Flix Brewhouse sneaks past Rio Bravo to claim 2020 Stout Invitational

The 2020 Stout Invitational was straight fire.

Flix Brewhouse’s very good February continued on Saturday afternoon. The brewery/cinema followed up three medals at the Best of Craft Beer Awards by taking first place in the fifth annual New Mexico Brewers Guild Stout Invitational, once again held at Bathtub Row Brewing.

Mama’s Kitchen, a milk chocolate stout with cinnamon, cocoa, coffee, coconut, and rum, led the field with 39 votes from the three sessions’ worth of stout lovers. It was No. 6 on the tray, but number one overall thanks to its cookie/dessert profile.

“We’re absolutely flattered and blown away to have won the 2020 Stout Invitational,” head brewer Will Moorman wrote in a text response today (he was not in attendance Saturday). “It’s an honor to be regarded so highly in a state full of world-class breweries. We’re looking forward to 2020 and hopefully bringing more heat to this year’s competitions.”

Coming in second with 30 votes was a special edition of Rio Bravo’s Grab em by the Putin Russian Imperial Stout. This batch was aged in rum barrels and is not yet on tap at the brewery, but it will be in the coming months.

Hey Flix, here’s your trophy.

The full list of beers, with their tray number in parentheses:

  1. Flix Brewhouse Mama’s Kitchen (#6) 39 votes
  2. Rio Bravo Rum Barrel-Aged Grab em by the Putin (#1) 30 votes
  3. Boxing Bear Standing 8 Stout (#11) 21 votes
  4. Bathtub Row Chocolate Rhapsody (#7) 16 votes
  5. Blue Corn Imperial Stout (#5) 13 votes
  6. Tumbleroot Oatmeal Stout (#3) 10 votes
  7. Palmer Export Stout (#15) 9 votes
  8. Three Rivers Imperial Stout (#2) 8 votes
  9. Blu Dragonfly Dawson Stout (#14) 7 votes
  10. Red Door Mail Order Russian Imperial Stout (#13) 7 votes
  11. Canteen Russian Imperial Stout (#4) 5 votes
  12. Nexus Lush & Aphotic Stout (#9) 5 votes
  13. Red River Powder Day Imperial Stout (#10) 5 votes
  14. Steel Bender Brickie American Stout (#8) 4 votes
  15. Rowley Farmhouse Ales Sin Barreras Imperial Stout with Raspberries (#12) 3 votes

My personal top two came down to Three Rivers and Rio Bravo, with the former getting my vote after much internal debate. Overall, it was a strong field, with nary a bad beer in sight. Some of the stronger reactions to the folks around me were to what turned out to be the Bathtub Row and Rowley entries (if you did not like raspberries, you were not fans of these two, which were very fruit-forward), and to the Powder Day, for those not a fan of the powerful Belgian yeast flavor.

The event ran smoothly, even in the tight confines of Bathtub Row. The weather outside was nice enough to accommodate everyone from the earlier sessions who struck around to wait for the winner to be announced at 6 p.m. Kudos to Mother Nature, Brewers Guild executive director Leah Black, the collective of Guild members who volunteered their time, and to the staff and customers of Bathtub Row. If you have not been to the Stout Invitational yet, get yourself to the ‘Tub in 2021!

It was a tough call to pick a winner out of this field.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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