Archive for February 20, 2019

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Congratulations to Sidetrack on three years in business! They will have plenty more beer in store for the year ahead.

Going into their fourth year, Sidetrack Brewing Company owners Dan Herr and Anne O’Neill have one main goal — making their beer even better.

To achieve that goal, they first had to acquire some new equipment, including a 7-barrel fermenter and an expanded walk-in cooler. Coming off a big year in sales, during which, Anne said, they struggled to keep up, these new items will help increase their production.

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Sidetrack’s shiny new fermenter, which they bought from Boxing Bear, will be ready to go within the next month or two.

Since Sidetrack doesn’t currently do any distribution or canning, 100 percent of its sales are out of the taps in house. This led them to expand their tap tower to 10 handles (previously six). In past years, there may have been two or three beers from other breweries flowing from those taps. Moving forward, they want their own beer to be featured. This will continue to include at least one, but usually two, regular cask offerings. Although it is a challenge to do, Anne said she hopes to “make it fun” and add new flavors like fruit to the cask beers.

With not much room to expand beyond their current footprint, Dan and Anne have to get creative with their use of the space by making these adjustments, along with smaller behind-the-scenes changes that most patrons probably won’t ever see or notice. All of the moves are aimed at bringing the brewery up to a more conventional system and improve the overall customer experience.

“We just open the doors and try to make the people who come in happy,” Dan said.

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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, 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.

Red Door became the latest brewery to can one of its regular offerings earlier this week. The Mother Road Mobile Canning team came to the brewery on Monday to package the Vanilla Cream Ale. It is now available at the brewery and the downtown taproom, as well as at select retailers. It was a nice present for head brewer Matt Meier, who is going on paternity leave for the birth of his first child. Red Door becomes the ninth local brewery to can one of its flagship beers. It is a crowded market, but it is nice to see a different style go into cans.

There are a couple of Mardi Gras-themed events this week as well that are worth checking out. Tractor Wells Park will again host the Desert Darlings for one of their Hops & Dreams on Friday night at 8, complete with a Bourbon Street theme this time around. We would also be remiss not to point out that the Darlings will be celebrating the birthday of one of their own, Shannon, with a dance party at Kaktus on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Back in Albuquerque, The 377 Brewery will host a Brazilian Pre-Carnival Party on Saturday night at 8. Bring your mask and prepare for a night of Brazilian music, food, and more.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bombs Away perks up with Java Nut Brown Ale. Bosque had a big tap turnover with Belgo Pale Ale, Peach ‘n Berry Sour, Map & Compass Pale Ale, Frostbit Wit, and Marahute Hazy DIPA now available. Boxing Bear is feeling feisty with Bulldog English IPA. La Cumbre rolls out Luck of the Draw DIPA in cans and on tap this Friday. Marble once again summons the Thunder From Dortmunder. Starr Brothers capitalizes on its soccer ties with 505 Reds – Liverpool Red Ale. Tractor lightens up with Wavey Hour Ale.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn marches forward with Royal Road Farmhouse Ale. Further north in Red River, RRBC brings back its Scottish Ale.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of February 18.

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