Beer Notes: Brewers Association releases year in review stats

Oh, it’s that time of year, when just about everyone is doing some sort of year in review, like, um, us. But, in lieu of that today, we instead present some piping-hot beer notes for you all!

Brewers Association issues annual report

Yup, it was another good year for craft beer. (Courtesy of the Brewers Association)
Yup, it was another good year for craft beer. (Courtesy of the Brewers Association)

The good folks at the Brewers Association sent us a ton of stats about 2016 for craft beer across America. Here are the highlights:

  • As of last week, there were 5,005 craft breweries in the United States. About 99 percent of those are still independent of the InBev/Evil Empire. By the count of the Crew, there are currently 68 active craft breweries in New Mexico. There are more active small brewer licenses, but some are wineries that currently do not also brew, others are places like Corrales Bistro Brewery, which keep the license in order to have lots of guest taps, but no longer brew themselves.
  • The growth rate is currently at eight percent. Sure, it’s not what it was, but at a certain point, it had to slow down. As long as it doesn’t drop into the negative, the industry is still strong.
  • Sorry, all you wild ale/sour lovers, but IPAs are still the biggest craft beer brand, accounting for about 25 percent of all sales. Everything defined as sessionable, from pale lagers to pilsners and such, has increased by 33 percent and is now responsible for five percent of the total sales.
  • Home brewers are still making an impact. Around 1.2 million people still home brew, accounting for 11,000 jobs at home-brew stores and the like. That has produced some $700 million in revenue. Considering how many brews he has made this year, Franz Solo is responsible for a good chunk of that.
  • Beer tourism is becoming such a reality that sites like Travelocity are starting to create lists pertaining to the best beer cities to visit. Albuquerque, for the record, ranks at No. 10 for large metro areas, ahead of Minneapolis and just behind Madison, Wisconsin. Portland (Ore.), Denver, and Seattle are the top three.
  • Congressional support is seemingly strong for the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act. Let us hope the recent elections did not change anything, but since this is the type of bill that could lead to more jobs, the current governmental obsession, it could pass in 2017.

The press release concluded with this: “This has been an exponentially exciting year as the beer community continues to grow and evolve. It is incredible to watch local brewers innovate and validate the new way the world views the U.S. beer scene,” said Julia Herz, craft beer program director, Brewers Association. “Much of the dialogue in 2016 centered around the craft brewer definition, who qualifies as a small and independent brewer, what independence means to beer lovers, beer quality and beer appreciation. We will renew our efforts in 2017 on behalf of our members and the beer drinkers around the world and continue to advance the amazing beverage of beer.”

Cheers to that!

Another new brewery? Another new brewery

The Rail Cafe in Belen is home to the new Hub City Brewing. (Courtesy of Hub City)
The Rail Cafe in Belen is home to the new Hub City Brewing. (Courtesy of Hub City)

The State of New Mexico has a site where all the listings for current and pending owners of small brewer licenses can be found. Among the pending was Hub City Brewing, which was supposed to be located in Belen right near the Rail Runner station. It was a pretty old application, so we just figured it was a dead project and no one had bothered to remove it.

Oh, not so fast. As it turns, Hub City is now open and making beer in the Rail Cafe in Belen, giving Valencia County its first brewery since Tractor pulled up stakes and moved to Albuquerque in early 2014. As of a couple weeks ago Hub City had six beers on tap — Helles Lager, ESB, Red Fox (European-style red ale), London Porter, Rocky Racoon IPA, Smoky Sadie (dark lager).

The Crew will head down there at some point to see what is up and how the beers taste and all that. Congratulations to everyone involved in getting those doors open. Welcome to the New Mexico craft beer scene!

As for the rest …

The other breweries with pending small brewer licenses in New Mexico are:

  • Bare Bones Brewing, Cedar Crest
  • Bombs Away Beer Co., Albuquerque (near Eubank and Lomas)
  • Drylands Brewing, Lovington
  • Hops Brewery, Albuquerque (Nob Hill)
  • Lava Rock Brewing, Albuquerque (near Ladera and Unser)
  • Steel Bender Brewyard, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque
  • Truth or Consequences Brewing

NMDSBC anniversary party is coming

You don't have to mosh with us ... but it would be a lot cooler if you did.
You don’t have to mosh with us … but it would be a lot cooler if you did.

Believe it or not, the Crew has been around since January 2012, so we decided a five-year anniversary party was a good idea. Luckily for us, the good folks at Tractor agreed, and they will be the hosts for our shindig on January 21 at 8 p.m. We brewed a Baltic porter for the event, which we are calling Vulgar Display of Porter, and have at least two bands already lined up. The Extinction and Jagged Mouth will be performing on the patio, weather permitting, or inside if it is too cold/snowy/rainy. Admission is, of course, totally free. We are hoping to have some new T-shirts for sale, plus if I am able to get things rolling, we can debut an upgraded, revamped website that night as well.

Come out and support local music, a local brewery, and hang with us. We promise, we will not throw you into the circle pit without asking first.

And, as always, if you come across any news regarding our local craft beer scene, drop us a line on social media or at


— Stoutmeister

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