Archive for August 14, 2018

The spoils of the best airport gift store in the world, which is naturally in Portland, Oregon.

What do you get when you mix a few procrastinators (AmyO excluded) and have them write a story together? Well, you get this weekly feature at night, that’s what you get.

Anyway, the Crew has been a bit scattered of late, with me (Stoutmeister) in Oregon and the others running amok all over New Mexico for various reasons. I have returned, and yes, I brought back a few goodies from Portland, though not quite in the normal way. Rather than borrow a hard-sided suitcase for my trip in which to store bottles/cans for the flight home, I took my old soft-sided bag. Even with copious amounts of bubble wrap, I wasn’t going to risk beer, or my clothes, for the trip home. So I forlornly traveled into the airport after checking my bag and … wait, what’s this? Beer bottles and cans for sale inside the airport?!

Bless you, Oregon liquor laws. Or just whatever genius moment occurred at a place called “Made in Oregon” that enabled someone to think, “Hey, would should sell some of our amazing craft beer at reasonable prices to travelers who still have room in the carry-ons!” And thus, I was able to stuff my backpack with four bombers — a barrel-aged barleywine from Buoy (Astoria), an imperial IPA from Gigantic (Portland), a pilsner from pFriem (Hood River), an export stout from Pelican (Pacific City) — and bring them home to New Mexico. There may not have been the biggest of the big beers there (sniff, no Great Notion), but it was a solid and varied selection (yes, there were Cascade sours) at about the same price one would pay at a brewery or liquor store.

Let us just imagine weary travelers being able to purchase some Elevated IPA to take back to New York, or Double White to Chicago, or Scotia to San Francisco, or Mustachio Milk Stout to Seattle, or … well, you get the point. Unless it is completely forbidden by state law, some enterprising soul should sell our best craft beers behind the TSA security check at the Sunport. Let’s start exporting New Mexico around the country and beyond!

After that, I wolfed down a Hopworks Pilsner and some chicken-infused mac-n-cheese at the Henry’s Tavern inside the airport, and I finally returned home. As for the rest of the Crew that was “stuck” here over the weekend, here are a couple of their reports.

Trekking to the City Different

After taking the Rail Runner to Santa Fe, if your first stop isn’t Second Street Railyards, you’re not doing it right.

This past Saturday afternoon we took the Railrunner from Los Ranchos to Santa Fe. The weather was perfect for strolling about town. It was mostly cloudy with a few light sprinkles, but not enough rain to interfere with any outdoor plans.

As per usual when we take the train up there, the first stop was Second Street at the Railyards. My pint of choice was a Rod’s Best Bitter.

We wandered around a bit and decided to call upon Desert Dogs Brewery and Cidery just off the plaza at 112 W. San Francisco. It was our first time there. It’s a nice, bright, and open space with a mini patio overlooking the street below. They have pool and shuffleboard as well as a good selection of beers and ciders. I had a mango cider that was quite tasty.

— AmyO

Someone let Luke name a real beer

Meet La Marcha Wedding Lager at Blue Corn. Yeah, Luke really got to name it.

This weekend my beer adventures took me to Second Street for their brand new can release. I won’t get into detail about them, as I have the full story for you coming today or tomorrow. On a separate beer adventure, one of the beers that happened to be on tap this past weekend at Blue Corn Brewery was La Marcha Wedding Lager. It’s an excellent crisp and refreshing lager, fish-bowl clear like an un-tinted vehicle driving through Espanola. This is an all-around solid lager that definitely makes for a great easy-drinking porch beer. And, as an added bonus, brewers Paul Mallory and Andy Lane were nice enough to let me name this one. To say that I have a large Hispanic family is an understatement, and I know that it’s pretty rare to have a Hispanic wedding without La Marcha. Hence, the name, and they did a great job. I’ll be back for a growler to satisfy my late-summer porch-drinking needs.

Cheers!

— Luke

As the NM Brewers Guild put it best, “How many times has earth-shattering news appeared on a Post-It note?” Congrats to The 377 on tying for third at GBBF. (Original photo courtesy of Carlos Garcia)

At this point in history, it is no longer a surprise to see a New Mexico brewery claiming one of the Michael Jackson Awards for Best American Cask Ale from the Great British Beer Festival. After all, in the previous six years, four local breweries combined for five medals.

It is, however, quite heartening to see one of the “little guys” in our local scene being the brewery to bring home a medal in 2018. The 377 Brewery added its name to the list of winners when it tied for third in this year’s edition of the American Cask Beer Bar over the weekend.

“What this win means for me is that my love and dedication to the art and science behind the brewing process is being recognized,” 377 brewmaster Lyna Waggoner said in an email. “My Schwartzbier had won medals in the homebrew scene. I believed in this beer and never changed the recipe. There is a secret to this beer, but I won’t tell.”

Whatever that secret is, it impressed the British judges. It is the third bronze medal for a New Mexico brewery after Canteen and Rio Bravo tied last year. Prior to that, Marble won gold in 2012 and silver in 2013, followed by La Cumbre taking gold in 2014.

“I’m proud to stand with the previous other NM winners and to continue to show the brewing world that we kick ass,” Lyna said.

Tucked away near the intersection of Yale and Gibson, The 377 has quietly been on a roll of late, earning a gold medal for its Belgian Sour Quad at the U.S. Beer Open Championship, in addition to a pair of past gold medals.

“What this win means to The 377 is the recognition of being chosen in such a large and diverse field of competitors,” Lyna said. “I know they (the owners and staff) are ecstatic.”

The good news is the Schwartzbier is available almost year-round at the brewery, so anyone who is curious about this award winner can head over to try it at almost any time. A limited amount of the Belgian Sour Quad will be available starting this Wednesday, and we will have more details on how that kicks off the Basement Barrel Project in The Week Ahead in Beer.

Overall, it is just part of a positive string of news and events for The 377.

“As far as momentum, it’s already building with our new kitchen opening up very, very soon,” Lyna said. “Possibly a pilot system for me to explore even more avenues of beer artistry is in the works. And, to finally get a chance to show off my sour side of beer making is finally here. And, I’m happy about that.”

Congratulations to Lyna and The 377 from all of us in the Crew.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister