Archive for December, 2017

Was Boxing Bear’s repeat victory at the NM IPA Challenge the biggest beer news story of 2017? You can decide by clicking on the poll below.

The year is nearly over, so it only makes sense that the Crew would sit down to review everything that happened in the last 12 months. We ultimately decided that while we could pick out the top news story, this site would not exist without the support of our readers, so we are asking all of you to voice your opinion. To start, we picked out what we feel were all the major news stories involving craft beer in our state, everything from January through December.

  • The year began with the news that La Cumbre was buying the building next door and expanding its footprint to set up distribution to Arizona and increasing production.
  • Senate Bill 314 emerged to threaten the breweries with an increase in excise taxes. A fiery town hall followed with the bill’s sponsor, Senator Cisco McSorley. Soon a House bill of similar structure was announced. Ultimately, however, support for small business outweighed a desire for an increase in taxes, or perhaps it was just a realization that the bills were more about pushing the state toward a neo-prohibitionist stance. The bills were both defeated.
  • The Albuquerque Rapid Transit project was a huge thorn in the side of breweries, taprooms, and beer bars up and down Central Avenue. It ultimately led to the closure of the Albuquerque Draft Station. Other businesses kept fighting to stay alive, and the fight was not over by the end of the year as businesses looked for new ways to bring customers back.
  • In a stunning move that seemingly came out of nowhere, Chama River Brewing suddenly closed its doors. One of the most established brewpubs in the city, and one of the oldest, was gone in the blink of an eye.
  • Even as Chama closed, other breweries were opening across the state. Aztec finally landed a brewery as 550 Brewing arrived. Truth or Consequences Brewing opened down south. Hub City Brewing gave Valencia County its first brewery since Tractor had pulled up stakes and moved to ABQ years ago. In the metro area, Steel Bender Brewyard brought craft to the Village of Los Ranchos. The Southeast Heights landed a new brewery as well in the form of Bombs Away Beer Company. Nob Hill added one more brewery as Hops Brewery opened after years of struggles to get open.
  • A huge surge in off-site taprooms was also notable in 2017. Tractor went to Four Hills, Red Door went to the Northeast Heights, Desert Valley moved into the old Stumbling Steer spot on the West Side, Broken Trail popped up near Uptown, and Grant Brewing from Chama opened a taproom near Tijeras. Construction continues on a new taproom for Ponderosa as well.
  • Not one, but two local breweries, Dialogue and La Cumbre, were selected to participate in SAVOR, the prestigious food-and-beer pairing event held in Washington D.C.
  • New Mexico breweries picked up a major award at the Great British Beer Festival again. This time, Canteen and Rio Bravo shared the bronze award for best American cask ale with two wildly different beers.
  • The New Mexico IPA Challenge started off with a preliminary round surprise, before eventually finishing with a repeat champion again as Boxing Bear barely held off past winner Bosque.
  • Real world disasters dominated much of the news cycle, including three separate strikes by major hurricanes. In response to Hurricane Harvey’s devastation in the Houston area, Tractor brought together 24 New Mexico breweries for Hops for Harvey, a fundraiser to help breweries in Texas.
  • Speaking of hops, by the end of the year local hop farms were starting to make news. This sudden upsurge in the growth of local agriculture to support local breweries made a lot of sense. More on this ongoing story will be shared in 2018.
  • Bosque Brewing had a huge year, opening a larger taproom in Las Cruces, expanding its Nob Hill Public House, and announcing plans to replace the original San Mateo taproom and brewery with a larger building along the Interstate 25 frontage road. Construction on the Bernalillo production-and-packaging facility also finally got underway after a lengthy delay.
  • It was another standout year at the Great American Beer Festival, with five New Mexico breweries bringing home six medals. Marble landed another bronze for its Pilsner and then snagged gold for Cholo Stout. Nexus earned gold for its Imperial Cream and Sierra Blanca also picked up gold for its Cherry Wheat.

Those are the big news stories, in our humble opinion. Now we ask for all of you to select which one was the top news story of 2017. If you would like, leave comments below or on social media.

This poll will be up for one week, so we will reveal your choices on January 4.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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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.

Here is hoping everyone had a Merry Christmas, or at least had fun even if you did not celebrate the holiday. Now it is time for one of the most ridiculous, often overrated drinking holidays, New Year’s Eve. Our breweries appear to be taking three tactics: 1. Close early and avoid the potential drunken mess. 2. Stay open but keep it business as usual. 3. Throw a party. Among those closing early are Dialogue (5 p.m.), Drafty Kilt (8 p.m.), La Cumbre (8 p.m.), Marble (9 p.m., all locations), Sidetrack (6 p.m.), and Steel Bender (4 p.m.). Again, we will update this list as more times come in. As for the parties, Duel ABQ is hosting NYE Y2K with DJ Wae Fonkey at 8 p.m. Rio Bravo will close its doors at 7 p.m., then re-open at 8 p.m. with the band Tasty Face going on. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Tasty Face features Angelo Moore (Fishbone), Eric McFadden (Parliament Funkadelic), and Queen Delphine. Tractor is throwing a tribute (memorial?) to 2017 with DJ D-Monic at Wells Park starting at 6 p.m. Second Street is hosting a multi-band concert at Rufina starting at 9 p.m., featuring Bodies, Sex Headaches, and Cult Tourist. As more events are announced, we will share those here or on social media.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bosque has introduced two more beers in its Open Space Haze series, 48 North and 18 East. Marble added Ol’ Maverick Barleywine and Biscochito Wheato late last week, with Mandarina SMASH going on tap at the Westside taproom more recently. Ponderosa has a slew of new beers on deck and Blood Orange Wit should be the first to go on tap by this weekend. Sidetrack added Belgian Farmhouse Ale, Gura American Blonde Ale, and Turntable IPA Series: Track 1. Steel Bender unveils Die Dunkel Seite this Thursday. Tractor added Pecan Ale, a brown made with, well, you can guess.

Up in Santa Fe, it is all quiet.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of December 25.

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: Brune, Blonde, Strong Dark and Handsome, Eagle Claw, Tokyo Black, Single and Ready to Mingle. The most recent additions are the Tokyo Black (5.5% ABV, 24 IBU), an ale made with black tea, and Eagle Claw (4.8% ABV, 41 IBU), a farmhouse pale 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: El Jeffe Hefeweizen, Friars Belgian-Style Single, June Bock German Lager. Rejoice, for Blue Grasshopper is brewing again! The Friars and June Bock are the more recent additions.

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, Grapefruit Pale Ale, Oktoberfest, Sour Strangehop, Double Dead Red. The Double Dead Red returned recently, so enjoy it while it’s still fresh.

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.

Bombs Away Beer Company — (505) 554-3204

(Hours: Mon–Fri 2 p.m.–close, Sat–Sun noon–close)

Beers: Short Fuse Blonde Ale, BABC IPA, Willie Pete Wit, Low Order Porter, High Speed Low Drag Lager, Wild Card Spiced Ale, Brisance Bitter, Bag Drag BPA, Arsenal English Amber, Proximity Pilsner, MKDeuce Pale Ale, Primer Pub Ale, Actuator IPA, Stockpile Stout, Phil’s Incendiary IPA, Long Delay RyePA. The Phil’s Incendiary IPA was brewed up for a great cause, so head over to try it soon. Stockpile is a nice, robust beer that is perfect for the season. Long Delay is the most recent addition.

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: Barrel-Aged Double Sunshine Stout, Fresh Start Breakfast Ale, Open Space Haze: 41 South, Open Space Haze: 48 North, Open Space Haze: 18 East, Beermosa, Shuck If I Know Oyster Stout. The Open Space Haze is a series of a different IPAs made with varying hop blends.

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: Sun Dagger (Saison), True Aim (Scotch Ale), Hoka Hey (IPA), Jemez Field Notes Lager, Wayward Arrow Hefeweizen, Cosmic Arrow Brett Saison, Hoodoo Monster Imperial Red, Way Out West Sour Sumac, Black Chandelier (Belgo Stout), Desert Dynamo IPL, Fast Luck Dry-Hopped Pale Ale, Wolf Eyes (Oktoberfest), Nomadico IPA, Visionland Amber Ale, Sweetfetti Weizenbock, Thirsty Land: Foraged Series (Grisette), Coyote Waits (Barrel-Aged Imperial Mole Stout), Savage Times Sour IPA. The most recent additions to the lineup are the Savage Times, Coyote Waits, Thirsty Land, Sweetfetti, and Visionland. The sheer variety of styles on tap is quite impressive.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Bow & Arrow has happy hour every Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Get $1 off pints.

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

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

Beers: Crystal Kolsch, Oso Otono, Scotch Rocket, Iron Lung Smoked Porter, Coffee Chocolate Milk Stout, Bulldog English IPA, Simcoe SMASH. The most recent additions are the Scotch Rocket, Bulldog, Simcoe, Coffee Chocolate Milk Stout, and Iron Lung. Oso Otono is also on the nitro tap. A barrel-aged version of Standing 8 Stout debuts Saturday on tap and in bombers at the brewery and at Jubilation.

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, Pepe the Mule, Trailworks IPA, Dogtoberfest. OK, fine, Pepe the Mule counts as a beer, even though it is basically a Moscow Mule, but it was made with beer. Dogtoberfest is the most recent addition.

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, Panama Jose Coffee Stout, Pop’s Pre-Prohibition Lager, Whirling Dervish, Hop Baller IPA, Social Capital (Dark Cherries aged on French Oak), St. Bob’s Imperial Stout (on nitro). The Dervish is a passionfruit Belgian sour. The Panama Jose, Hop Baller, and Social Capital were the big recent additions. Get some of the St. Bob’s while it lasts, this batch was barrel aged before they put it on nitro, and it is epic.

Live Music (Brewery): Thursday—Jacob Chavez, 6-9 p.m.; Sunday—Chris Dracup, 4-7 p.m.

Live Music (Taproom): Saturday—The Real Matt Jones, 5-8 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.

Dialogue Brewing — (505) 585-1501

(Open daily noon-midnight)

Beers: Belgian Citrus IPA, Berliner Weisse, Blood Orange Berliner Weisse, Strawberry Berliner Weisse, Sour Raspberry, Idiot Sauvin, Dry Irish Stout, O.D.B., Belgian Cherry Wheat, Porter for Humanity, Amber Ale. The taps have seen a big tap turnover recently with the arrival of two Berliner Weisse variants in the blood orange and strawberry, plus Idiot Sauvin, Porter for Humanity, and Belgian Cherry Wheat.

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, Campbell Toe IPA, Covfefe Hefe, Outlamber Amber. The Outlamber is the most recent addition.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.; Thursday—Blues Jam with the Rudy Boy Experiment, 7-10 p.m.; Sunday—Karaoke with Tobyriffic, 3-7 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: Tart and Soul (Guava Berliner Weisse), Pilsner? I Barley Know’er!, Eater of Worlds Pale Ale, The Agitator Doppelbock, Hazeas Corpus, Darth Malt, The Schwarz Side, Hoplo Ren, Tart Wars. The most recent additions were all released in conjunction with Star Wars: The Last Jedi — Darth Malt (Baltic Porter), The Schwarz Side (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Schwarzbier), Hoplo Ren (Black IPA), and Tart Wars (Gose). Schwarz and Tart are small batches, so get them fast before they run out.

Hops Brewery — (505) 369-1378

(Sun-Thurs noon-10 p.m., Fri-Sat noon-midnight)

Beers: Dad Joke (California Common), Tipsy Cow (Milk Stout), Warm Scottish Nights, An Irish Tan (English Bitter), Honey Wheat, Chica (Pale Ale), Hop Hill IPA. Hops has started out with these seven beers on tap, but they also have 31 more guest taps, just in case you don’t find one to your liking. The Hop Hill (7.1% ABV, 69 IBU) was the most recent addition.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Open Mic, 7-9 p.m.; Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.

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: Blondie, Helles Lager, Winter Wheat, ESB, Black IPA, Puddle Stomper IPA, Oatmeal Raisin Stout, St. Paul’s Porter, Cider, DjinnJar Kombucha. The most recent additions include Blondie, Winter Wheat, Black IPA, Puddle Stomper IPA, St. Paul’s Porter, and the delectable Oatmeal Raisin Stout. Look for Imperial Stout soon.

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, IPA, Lobo Red Ale, Session IPA, Sleeping Dog Stout, 35 N Coffee Porter; (seasonal) German Pilsner, Honey Wheat, Pumpkin Pie Lager, Amber Ale, Capspackler DIPA, Dortmunder. The lineup got a bit of a makeover, with Lobo Red, Sleeping Dog, and the 35 N all joining the regulars. All of the seasonal beers are new as well. Time to take a trip back to Kellys and embrace the new and improved beers.

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: Ales for ALS IPA, Noche de Paz, Weize Ass Goat Weizenbock, REDiculous, Barrel-Aged Malpais on Nitro, Big Door Prize. Recent additions to the lineup are Big Door Prize, a hazy single-hop double IPA, BA Malpais on nitro, Weize Ass Goat, and REDiculous, an IPA. The collaboration beer Edith will be sold in bottles starting this Friday at 4:30 p.m. (see our intro for more details).

Live Music: Saturday—Greg Butera and the Gunsels, 6-9 p.m.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Loteria (every other 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: Dubbel, Cholo Stout, Golden Ale, Brown Extra 2.0, DIPA Especial, Imperial Stout, Ol’ Maverick Barleywine, Downlowlander Scotch Ale, Biscochito Wheato (Downtown only), Imperial Red (Downtown and Heights only), Cholo Smooth (Heights only), Tripel (Heights and Westside only), Horchata Porter (Heights and Westside only), Vunderland (Westside only), Robust Porter (Westside only), Mandarina SMASH (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 Vunderland, a Belgian dark strong, as well as the Mandarina SMASH, Downlowlander, Brown Extra 2.0, Cholo Smooth (nitro), and Robust Porter are the most recent additions. We cannot recommend the Imperial Stout, Ol’ Maverick, and Cholo Stout enough. Get some!

Live Music (Downtown): Music is done for the colder months, but will resume at 111 in the spring!

Live Music (Heights): Friday—Ray Anthony & Powerslyde, 7-10 p.m.; Saturday—Eryn Bent, 7-10 p.m.

Live Music (Westside): Friday—Lenin and McCarthy, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—El Brujo Trio, 8-11 p.m.

Events (Heights): Today (Wednesday)—Barrel-Aged Beer and Cheese Tasting, 5-8 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: Bird of Prey IPA, Belgian Tripel, Dunkelweizen, Equinox, Irish Red, Imperial Pilsner (Silver only), Beam Me Up Scotty (Silver only). The most recent additions are Belgian Tripel, Dunkelweizen, Irish Red, Equinox, and Bird of Prey.

News: Nexus Silver now has food! Rejoice and check out the menu on their main website.

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), Poolside Pale Ale, Cockness Monster (Scotch Ale), Switch Stance Stout. Palmer shares a building with Left Turn Distilling on Girard south of Candelaria. This batch of Cockness Monster is fresh and tasty.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

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

Beers: Imperial Red, Topaz Pale Ale, Red Chile Chocolate Porter, Dry-Hopped Saison, Amber Ale. The new Topaz Pale Ale is the latest in a series of single-hop beers. The most recent additions are the Amber Ale, Imperial Red, and Red Chile Chocolate Porter. Blood Orange Wit should be on tap this weekend.

News: You can now find India Pale Lager 2.0 for sale in cans, at the brewery and at local liquor stores, including Total Wine, Bird of Paradise, Jubilation, Kelly’s, and Quarters!

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: S’More Than a Beer, Baltic Bollocks, Come to the Dort Side, SMASH Comet Session IPA, Irish Handcuffs Imperial Stout, Coco Orastie (Orange) Stout. QC has brewed up a delicious monster in the Baltic Bollocks Porter. S’More Than a Beer was made with graham crackers, lactose, and chocolate. After the recent smash run of a barrel-aged 2016 Irish Handcuffs, the new version (sans any barrel aging) is on tap.

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.; Wyoming 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: Imperial Red IPA, Plum Gose, Oktoberfest, Dubbel, WyPA, White AF IPA (downtown only). The Imperial Red IPA was the first in a series of beers to celebrate Red Door’s recent anniversary. The Plum Gose was second and Oktoberfest was third.

Live Music (Brewery): Today (Wednesday)—Ryan Painter, 7-9 p.m.

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

Weekly Events (Taproom): Today (Wednesday)—Paint it Black Open Mic Comedy, 7-9 p.m.; Thursday—Art at the Bar, 5:30-8:30 p.m.; Sunday—Parents’ Day Out, noon-3 p.m.; 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 (regular and barrel-aged), Vanilla Porter, NM Pinon Coffee Porter, Oatmeal Stout, Barrel-aged Belgian Strong Golden, Level 3 IPA, Lemongrass Wit, Peach Gose, Cherry Sour, Kolsch, Hibiscus Mojito, Penguin Lager, Belgian Blonde, Cherry Wheat, Belgo IPA, Pink Boots Pale Ale, Marzen, Grapefruit Launcher IPA, Schwarzbier, Rubus Ruckus, Barleywine, Cherry Wheat Cuvee, Christmas Cascade Pale Ale, Grab ‘Em By the Putin (Russian Imperial Stout). A portion of the Penguin Lager proceeds are going to the new exhibit at the ABQ Bio Park. There are now three barrel-aged beers on tap in the Porter (new recipe!), Putin (new batch), and Belgian Strong. The Cherry Wheat Cuvee is a barrel-aged blend of Cherry Wheat and Barleywine.

Live Music: Today (Wednesday)—Ad Lib, 6-8 p.m.; Friday—Higher Ground, 6:30-9:30 p.m.; Saturday—Clark Andrew Libbey, 8-10 p.m.; Sunday—Tasty Face, 8 p.m.-12:30 a.m.

Weekly Events: Friday—Headliners Comedy presents Friday Night Fools ($5 cover, event only), 9:30 p.m.; Sunday—Pints & Planks with Yoga Zo

Happy Hour/Discounts: Happy hour Monday-Friday, 2-6 p.m., $1 off pints

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: Turntable Series IPA: Track 1, Gura American Blonde Ale, Belgian Farmhouse Ale, 3:10 to Belen Brown Ale, Railhead Red, Dark Engine Stout, Buzz Bomb. The Turntable, Gura, and Belgian Farmhouse are the most recent additions. Buzz Bomb is a delicious coffee pale ale made in collaboration with the folks next door at Zendo.

Cask: The Buzz Bomb and Dark Engine, with cocoa nibs added, are in the firkins.

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, Brown Chicken Brown Cow, Jack Tooth Grin, A Roll in Ze Hay (Hefeweizen), Black Friday (Dark American Lager), Starrgazm IPA, Zombies in the Manger (Biscochito Stout). The most recent additions are Starrgazm and the Zombies in the Manger, which is downright sacrilicious.

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) Figgy Pudding, Plymouth Rock & Rye Saison, Who’s Brett IPA, Brickie American Stout, Compa Los Ranchos Lager, Manana Tropical IPA. The most recent additions are the Manana, Compa, and Brickie. Die Dunkel Seite goes on tap Thursday. There are still bottles of The Judy and Edith for sale at the brewery.

The 377 Brewery — (505) 934-0795

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

Beers: (house) 377 IPA, Dieterhosen Hefe, El CuCuy (DIPA), Fat Brown Guy (Porter), Red Horse NM Lager, Schwarzbier, Berliner Weisse, Naked Ale (Pale); (seasonals) Loonies Lime Saison, Short Wee Heavy, Milk Stout, Peach Wheat, Kolsch, Scottish Ale, Say Juan Saison, Barrel-Aged Tart Cherry Milk Stout, Skin Walker Triple IPA. A most excellent update from the folks at The 377 features four new additions to the seasonal list with Loonies, Short Wee Heavy, Skin Walker, and the BA Tart Cherry Milk Stout. It’s quite the variety, isn’t it?

Live Music: Sunday—Hoppy New Beer with Eryn Bent, 5 p.m.-midnight

Weekly Events: Sunday—Open Mic/Jam Session, 5 p.m. (none this week due to the holiday)

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

(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; Four Hills: Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–2 a.m.)

Beers: Javi Lager, Three-Two Amber, 2016 Stein Wine, Cranberry Ginger Cider, Plum Spice Berliner Weisse, Barrel-Aged Leche de Luna, Imma Pale Ale, Spiced Cider, Pete’s Porter, American Wild Ale, Pecan Ale, Nitro Cowboy Coffee (Wells Park only), Desert Dweller DIPA (Wells Park and Four Hills only), Turkey Drool (Four Hills only), Jack the Sipper (Four Hills only), Belgo American Pale Ale (Four Hills only), Cascara Cider (Four Hills only). Recent additions to the lineup are Pecan Ale, Pete’s Porter, and the American Wild Ale, as well as the Imma Pale Ale, made in collaboration with Immastar Productions, and the Spiced Cider. Barrel-Aged Leche de Luna is an imperial chocolate milk stout with a serious kick.

News: Do not fret, Berry Cider is still on tap, but since it is now a year-round offering, we will no longer be listing it with the seasonal/specialty brews and ciders here.

Live Music (Wells Park): Thursday—Danny Harps Band, 8 p.m.; Friday—Still Closed for Repairs, 5 p.m., The Lymbs, 8 p.m.; Sunday—2017 Tribute with DJ D-Monic, 6 p.m.

Live Music (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Keith Sanchez, 8:30 p.m.; Saturday—Jacob Chavez, 5 p.m.

Live Music (Four Hills): Saturday—Paul Hunton, 7 p.m.

Events (Wells Park): Saturday—UFC Fight Night: Holly Holm vs. Cyborg, 6:30 p.m. ($15.50 tickets in advance, only 75 will be sold)

Events (Four Hills): Thursday—Lego Night, 7 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.

Weekly Events (Four Hills): Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 7 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: Cosmic Yum Yum, Can’t Catch Me Copper Lager, Arsenal Porter, Pour les Abeilles, Capspackler Imperial IPA, Count Hellesaurius, Depravity Barleywine. An archived keg of Depravity has been tapped for a limited time. The Count Hellesaurius, Capspackler (9.5% ABV, 125+ IBU), and Arsenal Porter are the most recent additions.

Cask: Tuesday—TBA

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Open daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Farmhouse Funkalicious, La Santa Oscura, Cosmic Darkness Imperial Stout, Conspirator Doppelbock. The La Santa Oscura is a holiday spiced dark lager. The Cosmic Darkness and Funkalicious are the most recent additions.

Chili Line Brewing — (505) 500-7903

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

Beers: El Jefe (Rauchweizen), Antonio Bandito (Dunkelweizen), Llorona Lager, La Bamba (Rauchbier), Stara Baba (Oak Smoked Polish Gratzer), Jacona Stout, P.G. (Pinche Guey) IPA. The Jacona and P.G. are the most recent additions.

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, Marcel, Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Duchamp (Sour Wit), Cezanne Magnifique, HMWWA FIACFW, Cezanne Verite, Fiction (IPA), Lourd of Funk, Titian, Dark Ryder, Grunewald. This batch of Cezanne Verite is barrel aged and it is also for sale in bombers. The Titian, Dark Ryder, and Grunewald are the most recent additions, available on tap and in bombers.

Live Music (ABQ taproom): Thursday—Tony Orant, 8 p.m.; Saturday—The Rudy Boy Experiment, 9 p.m.; Sunday—NYE Y2K Party with DJ Wae Fonkey, 8 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 Four (IPA), Germophile (Berliner Weisse), Fruhschoppen (Hefeweizen), Little White Lies (Belgian Blonde), Conduit (Belgian IPA), Bosco P. Coltrane (Chocolate Brown). The Agent Scully is a series of IPAs which will vary by hop combinations. Episode 4 is the most recent iteration. The Coltrane is the most recent addition to the lineup.

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: Adobe Igloo, Hipster Union IPA, Oktoberfest, Bobcat Dynamite (Kolsch), Lustgarten, Wet Hop Pale Ale (ECS). With the colder weather almost upon us, Adobe Igloo makes its annual return. Hipster Union is also back, while Bobcat Dynamite is the most recent addition.

Live Music (ABQ taproom): Thursday—Gato Malo, 5 p.m.; Friday—Vintage Brew, 6 p.m.

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, Coffee Porter, Cherry Wood Smoked Imperial Porter, Rufina Amber, 2920 IPA, Mosaic IPA, Railyard Red, Rod’s Steam Bitter, Anniversary Ale, Civil Rye. The taps saw a big recent turnover with the return of Coffee Porter, 2920 IPA, Mosaic IPA, Railyard, Anniversary, Civil Rye, and the Steam Bitter, which won bronze at the Great American Beer Festival in October.

Live Music (Original location): Friday—Alex Maryol, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—The Left Bank, 6-9 p.m.

Live Music (Railyard): Friday—Alto Street, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—Stanlie Kee and Step-In, 6-9 p.m.

Live Music (Rufina): Sunday—Bodies, Sex Headaches, Cult Tourist, 9 p.m.; Tuesday—Fields of Elysium Tour Kickoff with Scalafrea and Transcend the Realm, 8:30 p.m.

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: Kutthroat Kolsch, Kaboom Quad, Wit Rock, Catherine’s Historical Stout, Little Bird Blonde, Anderson Amber. Well, look at that, an updated beer list for BRB. The Wit Rock and Little Bird are old favorites, the rest are more recent recipes.

Sierra Blanca Brewing — (505) 832-2337

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

Beers: Cranberry Sour, Interstella Vanilla, Cherry Wheat, Single Hop IPA, Whiskey Stout. The Whiskey Stout is the most recent addition. The Cranberry Sour is the most recent addition. Oktoberfest is now available on tap. Cherry Wheat is available in bottles and won a gold medal at GABF this year.

Live Music: Friday—Michael Anthony Guidicissi, 6 p.m.

* * * *

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

The simply named Monks’ IPA #1 has become the best-selling beer at the taproom.

I recently walked up to the entrance of Monks’ Corner Taproom on Second and Silver in downtown Albuquerque. I was there to talk to them about the year that was and the year that will be, as we do in this series of stories. But, a curious sign was out front; one that would have brought me inside if I had simply been a passer-by. The sign said free cider tasting all day. I thought that was interesting, because I knew Monks’ did not make cider.

As I walked in, I ran into general manager Chris Pacheco, who I had been trying to reach for this story. He is a brand new papa who has been out on paternity leave, and we had not been able to connect. I told him I was there to talk to Thomas (the actual, “in-residence” monk at the taproom). Chris got me samples of the cider. There were two, and they were asking that the patrons pick their favorite. The winner will be chosen as their first house cider, which will be called “Monks’ Original Sin” (as in Adam and Eve, because, you know, it’s made from apples). They are both very light in ABV — one at 2.5 percent and the other at 3.0 percent. The cider is made in partnership with a New Mexico winery. I received my first bit of news before the interview actually started.

Brother Thomas, left, and general manager Chris Pacheco keep Monks’ Corner humming along.

Truth be told, I was a little nervous because it’s not every day that I sit down and have a beer and conversation with a Benedictine monk. At the same time, I was quite fascinated. In order to avoid this story becoming a novella, you can read about the history of Abbey Brewing Co. in New Mexico here. The tradition of monks brewing beer, particularly in Europe, is long standing. In fact, relationships between monasteries allowed Monks’ original primary brewer to have access to the traditional brewing processes of other monasteries.

The Monastery of Christ in the Desert first discussed brewing beer shortly after the turn of this century. I know that was not that too long ago, but it sounds more impressive to say it that way! They brewed their first beer in 2005. Since they did not open the taproom until 2016, it is rather counter to how many other breweries have opened with guest taps prior to actually serving their own beer. Mass production is handled at Sierra Blanca’s facility in Moriarty, so at the taproom they are able to focus on serving the beer and customer interactions, rather than brewing on site.

As I settled in to my Monks’ IPA #1 (that’s the actual name), my purported “quick” conversation with Thomas turned into a rather lengthy discussion about everything from beer, to questions I had about life at the monastery, and even our shared shopping habits. Thomas informed me that Monks’ IPA #1 was their new best seller immediately after it was introduced. It’s not a super hop bomb because they wanted to brew it in what they would imagine a monastic style would have been, had monasteries brewed IPAs a thousand years ago, which they did not.

Beer tourists have been frequent visitors to the cozy confines of Monks’ Corner.

Monks’ Corner Taproom celebrated their one-year anniversary on October 5. Thomas said they are proud of how popular the taproom has been in its first year. Thomas said their biggest challenge has been getting people comfortable with the idea of coming downtown. They were mindful of that when they established the taproom, because it is a light and bright space on a corner. One thing that has surprised Thomas this first year is the amount of “beercationers” they get in the taproom, people who are in town just to experience the Albuquerque beer scene.

Although Abbey Brewing does not enter many competitions due to style guidelines and the difficulty it faces fitting their beers in to those guidelines, Monks’ beers performed very well in the 2017 Copa de Cervesa in Chile. This competition has been around since 2011 and is widely considered to be the most important beer competition in Latin America. Thomas said that Monks’ Ale won two golds for best of style and the Dubbel won a bronze. They are now distributing in Santiago (and Taipei!), but other distribution outside of New Mexico is very limited. In the new year, they will brew an IPA #2, which Thomas said will hopefully have a better name. They will also have a Reserve Dubbel.

One of their main goals in 2018 is to increase taproom foot traffic for both themselves and also for the neighborhood. They are also looking to enhance the customer experience, Thomas said. As part of that, they will start serving from a limited food menu. Currently, customers can go to the adjoining restaurant Maya Cuisine to order food to eat in the taproom, but Monks’ plans to serve more typically beer-friendly options such as cheese and charcuterie plates, pretzels, and the like.

Other enhancements in the works include adding more events and entertainment to the taproom calendar. Chris said they will be extending invitations to local non-profit organizations to have functions, and Monks’ will donate a portion of that day’s beer sales to the organization. It’s all a part of the plan to further establish themselves as a place to gather in downtown Albuquerque.

Peace and joy,

— AmyO

Here is to another big year at Bosque, and to more beers like the delicious Fresh Start Breakfast Ale.

For my final interview of 2017 (more are coming in 2018, fear not), I sat down with three key members of the command staff at Bosque Brewing to try to somehow recap an insanely busy year and preview what is to come in the next 12 months. Managing director/owner Gabe Jensen, director of operations/owner Jotham Michnovicz, and director of culture and engagement Jess Griego all joined me over some pints at the San Mateo location last week.

The challenge was to recap all that went down in 2017, when Bosque opened a bigger Las Cruces location, expanded its Nob Hill Public House, added another canned beer (Elephants on Parade), added another year-round beer (1888), and just managed to stay constantly busy.

“I think Jotham had a lot to do this year, so I think he should go (first),” Gabe said.

“We opened our Las Cruces Public House and then we re-opened the little beer bar (next door),” Jotham said. “Then we expanded Nob Hill. Then we’re about a quarter of the way through the Bernalillo production facility construction. Open Space (the replacement for the San Mateo location) is in the works now. We purchased the land. It’s fully entitled. We have renderings. We’re pretty close to being done with the floor plates. We’re hoping to break ground with that one before you know it.”

In many ways, the success this year for Bosque was due to things the public did not see.

“I just think we’ve gotten really good at separating our responsibilities,” Jess said. “Trusting each other to do what they’re good at, adding new people onto our leadership team to take over things we know they’re good at so we can focus on bigger picture stuff.”

Jotham agreed, calling 2017 “a year of specialization.”

Gabe said it all came down to the past lessons the staff learned.

“We finished this (San Mateo expansion) about halfway through 2016,” he said. “I think it really, although it didn’t happen this year, in some ways it feels like it did because it was really the blueprint of a lot of what we did. Doing it once here, expansions, kitchens, changing up roles, like Jess was saying, for 2017 for us was marked even more by what happened behind the scenes.”

The Las Cruces expansion started here and finished earlier in 2017. (Photo courtesy of Bosque)

That was apparent in how Bosque handled the opening of its larger Public House in Las Cruces, while also renovating and keeping the original smaller beer bar next door. What could have been a logistical nightmare was anything but that.

“One of the cool things is that our team has become so big, that we can really hand off a lot of projects or tag-team a lot of projects,” Jotham said. “When we did Las Cruces Public House in April, Gabe, Jess, and I did a ton of time doing that, making sure that it happened and kind of quarterbacking (from afar).

“So then we expand Nob Hill just a couple weeks ago, and I wasn’t even there for the opening night. I did a lot of leg work in the construction process, but then whenever the time came to open the doors and unveil the space, everybody already had everybody trained and everything in place, all the details taken care of. We were able to go away for Thanksgiving and not even be concerned that that taproom had just expanded.”

Jess gave a tremendous amount of credit for the success in Las Cruces to district taproom manager Dakotah Vaughan.

“Again, it just goes back to really entrusting people to do what they’re good at,” Jess said. “We only offer advice and commentary when it’s asked for, but really just letting our district taproom manager Dakotah Vaughan, to do her thing down there. She’s in touch with us daily sometimes. We have a mutual trust there. There’s issues to overcome, storage, getting beer down there twice a week. We knew those were logistical things that we knew we could resolve. Getting our beer to our Las Cruces who love it, that’s our (main) goal. The goal is to just get beer in front of people who want it. We have a really great team down there.”

Just look at all that beautiful space inside the Nob Hill Public House.

The team at Nob Hill also did a great job with that expansion, Jess said. Bosque took over the entire building, breaking down the old wall between its space and the former Wise Pies Pizza location. It also enabled the staff to install a full kitchen, giving Nob Hill the same menu options as San Mateo and creating more of a uniformity between the two Albuquerque locations.

“It’s cohesive,” Jotham said. “All of those things together feel like Bosque now. Before they were kind of disjointed. We felt like we had these different personalities with each place. Now the ambiance and the decor is very similar.”

On the beer side of things, 2017 marked the last year that Bosque will be contract brewing at Sleeping Giant in Denver. Once the Bernalillo production facility is up and running, all Bosque packaged beer will be made in New Mexico.

“There’s been a little bit of stress,” Gabe said. “I’ll start by saying I wouldn’t want to do this with anyone but Sleeping Giant, they’re really great. That being said, I’m really glad that we’ll be able to bring it back in house. The logistics were way, way more overwhelming, there were so many more moving parts to it than I ever imagined. In the summer I was ordering beer for January and I missed it. November was our best month with Admiral package-wise and draft-wise. We were out of IPA for two weeks and Scotia for one of those weeks. We won’t let that happen when we’re making it ourselves.”

Elephants on Parade joined the lineup of packaged beers in 2017. (Photo courtesy of Bosque)

At the very least, with so much of the heavy production elsewhere, it has freed up brewmaster John Bullard and his staff to keep making innovative and fun one-offs and seasonals. John and company actually had the day off when I visited, one of the first they have all had in a while.

“It’s because they’ve been working so hard,” Gabe said. “I think it’s easy for them to do and they love what they do. They get to really enjoy the fruits of what they do. That’s really what it’s all about. …

“(John) has fun making it and fun drinking it. I think we’ve been able to get back to there. That’s where we’re really going to be able to have a lot of fun and do a lot of fun stuff with all our customers once we have Bernalillo open. We can keep making IPA every day but still have the space to just do what craft beer was the reason why we got in this, because it’s fun and enjoyable.”

Another fun beer for the staff has been 1888, the blonde ale made in conjunction with the New Mexico State athletics department. That all came together in part because most of the Bosque leadership team is either from Las Cruces and/or graduated from NMSU.

“I was joking with Gabe that I pictured eight-year-old Gabe just like freaking out that he gets to work with NMSU athletics,” Jotham said.

“That’s pretty much how it worked out,” Gabe said. “I grew up in Cruces, I grew up an Aggie basketball fan, especially. I take some credit with the football team going to a bowl; it’s the first year they’ve had an official beer and the first year they’ve gone to a bowl (in 57 years). I’ve got to imagine there’s a correlation there, if not a correlation, a causation. It’s been fun for me just reaching out as an Aggie fan.”

Gabe said that doing the 1888 has helped erase any stigma that Bosque was some sort of northern interloper intruding on Las Cruces. It has further helped the brewery grow and take off with customers in Southern New Mexico.

“With the 1888, it came about because we donated some beer to an event a couple years ago,” Gabe said. “They didn’t reach out to me or Kevin or Jotham, they reached out to Dakotah. She put us in touch. After that our relationship grew. IMG, the licensing company, called and they were thinking about consumables. They knew we made beer and were alumni. It works with the fight song. Now that it’s out and down there, it sells like crazy. … It’s been fun. I’m looking forward to getting it packaged. I think it will do well.”

The 1888 will be the first new beer to be packaged at Bernalillo in 2018, joining IPA, Scotia, Lager, and Elephants on Parade.

Production comes home and home moves up the road in 2018

Things are on the move at Bernalillo. (Photo courtesy of Bosque)

Clearly the two biggest projects for Bosque in the coming year will be Bernalillo and Open Space, the replacement for the San Mateo location. The time table for the former has not changed yet, while the latter has been pushed back a bit.

“Bernalillo is going to kick off, we’re hoping that’s going to be ready at the end of the first quarter, hopefully it doesn’t go into the second quarter, but we’ll see,” Jotham said. “Then, we’re looking at Q3 for the Open Space Project.”

For those not familiar with financial quarters, that means March/April for Bernalillo and some time between July and September for Open Space.

“Those are two of the biggest projects we’ve ever done,” Jess said.

Construction is well underway at Bernalillo after Bosque had to wait seemingly forever for the State Department of Transportation to sign off (due mainly to its construction plans for widening Highway 550).

“They’ve got all the structural seal in place,” Jotham said. “The site utilities are pretty much all the way in now. They’re going to start grading and paving really soon. Interior framing is already going up. The equipment is going to be moved in (this) week. It’s a humongous facility, there’s a lot of moving parts, but at the same time it’s a brewery. You’ve just got to put some tanks in there. A lot of it is the equipment installation before it becomes functional. Otherwise it’s just walls and drains.”

Gabe and Jess both added that no one on staff is losing sleep over Bernalillo like they used to with past projects.

“Obviously, it’s the biggest projects, but for me it’s not that overwhelming,” Gabe said. “We’ve done a lot of the hard work on Bernalillo (already). Then the Open Space Project on Venice, that’s a lot of extension (from what) we learned a lot with Bernalillo. I know what they’re asking when they ask for certain things. The four of us sitting in the architect’s office, it’s been fun doing a ground-up project.”

Jess said it was fun watching John going over how he was setting up his brewery at Open Space, truly building it from scratch. In many ways it was the culmination of all the past hard work.

“We used to be upset that we didn’t have enough money to do what we wanted in the beginning,” Gabe said. “Now, looking back on it, we all are glad that we had four or five years to really figure out what it is we’re trying to do. Now with the big spaces we’ve done it a couple times. I’m really excited about the space for the brewers and for the customer side, just to be able to sit there and enjoy (themselves). We’re going to be able to provide that in a way that we’ve been trying for a long time, too. That’s been a driving factor. 2018 is going to be interesting in finally getting to this point of finally getting to this point.”

The silo is in place at Bernalillo, and more equipment is on the way. (Photo courtesy of Bosque)

Gabe did add that while the staff might take a breather for a bit once Bernalillo and Open Space are complete, Bosque will never pass up a good opportunity should it come along. There will be two separate small brewer licenses, creating the opportunity to add more taprooms. Gabe mentioned another in Albuquerque is possible, while Santa Fe and other New Mexico towns will also be considered.

“Some of what we do, I wouldn’t call it reactionary, but we’re constantly evaluating things,” Jotham added. “If there’s a new opportunity that comes up that seems exciting and doesn’t seem like it will be too much work, then we usually will at least pursue it a little bit. We’ve evaluated other projects and have actually gotten far down the road on a couple of them, then we decided it doesn’t live up to our values, live up to our beer.”

For the start of 2018, the focus will remain squarely on getting those two big projects done, while also making sure the customer experience at all the existing locations will continue to be top notch.

“The buildings are cool, but what they accomplish is what we’ve been trying to accomplish from day one,” Gabe said. “We came in here wanting to do something to the best of our abilities. Jess always talks about outdoing ourselves. We’ve had a lot of reflection time this year. Why are doing what we’re doing? What is the growth strategy? Are we growing just to grow or is there something behind it?

“It stems from wanting and desiring a place to make and drink fun, good beer. There’s this intersection of place that when we first opened it was fine for what it was. Then we expanded this and we created the new space in Cruces and then Nob Hill. I think it’s almost the culmination of that. This year, these huge spaces are filling up, yet it’s still comfortable, it’s not jam-packed. It doesn’t feel stuffy. It’s not just like a restaurant.”

All of us in the Crew cannot wait to see these big projects finally come to fruition. It has been fun being there from before day one with Bosque, back when we toured the unfinished San Mateo space. To see where the brewery has come since then has been an enjoyable ride for us as well. A huge thanks to Gabe, Jess, and Jotham for taking the time out to talk last week. We cannot wait to tour Bernalillo and Open Space in 2018.

Until then, I will just have to keep stopping by and drinking the Fresh Start Breakfast Ale until it is gone and then I can bug John to make some more.

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.

The spirit of collaboration is alive and well this holiday season, as La Cumbre and Steel Bender are proving with the release of a new beer. As the Steel Bender Facebook page described it: “In July of 2017, Steel Bender Brewyard’s head brewer transported white-wine barrels filled with a La Cumbre Brewing Co. kettle-soured, six-month aged peach saison to Steel Bender. He took Edith Blvd., the storied stretch of road that connects the two breweries. The road where he could drive nice and slow (we’re talking 10 mph slow). He added Brettanomyces strain (most likely sourced from Drie Fonteinen) and then aged it for another three months. The historic road that brought locals together for decades made this Collaboration Brett Ale possible. Here’s to you, Edith.” A total of about 500 bottles were produced and sales will be split evenly between the two breweries. Those sales begin at 4:30 p.m. and run until the last bottle is sold. Head on over and raise one to the spirit of collaboration!

Speaking of the holidays, we have a few of the breweries’ hours for Christmas Eve and, if different, the day after Christmas. All breweries appear to be closed Monday. We will post a final list Saturday on social media, if we are able to get those remaining times. Here is what we have so far (all times for Sunday unless noted): Bombs Away, noon to 4 p.m.; La Cumbre, close at 6 p.m.; Marble, close at 8 p.m. (last call at 7:30); Ponderosa, close at 3 p.m.; Quarter Celtic, close at 4 p.m.; Sidetrack, open noon to 4 p.m.; Steel Bender, closed all day; Blue Corn, normal hours. UPDATES: Ale Republic, close at 6 p.m.; Bow & Arrow, noon to 5 p.m.; Hops, close at 6 p.m.; Kaktus, close at 6 p.m. MORE UPDATES: Bosque, close at 8 p.m. (all locations); Dialogue, noon to 5 p.m.; Drafty Kilt, close at 6 p.m.; Jubilation, noon to 5 p.m., also closed all day Tuesday.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Canteen resurrects a long time favorite in St. Bob’s Imperial Stout, which returns on nitro (!) this Thursday. Marble has finally unveiled Cholo Smooth, the nitro version of the award-winning Cholo Stout, plus there is a new Robust Porter and Downlowlander, a Scotch ale that is a serious beer name of the year contender. Quarter Celtic goes dark with a 2017 version of Irish Handcuffs Imperial Stout, plus it also has an orange stout, Coco Orastie. Rio Bravo has a new batch of Grab ‘Em By the Putin, a burly Russian imperial stout. Before Steel Bender releases its collaboration with La Cumbre, it will also release The Judy, another barrel-aged saison, in bottles on Thursday. Tractor unveils the pre-Prohibition era Pete’s Porter, as well as a new American Wild Ale. Turtle Mountain is feeling rather Gothic with Count Hellesaurius.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn goes big with Cosmic Darkness Imperial Stout. Second Street had a huge tap turnover with fresh batches of 2920 IPA, Mosaic IPA, Railyard Red, Anniversary Ale, Coffee Porter, Civil Rye, and the award-winning Rod’s Steam Bitter all going back on tap.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of December 18.

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: Brune, Blonde, Strong Dark and Handsome, Eagle Claw, Tokyo Black, Single and Ready to Mingle. The most recent additions are the Tokyo Black (5.5% ABV, 24 IBU), an ale made with black tea, and Eagle Claw (4.8% ABV, 41 IBU), a farmhouse pale 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: El Jeffe Hefeweizen, Friars Belgian-Style Single, June Bock German Lager. Rejoice, for Blue Grasshopper is brewing again! The Friars and June Bock are the more recent additions.

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, Grapefruit Pale Ale, Oktoberfest, Sour Strangehop, Double Dead Red. The Double Dead Red returned recently, so enjoy it while it’s still fresh.

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.

Bombs Away Beer Company — (505) 554-3204

(Hours: Mon–Fri 2 p.m.–close, Sat–Sun noon–close)

Beers: Short Fuse Blonde Ale, BABC IPA, Willie Pete Wit, Low Order Porter, High Speed Low Drag Lager, Wild Card Spiced Ale, Brisance Bitter, Bag Drag BPA, Arsenal English Amber, Proximity Pilsner, MKDeuce Pale Ale, Primer Pub Ale, Actuator IPA, Stockpile Stout, Phil’s Incendiary IPA, Long Delay RyePA. The Phil’s Incendiary IPA was brewed up for a great cause, so head over to try it soon. Stockpile is a nice, robust beer that is perfect for the season. Long Delay is the most recent addition.

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: Driftwood Oatmeal Stout, Barrel-Aged Double Sunshine Stout, Fresh Start Breakfast Ale, Open Space Haze: 41 South, Beermosa, Shuck If I Know Oyster Stout. Fresh Start Breakfast Ale, a delightfully delicious stout brewed with coffee and maple syrup, will see a portion of its proceeds go to charity. The Sunshine is also for sale in bombers. Beermosa and Shuck If I Know are the most recent additions.

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: Sun Dagger (Saison), True Aim (Scotch Ale), Hoka Hey (IPA), Jemez Field Notes Lager, Wayward Arrow Hefeweizen, Cosmic Arrow Brett Saison, Hoodoo Monster Imperial Red, Way Out West Sour Sumac, Black Chandelier (Belgo Stout), Desert Dynamo IPL, Fast Luck Dry-Hopped Pale Ale, Wolf Eyes (Oktoberfest), Nomadico IPA, Visionland Amber Ale, Sweetfetti Weizenbock, Thirsty Land: Foraged Series (Grisette), Coyote Waits (Barrel-Aged Imperial Mole Stout), Savage Times Sour IPA. The most recent additions to the lineup are the Savage Times, Coyote Waits, Thirsty Land, Sweetfetti, and Visionland. The sheer variety of styles on tap is quite impressive.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Bow & Arrow has happy hour every Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Get $1 off pints.

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

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

Beers: Crystal Kolsch, Oso Otono, Scotch Rocket, Iron Lung Smoked Porter, Coffee Chocolate Milk Stout, Bulldog English IPA, Simcoe SMASH. The most recent additions are the Scotch Rocket, Bulldog, Simcoe, Coffee Chocolate Milk Stout, and Iron Lung. Oso Otono is also on the nitro tap. A barrel-aged version of Standing 8 Stout debuts Saturday on tap and in bombers at the brewery and at Jubilation.

Events: Saturday—Festivus Party, all day

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, Pepe the Mule, Trailworks IPA, Dogtoberfest. OK, fine, Pepe the Mule counts as a beer, even though it is basically a Moscow Mule, but it was made with beer. Dogtoberfest is the most recent addition.

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, Panama Jose Coffee Stout, Pop’s Pre-Prohibition Lager, Whirling Dervish, Hop Baller IPA, Social Capital (Dark Cherries aged on French Oak). The Dervish is a passionfruit Belgian sour. The Panama Jose, Hop Baller, and Social Capital were the big additions last week. Coming this week is an old favorite, St. Bob’s Imperial Stout, which will be on nitro this Thursday.

Live Music (Brewery): Thursday—Alex Maryol Duo, 6-9 p.m.

Live Music (Taproom): Saturday—Jacob Chavez, 5-8 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.

Dialogue Brewing — (505) 585-1501

(Open daily noon-midnight)

Beers: Belgian Citrus IPA, Berliner Weisse, Blood Orange Berliner Weisse, Strawberry Berliner Weisse, Sour Raspberry, Idiot Sauvin, Dry Irish Stout, O.D.B., Belgian Cherry Wheat, Porter for Humanity, Amber Ale. The taps have seen a big tap turnover recently with the arrival of two Berliner Weisse variants in the blood orange and strawberry, plus Idiot Sauvin, Porter for Humanity, and Belgian Cherry Wheat.

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, Campbell Toe IPA, Covfefe Hefe, Outlamber Amber. The Outlamber is the most recent addition.

Events: Saturday—Paint and Sip: Santa Fe Holiday, 6-8 p.m.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.; Thursday—Blues Jam with the Rudy Boy Experiment, 7-10 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: Tart and Soul (Guava Berliner Weisse), Pilsner? I Barley Know’er!, Eater of Worlds Pale Ale, The Agitator Doppelbock, Hazeas Corpus, Darth Malt, The Schwarz Side, Hoplo Ren, Tart Wars. The most recent additions were all released in conjunction with Star Wars: The Last Jedi — Darth Malt (Baltic Porter), The Schwarz Side (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Schwarzbier), Hoplo Ren (Black IPA), and Tart Wars (Gose). Schwarz and Tart are small batches, so get them fast before they run out.

Hops Brewery — (505) 369-1378

(Sun-Thurs noon-10 p.m., Fri-Sat noon-midnight)

Beers: Dad Joke (California Common), Tipsy Cow (Milk Stout), Warm Scottish Nights, An Irish Tan (English Bitter), Honey Wheat, Chica (Pale Ale), Hop Hill IPA. Hops has started out with these seven beers on tap, but they also have 31 more guest taps, just in case you don’t find one to your liking. The Hop Hill (7.1% ABV, 69 IBU) was the most recent addition.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Open Mic, 7-9 p.m.; Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.

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: Blondie, Helles Lager, Winter Wheat, ESB, Black IPA, Puddle Stomper IPA, Oatmeal Raisin Stout, St. Paul’s Porter, Cider, DjinnJar Kombucha. The most recent additions include Blondie, Winter Wheat, Black IPA, Puddle Stomper IPA, St. Paul’s Porter, and the delectable Oatmeal Raisin Stout. Look for Imperial Stout soon.

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, IPA, Lobo Red Ale, Session IPA, Sleeping Dog Stout, 35 N Coffee Porter; (seasonal) German Pilsner, Honey Wheat, Pumpkin Pie Lager, Amber Ale, Capspackler DIPA, Dortmunder. The lineup got a bit of a makeover, with Lobo Red, Sleeping Dog, and the 35 N all joining the regulars. All of the seasonal beers are new as well. Time to take a trip back to Kellys and embrace the new and improved beers.

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: Ales for ALS IPA, Noche de Paz, Weize Ass Goat Weizenbock, REDiculous, Barrel-Aged Malpais on Nitro, Big Door Prize. Recent additions to the lineup are Big Door Prize, a hazy single-hop double IPA, BA Malpais on nitro, Weize Ass Goat, and REDiculous, an IPA. The collaboration beer Edith will be sold in bottles starting this Friday at 4:30 p.m. (see our intro for more details).

Live Music: Saturday—Still Closed For Repairs, 6-9 p.m.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Loteria (every other 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: Dubbel, Cholo Stout, Tripel, Golden Ale, Imperial Red, Brown Extra 2.0, DIPA Especial, Imperial Stout, Vunderland (Downtown and Westside only), Cascade IPA (Downtown and Westside only), Cholo Smooth (Heights only), Downlowlander Scotch Ale  (Heights and Westside only), Horchata Porter (Heights and Westside only), Robust Porter (Westside only), Dry Oaked Stout (Westside only), Gin Barrel Brett (Westside only), Barrel-Aged Amber (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 Vunderland, a Belgian dark strong, as well as the Downlowlander, Brown Extra 2.0, Cholo Smooth (nitro), and Robust Porter are the most recent additions. This is a fresh new batch of Imperial Red. We cannot recommend the Imperial Stout, Tripel, and Cholo Stout enough. Get some!

Live Music (Downtown): Music is done for the colder months, but will resume at 111 in the spring!

Live Music (Heights): Friday—The Real Matt Jones, 7-10 p.m.; Saturday—Broke & Hungry, 7-10 p.m.

Live Music (Westside): Friday—Black Smoke Blues, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Last Call, 8-11 p.m.

Events (Westside): Thursday—80’s Dance Party and Ugly Sweater Contest with DJ Young Native, 7-10 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: Bird of Prey IPA, Belgian Tripel, Dunkelweizen, Equinox, Irish Red, Imperial Pilsner (Silver only), Beam Me Up Scotty (Silver only). The most recent additions are Belgian Tripel, Dunkelweizen, Irish Red, Equinox, and Bird of Prey.

News: Nexus Silver now has food! Rejoice and check out the menu on their main website.

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), Poolside Pale Ale, Cockness Monster (Scotch Ale), Switch Stance Stout. Palmer shares a building with Left Turn Distilling on Girard south of Candelaria. This batch of Cockness Monster is fresh and tasty.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

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

Beers: Imperial Red, Topaz Pale Ale, Red Chile Chocolate Porter, Dry-Hopped Saison, Amber Ale. The new Topaz Pale Ale is the latest in a series of single-hop beers. The most recent additions are the Amber Ale, Imperial Red, and Red Chile Chocolate Porter.

News: You can now find India Pale Lager 2.0 for sale in cans, at the brewery and at local liquor stores, including Total Wine, Bird of Paradise, Jubilation, Kelly’s, and Quarters!

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: S’More Than a Beer, Baltic Bollocks, Come to the Dort Side, SMASH Comet Session IPA, Irish Handcuffs Imperial Stout, Coco Orastie (Orange) Stout. QC has brewed up a delicious monster in the Baltic Bollocks Porter. S’More Than a Beer was made with graham crackers, lactose, and chocolate. After last week’s smash run of a barrel-aged 2016 Irish Handcuffs, the new version debuts (sans any barrel aging) this week.

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.; Wyoming 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: Imperial Red IPA, Plum Gose, Oktoberfest, WyPA, White AF IPA (downtown only). The Imperial Red IPA was the first in a series of beers to celebrate Red Door’s recent anniversary. The Plum Gose was second and Oktoberfest was third.

Live Music (Brewery): Today (Wednesday)—Oscar Butler, 7-9 p.m.

Events (Downtown): Friday—Ugly Sweater Party, 7 p.m.

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

Weekly Events (Taproom): Today (Wednesday)—Paint it Black Open Mic Comedy, 7-9 p.m.; Thursday—Art at the Bar, 5:30-8:30 p.m.; Sunday—Parents’ Day Out, noon-3 p.m.; 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 (regular and barrel-aged), Vanilla Porter, NM Pinon Coffee Porter, Oatmeal Stout, Barrel-aged Belgian Strong Golden, Level 3 IPA, Lemongrass Wit, Peach Gose, Cherry Sour, Kolsch, Hibiscus Mojito, Penguin Lager, Belgian Blonde, Cherry Wheat, Belgo IPA, Pink Boots Pale Ale, Marzen, Grapefruit Launcher IPA, Schwarzbier, Rubus Ruckus, Barleywine, Cherry Wheat Cuvee, Christmas Cascade Pale Ale, Grab ‘Em By the Putin (Russian Imperial Stout). A portion of the Penguin Lager proceeds are going to the new exhibit at the ABQ Bio Park. There are now three barrel-aged beers on tap in the Porter (new recipe!), Putin (new batch), and Belgian Strong. The Cherry Wheat Cuvee is a barrel-aged blend of Cherry Wheat and Barleywine.

Live Music: Today (Wednesday)—Nick Fury, 6-8 p.m.; Thursday—Paul Hunton, 6-8 p.m.; Friday—The Brujo Trio, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—String Dinner, 6-9 p.m.

Weekly Events: Friday—Headliners Comedy presents Friday Night Fools ($5 cover, event only), 9:30 p.m.; Sunday—Pints & Planks with Yoga Zo

Happy Hour/Discounts: Happy hour Monday-Friday, 2-6 p.m., $1 off pints

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: CO-MO IPA, 3:10 to Belen Brown Ale, Railhead Red, Dark Engine Stout, 2926 Steam Lager, Buzz Bomb. The CO-MO IPA is the most recent addition. Buzz Bomb is a delicious coffee pale ale made in collaboration with the folks next door at Zendo.

Cask: The CO-MO and Railhead are in the firkins.

Events: Thursday—Winter Solstice Celebration with Carlos Trujillo, 7:30 p.m.

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, Brown Chicken Brown Cow, Jack Tooth Grin, A Roll in Ze Hay (Hefeweizen), Black Friday (Dark American Lager), Starrgazm IPA, Zombies in the Manger (Biscochito Stout). The most recent additions are Starrgazm and the Zombies in the Manger, which is downright sacrilicious.

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) Figgy Pudding, Plymouth Rock & Rye Saison, Who’s Brett IPA, Ich Bin Ein Cranberry, Brickie American Stout, Compa Los Ranchos Lager, Manana Tropical IPA. The most recent additions are the Manana, Compa, Brickie, and Ich Bin Ein Cranberry. This Saturday’s edition of the 4 Casks of Christmas is Holiday Spiced Brickie. See our intro for news on two bottled beer releases, The Judy and Edith, coming this Thursday and Friday.

The 377 Brewery — (505) 934-0795

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

Beers: (house) 377 IPA, Dieterhosen Hefe, El CuCuy (DIPA), Fat Brown Guy (Porter), Red Horse NM Lager, Schwarzbier, Berliner Weisse, Naked Ale (Pale); (seasonals) Loonies Lime Saison, Short Wee Heavy, Milk Stout, Peach Wheat, Kolsch, Scottish Ale, Say Juan Saison, Barrel-Aged Tart Cherry Milk Stout, Skin Walker Triple IPA. A most excellent update from the folks at The 377 features four new additions to the seasonal list with Loonies, Short Wee Heavy, Skin Walker, and the BA Tart Cherry Milk Stout. It’s quite the variety, isn’t it?

Weekly Events: Sunday—Open Mic/Jam Session, 5 p.m.

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

(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; Four Hills: Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–2 a.m.)

Beers: Javi Lager, Three-Two Amber, 2016 Stein Wine, Cranberry Ginger Cider, Plum Spice Berliner Weisse, Barrel-Aged Leche de Luna, Imma Pale Ale, Spiced Cider, Pete’s Porter, American Wild Ale, Nitro Cowboy Coffee (Wells Park only), Desert Dweller DIPA (Wells Park and Four Hills only), Turkey Drool (Four Hills only), Jack the Sipper (Four Hills only), Belgo American Pale Ale (Four Hills only), Flanders Red Ale (Four Hills only), Cascara Cider (Four Hills only). Recent additions to the lineup are Pete’s Porter and the American Wild Ale, as well as the Imma Pale Ale, made in collaboration with Immastar Productions, and the Spiced Cider. Barrel-Aged Leche de Luna is an imperial chocolate milk stout with a serious kick.

News: Do not fret, Berry Cider is still on tap, but since it is now a year-round offering, we will no longer be listing it with the seasonal/specialty brews and ciders here.

Live Music (Wells Park): Thursday—Black Hats N Pearl Snaps, 8 p.m.; Saturday—Paul Hunton, 8 p.m.

Live Music (Nob Hill): Saturday—Alex Maryol, 5 p.m.

Live Music (Four Hills): Thursday—A Gato Malo Christmas, 7 p.m.; Saturday—RJ Perez, 7 p.m.

Events (Wells Park): Today (Wednesday)—Adult Coloring Night, 3 p.m.; Friday—Drag Queen Bingo: Christmas Edition, 8 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.

Weekly Events (Four Hills): Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 7 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: Cosmic Yum Yum, Can’t Catch Me Copper Lager, Arsenal Porter, Pour les Abeilles, Capspackler Imperial IPA, Count Hellesaurius, Depravity Barleywine. An archived keg of Depravity has been tapped for a limited time. The Count Hellesaurius, Capspackler (9.5% ABV, 125+ IBU), and Arsenal Porter are the most recent additions.

Cask: Tuesday—Count Hellesaurius with lemon peel and white pepper

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Open daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Farmhouse Funkalicious, La Santa Oscura, Cosmic Darkness Imperial Stout, Conspirator Doppelbock. The La Santa Oscura is a holiday spiced dark lager. The Cosmic Darkness and Funkalicious are the most recent additions.

Chili Line Brewing — (505) 500-7903

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

Beers: El Jefe (Rauchweizen), Antonio Bandito (Dunkelweizen), Llorona Lager, La Bamba (Rauchbier), Stara Baba (Oak Smoked Polish Gratzer), Jacona Stout, P.G. (Pinche Guey) IPA. The Jacona and P.G. are the most recent additions.

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, Marcel, Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Duchamp (Sour Wit), Cezanne Magnifique, HMWWA FIACFW, Cezanne Verite, Fiction (IPA), Lourd of Funk, Titian, Dark Ryder, Grunewald. This batch of Cezanne Verite is barrel aged and it is also for sale in bombers. The Titian, Dark Ryder, and Grunewald are the most recent additions, available on tap and in bombers.

Live Music (ABQ taproom): Friday—Pata De’ Perro, 9 p.m.; Saturday—Moonhat, 9 p.m.

Events (ABQ taproom): Thursday—Drink & Draw: Nightmare Before Christmas, 7 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 Four (IPA), Germophile (Berliner Weisse), Fruhschoppen (Hefeweizen), Little White Lies (Belgian Blonde), Conduit (Belgian IPA), Bosco P. Coltrane (Chocolate Brown). The Agent Scully is a new series of IPAs which will vary by hop combinations. Episode 4 is the most recent iteration. The Coltrane is the most recent addition to the lineup.

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: Adobe Igloo, Hipster Union IPA, Oktoberfest, Bobcat Dynamite (Kolsch), Wet Hop Pale Ale (ECS). With the colder weather almost upon us, Adobe Igloo makes its annual return. Hipster Union is also back, while Bobcat Dynamite is the most recent addition.

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, Coffee Porter, Cherry Wood Smoked Imperial Porter, Rufina Amber, 2920 IPA, Mosaic IPA, Railyard Red, Rod’s Steam Bitter, Anniversary Ale, Civil Rye. The taps saw a huge turnover with the return of Coffee Porter, 2920 IPA, Mosaic IPA, Railyard, Anniversary, Civil Rye, and the Steam Bitter, which won bronze at the Great American Beer Festival in October.

Live Music (Original location): Friday—The Bill Hearne Trio, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—Kodama Trio’s Charlie Brown Christmas Special, 6-9 p.m.

Live Music (Railyard): Friday—The Shiners Club Holiday Show, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—Swingin’ Ornaments, 6-9 p.m.

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: Kutthroat Kolsch, Kaboom Quad, Wit Rock, Catherine’s Historical Stout, Little Bird Blonde, Anderson Amber. Well, look at that, an updated beer list for BRB. The Wit Rock and Little Bird are old favorites, the rest are more recent recipes.

Sierra Blanca Brewing — (505) 832-2337

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

Beers: Cranberry Sour, Interstella Vanilla, Cherry Wheat, Single Hop IPA, Whiskey Stout. The Whiskey Stout is the most recent addition. The Cranberry Sour is the most recent addition. Oktoberfest is now available on tap. Cherry Wheat is available in bottles and won a gold medal at GABF this year.

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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

Guild executive director John Gozigian has remained at the forefront of supporting New Mexico breweries in our state and beyond.

In the past, the Look Back/Look Ahead Series has focused solely on individual breweries. Tractor Brewing president/co-owner Skye Devore felt that we had been missing something, so she let me know after our interview last month. Namely, the Crew had never done one of these for the New Mexico Brewers Guild, so today, that absence is remedied. I sat down with Guild executive director John Gozigian last week at Bosque Brewing to go over how 2017 went and what to expect in 2018.

“It was good,” John said of 2017. “We added a fair amount of new brewery members, new associate members. We had legislative success at the beginning of the year in the form of blocking some pretty damaging legislation (Senate Bill 314 and its house counterpart). We’ve been helpful on the national level with promoting and moving the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act forward. I think one of the things we’re most proud of is that New Mexico is the only state in the country whose entire Congressional delegation, on both sides of the aisle, are sponsors of the (CBMTRA). And, all members of their respective parties’ caucuses.”

For beer lovers across the state, the most tangible thing the Guild does every year is sponsor a slew of festivals. From WinterBrew in Santa Fe every January, to the Stout Invitational in Los Alamos in February, to Blazin’ Brewfest in Las Cruces in May, to the NM IPA Challenge across the state in July, and finally to the Beer Premiere in Albuquerque in October, it was a strong year.

“The festivals went well,” John said. “WinterBrew, the first festival of the year, sold out, as it always does. The next one of the year, the Stout Invitational up in Los Alamos, sold out, too. Blazin’ Brewfest in Las Cruces was good. Our attendance was down. We had a major freak thunderstorm blow through in the first hour of the festival, right as the gates opened. That dampened attendance, but there were still a lot of people there.”

The NMIPAC was a big hit for Boxing Bear brewer/owner Justin Hamilton and the Guild as a whole.

The 2017 NMIPAC was a smashing success in terms of attendance, with the final round at Steel Bender Brewyard selling out, but that does not mean the Guild is fully satisfied with the format going forward.

“That’s one that we’re struggling with, trying to figure out what to do with, whether we keep it small and keep it brewery-based, which has been our tradition for almost 20 years now,” John said. “Or, do we find a larger venue at least for the final round? Then more people could attend. That’s kind of an existential crisis that we’re having right now. It’s worked well the way we do it and it’s a lot of fun the way we do it and it’s our tradition. We sold out the last event, the final round this year. A lot of people were not able to get tickets. It’s challenging to execute that in the space of a brewery, even the big breweries now, even the biggest. You’re pouring flights of 15 beers for hundreds of people. It’s definitely a difficult endeavor to pull off. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”

The obvious issue there would be finding and then paying for renting said venue, while hoping increased attendance would cover the loss of revenue for the Guild, as host breweries do not charge. The NMIPAC is the single biggest Guild fundraiser every year, and that money is needed to keep fighting the good fight in Santa Fe.

“There is a chance that in 2018, the IPA Challenge, at least the final round, might end up at a venue that’s not a brewery to accommodate more people,” John said. “The cool thing is because there’s so much attendance now, it’s really legitimized the IPA Challenge as a competition. The old days when you’d have 20 to 30 people per round, if you had 15 to 20 people from one brewery show up and identify their beer, it would really skew the numbers. That’s really hard to do now.”

Being on the Guild Board of Directors can be an adventure, such as that one time the RV broke down between Farmington and Taos. (Photo courtesy of the NMBG)

While final decisions on the fate of the NMIPAC will be made later in 2018, one set of changes is already afoot. The Guild currently has a seven-person Board of Directors, with elected members serving two-year terms, capped at three consecutive terms. Voting alternates between four seats and three seats every year. This year, three seats came open as the sitting members did not run again.

“Skye had served two terms (and) Gabe (Jensen, of Bosque) had served two terms, and they felt like they needed a break,” John said. “James (Warren) was up for reelection and he has served one term, but you can’t have a member from a brewery that already has a board member. If you remember, he got elected when he was with Santa Fe Dining and then moved to Santa Fe Brewing. He can finish out his term, there’s no rule against that. If you’re running for election, you can’t run against another candidate from your brewery or a serving member.”

The election results came in after our interview, with Nexus owner Ken Carson, Bosque director of culture and engagement Jessica Griego, and Bombs Away head brewer David Kimbell taking over the three vacant spots on the board.

All of them will hit the ground running in 2018.

Legislative changes loom in 2018

There are no cool photos of legislation, so how about a cool photo of a Guild goblet from October’s Beer Premiere instead?

The coming year will feature a 30-day session of the State Legislature, which will also be the last year in office for Republican governor Susanna Martinez, meaning big changes could await on the political playing field in 2019. For now, though, the Guild has a couple small items targeted.

“For 2018, there’s a couple things,” John said. “One, we have a legislative session coming up. We are introducing a bill. What we’re seeking is to modify the Sunday sales hours, because right now we can’t serve alcohol until noon on Sundays. That got addressed for specialty permit holders a couple years ago. If you have a full liquor license, you can open at 11 o’clock on Sundays. It didn’t specifically allow small brewers and winemakers to open at 11 o’clock. We’re going to run a bill that will hopefully clean that up.”

For everyone who has gone to a brewery to watch the NFL games that start at 11 a.m. on Sundays, or even earlier to catch some Premier League soccer, not being able to order a beer until noon has always been a major bummer. John said he did not foresee much resistance on this bill.

“It’s a 30-day session, so the key will be to get the bill introduced, through the committees, and onto the floor before the session times out,” he said. “I don’t foresee this being particularly controversial. We’re talking about one hour on one day of the week. It’s something that’s already happening at every other licensed establishment besides breweries and wineries.”

Something else the Guild would like to see changed is the current inability of breweries to exclusively serve their wares at private events.

“Another thing we’re going to do is we’re going to work on the public celebration permit,” John said. “Right now the public celebration permit is specifically for public events, so we can use it for things like New Mexico Brewfest, the IPA Challenge, Blazin’ Brewfest, because they’re open to the public. But currently breweries and winemakers can’t cater a private event and serve your product. On the other hand, dispensers permit holders can get a special dispensers permit and they can do either or. They can do public celebrations or private events. We’re asking that the public celebration permit become the celebration permit, so it can be used for public and private.”

John said that it could especially be key for smaller breweries in the outlying communities, giving them an opportunity for added revenue. That could be important for those that do not package and sell their beers across the state. John said there might be some push back against a change, but ultimately he feels a move to help more small businesses will be approved.

Something else that will help smaller, rural breweries could soon appear on your phone.

“The other thing is we’re looking at having an app built for our breweries,” John said. “It will have an interactive map and tour. People who download the app can visit breweries and there will be incentives for visiting X number of breweries, completing X number of ale trails throughout the state.

“Some of our fellow guilds across the country have begun to use them. I think it could be particularly helpful in a state like New Mexico, driving people to the more rural breweries. You can incentivize particular ale trails more heavily if they’re more challenging to complete.”

You mean the Crew might have to retake some of our past brewery road trips? Back to the Southeast and the Taos area and even more beyond that? Oh, gosh, darn, twist our arms.

WinterBrew is up first among Guild-sponsored festivals in 2018.

As for the festivals, many of those dates are already set in stone. WinterBrew will return January 12 at the Santa Fe Farmers Market. The Stout Invitational will be back February 17 at Bathtub Row. Blazin’ Brewfest is set for Cinco de Mayo in Las Cruces. The NMIPAC will kick off with the preliminary round July 14 and conclude with the finals July 28, locations TBD.

“All of our festivals, we’re always looking at ways to keep them up to date, to tweak them,” John said. “We want to keep them fun and exciting. People should be looking for some new and exciting things this year. We do have some new plans in the works.”

A big thanks to John for taking some time to chat. Clearly, he has a lot on his plate going into the new year. All of us in the Crew look forward to supporting the Guild again in 2018 and beyond, and we thank John and the board members for their service on behalf of our craft beer scene.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

These are festive times at Quarter Celtic!

A year and a half under their belts, the mad scientists behind Quarter Celtic continue to refine their beers and business alike, with an eye to more possibilities as the new year comes upon us. Stoutmeister and I sat down with the trio of David Facey, and Brady and Ror McKeown, to see what shenanigans they might be up to in 2018.

David: It’s kind of nice that business is doing what we expected the business to do, and now it’s time for us to start building again.

Ror: So today we were sitting down, looking forward as a group, but we will start with the look back. For us, life has been good, business has been great. The neighborhood has adopted us as their hangout, which is perfect because we’re a public house. We are really appreciative of that. We’ve got a ton of regulars now, which is really fun. Just over the past year we were kind of letting our personalities shape our pub’s atmosphere, so when you come in it just feels right, at least to me. We have a great staff, we enjoy everybody that works here, and everyone has a nice role here. From the front of the house to bartender (and) the waitstaff, and we credit those guys for helping us to build a business, and we’ve got a great group around us, we are very fortunate.

We also have fantastic beers, delicious food, (and) we just came out with a new revision to the menu a couple of weeks ago. These are all things that we just keep tweaking, which is nice, and then for us we need to keep it interesting for us to just want to come back every day and enjoy what we’re doing.

David: We have been doing this so long that we know it has to evolve, and it can’t evolve every five years, it’s got to be a constant evolution. With new menu items and new beers, our algorithm is pretty simple — just look at what people want.

Ror: Now that we’re not the new brewery in town, rather the old grizzled year and a half, we’ve got a ton of regulars and it was all word of mouth, which is fantastic. It still leaves us with plenty of opportunities and obstacles ahead of us, but things have kind of slowed down. In the beginning everything is a mad rush and you are just trying to figure it out on the fly and now it is just about fine tuning all of it, which makes it a little more fun. We feel that our hard work and consistency allows us to be successful; the beer has consistent quality, which is true to style. Food falls right with the beer, put us up against any other restaurant on the food side of things. Service is always the one that takes the longest, but I think since we got an established crew (now). When we started we kind of cut some of that learning curve down a little bit. Life’s been great.

Back to just the past year, in my mind we’ve already (created) some new signature beers that we’ve done like Clark. Brady’s actually the first one in New Mexico, or at least Albuquerque that we know of, to do the New England-style IPA.

Solo: Yeah as far as we know.

Ror: And, we’ve had a good time with those because we’ve done some spinoffs on Clark. Clark was so popular that we did a fresh-hopped Clark, which was fantastic, we got the hops just juiced. Then we did Clark Juiced*, which was a top-three finisher in this year’s IPA Challenge, which was great for a well-balanced beer because it wasn’t a hop forward, in-your-face kind of a thing. We were a bit disappointed we didn’t win with that one, because if we had one we had the asterisk at the end of it and we wanted to go “it was juiced!” That was a whole premise of the thing.

David: Yeah, it was totally a play on the whole baseball thing.

Solo: We definitely caught the whole sports reference there.

Ror: Right now we’ve got the Imperial Clark on draft and so having a good time with the New England style, it has become one of our customers’ favorites, and that’s one that will consistently show up on the beer board.

Mangose, we did the mango gose, and it was really kind of beginner’s luck on that first one. Our very first batch we entered in the Global Warming Open for the world’s most refreshing beer. We just watched the bracket all summer long, basically because instead of the March Madness 64 it was 128 different beers. So marching on through, we got to the finals, we finished in second place, but that’s really good out of 128 beers and that was the first time these guys did a gose so fantastic. We brewed it again since then and it has become a crowd favorite.

Brady: Yeah it was at GABF, and you know what we didn’t enter into the competition …

Ror: We had judges coming up and saying, “Yeah, this is definitely a medal contender,” and we had to say no, no it’s not. Unfortunately we didn’t enter that one, but we brought it to pour. We got great feedback on it, which was nice, and that’s the whole reason we go to GABF is to get that feedback, how you can get better. We were also talking to a few other breweries and we were talking about doing a collaboration called Competition Tears or something where all of the losing breweries get together and make a beer together.

Solo: That definitely sounds fun.

Brady: So this next year we are looking to expand something, we have three or four avenues that we are pursuing.

If there is to be an off-site taproom in the future, it will have a tough task of living up to the character of the main location.

David: So like Ror was saying, there’s a certain time period when you first open where it is just crazy. You’re putting out fires and dealing with the craziness while you are trying to brew beer and run a shift and you are trying to do it all while the chaos is happening all around you. Now, the wheels are turning and everything is pretty smooth. It has given all of us an opportunity to find out what other people are doing both around town and around the country. So we have some ideas on beer-related things that we can do in house, and that we don’t really see anybody else doing too much. Not only in town, but across the country.

Ror: On that note, some of the beers that our customers find as favorites and some of the things that we’d like to go forward with and expand upon (include) Irish Handcuffs. So our imperial stout, we were able to barrel age it, we are trying to find maybe some space where we could do more barrel aging because that’s always fun. Very pleased with how that one turned out. …

A couple of other beers that we really enjoyed this year was the Kill or be Kilt Scotch Ale, that one will be a frequent visitor to our draft system. GFF (Grapefruit Forever), or a GFFish beer, will be back as well. I’m not really a big IPA drinker, but I was really enjoying that imperial IPA.

Brady: We will be brewing a variation on that for the National IPA Challenge since they have the specialty IPA section for that competition.

Ror: A couple of house favorites including the Pedro O’Flannigan’s and our Crimson Lass. Those are two big ones on our wholesale side for the accounts we have, they are some of our top sellers.

Solo: This town wanted a Mexican Lager and an Irish Red.

Brady: Yeah, and all of a sudden there were seven.

Solo: You were trendsetters with those.

Ror: For expansion either it will be a taproom, but also on the wholesale side of things it leaves a lot of opportunities maybe a little different than you would expect out of what you think when you say wholesale. So we are looking at that. Some new spaces potentially in the near future. A lot of exciting opportunities going forward, we are excited how the past year and a half exceeded our expectations. Going into a market that’s heavily saturated, (we asked) so what’s out there business-wise for everyone. So the nice thing about us is that we are a neighborhood pub, we make fantastic beer, (and) we are very friendly with a lot of the other breweries.

Solo: Yeah, the camaraderie is strong.

Ror: That part is still there, even though people are fighting a little more for a share now since it is getting diluted a bit, but for us life’s been good. We really can’t complain (about) we are doing (and) what we like. We didn’t go into this to retire tomorrow, we are doing this because that is what we want to do, and we enjoy working with each other. The nice thing about being open for a while, coming up on our two-year anniversary on St. Patrick’s day, at least people know who we are now. They may not know where we are, but at least they know who we are.

(For those who still don’t know, the brewpub is located at the corner of Lomas and San Mateo at the Northeast end of the underground parking lot beneath ACE Hardware.)

Ror: Early in the year we did the Australian International (Beer) competition, so we got quite a few medals out of that one, so Brady’s beers are definitely popular Down Under. But, we also entered this year’s Beer Wars, strictly for the belt. So I don’t know if you guys saw our video with Macho Man and the Hopster (it is on YouTube, and it is amazing). In the Beer Wars you get medals and it’s a real competition, but if you win the overall thing, you get this big WWE-style gold plated belt. If we don’t win it I think we are going to have to buy one, because I need that for my Hopster costume with Macho Man and Nature Boy. Brady didn’t make it (to filming) that day. But, that would be a fun one where if we happen to win a competition or pull some medals there’s going to be a recurring skit just because it was fun.

Brady: So we still have not received word back from Mr. Full Nelson, because we were going to have Blue Demon go against the Hopster.

Ror: When (La Cumbre) released Full Nelson they did a YouTube video, so we challenged Blue Demon against the Hopster. So one of these days when they are getting ready to release Full Nelson we said let us know and we’ll brew our IPA and we’ll throw them in the ring and then we can do something great.

Solo: I think that’s fantastic.

Ror: Jeff (Erway), bring it. Hopster’s calling out Blue Demon. Our two IPAs in the death ring, the cage.

Solo: Two men enter, one man leaves.

Ror: Thunderdome! So yeah, hopefully that happens because we posted something on that and didn’t get a response, oddly enough. But, check that video out, it’s pretty funny.

Stoutmeister: So what was your reaction to the Australian awards, and what was the important thing about doing that? I know you guys wanted to start to understand where your beers fit best style wise, what categories, and that kind of thing. What did you get out of doing that?

Brady: Well, you enter competitions just to get feedback from somebody, so you look at Australia, I’m assuming, not from being there, from the history books right? It’s a lot of English influence, so a lot of the English and Irish beers are prevalent there, and I think that’s why ours did well because they sort of walk the same line that’s already there.

Solo: Kind of the culture that’s already there.

Brady: Yeah, exactly, but hops are just taking off down there. So I think they are softer, more stylistically correct for that population. We just did well because it is something that they are used to. Although our IPA did OK, too.

Ror: Yeah, we got a silver, actually.

Brady: The only American beer that got a medal in the Australian style (IPA).

Stoutmeister: Yeah, Bosque got the bronze in the Australian style at World Beer Cup in ’16, they got it for their IPA in that competition and that’s why they shifted into that category for GABF as well.

Ror: And, now we are getting ready for World Beer Cup, and you get four styles (to enter), but as the partners go we all like different types of beer and so we are all kind of vying for what we’d like to see go. All good ones, but inevitably you don’t send that one and then you wish you would have. There’s always that second guessing.

Stoutmeister: You always see that beer that wins and say to yourself “we could have beat that one!”

Solo: Well, any parting words?

David: We are making beer in 2018; you got that? That’s all I’ve got.

Solo: Sweet.

Stoutmeister: Actually I would ask is there anything new that you have conceived beer wise?

Solo: Any interesting things that you’re going to be doing this year, like the stoplight Berliner Weisse trio, or something like that?

Ror: Yeah, stoplight was great and that was actually the brainchild of Matt Angel, who has worked for us for quite a long time. He was pushing to do that for years.

Solo: So it finally happened.

Ror: He was having a great time pouring it and all of that.

Solo: I was having a good time because he was having so much fun with it.

Ror: With beer styles, we might have some fun with our Celtic heritage and have some things that are leaning a little bit more towards that, but maybe bigger (higher ABV) styles.

Solo: Splendid.

David: And, I think hopefully our overall portfolio, whether it’s Pedro or MorBuck or whatever else, will improve somewhat significantly. Not that these are bad or anything, but there is always room for improvement, so it is nice that the brewery is kind of evolving because now we are not only (using) different techniques, but we are experimenting with different techniques for certain beers. So our brewing style changes from beer to beer to beer to beer to beer to beer. And, that’s super exciting, and it’s all on the coattails of making better beer, not only research and study. If it adds half and hour, an hour, two hours to your day, it is still time well spent.

Solo: It is evident in the success of your Clark as you were telling us last year. You put in all of that time, all of that research, and you created a beer that was top three in the IPA Challenge. A totally different style from what we are typically used to and that’s saying something, to pull that off in the first year.

David: So I think on the nerd side of things, that is what’s exciting about that for 2018. I read this and you read that, and you put it together and lo and behold that works, that one’s great. We should implement this technique in this beer.

More equipment is on deck for 2018.

Ror: We are also getting little bits and pieces to add to the brewery. When we first opened we had to wait to do some business and save a little bit. We started with a basic brewery and I think we’ve made exceptional beer for having this basic brewery. There are things that you don’t necessarily need, but if you would like to keep evolving then you just keep your eye out and get the pieces when you can.

Solo: So a few minor, well, not minor in terms of your quality of life, but minor in terms of overall cost pieces that you added to your brewery setup to make your lives a little easier.

David: Yeah, make our lives a little easier, or better beer, or hopefully with the right piece of equipment, sometimes it does both.

Ror: Whether it’s a technique or a style or a piece of equipment or some new technology.

David: Like Ror said, you operate in the basic brewery for a while, and it’s totally OK, and then you do get that one piece of equipment for Brady and then it is so much easier. I think we can all agree that we want it tomorrow, but we realize that there’s a great deal of patience that goes into it, so on the business aspect of it there is balancing those two.

Ror: And, for us, return on investment isn’t always in terms of dollars. You buy something and people say (about the beer), “It’s so clean, so crisp; how did you do it?” and if it was that thing we bought, that’s money well spent. In conclusion, if you really want to see what it’s like to run a brewery, check out our videos on YouTube. It’s rough.

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My sentiments exactly. True characters to a man, it shows in everything they do, with the lust of the Celts and the dedication that comes of years of experience. Can’t wait to see what they might be up to in their second year, whether a new beer up their sleeves in the vein of the Clark line of IPAs, or what glorious machinations they might put up in video form for a good laugh or three.

Sláinte!

— Franz Solo

Cheers to the BA for all it does.

Yeah, it is definitely that time of year. The recaps and top 10 lists are being posted, the year-in-review stories are rolling along (like, uh, our Look Back/Look Ahead Series). When it comes to recapping the year in craft beer for the entire country, no one sums it up best quite like the Brewers Association.

It was another big year for craft beer, to say the least.

“Craft brewers continue to thrive, if at a slower pace, fueled by a passionate community dedicated to bringing innovation, jobs and beer across America—on Main Street and beyond,” said Bart Watson, the chief economist of the Brewers Association, in a press release. “Today, 83 percent of the population lives within 10 miles of a local brewery, meaning that the positive impact of breweries is being felt in communities all over the country.”

OK, that is pretty cool. What other stats does the BA have for us?

  • The number of breweries nationwide has now surpassed 6,000, with 98 percent of those falling under the craft banner. By the Crew’s count, 68 of those are in New Mexico, with at least six more active licenses for places that have yet to open their doors, but should in the next couple months (more on that down below).
  • All those breweries have created 456,373 jobs, a 7.5-percent increase from 2014. In turn, that has generated $67.8 billion for the U.S. economy, a 21.7-percent increase. Craft breweries in turn donated $73.4 million to charities.
  • The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act has support from both parties and will potentially pass through both houses of Congress and become law during this current session. So, yeah, I guess we will have to say that Congress will do one good thing.
  • It appears the term “beercation” is becoming more and more of a reality. The average craft beer drinker visits 3.5 breweries near home and 2.5 breweries within two hours driving distance (take note: the press release did not say whether this was 3.5 per week, per month, or per year; for the Crew, it would certainly be per week, sometimes even per day, when we are feeling frisky with our Lyft/Uber accounts). A survey by the BA found that 64 percent of craft drinkers like to visit breweries to try new beers on a regular basis. We will raise one to that.
  • The New Mexico stats on the BA website are for 2016, but they still tell a positive story. By the end of that year, there 57 breweries, ranking 26th in the country. More notably, the 3.9 breweries per capita (100,000 adults) ranks 11th nationwide. Breweries had an economic impact of $333 million (40th) or $226.26 per capita (35th). A total of 111,237 barrels (32nd) were produced, amounting to 2.3 gallons consumed per adult (21st).

Yeah, it is still a good era for craft beer. Here is hoping it continues into 2018 and beyond.

Embrace the darkness at beer bars, too

The quality of dark beers around town is straight fire.

Our friends over Rock & Brews wanted you all to know that the current dark beer lineup is fairly epic. As fun as it is to hit up the breweries first, don’t forget the beer bars, as they often pull in some exclusive styles from out of state that you can usually only get in bottles or cans.

Rock & Brews currently has Dogfish Head’s Vanilla Oak-Aged Worldwide Stout, which is otherwise a pricey purchase in four-pack bottles. The ubiquitous Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout lines up next to Worldwide. There is also the most recent iteration of the ultimate beer geek beer, Stone’s Imperial Farking Wootstout. The real surprise gem, though, is Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout. No, really, it is on tap. If that hefty price tag for a bomber is scaring you off, but you really want to know if it is worth it (we think so, but we’re biased), head over to Rock & Brews to try it first before you commit to a 22-ounce bottle or two.

Down at Sister Bar, at least as of the Gatecreeper show this past Monday (gotta say, impressive crowd showing, ABQ-area metalheads), there is still some of La Cumbre’s La Negra on tap. It has been out at the brewery for a while, so get some while it lasts (if it’s even still there, we apologize if it is gone by now).

Nob Hill Bar & Grill has a strong lineup, which you can find anytime via Untappd. The current black beasts of ahhh available are Bell’s Black Note and Kalamazoo Stout, plus 2016 and 2017 Bourbon County Brand Stout, and two old favorites in Oskar Blues Ten FIDY and Stone Xocoveza.

So much dark beer, so little time.

New breweries update

Hello to a new small town brewery!

Sticking with tradition in beer notes, here are the most recent updates on all the forthcoming breweries across New Mexico. As always, we only list breweries with pending or active small brewer licenses with the State.

  • BLUE (Albuquerque): Nothing new on this small brewery located somewhere near Broadway and Lead/Coal.
  • Bonito Valley Brewing (Lincoln): A newcomer to the list located in a small, historic town west of Roswell along Highway 380. There is a Facebook page that says the owners are aiming for a summer 2018 opening.
  • Brewstillery (Albuquerque): We still have no info on this combo operation in the Southeast.
  • Callahan West Brewery (Mosquero): The small town brewery has been in touch with the NM Brewers Guild about joining up in 2018, so it appears to be a go.
  • Cantero Brewing (Albuquerque): Now armed with an active license, the final parts of construction are underway.
  • Elkins Brewing (Grants): We have no new info on this business.
  • Glencoe Distillery and Brewery (Ruidoso): The license is active, but there is still no website that we can find, nor any social media. It remains a mystery.
  • Guadalupe Mountain Brewing (Carlsbad): The license is active here, too, and beer is now being brewed. We await the announcement of opening, which could come any week now.
  • High and Dry Brewing (Albuquerque): Construction appears to be mostly complete down near Adams and Lomas. The Crew is in touch with the ownership and we are working to set up an advance tour when they are ready.
  • Hollow Spirits (Albuquerque): Construction continues on this new combo spot in the Wells Park neighborhood. It is the brainchild of former Red Door co-owner Frank Holloway.
  • Lava Rock Brewing (Albuquerque): The West Side brewery is getting closer and closer to opening on Unser just north of Ladera.
  • Lost Hiker Brewing (Ruidoso): Yes, the license is active, now only a few final touches must be completed and there will be local beer in the mountains down south. Keep track of the progress on the Lost Hiker Facebook page.
  • 1933 Brewing (Rio Rancho): Another newcomer to the list, we have no info beyond a name and a zip code for RR. It is unknown if this brewery is related in any way to the former 1933 Brewing of Fort Collins, Colo., which closed at the end of 2016.
  • Red River Brewing: All this mild winter is not helping the ski industry up north, but it should enable RRB to finish construction and remain on track for an early 2018 opening.
  • Switchback Brewery (Cloudcroft): There is still no info online on this place. We would like to remind everyone, though, that there is a Switchback Brewing in Vermont, so a name change may ultimately be necessary.
  • Toltec Brewing (Albuquerque): The forthcoming West Side brewery took a big step by hiring a head brewer, but we have been asked not to reveal the identity of this individual just yet. Let us just say, however, that we are excited.
  • Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery (Santa Fe): There are lots of construction photos on Facebook, so it looks like a good bet to open sooner than later. The small brewer license is now active.
  • The pending licenses for off-site taprooms remains as follows — Little Toad Creek in Las Cruces (new!); Ponderosa at El Vado Motel redevelopment (getting close); Santa Fe Downtown Taproom; Starr Brothers Alehouse (location TBA); Tumbleroot in Santa Fe (they will not sell beer out of the production facility down the street). Also, the Milton’s taproom in Roswell has an active license, but it is not yet open as far as we know.

That is all for now. As always, if you know anything about anything, please drop us a line at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com or contact us via direct message on Facebook or Twitter.

Have a great weekend, and good luck with any last-minute Christmas shopping!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Things are looking up around Marble these days.

There were no more hard hats, no more blueprints, no more sawdust piles. After two jam-packed years of expanding two locations and building a third, Marble Brewery settled down and got back to basics in 2017.

“It’s a very weird stage for me these days because I don’t have a dozen projects all happening at once,” Marble president Ted Rice said. “Back in ’16 we were doubling the Westside taproom, building the fermentation hall at 111, building the rooftop deck at 111, and building the Heights taproom and brewery. I got used to that intense pace of work. So now, I’m kind of reorganizing my daily activities. It’s been a little bit of a … it’s almost like I’m not quite sure what to do. I know what to do and I’m doing things, but it’s not the same as working with contractors and suppliers and adding staff members.”

Over a couple weeks, I managed to corral Ted, brewmaster Josh Trujillo, and marketing director Geraldine Lucero for three separate interviews for our Look Back/Look Ahead Series to cover anything and everything relating to Marble in this year gone by and a big 10th anniversary year that lies ahead.

“We’ve got a really good team in place now, front of house and back of house,” Ted said. “I’m looking forward to having a great taproom experiences, solid beer flowing, and new and exciting flavors always on the horizon.”

The fermentation hall has filled up quickly downtown.

Glancing back at 2017, even without the construction projects, it was still a busy year around the three locations.

“2016 was the year of building and 2017 finished filling out the brewery at 111 with fermenters and we’re just finishing commissioning a new keg line as we speak,” Ted said. “So 2017 has been the year of filling inventory for our distributor for New Mexico, NDC (National Distribution Company), and so we did that. We met our goal with NDC for case equivalent depletions. I’m meeting with NDC (this) week to plan for success in 2018.”

With everything in place at the downtown production facility, it has made life easier, though Ted was quick to point out that no one has become complacent.

“We’re never content, but we’re definitely doing better,” he said. “The CFT canning line is just a dream. It’s turning out really high-quality package beer. I love the carton that encloses the six cans. It’s just such a clean face and so much easier than snapping on the other options.

“The layout is far more efficient than what came before. Everyone is enjoying the balanced workload. The production team is working four 10-hour shifts, so they’re enjoying the three-day weekend. The flow is just so much smoother. It’s amazing what things like a loading dock will do for you. Having sufficient BTUs in your chiller to crash your tanks in a timely manner. A lot of those things just flow naturally from that — clarity and carbonation.”

Marble beers are now appearing six-packs, 12-packs, and even 24-packs exclusively at Costco. Distribution is strong throughout the state.

The 10-barrel brewhouse in the Heights has been churning out a huge variety of beers this year.

As for the taprooms, Josh has been churning out seasonal after seasonal, experimental beer after experimental beer, at the Heights taproom/brewery, a.k.a. the MavLab.

“I think things have been great up here,” Josh said. “I’ve had some that were better than others, some that were medal winners, right? So that’s been a lot of fun. I learned a lot about lactobacillus and kettle sours and how they react with fruit. We’ve had this big wave of goses that is still trending. People still want a gose in the winter time despite the (low) alcohol content and the sour properties of it. They like the dark beers, too, but the goses are still selling really well.”

The many, many fruited goses were a big hit this summer.

“He was going really hard on the ‘if you pink it they will drink it train,’ ” Ted added. “Not all of them were pink, but he did explore the world of acidity and fruit. He now has a firm understanding of what works. Now we’re going to start blending those fruits together for new flavors.”

Josh has been enjoying the creative freedom in the Heights, but he has kept tabs on what customers want, frequently stepping out of the brewery to chat with the regulars and newcomers.

“Yeah, man, I try to go talk to everybody at the bar, and be inspired by the feedback and what direction am I asked to go, comparatively on different levels,” he said. “One person is going to have a different idea of what’s good and what direction I should go than the other person. It’s really trying to take a little bit away from every personality and balance the spectrum that I’m producing, try to keep a couple lagers and a couple Belgians and a couple stouts and a couple strong beers.”

The centrifuge downtown has been one of the hardest working pieces of equipment, along with, well, the staff.

Josh still keeps an eye on what is happening at brewery downtown, sometimes just by trying all the main beers off the tap.

“Though I’m not down at the production facility I still do pay close attention to the beers that are on tap,” he said. “I taste them all regularly. For the most part, I think everything is very solid. In the end everything could always use some improvement, I strive for perfection. When you work with agricultural products across the board to produce the beer, they’re always going to have a little bit of a (different) flavor to it. You have to listen to your customer who drinks the three-beer limit in Red Ale or Amber Ale or Double White. You have to taste them regularly. I think overall our house beers are consistent, but still expressive. They’re quaffable, you want to drink two or three of them. Or, mix and match, they blend well, too, from what I understand. People do a lot of blending. That’s good.”

For the most part, Josh said that as Marble has grown, it has also had key people step up in different areas has helped out everyone, as now no one has too much on his or her plate.

“(Brewer) John Heine downtown loves beer and that’s the drive people need,” he said. “Geraldine taking over the events area and being super creative and in tune with what’s happening in the scene.

“I think the bigger you get, the bigger the load gets, and the more you need to spread that (around). I always say that the thing I like most about working with Marble and the team that I have here is the confidence in everybody in their job. Geraldine has super confidence in events and Leah (Black) in the social media and Ted is the driver. … All the people that are driving have a ton of confidence in themselves and how they do their job and that brings a lot of the success. It makes it a lot easier on me.”

Marble marketing director Geraldine Lucero, left, has kept everyone smiling this year, with help from Barbie Gonzalez, the director of taproom operations, and brewmaster Josh Trujillo.

As for Geraldine, she has managed to wrangle the many, many events held at all three Marble locations. From the standard slate of live music acts booked by Gabriel Tafoya, to charitable events and more, 2017 kept her plenty busy. Amid all of it, a few events or series of events in particular stood out.

“I think that the CRAVE dinners were probably may favorite events to put on here at the fermentation hall,” she said. “We worked with amazing chefs from all over town. … Turning a production facility into a dining room is the most fun that I’ve ever had. Our breweries cleaned everything. Just to see the room really transform is awesome. It’s really special to have a beer dinner in the middle of 150-barrel fermenting tanks, where the beer is being made. That was by far my favorite event to be putting on.”

Another series of events that proved to be popular went beyond the traditional karaoke night that many breweries host. Even some of the staff got into it, including a certain packaging line director.

“Other fun events included the Marble Mouth-Off, the lip-sync battle we put on,” Geraldine said. “It’s always funny to see people get up and not be afraid to put themselves out there and entertain a crowd by lip syncing, everyone wants to be a rock star at some point. Getting up on stage at 111 for the finale, we had eight of the winners from eight rounds, they put on such an amazing show. They had such a blast doing it and we had so much fun watching it. I even lip synced for the first one. Nate (Jackson) did every single Mouth-Off, he opened every single show.”

Josh Trujillo, looking the part, claimed gold for his Cholo Stout at GABF.

The strong year for Marble was capped off by two more medals at the Great American Beer Festival in October. Pilsner won its sixth medal overall between GABF and the World Beer Cup, snagging a bronze. The gold-medal winner this year for Marble was a pleasant, if not prophetic surprise.

“It was tradition over the past four years at GABF where before the awards ceremony we go to brunch with our ingredient suppliers,” Ted said. “Part of that tradition of having breakfast with some good friends of ours, we get the day started with tequila shots. It seems to have proven effective, granted everything is decided ahead of time, of course, but it’s fun to think that tradition has an impact. I told Josh at breakfast this year that my fantasy for the day was for him to receive gold for his Cholo (Stout) and go up on stage with his cholo suit on. That fantasy was real, so that was pretty cool.”

More medals are always a good thing.

“We’ve been fortunate to consistently win in recent years,” Ted said. “The Pilsner has won six medals between GABF and World Beer Cup. Walking across the stage for another bronze for Pils, I don’t want to dismiss it, but it’s nice to win for the second time we’ve actually brewed a style. That was only the second time the Cholo was ever produced, but we knew when he first made it that it was a winner and definitely a contender for attention on the shelf and the captivation of the judges’ palates.”

That award for Cholo Stout portends just one of the changes on the horizon for Marble in the coming year.

More distribution and new packaged beers await in 2018

The Red Ale will be joined by its big brother and several more styles in cans in 2018.

Marble already has plans for adding new beers to its packaged lineup while redoing how some past brands are packaged for the new year.

“I was already planning on designing a can for the Cholo before it won at GABF and that just kind of further reaffirmed how much fun it’s going to be to have that hop-forward American stout in a can,” Ted said. “That design has been approved by the TTB. We’re going to release that in early ’18.

“We’re moving our Double IPA and Imperial Red from 22-ounce bottles to 12-ounce cans. You’ll see those on a regular basis starting in 2018 as well. We’re also transitioning the Stout Americano, our coffee stout, from 22 ounces down to 12 ounces. Then we’re working on a gose can package as well.”

So, yeah, Cholo, DIPA, Imperial Red, Americano, and a gose (fruit infusion TBD) are coming to cans. More choices are always a good thing. There are other moves in the works as well.

“We have redesigned our tap handles, so you’ll see those on the market in ’18,” Ted added. “Then some other POS (Point of Sale) items back there, LED signs for on-premise accounts, for all accounts, basically. We’re starting to spend some more money now that we have the capacity to exercise on flexing the brand.”

There will also be expanded distribution beyond the borders of New Mexico.

“We’re going to reassert ourselves in Arizona and we’re assessing a distribution agreement in El Paso, Texas,” Ted said. “And, we’re potentially considering going back up to the front range of Colorado again. We retracted from that market in ’13 when we couldn’t keep up in New Mexico.”

There are already plenty of malt bags ready to become new beers at the MavLab.

Josh is already working hard at determining everything from what gose will be packaged to what new styles will be popping up on tap in 2018.

“Like I said before, I learned a lot about goses,” he said. “I ran out a pretty long, strong experiment across many of fruits. I use the same base for everything and for the most part the same weights to see what fruits are the most expressive and which ones have better underlying characters. Now it’s moving on to blends and really focusing on dialing in perfection on things like passion fruit and the Rita we do every year for Cinco de Mayo. I’m pretty confident in my abilities with lactobacillus now and keeping things clean.”

Fear not, hopheads, Josh has you covered as well.

“(I want to) explore more hops, start ranking in those categories,” he said. “I feel like Marble IPA for me is my favorite, most drinkable IPA, but with some of the categories going in the direction that they are it’s nice to have some specialities on, maybe offer one or two IPAs at different hop rates that people can (taste) and learn from for us as well. I’m looking forward to playing with larger weights of hops and different variety combinations and different combinations of varieties, different grain bills (too).”

Josh said he also hopes to continue doing the beer education/beer pairing classes at the Heights location. A barrel-aged beer and cheese tasting is slated for December 27, with similar events on deck in the new year.

“I love to talk about beer, I could talk about beer all day long, different topics,” Josh said. “It’s fun to educate people that are interested, at least. Offering the classes and the curriculum, the people that are showing up are actually interested in learning not only more about beer, but learning more about themselves and how much they actually know about beer or don’t know about beer. I always take away a little something from those classes as well.”

Those events are not all that is on deck for 2018.

“I like to do a lot of beer-and-food pairing events, those are my favorite,” Geraldine said. “We’re going to bring some more of those up to the Heights and Westside, spread the love a little bit. I think those are such fun and we work with a lot of really talented food trucks and we have good relationships with many of the best chefs in town. We are planning a really fun event in February at the Heights. It will involve a battle of the brewers, also, as well as getting two chefs involved. That’s as much as I can tell you about that.”

The ninth anniversary party was packed. No. 10 is gonna be even bigger. (Photo courtesy of Marble)

The biggest event for Geraldine and her team is upcoming 10th anniversary. Circle April 21 on the old calendar now, because Marble is going all out.

“Ten Year Anniversary, we’ve already started brainstorming amongst the minds here,” she said. “We have a Google (document) that we share and anytime we come up with ideas we put them on there. I can’t give you too much information but I will let you know it will probably be the biggest party Marble has ever thrown downtown.”

For anyone who attended the huge Reviva CD release party this year, where Marble Avenue was closed off between 1st and 2nd Streets, it will be like that, but bigger, Geraldine said.

“In the past, we have done days and days of events, like nine different events for nine years leading up to it,” she said. “We’re going to have some events during the week (before), but our main focus is to do one huge 10-year anniversary party on site. This year we did off-site at the El Rey, but we’re bringing back to Marble.”

The next series of awards and competitions will also be kicking off soon, with the National IPA Challenge right around the corner and then the biennial World Beer Cup after that in April.

“For things like the Pilsner that’s won in the past, competing side-by-side with European breweries, that’s pretty special for me,” Ted said. “As Charlie Papazian says, it’s the most prestigious beer competition in the world, and there’s no arguing with Charlie.

“This year we were really hopeful that our Imperial Red Ale at GABF (would medal), but it didn’t move on. It seemed like the judges just had a totally different flavor in mind. They didn’t really choose any Western examples, it seemed like it was all East Coast examples. Hopefully they’ll get the right set of judges at World Beer Cup and we can reassert our standing in the world of imperial reds.”

The Marble staff is looking forward to more success at awards competitions in 2018. (Photo courtesy of Marble)

Josh said he is certainly looking to build off the gold medal for Cholo Stout and go beyond in 2018. He said that the Pilsner, Imperial Red, Cholo Stout, and a barleywine he has been aging since 2016 will all be entered. Some sort of IPA will likely join them, along with possibly a pale ale.

“We just kind of started an email thread on what we’re going to send to World Beer Cup, which is coming up very, very quickly,” he said. “Now with the second brewery license we are able to enter eight beers. We put a little more thought into it. GABF is not an international competition, so the things we felt we do really well it’s a little bit different.”

A big thanks to Josh, Ted, and Geraldine for taking time out of their busy schedules to sit down and talk. Marble has been the bedrock of craft brewing in Albuquerque for nearly a decade, and all of us in the Crew look forward to what the next decade will bring.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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Say, Brettanomyces!

Our Look Back/Look Ahead Series continues today with Rowley Farmhouse Ales in Santa Fe. I wanted to find out how their first big year went, talk about their current brewer situation, and find out what direction RFA will take in 2018.

Directly after my interview with Blue Corn, I drove five minutes up the road to RFA, which was holding its Blackest Friday event, and I didn’t want to miss that. I had the day off, and I definitely had another interview in me.

Pulling up to RFA, just a ways down Maclovia Street, located somewhat behind Santa Fe’s best Indian restaurant (in my humble opinion), India House, I immediately noticed the parking lot was full, and cars were parked up and down the street. This didn’t make finding a spot difficult, however, and it certainly wasn’t a bad thing. I soon found owner John Rowley working with assistant brewer Tyler King, and friend and wife of Chef Jeffrey Kaplan, Elissa Ritt. Even on an event day, operations were underway.

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Assistant brewer Tyler King and all-around badass Elissa Ritt

It was a bustling scene. Folks were getting tours, while the brewhouse was firing on all pistons. Everyone was all smiles as it was a good day to be a craft beer fan and a good day to be a craft beer engineer. For the interview, Rowley led me away from the madness to the solitude of the barrel room down below. I felt like Maxwell Smart, and almost expected the cone of silence to descend from the ceiling. Instead, in true down-and-dirty brewery style, we grabbed a couple of crates and faced off between rows of barrels. It was hard not to feel at home.

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Folks gatherin’ ’round for the Black-est Friday event.

Rowley Farmhouse Ales opened on Labor Day Weekend 2016. The staff just celebrated their one-year anniversary.

“It’s been good, pretty steady,” John said. “We had a great summer; summer is kind of the bread and butter of Santa Fe’s lifeblood.”

In Santa Fe, the breweries I’ve chatted with over the years talk of the sales downturn in winter, which sets in typically after the Labor Day mark. There’s a marked slowing of foot traffic and a general thinning of the out-and-about crowd. Perhaps it is because precious beer money is reserved for shopping, or maybe the cold keeps Santa Feans in their cozy homes and drives the tourists away, but whatever it is, it’s pervasive of the scene, and business generally won’t pick up again until after the thaw.

Rowley Farmhouse Ales First Anniversary Party Pic

Looks more like a bottle share than a one-year anniversary party, but I did say they were beer geeks! (Photo courtesy of RFA)

To combat this sort of hibernation period, RFA has continued to have fun events like the Blackest Friday barrel-aged rare beer event, but also keeping the taps fresh with plenty of hard-to-get beers. The thinking here is, John said, beer geeks don’t stop wanting good beer just because it’s cold outside.

“We’ve focused on that as part of our gastropub side of the business,” John said. “We wanted to bring in, not just our own beer, but beer that’s really fucking cool.”

Beer they want to drink, in other words.

“And that’s the bottom line,” John said. “If I wanted to drink it, I would bring it in.”

But, it’s a group effort at RFA, as it always has been. Both Kaplan and Ritt have been integral in curating the tap list to create a haven for true beer geeks in all forms of weather. The outdoor patio, which is actually where the bulk of the seating lies, has evolved to be a good, warm place to get a cold one on a winter’s eve.

Part of the issue Santa Fe breweries have is awareness. For most of them, being established as a go-to place to get a brew has taken time. The locals know about the older guys like Blue Corn and Second Street, and as a result make them their choice Friday-night-with-the-family destination. The new guys, including Second Street’s Rufina location, have the tough task of just getting their name out there, making sure people know implicitly that we can go grab a beer there.

This year, Rowley Farmhouse Ales really got its name out there, being part of some great festivals, including two really big fests held out of state. The annual Midwest Belgian Beer festival in St. Louis, put on by Perennial Artisan Ales, included more than 60 top-tier breweries, and RFA was one of them. There, the staff poured Meier, a Meyer Lemon Gose, named after a fella, Troy Meier, who runs one of the homebrew clubs in St. Louis, in homage to his “Meierlemonparty.org” and clearly his sour sense of humor.

“We poured that beer at Side Project Brewing. For us it was a huge honor to pour at such a cool place,” John said.

RFA Denver Rare Beer Tasting

Pints for Prostates Denver Rare Beer Tasting IX. (Photo courtesy of Rowley Farmhouse Ales)

The more recent big pouring for RFA was at the Pints for Prostates Denver Rare Beer Tasting 9.

“That was a huge hit for us,” John said, as RFA poured an Oud Bruin, which had 80 pounds of raspberries in the barrel, and was one of the first beers to pour out at that event. “For us, as a new brewery, that means a lot.”

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Quite a line for Rowley Farmhouse Ales at WinterBrew.

Pouring locally, RFA started off at WinterBrew, which, for the staff, is one of their favorite events in Santa Fe or anywhere. They also did Skiesta up at Pajarito Mountain this year, as well as Pajarito’s Summerfest, which John likened to pouring on the moon.

“At Summerfest, you’re pouring in the dirt and there’s a fine dust that gets allover everything,” John said. “Your legs get all dirty, it’s just everywhere. But, Skiesta is great because we’re on the deck.”

RFA also did BearFest in Albuquerque; they just happened to be pouring right next to the speakers and the brewery got blasted.

“I love Kevin (Davis), and I love Boxing Bear,” John said. “Those guys are great. Hey Kevin, if you’re (reading), don’t leave it at 11. Turn it down to nine or eight.”

RFA’s IPA was also a big hit at Hopfest this year.

At home base, RFA has its own special events and brewery features. The staff is continuing to support the local animals with their Pulls for Pups, where they choose a new animal shelter every quarter and donate a $1 per pour of the designated tap. The beer may change, but the support hasn’t. They typically raise around $1,200 for the shelters and charities, per quarter from your generosity, so cheers to that!

The staff has also continued with a slew of tap-takeovers from big names like Great Divide, Firestone Walker, New Belgium, and the list goes on. Tap takeovers are truly a beautiful thing.

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RFA has grown a lot in a short time.

This year, RFA has worked hard at increasing its beer production. But, the kind of beers RFA is making aren’t the kind that have a quick turnaround. Naturally, it’s taken a bit of time getting a real pipeline going. Beers that needed time to age and condition are becoming more available, as the staff didn’t want to rush anything.

“Next year we’ll have more wood down here,” John said. “We’re not there yet, but we’re getting closer. We want to fill this place up and have more beer aging at all times.”

In the last year, the set of core beers has become a steady set, worthy of the good chalk and the big wall. Agent Scully, RFA’s flagship IPA, has a farmhouse grain bill with flaked oats and malted wheat, with a little ginger marmalade added to keep their Scully a true ginger, as well it should be. The hops have rotated from season to season, but in any event, it’ll turn the largest skeptics into believers.

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They do brew a good-looking beer at RFA.

Another beer kept in the pipeline is the Fields of Rye Saison. This beer has remained pretty consistent in flavor from my first tasting at Santa Fe Brewing’s Oktoberfiesta about a year ago. It’s subtle changes come mostly in ABV, to be a bit more crushable in the summer, John said.

Rowley’s Germophile, a clean Berliner Weisse, has enjoyed great feedback from the local crowd. It’s a refreshing staple at the brewery with malted wheat and pilsner malt, soured with lactobacillus, and finished with a saison yeast.

Ab Initio is a Brett Berliner Weisse, which is one of Rowley’s favorites to play around with. From the dry-hopping to the fruiting, RFA is keeping the promise of changing and evolving beers to keep their tastes fresh and interesting to the crowd and to the staff.

Saison Du Sarlacc is a Citra-Mosaic hopped-up Brett Saison that’s worthy of several more Untappd check-ins itself.

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And there will only be more, soon.

But for Rowley, it’s what’s in the barrels that are ‘The Cat’s Ass.’

“If I could only brew this beer, I would. But we can’t,” John said. “You can’t just live off mixed-fermentation saison, and think that everyone’s going to want to drink it. We’ve got to keep the lights on.”

Rowley’s is not the place to go if you want the same old beer, every time. There are places for that.

“This isn’t cheers,” John said. “I’m not Norm. You come here when it’s time for something fun. Go to a place you can get something fun and new. That’s our philosophy.”

Blackest Friday

We hope they do this again next year.

At the time of the interview, RFA was hosting an event with nine heavy-hitting barrel-aged stouts — impressive, interesting, and some much harder to get a hold of than others, from the likes of Deschutes, Great Divide, Dogfish Head, Odell, Marble, La Cumbre, North Coast, Firestone Walker, and Oskar Blues. It was a must-attend event, and there were a ton of people who got that message.

“It’s the most I’ve seen in a long time,” John said of their first (and hopefully annual) Black-est Friday event. “There were people waiting here when we opened.”

Knowing Santa Fe’s beer scene, I count that as a huge win, and a good start. Rowley was reminded of the Postcards from Hell release at La Cumbre.

“There were a lot of people,” he recalled, “and there was a sell-out in 90 minutes. We’re not California, but we’re getting there. Congratulations to La Cumbre and Modern Times; they did a great job. Loved that beer, and it’s setting up something new here in New Mexico.”

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Jami Nordby was super for RFA earlier in 2017.

Before we started looking torward to the future of RFA, we had to address the present situation. Recently RFA lost their head brewer, Jami Nordby, who is heading off to start up a new brewery.

“Jami has been a fantastic brewer for me,” John said. “He’s a standalone guy, he can just work without any guidance. He’s been with us from the beginning, and he’s leaving at the end of (November). I’m sad to see him go, but at the same time, I really want him to be successful. I’ve known him for a really long time. He’s a good friend. He’s the guy that can run the business and not need any help or hand-holding. He can be the guy, and he will be the guy at his new place.”

Without too many early details, Jami will be opening up a place of his own with friend Rich Headley off of Highway 14. (Editor’s note: Franz Solo will have more on this soon. — S) There he’ll be doing what he does so well, brewing.

“Jami has always been a part of the beer community, and he always will be. It was blow to us, of course, but we have to move on. The beer must flow on,” John said.

Changes await in 2018

Starting off the new year, RFA is currently (casually) looking for a qualified, hard-working, friendly individual with a background in mixed-fermentation and sours. But, until then, John said he is confident that he and the very capable assistant brewer, Tyler King, will tow the line. As a reminder, King has been there from the start as well, and he, too, has been one of their hardest working, intelligent assets. And, they’ve got a good amount of inventory to keep the lines full for a while.

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Work to be done.

New hires aside, Rowley said 2018 will be another year of steady growth, filled with events, festivals, and finding more ways to get the brewery name out there. In 2018, RFA plans to represent New Mexico at the Midwest Belgian Beer Fest again, and it is already slated to be the featured beer at the Rare Beer Tasting X up in Denver, brewing a special beer for the Rare Beer Club. The staff has already been working on an unusual recipe for a smoked juniper Gotlandsdricka, akin to Jester King’s beer, of which Rowley said he found inspiration. They will aim to brew at least 200 cases of bottles for that particular event. It’s a very limited event, so buy your tickets … yesterday.

Speaking of bottles, RFA will continue its current bottling program, selling 750-ml bottles to select local shops and out of the brewery on a smaller scale for now, but that could change as it grows.

As far as expansion plans, it’s more about barrels than square feet. RFA plans to buy a couple of 30-barrel oak foeders.

“We’re going to treat them like a solera,” John said, “where we’re going to pull seven barrels out, put seven barrels in, because we have a 7-barrel brewhouse. We’ll have to brew a lot, at first, to fill them. Over time we’ll have a lot more beer that way, because we’ll have a golden sour base beer to work from, and we’ll have a mixed-fermentation saison to work from.”

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These kegs will be filled in 2018.

Rowley Farmhouse Ales isn’t going to shy away from any beer style in 2018. Rowley told me that he currently has an imperial stout in the tank that he plans to barrel age. And, the staff will also be brewing an award-winning barleywine recipe from homebrew club friends, Jim Steinbach and Kent Steinhaus, appropriately called Steinwine (at the moment). I would personally Google the name, depending on the size of their batch, just to be cease-and-desist safe. (Yeah, Tractor might have something to say about that. — S)

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Kaffeeklatsch: a social coming together over coffee.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the delicious-sounding collaboration RFA did with Iconic Coffee Roasters.

“A Kaffeeklatsch is a social ‘coming together’ over coffee,” John said. “We collaborated with our good friends Chase and Dylan over at Iconik Coffee Roasters for this beer, and we went down a lesser traveled, but super fun path. Most coffee beers are stouts or porters, but we went to the opposite end of the spectrum for this beer. We started with our Germophile base, and hopped it lightly to 5 IBU in the boil with German Hersbrucker hops. We then whirlpooled this beer with a healthy charge of Lake Toba Sumatra, and then co-fermented with a blend of B. Brux var Drei, L. Delbrueckii, and German ale yeast. After a long rest, we dry-hopped the beer with more Lake Toba Sumatra. ABV is a bit high for the style, but we figured since it is coming into winter, this would be a good bonus. Special thanks to Chase and Dylan for helping us brew this beer, and to Iconik Coffee Roasters for the fun collaboration!”

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From left: Sarah Ritchie, John Rowley (RFA), Jay Mead, Noel Garcia of 12 West Brewing Co. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Ritchie, Craft Beer Betty)

Another collaboration RFA just did was with 12 West Brewing Co. in Gilbert, Ariz., on December 6.

“Sarah Ritchie is kind of the force behind them,” John said. (Big shout out to our favorite Craft Beer Betty!) “They also have a really good sour guy, named Jay Mead down there.”

Rowley said they are looking at putting something into the coolship that 12 West just built, and sometime after Christmas they’ll be brewing something interesting with Wren House Brewing Co. in Phoenix. It seems that RFA is really bearing down on Arizona at the moment, but that’s where Rowley’s folks live, and where he spent his college days, so it just makes sense all around, and, rumor has it they plan to be sending some beer down to Arizona pretty soon.

Next year, Rowley said he does plan to get more beer out closer to home in Santa Fe or Albuquerque. More beer capacity at the brewery means more opportunities to do just that.

With three spare tanks, look for new beers to hit Untappd lists soon, such as a French almost witbier called Petit Blanche. RFA will also be bringing back its mixed-fermentation saison brewed with Earl Grey Frances tea, from Artful Tea, called Tea for Two. And, RFA will also go through its list of successful small batches and see what else the staff wants to put in the tank. The public will taste new beers, and get another chance at beers folks may have missed in 2017. It appears that 2018 is going to be funky, and fresh, or funky fresh, if you will.

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I always feel like a baller at RFA. I’m not, but it’s a good feeling nonetheless. This was a great end to a great day of interviews. Look for more soon from the Crew!

“If you’re in town, come and try our kick-ass beer,” John said. “Welcome! Our doors are always open, we’re open seven days a week. We always try to give a great experience. If we don’t, call us out, we’ll fix it. Because, that’s what it’s all about — growing, learning, and doing better. We’ve got great food, and we’ll always have some cool new beers for you to try.”

* * * * *

Growing from special small releases of their own beers, to keeping them regularly on the menu, Rowley Farmhouse Ales has become the kind of brewery the staff first envisioned when they were beneath their first rose banner. Of course, RFA is always growing in barrelage and in seating options, and the beers are constantly evolving, so it’s a brewery that you should never make up your mind about in one sitting. You’ll have to come back, again and again, before you decide who and what Rowley Farmhouse Ales is. If not just to see what new fun beers are on rotation, or what exciting dish Chef Kaplan has just added to the menu, or if you’re simply interested in which fruits they’ve added to Ab Initio, there are plenty of reasons to return.

There’s a saying in New Mexico. If you don’t like the weather, just wait 10 minutes. Well, if there’s not a beer you like yet on the menu (seems impossible), give it a week. And, speaking of which, every Wednesday they tap something special. So, during the winter lull, it really falls on us, my fellow beer drinkers, to patronize these establishments that are working so hard to stay interesting, stay fun, stay fresh, and stay open. Today, we raise ’em up to better beer options for folks searching for something different in the City Different!

Cheers!

— Luke

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Post IPA Challenge Selfie.

Buy me a beer; I’ll buy you two. And subsequently, I’ll probably pay for our Uber. Approach beer-writers responsibly.