One month and one day from now, the annual exercise in brew-insanity otherwise known as ABQ Beer Week will kick off with multiple events across the metro area. From May 26 to June 5, there will be 84 events (with more likely to be announced), ranging from tastings to special tappings to beer dinners and festivals and more. After sorting through all of those events, we came up with our early list of the one per day you should not miss, at least in our humble opinions. Once ABW arrives, fear not, the Crew will have a daily roundup of all the events every morning, even though one of us (hint: me) will actually miss most of the whole shebang due to a family wedding out in California. Don’t feel bad for me or anything, though; my hotel is within walking distance of Firestone Walker Barrelworks in Buellton.
And before anyone asks, no, I am not stealing a barrel of Parabola and sharing it with everyone.
(It’s all mine. MINE!)
Ahem, anyway, here are our daily picks, plus the other events each day that should be worth checking out if the primary pick doesn’t hold any interest for you.
Thursday, May 26
3rd Annual Sierra Nevada Sausage and Cheese Tasting at O’Niell’s Juan Tabo: This annual event always seems to be a blast for everyone that attends. There will be a whole lot of tasty food pairings again, but this time with the entire lineup from the forthcoming 2016 Beer Camp Across America (the collaboration set to end all collaboration sets). Reservations are usually required, so stay tuned for that info.
Other events of note: Marble special tapping at Spinn’s Burgers & Beer; Abita Horchata Turbodog firkin tapping at Anodyne; Ballast Point Barrel-Aged Piper Down special tapping at Nob Hill Bar & Grill
Friday, May 27
505 Collaboration Rye/Kellerbier NM Brewers Guild Fundraiser: OK, this day was almost impossible to pick, as there are 13 (!) events already planned. What a way to kick off the weekend, right? This year’s 505 collaboration beer will debut at multiple breweries (locations TBA) across the metro area. Raise a pint or two and help the Guild in its ongoing quest to make our beer scene better and better. We will have more info as we get closer to the day of release.
Other events of note: Marble special tapping at The Local Brewhouse; Beer Brat Cookout at Albuquerque Brewing; 4th Annual Tower of Sour at Back Alley Draft House; Avery special tapping at Nob Hill Bar & Grill; Tractor Co-op Members barrel-aged beer release at Wells Park; Ballast Point tap takeover at Stereo Bar
Saturday, May 28
Founders KBS Vertical Tapping at Nob Hill Bar & Grill: Oh, dear lord, you all know how much we love barrel-aged imperial stouts. KBS is one of our favorites, and the chance to drink two (or more) varieties on tap and compare them side-by-side is too much to pass up.
Other events of note: Marble special tapping at Piatanzi Juan Tabo; Cornhole Tournament at Albuquerque Brewing; Beer & Seeds Anti-GMO Festival at Tractor Wells Park; Duke City Pedaler Beer Bike Social; Cider Night Fever at Tractor Nob Hill
Sunday, May 29
6th Annual ABQ Blues & Brews: The annual mega-sized festival will be back at Sandia Casino. Get your tickets now online (we always recommend VIP for that extra tasting hour). The full brewery list is online as well.
Other events: ABQ Bike & Brew Tour; Patio Brews at Albuquerque Brewing
Monday, May 30
Folds of Honor Foundation Fundraiser at Red Door: Folds of Honor works to provide financial aid for the dependents of American military personnel, the majority of whom do not qualify for federal financial aid when it comes to going to college. Over 80 percent of funds raised go to recipients. On this day, Red Door will donate 20 percent of all sales to Folds of Honor, and representatives will be on hand to take additional donations. Enjoy some beers for a good cause.
Other events: Cheese, Boards and Brews at Albuquerque Brewing
Tuesday, May 31
Beer & Cheese Pairing with Cheesy Street at Tractor Wells Park: Cheesy Street, one of our finest food trucks, is again teaming up with Tractor to offer up pairings of their cheese-centric dishes with specific Tractor beers. Look for more information online soon.
Other events: Marble special tapping at Rock & Brews; Lagunitas special tapping at Nob Hill Bar & Grill; Ballast Point special tapping and pairing at Canvas Artistry
Wednesday, June 1
Ask a Certified Cicerone and Bad Beer Tasting at Tractor Wells Park: Yes, if you are sensing a theme here, Tractor is definitely pulling out some unique events beyond tappings and tastings. In this case, co-owner Skye Devore is a certified Cicerone and she will be presenting tips and tricks to pass the Cicerone test. Afterwards, there will be a special “bad beer” tasting to discuss what flavors can be identified to tell whether or not a beer is bad.
Other events: Ska special tapping of barrel-aged Dementia and Bump & Grind Coffee Stout at Nob Hill Bar & Grill; Mother Road tap invasion and special firkin tapping at Grain Station; Ballast Point tap takeover and special tapping at Rock & Brews
Thursday, June 2
Battle of the Beer Geeks III: Once again, the Brew Crew, Babes in Brewland, ABQ Craft Beer Drinkers, and more will be brewing up some special beers at Tractor Wells Park to compete to see who has made the best beer of the year. We won in 2014, the Babes took the trophy home in 2015, and this year is anyone’s contest to win. It costs $12 for a tray of beers and a pint of your favorite. This year, we won’t say who brewed what, as to avoid any possible bias toward your favorite beer writers. I’ll miss this event, so someone save me some of the Crew’s entry!
Other events: Outside the 505 tap takeover at Cazuela’s; Marble special tapping at Gecko’s; Red Door 2nd Annual Food Truck Battle; 3rd Annual Sierra Nevada Sausage and Cheese Tasting at O’Niell’s Nob Hill; Goose Island Bourbon County Stout special tapping at Nob Hill Bar & Grill; New Belgium 3rd Annual Frozen T-Shirt Contest at Monte Vista Fire Station
Friday, June 3
NM Brewers Guild Beer Premiere: It’s back! The National Hispanic Cultural Center will again host this special Guild event, which will feature 15 breweries debuting brand-new beers. It costs $40 and M’Tucci’s Cocina will provide custom appetizers. We will have a lot more details on this event as we get closer to the date.
Other events: Marble special release at Uptown Sports Bar; Odell special encore tapping of Russian Pirate at Nob Hill Bar & Grill; Beer-Themed Art Fight at Tractor Wells Park
Saturday, June 4
Planned Parenthood Beer & Bands Annual Fundraiser: Tractor Wells Park will again host this event, with all proceeds going to Planned Parenthood. It costs $15 at the door. There will be live performances from Le Chat Lunatique, Keith Sanchez, Desert Darlings, Robb Janov, and more.
Other events: Marble special release at 5 Star Burgers on Central; Barrel-aged beer release at Tractor Nob Hill; Beer Baked Goods Cake Walk and Circus Day at Albuquerque Brewing; Sierra Nevada special tapping at Nob Hill Bar & Grill
Sunday, June 5
8th Annual NM Brewers Guild Golf Tournament: It’s another Guild event, but this one is just for those who can actually hit a golf ball in the right direction. Head out to the Santa Ana Golf Course for the 8 a.m. shotgun start. For $100, you can get free range balls, a breakfast burrito, a round of golf, lunch, beer on the course, and a chance to win prizes by finishing first, second, or third. You can register as an individual or as a team at nmbeer.org.
Other events: Goose Island Brunch at Nob Hill Bar & Grill; ABQ Bike & Brew Tour
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Well, as noted above, I will be absent for most of these events, but the rest of the Brew Crew will be out and about. We will endeavor to preview every major event and then cover those as well.
Until May, prep those palates, clear your schedules for the key events, and get ready for some fun.