ABQ Beer Week 2015: Reviewing the Sierra Nevada Sausage and Cheese event

Editor’s note: Meet Vicki, another of our correspondents, who went to review the Sierra Nevada Sausage and Cheese event at O’Niell’s Juan Tabo from last week. She was delayed in sending this to us, so in the end I figured, hey, why not run this review the day they are holding a second event at O’Niell’s Nob Hill. This way her review can also serve as a preview of tonight’s event. It’s a classic Brew Crew two-for-one story. — Stoutmeister

It's a veritable feast paired with great Sierra Nevada beers!
It’s a veritable feast paired with great Sierra Nevada beers!

Whether walking down the grocery isle or the wedding isle, finding a flight of Sierra Nevada’s finest waiting for you at the end of it would be a welcomed treat indeed. Albeit one of these scenarios is a bit more unexpected than the other; not many grooms I have met would find a reason to object.

And as I entered the sudsy sanctuary, a.k.a. O’Niell’s Pub Juan Tabo, last Thursday for the first official day of ABQ Beer Week to witness the holy moley union of Sierra Nevada with — wait for it — cheese and Sierra Nevada’s own sausage made at Chico State University Farms, I couldn’t find a single reason to object, either.

If you live in the 505 and like to wet your whistle with wheat, you have most likely been to the iconic Irish establishment known as O’Niell’s. With two pet-friendly locations to choose from, you are never more than a quick jaunt from one of ABQ’s most beloved pubs. When we arrived, the place was pleasantly and expectedly packed. Jonathan and our server Rick were welcoming and fun, and the service was attentive and quick.  If you have never been to O’Niell’s (gasp!), or if you haven’t been in a while (your bad), you don’t know or have forgotten what you are missing!

The same can be said for one of the cornerstones of craft brew and the event’s honoree, Sierra Nevada. If like your dreams of yesterday, you have put your love for this beer on a shelf, it is time to pull them back on down and dream and drink again! As Sierra Nevada’s exceptionally knowledgeable and talented tasting host, Keith, said, “This is the beer that beer brewers tell me they have in their own fridges!”

Sierra Nevada’s offerings for the evening consisted of Kellerweis (you would be Weis to give it a try), Scotch Ale (a full-bodied fan favorite), Hop Hunter IPA (Hop. On. That. Seriously!), Harvest Idaho 7 IPA (I do hope they keep making this stuff), Nooner Pilsner (insert afternoon-er delight joke here for my personal fav), and of course their flagship brew, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (the beer that launched the company and the aspirations of countless home brewers).

The event was like being on an episode of The Bachelor, except this episode wasn’t lame or scripted, and instead was awesome and delicious, and one in which you would be sure to find an honest and true brew that you could make a long-term commitment to with or without a rose ceremony.

In case you are the type whose decision would hinge on how your beer-trothed would get along with your friends and family, what could be more telling than a pairing with Sierra’s own Italian Sausage and Bratwurst made at Chico State University Farms, and YES PLEASE, Pass the CHEESE, which on this night happened to be Roquefort, Havarti, Goat, Mascarpone, Port Salut, and Camembert en Croute. (Disclaimer, sausage and cheeses’ likeness to actual friends and family members isn’t anyone’s darn fault but their own.)

The pairings went together like the brew and the pub, Sierra Nevada with their strong commitment to the environment and the community, believing, “Put good in and good will come out,” and O’Niell’s straightforwardly motivational motto — “Good Food. Honest Drink.” — both proving to be a winning recipe for a lasting relationship, and don’t forget in liquids as in life, “No Sniveling!”

A Poem In Closing

If you haven’t drunken, chosen, or been,
it is time to check in with each of them!
They are both classics, like the one that got away,
But even better because they stayed!
I have, I did, and yep I do
Faithfully, and Still Loving You …

For more info on dream, green, brew machine that is Sierra Nevada visit their website.

To find out what’s up, neat, and good to eat at either of O’Niell’s locations visit their website.

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