Archive for March 12, 2019

Get thee to Los Ranchos for new beers, food specials, live music, and more this weekend!

As we noted in our Look Back/Look Ahead Series article on Steel Bender, the second anniversary bash is this weekend, and to say the Brewyard is going all-out would be an understatement.

Friday through Sunday, there will be events, beers, and more for everyone to enjoy. Here is the breakdown of everything going down under the lights in Los Ranchos.

Friday

The actual anniversary day kicks off with the release of Daydream Belizer, a Belgian ale with a collaborative local twist. Steel Bender teamed up with Eldora Chocolates and Pour Vida Coffee to add, you guessed it, chocolate and coffee to the beer. The SBB staff put it best in describing this amazing elixir on Facebook:

“Featuring a Chateau Special B malt base and a yeast strain derived from a classic trappist ale, Daydream Belizer boasts a big and deliciously fruity Belgian nose. The cold-pressed, medium-roast Guatemalan coffee from our friends at Pour Vida Coffee introduces a smooth, nutty character. And, the 100-percent Belize Mayan Mountain Chocolate from our nearly-next-door-neighbors Eldora Chocolate provides the perfect amount of chocolate sweetness.

“After spending a couple of Fridays tasting coffee and chocolate (those were some great afternoons), we landed on the right combination where the late additions to the fermentation complement each other while allowing the character of the Belgian yeast to hold strong in aroma and flavor.”

Next time, we gotta figure out ways to get ourselves invited to these sorts of tastings.

In addition to the beer, one of our favorite local bands of the non-metal variety, Le Chat Lunatique, will take the Murphy Stage from 6 to 8:30 p.m. There will also be a limited release of anniversary baseball sleeve shirts for sale, and all weekend long you can get 20 percent off all winter merchandise. The way the weather is behaving of late, you may still need some warmer clothes and accessories for a while longer.

If you happen to be in Santa Fe on Friday, you can always stop by Tumbleroot for the Team Fox Pints for Parkinson’s Fundraiser, featuring Steel Bender’s The Village Innuendo among the available beers to help in this good cause.

Saturday

At this point, should we just rename this day as Ciderday? SBB will be releasing two of its ciders in bottles for the first time.

CE-1: Cider Expedition features nothing in the 750mL bottles but nine pressed apple varieties and one pear variety, all harvested from orchards at the base of the San Juan Mountains, along with water and yeast. You can also get this one on draft if you want to sample it before taking a bottle or two home.

Los Ranchos Cider actually debuted at the Magnificent Cider Fest last year. All the apples were harvested locally, with nothing else in the bottle but water and yeast. This one is rather limited, so it is available in bottles only.

The kitchen staff is preparing a Brie en Croute with housemade green chile jelly that is made to pair perfectly with the ciders.

If the brewery looks too crowded, you can also snag some SBB beers at the Southwest Coffee & Chocolate Fest at the Lujan Expo Center on the State Fairgrounds this Saturday and Sunday, starting at 10 a.m. both days. Naturally, Daydream Belizer will be among the beers poured there.

Sunday

St. Patrick’s Day on a weekend should automatically mean we all get Monday off work, but since we do not, pace yourselves. This is a very good day to take advantage of Lyft/Uber.

New on tap will be Mulvaney’s Irish Red on nitro, plus Blue Bullet Stout will available for $1 off all pints throughout the day. The kitchen is whipping up a Gammon Boxty, and corned beef & cab egg rolls with horseradish sauce.

The Gershom Brothers will provide the music from 5:30 to 7:30.

That should just about tide us all over for the weekend, right? Have fun and be safe out there.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The future looks bright at Steel Bender Brewyard.

With regards to Steel Bender Brewyard and their amazing staff, sorry for the late write-up! Moving on with said group in mind, we move into our next entry in the annual Look Back/Look Ahead Series.

I was surprised, and extremely lucky, to get four major influences within the Steel Bender world to sit and talk with me about their ideas, goals, and successes over the past year, along with their insight in how they plan on taking their brand into the 2019 market with what could be called a steady, but reactive hand. Situated along Second Street, just south of the Paseo del Norte intersection, this brewery has had landmark success since inception, reminiscent of the early decade boom era for the craft beer industry.

This coming weekend, they will be celebrating their second anniversary. We highly encourage everyone to stop in and participate in the anniversary and holiday events, a full list of which is now available in a separate story.

For my visit, I was greeted by marketing director Shelby Chant and her husband and co-owner Ethan Chant, and we were soon joined by sales manager Adam Auden and head brewer Bob Haggerty. We grabbed a table in the south hall section of the restaurant, an area lined with oak of various intent, which made for a laid-back and easy backdrop to go over the year’s proceedings. To start things off, we dove into a review of 2018 in what I described as “in a nutshell/highlight” sense.

“Last year we were shocked at how busy we were, especially how quickly,” Ethan said. “Like opening up this room (south dining area), we weren’t supposed to, and expanding the kitchen, the amount of vessels we got — that was a shock. So we thought this year, 2018, it would mellow out or stabilize, and it’s been the opposite. Everything in terms of here has increased 20 percent from month to month compared to last year, and that’s been steady in terms of our sales.”

It has not just been the sales on site, as Steel Bender has already jumped into the packaging-and-distribution game.

“Our distribution, that has taken (off) so much quicker than we anticipated,” Ethan said. “And, we are really happy about and trying to navigate those waters, especially (with) who our distribution team is, which is Bill Hymen and Adam Auden, neither of (whom) has done any distribution or sales in that capacity. So that was a huge learning experience. I think that was actually really beneficial for us, because they are beer enthusiasts, and not necessarily salespeople, so they are able to communicate and explain our product really well and be able to understand different markets.”

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