It is almost the end of May, believe it or not, and that means we have reached the annual stretch where ABQ Beer Week returns to celebrate all things craft in Albuquerque.
This year’s version is scaled back from the pre-pandemic era Beer Weeks, and rather uniquely features a local brewery at every event. No more out-of-state craft breweries, no more distributor-controlled events, just the locals. We are down with that.
Perhaps the most notable omission from the list is the annual Blues & Brews Festival, which is normally set the Sunday before Memorial Day out at Sandia Casino. The unlimited sampling event is no more, which we figured would happen eventually in this era of breweries tightening their financial belts. The idea of giving away endless amounts of free beer just doesn’t match up to the economic reality of the industry right now.
As we do every year, we’ll be going into greater detail about the Tractor Brewing events in a separate story, so look for that later this week. This is just a quick primer on the day-to-day calendar. Fear not, other than maybe one or two days between Thursday and June 4, you should not have to worry about driving amok across town to get everything. You can just drive amok like a normal Burque resident.
Here is the up-to-date schedule, which you can also find here. We would also point out that Tractor will have two beer releases — Berliner Weisse on Thursday to go with that day’s event at Wells Park, and Pistachio Cream Ale on Friday.
- Jubi & The Benders BA Imperial Stout release at Jubilation, 4-6 p.m.: Join Steel Bender over at Jubilation, where this new bottled imperial stout will be released after it was aged in a bourbon barrel owned by the store. There will be other SBB beers to try, as well. There is a $5 cover, but that will be deducted from the price of any beer(s) you purchase.
- Sour Hour with Rowley Farmhouse Ales at Tractor Wells Park, 5 p.m.: The Santa Fe brewery, which recently lost its supply trailers to a fire and could really use some extra monetary help, is coming back to TWP with some sour ales to be enjoyed alongside the host’s sours on a flight tray.
- Beer, Cheese and More! at Marble Westside, 6-7 p.m.: Tickets are $35 apiece (and they always sell out, so go here now to get yours) for this annual pairing of deliciousness between Marble’s beers and Whole Foods’ finest cheeses. Just take note, it’s at the Westside taproom, not the Heights this year.
- Steel Bender Tap Takeover at Tap N Taco, 1-6 p.m.: The brewery is sending Compa Blue Corn Lager, Raspberry Dynamite, Mañana Hazy IPA, and Hefe Lifting to the taco restaurant located at 1120 State Hwy 528 in Rio Rancho.
- Magic & Comedy Night at Tractor Wells Park, 8 p.m.
- Ciderday Night Fever Space Disco at Tractor Nob Hill, noon-close: There will be special flights of ciders, including four one-offs made just for this event. DJ Ren will be spinning from 8 p.m. to close.
Monday, Memorial Day
- Singo Music Bingo at Brew Lab 101, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, May 30
- Steel Bender Tasting at Paradise Liquors (Paradise Blvd. location), 4 p.m.
- Four Course Beer and Food Pairing with Taste of Love NM at Tractor Wells Park, 5-7 p.m.: Chef Kayla Vallejos has selected four dishes and four beers for a flavorful experience. This is limited to just 25 people, so get those tickets now.
- Beer Week Dinner with Pairings at Ponderosa, 6:30 p.m.: For $40, enjoy a three-course meal paired with Ponderosa beers. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the brewpub or over the phone at (505) 639-5941.
Wednesday, May 31
- Steel Bender Tasting at Paradise Liquors (98th Street location), 4 p.m.
- Beer Trivia at Tractor Nob Hill, 7 p.m.: Dan Pennington will host this quiz on all things beer.
- Trivia Night at Brew Lab 101, 7 p.m.
Thursday, June 1
- Rebel Donut & Beer Pairing at all Tractor locations, 5 p.m. until sold out: One of the tastiest events returns, as Tractor will pair four TBA beers with four mini-donuts from Rebel — french toast, maple bacon, birthday cake, and triple chocolate. Go early to your closest taproom, as this one always sells out quickly.
- Pride on the Sky Deck at Marble Downtown, 7 p.m.
Friday, June 2
- Truth or Consequences Brewing Tap Takeover at Tractor Wells Park, 5-10 p.m.: A trio of brews from down south will be making their way to Tractor’s taps — Buckhorn IPA, Street Taco Lager, Irish Red. Grab a flight of all three and/or a pint of your favorite(s).
- First Fridays Comedy Contest: Beer Week Edition at Tractor Wells Park, 8 p.m.
Saturday, June 3
- Crawfish Boil at Rio Bravo, 1-3 p.m. and 4-6 p.m.: There will be two rounds of this outdoor feast. Buy your tickets in advance here. Each ticket feeds two to four people, so bring some friends and/or family.
- Drag Queen Bingo: Pride Edition at Tractor Wells Park, 7 p.m.
Sunday, June 4
- First Annual Pedals & Pints at Marble Downtown, 9:30 a.m.: Pick a 20-mile or 40-mile course that starts at Marble and then hit the trails with your bicycle. After you loop back to the brewery, enjoy a special party on the Skydeck with free swag and discounted pints (they recommend the Helles). Tickets are available here.
- CANCELED (due to unspecified reasons) Bender’s Habitat House Par-Tee at TopGolf, 1-5 p.m.: We will have more details soon on this charitable event at TopGolf that’s organized by Steel Bender and benefiting Habitat for Humanity.
Seeing as how there are fewer events this year, the Crew will not be doing daily previews, so bookmark this article to help you keep track of what’s happening on each day. We will catch up with Tractor, Steel Bender, and Marble as we get closer to some of their big events to provide additional details.
Also, though not an official part of Beer Week, Boxing Bear’s Bear Fest will be back this Saturday at the Firestone location from noon to 6 p.m. You can still get those tickets here. We will endeavor to have a more detailed preview, with beer lists, later this week.
Keep supporting local!
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