Well, hello, snow. Been a little while since we have all seen you at the lower elevations. Nice timing, by the way, since this Friday is the annual WinterBrew festival in Santa Fe, one of our favorite events of the craft beer calendar in New Mexico.
What makes this such a fun event? Well, take 700 beer geeks, pack them into the cozy confines of the Santa Fe Farmers Market at the Railyard, add in 18 local breweries bringing in a lot of specialty/seasonal brews instead of just the same old, same old, and watch the magic happen. The entire event starts at 5 p.m., but alas, it has already sold out, so if you do not have a ticket, then reading on might inspire negative thoughts of jealousy and resentment for those of us who did get a ticket in time.
For any first-time participants, here is a quick guide to what you need to know (scroll down if this is not your first rodeo):
- Where is it? The Farmers Market is a large building at 1607 Paseo de Peralta, just south of the Second Street Brewery Railyard Taproom. It is only a few hundred feet from where the Rail Runner stops.
- How do I get there? If you are coming from Albuquerque, you can either drive or take the aforementioned train. The latter leaves the Los Ranchos station (a convenient walk from Steel Bender) at 4:41 p.m., arriving at about 6 p.m. You will miss an hour of festival, but this is the safest way to travel. The train leaves for ABQ at about 9, when the festival ends. If you are driving up, please utilize a designated driver, or consider staying the night. There are some big beers on deck.
- What about food? This year, Second Street will be the official food vendor inside. We do recommend you eat a late, hearty lunch before the festival. No sense drinking on an empty stomach. If you do get hungry again or fail to have time to stop, Second Street has you covered with this menu: Jack Plane Porter mac and cheese ($5), BBQ pork belly chalupa with slaw ($6), green chile and Calabacita chalupa ($5), salted pretzel with queso ($5), rice and beans ($4). Dibs on the mac and cheese and the pretzel!
All right, now for everyone else, the most important question is probably what beers are on tap. Well, a post-Festivus miracle happened, and we got the updated lists from all 18 attending breweries. Please take note that Bow & Arrow and Rowley Farmhouse Ales will have some timed releases throughout the night. As always, these lists are subject to change by the breweries.
- Beer Creek: Bootlegger Blonde, Tres Amigos Pale Ale, Rowe Mesa Red Ale, Picture Rock Porter, plus maybe one or two more
- Blue Corn: Honey Wheat, Key Lime Occupy, Black Thought IPA, Barley Rye Wine, Gatekeeper IPA
- Bosque: Visual Acuity (DDH Hazy IPA), Endless Summer, Fresh Start, Bosque Lager, Elephants on Parade, New Leaf Hard Seltzer (Pineapple Variant)
- Bow & Arrow: True Aim Scotch, Cactus Flats All-Mosaic Hazy IPA, Neon Pie Pastry Sour, Denim Tux Bluecorn Lager, Darkest Cheer Imperial Hazelnut Stout (6 p.m.), Dark Mesa Quad (7 p.m.), Desert Revival Peach (8 p.m.)
- Boxing Bear: Apple Bear Cider, Headlock Hazy IPA, Chocolate Milk Stout, Uppercut IPA, Nuts ’n Nibs (Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter collab with Starr Brothers)
- Canteen: High Plains Pilsner, Dark N Lusty, Smashcade, Wee Bit Loco
- La Cumbre: Elevated IPA, A Slice of Hefen, Malpais Stout, Gilded Age Porter, Terminally Chill Hazy IPA
- Lauter Haus: Hosehead IPA, Foley’s IRA, Nitro Coffee Brown Porter, Nitro ESB, plus maybe one more
- Little Toad Creek: Lucky Toad Lager, Copper Ale, Grumpy Old Troll IPA, Pendejo Porter
- Marble: Double White, Desert Fog, Thunder From Dortmunder, Sympathy for the Pork Chop
- Rowley Farmhouse Ales: available all night—Agent Scully Season 3 Episode 2 IPA; timed releases—5-6:15 p.m. Dreams of Cats (Foeder-aged Belgian strong golden ale), 6:15-7:30 Bright Earth (Berliner weisse with raspberries, blueberries, dark cherries), 7:30-9 Sin Barreras Colkegan BA with cocoa nibs, coconut and wasabi, and Sin Barreras Colkegan BA with Madagascar vanilla beans and Guatemalan coffee
- Santa Fe: Social Hour, Pepe Loco, 7K IPA, Java Java
- Second Street: Skookum, Skookum Single Barrel, Agua Fria Pilsner, Jack Plane Porter, 2920 IPA, Sloppy Sloth IPA, Idaho 7 Pale Ale, Pivotal IPA, Boneshaker
- Sidetrack: Full Steam Ahead, South Side Pale Ale, Proletariat Pilsner, Scottish Ale, Duke of Earl on cask
- Sierra Blanca: Whiskey Stout, Peanut Butter Porter, Alien IPA, Green Chile Cerveza
- Spotted Dog: Doppelbock, Yorkie Pale Ale, Ice Dog (Cranberry/Blood Orange Sour), Equinox Farmhouse
- Toltec: Cactus Warrior, Mosaic Pale Ale, Project DUNK, Shaman Stout
- Tractor: Luna de los Muertos Russian Imperial Stout, Pressure Drop DIPA, Dunkelodeon Munich Dunkel, Blood Orange Cider, Cranberry Ginger Cider
This is a great opportunity for people from the ABQ area to try breweries like Lauter Haus (Farmington), Little Toad Creek (Silver City), Spotted Dog (Mesilla), and the Santa Fe collective of Beer Creek, Blue Corn, RFA, SFBC, and Second Street (though the latter two do package and distribute many of those beers).
Whether you like ’em light, dark, hoppy, malty, low ABV, high ABV, or all points in between, this is a wonderful festival. We hope to see a lot of familiar faces Friday night!