We set a record Saturday afternoon: The most Crew members at a single festival.
Yes, we actually got Franz Solo (and Mrs Solo) out of the house (they have an adorable small child) for the New Mexico Brew Fest at Villa Hispana. We got Luke to come down from Santa Fe. And, neither AmyO nor Andrew (and their significant others) had plans elsewhere, so they were there, too. Even I made it, albeit for a very short visit, before my presence was required elsewhere.
It was a pre-Festivus miracle if we have ever seen one. But, enough about us, this is about the return of one of our favorite local festivals, and it was a wonderful return.
The weather was downright perfect, the lines were never too long, and the beer flowed freely from the taps of 14 breweries, plus a few distilleries, a cidery, and one of these days we’ll officially have to give a name to what Leaf & Hive produces (a jun-ery?).
It was great seeing some familiar faces, both among the brewery staffs and the general public, and meeting new people (everyone, go follow hungry4beer on Instagram, for she is a wonderful new ambassador for craft beer in our state, and also a CNM brewing program student).
As per tradition, each Crew member picked their favorite brews that were poured at NMBF. Well, Andrew didn’t, but we will just assume it was some combination of three to four IPAs. Anyway, you will see some common selections among the other four of us, most of which will not come as a surprise. We still encourage everyone to try all the beers over time, and let us know which were your favorites. There are no wrong answers, after all.
- Barrel-Aged Cockness Monster, Palmer Brewery: The BACM spent a year plus in barrels, so it’s much deeper and more complex. I don’t think I had any other barrel-aged beers (Saturday). Were there any others? (No, sadly, there were not.)
- Fugitive Dust Hazy IPA, ReSource Brewing: (It) was balanced and had citrus hoppiness, but felt light on the palate compared to a lot of hazies.
- Pumpkin Noir, Marble Brewery: This year’s Pumpkin Noir is my favorite of the years I’ve had it. A good spiciness on a lingering finish.
- Oktürtlefest, Turtle Mountain Brewing: Wonderful balance throughout, with all of the elements you would want from the style.
- Fugitive Dust Hazy IPA: Loads of citrus, crisp and fresh.
- Pumpkin Noir: Really nice batch this year, with a good interplay of porter elements with spices.
- BA Cockness Monster: This was a standout in terms of layered flavors, and also the only big beer at the fest
- Oktoberfest, Sobremesa: More in the realm of festbier, and a solid lager through and through.
- Hilltop Helles, Sobremesa: It was just a crisp, clean beer. A great beer all around. Did not disappoint.
- Blood Orange Cranberry Sour, ReSource Brewing: This beer stood out because the fruit flavors just hit all the right notes. Felt balanced, and not cheek-pokingly tart. Couldn’t find a thing wrong with it, not that I was looking.
- Oktürtlefest: It was easily the best of the “festies” I had that day, and there were some decent ones.
- BA Cockness Monster: Yowza. Where do I begin? Chewy, boozy molasses, dangerously smooth.
- BA Cockness Monster: Of course I had this one on my list.
- Oktürtlefest: I tried this the weekend prior at the Rio Rancho Oktoberfest, and it was still just as delicious. One of the top two draft-only marzens in town, along with Quarter Celtic’s version (sadly, they were not at NMBF for a head-to-head comparison).
- Stonehaven Scottish Ale, Lava Rock Brewing: A smoky flavor that’s not at all overpowering, but instead complimentary, is what sets apart this Scottish ale from others in town.
Like I wrote earlier, I did not have much time to truly explore the full beer lineup present that day, so apologies to the breweries that I missed out on visiting.
Overall, it was wonderful to have this fest back, and our only request next year is for the breweries themselves to send more big beers. Yeah, we know, that might be tough to pull off, but the rest of you cannot let Palmer Brewery steal all the headlines, right?
A huge thanks to Kevin Hopper for the tickets, and to his entire staff for all of their hard work. We hope to see all of them again in 2023.
Keep supporting local!
P.S. We will have full coverage of the Great American Beer Festival starting this week, including live coverage of Saturday’s awards ceremony from Denver.
5 Comments Add yours
Don’t like the incursion of east cosat hazies into our west coast stronghold. I saw the same sort of creep in CO last month
Like it or not, the haze is here to stay. Gravity Bound was built upon it, after all. But there’s still plenty of room for clear IPAs and all the other great styles of beer.
Hey there, I heard a rumor that a possible brewery/taproom may be opening on westside off 98th, next to Wingstop. Have you heard anything?
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We have, actually. It’s going to be called Unhinged Brewing. No word on when it’s opening, but the small brewer license is active.