Bosque's bid for back-to-back NIPAC banners is still going strong, but other NM breweries are in the hunt as well! (Photo courtesy of Bosque)

Bosque’s bid for back-to-back NIPAC banners is still going strong, but other NM breweries are in the hunt as well! (Photo courtesy of Bosque)

Lots of little news tidbits demand a roundup, thus, Beer Notes is back!

Locals keep rolling at NIPAC

Five of the six remaining New Mexico entries advanced to the fourth round of the Brewing News National IPA Challenge. Of course, only five could advance since Bosque’s Scale Tipper and Boxing Bear’s Uppercut were going head to head. Scale Tipper moved on to continue to defend its championship.

The four other victors in the main bracket were Turtle Mountain’s Adrift, Boxing Bear’s Bear Knuckle, and Second Street’s 4 Hour Lunch and Fulcrum. Adrift defeated Flying Bison’s Buffalo IPA; Bear Knuckle knocked out Reuben’s Brewing’s Cirkey IPA; 4 Hour Lunch ousted one of the big boys, Firestone Walker’s Union Jack; Fulcrum struck out Half Moon Bay’s Full Swing.

The fourth-round matchups will be Adrift vs. Karl Strauss’ Aurora Hoppyalis, Bear Knuckle vs. Barley Brown’s WFO, Scale Tipper vs. Fat Heads’ Head Hunter, 4 Hour Lunch vs. Lawson’s Finest’s Triple Play, and Fulcrum vs. Odd13’s Codename: Superfan.

As for the other two brackets, the Session and Imperial, one New Mexico entry remains in each. Bosque’s Southwest Session defeated Fremont Brewing’s Session Pale Ale to reach the quarterfinals. Southwest Session will take on a heavyweight next in Stone’s Go To IPA.

Over in the Imperial bracket, Boxing Bear’s Sucker Punch was KO’d by Comrade’s Hop Chops, while Old Schoolhouse’s Plutopia Triple IPA was too much for Bosque’s Just For Fun. The lone survivor of the third round was Second Street’s Trebuchet, which eliminated Tricksters’ Hops on Parade. Next up for Trebuchet in the fourth round will be Melvin Jackson’s Drunken Master.

Congrats to those that advanced and good luck in the next round!

Java vs. Java

The original Capo's Java Stout, left, and the newer, more coffee-centric version.

The original Capo’s Java Stout, left, and the newer, more coffee-centric version.

One of the perks of being in the Crew is that sometimes you get to try a new beer before the general public. Brewer Aaron Walters invited me over to Firkin Brewhouse last week to try a sort of Version 2.0 of the Capo’s Java Stout. It was pretty different than the first batch they rolled out (as an aside, yes, Firkin’s beers are now properly carbonated, so for those who tried them early on, head back over to see how much better they all taste). Since my visit they posted on Facebook a “name the beer” contest as they seek to give this new Java Stout a proper branding.

The original Capo’s used Kahlua Coffee, which gave it that overly sweet, almost chocolate flavor that left little room for any stout/coffee roasted malts. I got to compare the two side by side, and I can assure everyone, the new version is much more in line with what you might think of as a true coffee stout.

Prosim Coffee Roasters, a local company, provided the five-bean blend of Brazilian, Costa Rican, Ethiopian, Mexican, and Sumatran. Together they create a smooth, yet still coffee-crisp flavor, sharp but not bitter. There is minimal sweetness this time around; you’ll have to bring your own cream. It’s not as thick as Santa Fe’s Java Stout (which is an imperial, after all), so you can drink a few of these and not have to summon an Uber to get home.

Just for fun, I even combined a small amount of the two versions to see what it would taste like together (Firkin still has some Kahlua left). Basically it’s like a mild shot of chocolate cream, but the old version does not overpower the roastiness of the new. Overall, kudos to Firkin for being willing to keep experimenting with their beers to make them better.

New breweries update

This was the original location in Nob Hill that was supposed to be the home of Hops Brewery.

This was the original location in Nob Hill that was supposed to be the home of Hops Brewery.

Even with four breweries opening since the start of this year, folks keep asking us who’s next down the pipeline. Well, the long-rumored Hops Brewery is now listed as having an active small brewers license by the State of New Mexico. Hops was originally going to be in Nob Hill, but had run into issues over the lack of a dedicated parking lot. If anyone out there has info on where Hops might be opening, or at least who to contact, please send it to us at

Among those breweries with listed pending state licenses, progress continues at Palmer Brewery and Ciderhouse (which is owned by the same folks as Left Turn Distilling and will share part of that building). The new Monk’s Lab is moving along on 1st Street north of Marble; they will be the second New Mexico brewery to focus on Belgian-style beers. We have heard that OffKilter, the brewery from former Cazuela’s/Tractor brewer Mike Campbell, has to undergo a name change. Drafty Kilt is the rumored new moniker after they found out someone else had beaten them to registering the name OffKilter.

There are still no pending licenses for the other rumored new places around, including Sugar House in the old Stumbling Steer building, Steel Bender Brewyard on 2nd Street near Paseo del Norte, and The 377 Brewery near Gibson and Yale. We still cannot confirm rumors of a brewery somewhere on Paseo between San Pedro and Wyoming. There are also rumors of a brewery looking to open on the corner of San Pedro and Marble.

Outside of the Albuquerque metro area, things are progressing for Rowley Farmhouse Ales (formerly Sub Rosa) to open in Santa Fe later this year. Ale Republic, in Cedar Crest, continues construction on their brewery. Enchanted Circle Brewing in Angel Fire is now listed as having an active small brewers license. Milton’s Brewing in Carlsbad has found their location and has begun the buildout. Colfax Ale Cellar in Raton is moving forward. The Farmington HUB Brewery and Grill is now open. There are also unconfirmed rumors of a new brewery looking to open in Portales, giving Roosevelt Brewing some local competition.

Sampler tray

  • Cazuela’s now has 10 taps, thanks to brewer Brandon Venaglia. That means more beers will be available, including some old favorites that he has brought out of the cellar. Look for the full list on Wednesday in The Week Ahead in Beer.
  • The kombucha craze continues, with Kaktus joining Bow & Arrow and Bathtub Row. Guess I might have to send one of the Crew out to do a story on this new trend.
  • We’ve heard a rumor that we will have to follow up on that Back Alley Draft House has a new brewer. Hopefully they will get some stability over there.
  • Bosque is inching ever closer to completing the expansion of the San Mateo taproom. We’ll share some pictures when it’s done.
  • Boxing Bear is trying to claim the title of “King of Dark Beers” with another awesome release. Baltic Bear Porter is now for sale in bombers and on tap at the brewery.
  • Rio Bravo looks to share a little love, er, grain with their fellow breweries. Once their silo is filled in a couple weeks, they will be offering grain sales and custom milling with their four-roller mill. This should help those breweries without their own mills who don’t want to pay high prices for pre-milled malt. Thanks to brewer Ty Levis for the heads up.
  • There are some breweries in a hiring mode right now. Turtle Mountain is looking for a new floor manager, they said on Facebook. Head over to the brewery to apply if you think you have the experience and desire to take on one of the busiest jobs in Rio Rancho (or anywhere, really). La Cumbre posted on their website openings for multiple positions, including a new marketing guru, delivery driver, brand representative, and beer tender. Marble is looking to fill two part-time cleaning positions at their taprooms. Email Barbie Gonzalez at if you are interested.

That’s all for now. If anyone has any beer news or notes to share with us, please, never hesitate. Big or small, we’ll get it out there.


— Stoutmeister

  1. Kas says:

    R.I.P. Chama Microbar

  2. Randy Baker - Rio Bravo says:

    Seems some people our community are Misinformed. I will be speaking about this subject tonight at the NM Brewers guild.

    “Industrial revenue bonds”or IRBs, are tax incentives used by governments to encourage the development of new facilities and spur job growth. The dollar amount refers to how much a business will invest of its own money. not how much the government will actually spend on tax incentives. To qualify for an IRB you must. 1. Own the property involved. 2. Planning to spend a minimum of 2 million dollars over the next 10 years in the expansion of manufacturing and job growth. By doing so you get a break on property tax. If you do not spend “your own money” there is a claw back provision that will require us to pay back property tax credits with interest . Not to mention we had to send them a check for 49 k to process the paper work. But since people do not understand the process , there are those who think we were handed 5 million . You can’t make this stuff up. People just like to hate instead of educate. Please share with your readers. Thank you Randy Baker RBBC

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. Desert Chaos says:

    On the subject of new brewery updates – there’s an article online at Abq Journal (someone there must like to write about beer!) about Ale Republic in Cedar Crest:

    • cjax33 says:

      That was actually the newspaper for the East Mountains, the Journal just happens to own ’em and re-posted it. But yeah, we knew about Ale Republic. We’ll head out there when they’re closer to opening, fear not.

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