Archive for the ‘ABQ Beer Week 2015’ Category

Everyone loved this beer (who could drink it) among Crew members, new and old.

Everyone loved this beer (who could drink it) among Crew members, new and old. Go get some if you have not already.

So once upon a time I asked all of our writers, new and old, if they could please send me their picks for the best beers they had during ABQ Beer Week that were still available for purchase either on tap or in bottles/cans/bombers around the metro area. After waiting a long time for people to send in their picks … I realized I had never written up my own picks. Thank the Beer Gods for Untappd, or otherwise I would be babbling away on here with no idea of what I was talking about.

Basically it would be like any other weekday. (Can you zing yourself? Because I think I just did.)

Here is everyone else. And yeah, I guess this is a preview of who is joining our Brew Crew Bullpen (full bios/intros pending in a separate story).

Also, if you sense a theme here, people kinda liked that one certain IPA from a certain San Diego-based brewery.

Adam’s picks

Left Hand Oak Aged Wake Up Dead (2014) (10.2% ABV, 44 IBU) Enjoyed this at a special taping at Nob Hill Bar & Grill. Like its un-oaked cousin, still a huge beer, but rounded vanilla notes calm it somewhat. Winey goodness, dangerously drinkable!

Oskar Blues Different Stiles (GUBNA Imperial IPA with Blood Orange and Passionfruit) (10% ABV, 100 IBU) Stumbled across this beer one night at Rock & Brews and enjoyed it so much I had to go back for more later in the week. The fruit combines with the massive hop profile to start it off tasting like fresh grapefruit juice, through to a large fruity hop finish. Outstanding beer, I hope it continues to be available.

Amy’s pick

Mother Road Lost Highway Black IPA (8% ABV, 100 IBU) Don’t let this “little” beer fool you. With those stats, it shouldn’t feel sessionable. But, to me it kind of did. That could be pretty dangerous. I could still taste the roasted malt characteristics and a bit of java. A pretty well-rounded, hoppy beer. Another reason to visit the brewery the next time I am in Flagstaff. Until then, I can be thankful Mother Road is now here in NM.

Brandon’s picks

Grapefruit Sculpin IPA, Ballast Point (7% ABV, 70 IBU) We here in Albuquerque have been deprived of Ballast Point’s amazing lineup of beers long enough, but that all changed during the beginning of ABQ Beer Week. This seasonal variant of their award-winning Sculpin IPA brings all of the fresh citrus notes with a slight catty burst and floral notes, but with the tart addition of fresh grapefruit added in. The pairing results in a lupulin and fresh fruit explosion that is remarkably refreshing in the summer months. Find a six-pack at your local craft beer retailer and quench your thirst during the warm weather months.

Hoppy Birthday Pale Ale, Alpine Brewing (5.25% ABV, 60 IBU) Alpine Brewing also made their 505 debut during ABQ Beer Week, and Hoppy Birthday is not to be trifled with. This thing is dry-hopped like you would find in one of our dank modern-day IPAs, lending plenty of grapefruit, dank resiny notes, and bursts of lime and other citrus notes. However, it still possesses a solid pale malt bill to balance the beer out and keep it from being overwhelming or crossing into palate-wrecking territory. Mild ABV makes this a very tasty and sessionable beer. Although Alpine has yet to stock the shelves of our local stores yet, they are on their way very soon; for now, stop in at Nob Hill Bar & Grill for a pint!

Franz Solo’s picks

Note: He had a hell of a day Monday, so this is what he sent in one paragraph. Beers are highlighted in bold.

St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Heimat House is amazing. This version of (Chama River’s) Radioactive IPA that I had at BearFest was equally outstanding and an excellent preview of the IPA Challenge. Also, Turtle Mountain’s Wilde Jagd is just wonderfully distinct and I can’t wait to do a full review. The advent of the age of Ballast Point is stupendous. Tractor’s Maibock (Barnstorm Ale) was a wonderful accompaniment to Battle of the Beer Geeks. I adore (Boxing Bear’s) Body Czech Pilsner and am very happy that it garnered a recent medal, for good reason, I might add.

Julie’s pick

Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin IPA (7% ABV, 70 IBU) I’ll admit, I’ve been stuffing my suitcase with this brew when traveling home from other states since I discovered it back in January. To have it readily available in New Mexico is nothing short of a hops miracle, and the kickoff for welcoming Ballast Point to the state launched this year’s Albuquerque Beer Week. Even if you’re not an IPA fan, give it a try. This beer’s light, crisp body walks the line between bitter hops and tart grapefruit and finishes incredibly smooth. Grapefruit Sculpin IPA’s hello is the scent of grapefruit, and the citrus kick is also the last thing lingering in your mouth. Scared? Don’t be. Friends of mine who are sworn enemies of grapefruit have embraced this beer wholeheartedly because of its balance — and collectively, we have stalked every last tap of it and drank it dry. Word is that Sister will soon have it on tap, and it’s sure to stay in rotation at Nob Hill Bar & Grill. Buy it in six-packs at various locations in New Mexico.

Laura’s picks

Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin (7% ABV, 70 IBU) Tried this beauty at the Nob Hill Bar & Grill Ballast Point Tap Takeover. It is currently available at Jubilation and Total Wine. This could possibly be one of the best IPAs I have ever tried. Poured clear golden orange with a big white head. Big citrus nose of grapefruit, oranges and lemons. For a big ipa, the citrus flavor on top of a light caramel malt back backbone was perfectly balanced. Grapefruit aftertaste. Pretty much a perfect summer beer.

Ballast Point Indra Kunindra (7% ABV, 50 IBU) I tried this beer at the Nob Hill Bar & Grill Ballast Point Tap Takeover. India­style Export stout is a new style for me, this might be the only one. Poured a dark brown with and off-white head. Brewed with curry, cumin, cayenne, coconut, and Kaffir lime leaf! All of the spices in a coconut stout. Beers like this make this hobby so much fun. (Note: It should come back at some point, but we cannot guarantee this beer is still available anywhere in ABQ.)

Mother Road Lost Highway Imperial Black IPA (8% ABV, 100 IBUs) I tried this for the second time at ABQ Blues & Brews. Poured a dark brown, almost black, with a light tan head. Mouthfeel and roastiness of an Imperial Stout along with the resiny bitterness of a Black IPA. Heavy, but not too heavy to enjoy a couple in the same evening.

Marble Brewing Brett IPA (6.8% ABV, 93 IBUs) I tried this at the Marble Westside Taproom during the Beer, Cheese, & More event. It is available there on tap and in bottles. I have been struggling to get the hype of the brett and sour beers, but loved the blend of the flavors in this beer. Order one on tap and slowly let the temperature increase to bring out the complexities in this beer. The brett is more dominant with the increase. Great crossover beer that I highly recommend.

Uncle Jacob's will forever remain an all-time Brew Crew favorite.

Uncle Jacob’s will forever remain an all-time Brew Crew favorite.

Stoutmeister’s picks

Ballast Point Victory at Sea (10% ABV, 60 IBU) There were so many good beers on BP night at Nob Hill Bar & Grill, but not all of them involved a certain fruit I am allergic to put into an otherwise great IPA. Anyway, instead I indulged in this massive blast of malty goodness. Think one of the strongest coffees you have ever had, with a copious amount of vanilla cream dumped in there, then thickened up to the point of where your spoon stands straight up. Yeah, that is this beer. At last check, NHBG still had some left on tap. Whenever bombers appear at Jubilation, I fully expect the staff to warn me in advance. Otherwise I’m charging in there like Franz and Brandon into a Slayer mosh pit, elbows up, to make sure I get some.

Left Hand Oak Aged Wake Up Dead: See Adam’s entry above, he got it right.

Santa Fe Ever Changing Series #3 Highland Heath (9% ABV, 20 IBU) Fear not, the third entry in the ECS is heading our way soon on tap and in bottles. I will be buying many of them. The folks at SFBC took a Scottish ale, aged in barrels for six months, and tossed in copious amounts of heather, chamomile, and rose hips. It’s flowery and boozy and malty and that’s just what hits you right off the bat. A dominating debut at Blues & Brews. Here’s hoping I get to a festival this summer where they go even crazier and run this one through R2Beer2. Not that I’m suggesting anything here, Silas. But good ahead if you want.

Bosque/Canteen Hoppiness Envy (7.2% ABV, 100 IBU) A truly beautiful collaboration IPA, I sincerely hope some is still available at Canteen (not sure about Bosque). This is a big, mean hop bomb, the brainchild of the men who finished first and second at the National IPA Challenge this year and at the New Mexico IPA Challenge last summer. It is bitter, sharp, resinous, yet with that maltier backbone that is more common to Mr. Bullard’s big IPAs. In many ways this is the best of both worlds, but no one has to be assimilated. (Sorry, geek moment there, couldn’t resist.) Here is hoping more of our breweries have the time and energy to collaborate in the future. Anyone else want to see Bosque, Canteen, and La Cumbre make a Triple IPA together? I sure do.

Avery Uncle’s Jacob’s Stout (16.9% ABV, N/A IBU) There may still be some of this epic, barrel-aged imperial available on tap at Nob Hill Bar & Grill and in bottles at Jubilation. If there is, GO GET IT NOW. Seriously, this is one of the best beers I have ever had in my life. Yes, I am saying that. About a stout. Do you doubt its power? DO YOU?! I do not care how warm it is getting outside, you need this beer in your life if you have never had it before. Huge bourbon notes, that wonderful vanilla, massive dark malt blast, all wrapped up in one beautiful beer. Just note the ABV, please, and do not do anything stupid afterward. Like try to talk. It will leave you speechless.

Honorable mentions (a.k.a. editor’s privilege): Ballast Point Dorado DIPA, Ballast Point Black Marlin Porter, Nexus T.N.G. Porter, Deschutes Mirror Mirror Barley Wine, New Mexico Craft Brewing Rye Stout (available up in Las Vegas), Ponderosa Brunch Stout, Cazuela’s Primo Brown Ale, Duel’s amber sour of mystery (you had to be there), Rio Grande/Sierra Blanca Alien Milk Stout, Sandia Chile Grill Dirty Steve Mead, Monks’ Tripel Reserve, St. Bernardus Abt 12 (at Heimat House!), Widmer Bros. Raspberry Chocolate Russian Imperial Stout, Odell Barrel Thief Oak Aged Imperial IPA.

All right, that is all from us. Had a few favorites that we overlooked? Email us your picks at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com or just send us stuff via the usual social media outlets.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Editor’s note: We just received one more story from our last Beer Week correspondent, Julie, who has been on the road and could not get this to us any sooner. (She is currently in Flagstaff learning good things about Mother Road.) But since it contains info beyond just the event itself, it seemed prudent to still run the story. Read on for some good news about the plans at Sister and how they will benefit all of us craft beer lovers. And be really jealous of the Double D-licious she got to have. — Stoutmeister

Boulder’s tequila barrel-aged IPA and bourbon barrel-aged Shake Chocolate Porter.

Boulder’s tequila barrel-aged IPA and bourbon barrel-aged Shake Chocolate Porter.

Sister retains its allure even during full daylight hours, and for you day drinkers out there it’s a great chance to explore the flocked wallpaper, dioramas, and semi-creepy portraits without the crush of the usual crowd. I headed there during ABQ Beer Week for the limited release tappings from Boulder Beer. Two barrel-aged brews were offered, plus (my first) IPA on nitro.

Starting with Libido Grande, the tequila barrel-aged IPA, I immediately was hit with the scent of honey. No wonder, as this brew was loaded with agave. The sweetness was cut by the bitter body of the IPA, but the agave prevailed in the body of the brew to make this IPA stickier than what you’d expect. Rich with an amber hue, it had little to no head. Notes of pine, citrus or weedy hops were not to be found here, but this beer surprised with the little kick of tequila that lingered at the end.

At 7-percent ABV (70 IBU), the Libido Grande is what Carrie (the Boulder rep) described as a “creeper,” making you think you’re drinking a session ale because it goes down so smoothly. Carrie says Sam, the Boulder brewer who gets to choose which beers are barrel-aged, kept the Libido Grande in tequila barrels for a full three months.

Carrie from Boulder Beer attempts to convert a long-time Hamm’s drinker to the bourbon barrel-aged Double D-licious Shake Chocolate Porter.

Carrie from Boulder Beer attempts to convert a long-time Hamm’s drinker to the bourbon barrel-aged Double D-licious Shake Chocolate Porter.

The clear winner of the Boulder tasting was the Double D-licious, their Shake Chocolate Porter aged in bourbon barrels (5.9% ABV, 30 IBU). Wow. If you’ve ever had their Shake Chocolate Porter, you’ll remember the rich, dark chocolate flavor. Aged in bourbon barrels, the chocolate overtone is cut by the liquor and by bing cherries that were added specifically for this task. What remains is a velvety porter with an intense bourbon bite. Upon first smell, you get the bourbon. The first taste is also bourbon, but the super opaque dark body soon gives up notes of chocoloate and cherries. The cherry is subtle, but definitely there.

The Double D-licious was just a one-off brew for ABQ Beer Week, but everyone in attendance was in total agreement that this would be a regular addition to their beer fridges if it was only regularly available. Carrie went on to host a brunch pairing featuring this brew and chocolate waffles at Nob Hill Bar & Grill to top off ABQ Beer Week.

After the pour and ensuing cascade, the Mojo IPA on nitro is smooth and rich.

After the pour and ensuing cascade, the Mojo IPA on nitro is smooth and rich.

Finally, I tried the Mojo IPA on nitro. Carrie told us IPAs on nitro are trending in Colorado, and maybe New Mexico will be warming up to this next. What happens to an IPA when it’s put on nitro is that the hops are cut, and you are left with a smooth, rich body that is full of malt. After the nitro cascade settles, it resembles very much an English IPA. At 7.2-percent ABV (72 IBU), it’s another creeper and very easy to drink.

Sister has plans to keep snagging special brews all summer long to pair with their new kitchen offerings.

Sister has plans to keep snagging special brews all summer long to pair with their new kitchen offerings.

What’s Next For Sister

Ben, the manager at Sister, made it known they had big plans for the summer. Along with their stellar draft lineup, they will continue to grab special brews from everyone as they become available. They were tapping La Cumbre’s Strawberry Gose the next day, and are introducing multiple Ballast Point brews over the next few weeks.

What’s really exciting is that they secured one of the chefs from the former Blackbird Buvette and will be opening a full kitchen in mid-June. They’ll feature a wide range of vegetarian and gluten-free options, along with tacos and frito pie at affordable prices. Watch Sister for beer-centric events and food pairings this summer. Word is that five-course meals with a beer for each round are on the way soon.

The specials board at Sister will always keep you up-to-date on what's on tap.

The specials board at Sister will always keep you up-to-date on what’s on tap.

Cheers!

— Julie

Greetings, everyone. Hope you are all well-rested now. If not, get on that. ABQ Beer Week was bigger and better than ever, but after 11 days of beer events, we all have to admit we are pretty darn tired. It was an exhausting affair. At least it was fun. So much fun. So much fun it is hard to put it into words. So much as Luke did with the Outside Bike & Brew Festival in Santa Fe, I just assembled a bunch of our photographs and used this as a wrap-up.

Do not fret, however, we are not totally going to cop out on things. We did try a lot of beers, and while some were one-offs or specialties, we also tried a lot that you can get on tap or for sale in bottles/cans/bombers around town. The Crew will present our choices for the best beers of Beer Week. Just as soon as I get everyone to wake up and remember what they had.

Without further rambling, here are our pics from ABQ Beer Week 2015.

ABQ Beer Week kicked off with the simultaneous release of the 505 Collaboration Session IPA, left, and Canteen's Hops-pitality IPA.

ABQ Beer Week kicked off with the simultaneous release of the 505 Collaboration Session IPA, left, and Canteen’s Hops-pitality IPA.

AmyShadeTree

One of the many food and beer pairings over at Shade Tree Customs & Cafe, who brought their A Game to Beer Week.

AmyTwoFools

Two Fools did their fair share of tappings as well, including Hitachino Nest White Ale.

AmyStereoBar

New Mexico Craft Brewing came down from Las Vegas to stage a tap takeover at Stereo Bar downtown.

2015ABQBWTractorBowling

We went bowling with the folks from Tractor. Um, we were rusty, that totally explained our scores. That and the Farmer’s Tan Red Ale.

Nexus' anniversary party was a huge hit, as if you couldn't tell by the crowds.

Nexus’ anniversary party was a huge hit, as if you couldn’t tell by the crowds.

Nob Hill Bar & Grill was one of our favorite spots throughout Beer Week. Our friend Karim agreed, twas quite metal.

Nob Hill Bar & Grill was one of our favorite spots throughout Beer Week. Our friend Karim agreed, twas quite metal.

Mother Road brought their beers to Jubilation for all to try.

Mother Road brought their beers to Jubilation for all to try.

Beer, Cheese, & More at Marble was a tremendous success. It was so nice, they did it twice.

Beer, Cheese, & More at Marble was a tremendous success. It was so nice, they did it twice.

Food and beer goes together brilliantly sometimes. Red Door's food truck battle was one outstanding example.

Food and beer goes together brilliantly sometimes. Red Door’s food truck battle was one outstanding example.

More food and beer, this time the Sierra Nevada Cheese & Sausage festival at O'Niell's.

More food and beer, this time the Sierra Nevada Cheese & Sausage festival at O’Niell’s.

Franz and Mrs. Solo basked in the warm glow of the inaugural BearFest.

Franz and Mrs. Solo basked in the warm glow of the inaugural BearFest.

Marble, Santa Fe, and everyone else brought their finest to Blues & Brews.

Marble, Santa Fe, and everyone else brought their finest to Blues & Brews.

The crowd was bustling at Blues & Brews, but it was a happy pack of beer drinkers.

The crowd was bustling at Blues & Brews, but it was a happy pack of beer drinkers.

Firkin Brewhouse, which will open soon in the Brewery District, made a nice debut at Blues & Brews. Their Capo's Java Stout was excellent.

Firkin Brewhouse, which will open soon in the Brewery District, made a nice debut at Blues & Brews. Their Capo’s Java Stout was excellent.

The Crew who attended Blues & Brews were a happy bunch. From left, Adam, Laura, Stoutmeister, Kristin, with the photo bomb from Karl.

The Crew who attended Blues & Brews were a happy bunch. From left, Adam, Laura, Stoutmeister, Kristin, with the photo bomb from Karl.

The Crew came up short in the second Battle of the Beer Geeks (congrats again to the Babes in Brewland!), but we still had a great time, and not just because of Baby Bannon. From left, proud parents Brandon and Taylor, Mrs. Solo, Franz Solo, John, and Stoutmeister all enjoying our Darkside Donutbrau.

The Crew came up short in the second Battle of the Beer Geeks (congrats again to the Babes in Brewland!), but we still had a great time, and not just because of Baby Bannon. From left, proud parents Brandon and Taylor, Mrs. Solo, Franz Solo, John, and Stoutmeister all enjoying our Darkside Donutbrau.

The Marble staff was all smiles throughout Beer Week, including at the second Beer, Cheese, & More at Marble Westside.

The Marble staff was all smiles throughout Beer Week, including at the second Beer, Cheese, & More at Marble Westside.

2015ABQBWTwoFools

Another outstanding entry for Two Fools’ tappings was Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout.

Hoppiness Envy, the collaboration IPA between Canteen and Bosque, was an amazing addition to the Beer Week fun.

Hoppiness Envy, the collaboration IPA between Canteen and Bosque, was an amazing addition to the Beer Week fun.

Avery's Uncle Jacob's Stout at Nob Hill Bar & Grill was a fitting finale for a couple of us.

Avery’s Uncle Jacob’s Stout at Nob Hill Bar & Grill was a fitting finale for a couple of us.

There are a lot of people to thank for all the fun of the past week-plus. I realize I will miss a few on this list, but here are the ones my tired mind could remember: Thomas DeCaro, Monica Mondragon, Silas Sims, Tony Calder, Angelo Orona, Skye Devore, Chris Goblet, Amberley Rice, Leah Black, Carlos Contreras, Zach Guilmette, Barbie Gonzalez, Ken Carson, Antal Maurer, John Bullard, Brady McKeown, Brandon Venaglia, Patrick Cavanaugh, all the bar and brewery staffs, the festival volunteers, all of you happy beer drinkers, and last and most importantly the amazing Marne Gaston. Thank you one and all!

We will see you all around the breweries and upcoming festivals. If you have any photos or stories you would love to share from Beer Week, email them to us at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com. And yes, we are still taking signups for the NM Brewers Guild Enthusiast Membership. Just send us your name and email and we will add you to the list to give to the Guild.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

And so it begins!

It’s been quite a ride, but it’s time for us all to kick back and relax for a while.

And so it ends. ABQ Beer Week will wrap up with a handful of events on this lovely Sunday. While not all of us in the Crew have been able to be everywhere, we felt we hit the best events, and fear not, we will work on a giant compilation of all our favorite beers that all of you need to seek out in the days and weeks ahead.

There are a couple of final beer/food pairings at Nob Hill Bar & Grill, Shade Tree, and Marble Downtown today. Throw in a few final special tappings scattered about, a bike tour, and a beer movie screening at Tractor Wells Park, and we bid Beer Week adieu for another year.

Now if you will all excuse me, I need a nap. Preferably one that lasts a few days.

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.

(Thanks to AmyO for the write-up on this one.)

What: Boulder Beer Brunch and Special Tapping. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost: Entrees are $8 to $15, plus the cost of the beer(s) of your choice.

Details: The regular NHBG brunch menu will be available as well as a couple of special items, such as chocolate waffles using Boulder Beer’s Shake Chocolate Porter. There will be a pairing with a Boulder Tequila barrel-aged IPA (woo-hoo!) and their Blonde Ale will be used to make “beer-mosas.”

Why you should go: Did you read the part about Tequila barrel-aged IPA? Also, Carrie from Boulder Beer will be in attendance to discuss their beers. And she just might have swag! Tom from Nob Hill Bar & Grill says: “This is your chance to relax and enjoy the patio while having a rare beer and some beer infused brunch items.”

All the other great events

What: Straffe Hendrik Tap Takeover. Where: Rock & Brews. When: 11 a.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Belgian beers will be available. Why you should go: Go find out which ones.

What: Canteen Rum Barrel Aged Stock Ale Release. Where: Canteen Brewhouse. When: Noon. Cost: No cover charge. Details: They have been aging this sucker for a while. Franz Solo got some as a mug club member and shared it with the rest of us. We don’t remember much afterwards. Why you should go: Barrel-aged strong ales rule.

What: Second Annual Belgian Beer & Cheese Pairing. Where: Shade Tree Customs & Cafe. When: On the hour, every hour, while supplies last. Cost: Approximately $20. Details: Planned cheese/beer pairings include Sofia paired with Ommegang Scythe & Sickle; Serrat d’Ovella with Orval; Pleasant Ridge Reserve with Trappiste Rochefort 10 or St. Bernardus Abt 12; Nevat with Saison Dupont; and Le Welsche Gewurtztraminer with Lindemans Cuvee Rene Oude Gueuze.   Why you should go: All cheese for this event will be from Cheesemongers of Santa Fe. Come early to sit at the bar. They will line up the bar and walk through each step, explaining why they chose each pairing. There will be a little history, a few jokes, some stories, and a whole lot of fun.

What: Bike & Brew Tour. Where: All over the place. When: 1 p.m. Cost: $45 with bike rental, $40 if you bring your own bike. Details: Good news, according to the website there are still spots available after the previous tour during Beer Week sold out. You will hit at least three of the following breweries — Kellys, Canteen, Red Door, Marble, Tractor, Nexus, Ponderosa, Left Turn Distillery. Why you should go: Get some exercise with your beer.

What: Joe S. Sausage Super Sunday Sausage Fest Sampler and Beer Bliss Extravaganza. Where: Marble Downtown. When: 2 to 6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge, but it’s $20 for the sausage tray with five 5-ounce beer samples. Details: Brewer Josh Trujillo and the Joe S. Sausage food truck have created a special menu for the day. The pairings — Imperial Stout with Maple Blueberry Sausage, Red Ale with Carne Adovada Sausage, Double White with Andouille, Rauchbier with Curry Sausage, Choice Blanc with Jamaican Jerk Sausage. Alex Maryol will perform from 3 to 6 p.m. Why you should go: Food, beer, music, sun, fun.

What: Screening of “Blood Sweat and Beer”. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 5 p.m. Cost: Unknown, contact Tractor. Details: It’s a movie about beer shown in a place that serves beer. Win-win. Why you should go: Kick back and relax with some fresh beer on tap rather than the old stuff in your fridge.

What: Weihenstephaner Tapping. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: An unknown German beer will be available. Why you should go: Solve the mystery, enjoy some great food, then slip into a beer/food coma.

What: Sierra Nevada Special Tapping. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: It’s Narwhal Imperial Stout. Huzzah! Why you should go: Narwhals, narwhals, swimming in the ocean … sorry, we shouldn’t do that to you. It was stuck in all of our heads for weeks thanks to that dumb commercial. So purge it from your head with this awesome stout.

Special ongoing events

All throughout Beer Week, this event has been running.

Brewery Scavenger Hunt at lululemon athletica at ABQ Uptown
Where: lululemon athletica ABQ Uptown and various other participating sites. When: Today. What: Pick up a scavenger pass at lululemon and head to six of nine participating locations. Take photos with your pass at the locations and then bring it all back to lululemon to be redeemed for a special pint glass. Participating sites: Routes Bicycle Rentals & Tours, Duke City Trolley, Tractor, La Cumbre, Red Door, Marble, Chama River, The Grain Station, Rock & Brews

* * * * *

Got any questions, comments, complaints, send them to nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com, or leave them here on our site, on Facebook, or on Twitter (@nmdarksidebc).

Enjoy yourselves out there, but please, do it responsibly.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

And so it begins!

Breweries join forces for the benefit of mankind. We love this world.

Teamwork is always a good thing, but when is it at its best? Simple, when two breweries get together and collaborate on a beer. That is happening more than once here on Saturday as Canteen and Bosque team up for Hoppiness Envy IPA, while La Cumbre and Odell have Paridisal Pale Ale down at Sister Bar.

As per usual, there are plenty of other events to check out as well as Beer Week nearly wraps up. Two Fools, Jubilation, O’Niell’s Nob Hill, Shade Tree, Nob Hill Bar & Grill, and Rock & Brews all have a wide variety of tappings and tastings. There will also be a little educational session over at Distillery 365. Throw in a couple of special late-night events at both Tractor locations and everyone should be happy from noon to midnight.

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: Canteen/Bosque Special Beer Releases. Where: Canteen Brewhouse, Bosque Nob Hill and San Mateo. When: Noon. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: First up is Hoppyweizer, a beer brewed in collaboration with the guys from ABQBeer.com (available only at Canteen). Then comes the big one, Hoppiness Envy, a collaboration between Canteen and Bosque. Yeah, that’s right, the two finalists for the National IPA Challenge are making an IPA together. Exodus and Scale Tipper merged into one blast of hoppy awesomeness. If you can’t make it to Canteen, head over to Bosque’s main brewery or to the Public House on Girard. It is good to have options in life, like drinking on the north side, central, or south side.

Why you should go: This is basically hophead heaven. See you all at the pearly gates.

All the other great events

What: Boulder Beer Tapping. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 11 a.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: There will be three different Boulder offerings tapped over the course of the day. One is the Honey Saison, the other two are TBA. Why you should go: Uncover the identity of the mystery beers, be a hero to your fellow beer drinkers. Celebrate by drinking those beers.

What: Odell Sampling. Where: Total Wine Cottonwood. When: 1 to 3 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Free beer samples. Why you should go: Free beer samples.

What: Stone Tasting. Where: Jubilation. When: 2 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Free beer samples. Why you should go: Free beer samples.

What: From Beer to Whiskey. Where: Distillery 365. When: 2 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Ever wonder how close your beer is to being whiskey or another distilled spirit? The guys over at the new Distillery 365 are happy to show you, with a tour of their distillery/brewery and a chance to meet other craft distillers from around the state, including Left Turn, Santa Fe Spirits, Little Toad Creek, and more. Why you should go: Take a break from beer and enjoy some free samples while getting an education. It’s the best way to learn.

What: Marble Specialty Tap Takeover. Where: O’Niell’s Nob Hill. When: 4 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Marble is bring a slew of their seasonal/specialty beers to O’Niell’s. Belgian Quad, Belgian Stout, Choice Blanc, Brett IPA, Maibock, Weizenbock, Double White, and regulars Pilsner, IPA, and Wildflower Wheat will all be available. Brewery reps will be on site with special giveaways. Why you should go: Get some free stuff from Marble while trying multiple beers, some of which are not even available anymore at the pub downtown.

What: Stone Double Tapping. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: A pair of excellent Stone offerings will be available in the form of Reason Be Damned Belgian Pale Ale and Red Wine Barrel Aged Cali Belgique. It’s a double dose of Belgian goodness. A Stone rep will be available to chat from 5 to 7 p.m. Why you should go: You know you love Stone, plus you can chow down on some good food and watch the NHL Western Conference finals Game 7 between Chicago and Anaheim.

What: Goose Island Special Release. Where: Shade Tree Customs & Cafe. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Miss your previous chances to get some Bourbon County Brand Stout? Fear not, Shade Tree has a keg on tap. There will also be live music and free raffles. Why you should go: Even if you’ve had this one before during Beer Week, it’s the stout you need in your life. Go get some.

What: Santa Fe Brewing/Rock & Brews Collaboration Special Tapping. Where: Rock & Brews. When: 6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: It’s a special IPA (5.7% ABV) made with Eldorado and Amarillo hops, then extra dry-hopped for a wonderful aroma. Come and get it! Why you should go: Rock out with a fresh new IPA.

What: Odell Tap Takeover. Where: Rock & Brews. When: 6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: If the SFBC offering isn’t to your liking, or you need something besides it, grab some Odell beers as well. Why you should go: If you’re already there for SFBC, stick around for some Odell, especially if they have Barrel Thief Imperial IPA.

What: Odell/La Cumbre Collaboration Beer Release. Where: Sister Bar. When: 8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The new Paradisal Pale Ale, created by the good brewing folks at La Cumbre in collaboration with Odell, will be tapped downtown. Why you should go: Teamwork is a wonderful thing, especially in beer, and when two wonderful breweries join together to make a beer, we should all celebrate.

What: In the Mix & Secret Beer Mixes. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Tractor’s weekly In the Mix series will feature Flo Fader spinning, but in addition to the music, this week they’re doing something a little special. Get ready for special beer mixes and beer cocktails, many created by the members of the Tractor staff. Why you should go: We’ve had our fair share of beer mixes from the Tractor staff over the years (Lauren Poole’s Turkey Milk, the combo of Mustachio and Turkey Drool is probably our all-time favorite), so it should be fun to see what all they have this time around.

What: Cider Day Night Fever. Where: Tractor Nob Hill. When: 8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Tractor is unleashing ciders, nothing but ciders, at their Nob Hill taproom. From regulars like the Apple Cider, Berry Cider, and Dry Cider, plus some new ones they just brewed up, every cider fan should find what he or she likes. Nicolatron will be there to DJ the event, so grab some cider and bust out your best dance moves. Why you should go: If you gluten-free friend has been bugging you to hang out for a while, this is your event.

Special ongoing events

All throughout Beer Week, these two events will be running.

Brewery Scavenger Hunt at lululemon athletica at ABQ Uptown
Where: lululemon athletica ABQ Uptown and various other participating sites. When: Today through Sunday. What: Pick up a scavenger pass at lululemon and head to six of nine participating locations. Take photos with your pass at the locations and then bring it all back to lululemon to be redeemed for a special pint glass. Participating sites: Routes Bicycle Rentals & Tours, Duke City Trolley, Tractor, La Cumbre, Red Door, Marble, Chama River, The Grain Station, Rock & Brews

Smoked Meats Week
Where: Sandia Chile Grill When: 3 to 8 p.m., today is the last day.
What: Beer and smoked meat pairing; beers are $3.50 per pint, $6 per 10-ounce mead sample
Today — Smoked Meat Sample Platter, Rattlesnake and Red Ranger and Milk Stout ($3 per 10-ounce)

* * * * *

Got any questions, comments, complaints, send them to nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com, or leave them here on our site, on Facebook, or on Twitter (@nmdarksidebc).

Enjoy yourselves out there, but please, do it responsibly.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Editor’s note: Our correspondent Laura lives not too far away from Marble Westside, so she was more than willing to tackle the second Beer, Cheese, & More on Wednesday night. Just as much as Kristin loved the first event downtown, we would say Laura enjoyed this one, too. — Stoutmeister

We couldn't resist running this photo. That's Barbie on the left, Josh in the center.

We couldn’t resist running this photo. That’s Barbie on the left, Josh in the center.

Upon arriving at this event, on this beautiful sunny day, I ordered a lighter, easy drinking Marble Pilsner. I usually order an IPA, but wanted to keep an open mind and a clean palate.

Before the event started I took some time out to talk to Barbie Gonzalez, Marble’s Director of Taproom Operations, about the event. She was excited about this being the second year for this event and was looking forward to hosting it at the Westside location. Barbie and the rest of the crew at Marble were very helpful and informative throughout the event.

Luckily a friend from the ABQ Craft Drinker’s group, Ken, was also there and I had a second brain to an set of taste buds to tackle this delicious event.

All the goodness on one tray.

All the goodness on one tray.

The first pairing was Marble’s Rauchbier with the Jasper Hills Landaff Holstein. The smokiness of this brew matched perfectly with this tangy, buttery cheese. It was a great first impression of the tasting.

The second offering was Marble’s hoppier Maibock with the Uniekaas Truffle Gouda. I personally was not a fan of this cheese. The balance was good, but personal taste kept me from making a good comparison. I feel a bit unsophisticated not liking this cheese with its rare Italian truffle shavings. The Maibock matched well, but couldn’t win my taste buds over to the cheese.

The next pairing was one of my favorite brews from Marble, the Double White, a hazy Belgian-style wheat paired with a UK cheese called Wensleydale with cranberries. The cheese was sweet, lightly flavored and the type you could spread on crackers until you felt much regret at the end of a movie. Loved the beer and the cheese, it was definitely a fun match.

The fourth pairing, Brett IPA and Igor Gorgonzola, was also a matter of taste. If you love the awesome funkiness of the Brettanomyces and the similar earthy flavor of the Gorgonzola Italian Blue Cheese, then this is the match for you. Unfortunately, this was not the match for me or my tasting buddy, Ken. He noted that the sourness of the Peruvian sweet peppers brought more of the sour out of this beer and this was more to our liking.

Finally, last but not least, was the Oatmeal Stout and the Piave Vecchio, another Italian cheese. This intense, sharp, dry, Parmesan cheese matched perfectly with the stout.

My choices:
1. Rauchbier and Jasper Hills Landaff Holstein
2. Oatmeal Stout and Piave Vecchio
3. Double White and Wensleydale with Cranberries
4. Brett IPA and Igor Gorgonzola
5. Maibock and Uniekaas Truffle Gouda

Ken’s choices:
1. Rauchbier and Jasper Hills Landaff Holstein
2. Oatmeal Stout and Piave Vecchio
3. Maibock and Uniekaas Truffle Gouda
4. Double White and Wensleydale with Cranberries
5. Brett IPA and Igor Gorgonzola

If you haven’t been to a Cheese and Beer pairing, you should check out this palate adventure. It is fun to listen to the buzz from the other tables as well and find out exactly how different everyone’s tastes are. I heard much praise on the gorgonzola/Maibock pairing and I couldn’t even finish that combo. The fun part of craft beer and food pairings are that they are as different as the people who are trying them.

Le Chat Lunatique, one of our favorite local bands.

Le Chat Lunatique, one of our favorite local bands.

I cannot end this little write up without mentioning the the gypsy Jazz band, Le Chat Lunatique. Beautiful blend of old and new Jazz music, Swing, Rock and Reggae.

Marble outdid themselves with this fun event with the comfortable atmosphere, great service and wonderful music. Cheers to the Marble Crew!

— Laura

And so it begins!

From towers of sours to beer battles and beer dinners, this is how you start your weekend.

The end is nigh, but there is still much more to drink. Welcome to the second and final weekend of ABQ Beer Week. Friday kicks off with all sorts of events scattered across town as this annual tradition nears its end for 2015. We lead off with the return of the popular Tower of Sour at Back Alley Draft House.

Beyond that there is more fun scheduled for Nob Hill Bar & Grill, Rock & Brews, Two Fools, Jubilation, O’Niell’s Juan Tabo, Kellys Brewpub, Tractor Wells Park, and both Marble locations. Throw in the first ABW event at the new Sinners ‘N Saints (which replaced the short-lived LOCAL Brewhouse), and you have a full Friday ahead of you.

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: Third Annual Tower of Sour. Where: Back Alley Draft House. When: 5 p.m. Cost: $15 for seven samples and a 10-ounce pour of your favorite.

Details: It’s back! The annual adventure in sour beers returns to BADH, this time featuring Marble Brett IPA, Anderson Valley Blood Orange Gose, Santa Fe Sour State Pen Porter (aged two years), New Belgium La Folie, and BADH’s homemade trio of Belgian Dark Sour, Berliner Weissbier, and Indigenous Prickly Pear Lambic. It’s the All-American incarnation this year. We doubt anyone will complain.

Why you should go: If you love sour beers, and we know many of you do, this event was made for you. Plus, you can order NY Pizza Department slices and watch Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals on TV. Go Lightning!

All the other great events

What: North Coast Tap Takeover. Where: O’Niell’s Juan Tabo. When: 11 a.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: A bunch of beers from North Coast Brewing will be available. Why you should go: Come on, you’re curious to know which beers. Head over and then let us know.

What: Firkin Friday. Where: Marble (both locations). When: Noon. Cost: No cover charge. Details: We’re anxiously awaiting the list of casks (three Downtown, two Westside) that will be available. Why you should go: Isn’t it already your Friday tradition to visit Marble for a cask ale? Yeah, we thought so.

What: Redd’s Green Apple Ale Tasting. Where: Total Wine (both locations). When: 1 to 3 p.m. (Cottonwood), 4 to 6 p.m. (Uptown). Cost: No cover charge. Details: Free beer samples. Why you should go: Free beer samples.

What: Stone Tap Invasion. Where: Rock & Brews. When: 3 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: A bunch of Stone beers will be available, including Stochasticity Project, Ruination 2.0, and Points Unknown IPA, a collaboration between Stone, Ecliptic, and Wick Weed. Why you should go: Because Stone still kicks butt, that’s why. And so does Wicked Weed, so that collaboration IPA sounds wonderful.

What: Marble Tasting. Where: Jubilation. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Free beer samples, including White Out. Why you should go: Free beer samples.

What: Kellys Special Beer Release. Where: Kellys Brewpub. When: 4 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The brewers at Kellys have created two new beers, a Saison and Sandia Saison, that will be tapped this afternoon. Why you should go: Go find out the difference between the two variations while relaxing on that giant patio.

What: Avery Special Tapping and Alpine NM Draft Kickoff. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Oh, just a keg of the amazingly epic Uncle Jacob’s Stout from Avery that’s been aging a few extra months. There will also be two Alpine beers making their NM debut in Hoppy Birthday (American Pale Ale) and Duet (American IPA). Why you should go: Please head over and welcome Alpine to ABQ. If you’re not a hops person, trust us, the Uncle Jacob’s has you covered.

What: Smithwick’s Nitro Tapping. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Yup, the classic Irish ale has been put on nitro. Why you should go: It was already a smooth beer, now it might just be the smoothest ever.

What: Boulder Beer Sampling. Where: Total Wine Uptown. When: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Free beer samples. Why you should go: Free beer samples.

What: Battle of Fort Albuquerque. Where: Sinners ’n Saints (formerly The LOCAL Brewhouse). When: 6 to 9 p.m. Cost: No cover charge listed. Details: It’s a good old-fashioned beer battle as Colorado’s New Belgium and Odell go up against Bosque and La Cumbre. Why you should go: Lots of great beers to try in a competition format.

What: Odell Beer Dinner. Where: Crown Room at The Downs Casino. When: 6:30 p.m. Cost: $49.99, call (505) 767-7166 to make reservations. Details: Six Odell beers have been paired with a five-course meal — Hawaiian Ahi Poke with Easy Street Wheat; Maryland Crab Cake and Kicked up Hummus with IPA; Baby Field Greens, Fennel, and Duck Salad with Loose Leaf Session IPA; Short Ribs, Cabbage Rolls, and Sausage with Cutthroat Porter and Tree Shaker Imperial Peach IPA; Homemade Double Brazzle Brownie with Brazzle Ale. Why you should go: All that delicious food paired with all that delicious beer.

What: Youngsville CD Release Party. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Youngsville will be on hand to perform and release their copy of “Drought City,” which is free with a paid bar tab. Bellemah and Slow Jeremiah will open. Why you should go: Support local music while drinking local beer.

Special ongoing events

All throughout Beer Week, these two events will be running.

Brewery Scavenger Hunt at lululemon athletica at ABQ Uptown
Where: lululemon athletica ABQ Uptown and various other participating sites. When: Today through Sunday. What: Pick up a scavenger pass at lululemon and head to six of nine participating locations. Take photos with your pass at the locations and then bring it all back to lululemon to be redeemed for a special pint glass. Participating sites: Routes Bicycle Rentals & Tours, Duke City Trolley, Tractor, La Cumbre, Red Door, Marble, Chama River, The Grain Station, Rock & Brews

Smoked Meats Week
Where: Sandia Chile Grill When: 3 to 8 p.m., from today through Saturday
What: Beer and smoked meat pairing; beers are $3.50 per pint, $6 per 10-ounce mead sample
Today — Stuffed Avocado Street Tacos, Rattlesnake IPA
Saturday — Smoked Meat Sample Platter, Rattlesnake and Red Ranger and Milk Stout ($3 per 10-ounce)

* * * * *

Got any questions, comments, complaints, send them to nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com, or leave them here on our site, on Facebook, or on Twitter (@nmdarksidebc).

Enjoy yourselves out there, but please, do it responsibly.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Editor’s note: Meet Vicki, another of our correspondents, who went to review the Sierra Nevada Sausage and Cheese event at O’Niell’s Juan Tabo from last week. She was delayed in sending this to us, so in the end I figured, hey, why not run this review the day they are holding a second event at O’Niell’s Nob Hill. This way her review can also serve as a preview of tonight’s event. It’s a classic Brew Crew two-for-one story. — Stoutmeister

It's a veritable feast paired with great Sierra Nevada beers!

It’s a veritable feast paired with great Sierra Nevada beers!

Whether walking down the grocery isle or the wedding isle, finding a flight of Sierra Nevada’s finest waiting for you at the end of it would be a welcomed treat indeed. Albeit one of these scenarios is a bit more unexpected than the other; not many grooms I have met would find a reason to object.

And as I entered the sudsy sanctuary, a.k.a. O’Niell’s Pub Juan Tabo, last Thursday for the first official day of ABQ Beer Week to witness the holy moley union of Sierra Nevada with — wait for it — cheese and Sierra Nevada’s own sausage made at Chico State University Farms, I couldn’t find a single reason to object, either.

If you live in the 505 and like to wet your whistle with wheat, you have most likely been to the iconic Irish establishment known as O’Niell’s. With two pet-friendly locations to choose from, you are never more than a quick jaunt from one of ABQ’s most beloved pubs. When we arrived, the place was pleasantly and expectedly packed. Jonathan and our server Rick were welcoming and fun, and the service was attentive and quick.  If you have never been to O’Niell’s (gasp!), or if you haven’t been in a while (your bad), you don’t know or have forgotten what you are missing!

The same can be said for one of the cornerstones of craft brew and the event’s honoree, Sierra Nevada. If like your dreams of yesterday, you have put your love for this beer on a shelf, it is time to pull them back on down and dream and drink again! As Sierra Nevada’s exceptionally knowledgeable and talented tasting host, Keith, said, “This is the beer that beer brewers tell me they have in their own fridges!”

Sierra Nevada’s offerings for the evening consisted of Kellerweis (you would be Weis to give it a try), Scotch Ale (a full-bodied fan favorite), Hop Hunter IPA (Hop. On. That. Seriously!), Harvest Idaho 7 IPA (I do hope they keep making this stuff), Nooner Pilsner (insert afternoon-er delight joke here for my personal fav), and of course their flagship brew, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (the beer that launched the company and the aspirations of countless home brewers).

The event was like being on an episode of The Bachelor, except this episode wasn’t lame or scripted, and instead was awesome and delicious, and one in which you would be sure to find an honest and true brew that you could make a long-term commitment to with or without a rose ceremony.

In case you are the type whose decision would hinge on how your beer-trothed would get along with your friends and family, what could be more telling than a pairing with Sierra’s own Italian Sausage and Bratwurst made at Chico State University Farms, and YES PLEASE, Pass the CHEESE, which on this night happened to be Roquefort, Havarti, Goat, Mascarpone, Port Salut, and Camembert en Croute. (Disclaimer, sausage and cheeses’ likeness to actual friends and family members isn’t anyone’s darn fault but their own.)

The pairings went together like the brew and the pub, Sierra Nevada with their strong commitment to the environment and the community, believing, “Put good in and good will come out,” and O’Niell’s straightforwardly motivational motto — “Good Food. Honest Drink.” — both proving to be a winning recipe for a lasting relationship, and don’t forget in liquids as in life, “No Sniveling!”

A Poem In Closing

If you haven’t drunken, chosen, or been,
it is time to check in with each of them!
They are both classics, like the one that got away,
But even better because they stayed!
Signed,
I have, I did, and yep I do
Faithfully, and Still Loving You …

For more info on dream, green, brew machine that is Sierra Nevada visit their website.

To find out what’s up, neat, and good to eat at either of O’Niell’s locations visit their website.

Yet another special release for ABQ Beer Week brings us back to Chama, where the 505-2015 Session IPA was brewed. This time the release is all their own, Plum Goodness, a soured saison with Italian plums.
Photo courtesy Chama River Brewing co. Facebook page.

Photo courtesy Chama River Facebook page.

This is the second release in a saison series of four (The Summer of Saison), starting with the Lemon Jester. Each will be a somewhat different style. This beer has been kettle-soured — this involves adding the souring bacteria in the kettle to keep it from infecting the rest of the brewery; once the target pH is reached the temperature is raised to kill the bacteria before the regular fermentation is undertaken. After that was complete the beer was transferred to the conditioning tank with Italian plum purée to marry with the fruit. The sourness is nicely balanced with the sweet, sharp fruit, the plums giving it a pleasant pink blush.
The release party gets started today (Thursday) at 5 p.m. Brewer Zach Guilmette will give a 15- to 20-minute talk on this beer, his approach on how this was brewed, and take any questions on the new beer. There will be complimentary appetizers available to pair with the beer. This will be repeated at 5:30 p.m., with some live music at 6 p.m.
Further along in the saison series is going to be a sage saison. This beer has a traditional saison malt makeup; the other beers in the series are embracing the idea that farmers would use whatever grains and adjuncts they had to hand. The final member will be a super saison aged in red wine barrels, expected to be ready around August. Other things to look forward to from Chama include a gluten reduced take on their Amber ale some time down the road.
Cheers!
— Adam
And so it begins!

Beyond the usual tastings and tappings, you can learn more about beer from the brewers themselves today.

It can be hard to single out a theme on each day of Beer Week, but sometimes there are things that stand out amid all the various tappings, tastings, and food/beer pairings. For instance, today there are two chances to learn from brewing representatives about the beer you are drinking. Head to Chama River to learn about the process of brewing their sour, Plum Goodness, from brewer Zach Guilmette. (We will have a full preview later today.) Or you can go to Torino’s and learn about the various Abbey Brewing creations from their representatives.

Beyond that there is more fun scheduled for Nob Hill Bar & Grill, El Pinto, Rock & Brews, Gecko’s, Two Fools, Cazuela’s, Jubilation, O’Niell’s Nob Hill, Sister, and our featured event at Ponderosa. So many events, so little time. Divide and conquer!

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: Rauchfest. Where: Ponderosa Brewing. When: All day. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: A festival of smoke! Ponderosa will be hosting Rauchfest, debuting a traditional Rauchweizen. Comprising of mostly smoked wheat (oak smoked), some smoked barley (beech smoked), and Munich malt with a banana/clove flavor from the hefeweizen yeast. It should come in around 5.5-percent ABV with a low IBU, but it will be a truly smoked beer, with lots of flavor. You can play cornhole all day and Chef Tanner will have smoked brats and some other smoked goodies to accompany the beer. Plus, Ponderosa will have Dos Pendejos performing live in the evening from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Why you should go: Live music, a new beer, and excellent Ponderosa food. There are worse ways to spend part of your evening. Or go earlier for just the beer and food.

All the other great events

What: Santa Fe Brewing Special Tapping. Where: Gecko’s (both locations). When: 11 a.m. Details: The new Session Ale will be tapped at Gecko’s in Nob Hill and the one on Academy. Why you should go: New beer (it was popular at Blues & Brews) plus awesome food. Happy lunch break!

What: Thirsty Thursday Beer & Pizza Special. Where: Cazuela’s. When: 2 to 6 p.m. Cost: $7.99. Details: You get an 8-inch pizza of your choice paired with either Acapulco Gold, Piedra del Fuego (our pick), or Panama Red. Why you should go: If you are out on the west side and looking for something to eat and drink before heading into town for the other events, how can you beat this offer?

What: Tractor Tap Takeover and Special Release. Where: Rock & Brews. When: 3 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: There will be lots of Tractor beers on tap. We have no idea which ones. Why you should go: It’s a mystery! Go indulge.

What: Odell Sampling. Where: Jubilation. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Free beer samples. Why you should go: Free beer samples.

What: Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager Tasting. Where: Total Wine (both locations). When: 4 to 6 p.m. (both locations) Cost: No cover charge. Details: Free beer samples. Why you should go: Free beer samples.

What: Dogs Drink Free Happy Hour. Where: El Pinto. When: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: No, that’s not a typo, your dogs can drink for free on the patio at El Pinto from today through Thursday. They will have Bowser Beer, a special alcohol-free beer made specifically for dogs. As for humans, there will be four Lagunitas beers for you — Cappuccino Stout, Equinox Pale Oat Ale, Brown Shugga’ Barleywine, and the special limited release of Waldo 4/20. Why you should go: Awesome new Lagunitas beers and old favorites, plus a chance to relax with your best friend. Throw in some delicious El Pinto food and it all adds up to a great afternoon.

What: Odell Special Tapping and Takeover. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Once again, NHBG makes us all proud. In addition to stalwart 90 Schilling, you can get French{hop}Connection (saison), Perle White IPA, Fernet Aged Porter, and the exclusive Barrel Thief Imperial IPA aged in oak barrels. Why you should go: With that lineup, everyone should go home happy. Throw in food and sports on TV and you’re a winner, guaranteed.

What: Boulder Beer Special Tapping. Where: Sister Bar. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: An unknown Boulder Beer will be tapped at Sister. Why you should go: Solve the mystery.

What: Plum Goodness Release Party. Where: Chama River. When: 5 to 6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: See our separate preview that will run later today. Why you should go: Enhance your beer knowledge while drinking beer. Plus, lots of food options and sports on TV.

What: Marble Beer Dinner. Where: Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm. When: 5:30 to 9 p.m. Cost: The event is sold out, but contact Los Poblanos (505-344-9297) to get on their waiting list. Tickets are $65. Details: Live music, specials, unique beers, and more at Los Poblanos, with a reception from 5:30 to 6 and dinner afterward. Why you should go: Take a chance, see if you can make the list, then enjoy great food paired with great beer.

What: Alaskan Tap Invasion. Where: Bubba’s 33. When: 6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Alaskan beers will be on tap at the eatery along I-25 near Chama River. Why you should go: If you love Alaskan beers and classic American food, go for it.

What: Second Annual New Belgium Frozen T-Shirt Contest. Where: Monte Vista Fire Station. When: 6 p.m. Cost: Inquire at the door. Details: For the second time, the folks from New Belgium are giving folks a chance to win a special NB bicycle. All you have to do is unwrap a completely frozen T-shirt faster than everyone else. Why you should go: We had some friends who nearly won this last year. So go test your frozen-shirt-unwrapping skills. It’s harder than it looks.

UPDATED >>> What: Odell Special Firkin Tapping. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Friend of the Crew Tony Calder informs us that it will be a Mango Habanero IPA in the cask tonight. Well now, that just sounds like a flavor combo for the ages. Why you should go: Unleash this crazy beer upon your taste buds, plus snag some good food while you are there.

What: Second Annual Sierra Nevada Sausage & Cheese Tasting. Where: O’Niell’s Nob Hill. When: 6 to 8 p.m. Cost: $5 for sausage and cheese tray (beer not included). Please reserve tickets by calling (505) 255-6782. Details: Buy a tray of sausage and cheese, then go off the list of suggestions with which Sierra Nevada beers go best with which food items. Why you should go: Expand your palate, but fear not if you are unconvinced, we have a review of the previous event at O’Niell’s Juan Tabo up on our site today from one of our new correspondents.

What: Beer on the Patio. Where: Torino’s. When: 6:30 p.m. Cost: $25 per person, call Torino’s at (505) 797-4491 to reserve your spot. Details: Torino’s is hosting a four-course pairing of Monks’ Ales with cured meats, cheeses, and fine breads. Featured beers will include Monks’ Ale, Tripel, Dubbel, and Golden Ale (Krystal Weisse). Abbey Brewing reps will be on hand to give a master speech and answer your questions. Why you should go: Learn more about these unique beers while enjoying some delicious food.

What: Beer Bike 5K. Where: Civic Plaza. When: 6:30 to 9 p.m. Cost: $30, with tickets available online here. Details: Hope on board the Duke City Pedaler at Civic Plaza and ride it around to Marble, Tractor Wells Park, and Back Alley Draft House. You get member prices at each location. This even will repeat Wednesday and Thursday. Why you should go: Burn off some beer calories while, um, adding more beer calories! Hey, it’s a win-win, plus it is one of the most fun and unique ways to enjoy a mini-pub crawl. Just be prepared, it’s a little over 3 miles in length and the DCP is tougher to pedal than it looks. You’ll get a good workout plus good beer.

What: pLOUD Music Series. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Felix y Los Gatos will perform live. Why you should go: Chill out with some good music and beer.

Special ongoing events

All throughout Beer Week, these two events will be running.

Brewery Scavenger Hunt at lululemon athletica at ABQ Uptown
Where: lululemon athletica ABQ Uptown and various other participating sites. When: Today through May 31. What: Pick up a scavenger pass at lululemon and head to six of nine participating locations. Take photos with your pass at the locations and then bring it all back to lululemon to be redeemed for a special pint glass. Participating sites: Routes Bicycle Rentals & Tours, Duke City Trolley, Tractor, La Cumbre, Red Door, Marble, Chama River, The Grain Station, Rock & Brews

Smoked Meats Week
Where: Sandia Chile Grill When: 3 to 8 p.m., from today through Saturday, May 30
What: Beer and smoked meat pairing; beers are $3.50 per pint, $6 per 10-ounce mead sample
Today — Smoked Salmon Platter, Red Ranger Irish Red
Friday — Stuffed Avocado Street Tacos, Rattlesnake IPA
Saturday — Smoked Meat Sample Platter, Rattlesnake and Red Ranger and Milk Stout ($3 per 10-ounce)

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Got any questions, comments, complaints, send them to nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com, or leave them here on our site, on Facebook, or on Twitter (@nmdarksidebc).

Enjoy yourselves out there, but please, do it responsibly.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister