Beer Notes: Taproom boom, more awards and one big party

The new Hops Taproom in Los Ranchos is ready for its grand opening this weekend.

Now that I am back at work (yay, money), the beer news is starting to pile up, so let us get to a few pertinent items.

First, though, in a moment of self-promotion, I will be giving a free talk about the history of brewing in Albuquerque this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at the Special Collections Library, which is located on the northwest corner of Central and Edith, directly across from the Artichoke Cafe. I will have copies of Albuquerque Beer: Duke City History on Tap for sale ($20, cash only), and this talk will include the story of how an Old West shootout impacted the first Southwest Brewery in 1884.

Moving along …

Here a taproom opening, there a taproom opening

We already chronicled how the third Blue Grasshopper location at Summer and Second Street opened its doors during ABQ Beer Week. It was far from alone among new offsite taprooms holding soft openings.

As we also reported in the past, Hops Brewery’s taproom in Los Ranchos at 7226 N. Fourth Street seemed awfully closed to opening up. Well, lo and behold, it has opened its doors, and will have a grand opening party today (Friday) from 3 to 11 p.m. There will be live music, a special food truck, and the first appetizer of the day (one per table) is on the house. I stuck my head inside last weekend and took some of the photos here. There are 20 taps (eight Hops beers, 12 guest taps of beer and cider), a cozy patio out front, and some nice decor inside. The parking lot is not that large, so carpool or get a ride if you plan to attend.

That’s a fitting interior for the Hops taproom in Los Ranchos.

Enchanted Circle Brewing of Angel Fire also opened its taproom at the northwest corner of San Mateo and Osuna. Located in the shadow of Cliff’s Amusement Park, this location has beer and food. One of us will try to stop by for a more formal preview story soon.

In other opening news, we now have confirmation that Thirsty Eye Brewing will hold a soft opening on June 15. The brewery is located at 206 Broadway Blvd. SE, and the Crew will be getting an advance preview this coming week, so look for that story as well.

La Reforma Brewery is set to open June 17. The Crew will be part of a private, invite-only preview night a few days early (we really do get invited to all the best places these days), so there will be a preview of that as well.

Considering that Rio Rancho’s Brew Lab 101 has a food truck listed for June 18 and a musician for June 23, we feel pretty confident that it will soon announce a soft opening, at least.

We are still expecting possible opening dates this month for Black Snout Brewhouse and the Quarter Celtic taproom on Juan Tabo, but there is nothing official on either.

In one bit of pending small brewer license news, the Hausammann Brewhaus on Central finally has a pending license. Its Instagram page says to expect an August opening.

That’s good. We will need a break by then.

New Mexico breweries nab medals from NABA

The North American Brewers Association recently handed out its annual International Beer Awards, with five local breweries combining for six medals.

Bosque Brewing took silver in German-Style Pilsner with Bosque Lager and in American-Style IPA with Bosque Style IPA.

Boxing Bear snagged a bronze with its heavy hitter, Chocolate Milk Stout, in the Sweet Stout category.

Flix Brewhouse skated its way to silver with the H-E-Dubbel Hockey Sticks in the Dubbel category.

Nexus beamed down a silver medal with 8 of 9 Blood Orange American Wheat in the Fruit Beer category.

Tractor also medaled in the Sweet Stout category, with Mustachio Milk Stout taking silver.

Congratulations to all the brewers involved.

A quarter century of beer requires a celebration

The oldest brewery in Albuquerque is set to throw an epic 25th anniversary party on June 15. Canteen Brewhouse is now the second oldest brewery in the state (after Santa Fe Brewing) since Eske’s closed its doors in Taos.

This party will kick off at 4 p.m. and run until 11. It will feature live music, food trucks, and all sorts of special beer releases, including Citranova on tap and in cans. Since it will be taking over the Canteen parking lot, your own parking options will include up and down Aztec, but let’s face it, this is another event where you will need a ride.

Keep an eye on the event page on Facebook for more announcements.

That is all from us this time. If you know of any craft beer news, please share it with us on social media or at


— Stoutmeister

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