Here on this blustery Friday, it feels like a good time to stay indoors and catch up on some local beer news as we empty the notebook yet again.
Flix picks up four medals at Best of Craft Beer Awards
If there is a theme early on in 2019 to some of the beer competitions going around, it is that Flix Brewhouse has come to make a statement.
The brewery/movie theater, which makes all of its beers on premises in Albuquerque, earned four medals at the recent Best of Craft Beer Awards. Three other local breweries brought home another four medals, as well.
Flix earned gold in the Baltic-style Porter category with Darth Malt, and another gold in Belgian-style Witbier for Luna Rosa, which is a year-round beer. Flix also picked up a silver for James Blond in the Belgian-style Blonde Ale or Pale Ale category, and a bronze for Unbreakable Glass in the American-style Cream Ale category.
Those medals follow up a strong performance at the Beer Army Beer Wars last month. Congrats to Flix for making New Mexico proud again!
As for the other local winners, Sierra Blanca won gold for its Green Chile Cerveza in the Chili Pepper Beer category (that was how the competition spells Chili, so please don’t yell at us), and a bronze for Cherry Wheat in the Fruit Wheat Beer category. Rio Bravo brought home a silver for its Amber/ESB in the British Bitters category, while Abbey Brewing snagged bronze for its Monks’ Dark Ale in the English-style Mild or Brown Ale category.
Congrats to one and all!
New brewery updates: Things are moving again
The end of the partial shutdown has several of the pending breweries around town back on track. Here is the latest that we know about each.
- 575 Brewing: The first brewery in Alamogordo, at least in many years, is showing signs of progress. It will be located at 234 West 8th Street. The fermenters and other pieces of equipment are now in hand. You can keep track of the progress on Facebook.
- B2B Garden Brewery: After the closure of Lobo Beast 101, we were unsure of the future of brewing at B2B Bistronomy, but, lo and behold, this appears to be it. We really don’t know anything beyond the name, and that it will be located somewhere in the Northeast Heights (87110 zip code), but that is all for now. UPDATE: Thanks to an eagle-eyed friend, we now know that the location is 8338 Comanche Blvd., which is basically in the next complex of buildings just west of Poki Poki Cevicheria and the old Red Door taproom (for more on that space’s new tenant, scroll below).
- Black Snout Brewhouse: The brewery on the southeast corner of Menaul and Juan Tabo is moving along again since our first visit. Per a recent Instagram post (the only social media so far), the projected opening date is April 1. We will of course head back there to do a final preview in the weeks leading up to the opening.
- BLUE/Gang of Four: We still do not know the official name of this small brewery, which will be located at 208 Broadway SE, which is the east side of Broadway just south of Gold. The setup strikes us as fairly similar to Sidetrack, and should make for a nice neighborhood pub for anyone who does not want to go across the train tracks.
- Brew Lab 101: We already previewed the Rio Rancho-based brewery, and things are progressing over there. The brewing equipment has now arrived and construction continues apace.
- Ex Novo Brewing: The Corrales brewery is back on track after waiting out the shutdown. Hiring ads have now been posted for brewers and other brewery staffers, so things are moving pretty quickly for the local version of this popular Oregon brewery.
- La Reforma: Though it is not 100-percent official yet, it appears that Bosque Brewing will shut down its brewery and taproom on San Mateo, with this new Mexican-themed brewpub and distillery moving in after a renovation. We already got the scoop on La Reforma from co-owner John Gozigian, who is stepping down as NM Brewers Guild executive director at the end of March. Construction on Bosque’s replacement for that location, the Open Space project, is expected to begin soon.
- Looking Glass Spirits and Long Lost Brewing: We were contacted by a member of the ownership group of this forthcoming combo place, but contact was then lost before we could learn any details. Presumably it is a ways off and any conversations would be premature at this point. Per the pending license, it will be located somewhere in the downtown area (87102 zip code), but zip codes have been wrong more than once recently on the state license verification website. Still, it makes sense that this would be the rumored brewery moving into a property near Third Street and Slate.
- Public House 28: Though there is still no social media for this new brewery, located just outside Anthony, north of the Texas border and south of Las Cruces, it has joined the Brewers Guild already. We will keep an eye out for further details.
- Rail Brewery: We still have no concrete info on this Santa Fe-based operation.
- Turquoise Trail Brewing: More than a few of you have spotted the sign up on Central Avenue near Juan Tabo. I met the owner a few months ago at High and Dry, but he was not ready to chat just yet. We will endeavor to track him down and see how things are progressing.
There are also a few places that are already open which are trying to get a small brewer license, including B3-BBQ, Burgers & Beer in Las Vegas and Santa Fe Spirits. It remains to be seen if they actually plan to brew or if they are just looking for something other than a beer-and-wine license. A possible change to the definition of what constitutes being a small brewery could force their hand one way or the other (the same goes for existing places with licenses that do not make their own beer, such as the Taos Ale House and Glencoe Distilling near Ruidoso). UPDATE: We earlier listed Hollow Spirits as having a brewer license without brewing beer, but owner Frank Holloway just informed us that they have begun making some brews and putting those in barrels. He has our full attention now!
One already-open place that we do know will be making its own beer is Beer Creek Brewing on Highway 14 south of Santa Fe. The owners just picked up their brewing equipment in Arizona and are braving the bad weather to get it back home.
New offsite taproom updates: Things are also progressing
Just as it is with the full-fledged breweries, many of the off-site taprooms are back on track.
- Boese Brothers: Yes, they are opening another taproom, only this one will be in Los Alamos. Our man Reid has been on the lookout for exactly where they will be setting up shop in his backyard, but so far, he has yet to spot any signage.
- Boxing Bear: Per head brewer/co-owner Justin Hamilton, the taproom on Central in the old 5 Star Burgers will be opening in April, if everything goes according to plan. Therefore, our Look Back/Look Ahead Series article on Boxing Bear will wait until we get closer to opening day.
- Chili Line: Luke will have far more details next week in the Look Back/Look Ahead Series article, but we can confirm that the Santa Fe brewery is opening a taproom in the nearby town of Lamy.
- Desert Valley: We have not driven down that stretch of Wyoming lately to check on the progress, but for those that missed it, DV is taking over the taproom space vacated by Red Door at Wyoming and Comanche.
- Enchanted Circle: Just as the Angel Fire brewery posted pictures of construction underway at its first Albuquerque taproom, the pending license was mysteriously pulled, and has not been replaced. We are hoping this is just a paperwork/clerical issue, and things will be OK.
- Nexus Blue Smokehouse: The license is now active for Nexus’ take on barbecue down on Broadway, just south of Cesar Chavez. We can hardly wait to feast in advance of some of the upcoming New Mexico United and Albuquerque Isotopes games. We anticipate an official opening on March 1, if the Facebook page is to be believed.
- Quarter Celtic: Per the QC Facebook page, it looks like an April opening is also in store for this taproom, which is located on Juan Tabo between Menaul and Indian School.
- Picacho Peak: Word on the street in Alamogordo is that the Las Cruces brewery will open its first taproom sometime this year, though there is no pending license yet.
- Red Door: The taproom is nearly ready to go inside a bowling alley in Clovis, or so sayeth the RD staff I ran into in Los Alamos last weekend. Basically, the kitchen is up and running, now they just need final approval to start pouring beers, which should come in March.
- Tall Pines Beer and Wine Garden: The Ruidoso-based small brewery is looking to open its first offsite location in Alamogordo, which is suddenly a booming spot for craft beer.
Those are all the ones we know about for now. If there are more taprooms or new breweries coming, please drop us a line at email@example.com, or message us on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram.
For those willing to brave the cold later, please enjoy yourselves at the Science of Beer with Marble at Explora, or with the Desert Darlings at Tractor Wells Park, or wherever your beer adventures take you this Friday!