Am, while also claiming a silver medal for Barb’s Barrel Hefeweizen.

The Stumbling Steer — (505) 792-7805

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

Beers: Bang Up Blonde, Hefferweizen, Pig Sticker Pale, Iron Horse IPA, Rawhide Red, Boneyard Brown, Hop Trough (Double IPA), Soiled Dove (Imperial Stout), Black IPA. 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 Black IPA is the current seasonal beer, plus there are often one or two cask beers.

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.)

UPDATED >>> Beers: Little Red Rye-ding Hood, Winter Hop IPA, Barn Burner Pale Ale, Double Sickle DIPA, Luna de los Muertos Russian Imperial Stout, Ebony & Ivory, Turkey Drool, Oxbow Scotch Ale, Wonder Weisse (Nob Hill only), Half Acre Hefe (Nob Hill only). Tractor has revamped their beer list and pricing system. All of the Tractor Classics — Farmer’s Tan Red, Double Plow Oatmeal Stout, Almanac IPA, Sodbuster Pale Ale, Haymaker Honey What, plus now Pilsner #15, Mustachio Milk Stout, and Apple Hard Cider — are priced at $4 apiece ($3 for Beer Farmer’s Co-op members). All seasonal/specialty beers will now be $5 ($4 for members). Just about everyone in town has slightly increased prices in the past four months, but an extra 50 cents or a dollar shouldn’t bankrupt anyone, right? Anyway, on the seasonal front, Oxbow Scotch (7.7% ABV, 33 IBU) will be released at both locations this Friday. The 2015 batch of Luna (8% ABV), which debuted at WinterBrew, is a dark delight, loaded with flavor and decadently smooth. We love us some Turkey Drool (8% ABV) this time of year. It’s a brown ale with all sorts of holiday-themed spices and other added ingredients. This year’s batch is arguably the best yet. The wonderful Lauren Poole also showed us that if you mix the Drool with Mustachio to create Turkey Milk, it’s absolutely stupendous. The Little Red (5.8% ABV) has a malty rye kick and is still just $2 a pint. The Double Sickle DIPA (7.6% ABV, 110 IBU) is not an overwhelming hop bomb, but has a nice malty backbone to balance itself out. The Barn Burner (6% ABV, 52 IBU) is a bitter little pale ale that uses 40 pounds of El Dorado hops. The Ebony & Ivory (5.5% ABV, 25 IBU) is a “pale stout,” made with pale malt, pale chocolate malt, and caramel malt. It smells like a stout, but tastes like something a little different. The Winter Hop IPA (7% ABV) is back on tap.

News: Congrats to Tractor and their Mustachio Milk Stout, which won in the Best of Albuquerque competition from ABQ the Magazine. It may not be on tap but it is still for sale in cans just about everywhere.

Currently, all pints of Little Red RYE-ding Hood are just $2 and you can fill your growler for just $5. Time to make room for a new beer on tap!

Events: Kamikaze Karaoke takes over Wells Park tonight (Wednesday) at 7 p.m.

This Saturday features the In the Mix series with Nicolatron spinning at 9 p.m. at Wells Park.

Also, every first Monday of the month at both Tractor locations is Beer for a Better Burque night. For every pint you buy $1 can go to one of four charities that have partnered with Tractor. You can also opt to purchase a special growler with the logo of your favorite charity. So yes, that is this Monday.

In addition to Beer for a Better Burque, you can grab your own musical instrument and head to Nob Hill for the ultimate jam session. Tractor Tune Up, hosted by the Virginia Creepers, is now an official event happening every Monday starting at 7:30 p.m.

This coming Tuesday features Casey Mraz’s Music for What ALES You: Girl Power Edition at Wells Park. Head on over at 8 p.m. and sing along or just listen while you enjoy your pint(s).

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, Heidelberg Helles, Stauffenberg Stout. (Seasonal/specialty) Cafe Bella Coffee Porter, Munich Dunkel, Battle Royale Red, Phantom Sun Pale Ale. 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 new Stauffenberg Stout (it replaced the Piedra Lisa Porter in the regular lineup) 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 newer beers here are the Dunkel (4.7% ABV), Phantom Sun (4.8% ABV), and Battle Royale (6.5% ABV). The red is hoppier than most, more akin to Marble’s Red than an Irish red. The Phantom Sun is a tart little sucker. The Dunkel is comparable to the one at La Cumbre.

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Toro Blanco White DIPA, Friar Bacon’s Mild, Gee-Eyed (Dry Irish) Stout, Wrinkled Kilt, Barleywine. The Toro Blanco White DIPA (9.1% ABV, 100+ IBU) is not to be taken lightly. The Friar Bacon’s Mild is a modest dark ale. The Gee-Eyed (4% ABV, 40 IBU) is a classic Irish dry stout. The Wrinkled Kilt (5.6% ABV) is a Scottish export that debuted recently. Pucker Up, a strawberry sour, will debut later this week. Barleywine debuted last week to plenty of acclaim from folks up in Santa Fe. Here’s hoping they send it our way via the Draft Station.

Events: The next Thursday at the Brewers’s Table will be on March 12. Stay tuned for more details, but we know it will be a four-course meal this time.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

(Sun 11 a.m.–8 p.m., Mon–Tues 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Wed–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Fiction (IPA), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Titian (Golden Strong), Dark Ryder (Dark Strong), Grunewald (Imperial Porter), Goya (Imperial Stout), Talbeaux 15 (Barrel-Aged Brett Pale Ale), Stille of the Night (Belgian Dark Sour). The Tableaux 15 and Stille of the Night debuted at WinterBrew to plenty of acclaim from the folks in attendance. If you like your beers big, Duel has you covered. Dark Ryder and Tititan check in at 11-percent ABV, while Goya (15.9% ABV) is an absolute monster of a beer. You can buy Goya in bottles at the brewery or down in ABQ at Jubilation.

Events: The life drawing session is $25 and is held each Sunday morning from 11-1 (although they are not open to the drinking public till 1 p.m. on Sun). You get the beverage of your choice, a Brussels-style waffle made with their own yeast and beer and then served with a Grunewald Syrup. Everyone then draws from a nude model. People can sign up through the website or call the brewery to reserve a spot.

After a quiet week, live music is back in droves at Duel. Magpie will perform tonight (Wednesday) at 7 p.m. Brennen Leigh and Noel McKay are back on Thursday at 7 p.m. And finally the trio of David Berkeley, Ben Wright and Josh Martin perform Friday at 7 p.m.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

(Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 2-8 p.m.)

Beers: Belgian Strong Ale, Black IPA, Deviator Doppelbock, Chicken Killer Barley Wine, Irish Red Ale. The second beer in the new Ever Changing Series is Belgian Strong Ale (9.6% ABV), which debuted last week to much acclaim from Luke, our Santa Fe writer. The Kriek, which won a bronze medal at GABF this year, is on sale around the state in bombers, but supplies are low. A fresh batch of Chicken Killer is now available. The Irish Red is available on tap and in cans across the state.

Events: $1 off growler refills in the tasting room on Mondays. $2 pint Tuesdays at the Eldorado Taphouse. On Wednesday, there is a $2 pint special in the tasting room, and the Sangre de Cristo Craft Brewers’ Meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the tasting room as well on the third Wednesday of every month. On Thursday, there will be $1 off growler refills at the Eldorado Taphouse.

News: SFBC will soon be opening a taproom in Albuquerque. Here are all the details that Luke could find. It sounds promising.

Another new beer on deck this month is the Single Barrel Sour, part of the Los Innovadores series (which gave you all Kriek, which you adore).

Second Street Brewery — (505) 989-3278 (Railyard), (505) 982-3030 (original location)

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sunday noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Cream Stout, LVL Stout, Trebuchet IPA, Tres Equis Lager, Outlier Special Bitter, Bastogne Bitter, Brown Ale. The Tres Equis, Outlier Special Bitter and Trebuchet IPA are back, while the LVL Stout made a rather excellent debut at WinterBrew and is now on tap. Right now Second Street pretty much covers everything from hoppy to medium malty to their classic Cream Stout. The Pivotal IPA and Boneshaker Bitter are often available for purchase in four-packs of cans.

Events: Live music is back this week at both locations. At the original location, Drastic Andrew plays Friday and Broomdust Caravan performs Saturday. MVIII Unplugged will be at the Railyard location Friday and Kitty Jo Creek performs Saturday.

Every Tuesday night, the Railyard location will have Open Mic Night hosted by Ben Wright.

Other breweries you need to visit

Twisted Chile Brewing — (575) 835-2949

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

Beers: Pilabo Pale Ale, Venom IPA, English Porter, Zia Pilsner, 790 IPA, Hose Co. 1 Red Lager, KC’s Traditional Irish Stout, Swartzbar Black Lager, Apricot Wheat. Located in Socorro at 115 Abeyta St. W, Twisted Chile is the first brewery there to brew on site since Socorro Springs outsourced their brewing to Eddyline in Colorado several years ago. I got to head down there recently and enjoyed all the beers I sampled. Kudos to Twisted Chile for bring quality craft beers back to a town that needed ’em. The newest beer on tap is the Apricot Wheat. Other recent additions are the Irish Stout, which came in third in our Stout Challenge, and Black Lager. Also of note are the 790 IPA (7% ABV) and the Hose Co. 1 Red Lager (6% ABV). The Zia Pilsner (5.25% ABV) is done in the German style. The Venom IPA (8.2% ABV) is the biggest beer on tap, as the name might imply.

Events: Tonight (Wednesday) is Open Mic Night hosted by Johnny Dean starting at 6 p.m. There will be food and drink specials.

Peter Chase and the Quadrupeds will perform Saturday from 7:30 to 10 p.m.

* * * *

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


— Stoutmeister

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s