This was one of those weekends where most of us should have been in recovery mode, but the beer events (and metal shows) would not allow us to rest.
For me, the in-town fun was this past Thursday, when I took a trip out to Turtle Mountain to celebrate owner Nico Ortiz’s “39th” birthday and the recent gold medal that head brewer Mick Hahn brought home from the Great American Beer Festival. I thought we were just going to raise a pint of the Wooden Teeth and then I could head out, but noooooo, Mick had to go and bust out a whole bunch of beers from various places for us all to try. Darn it, Mick. Darn, darn, darn. Anyway, the Wooden Teeth tasted great, as a gold-medal winner should, and it was nice to see so many of Nico’s longtime friends and customers stop by to wish him a happy birthday and congrats on the medal.
From there, it was off to Steel Bender for the OktoberFiesta. The chef and his kitchen staff should be applauded for a delicious jaegerschnitzel, which is not an easy thing to make, especially as the place filled up and more and more folks stormed in wanting a plate. I was also happy to be one of the last people to get a commemorative mug, even though I need another piece of glassware (or ceramic-ware, in this case) like I need a hole in the head. Sadly, we also drank up all the OktoberFiesta beer. Who thinks we should petition the brewing staff to make another batch? Huh, even my parents have their arms raised.
Anyway, for the rest of the Crew (minus poor Luke, too sick to drink this weekend), here are their latest adventures in beer.
Boo, Lobos, but huzzah, beer!
This weekend was UNM’s Homecoming, and it’s a darn good thing there was plenty of beer. That’s really all I can say. Saturday’s “Zia can” could be found presiding over games of giant Jenga. It was a tough, but fair judge. There was much fun over at the alumni homecoming tent with a live band and with Rio Bravo and Canteen pouring delicious pints.
And then on Sunday, we licked our wounded wolf paws at Flix Brewhouse, watching football and catching a movie while drinking Umbra Chocostout and Say Hop One More Time IPA.
Off to Vegas this coming weekend. Oh, liver, you were a good friend. You will be missed.
Marblefest turns out to be quite marvelous
Marble hosted its Oktoberfest celebration, affectionately known as Marblefest, this Saturday and I had the great fortune of attending. The event started at noon for VIP ticket holders and went into the evening hours. I arrived around 12:15 and it took me circa 5 minutes to get through the line. It was a beautiful sunny day, the beer was flowing, the air smelled of fresh pretzels, and Red Light Cameras already had the stage warmed up.
Each guest received six tickets for sampling beers in the four serving tents. I had the Marblefest, Marble’s Hopfenweizen, Bosque’s Schwartzbier, La Cumbre’s Kellerbier, Steel Bender’s Misfitter Altbier, and the Marblefest collaboration Kottbusser, brewed by Toltec, Boxing Bear, Steelbender, Quarter Celtic, Canteen, La Cumbre, and Bosque. All six hit the mark. Each guest also received a ticket for a pretzel, which I used strategically after the first three samples went down way too easy.
After finishing the samples and wandering a bit, I ordered a full cup of my favorite, the collaboration Kottbusser. Each guest’s bracelet had two tabs for full pours. These pours were not included in the ticket price, but it was a smart way of allowing guests to order full pours while also limiting them to two. My Kottbusser was accompanied by a bratwurst from the Urban Hotdog Company, which was onsite along with two of my other favorite food trucks, Malaguena’s and Street Food Institute. The Burque Bakehouse also had a tent where they were offering some delicious looking items.
Although my stay at Marblefest wasn’t quite three hours, it is hard to imagine staying into the evening after arriving early in the afternoon for the VIP time slot. Nonetheless, I had a ton of fun and plan to return next year, maybe skip the VIP, take an Uber later, and use both of the tabs on the wristband. Well done, Marble!
Denver, part deux
We are now into the best time of year, at least in terms of beer releases. Märzens to be had everywhere, stouts soon to follow. And, pumpkin beers?? I don’t care. But, this past weekend afforded me the time to spend appreciating some solid German-style brews. As Stoutmeister and I were limited by time on our Saturday trip to Denver (metal shows take priority), our primary stops were at Bierstadt Lagerhaus and Trve Brewing (shocking, I know). With the over-abundance of amazing breweries in Denver and surrounding areas, it’s easy to overdo it, but Bierstadt’s Slow Pour Pilsner was the perfect thirst quencher (FULL DISCLOSURE: let’s be honest, it was cottonmouth). Lightly sweet, crisp malt, and mild spice/earthy hop notes, clear as day … what more could one ask for?? And, if you’re curious on the name … yes, it does live up to it, as it literally takes about 5-plus minutes to pour. Well worth the wait, though! Stop on by the next time you’re in Denver.
As for TRVE … well, people might have become concerned had we not stopped in on a Denver trip. A pour of the Through Wilderness Helles was in order for myself, which is remarkably clean and crushable, perfect for a night of pits and riffs. As for Stoutmeister, he proclaimed their current batch of Stout O))) phenomenal, and the best they’ve done to date. After a sample for science, I confirmed my colleague’s findings — it was basically perfect. Couldn’t ask for better pre-show brews!