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The party actually starts at 4 p.m., but it’s still gonna be a big one to celebrate 25 years.

One of the big summer events that all of us in the Crew have been looking forward to is the 25th Anniversary Party for Canteen Brewhouse, which starts this Saturday at 4 p.m.

We wanted to make sure we had all the details for everyone. We already knew, from social media posts, that musicians on hand include Felix Y Los Gatos, Chris Dracup, CrazyFool, and Dusty Low. The food trucks in attendance will be Kimo’s Hawaiian BBQ, Pink Ladies, Street Food Institute, and The Blazing Barn. Vendors taking part are Fizzy Bee Beauty, Danny Hart Design, Christopher McAfee, Allegra Howell and Foxy Girl Designs, Erin Leigh Jewelry Design, Sarah Donahue, and Suzy Heer.

On the beer front, Citranova is the official summer anniversary beer, and it will be on tap and for sale in four-pack 16-ounce cans.

All right, that is a start, but we had some additional questions. With no time to meet up, we asked general manager Jamie Schwebach and head brewer Zach Guilmette over email.

Q: Besides what’s already been announced — bands, food trucks, Citranova — what else can we expect on the beer front?

A: We will have Tuttle IPA and Strawberry Basil Gose being rereleased, as well as all of the favorites that are currently on tap, including our house beers and rotating seasonals. For our Mug Club members, we are offering a free sampling of beers that have been aging from 3 to 4 p.m. and will have them available for sale at 4 p.m. (here is looking at you St. Bob’s) at $7 for a 10-ounce pour.

All right, we’ve got barrel-aged imperial stout. This is good. This also means we are gonna Lyft/Uber over. UPDATE: There will be 2010 St. Bob’s, 2012 Barleywine, 2014 St. Bob’s, and 2017 St. Bob’s.

Q: Are there any other pertinent details that people should know not on the Facebook page?

A: The party will be in our parking lot, on the patio and inside. We will have fun games to play and all are welcome (kids, dogs, strollers). Think corn hole, tether ball, four square and double dutch … taking it back.

This means parking will only be on Aztec, so yes, using a ride share or a designated driver to pick you up/drop you off is highly recommended. UPDATE: There will also be parking across the street at A-One Collision, but seriously, don’t drive unless you absolutely have to, especially considering all those barrel-aged beers above.

Q: What is your favorite memory from Canteen/Il Vicino history?

A: Over 25 years there have been many great memories for the three guys that started it all — Rick Post, Greg Atkin, and Tom White. The common thread throughout it all are all the regulars and patrons that have come and raised a pint and many who are still coming everyday! Through only three head brewers in 25 years, starting with Rob Chavez to Brady McKeown and into Zach Guilmette’s hands, the beer and our inclusive atmosphere has been the drive that have kept this brewery alive after a quarter century; that and the indelible assistant Doug Cochran, who just passed the 19-year mark last month. The memories of all the people that have kept this brewery going, from behind the scenes to sharing the stage in the success of multiple World Beer Cups and GABF medals, the Canteen Brewhouse will always be about celebrating the memories of our past as much as creating new ones. We hope everyone can make it for our anniversary party where more memories will be made!

Oh, and if anyone is curious what Doug’s favorite memory was, well, it was when Dougie Style Amber won a gold medal at GABF in 2014.

Canteen has come a long way since the brewing operation started in a cramped room in the back of the Nob Hill Il Vicino in 1994. We have enjoyed being along for at least part of that ride since the Canteen location opened in 2011.

If there are any other questions about this event, you can ask Canteen directly or we can pass along your queries. Otherwise, we will see you all out there Saturday night.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The Thirsty Eye Brewing command staff, from left, general manager Amelia Salas, co-owner Shawn Turung, co-owner David Mahlman, co-owner Kim Arthun, and brewer John Kofonow.

The surge in the number of neighborhood pubs around Albuquerque is showing no signs of abating. While the empty spaces on the map have been filled elsewhere, the East Downtown (EDo) neighborhood still lacked a spot to call its own.

That will change Friday when Thirsty Eye Brewing holds its soft opening at 206 Broadway SE. Located next to the Exhibit 208 Art Gallery, on the east side of Broadway near Gold, Thirsty Eye is the creation of a group of friends and colleagues. Gallery owner Kim Arthun, retired architect David Mahlman, and Shawn Turung are the partners, and they have hired brewer John Kofonow and general manager Amelia Salas to help them turn a concept into reality.

“We didn’t want to walk anywhere for beer,” Kim said with a smile. “I’ve been a part of it on the drinking side of it back to the early days of Kellys and Il Vicino in its little closet room, just tasting whatever they had. We used to go over there for their Wednesday brewer’s mystery keg. I think at that time there was maybe four places in this town.”

Later, Kim and his friends were part of a traveling group of artists and Sandia Labs employees who frequented the breweries every Wednesday.

“I’ve never been a homebrewer, but I’ve drank at every brewery, tried every beer,” Kim said. “I love what they are, the community, they’re like American pubs. In this day and age, where everything is electronic and people don’t talk a lot, the thing that I like the most about the ones I really like are that you can sit down at the bar, have two people on either side of you (that) you’ve never met before and by the time you leave, you’re friends, you end up drinking together for the next five years. In this day and age, I don’t see that a lot.”

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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, one in Silver City, and one in Truth or Consequences 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.

This Sunday is Father’s Day, just in case you had not checked the calendar in a while, and thankfully there will be some pretty good brew-and-food options if you have a dad like mine who loves beer. Luke has a preview of the Crab and Pilsner Festival at Second Street Rufina, which runs all day Saturday and Sunday. We would just recommend you go early Sunday, in case they run out of crab (this inland state loves its shellfish). Down in Silver City, Little Toad Creek has a Blues Brunch at 1 p.m. with live music from Joe Neri and Blues Dawg. Canteen has Beer and a Brat at both locations starting at noon. Get a pint of Laid Back Lager and a bratwurst for $8. Quarter Celtic is grilling up ribs on the patio, with special pours of Dark Pedro and barrel-aged MacLomas Stout starting at noon, plus live music from Canyon Standard time from 3 to 5 p.m. If there are any other Father’s Day-centric events that we have missed, please let us know!

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bosque has a new saison, Ocha. Canteen has its anniversary beer, Citranova, on tap and in cans Saturday. Ex Novo looks at some Aperture Pale, plus it also has its collaboration with Steel Bender, Saison de Luxe, available in bottles. La Cumbre releases its collaboration IPA with Colorado’s Cannonball Creek Brewing, Woodland Paradise, on tap and in cans on Friday. Marble was able to Czech in with Pilsner Burquell. Ponderosa has a fresh batch of Oatmeal Stout. Red Door rolls out a slew of new seasonals, with Cascade SMASH and Lemonade Stand up first, followed by Picture Rock Porter, a collaboration with Beer Creek, on Friday, and Nitro Double Vanilla Cream on Sunday. Tractor hits the mark with Sorachi Ace IPA.

Up in Santa Fe, Second Street brewed up an Imperial Pilsner for its festival. Over in Los Alamos, Bathtub Row stacks up some Brick City IPA.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of June 10.

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The newest brewery in Las Cruces is located in one of the older buildings in town.

Icebox Brewing might just be the most modern, and yet the most historic brewery in Las Cruces. While the brewery has only been open since January, the building it occupies has been around for more than 50 years.

General manager and co-founder Brian Weidauer said that the former home of Sierra Ice and Water at 2825 W. Picacho Ave. seemed to be a natural fit for a brewery.

“We obviously, first and foremost, enjoy beer,” Brian said. “We like the community that craft beer represents, and especially the camaraderie between all the businesses and all the breweries. The owner (John Wright) had an industrial supply business for a long time, a family business, and he recently sold that. I’ve known him for a long time, so we were working together. We paired up with (brewer) Garrett Denmark and started throwing around ideas of what we could build and what we wanted to do.” 

The connections that Wright had to the industrial community led them to a building with a long history.

“We found this building, it used to be an old ice (making) plant,” Brian said. “That’s where the name Icebox comes from. Since Miller has Icehouse, we didn’t want a cease-and-desist letter from them.“ 

Icebox is already one of the largest breweries in Las Cruces by square footage.

The first major brewery in Albuquerque was the Southwestern Brewery and Ice Company, which lasted from 1889 to 1917, and combined both brewing and ice-making. It remained open as an ice plant until the 1970s, though brewing never resumed after Prohibition.

Sierra Ice and Water was never a brewery before, and it certainly does not have a history dating back to the 19th Century, but it does make for a unique setting for a modern brewery.

“We worked hard over the past year or two to repurpose at least this front warehouse and get our brewhouse built, get all the equipment in place, get some recipes developed,” Brian said. “I think our approach to the beers is we kind of make sure most of the styles are very approachable to the general public, but also good enough for the real beer connoisseur.” 

The interior combines a comfortable vibe with the industrial aesthetic.

That approach fits the bulk of the local customers, as well as visitors from nearby El Paso, who are not as well versed in the more eclectic beer styles like people in Albuquerque and Santa Fe are used to these days.

“With the beers that we have, (I) just try to have the styles that are classic and basic, and we can continue to teach people what craft beer is,” said Garrett, who came from nearby Spotted Dog Brewing. “We want to throw some new stuff in there and start working on some kettle sours, and some of the trending beers that are out there, but we also really want to focus on what craft beer is and educate people on that.” 

Icebox has an open brewing area, visible to the entire seating area for its customers. There is a sizable patio out front, facing north toward Picacho Avenue. The bar inside is quite large, but there are plenty of tables as well. There is a small stage for music, and the SoHo food truck is permanently parked outside.

“There’s lots of room for expansion if we need it,” Brian said. “I can show you our walk-in cooler and what we did with that. We had to put everything in (ourselves). We put the sprinkler system in so we could keep the brewing equipment open (for viewing), just separated by the railing. That was very important to us. The investment was made to bring all of that in. Pretty much all of the electrical had to be redone, all the HVAC work is brand new, there wasn’t anything in here. It was kind of a shell of a warehouse.” 

The brewing area is visible from the entire seating area.

There were a few businesses that occupied the building in between the closing of Sierra Ice and Water, but none of them did much to modernize the building.

“We tried to keep the warehouse feel for sure, but make it feel comfortable enough with some little touches,” Brian said. “The big bar was part of our plan, the design from the beginning. We wanted it to be a place where people could sit and talk, make new friends.

“We have two more TVs when we originally even thought we were going to have. There was debate whether we were even going to have TVs for a long time. But, we kind of caved to the fact there’s events on from time-to-time that people are going to want to see. We put four on, but we’re tapped out.” 

Brian said the process of opening Icebox was not all that difficult in terms of dealing with the City of Las Cruces or the State of New Mexico, but he did not have a way to compare it to the struggles that many new breweries face in Albuquerque.

“I can’t relate it to Albuquerque, but I’d say the process overall was fairly smooth,” he said. “There were things we had to change to meet codes, obviously. We had a unique deal where we’re taking a pretty old building and when you repurpose it like that, you have to bring everything up to code. A lot of the things we ran into before we got our final inspection approval had to do with this particular building. It’s just the process, it takes long to come down from Santa Fe and then back to the city.” 

The storage area in the back definitely has the ice plant theme.

The immediate success for Icebox has already led the staff to make the decision to open an offsite taproom.

“We were hoping to really be into some remodeling projects and stuff by June, but it looks we’ll be July,” Brian said. “It’s public knowledge. It’s a Burger Time location up on North Main, 3231 North Main, it’s across from the Lowe’s Home Improvement, right by the I-25/Main Street exchange there.

“Over the years there used to be several neighborhood bars around that area. The liquor license laws and everything over the last 10 to 15 years, it’s disappeared. Right now you have a bar-restaurant up on Sonoma Ranch that’s pretty high up on Highway 70, (and from there to) all the way down to downtown, there’s nothing on Main Street anymore. We feel like it’s a great location for a neighborhood taproom/restaurant, just that local place to go and serve that side of town.” 

If you don’t get the joke here, there is nothing we can do for you.

The Shivering Scotsman (6.4% ABV, 24 IBU) and Black Ice Lager (5.1% ABV, 20 IBU) were both solid malt-forward beers. There are still many more to try, so rest assured that the Crew will return to Icebox on our next trip to Las Cruces.

A big thanks to Brian and Garrett for the beer and the interview on a busy day (Blazin’ Brewfest was just five hours away when we sat down).

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

An armed man was shot and killed by an off-duty federal agent inside Nexus Brewery on Saturday night. (Crew archive photo)

The Crew were scattered about Saturday night when we all started to see tweets and other messages indicating that some sort of police incident occurred at Nexus Brewery’s original location along the Interstate 25 frontage road north of Montgomery.

After a day-plus of news reporting, we have now learned that an off-duty FBI agent shot and killed Cody Guy Wrathall, 43, who had entered the brewery with a gun in hand. Albuquerque Police had received a call from an unidentified woman that she was running from a stalker and had sought refuge in Nexus at around 8 p.m. (or 9 p.m. in other reports).

Different reports have stated that Wrathall was either the woman’s ex-boyfriend or ex-husband. It is also unclear if there was more than one off-duty FBI agent present, or if Wrathall ever opened fire. APD initially described the shooting as the result of a domestic incident.

A witness interviewed by KOB Channel 4 said that one man with a gun ordered another to put his weapon down. Gunshots were then exchanged as patrons and staff ran for cover.

Nexus was understandably closed Sunday, but said in a Facebook post that business would resume today (Monday). The police investigation of the shooting is ongoing, but has wrapped up the physical portion of the investigation inside the taproom.

A sign posted in a Nexus window on Sunday read, “We decide(d) to close today because of the shooting last night. We wanted to allow our staff to recover and to let them have some time to allow the incident to pass. We thank everyone for the numerous messages of support and prayers. We will open on Monday and things will get back to normal. Thank you. Ken Carson, Jr.”

Over the years, there have been a small number of fistfights that have broken out in brewery taprooms, but certainly nothing on this scale. All we can say is that we are glad no customers or employees were injured.

As this appears to be an isolated, but tragic, incident, all we can hope is that people continue to support Nexus and partake in its delicious food and beer.

If there is further news about the incident, we will follow up.

— Stoutmeister

The new Hops Taproom in Los Ranchos is ready for its grand opening this weekend.

Now that I am back at work (yay, money), the beer news is starting to pile up, so let us get to a few pertinent items.

First, though, in a moment of self-promotion, I will be giving a free talk about the history of brewing in Albuquerque this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at the Special Collections Library, which is located on the northwest corner of Central and Edith, directly across from the Artichoke Cafe. I will have copies of Albuquerque Beer: Duke City History on Tap for sale ($20, cash only), and this talk will include the story of how an Old West shootout impacted the first Southwest Brewery in 1884.

Moving along …

Here a taproom opening, there a taproom opening

We already chronicled how the third Blue Grasshopper location at Summer and Second Street opened its doors during ABQ Beer Week. It was far from alone among new offsite taprooms holding soft openings.

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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 Truth or Consequences 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.

The weekend kicks off with the First Friday ArtWalk downtown on Friday night, with both downtown breweries participating. Boese Brothers hosts the Cruel Arts Summer Pop-up, with music from DJ Alxxs Garza, from 6 to 11 p.m. Sidetrack has Adobe Disco with DJ Eldon from 6 to 10. Grab a beer, enjoy some art, and listen to some music to kick off your weekend. Saturday is the annual Pride Parade in Nob Hill, and the Tractor taproom will be ready for the festivities. Rise & Pride kicks off at 9 a.m. with a Cider-mimosa and Michelada bar. DJ Bea will start spinning at 11 a.m., followed by DJ Nicolatron at 2 p.m. Up the street at Hops Brewery, the doors will open at 11, with all pints $1 off for anyone wearing anything Pride related. Nob Hill Bar & Grill will have one keg of Bell’s Sparkleberry on tap, too. Over at nearby High and Dry, they will be releasing the Love Bless America Citrus IPA at 6 p.m. Then on Sunday, Cantero is offering Pride Boards, a rainbow flight of special beers, for just $6.50, with all proceeds going to the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico. If there are any other events or specials at breweries in relation to Pride, please drop us a line and we will update this intro.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bombs Away is on target with version six of Hazy Chain DIPA, plus it also has a Common on tap. Bow & Arrow continues its Rad Vista Pilsner series with a batch made with Styrian Dragon hops. Boxing Bear goes big with Double Dry-Hopped Simcoe Albu-Murky Hazy IPA. Canteen has fresh batches of Irish Red and Laid Back Lager. Cantero is experiencing a Sour Grapes Ale. Ex Novo brings its popular Perle Haggard Pilsner to tap here, while also feeling a bit British with Where the Mild Things Are. La Cumbre tapped a tasty Maibock. Marble goes big with Alpha Acid Trip, a triple IPA, and Basic Brunch, a Mimosa-style beer, plus it has cans of Double White Triple Berry available. Toltec rolls in with Cascade Pomelo. Tractor adds a Gose and Stonewall Brut IPA with grapefruit.

Up in Santa Fe, Rowley Farmhouse Ales teams with Perennial Artisan Ales to release American Hero, a new pilsner.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of June 3.

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Welcome to Icebox Brewing, the newest addition to the Las Cruces craft beer scene.

Las Cruces is the second largest city in New Mexico, but for years, its craft beer scene was far behind Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and even some smaller towns.

There was High Desert Brewing, which had followed in the footsteps of O’Ryan’s Tavern (closed in 2000), and the Pecan Grill was contract brewing with Sierra Blanca, and that was about it. Then along came Spotted Dog Brewing, Picacho Peak Brewing, and most recently Icebox Brewing.

The north came south when Bosque Brewing opened a taproom across the street from New Mexico State, the alma mater of its owners. Bosque has since expanded to two locations in the same complex, with rumors of a third location now in the works. Silver City’s Little Toad Creek Brewing and Distilling saw an opportunity and pounced, putting a taproom on Main Street. Truth or Consequences Brewing now has plans to open a taproom in town, and Icebox is already eyeing its first offsite taproom.

Craft beer real estate is filling up fast in the city with a metro area population of 200,000 (and counting). Prior to ABQ Beer Week, when I was already in town for the Blazin’ Brewfest, I stopped to chat with representatives of High Desert, Icebox, and Spotted Dog about how their scene is evolving, how a sense of local camaraderie has already taken hold, and what the future portends.

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It was an informative gathering inside Tractor’s brewery area, with (from left) Bosque’s Jess Griego, Tractor’s David Hargis, La Cumbre’s Jeff Erway, Tractor’s Skye Devore, Senator Martin Heinrich, Taos Mesa’s Jayson Wylie, Canteen’s Jamie Schwebach, and higher up, Hollow Spirits’ Frank Holloway and NM Brewers Guild executive director Leah Black. Oh, and some beer writer on the far right.

Senator Martin Heinrich was in Albuquerque last week, and representatives of the New Mexico Brewers Guild were able to set up a meeting with him to talk all things craft beer in regards to the federal government.

Tractor Brewing co-owner/president Skye Devore spearheaded the event, which was held inside the brewery at Wells Park. The Senator certainly seemed to appreciate the informal nature of the event, which featured a sizable charcuterie tray and free drinks for all, not to mention being free of the usual political debate.

Over the course of a half-hour, numerous topics were discussed between the Senator and a group that included Skye, Tractor co-owner/brewmaster David Hargis, La Cumbre owner Jeff Erway, Hollow Spirits owner Frank Holloway, New Mexico Brewers Guild executive director Leah Black, Guild board members Jayson Wylie (Taos Mesa), Jamie Schwebach (Canteen), and Jess Griego (Bosque), and one beer writer who was there to chronicle it all.

The meeting featured both the Guild members asking questions of the Senator, and the Senator in turn asking questions of them.

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One last time into the breach, dear friends, one last time!

Well, this is it. Eleven days of fun have come down to one final day’s worth of events.

The final slate includes a sold-out golf tournament, a breakfast special, a brunch, an anniversary party, a celebration of casks, a unique charity drive, and one final sensory experience to close it all out. Thanks for being along for the ride with us!

Featured Event

Every day we will pick what we consider the biggest, most interesting, most unique event. This does not mean you should go to only this event and ignore the rest. All of them deserve your attention, but realistically, you can probably only attend a few. So we will make our daily pick, and you can either jump on it, or declare the Crew is foolish (we kinda are) and pick your own.

What: Le Cask Lunatique. Where: Steel Bender Brewyard. When: Noon. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: Once again, the Steel Bender brewers have gone a little overboard (in a good way) with six special casks on the patio bar. The Witty Gin is made from The Village Wit infused with the same botanicals and spices that Left Turn Distilling uses for its Old Tom Gin. Mulvaney’s Old Fashioned features the Irish red infused with cinnamon, orange peel, nutmeg, clove, allspice, and sweet cherries. Compa-rinha uses Compa Los Ranchos Lager conditioned with palm sugar, lime zest and juice. Stay Golden Sunrise utilizes the new Stay Golden Ale with maraschino cherries and fresh orange zest and juice. Funky George Porter adds a little brettanomyces for some proper funk. Finally, we cannot wait for Blue Bullet’s Wood-Aged Irish Whiskey, where the brewers took oak chips soaked in Left Turn’s NM Blue Corn Whiskey and added them to a cask of the Irish dry stout. Oh, and Le Chat Lunatique will be playing inside from 3:30 to 5:30.

Why you should go: If you can’t find a cask you like here, we’re not sure you really like beer.

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