Once again, the Blackest of all Fridays returns to Santa Fe, THIS Friday, in fact. And no, I speak not of the unholiest of all financial sacrifices to consumerism. I speak of “Black-est Friday,” the annual celebration of independent craft barrel-aged Stouts at Rowley Farmhouse Ales.
Each year, special and rare kegs of the richest and chewiest barrel-aged darkness are gathered by the good folks at Rowley Farmhouse Ales, and made available for you, seekers-of-the-void, to choose from and experience in all their glorious dysphoticism.
“We started this a few years ago,” chef and co-owner Jeffrey Kaplan said. “This will be our third year. We decided that we couldn’t in good conscience, pour anything owned by Anheuser-Busch, and AB-InBEV. And, everybody’s I’m sure aware that Goose Island, which pretty much invented (the hype surrounding) big barrel-aged stouts, releases Bourbon County Stout, their famous barrel-aged stout on Black Friday, around the country, every year. And, we decided that we’re not going to carry that. We’re going to try to represent everybody else’s craft barrel-aged stout beer, and have kind of a big stout tap takeover.”
In their first year, RFA had nigh a dozen stouts. Last year they had 19. Typically, to appease the non-stout drinkers, they also keep a lager, a cider, and an IPA available, for those who wish to remain above ground, just on the outskirts of oblivion.
This year, Rowley has confirmed in their collection 18 big barrel-aged stouts, including a special release of their own Colkegan Barrel-Aged Stout, as well as a vanilla bean variant.
“We also have some other fun stuff,” Kaplan added. “We have a vertical we collected from Marble, a ’17 and an ’18 of their Imperial Barrel-Aged Stout. We have La Negra from La Cumbre. We have the only Barrel-Aged Narwhal from Sierra Nevada to come to the state.”
The full list, as of now:
- Upslope Lee Hill Series Coffee Stout
- Stone Mykel’s Odd
- Great Divide Barrel-Aged Yeti
- Firestone Walker Mole Merkin
- Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin ‘17
- Firestone Walker Maple Parabola
- Marble Imperial Stout ‘18
- Marble Imperial Stout ‘19
- Odell Brewing Co. Bull Proof ‘18
- Odell Brewing Co. Barreled Treasure
- Rowley Farmhouse Ales Sin Barreras
- Boulevard/Modern Times Restless Nights
- Boulevard 30th Anniversary
- La Cumbre La Negra
- Sierra Nevada Barrel-Aged Narwhal
- Rogue Rolling Thunder Stout
And, there shall be some other special stouts of which I’m not at liberty to profess just yet. But, rest assured, every stout that you encounter shall be devilishly delicious, for all the beers have been properly stored and cellared to the beer-geekiest of standards.
“We collect them all year long, and we have a properly temperature-controlled cellar,” John Rowley assured us.
There is a VIP ticket available for the event, which, very similar to many rare beer festivals across the country, allows early access to the event. If you really wish to try one of the rare kegs before it blows, which they often do before the end of the day, $10 will grant you an extra hour to do so. VIP passes are available through RFA’s website.
RFA has also struck a dark deal with the motel next door, The Lamplighter, if my source is true. If one but mentions Rowley Farmhouse Ales, a discount shall be provided to any and all pilgrims of the abyssal plane.
Who: Void Seekers, stout lovers, life-adjacent aficionados, fans of craft beer and the like.
What: A festival of rare and delicious craft barrel-aged stouts, poured and raised up in one toast, in one voice — one giant middle finger to the Big Bad Brew.
Where: Rowley Farmhouse Ales, the Abyss, and 1405 Maclovia St., Santa Fe, NM 87505
When: This Friday, from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; 10:30 a.m. with VIP pass.
Why you should go: Stouts oh Holy Diver. Barrel-Aged Stouts. And many. Get thee there.
To stout season! Cheers!
For more #CraftBeer info and @nmdarksidebc news follow me on Twitter @SantaFeCraftBro