The first ABQ Brew Dash was a mixed bag for everyone last year, from the runners to the organizers. The 5K race itself was fine, but the sudden drop in temperature afterwards and the major problems with the huge lines in the beer garden left everyone feeling a bit disappointed.
The Brew Dash is back for a second run this Saturday, with the organizers promising that they have learned from the mistakes of the inaugural edition. First up, they have moved it from Balloon Fiesta Park to the downtown area. The race will still be a 5K, beginning and ending in Civic Plaza. There will be a pre-race ID check, with runners and non-runners getting their wristbands starting at noon. That will alleviate any crush of people coming off the course and heading into the beer garden, but still needing that ID check. There will also be eight beer stations this year instead of just three, so those lines should also be lessened. Six food trucks will also be on site to make sure no one goes hungry or drinks too much on an empty stomach.
Brew Dash co-founder Josh Rogers talked over pints last week about all the details.
“I think first off, we’re really excited about bringing it downtown to Civic Plaza,” Josh said.
Civic Plaza doesn’t really have its own beer fest. We really thought that downtown is really up and coming with all the new breweries and all the activity going on. Downtown Summerfest is such a huge hit. We thought we’d ride that wave and all of this downtown activity. We wanted something that Civic Plaza could put on and be proud of, be the core beer fest downtown once a year.”
To help improve the organization of the event, Josh and his company RunFit teamed up with SMG, a local events and promotion company headed by Damian Lopez-Gaston and Jose Garcia.
“SMG is our partner in this event,” Josh said. “The great thing about partnering with them is those guys are experts in event planning. Everything about event planning they do. Fifteen events a week ranging from anything involving alcohol to whatever.
“My company, RunFit, we’re experts in road races, they’re experts in event planning. Bringing the two together to figure out all the details. This year’s event is going to be incredible with the amount of beer that we’re going to have this year. We’ve got lots of improvement to security and lines, all the things we could have improved on for last year.”
The race will start at 1 p.m., which should help with avoiding any significant temperature drops after it ends like last year.
“We’re very confident that this year’s event is going to go smooth and go off without a hitch, as long as the weather holds up,” Josh added. “If God can be on our side this Saturday, we’re going to be happy campers.”
Current projections have the daytime temperature in the mid-80s with little chance of rain, so it looks like Mother Nature should smile upon an outdoor event in New Mexico.
Of course, not everyone wants to go run 3-plus miles and then try to drink a beer. That is just fine, Josh said, since people can also opt to just pay for the beer garden.
“I think one of the biggest things that needs to be said, it is a 5K with a beer festival at the end, but it’s also a beer festival,” he said. “So if you’re not a runner, (still) come on out.”
Tickets for either are available online at the official website. Runner packets can then be picked up at Rio Bravo Brewing on Friday starting at 11 a.m., so participants can grab a pint with their packet, should they choose.
Duel Brewing is then inviting folks to come over to their ABQ Taproom on Central for the after party. The beer garden at Civic Plaza will close at 6 p.m. If Duel is not your cup of tea, you can also head over to Sidetrack, which is offering up $3.50 pints for anyone who still has his/her race bib.
In addition to that, Four Winds is the official growler sponsor this year. Anyone purchasing a commemorative Brew Dash growler will then get one free fill at Four Winds, which carries a large selection of local beers.
The local funk band Merican Slang will be on hand for two or three sets, Josh said, at the beer garden. The attending food trucks are Nosh Wagon, All Smoked Out, Irrational Pie, Mama Bee’s, My Sweet Basil, and Street Food Blvd.
As for the beer, seven breweries will be represented between the eight stations. Josh sent us the list of what they will be serving.
- Marble: IPA, Double White
- Santa Fe: Happy Camper IPA, State Pen Porter
- Red Door: Unhinged Cider, Roamer Red Ale
- La Cumbre; Elevated IPA, Slice of Hefen
- Bosque: Riverwalker IPA, Bosque Lager
- Boxing Bear: Uppercut IPA, Paw Swipe Pale Ale
- Rio Bravo: Amber, Duke City Pils
“We chose what we consider what are the most popular beers in Albuquerque,” Josh said. “We kept it all local, we never wanted this thing to get into the national distributions.”
A portion of the proceeds from the Brew Dash will go to the NM Brewers Guild.
Josh was also nice enough to create a discount code for all of you, our readers. When you go to get tickets for either the race or just the beer garden, type in darksidebrewcrew (all one word, no caps), and you can get $5 off.
For more information, visit the official site (the link is above), their Facebook page, or contact us and we will put you in touch with the right people.