When just glancing at the name, the 21 and Over event at Sister sounds kind of odd. After all, of course one has to be 21 and over to go drink beer at the downtown bar next Friday, May 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. What the title actually refers to, however, is the age of the breweries involved. Only breweries that have been around 21 years or more are participating, and rather than bring us the same old stuff, each is bringing a wildly different and unique offering. This is one of those ABQ Beer Week events that demanded a little more detail in a separate preview, so without further ado …
Bell’s Brewery: 30th Anniversary Cherry Stout Reserve. This is the only keg to come to New Mexico. If anyone had the barrel-aged Cherry Stout before, you know how good this classic beer can be. This reserve batch checks in at 9-percent ABV.
Firestone Walker: ’17 Helldorado. This blonde barleywine comes from the California brewery that just cleaned up at the World Beer Cup, with four medals including three golds. This batch checks in at 12.8-percent ABV, so you might want to leave the car at home and take an Uber/Lyft/taxi.
Four Peaks: Green Tea Lager. The June seasonal release from the Tempe, Arizona brewery arrives a few days early. Much lighter (5.2% ABV) than the rest of the lineup, this was brewed with green tea (natch) and a heap of Chinook hops.
Left Hand: Chai Milk Stout Nitro. By now, everyone but the lactose-intolerant has probably tried Left Hand’s classic Milk Stout, either CO2 or nitro. This version has a whole lot of Chai spice added to the mix, for a creamy-yet-zesty brew that checks in at a sessionable 5-percent ABV.
New Belgium: Clutch Sour Stout. Pucker up for this offering from Fort Collins, Colorado. Originally brewed back in 2011, this Lips of Faith Series beer checks in at 9-percent ABV. It is described as “an iron fist wrapped in a velvet glove.”
Odell: ‘16 Meddler. An aged Oud Bruin, this is a big (8.6% ABV) sour. Made with lacto and other wild yeasts, it is not for the faint of palate.
Rogue: Combat Wombat. This might be the most bonkers beer of the bunch, and that’s saying something. Described as a Northeast-style IPA made with grapefruit and blood orange, this is the citrus haze bomb you’ve been craving. The Australian hops are present throughout this 7.2-percent ABV ale.
Sierra Nevada: Kolsch German-Style Ale. Only available in variety packs, this is Sierra Nevada’s interpretation of the classic light German beer. They added a little wheat malt to give it a bit of an American character as well. At only 5-percent ABV, this is the best beer to start your evening.
We will see many of you at Sister next Friday.