Archive for December, 2018

We sure have fun writing about beer. We hope all of you enjoy reading about it. And, drinking it, of course.

A whole lot of ups and downs happened in the New Mexico craft beer scene in 2018. We wrote about a lot of it, but not all. So apologies in advance if there are things we missed in this here recap of the year that was, particularly outside of the ABQ and Santa Fe areas. If there was a theme to 2018, it was the proliferation of off-site brewery taprooms, as well as a few of those taprooms shutting their doors.

January

Our first new brewery opening of the year was a big hit.

The year got off to a bit of a slow start. There were a couple of festivals, with the Taos Brewmasters Festival making a rare foray into this month (it went back to December by the end of the year, making it the rare twice-in-a-year fest), plus of course WinterBrew was rather awesome again up in Santa Fe. The most popular story of the month with all of you was when Rio Bravo gave us a sort of mea culpa over issues of beer quality and organization. The month concluded with a soft opening for High and Dry Brewing. Then there was the opening of Tap That, a new beer bar concept, at least for ABQ.

February

We got our first look inside Lava Rock, before some major challenges arose for the new brewery.

It is always good to start a month with some medals, as four local breweries combined to win nine at the Best of Craft Beer Awards. The Crew handed out a seventh different winner in our seventh annual Stout Challenge on Super Bowl Sunday, with Canteen’s Dark ‘n Lusty taking home the honors. We got our first look inside Lava Rock Brewing on the Westside, but could not anticipate all the problems that the newcomer would have in getting its brewhouse hooked up and running (as the year ends, Lava Rock is still brewing only on a small pilot system). The biggest news of the month was La Cumbre announcing its forthcoming Westside taproom. As the month ended, the National IPA Challenge was underway.

March

John Bullard sported the finest in hard-hat fashion for a first tour of Bosque North.

After four straight NIPAC wins by New Mexico breweries — La Cumbre in ’14 and ’17, Bosque in ’15 and ’16 — there would be no “one for the thumb” as Canteen’s Hop Baller did not advance to the finals. There was more tough news as Kaktus shut the doors on its Nob Hill taproom, but the brewery staff still sounded optimistic about the future of their Bernalillo operation. The rest of the month featured a lot more good news than bad. Quarter Celtic brought home medals from a competition in New York. We were able to officially share the news that Ex Novo Brewing was coming from Portland, Oregon, to Corrales, the hometown of owner Joel Gregory. Another fun day required a hard hat as I got to tour the under-construction Bosque North with John Bullard. Up north, Luke got to take a tour of the new Santa Fe Brewing taproom downtown.

April

 

Brewer Kaylynn McKnight was all smiles as Toltec Brewing neared its opening date.

For whatever reason, this is usually a slower month, perhaps as we all brace for the start of festival season in May. It was not that quiet this year, however, as we got our first look inside the forthcoming Toltec Brewing, which would officially open in May. We also got to meet the new man in charge at Red Door, where Matt Meier took the reins as head brewer. Of course, the biggest event every April usually revolves around Marble’s anniversary party, but this year was the 10th, so boy did the staff go big. I got to tap into more of that beer history I love so much, while also getting the take of some of the longest tenured staff members on what a decade of Marble meant to them.

May

Tumbleroot opened its doors to customers and lots of live music.

We knew this was going to be a big month when the good folks at Founders sent us some KBS ’18 to drink and review, and boy, did we go off the rails again. From there, we expected big things from the biennial World Beer Cup and … oh, yeah, that happened. It still stings almost eight months later. There would eventually be redemption, but first we saw the long-awaited opening of Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery in Santa Fe, as well as Southwest Grape and Grain moving to a bigger, better space near Candelaria and Carlisle. Bosque went and made us all smile with the announcement of the Restoration Pizza project. Then, of course, our time and livers were dominated by the annual fun that is ABQ Beer Week. Not everything went to plan *cough, Battle of the Beer Geeks (RIP), cough* but it was the usual great variety of fun events and tasty brews. Oh, and Franz Solo and I did our stupidest/greatest one-night metal adventure when we skipped out in the middle to go see Insomnium in Denver, but that is a story for another time.

June

Red River Brewing opened big in the northern ski town.

Even as Beer Week came to a close, there was more good news on the medal front as the locals cleaned up at the North American Beer Awards and Burning Can. Broken Trail did good and teamed up with several other breweries for its annual St. Baldrick’s Day fundraiser. There were a pair of taprooms opening in town as Tractor Westside and Ponderosa’s El Vado location were finally unveiled. Outside of the metro area, Luke ventured up to the impressive Red River Brewing for the first time, while Franz Solo and I took a short road trip to Grants to hike the El Malpais and visit Elkins Brewing.

July

Blue Corn brewer Paul Mallory hoisted the NM IPA Challenge trophy.

It turned out that St. Baldrick’s event was the last of its kind at the original Broken Trail location, as big changes were underway there that included taking out the taproom space. We got some bad news, however, when Monks’ Corner announced it would shut down by the end of the month, ending its short-lived run in downtown. Bosque took us inside its new business offices and warehouse, while also helping us preview the final round of the IPA Challenge at Bosque North. Speaking of the NMIPAC, it was another year with some issues at the preliminary round, but things went much smoother at the Taos Mesa Taproom and Second Street Rufina. It all concluded with Blue Corn taking home the trophy for the second time in its history.

August

The La Cumbre staff put the final touches on the taproom before its long-awaited opening.

After all that happened up to this point, I had earned a vacation, so off I went to visit friends (and breweries) in Portland and Eugene. The news did not stop while I was away, however. AmyO got us our first look inside the forthcoming Cantero Brewing. It was good news for Flix, Santa Fe, and The 377 at the US Open Beer Championship. The 377 then capped a very good month with a third-place finish in the American cask competition at the Great British Beer Festival. It was the fifth brewery from New Mexico to medal in the past seven years. Up north, Second Street unveiled its first lineup of canned beers, while Santa Fe prepared to celebrate its 30th anniversary. Back in the ABQ area, Steel Bender talked about its upcoming expansion, while Quarter Celtic announced its first off-site taproom. Oh, and it was finally time for La Cumbre Westside to open, to much fanfare and happy folks on that bank of the Rio Grande.

September

La Cumbre’s Jeff Erway chews on another GABF silver medal for his Malpais Stout.

As the first wonderful hints of autumn began to fill the air, it was not the most wonderful news around town. Red Door was forced to shut down its Northeast Heights taproom due to a dispute with the landlord. Needing some positive news, we got our first look inside the future Blue Grasshopper brewery/taproom coming to Wells Park. Then it was time for Cantero Brewing to open its doors at last. After all that happened here, the Crew hopped on a plane to Denver for the Great American Beer Festival. As per usual, we spent too much time sampling beers and not enough time interviewing people, but in the end, we were able to drag ourselves to the awards ceremony, where seven of our breweries brought home seven medals, including the first gold medal in the 19-year history of Turtle Mountain. The month ended with a marvelous Marblefest, unless you were like Brandon and I and instead went to see Amorphis, Dark Tranquillity, Moonspell, and Omnium Gatherum in Denver. The metal was not well-timed in regards to beer events this year.

October

Another new brewery is on its way to the Northeast Heights.

Just when we figured things would start to slow down, they did not. Santa Fe Brewing will again be an anchor tenant of the forthcoming Tin Can Alley, the sequel to Green Jeans Farmery. Then came the sad, but not unexpected, news that the Duel ABQ Taproom had closed its doors. Crew writers took solace at the ninth annual New Mexico Brew Fest and Red River’s Oktoberfest. We finished the month with our first look inside the future Black Snout Brewhouse at Menaul and Juan Tabo.

November

Sam, left, and George Boese proudly opened their second location.

Apparently, this month was meant to give thanks for taprooms, because the news was dominated by off-site locations. Red Door announced its plans to open a taproom in a Clovis bowling alley. The Rock Canyon Taproom near Tijeras, now owned by Lizard Tail, got a makeover and opened its doors again. Finally, Boese Brothers went to the farthest corner of the Northeast Heights for its new taproom.

December

The sizable Ex Novo production brewery building is nearly complete in the center of Corrales.

The year concluded with news about, you guessed it, yet another taproom. Boxing Bear went into detail about the process of selecting the former 5 Star Burgers location on West Central for its first off-site location. While most of our month was dedicated to the ongoing Look Back/Look Ahead Series, we did get a chance to see the significant progress at Ex Novo Brewing in Corrales. Otherwise, the winter slowdown went into effect even before the temperatures dropped like a rock and the sorta-kinda-blizzard hit. Oh, what a year it was.

Stuff coming in 2019 that has us excited

Well, we know Ex Novo is coming soon, and that Boxing Bear taproom should be fun for people who are averse to crossing the river for beer. Black Snout is moving along, and other breweries are en route as well. From Brew Lab 101 in Rio Rancho to the just announced Looking Glass Spirits & Long Lost Brewing, there should be plenty of new to check out in the metro area. Outside of ABQ, we are overdue to visit places to the north like Colfax Ale Cellar in Raton and Blu Dragonfly in Cimarron, or to the south with places like Lost Hiker in Ruidoso, Guadalupe Mountain in Carlsbad, and the forthcoming Icebox Brewing in Las Cruces (among many, many others). Throw in all of our favorite annual events — WinterBrew on January 11, our Stout Challenge on Super Bowl Sunday, ABQ Beer Week in May, the NMIPAC in July, and GABF in October — and it should be another fun year. We hope you all enjoy the ride as much as we do, but fear not if you cannot get out enough, we will keep you all in the news about the beer scene once again!

Cheers and Happy New Year!

— Stoutmeister and the Crew

If you’ve had trouble in the past finding the turn off for Ale Republic, well, now you have no excuse for missing it.

Driving north on Highway 14 in the east mountains, I immediately noticed a change in front of Ale Republic, my destination for this entry in our annual Look Back/Look Ahead Series. Instead of turning right by the post office into a nondescript entrance, there is now a bright turquoise grain hopper with a brewery sign, just south of the other entrance, announcing the new way to approach the building.

Entering using this access presents the building head-on rather than from the side, which is much more impressive. Two and a half years after Ale Republic’s opening, I have seen several changes, and this was only the first change just since my last visit a few months ago. There is now a covered patio in the front, with plans to add gas heaters. On the north side of the building, a stage is taking shape for live music outside. It will be covered in the same corrugated metal roof style as the patio.

Well, look at that, a food menu at Ale Republic!

The biggest news, however, is the addition of an on-site kitchen. I was excited to be able to grab lunch there with my beer, so I ordered a Cubano sandwich (with house-picked jalapenos added; a perfect compliment suggested by our “beerista”) and a cup of green chile chicken stew. Both items were outstanding. The only nitpick I can even bring up is that the side pickle was not very pickled compared to the jalapenos, making it taste a little like a side of cucumber. A very small slight.

Greta, our beerista, told us that in the front of house, Ale Republic is showcasing a featured artist each month, with an art show each first Friday. Anyone who is interested can submit their work. The art really warms up the taproom space and helps connect the brewery to the community.

The taproom is a cozy place.

Business partners Patrick Johnson and Zach Gould sat down with me to discuss these new improvements and what they foresee happening in the upcoming year. They said they have pushed expansion pretty rapidly on a shoestring budget. They have decided not to take on any investors, so they do what they can when they can. This week sometime, they are expecting another brand-new arrival (Patrick is a new dad, as well). A wood-fired pizza oven will be installed by the new year. If the rest of the food is any indication, this will be a great reason to make the short drive from town.

Zach said he is hoping to do special bottle releases on a regular basis this coming year. Also, they hope to get some taps going in Albuquerque. The addition of new brewing space in the building behind the taproom, and quite a few new fermenters, will help Ale Republic accomplish those goals. Patrick and the brewing team are still using a 3-barrel system, but can turn out the beer faster with their additional equipment. The installation of a tankless water heater provided the ability to almost constantly brew without needing a hot liquor tank. They are brewing two-to-three times per week and are keeping more styles available on tap. Hopefully, in 2019, they will move to a 10-barrel system, they said.

Patrick has a little more room to play in these days.

The large amount of space and high ceilings in the new building will allow for larger tanks, and Patrick said they are in the market to purchase some. I also asked him about the water at their location, because I know it is a big issue for some east mountain businesses. Patrick said it used to be an issue for them as well, but they changed the location for well extraction, and their particular source is perfect. One hundred yards away the water is not good, Patrick said. At Ale Republic, it comes straight out of the well pretty much pH neutral. It is always being tested and does not need to be treated. As far as they know, they are the only ones using untreated water right from the ground.

Ale Republic plans to launch its 2019 music series with a big party on 4/20. Yes, it is very intentional. It falls on a weekend this year, so it is just perfect. When they acquired the back building, they moved the lot line quite a bit and the property is much more spacious. We walked most of the property. Long-term plans include a beer garden back there in the next few years. It will be great because there are mountains and hills on all sides.

Is this not a reasonable place to park?

If you thought you knew Ale Republic, you might want to come back for the expanded beer selection and the thoughtful menu from the new kitchen. There is a chance for snow this week, something that turns the already lovely east mountains into a magical destination.

Wintry cheers!

— AmyO

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 eight breweries, one in Los Alamos, one in Moriarty, and one in Red River 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.

This coming May 3, the day before my birthday (natch), Slayer will rain a final metal onslaught upon Albuquerque, with Amon Amarth, Lamb of God, and Cannibal Corpse (we hope) in tow. As the metal giants head into a well-earned retirement, the Crew had some advance knowledge of their tour stopping here, so we have planned out a tribute well in advance. Of course, if we are sharing it here, it means a tribute in the form of beer. In collaboration with our good friends at Red Door, this Friday marks the arrival of Raining Blood, an imperial red ale created with an obscene amount of hops. Franz Solo and head brewer Matt Meier designed this recipe to get us all through this season in the abyss. Put together your war ensemble, get in touch with your inner skeletons of society, and meet us south of heaven. Just don’t forget your dead skin mask!

On the new beer front this week, there are a only few options to check out, as one might expect between the holidays. Bow & Arrow is putting Cosmic Arrow Brett Saison in bottles this Friday. Boxing Bear brings back an old favorite in Standing 8 Stout, while Murkules double dry-hopped hazy DIPA makes its debut. Marble dreams of warmer days with American Pilsner. Nexus unveils its version of a Brut IPA, while this week in the King’s Keg Series, a special new small-batch beer available only at the brewery, is Pomegranate Pop-Tart. Rio Bravo hopes to have a fresh batch of Blurred Lines New England-style IPA on tap early next week. Sidetrack listened to our calls for more Buzz Bomb with, well, you guessed it.

Up in Santa Fe, things are quiet this week.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of December 24.

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The sizable Ex Novo production brewery building is nearly complete in the center of Corrales.

It is almost a Merry Christmas for craft beer lovers living in Corrales. They can look to the heart of the village and see their own craft brewery rising up.

Ex Novo Brewing has gone from concept to almost-completed structure at 4895 Corrales Road. The 10,000 square-foot production brewery has taken shape in a lot on the west side of the street, across from the fire station and Corrales Bistro Brewery.

This will be the second Ex Novo, as the original is in Portland, Oregon. Owner Joel Gregory, however, is a Corrales native, and he wanted to bring his brewery home. Joel invited me to visit the construction site on Thursday afternoon.

“The last time we talked, all I had was dirt,” Joel said, referring to our first interview last year over beers at Steel Bender. “Now look at it.”

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Whether in Denver at the Great American Beer Festival, or in Santa Fe at the State Legislature, or in Albuquerque at multiple events, Brewers Guild executive director John Gozigian is one of the hardest working people in our local scene.

New Mexico Brewers Guild executive director John Gozigian and the board of directors had a busy, but fairly by-the-numbers year in 2018. That figures to change a lot in 2019, both in terms of events and at the legislative session in Santa Fe.

I sat down with John over lunch at Nexus last week to recap how the past year went and what is to come when the calendar flips in a few weeks for our annual Look Back/Look Ahead Series. While the more immediate changes with events will affect the beer-loving crowd more right away, the more lasting changes for the entire industry will come when the state legislature meets in January.

“It’s going to be a busy session for us,” John said. “We’ve had an economic turnaround in the state, where our state government is not starved for funding. (That) means that we can go after some of the issues that have been in our back pocket for many years that it just had not been an opportune time to address.”

The first change the breweries hope to make is in the state excise tax. New Mexico breweries currently pay more than their counterparts in any other neighboring state, save for Utah. The current excise tax setup will end in 2023, but the Guild hopes to negotiate new terms now.

“We’d like to make that permanent so our small breweries can continue to benefit from a lower excise tax rate that allows them to grow,” John said, “And, it’s also a tax rate that’s in line with our surrounding states, as opposed to being double, or triple, or quadruple what our counterparts pay. So that’s on the agenda.”

A lower tax will allow the breweries to continue to grow, add more staff, and continue to make what is currently a sizable, positive economic impact upon the state. There are no guarantees, however, that it will pass in this session, even with state revenues in the black for the first time in a long time.

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It was another big, busy year for Tractor Brewing.

It would be perfectly understandable for everyone at Tractor Brewing to just take it easy in the coming year. After a year that saw so many new developments it was almost hard to recall every single one, no one could blame the staff if they just decided that they could rest on their laurels. That will not happen, of course, because Tractor will always continue to push forward.

Brewmaster/co-owner David Hargis and marketing and events director Jeremy Kinter joined me for a lengthy recap of all that happened in 2018, and what is to come in 2019.

“There’s 2018, it was a busy year,” David said. “Moving forward for us in 2019, we want to continue to innovate and get new things out there. But, I think a lot of effort is going to be taken in looking at how we do things, how we can always do them better, and taking a moment to just reflect on how big 2018 was, and continue to execute that well. From putting the right people in place, to finding out what different people’s skills are.”

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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 seven breweries, one in Los Alamos, one in Moriarty, one in Red River, 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.

In these final days before Christmas, make sure to take some time out from the madness and enjoy a pint or two. Plus, you can always shop at the breweries for gifts besides beer, while still drinking beer. There are some additional holiday-themed events and a few more special beer releases in package this week. Starting with the events, Marble Westside is hosting an Ugly Sweater Contest as part of their Throwback Thursdays with DJ Wae Fonkey on Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. Rio Bravo is hosting a fundraiser for the UNM Children’s Hospital with Jason Mraz on Thursday starting at noon. The Desert Darlings return to Tractor Wells Park on Friday at 8 p.m. for the Nightmare Before Xmas Edition of Hops and Dreams. Up in Santa Fe, there will be special Christmas-themed music events on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. with The Shiners Club and Blues Revue Band at the original Second Street location. Then on Saturday, Second Street Rufina hosts Hip-Hop for the Holidays Volume 5 at 8 p.m.

New beers in package this week include Two Shades of Haze in 4-pack cans at Bosque, Barleywine in bottles at The 377, and Skookum Barleywine in a double-can package (one regular, the other barrel aged) at Second Street Rufina. Just keep drinking what you’ve got, you’ll make room in the beer fridge.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bombs Away introduces a new Winter Lager. Canteen defies the season with some Grapefruit Exodus IPA, then goes big on Friday with St. Bob’s Imperial Stout. Cantero (welcome to the listings) sticks with the season with Gingerbread Stout. Dialogue goes old-school with some Abbey Ale. Nexus brings back a Crew favorite in the Beam Me Up Scotty. Quarter Celtic goes light with Fiona La Blonde and dark with Irish Handcuffs. Rio Bravo pours some dessert in the form of a new Chocolate Stout. Steel Bender is feeling German again with Die Dunkel Seite.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn has a fresh batch of its IPA Challenge-winning Gatekeeper IPA. HoneyMoon (welcome to the listings) has two new kombucha on tap in Camellia Blanco and Camellia Flor. Tumbleroot went ahead and put Orange Chocolate Stout on nitro. Further north in Red River, RRBC taps its Bourbon Barrel-Aged Bad Medicine Honey DIPA.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of December 17.

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You can also get Resilience IPA at Canteen, Steel Bender, Rowley Farmhouse Ales, and starting Friday at Quarter Celtic!

Gonna keep this edition short on my part due to time constraints. As mentioned a while back in The Week Ahead in Beer, several of our local breweries have joined others around the country in making Resilience IPA, a Sierra Nevada recipe, to help the victims of the terrible fires in Northern California. For every participating brewery, 100 percent of all proceeds will go to the charities helping the fire victims.

I snagged a pint at Marble Heights on Monday night, and it was quite the delightful beer. It recalls a time when IPAs still had a piney element opposite the citrus fruit sweetness that now dominates the genre, whether hazy or not. It is, in a sense, an old-school IPA, but it has more than enough malt backbone to keep it from drying out completely. It should have just the right amount of hops to please the crazier hopheads, while not going overboard for those who prefer a more drinkable IPA.

Marble is far from alone in having it available locally. A batch already went on tap before that at Rowley Farmhouse Ales in Santa Fe. Cloudcroft Brewing will have a batch on in the near future. Elsewhere in the metro area, Canteen and Steel Bender have their batches going on tap today (Tuesday). Quarter Celtic’s batch should be ready Friday. We encourage everyone to visit their personal favorites among the breweries and make sure to get at least one pint of Resilience. Heck, you can even try them from brewery to brewery and see if you can pick up on any slight variations in flavor. We would be curious to know what others find.

As for the rest of the Crew, a couple of them checked in with their recent beer adventures from outside of Albuquerque (way outside, in one case).

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The original Broken Trail location is just for production now, so make sure to hit up the Uptown Taproom or the Green Jeans Taproom.

Unbelievably, here we are again at the end of another year. As part of our annual Look Back/Look Ahead Series, I pretty much literally corralled Matt Simonds, Broken Trail owner (and mad scientist, perhaps?), to ask about the latest goings on for his brewery/distillery. As usual, things, they are a-changing.

Previously, we told our readers that the main production facility was going to be just for that — production — and there would no longer be a taproom at that location. That part of the plan has come to fruition. It’s been a bit melancholy for me, because of so many fond memories of hanging out there. Matt feels it, too, but he is staying plenty busy trying to keep up with the massive increase of work on the manufacturing side. Quite simply, they absolutely needed the space.

The bar area at the original location is now used for storage.

The bar is gone. It is in pieces in storage, hopefully to be repurposed in some way or perhaps several ways. The front room is now jam packed full of pallets of cans. The back area holds tanks as far as the eye can see.

The reason for the change is pretty damn exciting. Matt is now the producer for a nationally-distributed vodka-based beverage. That has become a major part of his production and brings in a revenue stream that allows him to focus on important issues, like making more of his own bourbon. Fear not, ABQ, he is still cranking out the craft beer and spirits for all of us to drink/purchase at the Uptown and Green Jeans locations (spirits only at Green Jeans).

At the taproom they always had as many as three guest taps on, but now they are excited to be basically 100-percent Broken Trail beer. They do still carry Tractor’s cider and they love working with them, Matt said. He has no plans on getting in the cider game.

The tanks are full pretty much all the time now.

It seems each year Matt has to significantly change something. Recently, a major change has been on the marketing front. He has a spiffy, newly-designed website done by professionals, he says, instead of doing it himself. There are big changes happening with packaging innovations and labeling. He is coming up with new ideas in the beer cocktail arena. People, this is a guy who is always trying something new. He is a chemistry guy and so much of it is a science. I decided to start calling him Matt “What-the-Hell” Simonds. Because, whatever he comes up with next, he is not afraid to give it a shot. Literally.

In fact, as far as the coming year goes, Matt said we should be looking for something pretty awesome packaging-wise in 2019. Right now, though, we have to wait for more information. He loves to keep me in suspense, I think. The other thing Matt is hoping for in 2019 is a bit of sanity, like maybe a day off here or there …

That’s a lot of packaging.

Matt said he wants to streamline the processes, get the beer really dialed in, do small experimental batches, and do more barrel aging. His bourbon is really killer right now, so the possibilities for barrel aging beer are getting better and better. He let us try his latest bourbon (Barrel #4) and it has no burn. It is just that smooth, and definitely up there with the best I have tasted. I can certainly see why he is so proud of it!

I asked about future taproom plans. Matt said his take on it is if a situation arises that is absolutely perfect, he would want to jump on it. But, he is not specifically looking.

In March, look for a Broken Trail beer/spirit/food pairing at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. That should be one tasty adventure.

Cheers!

— AmyO

Get festive with merch gifts from your favorite breweries, including Marble.

As we did the last four years, the Crew has put together a brewery merchandise guide for all of you just in time for your last-minute holiday shopping. Hey, it might be nice to just buy people beer, but sometimes they need more in life, like cool shirts, hoodies, growlers, and other specialty items carrying the logos of their favorite breweries. To make all of your lives easier and save you time in terms of searching the web or driving all over the place, we compiled the local breweries’ merch lists into one place. Now you can find out what is where, what is online, what it all costs, and any other additional info you might need.

The breweries are listed in alphabetical order, starting with the ABQ metro area breweries, then the breweries from outside the metro listed below that (those from both regions that sent us info, at least). We will be updating this list throughout the holiday season, so if you do not see a brewery here, once their info arrives, we will share it. Thank you to all the brewers, owners, and other key brewery staffers who helped us put this together. Whether via email or in person, it was greatly appreciated!

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