New Mexico Brew Fest returns to brighten all of our beer-loving lives

The wonderful folks behind the New Mexico Brew Fest, including founder Kevin Hopper, far left.

One of our longtime favorite festivals is making a comeback after a couple years off due to the COVID pandemic, and we could not be happier. The New Mexico Brew Fest, previously held every year at the state fairgrounds, will be back this Saturday afternoon at Villa Hispana.

The 2019 edition was the 10th anniversary of NMBF, and it was a huge hit. Bringing it back for the 11th time was not as easy, but founder Kevin Hopper said it had to be done.

“It was a little difficult,” he said. “We kind of forgot how we (organized) stuff. It seems like so much longer than it was (since 2019). Last time we did it, it was the 10th year. We agreed it was the best year. It was a really great festival.”

This time around it was harder than in the past to get breweries to sign up. While some had perfectly good reasons, like Steel Bender bringing back its Balloons and Brews and Santa Fe holding its Oktoberfiesta this Saturday, there were a few notable names that skipped out, from Bow & Arrow to Boxing Bear to La Cumbre and all the other breweries from the Santa Fe area.

“I was surprised I didn’t get a great response from everybody,” Hopper said. “Typically with the brewers, they tell us they love our festival and were always down to do it.”

However, it did clear the path for a number of newer breweries to jump on board, such as Brew Lab 101, Downshift, and ReSource. All told, 15 breweries will be in attendance, and a few of them have provided us their beer lists in advance. We will keep updating this post for any late arrivals in our email inbox.

  • Brew Lab 101: Sexi NuMexi Mexican Lager, Labtoberfest, Wicked Pissah Hazy IPA, Peachy Keen
  • Canteen Brewhouse: Oktoberfest, Cabana Mexican Lager, Exodus IPA, North 14 Pale Ale
  • Downshift Brewing: Barley Pop (Lager), Spring Fling (Pale Wheat), Stop and Smell the Berries (IPA), Oktoberfest
  • Enchanted Circle Brewing: TBA
  • Flix Brewhouse: TBA
  • Late Shift Lager House: TBA (we have not confirmed that Late Shift beers will be poured alongside Sandia Hard Cider, but they have the last couple festivals)
  • Lava Rock Brewing: Stonehaven Scottish Ale, Petroglyph Wit, Lava Juice (Hazy IPA), Pinche Cerveza
  • Lizard Tail Brewing: TBA
  • Marble Brewery: Cerveza, Desert Fog Hazy IPA, Double White, Pumpkin Noir
  • Palmer Brewery and Cider House: Augtoberfest Lager, Bourbon-Barrel-Aged Cockness Monster (Scotch Ale)
  • Red Door Brewing: Prost Malone (Oktoberfest), Unhinged Sour Cherry Cider, Vanilla Cream Ale, New England IPA
  • ReSource: High on Pino Amber, Fugitive Dust Hazy IPA, Blood Orange Cranberry Sour
  • Rio Bravo Brewing: TBA
  • Tractor Brewing: Scorpion Hazy IPA, Traktoberfest, Blood Orange Cider
  • Turtle Mountain Brewing: Oktürtlefest, Hopshell IPA, Arsenal Porter, Por Mi Vida (Key Lime Mexican Lager)

Also attending will be Leaf & Hive Brew Lab, Sandia Hard Cider, All the Things (Craft Cocktails), Left Turn Distilling, and Troubled Minds Distilling. There will even be samples of Guinness (no full pours) and Crown Royal’s canned cocktails, which will be provided via Launchpad’s liquor license.

Food trucks in attendance will include festival staple Nomad’s BBQ, plus Gourmet Doner Kebab, Phat Stax Burgers & More, and Burrito Baby. There will also be live music from Red Light Cameras and The Big Spank.

Tickets are still available online for general admission ($30) and VIP early entry ($45), the latter of which gets you in at noon as opposed to 1 p.m. The event runs until 6. Ticket costs will go up at the door on Saturday.

In the end, it is just great to have this outdoor festival back and fully operational again.

“The (Expo NM staff) is great to work with,” Hopper said. “They do a lot of big events like concerts, but they roll out (the red carpet) for us, they kind of love of our festival. And, I’m glad. It’s always been a pretty positive experience.”

A whole lot of the Crew, possibly an event record, will be on hand for this one. If you see any of us, say hello. We’ll be the ones in black, having fun just like in years past.

Keep supporting local!

— Stoutmeister

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