As one of the more event-focused breweries in town, Tractor Brewing has long been a prominent participant in ABQ Beer Week. While there are not quite as many events on the calendar as years past, the brewery is still hosting eight events split between three of its four taprooms. To get a handle on all of them, I sat down with marketing and events director Jeremy Kinter.
First up is a returning event Thursday at 5 p.m. at Wells Park, an annual favorite among local beer geeks.
“We’re kicking it off again with Sour Hour with Rowley (Farmhouse Ales),” Jeremy said. “We’re featuring five beers from them. Two I think are (new) releases. It’s shuffled around quite a bit this year, based on what they have and what they want to feature here. It’s very eclectic. It’s the most flavorful Rowley Farms menu we’ve had. There’s some really cool sours there.”
Brewmaster/co-owner David Hargis later added that Tractor will also have some sours available, which you can purchase collectively on a tray or as individual pours. The full menu is being kept a surprise until Thursday.
That night will also feature a unique musical performance from Alex McMahon, who will be doing a live score of a film by Jesse Littlebird called Sights & Sounds. That will run from 8 to 10 p.m.
Wells Park will then host another out-of-town brewery on Friday at 5 p.m.
“Then, Friday the 24th, we have T or C Brewing doing a tap takeover,” Jeremy said. “They’re going to feature three of their beers and they’re going to be selling specialty bombers as well. I’m excited about those two, as well.”
We await the list from Truth or Consequences, but we are definitely hoping that the Truth Serum Barleywine will be among the bottles for sale.
The entertainment portion of the evening will feature a doubleheader of sorts, starting at 8 p.m., with a Magic Hour with Dave Grimm, followed by The Desert Darlings performing Hops & Dreams: Practical Magic Edition, at 9.
“They were awesome, because I always like to put them in Beer Week and I felt like this was a good match,” Jeremy said.
The first weekend will conclude Saturday at 8 at Wells Park with Under Covers, featuring number of local musicians performing a variety of covers ranging from Bob Dylan to Aimee Mann and so on, Jeremy said. Among those performing are Still Closed For Repairs, Bellemah, JD Nash Harding, and Austin Morrell.
Tractor will participate in Blues & Brews at Sandia Casino on Sunday afternoon, before taking Memorial Day off. The events resume Tuesday.
“The next event is Tuesday the 28th, and that one is the Beer and Grilled Cheese Pairing with Cheesy Street,” Jeremy said. “This year we’re doing it at the Westside (taproom). Basically, we’re no longer allowed to have food trucks in Nob Hill.”
No more food trucks in Nob Hill? Oh, man, that will be a story for another day, but it is a definite bummer, with Jeremy noting “it’s hurt us.”
Back to happier news, especially for those with a sweet tooth, as another popular event returns the following day.
“Wednesday the 29th we have the Rebel Donut and Beer Pairing, and that one’s going to be out at Four Hills,” Jeremy said. “It’s the second year we’re doing it. We’re one of the first ones to do that. We did it last year and it was a huge, huge hit.
“We sold out of pairings like an hour before we were supposed to end. So that’s why we’re ticketing/presaling it, so we can really get an accurate number of how many people are going to come. But, I’m sure as you’ve seen now, everyone is doing a donut-and-beer pairing.”
The cost is $11 for four pairings, and you can get your tickets online here.
As for the last three events, all will be back down at Wells Park.
“Thursday the 30th, we have Gin & Jazz: The Great Gatsby Edition,” Jeremy said. “We’re going to be featuring Prohibition era cocktails and beer, and also music from Le Chat Lunatique and Eddie Brewer and the Manic Episodes.”
That will kick off at 5 p.m., while the last two events will kick off at 8 p.m.
“Then on Friday the 31st, we’re doing a Drag Queen Bingo: Pride Edition,” Jeremy said. “Of course that’s always a riot. Pride is the following week, so we’re doing it the week before so we’re not over-saturating events. I like to do a Drag Queen Bingo during Beer Week.
“Then last, but not least, on Saturday, June 1st, we have Prism Bitch Unplugged. So we’re going to do an MTV Unplugged style. We’re going to put them in the center of the taproom and people’s seats are going to be all around them. That’s presale only. I’m doing 75 seats. It’s only $5.”
With the band going on tour on the East Coast this fall with Built to Spill, this could be a great opportunity to catch Prism Bitch before they explode onto the national scene. Tickets can be purchased online here.
One event that will not be back this year is the Battle of the Beer Geeks, which the Crew was a part of in past years. We agreed that its time had passed.
“There’s some new things, as you saw,” Jeremy said. “We’re not doing Battle of the Beer Geeks. We tried to make it (work), it’s just hard. It would have been logistically impossible, so I’m glad we didn’t do that one.”
Overall, it is a nice slate of varied events, which is what we have come to expect from Tractor. A big thanks to Jeremy for squeezing an interview into his busy schedule.
We will see many of you at Sour Hour and the T or C Brewing Tap Takeover, plus probably a few other of these events.