Marble Brewery has been subtly promoting the special release of a new canned beer over the last few weeks. That all built up to a Monday afternoon press conference on the rooftop deck at the brewery, where State Fair Pale Ale made its official debut.
Brewed for the 2017 edition of the New Mexico State Fair, this new pale ale was made with wildflower honey from here in the state. It follows the State Fair Cream Ale made the last two years at La Cumbre.
“We’re really glad to partner with Marble this year,” said Dan Mourning, the general manager of the State Fair. “This is the second different beer that we’ve had. The State Fair’s mission is also to promote those industries that are important to New Mexico. There’s not one any bigger than the craft brew industry, it’s absolutely blowing up all over the country and New Mexico is probably at the top of its game. We’re glad to be able to bring this to represent this at Fair.”
The cans will be sold in six packs at retail locations throughout the state, starting today (Monday). Marble president Ted Rice said only 4,000 cases were produced, so it will go quickly.
“We’re truly honored that we were selected to brew this beer,” Ted said. “This beer is a pale ale so it features four different hop varieties. It’s citrusy with floral aromas. It features New Mexico wildflower honey. It’s a really sessionable pale ale, balanced, really bright, a great refresher this time of year.”
Switching over to a pale ale style was an easy decision for Marble.
“Hop-forward beers, India pale ales and pale ales, are the most popular styles in the craft beer industry,” Ted said. “We wanted to feature a bright, balanced pale to really highlight what craft brewers do best.”
The setup between the State Fair and Marble was organized by the New Mexico Brewers Guild. The contract is for two years.
“The number one factor was that whatever beer we did, it had to include a local ingredient,” said Guild executive director John Gozigian. “It also has to be at a brewery large enough to dedicate tank space and resources to get it to market.”
It all goes back to the Guild having the goal of its members working with as many other industries in the state as possible.
“I would like to say that brewers of New Mexico are proud of the economic impact we have here in this state,” John said. “One thing we want to push forward is the vertical integration of the brewing industry, whether in manufacturing (or) agriculture. This uses a locally sourced product, something we’d like to do a lot more of.”
The State Fair is more than willing to be a part of that integration.
“We look at the Fair being (about) partnerships, being things that are part of New Mexico,” said Larry Kennedy, the chairman of the State Fair commission. “Having our own beer is just part of New Mexico. It promotes New Mexico and outside of New Mexico, you say Marble and they think New Mexico.”
The State Fair will run from September 7-17, with the SFPA available in beer gardens at the event. Until then, swing by your favorite store and snag a six pack, or head over to Marble today after 5 p.m. and head up to the rooftop deck to try it out.
Oh, and my own personal verdict: Mild and sweet, but not overly so. The honey is pronounced early but blends seamlessly into the background with the floral hops and light malts. Definitely what we in the Crew refer to as a porch beer.
Drop us a line and let us know what you think when you try this beer.