Archive for the ‘ABQ Beer Week 2018’ Category

We always recommend you get to Blues & Brews early to avoid the long lines. It’s worth the extra cost.

The biggest event of ABQ Beer Week always falls during the first weekend. As always, we did our best to round up who is pouring what beers for the ABQ Blues & Brews this Sunday at Sandia Casino.

If you do not have a ticket yet, get one now, because it can sell out long before you get to the door. We highly recommend an early admission ticket, which gets you inside from 2-3 p.m., a nice hour in which you can take your time trying your top beer targets. General admission gets you in at 3 p.m., and the entire festival lasts until 6. It is unlimited sampling, but you cannot buy pints of your favorite (that is the trade-off).

As various delays have led to the 2018 event program not being posted online, we did our best to learn what each New Mexico brewery will be bringing. All told, there are more than 70 breweries, cideries, and distilleries represented. The Dukes of Ale will have their booth as well, and it is a must-visit to try some of the best homebrews in the state, plus you can vote for your favorite.

See? This is what it’s like once the general admission ticket holders flood into the venue.

When other breweries update us with their lists, we will post them here. We can confirm that after initially committing to attending, Ponderosa has withdrawn.

  • Bathtub Row: Hoppenheimer IPA, Mexican Lager, California Common, Hoppy Amber Lager, Oatmeal Stout
  • Bosque: Bosque Lager, Bosque IPA, Scotia Scotch Ale, Elephants on Parade
  • Broken Trail: Pepe the Mule
  • Canteen: Laid Back Lager, Exodus IPA, Dougie Style Amber, Raspberry Wheat
  • Duel: Duchamp (Sour Wit), Monomyth (DIPA), Titian (Golden Strong), Dark Ryder (Dark Strong), Grunewald (Imperial Porter)
  • Enchanted Circle: Head’n Home Helles Lager, Summer Seasonal Lemon Shandy, Red River Red, Nice Day IPA, Barrel-Aged Belgian Quad
  • Eske’s: Maibock, Czech Dark Lager, Pale Ale, Taos Green Chile Ale
  • Hops: Hop Hill IPA, Chica (Extra Pale Ale), Dad Joke (Kentucky Common)
  • Kilt Check: Wee Beastie Scottish Ale, Campbell Toe IPA, McRojo or No? Red Ale
  • Lava Rock: Vanilla Nut Brown, 2220 Wheat IPA
  • Marble: Cholo Stout, Double IPA, Double White, Imperial Red, Passionate Gose
  • Nexus: TBA
  • Quarter Celtic: Mor-Buck IPA, Pedro O’Flannigan’s Mexican Lager, Crimson Lass Irish Red, MacLomas Irish Dry Stout
  • Rio Bravo: Level 3 DIPA, Blueberry Mint Gose, Imperial Kolsch, Blurred Lines NEIPA; cans of NM Pinon Coffee Porter, Snakebite IPA, Roadkill Red, La Luz Lager
  • Santa Fe: Reluctant IPA, Segal SMASH (Pale Ale), Twisted Root, 7K IPA
  • Sierra Blanca: Cherry Wheat, Elcitmos IPA, Alien Amber, Cranberry Sour; bottles of Green Chile Cerveza, Bone Chiller Brown, Desert Pilsner
  • Steel Bender: Skull Bucket IPA, Red Iron Red, Steel Bender Lager, Raspberry Dynamite, Ingenio
  • Tractor: New Mexican Lager, Mustachio Milk Stout, Farmer’s Tan Red Ale, Delicious Red Hard Apple Cider, Almanac IPA, seasonals TBA
  • Tumbleroot: Citra Pale Ale, Maibock, Honey Hibiscus Wheat, Dortmunder

Your best bet to get to Sandia is via Lyft or Uber, or heck, just get a room and crash for the night. Only, try not to wipe out your life savings on blackjack after the festival.


— Stoutmeister

It’s a fairly mellow Friday … oh, wait, no it’s not, mainly because of one bonkers tapping after another.

That was still a lot of beer on Thursday, but we gotta admit that we like limiting the number of events to 10 or less per day. It keeps us more focused, cuts down on our Lyft/Uber expenses, and so on.

There are only six events today. Each one is a little different, yet we cannot take our eyes off one particular downtown gathering.

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: 21 and Over. Where: Sister. When: 5-8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: Eight breweries that have been around for 21 or more years are coming to Sister, each with a rare beer (or two) for this special event. Feeling light? There’s Four Peaks’ Green Tea Lager or Sierra Nevada’s Kolsch German-Style Ale. Feeling hoppy? Rogue’s Combat Wombat could be your ticket, or perhaps Bell’s Double Two Hearted. Feel like puckering up? Odell’s ’16 Meddler or New Belgium’s Clutch Sour Stout could whet your whistle. Feeling malty? There’s a choice between Left Hand’s Chai Milk Stout Nitro, Firestone Walker’s ’17 Helldorado, and Bell’s 30th Anniversary Cherry Stout Reserve.

Why you should go: There are not your regular beers on the shelves at liquor and grocery stores across town. There’s a little something for everyone here. We can’t think of a better way to kick off your weekend.

All the other great events

What: Beam Me Up Scotty Release. Where: Nexus Brewery. When: All day. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Just in time for the anniversary party, this Scottish Wee Heavy returns to taps with a burly, malty base and a slight peaty/smoky kick. Why you should go: Get some now before the place gets packed for the anniversary party, which you should still attend, but this will give you time to truly enjoy this beer slowly without anyone eyeing your table.

What: Bosque Tasting. Where: Jubilation. When: 4-6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Rather than just bring beers to taste, Bosque is teaming up with Carnivore Popcorn. Try some Bosque Lager with Hollypeno popcorn, Elephants on Parade with Sour Apple popcorn, Bosque IPA with Garlic Rosemary popcorn, and Scotia Scotch Ale with Cinnamon Caramel Espresso popcorn. Why you should go: If you did not get simultaneously hungry and thirsty reading those details, go see a doctor, now.

What: Founders KBS ’17/18 Vertical. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 5-7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Remember when the Crew did our latest ridiculous review of this classic barrel-aged stout? Well, now you can do your own version by trying the 2017 and 2018 versions side-by-side. Why you should go: You get to grab some delicious food while trying a couple of big beers. Hey, you gotta eat dinner at some point, right?

What: ABQ Trolley Company’s The Hopper—A hop-on, hop-off brew cruise. Where: Red Door Downtown, Duel Downtown, Marble Downtown, Rio Bravo. When: 6:30-11 p.m. Cost: $25. Details: Hop on the trolley, hop off at a brewery, enjoy a pint, and repeat. With trolleys running every 30 minutes or so, there will be stops at Red Door’s downtown taproom, Duel’s taproom, Marble, and Rio Bravo. Why you should go: Feel like a pub crawl? Worried about your car? Leave it at home and leave the driving to these good folks.

What: Beer Release & Folk Covers of Radiohead. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: A slew of local musicians will be covering the band, while Tractor releases its next entry in the Beer for a Better Burque (BBB) series, Peach Chinook Common with gold glitter, which will benefit Equality New Mexico. Why you should go: Radiohead might be not our thing, but maybe it’s yours. Also, you gotta admit to be curious about an actual glitter beer.

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Got any questions, comments, complaints? Send them to, or leave them here on our site, on Facebook, on Twitter (@nmdarksidebc), or on Instagram.

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


— Stoutmeister

Day One will see the return of Beer, Cheese & More at Marble, Sour Hour at Tractor, and more!

All right, people, it’s go time! Again!

Make sure you have your Lyft and/or Uber accounts up to date, and then start checking off the events you can’t miss. The Crew will be here for you every day with info on every single event.

Look for one or more of us at Nexus, Steel Bender, Marble, and (hopefully) Tractor Wells Park today. We’re going all-out to start this year’s series of events!

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: Beer, Cheese & More. Where: Marble Brewery Downtown. When: 5-8 p.m. Cost: $25.

Details: A tray of five specialty cheeses from Whole Foods Market, plus other delicious munchies, are paired up with five Marble beers — BBBerry Gose, Tickle Factory, Chillsner, Red Ale, and Cholo Stout. Get your tickets at the taproom ASAP before they run out.

Why you should go: This is always a fun event to challenge your palate with some truly terrific pairings. Aren’t you just curious as to what cheese could stand up to the gold-medal-winning Cholo Stout? Also, The High Desert Playboys will provide the music starting at 7 p.m.

All the other great events

What: Homegrown Pils Collaboration Release and Food Pairing. Where: Steel Bender Brewyard. When: All day. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The Homegrown Pils is back, this time made with a new malt from the Colorado Malting Company. To celebrate, it will be paired with a special turkey sausage dish. Why you should go: Delicious food and beer always go together.

What: Nexus Notorious BUN (Big Ugly Nasty) IPA Release. Where: Nexus Brewery. When: All day. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Owner Ken Carson wanted new brewer Randy King to create a heck of an IPA. So, he did. Why you should go: Enjoy this new hop bomb before the joint gets packed for the anniversary party on Saturday and Sunday.

What: Boxing Bear and Rio Bravo Sampling. Where: Jubilation. When: 4-6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Before stocking up for the weekend on beers, make sure to stop by this double brewery tasting, featuring Boxing Bear’s Chocolate Milk Stout, Red Glove, Sucker Punch DIPA, Barrel-Aged Standing 8 Stout, and Coffee Chocolate Stout, plus Rio Bravo’s NM Pinon Coffee Porter and Snakebite IPA. Why you should go: That’s a whole lot of different beers to try and enjoy, plus, they might make your shopping decisions easier.

What: Beer Walk, Run or Crawl. Where: Rio Bravo, Dialogue, Tractor Wells Park, and Bow & Arrow. When: 4-7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: This fundraising event starts and ends at Rio Bravo, with stops at the other three breweries. Get a commemorative T-shirt and $1 off pints at all locations. Wrap it up with a concert at Rio Bravo. Why you should go: With all of the food events going on, you can use the exercise.

What: Sour Hour with Rowley Farmhouse Ales. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 5-8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The good dudes from RFA in Santa Fe are bringing five sours down for your sampling pleasure, including three new Ab Initios made with blueberry and pomegranate, merlot grapes, and methley plums. Why you should go: Pucker up for this rare and wonderful chance to try some RFA beers without having to drive 60 miles.

What: Canteen Social Capital Beer Release. Where: Canteen Taproom. When: 5-10 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: This batch of Social Capital was made with pink guava, kaffir leaf, and dry-hopped with Citra. Why you should go: Get funky in the Foothills, all while chilling out far, far away from the rest of the madness.

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Got any questions, comments, or complaints? Send them to, or leave them here on our site, on Facebook, on Twitter (@nmdarksidebc), or on Instagram.

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


— Stoutmeister

Steel Bender is diving head-first into ABQ Beer Week.

When ABQ Beer Week rolled around last year, Steel Bender Brewyard had only been open for a couple months. Knowing that it was better to ease into things, the owners waited until this year to go full-bore into the annual madness. To follow up on our stories on all the events going on at Tractor Brewing and Marble Brewery, I sat down with Steel Bender’s Shelby Chant to go over what she and the staff have planned out.


The brewery is bringing back a favorite seasonal with a new twist and a food pairing.

“We are opening Beer Week on Thursday with the Homegrown Pils Collaboration Release,” Shelby said. “We’ve already released our Homegrown Pils, which did really, really well, it’s a great beer, but we brought down the guys from Colorado Malting and used a malt that’s never been used in America. We got to do that, so that is going to be a phenomenal beer. We’re doing the release of that that day, along with a food pairing. Our new chef is doing a turkey sausage with leek, apple, green chile, roasted peppers, et cetera.”

The beer and the pairing will be available from open (11 a.m.) to close, so long as the food lasts.

Two other non-Beer-Week-related goings on for Steel Bender that day will involve a charity and an off-site tap takeover. Thursday is Red Nose Day, so $1 from every pint sold of Red Iron Red will go to the charity. Meanwhile, up in Santa Fe, Steel Bender will be doing a tap takeover at Violet Crown Cinema, including the release of a new beer, Kettle Run: A Solo Hop Sour made with Wakatu hops. That was made, naturally, for the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story.


Steel Bender will be among the many breweries in attendance at ABQ Blues & Brews at Sandia Casino from 2 to 6 p.m.


The patio should be packed on Memorial Day.

Bring your appetite if you do not have a prior engagement for Memorial Day.

“Probably what will be our biggest event, at least that’s the plan, is the Memorial Day Bender Smoke-out,” Shelby said. “What we’ve been doing is we’ve purchased two smokers — we have two more coming but they may not be here in time for Memorial Day — but we are really playing around with doing a lot of smoked meats. Our whole thing when we opened this place and put that patio back there was we want you to feel like you’re at a backyard neighborhood barbecue when you’re out on our patio. All of our chefs kept begging for us to get smokers and we finally did it.”

Brace yourselves for delicious offerings of smoked spare ribs, smoked brisket, and smoked pulled pork. Shelby said Steel Bender has been running test batches of each over the past several weeks, and they have sold out every time. Side dishes will include coleslaw, salads, beans, french fries, mac-n-cheese, Hawaiian bread dinner rolls, and more, most of which will be made in house.

The band Royal Hills will provide the music from 1 to 3 p.m.

As the meats have sold out quickly in the past, Shelby said she recommends people show up as close to the doors opening at 11 a.m. as possible.


This one happens off-site, but Steel Bender is joining forces for a beer dinner of epic proportions.

“Tuesday is our beer dinner with TFK Smokehouse combined with Bell’s Brewery,” Shelby said. “They’re doing a five-course menu. We’re taking three beers, the (Raspberry) Dynamite, the Ingenio, and the Red. I think we’ve got three and they’ve got an opening and then they’ve got two more on the menu. They opened that up about two weeks ago; they capped it at about 40 people. That’ll be a lot of fun. The menu looks phenomenal.”

The menu has been revealed on Facebook. Bell’s Oberon will be the welcoming beer, while Raspberry Dynamite is paired with a Brazilian salad, Bell’s Lager of the Lakes is paired with Smoked Pork Firecrackers, Ingenio is paired with Margarita Shrimp Tacos, Red Iron Red is paired with Smoked Beef Short Ribs, and Bell’s 30th Anniversary Cherry Stout Reserve is paired with Mayan Chocolate Mousse.

Interested? RSVP with TFK Smokehouse at (505) 639-5668. The cost is $55 per person.

Clearly, if anyone thought that they were getting out of Beer Week with a slimmer waist, you are sadly mistaken.

Thursday, May 31

Steel Bender and Flix Brewhouse have teamed up on a beer for a special movie screening.

Steel Bender and Flix Brewhouse are teaming up with a special beer release to coincide with the screening of Beerfest, a ludicrous comedy from the Broken Lizard gang that was filmed in Albuquerque.

“This whole thing started out with (us asking) ‘wouldn’t it be cool to do something for a cult movie release?’ They’re able to get those rights to do those screenings,” Shelby said. “We’re hoping that this is successful and this becomes a regular Beer Week event for us and we keep going through different movies.”

The movie starts at 7 p.m., with tickets now available online at the Flix website. For an hour prior to the screening, there will be games and other fun activities in the main lobby.

“Also, in combination with that, Flix came out here and we did a collaboration brew, Schnitz and Giggles, it’s a Dortmunder lager,” Shelby said. “It will be released up there and it will be released down here the same day.”

Friday, June 1

Sales rep extraordinaire Adam Auden will be taking some of Steel Bender’s finest beers across town.

“We’re doing a Wild and Sour Tasting at Jubilation,” Shelby said. “That’s also with Cascade, Rowley (Farmhouse Ales) and then some other Favorite Brands (breweries) will be there apparently as well.”

The tasting will last from 4 to 6 p.m. and is free.

Saturday, June 2

Meanwhile, on the west side of the Rio Grande, Steel Bender will be joining forces with one of our favorite restaurants.

“We are doing a tap takeover at M’tucci’s Market and Pizzeria,” Shelby said. “Adam is finalizing what beers to take over there, but for sure all three bottles. We still have Ingenio available right now, but we held back from of The Judy and Bullet’s Reserve. We’ll have all three bottles there and whatever other stainless (steel kegs of) sours that we’ve got ready to take over there. (It’s) going to be mostly charcuterie pairings and it will be going on all day.”

In addition, Steel Bender will be one of the breweries in attendance at the Mini Lager Fest hosted by Ponderosa Brewing. We are working on getting full information from Ponderosa about this event, which begins at noon and costs $20 per person. Look for that preview as we get closer to the event.

Sunday, June 3

May the skies be clear and the winds be calm to finish Beer Week.

The Steel Bender staff is hoping to catch a little luck with the weather for the final event.

“We hope this one goes better than our last-day anniversary event,” Shelby said. “Our anniversary for four-and-a-half days went really, really well, then we got nailed with that really bad wind. We had all the sours out there. We’re hoping the weather holds.”

This event has been dubbed “Le Cask Lunatique,” as it will combine the tapping of six specialty casks with a performance by the local jazz legends, Le Chat Lunatique. The band will perform from 1 to 3 p.m., but the casks will be tapped before that. So what’s in the casks?

  • Cider with Cascade hops and raw sugar
  • Cider with maple syrup and cinnamon sticks
  • The Village Wit with pure honey and grapefruit
  • Sparkfitter Amber with molasses and ginger
  • Brickie Stout with raspberry puree
  • Kettle Run with agave and both the zest and juice of 12 limes

“The plan right now is we want to put them out on the bar on the patio,” Shelby said. “We actually have to build something for this. Then Jason, our chef, is going to do, he thinks right now, some sausage specialty pairings.”

After all is said and done, Shelby said she and her husband Ethan have one plan.

“And then we’re all taking a vacation until the Lavender Festival (on July 7),” she said.

That sounds like a great idea. A big thanks to Shelby for the interview, lunch, and that crowler of Brickie (a belated birthday present).

Beer Week starts tomorrow. For those about to drink, we salute you.


— Stoutmeister

Beer, Cheese & More will be back at the downtown taproom this Thursday.

In order to help everyone plan out how to handle ABQ Beer Week, the Crew is once again visiting with the breweries hosting multiple events prior to everything kicking off this Thursday. After catching up with Tractor Brewing, the next stop was Marble Brewery, where I visited with marketing and events coordinator Geraldine Lucero on a sunny afternoon on the patio.


Beer, Cheese & More returns to the downtown taproom after various construction projects bumped it to the outlying locations in recent years. This is a hugely popular event, so if you have not gone to the taproom and bought your ticket ($25) yet, you could be out of luck. It runs from 5 to 8 p.m.

“Tickets have already started to sell at the taproom,” Geraldine said. “Albuquerque is such a last-minute town, at times we’re just like what are you guys waiting for, but (people) always come through. It’s one of our most popular events.”

Five Marble beers will be paired with five different cheeses selected by the experts at Whole Foods Market, along with some additional charcuterie items.

“The beers that we’re featuring on that menu are going to be the (BBBerry) Gose, Tickle Factory, Chillsner, our classic Red, and Cholo Stout,” Geraldine said. “So five 5-ounce pours paired with five 1-ounce portions of cheese and other accoutrements. All the good stuff.”

The Marble staff has already had fun working with Whole Foods on getting those beers and cheeses properly paired.

“Cassidy (Hurford) is the cheese specialist there and she’s such a huge help every year,” Geraldine said. “I give her tasting notes and samples of the beer, then she hooks us up with a bunch of cheese samples. She, Josh (Trujillo), and I and Greg Dupy ate a bunch of cheese (last week) and locked down our pairings.”

In case anyone ever wondered, yes, working at Marble can be a really good thing.


Marble is hosting another Brewer’s Brunch at the Westside taproom starting at 11 a.m., and this one will feature the man himself, Ted Rice.

“We have a special lineup of brewers for this one,” Geraldine said. “Ted, Josh, and Jeff Priddy are all going to be there. It’s a really fun way for patrons to have a sit-down meal with the people behind the beautiful beer that we make. It’s really cool to make the connection with the brewers, especially Ted, people will get to hear his stories. He has such a cool story, the story of Marble and where it came from. Then Josh obviously, too, his story here. And, Jeff Priddy is just a delight to be around.”

This is another fairly exclusive event, so get those tickets ASAP.

“Seating is extremely limited for this,” she said. “We’re only selling 20 tickets at the taproom (for) $25. Ohana Hut is going to be catering it, so it’s going to be an Asian-inspired brunch. We’re excited about that, too. The $25 gets you the meal and two 10-ounce pours. There will be suggested beers when the menu is finalized.”

Marble will also be sending a special keg of IPA-X to the Freight House in Bernalillo as part of its annual pig roast from 1 to 4 p.m. That event costs $15.99 at the door.


Just like almost everyone else around town, Marble will pouring beers at ABQ Blues & Brews at Sandia Casino at 1:30 p.m.


Another annual tradition continues as Marble will host its Memorial Day Festival downtown from 3 to 8 p.m.

The bands scheduled are Gershom Brothers (3-4 p.m.), Stan Kee and Step In (4:15-5:15), Sol De La Noche (5:30-6:30), and The Dirty Shades (6:45-8:30). Kitsune will be the food truck.

There will be an added incentive for folks to attend if they leave their vehicles at home.

“We’re doing something kind of cool this year,” Geraldine said. “We’re encouraging patrons to cycle to Marble. If you ride your bike, you receive Brew Club discounts while you’re here. We’ll also have the guys from Bike Works on hand from 3 to 7 doing free bike consults on the patio.”


To the Heights Taproom for some M’tucci’s east of the Rio Grande!

It can be hard for traffic-phobic residents of the Northeast Heights to make their way across the Rio Grande to indulge themselves at M’tucci’s. Well, for a change, M’tucci’s is coming east with a special series of pairings at the Heights Taproom from 5 to 8 p.m.

“This one I’m really excited about,” Geraldine said. “The guys from M’tucci’s and Josh and I all sat down last week. They brought a bunch of different charcuterie, cheeses, meats, chutneys, picked fruits, anything I could think of, with a bunch of bread. Then we’re just trying different bruschetta and beer. I loved that.”

The beer lineup will be Session White, Amber, Kentucky Julep, and Rita. Tickets cost $25 and can be purchased at the Heights Taproom.

“It’ll be something pretty different, because we’ve worked with them (before) on different events,” she said. “They did the pairing for our Cuvee Rouge last year and just nailed it. They’re huge beer geeks over there, too, and food nerds, too. That’s exactly who you want to work with. They make my job easier.”

If there is anyone out there who is not jealous of Geraldine’s job, raise your hand. OK, now put it down, because you’re lying. You’re so jealous, just like the rest of us.

Thursday, May 31

Head to the Westside Taproom for a night that is all about the beer. Marble will tap into its archives for Cherry Brune, From the Wood Saison, Quad, and 2017 Reserve Ale, Geraldine said. The beers will start pouring at 5 p.m., and there will not be a huge amount of any of them, so get over there as fast as you can.

Sunday, June 3

For the first time, Marble is teaming up with Hotel Chaco for a special brunch tap takeover at the Level 5 restaurant up on the fifth floor from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“It’s going to be four taps,” Geraldine said. “Xavi (Romero) will confirm the styles soon. This will be a fun event that will start at brunch. If you haven’t been to Hotel Chaco Level 5 lounge, go check it out. They have the most beautiful view.”

If anyone is wondering where Hotel Chaco is, it is the swanky new joint right behind Hotel Albuquerque, at the intersection of Bellamah and 20th Street.

That covers all of the Marbleous events this week. A big thanks to Geraldine for the info and Josh for the pint of IPA-X.

See many of you at Beer, Cheese & More on Thursday.


— Stoutmeister

Sticking with tradition, this will be one of the headquarters for ABQ Beer Week events in 2018.

Tractor Brewing is at it again. Just like in past years, the brewery and its taprooms are gearing up for a slew of events encompassing almost every day of ABQ Beer Week, which kicks off this Thursday.

To make sure we did not overlook any events, I sat down with Tractor’s ringmaster, Jeremy Kinter, to get the lowdown on what his brewery has planned this time around.

“As far as events we have consecutively, this is by far our busiest time of the year,” he said.

It is also a chance to show just how far Tractor, and craft brewing as a whole, have come in Albuquerque over the years.

“It’s evolved into a celebration of ABQ craft beer, but it’s (also) a celebration of how we’ve grown as a craft beer community,” Jeremy said. “And to really showcase to people around Albuquerque what we have to offer around here. And not just ourselves, as you can see, we like to team up with other people and other breweries as well.”


It all kicks off with a little bit of collaboration at Wells Park.The Sour Hour with Rowley Farmhouse Ales is back, starting at 5 p.m. The Santa Fe-based RFA is bringing three new beers, along with two of its classic sour offerings.

“They are doing the Ab Initio Blueberry Pomegranate, the Ab Initio Merlot Grape, and (Ab Initio) Methley Plums as well,” Jeremy said. “We’re doing their Germophile and Saison du Sarlacc as well. Those are the five we’re going to have on tap.”

There will also be a touring band from Austin, Beth Lee and the Break Ups, performing from 8 to 10 p.m. after the Sour Hour officially ends.

In addition to Tractor hosting that event, there is also the Beer Walk, Run and Crawl, which will take participants on a Wells Park course that includes Tractor, Bow & Arrow, Rio Bravo, and Dialogue. It will start (and end) at Rio Bravo beginning at 4 p.m. The event benefits Behind the Badge, which helps first responders deal with on-the-job trauma. Participants receive a free commemorative T-shirt and $1 off your first pint at each brewery.


We expect plenty of big crowds at Wells Park during Beer Week.

Local musicians will gather at Wells Park to sing folk covers of Radiohead songs at 8 p.m., including Casey Mraz, Paul Hunton, Jacob Chavez, Los Metamorfos, and Still Closed For Repairs. There will also be a special beer release as part of Tractor’s ongoing Beer for a Better Burque (BBB) campaign.

“It is our glitter beer, Peach Chinook Common with gold glitter,” Jeremy said. “It’s our BBB beer for Equality New Mexico. Every dollar for every pint sold goes to that charity.”


There are two events scheduled for two locations. Wells Park will host Covers of Selena, featuring Casey Mraz and Red Light Cameras’ Amanda Machon performing the late singer’s greatest hits from 8 to 10 p.m. There will be a beer release as well.

“The next day we’re doing our beer-rita release,” Jeremy said. “We don’t have a name for it, but it’s going to be a beer-rita.”

Over at Nob Hill, Cider-Day Night Fever returns, featuring Tractor’s ciders and some guest taps.

“There will be ciders from Boxing Bear, Red Door, Sandia Hard Cider, Black Mesa Winery and I think that’s it,” Jeremy said.

The ciders will be on tap as early as 1 p.m., but at 8 p.m., DJ Dave 12 will start spinning up some disco for all you mad dancing fools.


Tractor, like just about everyone else, will be at ABQ Blues & Brews at Sandia Casino. We will have more on that big event later this week.


Head to the Four Hills taproom on Memorial Day.

Tractor Four Hills invites everyone to come by on Memorial Day evening, chill out, and Paint Your Own Stein. The good folks from Kiln It! are the hosts, and they will provide all the supplies from 6 to 9 p.m. The cost is $35 per person, and it does come with your first pint of beer on the house. RSVP by calling (505) 433-8969.

Tuesday, May 29

The annual Beer & Cheese Pairing is moving from Wells Park to Nob Hill this year, which makes sense considering WP is no longer hosting food trucks. Starting at 5 p.m., Cheesy Street will be offering up four grilled cheeses that are paired with different Tractor beers for just $13. Get there early before the supply runs out!

Wednesday, May 30

In the mood for a treat? Then trek back up to Four Hills for a special pairing between Tractor and Rebel Donut. This one runs from 3 to 7 p.m.

“That’s going to be such a good one, too, I’m excited for that one,” Jeremy said with a wide smile, perhaps knowing that a good chunk of the Crew will be missing it (we are headed to Denver for Insomnium), thus leaving more donuts for everyone else.

Over in Nob Hill, there will be a special Star Wars-themed beer crawl that starts at 7 p.m. at the Bosque Public House, eventually winding its way to the Tractor taproom after stops at Kellys and Hops Brewery. There will be trivia, special prizes, and $1 off your first pint at each location. Costumes are not required, but highly encouraged.

Thursday, May 31

Everyone is aiming to take this trophy from the Babes in Brewland.

Man, have we really been participating in Battle of the Beer Geeks for five years now? Apparently so, as round five kicks off at 5 p.m. at Wells Park. Five teams of local craft beer enthusiasts, including the Crew, are going head-to-head once again. For $10, get a tray of all five beers and then vote for your favorite.

The Babes in Brewland have been dominating this friendly competition since the Crew won the opener in 2014. To keep it from being solely a popularity contest, there will be a change to the voting this year.

“It’s 50 percent popular vote and 50 percent judging panel,” Jeremy said.

After the votes are tabulated and a winner is named, Eddie Brewer and The Manic Episodes will perform at 8 p.m.

Friday, June 1

Fans of the First Friday Comedy Contest need not fret, for it will still take place at Wells Park at 8 p.m. The theme of the evening will be beer jokes, because of course.

Saturday, June 2

Get those dancing shoes back on for 90s Beer Prom at Wells Park. Starting at 8 p.m., the theme is Under the Sea, so dress appropriately and you might even be crowned Prom King or Queen. The cost is $25 per person, and it benefits TEDxABQ.

“I’m really excited,” Jeremy said. “We always fill up, but this year we have a really good variety of different things. Incorporating Beer Prom, and also doing the folk covers of Radiohead and the covers of Selena, it’s going to be a really great year.”

Sunday, June 3

Jeremy sleeps in. No, really, that is for the events, so he and his capable second-in-command, Valerie Osbourn, both get to rest and relax and maybe even take some vacation time. By the end of ABQ Beer Week, they will have earned it.

Thanks to Jeremy for taking the time to chat before it all goes to plaid.


— Stoutmeister

A slew of specialty brews will be arriving at Sister a week from today.

When just glancing at the name, the 21 and Over event at Sister sounds kind of odd. After all, of course one has to be 21 and over to go drink beer at the downtown bar next Friday, May 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. What the title actually refers to, however, is the age of the breweries involved. Only breweries that have been around 21 years or more are participating, and rather than bring us the same old stuff, each is bringing a wildly different and unique offering. This is one of those ABQ Beer Week events that demanded a little more detail in a separate preview, so without further ado …

Bell’s Brewery: 30th Anniversary Cherry Stout Reserve. This is the only keg to come to New Mexico. If anyone had the barrel-aged Cherry Stout before, you know how good this classic beer can be. This reserve batch checks in at 9-percent ABV.

Firestone Walker: ’17 Helldorado. This blonde barleywine comes from the California brewery that just cleaned up at the World Beer Cup, with four medals including three golds. This batch checks in at 12.8-percent ABV, so you might want to leave the car at home and take an Uber/Lyft/taxi.

Four Peaks: Green Tea Lager. The June seasonal release from the Tempe, Arizona brewery arrives a few days early. Much lighter (5.2% ABV) than the rest of the lineup, this was brewed with green tea (natch) and a heap of Chinook hops.

Left Hand: Chai Milk Stout Nitro. By now, everyone but the lactose-intolerant has probably tried Left Hand’s classic Milk Stout, either CO2 or nitro. This version has a whole lot of Chai spice added to the mix, for a creamy-yet-zesty brew that checks in at a sessionable 5-percent ABV.

New Belgium: Clutch Sour Stout. Pucker up for this offering from Fort Collins, Colorado. Originally brewed back in 2011, this Lips of Faith Series beer checks in at 9-percent ABV. It is described as “an iron fist wrapped in a velvet glove.”

Odell: ‘16 Meddler. An aged Oud Bruin, this is a big (8.6% ABV) sour. Made with lacto and other wild yeasts, it is not for the faint of palate.

Rogue: Combat Wombat. This might be the most bonkers beer of the bunch, and that’s saying something. Described as a Northeast-style IPA made with grapefruit and blood orange, this is the citrus haze bomb you’ve been craving. The Australian hops are present throughout this 7.2-percent ABV ale.

Sierra Nevada: Kolsch German-Style Ale. Only available in variety packs, this is Sierra Nevada’s interpretation of the classic light German beer. They added a little wheat malt to give it a bit of an American character as well. At only 5-percent ABV, this is the best beer to start your evening.

We will see many of you at Sister next Friday.


— Stoutmeister

We think the late, great Leonard Nimoy would approve of Nexus’ slogan.

Nexus Brewery’s seventh anniversary is closing fast, just two weeks away during Memorial Day weekend. Events will span from Thursday, May 24, through Sunday, May 27, with everything from beer releases to food specials, live music and so on. But, I’ll let owner Ken Carson do the talking here.

“I cannot believe it’s been seven years,” Ken said. “I will never forget the effort it took to go from banking, and hanging out in the four or five breweries in town, and beginning work on our Nexus Brewery.”

As a former banker, Ken said he knew that he needed a business plan and capital. He put the plan and capital together, hired consultants for the kitchen and a master brewer to help with the brewery. However, the plan did not work as intended.

Ken said he noticed about three months in that the ratio of food-to-beer sales was moving against his plan. The projection said 80-percent beer sales and 20-percent food, but it was spinning in the opposite direction. Ken said he was surprised that people really liked the food more than the beer. At nine months, the ratio was 50/50.

“Oh, my goodness, we have become a brewery and restaurant,” Ken said.

The trend continued, and after a visit by celebrity chef Guy Fieri and his program Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives stopped at Nexus, it was all over. The ratio today is 65-percent food to 35-percent beer.

“I think it is our attention to detail, and of course taste,” Ken said. “Nothing can be on our menu unless it tastes exceptional. We are almost 100 percent from scratch, and we work on each recipe every year trying to improve it.”

A tradition like no other, Nexus’ chicken and waffles.

Nexus is not only a company that is about the beer and food. It has a social plan, too. The name Nexus was not arbitrarily created. Although there is an underlying Star Trek theme from the 1994 Star Trek: Generations movie, the word Nexus also mean connection, Ken said.

“Our intent was to build and organization that would connect the community and do good in our community,” he said. “Our membership program provides for members to contribute to our community fund. We also contribute twice as much as our new members provide with their membership. But, we are happy to be an organization that donates to numerous charitable programs thorough out Albuquerque.

“Additionally we wanted to provide good and respectable jobs for our employees, and we have been on the forefront providing a living wage for all employees, along with full health insurance and dental. In addition, all employees revive personal time off, even our servers.”

There is also a third Nexus location coming, just a block south of Avenida Cesar Chavez, with easy access from Interstate 25, and not far from the University of New Mexico sports facilities and Isotopes Park.

“Under construction on 1511 Broadway SE, you will find a new Nexus,” Ken said. “It will be called Nexus Blue Smokehouse. We will create New Mexican barbecue. A touch of red chile and garlic are just a start. But, do not expect Texas, Kansas City or Memphis from us. Our food will always be a blend of indigenous New Mexican flavors with whatever style of food we prepare.

“It’s just like our New Mexico Hot Chicken. We use some cayenne like they do in Nashville, but we know our palates are used to red chile, so we added that and took out the sugar, cause that make no sense. Same will go for the barbecue. I think we did a good job on New Mexican Soul food, and we are not done, so barbecue can be a great addition to our arsenal.”

This place will be packed for the upcoming seventh anniversary.

To get a good idea of what this barbecue will taste like, Nexus will have some prime examples at its anniversary party, which is officially now an ABQ Beer Week event.

“We will provide a preview into our new style of New Mexican barbecue,” Ken said. “I have always personally cooked the barbecue at our anniversary. I will do it again this year. My dream to have a barbecue restaurant is only a few months away. On Saturday, we will have baby back ribs, available until they are gone.

“And on Sunday, we will bring our fried pork chop back. People really loved our pork chops when we were much smaller, but it was difficult to get the meat the way we wanted and we were struggling with room in our fryers. With some of those issues solved we will bring it back.”

Ken said he has enjoyed seeing the growth of Nexus over the past seven years just as much as his customers.

“I am very proud of what we have accomplished,” he said. “I have a great team of people that work very hard every day to bring the Nexus Exbeerience to Albuquerque. I have to give credit to all those employees who have been with us since the beginning or almost, and the new ones that work so hard. A great shout out to the Nexus crew. And also, a great shout out to our customers and Nexus Neighbors and even to our vendors. The support from this community has been tremendous.

“We look forward to seeing all of our friends and neighbors out at month end from Thursday through Sunday!”

There will be two big beer releases for the anniversary weekend.

Here is the lineup of food, beer specials, and bands for both the main Nexus Brewery and the Nexus Silver Taproom on the west side.

  • Thursday, May 24—Release party for Big Ugly Nasty IPA, a.k.a. the BUN
  • Friday, May 25—Release party for the return of Beam Me Up Scotty
  • Saturday, May 26—Day one of the anniversary party, featuring Ken’s famous ribs, with the Racine Creole band performing from 2-5 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 26—At Silver, DJ Graematter will be spinning the best in Afro beat and Afro fusion sounds from 8:30 p.m. to midnight
  • Sunday, May 27—Day two of the anniversary party, featuring a Southern-Fried Pork Chop plate, with Raven Rutherford & Her Sweet Potato Pie Band perform from 2-5 p.m.

In particular, I, Franz Solo, for one look forward to Big Ugly Nasty, being the main hop aficionado of the Brew Crew; and for that matter I do love some ribs, as the rest of the Crew will certainly attest (Yes, yes we do. — S). Beam Me Up Scotty has been a longtime Brew Crew favorite as well and we look forward to trying brewer Randy King’s take on the beloved Scotch ale. So head out and help celebrate seven years of heavenly food and brews from Nexus during the fast approaching ABQ Beer Week!


Live Long, and Prosper!

— Franz Solo

In a little more than two weeks, the madness returns!

After a rather epic 40th birthday party for yours truly on Friday night, the rest of the weekend was spent in reflection of times gone by, and what is still to come. Namely, what have we already written on and what do we still need to put here on the site. It occurred to me that we have not done our annual early preview of ABQ Beer Week, where the Crew tries to pick out one top event per day of the upcoming craft beer extravaganza.

Well, with ABQ Beer Week kicking off two weeks from this Thursday on May 24 (running until June 3), we are not as early as usual. Of course, this does mean a lot of the schedule is more set in stone, so that should keep us from looking back on this later and going “whoops, that was the wrong day/that event did not happen.”

Thursday, May 24

There are a whole lot of tastings on this day, plus one event to get you off the barstool and on your feet, but in the end we still have to go with tradition. Marble is bringing back its Beer, Cheese & More at the downtown brewery. Head over to get some of the best Marble beers paired up with all sorts of delectable finger foods. When tickets go on sale at the taproom, we will let everyone know, since it sells out every year.

Friday, May 25

At first glance, the 21 and Over Tap Takeover at Sister did not seem to make much sense. After all, to drink beer, you gotta be 21 and over, right? Well, it actually refers to the participating breweries, all of whom are 21 and over in terms of their years of operation. Old-school favorites like Bell’s, Firestone Walker, Four Peaks, Left Hand, New Belgium, Odell, Rogue, and Sierra Nevada will each be bringing a unique one-off beer. When we get closer to the event, we will reveal said list.

Saturday, May 26

There are 10 listed events, so this is one of the busiest days. We gotta go with Nexus’ anniversary party, which runs all day. There will be the infamous red chile ribs, plus the previous two days saw the release of a new IPA and Beam Me Up Scotty, so those will both be available as well. There will also be live music. As always, Uber/Lyft are your best options because that parking lot fills up fast.

Sunday, May 27

Of course we have to pick ABQ Blues & Brews at Sandia Casino, one of the biggest beer festivals in our state. Tickets are on sale now. The long preliminary list includes New Mexico breweries like Bathtub Row, Bosque, Broken Trail, Canteen, Duel, Enchanted Circle, Eske’s, Flix Brewhouse, Hops Brewery, Kellys, Kilt Check, Lava Rock, Marble, Nexus, Ponderosa, Quarter Celtic, Rio Bravo, Santa Fe, Sierra Blanca, Steel Bender, Tractor, and Tumbleroot, plus of course the Dukes of Ale will be on hand.

Monday, May 28

If you do not feel like firing up the grill, but would still like some charred meats, then head over to Steel Bender for the smoke-out. There will be mucho meats, plus sides, and beers, and live music, too.

Tuesday, May 29

Remember when the Crew helped make Obey the Darkside, our beastly stout, over at Canteen? Well, it turns out it is not all gone. No, some was put into a Two Fools Whiskey Barrel, and now it will be transferred to a cask and served all day at Canteen’s main location. See you all when the doors open at noon!

Wednesday, May 30

A chunk of the Crew will be making one of our crazy there-and-back trips to Denver to catch one of our favorite Nordic melodic death metal bands, Insomnium, so you will not see us on this day. For the rest of you staying here, might we suggest a saunter over to Quarter Celtic? The mini-cask fest, a huge hit last year, will be back with a selection of delightful special beers. It’s also Wing Wednesday, if you actually needed any additional incentive.

Thursday, May 31

This day is a killer, because not only we will be racing back from Denver, but we have to choose between two events that look epic. Of course, we have to be at Battle of the Beer Geeks at Tractor Wells Park to see if we can finally reclaim the title from the Babes in Brewland. For those looking for something different this year, head over to Flix Brewhouse for a special showing of the cinematic classic Beerfest (which was filmed here in ABQ). There will be a special collaboration beer release with Steel Bender, plus other fun activities for fans of the movie.

Friday, June 1

Nob Hill Bar & Grill is hosting a Firestone Walker Barrelworks tap takeover. Um, if you insist. I mean, that was just one of the holy beer pilgrimages of a lifetime and all. FW just won four medals (three gold, one silver) at the World Beer Cup, too. When we have the tap list, we will share it. Then we will drink them all.

Saturday, June 2

The second-to-last day is packed, as one would expect, so there are a lot of options. After some hemming and hawing, we will head for the Mini Lager Fest at Ponderosa. The hosts are bringing together multiple breweries to offer up their best lagers. A slew of sessionable beers on what will probably be a scorcher of a day? Sign us up!

Sunday, June 3

Ready for another cask festival? Head to Steel Bender for Le Cask Lunatique, which brings together a flock of firkins with local jazz icons Le Chat Lunatique. Once again, when we know the identities of the cask beers, we will share them.

* * * * *

Those are our early picks, but we reserve the right to change our minds, or of course to attend multiple events. As we do every year, please remember not to overdo it out there. Lyft and Uber are your friends, as are your actual friends who are willing to be designated drivers.

We will have a lot more on ABQ Beer Week in the days ahead, from focusing on specific events to running down everything at the breweries participating for multiple days. Until then, head to the official website to see some of the other events that are listed so far, and see if there are any that pique your interest more than what we listed above.


— Stoutmeister