Time for round two of our year-end polls to pick the best of the best in the Albuquerque metro area as far as craft beer goes. Once again, we are calling upon you, dear readers, the best beer geeks in the area, to pick your favorites and let us know why.
Monday saw four polls featuring a quartet of classic styles — red/amber ales, Scotch/Scottish ales, pilsners/lagers, and stouts. Round two will feature five categories, with again some modifications from the original categories in the Albuquerque The Magazine Best of the City polls. The Crew whittled down the many, many candidates in these categories to the five-to-seven entries you will see below. All category winners from the Best of the City polls were included here, where applicable.
The most notable changes we made were in merging the hefeweizen and wheat categories, while creating a separate unique beer category, and in how we decided the nominees for best seasonal. Read on below.
Best hoppy and other random beers
Style: Hefeweizen/wheat beer
ABQ Mag winner: Slice of Hefen, La Cumbre (hefeweizen); wheat winner is in unique beer category below
Changes we made: A scant few breweries make hefeweizens, so we combined them with the general category of wheat beers.
ABQ Mag winner: Unhinged Cider, Red Door
Changes we made: We limited this only to ciders made regularly by breweries in town. If you believe the cideries are infinitely superior, let us know, as none of us are regular cider consumers.
Style: Unique beer
ABQ Mag winner: None, we created this category, but Double White, Marble, won their wheat category
Changes we made: This category was created to highlight the popular house beers around town that do no necessarily fit into any specific category. Even to call Double White a wheat beer was a bit off-putting to us. These beers are all quite unique and stand on their own.
Style: Seasonal beer
ABQ Mag winner: Project Dank, La Cumbre
Changes we made: We had to figure out a way to narrow down a list of hundreds of beers, so ultimately we decided that only packaged seasonal beers would be included here. For each brewery that bottled multiple seasonal/specialty beers this year, we picked one nominee for each, plus Project Dank automatically made the list as the magazine winner. If you had a different pick, and we are guessing many of you probably did, let us know in the comments.
ABQ Mag winner: Elevated, La Cumbre
Changes we made: None, besides narrowing this list down from 20-plus nominees to the magnificent seven you see below.
Those are all the categories for Tuesday. Check back Wednesday afternoon for the final set of polls — best canned beer, best food, best staff, best atmosphere, best brewmaster/head brewer, and best brewery overall.