Tractor Brewing is at it again. Just like in past years, the brewery and its taprooms are gearing up for a slew of events encompassing almost every day of ABQ Beer Week, which kicks off this Thursday.
To make sure we did not overlook any events, I sat down with Tractor’s ringmaster, Jeremy Kinter, to get the lowdown on what his brewery has planned this time around.
“As far as events we have consecutively, this is by far our busiest time of the year,” he said.
It is also a chance to show just how far Tractor, and craft brewing as a whole, have come in Albuquerque over the years.
“It’s evolved into a celebration of ABQ craft beer, but it’s (also) a celebration of how we’ve grown as a craft beer community,” Jeremy said. “And to really showcase to people around Albuquerque what we have to offer around here. And not just ourselves, as you can see, we like to team up with other people and other breweries as well.”
It all kicks off with a little bit of collaboration at Wells Park.The Sour Hour with Rowley Farmhouse Ales is back, starting at 5 p.m. The Santa Fe-based RFA is bringing three new beers, along with two of its classic sour offerings.
“They are doing the Ab Initio Blueberry Pomegranate, the Ab Initio Merlot Grape, and (Ab Initio) Methley Plums as well,” Jeremy said. “We’re doing their Germophile and Saison du Sarlacc as well. Those are the five we’re going to have on tap.”
There will also be a touring band from Austin, Beth Lee and the Break Ups, performing from 8 to 10 p.m. after the Sour Hour officially ends.
In addition to Tractor hosting that event, there is also the Beer Walk, Run and Crawl, which will take participants on a Wells Park course that includes Tractor, Bow & Arrow, Rio Bravo, and Dialogue. It will start (and end) at Rio Bravo beginning at 4 p.m. The event benefits Behind the Badge, which helps first responders deal with on-the-job trauma. Participants receive a free commemorative T-shirt and $1 off your first pint at each brewery.
Local musicians will gather at Wells Park to sing folk covers of Radiohead songs at 8 p.m., including Casey Mraz, Paul Hunton, Jacob Chavez, Los Metamorfos, and Still Closed For Repairs. There will also be a special beer release as part of Tractor’s ongoing Beer for a Better Burque (BBB) campaign.
“It is our glitter beer, Peach Chinook Common with gold glitter,” Jeremy said. “It’s our BBB beer for Equality New Mexico. Every dollar for every pint sold goes to that charity.”
There are two events scheduled for two locations. Wells Park will host Covers of Selena, featuring Casey Mraz and Red Light Cameras’ Amanda Machon performing the late singer’s greatest hits from 8 to 10 p.m. There will be a beer release as well.
“The next day we’re doing our beer-rita release,” Jeremy said. “We don’t have a name for it, but it’s going to be a beer-rita.”
Over at Nob Hill, Cider-Day Night Fever returns, featuring Tractor’s ciders and some guest taps.
“There will be ciders from Boxing Bear, Red Door, Sandia Hard Cider, Black Mesa Winery and I think that’s it,” Jeremy said.
The ciders will be on tap as early as 1 p.m., but at 8 p.m., DJ Dave 12 will start spinning up some disco for all you mad dancing fools.
Tractor, like just about everyone else, will be at ABQ Blues & Brews at Sandia Casino. We will have more on that big event later this week.
Tractor Four Hills invites everyone to come by on Memorial Day evening, chill out, and Paint Your Own Stein. The good folks from Kiln It! are the hosts, and they will provide all the supplies from 6 to 9 p.m. The cost is $35 per person, and it does come with your first pint of beer on the house. RSVP by calling (505) 433-8969.
Tuesday, May 29
The annual Beer & Cheese Pairing is moving from Wells Park to Nob Hill this year, which makes sense considering WP is no longer hosting food trucks. Starting at 5 p.m., Cheesy Street will be offering up four grilled cheeses that are paired with different Tractor beers for just $13. Get there early before the supply runs out!
Wednesday, May 30
In the mood for a treat? Then trek back up to Four Hills for a special pairing between Tractor and Rebel Donut. This one runs from 3 to 7 p.m.
“That’s going to be such a good one, too, I’m excited for that one,” Jeremy said with a wide smile, perhaps knowing that a good chunk of the Crew will be missing it (we are headed to Denver for Insomnium), thus leaving more donuts for everyone else.
Over in Nob Hill, there will be a special Star Wars-themed beer crawl that starts at 7 p.m. at the Bosque Public House, eventually winding its way to the Tractor taproom after stops at Kellys and Hops Brewery. There will be trivia, special prizes, and $1 off your first pint at each location. Costumes are not required, but highly encouraged.
Thursday, May 31
Man, have we really been participating in Battle of the Beer Geeks for five years now? Apparently so, as round five kicks off at 5 p.m. at Wells Park. Five teams of local craft beer enthusiasts, including the Crew, are going head-to-head once again. For $10, get a tray of all five beers and then vote for your favorite.
The Babes in Brewland have been dominating this friendly competition since the Crew won the opener in 2014. To keep it from being solely a popularity contest, there will be a change to the voting this year.
“It’s 50 percent popular vote and 50 percent judging panel,” Jeremy said.
After the votes are tabulated and a winner is named, Eddie Brewer and The Manic Episodes will perform at 8 p.m.
Friday, June 1
Fans of the First Friday Comedy Contest need not fret, for it will still take place at Wells Park at 8 p.m. The theme of the evening will be beer jokes, because of course.
Saturday, June 2
Get those dancing shoes back on for 90s Beer Prom at Wells Park. Starting at 8 p.m., the theme is Under the Sea, so dress appropriately and you might even be crowned Prom King or Queen. The cost is $25 per person, and it benefits TEDxABQ.
“I’m really excited,” Jeremy said. “We always fill up, but this year we have a really good variety of different things. Incorporating Beer Prom, and also doing the folk covers of Radiohead and the covers of Selena, it’s going to be a really great year.”
Sunday, June 3
Jeremy sleeps in. No, really, that is for the events, so he and his capable second-in-command, Valerie Osbourn, both get to rest and relax and maybe even take some vacation time. By the end of ABQ Beer Week, they will have earned it.
Thanks to Jeremy for taking the time to chat before it all goes to plaid.