Archive for May, 2019

No, we did not ask Mayor Tim Keller to wear that shirt, he did it on his own, and we approve.

Sometimes, to get what you want, it really is all about who you know. In our case, we just needed long-time friend-of-the-Crew Carlos Contreras’ help to land an interview with Mayor Tim Keller. After a careful negotiation of our schedules (mainly his), we were able to sit down with our Metal Mayor over a pint of Munich Dunkel at Dialogue Brewing to discuss all things craft beer in Albuquerque.

“Well, I think at a very surface level, it’s something we’re very good at,” Keller said of our craft brewing industry. “This is a pride thing for us. I forget the exact publication or ranking, but we’re top 10 or top 25 in all of them. I think in one we’re top five. That’s just a great thing for our city in general.

“I think there’s a lot of things that people take for granted, like our open space, our outdoors, and our culture. And, in some ways now, it’s our brewing scene. I think we’ve come to expect it (to always be there) and we don’t realize it’s actually something special.”

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Beer is on the move, beer and foods continue to be paired up, and it all ends with bingo.

The final weekend begins with a selection of eight events spread across town.

Ex Novo fans who haven’t made the trek to Corrales can try the beers at Nob Hill Bar & Grill. M’tucci’s fans who don’t want to cross the river can try some pairings at Dialogue. There are additional beer-and-food pairings with Marble at Jubilation, and at Canteen, plus a special tapping at Two Fools, comedy at Kilt Check, and fun and games at Tractor Wells Park.

Featured Event

Every day we will pick what we consider the biggest, most interesting, most unique event. This does not mean you should go to only this event and ignore the rest. All of them deserve your attention, but realistically, you can probably only attend a few. So we will make our daily pick, and you can either jump on it, or declare the Crew is foolish (we kinda are) and pick your own.

What: Ex Novo Brewing Taste the Rainbow. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 5-11 p.m. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: Taste any of six Ex Novo beers — Mass Ascension IPA, Cadillac Dreams Hazy IPA, Perle Haggard Pilsner, Cactus Wins the Lottery, Hello My Name is Indigo Montoya, The Most Interesting Lager in the World — in the friendly confines of NHBG.

Why you should go: Well, if you have not been to the brewery in Corrales yet, let this be your final preview of what’s to be found out there.

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Enjoy a collaboration, a couple beer dinners, and a whole lot more on Day Eight.

First, we are terribly sorry for that rhyming headline, but, we could not resist. Moving on …

As we inch closer to the second and final weekend of Beer Week, the number of events takes a jump today.

There are two beer dinners on opposite sides of town, a special collaboration beer release from two local breweries, a trip back in time at Tractor, and a whole lot of other unique events.

Featured Event

Every day we will pick what we consider the biggest, most interesting, most unique event. This does not mean you should go to only this event and ignore the rest. All of them deserve your attention, but realistically, you can probably only attend a few. So we will make our daily pick, and you can either jump on it, or declare the Crew is foolish (we kinda are) and pick your own.

What: Saison de Luxe Bottle Release. Where: Steel Bender Brewyard. When: 11 a.m. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: The brewers from Steel Bender and Ex Novo teamed up a few months back to brew up a brett saison that was then refermented with both house strains of brett and dry-hopped with Southern Passion hops from South Africa. There will be bottles for sale, plus a special food pairing available of grilled lengua served on a grilled polenta cake topped with salsa verde and served with calabacitas.

Why you should go: If you like the funk, we got a feeling this is your kind of beer. Plus, that food pairing looks delightful.

All the other great events

What: Upslope Brewing Sampling. Where: Jubilation. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Taste a number of Upslope’s outstanding regular beers and maybe some seasonal/specialty beers as well. Why you should go: Free beer, plus you can buy your favorites and take them home.

What: The Great Gatsby Edition of Gin & Jazz. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Tractor celebrates the roaring 20’s with special Prohibition era beers and cocktails, with live music from Le Chat Lunatique and Eddie Brewer and the Manic Episodes. Why you should go: Go old-school and enjoy some classic drinks and jazz tunes.

What: Bell’s Brewery Tappening. Where: O’Niell’s Heights. When: 5-7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: It’s a summery beer takeover with Official Hazy IPA, Hopsolution Ale, and Pooltime Ale on tap. Why you should go: Enjoy some Bell’s on the patio and avoid all that rush hour traffic.

What: Special Charity Event. Where: The County Line. When: 5-9 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Free live music as part of the summer music series benefitting Meals on Wheels, with food and beer specials. Why you should go: Chow down on some BBQ while helping a charity.

What: Odell Brewing Pint Night. Where: Billy’s Long Bar. When: 5-7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Hammer Chain Fresh Grind DIPA will be among the featured Odell beers on tap. Why you should go: If you are an Odell fan, this event is for you.

What: Pints & Paintbrushes Night. Where: Canteen Taproom. When: 6 p.m. Cost: $30. Details: Host Carisa Otero will lead you in this fun paint night, with one pint included along with all of your materials. Email canteentaproom@gmail.com for reservations, as this one is limited to 20 patrons. Why you should go: Show off your artistic side while enjoying some delicious beer.

What: La Cumbre Beer Dinner. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 6-9 p.m. Cost: $40. Details: La Cumbre is teaming up with NHBG for a four-course beer dinner featuring Helles Lager, Boysenberry Brut, Strawberry Gose, and Brut IPA. Call NHBG at (505) 266-4455 to make a reservation. Why you should go: That’s a tempting price for a beer dinner, and those are some excellent beers to enjoy.

What: Mysteries and History Tour. Where: Casa Vieja Brewery. When: 6-9 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Come visit Casa Vieja and ask for a free tour of the 250-year-old building to learn more of its history. Then grab a pint and head to the patio for live music. Why you should go: Chill out in Corrales, because why not?

What: Toltec Brewing Dinner and Beer Pairing. Where: Toltec Brewing. When: 6:30 p.m. Cost: $40. Details: Toltec will have four special courses paired up with four beers. Email brewingteam@toltecbrewing.com to make your reservation. Why you should go: Another affordable beer dinner (it’s about time!) beckons if you are out on the westside.

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Got any questions, comments, complaints? Send them to nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com, or leave them here on our site, on Facebook, on Twitter (@nmdarksidebc), or on Instagram.

Enjoy yourselves out there, but please, do it responsibly.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Head over to Red Door today for a lecture on the impact climate change is having on the beer industry.

From shifting weather patterns to the decimation of wildlife habitat, potential concerns surrounding climate change are continuously being brought to light with new research. Now, two local researchers are working to determine the effects of climate change on the beer brewing process.

They will present their findings and discuss future directions in a lecture to take place from 6 to 7 p.m. today (Wednesday) at Red Door’s main brewery at 1001 Candelaria NE. There is no cover charge for this event.

The lecture will be presented by Drs. Asa and Mark Stone. In addition to being the only Advanced Cicerone® in New Mexico, Asa is also a Presidential Fellow and Brewing & Beverage Management faculty member at CNM, as well as a climate science and data analysis expert.

Mark is an Associate Professor of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering at UNM, a Registered Professional Engineer, and Diplomat of Water Resources Engineering, with expertise in climate change and resilience.

At the time of our communication, Asa said that the lecture title was in the process of changing and would read something like “Climate and Beer Brewing“ or “Impacts of Climate on Spontaneous Fermentation.“

Asa and Mark collaborated with Jean van Roy of Brasserie Cantillon, a traditional Lambic brewery in Brussels, and Adam Harbaugh of Lambic.info to investigate the impacts of climate change on the Lambic brewing process, which is highly temperature dependent, as well as its associated cultural heritage.

“We hope to elevate the audience’s appreciation for beer, the role of beer in society, and (the understanding of) how climate change is threatening the beer (not just Lambic),” Asa said.

The talk is the latest in the monthly Disaster Proof lecture series that began at Red Door in February. The lectures are presented in collaboration with The South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center and cover what can be done to prepare for natural disasters at the local and individual level. Previous topics included flooding, wildfires, and drought.

“It was always the plan to lead up to climate change and its effects on the beer industry for Beer Week,” Candelaria taproom manager Johnny Padilla said. “It will be a dive into the climate and how it affects things integral to our beer industry.”

Thanks to both Asa and Johnny for their insights on this interesting and educational event!

Cheers!

— Maureen

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 Truth or Consequences 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.

Dialogue Brewing won’t turn 3 years old until this fall, but the brewery owner and staff decided it was already in need of a makeover. This Saturday, that project comes to fruition with the Grand Re-Opening Party, starting at 4 p.m. Come check out the revamped interior, new food menu, expanded patio, and enjoy some live music from Silver String Band and The Porter Draw. There will also be a pop-up artisan market and beer specials, and the best part is there is no cost of admission.

Another weekend event to check out is the Passing the Torch Festival at Marble Downtown on Sunday from 2 to 8 p.m. This event benefits the New Mexico Academy of Rock and Blues, featuring some of its students performing in between sets by local music titans Eli Del Puerto Y Los Encantos, Red Light Cameras, Jenna Dunlap, The Moon Thieves, and Reviva. There will be live art, a special auction and raffle, and all sorts of fun for people of all ages, and again, no cover charge!

As a note about official Beer Week events, if they are taking place at a brewery or its taproom(s), we will still list them here, but for more details check out our daily previews that run through Sunday.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bombs Away hits the mark with S.A.F. Mango Sour. Bosque is singing some Sour Songs, while also bringing back the charity beer Pints for Polly (Blackberry Merlot Blonde), and Summer in Hallertau makes its debut in cans on Thursday. Boxing Bear introduces Mountain Pale Ale and Blood Orange Pale Ale. Canteen unveils Brewtus the Younger Brut IPA on Saturday. Cantero has its own Brut IPA on tap later this week.  Ex Novo already has two seasonals, Cadillac Dreams Hazy IPA and Czech Lager, on tap. La Cumbre brings back Mind Phoq and Extra Slice of Hefen, while also adding Nelson Brut IPA. Quarter Celtic brought back Mangose on Tuesday. Sidetrack has Cit Mo Mo Cit IPA and Upside Brown Ale on tap. Starr Brothers enjoys a Session Under a Mosaic Sky. Steel Bender will release Saison de Luxe, its collaboration with Ex Novo, on Thursday.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn has more Scotch Ale on tap. Rowley Farmhouse Ales moves on to Agent Scully – Season Two, Episode 8 IPA, while also bringing back Ab Initio (Berliner Weisse) with Merlot grapes added. Over in Los Alamos, Bathtub Row added a Cali Common. Further north in Red River, RRBC has Desperado Mexican Lager.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of May 27.

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No two options are alike on this seventh day of ABQ Beer Week.

As we move into the second half of Beer Week, variety is the spice of life.

Today’s events include the original beer-and-donut pairing, a special sampling/tasting, a tap takeover, a beer dinner, some beer trivia, and a special educational lecture. Add it all up and there should be something for everyone.

Featured Event

Every day we will pick what we consider the biggest, most interesting, most unique event. This does not mean you should go to only this event and ignore the rest. All of them deserve your attention, but realistically, you can probably only attend a few. So we will make our daily pick, and you can either jump on it, or declare the Crew is foolish (we kinda are) and pick your own.

What: Rebel Donut and Beer Pairing. Where: Tractor Four Hills. When: two sessions at 4-6 p.m., 6-8 p.m. Cost: $11.

Details: We covered this one in our Tractor events preview, but you need to buy tickets in advance for a pairing of four donuts and four beers. The pairings are Waning Wheat with French Toast, Cowgirl Coffee with the Maple Bacon, Sodbuster Pale Ale with Birthday Cake, and Triple Chocolate with Blood Orange.

Why you should go: Rebel makes some amazing donuts and they do their homework when pairing them with Tractor’s beers.

All the other great events

What: Steel Bender Tap Takeover. Where: M’tucci’s Market and Pizzeria. When: 11 a.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: As we mentioned in our Steel Bender events preview, there will be ETTU Brut IPA and Rosy Nosy in addition to staples like Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch and Skull Bucket IPA. Why you should go: M’tucci’s food alone should be enough to get you across the river, but throw in some SBB beer, and you can’t let bad traffic stop you.

What: Firestone Walker Tasting. Where: Jubilation. When: 4-6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Sample the finest bottled and canned offerings from the California brewery. Why you should go: Free beer, plus you can purchase your favorites and take them home.

What: Lecture on Hops and Climate in New Mexico. Where: Red Door Candelaria. When: 6-7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The latest in a series of education lectures at Red Door takes on the issue of climate change and how it will affect the brewing industry, from hops farms to water usage and more. We will have a separate preview later today. Why you should go: Grab a pint and learn something.

What: Brain Gang Trivia Beer Edition. Where: Canteen Brewhouse. When: 6-8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The popular trivia contest focuses on what’s in your pint. Why you should go: If you’ve ever considered yourself a beer expert, you might finally have an event that can prove it to everyone.

What: Founders Barrel-Aged Beer Dinner. Where: The Salt Yard, 6001 Osuna Road NE. When: 6-8 p.m. Cost: $30 (single), $50 (couple). Details: It’s a five-course dinner for a reasonable price. The beers are not all barrel-aged, but will include Solid Gold Lager, All Day IPA, Lizard of Koz, Nitro Rubeaus, and Backwoods Bastard. Why you should go: An affordable beer dinner? You gotta take advantage of this rarity with some delicious food paired up with Founders beers.

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Got any questions, comments, complaints? Send them to nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com, or leave them here on our site, on Facebook, on Twitter (@nmdarksidebc), or on Instagram.

Enjoy yourselves out there, but please, do it responsibly.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

It sure looks like a Blue Grasshopper. (Photo courtesy of Darlaina Chapman)

Over the weekend, the Crew was made aware that Blue Grasshopper had opened its third location down in the Wells Park neighborhood. This will eventually be home to their brewing operation, replacing the small space at the original taproom in Rio Rancho.

Located at Summer and Second Street (specifically 1401 Second NW), we took a very early look last year while it was still under construction. The taproom portion is now ready for business. AmyO talked to the general manager of the Westside ABQ location and found out that the total space amounts to about 10,000 square feet, with half of that for the taproom.

Visitors to the taproom told us that it has the same pizza-led menu, with a wood-fired oven in place. There are about 50 taps of beer from all around the state.

Owner Greg Nielsen sent us a message that the grand opening will be the weekend of June 8-9, after ABQ Beer Week is over. Until then, please enjoy these photos from two of AmyO’s friends who visited over the weekend.

Some nifty artwork already adorns the walls. (Photo courtesy of Darlaina Chapman)

The bar area around the pizza oven. (Photo courtesy of Brian Polansky)

There is plenty of space to move around. (Photo courtesy of Brian Polansky)

The stage area for live music. (Photo courtesy of Brian Polansky)

Looking from the bar toward the entrance. (Photo courtesy of Brian Polansky)

We will have a full story on the new site soon, once we are also done with Beer Week coverage. Thanks to AmyO for tracking down much of this info.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Image courtesy of Canteen Brewhouse

Editor’s note: AmyO actually wrote this story, but she was unable to set up a post with her byline on it, so we did it this way. Just want to give credit where it’s due! — Stoutmeister

Each year when the ABQ Beer Week event list comes out, I immediately start scanning to look for events that are a bit different, something that really stands out to me. This year, I landed on the Scholarly Happy Hour with Asa Stone at Canteen Brewhouse, which takes place today (Tuesday) at 6 p.m. This is before I even knew the details about Ms. Stone.

Friday night, I met with Asa and Canteen’s general manager Jamie Schwebach at a very packed Canteen Brewhouse. I was pretty excited because I had learned that Asa is a Level 3 Cicerone who instructs classes in the beer program at CNM. In fact, Jamie took Asa’s Beer in Society class at CNM and gave her very high praise.

A Cicerone is, for lack of better terminology, a beer sommelier. The advanced Cicerone status is very difficult to achieve. Asa is the only Level 3 in the state of New Mexico, and one of only 11 female Level 3 Cicerones anywhere. The total number of Level 3 Cicerones in the world stands at a bit over 100, she said.

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Take the cheese at Trator Westside, or pick from one of the other events today.

It’s a relatively quiet day by Beer Week standards, but that’s just fine, since for far too many of us it was back to the grind of work after the three-day weekend.

There’s a special beer release, a sampling of a new brewery’s packaged offerings, a different sort of beer-and-cheese pairing, a full beer dinner, a twist on your usual happy hour, and some fun and games with your beer. Take your pick of one or more and dream of next weekend.

Featured Event

Every day we will pick what we consider the biggest, most interesting, most unique event. This does not mean you should go to only this event and ignore the rest. All of them deserve your attention, but realistically, you can probably only attend a few. So we will make our daily pick, and you can either jump on it, or declare the Crew is foolish (we kinda are) and pick your own.

What: Beer and Grilled Cheese Pairing with Cheesy Street. Where: Tractor Westside. When: 5-8 p.m. Cost: $13.

Details: This fun annual event shifts taprooms from Nob Hill, where food trucks are no longer allowed by Tractor’s landlord, to the Westside location on McMahon near Unser. You get a tray of four specialty grilled cheeses paired with a flight of four Tractor beers. As a bonus, here are the pairings — extra sharp cheddar with Almanac IPA, ham-havarti-mustard with Haymaker Honey Wheat, American cheese-green chile-bacon with with New Mexican Lager, and raspberry cheesecake with Berry Cider.

Why you should go: Grilled cheese and beer. It should not be that hard of a sell.

All the other great events

What: Special Release of Mangose. Where: Quarter Celtic Brewpub. When: 11 a.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: QC went ahead and made a new batch of the popular mango gose. How popular? Well, the staff had none left quite a while before Blues & Brews ended on Sunday. Why you should go: Grab a pint with some lunch or dinner.

What: Ex Novo Sampling. Where: Jubilation. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Taste many of the new Ex Novo beers coming in cans to the New Mexico market, including Mass Ascension IPA and The Most Interesting Lager in the World. Why you should go: If we didn’t tease you enough with our Ex Novo preview, then this should really get you excited for the brewery’s offerings.

What: Rowley Farmhouse Ales Beer Dinner. Where: Farina Alto Pizzeria & Wine Bar, 10721 Montgomery Blvd. NE. When: 6 p.m. Cost: TBA. Details: Enjoy RFA beers paired with a delicious meal from Farina. Why you should go: One makes great, unique beers, and the other makes great food, so even though we’re a bit scarce on details, this one seems like a winner. — UPDATE: This event has been canceled.

What: Scholarly Happy Hour with Asa Stone. Where: Canteen Brewhouse. When: 6 p.m. Cost: $15. Details: We will have a separate full preview of this special event featuring the only advanced cicerone in the state. Why you should go: Get some education with your beer.

What: PuttSlope and Putt Putt Competition with Upslope Brewing. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 6-8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Join a mini-golf competition on the patio while enjoying the Upslope seasonal, Tea Shandy. You can win prizes and swag from Upslope, plus other beers will be on tap. Why you should go: Beer doesn’t always have to be serious, as this event will prove.

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Got any questions, comments, complaints? Send them to nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com, or leave them here on our site, on Facebook, on Twitter (@nmdarksidebc), or on Instagram.

Enjoy yourselves out there, but please, do it responsibly.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Get on out there this Memorial Day and enjoy yourselves without overdoing it.

After running ourselves ragged over the last four days, we all need a day to kick back a little. This is that day.

Whether you’re feasting, dancing, singing, or whatever else you feel like doing from the list below, have a great time out there.

Featured Event

Every day we will pick what we consider the biggest, most interesting, most unique event. This does not mean you should go to only this event and ignore the rest. All of them deserve your attention, but realistically, you can probably only attend a few. So we will make our daily pick, and you can either jump on it, or declare the Crew is foolish (we kinda are) and pick your own.

What: Memorial Day Bender Smoke-out. Where: Steel Bender Brewyard. When: 11 a.m. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: The good people at Steel Bender know that a proper barbecue is a holiday must, but they want to spare you the stress of cooking. Instead, come to the brewery, let the wonderful staff take care of you, and then gorge yourselves on smoked turkey legs, brisket, and hot links, with all the proper sides. Enjoy the full lineup of Steel Bender beers while also listening to the Dirty Brown Jug Band perform from 1 to 3:30 p.m. on the patio.

Why you should go: Have you seen the pictures that SBB has been posting of those turkey legs? This was an epic event last year, and it shall be again this year. Wear your stretchy pants.

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