And so it begins!

Beyond the usual tastings and tappings, you can learn more about beer from the brewers themselves today.

It can be hard to single out a theme on each day of Beer Week, but sometimes there are things that stand out amid all the various tappings, tastings, and food/beer pairings. For instance, today there are two chances to learn from brewing representatives about the beer you are drinking. Head to Chama River to learn about the process of brewing their sour, Plum Goodness, from brewer Zach Guilmette. (We will have a full preview later today.) Or you can go to Torino’s and learn about the various Abbey Brewing creations from their representatives.

Beyond that there is more fun scheduled for Nob Hill Bar & Grill, El Pinto, Rock & Brews, Gecko’s, Two Fools, Cazuela’s, Jubilation, O’Niell’s Nob Hill, Sister, and our featured event at Ponderosa. So many events, so little time. Divide and conquer!

Featured event

Every day we will pick what we consider the biggest, most interesting, most unique event. This does not mean you should go to only this event and ignore the rest. All of them deserve your attention, but realistically, you can probably only attend a few. So we will make our daily pick, and you can either jump on it, or declare the Crew is foolish (we kinda are) and pick your own.

What: Rauchfest. Where: Ponderosa Brewing. When: All day. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: A festival of smoke! Ponderosa will be hosting Rauchfest, debuting a traditional Rauchweizen. Comprising of mostly smoked wheat (oak smoked), some smoked barley (beech smoked), and Munich malt with a banana/clove flavor from the hefeweizen yeast. It should come in around 5.5-percent ABV with a low IBU, but it will be a truly smoked beer, with lots of flavor. You can play cornhole all day and Chef Tanner will have smoked brats and some other smoked goodies to accompany the beer. Plus, Ponderosa will have Dos Pendejos performing live in the evening from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Why you should go: Live music, a new beer, and excellent Ponderosa food. There are worse ways to spend part of your evening. Or go earlier for just the beer and food.

All the other great events

What: Santa Fe Brewing Special Tapping. Where: Gecko’s (both locations). When: 11 a.m. Details: The new Session Ale will be tapped at Gecko’s in Nob Hill and the one on Academy. Why you should go: New beer (it was popular at Blues & Brews) plus awesome food. Happy lunch break!

What: Thirsty Thursday Beer & Pizza Special. Where: Cazuela’s. When: 2 to 6 p.m. Cost: $7.99. Details: You get an 8-inch pizza of your choice paired with either Acapulco Gold, Piedra del Fuego (our pick), or Panama Red. Why you should go: If you are out on the west side and looking for something to eat and drink before heading into town for the other events, how can you beat this offer?

What: Tractor Tap Takeover and Special Release. Where: Rock & Brews. When: 3 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: There will be lots of Tractor beers on tap. We have no idea which ones. Why you should go: It’s a mystery! Go indulge.

What: Odell Sampling. Where: Jubilation. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Free beer samples. Why you should go: Free beer samples.

What: Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager Tasting. Where: Total Wine (both locations). When: 4 to 6 p.m. (both locations) Cost: No cover charge. Details: Free beer samples. Why you should go: Free beer samples.

What: Dogs Drink Free Happy Hour. Where: El Pinto. When: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: No, that’s not a typo, your dogs can drink for free on the patio at El Pinto from today through Thursday. They will have Bowser Beer, a special alcohol-free beer made specifically for dogs. As for humans, there will be four Lagunitas beers for you — Cappuccino Stout, Equinox Pale Oat Ale, Brown Shugga’ Barleywine, and the special limited release of Waldo 4/20. Why you should go: Awesome new Lagunitas beers and old favorites, plus a chance to relax with your best friend. Throw in some delicious El Pinto food and it all adds up to a great afternoon.

What: Odell Special Tapping and Takeover. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Once again, NHBG makes us all proud. In addition to stalwart 90 Schilling, you can get French{hop}Connection (saison), Perle White IPA, Fernet Aged Porter, and the exclusive Barrel Thief Imperial IPA aged in oak barrels. Why you should go: With that lineup, everyone should go home happy. Throw in food and sports on TV and you’re a winner, guaranteed.

What: Boulder Beer Special Tapping. Where: Sister Bar. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: An unknown Boulder Beer will be tapped at Sister. Why you should go: Solve the mystery.

What: Plum Goodness Release Party. Where: Chama River. When: 5 to 6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: See our separate preview that will run later today. Why you should go: Enhance your beer knowledge while drinking beer. Plus, lots of food options and sports on TV.

What: Marble Beer Dinner. Where: Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm. When: 5:30 to 9 p.m. Cost: The event is sold out, but contact Los Poblanos (505-344-9297) to get on their waiting list. Tickets are $65. Details: Live music, specials, unique beers, and more at Los Poblanos, with a reception from 5:30 to 6 and dinner afterward. Why you should go: Take a chance, see if you can make the list, then enjoy great food paired with great beer.

What: Alaskan Tap Invasion. Where: Bubba’s 33. When: 6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Alaskan beers will be on tap at the eatery along I-25 near Chama River. Why you should go: If you love Alaskan beers and classic American food, go for it.

What: Second Annual New Belgium Frozen T-Shirt Contest. Where: Monte Vista Fire Station. When: 6 p.m. Cost: Inquire at the door. Details: For the second time, the folks from New Belgium are giving folks a chance to win a special NB bicycle. All you have to do is unwrap a completely frozen T-shirt faster than everyone else. Why you should go: We had some friends who nearly won this last year. So go test your frozen-shirt-unwrapping skills. It’s harder than it looks.

UPDATED >>> What: Odell Special Firkin Tapping. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Friend of the Crew Tony Calder informs us that it will be a Mango Habanero IPA in the cask tonight. Well now, that just sounds like a flavor combo for the ages. Why you should go: Unleash this crazy beer upon your taste buds, plus snag some good food while you are there.

What: Second Annual Sierra Nevada Sausage & Cheese Tasting. Where: O’Niell’s Nob Hill. When: 6 to 8 p.m. Cost: $5 for sausage and cheese tray (beer not included). Please reserve tickets by calling (505) 255-6782. Details: Buy a tray of sausage and cheese, then go off the list of suggestions with which Sierra Nevada beers go best with which food items. Why you should go: Expand your palate, but fear not if you are unconvinced, we have a review of the previous event at O’Niell’s Juan Tabo up on our site today from one of our new correspondents.

What: Beer on the Patio. Where: Torino’s. When: 6:30 p.m. Cost: $25 per person, call Torino’s at (505) 797-4491 to reserve your spot. Details: Torino’s is hosting a four-course pairing of Monks’ Ales with cured meats, cheeses, and fine breads. Featured beers will include Monks’ Ale, Tripel, Dubbel, and Golden Ale (Krystal Weisse). Abbey Brewing reps will be on hand to give a master speech and answer your questions. Why you should go: Learn more about these unique beers while enjoying some delicious food.

What: Beer Bike 5K. Where: Civic Plaza. When: 6:30 to 9 p.m. Cost: $30, with tickets available online here. Details: Hope on board the Duke City Pedaler at Civic Plaza and ride it around to Marble, Tractor Wells Park, and Back Alley Draft House. You get member prices at each location. This even will repeat Wednesday and Thursday. Why you should go: Burn off some beer calories while, um, adding more beer calories! Hey, it’s a win-win, plus it is one of the most fun and unique ways to enjoy a mini-pub crawl. Just be prepared, it’s a little over 3 miles in length and the DCP is tougher to pedal than it looks. You’ll get a good workout plus good beer.

What: pLOUD Music Series. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Felix y Los Gatos will perform live. Why you should go: Chill out with some good music and beer.

Special ongoing events

All throughout Beer Week, these two events will be running.

Brewery Scavenger Hunt at lululemon athletica at ABQ Uptown
Where: lululemon athletica ABQ Uptown and various other participating sites. When: Today through May 31. What: Pick up a scavenger pass at lululemon and head to six of nine participating locations. Take photos with your pass at the locations and then bring it all back to lululemon to be redeemed for a special pint glass. Participating sites: Routes Bicycle Rentals & Tours, Duke City Trolley, Tractor, La Cumbre, Red Door, Marble, Chama River, The Grain Station, Rock & Brews

Smoked Meats Week
Where: Sandia Chile Grill When: 3 to 8 p.m., from today through Saturday, May 30
What: Beer and smoked meat pairing; beers are $3.50 per pint, $6 per 10-ounce mead sample
Today — Smoked Salmon Platter, Red Ranger Irish Red
Friday — Stuffed Avocado Street Tacos, Rattlesnake IPA
Saturday — Smoked Meat Sample Platter, Rattlesnake and Red Ranger and Milk Stout ($3 per 10-ounce)

* * * * *

Got any questions, comments, complaints, send them to nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com, or leave them here on our site, on Facebook, or on Twitter (@nmdarksidebc).

Enjoy yourselves out there, but please, do it responsibly.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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