Once again, we kick off 11 days of craft beer madness around Albuquerque venues big and small, featuring local and regional breweries.
There are a lot of big events over the opening three days of Beer Week, so pace yourselves accordingly. The hardest thing will be picking which events to attend. At least it will be for us.
Today was a good example, as we were torn between Marble’s Beer, Cheese & More and the Tractor/Rowley Farmhouse Ales Sour Hour as our featured event. We finally had to pick one, but rest assured, we plan to hit up both events.
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, Cheese & More. Where: Marble Heights. When: 5 p.m. Cost: $25, buy advance tickets here.
Details: This was such a tough choice today, but we went with this classic, which got moved from the downtown taproom this year. As in the past, you get five 7-ounce pours of Marble beers paired up with different gourmet cheeses provided by Whole Foods Market, plus some additional flavorful bites to liven up your palate.
Why you should go: The Marble and Whole Foods Staffs do their homework on this one, so expect some perfect pairings of some tasty treats.
All the other great events
What: Bosque Brewing and Isotopes Beer and Cheese Tastings. Where: Albertsons Market at Juan Tabo and Comanche. When: 3 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Try beers paired with cheese. Why you should go: Free beer!
What: Santa Fe Beer and Cheese Tasting. Where: Albertsons Market Ridgecrest. When: 3 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Try beers paired with cheese. Why you should go: Free beer!
What: Sierra Blanca Beer and Cheese Tasting. Where: Albertsons Market at Coors and Montano. When: 3 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Try beers paired with cheese. Why you should go: Free beer!
What: Tractor Beer and Cheese Tasting. Where: Albertsons Market at Academy and Tramway. When: 3 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Try beers paired with cheese. Why you should go: Free beer!
What: Alaskan Brewing ABQ Beer Week kickoff party. Where: Bubba’s 33. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: There will be plenty of Alaskan beers on tap and some Alaskan swag on hand, plus a slew of special giveaways. Get a Blues & Brews package with two VIP tickets, a hotel stay at an Uptown hotel, dinner at Bubba’s, and a roundtrip Uber ride to the festival. Why you should go: There’s potential free stuff plus beer and food.
What: Bell’s Brewery tasting. Where: Jubilation. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Try some of Bell’s finest packaged beers. Why you should go: Free beer, plus you can buy your favorite(s) to take home.
What: Firestone Walker tasting. Where: Stone Face Liquors. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Try some of Firestone Walker’s finest packaged beers. Why you should go: Free beer, plus you can buy your favorite(s) to take home.
What: Laid Back Lager Jogger 5K with Heart and Sole Sports. Where: Canteen Brewhouse. When: 5 p.m. Cost: $5. Details: Run a 5K and get a pint of Laid Back Lager for the low price, plus the top three finishers are eligible for other beer prizes. Le Chat Lunatique will also be performing. Why you should go: Work off some of those beer calories and then … drink more beer!
What: Sour Hour with Rowley Farmhouse Ales. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The runner-up in the day’s best events, in our opinion, is this annual team-up between RFA and Tractor. Order a tray of some delicious sours from the two breweries, or get individual pours of some of your favorites. A special Alex McMahon performance will follow at 8 p.m. as he does a live score of Jesse Littlebird’s film Sights & Sounds. Why you should go: It’s a lot cheaper Lyft/Uber ride to Wells Park than to Santa Fe, so get some RFA sour goodness down here while you can, while also supporting Tractor.
What: Beer 101. Where: Casa Vieja Brewery. When: 6:30 p.m. Cost: $20. Details: Owner/brewer Gary Socha will be teaching a course on classic beer styles, with samples provided. Why you should go: Learn a little about the history of beer, while enjoying beer.
What: Surf & Turf Beer Dinner. Where: Blue Corn Brewery in Santa Fe. When: 6:30 p.m. Cost: $50, call (505) 438-1800 for reservations. Details: Yes, it’s in Santa Fe, but this still should be worth the drive up for some delicious food paired up with two new collaboration beers. Why you should go: We’ve been to a Blue Corn beer dinner (or several, in Luke’s case), and it is always worth the trip.
What: Drinking Songs Themed Karaoke. Where: Red Door Candelaria. When: 8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Halfway Decent Karaoke is hosting a night of beer-themed songs for you all to belt out to the heavens. Why you should go: After a day of drinking, no one is going to care how good, or bad, of a singer you are, so get over there!
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Enjoy yourselves out there, but please, do it responsibly.