Archive for June, 2017

KBS 2017: All your coffees are belong to us

Posted: June 30, 2017 by Franz Solo in Beer Review
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Oh, wonderful darkness, we have been enjoying the hell out of you these last three glorious years.

Editor’s note: This little mini-tasting event that we had actually took place a while back. Somebody just didn’t get around to typing it up until now. Why run it? Because it’s Friday, and sometimes we just like sharing how much goofy stuff we get to do. Haven’t you always wondered what sort of rambling discussions we have about beer? Well, here you go. — Stoutmeister

We in the Crew recently had the opportunity to sample and review the ’17 version of the much-beloved-among-us KBS from Founders. What follows is our rather fun adventure into the darkest of stout depths in which we did a mini vertical tasting of the ’15, ’16, and ’17 iterations of KBS.

We began as you might, talking up the finer points of the new offerings from Isotopes Park, including a helmet filled with three full, glorious pounds of nachos and Philly cheesesteaks, courtesy of Filling Phillys, which I heartily recommend.

Solo: Alright, you do want three pounds of nachos and Philly cheese?

Brandon: I do want three pounds of nachos and Philly cheese!

Solo: And we’re back. 2017 KBS first impressions are coffee!

The chorus of our host Brandon and Stoutmeister agreed with this sentiment.

Solo: Huge coffee and then whiskey as f*ck.

Stoutmeister: Honestly, it’s gotta be a cold brew, it’s so intense.

Brandon: It’s a really concentrated and the coffee is intense and focused. Definitely roasty. The bitterness of the coffee almost makes the chocolate kind of just blend in, sort of a dark chocolate kind of a way.

Solo: Yeah, it’s kind of a mocha.

Stoutmeister: It’s a little drier. It’s not like some of those barrel-aged stouts that pick up so much of that vanilla character from the barrels and it becomes so sweet.

Solo: This is just straight, burly, coffee chocolate barrel.

Brandon: You get a little heat in the back from the whiskey there.

Stoutmeister: I will say that the coffee sticks around the longest. Even though you get that rush of the whiskey, it does smoothly fade out, but the coffee just remains. All of your coffees belong to us.

Solo: And, damn good coffee at that, nice earthy tones, none of the acidic nature of coffee, really.

Brandon: Not astringent.

Solo: Nope, clearly strong, but that’s a good, uh, whatever blend they used.

Stoutmeister: Give it a swish and smell the aroma.

Swishes commence all round.

Stoutmeister: That’s just lovely.

Solo: And, it just burns with a tad bit of whiskey at the end.

Brandon: I think more so than the last year’s that I’ve had this one’s a little more bourbon-barrel forward initially. I’d be curious to see what this tastes like aged, just because I think that would mellow out a little bit.

Stoutmeister: Yeah, it’s definitely going to be an interesting aged beer, need to procure more and find someplace to put it, outta room!

Solo: Well, actually, now that I’ve drank one of them, I might have room for one more! Although, I still have a large quantity of the last one, and then there’s my home-brew ESB and the Mead …

Brandon: Front is a little chocolate, and then there are slight, roasty notes in there with a little bit of toasted caramel in there, with dark roasted malts and a little bit of molasses in there at the front, but then it just gives way to all the coffee.

Solo: It’s not overly, but a slight bit of raisin or black currant near the back.

Stoutmeister: Yeah, it’s definitely more black currant.

Brandon: And, the coffee is just all over in there and matches with that oakiness.

Solo: Bathe me in dark oakiness.

Stoutmeister: We need to name a new beer that.

Solo and Brandon agree. Various nom nom nom noises ensue.

Solo: A little bit of caramel, toffee aroma notes come forward as it warms, just a hair, coming through the coffee.

Brandon: To quote Jason Mewes in the (movie) Zach and Miri Make a Porno, “That’s some damn fine coffee!”

Solo: The stout’s starting to come through just a little bit.

Brandon: Even for imperial standards I think this is one that works better a little warmer than average, maybe because it’s definitely more complex as it is warming here, and a small pour definitely helps.

Solo: For malts nothing in particular stands out. It’s a melange, but I’d expect no less from a well-crafted and blended coffee barrel-aged chocolate monstrosity. It really sticks to the tongue; sticky black bourbon of death.

Brandon: I think you could drink a four-pack of this.

Stoutmeister: I totally think you could, although the next day I’d be like (unintelligible wailing).

Brandon: It would be like that one day I decided to drink a KBS and then I had two Uncle Jacobs. (One of the very best from Avery Brewing for those uninitiated.)

Solo: The other night I had two Pivos, and then I had Frootwood, and then I had one of those Olde School barleywines from Dogfish Head, that was, I was coherent, I just had a mild headache but …

Rambling ensued.

Stoutmeister: Back to KBS.

Brandon: Yeah, this is freaking amazing as it warms, now I want some french toast. Every time I have KBS, I just want french toast.

Solo: Bring us chicken and waffles!

Rambling on the topic of Nexus Brewing and our obsession with their amazing chicken and waffles commenced, followed by us returning to the topic of the new food offerings at Isotopes Park, including the wondrous Orbit Dog in all of its artery-clogging glory, and then the baseball helmet filled with three pounds of nachos returned, and finally we were back on topic.

That is not the Eye of Sauron in our KBS. We swear.

Solo: Now, oddly enough, even though this is not CBS, it does have somewhat of that maple quality to it.

Brandon: I think what we are getting there is a lot of different composition that is creating like a more almost maple flavor. It’s not just a strictly maple flavor.

Solo: Nah, like a maple toffee coffee something.

Brandon: So, overall impressions of it?

Solo: Delicious.

Stoutmeister: Rather amazing, to be this good this fresh, that’s a rare thing these days where there are so many barrel-aged beers these days that really are made to be aged an extra year in the bottle.

Solo: And this was aged, perfectly.

Brandon: I’m picking up actually a little more chocolate as it goes on. Overall, I think it’s a little more coffee forward definitely than the past years, which is fine by me.

Solo: Not going to complain one iota.

Brandon: Oh no, twist my arm, it’s wonderful. The coffee just doesn’t completely overwhelm, but it kind of supports those other flavors, possibly even supporting the whole beer, but as it does warm you get more of the stout base which comes through, too.

Solo: I’ll go on a limb and agree with the brewer that brewed this beer who said well, you can age these things but this one’s meant to drink fresh, we’ve already aged it and it’s right where we want it to be. I will still age some but yeah I’ll drink this fresh any day of the week.

* * * * *

We then proceeded to break out bottles of the ’16 and ’15 KBS offerings, and our consensus was that the ’17 was more coffee forward, the ’16 was more chocolate forward, and the ’15 was very much barrel forward. We could all understand why people like one year better than another, owing to the prominence of one’s favorite aspect of the delightful amalgam of flavors which is KBS.

We of the Dark Side Brew Crew, being the coffee- and stout-fueled demons that we are, thoroughly enjoyed this year’s variation and are certainly pleased with how it turned out. It will be of some interest to see what next year’s batch has as far as prominence, and we await the offering with the hope that our supply from this and last year will last us long enough!

All hail KBS, mighty breakfast beer deserving of a full spread of candied bacon, fried chicken of the best quality, and some damn fine waffles. There is still an ample supply of both bombers and four packs here in the Duke City (well, we hope so) so grab em before we in the Crew consume them all. Thanks again to Founders for sending us a couple of these delights to sample and review, we heartily enjoyed every last drop and completely enjoyed this delicious review.

Until next time,

Skål!

— Franz Solo

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Saint Arnold is one of the most popular breweries in the Houston for a good reason. Lots of good reasons, in fact.

I can already hear you asking: Why is a New Mexico beer site writing about breweries in Houston?

My answer: Because sometimes people go to other places and want to drink beer there.

This was the situation I found myself in a few weeks back when I booked a trip to visit a friend in the biggest city in Texas. Given that our friendship formed over the consumption of beer, I knew a brewery or two should be part of the weekend. I had never been there before and she’s new to the area, so it was time for an adventure.

My first tactic for finding craft beer was to turn to my base of beer drinking friends. Of all the recommendations, there was one clear choice of places to visit: Saint Arnold Brewing Company. Texas’ oldest craft brewery, founded in 1994, is an easy 15-to-20 minute drive from the airport, so it made sense to make that our first stop once I arrived.

We were a bit dubious as we pulled up, as it is located in a very industrial neighborhood, and upon entering the building you are greeted with office doors and a staircase. Those fears were easily cast aside once we located the beer hall on the second floor. When entering you are greeted with rows of tables and benches, cornhole boards, paintings of Saint Arnold on one wall, and a sea of windows showcasing their impressive brewing capacity opposite that. I loved how friendly the staff was there. It was a busy night at Saint Arnold but every single employee we encountered greeted us with a smile and gave us their full attention when they were serving us.

Welcoming atmosphere aside, the beer was the real star here. I started with the Elissa IPA, which was available on both draft and cask, and, yes, I had both versions. After sampling the 2016 Pumpkinator, Pup Crawl Pale Ale, and Summer Pils, my third and final pint of the night was the Endeavour DIPA. All were delicious, and if we had gotten there earlier, I would have gladly purchased more pints. My friend opted for the Raspberry AF Berliner Weisse for her first, and second, and third … While I’m not much for tart beers, I could see the appeal of this one on a hot, humid summer night.

For the rest of our beer-ventures, I searched using my old stand-by: Google. We were staying in the suburbs and I was curious about what local watering holes could be found. Turns out, there were plenty, but we only had time for three of them.

Talk about fitting in with the area.

First up: Texas Beer Refinery in Dickinson. This 4-year-old brewery sure made a positive impression. From the woman who excitedly told us about the food menu options to the hop-shaped hanging lights, this is a brewery filled with charm. It’s also got some pretty tasty beer. I got a pint of the Covfefe Coffee Pale Ale (turns out they have a sense of humor, too). My friend got the Mexican IPA on nitro. While we were both very happy with our choices, we were also jealous of each other’s beer. She also tried the Gulf Coast Gose and really enjoyed it. I stole a sip and could tell it was well made, but it isn’t one I’d want a full pour of (see above). We would have tried more, but we had other appointments to keep that afternoon, and decided it was best to pace ourselves.

There is a wee bit of scenery down by the Gulf of Mexico.

Second beer stop: Galveston Island Brewing in Galveston. After dipping our toes in the Gulf of Mexico, more beer was necessary. Google said this was the closest one, so off we went. The place was hopping when we arrived. Granted, it was a Saturday night, but the sheer number of people there was impressive (we later found out out we stumbled upon their Third Anniversary party). They had a tented area with a section set aside for live bands, an area with picnic benches and a playground, and a smallish indoor seating area and stools around the bar. There was a lovely view of the setting sun, so sitting outside was an easy choice to make. Due to the crowds, we only had one beer each, but both were nice and easy to drink. I had the DIPA and she had the Hefen-A Hefeweizen. I’d like to come back again when it’s not so crowded, so I can chat with the staff and sample more of the beer.

They do everything big in Texas, include taproom interiors.

Final destination: Saloon Door Brewing in Webster. Unbeknownst to my friend and I, we saved the best for last. Only open for a year, they already have everything I look for in a local watering hole — friendly and informative employees, regulars you can strike up a conversation with, and killer beer. If I lived here, this would be my regular beer-drinking home. One of their distinct features is their beer blend offerings — they mix different beers together creating different (and fun) flavor combinations. My friend got a flight of these, while I opted to try the beers in their original format. This way we could determine if they were trying to hide off flavors in the blends. Long story short, they were not. I had the Brown Ale, Cream Ale, Milk Stout, Pale Ale, Wee Heavy, Double Gunshot Imperial IPA, Summer IPA, River Ace IPA, Tasty AF Peanut Butter, Chocolate Milk Stout, and Bourbon Barrel Russian Imperial Stout. Each one was delicious, and I would have been happy with a full pint of any of them. I can’t possibly list all the blends, but some of them are called Snickers, Strawberry Cheese Cake, and Orange Cordial. There is an art to making these beyond the “let’s mix these and see what happens” approach I’ve taken in the past, but it really is art.

All in all, we had a lot of fun exploring the growing craft beer scene in the Houston area. I recommend checking these places if you are in the neighborhood, then play your own game of “Google-Roulette” to see what gems you discover.

Sláinte

— The SheNerd

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s six breweries, one in Los Alamos, and one in Moriarty also joining the party.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Summer is a great time for breweries and charities to team up, with $1 from pints sold going to good causes across the city and country. Bosque has had Polly’s Wheaty Lager on for some time. Proceeds from that beer go to Polly’s Run, a charity working to stop pancreatic cancer. Sidetrack is tapping the new Golden WHEELS Ale this week. It was brewed to help raise funds for the new WHEELS Museum to get its doors open. For anyone who missed the recent Wheels of Soul Tapping Party at The Rail Yards, the special beers brewed by participating breweries are starting to go on tap around town. Steel Bender is already putting Wheels of Soul Black (Hole Sun) IPA on tap. Again, a dollar from every pint sold goes to fund Mr. Holland’s Opus, which donates new musical equipment to schools in need. Rio Bravo is selling Penguin Lager on tap and in four-packs. Proceeds go to the new penguin exhibit at the zoo. If there are any other breweries out there right now with a charity-linked beer on tap, or planning one in the near future, let the Crew know and we will be sure to share it with everyone!

Also, please take note, many breweries will be closed or have altered hours for this coming Tuesday, July 4. We will have a separate post Monday compiling all of that info.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Thanks to the magic of Instagram, we know that Ale Republic has brought back Strong Dark and Handsome, plus they have the new Red Mountain and Cafe Con Beer. Bosque has added the Blood Orange Exotic Elephants, plus Bosque Blonde and the new (and weird) Beernana Split. Boxing Bear is feeling thunderstruck with Tropic Thunder IPA. Drafty Kilt beat everyone else to the punch in naming their new wheat beer Covfefe Hefe. La Cumbre brings back the delicious Miles From Cologne in time for all this heat. Marble has added Cherry Gose, Plum Gose, 522 DIPA, and Grungeist Pilsner. Rio Bravo should have Hibiscus Ale and Cherry Wheat on by the weekend. Sidetrack also has a fresh batch of Pub Ale. Tractor gets out there with Thai Basil Mint Cider. Turtle Mountain is the latest brewery to have the collaborative brew Improvisation Ale on tap, plus My Kolsche will be ready soon.

Up in Santa Fe, Duel is on the verge of rolling out fresh batches of Whistler, Turncoat, and Ensor. Rowley Farmhouse Ales unveils Agent Scully – Season One, Ep. 3 (IPA), plus Ab Initio Boysenberry, Meier (Lemon Gose), and No BU For You (IPA). Second Street has fresh 2920 Pale Ale, Red and Yellow Armadillo, and Diploid New England Style IPA.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of June 26.

To break down each “capsule,” I listed the brewery (with Web page linked), its phone number and hours of operation. Under “Beers” are the new or seasonal beers on tap for this week.

Albuquerque metro area breweries

Ale Republic — (505) 281-2828

(Mon–Thurs 2–10 p.m., Fri–Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Golden Child, Brune, Citrus Pale Ale, Blonde, Strong Dark and Handsome, Red Mountain, Cafe Con Beer. The most recent additions are the Red Mountain (7% ABV, 100+ IBU) and Cafe Con Beer (6.8% ABV, 12 IBU), a coffee ale.

Alien Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–2 a.m., Sunday 10 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Call the number above for details on any small-batch beers currently available. They change frequently. The rest of the lineup is from the Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande family of beers.

Bistronomy B2B — (505) 262-2222

(Mon–Tues 4-9 p.m., Weds noon-9 p.m., Thurs–Sat noon-9:30 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

The Blue Grasshopper — (505) 896-8579

(Noon to 11 p.m. most days, call for more info)

Beers: BG is not making its own beers at this time as the brewing system is being moved to a new location, per sources. Until later, enjoy the wide range of guest taps at both locations.

Live Music: Bands perform from 6 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday through Saturday. Click the link for the schedule.

Boese Brothers Brewery — (505) 382-7060

(Hours: Mon–Thurs 3 p.m.–midnight, Fri 3 p.m.–2 a.m., Sat noon–2 a.m., Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: La Onza White Ale, Dr. Strangehop XPA, Duke City Lager, Washington’s Hatchet, Zeus Juice White IPA, Betchin Little Pale Ale, Cherry Bomb, Sour Relationship. The Zeus Juice can also be purchased in bombers. Sour Relationship, a special collaboration with Milton’s, NM Cider Co., and Sidetrack, is now available.

Live Music: Friday—DJ MRVL and OTRA FRZH, 9 p.m.; Saturday—Adam Hooks and Roller Derby After Party, 10 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Boese will have a happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, with $3 pints. You can also get $3 pints all day Tuesday and $6 growler fills all day Wednesday.

Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596 (main brewery), (505) 508-5967 (Nob Hill Public House), (575) 571-4626 (Las Cruces Taproom)

(Main brewery on San Mateo: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-midnight, Sun noon-8 p.m.; Nob Hill: Mon–Weds 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Thurs 11 a.m.-midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Sun noon-11 p.m.; Las Cruces: Sun–Thurs noon-11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon-midnight)

Beers: Polly’s Wheaty Lager, Grasping at Straws, Bosque Hefe, Bosque Blonde, Beernana Split, Blood Orange Exotic Elephants. The Blood Orange is the latest in the Exotic Elephants series. Beernana Split is, well, um, weird. It has a hefeweizen base with additions of chocolate, lactose, strawberry, and banana. Try it and tell us what you think.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Bosque has a happy hour running from 3-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and all day on Sunday. Look for special menu items and get $1 off your favorite pints.

Bow & Arrow Brewing — (505) 247-9800

(Mon-Weds 3–10 p.m., Thurs 3–11 p.m., Fri-Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–9 p.m.)

Beers: Flint & Grit (British Mild), Sun Dagger (Saison), Crossed Arrows (Scotch Ale), Hoka Hey (IPA), Jemez Field Notes Lager, Wayward Arrow Hefeweizen, Radical Aim IPA, Sun-Bleached Berliner Weisse, El Breakfast Stout, Biere de Garde, Desert Dynamo IPL, Way Out West Farmhouse Sour. The newest additions to the lineup are Way Out West, Biere de Garde, Sun-Bleached, Desert Dynamo, and El Breakfast Stout. The latter is a spicy chocolate coffee stout, in case you could not guess by the name.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Bow & Arrow has happy hour every Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Get $1 off pints. A new late happy hour starts Thursday at 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday at 10 p.m.

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

(Sun-Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.)

Beers: Chocolate Milk Stout (also on nitro), Tropic Thunder IPA, Barril De Oso, Blood Orange Pale Ale, Barn Burner IWA, Guava Gose, Amerikolsch, Eastern Standard IPA. The Barril De Oso is a wine-barrel-aged version of the Oso Otono brown ale. The most recent additions are the Tropic Thunder, Amerikolsch, and Eastern Standard (7% ABV, 40 IBU), a hazy New England-style IPA.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 8-10 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Every day at lunchtime (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), for just $10 you can get a pint and a panini of your choice.

Broken Trail Brewery & Distillery — (505) 221-6281

(Mon-Thu 3-9 p.m., Fri 3-10 p.m., Sat noon-10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-8 p.m.)

Beers: Otero ESB, Lone Pine Pilsner, Sancho Saison, Double Black IPA, Sancho de la Sierra, Pepe the Mule, Trailworks IPA. OK, fine, Pepe the Mule counts as a beer, even though it is basically a Moscow Mule, but it was made with beer. The Sancho de la Sierra is a rye version of the saison made in collaboration with Jubilation. The Trailworks was made in collaboration with Bikeworks, a neighboring business, with a portion of the proceeds going to trail maintenance in the metro area.

Weekly Events (main location): Today (Wednesday)—Cards Against Humanity hosted by 10 Drink Minimum, 7 p.m.; Sunday—Build-your-own Mule bar, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Tuesday—All house beers are $2 a pint

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737 (brewery), (505) 200-2344 (taproom)

(Brewery: Sun–Thurs noon–10 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–midnight; Taproom: Open daily 3–10 p.m.)

Beers: Exodus IPA, Dragline IPA, Tuttle IPA Irish Red, Cloudview Wit, Keller Collab, Strawberry Basil Gose, Improvisation Ale. The most recent additions are the Tuttle, Keller, and Improvisation. The latter two are collaborations made with Chama River, Marble, Nexus, Santa Fe, and Turtle Mountain. If you want to know more about the excellent Dragline, read Franz Solo’s viking ode to this amazing IPA.

Live Music: Thursday—Steve Hammond and his High Plains Grifters, 6-9 p.m.; Sunday—TBA, 4-7 p.m.

Cazuela’s Seafood & Mexican Grill — (505) 994-9364

(Open daily 8 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Papacabra (Double IPA), Acapulco Gold (Mexican Lager), Chupacabra IPA, Piedra del Fuego Stoned Cream Ale, Beer for My Horses (Oatmeal Stout). These are the regular house beers. Call the number above for an updated seasonal list.

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Deuces IPA, Chamiso Mexican Lager, Kolsch, Red River Ale. The Deuces is a two-hop IPA, the first in a series, made with Amarillo and Simcoe. It tasted great at BearFest.

Dialogue Brewing — (505) 585-1501

(Open daily noon-midnight)

Beers: Belgian Citrus IPA, Berliner Weisse, Dark Helmet (Swartzbier), American Dark Sour, F yo Couch (Oatmeal Stout), Biere de Mars, Sour Raspberry, ODB Sour Brown Ale, Common Irish Conversation, Cordial (Tart Cherry Gose). The most recent additions are the Cordial, Amber Lager, and F yo Couch. Yup, Dialogue is still winning on the creative beer name front. The CIC is a rye steam beer brewed in collaboration with Quarter Celtic.

Live Music: Today (Wednesday)—The Tens, 8 p.m.

Weekly Events: Monday—Service Industry Night, 6 p.m.

Drafty Kilt Brewing — (505) 881-0234

(Sun 11 a.m–10 p.m., Mon 11 a.m.–8 p.m., Tues–Thu 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Groundskeeper Willie Cream Ale, Wee Beastie Scottish Ale, McWabbit Pale Ale, Campbell Toe IPA, Obliviscaris Oatmeal Stout, McRojo or No (Irish Red). Brewer/owner Mike Campbell has five of his own creations on tap at 4814 Hardware Dr. NE, including the Campbell Toe (no snickering). The Obliviscaris is a burly throwback to the stouts of old. This weekend will mark the debut of Covfefe Hefe.

Live Music: Friday and Saturday—bands TBA

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.; Thursday—Blues, Brews & BBQ, 5 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: $1 off pints and 20-ounce pours, Mon-Fri, 3-6 p.m.; “Just Because We Love You Club,” happy hour prices at all times for teachers, first responders, law enforcement, and military with ID; Growler Fill Days on Thu and Sun, $2 off new growlers, $1 off refills

Flix Brewhouse — (505) 445-8500

(Open daily 11 a.m.-midnight)

Beers: So It Gose, Baby You’re Much Too Fast (Irish Red), Flora Colossus (DIPA), Gettin’ Caught in the Rain, Brewhouse Shandy. Flora Colossus is a tasty, wine-infused double IPA. Gettin’ Caught in the Rain is a pina colada wheat brewed in collaboration with Bosque.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

(Bernalillo hours Mon-Thu 2-9 p.m., Fri-Sat 11:30-10 p.m., Sun 11:30-9 p.m.)

Beers: German Porter, Lil Red, Cori and Her Wheat, German Pilsner, Helles Lager, Maibock, Honk Ale, Oaxford IPA, Walnut Cider, DjinnJar Kombucha. The most recent additions are the German Porter and Pilsner. Sounds like a hearty “Prost!” is in order.

Weekly Events (Nob Hill): Thursday—The Desert Darlings, 7-9 p.m.

Weekly Events (Bernalillo): Sunday—Brunch, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., The Desert Darlings, 6-8 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Kaktus has several new weekday specials in Bernalillo, including $3 pints on Monday, $9 growlers on Tuesday, $6 bison nachos on Wednesday, and $8 Frito pie and beer on Thursday.

Kellys Brew Pub — (505) 262-2739

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat 8 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun 8 a.m.-10 p.m.)

Beers: (house) Apricot Ale, Blonde, Dry Irish Stout (on nitro), Farm House Ale, IPA, Red, Scotch Ale, Session IPA; (seasonal) Rye Pale Ale. The recent change in ownership at Kellys has led to some seriously improved beers and food, so we decided it was high time to add it to the listings.

Live Music: Every Wednesday 6-9 p.m. and Sunday 3-6 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Thursday Pint night $1 off pints.

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Strawberry Gose, Miles From Cologne, VMO #2, Pogue Mahone (on nitro). The VMO #2 is a lovely Marzen. The delicious Miles From Cologne (Kolsch) is back for another run. The Strawberry Gose is also available in bombers.

Live Music: Saturday—The Bus Tapes, 6-9 p.m.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Lego Night Build Off or Loteria (alternates by week), 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

(Mon–Weds noon-9 p.m., Thurs–Sat noon-midnight, Sun noon-7 p.m.)

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Lizard Tail’s happy hour runs seven days a week from 3 to 6 p.m. You get $1 off food, flights, and pints.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 8 p.m.; Thursday—Karaoke, 8-11 p.m.

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739 (downtown), (505) 508-4638 (Westside), (505) 323-4030 (Heights)

(Downtown: Mon–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10:30 p.m.; Westside: Mon–Thurs noon–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10 p.m.; Heights: Mon–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10:30 p.m.)

Beers: Indiana Bone’s Raider of the Lost Ale, DANG Pale Ale, Passionate Gose, Pina Pale, Idaho 7 Pale Ale, Guava Gose, Black Currant Gose (Downtown and Westside), Flower Digger Pale Ale (Downtown and Westside), Double IPA (Heights and Westside), Plum Gose (Heights and Westside), Super Session IPA (Heights and Westside), 522 Double IPA (Heights and Westside), White Out (Downtown only), Mosaic IPA (Downtown only), Blackberry Gose (Heights only), Keller Collab (Heights only), Brett IPA (Westside only), Cherry Gose (Westside only), Rita! (Westside only), Bronco Blanco (Westside only), Pilsner Anejo (Westside only), Grungeist Pilsner (Westside only). There are so, so many beers between the three locations. Don’t feel bad if you can’t get to them all. The newest additions are Plum Gose, Cherry Gose, 522 DIPA, and Grungeist Pilsner.

Live Music (Downtown): Thursday—Decker, 7-10 p.m.; Friday—Baracutanga, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Last to Know, 8-11 p.m.

Live Music (Heights): Friday—Still Closed for Repairs, 7-10 p.m.; Saturday—The Real Matt Jones, 7-10 p.m.

Live Music (Westside): Friday—Ben Balmer/Josh Flowers, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Lonn Calanca Band, 8-11 p.m.

Weekly Events (Downtown): Saturday—Brewery tours, 2 p.m.

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100 (brewery), (505) 226-1055 (Silver Taproom)

(Brewery: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.–8:30 p.m.; Silver Taproom: Mon–Fri 4-10 p.m., Sat noon-10 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Milk Stout, The Darker Fare, Beam Me Up Scotty, Plum Imperial Cream, Keller Collab (brewery only), 505 Collaboration (Silver Taproom). The Beam Me Up, delicious once again, and Plum Imperial Cream were added for last month’s sixth anniversary party. The Keller Collab was mentioned above at one of its fellow creator breweries.

Happy Hour/Discounts (Brewery): Monday–Friday, $5 appetizers, 3-5 p.m.

Weekly Events (Silver Taproom): Saturday—a live DJ will perform; Sunday—a live band will perform at 2 p.m.

Palmer Brewery and Cider House — (505) 508-0508

(Tues–Sat 3–9 p.m.)

Beers: MWA (Malt With Attitude), Guero (Belgian Wit), Pale Ale, Cockness Monster (Scotch Ale), Palmergranite Wit, Cafe Pale Ale, Switch Stance Stout. Palmer shares a building with Left Turn Distilling on Girard south of Candelaria.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

(Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: Vic’s Secret Pale Ale, Amber Ale, Hop Burst Ale, Saison, Spanglish. Vic’s Secret is the most recent addition. Hoppy Pilsner and Raspberry Saison are on deck.

Live Music: Today (Wednesday)—The Draft Sessions, 7-9 p.m.

Quarter Celtic Brewpub — (505) 503-1387

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.)

Beers: Denali SMASH Pale Ale, Mangose, Saoirse Hefe, Common Irish Conversation, Gondola Party Starter IPA, Blood Orange Hefeweizen. The CIC was made in collaboration with Dialogue. The GPS is a hazy New England-style IPA and back for another run.

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675 (brewery), (505) 990-3029 (downtown taproom)

(Brewery hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri 11 a.m. to midnight, Sat 7 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Downtown taproom hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Beers: Rye Steam, Open Saison, Blackberry Hefeweizen. The Blackberry Hefeweizen is the most recent addition.

Weekly Events (Brewery): Monday—The Draft Sessions, 7-9 p.m.

Weekly Events (Taproom): Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7-9 p.m.

Rio Bravo Brewing Company — (505) 900-3909

(Mon noon–10 p.m., Tues–Thu noon–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–1 a.m., Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Rio Bravo Amber, Weizen, Randy’s Shandy, Dirty Rotten Bastard IPA, Snakebite IPA, Roadkill Red Ale, La Luz Lager, Old Town Porter, Vanilla Porter, NM Pinon Coffee Porter, Oatmeal Stout, Barrel-aged Belgian Strong Golden, Barley Wine, Level 3 IPA, Imperial Russian Stout, Lemongrass Wit, Peach Gose, Cherry Sour Kolsch, Cucumber Mojito, Penguin Lager. The Level 3 (7.5% ABV, 120 IBU) should satisfy any hophead. A portion of the Penguin Lager proceeds are going to the new exhibit at the ABQ Bio Park. Next up are the Hibiscus and Cherry Wheat.

Live Music: Thursday—Michael Moxey Acoustic, 7-9 p.m.; Friday—Texas Swing Band, 6-8 p.m., Austin Van, 8-10 p.m.; Tuesday—Pre-4th Party with The Moves Collective, 7-10 p.m.

Other Events: Thursday—Albuquerque Beer: Duke City History on Tap Book Signing with author Chris Jackson, and 104.1 The Edge Live Broadcast, 5-7 p.m.; Saturday—Veterans Memorial Ride, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Movie Night, 7 p.m.; Thursday—Girls Pint Out, all day; Friday—Philly Friday, all day; Sunday—Pints & Planks with Yoga Zo; Tuesday—$2 Taco Tuesday, all day

Sidetrack Brewing — (505) 832-7183

(Mon–Thurs 3–11 p.m., Fri 3 p.m.–midnight, Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Sidetrack Pilsner, Honey Wheat, Switchgear IPA, Farmhouse Ale, Golden WHEELS Ale, Pub Ale, Sour Relationship. The most recent additions are the Golden WHEELS (see our intro) and a fresh batch of Pub Ale. Sour Relationship is the aforementioned collaboration with Boese Brothers, Milton’s, and NM Cider Co.

Cask: The Pilsner and Farmhouse are in the firkins.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Taco Tuesday, all day

Starr Brothers Brewing — (505) 492-2752

(Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day)

Beers: Starrstruck IPA, L.A. Woman (Blonde), Red Zepplin, Lampshade Porter, Phantom Limb Black Rye IPA, Electric Sun American Wheat, C10H15N (Crystal Pale Ale), Starrphire Pilsner, Brown Chicken Brown Cow, Bloodshot, Starrgazm IPA. More Starrgazm quickly hit taps this week.

Steel Bender Brewyard — (505) 433-3537

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: (house) Skull Bucket IPA, Red Iron Red, Sparkfitter Amber, Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch, Blue Bullet Stout, The Village Wit; (seasonals/specialties) Misfitter Altbier, Smith Hopper Cascade Extra Pale Ale, Goose is Loose Berliner Weisse, 505 Collaboration, Wheels of Soul Black (Hole Sun) IPA. Say hello to the Smith Hopper Cascade, which replaces the Centennial. The Misfitter returns by popular demand.

The 377 Brewery — (505) 934-0795

(Open noon-11 p.m. most days)

Beers: (house) 377 IPA, Dieterhosen Hefe, Project El CuCuy (DIPA), English Best Bitter, Fat Brown Guy (Porter), Red Horse NM Lager, Swartzbier, Red Rocket (Double Red); (seasonals) Bitter Blonde, Black Ops Hops, Kolsch, Full Booty Stout (on nitro), Peach Wheat, Scottish Ale, Summer Saison, Plum Sour. Thanks to the magic of Untappd, we now have a breakdown of The 377’s beers. The Plum Sour and Summer Saison are the most recent additions.

Tractor Brewing Company — (505) 433-5654 (Nob Hill), (505) 243-6752 (Wells Park)

(Nob Hill: Sun–Weds noon–midnight, Thurs noon–2 a.m., Fri–Sat noon–2 a.m.; Wells Park: Mon–Thurs 3 p.m.–close, Fri–Sun 1 p.m.–midnight)

Beers: Barnstorm Ale, Holstein & Hops, Cascade Pale Ale, Minute-4, Cascara Cider, Apricot Wheat, Half Acre Hefe, Tupac Cali Red, Mother Road Collaboration DIPA, Thai Basil Mint Cider, 505 Collaboration (Wells Park only), Berry Cider (Nob Hill only), Flanders Red Ale (Wells Park only), Milk Stout on nitro (Wells Park only). The new DIPA was made with the good folks from Mother Road Brewing in Flagstaff. The collaboration Altbier, sadly, has run out, probably because it was so tasty. The Thai Basil Mint Cider is the most recent addition.

Live Music (Wells Park): Saturday—Garner Sloan, 8 p.m.

Live Music (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Alex Maryol, 8:30 p.m.

Other Events (Wells Park): Thursday—Tractor Square Dance, 7 p.m.; Friday—Hops & Dreams: Woodstock Edition, 8 p.m.; Monday—Special Screening of Independence Day, 8 p.m.

Other Events (Nob Hill): Saturday—Rest in Golden: Rita Riggs Art Opening, 6 p.m.

Weekly Events (Wells Park): Tuesday—Kamikaze Karaoke, 7 p.m.

Weekly Events (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Writing Wednesdays, 5 p.m.; Monday—Tractor Tune Up, 7:30 p.m.

Also, every first Monday of the month at both Tractor locations is Beer for a Better Burque night. For every pint you buy $1 can go to one of four charities that have partnered with Tractor. You can also opt to purchase a special growler with the logo of your favorite charity.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Tractor now has a late happy hour from 9 p.m. to midnight on Mondays with $2.25 classic beers and $3.25 seasonals.

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

(Kitchen hours: Mon–Tues 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Wed–Thurs 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sun 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Reminder: TMBC closes early when business dictates. Please call.)

Beers: Consensual Sensations DIPA, Stuccon Saison, Lil’ Shelly (Pale Ale), Improvisation Ale, For the Bees. The Lil’ Shelly (5.2% ABV, 69 IBU) and Yum Yum Colada, a pina colada kettle sour, were the most recent additions until For the Bees joined the lineup. There is not much Improvisation and Consensual Sensations are nearly out, so Keller Collab and My Kolsche are on deck.

Cask: Tuesday—none July 4 as TMBC will be closed, casks will resume July 11

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Open daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Imperial Chocolate Porter, Hella Humulus Collaboration IPA, Ginger Braggott. Oh, man, the Imperial Chocolate Porter was one of the best beers of BearFest. Get it before it runs out! This Friday, a cask of Braggot dry hopped with Idaho 7 will be available on the patio.

Chili Line Brewing — (505) 500-7903

(Mon–Sat 4–11 p.m., Sun 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: El Jefe (Rauchweizen), sIPApu (India Pale Lager), Antonio Bandito (Dunkelweizen), Llorona Lager, Pineapple IPA, Porter, Vienna Lager, La Bamba (Rauchbier), Stada Baba (Oak Smoked Polish Gratzer). The last five beers there are the new additions to the lineup, but more beers are on the way.

Live Music: Every night at 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Reverse happy hour after 9 p.m. includes $1 off pints, $6 appetizers, $10 entrees and pizzas.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

(Brewery: Mon–Sat open at 11 a.m., Sun open at 1 p.m.; ABQ taproom: Mon–Thurs 2 p.m.–midnight; Fri–Sun noon–midnight)

Beers: Bad Amber, Fiction (IPA), Oui Lourd, WWWMD (Barrel-Aged Whistler), Manikin (Scottish), Cezanne Origine. The Origine is the current spring saison from Duel. The Oui Lourd, Ara Pacis II, and WWWMD are the most recent additions. The acronym stands for What Would Whistler’s Mother Do. The Whistler (Blonde), Turncoat (Sour Scotch), and Ensor (Sour) are nearly ready to go on tap.

Live Music (ABQ taproom): Friday—Pata D Perro, 7-10 p.m.; Saturday—Blues and Brews with the Rudy Boy Experiment, 8-11 p.m.

Weekly Events (ABQ taproom): Tuesday—Bike-In Brew, 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts (Brewery): Happy hour Mon–Fri, 4-6 p.m. (discounts for all draft beer), Growler Saturdays ($3 off growler fills).

Happy Hour/Discounts (ABQ taproom): Happy hour Mon–Fri, 5-7 p.m.

Rowley Farmhouse Ales — (505) 428-0719

(Open all week from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Beers: Fields of Rye, Saison du Sarlacc, Agent Scully – Season One, Episode Three (IPA),  Germophile (Berliner Weisse), Ab Initio with Apricot, Ab Initio with Boysenberry, Meier (Meyer Lemon Gose), No BU For You (Zero IBU IPA). The Agent Scully is a new series of IPAs which will vary by hop combinations. This is a new batch of Fields of Rye dry-hopped with Citra.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

(Main taproom: Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 2-8 p.m.; ABQ taproom: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–11 p.m.; Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight; Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Freestyle Pilsner, Autonomous Collective IPA. We haven’t gotten an update from SFBC in so long we really have no idea what’s on tap at this point. We’re sure it’s good, but beyond that, it’s all a mystery.

Happy Hour/Discounts: $1 off growler refills in the tasting room on Mondays. $2 pint Tuesdays at the Eldorado Taphouse. On Wednesday, there is a $2 pint special in the tasting room. On Thursday, there will be $1 off growler refills at the Eldorado Taphouse.

Second Street Brewery — (505) 989-3278 (Railyard), (505) 982-3030 (original location)

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sunday noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Cream Stout, Boneshaker Special Bitter, 2920 Pale Ale, Diploid New England Style IPA, International Steam Pale Ale, Civil Rye, Red and Yellow Armadillo. The most recent additions are 2920 PA, Diploid, and a fresh batch of Armadillo.

Live Music (Original location): TBA

Live Music (Railyard): TBA

Weekly Events (Railyard): Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 8 p.m.

Other breweries you need to visit

Bathtub Row Brewing — (505) 500-8381

(Mon–Weds 2–10 p.m., Thurs 2–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–11 p.m., Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: The Tripel Lindy, Wit Rock, Crazy Mother IPA, Betty on Brett, Spearmint Stout, Jarrylo Pale Ale, Beedle’s Apple Ale, Catcher ‘n the Rye, Double Barrel Bourbon Brown. The most recent tap turnover went down in Los Alamos with Crazy Mother, Betty, Spearmint, Jarrylo, Beedle’s, and Catcher making their debuts. The Bourbon Brown (8.7% ABV) has now joined them.

Sierra Blanca Brewing — (505) 832-2337

(Mon–Thurs 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Fri –Sat 11 a.m.–9 p.m.)

Beers: Barrel-aged Whiskey Stout, Cherry Sour, Interstella Vanilla, Cherry Wheat, Single Hop IPA. The Whiskey Stout is back for a short time. The Cherry Sour is back for another run. Cherry Wheat is also now available in six packs.

* * * *

That’s all for this week! If you have any questions or comments, leave them below or contact us on our Facebook page.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Broken Trail operations manager Devan Colston is a veteran of the local beer scene.

When our editor asked for Unsung Hero nominations, Broken Trail Spirits + Brew’s co-owner and head distiller Matt Simonds nominated his operations manager, Devan Colston. Originally, Matt gave me a three-word response when I asked him why he chose Devan: “Because he’s awesome?” Then Matt immediately expanded on that by saying, “No, more to the point. Devan has been a source of stability around here. I’m stretched pretty thin, and Devan more or less begged for the opportunity (to) help out when I needed it the most. He’s a guy that’s been around the craft brewing scene for a while now — he’s bartended, he’s slung beer. He brought that experience over to us and really helped take Broken Trail up to the next level. And, he’d be the first to say, we haven’t even gotten started!”

Luckily, I thought to bring my Dark Side shirt with me to work and hastily threw it on before I met with Devan at lunchtime in Nob Hill to interview him for this series. Because, despite his being in the industry for quite a long time, we strangely had not met, and neither of us would have known who to look for. It turns out he is an interesting guy who has pretty much seen all sides of this business of breweries.

Devan began his career in the industry working for Nico Ortiz as a server at Turtle Mountain. He then started bartending there, became a manger, and in total worked there for almost a decade. Devan moved on to La Cumbre, where he worked as a taproom manager for just under three years. He then worked at Ponderosa for about eight months, and has now been at Broken Trail about a year and a half. He started out there bartending a couple of nights a week while working another full-time job. Working at Broken Trail afforded him the opportunity to work with both beer and cocktails. He feels that, first and foremost, he is a beer guy, but the spirits side allows him to be more artistic.

Broken Trail started growing quickly, and there is also the added business from distributing, including the new and very popular Pepe the Mule malt beverage. With this growth, Devan saw an opportunity to assist Matt on the operations side. He now manages operations at both the Green Jeans taproom and main location.

As I did in my first story in this series, I asked Devan why he thought he was nominated. He said he likes to go about his job in a humble fashion, just show up and get things done. Between what he said and what Matt said, if I can read between the lines, I am guessing the crux of it is this — it seems Devan has the ability to see a bigger picture and envision what needs to be done. And then he does it. It may sound simplistic, but in actuality, this is not an innate trait in most employees.

Also, as I am wont to do, I threw out a couple of silly questions. I asked Devan — before he ever got involved in this industry — what he originally wanted to “be when he grew up.” (I obviously couldn’t answer that question if I was asked, because I never did grow up!) Devan said from the time he started high school he wanted to be involved in academia. He always wanted to teach, to be a professor. I told him he should teach craft cocktail classes.

I suddenly decided I wanted to know the weirdest thing he has seen working in this business. Devan thought for a bit and then said, “Humans are just weird.” He then told me a recent story about a couple who were “being gross” at the bar. He said the words public display of affection didn’t even cover it. Because it happened at the Green Jeans location, the micro-bar size of the space made it impossible for him to get away from it. He actually turned the incident into a Facebook post, comparing it to a Dave Chappelle skit from Saturday Night Live.

I asked Devan who he as operations director would nominate at Broken Trail for this series. Without hesitation, he said, “Obviously Matt.” Devan said he loves Matt’s products and “Matt’s the one that makes the show go.” I teased him about how this series is not really about owners or long-time head brewers, but more about the hardworking employees who don’t usually get the credit. I gave him a hard time about a mutual admiration society. All kidding aside, though, Matt is great fun, and wouldn’t we all like to have such a fantastic relationship with our boss?

Then, Devan went a step further by saying he wanted to note one more thing about who he would nominate if he could nominate anyone else (outside of Broken Trail). He wanted me to know how much respect and admiration he has for Zach Guilmette at Canteen Brewhouse. Devan feels Zach is making some of the best beer in town and does not get the same recognition as the “top guns.”

As for upcoming news for Broken Trail, collaborations like the Sancho Saison they did with Jubilation, will continue. Devan said to look for a couple more hop-forward beers soon.

Event-wise, there’s a special one coming up, hopefully at the end of July. Devan literally provided information that could be called a smoking gun. Because Matt bought one — a smoking gun, that is! They are planning a night of smoked cocktails at the main Broken Trail location in collaboration with Nob Hill Bar & Grill, Scalo, Farina Alto, and others. I wish he had some kind of sign-up sheet right there with him, because I would have signed up on the spot.

And, there just might be another, much bigger surprise in the works. Stay tuned, everyone …

Cheers!

— AmyO

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Tyler King (left) and Jami Nordby (step-ladder) are getting things in place back in December.

When we began our Unsung Heroes Series, we sent out feelers to all of the breweries, asking them to submit an employee who they feel goes above and beyond the call of duty on a daily basis. When John Rowley of Rowley Farmhouse Ales replied to me, he sent me not one, but two heroes he felt were deserving of the title, though he was careful to mention that it’s not only the two candidates that bust their butts every day to make RFA happen, it’s all the employees, friends, family, and the amazing community that come out to support this fine brewery. But, to Rowley, these two individuals, are 100 (percent) proof that not all heroes wear capes. And, don’t think I didn’t angle for that photo-op. So, before anyone runs into a phone booth, this is an ode to two hard-working guys with home-brewing roots, living out a dream of many of ours, but certainly not taking it for granted.

Jami Nordby (head brewer)

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Okay, so it was just luck that Jami wore his Superman shirt the day I dropped by for a photo.

Rowley Farmhouse Ales brought Nordby on board in October 2016. Before that, Jami had been home brewing since 1994. In Santa Fe, we all knew him well for running the only local home-brew supply shop in town. He had recently sold the shop around the time he was approached about commercial brewing full-time at Rowley Farmhouse Ales (not that the two are exactly related). Since then, he’s proved quite an asset to the team.

Besides the usual, everyday brewing operations (which is not a blanket statement at all at a brewery), Nordby takes on anything that the brewery and restaurant needs to have done.

“I’ve been on the roof; I’ve been in the basement,” Jami said.

He’s done it all, top to bottom, everything from electrical to construction and plumbing. And, as a bartender, who just happened to walk by during the interview, put it quite well: “He gets all the jobs that nobody else wants.” I’m sure it’s true.

On a typical day, Nordby rolls into work about 8:30 a.m. or so. He puts in a good eight hours Monday through Friday, with Saturday as needed. If it’s a brew day, he plans to spend about 10 to 12 hours at work. Though he puts a lot of time and effort into RFA, he doesn’t let it completely take over his family life. Either he picks up his son from school, or he makes arrangements with his wife. His kiddo has always been a priority, as we Santa Fe home brewers knew that the home-brew supply shop would be closed for an hour at peak pick-up times during the school year. (We never minded.)

At RFA, Jami has just followed his passion for home brewing. You can see his eyes light up as he talks about all the new equipment they have in the space now, from the keg washer he hand-built, to the new barrels, and the brand new/used walk-in cooler.

“It’s a homebrewer’s dream,” he said.

Maybe that was me who said that, but he didn’t disagree. I asked him what his favorite style of beer to brew was.

“Whatever the next one is, I think,” he said with a laugh.

Rowley said of his head brewer: “Jami has been a force since he came on. He’s able to do much more than just the brewing tasks. Just as one small example, let’s talk about the keg washer. Our plan, to start, was to rely on Santa Fe Brewing to contract clean and sanitize kegs as they do this for local smaller guys like ourselves. They have a state-of-the-art keg-washing system. Jami took the initiative to build his own keg washer, as he felt it would be more effective to do it in-house, as opposed to lugging kegs back and forth. And, it works great! Having Jami there while I am off at the lab working has been a huge plus for us. He’s able to work independently without direct supervision. He gets the job done, and I don’t have to second-guess his decisions at all. He’s a great guy and has proven to be one of our most valuable team members. Without him, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

Rowley also named their other brewer, Tyler King, as one of their Unsung Heroes, noting that he definitely deserves credit for all he’s done for RFA.

Tyler King (brewer)

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Tyler King said, “You can take a picture, but I’m not really doing anything right now.” My reply, “Maybe not, but it’s a Sunday, and you’re here at work. Smile for the camera, hero.”

Tyler is originally from Loveland, Colorado, and moved to Santa Fe about 14 years ago. After judging the Enchanted Brewing Challenge in 2016, Tyler spoke to John Rowley about a job. It proved to be pretty good timing, as he was looking to get into commercial brewing, and Rowley was just starting to talk about the brewery publicly. Even before construction started (which Tyler volunteered a lot of his time for), they’d had a bit of a verbal agreement. Prior to that, King had home brewed for seven years. He had a rocky start in college, like many of us have, but his interest was rekindled while having a conversation over a home brew at former Governor Gary Johnson’s son-in-law’s house. (True story!)

King’s big entrance into the NM brewing scene, however, came by way of the annual home-brew competition in 2014, the Santa Fe Open, put on by the Sangre de Cristo Craftbrewers home-brew club. The Dark Side has covered several of these great local home-brewing competitions, because we know for a fact that these kind of competitions yield future professional brewers. Come to think of it, that first competition is actually where I met King. He was volunteering a lot of his time then, too, as I recall.

Aside from brewing, King also does I.T. for a local art university in Santa Fe, as well as owning an independent film company. On occasion, he does freelance post-production audio work for independent film workers as well, because, as he put it, “You’ve got to stay busy!”

And, busy he stays. When he’s not at his 9-to-5 weekday job, for which he’s also on-call nightly, he works Saturdays and occasionally Sundays at the brewery, doing anything and everything that is needed on those days, much like Nordby. His primary focus at RFA is the 1-barrel small-batch system, where he gets to try out new recipes and make more of the fun one-off beers served in the taproom. Of course, he also helps Jami and John on the 7-barrel system when they need to fill barrels with new stuff, or make more of the core beers.

When I asked if King had much input in the recipes they brew at RFA, he replied, “The great thing about our size is we all work together. John usually makes up the actual recipes in the software and has final say. He is the brewmaster and it is his name on the wall. I wouldn’t expect anything less. That said, if I want to make a recipe, use a home-brew one, or improvise on the spot to fix a problem, I can. Colonel Citra was a scaled-up version of my award-winning home-brew DIPA by the same name. It seemed well received commercially! Who doesn’t like a well-balanced 9-percent, all-Citra hop IPA? I’ve been thinking of a funky brettanomyces version, too. On top of just recipes, I can give input on equipment we need, fruits to use, (and) if a beer is ready or not, et cetera. Best recent example I can think of is tasting the four chardonnay barrels we just bottled. Four of us got together to decide what fruits would go in what barrel. I pushed the group to swap the fruit choice in two barrels. Hopefully everyone will agree with me when they are for sale! 1,000-plus bottles are conditioning now.”

Rowley had this to say about King: “Tyler was instrumental in getting our small batches off, and running when we first started brewing after getting our licenses all lined up. He and I brewed every Saturday for the first five months or so. It was taxing, but he runs with it and doesn’t complain. He’s come a long way as a brewer and is a vital part of our team. Tyler played a big role in us getting the doors opened as well. He was there, every weekend, in 2016 while we worked on getting the taproom and patio ready for service. We were fortunate to have a lot of help from our friends, but Tyler was there every step of the way. I know my name is on the wall, but there really isn’t Rowley Farmhouse Ales without Jami and Tyler working hard to bring New Mexico the best possible beer we can. I can’t speak highly enough of the team we have in place right now. Over time, we hope to grow the brewery up, but we definitely have a great core now.”

I asked Rowley what took them above and beyond the call of duty.

“I really think that these guys are looking at what we are doing as less of a job, and more of a mission,” he said. “Anyone can have a job that they may or may not like going to daily. But, my feeling is both Jami and Tyler are passionate about our mission to create the best beer we can, and that translates to passion instead of a feeling of this just being a job. Sure, we all have days that we don’t want to do some less desirable work (washing kegs, cleaning tanks, whatever that might be), but I don’t feel any hesitation with these guys. They have the attitude that those things are necessary and they embrace these less than ideal parts of the job and charge at them, not away from them. That’s how I know we have the right people, and Jami and Tyler are those guys.”

* * * * *

There are many different kinds of heroes that work at our breweries. They come in all shapes, sizes, beard-lengths, boot-colors, and genders. They work at all different positions from bartender, to lab tech, to office manager, and brewer. There really are no small fires that these gals and guys put out on a daily basis. Everything they do, tweak, build, or fix, no matter how seemingly minute, makes or breaks the solid reputations of our great New Mexico breweries.

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These limited bottles will be available soon. Check your local beer geek shop.

Truth be told, if it were not for Jami’s patience and unassuming nature, and his store, of course, I may not have lasted through my first hop selection and recipe creation. I may not have brewed a few batches, joined the local club, and soon after leapt at the opportunity to write for the Dark Side. So, to all of you heroes, sung and unsung, whether your name is on the posters or simply on a pay stub, we in the Dark Side Brew Crew, salute you.

Cheers!

— Luke

Luke123 Steel Bender

For more @nmdarksidebc info, #CraftBeer news, and unabashed Untappd pics, follow me on Twitter @SantaFeCraftBro!

We gotta admit, that is one excellent logo.

The July 4 weekend is almost here, which means it is once again time for Pork & Brew in Rio Rancho at the Santa Ana Star Center. I sat down with Noah Trujillo and Alex Archuleta from the Rio Rancho Convention and Visitors Bureau to see what is up with the 14th annual edition of this popular beer-and-food festival, set for Saturday, July 1, through Monday, July 3.

“Looking back to last year, that was the best the event has ever done,” Noah said. “Our attendance numbers were up, but people also seemed to be spending (more) money. The vendors did realy well, both food and beer. To put it mildly, the event was packed. On Saturday and Sunday, the Fourth was a Monday last year, it was a little slower that day, but Saturday and Sunday were insane. Hopefully that happens again.”

As always, they wanted to remind folks this is a family friendly event. The same three local breweries as last year — Cazuela’s, Red Door, Tractor — will be in attendance. It is a purchasing event, not a sampling event. Each brewery was kind enough to send us their beer lists this far in advance.

Tractor brewed up the official beer of the festival, Big Sipper IPA, which is still on sale in cans around the state. In addition, Tractor will have Haymaker Honey Wheat, Delicious Red Apple Cider, New Mexican Lager, Mustachio Milk Stout, and Berry Cider.

Cazuela’s will once again bring Porky’s Malt Liquor, their special entry for the festival, plus Acapulco Red, Pilsner, Idaho SMASH IPA, and their Beergaritas.

Red Door will have their specialty entry, Sowbelly Blonde, plus Trapdoor White Ale, Roamer Red, and Open Saison. Noah also said that the brewery tent has been expanded this year, with more seating for patrons to enjoy.

In addition to the beer, there will be plenty of BBQ for people to sample. The competition will no longer take place, freeing up time and space. There will be a special BBQ 101, hosted by the Texas Bib Rangers, an award-winning husband-and-wife duo who have won more than 1,000 major show awards. They will show you how to make the best BBQ from start to finish. It will take place every day from 3 to 4 p.m.

“Barbecue 101 is one of those (new) things,” Noah said. “We’ve never had a cooking demo at this event, so people can see how their food is made and the process it goes through. We’re having those cooking demos every day.”

The Cooking Channel show Carnival Eats will also be on hand for the first time, filming all day Saturday and Sunday, for a future episode. It is the top-ranked show on the cable station.

For the kids, Galloping Grace Youth Ranch will be back with an even bigger setup.

“Galloping Grace Youth Ranch, they’ll be back at the event, but they’re expanding,” Noah said. “They kind of do the midway. They’re expanding that into more interactive games for the kids. They’ll have their petting zoo. They’re also using this to get ready for fair season, showing off their animals and things like that.”

There will also be a daily raffle for a Traeger Smoker, plus every day after BBQ 101 is over, a raffle will be held for a Charbroil Smoker. In other words, win a smoker, which will win you many more friends. Perhaps even the Crew, for we love smoked meats.

Plenty of local musicians will also be on hand, many of which are regulars on brewery stages. Here is the updated schedule.

Saturday, July 1

  • The Gershom Brothers (Brew Tent Stage), 11 a.m.
  • Toby McBrooks (SASC Stage), 12:30 p.m.
  • Rippy and the Sillyettes (Brew Trent Stage), 3:15 p.m.
  • The Noms (SASC Stage), 3:30 p.m.
  • Avenge Apollo (Brew Tent Stage), 5 p.m.
  • Twist & Shout (SASC Stage), 5:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 2

  • Toby McBrooks (SASC Stage), 11 a.m.
  • Bosque Blues (Brew Tent Stage), 11 a.m.
  • Eileen and the Cross Country Stage (SASC Stage), 12:30 p.m.
  • Ancient Bones (Brew Tent Stage), 3:15 p.m.
  • Red Wine (SASC Stage), 3:45 p.m.
  • Split Decision (SASC Stage), 5:30 p.m.

Monday, July 3

  • Toby McBrooks (SASC Stage), 11 a.m.
  • Danny the Harp (Brew Tent Stage), 11 a.m.
  • Mungo Mike (SASC Stage), 12:30 p.m.
  • Red Wine (SASC Stage), 3:30 p.m.

The event times are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on July 1-2, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 3. There will be events going on inside the Star Center, if you need a break from the parking lot heat, or should a random monsoon drop in like it did two years ago.

Tickets are $6 per day for adults, $4 for children ages 4-12 and for seniors 65 and over, and children 3 and under get in free. Active duty and retired military also get in for $4 with ID.

Grab some sunscreen, take your appetite, and have fun out there next weekend!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The Rail Yards, minus the smudge on the camera lens, will be hosting another beer festival.

A small beer festival, called simply the Tapping Party, is popping up this Saturday at The Rail Yards south of downtown, with a good cause behind the entire event. Craft for Causes, a non-profit, is teaming up with breweries nationwide to create special beers and raise money for charities. There is no entry charge, patrons only pay for the food and beer they choose to purchase.

All of it is tied into the Tedeschi Truck Band’s Wheels of Soul tour, which comes to the Sandia Casino Amphitheater on July 27. The five participating local breweries will each create a special beer for that concert, though anyone who wants to try them in advance can come to The Rail Yards from 5 to 9 p.m. It raises money for Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, which donates high-quality musical equipment for under-funded school programs across the country.

The five participating local breweries are La Cumbre, Marble, Palmer, Santa Fe, and Steel Bender. The special beers will be La Cumbre’s All That I Need, a dry-hopped kellerbier; Marble’s Wheels of Soul Pale Ale; Steel Bender’s Black (Hole Sun) IPA, which is a tribute to the late Chris Cornell; Santa Fe’s Altbier; and a TBA beer from Palmer. Left Turn Distilling will also be there as the lone distillery making a special Wheels of Soul spirit.

In addition to those, each brewery will have other beers available for purchase. This not a sampling event. La Cumbre is also bring El Jugo Pale Ale and Elevated IPA. Marble will also pour Pilsner, Double White, and Black Currant Gose. Steel Bender is also taking Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch, Red Iron Red, and Goose is Loose Berliner Weisse.

There will be live music from Red Light Cameras, ReVoZo, James Whiton, and DJ Gabe. There will be three food trucks present, tattoo artists, live shirt printing, and other vendors.

Got any questions? Ask away, or check the event’s Facebook page.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s six breweries, one in Los Alamos, and one in Moriarty also joining the party.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Apparently the goal of breweries this June is to make the Crew feel really old. Well, at least it seems that way to me, the oldest (39) active member of the core group. That is because for the second weekend in a row, a brewery is throwing a 1990s party. Yeah, the decade where I learned to drive a car, graduated from high school, came to like beer (not the good stuff we have now, mind you), and celebrate a college basketball championship (Bear Down!) is now everyone’s favorite nostalgia trip. So a week after Tractor threw Beer Prom, Saved by the Boese!, a 90s party and fundraiser, is kicking off at (you guessed it) Boese Brothers this Saturday starting at 1 p.m. Wear your best 90s attire and get $10 pitchers of Duke City Lager and La Onza White Ale from 1 to 9 p.m. There will be 90-cent 90s food items (Fruit Roll-ups and Corndogs, among others), 90s games and toys, 90s costume and Instagram contests, DJ Clout spinning all sorts of music from the decade, from Nirvana to Naught by Nature, and 90s trivia and hackey sack contests. It all benefits Children’s Grief Center and Team Tio. Head on down and revel in the era before everyone had a cell phone, and social media, and try to forget entirely what that decade did to heavy metal! Party on, people, party on!

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bosque has the latest entry in their Exotic Elephants series, Peach EOP. Boxing Bear brings back Amerikolsch and also adds New England-style Eastern Standard IPA. Broken Trail hops to it with Trailworks IPA, with a portion of the proceeds going to fix up bicycle trails around the metro area. Canteen also gets hazy with Tuttle IPA, plus two special collaboration beers are out at multiple locations — Keller Collab and Improvisation Ale, made by Canteen, Chama River, Marble, Nexus, Santa Fe, and Turtle Mountain. Chama River also deals out Deuces IPA. Marble adds Passionate Gose, plus Blackberry Gose and Double IPA are back. Vic’s Secret Pale Ale will be secret no more when it goes on tap later this week at Ponderosa. The Blood Orange Hefe, as long promised, is now available at Quarter Celtic, and Gondola Party Starter IPA is back as well. Rio Bravo unveils Penguin Lager on tap and in four-packs, with a portion of the proceeds going to the new penguin exhibit at the ABQ Bio Park Zoo. Plum Sour returns to The 377 at last.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn will have Hefeweizen back on tap this Friday. Second Street resurrects Civil Rye and also brings back Boneshaker Special Bitter.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of June 19.

To break down each “capsule,” I listed the brewery (with Web page linked), its phone number and hours of operation. Under “Beers” are the new or seasonal beers on tap for this week.

Albuquerque metro area breweries

Ale Republic — (505) 281-2828

(Mon–Thurs 2–10 p.m., Fri–Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Pine Juice IPA, Golden, Brune, Tokyo Black, Citrus Pale Ale. The Tokyo Black (6% ABV, 24 IBU) is a black ale made with green tea for a true east-meets-west flavor. It is the first in a series of beers made with specialty teas coming from Ale Republic. Another recent addition is the Citrus Pale Ale (5.3% ABV, 50 IBU).

Alien Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–2 a.m., Sunday 10 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Call the number above for details on any small-batch beers currently available. They change frequently. The rest of the lineup is from the Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande family of beers.

Bistronomy B2B — (505) 262-2222

(Mon–Tues 4-9 p.m., Weds noon-9 p.m., Thurs–Sat noon-9:30 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

The Blue Grasshopper — (505) 896-8579

(Noon to 11 p.m. most days, call for more info)

Beers: BG is not making its own beers at this time as the brewing system is being moved to a new location, per sources. Until later, enjoy the wide range of guest taps at both locations.

Live Music: Bands perform from 6 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday through Saturday. Click the link for the schedule.

Boese Brothers Brewery — (505) 382-7060

(Hours: Mon–Thurs 3 p.m.–midnight, Fri 3 p.m.–2 a.m., Sat noon–2 a.m., Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: La Onza White Ale, Dr. Strangehop XPA, Duke City Lager, Washington’s Hatcher, Zeus Juice White IPA, Betchin Little Pale Ale, Cherry Bomb, Sour Relationship. The Zeus Juice can also be purchased in bombers. Sour Relationship, a special collaboration with Milton’s, NM Cider Co., and Sidetrack, is now available.

Live Music: Friday—DJ Wae Fonkey, 9 p.m.

Other Events: Saturday—Saved by the Boese! 90s Party & Fundraiser, 1 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Boese will have a happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, with $3 pints. You can also get $3 pints all day Tuesday and $6 growler fills all day Wednesday.

Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596 (main brewery), (505) 508-5967 (Nob Hill Public House), (575) 571-4626 (Las Cruces Taproom)

(Main brewery on San Mateo: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-midnight, Sun noon-8 p.m.; Nob Hill: Mon–Weds 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Thurs 11 a.m.-midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Sun noon-11 p.m.; Las Cruces: Sun–Thurs noon-11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon-midnight)

Beers: Polly’s Wheaty Lager, Challenge IPA No. 2, Amatronic (Red Ale), Hefe This, Grasping at Straws, Gettin’ Caught in the Rain, Peach Exotic Elephants. The Polly’s (5.4% ABV, 30 IBU) was brewed up with Polly’s Run, a charity dedicated to fighting pancreatic cancer. A dollar from every pint will go to the cause. Gettin’ Caught in the Rain is a pina colada wheat brewed in collaboration with Flix Brewhouse.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Bosque has a happy hour running from 3-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and all day on Sunday. Look for special menu items and get $1 off your favorite pints.

Bow & Arrow Brewing — (505) 247-9800

(Mon-Weds 3–10 p.m., Thurs 3–11 p.m., Fri-Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–9 p.m.)

Beers: Flint & Grit (British Mild), Sun Dagger (Saison), Crossed Arrows (Scotch Ale), Hoka Hey (IPA), Jemez Field Notes Lager, Wayward Arrow Hefeweizen, Radical Aim IPA, Sun-Bleached Berliner Weisse, El Breakfast Stout, Biere de Garde, Desert Dynamo IPL, Way Out West Farmhouse Sour. The newest additions to the lineup are Way Out West, Biere de Garde, Sun-Bleached, Desert Dynamo, and El Breakfast Stout. The latter is a spicy chocolate coffee stout, in case you could not guess by the name.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Bow & Arrow has happy hour every Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Get $1 off pints. A new late happy hour starts Thursday at 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday at 10 p.m.

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

(Sun-Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.)

Beers: Chocolate Milk Stout (also on nitro), Ekuanot SMASH, Barril De Oso, Blood Orange Pale Ale, Barn Burner IWA, Guava Gose, Amerikolsch, Eastern Standard IPA. The Barril De Oso is a wine-barrel-aged version of the Oso Otono brown ale. The most recent additions are the Amerikolsch and Eastern Standard (7% ABV, 40 IBU), a hazy New England-style IPA.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 8-10 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Every day at lunchtime (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), for just $10 you can get a pint and a panini of your choice.

Broken Trail Brewery & Distillery — (505) 221-6281

(Mon-Thu 3-9 p.m., Fri 3-10 p.m., Sat noon-10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-8 p.m.)

Beers: Otero ESB, Lone Pine Pilsner, Sancho Saison, Double Black IPA, Sancho de la Sierra, Pepe the Mule, Trailworks IPA. OK, fine, Pepe the Mule counts as a beer, even though it is basically a Moscow Mule, but it was made with beer. The Sancho de la Sierra is a rye version of the saison made in collaboration with Jubilation. The Trailworks was made in collaboration with Bikeworks, a neighboring business, with a portion of the proceeds going to trail maintenance in the metro area.

Weekly Events (main location): Today (Wednesday)—Cards Against Humanity hosted by 10 Drink Minimum, 7 p.m.; Sunday—Build-your-own Mule bar, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Tuesday—All house beers are $2 a pint

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737 (brewery), (505) 200-2344 (taproom)

(Brewery: Sun–Thurs noon–10 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–midnight; Taproom: Open daily 3–10 p.m.)

Beers: Exodus IPA, Dragline IPA, Tuttle IPA Irish Red, Cloudview Wit, Keller Collab, Strawberry Basil Gose, Improvisation Ale. The most recent additions are the Tuttle, Keller, and Improvisation. The latter two are collaborations made with Chama River, Marble, Nexus, Santa Fe, and Turtle Mountain. If you want to know more about the excellent Dragline, read Franz Solo’s viking ode to this IPA.

Live Music: Thursday—The Real Matt Jones, 6-9 p.m.; Sunday—Silver String Band, 4-7 p.m.

Cazuela’s Seafood & Mexican Grill — (505) 994-9364

(Open daily 8 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Papacabra (Double IPA), Acapulco Gold (Mexican Lager), Chupacabra IPA, Piedra del Fuego Stoned Cream Ale, Beer for My Horses (Oatmeal Stout). These are the regular house beers. Call the number above for an updated seasonal list.

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Deuces IPA, Chamiso Mexican Lager, Kolsch, Red River Ale. The Deuces is a two-hop IPA, the first in a series, made with Amarillo and Simcoe. It tasted great at BearFest.

Dialogue Brewing — (505) 585-1501

(Open daily noon-midnight)

Beers: Belgian Citrus IPA, Berliner Weisse, Dark Helmet (Swartzbier), American Dark Sour, F yo Couch (Oatmeal Stout), Biere de Mars, Amber Lager, SCH Scotch Lager, Soulless (Tart Ginger), Sour Raspberry, ODB Sour Brown Ale, Hayes Days (Belgian Wit), Common Irish Conversation, Cordial (Tart Cherry Gose). The most recent additions are the Cordial, Amber Lager, F yo Couch, and Hayes Days. Yup, Dialogue is still winning on the creative beer name front. The CIC is a rye steam beer brewed in collaboration with Quarter Celtic.

Weekly Events: Monday—Service Industry Night, 6 p.m.

Drafty Kilt Brewing — (505) 881-0234

(Sun 11 a.m–10 p.m., Mon 11 a.m.–8 p.m., Tues–Thu 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Groundskeeper Willie Cream Ale, Wee Beastie Scottish Ale, McWabbit Pale Ale, Campbell Toe IPA, Obliviscaris Oatmeal Stout, McRojo or No (Irish Red). Brewer/owner Mike Campbell has five of his own creations on tap at 4814 Hardware Dr. NE, including the Campbell Toe (no snickering). The Obliviscaris is a burly throwback to the stouts of old.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.; Thursday—Blues, Brews & BBQ, 5 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: $1 off pints and 20-ounce pours, Mon-Fri, 3-6 p.m.; “Just Because We Love You Club,” happy hour prices at all times for teachers, first responders, law enforcement, and military with ID; Growler Fill Days on Thu and Sun, $2 off new growlers, $1 off refills

Flix Brewhouse — (505) 445-8500

(Open daily 11 a.m.-midnight)

Beers: So It Gose, Baby You’re Much Too Fast (Irish Red), Flora Colossus (DIPA), Gettin’ Caught in the Rain, Brewhouse Shandy. Flora Colossus is a tasty, wine-infused double IPA. Gettin’ Caught in the Rain is a pina colada wheat brewed in collaboration with Bosque.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

(Bernalillo hours Mon-Thu 2-9 p.m., Fri-Sat 11:30-10 p.m., Sun 11:30-9 p.m.)

Beers: German Porter, Lil Red, Cori and Her Wheat, German Pilsner, Helles Lager, Maibock, Honk Ale, Oaxford IPA, Walnut Cider, DjinnJar Kombucha. The most recent additions are the German Porter and Pilsner. Sounds like a hearty “Prost!” is in order.

Weekly Events (Nob Hill): Thursday—The Desert Darlings, 7-9 p.m.

Weekly Events (Bernalillo): Sunday—Brunch, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., The Desert Darlings, 6-8 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Kaktus has several new weekday specials in Bernalillo, including $3 pints on Monday, $9 growlers on Tuesday, $6 bison nachos on Wednesday, and $8 Frito pie and beer on Thursday.

Kellys Brew Pub — (505) 262-2739

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat 8 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun 8 a.m.-10 p.m.)

Beers: (house) Apricot Ale, Blonde, Dry Irish Stout (on nitro), Farm House Ale, IPA, Red, Scotch Ale, Session IPA; (seasonal) Rye Pale Ale. The recent change in ownership at Kellys has led to some seriously improved beers and food, so we decided it was high time to add it to the listings.

Live Music: Every Wednesday 6-9 p.m. and Sunday 3-6 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Thursday Pint night $1 off pints.

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Strawberry Gose, Blanche de Burque, VMO #2, Pogue Mahone (on nitro). The VMO #2 is a lovely Marzen. The Blanche de Burque is back for another run. The Strawberry Gose is also available in bombers.

Live Music: Saturday—Julian Dossett Trio, 6-9 p.m.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Lego Night Build Off or Loteria (alternates by week), 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

(Mon–Weds noon-9 p.m., Thurs–Sat noon-midnight, Sun noon-7 p.m.)

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Lizard Tail’s happy hour runs seven days a week from 3 to 6 p.m. You get $1 off food, flights, and pints.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 8 p.m.; Thursday—Karaoke, 8-11 p.m.

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739 (downtown), (505) 508-4638 (Westside), (505) 323-4030 (Heights)

(Downtown: Mon–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10:30 p.m.; Westside: Mon–Thurs noon–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10 p.m.; Heights: Mon–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10:30 p.m.)

Beers: Indiana Bone’s Raider of the Lost Ale, Saison de Burque, DANG Pale Ale, Pina Pale, Improv Pale Ale, Flower Digger Pale Ale, Super Session IPA, White Out (Downtown only), Black Currant Gose (Downtown and Westside), Guava Gose (Downtown and Westside), Blackberry Gose (Heights only), Passionate Gose (Heights and Westside), Idaho 7 Pale Ale (Heights and Westside), Pilsner Anejo (Heights and Westside), Bronco Blanco (Heights and Westside), Rita! (Heights and Westside), Double IPA (Westside only), Cranberry Gose (Westside only), Brett IPA (Westside only), Mosaic IPA (Westside only), 7 Horsemen (Westside only), Golden Strong (Westside only), India Wheat Ale (Westside only), Nitro Brune (Westside only), Wheat Out (Westside only). There are so, so many beers between the three locations. Don’t feel bad if you can’t get to them all. The newest additions are Pasionate Gose, Blackberry Gose, and Black Currant Gose … if you are sensing a theme here, well, yeah.

Live Music (Downtown): Today (Wednesday)—The Outer Vibe, 7-10 p.m.; Thursday—The Porter Draw, 7-10 p.m.; Friday—Mondo Vibrations, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Pawnshop Poster Boys, 8-11 p.m.

Live Music (Heights): Thursday—Stanlee Kee and Step In, 7-10 p.m.; Friday—Kyle Sherman, 7-10 p.m.; Saturday—Nervous Nation, 7-10 p.m.

Live Music (Westside): Friday—Lenin and McCarthy, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Sol De La Noche, 8-11 p.m.

Weekly Events (Downtown): Saturday—Brewery tours, 2 p.m.

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100 (brewery), (505) 226-1055 (Silver Taproom)

(Brewery: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.–8:30 p.m.; Silver Taproom: Mon–Fri 4-10 p.m., Sat noon-10 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Milk Stout, The Darker Fare, Beam Me Up Scotty, Plum Imperial Cream, Keller Collab (brewery only), 505 Collaboration (Silver Taproom). The Beam Me Up, delicious once again, and Plum Imperial Cream were added for last month’s sixth anniversary party. The Keller Collab was mentioned above at one of its fellow creator breweries.

Happy Hour/Discounts (Brewery): Monday–Friday, $5 appetizers, 3-5 p.m.

Weekly Events (Silver Taproom): Saturday—a live DJ will perform; Sunday—a live band will perform at 2 p.m.

Palmer Brewery and Cider House — (505) 508-0508

(Tues–Sat 3–9 p.m.)

Beers: MWA (Malt With Attitude), Guero (Belgian Wit), Pale Ale, Cockness Monster (Scotch Ale), Palmergranite Wit, Cafe Pale Ale, Switch Stance Stout. Palmer shares a building with Left Turn Distilling on Girard south of Candelaria.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

(Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: Vienna Lager, Amber Ale, Hop Burst Ale, Saison, Spanglish. The Hop Burst Ale and Saison are the most recent additions. Vienna Lager is nearly out, with Vic’s Secret Pale Ale on deck to replace it.

Live Music: Today (Wednesday)—The Draft Sessions, 7-9 p.m.

Quarter Celtic Brewpub — (505) 503-1387

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.)

Beers: Denali SMASH Pale Ale, Mangose, Saoirse Hefe, Common Irish Conversation, Gondola Party Starter IPA, Blood Orange Hefeweizen. The CIC was made in collaboration with Dialogue. The GPS is a hazy New England-style IPA and back for another run.

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675 (brewery), (505) 990-3029 (downtown taproom)

(Brewery hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri 11 a.m. to midnight, Sat 7 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Downtown taproom hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Beers: Draft Session IPA, Rye Steam, Open Saison, Blackberry Hefeweizen, Peach Patersbier (downtown taproom only), Bock to Basics (downtown taproom only). The Peach Patersbier is a Belgian dark ale brewed with peaches. The Draft Session IPA was brewed to honor the open mic hosts. Blackberry Hefeweizen is the most recent addition.

Weekly Events (Brewery): Monday—The Draft Sessions, 7-9 p.m.

Weekly Events (Taproom): Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7-9 p.m.

Rio Bravo Brewing Company — (505) 900-3909

(Mon noon–10 p.m., Tues–Thu noon–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–1 a.m., Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Rio Bravo Amber, Weizen, Randy’s Shandy, Dirty Rotten Bastard IPA, Snakebite IPA, Randy’s Red Ale, La Luz Lager, Old Town Porter, Vanilla Porter, NM Pinon Coffee Porter, Oatmeal Stout, Barrel-aged Belgian Strong Golden, Barley Wine, Marzen, Level 3 IPA, Imperial Russian Stout, Lemongrass Wit, Peach Gose, Cherry Sour Kolsch, Cucumber Mojito. The Level 3 (7.5% ABV, 120 IBU) should satisfy any hophead. From now until it runs out, all Marzen pints are $1 off. Debuting this week is the Penguin Lager, with a portion of the proceeds going to the new exhibit at the ABQ Bio Park.

Live Music: Today (Wednesday)—Shane Wallin, 5-7 p.m.; Thursday—Sloan Armitage, 8-10 p.m.; Saturday—Julian Wild, 8 p.m.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Movie Night, 7 p.m.; Thursday—Girls Pint Out, all day; Friday—Philly Friday, all day; Sunday—Pints & Planks with Yoga Zo; Tuesday—$2 Taco Tuesday, all day

Sidetrack Brewing — (505) 832-7183

(Mon–Thurs 3–11 p.m., Fri 3 p.m.–midnight, Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Sidetrack Pilsner, Honey Wheat, Switchgear IPA, Farmhouse Ale, 505 Collaboration, Sour Relationship. The most recent additions are the Honey Wheat and Farmhouse Ale. Sour Relationship is the aforementioned collaboration with Boese Brothers, Milton’s, and NM Cider Co.

Cask: The Honey Wheat and Sour Relationship are in the firkins.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Taco Tuesday, all day

Starr Brothers Brewing — (505) 492-2752

(Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day)

Beers: Starrstruck IPA, L.A. Woman (Blonde), Red Zepplin, Lampshade Porter, Phantom Limb Black Rye IPA, Electric Sun American Wheat, C10H15N (Crystal Pale Ale), Starrphire Pilsner, Brown Chicken Brown Cow, Bloodshot. Wow, that batch of Starrgazm IPA went fast. Sadly, the Johnny is also gone. Get over there and try the rest of the seasonals before anyone else gets the last of the batches.

Steel Bender Brewyard — (505) 433-3537

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: (house) Skull Bucket IPA, Red Iron Red, Sparkfitter Amber, Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch, Blue Bullet Stout, The Village Wit; (seasonals/specialties) Misfitter Altbier, Smith Hopper Cascade Extra Pale Ale, Goose is Loose Berliner Weisse, 505 Collaboration. Say hello to the Smith Hopper Cascade, which replaces the Centennial. The Misfitter returns by popular demand.

The 377 Brewery — (505) 934-0795

(Open noon-11 p.m. most days)

Beers: (house) 377 IPA, Dieterhosen Hefe, Project El CuCuy (DIPA), English Best Bitter, Fat Brown Guy (Porter), Red Horse NM Lager, Swartzbier, Red Rocket (Double Red); (seasonals) Bitter Blonde, Black Ops Hops, Kolsch, Full Booty Stout (on nitro), Peach Wheat, Scottish Ale, Summer Saison, Plum Sour. Thanks to the magic of Untappd, we now have a breakdown of The 377’s beers. The Plum Sour and Summer Saison are the most recent additions.

Tractor Brewing Company — (505) 433-5654 (Nob Hill), (505) 243-6752 (Wells Park)

(Nob Hill: Sun–Weds noon–midnight, Thurs noon–2 a.m., Fri–Sat noon–2 a.m.; Wells Park: Mon–Thurs 3 p.m.–close, Fri–Sun 1 p.m.–midnight)

Beers: Barnstorm Ale, Holstein & Hops, Cascade Pale Ale, Minute-4, Cascara Cider, Apricot Wheat, Half Acre Hefe, Tupac Cali Red, Mother Road Collaboration DIPA, Berry Cider (Nob Hill only), Flanders Red Ale (Wells Park only), Milk Stout on nitro (Wells Park only). The new DIPA was made with the good folks from Mother Road Brewing in Flagstaff. The collaboration Altbier, sadly, has run out, probably because it was so tasty. The Tupac also rejoined taps just in time for summer.

Live Music (Wells Park): Thursday—Red Canyon Road, 8 p.m.; Saturday—The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones with DJ Bae, 8 p.m.

Live Music (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Sloan Armitage, 8:30 p.m.; Friday—Dave Martinez, 5 p.m.; Saturday—Eli Berry, 5 p.m.

Other Events (Wells Park): Today (Wednesday)—Meet & Greet #3, 5:30 p.m.; Friday—Tractor Plow Comedy Showcase, 8 p.m.; Sunday—I’ll Drink to That #62, 4 p.m.

Other Events (Nob Hill): Saturday—Crafternoon, 3 p.m.

Weekly Events (Wells Park): Monday—Better Call Saul (Season Finale) Watch Party, 7 p.m.; Tuesday—Kamikaze Karaoke, 7 p.m.

Weekly Events (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Writing Wednesdays, 5 p.m.; Monday—Tractor Tune Up, 7:30 p.m.

Also, every first Monday of the month at both Tractor locations is Beer for a Better Burque night. For every pint you buy $1 can go to one of four charities that have partnered with Tractor. You can also opt to purchase a special growler with the logo of your favorite charity.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Tractor now has a late happy hour from 9 p.m. to midnight on Mondays with $2.25 classic beers and $3.25 seasonals.

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

(Kitchen hours: Mon–Tues 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Wed–Thurs 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sun 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Reminder: TMBC closes early when business dictates. Please call.)

Beers: Consensual Sensations DIPA, Stuccon Saison, Lil’ Shelly (Pale Ale), 505 Collaboration, For the Bees. Consensual Sensations (8.2% ABV, 125-plus IBU) is a beast of a DIPA. The Lil’ Shelly (5.2% ABV, 69 IBU) and Yum Yum Colada, a pina colada kettle sour, were the most recent additions until For the Bees joined the lineup.

Cask: Tuesday—TBA

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Open daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Triple IPA, Imperial Chocolate Porter, Hella Humulus Collaboration IPA, Back to Cali Common, Ginger Braggott. Oh, man, the Imperial Chocolate Porter was one of the best beers of BearFest. Get it before it runs out! This Friday, a Hefeweizen will join the lineup.

Chili Line Brewing — (505) 500-7903

(Mon–Sat 4–11 p.m., Sun 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: El Jefe (Rauchweizen), sIPApu (India Pale Lager), Antonio Bandito (Dunkelweizen), Llorona Lager, Pineapple IPA, Porter, Vienna Lager, La Bamba (Rauchbier), Stada Baba (Oak Smoked Polish Gratzer). The last five beers there are the new additions to the lineup, but more beers are on the way.

Live Music: Every night at 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Reverse happy hour after 9 p.m. includes $1 off pints, $6 appetizers, $10 entrees and pizzas.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

(Brewery: Mon–Sat open at 11 a.m., Sun open at 1 p.m.; ABQ taproom: Mon–Thurs 2 p.m.–midnight; Fri–Sun noon–midnight)

Beers: Bad Amber, Fiction (IPA), Oui Lourd, WWWMD (Barrel-Aged Whistler), Manikin (Scottish), Cezanne Origine. The Origine is the current spring saison from Duel. The Oui Lourd, Ara Pacis II, and WWWMD are the most recent additions. The acronym stands for What Would Whistler’s Mother Do.

Live Music (ABQ taproom): Friday—Cynical Bird, 8-10 p.m.; Saturday—The Tylor Brandon Band, 8-11 p.m.

Other Events (ABQ taproom): Thursday—Drag Queen Trivia, 8-11 p.m.

Weekly Events (ABQ taproom): Tuesday—Bike-In Brew, 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts (Brewery): Happy hour Mon–Fri, 4-6 p.m. (discounts for all draft beer), Growler Saturdays ($3 off growler fills).

Happy Hour/Discounts (ABQ taproom): Happy hour Mon–Fri, 5-7 p.m.

Rowley Farmhouse Ales — (505) 428-0719

(Open all week from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Beers: Fields of Rye, Saison du Sarlacc, Agent Scully – Season One Episode Two (IPA),  Germophile (Berliner Weisse), Amarillo Dry-Hopped Germophile, Kentucky Fried Common, Ab Initio with Apricot. The Agent Scully is a new series of IPAs which will vary by hop combinations. This is a new batch of Fields of Rye dry-hopped with Citra.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

(Main taproom: Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 2-8 p.m.; ABQ taproom: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–11 p.m.; Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight; Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Freestyle Pilsner, Western Bloc IPA, Autonomous Collective IPA. We haven’t gotten an update from SFBC in so long we really have no idea what’s on tap at this point. We’re sure it’s good, but beyond that, it’s all a mystery.

Happy Hour/Discounts: $1 off growler refills in the tasting room on Mondays. $2 pint Tuesdays at the Eldorado Taphouse. On Wednesday, there is a $2 pint special in the tasting room. On Thursday, there will be $1 off growler refills at the Eldorado Taphouse.

Second Street Brewery — (505) 989-3278 (Railyard), (505) 982-3030 (original location)

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sunday noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Cream Stout, Boneshaker Special Bitter, 2920 IPA, Eldorado IPA, International Steam Pale Ale, Civil Rye. The most recent additions are Civil Rye and Boneshaker.

Live Music (Original location): TBA

Live Music (Railyard): TBA

Weekly Events (Railyard): Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 8 p.m.

Other breweries you need to visit

Bathtub Row Brewing — (505) 500-8381

(Mon–Weds 2–10 p.m., Thurs 2–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–11 p.m., Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: The Tripel Lindy, Wit Rock, Crazy Mother IPA, Betty on Brett, Spearmint Stout, Jarrylo Pale Ale, Beedle’s Apple Ale, Catcher ‘n the Rye, Double Barrel Bourbon Brown. The most recent tap turnover went down in Los Alamos with Crazy Mother, Betty, Spearmint, Jarrylo, Beedle’s, and Catcher making their debuts. The Bourbon Brown (8.7% ABV) has now joined them.

Sierra Blanca Brewing — (505) 832-2337

(Mon–Thurs 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Fri –Sat 11 a.m.–9 p.m.)

Beers: Barrel-aged Whiskey Stout, Cherry Sour, Interstella Vanilla, Cherry Wheat, Single Hop IPA. The Whiskey Stout is back for a short time. The Cherry Sour is back for another run. Cherry Wheat is also now available in six packs.

* * * *

That’s all for this week! If you have any questions or comments, leave them below or contact us on our Facebook page.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Southwest Grape and Grain has been reorganized by its new owner.

As the member of the Crew who does quite a lot of consistent home brewing, I was intrigued when I heard that ownership of Southwest Grape and Grain, my main local source for brewing supplies and ingredients, had changed hands. It turns out I already knew the gentleman who took over for the previous owner, Kevin Davis of Boxing Bear.

Donavan Lane may be known to some of you as the former co-owner/brewer at the since-closed Broken Bottle Brewing. As he told me when we met, he had an interest from the beginning in opening a home-brewing supply store, but at the time Grape and Grain had just opened and there was also Victor’s Grape Arbor in the metro area as well, making a third shop likely unsustainable.

Fast forward to the early stages of this year and Kevin approached Donavan about taking over Grape and Grain, due to the increasing demands on his time due to the success of Boxing Bear. Kevin said he knew that Donavan had the interest and knowledge to continue the success he had started. From my initial and subsequent visits to Grape and Grain, this has been a productive transition. On to our conversation.

Donavan: So, initially we were going through the product mix of what we had and we’ve got our clearance rack. We’ve been trying to go through and clear out stuff that doesn’t sell or that we had for awhile, or that we had multiple similar items of. We’ve been slowly pulling items that we know we don’t want to keep anymore, or maybe we can get a better quality item from a different vendor. Prior to Broken Bottle, I spent nine years in retail management, so stepping into here the scale of things is different, but a lot of the things you learn in corporate retail management apply here. Simple things like consistent signage where we went through the whole store and replaced every sign so it has the same font and the same style, little things like that.

Solo: The devil’s in the details.

Getting everything organized was a major goal inside the store.

Donavan: It’s kind of been a process of shifting things around where before you move one thing, you’ve got to move something else. Over the years, as different products came in and different vendors, well it got to the point that everything in the store was fairly disorganized.

Solo: It was a bit of clutter somewhat and kind of an adventure walking around trying to pick out this or that.

Donavan: Yeah, you had this piece for kegging over here, this piece over there, so we wanted to get draft equipment in one area, beer-brewing equipment in one area, wine-making equipment in one area, beer ingredients in one area, so that you’re not having to go back and forth all over the store. That’s been a little bit of a process to get it all moved around, but we’re finally pretty much there where we’re not going to be shifting much more.

Solo: At least for awhile.

Donavan: The other things were getting displays out, trying to have every single item have a display model where people can actually see it. And, it’s a simple thing, like put up a bottle tree and put some bottles on it so people can see what its actually used for. It makes a big difference, especially for beginning home brewers who don’t necessarily know what all of the equipment is.

Solo: Yeah, if you can actually see it out you get sort of a sense in your head of, oh, this might be what I need to do this, and you can start to build a picture of how the whole process goes and that’s, well, what a good store should be.

Donavan: We are starting to get there with moving everything around, and we’ve already been bringing in quite a few new products, but there’s more and more that we’re looking to bring in. We just recently got in kombucha-making kits.

Solo: I saw your Facebook post about that. I’ve seen a lot more of a media presence as well.

Donavan: Well, exactly. Kevin, what with time constraints, just got to point where he wasn’t able to dedicate the time here that he was in the first couple years that it was open. So, a lot of that stuff went to the wayside. We’re working on using Facebook, social media, getting our email list back up and running, where we’ll start sending out monthly newsletters. The basic stuff that Kevin did initially, but then kind of got away from with time constraints on him.

Solo: Definitely, well with Boxing Bear doing so well that they had to expand over that whole building.

That grain is just waiting to become beer.

Donavan: We’re also looking at things like kegerators and things like that, so we started looking at actually making them and selling them to customers where previously we would have the parts and Kevin would show how to do it, but we didn’t sell the units put together.

Solo: Yeah, they’re not too bad to build.

Donavan: A lot of home brewers want to build things themselves. That’s part of the hobby, but there are quite a few home brewers, too, that either don’t have the tools or don’t have the mechanical ability to build something like that. In the latter case, they’d rather just say can I simply buy it?

Solo: There’s an extent to which people want to go this far, some people want to go that far, it just really depends person to person. Do I want to build a kegerator or do I want to just buy this thing outright? Do I want to make a wort chiller or is this something I’d rather procure pre-made so that it’s streamlined instead of my own crazy wire contraption? (Which works quite well I might add, though she many not be the prettiest.)

Donavan: On that account, we are starting to make some of our own products here in the store. That’s part of my long-term goal is to start manufacturing some different home-brewing equipment ourselves, like for example wort chillers. We are buying wort chillers pre-made and these ones here (available in store) we made. We designed a jig and comparing these to the ones we were buying, they look identical, and we just made a jig to be able to wrap it really tightly and neatly and do all of the bends properly and such. Little things like that, where we want to start getting our own line of some different equipment, which allows us to offer some of our different ideas on design and on a basic thing like this (wort chiller), save cost and offer it for a little bit less cheaper than what we had.

The other thing we just started doing and we are still in the process, we haven’t gotten it completely stocked yet, but we are starting to do our own ingredients kits.

Solo: Nice, that’s awesome.

Donavan: The brewer’s best ones, they have quite a bit of variety, but we’ve been trying to pick different styles that they don’t necessarily have available.

Solo: So you’ll get to throw in some more creativity into the recipes.

Add a few barrel chips to give your home brew a new dimension of flavor.

Donavan: Yeah, so we’re just starting to put those together we got them out on the shelf in this last week. I’ve started reaching out to all of the breweries, because with doing our own kits I want to do a line of clone kits of New Mexico breweries. So, I’ve started talking to several of the breweries and there are several that are on board already. They’re going to give us one or two of their recipes where we’ll do a clone kit there and it will be branded with XYZ brewery. So, it gives them a little promotion and we are looking to get that going in the next few weeks.

Solo: That’s a great idea.

Donavan: You know that the brewery industry, the people outside of it think they’re all in competition, and to people who work in it realize that they all work together, they all help each other out.

Solo: Yeah, there is competition, but there is also a desire to build something better in this community and in our state. Every time I interview someone from a different place they will tell me, ‘Yeah I lent a bag of grain over here, they lent us a keg washer while we were doing this.’ Everyone helps everyone else out and the industry as grown because of it and is better for it.

Donavan: We really want to work on building relationships, too, with the breweries. I mean, we’re not necessarily in the same industry, but a lot of their customers are our customers and our customers are their customers. A lot of the brewers started out as home brewers, built their knowledge, and worked their way up to that. We’ve been doing classes and for every class I’ve tried to get a brewery to sponsor it, so they will bring some beer in for people to sample and send one of their brewers to hang out during the class, and give themselves a little plug and chime in on a question or two. The customers like it because it’s not just me giving a class, it’s a professional brewer doing it and reiterating what I’m saying. So, we’ve been trying to build those relationships and do those as well.

Solo: Yeah, I always thought it would be fun to have more variety, because it’s fine, I started off on kits as most of us do, but having more variety there, that gives you more ideas and starts your creative juices flowing and leads to better things.

Donavan: That’s our goal to maybe fill in some of these spots and try different stuff. All of these are extract kits. We are also going to start to do all-grain kits, too. Customers make that jump from extract to an all grain, and sometimes some of that hesitation is well, OK, now I understand the all-grain process and I’ve created my equipment and have what I need, but finding the recipe of what they want to do is a little daunting.

Solo: Getting a good recipe and then getting to know the actual grains well enough to where you feel comfortable enough to say, oh, I’m going to take this grain that grain and this other grain in roughly these quantities and come up with something on my own. Having an all-grain kit and recipe definitely helps to bridge that gap.

Everything a home brewer needs to make his or her own kit.

Donavan: So yeah, those all-grain kits we will be putting together will make it easy for those customers that are just now making that jump to all grain, and so for their first few all-grain batches they can do just like I did with extract brewing, and just buy a kit for a certain recipe.

Long term, ideally we want to find a more centralized locationm since at present we’re in one corner of the city here, so when our lease is up here we will look at the possibility of finding something more centralized. We are looking to get out to events as well, we did the Science of Beer event at Explora, and we’ve definitely gotten a lot of good feedback on events like that. (Editor’s note: SWGG was at BearFest this past weekend.) Customers who don’t even necessarily know that we are here might go to an event like that and over the summer we are looking at maybe trying to get out to farmer’s markets.

Solo: You are (part of our) local community, so you should be a part of something like that.

Donavan: A lot of the people who are going to farmer’s markets are the same type of people who make their own beer or kombucha or wine, et cetera.

Solo: Yeah, you get a person who wants to have more control over their food, their drink, and own that whole process as much as they can.

Donavan: We do have some other long-term goals as well. At some point, we might look at getting a (small) brewer’s license here in the store, not to necessarily try to be a brewery, but if someone walks in and they want to have a beer, then you could have a beer while you are shopping. Bring in local beer on tap, and if we have a clone from a certain brewery we can say hey, we have that on tap here if you’d like to try it. (Then) here’s the recipe right here, you can try to make that beer at home. Things like that are kind of long-term goals, a few years down the road, probably. Here, obviously, space-wise we don’t have room to add something like that. But, it’s something we will definitely be looking at in the future when we look at new locations.

Solo: That would be awesome, to be able to have a pint while you are thinking up a recipe would be just amazing.

Donavan: Just a matter of taking all of the steps to actually get there.

Solo: Yeah, organization being first and expanding your base, (then) looking for a place that’s going to accommodate that and grow those ideas and so forth.

Donavan: The other things we’ve talked about doing is having a corner that’s just all schwag from all of the local breweries, where if we end up doing the brewer’s license and have a bunch of local beer on tap, that would just localize it to where you can just buy it all in one place, rather than going from brewery to brewery. That’s something we might look at talking to the breweries about as well. We might look at doing a section of the store that’s just man-cave stuff as well.

Solo: Totally, the two things absolutely go together. I mean, I have a room that’s just all my stuff, and then the closet’s just filled with my home brewery (equipment).

Donavan: Whether it’s brewery signs or bottle openers or different things like that.

Solo: Cool stuff that all ties in together. These are good ideas, I like all of them.

Donavan: It’s a matter of just taking the steps and slowly working our way from one step to another and getting it all in place. Other than that, it’s just the day-to-day running the store and helping people make beer and wine and enjoying it.

* * * * *

The results speak for themselves, as Donavan has the time to dedicate and the knowledge needed to make Grape and Grain successful now and in the years to come.

“It wasn’t like we had to come in and reinvent the wheel or anything,” he added. “I came in and said let’s tweak this and put my own touch on that and refine that and take it to the next level.”

There are frequent events on brewing and such for all different levels which are offered at the store typically on weekends so check out their website or check them out on Facebook for details. Above all, if you have an interest in beginning to brew or learn more about your craft, I heartily recommend heading down to Grape and Grain. Happy brewing!

Skål!

— Franz Solo

A delicious crowler of liquid gold hops. The book in the background is also worth checking out, Albuquerque Beer, written by our own Stoutmeister.

As we watch the last embers of spring fade and the blazing heat of the summer solstice approach, three beer-related themes come to my mind. The season of hops approaches with our local NM IPA Challenge, but it is still a month away and there are some opportunities to sample some of what might grace our palates at that particular hop battle over the next few weeks.

Secondly, this is the season of what I have liked to call “yard work beer,” or hoppy but light pilsners, lagers, session IPAs of around 5-percent ABV or so, and simple light farmhouse saison ales.

Thirdly, it is the time of year that I bottle my annual batch of mead sourced from a local beekeeper, and ponder what I might do with this year’s batch. I heartily recommend an ice cold mead at the end of a day spent working in the yard with a few “yard work beers” to boot. I will be detailing more on the subject of mead in a later writ, as at present my focus is on the season of hops and a brew that has blasted my palate into nigh the oblivion next door.

We are blessed in New Mexico to have multiple “challenge caliber” IPA seasons, owing to the occurrences of the National IPA Challenge in the spring, the New Mexico IPA Challenge in the summer, and of course the Great American Beer Festival in the fall. As we in the 505 are known to be of some merit in the alchemy of hops, owing to the seemingly ever-growing list of awards and accolades from festivals for our local brewed IPAs, the competition at the local level is quite heated and we, the connoisseurs of hops, are glad beneficiaries.

It has been some time since I found a brew of singular merit and uniqueness possessing of the “wha-tang!” factor as far as hop presence, and felt like I needed to share my enjoyment of it with you, dear reader. I present Dragline IPA from Canteen Brewing.

This is not the first brewing of an IPA under this moniker as we had a version which appeared in May of last year, and my Untappd feed reminded me how much I enjoyed that particular iteration. The present vintage has ascended, in my opinion, to something greater still and I will henceforth describe for you what wonders I daresay it holds.

The initial aroma is of orange candy grapefruit, with a sweet pine finish almost minty and soft in character. We have the traditional dank hop character one would expect from a New Mexico IPA, but melded with layers of different and distinct, sometimes subtle citrus, mango, and peach. The mouthfeel is wonderfully full, yet balanced and with somewhat of a chewy character owing to a strong liquid gold-colored malt backbone pushing 8-percent ABV. The head is perfectly white, which contrasts well with the deep golden amber ocean enveloping a plethora of hops within.

Hops upon hops upon hops grace this glorious elixir!

Were I to classify this as a newer or older style of IPA, I would say that is is certainly both, taken to 11, and then given the best mixing and mastering job that any metal record has had. Wait, were we talking metal or beer? But, I digress. With stronger IPAs as well as with any barrel aged beer of merit, I will always delineate between the initial flavors which appear and those which rise to prominence as the beer warms over time. The best brews will stand up to this test and open up with some increased temperature, while any imperfections or imbalances will show their true colors in the same vein.

For the initial flavor impressions I get a blast of tart grapefruit, then pine, then a lemon-orange candy mid-palate, with a strong and crisp pine finish likely owing to the presence of African Queen hops as one of four in the brew. As it warms, I get a tad more sweet pine on the forefront, with a blood orange and grapefruit finish.

In short, I adore this brew, from fore hop to back hop to blue line hop to, er … let’s go Penguins! A splendid season it was for hockey, and thank the gods for hop bombs as we are in the dry season for sporting and other entertainment indoors, away from the delightful dry heat of summer in ‘Burque.

This beer makes me want to see Goatwhore again and mosh till the end of days, down another pint, and do it all over once more. I would also recommend an early morning or late evening hike in the mountains, or by the Rio Grande, or perhaps a jaunt into El Malpais, aka “Mordor” itself, appended by a quaffing of this delectable hop leviathan. But ,don’t take my word for it, go out and try a pint on its own or side-by-side with Exodus IPA or Flashback IPA, and see what you think.

Or, better yet, continue your hop-devastated palate destruction by trying the numerous other extreme hopped offerings around our fair abode, for there are many worth a draught or 11. Of note, I would recommend (in no particular order) Dragline and Exodus from Canteen, the Mother Road/Tractor Brewing collaboration DIPA, Challenge IPA 2.0 from Bosque, Uppercut IPA from Boxing Bear Brewing (this latest batch is Simcoe-tastic!), Flora Colossus DIPA from Flix Brewhouse, Project Dank (as always and NIPAC 2017 champion) from La Cumbre, and I’ve heard splendid things about this Mosaic IPA from Marble, but need to make my way over there stat!

So, go forth and enjoy the bounty of the summer of hops, and crack open a yard work brew or two while you’re at it. Until we meet again, keep the metal loud, the hops extreme, and the sun blazing. See you all at the 2017 IPA Challenge!

Skål!

— Franz Solo

This writ is dedicated in part to our recently fallen dear friend Justin Shearer who was a marvelous human being and fellow lover of metal and all things hopped to the extreme. Eternal Hails!