Archive for March, 2018

The haze craze is alive and well in nearby Tucson, but is it here to stay, or just another passing phase among craft beer drinkers?

An interesting article about craft beer trends was shared to the New Mexico Lets Talk Craft Beer page on Facebook this morning. It asked if a brewery could be considered a sellout if it goes all-in too heavily on hazy IPAs, putting profit ahead of variety and quality.

Well, leaving out the fact that the entire article is purely regional to the New York City/New England area (save for one quick mention of Monkish Brewing in Torrance, California), it does raise the point of whether or not it is a good thing for breweries to follow the current popular trends. I recall years ago at a Marble Septemberfest (yes, a while ago) when someone told me that saisons/farmhouse ales would supplant IPAs as the most popular beer styles. Then we all heard how sour ales were the future, and would likewise replace IPAs. Now, in essence, we have (hazy) IPAs replacing (clear) IPAs as the new great standard of craft beer.

Are hazy IPAs truly ascendant over their clearer brethren? Well, maybe yes, maybe no. New Mexico craft drinkers are a different breed than those on the East Coast. We have long been a much more hop-forward-loving bunch, and by sales figures alone, we are still an IPA-centric bunch. Other than Marble, where Double White is number one, the other major breweries in New Mexico all still feature IPA as their top selling brand.

Then again, down in Tucson, hazy IPAs are all the rage. Some of that can be attributed to the younger population centered around the University of Arizona, which is larger than UNM and armed with wealthier students more willing to spend on craft. Crooked Tooth Brewing only featured hazy IPAs and pale ales, as did Pueblo Vida Brewing (both had non-IPAs, too, it should be noted). Dragoon Brewing, the largest in Tucson by barrel production, still features a classic West Coast-style IPA that remains its top seller, even in the face of the cloudy competition. Conversations with the customers and staffs at the various breweries showed a clear divide, with a mostly younger, trendier crowd favoring the haze. There were few people who seemed to like both styles.

In that regard, then, one could argue that the hazy IPA trend is not an IPA trend at all. Rather, it is another style, with distinct differences in flavor as well as appearance. The Brewers Association has now created hazy categories for pale ales, IPAs, and double IPAs. It will be interesting to see if the National IPA Challenge creates a separate bracket for haze next year, as those were mixed in with the regular ones this year.

All of this really just comes down to personal preference. It is fun (sometimes) to debate the merits and qualities of various craft beer styles. It is all subjective in the end, and that goes for the hazy IPAs as well as just about every other style that has come across our palates. The Crew has lots of varied opinions about the haze craze, ranging from mild annoyance to downright dislike. We are not trendy types, favoring music that has largely disappeared from the mainstream. As beer writers, though, we are obligated to try everything and give it a fair shot. Sometimes we do like the hazy IPAs, when done well, just like any other beer. Other times we would rather just stick to the originals.

Today (Friday), La Cumbre is releasing Make IPA Clear Again, a collaboration made with the excellent Comrade Brewing of Denver. This comes after La Cumbre released a popular series of hazy, single-hop, double-dry-hopped DIPAs. Whether this all sparks some renewed local debate about the haze-vs.-clear, or people just take it all in stride, we are intrigued to know what do all of you think. Take the poll below and leave a comment as to why you feel the way you do.

See you all at La Cumbre.

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, one in Moriarty, and one in Las Cruces 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.

It looks like the Easter Beer Egg Hunt is going to become an annual tradition. Back for a second year, the event will feature five downtown breweries/taprooms — Boese Brothers, Duel, Monks’ Corner, Red Door, and Sidetrack. That quintet will be hiding colored plastic Easter eggs all over downtown. Inside the eggs will be special prizes that can be redeemed at the different locations. This year there will be more eggs than last year, so no one should be left out. The rules are rather simple. No one starts before noon, and it will run until 5 p.m. Start at any brewery/taproom and head out. No more than three eggs can be redeemed at any location, so bring friends just in case you find a fourth egg for Sidetrack, for example. Let them redeem it. Everyone involved must be 21, of course. There is a map on the event’s Facebook page showing the area in which the eggs will be located. It basically runs from Second Street to Seventh Street, mainly around Central. Head on down and have fun this Saturday!

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Ale Republic puckers up with Bernalillo Weisse. Bombs Away drops Wild Card and The RED Ale on Friday. Bosque brings back Down in the Hollow. Bow & Arrow is releasing its Cosmic Arrow Brett Saison in bottles. Canteen has Pop’s Pilsner back Thursday. Dialogue dials up some Munich Dunkel, with Blood Orange Gose returning Friday. La Cumbre has Orange Choco Nitro Milk Stout on now, plus its awesome collaboration with Denver’s Comrade Brewing, Make IPA Clear Again, is out in cans and on tap this Friday. Marble has more White Out available, plus Session IPA, Double IPA, Nitro Pub Ale, and From the Wood Saison. Sidetrack has a fresh batch of Railhead Red. Steel Bender goes Out to Pasture with a new dry-hopped farmhouse ale, and Manana Tropical IPA returns Friday. Tractor is feeling summery with the new Lemon & Honey. Turtle Mountain is going the zero IBU route with its new Total Malarkey IPA this Sunday. Take note, this Saturday will also mark the arrival of Rosie the Riveter Session IPA, brewed by the local chapter of the Pink Boots Society at Tractor, but the beer will actually be available at multiple participating breweries.

Up in Santa Fe, Second Street has fresh batches of Agua Fria Pilzner and Winter Warmer on tap.

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

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

Albuquerque metro area breweries

Ale Republic — (505) 281-2828

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

Beers: Brune, Blonde, Strong Dark and Handsome, Eagle Claw, Tokyo Black, Single and Ready to Mingle, Bernalillo Weisse, Best Coast IPA. The Bernalillo Weisse is the most recent addition.

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: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

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, Double Dead Red, Super Kreak, TruBlu Pilsner, Black IPA. The current seasonals include the Super Kreak, TruBlu, and Black IPA.

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–Sat noon–10 p.m., Sun noon–8 p.m.)

Beers: BABC IPA, Willie Pete Wit, Low Order Porter, Operation Single Hop, Proximity Pilsner, Actuator IPA, Boom Stick Brown, SNAFU Oatmeal Stout, Hazy Chain DIPA, M1A1 ABQ Common, Imperial Session IPA, High Speed Low Drag Lager. The most recent addition is the Operation Single Hop, but get ready, Wild Card, a new saison, and The RED Ale debut this Friday.

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, Camp Waconda, Simcoe Pils, Public House Pale, One Man’s Helles, IRA, Down in the Hollow. The malt-forward beers are in charge for a while, with Down in the Hollow, a brown ale, back for another run.

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 3 p.m.-midnight, Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–9 p.m.)

Beers: (House) Sun Dagger (Saison), True Aim (Scotch Ale), Denim Tux Lager, Nomadico IPA, Visionland Amber Ale; (Seasonal) Cosmic Arrow Brett Saison, Way Out West Sour Sumac, Desert Dynamo IPL, Sweetfetti Weizenbock, Thirsty Land: Foraged Series (Grisette), Savage Times Sour IPA, Saison de Blanc, Roam Free DIPA, Cake Bandit. Bottles of Dark Mesa, a barrel-aged quad with brett, are still on sale at the brewery, but the supply is limited. Bottles of Cosmic Arrow will be released this week as well. Cake Bandit, an imperial German chocolate cake stout, is the most recent addition on tap.

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: Low Rye-der IPA, Featherweight Session IPA, Sucker Punch DIPA, Bear Trap Hoppy Ale, Bear Knuckle IPA, Red Knuckle Irish Red, Tropic Thunder IPA, The Red Glove. The most recent additions are The Red Glove, Tropic Thunder, Red Knuckle, Bear Knuckle, and Bear Trap. The Chocolate Milk Stout is on the regular and nitro taps.

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, Double Black, Raspberry Kolsch. OK, fine, Pepe the Mule counts as a beer, even though it is basically a Moscow Mule, but it was made with beer. Double Black and Raspberry Kolsch are the most recent additions.

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: Irish Red, Tuttle IPA, Obey the Darkside, Marzen, Schwebock, Super Smalls Session IPA, Oat Brown, Steel Can Stout. Steel Can is a collaboration with Steel Bender, if the name was not a dead giveaway. The Oat Brown will run out Thursday, when Pop’s Pilsner returns just in time for baseball’s opening day. Get a pint of Pop’s with chips and a hot dog for just $7 while watching America’s pastime.

Live Music (Brewery): Thursday—Julian Dossett Trio, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—TBA, 4-7 p.m.

Live Music (Taproom): Saturday—Johnny Azari, 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

(Mon closed, Tues 4-9 p.m., Weds 4-11 p.m., Thurs-Sun noon-midnight)

Beers: Belgian Citrus IPA, Berliner Weisse, Sour Raspberry, Idiot Sauvin, Belgian Cherry Wheat, Coffee Lager, 505 Lager, Moloko Plus Milk Stout, Micro Hands Session IPA, Munich Dunkel. The most recent additions are the Dunkel and Blood Orange Gose, which returns Friday.

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

Drafty Kilt Brewing — (505) 881-0234

(Sun 11 a.m–10 p.m., Mon closed, 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, Outlamber Amber, Obliviscaris Oatmeal Stout. The Obliviscaris is back, having replaced the Covfefe Hefe, and boy does it taste good, as we proved with a fourth-place finish at our Stout Challenge. Take note, Drafty Kilt is now closed on Mondays.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.; Saturday—Karaoke with Tobyriffic, 6-10 p.m. (every other week); 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: Nebulas New England IPA, Dr. Brownstone, Stuntman Light Lager, Say It Loud Coffee Stout. The Dr. Brownstone, Stuntman, and Say It Loud are the most are recent addition. Go try them out while watching Black Panther for the first (or 10th) time.

High and Dry Brewing — (505) 433-5591

(Mon closed, Tues-Thurs 2-10 p.m., Fri-Sat noon-10 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Ghost of a Moon Pale Ale, Hurry Sundown Wheat, Freedom Cage IPA, True Horizon Red Wheat, Freedom Cage with Mandarina Bavaria. Welcome to the listings, High and Dry! It has been a busy first three weeks for the new brewery at 529 Adams St. NE, just south of Lomas. All five of the beers listed should be available as High and Dry gets its lineup set.

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.; Friday—TJ the DJ, 9 p.m.-midnight; Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

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

Beers: Helles Lager, ESB, Puddle Stomper IPA, C-Thru Stout, Rauchbier, Doppelbock, California Common, Czech Pilz, Cider, DjinnJar Kombucha. The most recent additions include the Czech Pilz, Rauchbier, Doppelbock, and California Common. The C-Thru is what it sounds like, a pale blonde stout with a heavy coffee aroma and flavor.

News: We are sad to report that Kaktus has closed its Nob Hill taproom. Try as the staff might, the location on Monte Vista simply could never get going. Thankfully, the main brewery is still going strong in Bernalillo!

Live Music: Friday—Chris Livingston, 6:30 p.m.

Weekly Events: 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, 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, American Lager, IPA, Lobo Red Ale, Session IPA, Sleeping Dog Stout, 35 N Coffee Porter, Common; (seasonal) German Pilsner, Capspackler DIPA, Dortmunder, Oak-Aged Natalia. The lineup got a bit of a makeover, with American Lager and Common joining the regulars, bumping out the Blonde. The Natalia was originally made at Chama River and dear lord it was dark decadence in a glass. Get some quick before it runs out!

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: Helles Lager, Cascade SMASH, Black Berry Briar, Orange Choco Nitro Milk Stout. The Orange Choco will be the most recent addition until Friday, when Make IPA Clear Again, a huge hop-forward beast made in collaboration with Denver’s Comrade Brewing, makes its debut on tap and in cans.

Lava Rock Brewing — (505) 615-2802

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

Beers: All guest taps for now. Welcome to the listings, Lava Rock! We just wanted everyone to know that the kitchen is up and running and some unique guest taps from other local breweries are available now at 2220 Unser Blvd. NW. When the house beers appear, we will let everyone know.

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: Chocolate Pinky, Stout Americano, Smoked Helles, Jarrylo Red Ale, Cholo Stout, Imperial Red, Passionate Gose, Paddy McNitro, From the Wood Saison (Downtown only), Session White (Downtown and Westside only), Jabroni Exxxtra (Heights only), El Gabacho (Heights and Westside only), White Out (Heights and Westside only), Double IPA (Heights and Westside only), Caffe Roggenbier (Westside only), Session IPA (Westside only), Ginger Kid (Westside only), Nitro Pub Ale (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 Double IPA, From the Wood Saison, Session IPA, and Nitro Pub Ale are the most recent additions, plus White Out is back. You can also get a Black & Tan made from Paddy and the Amber at all locations. Stout Americano is back at all locations, on tap and for sale in bottles. Remember, too, that Cholo Stout, Double IPA, and Imperial Red are now available in six-packs!

Live Music (Downtown): Friday—Lonn Calanca, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—St. Range, 8-11 p.m.

Live Music (Heights): Friday—Chuck and Jimmy Unplugged, 7-10 p.m.

Live Music (Westside): Friday—Kitty Jo Creek Band, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Vintage Brew, 8-11 p.m.

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

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

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

Beers: New Mexico Snow IPA, Hot Chocolate Porter, Irish Red. New brewer, new seasonals as Nexus has Snow IPA and the cayenne-infused Chocolate Porter available now, plus Irish Red is back for another run.

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), Pool Session 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: Hefeweizen, Gold Medal Pilsner, Saphir Single-Hop Pale Ale, Toasted Cinnamon Stout, Bernalillo County Stout. Yes, the Toasted Cinnamon Stout was made with Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal made in collaboration with the local General Mills facility. Prior to that, the Pilsner and Hefeweizen were the most recent additions. Triple IPA will replace the BC Stout soon.

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: Coco Orastie (Orange) Stout, Beag IPL, Clark IPA, Test Batch #1 IPA, Dark Pedro, Kill or be KILT. Beag is a little brother to the Mor-Buck IPA. The Clark and beastly-but-good Test Batch, both advanced to the third round at the National IPA Challenge. Dark Pedro and Kill or be KILT are the most recent additions. Irish Handcuffs returns Friday.

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: Putin on the RIS, Strong Scotch Ale. The Strong Scotch is back on tap. Putin on the RIS is a Russian Imperial Stout, in case you couldn’t guess, and it’s quite tasty.

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

Weekly Events (Downtown 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, Dirty Rotten Bastard IPA, Snakebite IPA, Roadkill Red Ale, La Luz Lager, Barrel-Aged Porter, Vanilla Porter, NM Pinon Coffee Porter, Oatmeal Stout, Level 3 IPA, Lemongrass Wit, Blueberry Mint Gose, Imperial Kolsch, Razberry Sour, Belgian IPA, Pink Boots Pale Ale, Marzen, Grapefruit Launcher IPA, Schwarzbier, Cherry Cuvee, Cascade Pale Ale, Porter 4 Humanity, Grab ‘Em By the Putin (Russian Imperial Stout). There are two barrel-aged beers on tap in the Porter and Putin. The Blueberry Mint Gose is the most recent addition. There are also guest taps featuring beers from around the state now available.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Loungy Wednesdays, 6-8 p.m.; Friday—Headliners Comedy presents Friday Night Fools ($5 cover, event only), 9:30 p.m.; Sunday—Pints & Planks with Yoga Zo; Family Funday, 2-5 p.m.

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–6 p.m.)

Beers: Co-Mo IPA, Railhead Red, Guera American Blonde Ale, Dark Engine Stout, Buzz Bomb, Pub Ale. The Railhead Red 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 Turntable IPA Series: Track 3 and Buzz Bomb 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, Starrphire Pilsner, Foggy Monocle, Phantom Limb Black Rye IPA, The Green Manalishi. The most recent additions are The Green Manalishi and Phantom Limb, back for another delicious, hoppy run.

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, Steel Bender Lager, The Village Wit; (seasonals/specialties) Skull Crusher DIPA, Centorado XPA, Homegrown Pils, Out to Pasture (Saison). The most recent additions are the Out to Pasture, Steel Can, Centorado, and Homegrown. Fear not, head brewer Bob Haggerty is hard at work at replenishing the supply of the popular Manana Tropical IPA, which will be back Friday. There are still bottles of The Judy, a peach saison aged in Chardonnay barrels, along with the anniversary beers, Ingenio and Bullet Reserve, 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, Skin Walker Triple IPA, Plum Cherry Sour, Imperial Cream Ale, BBA (Barrel-Aged Dark Lager). A trio of new additions hit taps this week with Plum Cherry Sour, Imperial Cream Ale, and BBA, which is made with coffee, cocoa, and vanilla.

News: Bottles of Bourbon Barrel-Aged Milk Stout aged with dark cherries and Scottish Wee Heavy aged with sweet cherries are still available.

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: Dry Gulch IPA, Pete’s Porter, Blood Orange Cider, Explora G&T Cider, Tupac Cali Red Ale, Lemon & Honey, Nitro Milk Stout (Wells Park only), Oud Bruin (Wells Park only), Ghost Ranch IPA (Wells Park and Nob Hill only), Spiced Cider (Wells Park and Four Hills only), 2016 Stein Wine (Wells Park and Four Hills only), Jack the Sipper (Wells Park and Four Hills only), Belgo American Pale Ale (Wells Park and Four Hills only), American Wild Ale (Wells Park and Four Hills only), Barrel-Aged Leche de Luna (Wells Park and Four Hills only), Chocolate Milk Stout (Nob Hill and Four Hills only), Three-Two Amber (Nob Hill and Four Hills only), Imma Pale Ale (Nob Hill and Four Hills only), Turkey Drool (Four Hills only), Cascara Cider (Four Hills only). Barrel-Aged Leche de Luna is an imperial chocolate milk stout with a serious kick, but the supply is running low. All proceeds from the G&T Cider go to the Explora Science Center. Blood Orange Cider and Tupac have returned, plus the new Lemon & Honey is available.

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—Ryan Painter, 8 p.m.; Saturday—Still Closed For Repairs Duo, 8 p.m.

Live Music (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Sloan Armitage, 8:30 p.m.; Saturday—Adam Hooks, 5 p.m.

Live Music (Four Hills): Saturday—Gato Malo, 7 p.m.

Other Events (Wells Park): Today (Wednesday)—Adult Coloring Night, 3 p.m.; Friday—Drag Queen Bingo: Easter Edition, 8 p.m.; Saturday—Pink Boots Kickoff Party, 6 p.m.

Weekly Events (Wells Park): Monday—Super Tractor Gamers Night, 5:30 p.m.; Tuesday—Kamikaze Karaoke, 7 p.m.

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

Weekly Events (Four Hills): Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.

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. 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.

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: Ahmnata Khappa Pale Ale, McSmack, Time Management IPA, Marzen, Snakedriver Dry Irish Stout, Amnesia Ale. The Amnesia and Snakedriver are the most recent additions. The plan is for Total Malarkey IPA, a zero IBU ale, to debut Sunday.

Cask: Tuesday—Time Management IPA

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Open daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: SMASH Pale Ale, Katabatic Kolsch, Glasgow Garnet Scotch Ale, Peaches ‘n Cream Ale. The Katabatic is the most recent addition.

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, Goya. This batch of Cezanne Verite is barrel aged and it is also for sale in bombers. The Titian, Dark Ryder, Grunewald, and Goya (13.3% ABV) are the most recent additions, available on tap and in bombers.

Live Music (ABQ taproom): Today (Wednesday)—Wikki Wikki Wednesday with Cloudface, 8 p.m.; Friday—Lone Pinon, 8 p.m.; Saturday—Buddhafunk and Friends, 9 p.m.

Live Music (SF brewery): Saturday—Hidden Whale, 7 p.m.

Other Events (ABQ taproom): Thursday—Drag Queen Trivia: Goth Night Edition, 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, Agent Scully – Season One, Episode Five (IPA), Germophile (Berliner Weisse), Fruhschoppen (Hefeweizen), Little White Lies (Belgian Blonde), Conduit (Belgian IPA), Bosco P. Coltrane (Chocolate Brown), Petit Blanche – Amarillo, Sarlacc First Order (Imperial Saison), Notorious BdG, Aromatherapy IPA. The Agent Scully is a series of IPAs which will vary by hop combinations. Episode Five is the most recent iteration. The Notorious BdG, aged in apple brandy barrels, is the most recent addition to the lineup and is also available for sale in bottles.

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: Hipster Union IPA, Lustgarten Lager, Imperial Pastry-Free Porter, Twisted Root, Schneeball Imperial Pilsner. The most recent additions are Schneeball and Twisted Root, the latter a blonde ale with ginger and lemongrass. You can also find Twisted Root and Lustgarten in six-pack cans.

Live Music (ABQ taproom): Friday—Raven Rutherford & Her Sweet Potato Pie Band, 6 p.m.; Saturday—Cornbread Gumbo, 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, 2920 IPA, Low Winter Sun Sour, Summer Rain Sour, Outlier Special Bitter, Vienna Lager, Diablo Canyon Pale Ale, British Mild, Bone Breaker Bitter, XX ESB, Winter Warmer, Agua Fria Pilzner. The benefits of having two brewhouses are now apparent as Second Street is loaded with more beers than ever. The Winter Warmer and Agua Fria Pilzner are the most recent additions.

Live Music (Original location): Friday—Alto Street, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—The Palm in the Cypress, 6-9 p.m.

Live Music (Railyard): Friday—Shiners Club, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—Stringmasters, 6-9 p.m.

Live Music (Rufina): Saturday—CWI Benefit with Future Scars, Treemotel, Weedrat, Chicharra, 8 p.m.-midnight

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: Hoppenheimer IPA, Wit Rock, Pennsylvania Swanky, Dunkel Bock, Flat Cap Brown, Little Bird Blonde, Lichtenhainer. With a new brewer in place, BRB shakes up the lineup. Old favorites Hoppenheimer, Wit Rock, and Little Bird are joined by some fascinating newcomers in the Dunkel Bock, Flat Cap, and Lichtenhainer, a sour ale.

Picacho Peak Brewing — (575) 680-6394

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

Beers: Picacho Lite, Keller Hefeweizen, Twisted Windmill IPA, Old Crawley, 575 Scotsman, Irish Xtra Stout, I Heart Porter, Smooth and Stout. Welcome to the listings, Picacho Peak! For the first time in a long, long time we have a Las Cruces brewery in here. Make sure to check it out the next time you are down south.

Sierra Blanca Brewing — (505) 832-2337

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

Beers: Interstella Vanilla, Cherry Wheat, Single Hop IPA, Natalie Portman. The Natalie Portman is a, well, you can probably guess. It is the newest addition to the seasonal lineup. Cherry Wheat is available in bottles and won a gold medal at GABF in 2017.

Live Music: Friday—Weather, 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

Oh, Tucson, you keep it weird, you wild and crazy city.

Tucson has always been a second home to me, so after going more than three years between visits, I was pulled back to the Old Pueblo for a short-but-fun visit. Being a craft beer writer, I ended up spending most of my time bouncing between breweries and beer bars. Tucson has come a long way since my last visit, and while it is not Albuquerque good yet, it is definitely progressing in the right direction. Maybe a bit too hazy of a direction, but hey, forward momentum is forward momentum.

During my last visit in 2014, there were only seven breweries — Barrio, Borderlands, Dragoon, Nimbus, Sentinel Peak, Ten Fifty-Five, Thunder Canyon — but that number has now tripled. The good news is that many of the new breweries are even better than some of the older ones, and hopefully that will push the older ones to move forward or die. Nimbus, the oldest brewery in town, sadly is almost dead, killed off by an ownership squabble (per sources in the community).

Pueblo Vida is the hip new downtown brewery.

Going in chronological order of visits, my first stop was a quick walk from my hotel downtown to Pueblo Vida Brewing on Broadway. One of the newer places, it has already built a major reputation as a true beer geek brewery. There was not a clear IPA or pale ale in sight, just a lot of haze. I snagged a pint of Embers Pale Ale, which was fairly mild in terms of the hops, with a good mouthfeel for the style. Hazy juice bombs are not usually my cup of tea, but they are selling like hotcakes in Arizona. It does not hurt that Pueblo Vida has some of the sweetest can designs anywhere, and when they released a new canned IPA during my visit, four-packs were flying out the door (it should be noted that the four-pack tallboy cans are the dominant type in the marketplace down there, so maybe they all owe La Cumbre a tip of the cap).

Inertia is an aromatic beast with the flavor to match.

Pueblo Vida, which had a cool, relaxed vibe even with the afternoon sun beating down the south-facing front windows, does not just exist in the haze. There were also a couple of darker beers on tap, possible remnants of the semi-cool winter that just finished. Hyperspace was the only PV beer that I had previously tried at a bottle share. It is a coffee-heavy imperial stout, just big, bold, thick, and mean as hell. No one dropped any cream into this. The new darkness (for me, anyway) was Inertia, a 10.5-percent ABV behemoth. PV took a dark ale and brewed it with oats and lactose, then put it in whiskey barrels, before blending it with coffee and finally letting it sit on cascara (coffee cherries). I believed that my reaction sent to the rest of the Brew Crew read something along the lines of “I just want to exist in this aroma forever.” The blend of so many complex flavors was pretty damn good, too.

After catching an American Hockey League game between the Tucson Roadrunners (Coyotes affiliate) and San Jose Barricuda (Sharks affiliate), I caught up with some friends at Tap & Bottle. This beer bar is combined with a beer shop, essentially making it like a mini-Sister bar meets a mini-Jubilation. It came highly recommended by Tony Calder of Marble Brewery, and rightfully so as the beer list was impressive. I snagged three Arizona brews, while everyone else at the table went with the out-of-town offerings.

One can get lost inside Tap & Bottle. In a good way.

First up was XOXO Coffee Stout from the aforementioned Ten Fifty-Five. It functions as a lighter, sweeter little brother (4.7% ABV) to Hyperspace. From there, I had to snag a Flagstaff beer, namely Astro Cookie. This imperial milk stout was kinda ridiculous, as it is made with waffle cones and Oreo cookies. If my dentist yells at me next month, so be it. The finale was a special cask of Dragoon Stronghold Session Ale infused with a ridiculous amount of coffee. I have no idea how I fell asleep that night.

Amid the 91-degree temperatures of Day Two, I started my day with a lunchtime pour of Dragoon IPA at Frog ‘n Firkin, a favorite old college haunt (one of the few that remain; gentrification has pulverized much of the downtown and university area I used to know). It remains a classic West Coast IPA, tasting like the brewers got a wee bit of inspiration from La Cumbre’s Elevated once upon a time. Dragoon was one of the main holdouts against the haze, and bless them for sticking to what has now made them the largest brewery in town.

Um, Dillinger, you gotta work on these beers.

After wolfing down a Henhouse and fries (the nostalgia was thick on the food side), I drove up Oracle to Dillinger Brewing. Brew Crew Bullpen member Kristin, a fellow UA alumnus, was not a fan when she visited last year. Still, I had to see if things had improved. Alas, they had not, so the less said about that, the better. I tried two IPAs, an oatmeal stout, and a brown porter. The latter was the worst beer I had in Tucson, just bitter as hell and riddled with a strange, chemical flavor, while none of the rest stood out in any way.

Luckily, a number of folks out in cyberspace recommended that I hightail it up to Button Brew House on the far northwest side of town. Located near where Ina Road is supposed to intersect with Interstate 10, all I had to do was avoid the massive construction chaos in the area, as currently Ina and I-10 do not intersects. After a long slog through the crowded roads (Tucson may now have worse traffic than ABQ, which is staggering in and of itself), I made it to Button, which just opened in September. However, it did not taste like a six-month-old brewery.

We have a winner for best beer flight board. It can be found at Button Brew House.

My six-beer flight consisted of Volstead Pilsner, Sunshine Pale Ale, #InaIsOpen (Red IPA), Button IPA, All Souls Stout, and Throwin’ Stones (Scotch Wee Heavy). The Stones was my favorite, with just that right mix of smoky/peaty up front and sweet on the back end, without either being too overpowering. The pilsner, brewed in the pre-Prohibition style, was refreshing as can be. The three hop-forward beers were all good, though none on the level of what we get up here in New Mexico. The two IPAs were more middle-of-the-road by our standards, but they were also clean, with no discernible flaws.

The sign may be partially burned out, but the beer and food inside was still solid at Thunder Canyon.

The long drive back downtown (no freeway access sucks) was followed by a dinner brew at Thunder Canyon. Back when the brewery opened, it was located up in the Foothills Mall, not far from Button. Years ago, TC moved downtown to Broadway, right near where Pueblo Vida now sits across the road. More recently, all of the TC brewing operations were relocated to the larger downtown space, with a distillery also being installed. It is the first brewstillery in Southern Arizona. I stuck with the beer, however, grabbing a Rillito Red to go with a pub burger. Described as a Scottish ale, it simply tasted like a sweet, malty, yet light red ale. TC seems to be sticking with the more sessionable flavors, and with a large mix of more casual craft fans in attendance, it definitely seems to be working.

Dragoon makes the most of its malt-forward beers.

Leaving the car behind, I hopped in a Lyft and headed out to Dragoon Brewing, located off Grant Road, just west of I-10. The brewery has been re-worked since my last visit, now occupying a much larger share of the industrial building it has always inhabited. The taproom now is at least three times the size of the one I first visited years ago. There were nine beers (usually 10) on tap, but the one that stood out to me was Comb the Desert. To confirm that it was a Spaceballs reference, all I had to do was look to the beer description on the giant chalkboard menu: “WE AIN’T FOUND SHIT!” I gotta say, Mel Brooks would have approved of this malty, chewy little schwarzbier. It hit all the right notes and did not cause me to fall off my barstool.

The friendly staff, upon finding out the purpose of my visit, then presented me with 5-ounce pours of their last two anniversary beers, The Cuatro and The Cinco, a pair of decadent imperial stouts. The Cuatro has long stood on its own, a swirl of dark chocolate roast with coffee hints. This batch of The Cinco was barrel aged, leaving it creamy and boozy, the kind of BA imperial that any stout lover would, well, love. Unfortunately, 10 p.m. came around too fast, and the brewery shut down for the night.

A double dose of anniversary imperial stouts.

One area where Tucson clearly still has a ways to catch up to ABQ is in terms of its brewery hours. Outside of the brewpubs, most places did not open until between 2 and 4 p.m., while then closing anywhere from 9 to 11 p.m. The crowds were good at most places, but not on the level of what we see here. Be mindful if planning a trip to Tucson that you will have a shorter window in which to drink if you intend to visit multiple breweries.

Now, I did find one brewery open until 11, and it was within walking distance of my hotel, so I hopped in a Lyft and arrived at Crooked Tooth. Located on Sixth Street, it is just around the corner from both Tap & Bottle, and the main Tucson bar district on Fourth Avenue (for reference, all numbered avenues run north-south, while all numbered streets run east-west, which is basically the opposite of ABQ). I gotta say, Crooked Tooth may have even out beer-geeked Pueblo Vida. The entire beer menu was either hazy IPAs/pale ales, or sours. There had also just been an Office trivia night, so it was clearly a peak Millennial hangout. Well, this old guy figured when in Rome, order the biggest beer on the menu and watch the Romans flee in terror. Obscured by Dankness (8.3% ABV), a hazy DIPA, was the choice, and it pretty much lived up to its name. It was big, dank, and yet bright and chewy.

Harbottle may be new, but it already has some of the best beers in town.

My final day of drinking in Tucson proved to be a long one. After chowing down at the Bisbee Breakfast Club on Broadway (you can probably guess where the original restaurant is from), I followed the Dragoon staff’s advice and visited Harbottle, another new brewery. Located on the far southeast side of town at Ajo Way and Palo Verde, Harbottle is an upscale strip mall brewery. It reminded me of a young Bosque, sans food, with a cool staff who all seemed to know Antal Maurer really well. I started with a pint of Easy Going, a delicious kolsch that perfectly fits the desert, just sweet and smooth. In retrospect, I should have asked if they had crowlers. The staff then gave me a short pour of Nigel Tufnel, their English bitter on nitro, which was a nice, light, bready beer that would easily find a fit in a brewery like Sidetrack or Second Street. Finally, the brewer brought me a sample of a new English old ale that was set to go on tap after I departed. Dear lord, it was one big, boozy beast, the kind that makes you want to throw on some melodic death metal and tell the tales of battles of yore.

1912 is another good addition to the Tucson scene.

After lunch at Bisonwitches on Fourth Avenue, I made it up to 1912 Brewing, which I had intended to visit the night before as it sits not far from Dragoon. Unfortunately, it closed an hour before Dragoon did, so be mindful if you ever put it on your beer list. The good news is that it should be on your beer list. Following the recommendation of the Harbottle staff, I snagged a pint of the Mescalero Stout. This is an old-school stout, just thick and roasty, with some dark chocolate/mocha/toffee hints, but there is little sweetness. After that, I wanted a nap.

Instead, I went to an Arizona baseball game at Hi Corbett, which used to be where the Colorado Rockies had spring training, and before them, the Cleveland Indians, as immortalized in the movie Major League. Luckily, the Wildcats did not need hats for bats, and they won 5-4 over Washington State. I skipped the more expensive craft beer prices to give my liver a timeout, but hey, they had local craft on tap, so kudos to the old alma mater.

Ermanos was another outstanding craft beer bar.

With another Tony Calder recommendation on my mind, I organized a mini-reunion of Daily Wildcat alumni at Ermanos, a craft beer bar located smack dab in the middle of college bars and trendy shops on Fourth Avenue. They had GoldenEye on the TV and a full menu of excellent beers from the state and region. I grabbed another 1912 offering, Irish Sobriety, a red ale with whiskey blended into it. I barely tasted any whiskey, just a solid Irish red, though not quite on the level of that Mescalero Stout, much less an ABQ Irish red like the one at Canteen. After enjoying a few non-AZ beers (I was sticking with malty offerings, and the only other malty beer on tap there was the kolsch from Harbottle), we headed into the chaos of downtown proper a few blocks over for last call. My buddy Ty, a former journalist who seems to have managed every bar in Tucson at some point (or at least knows someone on the staff of every bar), guided us to Elliot’s on Congress. Once the bartender changed the keg, I capped my trip with a Rojo from Barrio Brewing, a lighter red ale that fits that brewery’s sessionable brewpub motif.

It’s still number one, but other breweries are catching up. Competition is a good thing.

If I had to rank the breweries I visited on this trip, they would go in this order:

  1. Dragoon
  2. Pueblo Vida
  3. Harbottle
  4. Button Brew House
  5. Crooked Tooth
  6. Thunder Canyon
  7. Dillinger

Let me just say that the gap from No. 1 to No. 4 is much shorter than the gap from No. 6 to No. 7. Hey, no city’s brew scene is perfect. Hopefully the other breweries can find their footing and start to catch up, or else they will be left behind. The end of Nimbus, once the largest brewery in town, should be all the warning the rest need.

A proper beercation is always followed by bringing home some quality souvenirs.

I also have to commend Tap & Bottle and Ermanos as two excellent craft beer bars, with the bottle/can selection at the former among the best around. I brought quite a few AZ brews back to share with the Crew. Perhaps at some point I can wrangle enough people together for a tasting and let you all know what they think.

The next time you are looking for a beercation destination that is within driving distance of ABQ, I can say that Tucson should be high on your list. It is also still a fair amount cheaper than Denver and Phoenix, if you are looking for something different, with plenty of variety. Or, if you just want to indulge in the haze, the juice bombs are everywhere.

Now it is back to enjoying all the beers our ABQ scene has to offer. Hopefully you all did not drink up all the Helles Lager at La Cumbre or Cake Bandit at Bow & Arrow while I was gone.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Rock & Brews will host a special beer dinner Tuesday night. (Photo courtesy of Rock & Brews)

Beer dinners are plentiful in this day and age, but they are almost always limited to a single brewery’s offerings. Well, the folks at Rock & Brews decided that it was time to pair up some of their excellent food with beers from more than one brewery.

The dinner will take place Tuesday night at 7, costing $40 per person, or two for $70. Guests will be greeted with a welcome pint of Santa Fe’s Freestyle Pilsner. The four-course meal will feature the following pairings with local and regional beers.

  • Cheese (goat, green chile cheddar, gouda) and cracker trio, paired with Great Divide’s Roadie Grapefruit Radler
  • Braeburn apple salad adorned with Strongbow Cherry Blossom Cider vinaigrette, paired with Sierra Nevada’s Hazy Little Thing IPA
  • Surf (garlic butter shrimp) and turf (grilled Asian-marinated tri-tip) with braised local greens and carrot ginger mash, paired with Bosque’s Scotia Scotch Ale
  • Pineapple upside-down cake with vanilla stout creme anglaise atop vanilla ice cream, paired with Avery’s Tweak

Tickets are available at Rock & Brews, but as the time goes closer make sure to call first at (505) 340-2953.

Thanks to Angelo Orona of Craft King Consulting for putting this together, and for the heads up.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

One of the first bottled beers in Ale Republic’s short history.

Back at the start of the month, before things got a wee bit crazy in the old work schedule (not to mention lots of breaking beer news), Franz Solo and I went on a two-brewery trip east of Albuquerque for our annual Look Back/Look Ahead Series. We already chronicled our visit to Sierra Blanca, so it was high time I typed up our interview with brewer/owner Patrick Johnson of Ale Republic.

We visited on a quiet Thursday, which did give us a nice chance to take a tour of the property and not take Patrick away from his work for too long. The past year has been one of learning on the fly for Ale Republic, the lone brewery in the East Mountains. Specifically located in Cedar Crest on Highway 14, it is a craft beer oasis in a mostly rural area, one that lacked winter tourists with the scant snowfall. Its location also presents some unique challenges, as Patrick and the rest of the Ale Republic discovered.

“It’s a lot better than where we were (last year),” Patrick said. “I’m pretty happy with some of the beers we’re making. Some of them need some work, but that’s cool. The main issue we’re having right now is water. It’s so dry that wells are running dry and as soon as you drill a new well, the water is completely different. It’s absurd.”

There is no city water system to tap into for Ale Republic, and the recent drought has done the small brewery no favors, as Patrick mentioned. All of that has led to some significant variances in the beers.

“It’s just something that we need to sort out,” he said. “We just drilled a new well (and) the water is 100-percent perfect brewing water. … I looked up a dozen different water chemistries for IPAs, which is a standard ale, and averaged them all, and this water is that average. You don’t have to do any (special) filtration or any of that.”

Patrick said the previous well that the brewery used featured some extremely hard water.

“With the Belgians, it doesn’t matter too much, like the Dark Strong, for example,” he said. “For the non-Belgians, our IPA just tasted off/odd. It was a metallic flavor from the hard water. Which sucks, because people want to drink IPAs, and our IPA was just weird.

“The old water was super hard and the well was running dry. We had to drill a new one, which had perfect water chemistry, but then the new well went dry. We’re trying to find a nice medium. If we can’t figure that out, we’re going to have to truck water in, which sucks, but you have to do it.”

We visited early on a quiet weekday afternoon.

Water is not the only challenge that Ale Republic has faced.

“Customers, we don’t get as many people from Albuquerque as we thought (we would),” Patrick said. “Most are people who live up here and some people who are recreating. Snow has been terrible. Lots of mountain bikers, that’s probably our biggest external market.”

A bicycle product demonstration event held on the brewery property last year produced the largest single-day crowd. Otherwise, Ale Republic is learning how to adapt to the tastes of its primarily local customer base.

“It’s been interesting learning about this community,” Patrick said. “It’s kind of a smaller market here, so you have to cater. We always have (La Cumbre’s) Beer on tap. We always have the cider. Some folks, that’s all they want. I’m sure it’s personalities (similar to) what people in Albuquerque have to deal with, but it’s such a smaller market to deal with.”

The good news is that Ale Republic can now make more of its own beer thanks to the arrival of new equipment.

“We just finished installing all of our 3-barrel system,” Patrick said. “We have some new tanks, (and) we have some old tanks from Kellys, their 3-barrels. We got some old tanks from La Cumbre (too). We’re finally out of the beer bottleneck. Our bottleneck right now is storage. We’ve got tons of beer in the brewhouse, waiting to go somewhere, and nowhere to put it. That’s a good problem to have. We need to order probably a couple brights and then a bunch of kegs.”

A real brewing system is now in place.

Patrick said Ale Republic is working on getting its wholesaler license to start sending beer over the mountain to Albuquerque. He added that Hops Brewery has expressed interest in putting Ale Republic beers on tap in Nob Hill.

“Going forward, in-house we’ll have the standard American beers that people want, but to distribute I think we’re going to focus on probably three, maybe four Belgians,” Patrick said.

Ale Republic will take a careful approach to distributing its beers, making sure to stay mindful of how things change in the brewing world at large.

“We’ll see, the whole game it’s going to see how it’s going to play out in the next 10 years,” Patrick said. “I don’t know if we want to can or if we want to bottle. We did these (Snap Crackle Stout bottles) by hand. It was tedious, but it worked.”

As for the in-house audience, the food issue was a big one in 2017, but Ale Republic has a new plan going forward.

“The food thing, that’s another thing,” Patrick said. “We just wanted to do beer. I love cooking, but I don’t want to do it commercially. We opened and we thought food trucks would come up here. Food trucks don’t want to come up here. That’s too far, they said. It’s probably less hard on your vehicle because you don’t have to stop and start so much, but whatever. There was one food truck that started up here. They were here about two or three days a week, but the food was not very good. That reflected bad on us.”

The new plan fits with the creativity found in the brewery itself.

“We’re doing these little pop-up kitchens,” Patrick said. “Tomorrow, we’re just doing wings, that’s it. In the future it will be one menu item, and then we’ll try out some (different) recipes. We did one for fries. We’ll do paninis, simple but nice. We’ll do tacos.”

Ale Republic is now up to having eight of its own beers regularly on tap.

There are other plans afoot for 2018 and beyond that will require some heavier lifting.

“We are acquiring the back building,” Patrick said. “That’s going to be the brewhouse. It will be in a separate building. We can focus on things back there. We’ll have a kitchen, we’ll have all of our own beers, maybe one or two guest taps. We’ll be there within like three months. It will be more of a normal space.”

The current home of the brewhouse and associated tanks is fairly cramped, so moving into the taller back building will certainly help. It will require a fair amount of cleanup and re-purposing, but it is a hopeful development. While that is in the near future, Patrick said that Ale Republic has big plans for much of the remaining three acres of property.

“The next big point of focus is going to be outside,” he said. “We’re going to build a really sweet patio. We’re going to put in some games up on the hill. Eventually we’re going to build a really sweet walk-in beer garden. … We have three acres. We’re going to build a trail, have some fountains. We’re going to build a place where people from Albuquerque can come up, go for a hike, then come in and have a beer.”

For those of us who visit sporadically, the changes at Ale Republic are big and obvious. For the more frequent customers, it may seem like things are moving slowly, but Patrick assured us that is not the case.

“We’ve done a lot in the last year,” he said. “We didn’t have growlers for a long time. We have eight beers on tap right now. We have four or five more styles ready to go, we just don’t have kegs to put them in. But it’s 180 degrees from six months ago.”

Overall, things are looking up on the mountain, but Ale Republic still has a ways to go to cement its place in the New Mexico beer scene.

“To summarize everything, or put in an easy summary, we’re almost into a spot where we can really grow and really have a good life,” Patrick said. “We haven’t been able to grow too much yet except for buying the 3-barrel setup. But still, it’s small compared to the bigger breweries.”

A big thanks to Patrick for the time, the tour, and the beers. We also appreciate his patience when it came to waiting for this story to finally get typed up.

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, one in Moriarty, and one in Las Cruces 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.

Turtle Mountain is celebrating its 19th anniversary with more than just a brewmasters dinner (which has already sold out). Every day through Sunday, there will be a special beer-and-food pairing. Today (Wednesday) will feature Amnesia Ale with Ruidoso Ribs for $16. Thursday will feature Slabtown New York Strip with any current seasonal on tap for $18. Friday will feature Pizza Classico with Red Rye Redux for $10. Saturday will feature Pizza Alamosa with Parasol White IPA for $13. Sunday will feature Miah-T Pizza with Stauffenberg Stout for $14. That is quite the way to celebrate turning 19, or at least better than how most of us spent our 19th birthdays.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bombs Away is running Operation Single Hop. Bosque brings back its IRA (India Red Ale). Bow & Arrow goes big with Cake Bandit, an imperial German chocolate cake stout, starting this Thursday. Boxing Bear hops to Tropic Thunder Fruit IPA, plus The Red Glove returns on tap and in bombers Saturday. Canteen has fresh batches of Tuttle IPA and Oat Brown. La Cumbre keeps up its run of specialty canned offerings with Helles Lager this Friday.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn kicks it up a notch with Katabatic Kolsch.

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

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

Albuquerque metro area breweries

Ale Republic — (505) 281-2828

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

Beers: Brune, Blonde, Strong Dark and Handsome, Eagle Claw, Tokyo Black, Single and Ready to Mingle, Drink What You Sow, Best Coast IPA. 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: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

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, Double Dead Red, Super Kreak, TruBlu Pilsner, Black IPA. The current seasonals include the Super Kreak, TruBlu, and Black IPA.

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–Sat noon–10 p.m., Sun noon–8 p.m.)

Beers: BABC IPA, Willie Pete Wit, Low Order Porter, Operation Single Hop, Proximity Pilsner, Actuator IPA, Boom Stick Brown, Counter Charge Coffee Stout, SNAFU Oatmeal Stout, Hazy Chain DIPA, Dunkelweizen, M1A1 ABQ Common, Imperial Session IPA, High Speed Low Drag Lager. The most recent addition is the Operation Single Hop, but get ready, there are five taps about to change over to new seasonals in the coming days.

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, Camp Waconda, Simcoe Pils, Public House Pale, Scale Tipper IPA, One Man’s Helles, IRA. Scale Tipper, back for a limited time, reached the fifth round of the National IPA Challenge. IRA (India Red Ale) is the most recent addition.

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 3 p.m.-midnight, Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–9 p.m.)

Beers: (House) Sun Dagger (Saison), True Aim (Scotch Ale), Denim Tux Lager, Nomadico IPA, Visionland Amber Ale; (Seasonal) Cosmic Arrow Brett Saison, Way Out West Sour Sumac, Desert Dynamo IPL, Sweetfetti Weizenbock, Thirsty Land: Foraged Series (Grisette), Savage Times Sour IPA, Saison de Blanc, Roam Free DIPA. Bottles of Dark Mesa, a barrel-aged quad with brett, are still on sale at the brewery, but the supply is limited. Denim Tux Lager has replaced Jemez Field Notes Lager in the regular lineup. Cake Bandit, an imperial German chocolate cake stout, will debut Thursday.

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: Low Rye-der IPA, Featherweight Session IPA, Strong Arm Pale Ale, Sucker Punch DIPA, Bear Trap Hoppy Ale, Bear Knuckle IPA, Red Knuckle Irish Red, Tropic Thunder Fruit IPA. The most recent additions are the Tropic Thunder, Red Knuckle, Bear Knuckle, and Bear Trap. There are still a few bottles left of the barrel-aged Standing 8 Stout. The Chocolate Milk Stout is on the regular and nitro taps. The Red Glove, a 2016 gold medal-winner at GABF, returns in bombers and on tap this Saturday.

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, Double Black, Raspberry Kolsch. OK, fine, Pepe the Mule counts as a beer, even though it is basically a Moscow Mule, but it was made with beer. Double Black and Raspberry Kolsch are the most recent additions.

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: Irish Red, Exodus IPA, Tuttle IPA, Marzen, Schwebock, Super Smalls Session IPA, Obey the Darkside Stout, Oat Brown, Steel Can Stout. Obey the Darkside Stout (8% ABV, 50 IBU) has nearly run its course, and take note that this batch is so good it has been entered in the World Beer Cup, so get it now. Steel Can is a collaboration with Steel Bender, if the name was not a dead giveaway.

Live Music (Brewery): Thursday—Johnny Azari, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—Tom Bennett One Man Band, 4-7 p.m.

Live Music (Taproom): Saturday—Nathan Fox, 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

(Mon closed, Tues 4-9 p.m., Weds 4-11 p.m., Thurs-Sun noon-midnight)

Beers: Belgian Citrus IPA, Berliner Weisse, Sour Raspberry, Idiot Sauvin, Belgian Cherry Wheat, Amber Ale, Coffee Lager, World as Will IPA, 505 Lager, Moloko Plus Milk Stout, Micro Hands Session IPA. The most recent additions are the Moloko and Micro Hands.

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

Drafty Kilt Brewing — (505) 881-0234

(Sun 11 a.m–10 p.m., Mon closed, 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, Outlamber Amber, Obliviscaris Oatmeal Stout. The Obliviscaris is back, having replaced the Covfefe Hefe, and boy does it taste good, as we proved with a fourth-place finish at our Stout Challenge. Take note, Drafty Kilt is now closed on Mondays.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.; Saturday—Karaoke with Tobyriffic, 6-10 p.m. (every other week); 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: Nebulas New England IPA, Dr. Brownstone, Stuntman Light Lager, Say It Loud Coffee Stout. The Dr. Brownstone, Stuntman, and Say It Loud are the most are recent addition. Go try them out while watching Black Panther for the first (or 10th) time.

High and Dry Brewing — (505) 433-5591

(Mon closed, Tues-Thurs 2-10 p.m., Fri-Sat noon-10 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Ghost of a Moon Pale Ale, Hurry Sundown Wheat, Freedom Cage IPA, True Horizon Red Wheat, Freedom Cage with Mandarina Bavaria. Welcome to the listings, High and Dry! It has been a busy first three weeks for the new brewery at 529 Adams St. NE, just south of Lomas. All five of the beers listed should be available as High and Dry gets its lineup set.

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.

Live Music: Saturday—Still Closed For Repairs Duo, 8 p.m.

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

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

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

Beers: Helles Lager, ESB, Puddle Stomper IPA, C-Thru Stout, Rauchbier, Doppelbock, California Common, Czech Pilz, Cider, DjinnJar Kombucha. The most recent additions include the Czech Pilz, Rauchbier, Doppelbock, and California Common. The C-Thru is what it sounds like, a pale blonde stout with a heavy coffee aroma and flavor.

News: We are sad to report that Kaktus has closed its Nob Hill taproom. Try as the staff might, the location on Monte Vista simply could never get going. Thankfully, the main brewery is still going strong in Bernalillo!

Live Music: Friday—Stan Kee, 6:30 p.m.; Saturday—Chris Livingston, 6:30 p.m.

Weekly Events: 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, 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, American Lager, IPA, Lobo Red Ale, Session IPA, Sleeping Dog Stout, 35 N Coffee Porter, Common; (seasonal) German Pilsner, Capspackler DIPA, Dortmunder, Oak-Aged Natalia. The lineup got a bit of a makeover, with American Lager and Common joining the regulars, bumping out the Blonde. The Natalia was originally made at Chama River and dear lord it was dark decadence in a glass. Get some quick before it runs out!

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: Molinillo Stout, All In Hazy DIPA, Cascade SMASH, Black Berry Briar. Make sure to pick up four-packs of Siberian Silk, a lovely Baltic porter, All In, and Black Berry Briar while they are available. The delicious Molinillo Stout is also available in bottles. Another can/tap release is coming this Friday with Helles Lager.

Lava Rock Brewing — (505) 615-2802

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

Beers: All guest taps for now. Welcome to the listings, Lava Rock! We just wanted everyone to know that the kitchen is up and running and some unique guest taps from other local breweries are available now at 2220 Unser Blvd. NW. When the house beers appear, we will let everyone know.

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: Chocolate Pinky, Stout Americano, Smoked Helles, Jarrylo Red Ale, Jabroni Exxxtra, Cholo Stout, Imperial Red, Passionate Gose (Downtown only), Paddy McNitro (Downtown and Heights only), Session White (Downtown and Westside only), Nitro Negra (Heights only), El Gabacho (Heights only), Spruce Moose (Heights only), Caffe Roggenbier (Heights and Westside only), Grapefruit Tangerine Gose (Westside only), Ginger Kid (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 Paddy McNitro, Smoked Helles, and Jarrylo Red Ale are the most recent additions. You can also get a Black & Tan made from Paddy and the Amber at Downtown and the Heights taprooms. Stout Americano is back at all locations, on tap and for sale in bottles. Remember, too, that Cholo Stout and Imperial Red are now available in six-packs, and Double IPA will soon be as well!

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

Live Music (Heights): Friday—Lenin and McCarthy, 7-10 p.m.

Live Music (Westside): Friday—Kyle Martin, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Bob Guesch/Lisa Lopez Project, 8-11 p.m.

Other Events (Downtown): Sunday—Marble Mouth Off, 1-3 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: New Mexico Snow IPA, Hot Chocolate Porter, Irish Red. New brewer, new seasonals as Nexus has Snow IPA and the cayenne-infused Chocolate Porter available now, plus Irish Red is back for another run.

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), Pool Session 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: Hefeweizen, Gold Medal Pilsner, Saphir Single-Hop Pale Ale, Toasted Cinnamon Stout, Bernalillo County Stout. Yes, the Toasted Cinnamon Stout was made with Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal made in collaboration with the local General Mills facility. Prior to that, the Pilsner and Hefeweizen were the most recent additions. Triple IPA will replace the BC Stout soon.

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: Coco Orastie (Orange) Stout, Beag IPL, Clark IPA, Test Batch #1 IPA, Dark Pedro, Kill or be KILT. Beag is a little brother to the Mor-Buck IPA. The Clark and beastly-but-good Test Batch, both advanced to the third round at the National IPA Challenge. Dark Pedro and Kill or be KILT are the most recent additions. Irish Handcuffs returns Friday.

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: Putin on the RIS, Strong Scotch Ale. The Strong Scotch is back on tap. Putin on the RIS is a Russian Imperial Stout, in case you couldn’t guess, and it’s quite tasty.

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

Weekly Events (Downtown 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, Dirty Rotten Bastard IPA, Snakebite IPA, Roadkill Red Ale, La Luz Lager, Barrel-Aged Porter, Vanilla Porter, NM Pinon Coffee Porter, Oatmeal Stout, Level 3 IPA, Lemongrass Wit, Blueberry Mint Gose, Imperial Kolsch, Razberry Sour, Belgian IPA, Pink Boots Pale Ale, Marzen, Grapefruit Launcher IPA, Schwarzbier, Cherry Cuvee, Cascade Pale Ale, Porter 4 Humanity, Grab ‘Em By the Putin (Russian Imperial Stout). There are two barrel-aged beers on tap in the Porter and Putin. The Blueberry Mint Gose is the most recent addition. There are also guest taps featuring beers from around the state now available.

Other Events: Sunday—Rachel Lark with Ann Gora, 7-9 p.m.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Loungy Wednesdays, 6-8 p.m.; Friday—Headliners Comedy presents Friday Night Fools ($5 cover, event only), 9:30 p.m.; Sunday—Pints & Planks with Yoga Zo; Family Funday with Clark Libbey, 2-5 p.m.

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–6 p.m.)

Beers: Co-Mo IPA, Turntable IPA Series: Track 3, Guera American Blonde Ale, Dark Engine Stout, Buzz Bomb, Pub Ale. The Turntable 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 Turntable and Pub Ale, with Earl Grey Tea, 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, Starrphire Pilsner, Foggy Monocle, Phantom Limb Black Rye IPA, The Green Manalishi. The most recent additions are The Green Manalishi and Phantom Limb, back for another delicious, hoppy run.

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, Steel Bender Lager, The Village Wit; (seasonals/specialties) Skull Crusher DIPA, Village Innuendo, Centorado XPA, Homegrown Pils, Raspberry Dynamite. The most recent additions are the Steel Can, Centorado, Homegrown, and Raspberry Dynamite, a new kettle sour. Fear not, head brewer Bob Haggerty is hard at work at replenishing the supply of the popular Manana Tropical IPA. There are still bottles of The Judy, a peach saison aged in Chardonnay barrels, along with the anniversary beers, Ingenio and Bullet Reserve, 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, Skin Walker Triple IPA, Plum Cherry Sour, Imperial Cream Ale, BBA (Barrel-Aged Dark Lager). A trio of new additions hit taps this week with Plum Cherry Sour, Imperial Cream Ale, and BBA, which is made with coffee, cocoa, and vanilla.

News: Bottles of Bourbon Barrel-Aged Milk Stout aged with dark cherries and Scottish Wee Heavy aged with sweet cherries are still available.

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: Dry Gulch IPA, Pete’s Porter, Blood Orange Cider, Explora G&T Cider, Tupac Cali Red Ale, Nitro Milk Stout (Wells Park only), Oud Bruin (Wells Park only), Ghost Ranch IPA (Wells Park and Nob Hill only), Spiced Cider (Wells Park and Four Hills only), 2016 Stein Wine (Wells Park and Four Hills only), Jack the Sipper (Wells Park and Four Hills only), Belgo American Pale Ale (Wells Park and Four Hills only), American Wild Ale (Wells Park and Four Hills only), Barrel-Aged Leche de Luna (Wells Park and Four Hills only), Chocolate Milk Stout (Nob Hill and Four Hills only), Three-Two Amber (Nob Hill and Four Hills only), Imma Pale Ale (Nob Hill and Four Hills only), Turkey Drool (Four Hills only), Cascara Cider (Four Hills only). Barrel-Aged Leche de Luna is an imperial chocolate milk stout with a serious kick, but the supply is running low. All proceeds from the G&T Cider go to the Explora Science Center. Blood Orange Cider and Tupac have returned.

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): Today (Wednesday)—Singer Songwriter Showcase, 8 p.m.; Thursday—Lincoln County War, 8 p.m.; Friday—Katie Williams, 5 p.m.; Saturday—Russell James Tour Kickoff, 8:30 p.m.

Live Music (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Tom Bennett, 8 p.m.; Friday—Sean Costanza, 5 p.m.; Saturday—Clark Andrew Libbey, 5 p.m.

Live Music (Four Hills): Saturday—Seth Hoffman, 7 p.m.

Other Events (Wells Park): Friday—Hops & Dreams: Peter Pan Edition, 8 p.m.

Weekly Events (Wells Park): Monday—Super Tractor Gamers Night, 5:30 p.m.; Tuesday—Kamikaze Karaoke, 7 p.m.

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

Weekly Events (Four Hills): Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.

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. 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.

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: Ahmnata Khappa Pale Ale, McSmack, Time Management IPA, Marzen, Snakedriver Dry Irish Stout. The Snakedriver is the most recent addition. This Thursday, Amnesia Ale returns for the anniversary party. McSmack will go into the archives to make room on tap.

Cask: Tuesday—PB&J Marzen

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Open daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: SMASH Pale Ale, Katabatic Kolsch, Glasgow Garnet Scotch Ale, Peaches ‘n Cream Ale. The Katabatic is the most recent addition.

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, Goya. This batch of Cezanne Verite is barrel aged and it is also for sale in bombers. The Titian, Dark Ryder, Grunewald, and Goya (13.3% ABV) are the most recent additions, available on tap and in bombers.

Live Music (ABQ taproom): Today (Wednesday)—Wikki Wikki Wednesday with Wae Fonkey, 8 p.m.; Thursday—Nathan Fox, 8 p.m.; Saturday—James Whiton, Gunsafe, Delphia, Def-i, 8 p.m.

Live Music (SF brewery): Friday—50 Watt Whale, 6 p.m.; Saturday—Escape on a Horse, 7 p.m.

Other Events (ABQ taproom): Friday—Burlesque, Blues & Brews, 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, Agent Scully – Season One, Episode Five (IPA), Germophile (Berliner Weisse), Fruhschoppen (Hefeweizen), Little White Lies (Belgian Blonde), Conduit (Belgian IPA), Bosco P. Coltrane (Chocolate Brown), Petit Blanche – Amarillo, Sarlacc First Order (Imperial Saison), Notorious BdG, Aromatherapy IPA. The Agent Scully is a series of IPAs which will vary by hop combinations. Episode Five is the most recent iteration. The Notorious BdG, aged in apple brandy barrels, is the most recent addition to the lineup and is also available for sale in bottles.

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: Hipster Union IPA, Lustgarten Lager, Imperial Pastry-Free Porter, Twisted Root, Schneeball Imperial Pilsner. The most recent additions are Schneeball and Twisted Root, the latter a blonde ale with ginger and lemongrass. You can also find Twisted Root and Lustgarten in six-pack cans.

Live Music (ABQ taproom): Friday—Rise of Seekalae, 6 p.m.; Saturday—Royal Hills, 6 p.m.; Sunday—The Gershom Brothers, 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, 2920 IPA, Low Winter Sun Sour, Summer Rain Sour, Outlier Special Bitter, Kohatu IPA, Vienna Lager, Diablo Canyon Pale Ale, British Mild, El Gato IPA, U2 Irish Stout, Boneshaker Special Bitter, Bonebreaker Bitter, XX ESB. The benefits of having two brewhouses are now apparent as Second Street is loaded with more beers than ever. The Jordy’s Irish Red and Imperial Stout are the most recent additions.

Live Music (Original location): Friday—Kitty Jo Creek, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—The Bill Hearne Trio, 6-9 p.m.

Live Music (Railyard): Friday—Lone Pinon, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—Mystic Lizard, 6-9 p.m.

Live Music (Rufina): Thursday—Durand Jones & The Indications, 8-11 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: Hoppenheimer IPA, Wit Rock, Pennsylvania Swanky, Dunkel Bock, Flat Cap Brown, Little Bird Blonde, Lichtenhainer. With a new brewer in place, BRB shakes up the lineup. Old favorites Hoppenheimer, Wit Rock, and Little Bird are joined by some fascinating newcomers in the Dunkel Bock, Flat Cap, and Lichtenhainer, a sour ale.

Picacho Peak Brewing — (575) 680-6394

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

Beers: Picacho Lite, Keller Hefeweizen, Twisted Windmill IPA, Old Crawley, 575 Scotsman, Irish Xtra Stout, I Heart Porter, Smooth and Stout. Welcome to the listings, Picacho Peak! For the first time in a long, long time we have a Las Cruces brewery in here. Make sure to check it out the next time you are down south.

Sierra Blanca Brewing — (505) 832-2337

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

Beers: Interstella Vanilla, Cherry Wheat, Single Hop IPA, Natalie Portman. The Natalie Portman is a, well, you can probably guess. It is the newest addition to the seasonal lineup. Cherry Wheat is available in bottles and won a gold medal at GABF in 2017.

Live Music: Friday—Rudy Boy, 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

Hey, we know that brewer! Toltec’s Kaylynn McKnight and co-owner Diana Navarrette are getting the brewery ready for an opening this spring. (Photo courtesy of Toltec Brewing)

It has been a while since we busted out some Beer Notes, but the news was piling up in our inbox, so here we go again.

New brewery updates

By our count, there are 20 forthcoming breweries, plus one that just opened. Alas, there is also another that closed, as we note below. First up, the breweries with active small brewer licenses.

  • Callahan West Brewery (Mosquero): The brewery is open in this small town in Northeast New Mexico. It is located at 22 Main Street, on the west side of town, next to the Headquarters Restaurant. Details are scarce at this point, but there is a fledgling Facebook page, and we suppose it could make for an interesting summer road trip.
  • Cantero Brewing (ABQ-Brewery District): Slow but steady progress is apparent, with the brewing system now set up. We will drop the owners another line and see if we can get an advance tour/preview.
  • Elkins Brewing (Grants): There is still no website, no social media, or anything else about this brewery. If anyone out there has information, please send it over.
  • Red River Brewing: The staff seems to be putting the finishing touches on the interior of the completed building. Hey, someone had to benefit from the mild winter up north. It should be only a matter of time before we add Red River to our next Taos Trek (which we are way, way overdue to do again).
  • Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery (Santa Fe): Plenty of positive signs abound to the point of where we have to imagine it will be the next to open. Tumbleroot has begun brewing and distilling, and in addition is starting to book musical acts for its stage. Look for a preview in the coming weeks.

The snow finally showed up, but not before most of this new brewery was built. (Photo courtesy of Red River Brewing)

Now for all the breweries with pending small brewer licenses, who are, by and large, further away from opening.

  • 1933 Brewing (Rio Rancho): Located in the old Fat Squirrel building on Southern, we have seen construction getting underway. There is also a Facebook page and a website, finally, though neither have any real information.
  • BLUE (ABQ-Downtown area): We have no new updates about this brewery, which a source told us would be located somewhere along Broadway near Lead/Coal, similar in size and scope to Sidetrack.
  • Bonito Valley (Lincoln): The brewery’s Facebook page said it hopes to open by the summer along Highway 380 in Southeast New Mexico.
  • Brewstillery (ABQ-UNM area): We still have no information on this place.
  • Casa Vieja (Corrales): The existing event space may look to do some small batch beers, but will mainly use the license to sell beer and wine at the events it hosts.
  • Cloudcroft Brewing: Formerly known as Switchback Brewery, it will instead be named for the town it will call home in the mountains in Southern New Mexico. A full build-out is now underway, with a very rustic look to the site, which is quite appropriate.
  • Hollow Spirits (ABQ-Wells Park): The distillery/brewery has hired a head distiller, Trey Allen, but no projected opening date (or even month) has been listed.
  • Hopscotch Brewing (Artesia): First, the good news is that Deepwell Brewing is alive and well under a new name. The bad news is that it will take over the building previously occupied by Desert Water Brewing, which closed recently. Still, soon Artesia will be back to having two breweries, and that is a good thing.
  • Icebox Brewing (Las Cruces): There is a Facebook page, but beyond the address of 2825 W. Picacho Ave., there is no additional info.
  • Leaf & Hive (Santa Fe): One of two places looking to open in the capital city that will offer up mainly products that require a brewing license, but are not necessarily beer. The Facebook page says it will be honeybrew, a “heirloom cultured sparkling tea.”
  • Sourdough Mine Restaurant and Brewery (Socorro): Located in the old Twisted Chile space off the main plaza, the restaurant is already up and running.
  • Tall Pines Beer and Wine Garden (Ruidoso): This beer/wine bar has been in operation for a while. It remains to be seen how much (if any) beer it plans to brew.
  • Toltec Brewing (ABQ-West Side): The exterior signage is now covering all the entrances at 10250 Cottonwood Park NW. Inside, the brewery area appears ready, while the the taproom area is getting the final paint job. We can also confirm that former Nexus brewer Kaylynn McKnight will be running the brewhouse, while Adam Galarneau, formerly of Bosque, Marble, and Turtle Mountain, will be the general manager. Those are two talented and experienced people, a good sign of the commitment of the Toltec owners to putting their brewery on the map from the get-go.

That’s some swanky signage! (Photo courtesy of Toltec Brewing)

There are three other breweries we know are on the way, but have not yet applied for a license. We recently previewed Ex Novo Brewing and its plans to open in Corrales. HoneyMoon Brewery, a kombucha-centric operation, is coming to Santa Fe. Blu Dragonfly is coming to the northern town of Cimarron and has already joined the NM Brewers Guild far in advance of its opening.

If there are any other new breweries out there that we missed, please let us know.

We can also report that Guadalupe Mountain (Carlsbad) and Lost Hiker (Ruidoso) are now open and serving their own beers.

Politics and beer don’t mix here or anywhere

Well, so much for this legislative session.

One of the best things about breweries is how they are (usually) delightfully free of the venomous political discourse that has infected our country. Sadly, politics has a way of getting into the beer, and it rarely turns out well for any beer drinker, regardless of his/her affiliation.

Here in New Mexico, even after it passed both houses in the legislature, Senate Bill 204 died with a whimper when outgoing Governor Martinez killed it with a pocket veto. SB204 was designed to give breweries the ability to obtain private celebration permits. Currently, only distributors have these permits. Who knows why the governor did not like this bill, which had bi-partisan support.

It could be worse, however, as craft brewers in Maryland suffered a devastating defeat in Annapolis. Small breweries in Maryland face significant restrictions in how much beer they can brew and sell. Efforts to lift many regulations have failed, as the combination of macrobreweries and distributors have been opposed to giving craft breweries any advantages. Hopefully more progressive politicians will take another look at the situation next year.

Meanwhile, the announcement of pending tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum imports have left some in the craft beer industry worried. Those worries may be valid, as this story in the Wall Street Journal shows. (Thanks to Boxing Bear’s David Kim for the link.) A rise in the price of American steel and aluminum would benefit the manufacturers, but not everyone in the market may be able to afford those increases. That could hamper an industry that uses a hell of a lot of both metals. Ultimately, though, it is still early in the process, and time will tell what the full impact will be on the brewing industry.

Sampler tray

  • Little Toad Creek got some good news when its first taproom outside Silver City cleared a major hurdle. The City of Las Cruces has given its approval for the location at 119 N. Main St. Now all that remains is for state approval, which hopefully will come in advance of the Blazin’ Brewfest in May.
  • Red Door is looking to hire a new head brewer. We are working on finding out the details behind the departure of founding brewer Wayne Martinez.
  • Tart at Heart is returning to Sister for a fourth time on April 14. We will have more details as we get closer to this fun annual event.
  • Second Street will host the first Pilsner and Crab Fest at the Rufina Taproom on June 16-17. It will not be a competition, but a celebration of the style. We would love to see what other breweries bring to at least give us all the opportunity to do a side-by-side tasting.
  • Rejoice, haze lovers, for the Brewers Association has heard your cries. Three new hazy or juicy ale categories (pale, IPA, double IPA) have been added to the official ranks of the Beer Style Guidelines. Other categories have been added as well to reflect the ongoing evolution of craft beers. Click that link for more details.

That clears out the notebook for now. If anyone out there ever has any craft beer news to share, big or small, drop us a line at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com, or via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or just tapping on a Crew member’s shoulder if you spot one of us out and about at a brewery, taproom, or beer bar.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

It was not to be for a New Mexico brewery this year.

The National IPA Challenge hit the fast forward button and released the final results of the competition today (Monday). Sadly, the last New Mexico entry, Canteen’s Hop Baller, did not make it to the medal stand, ending a four-year run of local IPAs claiming the title.

Trickster’s Brewing’s JuiceBox IPA beat Hop Baller in the Bracket 3 championship qualifier, and then went on to take home the gold medal as the top IPA of 2018. Though the name may sound like it’s of the hazy New England-style, it is an old-fashioned West Coast-style hop bomb. Trickster’s is located in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, so the next time you find yourself crossing the panhandle on Interstate 90, well, now you have a place to visit for a pint.

Barley Brown’s Hazer Beam IPA took silver and Karl Strauss’ Boat Shoes IPA claimed the bronze. Boat Shoes had forced Bosque’s Scale Tipper to walk the plank back in the fifth round.

Knee Deep Brewing’s Lupulin River took gold in the Imperial IPA bracket. Coronado’s Coastwise Session took the Session IPA championship, while El Segundo’s Cerveza Fresca Guava won the Specialty IPA championship.

The next major competition for New Mexico breweries is next month, as the biennial World Beer Cup returns at the Craft Brewers Conference, which will be held in Nashville.

— Stoutmeister

No, this is totally not a hint as to which brewery’s IPA advanced at the National IPA Challenge.

The Dandy Dozen was reduced to six at the National IPA Challenge this weekend, with one of the two remaining New Mexico entries advancing to the championship qualifier of its respective bracket. It probably was not the one most people expected.

Two-time past champion Scale Tipper from Bosque was ousted in the fifth round, while Canteen’s Hop Baller survived to fight another week. Scale Tipper lost to Triumvirate from Rueben’s Brews in a semifinal of the Bracket 2 championship qualifier, ending its bid to become the first three-time champion in the history of the event held annually by the Brewing News. Scale Tipper is still the only back-to-back winner (2015, 2016), and one of only two IPAs with multiple wins, the other being La Cumbre’s Project Dank (2014, 2017).

If New Mexico is to make it five titles in a row, it will be up to Hop Baller. Canteen head brewer Zach Guilmette told us this week that was surprised Hop Baller advanced further than his other entry, Tuttle IPA, but he was quite happy to make it as far as being one of the last 12 IPAs standing. Now, Hop Baller is one of the final six. It upended Barley Brown’s Pallet Jack, the 2013 champion that had previously eliminated Project Dank back in the second round and The 377’s El Cucuy in the first round. Hop Baller kept Pallet Jack from being a three-time NM killer.

Next up for Hop Baller is a showdown with Tricksters Brewing’s JuiceBox IPA. The winner of Bracket 3 will go head-to-head with the winners of Brackets 1 and 2 for the championship, though we are not quite sure of how the format will work as this year was the first time the main IPA bracket had to be split into three.

Results from the next round of the NIPAC should be posted next weekend. Good luck to Hop Baller!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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Give ski season a proper farewell with craft beer on a mountain!

This Saturday, the Los Alamos Ski Club is hosting its 70th (!) annual Skiesta festival at Pajarito Mountain, just outside of Los Alamos. Given the extremely dry winter that’s wrapping up, the notion of a festival celebrating skiing may elicit a sigh or a yawn, but rest assured the show will go on! There will be skiing and snowboarding, of course, as well as:

  • Food from the cafeteria.
  • The band Escape on a Horse (alt-country/Americana), playing from 2 to 5 p.m.
  • A 1940s-themed costume contest.
  • And, you guessed it, local craft beer (served roughly from noon to 5 p.m.).

Breweries that will be attending and plying their wares include Bathtub Row, Blue Corn, Rowley Farmhouse Ales, Santa Fe, and Second Street. We were told that Taos Mesa had to bail out at the last minute, which was too late to change the event poster above. At my request, Stoutmeister asked the breweries for their beer lists. The theme clearly seems to be more malt-forward than hop-forward to fit the colder conditions, plus a few Irish-style beers for St. Patrick’s Day. If any other breweries send their lists, we will update this post.

  • Bathtub Row: California Common, AK Pale Ale, Mexican Lager, Irish Red
  • Blue Corn: Peaches ’n Cream, Glasgow Garnet Scotch Ale, Atomic Blonde, Road Runner IPA
  • Rowley Farmhouse Ales: TBA
  • Santa Fe: TBA
  • Second Street: Imperial Stout, U2 Irish Stout, Jordy’s Irish Red, Kohatu IPA, Kolsch, and one more TBA

As usual, complimentary bus service will be running from Sullivan Field next to Los Alamos High School every 30 minutes between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., so take advantage of that.

Cheers!

— Reid