Well, it is that time of year again. The Super Bowl is this Sunday, which means it is also time for the sixth annual NM Dark Side Brew Crew Stout Challenge. We fill up growlers of stout from breweries around the ABQ metro area and then hold a blind taste test to determine which one is our favorite. All of this is done pregame at Franz Solo’s house, which should help put us in a good state of mind, even as we watch the Evil Empire obliterate the poor Falcons and keep 2017 stumbling along to oblivion.
The five prior editions have produced five different champions.
- 2016: Chama River’s Sleeping Dog Stout wakes up and claims the title
- 2015: Boxing Bear’s Standing 8 Stout scores a TKO
- 2014: Tractor’s Double Plow Oatmeal Stout bowls over the competition
- 2013: La Cumbre’s Malpais Stout ascends to the pinnacle
- 2012: Marble’s Oatmeal Stout rolls to victory
This time around we have a whole lotta stouts in the competition. Part of that is due to the (seeming) never-ending opening of new breweries, of course, plus others have a stout available for us unlike years past. As always, this list is quite subject to change, as we learned before. Sometimes the stout runs out, sometimes the brewery does not keep the same hours, and so on. For now, though, these are the 16 combatants for Sunday, listed in brewery alphabetical order. First-time participants get a little * by the beer name.
- Bosque Driftwood Oatmeal Stout
- Bow & Arrow Storm & Hearth*
- Boxing Bear Standing 8 Stout
- Canteen Dark ‘n Lusty Stout
- Cazuela’s Beer For My Horses
- Chama River Sleeping Dog Stout
- La Cumbre Malpais Stout
- Marble Oatmeal Stout
- Rio Bravo Oatmeal Stout* (we had the Black Angus Stout last year)
- Santa Fe Dysphotic Stout
- Sidetrack Stoker Stout
- Starr Brothers Roisin Dubh* or Foggy Monocle* (to be determined by a Friday taste-off by yours truly)
- The 377 Oatmeal Stout*
- Tractor Double Plow Oatmeal Stout
- Turtle Mountain Stauffenberg Stout
- Twisted Chile Irish Dry Stout
As always, we will be very careful after consuming so many stout samples. We will also be consuming ribs, rum ham, and a stew made with Vulgar Display of Porter, our collaboration beer with Tractor (which is still on tap at both locations, FYI).
Once we have tabulated all the votes, a winner will be announced. Oh, and we have an awesome new trophy to give to the winning brewery.
Look for the full recap Monday afternoon, and stay tuned to our social media accounts for pictures, anecdotes, and the like all day Sunday.
After all, when the game itself gets inevitably out of hand, beer will be our only friend left.