Archive for November, 2015

Behold the glory of brewery merchandise!

Behold the warm glow of brewery merchandise!

As we did last year, the Crew (and I do mean almost all of us) has put together a brewery merchandise guide for all of you just in time for your holiday shopping. Hey, it might be nice to just buy people beer, but sometimes they need more in life, like cool shirts, hoodies, growlers, and other specialty items carrying the logos of their favorite breweries. To make all of your lives easier and save you time in terms of searching the web or driving all over the place, we compiled the local breweries’ merch lists into one place. Now you can find out what is where, what is online, what it all costs, and any other additional info you might need.

You’re welcome. We’re always up for pints as thank yous if you see any of us out and about.

Please take note, we will have a separate post in the weeks ahead detailing all the different brewery memberships you can purchase around town.

Without further adieu, here’s what we all compiled. For the record, it went like this so you know who to ask for if something below is inaccurate or missing in action: Adam (Albuquerque Brewing, Lizard Tail, Ponderosa, Red Door, Rio Bravo), AmyO (Chama River, Distillery 365, Sierra Blanca, Twisted Chile), Bharley Quinn (La Cumbre, Marble), Brandon (Boese Brothers, Nexus), Franz Solo (Boxing Bear, Canteen, Turtle Mountain), Kristin (Blue Grasshopper, Cazuela’s, Pi), and Stoutmeister (Bosque, Kaktus, Tractor). Back Alley Draft House, Bistronomy B2B, and Sandia Chile Grill do not have any merch, though B2B does have gift certificates. Any brewery not currently listed below will be updated as soon as possible.

The breweries are listed in alphabetical order, starting with the ABQ metro area breweries. We will have a separate post on the four Santa Fe breweries sooner or later.

Albuquerque Brewing

The new guys have a small amount of merch available at the brewery. Snag a black T-shirt ($18) to show your Burque pride. Or pick out a pub glass ($8) or a growler ($6).

Dress like a local.

Dress like a local.

Blue Grasshopper

UPDATED >>> If you want a pub glass, it costs $15, but that comes with the beer fill of your choice. Beyond that, they now have some T-shirts and polos ranging from $20 to $30. Stop by BG to check out the selection.

Boese Brothers

TBA

Bosque

Bosque does have some items for sale online, but most of their merch is at the main taproom on San Mateo, north of Alameda. In addition to glassware, they have beanies ($15), hats ($20), T-shirts ($20) with the logos of their different beers, and some new gear for the colder months. Ladies’ thermals ($25), men’s flannels ($30), men’s plaid T’s ($30), and the new Riverwalker IPA hoodies ($35) are all now available. Plus, there are still bombers for sale of the Anniversary Baltic Porter ($10), Barleywine ($10), and, for a very limited time, the Barrel-Aged Jet Black Winter Russian Imperial Stout ($18). They also have gift cards available.

The good folks at Bosque want to keep you warm this winter.

The good folks at Bosque want to keep you warm this winter.

Boxing Bear

The west siders have quite the selection this holiday season. For your head, choose from different hats ($14-$30) and beanies ($16). Most T-shirts are $18, but XL are $20 and 2XL are $21. Work shirts and hoodies ring in at $30, or $40 for 2XL. Stainless mini-keg growlers ($35) are always popular gifts.

Merch with a punch is available at Boxing Bear.

Merch with a punch is available at Boxing Bear.

Canteen

This year they have everything in Canteen logos. T-shirts ($25), pullovers ($45), hats ($20) are all available. There are, of course, growlers ($12-$14) and glassware ($3). You can also get crowlers ($5.50 to $6.50), with the price dependent on the beer you are filling it with. Canteen will also have their special stainless steel, vacuum-sealed, double-walled growlers for $57 ($65 to $67 filled). There are also optional keg attachments for $25.

All the clothing and beer gear you could need is at Canteen.

All the clothing and beer gear you could need is at Canteen.

Cazuela’s

TBA

Chama River

The only special merchandise for the season will be holiday growlers. The staff said they hope to have them before Thanksgiving, but might not until afterward. All of Chama’s gear can be purchased at the brewery only. Other items include work shirts ($35), Chama River logo hats ($12), Tap the Source hats ($15), Tap the Source T-shirts ($13), and both Jackalope IPA and Class VI beer shirts ($15).

Chama looks good in color, too. Note, brewer and beer not included. (Courtesy of Chama River Facebook page)

Chama merch looks good in color, too. Note, brewer and beer not included. (Courtesy of Chama River Facebook page)

Distillery 365

Owner Matt Simonds said he will not have any specific holiday merchandise. His hands are full right now trying to get the Green Jeans Farmery tasting room open. He does have a few regular T-shirts and is getting hats within the next couple of weeks. Nothing is available for purchase online. He said that he does eventually want to sell items online, including somehow hopefully D365’s spirits, but he would need someone for website maintenance and that’s not in the cards for right now.

Don't leave the D365 shirts hanging.

Don’t leave the D365 shirts hanging, unless they are hanging in your closet. (Courtesy of their Facebook page)

Kaktus

They do have some merchandise available this year beyond just glassware, though for a limited time they still have their special Christmas 2015 pint glasses available. They cost $5 and owner Dana Koller said Tuesday that he had about 25 left. Beyond that special item, Kaktus has special “eye chart” T-shirts ($20), red trucker hats ($12), and regular pint glasses ($5). You can only purchase Kaktus’ items at the brewery itself, if you needed another reason to go to Bernalillo besides the good beer, tasty food, and eclectic atmosphere.

The eye chart T-shirt caught our eyes (pun intended).

The eye chart T-shirt … brilliant.

La Cumbre

The company tagline, “Get Elevated,” can be aptly applied to your holiday gift giving, too. From comfy cool shirts and hoodies, to extra groovy pint glasses and growlers, there isn’t a beer lover on your list that wouldn’t proudly sport any one of La Cumbre’s awesomely and artistically emblazoned merch. With gifts for people from babies to bikers and price points ranging from $5 to $50, there is a gift to fit everyone’s budget. La Cumbre swag is sold exclusively in their taproom located at 3313 Girard Blvd. NE., which provides an excellent and altruistic reason to stop by and “shop.” And as we are told they will be rolling out new holiday merch throughout the month of December, you might have to suck it up and visit frequently… and thus we honor you for your commendable commitment to gift giving!

La Cumbre will also have a number of special events in December. A number of local artists will be showcasing their work on Sunday, Dec. 6. A local caroling group will be on hand Dec. 7. The La Negra Imperial Stout bottle and tap release is set for Dec. 10. And to cap it all off, the fifth anniversary party is set for Saturday, Dec. 12.

There is just a wee bit of gear available at La Cumbre.

There is just a wee bit of gear available at La Cumbre.

Lizard Tail

Up in the Northeast Heights, Lizard Tail has a fair amount of merch available at the brewery. You can go full outfit with T-shirts ($20), hoodies ($40), and hats ($25). Pub glasses ($5) are also available.

Just don't leave the bill of the hat flat like that. Don't be that guy.

Just don’t leave the bill of the hat flat like that. Don’t be that guy.

Marble

If the striking Marble-bearing Maverick logo alone wasn’t enough impetus to inspire you to shop here for your holiday gift-giving, their diverse selection of items, seriously awesome artwork, ease of online availability, and of course their award- and taste-bud-winning beer make Marble a one-stop shop for the craft brew lovers (and pooches) on your list. They have T-shirts, hoodies, beanies, baseball hats, sunglasses, bottle openers, koozies, insulated growlers, dog collars, and dog treats baked by beertenders using spent grain.

Yet to be released and exclusive for this holiday season, the elves in Marble’s workshop are putting together a gift pack that will include the annually anticipated Marble Reserve Ale and a very limited edition, double-walled stainless steel pint tumbler with the beloved patio mural etched on it. The gift packs are yet to be priced and are due out the first week of December. They will be available at both taprooms while supplies last. You can swing by either taproom on Wednesday, December 9 at 5 p.m. for the Reserve Ale Release Party and enjoy complimentary applesauce and glazed donut holes from Pastian’s Bakery.

Double your shopping fun by visiting the Marble Market, this Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. at the downtown taproom. Shop, eat, and drink local to live music by Crow & Captain, Cali Shaw, Alex Maryol, and Lilah Rose.

The new Marble growlers are available.

The new Marble growlers are available.

Nexus

TBA

Pi

TBA

Ponderosa

The big merch display area is still present down in the Sawmill District. They have three varieties of T-shirts ($15) for men and women. Work shirts ($30) are available if you want to look as stylish as Andrew and the staff. You can snag a pub glass ($5) and/or a growler ($7). There are also gift cards available if you have that one friend/relative who is hard to shop for every year.

Take your pick between three T-shirt designs.

Take your pick between three T-shirt designs.

Red Door

They have summer wares, winter wares, and a whole lot more. You can pick from a wide variety of T-shirts ($15), or prepare for next summer with a tank top ($18). For this type of weather, grab a hoodie ($40) and make sure to keep your head covered with a hat ($10). Pub glasses ($3) and growlers ($4) are available, of course. And for that hard-to-buy-for-friend, you can get a gift card.

Feel all summery thanks to Red Door.

Feel all summery thanks to Red Door.

Rio Bravo

They may be new, but Rio Bravo is already swimming in available merchandise. You can go as small as a keychain ($3.50) or a sample glass ($3.50), or snag a pint glass or a wine glass ($5.50), or of course a growler ($7). There are also hats ($16.50), short-sleeve T-shirts ($16.50), and long-sleeve T-shirts ($22). They have gift cards available as well. For now you will have to head to the brewery to buy the merch.

Why yes, that is a camo hat from Rio Bravo.

Why yes, that is a camo hat from Rio Bravo for the next time you go beer hunting.

Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande, plus ABQ (soon to be Alien) Brew Pub

Tasha let us know that there will be special Alien Gift Baskets, items TBA, available for sale at the soon-to-be-rebranded Alien Brew Pub in Uptown, plus at the main brewery in Moriarty. No word yet on the cost of the baskets, but we will be sure to share that when they are fully revealed. If you are afraid of the Uptown area during the holidays, or are reluctant to drive to Moriarty, fear not, because SB/RG has a full online store. They have 28 (!) different T-shirt designs, in both men’s and women’s, ranging from $12.95 to $19.95. They also have six different hoodies ($34.95 to $49.95). There are also hats, glassware, wallets, bottle openers, koozies, and tap handles. Basically, SB/RG has paraphrased the line from Spaceballs: “Merchandising, merchandising, where the real money from the (brewery) is made!” However, as of right now, there is no Sierra Blanca the Breakfast Cereal, Sierra Blanca the flamethrower, or Sierra Blanca the doll.

The walls are covered out in Moriarty. (Courtesy of the SB/RG Facebook page)

The walls are covered out in Moriarty. (Courtesy of the SB/RG Facebook page)

Tractor

The good news is Tractor still has one of the best online shop sites of any local brewery. Their Fall 2015 collection is now out (we will have to wait to see if there will be a winter collection). They have gray hoodies ($35), heather green lightweight women’s hoodies ($35), scarlet 3/4 sleeve Farmer’s Tan T-shirts ($17), and white-on-black Get Plowed T-shirts ($12). They have a slew of additional men’s and women’s T-shirts, both short sleeve and long, ranging from $12 to $17. There are also orange hoodies ($35) so you never get lost in the dark. If you have a bar at home, you can purchase Tractor tap handles ($45) featuring the can designs for Almanac IPA, Farmer’s Tan Red, and Mustachio Milk Stout. Need a new belt buckle? Pick any of those three styles for $30. To carry it all out you could use a Tractor reusable bag ($8). Of course, there are also gift cards ($25), pub glasses ($6), growlers ($4), and sample glasses ($4) for sale. If you want to grab a beer while you shop, many of the items are available at both Wells Park and Nob Hill.

So many, many options at Tractor.

So many, many options at Tractor.

Turtle Mountain

If you were looking for something to wear, TMBC does not have any shirts or hoodies for sale. They do have quite a bit of glassware available. Growlers ($6), Boston growlers ($4), pub glasses ($5), and special growler totes ($12) are on hand. You can also purchase a growler tote with two filled growlers for $45. Oh, and don’t forget, TMBC still has bombers of Wilde Jagd ($12) for sale. All purchases must be done at the brewery.

Need to carry all of your Turtle merch? This is one way to do it.

Need to carry all of your Turtle merch? This is one way to do it.

Breweries outside the ABQ metro area

Bathtub Row (Los Alamos)

BRB has their normal array of clothing and glassware options, including several nice T-shirts ($15 apiece), a logo hat ($20), pub glasses ($4), growlers ($4), and a work shirt ($45). In addition, they’re preparing to bottle a beer for the first time, and it’s an excellent-sounding winter brew: a Russian Imperial Stout. It should come in at around 10- to 11-percent ABV and will be sold in 22-ounce bombers. Who wouldn’t want to find that in their stocking Christmas morning? Finally, since BRB is a co-operative-based business and member-owned, another great gift would be a membership in BRB. An annual membership costs $50, and if you’re really feeling the spirit, a lifetime membership is $250. More info about BRB can be found at their website.

The new merch wall at the 'Tub.

The new merch wall at the ‘Tub.

Twisted Chile (Socorro)

Socorro’s brewery does have merchandise available at the brewery only for now. They hope to have online purchasing available in the near future. Full-size growlers cost $8, while Boston growlers are $6. Logo T-shirts are available for $16. You can also call TCB at (575) 518-8028 and they might be able to work out a way to ship items.

They won't give you the shirts off their backs, but TCB has plenty of others for sale. (Courtesy of their Facebook page)

They won’t give you the shirts off their backs, but TCB has plenty of others for sale. (Courtesy of their Facebook page)

* * * * *

Got any additional merchandise info? Send it to us via direct message on Facebook, tweet at us @nmdarksidebc, or email us at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com.

Happy holiday shopping, beer lovers!

— Stoutmeister

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s four breweries and a pair of newcomers, one down in Socorro and the other in Los Alamos, also joining the party.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

If you are feeling especially terrified of going out this Black Friday, battling frenzied shoppers, navigating packed parking lots, dealing with online sites crashing, and so on, fear not! For this is Black Beer Friday, too, and quite frankly, drinking some amazing dark beers is far better than regular shopping. To help you all out, we’ve gone ahead and mapped out your day.

8 a.m. — Go get in line at Jubilation. No, seriously, you should be in line this early. If you bring coffee and Rebel Donuts, everyone will love you.

9 a.m. — Jubilation opens their doors for the annual Bourbon County Brand Stout bottle release. They did not have the exact event details yet, so keep an eye on their Facebook and Twitter pages. I got an advance sample of this year’s BCBS and holy hell it is amazing.

Noon — Head west to Boxing Bear, where they will have a cask of their GABF silver medal-winning Chocolate Milk Stout aged on vanilla beans. Remember, you can also buy bombers of CMS to take home.

2 p.m. — Trek down to Rio Bravo, where they will be tapping two barrel-aged beers. The Woodford Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine and Our Bourbon Barrel Old Town Porter will be available on tap, plus you can also buy a special holiday gift package. Get two 32-ounce stainless steel growlers filled with the two beers with two 10-ounce tasting glasses.

5 p.m. — At this point, get an Uber or a taxi or cash in that designated driver night with a friend/relative/significant other. Then get on over to Nob Hill Bar & Grill, which will be the only place in town with BCBS on tap!

Once you are done with all of that fun, do remember that for Small Business Saturday, our local breweries are all small businesses. Marble is taking things one step further with their annual Marble Market from noon to 5 p.m. There will be 11-plus businesses and local artists selling their wares on the patio. Grab a pint, listen to live music (see Marble’s entry below for the list of performers), and start your holiday shopping!

As for holiday hours, the only brewery that will be open on Thanksgiving is Blue Grasshopper, which will be serving turkey and pie. They will also have live music from Criss Raven and friends from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Take note, Boese Brothers will also be closed Friday. Every other brewery that has posted their hours has said they are open Friday.

Meanwhile, there are a few other new beers worth checking out around town, too. Albuquerque Brewing has a new Irish Red and a Brett Brown available. Boxing Bear also has Red Glove, a hoppy red that will punch you in the face. Canteen’s ultra popular Irish Red is back after a brief absence. Chama is balancing the light with the dark with a fresh batch of Kolsch. Kaktus wants everyone to wake up with their new Coffee Stout. Nexus’ S.M.A.S.H. pale ale series continues with the arrival of the U.S.S. Simcoe. Pi is feeling the seasonal theme with Winter is Coming, a peppermint porter.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn’s new Bock will arrive whenever the Pumpkin Porter runs out. Santa Fe Brewing is rolling out Adobe Igloo 2.0, an improved version of their winter warmer. Second Street goes worldwide with International Style Pale Ale.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of November 23.

To break down each “capsule,” I listed the brewery (with Web page linked), its phone number and hours of operation. Under “Beers” are the new or seasonal beers on tap for this week.

Albuquerque metro area breweries

ABQ Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–2 a.m., Sunday 10 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Whiskey Stout, Imperial IPA. AmyO said these were the two specialty beers available when she made a recent visit to learn about the upcoming rebranding of ABQ Brew Pub into Alien Brew Pub. Check out her story for more details.

Albuquerque Brewing Co. — (505) 797-1842

(Mon–Fri 3-10 p.m., Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun noon-8 p.m.)

UPDATED >>> Beers: High Plains Drifter Blonde, Dukes Pale Ale, G2 IPA, Off the Richter Red, Handlebars Stout, Brett Brown, Irish Red Ale. Welcome back, ABC. Their new brewer, Carnie (formerly of Santa Fe), sent us his updated list. Off the Richter Red is an imperial. The Handlebars is available on both CO2 and nitro. The most recent additions are the Irish Red and Brett Brown.

Events: ABC will have a new happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, plus Sunday will have all-day happy hour prices.

Back Alley Draft House — (505) 766-8590

(Sun–Weds 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Thurs–Sat 4 p.m. to midnight)

Beers: Honey Common, Latir Pale Lager, Berliner Weisse, Braggot, Lando’s Lager. There are four recent additions to the taps. The Latir is an old favorite, while the Honey Common is a sweet twist on the Cali Common. The Braggot is a beer-cider hybrid. Lando’s Lager honors the great Billy Dee Williams as a proper malt liquor.

Events: Sundays are Service Nights at Back Alley, with $2 off all beers for service industry workers. Bring your server’s ID and you will be rewarded. All beers are $1 off on Tuesdays.

News: Take note of BADH’s new winter hours above.

Bistronomy B2B/Lobo Beast 101 — (505) 262-2222 (B2B), (505) 247-2116 (Lobo)

(B2B: Mon–Tues 4-9 p.m., Weds noon-9 p.m., Thurs–Sat noon-9:30 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.; Lobo: open every day 4 p.m. to close)

Beers: Oaked IPA, Cherry Stout, Coconut Porter, Raspberry Wheat, Red Rye, Pepper Saison, ESB, Rye Noon, Mashing Pumpkins, Berliner Weisse (B2B only). At long last, we have a list for B2B and their sister location, Lobo Beast. They rotate through beers quickly, so if you see one you have to try off this list, hurry over. The newest additions are the Pumpkin and Berliner. The Rye Noon, a session pale ale with rye, is another recent addition.

The Blue Grasshopper — (505) 896-8579

(Noon to 11 p.m. most days, call for more info)

Beers: Beach Bum Pale Ale. The popular Beach Bum is back for another run. BG goes through their beers fast, so hurry out to try it. If you have not made it out there yet, the Grasshopper is located at 4500 Arrowhead Ridge Road in Rio Rancho, just off Highway 528.

News: Click the link above to check out the new Blue Grasshopper website, with updated lists of guest beers, a full menu, and a full music listing.

Events: The Grasshopper has live music from 6 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday through Saturday.

Boese Brothers Brewery — (505) 382-7060

(Hours: Mon–Thurs 3 p.m.–midnight, Fri 3 p.m.–2 a.m., Sat noon–2 a.m., Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Patriot Porter, La Onza White Ale, Old Shonie Scottish Ale, Dr. Strangehop XPA, Duke City Lager, Ichabod’s Revenge, Burly Brown. The Porter (6% ABV) is a pre-Prohibition style of American porter, more brown than black with strong roasted flavors smoothed out by the nitro pour. La Onza (5.4% ABV) offers up a big, citrusy kick for a Belgian-style witbier. Old Shonie (4.5% ABV) is also available on nitro; it is lighter than most of the other Scottish beers in the ABQ area. The Dr. Strangehop XPA (6.5% ABV) offers up a wonderful mix of the piney Willamette and more floral Mosaic hops. The Duke City Lager (5% ABV) is now a permanent addition to the lineup. Ichabod’s Revenge (7.6% ABV) is a pumpkin ale made with a ton of real pumpkin baked by the staff. The Burly Brown (6.8% ABV, 72 IBU) is an India Brown/Cascadian style.

Events: Boese will have a happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, with $3 pints. You can also get $3 pints all day Tuesday and $6 growler fills all day Wednesday.

News: They are still working on building their website. You can follow them on their Facebook page.

Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596 (main brewery), (505) 508-5967 (Nob Hill Public House), (575) 571-4626 (Las Cruces Taproom)

(Main brewery on San Mateo: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-midnight, Sun noon-8 p.m.; Nob Hill: Mon–Weds 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Thurs 11 a.m.-midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Sun noon-11 p.m.; Las Cruces: Sun–Thurs noon-11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon-midnight)

Beers: Humo Rojo (also on nitro), Olde Bosky Porter, Barleywine, Centennial Single Hop, Pink Elephants on Parade. All three Bosque locations are now up to date. An old favorite has returned in the Olde Bosky Porter (6% ABV, 27 IBU), an original member of the lineup that cries out for a return to your bellies. Another recent addition is the Humo Rojo (5.6% ABV, 16 IBU), a smoked red ale. The Barleywine (10.5% ABV, 100+ IBU) is still on tap and for sale in bombers. We look forward to trying the Centennial Single Hop (6.2% ABV, 35 IBU) as well. Back for another run is the Pink Elephants on Parade (6.1% ABV, 12 IBU). There are still bombers available of the Anniversary Baltic Porter (8.6% ABV, 30 IBU), but sadly it is no longer on tap. You can still buy bombers of the barrel-aged Jet Black Winter (10.2% ABV) until the supply runs out.

Cask: From now on, Bosque will have their firkin filled almost every Wednesday, available only at Nob Hill. There does not appear to be a cask this week, but we will update this if they tell us otherwise.

News: Bosque has a happy hour running from 3-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and all day on Sunday. Look for special menu items and get $1 off your favorite pints.

Next up on the beer list is a Belgian Blond.

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

(Sun-Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.)

Beers: Noble Pale Ale, Body Slam Imperial Pilsner, Fist Pump Pumpkin Ale, Chocolate Milk Stout, Oso Otono, Red Glove. Get your hop thirst quenched with the new Red Glove (7.4% ABV, 90 IBU). The Oso Otono (6.7% ABV, 20 IBU) is a fall brown ale. The Chocolate Milk Stout (5.2% ABV, 20 IBU), a silver medal winner at GABF this fall, is back for another run. You can expect it to go fast, again, so head over ASAP. Is also available on nitro while supplies last, plus now they have bottled it and bombers are for sale at the brewery. Other recent additions include the Fist Pump (5.4% ABV, 20 IBU), Noble PA (5.8% ABV, 30 IBU), and Body Slam (7.4% ABV, 60 IBU).

Cask: The Chocolate Milk Stout will be casked for this Friday. For more info, see our intro.

News: Every day at lunchtime (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), for just $10 you can get a pint and a panini of your choice.

Events: Geeks Who Drink will now be held every Wednesday from 8 to 10 p.m. at Boxing Bear.

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737

(Sun–Thurs noon–10 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–midnight)

Beers: Irish Red, Canteen Calabaza, Salida IPA, Sasquatch Scotch, Novemberfest Marzen, Aumbers Amber. The Irish Red returns, so thankfully my dear sainted mother will not panic over its absence. Other recent additions are the Salida IPA (7.6% ABV, 100+ IBU), a malt-different variation on the popular Exodus IPA, plus Novemberfest (5.6% ABV, 22 IBU), and an old favorite in the Sasquatch (8% ABV, 26 IBU). The Calabaza (6.8% ABV, 24 IBU) is Canteen’s take on a pumpkin ale. The new Aumbers (6.5% ABV, 45 IBU) offers up more of a kick than most ambers.

News: Canteen has begun filling Crowlers, 32-ounce aluminum cans that can be filled with any beer on tap. They get sealed up and can last for a lot longer than a regular growler. Then you bring back the Crowlers to be recycled and get some fresh ones.

Events: Live music is back with Keith Sanchez on Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m.

Cazuela’s Seafood & Mexican Grill — (505) 994-9364

(Open daily 8 a.m.-10 p.m.)

Beers: Papacabra (Double IPA), Acapulco Gold (Mexican Lager), Chupacabra IPA, Piedra del Fuego Stoned Cream Ale, Beer for My Horses (Oatmeal Stout), Inebriator (Doppelbock), Kilt Kicker (Smoked Scottish), Calabaza (Pumpkin Ale), Festival (Oktoberfest). The Piedra del Fuego (5% ABV) is an old favorite. According to Cazuela’s menu: “This cream ale uses red-hot stones to super caramelize the sugars, creating a nutty, toffee-like flavor.” The Inebriator (8% ABV) and the Papacabra (9.7% ABV) are the biggest beers in the lineup. Cazuela’s was the first local brewery to tap a pumpkin ale, in their case the Calabaza, which was created by new brewer Brandon Venaglia. He kept the seasonal theme going with Festival, his version of an Oktoberfest.

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Chama Kolsch, Juiced Up IPA, Bambina Milk Stout, Smoke Em Out. The most recent additions are the Kolsch, smooth-as-silk Bambina, and the roasty-to-the-max Smoke Em Out, a porter for the campfire lover in us all. Before that came the Juiced Up, which is loaded with real grapefruit for an extra citrusy taste.

Distillery 365 — (505) 221-6281

(Mon-Thu 3-9 p.m., Fri 3-10 p.m., Sat noon-10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-8 p.m.)

Beers: 365 ESB, 4th of July American Ale, Faulty Barrel-Aged Ale. Distillery 365 is located at 2921 Stanford Dr., just south of Candelaria and not far from La Cumbre and Canteen. The most recent addition is the Faulty, which was aged for several months in red wine barrels. The 4th of July is their first beer to highlight the native Neomexicanus hops. It is a highly aromatic strong ale with very little bitterness. The ESB a simple English ale. This second batch offers up more flavor from the hops and malts. They are also serving their house-made Holy Ghost Vodka and Horsethief Rum, a 100-percent molasses-based silver rum, plus guest taps from Red Door.

Events: 10 Drink Minimum will host a Cards Against Humanity night every Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Distillery 365 has a build-your-own bloody mary bar. You can purchase three bloodies for just $20.

News: Barrel No. 1 of their Tres Pistolas Bourbon has been filled, but it’ll be another two years before anyone can drink it. Good things come to those who wait, I suppose.

Oh, and Distillery 365 will open their first tasting room over at Green Jeans Farmery, the same site that is home to Santa Fe Brewing’s ABQ taproom.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

(Hours Mon-Thu 2-9 p.m., Fri-Sat 11:30-10 p.m., Sun 11:30-9 p.m.)

Beers: Dunkel, 1492 IPA, Smoke and Fire Porter, ESB, Coffee Stout, Helles Lager, Walter Wheat, Red Ale. The most recent additions are the Red Ale, Coffee Stout, Dunkel, and ESB, a longtime Crew favorite at Kaktus. Other recent additions are the 1492 IPA (made with Columbus hops, natch), Smoke and Fire Porter (a cherrywood smoked porter with Chipotle), and Walter Wheat. Kaktus is located at 471 South Hill Road in Bernalillo, for those who have still not made the trek.

News: Kaktus has several new weekday specials including $3 pints on Monday, $9 growlers on Tuesday, $6 bison nachos on Wednesday, and $8 Frito pie and beer on Thursday.

Kaktus is brewing up their first imperial stout. Look for it soon.

Events: The Desert Darlings belly dancers perform from 6 to 8 p.m. on almost every Sunday. If you’ve never seen the Desert Darlings in person, you’re missing out.

Every Sunday, Kaktus is hosting a brunch special from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., with breakfast pizzas and drink specials.

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Summer Strong, Witch’s Lit, Grange’s Session IPA, 2014 Tres Padres, Trou Noir. The most recent addition is the Trou Noir (7.5% ABV, 35 IBU), a Belgian dark strong. The cellar team dug up some of last year’s Tres Padres, an epic Belgian-style tripel. Other recent beers on tap are the Witch’s Lit, the awesome, slightly renamed pumpkin ale, and the Grange’s Session IPA, with $1 from every pint sold going to the fight against ALS. For a session, this thing has a hell of a hop kick. It’s La Cumbre, though, so should we really expect any less? Before that came Summer Strong, a massive, beautiful pale barleywine.

News: La Cumbre’s new and improved website is now up and running. Check it out by clicking the link here. Their online calendar now includes what food trucks will be serving, plus live music and a current draft list.

Events: Russell James Pyle performs Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m. Yoga is back at the taproom every Sunday at 10:45 a.m.

The La Cumbre Fifth Anniversary Party is set for Dec. 12.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

(Mon–Weds noon-9 p.m., Thurs–Sat noon-midnight, Sun noon-7 p.m.)

Beers: Long Nosed Tripel, Legless DIPA, Frilled Irish Red, Earless English IPA. This seasonal list might be out of date, so call ahead before you head over. The Long Nosed (9.2% ABV, 30 IBU) is one of the biggest beers on the menu. The Legless (8.5% ABV, 100 IBU) offers up quite the hop kick. Earless (6.4% ABV, 50 IBU) is in the classic English tradition. The Irish Red (5.3% ABV, 24 IBU) has the perfect malt profile, not too sweet, not too dry.

News: Lizard Tail’s happy hour runs seven days a week from 3 to 6 p.m. You get $1 off food, flights, and pints. Take note that Lizard Tail now opens at noon every day.

Events: Lizard Tail will host Geeks Who Drink every Tuesday at 8 p.m. Every Thursday will now feature karaoke from 8 to 11 p.m.

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739

(Mon–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10:30 p.m.)

Beers: Both locations — Pumpkin Noir, Imperial Red; Downtown only — Double IPA; Westside only — Nitro Seduction, Get Stoked, Mick’s Mac. We now have a breakdown of which seasonals are available at both Marble locations, Downtown and Westside. Pumpkin Noir is back with a heck of a spice kick. Considering how fast the regular Pumpkin Ale ran out, you should head over and get some fast before it’s gone. Get Stoked (4% ABV) is a sessionable pale ale, while Nitro Seduction (5.5% ABV) is a decadent dark beer served on nitro. The Mick’s Mac is a Scottish ale brewed with lager yeast for a one-of-a-kind flavor. The Imperial Red won a bronze medal at GABF last month.

Events: Brewery tours occur at the Downtown Pub every Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

On the live music front downtown, Saturday’s Marble Market will feature four live music acts. First up, Crow & Captain take the stage from noon to 1:30 p.m. Alex Maryol follows from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Cali Shaw performs from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Lilah Rose caps the evening from 8 to 9 p.m.

At the Westside Taproom, Nick Skouras performs tonight (Wednesday) from 6 to 9 p.m. The Shacks follow on Friday and Jordan Trimarchi goes Saturday, both from 6 to 9 p.m.

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: U.S.S. Saaz, Equinox, Hoppy Wheat, U.S.S. Simcoe. Docking this week is the U.S.S. Simcoe, the latest pale ale in Nexus’ S.M.A.S.H. (single malt and single hop) series. Another beer in that series is the Saaz (6.4% ABV, 30 IBU). As the name might imply, the Saaz is a single-hop beer made with, you guessed it, Czech Saaz hops. Equinox (6.5% ABV, 16 IBU) is back for another run of pumpkin-spiced brown ale goodness. This year’s version wowed us all at NM Brew Fest. The Hoppy Wheat is a seasonal hopped-up wheat beer, as if you could not guess by the name.

Events: Nexus serves up Happy Hour All Day on Tuesday featuring $3 pints. Also on Tuesday, Nexus will be hosting their comedy open mic, Young Dumb and Full of Comedy, starting at 7:30 p.m. in the Sun Room.

Pi Brewing at Nicky V’s Neighborhood Pizzeria — (505) 890-9463

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Amarillo Red, Robust Porter, Pi Vapor, Challenge IPA, English Summer Ale, Pre-Prohibition Pilsner, Belgian Pumpkin Ale, Winter is Coming. No, Winter is Coming is not just to make you all yearn for the return of Game of Thrones, is a peppermint porter that will get you into the holiday mood. The Robust Porter and Pi Vapor, a California Common, are other recent additions to the lineup. Before that the English Summer, Pilsner, and new Belgian Pumpkin Ale jumped on board. The ESB and Tropical IPA are out for the time being. While Pi Brewing is not open to the public yet, they are able to brew and serve their beers next door at Nicky V’s. We’ll keep tabs on when Pi itself opens.

News: They are brewing up a double batch of the outstanding Bourbon Vanilla Porter.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

(Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: (Regular) Ghost Train IPA, Rip Saw Red, Crosscut Kolsch, Bellamah Brown, American Wheat; (Seasonal) Zaftig, Stage One IPA, Bohemian Pilsner, Spanglish. Ponderosa is located at 1761 Bellamah NW, which is just east of Rio Grande and due north of the NM Natural History Museum, in the bottom floor of a swanky-looking apartment/retail complex (they have a sign atop the building now that you cannot miss). Congrats to Bellamah Brown and American Wheat for joining the regular beer list, both by popular demand. The newest additions are the Bohemian (5.2% ABV, 32 IBU) and the Spanglish (4.6% ABV, 18 IBU), a Mexican-style lager. Other recent additions to taps are Zaftig (4.6% ABV, 26 IBU), a creamy smooth oatmeal stout, and Stage One IPA (8% ABV, 107 IBU) is a big, hopped-up oatmeal IPA.

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri 11 a.m. to midnight, Sat 7 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Beers: (Regular) Gateway Blonde Ale, Roamer Red, Threshold IPA, Paint it Black Milk Stout, Unhinged Cider, Trappe Door Wheat. (Seasonal) Cosmos Porter, Broken Arrow Pale Ale, Ryeson Sun Saison, Anniversary Double Red. The most recent addition is the delicious, slightly hoppy Cosmos Porter, which replaces the Vanilla Cream Ale. Before that came the Anniversary Double Red  (7.7% ABV, 67 IBU), which has a deceptively low IBU count for a beer this hoppy. It’s got bite, it’s dry, it’s fierce, it’s right up there with the other best imperial reds in town. Before that came the Ryeson, which has to be the first rye saison we have ever of. The Broken Arrow (5.4% ABV) was made with just Equinox hops for a rather unique, yet multi-faceted, flavor profile.

Events: Live music is back The Draft Sessions open mic on Monday from 7 to 9.

Saturday morning will mark another round of Beer and Breakfast, with Barclays Premier League soccer on the telly! From 7 to 10 a.m. you can gather with friends for some food truck-supplied goodies with a pint of beer.

Red Door will no longer be hosting yoga on Sundays.

Rio Bravo Brewing Company — (505) 900-3909

(Mon–Thu noon–10 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–11 p.m., Sun noon–9 p.m.)

Beers: Rio Bravo Amber, Karl’s Hefeweizen, Dirty Rotten Bastard IPA, Snakebite IPA, Black Angus Stout, Roadkill Red, Duke City Pils, Oktoberfest, Imperial Porter, Barrel-Aged Barley Wine. You can find Rio Bravo at 1912 2nd St. NW, which is just south of I-40. The most recent additions are the Imperial Porter and Barley Wine, both of which were barrel aged for your benefit. Get ’em quick, because both batches will go fast. Look for another barrel-aged beer around Christmas. As for the regular lineup, the Amber (5.7% ABV, 53 IBU) offers up a more flavorful kick than most of its genre. The Hefeweizen (4.6% ABV, 26 IBU) has a big banana aroma, but the flavor is more balanced and smooth. Dirty Rotten Bastard (6.4% ABV, 77 IBU) is a “level one” IPA. Columbus is the primary hop in the DRB. Snakebite (7.4% ABV, 99 IBU) is the bigger “level two” IPA, armed with Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, Columbus, and Crystal hops. Another addition to the regular lineup is the burly Black Angus Stout (5.9% ABV, 25 IBU). It is not a milk stout, cream stout, chocolate stout, or coffee stout. It is just a stout, thick and strong with prominent roasted flavors, somewhat similar to Deschutes’ Obsidian Stout. Roadkill Red made a solid debut at MWBF.

Events: Rio Bravo will now have karaoke every Tuesday from 6 to 10 p.m.

On the live music front, Silver Crow Asylum performs tonight (Wednesday) at 6 p.m. The Real Matt Jones takes the stage Friday at 6 p.m. Saturday will feature Lenin & McCarthy at 7 p.m.

Sandia Chile Grill — (505) 798-1970

(Mon–Sat 8 a.m.–8 p.m., Sun 8 a.m.–6 p.m.)

Beers: Son Ranger Irish Red, Barb’s Barrel Hefeweizen, Rio Negro Milk Stout, Rattlesnake IPA. These are the four core beers of SCG’s lineup, though we cannot guarantee they are on tap at all times. Give them a call to check and see which beers are available. They also now offer guest taps.

Tractor Brewing Company — (505) 433-5654 (Nob Hill Tap Room), (505) 243-6752 (Wells Park)

(Nob Hill is open Monday-Wednesday 3 p.m. to midnight, Thursday 3 p.m. to 2 a.m., Friday-Saturday 1 p.m. to 2 a.m., Sunday 1 p.m. to midnight; Wells Park is open Monday-Thursday 3 p.m. to close, Friday-Sunday 1 p.m. to midnight.
 Last call 30 minutes before close. 
No package after midnight.
 Brewery tours Saturday at 1 p.m.)

Beers: Berliner Weisse, Dark Horse Lager, Summer Ale, Desert Dweller IPA, Barn Burner Pale Ale, Lil Cease Session IPA, Turkey Drool, The Ruggles (Nob Hill only), Hog Back Bacon (Wells Park only). The newest additions are the Turkey Drool (8.3% ABV, 30 IBU), Desert Dweller (6% ABV), and Lil’ Cease Session IPA (4.5% ABV, 79 IBU). This year’s Turkey Drool might be the best yet, a perfectly balanced blend of amazing flavors, sweet, smooth, and spicy all in one glass. Before that came the Dark Horse Lager (5.6% ABV) and Summer Ale (7% ABV). The Ruggles (4.4% ABV) is a California Common-style beer. Berliner Weisse (5.1% ABV) is still available at both locations. The Hog Back Bacon is a bacon-infused version of the Ebony and Ivory Pale Stout; the supply is very limited.

Events: It is a really light week by Tractor standards due to the holiday. Solos on the Hill is back tonight (Wednesday), featuring Eryn Bent at 8:30 p.m. at Nob Hill.

The In the Mix Series is back at Wells Park on Saturday at 9 p.m. with DJ Soiree making his Beer Farm debut.

Also, every first Monday of the month at both Tractor locations is Beer for a Better Burque night. For every pint you buy $1 can go to one of four charities that have partnered with Tractor. You can also opt to purchase a special growler with the logo of your favorite charity.

You can grab your own musical instrument and head to Nob Hill for the ultimate jam session. Tractor Tune Up, hosted by the Virginia Creepers, is now an official event happening every Monday starting at 7:30 p.m.

Also, every Monday at Nob Hill features each of Tractor’s canned beers on sale for just $2.

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

(Kitchen hours: Mon–Tues 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Wed–Thurs 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sun 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Reminder: TMBC closes early when business dictates. Please call.)

Beers: (House) McDay’s Cream Ale, Oku Amber, Parasol White IPA, Hopshell IPA, Heidelberg Helles, Stauffenberg Stout. (Seasonal/specialty) Altbier, Gourd Dammit, Challenger Deep Black IPA, Black Hole Sun. To help us out for now and the future, brewer Tim Woodward broke down what will be the regular beers on tap (under House) and the current list of seasonals. The most recent additions are the Challenger, while Black Hole Sun is the second half of the batch of After Midnight, the black currant schwarzbier, that has been turned into a sour black lager. Other recent additions are the Altbier and the Gourd Dammit, TMBC’s take on a pumpkin ale.

News: 22-ounce bombers of Wilde Jagd, Turtle Mountain’s first bottled beer, are still for sale at the brewery. Unsure if you want to buy one? Let Franz Solo tell you why you need this beer.

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Russian Imperial Stout, Pumpkin Porter, Mosaic Pale Ale, McLeonard’s Single Malt Scotch Ale. The most recent additions are the Mosaic, a single-hop pale, and the always beefy Russian Imperial (10% ABV). Word is the RIS will be on tap soon at the ABQ Draft Station, for those of us who cannot make it to Santa Fe on a regular basis. The McLeonard’s is a big old Scotch in the style of a Wee Heavy. The Pumpkin Porter comes highly recommended by our friends in Santa Fe, but is nearly out, so hurry over to get some.

News: Brewer James Warren said he has a Bock (6.4% ABV) due up when the Pumpkin Porter is out, and a Belgian IPA after that.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

(Mon–Sat open at 11 a.m., Sun open at 1 p.m.)

Beers: Bad Amber, Manikin (Scotch Ale), Marcel (Witbier), Fiction (IPA), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Titian (Golden Strong), Grunewald (Imperial Porter), Dark Ryder (Dark Strong), Stille of the Night (Belgian Dark Sour), Cezanne Denouement (Fall Saison), Ara Pacis (Barrel-Aged Imperial Golden Sour), Study Series: Session 1 (Golden Hopped Session), Study Series: Session 2 (Dark Hopped Session), Hair of the Wolf (Experimental). The two new Study Series beers are both session ales, with the lighter Session 1 checking in at 3.4-percent ABV, while the darker Session 2 hits at 3.7 percent. Hair of the Wolf (7.7% ABV), a beer to benefit the local arts collective Meow Wolf, is back for a second run. Coming this Monday is the 2015 version of Goya Imperial Stout.

Events: Happy-hour Monday through Friday 4-6 p.m. (discounts for all draft beer), Growler Saturdays ($3 off growler fills).

News: Duel is opening an Albuquerque taproom that will be more than twice the size of the mother facility in Santa Fe. We’re on the case to get you all the details about the downtown location and its projected opening date.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

(Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 2-8 p.m.)

Beers: Black IPA, Chicken Killer, Santa Fe Gold, Belgian Dubbel (ECS), Adobe Igloo 2.0 (Winter Warmer). The fourth entry in the ECS (Ever Changing Series) is now available on tap and in bombers in the form of Belgian Dubbel. The Santa Fe Gold is now for sale all around the state in six-packs. The Adobe Igloo 2.0, an improved, spiced winter warmer, is now available on tap.

Events: $1 off growler refills in the tasting room on Mondays. $2 pint Tuesdays at the Eldorado Taphouse. On Wednesday, there is a $2 pint special in the tasting room. On Thursday, there will be $1 off growler refills at the Eldorado Taphouse.

News: The SFBC taproom is now open at Green Jeans Farmery in Albuquerque. Want details? Here is everything we learned from our visit.

Also, it is time for home brewers to starting submitting entries for the annual 12 Beers of Christmas at SFBC. They can continue signing up by emailing their proposal to leif@santafebrewing.com.

Second Street Brewery — (505) 989-3278 (Railyard), (505) 982-3030 (original location)

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sunday noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Cream Stout, Cherry Wood Imperial Smoked Porter, Railyard Red, Latona Amber, Rauchbier, International Style Pale Ale, Scotch Ale. Second Street went big with the Imperial Smoked Porter, an annual favorite. The Railyard is back for another run. The Pivotal IPA and Boneshaker Bitter are often available for purchase in four-packs of cans.

Events: On the live music front, The Bill Hearne Trio performs Friday night at the original location, followed by The Bus Tapes on Saturday. The Sugar Mountain Band, a Neil Young tribute band, performs Friday at the Railyard location, followed by Eryn Bent on Saturday.

Every Tuesday night, the Railyard location will have Open Mic Night hosted by Ben Wright. Every Thursday night, Geeks Who Drink will be at the Railyard at 8 p.m.

Other breweries you need to visit

Bathtub Row Brewing — (505) 500-8381

(Mon–Weds 2–10 p.m., Thurs 2–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–11 p.m., Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Hoppenheimer IPA, Black Point Stout, Wit Rock, Little Bird Blonde, Blackberry Saison, Trinity Tripel, Oktoberfest, Tom’s Green Chile Amber. We are proud to have Los Alamos’ first brewery amid our listings. The newest beers on tap are the Blackberry Saison, Trinity Tripel, Oktoberfest, and Tom’s Green Chile Amber.

Events: Bathtub Row hosts an Open Mic Night every Thursday at 6 p.m.

Twisted Chile Brewing — (575) 835-2949

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun noon-8 p.m.)

Beers: Pilabo Pale Ale, Zia Pilsner, 790 IPA, Quebradas Sunrise Amber, Hose Co. 1 Red Lager, Venom IPA, KC’s Irish Stout, Porter, Oktoberfest. Located in Socorro at 115 Abeyta St. W, Twisted Chile is the first brewery there to brew on site since Socorro Springs outsourced their brewing to Eddyline in Colorado several years ago. I got to head down there recently and enjoyed all the beers I sampled. Kudos to Twisted Chile for bring quality craft beers back to a town that needed ’em. The newest beers on tap are the Porter and Oktoberfest, and the excellent Irish Stout is back after a short absence. Look for a Pumpkin Ale soon.

* * * *

That’s all for this week! If you have any questions or comments, leave them below or contact us on our Facebook page.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Totally forgot to take a picture of Angelo, so we just borrowed this from the Craft King Facebook page.

Totally forgot to take a picture of Angelo, so we just borrowed this from the Craft King Facebook page. It works, right?

The Crew met Angelo Orona back when he was working in the sales department for Marble Brewery. We could tell from the beginning that it was not just a job for Angelo, but a passion for good craft beer. Even after Marble’s early 2014 upheaval left the entire sales staff heading off to new jobs, Angelo stayed involved with the beer scene, working with Abbey Brewing, Santa Sidra, and numerous other breweries and cideries. He also created Craft King Consulting, a company designed to help further promote and educate craft beer through recent events like Tart at Heart and Palate Fatigue.

When the Crew ran our story about the future of the New Mexico brewing scene, Angelo was one of the first to respond and offer up his views from both inside and outside the industry. Since we are never afraid to pick the brains of the people in the know about craft beer in our state, I sat down with him last week at Matanza. Once I found a beer that was both on the menu and still on tap (a downside to having so many taps, it seems), we got down to business.

NMDSBC: So you read the article we wrote about the future of craft beer in New Mexico. Give us your thoughts on the industry and where it’s headed.

Angelo: I think right now I see this industry as sort of a gold rush. A lot of folks throwing their hats in the ring, many of them that don’t have any meaningful experience in commercial breweries. I think that’s one thing as an industry we have to focus on is getting people trained so that there aren’t any weak spots, especially in our small microcosm like Albuquerque. We want to make sure that every single brewery is up to snuff and putting out quality beer.

I saw a poignant article written with the owner of Hill Farmstead (Brewery in Vermont), Shaun Hill, and he was talking about how there’s this mad rush for breweries to open now with many of the folks opening breweries have maybe brewed one or two times and fermented a beer in their basement. This example uses the fact that electricians have to go through an apprenticeship just to install an outlet. He was saying people that want to open a brewery, even though it’s this romantic notion of ‘Hey, I’ll own a brewery, I’ll be able to make beer, and bring people happiness through my beer,’ there are people that are devoutly committed to making amazing beer every single time they get on the brewhouse. We have to get to a point where as an industry we say I want to open a brewery, but do I have the skillset that’s going to make it a successful brewery, a unique brewery, and something that’s going to be representative of craft beer and shine a light upon it?

NMDSBC: I think the one thing I’m seeing in regards to a lot of the new places opening up is it’s not just two friends who liked to home brew together anymore. We’re seeing more of these investment groups, sometimes people with restaurant/bar/brewery experience, sometimes not, but at the very least they’re hiring experienced brewers. Bow & Arrow would be a good example. So that might be changing a little bit.

But changing subjects, what in your mind is the best way to get the word out about New Mexico beer? Do we sit back and let the awards roll in and let that be the draw? Or do we need more breweries packaging and distributing in state and out of state? Are there too many breweries content with what they’ve got? People are bagging on Rio Bravo with their inexperience essentially going into distribution while still in their infancy, but at least you can argue they’re showing ambition, whereas many others are not. Where do you see things heading?

Angelo: I see the direction of the industry going in a way where regional breweries will become less and less prominent. Breweries like New Belgium, breweries like Sierra Nevada, breweries like Ballast Point where they started as nice, regional breweries and now they’re sending beer from coast to coast, I think that trend will soon be a harder mountain to climb. Just because people are trending to their local breweries. We’re getting towards the point of the number of breweries exceeding pre-Prohibition levels in the country. And that was a time where everyone drank beer from their local, neighborhood brewery. There was literally one brewery to serve every 10 or 12 city blocks in every city. So I think we’re getting to the point of where we’ll see small, local breweries dominating their local markets.

The tough part from the distribution standpoint is, I’ll take obviously New Mexico as an example, (is that) the folks here, on average, drink 38 gallons of beer per year. That’s our per capita consumption rate. So can we brew enough beer (locally) to come up and meet that demand? Yes, probably. But the more breweries that come online and that open, all it’s going to do is split the volume between more breweries. Speaking from experience when I was at Marble Brewery, when La Cumbre decided to open at the end of 2010, the places where Marble was once selling 10 or 20 cases a week, or one or two kegs a week, all that happened was that volume got cut in half.

The amount that people are drinking is not going to exponentially rise, all that’s going to happen is there’s going to be more segmentation between what brands they’re choosing. Ultimately better beer will win. At some point the folks that are getting into the brewing industry because they see it as a good investment with a lot of upside, will realize it’s a lot more competitive and harder investment to make money at than they realize now. It’s a gold rush, there will be a bubble at some point. The industry will reach equilibrium. The number of breweries will just plateau.

Along those lines as well, I think part of the reason there’s so much excitement around brewing is obviously it’s an amazing industry to be in. It’s fun, you can indulge both the scientific and artistic sides of your personality from a brewing standpoint, which is really nice. And lastly when you see deals that went down (last week) between Constellation buying Ballast Point for a billion dollars, that’s obviously going to attract a lot of folks that weren’t interested in this industry before. If you take the barrelage that Ballast Point currently brews, extrapolate that, and you correlate it to some of the barrelage that some New Mexico breweries are brewing as of 2014, it would put some breweries in this state north of $100 million in value. That’s obviously going to attract a lot of competition.

NMDSBC: One of the other major points we discussed last week was this growing issue between the bars in town and the breweries. We’ve kind of seen this shift, from my perspective, that fresher beers are better. It’s not just the hardcore beer geeks, but the more casual craft beer drinker. People want to get local beer, but they’re rather go to the local breweries and not the bars like they used to. That’s leaving the bars wondering why they should even bother to carry local beer. Now, I’m not sure I buy the argument that they’re really losing anyone from the post-9 p.m. crowd; I think the crowds at breweries late wouldn’t go to the bars and vice versa. But the bar managers talked a lot about how the breweries in Fort Collins close early to help the bars. Do you think there is a middle ground for breweries and bars to coexist?

Angelo: I think there is a middle ground. The thing that you have to take into consideration, I think, is that the vast majority of places that are carrying craft beer now are also serving food. They’re serving very nice, creative dishes, and craft beer tends to complement those dishes very well. So from that perspective I think that craft beer is a great partner for those types of bars and restaurants. I do see the point that if you are going to distribute beer as a brewery and you decide you want to keg beer and get it out to local bars and restaurants, and those folks have been supporting you for some time (but) you decide to open a pub in their neighborhood, I see a bar owner’s point. ‘Hey, I’ve supported you, why would you come to my neighborhood and potentially take some of my business?’

What I think, though, is that there is a lot of upside especially for New Mexico in that the Brewers Guild recently said that something like 5- to 10-percent of Albuquerque’s population is now drinking craft beer. So there’s obviously a lot of upside there. What we have to do is educate folks to trade up to better beer. We have to be smarter about how we pair our menus at food establishments with beer. We have to be advocates or acolytes and sort of torch-bearers for the industry. If those of us that are really big fans of craft beer take time to educate folks, there’s no reason why a local neighborhood brewery’s taproom can’t coexist with the restaurant down the street, even a restaurant or bar that serves craft beer. I think there’s enough volume to go around. We just have to get more people to trade up to craft beer and that’s going to take a lot of education and persistence. Frankly, it’s going to take every brewery that opens putting their best foot forward when it comes to quality.

NMDSBC: You’ve talked a lot about educating people more and more collective promotion. We were talking (recently) about festivals …

Angelo: Reaching critical mass.

NMDSBC: Yes, exactly. The casual drinkers are deciding to go to the macaroni and cheese fest rather than just the craft beer fest, or something like that. People said in response to that maybe the organizers need to do a better job of explaining which fests are more craft-specific and which ones benefit the Guild. Do you get the sense this state still has a ways to go promoting craft beer as a whole, whether through the Guild or through the combined efforts of the breweries? Because right now everyone just seems in it for themselves. It just seems there isn’t the funding behind a push to really advertised the state’s entire scene as a beercation destination. Do you see that?

Angelo: Yeah, I do. What I see is that the Brewers Guild is doing a good job at promoting all of New Mexico’s breweries. What we have to do as folks that are fans of craft beer and in the industry, is help grow this industry by grass roots efforts. So when you’re in the beer aisle at your favorite local place like Jubilation and someone’s there and they don’t understand anything about beer and you see them reaching for an out-of-state brewery or some macro lager, I take that opportunity to say hey, what kind of beer do you like? If they say they like ABC macro lager, then that’s a great opportunity for me to take a few minutes of my time and educate that person. I think it’s just a group effort. Just host a beer-and-cheese dinner party at my house and have 15 people come over and just sort of let’s just enjoy beer and cheese. That’s the type of thing that’s going to make our industry grow.

There’s been some really bright spots from a perspective of a legislative standpoint. We had some nice, beneficial laws that were passed in the last legislative session. The determination of the Brewery District on the I-25 corridor was really great for our industry as well. What I would do now is maybe look to bigger markets as models for how we can sort of develop into a beer vacation spot. I think the allure of Albuquerque is there in the sense that we have this diverse ecosystem where you can be in the snow and two hours later you can be in 50-, 60-, or 70-degree weather. All of these attributes that New Mexico has can be used to help make this a beer destination spot.

One place that comes to mind is Asheville (N.C.). So Asheville has done a great job in saying, ‘Hey, we’re going to get behind this industry. We’re going to put in an infrastructure that makes sense. We’re going to study what these beer drinkers like. They are generally more educated demographic that has a higher disposable income.’ Those are the types of folks that we want to come here (too). It will take some commitment on the part of the leadership in New Mexico to get there. But I think it’s a great sort of idea. In New Mexico, there’s a couple of bright spots in our economy. Brewing happens to be one of them right now, which is really, really great. In light of the last couple days, I was getting my wheels turning in saying, ‘How do we become a beer and mixed martial arts sort of destination?’

NMDSBC: Easy, you just take pictures of Holly Holm at each brewery.

Angelo: (Laughs) How do you highlight what New Mexico wants to highlight? … You want to show ourselves in the best light possible. I think luckily for the leadership in New Mexico, we have some really bright spots int he brewing industry. It’s just a matter of them getting on board and backing them up.

* * * * *

Thank you to Angelo for sitting down to chat about these issues. The Crew is still planning to try the impossible and get the majority of the brewers and brewery owners in the state to sit down for one huge roundtable in the coming months, but I have a feeling many of them may share their thoughts early in our upcoming Look Back/Look Ahead Series.

Before we all break for Thanksgiving, the Crew plans to get our annual Brewery Merchandise Guide online (yes, before Black Friday, if at all possible). As for Black Friday, we will be over at Jubilation in the morning for the Bourbon County Brand Stout bottle release, followed that night by the special tapping of BCBS at Nob Hill Bar & Grill. See you all out there, and if you want to share your thoughts on the future of the brewing scene with us in person, please do not hesitate. We love getting the discussion going and keeping it going.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s four breweries and a pair of newcomers, one down in Socorro and the other in Los Alamos, also joining the party.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

The best part of winter, besides all the holidays where people buy us stuff or expect us to merrily drink up, are all the specialty beer releases. At least in our collective opinion. This week marks the release of three seasonals from three of our local breweries. First up, tonight (Wednesday) is the return of Marble’s hugely popular Pumpkin Noir. This dark version of a pumpkin ale will be tapped at noon, but the fun kicks off at 5 p.m. That is when the Noir will be paired with Chocolate Bailey’s Truffles with toasted pepita and pistachios from Canvas Artistry. On top of that, Lenin & McCarthy will take the stage outside (or inside, depending on the weather) from 6 to 9 p.m. (NOTE: They are not bottling the Noir this year, as we reported earlier, which is of course a major bummer.) Then on Friday, you can head over to Jubilation at 4 p.m. to try the special barrel-aged version of Jet Black Winter Imperial Stout. We covered this upcoming event when it was announced last week. If all that is not enough for you, trek over to Boese Brothers on Saturday at noon for the release of their Burly Brown Ale. This American-style brown will be part of a fundraiser effort for the non-profit Cancer Services of New Mexico; Boese Brothers will donate 33 percent of all sales of the beer to the charity. Oh, and as we mentioned last week, Goya, Duel’s behemoth imperial stout, debuts on Monday, plus they have some 2014 Goya due to come out on Friday, Nov. 27.

Meanwhile, there are a few other new beers worth checking out around town, too. Pink Elephants on Parade is back at all three Bosque locations. Canteen has their hopped up Aumbers Amber. Chama River goes to the dark side with Smoke Em Out and Bambina Milk Stout. Kaktus kicked up fresh batches of Dunkel, Amber, and ESB. La Cumbre has their version of a Belgian dark strong, Trou Noir. Ponderosa popped their Bohemian Pilsner and a fresh batch of Spanglish. Tractor has Hog Back Bacon, a bacon-infused version of their Ebony and Ivory Pale Stout.

Up in Santa Fe, Duel has a new batch of Hair of the Wolf, plus Study Series: Session 1 and Session 2, a hoppy golden session ale and a hoppy dark session ale, respectively. Second Street busted out the Imperial Smoked Porter and a fresh batch of Railyard Red.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of November 16.

To break down each “capsule,” I listed the brewery (with Web page linked), its phone number and hours of operation. Under “Beers” are the new or seasonal beers on tap for this week.

Albuquerque metro area breweries

ABQ Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–2 a.m., Sunday 10 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Whiskey Stout, Imperial IPA. AmyO said these were the two specialty beers available when she made a recent visit to learn about the upcoming rebranding of ABQ Brew Pub into Alien Brew Pub. Check out her story for more details.

Albuquerque Brewing Co. — (505) 797-1842

(Mon–Fri 1-10 p.m., Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun noon-8 p.m.)

Beers: High Plains Drifter Blonde, Dukes Pale Ale, Two Generations IPA, Off the Richter Red, Handlebars Stout. Welcome back, ABC. Their new brewer, Carnie (formerly of Santa Fe), sent us his updated list. Off the Richter Red is an imperial.

Back Alley Draft House — (505) 766-8590

(Sun–Weds 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Thurs–Sat 4 p.m. to midnight)

Beers: Honey Common, Latir Pale Lager, Berliner Weisse, Braggot, Lando’s Lager. There are four recent additions to the taps. The Latir is an old favorite, while the Honey Common is a sweet twist on the Cali Common. The Braggot is a beer-cider hybrid. Lando’s Lager honors the great Billy Dee Williams as a proper malt liquor.

Events: Sundays are Service Nights at Back Alley, with $2 off all beers for service industry workers. Bring your server’s ID and you will be rewarded. All beers are $1 off on Tuesdays.

News: Take note of BADH’s new winter hours above.

Bistronomy B2B/Lobo Beast 101 — (505) 262-2222 (B2B), (505) 247-2116 (Lobo)

(B2B: Mon–Tues 4-9 p.m., Weds noon-9 p.m., Thurs–Sat noon-9:30 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.; Lobo: open every day 4 p.m. to close)

Beers: Oaked IPA, Cherry Stout, Coconut Porter, Raspberry Wheat, Red Rye, Pepper Saison, ESB, Rye Noon, Mashing Pumpkins, Berliner Weisse (B2B only). At long last, we have a list for B2B and their sister location, Lobo Beast. They rotate through beers quickly, so if you see one you have to try off this list, hurry over. The newest additions are the Pumpkin and Berliner. The Rye Noon, a session pale ale with rye, is another recent addition.

The Blue Grasshopper — (505) 896-8579

(Noon to 11 p.m. most days, call for more info)

Beers: Beach Bum Pale Ale. The popular Beach Bum is back for another run. BG goes through their beers fast, so hurry out to try it. If you have not made it out there yet, the Grasshopper is located at 4500 Arrowhead Ridge Road in Rio Rancho, just off Highway 528.

News: Click the link above to check out the new Blue Grasshopper website, with updated lists of guest beers, a full menu, and a full music listing.

Events: The Grasshopper has live music from 6 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday through Saturday.

Boese Brothers Brewery — (505) 382-7060

(Hours: Mon–Thurs 3 p.m.–midnight, Fri 3 p.m.–2 a.m., Sat noon–2 a.m., Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Patriot Porter, La Onza White Ale, Old Shonie Scottish Ale, Dr. Strangehop XPA, Duke City Lager, Ichabod’s Revenge. The Porter (6% ABV) is a pre-Prohibition style of American porter, more brown than black with strong roasted flavors smoothed out by the nitro pour. La Onza (5.4% ABV) offers up a big, citrusy kick for a Belgian-style witbier. Old Shonie (4.5% ABV) is also available on nitro; it is lighter than most of the other Scottish beers in the ABQ area. The Dr. Strangehop XPA (6.5% ABV) offers up a wonderful mix of the piney Willamette and more floral Mosaic hops. The Duke City Lager (5% ABV) is now a permanent addition to the lineup. Ichabod’s Revenge (7.6% ABV) is a pumpkin ale made with a ton of real pumpkin baked by the staff.

Events: Boese will have a happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, with $3 pints. You can also get $3 pints all day Tuesday and $6 growler fills all day Wednesday.

The Burly Brown Ale release party is this Saturday starting at noon. For more, see our intro above.

News: They are still working on building their website. You can follow them on their Facebook page.

Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596 (main brewery), (505) 508-5967 (Nob Hill Public House), (575) 571-4626 (Las Cruces Taproom)

(Main brewery on San Mateo: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-midnight, Sun noon-8 p.m.; Nob Hill: Mon–Weds 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Thurs 11 a.m.-midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Sun noon-11 p.m.; Las Cruces: Sun–Thurs noon-11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon-midnight)

UPDATED >>> Beers: Humo Rojo (also on nitro), Olde Bosky Porter, Barleywine, Centennial Single Hop, Pink Elephants on Parade. All three Bosque locations are now up to date. An old favorite has returned in the Olde Bosky Porter (6% ABV, 27 IBU), an original member of the lineup that cries out for a return to your bellies. Another recent addition is the Humo Rojo (5.6% ABV, 16 IBU), a smoked red ale. There may still be bombers available of the Anniversary Baltic Porter (8.6% ABV, 30 IBU), but sadly it is no longer on tap.  The Rabble (8.5% ABV, 25 IBU), an imperial pumpkin ale, is also still for sale in bombers, though the supply is limited. The Barleywine (10.5% ABV, 100+ IBU) is on tap and for sale in bombers. We look forward to trying the Centennial Single Hop (6.2% ABV, 35 IBU) as well. Back for another run is the Pink Elephants on Parade (6.1% ABV, 12 IBU).

Cask: From now on, Bosque will have their firkin filled almost every Wednesday, available only at Nob Hill. There does not appear to be a cask this week, but we will update this if they tell us otherwise.

News: Bosque has a happy hour running from 3-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and all day on Sunday. Look for special menu items and get $1 off your favorite pints.

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

(Sun-Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.)

Beers: Body Czech Bohemian Pilsner, Noble Pale Ale, Body Slam Imperial Pilsner, Fist Pump Pumpkin Ale, Chocolate Milk Stout, Oso Otono. The Oso Otono (6.7% ABV, 20 IBU) is a fall brown ale. The Chocolate Milk Stout, a silver medal winner at GABF this fall, is back for another run. You can expect it to go fast, again, so head over ASAP. This week it will also be available on nitro while supplies last. Other recent additions include the Fist Pump, Oktobearfest (4.9% ABV, 27 IBU), Noble PA (5.8% ABV, 30 IBU), and Body Slam (7.4% ABV, 60 IBU). The Body Czech (4.3% ABV, 40 IBU) is a great way to start your flight.

News: Every day at lunchtime (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), for just $10 you can get a pint and a panini of your choice.

Events: Geeks Who Drink will now be held every Wednesday from 8 to 10 p.m. at Boxing Bear.

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737

(Sun–Thurs noon–10 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–midnight)

Beers: Canteen Calabaza, Salida IPA, Sasquatch Scotch, Novemberfest Marzen, Dutch Courage IPA, Aumbers Amber. The Dutch Courage (7.9% ABV, 80 IBU) returns. It was made in collaboration with Left Turn Distilling, made in their gin barrels. Other recent additions are the Salida IPA (7.6% ABV, 100+ IBU), a malt-different variation on the popular Exodus IPA, plus Novemberfest (5.6% ABV, 22 IBU), and an old favorite in the Sasquatch (8% ABV, 26 IBU). The Calabaza (6.8% ABV, 24 IBU) is Canteen’s take on a pumpkin ale. The new Aumbers (6.5% ABV, 45 IBU) offers up more of a kick than most ambers.

News: Canteen has begun filling Crowlers, 32-ounce aluminum cans that can be filled with any beer on tap. They get sealed up and can last for a lot longer than a regular growler. Then you bring back the Crowlers to be recycled and get some fresh ones.

Events: Live music is back with Todd and the Fox on Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m. and then the Fabulous Martini Tones on Tuesday from 6 to 9 p.m.

Cazuela’s Seafood & Mexican Grill — (505) 994-9364

(Open daily 8 a.m.-10 p.m.)

Beers: Papacabra (Double IPA), Acapulco Gold (Mexican Lager), Chupacabra IPA, Piedra del Fuego Stoned Cream Ale, Beer for My Horses (Oatmeal Stout), Inebriator (Doppelbock), Kilt Kicker (Smoked Scottish), Calabaza (Pumpkin Ale), Festival (Oktoberfest). The Piedra del Fuego (5% ABV) is an old favorite. According to Cazuela’s menu: “This cream ale uses red-hot stones to super caramelize the sugars, creating a nutty, toffee-like flavor.” The Inebriator (8% ABV) and the Papacabra (9.7% ABV) are the biggest beers in the lineup. Cazuela’s was the first local brewery to tap a pumpkin ale, in their case the Calabaza, which was created by new brewer Brandon Venaglia. He kept the seasonal theme going with Festival, his version of an Oktoberfest.

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Valle de Oro Kellerbier, Juiced Up IPA, Bambina Milk Stout, Smoke Em Out. The most recent additions are the smooth-as-silk Bambina and the roasty-to-the-max Smoke Em Out, a porter for the campfire lover in us all. Before that came the Juiced Up, which is loaded with real grapefruit for an extra citrusy taste, and the Kellebier, whose proceeds will go in part to the Valle de Oro wildlife sanctuary.

Distillery 365 — (505) 221-6281

(Mon-Thu 3-9 p.m., Fri 3-10 p.m., Sat noon-10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-8 p.m.)

Beers: 365 ESB, 4th of July American Ale, Faulty Barrel-Aged Ale. Distillery 365 is located at 2921 Stanford Dr., just south of Candelaria and not far from La Cumbre and Canteen. The most recent addition is the Faulty, which was aged for several months in red wine barrels. The 4th of July is their first beer to highlight the native Neomexicanus hops. It is a highly aromatic strong ale with very little bitterness. The ESB a simple English ale. This second batch offers up more flavor from the hops and malts. They are also serving their house-made Holy Ghost Vodka and Horsethief Rum, a 100-percent molasses-based silver rum, plus guest taps from Red Door.

Events: 10 Drink Minimum will host a Cards Against Humanity night every Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Distillery 365 has a build-your-own bloody mary bar. You can purchase three bloodies for just $20.

News: Barrel No. 1 of their Tres Pistolas Bourbon has been filled, but it’ll be another two years before anyone can drink it. Good things come to those who wait, I suppose.

Oh, and Distillery 365 will open their first tasting room over at Green Jeans Farmery, the same site that is home to Santa Fe Brewing’s ABQ taproom.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

(Hours Mon-Thu 2-9 p.m., Fri-Sat 11:30-10 p.m., Sun 11:30-9 p.m.)

Beers: Dunkel, 1462 IPA, Smoke and Fire Porter, Amber, ESB, Umlaut Stout, Helles Lager, Walter Wheat. The most recent additions are the Dunkel, Amber, and ESB, a longtime Crew favorite at Kaktus. Other recent additions are the 1462 IPA, Smoke and Fire Porter (a cherrywood smoked porter with Chipotle), and Walter Wheat. The Umlaut Stout may be their best stout yet, a massive, roasted, beast of a beer. Kaktus is located at 471 South Hill Road in Bernalillo, for those who have still not made the trek.

News: Kaktus has several new weekday specials including $3 pints on Monday, $9 growlers on Tuesday, $6 bison nachos on Wednesday, and $8 Frito pie and beer on Thursday.

Events: The Desert Darlings belly dancers perform from 6 to 8 p.m. on almost every Sunday. If you’ve never seen the Desert Darlings in person, you’re missing out.

Every Sunday, Kaktus is hosting a brunch special from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., with breakfast pizzas and drink specials.

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Summer Strong, Witch’s Lit, Grange’s Session IPA, 2014 Tres Padres, Trou Noir. The most recent addition is the Trou Noir (7.5% ABV, 35 IBU), a Belgian dark strong. The cellar team dug up some of last year’s Tres Padres, an epic Belgian-style tripel. Other recent beers on tap are the Witch’s Lit, the awesome, slightly renamed pumpkin ale, and the Grange’s Session IPA, with $1 from every pint sold going to the fight against ALS. For a session, this thing has a hell of a hop kick. It’s La Cumbre, though, so should we really expect any less? Before that came Summer Strong, a massive, beautiful pale barleywine.

News: La Cumbre’s new and improved website is now up and running. Check it out by clicking the link here. Their online calendar now includes what food trucks will be serving, plus live music and a current draft list.

Events: Ziatron performs Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m. Yoga is back at the taproom every Sunday at 10:45 a.m.

Prior to all that, Beards & Brews is back on Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m. Sign up, for free, to see who gets judged to have the best beard, mustache, and best creative beard or mustache.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

(Mon–Weds noon-9 p.m., Thurs–Sat noon-midnight, Sun noon-7 p.m.)

Beers: Long Nosed Tripel, Legless DIPA, Frilled Irish Red, Earless English IPA. This seasonal list might be out of date, so call ahead before you head over. The Long Nosed (9.2% ABV, 30 IBU) is one of the biggest beers on the menu. The Legless (8.5% ABV, 100 IBU) offers up quite the hop kick. Earless (6.4% ABV, 50 IBU) is in the classic English tradition. The Irish Red (5.3% ABV, 24 IBU) has the perfect malt profile, not too sweet, not too dry.

News: Lizard Tail’s happy hour runs seven days a week from 3 to 6 p.m. You get $1 off food, flights, and pints. Take note that Lizard Tail now opens at noon every day.

Events: Lizard Tail will host Geeks Who Drink every Tuesday at 8 p.m. Every Thursday will now feature karaoke from 8 to 11 p.m.

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739

(Mon–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10:30 p.m.)

Beers: Both locations — Pumpkin Noir, Imperial Red; Downtown only — Double IPA; Westside only — Nitro Seduction, Get Stoked, Mick’s Mac. We now have a breakdown of which seasonals are available at both Marble locations, Downtown and Westside. Pumpkin Noir goes back on tap tonight (Wednesday) with a release party, for more info see our intro. Get Stoked (4% ABV) is a sessionable pale ale, while Nitro Seduction (5.5% ABV) is a decadent dark beer served on nitro. The Mick’s Mac is a Scottish ale brewed with lager yeast for a one-of-a-kind flavor. The Imperial Red won a bronze medal at GABF last month. The Pumpkin Ale ran out quickly, too quickly, so fear not, Marble is brewing up a fresh batch as fast as they can!

Events: Brewery tours occur at the Downtown Pub every Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

On the live music front downtown, Lenin & McCarthy perform tonight from 6 to 9 p.m. as part of the Pumpkin Noir release party. They will be followed by the Gregg Daigle Band on Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. and the Cali Shaw Duo on Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m.

At the Westside Taproom, The Bus Tapes perform tonight (Wednesday) from 6 to 9 p.m.

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: U.S.S. Saaz, Plum Imperial Cream, Equinox, Hoppy Wheat. The Plum Imperial Cream debuted recently; the name pretty much says it all. Another recent addition is the Saaz (6.4% ABV, 30 IBU). As the name might imply, the Saaz is a single-hop beer made with, you guessed it, Czech Saaz hops. Equinox (6.5% ABV, 16 IBU) is back for another run of pumpkin-spiced brown ale goodness. This year’s version wowed us all at NM Brew Fest. The Hoppy Wheat is a seasonal hopped-up wheat beer, as if you could not guess by the name.

Events: Nexus serves up Happy Hour All Day on Tuesday featuring $3 pints. Also on Tuesday, Nexus will be hosting their comedy open mic, Young Dumb and Full of Comedy, starting at 7:30 p.m. in the Sun Room.

Pi Brewing at Nicky V’s Neighborhood Pizzeria — (505) 890-9463

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Amarillo Red, Robust Porter, Pi Vapor, Challenge IPA, English Summer Ale, Pre-Prohibition Pilsner, Belgian Pumpkin Ale. The Robust Porter and Pi Vapor, a California Common, are the newest additions to the lineup. Before that the English Summer, Pilsner, and new Belgian Pumpkin Ale jumped on board. The ESB and Tropical IPA are out for the time being. While Pi Brewing is not open to the public yet, they are able to brew and serve their beers next door at Nicky V’s. We’ll keep tabs on when Pi itself opens.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

(Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: (Regular) Ghost Train IPA, Rip Saw Red, Crosscut Kolsch, Bellamah Brown, American Wheat; (Seasonal) Zaftig, Stage One IPA, Bohemian Pilsner, Spanglish. Ponderosa is located at 1761 Bellamah NW, which is just east of Rio Grande and due north of the NM Natural History Museum, in the bottom floor of a swanky-looking apartment/retail complex (they have a sign atop the building now that you cannot miss). Congrats to Bellamah Brown and American Wheat for joining the regular beer list, both by popular demand. The newest additions are the Bohemian (5.2% ABV, 32 IBU) and the Spanglish (4.6% ABV, 18 IBU), a Mexican-style lager. Other recent additions to taps are Zaftig (4.6% ABV, 26 IBU), a creamy smooth oatmeal stout, and Stage One IPA (8% ABV, 107 IBU) is a big, hopped-up oatmeal IPA.

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri 11 a.m. to midnight, Sat 7 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Beers: (Regular) Gateway Blonde Ale, Roamer Red, Threshold IPA, Paint it Black Milk Stout, Unhinged Cider, Trappe Door Wheat. (Seasonal) Cosmos Porter, Broken Arrow Pale Ale, Ryeson Sun Saison, Anniversary Double Red. The most recent addition is the delicious, slightly hoppy Cosmos Porter, which replaces the Vanilla Cream Ale. Before that came the Anniversary Double Red  (7.7% ABV, 67 IBU), which has a deceptively low IBU count for a beer this hoppy. It’s got bite, it’s dry, it’s fierce, it’s right up there with the other best imperial reds in town. Before that came the Ryeson, which has to be the first rye saison we have ever of. The Broken Arrow (5.4% ABV) was made with just Equinox hops for a rather unique, yet multi-faceted, flavor profile.

Events: Live music is back with Carl Petersen performing tonight (Wednesday) from 7 to 9 p.m., followed by The Draft Sessions open mic on Monday from 7 to 9.

Saturday morning will mark another round of Beer and Breakfast, with Barclays Premier League soccer on the telly! From 7 to 10 a.m. you can gather with friends for some food truck-supplied goodies with a pint of beer.

Red Door will no longer be hosting yoga on Sundays.

Rio Bravo Brewing Company — (505) 900-3909

(Mon–Thu noon–10 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–11 p.m., Sun noon–9 p.m.)

Beers: Rio Bravo Amber, Karl’s Hefeweizen, Dirty Rotten Bastard IPA, Snakebite IPA, Black Angus Stout, Roadkill Red, Duke City Pils, Oktoberfest, Imperial Porter, Barrel-Aged Barley Wine. You can find Rio Bravo at 1912 2nd St. NW, which is just south of I-40. The most recent additions are the Imperial Porter and Barley Wine, both of which were barrel aged for your benefit. Get ’em quick, because both batches will go fast. Look for another barrel-aged beer around Christmas. As for the regular lineup, the Amber (5.7% ABV, 53 IBU) offers up a more flavorful kick than most of its genre. The Hefeweizen (4.6% ABV, 26 IBU) has a big banana aroma, but the flavor is more balanced and smooth. Dirty Rotten Bastard (6.4% ABV, 77 IBU) is a “level one” IPA. Columbus is the primary hop in the DRB. Snakebite (7.4% ABV, 99 IBU) is the bigger “level two” IPA, armed with Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, Columbus, and Crystal hops. Another addition to the regular lineup is the burly Black Angus Stout (5.9% ABV, 25 IBU). It is not a milk stout, cream stout, chocolate stout, or coffee stout. It is just a stout, thick and strong with prominent roasted flavors, somewhat similar to Deschutes’ Obsidian Stout. Roadkill Red made a solid debut at MWBF.

Events: Rio Bravo will now have karaoke every Tuesday from 6 to 10 p.m.

On the live music front, The Great Blue Whales perform tonight (Wednesday) at 6 p.m. The Black Smoke Blues Band takes the stage Thursday at 6:30 p.m., followed by Eddie Lott on Friday at 7 p.m. Saturday will feature a doubleheader with Eileen & Cross Country Band at 3 p.m. and Sol De La Noche at 6 p.m.

Sandia Chile Grill — (505) 798-1970

(Mon–Sat 8 a.m.–8 p.m., Sun 8 a.m.–6 p.m.)

Beers: Son Ranger Irish Red, Barb’s Barrel Hefeweizen, Rio Negro Milk Stout, Rattlesnake IPA. These are the four core beers of SCG’s lineup, though we cannot guarantee they are on tap at all times. Give them a call to check and see which beers are available. They also now offer guest taps.

Tractor Brewing Company — (505) 433-5654 (Nob Hill Tap Room), (505) 243-6752 (Wells Park)

(Nob Hill is open Monday-Wednesday 3 p.m. to midnight, Thursday 3 p.m. to 2 a.m., Friday-Saturday 1 p.m. to 2 a.m., Sunday 1 p.m. to midnight; Wells Park is open Monday-Thursday 3 p.m. to close, Friday-Sunday 1 p.m. to midnight.
 Last call 30 minutes before close. 
No package after midnight.
 Brewery tours Saturday at 1 p.m.)

UPDATED >>> Beers: Berliner Weisse, Dark Horse Lager, Summer Ale, Desert Dweller IPA, Barn Burner Pale Ale, Lil Cease Session IPA, Pear Berry Cider, Turkey Drool (Nob Hill only), The Ruggles (Nob Hill only), Hog Back Bacon (Wells Park only). The newest additions are the Turkey Drool (8.3% ABV, 30 IBU), Desert Dweller (6% ABV), and Lil’ Cease Session IPA (4.5% ABV, 79 IBU). Before that came the Dark Horse Lager (5.6% ABV) and Summer Ale (7% ABV). The Ruggles (4.4% ABV) is a California Common-style beer. Berliner Weisse (5.1% ABV) is still available at both locations. The Hog Back Bacon is a bacon-infused version of the Ebony and Ivory Pale Stout.

Events: Kamikaze Karaoke is back at Wells Park tonight (Wednesday) at 7 p.m.

The Thirsty Thursday music series features Mike Hogan at Wells Park at 8 p.m.

Down at Wells Park on Saturday, the El Moises Art Opening starts at 6 p.m. with Nick Pena on guitar, followed by Flo Fader spinning from 9 p.m. to midnight. Meanwhile over at Nob Hill, the Setting the Tone series is back with Russell James Pyle at 5 p.m.

Sunday features Ocotillo Records Presents with Star Canyon, AJ Woods, and Italian Rats starting at 6 p.m.

Also, every first Monday of the month at both Tractor locations is Beer for a Better Burque night. For every pint you buy $1 can go to one of four charities that have partnered with Tractor. You can also opt to purchase a special growler with the logo of your favorite charity.

You can grab your own musical instrument and head to Nob Hill for the ultimate jam session. Tractor Tune Up, hosted by the Virginia Creepers, is now an official event happening every Monday starting at 7:30 p.m.

Also, every Monday at Nob Hill features each of Tractor’s canned beers on sale for just $2.

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

(Kitchen hours: Mon–Tues 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Wed–Thurs 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sun 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Reminder: TMBC closes early when business dictates. Please call.)

Beers: (House) McDay’s Cream Ale, Oku Amber, Parasol White IPA, Hopshell IPA, Heidelberg Helles, Stauffenberg Stout. (Seasonal/specialty) Altbier, Gourd Dammit, Challenger Deep Black IPA, Black Hole Sun. To help us out for now and the future, brewer Tim Woodward broke down what will be the regular beers on tap (under House) and the current list of seasonals. The most recent additions are the Challenger, while Black Hole Sun is the second half of the batch of After Midnight, the black currant schwarzbier, that has been turned into a sour black lager. Other recent additions are the Altbier and the Gourd Dammit, TMBC’s take on a pumpkin ale.

News: 22-ounce bombers of Wilde Jagd, Turtle Mountain’s first bottled beer, are still for sale at the brewery. Unsure if you want to buy one? Let Franz Solo tell you why you need this beer.

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Russian Imperial Stout, Pumpkin Porter, Mosaic Pale Ale, McLeonard’s Single Malt Scotch Ale. The most recent additions are the Mosaic, a single-hop pale, and the always beefy Russian Imperial (10% ABV). Word is the RIS will be on tap soon at the ABQ Draft Station, for those of us who cannot make it to Santa Fe on a regular basis. The McLeonard’s is a big old Scotch in the style of a Wee Heavy. The Pumpkin Porter comes highly recommended by our friends in Santa Fe.

News: Brewer James Warren said he has a Bock and a Belgian IPA due up next.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

(Mon–Sat open at 11 a.m., Sun open at 1 p.m.)

Beers: Bad Amber, Manikin (Scotch Ale), Marcel (Witbier), Fiction (IPA), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Titian (Golden Strong), Grunewald (Imperial Porter), Dark Ryder (Dark Strong), Stille of the Night (Belgian Dark Sour), Cezanne Denouement (Fall Saison), Ara Pacis (Barrel-Aged Imperial Golden Sour), Study Series: Session 1 (Golden Hopped Session), Study Series: Session 2 (Dark Hopped Session), Hair of the Wolf (Experimental). The two new Study Series beers are both session ales, with the lighter Session 1 checking in at 3.4-percent ABV, while the darker Session 2 hits at 3.7 percent. Hair of the Wolf (7.7% ABV), a beer to benefit the local arts collective Meow Wolf, is back for a second run. Coming this Monday is the 2015 version of Goya Imperial Stout.

Events: Happy-hour Monday through Friday 4-6 p.m. (discounts for all draft beer), Growler Saturdays ($3 off growler fills).

News: Duel is opening an Albuquerque taproom that will be more than twice the size of the mother facility in Santa Fe. We’re on the case to get you all the details about the downtown location and its projected opening date.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

(Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 2-8 p.m.)

Beers: Black IPA, Chicken Killer, Santa Fe Gold, Belgian Dubbel (ECS), Adobe Igloo (Winter Warmer). The fourth entry in the ECS (Ever Changing Series) is now available on tap and in bombers in the form of Belgian Dubbel. The Santa Fe Gold is now for sale all around the state in six-packs. The Adobe Igloo, a spiced winter warmer, is now available on tap.

Events: $1 off growler refills in the tasting room on Mondays. $2 pint Tuesdays at the Eldorado Taphouse. On Wednesday, there is a $2 pint special in the tasting room. On Thursday, there will be $1 off growler refills at the Eldorado Taphouse.

News: The SFBC taproom is now open at Green Jeans Farmery in Albuquerque. Want details? Here is everything we learned from our visit.

Also, it is time for home brewers to starting submitting entries for the annual 12 Beers of Christmas at SFBC. They can continue signing up by emailing their proposal to leif@santafebrewing.com.

Second Street Brewery — (505) 989-3278 (Railyard), (505) 982-3030 (original location)

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sunday noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Cream Stout, Imperial Smoked Porter, Railyard Red, Latona Amber, Rauchbier, Mosaic Pale Ale, Scotch Ale. Second Street went big with the Imperial Smoked Porter. The Railyard is back for another run. The Pivotal IPA and Boneshaker Bitter are often available for purchase in four-packs of cans.

Events: On the live music front, Mushi Project performs Friday night at the original location, followed by Jono Manson on Saturday. Greg Butera performs Friday at the Railyard location, followed by the Jim Almand Trio on Saturday.

Every Tuesday night, the Railyard location will have Open Mic Night hosted by Ben Wright. Every Thursday night, Geeks Who Drink will be at the Railyard at 8 p.m.

Other breweries you need to visit

Bathtub Row Brewing — (505) 500-8381

(Mon–Weds 2–10 p.m., Thurs 2–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–11 p.m., Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Hoppenheimer IPA, Black Point Stout, Wit Rock, Little Bird Blonde, Blackberry Saison, Trinity Tripel, Oktoberfest, Tom’s Green Chile Amber. We are proud to have Los Alamos’ first brewery amid our listings. The newest beers on tap are the Blackberry Saison, Trinity Tripel, Oktoberfest, and Tom’s Green Chile Amber.

Events: Bathtub Row hosts an Open Mic Night every Thursday at 6 p.m.

Twisted Chile Brewing — (575) 835-2949

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun noon-8 p.m.)

Beers: Pilabo Pale Ale, Zia Pilsner, 790 IPA, Quebradas Sunrise Amber, Hose Co. 1 Red Lager, Venom IPA, KC’s Irish Stout, Porter, Oktoberfest. Located in Socorro at 115 Abeyta St. W, Twisted Chile is the first brewery there to brew on site since Socorro Springs outsourced their brewing to Eddyline in Colorado several years ago. I got to head down there recently and enjoyed all the beers I sampled. Kudos to Twisted Chile for bring quality craft beers back to a town that needed ’em. The newest beers on tap are the Porter and Oktoberfest, and the excellent Irish Stout is back after a short absence. Look for a Pumpkin Ale soon.

* * * *

That’s all for this week! If you have any questions or comments, leave them below or contact us on our Facebook page.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Rowley Great Second Event

Organizer and brewer John Rowley addressed the attendees at the plenary session at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. (All photos courtesy of the Santa Fe Open)

The Santa Fe Open brewing competition has once again come and gone, and this year the event was bigger and better than the first. Envisioned by the Sangre De Cristo Craft Brewers (the local Santa Fe homebrew club) in 2014, this event has been held in early to mid-November for home brewers and professional brewers alike, to submit their best and most interesting beers to be evaluated by some of the finer judges out there. It’s homebrewing at its finest. It’s brewing at its finest. And it’s the best, most rewarding brewing competition currently in our state. Recently, I caught up with one of the major organizers, the very busy John Rowley, whom you may know as head of the soon-to-be brewery, Sub Rosa Cellars, in Santa Fe, which is now confirmed to be moving forward, by the way. John is also the club president of the Sangres and a hell of a nice guy, willing to sit down and talk to you about beer any day of the week. I asked him a few questions about this year’s competition and he was happy to oblige.

Rowley Medal

We’re not sure what’s happening in this picture, but medals and swag, everyone wins!

DSBC: How did the Santa Fe Open Brewing Competition go this year, on the whole?

Rowley: We had a great event this year, with almost no issues. The biggest issues were Jim forgetting the medals for the awards ceremony, us forgetting to label the medals in advance, and a couple of flights where the judges didn’t match the flight sheet summary scores with adjusted scores on individuals score sheets. Math matters. I’ll take these small issues over any major problem any day of the week.

DSBC: How did the event change from last year?

Rowley: We expanded the event quite a bit over last year as we added a plenary session, where pro brewers gave lectures to a group of about 25 attendees. James (Warren), from Blue Corn, gave a great lecture on the art and science of brewing. This was followed by Steve Stowell, of Colorado Springs, who drove down just for the day to give a talk on opening your own brewery. He’s the owner of a new brewery there called Triple S Brewing and was a judge for us last year. He’s a super guy and gave a great talk. Our keynote address was given by Jeff Erway and was relating to Chico yeast and hop additions. He nailed it, as everyone was really excited about his talk. A group of us met up at the RIS (Russian Imperial Stout) release at Blue Corn on Thursday and Jeff’s talk was a topic that was brought up. He did a great job and that was definitely a major highlight of the event. Next year we will film the talks and post them on our Facebook page, as we didn’t consider this in time for this year.

Erway Session

El Jefe talkin’ hops and yeast.

DSBC: Last year you had some auxiliary events, parties, etc. What were those like this year?

Rowley: We had events at Fire and Hops, sponsored by Upslope and Bosque, the Pro Awards Ceremony at the Cowgirl sponsored by La Cumbre and Ballast Point, as well as a judge wrap-up mixer at Santa Fe Brewing, sponsored by Santa Fe Brewing Company. After the technical talks, we had a food and beer pairing with local vendors Susan’s Fine Wine and Spirits, the Cheesemonger, Savory Spice Shop, Barrio Brinery, and Santa Fe Honey Salon. This was particularly well received, and was incredibly tasty. We also smoked 65 pounds of Boston butt, as well as 35 pounds of chicken and held a potluck just prior to the Awards Ceremony. Ballast Point, Bathtub Row, B2B Bistronomy, Tractor, and Odell all provided us with kegs of really nice beers for this event.

It was easily the best competition I’ve even been involved with in the state of New Mexico. Our goal is to raise the bar here in New Mexico, and I am positive we’re doing just that. We are committed to growing this event into a charitable annual competition, but with something for everyone. Not everyone is looking to enter beers in any given competition, but there is a place for everyone when you involve the community with ancillary events like the plenary session or the food and beer pairings.

DSBC: Were there any major issues you had to deal with?

Rowley: Nothing major, but like I said earlier, some issues with forgetting the medals and labeling them in advance. Also some judges not being square on their numbers. Otherwise no major glitches.

DSBC: What was the turnout for your events?

Prizes

This competition really does have the best prizes. Oh, and congrats here to Majin!

Rowley: Overall, we had 288 entries, including pro entries. This was down about 50 from last year, but we also limited our entry window to three weeks, whereas we had it open for three months last year. We grew our pro category this year from about 13 entries last year to 24 this year. I think with our strong prizes, we will continue to grow the event in the future.

DSBC: Would you say there were more or less people involved this year?

Group Photo

From left: Dude I don’t know, because I miss meetings, Judge Director Jim Steinbach, Tyler King, and David Gunter.

Rowley: We actually had the same number of judges, with a couple less stewards this year. Our core team of Jim, David, Phil, Karen, Ken, Jason, Tyler, ChanPaul, and myself has not changed. Tyler took bigger role this year, as he has been more involved with the club and has been stepping up. Jason also hit the pavement hard, and Nate continued to be involved in a secondary sense. We have a great team and everyone has a well-defined role.

Phil Rickert 1

Home brewer Phil Rickert played a major role in the success of the Santa Fe Open.

DSBC: How did the actual competition go with the judging process, etc.?

Rowley: Judging took place over three days at the Alumni Hall at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Jim, being the Judge Director, was in charge of the flights and setting them up. This is actually pretty challenging, as he’s got to make everything line up, which is not always easy. I think he did a great job as this year’s event ran really smoothly with no real issues.

DSBC: What range of beers did people submit?

Beer Flights

Pro Best of Show table.

Rowley: We received entries in every category listed in the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines except for Category 27 Historic Beer and Category 31 Alternative Fermentables Beer. Also, all four mead categories were well represented, as well as the two cider ones.

Jerome Mondragon Meads and Medals

Jerome Mondragon can’t be beaten for his Specialty Meads!

DSBC: What beers stood out to the judges this year?

Good nose

What’s the nose like on that one?

Rowley: As the competition coordinator, I don’t personally get to do any judging during this event. I really enjoy judging, so this is really tough for me. But, I was fortunate enough to get to sample beers as they came off the Best of Show tables. The beers that really stood out to me were La Cumbre’s German Pilsner entry on the pro BOS table, Leif’s “lambic” and the Blue Corn’s Apple Brandy Barleywine, as well as dry and ginger cider on the pro cider side. For AM, the ones that I thought stood out were both the IPA’s, Tim’s Gueuze, Jason’s Hefe, Jeremy’s Ice Cider, Krista’s cider, Scott Carpenter’s Wee Heavy, and both winners, the rauchbier from Warren and the winning Cyser.

DSBC: Were there any surprise wins or losses this year?

Rowley: No, not really. I think the results were well deserved.

DSBC: Any really hard to judge categories?

Judging

Judges take their work seriously!

Rowley: I think the larger categories are always more difficult as you need to combine results into a mini-BOS. These went well. Under the new guidelines, we have 12 more categories over the 2008 set (including mead and cider). With the two unentered categories mentioned earlier, that left the AM BOS judges with 38 samples each, which is more than I have ever seen for a BOS round. Check out the pics of the AM BOS table on our Facebook page and you’ll see how crazy that looks.

Amateur BOS

Amateur BOS? (Courtesy of their Facebook page)

DSBC: Have you made any plans for next year’s brewing competition yet?

Rowley: No, but we will have a “lessons learned” meeting soon to address the issues of this year so that we can do better next year. We are still working to wrap up this year’s event and should have scoresheets out in the mail next week.

DSBC: How can people stay in touch to find out about upcoming competitions?

Rowley: Locally, I would say to get involved with your local club. All the clubs are tied in and we all know what the others have planned, such as the upcoming ABQ Holiday Competition. That’s a fun event and a group of us will be going down to judge. I think I may not enter as I don’t have much beer to enter right now as I’ve been too busy to brew, but I’ll definitely be there to judge. For national events, check out the AHA competition calendar regularly and you’ll be able to see what is going on elsewhere. You can also like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/santafeopen and you’ll be notified of anything going on with the Santa Fe Open.

DSBC: Anything else you’d like to add about the Santa Fe Open?

Rowley: First off, I really want to personally thank James Warren, Steve Stowell, and Jeff Erway for coming out on Sunday to support our vision of the Plenary Session. That was both informative and entertaining for everyone involved. Besides our awesome sponsors, I want to thank Warren Lail for his help with the poster (and) Jen Allen, for helping us distribute posters in ABQ, The Dukes (of Ale) who came up to help with bottle check-in, Kevin Fleming, for his support with some ABQ tasks we couldn’t get done in a timely manner, as well as yourself, Luke, for your support. We can’t do this without everyone’s support and we really appreciate everything.

BOS Pro winner James Warren

Blue Corn brewer James Warren, left, wins Pro Best of Show for his Apple Brandy Barrel-aged Barleywine! He’s taking the New Mexico Cup back to the brewery. Congrats, James!

* * * * *

In its second year, this battle of the best home brewers in the state (and out-of-state) has become much more smoothly run, much more stiff (as far as competition goes), and much more rewarding for all involved. I said it earlier, a competition like this is home brewing at its finest. It’s brewing at its finest. A competition like this brings together a large community of brewers and beer lovers. Brewers from all over meet to chat about their favorite craft, share stories, and pass along pointers.

If you think about it for a second, this is exactly what GABF is all about, just on a local level, and perhaps more accessible for people who maybe don’t own a brewery, but still love making good beer. More importantly, competitions like this make better brewers of us all. The brewers take the judges’ notes, good or bad, and if they’re smart, they learn from them. A judge will tell you how you missed the style. A good judge will tell you exactly what your grain bill was lacking. A great judge will even tell you how you might tweak your brewing to better hit your targets. And it’s through this process that judges make brewers better, who in turn make better beer. Brewing competitions are good for the industry.

Another thing I’ve said before, they can turn a hobby into an obsession. And, on occasion, they can turn an amateur into a pro. Take it from Rowley, I’m sure he wouldn’t be moving forward with his brewery without a few good (and bad) comments from some solid judging sessions. He may also have a medal or two on his wall. For a list of all medals and winners click this LINK.

To better beer, and to the kind of competition that our craft beer-centric state deserves, cheers!

— Luke (Craft Crusader)

For more #CraftBeer info and #NMDarkSideBC news, follow me on Twitter @SantaFeCraftBro!

Attendance at Guild-sponsored beer festivals was down this year due to the sheer overload in other festivals.

Attendance at Guild-sponsored beer festivals was down this year due to the sheer overload in other festivals.

As the snow falls outside, it currently feels about as far removed from festival season as can be in New Mexico. The period that begins with ABQ Beer Week in May and ends with NM Brew Fest in October saw more festivals than ever this year. That is not a good thing.

Back on Friday I had the chance to talk with Turtle Mountain owner Nico Ortiz about a wide variety of topics. One of the major areas of concern for Nico, who sits on the NM Brewers Guild as the President of the Board of Directors (La Cumbre’s Jeff Erway and Bosque’s Gabe Jensen also sit on the Board), was this year’s festival overload. Particularly from July through October, there seemed to be a different festival every weekend. Not all were centered on beer, but almost all had local craft breweries represented. Why was this a bad thing? Too many festivals forced people to pick and choose. Sadly, they did not pick the most important events.

Every year the NM Brewers Guild relies upon its primary festivals for funding. These funds then go toward helping to push all Guild-related bills through the State Legislature. Fewer event attendees means less revenue; less revenue could make for a struggle when the next legislative session kicks off in January.

For the record, the Guild’s major festivals are WinterBrew in Santa Fe every January, the Blazin’ Brewfest in Las Cruces in May, the multi-round NM IPA Challenge in July, the NM Brew Fest at the State Fairgrounds in October, and this year marked the debut of the Mountain West Brew Fest over Labor Day weekend in Bernalillo. WinterBrew has always been limited by the size of the Santa Fe Farmers Market building, hence it being held over two days instead of one this coming year (Jan. 15 and 16, FYI). While the Blazin’ attendance was fine, and the NMIPAC remained solid, attendance was not up to what the Guild had hoped for Mountain West, and despite being moved to a more comfortable venue along Main Street instead of Villa Hispana this year, attendance at NMBF was down.

At one point, the only other beer-related festivals were Blues & Brews every May and Hopfest every fall. The Guild-sponsored fests and these got along fine. Now there seems to be a dividing line as far as the breweries go in terms of which they attend and which they do not, particularly with the huge influx of new festivals, many created by out-of-state companies with huge amounts of money to spend. Brand-new breweries try to do all of the fests they can to attract business and get their names out there. Packaging breweries, such as Marble, Santa Fe, Sierra Blanca, and Tractor, also attend as many fests as possible. The other breweries primarily focus on attending Guild events at the expense of the rest. And we know, the breweries themselves sometimes don’t do the public any favors when they only bring along their primary house beers and/or packaged beers. Even Nico agreed with that. The more serious beer drinkers may start skipping fests if they feel the beers available are the same they can get at any time visiting the brewery. It would be great to see breweries debuting amazing seasonals and one-offs at fests. But again, with so many fests to attend and the general difficulty in making too many specialty beers during the busiest months of the year (particularly for the packaging breweries), it is not an easy thing to do.

Still, to the general craft beer drinker — Nico discounted the loyal, 200-plus beer geeks like the members of the Crew who show up to almost every beer-centric event — it all becomes a matter of picking and choosing festivals. If they are not overly serious about beer, they might prefer to go to a food truck roundup or another food-centric festival that has craft beer. All of it combines to drop attendance at the events crucial to the Guild. As much as we would like to hope that the casual craft beer drinkers will read this and realize they might need to skip Bacon Fest or Macaroni-and-Cheese Fest or one of the half-dozen or so regional Summer Fests, it may not be that easy.

So once again, rather than simply draw our own conclusions, we want to hear from all of you. What is the best solution to the overload in festivals? How do we get even the casual crowd to put Guild-centric events first? (And let it be know that all of us in the Crew would still like people to support Blues & Brews and Hopfest, both of which donate a lot of revenue to charity.) Let us start up the discussion. The Guild needs our help to keep making life better for our brewing scene.

As per usual, you can comment here, on Facebook, on Twitter (@nmdarksidebc), in person if you see any of us, or send us a direct message on email (nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com).

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Oh, December is gonna get off to a wonderful start.

Oh, December is gonna get off to a wonderful start.

A Thursday that began with all the computers going down at the day job just turned into something far, far better. The good folks at Bosque Brewing dropped some welcome news in our laps, and we just had to make sure to share it with all of you.

Next Friday, Nov. 20, from 4 to 6 p.m., Bosque will be releasing the barrel-aged version of Jet Black Winter Russian Imperial Stout at Jubilation. Head brewer John Bullard will be on hand for folks to talk to while they taste samples of this epic creation, aged for the last year in Buffalo Trace Bourbon barrels provided by Jubilation. Then, for the first 35 customers who purchase a bomber of Jet Black Winter, you get an added bonus besides the beer itself.

The first Bosque Insider event is set for Wednesday, Dec. 2, at the brewery on San Mateo. The first 35 customers to purchase a bomber at Jubilation will each receive an invite to this first of its kind event. You will again have the opportunity to talk to John, enjoy some beer samples, and then get a sneak preview of the upcoming new menu items for the Nob Hill Public House, each paired with the proper beers. Oh, and you also get to try the new Imperial Coffee Brown, made in collaboration with Essence, a local organic coffee extract company. You can purchase one of the 50 sneak-preview bombers of the ICB for just $8, too, well before it is released to the public.

For those who cannot make it to Jubilation on the first night, fear not, Bosque co-owner Jotham Michnovicz said there are “around 700” bombers of Jet Black Winter that will be sold at Jubilation and all three Bosque locations. Just be prepared, the Crew might buy up a significant portion of that supply.

Got any questions about these events or anything else regarding Bosque and/or Jubilation? Just ask us and if we cannot answer it, we will pass it along to the appropriate people.

In the meantime, let us all thank Bosque and Jubilation for once again making epic beers and events.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s four breweries and a pair of newcomers, one down in Socorro and the other in Los Alamos, also joining the party.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

In honor of Star Wars, or more likely just because it is getting darned cold out there (seriously, covering this year’s high school state soccer tournament was friggin’ miserable), the imperial stouts are starting to emerge from their long periods of fermentation. To kick things off, Blue Corn is having a release party for their always epic Russian Imperial Stout, a 10-percent ABV behemoth of darkness, this Thursday at 6 p.m. For $10 you get a bowl of Uncommon French Onion Soup with your beer. The second imperial stout we have confirmation about is that Duel’s Goya, 2015 edition, will debut on Monday, Nov. 23. Duel will also be selling bombers of the 2014 Goya, which they say has aged beautifully, on Friday, Nov. 27. Hey, shopping for beer on Black Friday is always a lot more fun than battling the hordes at the mall, or hoping Amazon won’t freeze up on you every 10 seconds or possibly send your credit card number accidentally to some dude in Myanmar. Being the Dark Side Brew Crew and all, we will be keeping track of everyone else’s imperial stouts as they get closer to their release dates. We are hoping for the return of Bosque’s Jet Black Winter, La Cumbre’s La Negra, Marble’s Imperial Stout, Tractor’s Dia de los Muertos, and whatever everyone else has up their sleeves.

Meanwhile, there are a few new beers worth checking out around town, too. Albuquerque Brewing has Two Generations IPA, the newly renamed High Plains Drifter Blonde, and should have Handlebars Stout on tap this week. Bosque’s Centennial Single Hop is available, plus their new Barleywine is on tap and for sale in bombers. Boxing Bear has brought back their excellent brown ale, Oso Otono. Canteen has a new batch of Dutch Courage IPA. La Cumbre dug into the cellar and brought out some 2014 Tres Padres.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn also has their Mosaic Pale Ale on tap. Santa Fe Brewing has Mad Cow ESB on tap for small batch, plus they have a draft-only preview of their new winter warmer, Adobe Igloo. Second Street has fresh batches of Latona Amber and Scotch Ale.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of November 9.

To break down each “capsule,” I listed the brewery (with Web page linked), its phone number and hours of operation. Under “Beers” are the new or seasonal beers on tap for this week.

Albuquerque metro area breweries

ABQ Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–2 a.m., Sunday 10 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Whiskey Stout, Imperial IPA. AmyO said these were the two specialty beers available when she made a recent visit to learn about the upcoming rebranding of ABQ Brew Pub into Alien Brew Pub. Check out her story for more details.

Albuquerque Brewing Co. — (505) 797-1842

(Mon–Fri 1-10 p.m., Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun noon-8 p.m.)

Beers: High Plains Drifter Blonde, Dukes Pale Ale, Two Generations IPA, Off the Richter Red. Welcome back, ABC. Their new brewer, Carnie (formerly of Santa Fe), sent us his updated list. Off the Richter Red is an imperial. Handlebars Stout should be available later this week.

Back Alley Draft House — (505) 766-8590

(Sun–Weds 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Thurs–Sat 4 p.m. to midnight)

Beers: Honey Common, Latir Pale Lager, Berliner Weisse, Braggot, Lando’s Lager. There are four recent additions to the taps. The Latir is an old favorite, while the Honey Common is a sweet twist on the Cali Common. The Braggot is a beer-cider hybrid. Lando’s Lager honors the great Billy Dee Williams as a proper malt liquor.

Events: Sundays are Service Nights at Back Alley, with $2 off all beers for service industry workers. Bring your server’s ID and you will be rewarded. All beers are $1 off on Tuesdays.

News: Take note of BADH’s new winter hours above.

Bistronomy B2B/Lobo Beast 101 — (505) 262-2222 (B2B), (505) 247-2116 (Lobo)

(B2B: Mon–Tues 4-9 p.m., Weds noon-9 p.m., Thurs–Sat noon-9:30 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.; Lobo: open every day 4 p.m. to close)

Beers: Oaked IPA, Cherry Stout, Coconut Porter, Raspberry Wheat, Red Rye, Pepper Saison, ESB, Rye Noon, Mashing Pumpkins, Berliner Weisse (B2B only). At long last, we have a list for B2B and their sister location, Lobo Beast. They rotate through beers quickly, so if you see one you have to try off this list, hurry over. The newest additions are the Pumpkin and Berliner. The Rye Noon, a session pale ale with rye, is another recent addition.

The Blue Grasshopper — (505) 896-8579

(Noon to 11 p.m. most days, call for more info)

Beers: Beach Bum Pale Ale. The popular Beach Bum is back for another run. BG goes through their beers fast, so hurry out to try it. If you have not made it out there yet, the Grasshopper is located at 4500 Arrowhead Ridge Road in Rio Rancho, just off Highway 528.

News: Click the link above to check out the new Blue Grasshopper website, with updated lists of guest beers, a full menu, and a full music listing.

Events: The Grasshopper has live music from 6 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday through Saturday.

Boese Brothers Brewery — (505) 382-7060

(Hours: Mon–Thurs 3 p.m.–midnight, Fri 3 p.m.–2 a.m., Sat noon–2 a.m., Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Patriot Porter, La Onza White Ale, Old Shonie Scottish Ale, Dr. Strangehop XPA, Duke City Lager, Ichabod’s Revenge. The Porter (6% ABV) is a pre-Prohibition style of American porter, more brown than black with strong roasted flavors smoothed out by the nitro pour. La Onza (5.4% ABV) offers up a big, citrusy kick for a Belgian-style witbier. Old Shonie (4.5% ABV) is also available on nitro; it is lighter than most of the other Scottish beers in the ABQ area. The Dr. Strangehop XPA (6.5% ABV) offers up a wonderful mix of the piney Willamette and more floral Mosaic hops. The Duke City Lager (5% ABV) is now a permanent addition to the lineup. Ichabod’s Revenge (7.6% ABV) is a pumpkin ale made with a ton of real pumpkin baked by the staff.

Events: Boese will have a happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, with $3 pints. You can also get $3 pints all day Tuesday and $6 growler fills all day Wednesday.

News: They are still working on building their website. You can follow them on their Facebook page.

Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596 (main brewery), (505) 508-5967 (Nob Hill Public House), (575) 571-4626 (Las Cruces Taproom)

(Main brewery on San Mateo: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-midnight, Sun noon-8 p.m.; Nob Hill: Mon–Weds 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Thurs 11 a.m.-midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Sun noon-11 p.m.; Las Cruces: Sun–Thurs noon-11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon-midnight)

Beers: Humo Rojo (also on nitro), Anniversary Baltic Porter, Olde Bosky Porter, Barleywine (Nob Hill), Centennial Single Hop (Nob Hill), Honey Toast (San Mateo and Las Cruces), Dry Acequia (San Mateo and Las Cruces). All three Bosque locations are now up to date. Well, you all drank up the hoppy monster beers, but what remains is pretty darned good. An old favorite returns in the Olde Bosky Porter (6% ABV, 27 IBU), an original member of the lineup that cries out for a return to your bellies. Another recent addition is the Dry Acequia (6.6% ABV, 95 IBU), a non-wet-hopped edition of the award-winning IPA. Two other recent additions are Humo Rojo (5.6% ABV, 16 IBU), a smoked red ale, and Honey Toast (6.1% ABV, 15 IBU), a delicious honey brown. The big boy in the lineup is the Anniversary Baltic Porter (8.6% ABV, 30 IBU), a delicious, massively wonderful dark beer. You can also purchase a bomber to take home for $10. The Rabble (8.5% ABV, 25 IBU), an imperial pumpkin ale, is still for sale in bombers, though the supply is limited. The Barleywine (10.5% ABV, 100+ IBU) is on tap and for sale in bombers. We look forward to trying the Centennial Single Hop as well.

Cask: From now on, Bosque will have their firkin filled almost every Wednesday, available only at Nob Hill. There does not appear to be a cask this week, but we will update this if they tell us otherwise.

News: Bosque has a happy hour running from 3-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and all day on Sunday. Look for special menu items and get $1 off your favorite pints.

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

(Sun-Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.)

Beers: Body Czech Bohemian Pilsner, Cream Pale, Noble Pale Ale, Body Slam Imperial Pilsner, Fist Pump Pumpkin Ale, Chocolate Milk Stout, Oso Otono. The Oso Otono (6.7% ABV, 20 IBU) is a fall brown ale. The Chocolate Milk Stout, a silver medal winner at GABF this fall, is back for another run. You can expect it to go fast, again, so head over ASAP. Other recent additions include the Fist Pump, Oktobearfest (4.9% ABV, 27 IBU), Noble PA (5.8% ABV, 30 IBU) and Body Slam (7.4% ABV, 60 IBU). Before that came Not Your Mother’s Cream Stout (5.4% ABV, 10 IBU) and the Cream Pale (5.5% ABV, 18 IBU), a hybrid of the two styles. The Body Czech (4.3% ABV, 40 IBU) is a great way to start your flight.

News: Every day at lunchtime (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), for just $10 you can get a pint and a panini of your choice.

Events: Geeks Who Drink will now be held every Wednesday from 8 to 10 p.m. at Boxing Bear.

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737

(Sun–Thurs noon–10 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–midnight)

Beers: Cascade Pale Ale, Canteen Calabaza, Salida IPA, Sasquatch Scotch, Novemberfest Marzen, Dutch Courage IPA. The Dutch Courage returns. It was made in collaboration with Left Turn Distilling, made in their gin barrels. Other recent additions are the Salida IPA, Novemberfest, and an old favorite in the Sasquatch. The Calabaza is Canteen’s take on a pumpkin ale.

News: Canteen has begun filling Crowlers, 32-ounce aluminum cans that can be filled with any beer on tap. They get sealed up and can last for a lot longer than a regular growler. Then you bring back the Crowlers to be recycled and get some fresh ones.

Events: Live music is back with Boris and the Salt Licks on Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m. and then the Cali Shaw Duo on Tuesday from 6 to 9 p.m.

Cazuela’s Seafood & Mexican Grill — (505) 994-9364

(Open daily 8 a.m.-10 p.m.)

Beers: Papacabra (Double IPA), Acapulco Gold (Mexican Lager), Chupacabra IPA, Piedra del Fuego Stoned Cream Ale, Beer for My Horses (Oatmeal Stout), Inebriator (Doppelbock), Kilt Kicker (Smoked Scottish), Calabaza (Pumpkin Ale), Festival (Oktoberfest). The Piedra del Fuego (5% ABV) is an old favorite. According to Cazuela’s menu: “This cream ale uses red-hot stones to super caramelize the sugars, creating a nutty, toffee-like flavor.” The Inebriator (8% ABV) and the Papacabra (9.7% ABV) are the biggest beers in the lineup. Cazuela’s was the first local brewery to tap a pumpkin ale, in their case the Calabaza, which was created by new brewer Brandon Venaglia. He kept the seasonal theme going with Festival, his version of an Oktoberfest.

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Obey the Darkside Stout, Valle de Oro Kellerbier, Juice Up IPA, Oxbow ESB. The most recent additions are the Juiced Up, which is loaded with real grapefruit for an extra citrusy taste, and a fresh batch of the popular Oxbow. The Kellebier’s proceeds will go in part to the Valle de Oro wildlife sanctuary. Obey the Darkside is the second version of the epic foreign extra stout the Crew helped brew last year. Don’t worry, Zach, we’re coming back over to drink up this batch.

Distillery 365 — (505) 221-6281

(Mon-Thu 3-9 p.m., Fri 3-10 p.m., Sat noon-10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-8 p.m.)

Beers: 365 ESB, 4th of July American Ale, Faulty Barrel-Aged Ale. Distillery 365 is located at 2921 Stanford Dr., just south of Candelaria and not far from La Cumbre and Canteen. The most recent addition is the Faulty, which was aged for several months in red wine barrels. The 4th of July is their first beer to highlight the native Neomexicanus hops. It is a highly aromatic strong ale with very little bitterness. The ESB a simple English ale. This second batch offers up more flavor from the hops and malts. They are also serving their house-made Holy Ghost Vodka and Horsethief Rum, a 100-percent molasses-based silver rum, plus guest taps from Red Door.

Events: 10 Drink Minimum will host a Cards Against Humanity night every Wednesday at 7 p.m.

This Saturday, Distillery 365 will host a watch party for the big UFC championship bout between Holly Holm and Ronda Rousey. There is only a $5 cover and drink specials will be available all night.

Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Distillery 365 has a build-your-own bloody mary bar. You can purchase three bloodies for just $20.

News: Barrel No. 1 of their Tres Pistolas Bourbon has been filled, but it’ll be another two years before anyone can drink it. Good things come to those who wait, I suppose.

Oh, and Distillery 365 will open their first tasting room over at Green Jeans Farmery, the same site that is home to Santa Fe Brewing’s ABQ taproom.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

(Hours Mon-Thu 2-9 p.m., Fri-Sat 11:30-10 p.m., Sun 11:30-9 p.m.)

Beers: Punkel (Pumpkin Dunkel), 1462 IPA, Smoke and Fire Porter, Berna Brown, Umlaut Stout, Honk Ale, Helles Lager, Walter Wheat. Brace yourselves for the uber-spiced, sweet-as-can-be Punkel, a pumpkin dunkel. Other recent additions are the 1462 IPA, Smoke and Fire Porter (a cherrywood smoked porter with Chipotle), and Walter Wheat. The Umlaut Stout may be their best stout yet, a massive, roasted, beast of a beer. Kaktus is located at 471 South Hill Road in Bernalillo, for those who have still not made the trek.

News: Kaktus has several new weekday specials including $3 pints on Monday, $9 growlers on Tuesday, $6 bison nachos on Wednesday, and $8 Frito pie and beer on Thursday.

Events: The Desert Darlings belly dancers perform from 6 to 8 p.m. on almost every Sunday. If you’ve never seen the Desert Darlings in person, you’re missing out.

Every Sunday, Kaktus is hosting a brunch special from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., with breakfast pizzas and drink specials.

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Summer Strong, Witch’s Lit, Grange’s Session IPA, 2014 Tres Padres. The cellar team dug up some of last year’s Tres Padres, an epic Belgian-style tripel. Other recent beers on tap are the Witch’s Lit, the awesome, slightly renamed pumpkin ale, and the Grange’s Session IPA, with $1 from every pint sold going to the fight against ALS. For a session, this thing has a hell of a hop kick. It’s La Cumbre, though, so should we really expect any less? Before that came Summer Strong, a massive, beautiful pale barleywine.

News: La Cumbre’s new and improved website is now up and running. Check it out by clicking the link here. Their online calendar now includes what food trucks will be serving, plus live music and a current draft list.

Events: The Rudy Boy Experiment performs Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m. Yoga is back at the taproom every Sunday at 10:45 a.m.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

(Mon–Weds noon-9 p.m., Thurs–Sat noon-midnight, Sun noon-7 p.m.)

Beers: Long Nosed Tripel, Legless DIPA, Frilled Irish Red, Earless English IPA. This seasonal list might be out of date, so call ahead before you head over. The Long Nosed (9.2% ABV, 30 IBU) is one of the biggest beers on the menu. The Legless (8.5% ABV, 100 IBU) offers up quite the hop kick. Earless (6.4% ABV, 50 IBU) is in the classic English tradition. The Irish Red (5.3% ABV, 24 IBU) has the perfect malt profile, not too sweet, not too dry.

News: Lizard Tail’s happy hour runs seven days a week from 3 to 6 p.m. You get $1 off food, flights, and pints. Take note that Lizard Tail now opens at noon every day.

Events: Lizard Tail will host Geeks Who Drink every Tuesday at 8 p.m. Every Thursday will now feature karaoke from 8 to 11 p.m.

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739

(Mon–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10:30 p.m.)

Beers: Both locations — Nitro Seduction, Imperial Red; Downtown only — Double IPA; Westside only — Get Stoked, Mick’s Mac. We now have a breakdown of which seasonals are available at both Marble locations, Downtown and Westside. Get Stoked (4% ABV) is a sessionable pale ale, while Nitro Seduction (5.5% ABV) is a decadent dark beer served on nitro. The Mick’s Mac is a Scottish ale brewed with lager yeast for a one-of-a-kind flavor. The Imperial Red won a bronze medal at GABF last month. The Pumpkin Ale ran out quickly, too quickly, so fear not, Marble is brewing up a fresh batch as fast as they can!

Events: Brewery tours occur at the Downtown Pub every Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

On the live music front downtown, it’s a quiet week save for Leftover Soul performing Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m. But you can join Marble’s Leah Black as she serves as the MC for the Cali Shaw Band’s CD & video release party at Sister Bar on Friday at 8 p.m.

At the Westside Taproom, Lilah Rose performs tonight (Wednesday) from 6 to 9 p.m. Garry Blackchild takes the stage Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. Youngsville & Jacob Elliot cap the weekend with a Saturday set from 6 to 9 p.m.

News: Pumpkin Noir will return with a release party on Nov. 18.

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: U.S.S. Saaz, Plum Imperial Cream, Equinox, Hoppy Wheat. The Plum Imperial Cream debuted recently; the name pretty much says it all. Another recent addition is the Saaz (6.4% ABV, 30 IBU). As the name might imply, the Saaz is a single-hop beer made with, you guessed it, Czech Saaz hops. Equinox (6.5% ABV, 16 IBU) is back for another run of pumpkin-spiced brown ale goodness. This year’s version wowed us all at NM Brew Fest. The Hoppy Wheat is a seasonal hopped-up wheat beer, as if you could not guess by the name.

Events: Nexus serves up Happy Hour All Day on Tuesday featuring $3 pints. Also on Tuesday, Nexus will be hosting their comedy open mic, Young Dumb and Full of Comedy, starting at 7:30 p.m. in the Sun Room.

Pi Brewing at Nicky V’s Neighborhood Pizzeria — (505) 890-9463

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Amarillo Red, Robust Porter, Pi Vapor, Challenge IPA, English Summer Ale, Pre-Prohibition Pilsner, Belgian Pumpkin Ale. The Robust Porter and Pi Vapor, a California Common, are the newest additions to the lineup. Before that the English Summer, Pilsner, and new Belgian Pumpkin Ale jumped on board. The ESB and Tropical IPA are out for the time being. While Pi Brewing is not open to the public yet, they are able to brew and serve their beers next door at Nicky V’s. We’ll keep tabs on when Pi itself opens.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

(Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: (Regular) Ghost Train IPA, Rip Saw Red, Crosscut Kolsch, Bellamah Brown, American Wheat; (Seasonal) Walther IPK, Jubilee, Pumpkin Butt, Zaftig, Stage One IPA. Ponderosa is located at 1761 Bellamah NW, which is just east of Rio Grande and due north of the NM Natural History Museum, in the bottom floor of a swanky-looking apartment/retail complex (they have a sign atop the building now that you cannot miss). Congrats to Bellamah Brown and American Wheat for joining the regular beer list, both by popular demand. Recent additions to taps are Zaftig (4.6% ABV, 26 IBU), a creamy smooth oatmeal stout, plus Pumpkin Butt (5% ABV, 20 IBU) and Jubilee (5.4% ABV, 18 IBU), which was brewed for the recent anniversary party. It is a hybrid of a malty amber ale and a smoked beer. The Walther IPK (6% ABV, 60 IBU) is an India Pale Kolsch. Stage One IPA (8% ABV, 107 IBU) is a big, hopped-up oatmeal IPA.

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri 11 a.m. to midnight, Sat 7 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Beers: (Regular) Gateway Blonde Ale, Roamer Red, Threshold IPA, Paint it Black Milk Stout, Unhinged Cider, Trappe Door Wheat. (Seasonal) Cosmos Porter, Broken Arrow Pale Ale, Ryeson Sun Saison, Anniversary Double Red. The most recent addition is the delicious, slightly hoppy Cosmos Porter, which replaces the Vanilla Cream Ale. Before that came the Anniversary Double Red  (7.7% ABV, 67 IBU), which has a deceptively low IBU count for a beer this hoppy. It’s got bite, it’s dry, it’s fierce, it’s right up there with the other best imperial reds in town. Before that came the Ryeson, which has to be the first rye saison we have ever of. The Broken Arrow (5.4% ABV) was made with just Equinox hops for a rather unique, yet multi-faceted, flavor profile.

Events: Live music is back with The Draft Sessions open mic on Monday from 7 to 9.

Saturday morning will mark another round of Beer and Breakfast, with Barclays Premier League soccer on the telly! From 7 to 10 a.m. you can gather with friends for some food truck-supplied goodies with a pint of beer.

Red Door will no longer be hosting yoga on Sundays.

Rio Bravo Brewing Company — (505) 900-3909

(Mon–Thu noon–10 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–11 p.m., Sun noon–9 p.m.)

Beers: Rio Bravo Amber, Karl’s Hefeweizen, Dirty Rotten Bastard IPA, Snakebite IPA, Black Angus Stout, Roadkill Red, Duke City Pils, Oktoberfest, Imperial Porter, Barrel-Aged Barley Wine. You can find Rio Bravo at 1912 2nd St. NW, which is just south of I-40. The most recent additions are the Imperial Porter and Barley Wine, both of which were barrel aged for your benefit. Get ’em quick, because both batches will go fast. Look for another barrel-aged beer around Christmas. As for the regular lineup, the Amber (5.7% ABV, 53 IBU) offers up a more flavorful kick than most of its genre. The Hefeweizen (4.6% ABV, 26 IBU) has a big banana aroma, but the flavor is more balanced and smooth. Dirty Rotten Bastard (6.4% ABV, 77 IBU) is a “level one” IPA. Columbus is the primary hop in the DRB. Snakebite (7.4% ABV, 99 IBU) is the bigger “level two” IPA, armed with Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, Columbus, and Crystal hops. Another addition to the regular lineup is the burly Black Angus Stout (5.9% ABV, 25 IBU). It is not a milk stout, cream stout, chocolate stout, or coffee stout. It is just a stout, thick and strong with prominent roasted flavors, somewhat similar to Deschutes’ Obsidian Stout. Roadkill Red made a solid debut at MWBF.

Events: Rio Bravo will now have karaoke every Tuesday from 6 to 10 p.m.

On the live music front, The Fabulous Martini Tones perform today (Wednesday) at 6 p.m. Stratus Phear will follow Friday at 7 p.m. Roger Jameson and the Jaded Heart Band will play on Saturday at 8 p.m.

Sandia Chile Grill — (505) 798-1970

(Mon–Sat 8 a.m.–8 p.m., Sun 8 a.m.–6 p.m.)

Beers: Son Ranger Irish Red, Barb’s Barrel Hefeweizen, Rio Negro Milk Stout, Rattlesnake IPA. These are the four core beers of SCG’s lineup, though we cannot guarantee they are on tap at all times. Give them a call to check and see which beers are available. They also now offer guest taps.

Tractor Brewing Company — (505) 433-5654 (Nob Hill Tap Room), (505) 243-6752 (Wells Park)

(Nob Hill is open Monday-Wednesday 3 p.m. to midnight, Thursday 3 p.m. to 2 a.m., Friday-Saturday 1 p.m. to 2 a.m., Sunday 1 p.m. to midnight; Wells Park is open Monday-Thursday 3 p.m. to close, Friday-Sunday 1 p.m. to midnight.
 Last call 30 minutes before close. 
No package after midnight.
 Brewery tours Saturday at 1 p.m.)

Beers: Jack the Sipper, Traktoberfest, Chocolate Milk Stout, Berliner Weisse, Dark Horse Lager, Summer Ale (Nob Hill only), The Ruggles (Nob Hill only), Turkey Drool (Wells Park only), Desert Dweller IPA (Wells Park only), Lil Cease Session IPA (Wells Park only), Pear Bear Cider (Wells Park only), Cowboy Blend Coffee Pale Stout (Wells Park only). The newest additions are the Turkey Drool (8.3% ABV, 30 IBU), Desert Dweller (6% ABV), Lil’ Cease Session IPA (4.5% ABV, 79 IBU), Jack the Sipper (7.8% ABV, 18 IBU), Tractor’s pumpkin ale that was made with 440 pounds (!) of real pumpkin, and Traktoberfest, which is back and just as good as ever. Before that came the Chocolate Milk Stout (5.1% ABV), Dark Horse Lager (5.6% ABV), and Summer Ale (7% ABV). The Ruggles (4.4% ABV) is a California Common-style beer. Berliner Weisse (5.1% ABV) is still available at both locations.

Events: Nob Hill will play host to Solos on the Hill featuring Clark Libbey at 8:30 p.m. tonight (Wednesday). Art Fusion for a Cause is back at Wells Park tonight at 8 p.m., benefiting S.A.F.E. House.

The pLOUD music series features The Real Matt Jones at Wells Park at 8 p.m. this Thursday.

Down at Wells Park on Saturday, the Green Chile in the Air Vol. 5 will have their album release party at 7 p.m., followed by In the Mix featuring DJ Clout at 9 p.m.

Sunday is I’ll Drink to That: Homies Helping Homies Edition at 4 p.m.

Then on Tuesday, head back to Wells Park for Beer and Bellies, an open belly dance event, at 7 p.m.

Also, every first Monday of the month at both Tractor locations is Beer for a Better Burque night. For every pint you buy $1 can go to one of four charities that have partnered with Tractor. You can also opt to purchase a special growler with the logo of your favorite charity.

You can grab your own musical instrument and head to Nob Hill for the ultimate jam session. Tractor Tune Up, hosted by the Virginia Creepers, is now an official event happening every Monday starting at 7:30 p.m.

Also, every Monday at Nob Hill features each of Tractor’s canned beers on sale for just $2.

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

(Kitchen hours: Mon–Tues 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Wed–Thurs 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sun 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Reminder: TMBC closes early when business dictates. Please call.)

Beers: (House) McDay’s Cream Ale, Oku Amber, Parasol White IPA, Hopshell IPA, Heidelberg Helles, Stauffenberg Stout. (Seasonal/specialty) Altbier, Gourd Dammit, Challenger Deep Black IPA, Black Hole Sun. To help us out for now and the future, brewer Tim Woodward broke down what will be the regular beers on tap (under House) and the current list of seasonals. The most recent additions are the Challenger, while Black Hole Sun is the second half of the batch of After Midnight, the black currant schwarzbier, that has been turned into a sour black lager. Other recent additions are the Altbier and the Gourd Dammit, TMBC’s take on a pumpkin ale.

News: 22-ounce bombers of Wilde Jagd, Turtle Mountain’s first bottled beer, are still for sale at the brewery. Unsure if you want to buy one? Let Franz Solo tell you why you need this beer.

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Russian Imperial Stout, Pumpkin Porter, Mosaic Pale Ale, McLeonard’s Single Malt Scotch Ale. The most recent additions are the Mosaic, a single-hop pale, and the always beefy Russian Imperial (10% ABV). The McLeonard’s is a big old Scotch in the style of a Wee Heavy. The Pumpkin Porter comes highly recommended by our friends in Santa Fe.

Events: See our intro for more on the Russian Imperial’s release party on Thursday at 6 p.m.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

(Mon–Sat open at 11 a.m., Sun open at 1 p.m.)

Beers: Bad Amber, Manikin (Scotch Ale), Marcel (Witbier), Fiction (IPA), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Titian (Golden Strong), Grunewald (Imperial Porter), Dark Ryder (Dark Strong), Stille of the Night (Belgian Dark Sour), Cezanne Denouement (Fall Saison), Ara Pacis (Barrel-Aged Imperial Golden Sour). The Bad Amber is back after a short absence. The most recent addition to taps is the Cezanne Denouement, described as a fall saison.

Events: Happy-hour Monday through Friday 4-6 p.m. (discounts for all draft beer), Growler Saturdays ($3 off growler fills).

News: Duel is opening an Albuquerque taproom that will be more than twice the size of the mother facility in Santa Fe. We’re on the case to get you all the details about the downtown location and its projected opening date.

We got advance samples of the 2015 version of Goya Imperial Stout. It is a ridiculous, 15-percent ABV monstrosity. Look for it on Monday, Nov. 23.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

(Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 2-8 p.m.)

Beers: Black IPA, Chicken Killer, Santa Fe Gold, Belgian Dubbel (ECS), Mad Cow ESB (Small Batch), Adobe Igloo (Winter Warmer). The fourth entry in the ECS (Ever Changing Series) is now available on tap and in bombers in the form of Belgian Dubbel. The Santa Fe Gold is now for sale all around the state in six-packs. You can get the Mad Cow on tap at the brewery, along with a sneak preview of the Adobe Igloo, a spiced winter warmer.

Events: $1 off growler refills in the tasting room on Mondays. $2 pint Tuesdays at the Eldorado Taphouse. On Wednesday, there is a $2 pint special in the tasting room. On Thursday, there will be $1 off growler refills at the Eldorado Taphouse.

News: The SFBC taproom is now open at Green Jeans Farmery in Albuquerque. Want details? Here is everything we learned from our visit.

Also, it is time for home brewers to starting submitting entries for the annual 12 Beers of Christmas at SFBC. They can continue signing up by emailing their proposal to leif@santafebrewing.com.

Second Street Brewery — (505) 989-3278 (Railyard), (505) 982-3030 (original location)

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sunday noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Cream Stout, German Altbier, Old Pecos Porter, Rod’s Best Bitter, Fulcrum IPA, Rauchbier, Mosaic Pale Ale. Another big turnover on the taps just went down at Second Street. The Rod’s Best, Fulcrum, Rauchbier, and Mosaic all returned to the lineup, giving you just about every style of beer you could possibly need. The Pivotal IPA and Boneshaker Bitter are often available for purchase in four-packs of cans.

Events: On the live music front, the Troy Brown Trio performs at the original location on Friday, followed Saturday by Swing Soleil. The Railyard has Crow & the Captain on Friday and The Shiner’s Club on Saturday.

Every Tuesday night, the Railyard location will have Open Mic Night hosted by Ben Wright. Every Thursday night, Geeks Who Drink will be at the Railyard at 8 p.m.

Other breweries you need to visit

Bathtub Row Brewing — (505) 500-8381

(Mon–Weds 2–10 p.m., Thurs 2–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–11 p.m., Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Hoppenheimer IPA, Black Point Stout, Wit Rock, Little Bird Blonde, Blackberry Saison, Trinity Tripel, Oktoberfest, Tom’s Green Chile Amber. We are proud to have Los Alamos’ first brewery amid our listings. The newest beers on tap are the Blackberry Saison, Trinity Tripel, Oktoberfest, and Tom’s Green Chile Amber.

Events: Bathtub Row hosts an Open Mic Night every Thursday at 6 p.m.

Twisted Chile Brewing — (575) 835-2949

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun noon-8 p.m.)

Beers: Pilabo Pale Ale, Zia Pilsner, 790 IPA, Quebradas Sunrise Amber, Hose Co. 1 Red Lager, Venom IPA, KC’s Irish Stout, Porter, Oktoberfest. Located in Socorro at 115 Abeyta St. W, Twisted Chile is the first brewery there to brew on site since Socorro Springs outsourced their brewing to Eddyline in Colorado several years ago. I got to head down there recently and enjoyed all the beers I sampled. Kudos to Twisted Chile for bring quality craft beers back to a town that needed ’em. The newest beers on tap are the Porter and Oktoberfest, and the excellent Irish Stout is back after a short absence. Look for a Pumpkin Ale soon.

Events: Wednesday is Open Mic Night with Johnny Dean. Gato Malo performs on Friday from 7 to 10 p.m.

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That’s all for this week! If you have any questions or comments, leave them below or contact us on our Facebook page.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

This is the section of Rio Bravo where they have been planning to put in a canning/bottling line.

This is the section of Rio Bravo where they have been planning to put in a canning/bottling line.

After a slew of slow news days regarding the local brewing scene, the intrepid Stephanie Guzman of Albuquerque Business First posted a story today about Rio Bravo Brewing applying for a $5 million county industrial revenue bond. A surprising move? Maybe to some, not to others. Rio Bravo has been talking big since before they opened, planning to dive into packaging in distributing in a way that most breweries in New Mexico have so far avoided.

While the ethics of applying for public money as a private business are debated, the early public reaction seems to be focused on whether or not Rio Bravo should even do this. The line of reasoning is that if established packaging breweries like La Cumbre, Marble, Santa Fe, Sierra Blanca, and Tractor are not doing this, why should a new brewery that is still trying to establish itself? All of it bleeds into the bigger picture about brewing in New Mexico. Has it reached a crossroads of sorts? Is there a bubble forming? And what is the right path from here?

Well, to stoke the fires of public discourse and debate, here is a look at where the industry is now and the many directions it could be heading in the years to come.

The massive expansion at Marble continues to progress.

The massive expansion at Marble continues to progress.

Go big … or go medium … or go small

A salient point in numerous recent discussions between the Crew and our readers (these were in person, not online) was the question of how New Mexico can further establish itself as a craft beer destination. In the opinion of many people, that is best done through more packaging and greater distribution.

No one expects any of our breweries to grow to the size of a New Belgium or a Sierra Nevada or a Stone, but at least many feel they should aim to reach the size of San Diego’s Ballast Point or Colorado’s Upslope or Odell. Reaching more markets outside of New Mexico has not been a major priority for the breweries that do package and distribute. Only Santa Fe has truly extended their reach beyond bordering states. Marble has limited distribution outside of New Mexico, but only in bordering states like Arizona and Southwest Colorado. There is seemingly a market for good beer in neighboring states, though one would certainly argue it would make more sense to aim for West Texas or Arizona than to enter the intensely competitive Colorado market.

Ultimately, though, it does raise the question of whether or not packaging and selling beers in bottles or cans is truly the way to bring more positive attention and more customers and tourists. Some might argue that quality still trumps quantity, and that as some breweries have expanded locally and nationally, the quality has suffered.

As things stand right now, of all the new breweries coming to New Mexico, only Rio Bravo has even gone so far as to say they have packaging/distribution plans. Virtually every other planned brewery, or brewery that has opened in the last two years, has aimed much smaller. A few have kegged their beers and distributed them to bars and restaurants. By and large, though, packaging has not been on the table.

It is that debate of ambition versus caution, of going for it all quickly versus trying to grow naturally, that the brewing scene here must now confront. There is a growing notion among the public that too many breweries are playing it too safe; they are unwilling to grow beyond their current production levels. Of course, then there is the issue of just how fast a place should try to grow. As of right now, Marble and Santa Fe are engaged in major expansions. La Cumbre has just finished a major expansion. We are seeing more limited bottling runs from Bosque, and there is talk of future bottling/canning endeavors, and expansion, for Canteen and Second Street.

Breweries will point to the high excise taxes that they face once they pass a certain point of production as a detriment to growth. In some cases they must debate whether or not they can risk going from full sustainability to going into debt, even for a temporary period, in order to expand. Every brewery likely has a different take on expanding versus staying the course, growing fast versus growing slow. The Crew will be asking these sorts of questions when we start our annual Look Back/Look Ahead Series in December.

The battle of tap space at bars and restaurants is taking a new turn for local breweries.

The battle of tap space at bars and restaurants is taking a new turn for local breweries.

Breweries versus bars

I was recently privy to a discussion between a group of bar managers who had gathered for a late-night drink at a local bar that caters to craft beer. It was a fascinating “fly on the wall” kind of moment, hearing them discuss what for them are the positive and negative aspects of the impact of the local brewing scene on their respective businesses.

To a man, and woman, they all agreed that right now, the breweries are far more popular destinations than most bars during traditional happy hour times (roughly 4 to 7 p.m.). The only bars that are seemingly exempt are those with traditionally strong food menus (though they did not mention any by name, I could infer that Two Fools was one of these). Otherwise the breweries are taking business away from the bars. The problem, in their eyes, then lies with the fact the breweries are still trying to sell their beer via those bars.

It certainly is another debatable point. Should bars try to promote local beers ahead of national brands (be they craft or macro), even though the breweries from which those beers are originating are taking away business from those bars? The bar managers said they often have a hard time selling local beers to customers, many of whom would rather just get it “fresh” from the brewery itself. These bar managers all hailed from locally owned establishments, which tend to attract far more locals than chain restaurants with bars (Applebees, Outback, TGI Friday’s, etc.), who tend to get more tourists and newcomers to the state who seek out what amounts to the food they are comfortable with as opposed to the local and unknown (we can all leave out the local vs. national food quality debate, we are sticking to beer here). So again, should the local bars with craft taps focus on NM beers, or out-of-state craft? What is the balance?

Another point they brought up was the new proliferation of taprooms. At this point, more and more taprooms are opening, especially with the new state law that grants breweries permission to have up to three taprooms beyond the central brewery. Bosque has taprooms in Las Cruces and Nob Hill, with a third possible taproom now being rumored for Bernalillo, though ownership would not officially comment on that site. Blue Heron has a taproom now in Espanola. Taos Mesa has a secondary location at Taos Ski Valley. Little Toad Creek does most of their business now in their Silver City taproom. Marble’s Westside location is booming, and they are still in the planning stages for a Northeast Heights taproom. Tractor’s Nob Hill taproom has been around for quite a long time now. Santa Fe just opened their Albuquerque taproom, a second satellite location. Duel, Kaktus, and Red Door have plans to open taprooms in 2016. La Cumbre and Nexus have been discussing taprooms for quite some time, though we still have no concrete details of either signing a lease anywhere.

These taprooms can be a financial windfall to the breweries that own them. The tradeoff is that for every new taproom that opens, particularly in parts of the ABQ area that are “under-served” by craft beer, it takes away from the bars in those areas that have long offered that brewery’s beers on tap. Or at least that is the view of the bar managers, and likely the owners as well.

So it all boils down to this question: What role should bars and restaurants play in helping to grow the craft beer scene? Do they really have any responsibility to help, especially if they feel the breweries are eating into their profits? What kind of relationship should exist here?

Take some time to think about the issues presented here. Then let us know your thoughts, by Facebook, Twitter (@nmdarksidebc), email (nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com), the comments section here, or by finding us in person. Once we have everyone’s comments and thoughts, we will do our best to organize a forum, of sorts, among as many brewers and brewery owners as we can in the near future. We deserve to hear their thoughts on the future of the industry and they deserve to hear yours.

Sound off, New Mexico!

— Stoutmeister

Your brewery list for Bacon Fest, take three.

Your brewery list for Bacon Fest, take three. And my thumb.

The Southwest Bacon Fest is back Saturday at Balloon Fiesta Park for a third edition. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will feature a slew of eateries and food trucks providing bacon-centric dishes, plus of course there will be beer. You can buy a ticket for as little as $7, or buy a $25 ticket and get seven tokens to exchange for special bacon bites and bacon beers.

The Crew will let others handle the “what bacon dishes are there” aspect of this. As per usual with any festival, our mission is to get you the beer lists for the 15 participating breweries. Well, perhaps due to festival fatigue, or just my own lack of free time in which to persistently nag them (blame the start of the high school state tournament season, which will occupy undue amounts of my time in the next few weeks, but it’s all for beer money, so it’s worth it), we did not get all of them (yet). I will endeavor to update this list as many times as needed before the gates swing open. Here is what we have to date.

Abbey Brewing: TBA

Boese Brothers: Ichabod’s Revenge (Imperial Pumpkin Ale), Patriot Porter infused with bacon

Bosque: Humo Rojo, Scotia Scotch Ale, Riverwalker IPA, Bosque Lager, Olde Bosky Porter, Centennial Single Hop Pale Ale

Boxing Bear: Chocolate Milk Stout (2015 GABF silver medal winner), Fist Pump Pumpkin Ale, Body Slam Imperial Pilsner, Ambear, Paw Swipe Pale Ale, Uppercut IPA, Hairy Mit Hefe, Oso Otono (Oatmeal Brown Ale), Red Glove (Hoppy Red) — the latter two are debuting at Bacon Fest before they go on tap at the brewery

Canteen: Pilsner, Canteen Calabaza (Pumpkin Ale), IPA, Dark & Lusty Stout

Chama River: Smoke Em Out (Rauchbier), Jackalope IPA, Broken Spoke Honey Wheat, Oxbow ESB

Distillery 365: Bacon Bloody Beer, Faulty Barrel-Aged Ale, plus bacon martinis and Bloody Mary’s and other surprises

Kaktus: Cherrywood Smoked Chipotle Porter, Helles Lager, 1492 IPA

La Cumbre: Elevated IPA, Slice of Hefen, Malpais Stout, State Fair Cream Ale, Southpeak Pilsner, Witches’ Lit

Marble: TBA

Pi: West Coast Red, IPA, Pre-Prohibition Pilsner, Robust Porter

Ponderosa: Ghost Train IPA, American Wheat, Bellamah Brown, Jubilee (Smoked Amber)

Red Door: Anniversary Double Red, Broken Arrow Pale Ale, Ryeson Sun Saison, Cosmos Porter

Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande: Pancho Verde, Bone Chiller Brown, Sun Chaser Pale Ale, Alien Milk Stout, Red Beer

Tractor: Breakfast Beer, rest TBA

If I were going, and it seems unlikely I will make it due to the aforementioned state soccer tournament and a public memorial for my Isotopes/Lobos colleague Stu Walker (who died unexpectedly on Monday), my picks for the beers you have to try, brewery by brewery, would be Patriot Porter at Boese Brothers, Chocolate Milk Stout at Boxing Bear, old favorite Dark & Lusty at Canteen, Smoke Em Out at Chama (Zach went over the top with this one, for those who love smoked beers), Faulty Barrel-Aged Ale at Distillery 365, that ferocious-looking Cherrywood Smoked Chipotle Porter at Kaktus, Jubilee at Ponderosa, Anniversary Double Red at Red Door, and the mysterious Breakfast Beer at Tractor.

Again, as other breweries send over their lists, I will keep updating this. Have fun out there! Remember your sunscreen, drink plenty of water, and stay safe.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister