Last summer, I stopped by Mother Road Brewing in Flagstaff as they were just about to launch their product in New Mexico. I was already a fan of their Lost Highway Black IPA (8% ABV, 100 IBU), and was thrilled to find that I loved their seasonal Roadside Grove even more. Last summer’s experiment added grapefruit to their popular Roadside Pale Ale (5% ABV, 27 IBU), and it was absolutely the best summer brew I found last year. Caleigh Snyder, Mother Road’s brewhouse ambassador, says it’s on tap this summer as well — road trip!
Caleigh was on hand Thursday night at Total Wine’s Uptown location, along with Joshua Wussow from Premier Distributing Co. All four brews currently available in New Mexico were being poured — Lost Highway, Roadside Pale Ale, Gold Road Kölsch-style (4.3% ABV, 19 IBU), and the Tower Station IPA (7.3% ABV, 70 IBU). Staying true to their vision of naming their beers after places along the legendary Mother Road, Route 66, the name Tower Station was inspired by a spot along the New Mexico/Texas border where an old abandoned gas station sits.
I had tasted Tower Station previously, after picking it up at Susan’s Fine Wine & Spirits in Santa Fe for post-mountain bike thirst quenching. It stands out among our excellent New Mexico IPAs because it doesn’t try to compete with their dankness. It’s smooth, mellow, and a great choice for hot summer days. Caleigh informed me it is less bitter than most IPAs because it’s brewed with 10 percent wheat and 40 percent pilsner malt. After she said that, I could immediately see this reflected in the flavor profile. You can pick up a four-pack of tallboys wherever Mother Road is stocked throughout New Mexico for about $10.
I spent some time with the Gold Road Kölsch as well, and was impressed by the dry, refreshing taste. Gold Road is named after the gold road stretch between Flagstaff and Lake Havasu. At only 4.3-percent ABV, this is another great option for the hot days ahead.
Cheers to Mother Road for adding new summer staples for all of us here in New Mexico. And, if you make it to Flagstaff, word is that they also have the Lost Highway on nitro brewed with coffee; and Cedar is still holding court behind the bar in the taproom, as if you needed another reason to visit!