Beer Notes: Marble looks marvelous, 3 IPAs advance, brewer change pending

The good folks at Marble finished their taproom renovation on time and the old joint looks wonderful. It has a nice new bar smell and everything. Rather than try to explain what it looks like, here are a bunch of photos.

It's all nice and swanky inside Marble now. It just feels bigger and more spacious than before.
It’s all nice and swanky inside Marble now. It just feels bigger and more spacious than before.
Finally, two televisions!
Well look at that, enough room behind the bar to where the servers aren’t tripping over one another.
The old lounge area has raised tables now.
The light fixtures are done in the same style as the ones at the Westside Taproom.
There used to be a wall back here, but now it’s open with more seating.
The new lounge area is in the northeast corner of the pub.

As noted above, looking good, Marble. It’s brighter, more welcoming, and in general a nicer place to grab a pint or two.

Oh, and that Nitro Sesh on tap is pretty tasty, too.

New Mexico claims three spots in the Elite Eight

While the Lobos can’t ever seem to reach the promised land in basketball, at least our breweries are doing a pretty darned good job. The Brewing News National IPA Challenge continued over the weekend with the round of 16. Only three of four New Mexico IPAs could advance to the quarterfinals, since two were going head-to-head.

The good news is three IPAs advanced, making New Mexico the only state with more than one to reach the Elite Eight. La Cumbre’s Project Dank, the defending champion, Bosque’s Scale Tipper, and Canteen’s Exodus advanced. Exodus defeated Second Street’s Fulcrum in the round of 16. The good news is that none of the remaining three IPAs will face each other in the quarterfinals, so it could be an almost all-New Mexico Final Four.

Project Dank will go up against Melvin Brewing’s Morris IPA. Scale Tipper will square off with Comrade Brewing’s Superpower IPA. With victories, Project Dank and Scale Tipper would meet in the Final Four. As for Exodus, it will battle Barley Brown’s WFO IPA for a spot against the winner of Fat Heads’ Head Hunter and 10 Barrel’s SAM IPA.

Brewer change pending

We heard a rumor over the weekend about some changes coming to Ponderosa Brewing. It turns out the rumor was true. General manager Devan Colston, formerly of La Cumbre, has parted ways with Ponderosa. Next to go will be brewer Matt Kollaja, as Devan confirmed to us Sunday. We do not yet know why both are parting ways with Ponderosa, and despite hearing some possible rumors as to why, until official confirmation comes in we will avoid further speculation.

At any rate, it appears a brewing vacancy will soon be at Ponderosa. While sister brewery PINTS in Oregon could send someone else down, another local brewer or assistant brewer could be in the running, though again, no official word yet. We will keep on top of the story as it unfolds. After some initial struggles with the new system, Matt was doing a good job at Ponderosa and was always a good guy to talk to. We wish him luck wherever the road may take him.

Sampler tray

  • Don’t forget about La Cumbre’s Imperial Red Ryeot release party all day Tuesday at the brewery. Also, the new brewhouse arrived Monday morning. Once it is assembled and Jeff Erway gives us the OK, we will snap some photos and share them.
  • Yours truly will be at the NMAA State High School Basketball Tournament all week, so content for the next few days may be light. Sorry about that, but if you think of it this way, the money I earn covering hoops pays for future beer adventures.
  • A big thanks to David Hargis and Josh Campbell at Tractor, who helped us brew Darkside Donutbrau on Friday for the upcoming Battle of the Beer Geeks on May 25. Brandon will have more on our latest brewing experience whenever his infant son lets him sit down at a computer for more than 10 minutes at a time.
  • Speaking of upcoming events, we will have more on the initial listings for Albuquerque Beer Week (May 21-31). If you click that link, you can read about what is up for the annual 11 days of awesomeness.

Until next time, wish me luck with all the 8 a.m. basketball games I have to cover this week. So not a morning person …


— Stoutmeister

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