Archive for May 28, 2016

The many delicious Founders beers are for sale at Jubilation.

The many delicious Founders beers are for sale at Jubilation.

Editor’s note: We continue our ABQ Beer Week recaps with a doubleheader from AmyO, which she compiled during her adventures on Friday. — Stoutmeister

Founders sent their reps along with six beers over to Jubilation to give Albuquerque East Siders a chance to taste and talk about Founders.

Up first was Rubeaus, a light and fruity raspberry ale coming in at 5.7-percent ABV and a scant 15 IBUs. It is sold in a cute nine-pack called a “Ruby Cube.” Too adorable. I don’t gravitate toward fruit beers, but this was surprisingly good. It’s almost as if a raspberry cider and summer ale had a high-achieving baby.

Next was All Day IPA, a very popular session IPA (4.7% ABV, 42 IBU). The reps told us that this beer is now the most popular canned craft beer in the U.S., despite the fact that it is only in 36 states.

Mosaic Promise (5.5% ABV, 55 IBU) is a single-hop, single-malt beer with Mosaic hops and Golden Promise malt. It is very hop forward with a light body, yet heavy earthiness from the Mosaic.

By far the strangest of the bunch was Mango Magnifico (10% ABV), a high gravity fruit beer at sold in 750-ml bottles. It was both super sweet from the mango and noticeably spicy from habenero chiles.

Founders Porter (6.5% ABV, 45 IBU) is a solid expression of the style. I will confess to screwing up the order in which I tasted, because I had the Porter right after the Mango Magnifico, and my palate was blown in that moment.

Last, but in no way least, was the Devil Dancer Triple IPA. I would be remiss if I didn’t warn everyone — this beer is flat-out deceptive. Although it does drink as a higher alcohol, hoppy beer, you would never guess it is 12-percent ABV and has a whopping 122 IBUs from dry hopping with 10 (!) hop varieties. This is a must-try, but you should proceed with an abundance of caution, readers.

Thanks, Founders! Everyone at the Jubilation tasting seemed, well, jubilant.

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Albuquerque Brewing owner Curt Richter got the brats going after a bit of a delay.

Albuquerque Brewing owner Curt Richter got the brats going after a bit of a delay.

I stopped by Albuquerque Brewing Company last night following the Founders tasting at Jubilation. It was time for food, and beer brats were on the menu at ABC. That sounded perfect for Beer Week.

Unfortunately, although the event was advertised to start at 4 p.m. and continue through the evening — we arrived about 5:15 — there were no brats to be had. When we arrived, we inquired but the staff had no knowledge of when the food would begin. No owners were on site, nor was the brewer.

We were waiting for friends to join us at 6 so we decided to wait it out; otherwise we probably would have left, because they were also out of almost half of their beers. At the beginning of Beer Week. They didn’t even have the popular Dunkleweisen (really, for the brat event?), which hopefully means it’s all going to Blues and Brews.

As it turns out, Joe S. Sausage was supposed to provide the brats, but backed out of the event for unknown reasons. Curt Richter, one of the owners, showed up about a half hour later and started cooking brats himself. I found out that Joe S. Sausage did not back out that same day so there was some notice.

At this point, it was almost 6, two hours after the advertised time. The brats were cooking on the grill in front of the building, but there was music on the patio, so some people didn’t even know they were cooking. It was very disjointed.

I grabbed Curt a while later and told them there were four of us so we wanted four brats. By this time I was starving. Perhaps jokingly, perhaps not, he said something about me being demanding. Maybe that would be the case if everyone there were just buddies casually hanging out at someone’s house (those who have been to ABC know that’s what it’s like inside), but we were paying customers at an advertised Beer Week event, paying for both our beer and our food.

The owners are always nice and fun to pal around with, and the brats were really good when we finally got them. I just hoped for more organization for a Beer Week event. Granted, I am sure I take my Beer Week events way too seriously. There are so many events and there are only so many hours in an after-work evening, so a lack of available beer styles in addition to waiting around with no knowledge of when we could get food was difficult for a naturally impatient person like me to deal with.

Still, a big Beer Week cheers!

— AmyO

Marble's Tony Calder has been running the show at all of their off-site tasting/tapping events.

Marble’s Tony Calder has been running the show at all of their off-site tasting/tapping events.

Editor’s note: Julie came down to Albuquerque to attend a pair of Beer Week events on Thursday. We will be running recaps from the Crew throughout the coming week, highlighting some of the best beers for you to go out and track down on your own. Enjoy! — Stoutmeister

Marble Tasting, Abricot: Whole Foods Market, Sandia Saloon

I’ve met a lot of beer reps in my day, but I have to say Tony Calder is one of the best. After 19 years working for a wholesale distributor, he joined Marble last October. Well done, Marble. This guy knows his stuff and is an absolute pleasure to talk to.

The tasting (well-placed in the artisanal cheese section of Whole Foods Market), showcased an array of tried-and-true favorites — Pilsner, IPA, Red, Wildflower Wheat —plus a “dinner bottle” of their seasonal Brett IPA and their newly canned Double White. The real star of the show was the Abricot (7.4% ABV, 8 IBU), which was on tap at the new Sandia Saloon just a few steps away. They reserved the last 1/6 barrel of this beer for Albuquerque Beer Week at the Saloon.

Tony described it as a French oak-aged, funk-ified wheat ale fermented with apricots. In his words, “Sour and dry with spontaneous flair.” I like that. I found the Abricot (Marble chose the French spelling for the name) really effervescent with a lot of tang as you swallow. The nose is fruity, as you might expect. While the aftertaste definitely smacks of alcohol, the overall effect is smooth and very drinkable.

While I was there, I tried the Double White (7% ABV, 8 IBU) for the first time. I know, I know … I’m an IPA girl. I need to branch out, but their IPA is just so classic and consistent I have a hard time drinking anything but that. I was surprised to find a little bite in the Double White. Tony let me know it was the grains of paradise that lent this Chilean orange pepper taste, which was a nice was to offset the sweetness normally found in white beer.

I also sampled the seasonal Brett IPA (6.8% ABV, 70 IBU), which had been aged in oak barrels for “a year or two.” The Brett IPA had an exceptionally strong nose, tangy mouthfeel, and a funkiness that gave a very distinct aftertaste. Tony said the funkiness was from the brewing process where they spiked the IPA with the Brett yeast, which leaves more sugar in the mix and results in the funky aftertaste. Overall, very good beer. I bought a “dinner bottle,” Marble’s attempt to rename bomber bottles, for the collection at home.

Cheers, Tony, and thanks for the beer and company!

The truly delicious Barrel-Aged Piper Down from Ballast Point.

The truly delicious Barrel-Aged Piper Down from Ballast Point.

Ballast Point Barrel-Aged Piper Down tapping at Nob Hill Bar & Grill

Full disclosure — I attended the Ballast Point beer dinner at Joseph’s of Santa Fe as part of the Outside Bike & Brew Festival last weekend (it was fabulous). But, we didn’t have this special tapping of Elijah Craig bourbon barrel-aged Piper Down Scottish Ale from Ballast Point (9% ABV after the barrel-aging process). So, I hightailed it to Nob Hill Bar & Grill to see if always-helpful rep Thomas DeCaro could give me some insight. I found both Thomas and Derek Pflug, the director for New Mexico and Arizona, on hand to answer my questions.

The Scottish ale normally has a base of 5.8-percent ABV, and just was named a silver medal winner at the World Beer Cup. Derek said it was the only barrel experiment to come in under 10 percent after being aged for eight months. The result is a big initial taste that surprised me with how effervescent it was. The body was very oakey and dark. The back end had notes of stonefruits — I insisted it was black cherry, my companions insisted it was apricot. (Your companions were right. — S) You be the judge, if you have the chance to try this delicious brew.

Cheers!

— Julie

We are off and running with 14 events on the opening day!

This is no time to kick back on a Saturday, there is beer out there, and we must drink it up!

Forget keeping up with the Joneses, it’s all about keeping up with the beerses, um, yeah, this weekend.

Saturday is another jam-packed day, with two major events for charities, a slew of beer tastings, and two big beer dinners.

Beyond what’s listed below, don’t forget, today is also Nexus’ fifth anniversary. They will have an all-day party with food specials, live music, and there are multiple new beers to try.

Oh, and if you have not gotten yourself a pint of the 505 Collaboration Rye Kellerbier yet, what are you waiting for? Carpe diem, people!

Featured event

Every day we will pick what we consider the biggest, most interesting, most unique event. This does not mean you should go to only this event and ignore the rest. All of them deserve your attention, but realistically, you can probably only attend a few. So we will make our daily pick, and you can either jump on it, or declare the Crew is foolish (we kinda are) and pick your own.

What: Harwood Art Center Fundraiser. Where: Marble Brewery Downtown. When: 1 p.m. Cost: No entry fee.

Details: From our preview story on all of Marble’s Beer Week events.

Marble will once again hold a fundraiser for Harwood’s scholarships to their Summer Art Camp. There will be live music and more.

“We have our Harwood Fundraiser, which is always a big hit,” marketing director Elyse Cushman said. “We support them, they support children learning the arts. That’s going to be on Saturday. They have a great lineup. They’ve got a couple of local (bands). Theirs is always really, really fun to show for.”

DJ Matt, Joanie and Darin, and the Kevin Herig Trio will provide the tunes from 1 to 7 p.m. The Supper Truck and Ay K Rico will be parked on the curb to keep everyone satiated. And, there will be live art being produced. Entry is free.

“I know there’s live music, there’s beer, and it’s all for a good cause,” Elyse said. “We’re donating a portion of our sales to them.”

Why you should go: This is one of two major charitable events on Saturday (the other is at Tractor, see below). It’s hard to say no to drinking for a cause, especially when that is keeping children involved in the arts. Throw in the music and food, and it will all be worth the sun and crowd.

All the other great events

What: Marble Special Tapping. Where: Piatanzi, 3305 Juan Tabo Blvd. NE. When: 11 a.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: The new Marble Saison will be available. Why you should go: Grab a new beer and check out the lunch menu.

What: Beer and Food Pairings. Where: Santa Fe ABQ Taproom. When: 11 a.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: The good folks at SFBC are teaming up with the restaurants at Green Jeans Farmery to provide a perfect lineup of pairings. Why you should go: The lineup will change every day, so make sure to head over and find your favorite pairing before it’s gone.

What: Beer and Cornhole Tournament. Where: Albuquerque Brewing. When: Noon. Cost: $5 per person. Details: Test your cornhole skills while enjoying some pints on the patio. Why you should go: Who doesn’t love a good competition as long as there is beer involved?

What: Colorado Brewery Showcase. Where: O’Niell’s Juan Tabo. When: Noon. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Boulder, Left Hand, New Belgium, and Oskar Blues beers will be available for sampling. Why you should go: Find out what the best beers are from these Colorado heavyweights for the summer.

What: Randy’s Shandy Day. Where: Rio Bravo. When: Noon. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Grab a Weizen and Sommer Shandy Flight for $5 and enjoy watermelon slices for $2 on the patio, with music at 6 p.m. from Scotty & The Atomics and Double Plow at 8 p.m. Why you should go: If shandy is your thing, this is hard to miss.

What: Bees & Seeds ANTI-GMO Festival. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 1 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: We covered this event as part of Tractor’s full list of goings on. Why you should go: Grab a pint for a good cause and listen to some live, local music.

What: Ballast Point Tasting. Where: Jubilation. When: 2 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Our friend Thomas DeCaro will be on hand to share some of BP’s stalwarts and seasonals, including the Calm Before the Storm, Grunion, and Homework Series #7: Session Saison. Why you should go: Grab some unique tastings and then snag some beer to take home.

What: Duke City Pedaler Beer Bike Social. Where: Albuquerque Tourism & Sightseeing Factory, 219 Central Ave. NW. When: 3 and 6 p.m. Cost: $23/$25. Details: Hop on the Duke City Pedaler and bike around for 2.5 hours, with the bike leader selecting three downtown area breweries. There will be food and drink specials for riders at each location. Why you should go: Burn off some calories and stay fit amid all of this great beer and food.

What: Boulder Beer Special Tapping. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: A Blood Orange Gose and a special tequila-aged beer will be tapped. Why you should go: Grab some food and a unique beer or two.

What: Upslope Tap Takeover. Where: Sandia Saloon inside Whole Foods Academy. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Upslope takes over the taps in the new bar inside Whole Foods. Why you should go: For those of you in the Northeast Heights who have yet to try Upslope, here is your chance.

What: Beer and Food Pairing. Where: Sandia Chile Grill. When: 5 p.m. Cost: TBA. Details: They will be serving up fish and shrimp tacos paired with their IPA. Why you should go: Support local beer, and grab a bite to eat.

What: Ballast Point Beer Dinner. Where: Seasons Rotisserie & Grill. When: 5 p.m. Cost: $40 per person. Details: Ready for a five-course meal paired with BP beers? Start off with Coconut Crusted Shrimp Lettuce Wraps paired with Sculpin IPA, then Basil Pesto Crusted Wild Pacific Swordfish with Grapefruit Sculpin, Prosciutto Wrapped Halibut Saltimbocca with Grunion Pale Ale, Cajun Crusted Soft-Shell Crab Po’Boy with Watermelon Dorado, and Victory at Sea will be paired with a TBD dessert. Why you should go: That menu looks ridiculous, and $40 is cheap for a beer dinner these days.

What: Founders KBS Vertical Tapping. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 6 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: They will have the 2015 and 2016 KBS on tap for you to try side by side. Why you should go: Two of the finest barrel-aged imperial stouts on the planet is all the reason you need.

What: Cider Day Night Fever. Where: Tractor Nob Hill. When: 7 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Celebrate ciders with some awesome cider cocktails while DJ Wae Fonky spins some disco favorites from way back in the day. Why you should go: We dare you to go and reenact the scene from Airplane. Just no brawling girl scouts, OK?

What: La Cumbre Beer Dinner. Where: M’Tucci’s Market & Deli. When: 7 p.m. Cost: $69, call (505) 639-4819 for reservations. Details: Ready for a seven-course meal paired with LC beers? Start with a House Charcuterie Board paired with BEER, then Roasted Apple and Crab Moussaline with VMO #2, Smoked Buffalo Heart Pate with Saison d’hommel, Heritage Pork Jowl Bacon paired with Fievre de Abricot, Duck Confit with Mind Phoq, Red Ryeot-braised NM Lamb Basajo Potato Puree with Summer Barley Wine, and Basil Lemon Tart with Strawberry Gose. Why you should go: Stop drooling on your keyboards/phones and make a reservation.

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Got any questions, comments, complaints, send them to nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com, or leave them here on our site, on Facebook, or on Twitter (@nmdarksidebc).

Enjoy yourselves out there, but please, do it responsibly.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister