Beer Notes: Hops, homebrews, holidays and more to start the week

The Brewers Association is working with the USDA to help hop growers, big and small.

Even in a slow news period, there are still little items we would like to share.

Brewers Association moves to support independent hop growers

The good folks over at the BA announced today that they have struck an agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Research Service (USDA-ARS) “to fund public hop breeding for the purpose of developing and releasing disease resistant aroma hop cultivars into the public domain, in support of hop growing efforts throughout the U.S.”

What that basically means is it will be even easier for more and more folks to start growing hops without worrying about copyrights and the like, so long as they are working to create disease- and pest-resistant strains. The hop-growing industry is booming in the Pacific Northwest, and now even local farms in New Mexico are beginning to pop up, such as Red Hat Hops in Los Ranchos. Fighting the scourge of disease and pests is a key to that continued expansion, as well as keeping costs due to shortages from spiraling out of control.

Coincidentally, Red Hat is hosting a special meeting this Saturday (invite-only) to bring together breweries, hop farmers, and other farmers to work in even better collaboration. In other words, your local beers may be getting even more local ingredients as everyone finds even better ways to work together. If one of the Crew can attend this event, we will have a full report next week.

International Stout Day returns

The glorious holiday known is back this Thursday, celebrating all that is great and wonderful about beers on the darker end of the spectrum. Canteen will be bringing back the award-winning Panama Joe just in time, but as always we encourage everyone to seek out great stouts all around the city.

Sadly, Driftwood Oatmeal Stout is no longer a part of the regular menu at Bosque, having been bumped from the lineup due to low sales and the need to make a permanent tap for the 1888 Blonde Ale.

Happily, Bombs Away Beer Company unveiled its first stout back on Friday, the mean and burly Stockpile Stout. This is not a sweet, creamy little thing, but instead a thick, robust stout that will go oh-so-well once the weather finally turns cold (which, as a side note, could very well be this weekend to coincide with the NMAA state soccer tournament, which always has terrible weather, as us freelance reporters always find out the hard way).

Look for more on Stout Day in the upcoming edition of The Week Ahead in Beer.

Rio Bravo hosts homebrew event

This Saturday is National Learn to Homebrew Day, with events across the country to encourage folks to start up or improve their existing techniques. The main event here in town will take place at Rio Bravo Brewing, which has the available space to host the Dukes of Ale and Worthogs of Rio Rancho. Southwest Grape and Grain should also be on hand.

We should have a lot more on this later in the week, but for now, check the Facebook pages of Rio Bravo and the rest for more details. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and admission is free.

Obligatory updates on new breweries

Here are the latest little bits and pieces about forthcoming breweries and off-site taprooms.

  • High and Dry Brewing, located on Adams just south of Lomas, is making some serious progress and could open before the end of the year. They are painting the exterior and just received their new 1-barrel brewing system.
  • Hollow Spirits, located on 1st Street between Dialogue and Marble, has begun its interior build-out. Friends and family helped in the demolition/clean-up of the warehouse space. The combined brewery/distillery is aiming to open in 2018.
  • Cantero Brewing, located in the old Firkin Brewhouse space on Columbia south of Aztec, and Lava Rock Brewing, located on Unser north of Ladera, are both moving along, though there is no big news from either place. It remains to be seen who will win the race between them and High and Dry to be the next brewery to open in Albuquerque.
  • Outside of the metro area, Guadalupe Mountain Brewing in Carlsbad now has an active small brewer license with the state. Anyone in the Carlsbad area looking for work can check the list of open positions on the brewery Facebook page.
  • Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery in Santa Fe is making some major progress. The still has arrived and the build-out of the production facility is nearly complete.
  • Lost Hiker Brewing in Ruidoso has received public approval and is now moving ahead with the final stages before opening, possibly before the year is out. The brewery already has merchandise for sale online.
  • Red River Brewing now has a pending license with the state. Construction of the new brewery building in the ski town is progressing quickly as the crew rushes to finish before the snow arrives.
  • We reported last month that Bare Bones Brewing in Cedar Crest had an active license, but that was not the case. Instead, the license has been withdrawn by the brewery owners, who told us via Facebook message that they are looking to go in a new direction. There were no further details, but it looks like Ale Republic will remain the lone brewery in the East Mountains for the foreseeable future.
  • On the new taproom front, Santa Fe Brewing has a pending offsite license for a new downtown location, though no exact address is listed. When we learn more, we will make sure to update everyone.

That is all from us for the time being. If anyone has news or updates they would like to share, please email us at or drop us a line via any of our social media sites.


— Stoutmeister

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Kathy Cade says:

    Hi, I am a beginner farmer interested in developing hops in the northwest part of the state. I have not been able to reach Red Hat Hops but am very interested in the meeting on Saturday. How do I get on ” the list”, the invite, the included group, as a beginner? I look forward to learning about hops, the market, the ins and outs…it may ultimately be too expensive but research is the first step! Thanks

    1. cjax33 says:

      Email us and then we’ll forward it to them

  2. Desert Chaos says:

    On the new taproom front, we just drove by the Unser/McMahon corner and saw that fencing was up and some initial moving of the dirt has begun between the CVS and McDonalds.

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