Author Archive

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s seven breweries, one in Los Alamos, one in Moriarty, one in Red River, and one in Las Cruces also joining the party.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Hey, remember when we thought last weekend was busy? Ha! It has nothing on this weekend. No, seriously, you all need to start planning now, because there is a lot going on around town and beyond the ABQ city limits. First up, we have a double dose of brewery anniversary parties at Dialogue and Kaktus. For the former, Grasstoberfest is the name of Dialogue’s second anniversary bash, which will take place Saturday from 2 to 10 p.m. There will be live music all day, plus games, food, local art, axe throwing, and Roadrunner Food Bank will have a food drive going, so please bring a donation of a non-perishable food item in any contained except glass. Up in Bernalillo, Kaktus is spreading its five-year anniversary party over Saturday and Sunday. Tickets cost just $5 and get you a silver-plated anniversary pint glass. There will be live music on Saturday from noon to 9 p.m., plus food and beer specials. For Sunday, the Blues Jam takes over at 3 and the Desert Darlings take the stage for a special “Dripping in Gold” performance at 6. There will be special vendors on hand both days.

That, however, is not the entirety of the big events. Santa Fe Brewing is throwing its annual OktoberFiesta from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday at The Bridge, which is next to the brewery off I-25. There will be all sorts of outdoor fun and games from noon to 6, followed by live music inside from 6 to 10. There will be giant mugs of beer, all-you-can-eat sausages, and it all benefits several area charities. Of course, not to be left out, Second Street is throwing a three-day Oktoberfest food celebration at all three of its locations. Check the Rufina Facebook page for all of the delicious dining options to go along with copious amounts of beer. Of course, some would say it is a little late for an Oktoberfest, and that we should all be switching our focus to Halloween. Well, the Desert Darlings will also be at Tractor Wells Park this Friday night at 8 for Hops & Dreams: The Addams Family Edition, so you know that will be a blast. You can also trek out to Sierra Blanca for a Halloween Party on Saturday from 2 to 7 p.m., with a costume contest, games for kids and adults, food, live music, and more. All the staff asks is that you bring a non-perishable food item for donation to charity, and that will get you in the door.

Good luck getting through all of it! (And if we missed anything major, please let us know.)

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Boese Brothers brings back an old favorite in Double Dead Red. Bombs Away drops more Stockpile Milk Stout, plus A.S.B., an American twist on an English ESB. Boxing Bear goes double for its new Brut Strength DIPA. Canteen has a fresh batch of Irish Red ready to go. Kaktus turns over pretty much the entire lineup with Bourbon Ginger Beer, Pumpkin Schwarz, Innkeepers Nitro Ale, Helles Lager, and Oktoberfest now on tap. La Cumbre brings back a seasonal favorite in Witch’s Tit, while also adding Gracias Por Fumar, Honey Cream Ale, and Citra SMASH IPA on tap, and El Jugo cans are back on Friday. Marble brings back Cuvee Rouge today on tap and in bottles at all three locations, with a food pairing from Oni Noodles, plus it also has This is How We Brut It! available on tap. Red Door unveils Solo Saison, made with smoked pumpkin, on Friday. Sidetrack has more 3:10 to Belen Brown available. Starr Brothers visits Planet of the Ape-rricots, with Jack Tooth Grin on deck. The 377 rolls out Whiskey Strawberry Sour and Pumpkin Porter on Thursday. Toltec also gets in on the pumpkin theme with Basic Gourd on Thursday.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn finally has its Brut IPA on tap. Second Street brings back one of our personal favorites, Preacher’s Share, an epic, barrel-aged imperial stout.

Do not forget about the Great American Beer Festival medal winners. Currently on tap are Wooden Teeth (gold medal) at Turtle Mountain, Malpais Stout (silver) at La Cumbre, Germophile (silver) at Rowley Farmhouse Ales, Pistol Pete’s 1888 (bronze) at Bosque, Cherry Wheat (bronze) at Sierra Blanca, Lampshade Porter (bronze) at Starr Brothers, and the collaboration Mocha Hipster Bomb (bronze) at Palmer and Quarter Celtic.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of October 15.

(more…)

The Crew was represented at the NM Brew Fest by, from left, Andrew, Reid, and AmyO.

Well, that was quite the weekend. Of all the Crew, I may have done the least craft beer drinking, which is quite weird. Hey, I am single and do not have a kid, but I also have a screwy work schedule and missed the ninth annual New Mexico Brew Fest. Boo.

Anyway, I did get around a little bit. My quest to try all the local Oktoberfest-style beers continued with stops at Ponderosa (quite good, quite traditional) and Bow & Arrow (also quite good, but a little more bready and dry). I also found some of the last remaining cans of Steel Bender’s OktoberFiesta at Jubilation when I was sent on a beer run for a post-NMBF party.

Then the weather changed and it became stout season. That is a story for next week, however.

Here are the rest of the Crew’s weekend adventures. Let’s just say they all had a lot of fun, and a lot of beers, and everyone survived to tell the tales.

(more…)

Cheers to the beers!

Man, the weather sure turned, didn’t it? We went from a nice autumn to this cold, dark mess, and while that warms our little metal hearts, it is still hard to believe how nice it was just about 48 hours ago.

Three members of the Crew — AmyO, Andrew, Reid — made it out to the ninth annual New Mexico Brew Fest on Saturday at the State Fairgrounds. They could regale you with tales of all the beers they had, but instead we just had the first two send us a bunch of pictures. (Reid doesn’t get down here often enough from Los Alamos, so we just wanted him to enjoy himself and have a day off.) A big thank you to NMBF organizer/founder Kevin Hopper for the passes.

Here are some brighter, sunnier times to help get you all through the week.

The tents were set up along the street …

And in the grassy area near the stage.

Santa Fe brought the beer and the merch.

The Duke City Pedaler made an appearance.

Boxing Bear represented the westside.

Then again, Desert Valley was also there for westsiders. They forgot their shades, however.

Hello, Steel Bender!

Bow & Arrow keeps it simple for its tent.

You can see Starr Brothers’ tent from a mile away.

We gotta say, The 377’s tent is a little metal.

It would not be a festival in New Mexico without Marble. Like, seriously, we think it is written into the contract.

Taos Mesa came a long way and kept on smiling.

Lost Hiker also came a long way to let people know there is local craft in Ruidoso.

Left Turn and Palmer go together like, well, whiskey and beer.

Aw, feel the love! Thanks for another great NMBF.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

You know it is truly autumn when the New Mexico Brew Fest returns to the State Fairgrounds.

One of our favorite annual beer festivals, the New Mexico Brew Fest, is back at the State Fairgrounds this Saturday afternoon. The ninth edition starts at 1 p.m. (noon for early entry ticket holders) and runs until 6. Tickets are available online here.

What makes this a favorite fest of ours? Well, to start with, it’s outdoors. Formerly in the Villa Hispana courtyard, it has now moved out onto Main Street, due to a combination of poor access for the breweries to bring in the kegs, and because it was getting a wee bit too crowded in Villa Hispana. The weather is usually beautiful, so cross your fingers that those projected morning rains are long gone by the time this year’s fest kicks off.

Another fun part is that this festival is made up of only New Mexico breweries. A total of 21 are listed as attending, ranging from stalwarts like Bosque, Boxing Bear, Canteen, La Cumbre, Marble, and Santa Fe, plus breweries from far corners of the state, including Lost Hiker (Ruidoso) and Taos Mesa.

There will be plenty of food trucks (Nomad’s BBQ, Street Food Institute, Soo Bak, and more), live music (Cali Shaw Band, The Big Spank, DJ Flo Fader), and some additional fun games and activities.

Of course, the most pertinent question always comes down to what beers are being poured. Well, we can confirm that three beers that recently won medals at the Great American Beer Festival will be available — Turtle Mountain’s Wooden Teeth (gold), Bosque’s Pistol Pete’s 1888 (bronze), Starr Brothers’ Lampshade Porter (bronze) — plus one medal winner from the Great British Beer Festival in The 377’s Schwartzbier (bronze).

These lists were provided by the breweries and are always subject to last-minute changes, depending on availability. For any breweries that have not reported their lists yet, we will add them as they come in right up until the start of the festival.

  • Abbey: TBA
  • Bosque: IPA, Brewer’s Boot, Pistol Pete’s 1888, Elephants on Parade, TBD seasonal
  • Bow & Arrow: TBA
  • Boxing Bear: Uppercut IPA, Black and Blue Tart, Coffee Chocolate Milk Stout, Das Bear German Pilsner, Apple Bear Cider
  • Broken Trail: Double Black, Trailworks IPA, Arroyo Blanco Wheat, Goathead Brown
  • Canteen: Oktoberfest, Exodus IPA, Pecos Trail Brown Ale, Laid Back Lager
  • Desert Valley: TBA
  • Dialogue: Oktoberfest, 3x Tripel
  • Kaktus: TBA
  • La Cumbre: Elevated IPA, A Slice of Hefen, BEER, Witch’s Tit, Project Dank
  • Lost Hiker: TBA
  • Marble: Double White, Passionate Gose, Pumpkin Ale, Westside IPA
  • Nexus: Scotch Ale, Bird of Prey IPA, Coffee & Cream Ale, Imperial “Tribble” Red Ale
  • Palmer: TBA
  • Santa Fe: 7K IPA, Oktoberfest, Freestyle Pilsner, Western Bloc IPA, Hefeweizen
  • Starr Brothers: Lampshade Porter, Rosé Gose, Hanky Spanky, Starrphire Pilsner
  • Steel Bender: Brickie American Stout, Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch, Blackberry Dynamite, Skull Bucket IPA
  • Taos Mesa: TBA
  • The 377: Schwartzbier, 377 IPA, Plumberry Sour, Ginger Beer
  • Tractor: Pumpkin Cider, Traktoberfest, Double Plow Oatmeal Stout
  • Turtle Mountain: Wooden Teeth*, Vienna SMLSH, Tropical Menagerie, Turb Majeure (NEIPA), Yum Yum Noir

Also, take note that Left Turn Distilling will be on hand alongside its sibling brewery, Palmer.

Got any questions or comments? Drop us a line.

This is one of those fests where we highly recommend that everyone utilize a designated driver, Lyft, Uber, or other means of transportation than driving yourself if you plan to drink. Stay safe out there!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s seven breweries, one in Los Alamos, one in Moriarty, one in Red River, and one in Las Cruces also joining the party.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Ready to get in shape while still enjoying a few pints? The Sixth Occasional Beer Run is going down this Saturday starting at 2 p.m. The course will begin on the Rio Grande and Paseo Bike Path where Rio Grande goes over Paseo del Norte (so take note to access the starting point via RG, it will be on the south side of the bridge). From there, participants will run east toward Second Street to Steel Bender Brewyard, about a 1.4-mile distance. After a pint or drink of your choosing, runners will then head north to Alameda and west to Boxing Bear (3.8 miles). Then it will be a quicker pair of jaunts over to Desert Valley on Ellison and Toltec on Old Airport Road. From there, make sure someone picks you up, because you probably should not drive. The run is open to anyone interested, and you do not have to run the entire course. Start and stop anywhere along the way. Mostly, though, it is just a chance to have some fun and get a little exercise in a way besides just lifting pint glasses.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bosque’s taps are moving quick these days, so a trifecta of newcomers are now available in Spoondriver DIPA, Bellbird Pale Ale, and Wheat, Pray, Love, plus this Friday you can get Open Space Haze in 4-pack cans. Canteen has another batch of Wet Hop Pale Ale available. Marble rolls out some Tangerine Gose, plus look for cans of Desert Fog soon. Nexus should have more Bird of Prey IPA available by this weekend. Sidetrack hops to it with Turntable IPA and Switchback IPA, plus Dark Engine Stout returns. Steel Bender is throwing a release party for Blackberry Dynamite this Thursday, with 6-pack cans available and a special cask with coffee added.

Up in Santa Fe, things are quiet. Too quiet. Get up there and drink those taps dry!

Do not forget about the Great American Beer Festival medal winners. Currently on tap are Wooden Teeth (gold medal) at Turtle Mountain, Malpais Stout (silver) at La Cumbre, Germophile (silver) at Rowley Farmhouse Ales, Pistol Pete’s 1888 (bronze) at Bosque, Cherry Wheat (bronze) at Sierra Blanca, Lampshade Porter (bronze) at Starr Brothers, and the collaboration Mocha Hipster Bomb (bronze) at Palmer and Quarter Celtic.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of October 8.

(more…)

There are a whole lot of Oktoberfest-style beers on tap around the metro area right now.

A whopping five more Oktoberfest-style beers went on tap in the Albuquerque metro area last week, joining multiple marzens that have already been on tap for a while. With so many wonderful lagers available, I just had to get out there and try as many as possible. My plan totally worked for two days, until a combination of sports (NHL openers and MLB playoffs mostly) and the need to watch season three of The Expanse caused me to fall behind. One of these years I will get to them all.

Anyway, my first three stops were Sidetrack, Boese Brothers, and Marble. I rather enjoyed Sidetrack’s offering, which did not overdo the sweetness. It was a solid, crushable beer, befitting the laid-back atmosphere of the pub. The Boese Brothers offering had been on tap for a while now. It did not quite have the flavor impact I had hoped for, but age may have been a factor. As for Marble, it was less of a marzen and more of a straight German lager. It is still a quality beer, as one would expect from brewmaster Josh Trujillo. I also got to try the Kottbusser collaboration beer, which was sweet yet bready, and the Jimmy Bock, a chewy little tribute to Shiner Bock.

Day two of the Oktober-quest took me to Toltec for lunch a pint of another tasty offering. I would like to try it side-by-side with Sidetrack, as both had many of the same tasty qualities. My final stop was at Bosque on the way home. Again, it was a bit lighter lager than the more copper-colored marzens of yore, but it was again a clean, balanced beer. A few years ago, the Oktoberfests had almost disappeared from taps in favor of the pumpkin beer fad, but thankfully that passed and now we are blessed with multiple marzens and lagers.

What is your favorite Oktoberfest on tap this fall? Yes, you can still include some from a few weeks back, like Santa Fe and La Cumbre.

Now for the rest of the Crew’s adventures from the past weekend.

(more…)

Duel ABQ taproom closes after all

Posted: October 8, 2018 by cjax33 in News
Tags:

Farewell, Duel taproom, we hardly knew ye.

The Duel Brewing taproom in downtown Albuquerque is no more.

After hearing rumors for a week, the Crew ventured downtown last Wednesday to see for ourselves if the taproom had indeed closed. By all appearances, it has been shut down, and with the deletion of the site’s Facebook page, we feel confident in writing that the taproom has closed.

We had been waiting for a response from Duel owner Trent Edwards, but he has not written us back. Our last communication with him came after this story, in which we noted that there was an advertisement online for the taproom space being up for lease. Edwards vehemently denied that his taproom was closing in a series of emails, culminating with an official statement that simply read “On the record: Duel Taproom ABQ is not closing.” We received that email on September 7, but nothing since.

This sign was posted adjacent to the Duel taproom.

Our quick visit to the taproom, after its posted time of opening (2 p.m.), found the entire building to be dark. A large for lease sign, by Coe & Peterson Properties, was on the outside. While the big logo was still up on the upper facade of the building, the front entrance had been scraped clean of the logo and hours of operation. There was no visible movement inside as all the lights were off, with the chairs still up on the tables.

People involved in the downtown music/arts scene informed us that all of the events scheduled at Duel had been relocated to other nearby breweries, including Sidetrack and Boese Brothers.

Right now, we can only speculate as to why the taproom closed. The likeliest cause is that it simply was not making enough money to cover the cost of the lease for such a large space. Duel had one of the largest, if not the largest, off-site taprooms in the state. Throw in the location on Central, where rent costs are higher than elsewhere in the city, and it was seemingly tough to make a profit. Again, though, this is only speculation until we have an official interview with Edwards.

The Duel signage had already been scraped off the main entrance.

Duel is the second downtown taproom to close in recent months, following Monk’s Corner, which shut down due to financial reasons at the end of July. That leaves only Boese Brothers, Sidetrack, and the Red Door taproom in downtown proper (we consider Marble to be a part of the Wells Park neighborhood since it is north of Lomas) in terms of craft-beer-specific establishments. Downtown breweries in the 1990s included the first Rio Bravo Restaurant and Brewery and San Ysidro Brewing, which closed in 1998 and 1997 respectively.

Our condolences to Duel’s fans in ABQ. We hope everyone in Santa Fe continues to support the brewery there.

— Stoutmeister

Albuquerque’s High and Dry Brewing even incorporates balloons into its logo.

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a huge draw for people from all over the world. It kicks off this weekend, just in case you have been in a self-imposed media blackout and did not know, which means there are gonna be a lot of thirsty newcomers to our fair desert city. To help out all the locals who are gonna be inundated with friends and family visiting, we did the work for you when it comes to telling all those folks where to go for beer.

We split up the city in geographic terms, relating everything to the location of the Fiesta grounds. If this is your first visit to Albuquerque, just remember the Sandia Mountains are on the east. You can figure out the rest from that.

The majority of our breweries are family friendly, but they all are vigilant when it comes to checking IDs. You can look 70 and they are required by state law to still ask to see your license, so please, do not get offended.

(more…)

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s seven breweries, one in Los Alamos, one in Moriarty, one in Red River, and one in Las Cruces also joining the party.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Brace yourselves, the bad traffic in Burque is about to get a whole lot worse. Yup, the Balloon Fiesta is back starting Saturday, which is great for the local economy and all, but can also be a headache for many of us when it comes to getting to our favorite breweries and taprooms. The good news is Steel Bender and Marble are the first two breweries to really tie themselves into the Fiesta. Marble is hosting a Balloon Brunch on Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon. Street Food Institute is catering, Danny Harps is providing the music, and there will be Beermosas galore, with Gruet Winery also on hand. This is all being held on the rooftop deck. Tickets cost $35 and are available online. For that price, you get the buffet, two beers or beermosas, and a grand finale tour of the brewery.

As for Steel Bender, the popular Balloons & Brews is back every day of the Fiesta. The patio will be open every morning at 7, with beers available right then, save for Sundays (it is still noon because the State of New Mexico lives in the dark ages). There will be beer, beermosas, bloody beers, and wine available. Steel Bender will serve breakfast burritos and Bender Sunrise Sandwiches. There will also be local pastries from Pastian’s Bakery, local “Wake the Dead” coffee from Pour Vida Coffee Roasters, and Manny’s Now-Famous Hot Cocoa. Considering the location in Los Ranchos, there might even be some balloons landing in the area. Pick a day and head on out there!

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bosque is catching up to the season with its Oktoberfest. Canteen likewise adds its Oktoberfest on tap, plus Tuttle IPA and Sichler Chile Lager return, and Saving 2nd Base, a boysenberry wheat made for charity, is also available. La Cumbre will have cans of Space Manatee, a pomegranate kettle sour, available on Friday. Marble pays tribute to the brewer at Spoetzel with Jimmy Bock. Ponderosa rolls out some Hoppy Pilsner. Quarter Celtic also added its Oktoberfest on tap. Starr Brothers is into some Hanky Spanky Simcoe Pale Ale. Steel Bender has Alewitch Pumpkin Ale and Gris Gris available on Thursday. The 377 brings back its Great British Beer Festival bronze-medal winner, Schwartzbier. Toltec has, you probably guessed it, its Oktoberfest on tap. Turtle Mountain sticks with the theme and adds its Oktoberfest.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn keeps the marzen flowing with its Oktoberfest, plus Brut IPA should be on tap by the weekend. Second Street puckers up with Freja Harvest Sour, while also adding Slight of Haze.

Do not forget about the Great American Beer Festival medal winners. Currently on tap are Wooden Teeth (gold medal) at Turtle Mountain, Malpais Stout (silver) at La Cumbre, Germophile (silver) at Rowley Farmhouse Ales, Pistol Pete’s 1888 (bronze) at Bosque, Cherry Wheat (bronze) at Sierra Blanca, Lampshade Porter (bronze) at Starr Brothers, and the collaboration Mocha Hipster Bomb (bronze) at Palmer and Quarter Celtic.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of October 1.

(more…)

The pretzels were on point at Marblefest.

This was one of those weekends where most of us should have been in recovery mode, but the beer events (and metal shows) would not allow us to rest.

For me, the in-town fun was this past Thursday, when I took a trip out to Turtle Mountain to celebrate owner Nico Ortiz’s “39th” birthday and the recent gold medal that head brewer Mick Hahn brought home from the Great American Beer Festival. I thought we were just going to raise a pint of the Wooden Teeth and then I could head out, but noooooo, Mick had to go and bust out a whole bunch of beers from various places for us all to try. Darn it, Mick. Darn, darn, darn. Anyway, the Wooden Teeth tasted great, as a gold-medal winner should, and it was nice to see so many of Nico’s longtime friends and customers stop by to wish him a happy birthday and congrats on the medal.

From there, it was off to Steel Bender for the OktoberFiesta. The chef and his kitchen staff should be applauded for a delicious jaegerschnitzel, which is not an easy thing to make, especially as the place filled up and more and more folks stormed in wanting a plate. I was also happy to be one of the last people to get a commemorative mug, even though I need another piece of glassware (or ceramic-ware, in this case) like I need a hole in the head. Sadly, we also drank up all the OktoberFiesta beer. Who thinks we should petition the brewing staff to make another batch? Huh, even my parents have their arms raised.

Anyway, for the rest of the Crew (minus poor Luke, too sick to drink this weekend), here are their latest adventures in beer.

(more…)