The snowstorm that hit Albuquerque this weekend kept most of us at home. Thankfully, wherever they are holding the National IPA Challenge, weather was not an issue. The annual event, held by The Brewing News, had its round of 32 this weekend, with four New Mexico breweries’ IPAs participating. The good news? All four are headed to the “Sweet 16.”
Bosque’s Scale Tipper (the 2014 NM IPA Challenge winner), Canteen’s Exodus, Second Street’s Fulcrum, and La Cumbre’s Project Dank (the defending champion) all advanced to the next round. The tournament started with 128 IPAs from across the country, with individual beers pitted head to head in a bracket not dissimilar to, say, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
This time around, Project Dank beat Half Moon Bay (Calif.) Brewing’s Clown Ninja IPA. Next up for Dank is a showdown with Laurelwood Brewing’s Extra Special Workhorse IPA, which had defeated Moylan’s Therapy Session IPA in the round of 32.
Scale Tipper, in the meantime, ousted Bear Republic (Calif.) Brewing’s Hop Shovel. Next up for Bosque’s heavyweight entry is The Brew Kettle’s White Rajah, which knocked out its sister beer from the Cleveland-based brewery, Rajanox.
Another Brew Kettle beer, A-4-1, was beaten by Fulcrum in the round of 32. In the adjoining bracket, Joseph James (Henderson, Nev.) Brewing’s Citra Rye was no match for Exodus. That sets up the unfortunate, all NM showdown in the Sweet 16 between Fulcrum and Exodus. We just say unfortunate because it means only three NM beers can reach the quarterfinals.
Follow along via the link above this coming Saturday for the next round of results. As we get closer to the finals, we will get more details from the participating breweries.
Some news just pops up and makes us go “What?” Such was the case with this Facebook post today from the owner of The Local Brewhouse, the Northeast Heights taproom that was focused on having 30-plus NM beers on tap.
To all my wonderful friends. I want to let you all know that I have sold The Local Brewhouse. I was approached not long after we opened by a Investment group expressing interest to buy me out and after weeks of negotiations we have finally completed the deal and are now closed.
On April 1st I was set to start my Rio Rancho Brewhouse so the timing could not be better and I am looking forward to building it which will be my best work ever and I know your all going to like it.
My wife and I thank each and everyone of you for your support and look forward to seeing you all soon.
So yeah, if I wasn’t working today I would be chasing down this story. As it is, I will be trying to get more info when I can, if I can. The Local had already become a popular destination for many folks, so here is hoping not much will change under the new ownership.
Know any beer-loving writers in Las Cruces?
One of the best moves in the last year for the Crew was to add Luke as our first Santa Fe-based writer. He has done a tremendous job covering the bustling brewing scene in the City Different. We are hoping that somewhere out there is someone with a similar passion for craft beer, and writing about said craft beer, down in the Las Cruces area. The southern half of our state still has a ways to go to catch up to the north, but they’re working on it.
If you have a friend or acquaintance down in the south who would be perfect for it, please let him/her know we are on the lookout. We will take applications via firstname.lastname@example.org.
As for the other towns in this state where there is a brewery or two — Artesia, Farmington, Las Vegas, Portales, Taos — if anyone out there wants to file an occasional story or update on those breweries or local beer-related events, we would welcome submissions. We are the New Mexico Dark Side Brew Crew after all, so just covering breweries along this central stretch of the I-25 corridor is not all that we want to be doing.
- We will be previewing the first batches of beer at Albuquerque Brewing Co. this week. Sometimes it pays to be a beer writer. You get to be the first members of the public to try new things.
- Speaking of brewing, the Crew is headed over to Tractor Wells Park this Friday to brew up our entry for the second Battle of the Beer Geeks. In case ya’ forgot, we kinda won the event last year. Look for some live updates.
- If we get the chance, we will post some photos from Marble’s renovated downtown taproom before it reopens (which is scheduled to be Friday). If we can’t take ’em ourselves, we’ll call upon Leah Black, because she’s always got plenty of free time to help. Right, Leah? Hey, put that snowboard down!
- There will be a new series of features coming throughout the month of March (and probably into April due to a certain editor’s about-to-be-insane sports coverage schedule). We need to start contacting the breweries to get things set up before I share any additional details.
That is all for now. As always, if you hear of any beer news, notes, or rumors, send them our way.