We are T-minus one month and one day until the annual madness of ABQ Beer Week is upon us once again. The Crew received a copy of the final printed schedule that you will soon be able to find (almost) everywhere there is craft beer. More events figure to be added between now and May 25, but those will appear online only. Fear not, as we done every year since 2012, we will have full coverage every day, previewing every event and recapping the big ones.
As we have done in years past, we are also gonna unveil a way-too-early preview of the events that jump out to us. These are our picks, and merely suggestions. In the end, chart your own Beer Week path. Just enjoy it safely and responsibly.
Day One: Thursday, May 25
- Event: Girl Scout Cookie & Beer Pairing Flight at O’Niell’s Nob Hill — Sierra Nevada beers paired with Girl Scout cookies? Uh, yeah, we’re down for that.
- Others to consider: Pork and Brew Big Sipper IPA Can Launch with The Silver String Band at Tractor Wells Park; Beer, Coffee & Chocolate Pairings at Rio Bravo; Upslope Special Release Tapping and Beer Week Kickoff at M’tucci’s Moderno
Day Two: Friday, May 26
- Event: Sour Hour with Rowley Farmhouse Ales plus Hops and Dreams Beer Week Edition at Tractor Wells Park — This is your opportunity to try RFA’s unique beers in ABQ, plus you can stick around and watch the Desert Darlings shimmy their way to glory.
- Others to consider: ABQ Trolley Co. The Hopper — Hop-on, Hop-off Brew Cruise; Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout and Cooper Project tapping at Nob Hill Bar & Grill
Day Three: Saturday, May 27
- Event: Beer Olympics at O’Niell’s Juan Tabo — We have no idea what a Beer Olympics looks like, but if it’s something like the movie Beerfest, the Crew may have to assemble a team.
- Others to consider: (This day was insanely hard to pick just one event, FYI.) Mother Road and Tractor Collaboration Beer Release with Le Chat Lunatique; Pig Roast and Marble Special Release Keg Tapping at Freight House; Santa Fe’s ABQ Beer Week Bash at Green Jeans Farmery
Day Four: Sunday, May 28
- Event: Blues & Brews — It’s back at Sandia Resort & Casino, and the best part this year is you do not have to pick between it and BearFest, which has been moved to June 17. You can do both, with plenty of time to recover in between!
- Others to consider: Founders Barrel-Aged Beer & Cigar Pairing at Imbibe; Mother Road Sampling and Special Keg Tapping at Sandia Saloon (Whole Foods Academy)
Day Five: Monday, May 29 (Memorial Day)
- Event: Beer Geeks Trivia at Tractor Nob Hill — Shameless self promotion time! The Crew is hosting this five-round test of your beer knowledge. There will even be a tasting round. It’s never too early to start studying. Our archives are a good place to start.
- Others to consider: Memorial Day Music Fest at Marble Downtown
Day Six: Tuesday, May 30
- Event: Beer Geek Trivia Night at Marble Westside — Just in case you miss us the day before, you can join the Marble staff for their version. We may even send a team to see if their questions are harder than ours!
- Others to consider: Firestone Walker Beer Dinner at Nob Hill Bar & Grill
Day Seven: Wednesday, May 31
- Event: Quarter Celtic Mini Cask Fest — We don’t know what constitutes “mini,” but it’s a cask festival, and those are far too hard to pass up.
- Others to consider: Marble Brett IPA Tap and Bottle Release at all locations; Tractor Beer vs. Wine Food Pairing with Gruet
Day Eight: Thursday, June 1
- Event: Battle of the Beer Geeks at Tractor Wells Park — OK, here we go again with the shameless self promotion. Come join us, The Babes in Brewland, The Dukes of Ale, and more local groups to see how our beers stack up against each other. The Babes have taken the last two titles after we won the first in 2014. This time around, there will be a twist, every beer will be a variation of a wheat beer. Be warned, we still went overboard.
- Others to consider: Cascade Tapping of Sang Royal and Elderberry at Nob Hill Bar & Grill; Upslope Beer Dinner at Freight House
Day Nine: Friday, June 2
- Event: Tower of Sour at JC’s NYPD Pizza and Back Alley Draft House — We know how much some of you love the beers that make you pucker up, so rejoice, this annual event is back. The organizers have already told us you should expect a very different lineup than what was at Tart at Heart 3, but equally good.
- Others to consider: Oskar Blues Secret Stash at Nob Hill Bar & Grill
Day Ten: Saturday, June 3
- Event: Yappy Hour with Watermelon Mountain Ranch at Cazuela’s — This is another brutally tough day to pick out one event, but then Cazuela’s went and held a fundraiser/adoption event for the animals rescued by the good folks at WMR and, well, how could we resist?
- Others to consider: 3rd Annual Food Truck Battle at Red Door; Ladies Loving Beer Luncheon at Marble Westside; Quarter Celtic “Mangose” Release; Jodie Herrera Art Opening, Glass and Beer Release with Blank Tapes at Tractor Wells Park
Day Eleven: Sunday, June 4
- Event: 9th Annual Brewers Guild Golf Tournament at Santa Ana Golf Course — Dust off those clubs and hit the links in support of the Guild. For more info, go to the official site.
- Others to consider: Goose Island Sisters Brunch at Nob Hill Bar & Grill; End of Beer Week Brunch with Upslope at M’tucci’s Italian; Joe S. Sausage Super Sunday Sampler at Marble Downtown
OK, before any of you panic and scream “Where is the 505 Collaboration beer release?!” fear not! The exact release date has not been scheduled, but we have confirmed they will be brewing the 505 this coming Saturday at one of our local breweries. It will be back.
Once again, there are a lot of events still to be posted to the website. Keep checking back there or with us for more info.