Beer Notes: Canteen’s new gear, another brewer on the move and more

Posted: August 21, 2015 by cjax33 in Beer Notes
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Enough little tidbits of beer-related news have come up with this week that they cried out for their own post. None was necessarily a full-fledged story, so voila, Beer Notes makes a triumphant return.

Brewer Doug Cochran is all smiles atop his new 15-barrel brewhouse throne at Canteen.

Brewer Doug Cochran is all smiles atop his new 15-barrel brewhouse throne at Canteen.

Canteen feeling swanky with new brewhouse

As some might have seen on their Facebook page, the mad scientists at Canteen have a new laboratory to play with in the form of a shiny 15-barrel brewhouse. This replaced the 7-barrel workhorse that served them so well, but with so many of you wanting more and more beer, they had to increase production. Rather than just ramble on writing about it, I took some glorious photos. Thanks to brewer Doug Cochran and the staff for letting me into their workplace for a few minutes.

CanteenNewBrewhouse2

There is a joke in here, isn’t there?

CanteenNewBrewhouse4

Proper labeling.

CanteenNewBrewhouse3

Just in case you could not figure this out on your own.

Safety first around the hot liquor tank!

Safety first around the hot liquor tank!

One brewery’s loss is another brewery’s gain

For a while now we have been wondering who would be replacing Mike Campbell as the brewer at Cazuela’s. Mike is departing to launch his own place, Off-Kilter Brewing, whose exact status remains a mystery to us. Hopefully we will get more on OKB in the near future, but for now the Crew has learned the identity of Mike’s successor — it’s Brandon Venaglia of Back Alley Draft House.

Yes, once again one local brewery has hired from another. We have seen it recently with Andrew Krosche moving from Marble to Ponderosa, and of course before that was the great brewer swap of ’14 when Chama River, Nexus, and Turtle Mountain all hired from other local establishments.

Brandon took over at BADH last fall after Addison Poth departed for San Diego. Brandon has kept up the Pre-Prohibition theme on many of the beers, including the current Penn Swankey and Pre-Pro Porter. Now he inherits a brewery that is known for beers like the Piedra del Fuego and Beer For My Horses Oatmeal Stout.

I was not able to do a formal sit-down interview with Brandon since it was just the two of us chatting over pints at BADH after his shift ended on Wednesday night, but to sum it up he has a lot of work ahead of him at Cazuela’s. From installing a grain mill to fixing some of the current equipment, those will be priorities, while the beer list should not change too much. His first seasonal beer will be an Oktoberfest.

As for BADH, the plan is for the current assistant brewer to take over, but we will have further updates if anything changes there. Once Brandon is settled in over at Cazuela’s, we will be sure to check in and create a more in-depth story about the transition.

Hello, you black beast of destruction.

Hello, you black beast of destruction.

More brews from the new kids

Boese Brothers and Rio Bravo hit the ground running last week, though neither had their full complement of beers ready to go. The good news is each has one more beer on tap for their second weekend of operation.

Rio Bravo has unleashed Black Angus Stout (5.9% ABV, 25 IBU), which as the name might imply, is a big old mean bull of a beer. This is not a sweet stout. There are no chocolate flavors. It is not creamy. It is just a good old-fashioned American stout, with pronounced roasted (but not overly smoky) notes throughout. If anything, I would stack this up to Deschutes’ Obsidian Stout. It is a stout for stout drinkers. So yeah, I already had one and cannot wait to go back for more.

Over at Boese Brothers, the Dr. Strangehop XPA is now on tap. My weekend to-do list includes stopping to try this fifth entry on the BBB menu. The official write-up from the beer menu reads, “The eXtra Pale Ale pairs a clean, slightly toasty malt bill with big-time American hop flavors and aromas. We start adding hops the second sweet wort his the kettle and don’t let up until this beer is in the keg. A simple but delicious combination of classic and new era hops creates bright, tropical, and citrusy flavors minus the lingering harsh bitterness commonly associated with IPAs. Stop worrying and learn to love the hops.”

Sampler tray

  • For those who missed out on discounted Mountain West Brew Fest tickets on Tuesday, fear not, for the NM Brewers Guild will be back at Kaktus Brewing in Bernalillo on Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m. You can save $4 off the price online by picking them up in person, plus you get to drink Kaktus beer, and there will be special prizes, giveaways, and other bonus swag. The folks from The Peak 100.3 FM will also be on hand.
  • We never did see a beer list for Saturday’s Bite of ABQ event at Balloon Fiesta Park. It was confirmed by event organizers that they are going through the distributors, not the individual breweries, so we imagine it will just be the canned/bottled offerings from local places (and those will depend on which distributors they have agreements in place with).
  • The ABQ Brew Pub, which is jointly owned by Rio Grande/Sierra Blanca and the proprietor of Uptown Sports Bar, is being re-branded as the Alien Brew Pub, it was announced on Twitter this week. We will get more info soon.
  • Some late additions to the music schedule at breweries: Ken Carpenter and the Nailers will perform at Albuquerque Brewing tonight (Friday) at 6 p.m. The Jir Project will perform at Lizard Tail tonight at 9 p.m. Oh, and I’ll Drink to That is back at Tractor Wells Park this Sunday at 4 p.m.
  • Speaking of Tractor, we bid a fond farewell to one of our favorite people there. Antal Maurer is moving on, though not moving away. We are glad that he is staying in ABQ and wish him luck in whatever comes next. Oh, and a big thumbs up on saving that puppy today. No, really, he did. Check Tractor’s Facebook page if you want to see pictures.
  • And a final congratulations of the day goes out to Marne Gaston, the tireless organizer of Hopfest, ABQ Beer Week, and so much more. Baby Boy Gaston will join mom, dad, and his big sister in six months. Unfortunately, as Marne noted on email, this once again precludes her from enjoying any of the great beers at Hopfest, which we will have a full list of next week.

See some of you at Wells Park tonight for the Desert Darlings show.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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