Archive for the ‘ABQ Beer Week 2013’ Category

Well, that was fun.

We're just happy to have survived you, oh wonderful event.

We’re just happy to have survived you, oh wonderful event.

ABQ Beer Week 2013 has come and gone, and now that a certain baseball team is on the road, ol’ Stoutmeister here has a chance to catch up and recap the last two days of events, Friday and Saturday. These were a couple of big days for the Brew Crew with our Dark Ages show on Friday and Blues & Brews on Saturday. Oh, yeah, and I turned 35, so I guess it was big for me personally. I’ve never had a beer festival on my birthday before. It was, shall we say, a tad insane.

First up, a huge thank you to everybody involved in Beer Week. From Marne Gaston and her staff at Feel Good Festivals,  all the local brewery staffs and local bar staffs who participated, all the people who generously volunteered their time instead of just drinking beer, and to all the folks in the general public who came out to all the events, thank you for all your hard work, your kindness, and for just being the best bunch of folks on the planet for 10 days.

So anyway, onto the last couple of events.

* * * *

For not exactly being the kind of guys who have ever put on an event before, we got through pretty unscathed.

For not exactly being the kind of guys who have ever put on an event before, we got through pretty unscathed.

The Dark Ages was a blast. For an event that we conceived in about a month, I feared it would be completely disorganized and haphazard. Thankfully, we had the awesome Lauren Poole in charge of producing, plus Skye and her staff at Tractor working hard to help procure the beers and set up ArtBar for our event.

As for the Crew, well, we rehearsed our Monty Python inspired opening about 30 minutes before the event. Poor E-Rock got there just in time from his earlier gig to follow us in the line of Beer Monks; he didn’t have a chance to learn the chant we came up with:

Pie jesu domine, we prefer the darker beers (pause, drink)

Pie jesu domine, we like our malts roasted black

Pie jesu domine, we do not like the hoppy

The audience laughed, so I guess we did something right there. From there Lauren and I introduced the various acts, which ranged from Red Light Cameras’ Barney Lopez playing a song on a ukelele atop a ladder to Sam Tynker drinking a beer from eight feet away via a tube through his nose to E-Rock leading his friends in a series of covers from Dark Side of the Moon. Lauren led the band House of Wine into action, while two of our the Crew’s friends did a belly-dancing routine.

The talented Morgan Harris was one of our favorite acts during Dark Ages.

The talented Morgan Harris was one of our favorite acts during Dark Ages.

Oh, and there was also a lovely, extremely flexible young lady silencing us all with her amazing acrobatic routine. We were so blown away I think I was the only one to bother to snap a photo. Thank you, Ms. Morgan Harris, you were amazing.

In between the acts we kept everyone guessing with some beer trivia, with prizes from us (we gave away some of our T-shirts that you may have spotted us wearing all week), Bosque Brewing, Broken Bottle, and more. Heck, we even gave away two free VIP tickets to Blues & Brews that were handed to us during the show. Thank you to Alan Markey from Premier Distributing. We also gave away a free brewery tour with the Crew to our newest follower on Facebook, Matthew Schleyer. He started following us during the show and we pulled his name out of Shilling’s hat just minutes later. His wife also won a prize during the trivia rounds.

So what were the trivia questions? Test your own knowledge here. The answers will be at the bottom of the post.

1. Why do the bubbles in Guinness go down?

A) It’s a visual illusion; B) It’s an effect of being made with nitrogen instead of CO2; C) It’s created by the secret malts Guinness uses

Stoutmeister, left, writes down the trivia answers while Porter Pounder does, um, something important.

Stoutmeister, left, writes down the trivia answers while Porter Pounder does, um, something important.

2. Where did La Cumbre’s Jeff Erway get his start as a brewer?

A) Chama River; B) Turtle Mountain; C) Il Vicino

3. Where was the original location of Il Vicino’s brewery?

A) Downtown; B) Off Comanche near I-25; C) Nob Hill

4. What ingredient gives a milk stout its creamy body and sweetness?

A) Lactic sugar/lactose; B) Chocolate malts; C) A special type of hops

5. Which of the following was NOT a beer from Broken Bottle?

A) Rob Van Winkle Vanilla Stout; B) Fat Willie’s Smoke Stout; C) Pied Piper Porter

6. What was the most read Brew Crew story of all time?

A) Our in-depth interview with Jeff Erway; B) Our explanation of how Tractor briefly lost the ability to sell growlers; C) The review of our second Super Bowl Stout Challenge

E-Rock, left, wore his Spartan helmet and played the oud alongside his friends Sam, center, and Stephen.

E-Rock, left, wore his Spartan helmet and played the oud alongside his friends Sam, center, and Stephen.

We closed the night with a jam session by E-Rock and the many other musicians we had in the house. We also had a total of nine dark beers on tap including Odell’s Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout (a huge thanks to Ryan Bogart from the Colorado brewery for the last-minute donation!), Bosque’s Olde Bosky porter, Broken Bottle’s The Incident Black IPA, Il Vicino’s Black IPA, La Cumbre’s Baltic Porter, Marble’s Stout Americano, and Tractor’s Double Plow Oatmeal Stout, Nut Brown, and Milk Stout.

Thank you to all of our performers, everyone from Tractor and Blackout Theater Company who helped us out, and of course to all the cool people we met in the audience, including some who came from as far away as San Diego. We’ll be sure to do another Dark Ages show for Beer Week 2014 that will be even bigger and better. Don’t miss out next time!

* * * *

The crowd was great with all the space to move around in at Blues & Brews.

The crowd was great with all the space to move around in at Blues & Brews.

So after some stroke-of-midnight birthday shenanigans over at Anodyne with fellow May 4ther Sam Tynker and our friends, I made it home around 4:30 a.m. I may be older, but I’m not wiser. After about 5 hours of sleep, Franz Solo rolled by and we headed out to lunch/brunch with Porter Pounder. From there, it was off to Blues & Brews, which was held outdoors for the first time at the Isleta Amphitheater. The location had its pluses (plenty of room to maneuver) and minuses (the location is a tad remote), but overall things went very well. Heck, I was only sunburned on one small part of my neck that I missed with the sunscreen. That alone is a miracle for this Scottish-Irish-Polish-American.

We stopped by to talk to old friends at Tractor, Bosque, Broken Bottle, Back Alley Draft House, and more of the local booths. We also introduced ourselves to the staff at New Mexico Craft Brewing Co., which is opening soon in Las Vegas. Others we talked to included the owners of the Grain Hopper, Rio Rancho’s homebrewing store, and the folks who are bringing Utah’s Uinta Brewing into the state at long last.

We implore you all to find this awesome beer from Uinta. Just be careful with it, tis a monster.

We implore you all to find this awesome beer from Uinta. Just be careful with it, tis a monster.

For Franz Solo and I, our favorite three out-of-state beers were Lagunitas’ aptly named Hop Stoopid, Green Flash’s Double Stout Golden, and Uinta’s monstrous (13.2% ABV) Labyrinth Imperial Black Ale. Others that stood out to me were Butte Creek’s Organic Porter, Durango Brewing’s Hop Hugger IPA, Mad River’s Steelhead Extra Stout, Pagosa’s super sweet Peach Ale, Ska’s Vernal Minthe Stout, Stone’s Smoked Porter, and Uinta’s Dubhe Imperial Black IPA.

In terms of New Mexico beers, we gave big thumbs up to Back Alley’s IPA, Blue Corn’s Gold Medal Stout, Bosque’s new version of the Boss Pale Ale (it’s sweeter, but with a hoppy bite still present), Broken Bottle’s The Incident, Cazuela’s Inebriator Dopplebock, Chama River’s White Elephant (for Franz) and Summer Ale (for myself), NM Craft Brewing’s Roundhouse (Nitro) Stout, Sandia Chile Grill’s (Nitro) Milk Stout, Santa Fe’s Imperial Java Stout, and Tractor’s Maibock. I do not want to pick just one favorite out of the bunch. They are all worth seeking out, along with the many other great beers brewed all across this great state of ours. Beer Week may be over, but please, don’t stop supporting our local breweries!

The birthday boy closed his day at Blues & Brews with Tractor. What, you're shocked by this? Have you not been paying attention?

The birthday boy closed his day at Blues & Brews with Tractor. What, you’re shocked by this? Have you not been paying attention?

There was a lot of beer that we did not try, but we had to try and stay somewhat lucid. Well, Franz did, I was not quite as lucky (again, older, not wiser). We also had a conversation with Tractor about a little something that might be pretty big for the Crew in the future. We’ll have more on that once we talk some more and transition from theory to actual plan.

Anyway, I again want to say thank you to everyone involved with Blues & Brews. Especially Marne, who does an incredible job of organizing all of this. Marne, you have earned the right to do absolutely nothing for a week but kick back and relax! Blues & Brews was a splendid event and just about the best birthday present this old guy could ever ask for.

So until we’ve all recovered in time next week’s American Craft Beer Week, I bid you adieu from all of us in the Crew. We’ll be back out there soon enough supporting our local breweries. We have (at least) three more beer festivals in June to prepare for!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

(Trivia answers: 1. B, 2. A, 3. C, 4. A, 5. C, 6. B)

The day is finally upon us. Today is the day we in the New Mexico Dark Side Brew Crew turn ArtBar dark. Very dark. Dark cabaret, dark music, dark trivia, and above all else, dark beer. It shall flow tonight.

The Crew compels you to join us for a night of awesome fun and decadent dark beers.

The Crew compels you to join us for a night of awesome fun and decadent dark beers.

Welcome to the Dark Ages!

We realize some of you may still be going “what the heck are those crazy beer fanatics talking about?” So here are a few quick FAQs.

What are you guys doing hosting a Beer Week event? Don’t you just review these things?

Well, we got together with our friends at Tractor back in March and started plotting out our very own event. The folks at Tractor are awfully creative and many of their staffers are actual professional performers/actors. We in the Crew are a bunch of goofballs. It all came together.

But can you guys actually host a show? Do you have any performing experience?

Absolutely not! But that’s why we have the amazingly talented and supremely awesome Lauren Poole as our primary host. She will do all the “heavy lifting,” so to speak, and coach us through the shenanigans.

There’s a cover charge. Why should I pay $10 to come see you guys?

Well, the bulk of the proceeds of this event go to help our friends in Blackout Theater Company. That’s Lauren’s group, for those unaware. They not only put on plays and improv, but also work with children and the general public in helping to bring performance art to the masses.

All right, fine, but what am I in for? Is this going to be some variation on the Reptilian Lounge?

We admit that Tricklock’s awesome improv show did help inspire us, but there will be some differences. Chief among them, beer trivia! In between our various performers, Lauren and I will be presenting a trivia question to the audience. Each question will be multiple choice. The questions will revolve around some aspect of dark beers and/or local beers and breweries. You will write down the answer and your name on a piece of paper which will then be collected. All the correct answers will be placed in a bucket and one prize winner will be drawn. We have some sweet swag to give away from Broken Bottle, Bosque Brewing, and the Crew itself, from T-shirts to growlers (not filled, we can’t do that for you, sorry), all the way up to our final prize, the brewery membership of your choice, which we will buy for you!

Yes, all six of us will be on hand tonight to entertain you. Well, we'll be on hand, far more talented people will do the entertaining. We'll be drinking.

Yes, all six of us will be on hand tonight to entertain you. Well, we’ll be on hand, far more talented people will do the entertaining. We’ll be drinking.

Beer Trivia sounds fun. What else do you have in store for us?

Music will be provided by E-Rock and members of his Middle Eastern band, Sadaqah. They will be playing some unique covers of songs from a certain “Dark Side” album. We will have belly dancers and burlesque dancers, Paul the Poet, and Barney Lopez of Blackout and Red Light Cameras will be performing … something. It’s a surprise. Plus get ready for the Amy Winehouse-inspired band House of Wine. There will be plenty of sights and sounds to behold.

You have almost sold me. Now the important question: what beers will be on tap? Just Tractor beers, right?

We will have two Tractor beers, the Double Plow Oatmeal Stout and the Chocolate Stout. But, man (and woman) cannot live off two beers alone, no matter how delicious they might be. A number of other local breweries were generous and sent us their own dark beers for us to consume. Il Vicino and Broken Bottle will have their burly Black IPAs for the hopheads in the crowd. La Cumbre’s Baltic Porter and Bosque’s Olde Bosky will provide us with two variations of porters. If you need a coffee kick, Marble’s Stout Americano (which is out at the downtown pub) is around to keep you awake. And finally, a bit thanks to our friends from up north at Odell for sending us dessert, also known as Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout.

All right, fine, I’m in. Should I pay at the door or in advance?

We highly recommend you pay in advance, which you can do here. Events at ArtBar often sell out.

But wait, where is ArtBar again? I know I’ve driven or walked past it.

ArtBar is located on the northeast corner of Gold and Second Street downtown. It is across the street from The Box. There is a lot of street parking in the area, or you can park in that same garage where you would go if you were seeing a movie at Century 14 Downtown or dining at that huge Brazilian restaurant around the corner. Doors open at 8:30 and the show starts at 9 p.m.

If you have any more questions, leave a message here, contact us on Facebook or via Twitter (@nmdarksidebc) or just email us at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com.

We hope to see as many of you that can make it out tonight!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister and the rest of the NM Dark Side Brew Crew

The ninth day of ABQ Beer Week is almost the finale. Only Blues & Brews remains after this, but as far as finales go, that one is pretty epic.

Going out with a bang on Day 9.

Going out with a bang on Day 9.

This day, however, is the one the Brew Crew has been looking forward to the most. After all, it has our very own event, the Dark Ages, capping off a jam-packed night. That preview gets its own separate post that will follow this.

Also, a big thanks to everyone that joined us, the ABQ Craft Beer Drinkers Group, and the Babes in Brewland down at Marble on Thursday night. We enjoyed talking about beer and drinking beer while we talked.

Here are the events for Friday besides Dark Ages.

What: Lips of Faith Pairings. Where: Geckos on Academy and in Nob Hill. When: all day. Cost: No cover charge. Details: This is the final night where you can get New Belgium Lips of Faith series beers paired up with Geckos’ tapas dishes. Why you should go: As our own Derek reviewed the other day, this is a great combo of tasty food and beer. Plus, it’s the last night, so if you have not gone yet, this is your last chance.

What: Broken Bottle Event. Where: Broken Bottle Brewery. When: 4 p.m. to midnight. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The guys at BBB will be releasing a new seasonal while the touring bad You Knew Me When (check them out here) will be playing. Why you should go: If you don’t want to leave the west side tonight, here is the Beer Week event for you. Let us know what the new seasonal is, we are intrigued.

What: Beer & Cheese Pairing. Where: Whole Foods on Carlisle. When: 4 to 6:30 p.m. Cost: Unknown. Details: If you missed the Beer & Cheese event at Marble earlier this week, you can make up for it by heading over to the store that employs more ABQ-area musicians than any other. Grab some cheese that will be paired up with beers from Odell. Why you should go: Support local music! Well, maybe you do by attending this, maybe you don’t, but go enjoy some tasty food and beer.

What: Special Beer Tasting. Where: Imbibe in Nob Hill. When: 4 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Lagunitas will bring two of its beers, Lagunitas Sucks imperial IPA and the wholly unique Wilco Tango Foxtrot, to tap. Why you should go: The WTF (see what they did there?) is a beer that almost defies classification. It looks like a brown ale, but has elements of pilsners, IPAs, and other beers all mixed in. Thankfully, it all comes together well.

What: Beer Sampling. Where: Jubilation on Carlisle and Lomas. When: 4 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Left Hand will be bringing some tasty beers for you to try. This being Jubilation and all, we are fairly certain that you can then buy what you like afterward. Why you should go: Left Hand rules. Jubilation rules. What a combination of domination.

What: Special Beer Tasting. Where: Billy’s Longbar on San Mateo north of Montgomery. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Are you still sad that you missed Goose Island’s Bourbon County Coffee Stout at Two Fools last Friday? Well, here is your opportunity for redemption as this massive (14.2-percent ABV) elixir will be back on tap for one night only. Why you should go: This might be the single best out-of-town release any of the Crew have sampled this week. If you did not have any at Two Fools, go get some tonight.

What: Special Beer Tasting. Where: O’Niell’s in Nob Hill. When: 5 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: If you can’t make it over to Jubilation, Left Hand will be on hand here as well. Why you should go: If you want to have some dinner with your Left Hand, this is probably the better option. Just be warned, Brandon and I might be there, which could lead to us arguing over hockey. Oh, wait, no we won’t, since only my team (the Penguins) made the playoffs.

What: Special Beer Tasting. Where: O’Niell’s on Juan Tabo. When: 5 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: For those up in the Heights, Stone Brewing will have some of its beers for you to sample. Why you should go: Shouldn’t saying Stone be enough reason? Do you need more?

What: Special Beer Tasting. Where: Sister Bar downtown. When: 5 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Both La Cumbre and Oskar Blues will bring their beers to tap. Elevated IPA, our local heavyweight, will be joined by G’Knight Imperial Red and Old Chub Scottish Ale. Why you should go: Support local first, but then enjoy two of the better brews to come out of Colorado. And considering how many beers come out of Colorado, that’s saying something.

What: Special Beer Tasting. Where: Two Fools. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Boulder Beer brings its Barrel Aged Coconut Never Summer Ale, a modified version of their winter seasonal, to tap in the final Two Fools event of Beer Week. Why you should go: Go grab some tasty food, watch some sports on TV, and let us know what this version of Boulder’s ale tastes like.

All right, that’s it for Friday’s events besides Dark Ages. Hey, you know what’s great? Almost all of these events end before Dark Ages starts! That means you can go to one or two of these (just be careful or get a designated driver/take a cab, etc.) and then still have time to come downtown and join us. Look for the big preview of our event next!

And to all the bars, breweries, restaurants, and other establishments that have taken part in and supported Beer Week, we say thank you one and all. It has been a blast this year.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Editor’s note: E-Rock made it back from Texas on Wednesday night and headed over to Two Fools for a Left Hand beer tasting event. He’s trying to play catch-up on all the things he needs to do in advance of Friday’s Dark Ages show, so I’m posting this on his behalf. — Stoutmeister

E-Rock went to Two Fools and picked up a special pint glass from Left Hand.

E-Rock went to Two Fools and picked up a special pint glass from Left Hand.

On Wednesday evening Two Fools Irish Pub played host to a tasting of two new beers from Left Hand Brewery. As always, Two Fools was packed when I arrived with some friends. Luckily we were able to find a table rather quickly.

When the waitress came by, I had to ask if they were still doing the tastings since those started at 5 p.m. and we didn’t show up until 6:30. The tasting was still occurring, so I ordered a pint of the Java Porter and one of my friends ordered the Twin Sisters Double IPA.

The Java Porter was on the lighter side with respect to color, while the body was smooth and the taste had distinct coffee notes without being overpowering. I sampled my friend’s Twin Sisters Double IPA. This beer was orange in color. It had a strong, hoppy bite to it that was mellowed out by a sweet finish. It reminded me of Il Vicino’s Exodus IPA.

As we were finishing our beers, the spokesman for Left Hand came by and asked us if we were interested in sampling their new beers. We told him that we were just finishing up a pint each. His face brightened a bit, and he said, “Great!” He then handed each of us a pint glass and a Left Hand sticker.

All in all, it was an enjoyable tasting with beers that were bold in flavor while still being easy on the palate. I highly recommend dropping by a Left Hand tasting if you get the opportunity.

Cheers!

— E-Rock

Oh, my, Day 8 of Beer Week is a busy one. In addition to the ongoing Lips of Faith series at Geckos, there are nine other events. Yup, nine. Pick and choose carefully.

Eight days along and the events keep increasing in number. Joy.

Eight days along and the events keep increasing in number.

In a bit of shameless self-promotion, we in the Crew would definitely recommend a visit to Marble at 6 p.m. That’s where four of Albuquerque’s beer groups will gather for a Meet & Greet. Come on down to meet us in the Brew Crew, as well as the ABQ Craft Beer Drinkers Group, the Worthogs Home Brew Club of Rio Rancho, and the Babes in Brewland.

This is a great opportunity for people to learn what each of our groups is all about. If you have ever thought about joining a group, this is your chance to find out which one fits you best. As a bonus, you can get Mug Club pricing on pints while you visit. So stop on by Marble between 6 and 7:30 and say hello. There is no cover charge or anything like that.

As for the rest of the events, as I said before, choose carefully.

What: Cask Ale Night. Where: Marble West Side Taproom. When: 3 p.m. to midnight. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The west side gets to have some of Marble’s delicious beers on cask, including the 505 collaboration beer, red ale and oatmeal stout. You can get free samples. Why you should go: For those west of the Rio Grande, if you have never tried cask beer, this is your chance, and you have a lot of time to choose when to go over.

What: Special Beer Release. Where: Kellys Brewpub in Nob Hill. When: 4 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Kellys finally gets in on the Beer Week fun by releasing The Forgotten Brewer, a double IPA. You can also get free tours of the brewery from the brewers. Why you should go: We have been hearing from people that the beer at Kellys is starting to rise to the standards set by the other microbreweries in town. Head on over and see if the rumors are true, plus you can grab a bite to eat and watch the NHL and NBA playoffs on the 8,000 televisions at Kellys.

What: Sandia Chile Grill special. Where: SCG, located in the shopping center on the northeast corner of San Antonio and Wyoming. When: 4 to 8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Stop in this afternoon/evening at SCG and get a free loaded baked potato with the purchase of a pint of beer. Why you should go: Free food with your beer. Who doesn’t like that?

What: Special Beer Tasting. Where: O’Niell’s in Nob Hill. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: New Belgium beers will be on hand for folks to sample. Why you should go: Free beer samples.

What: Special Beer Tasting. Where: O’Niell’s on Juan Tabo. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Left Hand beers will be on hand for folks to sample. Why you should go: Free beer samples.

What: Special Beer Tapping. Where: Two Fools. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Reps from La Cumbre will be on hand to talk while you enjoy Project Dank (IPA). Why you should go: Trust us, any conversation with La Cumbre staff will raise your beer IQ by at least 10 to 20 points. Those of us that participated in Cask Fest at Il Vicino back in March rather enjoyed Project Dank, so let us know what you think.

What: Special Beer Tapping. Where: Billy’s Pub on Juan Tabo. When: 5 to 6:30 p.m. Cost: Unknown. Details: Head on over to try some of Boulder Brewing’s Kinda Blue, an American blueberry wheat. Why you should go: Even if a blueberry wheat is not your thing, there are plenty of other beers on tap at Billy’s for you to try.

What: Special Beer Release. Where: Horse & Angel Tavern. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: If you missed any of the prior opportunities to try Odell’s Amuste, this is your chance. Amuste is a porter brewed with juice from Tempranillo grapes (grown in Colorado) and then aged in oak wine barrels. Why you should go: It is never too early to have a potent but sweet beer that can double as your dessert.

What: Special Beer Tasting. Where: Sister Bar on Central downtown. When: 5 to 8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Stone is bringing its 2013 Old Guardian Oak-Aged Ale, the Espresso Imperial Russian Stout, and Cali-Belgique IPA to draft at Sister. Why you should go: Since we have an hour before Meet & Greet, a lot of us in the beer groups are planning on sneaking over to Sister for a quick pint. Three of Stone’s awesome beers on draft. Poor Franz Solo is stuck at work during this time, so we will raise our glasses in his honor.

OK, that’s it for Thursday. Things do not get any less busy for us on Friday when the Crew joins forces with Blackout’s Lauren Poole and a slew of awesome performers to bring you the Dark Ages at ArtBar. We will have a lot more details on that, plus all of the other Beer Week events (and there are a lot of them) on the final night before Blues & Brews.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

There are nine total events going on for Day 7 of ABQ Beer Week. NINE. Here is hoping you all have some energy to tackle this day.

Seven days old and the events keep increasing in awesomeness.

Seven days old and the events keep increasing in awesomeness.

Actually, one of the events is already over. Kegs & Eggs was at Cazuelas in Rio Rancho this morning at 7 a.m. We should have included it with Tuesday’s events list; sorry to anyone that missed it due to our oversight.

In another bit of bad news, Desert Fish, the Nob Hill bar/eatery where Hot Sunner Nights was going on all of Beer Week, is no more. Yes, they shut their doors right in the midst of Beer Week. Bummer. The good news is we are not out of Sunner Kolsch if you missed your go chance to try this classic German beer. See below. The New Belgium Lips of Faith series at Geckos will continue, however, at both the Academy and Nob Hill locations.

None of the Crew was able to make it out to any of Tuesday night’s four events. Yeah, I know, shame on us, but I had baseball, Brandon worked late, and the others were busy with various things as we’re all trying to clear our schedules in advance of the Beer Groups Meet & Greet at Marble on Thursday, the Dark Ages show on Friday at ArtBar, and Blues & Brews at the Pavilion on Saturday.

Those of us not covering baseball tonight will be out and about. If you see a Crew member, say hello. They’re friendly. Especially when they have a pint in hand.

What: Abita Tasting. Where: Quarters on Wyoming, just north of Montgomery. When: 4 to 7 p.m. Cost: $20. Details: Louisiana’s top brewery will bring several of its beers for you to try at Quarters. Food will be provided and you get a souvenir glass with your $20 payment. Why you should go: One of the best breweries in the South compels you to come to Quarters. Plus, you can go next door to the restaurant afterward and wolf down some ribs or steak.

What: Marble Brewery Food Truck Rumble. Where: The downtown pub. When: 4 to 8 p.m. Cost: $20, reservations required. Details: It’s like a giant speakeasy, so dress up 1930s style and head on down to the pub. There will be four food trucks (The Supper Truck, Soo Bak Foods, Talking Fountain Kitchen, The Boiler Monkey) pairing up one food dish apiece with one specific pint. Supper’s Spring Shrimp ‘n Grits is paired with Triple. Soo Bak will serve porter-braised short ribs with Double IPA. The other two trucks’ pairings were TBA as of this morning, but I’m sure they will be delectable. Why you should go: Great food paired with Marble beers, plus a chance to dress up like you’re hanging with Al Capone in Chicago (minus the whole baseball bat-to-the-head thing). Plus, Zoltan the Incredible and His Royal Two Man Pirate Circus Band will be performing throughout the event. You can buy tickets online here.

What: Widmer Special Release. Where: Fox & Hound. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The Oregon brewery is bringing down some of its Kill Devil Brown Ale. Get ready for a brown ale with a Caribbean twist. Sweet Barbados and Blackstrap Molasses are among the ingredients for this beer, which is aged in Puerto Rican rum barrels. Why you should go: This is not the type of beer that you can find at your local liquor store. Plus, there are about 8,000 televisions inside Fox & Hound so you can start watching the Pittsburgh Penguins begin their march to the Stanley Cup.

What: Stone Beer Tasting. Where: O’Niell’s in Nob Hill. When: 5 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: There shall be great beers from Stone for you to enjoy. Need we say more? Why you should go: Dude, it’s Stone. Do you really need a reason?

What: Rogue Beer Tasting. Where: O’Niell’s on Juan Tabo. When: 5 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: There shall be great beers from Rogue for you to enjoy. Need we say more? Why you should go: Dude, it’s Rogue. Seriously, Franz Solo is losing his mind trying to decide between Rogue and Stone. It’s almost unfair.

What: Beers of the World Flight Event. Where: Sister Bar on Central downtown. When: 5 to 8 p.m. Cost: $12. Details: Get ready for some rare European beers, served to you in 2-ounce sample glasses, plus you get a full-sized pint of your favorite. The beers in question are Sunner Kolsch (Germany), La Trappe Witte Trappist (Netherlands), Gavroche Red Ale (France), Petrus Aged Pale Ale (Belgium), Hobgoblin English Ale (England), and Delirium Tremens Trippel (Belgium). Why you should go: Odds are you have never had these beers before. Annoy or impress your friends by earning multiple badges on Untappd when you drink these.

What: Left Hand Special Tapping. Where: Two Fools. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Those wonderful folks up in Longmont, Colo., are bring their Twin Sisters Double IPA to tap in Nob Hill tonight. There will be brewery representative(s) on hand if you want to talk about this beer and all the other good ones they make. Why you should go: A double IPA goes great with fish & chips. Plus, you could meet Left Hand staffers. Just don’t run up and hug them like I would. It’s probably a good thing I’m at the Isotopes game tonight.

All right, that’s it for today, but it’s plenty. We will have an extended preview of Thursday’s events, plus a look at what you’re in for at the Dark Ages event on Friday.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Editor’s note: Yeah, I know I said none of us went out to do any beer reviews last night. I was wrong. Shilling got free for the first time in, well, he’ll tell you. We’re just glad to have him back. — Stoutmeister

Greetings beer lovers. After a damn near 15-week hiatus to focus on my studies, I’m rejoining my beer-loving brothers just in time for Beer Week. A perfect way to kick off my short summer break (good old summer school). For those that know, I have a hard time turning down a good red ale and Il Vicino is one of my local favorites.

Il Vicino's Irish red was served up on cask at Two Fools, and it was wonderful.

Il Vicino’s Irish red was served up on cask at Two Fools, and it was wonderful.

This year for ABQ Beer Week, Brady and company have released quite a few special batches, including the Cask Irish Red.

So on a warm Tuesday afternoon, I made my way to Two Fools Tavern to give this different version of the popular ale a try. I was actually lucky enough to get the first pint they served, in fact.

The cask red looks like a pint of honey. Its mellow flavor and sweetness outweigh the normal bitter, hoppy flavor found in the majority our local reds. It is simply a nice, refreshing ale on a warm day that won’t fill you up after one.

All in all, I enjoyed this beer. It is much lighter than what I’m used to, especially for a cask ale (at Cask Wednesday last week, IVBC had the Black IPA clocking in at around 7-percent ABV). This is probably not an ale for the hop heads, but it is a good ale for those who have never had a cask ale.

So the next event I will be at (I believe) is Thursday afternoon at Sister Bar downtown for a tasting from my favorite brewery, Stone, followed by the Beer Groups Meet & Greet at Marble.

Cheers my friends!

— Jon

Stoutmeister here with another of Derek’s, er, Porter Pounder’s reviews of some of the recent beer tastings, specifically the ones on Monday night. He’s been an intrepid sampler of beer so far, so I’ll let him take it away from here.

Odell's Treeshaker Imperial IPA is flavorful without being overpowering.

Odell’s Treeshaker Imperial IPA is flavorful without being overpowering.

First up, from Two Fools’ Monday tapping.

Odell Treeshaker Imperial IPA

Cool demeanor and gorgeous orange color for a classic strong IPA. Major citrus flavors flood your mouth with rich, pungent hops. The body is a fine medium with constant low carbonation; always moving and creating a low but noticeable head. It drinks more like a lager. Super smooth, especially for an imperial IPA. At almost 10-percent ABV it’s no wonder they’ll only serve in 10-ounce glasses, but fully worth the time to grab one or two while you can while it’s still on tap. If it pops up in local liquor stores, grab some and take it home.

Second up, from O’Niell’s in Nob Hill’s Monday tasting.

Deschutes

Hailing from Bend, Ore., Deschutes has been a mainstay in many craft beer drinkers’ repertories. They’ve managed to package and ship beer all over the United States while still remaining the delicious microbrew they’ve been since the beginning.

The lineup of goodness that Deschutes brought to O'Niell's in Nob Hill.

The lineup of goodness that Deschutes brought to O’Niell’s in Nob Hill.

The new River Ale is first up in order from Deschutes this year for Beer Week. Bright summer flavored nose combined with a mild hop kick on the back. Clean finish. Super easy drinker for any style.

Their Chain Breaker White IPA was introduced last year. It’s based on a wheat recipe so it’s much lighter than your typical IPA, with wheat tones and traditional citrus tones from the wheat beer yeast. The finished hops are perfectly potent for what it should be, making it a very unique IPA for Deschutes to stand out against any other microbrew.

Red Chair NWPA (North West Pale Ale) was next in line. Almost vanilla tones off the nose start you off to a pleasant experience following with a very creamy texture. A classic I’ve known for years from this Oregon microbrewery. Finishes with a bitter finish but still not overpowering.

And finally, the piece des resistance, the Black Butte Porter. This is one that I found out about last year at Beer Week and has been a frequent buy for me. Very robust and bold compared to the other offerings they have for on this smorgasbord. A rich, full body and tight-packed head which coats the palate. Traditional coffee and chocolate tones that are so smooth make this easily my favorite this year again. You definitely won’t be disappointed with any of these four options.

Cheers!

— Porter Pounder

Beer Week just keeps on keeping on, rolling into Tuesday with four events on tap. That might not seem like a lot, but they all have the potential to be awesome, and there are always the ongoing Lips of Faith/Tapas pairings at Geckos and Hot Sunner Nights at Desert Fish for those who have not tried either yet.

On the sixth day, the beer gods continued to smile upon us all.

On the sixth day, the beer gods continued to smile upon us all.

Derek, er, Porter Pounder (still getting use to that pen name) did a couple quick reviews for us last night with everyone else tied up with baseball, music, or work. We’ll have those up later today.

Without further adieu, here are Tuesday’s fab four events.

What: Taps & Apps. Where: Hotel Andaluz downtown. When: 5 p.m. Cost: $25 (plus tax and gratuity). Details: Four local breweries — Bosque, Il Vicino, La Cumbre, Marble — will have one of their beers paired up with a different appetizer at the trendy downtown hotel. The beers will be the Scotia Scotch Ale, Irish Red, Hefe, and Triple. Why you should go: Lots of tasty food dishes plus four excellent local beers? This sounds positively indulgent.

What: Odell Invasion. Where: Sister Bar on Central in downtown. When: 5 to 8 p.m. Cost: Unknown. Details: One of Colorado’s best breweries will bring Amuste, Nitro Lugene Milk Chocolate Stout, Nitro Porter, Myrcenary IPA, and Seasonal Red Ale to tap. Why you should go: Sister has one of the best beer menus of any bar in town and this only makes it better. Plus, by going this early, you miss the annoying, college-kid dominated late-night crowd.

What: Special Beer Tapping. Where: Two Fools. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: It’s time for some local brews to get tapped at Two Fools, starting with two from Il Vicino. Appropriately for an Irish pub, the IV guys are bringing their Irish Lager and a cask version of the Irish Red to Nob Hill. Why you should go: Two awesome Irish beers plus awesome Irish food should make for a darned good evening. You can watch the start of the NHL playoffs, too. Hey, hockey players fight like Irishmen.

What: Special Beer Tasting. Where: O’Niell’s in Nob Hill. When: 5 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Craft brewing trailblazer Sierra Nevada will bring a selection of its beers to O’Niell’s for people to sample. Why you should go: Food, beer, TV’s with hockey … sounds like a perfect night to us.

That wraps up Tuesday’s events. Now it’s time for shameless self-promotion — for those who didn’t see it online Monday, our good friend Lauren Poole offers up a preview of the Dark Ages show at ArtBar on Friday night. The Crew will be co-hosting this event with Lauren and an awesome collection of talented performers. We will have beer trivia and a lineup of six dark, wonderful beers on tap. If you want to buy tickets in advance for just $10, click here. The proceeds benefit the Blackout Theater Company.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Stoutmeister here. We still have to create a log-in for Derek (that’s your new homework assignment, Shilling!), so until then I’ll just be presenting his stories like this.

Anyway, Derek went to Geckos on Academy on Sunday night to try the New Belgium Lips of Faith Series that is being paired with Tapas dishes every night of ABQ Beer Week. This special offer is available at the Geckos in Nob Hill as well.

Oh, and Derek has come up with a “clever” pen name, a la mine and Shiling’s and E-Rock’s and Franz Solo’s. Maybe this will inspire Brandon, too.

On with the show …

New Belgium's Lips of Faith Cherry Coffee Red pairs up nicely with Geckos' BBQ ribs.

New Belgium’s Lips of Faith Cherry Coffee Red pairs up nicely with Geckos’ BBQ ribs.

Lips of Faith Cherry coffee red by New Belgium. Paired with cherry glazed sweet BBQ ribs tapas at Geckos.

It had a nice caramel smell and reflects a bold amber or red in color. Initial taste is of a nice, hoppy, red ale. Leaves you with a slight bitter taste at the end, but the body of it was very appealing for a red.

Coffee Cherries are definitely evident with a sweet tart middle to each sip. Coffee comes from fruit and the coffee cherry is a stage of the bean before full maturity, but still available to pick. The coffee cherry most resembles a cherry at that stage but tastes of a combination of cherry, hibiscus (which in particular I find appealing in a red ale) and some light watermelon-ish tones.

The ribs that were paired with it were a perfect, fall-off-the-bone tender. The BBQ sauce infused with sweet cherries really was a perfect accompaniment, because the cherry was so subtle. Eat a little and taking a sip ended up being a match made in heaven.

It’s 10-percent ABV so it does creep up on you without being overpowering. It mainly will appeal to fans of red ales all around.

Cheers!

— Porter Pounder