If your favorite brewery’s staff has a little extra kick in their step these days, it is probably because they all know that the final festival of the season is almost upon us. NM Brew Fest 6 is set for this Saturday at the State Fairgrounds from 1 to 6 p.m. (or 11:30 a.m. if you get a VIP ticket).
To get the lowdown on what is new and/or different this year from years past, I talked to NM Brewers Guild director Chris Goblet a while back.
“New Mexico Brew Fest 6, we got through five years, which is a great milestone for the Guild,” Goblet said. “This year the Guild has partnered with Hoppervision, who created New Mexico Brew Fest back in 2009. I kind of took the reins this year again and decided to follow the trail of legislation that we passed and focus on the reciprocity bill. So we’ve got four distilleries, a cider maker and a winery, and we’ll have 25 breweries. It kind of plays off this whole idea of drink local, which is our theme this year.”
A huge question with any VIP/early entry type of ticket is always what does someone get as a bonus with the extra money paid. Last year it was access to some rare, barrel-aged beers, that left a few of us (myself included) feeling a little overwhelmed later on.
“So for your early-bird entry, in addition to a number of specialty beers, you’re also going have your choice of a Blood Mary or a Beermosa to start the day,” Goblet said. “A beer festival that starts you off with a cocktail or champagne-beer concoction, not a bad way to begin the day. Instead of being limited to a single beer station, Early Birds will have access to all of the breweries, wineries, and distilleries for that first hour.
“I really wanted to hype up the fact that we’re all manufacturing centers working together, playing together. We want this to become the largest local libations festival in New Mexico, so that every year we can grow and feature the new start-up producers. Our festival is a showcase of New Mexico-made alcohol.”
Another past problem with NMBF has been alleviated in terms of the space allotted.
“The big other change this year is we’re no longer in Villa Hispana,” Goblet said. “We’re going to move the festival to main street. It’s going to give us more square footage to accommodate up to 10,000 people. And we can have all the brewery trucks drive right into the festival to park.”
Of course, we know a major part of any event preview is to track down who is pouring what beers. The good news is that three of the four NM beers that won medals at the Great American Beer Festival will be available, as well as beers from BJ’s that won medals. These are all the lineups we received from attending breweries:
- Abbey: Monks’ Ale, Wit, Dark, Dubbel, Tripel
- Back Alley: Landon’s Lager (malt liquor), California Common, Hefen or Hell, Octoberfest
- Blue Corn: Brown Paper Bag, Oktoberfest, Gold Medal Oatmeal Stout, Roadrunner IPA
- Boese Brothers: La Onza White Ale, Steampunk Lager
- Bosque: Riverwalker IPA, Brewer’s Boot Amber, Pale Ryder, Driftwood Oatmeal Stout, Scotia Scotch Ale, Bosque Lager, Oktoberfest, Humo Rojo
- Boxing Bear: Body Czech Pilsner, Hairy Mit Hefe, Uppercut IPA, Standing 8 Stout, Oktobearfest, Noble Pale Ale, Body Slam Imperial Pilsner, Not Your Mom’s Cream Soda, and a special 1 p.m. tapping of the GABF silver-medal-winning Chocolate Milk Stout
- Canteen: Dark and Lusty Stout, Dougie Style Amber, IPA, Pilsner
- Cazuela’s: Acapulco Gold, Kilt Kicker, Calabaza, Papacabra
- Chama River: Jackalope IPA, Pumpkin Ale, Sleeping Dog Stout, Rio Amber
- Distillery 365: ESB, 4th of July Ale (plus Holy Ghost Vodka, Horsethief Rum)
- Duel: Titian, Dark Ryder, Grunewald, Ara Pacis, Fiction, Bad Amber, Cezanne Denoument, plus a sneak peek beer
- La Cumbre (which will be split between two tents): State Fair Cream Ale, A Slice of Hefen, Elevated IPA, Red Ryeot, Malpais Stout, Project Dank, Full Nelson, Witch’s Lit, VMO #3, Summer Strong
- Lizard Tail: Belgian Abbey, ESB, Strawberry IPA, Biscochito Brown, India Black Ale
- Marble: Wildflower Wheat, Farmhand Pale Ale, Red Ale, Imperial Red (2015 GABF bronze medal winner), Oatmeal Stout, Double White, Get Stoked, Mick’s Mac
- Nexus: Honey Chamomile Wheat (2015 GABF silver medal winner), Cream Ale, Scottish Ale, Equinox
- Picacho Peak: TBA, but we know they are bringing four kegs
- Ponderosa: Rip Saw Red, Ghost Train IPA, Jubilee, Zatfig (Oatmeal Stout)
- Red Door: Ryeson Sun Saison, Broken Arrow Pale Ale, Anniversary Double Red, Vanilla Cream Ale
- Rio Bravo: Oktoberfest, Karl’s Hefeweizen, Rio Bravo Amber, Level 1 DRB IPA
- Rio Nuevo: TBA
- Santa Fe: Booth #1 — Happy Camper, Oktoberfest, Duke’s Anniversary Lager; Booth #2 — Nut Brown, Java Stout, Chicken Killer, and R2Beer2 will Randall the Nut Brown through roasted pinon (SFBC will also have one brewer at each booth to talk to customers about the beers being poured)
- Second Street: Pivotal IPA, Fulcrum IPA, Trebuchet DIPA, Kolsch, Brown Ale or Red Comet, Boneshaker Special Bitter, The Preachers Share
- Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande: TBA
- Taos Ale House: TBA
- Taos Mesa: 3 Peaks IPA, Cross Eye Rye, Great Scot Scottish, Wheeler Peak Wheat
- Tractor: Almanac IPA, Farmer’s Tan Red Ale, Mustachio Milk Stout, Delicious Red Hard Apple Cider, The Ruggles, Traktoberfest
- Turtle Mountain: Kosmonaut Kolsch, Altbier, Hopshell IPA, After Midnight Schwarzbier, Gourd Dammit
If I absolutely had to pick one beer that is not to be missed, it would be The Preachers Share, a barrel-aged imperial stout, at Second Street. Of course, that is probably the beer that did in the Crew in years past, so be careful.
All TBA lists above will be updated as soon as we get them, even the morning of the event, so if we are missing your favorite place, keep checking back. We will try to announce updates via Twitter and/or Facebook.
The Crew will be out for the VIP session, so if you see us, stop by and say hello.