Pardon the one-day delay in our final set of beer polls, Wednesday was filled with the type of non-fun that I will not bore you with here. (Though, at least at night, our team came in fifth out of 20 competitors at Geeks Who Drink.) Anyway, for the third time we call upon you, our beer-loving readers, to share your thoughts on the best of the best at breweries around the Albuquerque metro area. These polls are in response to a similar set of polls conducted by Albuquerque The Magazine for its Best of the City awards. Our goal is to see if true beer geeks have different opinions than the less beer-educated folks who read the mag.
As we did in the first four polls on Monday and the second five polls on Tuesday, the Crew trimmed down the lists of around 30 metro area breweries to the five to eight you will be voting upon in each category. Since this is a takeoff on the local magazine, only local breweries (those that produce their beer in ABQ and its suburbs) are eligible. We might do a separate series of polls for Santa Fe, but for now that is TBD.
Good luck choosing, it was not easy to get these lists down to so few. Leave us comments, too, as to why you picked what you did. If you did not vote in the previous two sets of polls, click those links above and let your voice be heard.
Best of the best
Category: Canned beer
ABQ Mag winner: La Cumbre
Changes we made: None. Just pick the best overall lineup of canned beers produced by a brewery in the metro area.
ABQ Mag winners: Ponderosa (food options), Starr Brothers (food)
Changes we made: First off, we have no idea what food options was supposed to mean, so in the end we just went with a pure best food category.
ABQ Mag winners: Boxing Bear and Marble (tie)
Changes we made: None. You can pick the best educated staff, friendliest, most helpful, whatever it is you are looking for when you go out to have beers. This is the front-of-house staff, the servers and beertenders, not the brew staff, FYI.
ABQ Mag winner: Bow & Arrow
Changes we made: None. Atmosphere, or vibe, or whatever you want to call it, is probably the most subjective category of all. It should produce some wildly varying answers. Have at it!
Category: Brewmaster/head brewer
ABQ Mag winner: Justin Hamilton, Boxing Bear
Changes we made: The only change we made was the nominee for Marble. The mag still had Ted Rice, but he passed the role of brewmaster to Josh Trujillo.
ABQ Mag winner: Marble
Changes we made: None. Just pick your overall favorite.
Those are all the polls we have for 2016. We will try not to get too poll-happy in 2017, we promise. When all of your results are in (polls close one week after each set are published), we will reveal the winners and let you know (sort of) how the Crew voted. Basically, we will tell you our overall picks without revealing who voted for what. We still have to maintain a sort of public neutrality, lest the breweries we do not pick cut off our access.
In the end, we expect a lot of close votes and spirited debate. Oh, and Happy New Year in advance.