The Week Ahead in Beer: Fiesta times are here again and fests are taking off

Stoutmeister will have you covered for all things new in beer and brewery events every week.

In case you have not been paying attention, the Balloon Fiesta is back starting this Saturday. So watch out for increased traffic, more (than usual) distracted drivers, folks going the wrong way on one-way streets around downtown, etc. It also means some of our breweries will be more crowded than usual, so take note if you were planning to visit joints near the park, like La Reforma and Boxing Bear Firestone (and check their social media for updates on changes in hours and the like). In the end, though, this is a great chance for our misbegotten city to shine in front of lots of tourists from around the world. So be a little more patient, a little more kind, and there are no wrong answers when it comes to telling people which local breweries to visit while they are here. Just give them good directions, please.

New Draft:

Bosque tapped Scotia Light, which is pretty much like it sounds, a lighter version of the popular Scottish ale. Canteen added more Pop’s Pils and Goofy Foot Hazy IPA. Ex Novo found more of its collaboration with Portland’s Great Notion Brewing, Thiccbit Pastry Stout, to put on tap. Gravity Bound will tap a to-be-named creamsicle sour made with black lime and raspberry on Friday. Ponderosa recently tapped Oktoberfestbier and will have Hop-Mosa on tap later this week. Sobremesa went Beneath the Mango Tree with its new seasonal. Steel Bender has more Pineapple Express Pale Ale on tap, plus Saturday will see the release of Hey Man, Nice Shorts, a pale ale in tribute to hard-working staff member Bill Heimann. Thirsty Eye has its Oktoberfest on tap, with Good Gourd (Pumpkin/Cranberry Ale) returning this Friday. (UPDATES) Boxing Bear tapped a small batch of Nitro Barrel-Aged Oso Otoño only at the Firestone taproom. Gravity Bound added Route 66, a sour with raspberries, vanilla beans, lemons, and dried black limes. La Cumbre rolled out one powerful pale ale, Nelson Strong. Marble tapped #ENDALZ, a blueberry and Meyer lemon wheat ale, with $1 from every pint sold going to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Up in Santa Fe, Tumbleroot tapped Smoked Porter. Over in Los Alamos, Bathtub Row will tap Owl Peak Blue Corn Lager on Thursday, a collaboration with Owl Peak Farm in La Madera.

New Package:

Gravity Bound has released Your Place or Stein? (Oktoberfest) in cans and on draft, and will release the NM IPA Challenge winner, Quick Take Hazy IPA, on Saturday. Harmon Lane will release cans and draft of its Pumpkin Porter on Thursday. Marble will soon release White Out in cans and on draft, though the exact release date is TBA. Ponderosa has cans of Italian Pilsner back in stock. Steel Bender will have Alewitch Pumpkin back in cans and on draft this Tuesday. (UPDATES) Canteen is releasing its annual charity beer, Pink Warrior Fruited Wheat, in cans and on draft this Saturday. La Cumbre collaborated with Colorado’s Comrade and Cannonball Creek to create a new IPA, Outstanding Achievements in the Field of Excellence, which will be available in cans and on draft this Friday. Marble released cans and draft of Up, Alt & Away, an altbier made to celebrate 100 years of KKOB. Chile Line rolled out Ladron, a barrel-aged barleywine, in cans.

Notable Events:

Everything is packed into one day, so good luck with your choice(s).

Saturday — The New Mexico Brew Fest returns to Villa Hispana at the state fairgrounds from noon to 6 p.m. Tickets are available online, and we will have a full preview later this week.

The ABQ Uncorked & On Tap event takes place at the Rail Yards from noon to 4 p.m. Tickets are $25 and available online. Among the breweries in attendance are Boxing Bear, Ex Novo, Marble, Red Door, Rio Bravo, and Thirsty Eye.

Rio Bravo its hosting its own Oktoberfest celebration with live music and a German-inspired food menu. The exact times are TBA.

Oktoberfiesta is back at Santa Fe Brewing HQ from 1 to 9 p.m. Live music, food, beer, and more, and yes, we will have a preview of this event, too.

Oktuberfest kicks off at Bathtub Row at 3 p.m., with music from Partizani Brass Band, food from Los Alamos Co-op Market

The most unique event of the weekend is Noir at the Bar II at Tractor Wells Park at 7 p.m. A group of writers will read bursts of original crime fiction to the audience, a sort of literary reading meets social gathering, and it’s all free.

We will also have a separate preview this week of all the Balloon Fiesta-centered events at participating breweries in the metro area. Most of those start Saturday morning timed with the first mass ascension.

Quick News Bits:

Non-event news is (so far) non-existent this week. Got a tip? Send it to

Albuquerque metro area breweries

Boese Brothers Brewery 

Bombs Away Beer Company — Featured seasonal: Hazy Chain DIPA V.14 (7% ABV, 100+ IBU), made with Ariana, Kohatu, and Talus hops.

Bosque Brewing Company — Featured seasonal: Scale Tipper IPA (7.6% ABV, 90 IBU), the hopppy seasonal favorite is back on draft at most taprooms.

Bow & Arrow Brewing — Featured seasonal: Oktoberfest (5.2% ABV) was the favorite of all the Oktoberfests sold at Marblefest, according to several friends of the Crew, and it’s still available in cans in addition to being on draft.

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — Featured seasonal: Bear Knuckle IPA (7.7% ABV, 80 IBU), the four-time winner of the NM IPA Challenge is back on tap and in cans.

Brew Lab 101 Beer & Cider Company — Featured seasonal: Kiwi-Mango GoGo (5.7% ABV, 8 IBU), a fruited gose, as you might have guessed.

B2B Garden Brewery 

Canteen Brewhouse — Featured seasonal: Oktoberfest is tasting mighty good this year, and you can take it home in six-pack cans, too.

Casa Vieja Brewery — Featured seasonal: Sharpe Dressed Man Chocolate Vanilla Stout is like two desserts in one.

Cazuela’s Seafood & Mexican Grill 

Differential Brewing — Featured seasonal: Red Corn Rye Lager (4.8% ABV, 16 IBU) is a summer lager with a nice rye bite to it.

Downshift Brewing at Outpost 1706 — Featured seasonal: Gratitude Session IPA (4.2% ABV, 40 IBU), brewed to support local charities, right now $1 from every pint sold goes to the Shelter Fund of the Community Foundation of Lincoln County.

Enchanted Circle Brewing Taproom 

Ex Novo Brewing — Featured seasonal: German Overalls (5.8% ABV), the annual Oktoberfest lager release is out on draft, so grab the last of the cans while you still, um, can.

Flix Brewhouse  — Featured seasonal: FlixBrühaus, their version of an Oktoberfest.

Gravity Bound Brewing — Featured seasonal: Jacinda (7% ABV), a hazy IPA brewed with four New Zealand hops, Riwaka, Pacific Sunrise, Nelson Sauvin, and Motueka.

Harmon Lane Brewing at Southwest Grape and Grain — Featured seasonal: Fall APL (4.5% ABV, 28 IBU), the latest entry in the State 47 Lager Series.

High and Dry Brewing — Featured seasonal: Rayon Slacks (7.3% ABV, 60 IBU), a single-hop IPA with Mosaic, and one amusing name.

Hops Brewery — Featured seasonal: Killer Bee Pale Ale (6.3% ABV, 23 IBU), this beer is made with actual honey from killer bee hives in Southern New Mexico.

JUNO Brewery

Kaktus Brewing — Featured seasonal: Helles Lager, which is pretty much the closest beer they have to being a year-round offering, because the regulars in Bernalillo demand it all the time.

Kilt Check Brewing 

La Cumbre Brewing — Featured seasonal: Thunderbolts & Lightning (4.6% ABV, 40 IBU), a Bohemian pilsner that will totally make you start singing that certain song. You know the one.

La Reforma Brewery — Featured seasonal: Miss Mari’s Snappy Pils, so named because it has a nice bite to it from the Citra, Lemon Drop, and Saphir hop bill.

Late Shift Lager House at The Craftroom — Featured seasonal: Hop Villain (6.8% ABV, 102 IBU), a beastly IPA that is a change of sorts from the lager-dominated lineup.

Lava Rock Brewing 

Lizard Tail Brewing — Featured seasonal: 007 Strong Scotch (10.4% ABV, 30 IBU), this one hits you like a claymore, albeit made of lots of malts.

Marble Brewery — Featured seasonal: Brett Tripel (10% ABV), aged in red and white wine barrels, this is one big beast of a beer on draft only. Click on the different taprooms in the menu for the updated beer lists for each location.

Nexus Brewery — Featured seasonal: New Mexico Snow Storm IPA (7.2% ABV, 36 IBU), the runner-up at the 2021 New Mexico IPA Challenge had another strong finish at the 2022 NMIPAC, coming in fourth.

Palmer Brewery and Cider House — Featured seasonal: 2 Robs Make a Rita, an annual collaboration with Starr Brothers Brewing.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — Featured seasonal: Italian Pilsner, the winner of back-to-back gold medals at the 2021 Great American Beer Festival and the 2022 World Beer Cup, is available on draft and in cans.

Quarter Celtic Brewpub— Featured seasonal: Becca’s Blend, a spunky little red rye IPA.

Red Door Brewing — Featured seasonal: Hibiscus White IPA is still available on draft for a limited time.

ReSource Brewing — Featured seasonal: Summer of Equality Stout, a lower ABV version of their popular house stout.

Rio Bravo Brewing — Featured seasonal: Vienna Waits (5.5% ABV, 20 IBU), a delightful amber lager.

Rumor Brewing (formerly Ale Republic) — Featured seasonal: Love (4.4% ABV, 12 IBU), a smoothie sour with sweet and tart cherries.

Sidetrack Brewing — Featured seasonal: Medusa Fresh Hop Pale Ale (6% ABV, 52 IBU) was made with freshly picked hops from Billy Goat Hop Farm in Montrose, Colorado. As one might expect, the supply is very limited.

Sobremesa — Featured seasonal: Berliner Weiss, the traditional German sour is now available. Order it “mit schuss” and you will get a shot of strawberry puree added to the beer.

Starr Brothers Brewing — Featured seasonal: Herban Cowboy Hazy IPA, a collaboration with Boxing Bear that is just a wee bit dank.

Steel Bender Brewyard — Featured seasonal: Who’s Brett? IPA (5.65% ABV, 50 IBU), a traditional IPA spiked with Brettanomyces to enhance the hoppy flavor.

Thirsty Eye Brewing — Featured seasonal: There’s Something About That Blonde, a tart-cherry blonde ale made for people who just can’t let go of summer.

The 377 Brewery

Tractor Brewing Company — Featured seasonal: The Dune DIPA just makes us wish they would hurry up and release part two of the latest movie adaptation of Dune. It was also Tractor’s NMIPAC entry.

Turquoise Trail Brewing 

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — Featured seasonal: Por Mi Vida, a key lime Mexican lager, will keep summer going even longer.

Santa Fe breweries

Beer Creek Brewing — Featured seasonal: Get to Da Hoppa is an IPA brewed entirely with New Mexico-grown hops and barley. Available in cans and on draft. If you buy the cans and go home, you must immediately watch Predator.

Chile Line Brewing — Featured seasonal: A Huevo (5% ABV, 20 IBU) is a Yerba Matte-inspired beer.

Hidden Mountain Brewing (formerly Blue Corn Brewery) — Featured seasonal: Pepino Lager, made with cucumber and lime, is a perfect pairing with the food menu.

Rowley Farmhouse Ales — Featured seasonal: Chantal (8.5% ABV, 30 IBU), this French-style saison was brewed in honor of a friend of the brewery who passed away after a battle with cancer. Available in cans and on draft.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — Featured seasonal: Oktoberfest is back in cans and on draft, and we have no problem with this having arrived in July. If Samuel Adams can do it, so can SFBC.

Second Street Brewery — Featured seasonal: Boondock Skye (4.8% ABV, 35 IBU) is one of two session IPAs on tap right now, so grab some and compare it to Porch Season to see which is better.

Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery — Featured seasonal: White Rabbit Wit, the first in a series of new witbiers.

Other breweries you need to visit

Bathtub Row Brewing — Featured seasonal: Til Death Do Us Tart, which was brewed for Emma and Nate’s wedding back in July.

Little Toad Creek Brewing and Distilling 

Red River Brewing and Distilling — Featured seasonal: Cacao Fuego, a chocolate-and-green-chile stout, will keep you warm even as the mountain nights grow colder.

Sierra Blanca Brewing  — Featured seasonal: Peanut Butter Porter, because let’s face it, there aren’t many NM breweries using peanut butter in their beers, but it’s still a very popular adjunct.

Truth or Consequences Brewing — Featured seasonal: Oktoberfest, brewed with all-German malts and Tettnang hops.

* * * *

That’s all for this week! If you have any questions or comments, leave them below or contact us on our Facebook page.

Keep supporting local!

— Stoutmeister

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