The area west of downtown along Central Avenue suffered a black eye earlier this year when the owners of Draft Station announced it was closing. The prime spot for craft beer in the area was gone, snuffed out by a disastrous sewer spill caused by the construction of the Albuquerque Rapid Transit system.
All these months later, the construction remains, but craft beer has not disappeared from the area. Two local businesses are still carrying only local beer taps, and both are doing everything they can to still attract customers even amid the ongoing headaches on the road outside.
Amore Neapolitan Pizzeria and 5 Star Burgers, next door neighbors just to the east of where Draft Station once stood, both still have their local-only beer taps in place. Each offers up a fairly different lineup at present, meaning if you feel like a burger instead of a slice, or vice versa, your beer options can differ as well. The important thing is both places, also locally owned and operated, continue to keep New Mexico brews on tap.
Amore currently has beers from Boese Brothers, Bosque, Boxing Bear, Ponderosa, Red Door, and Santa Fe. They include some specials like Boese’s Patriot Porter on nitro, Boxing Bear’s Tropic Thunder IPA, Red Door’s Rye Steam, and SFBC’s hugely popular 7K IPA. Every Wednesday from 3 to 6 p.m., pints are $3.
Across the sidewalk at 5 Star, Bosque, Boxing Bear, La Cumbre, Marble, Red Door, and Santa Fe are all available. There are always two rotating taps, usually from La Cumbre and Marble. The former has the popular El Jugo on tap at the moment. 5 Star has a daily happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. with $3 pints.
For those who prefer exact addresses to punch into the Google Maps on your phones, 5 Star is located at 1710 Central Ave. SW, while Amore is at 1700 Central. Some folks told us that when Draft Station closed, it took away one of their favorite gathering spots for local beers in that area. Well, we just wanted to let you know that there are still two more options, and with football season just around the corner, options are good.
In addition to just the beer and the great food, every Saturday this September from 1 to 4 p.m., Immastar Productions is bringing live music to the space between the two restaurants. Alto Estilo will perform free shows once every weekend. Local beer, local food, and local music all add up to a big win.
Brave the construction and help keep these local businesses alive. Now is not the time to abandon them. And, yes, there is plenty of parking!
Thanks to our friends Brian and Carlos for the heads up on all of this.