Archive for the ‘Beer in Santa Fe’ Category

No one really thought that Bosque North was going to be the final project for the ever-expanding brewing enterprise, right?

Bosque Brewing does not sit still.

Oh, sure, there appear to be stretches of inactivity when it comes to adding more locations to its portfolio, but do not be fooled. Somewhere out there, Bosque has its eye on another taproom, and over the course of this summer, we have all become aware of three forthcoming projects in three different cities.

To learn a lot more about what is coming to Albuquerque, Las Cruces, and Santa Fe, I sat down with three of Bosque’s owners, chief development officer Jotham Michnovicz, chief experience officer Jess Griego, and chief production officer/brewmaster John Bullard.

First up, the new Albuquerque taproom/secondary brewery that will be located on the Westside at Coors and St. Joseph’s. It will effectively be the replacement for the original San Mateo brewery/taproom that closed earlier this year and transformed into La Reforma Brewery. Of course, that original replacement was supposed to be the Open Space project at Venice and the Interstate 25 frontage road.

Jotham said it was not just the seemingly endless series of delays that caused Bosque to scrap Open Space and head west, but a multitude of reasons.

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Beer manager Jordon Jenson talks beer with the Dark Side Brew Crew.

The list of bonafide bottle shops in New Mexico is not a long one. Sure, there are a few tried and true options that we’ve turned to for our various package booze needs over the years. There are, of course, the wine super stores sprouting up everywhere like Neomexicanus hops on a Southwestern bine. But, in terms of serious sud-slingers, New Mexico has been kinda dry, wouldn’t you say?

When I think of the two best places to find beer outside of the breweries in northern New Mexico, I first think of Jubilation in Albuquerque and Susan’s Fine Wine and Spirits in Santa Fe.

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The store is still well-stocked with beer, wine, and spirits to go.

This Friday, Susan’s Fine Wine and Spirits is officially launching their newly finished beer bar, and wine and spirits bar, with a grand opening celebration.

The new bar area, in my opinion, now places Susan’s neatly on the same shelf as many quality bottle shops I’ve wandered into during my travels to beervanas like Portland, Denver, and San Diego.

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New seating area in Susan’s.

Of course, opening a bar inside a store isn’t a new idea. Whole Foods did it ages ago to pretty fair success. But, what a beer bar does differently inside a serious beer and spirits ‘shoppe,’ is it invites the conversation back to beer and spirits, and elicits the feeling that it’s okay to be excited about the drink again. And, for me, it did exactly that.

In just 10 minutes of sitting at the rail of Susan’s new beer bar, talking beer with beer department manager/store assistant manager Jordon Jensen, about what beers have recently come through Susan’s, and the possibilities of what beers could be coming soon, I soon became gleefully excited about beer again. I couldn’t explain the feeling. It was like a painter re-discovering his love for art, after nearly forgetting that art was much more than a means to keep the lights on.

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Jensen serves up a cold one.

“Opening a bar in (Susan’s) was an idea we always had,” Jensen said. “Once we realized we already had the license, it was kind of a no-brainer.”

The idea came from a lot of inquiries about specialty brews that never made it into cans. Having worked for National Distributing Company, Jensen was familiar with brands like Marble, who had a great experimental program, where every week they would put out something unique and fun, and send an email to the distributors.

“We decided the best way we could get these beers to people was by getting them on draft,” he said.

Not only can you get a growler to go, you can have a pint in hand while you shop. The whole place is licensed. Jensen says that beer was the heart of the idea, and it blossomed from that inspiration to create a wine and spirits bar at the other corner of the store.

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The wine and spirits bar is nicely stocked.

As for the beer side, Susan’s has 10 taps that they’ll be rotating like crazy, with fun local stuff and tough-to-get, out-of-state surprises befitting of a well-stocked bottle shop.

For Friday’s party, Jensen told me that they’ll be featuring 10 local New Mexico breweries, mostly from Santa Fe and Albuquerque, with brewery reps on hand to talk up their products.

The full list is as follows:

  • Second Street Brewery
  • Marble Brewery
  • Ex Novo Brewing
  • Steel Bender Brewyard
  • Taos Mesa Brewing
  • Rowley Farmhouse Ales
  • Bow and Arrow Brewing
  • Tumbleroot Brewery & Distillery
  • Beer Creek Brewery
  • Bosque Brewing Co.

There will be music and snacks, and Jensen said beer will be sold as cheap as they can legally put it in a glass. They even have a deal for a discount off drinks with a food purchase at nearby El Chile Toreado, one of the very best taco trucks in town.

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Santa Fe’s finest bottle shop just got better!

“When Total Wine opened up, we took a decent hit. But, we’re starting to get people back,” Jensen said. “So instead of trying to compete with them, we’re just all about carving our own niche out and excelling within it. It’s the only beer store in town where you can have a beer in your hand while you’re shopping, or you can have a glass of wine while you’re shopping.”

The grand opening party is Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Susan’s Fine Wine and Spirits at 1005 South St. Francis Drive, Suite 101.

To Susan’s Fine Wine and Spirits’ continued success, cheers!

— Luke

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For more Craft Beer info and @nmdarksidebc news, follow me on Twitter @SantaFeCraftBro. Untappd: SantaFeLuke

After all’s been done, there’s just a bit left to be said before we head on to the next and final round of the 2019 New Mexico IPA Challenge.

I hope everyone enjoyed themselves on Saturday. There was a really nice turn out this weekend for the Santa Fe leg of the competition. Tumbleroot proved to be a perfect location to host the event. For all competition-goers, there was plenty of seating. All beers remained out of the sun, and at a nice cool temperature while the populace poured over them, and there was plenty of food on hand to keep stomachs full of something other than hops.

Hello, hops!

As far as the competition went, on Tumbleroot’s end, they did everything to make sure the crowd had cold, clean, and fresh beer to judge.

The Tumbleroot staff gathers for a quick huddle.

As mentioned in my last article, all lines were cleaned by the Guild the morning before. Tumbleroot even built five brand-new taps just for the event, making sure none of the beers were poured in a different manner, such as from Jockey Boxes. The folks in charge were all friendly and very capable of making sure that everyone got their beer in a timely manner. The whole thing was smooth. No lines. No wait.

I caught up with Tumbleroot brewer Andy Lane. He had a few thoughts to share about the competition and his beer.

“The IPA challenge in Santa Fe at Tumbleroot went off without a hitch. The beers flowed smoothly and everyone seemed to be very pleased with the service. We were extremely happy to host this event and we look forward to doing so again in years to come!

As for The Keymaster and the votes it took home, I am very pleased with how it is being received. I do wish we were higher in the pack but with this being my my first beer ever entered in the challenge, I am just extremely satisfied that it has been given the chance to compete against some of the biggest and most established beers in the state. That being said, I look forward to next Saturday where I imagine we’ll take home even more votes!”

As far as the results went … That’s a whole ‘nother story.

Yeah, we know, 2009 is quite the typo.

While the event was fun and smoothly-run, almost no one I spoke to was pleased with the results. There were folks from Albuquerque who were surprised “that Elevated hadn’t made it further.” And some Santa Feans certainly thought there would be more support for the Santa Fe beers, what with homefield advantage. But, to be fair, aside from brewers and a few beer geeks that travel to all the events, the crowd was new to me, and I drink here in Santa Fe.

Hi, Tom!

The results pretty interesting. I won’t get into which brewery brought what (of course), or who voted for what, but as for my experience, I think some of the mixed results could be attributed to the fact that so many hazy beers were on the list. Personally, at the end of my list, I had very few beers to choose from, simply because I wasn’t going to choose a hazy IPA. No offense to the hazies. I’m not against them. I’ll enjoy them, but they’re not the IPAs I’m looking for. And, this competition is still people’s choice.

Hi, Alanna and Jamie!

It’s the public opinion that matters. And, the public may be leaning in the hazy direction, or that also may just be something that’s happening a lot more, further away from Albuquerque, at venues like Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Taos, etc. In the last two years, the results showed us that the hazy IPA had moved in for good. But, would it stay?

Hi, John!

We always say this, but it’s true. It really is all going to come down to Albuquerque. They have the numbers. They’ll bring the votes. But, is New Mexico leaning away from the bright and bitter of the West Coast style? Or, are we sliding towards the sweet and juicy of the New England style?

This will be one of the most interesting finales yet. Is the West Coast IPA dead or dying out in New Mexico? What will stay on tap everywhere in three months? See how it all shakes out on Saturday!

Hi, Paul and Andy!

To more smooth and fairly run competitions, and the new East Coast/West Coast hop battle, cheers!

— Luke

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You do not have to be the Gatekeeper to enjoy the Keymaster.

For part two of Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery’s first year in Santa Fe story, it would be a huge disservice to only talk about the beer. Yes, we’re all about the beer in the Dark Side Brew Crew, but when we talk to a brewery and distillery, with its main taproom doubling as an upscale craft cocktail lounge, and then tripling as a huge family-friendly event and music space — one that will be playing host to Saturday’s Santa Fe round of the IPA Challenge — I would be remiss to skip over such a huge part of the story, especially when it involves putting something interesting and craft into cans.

For the complete Tumbleroot story, I called, emailed, and hunted down director of front of house operations and mixologist, Joseph Haggard, to talk craft cocktails and what they’ll be soon putting into cans. I also tracked down owner/director of business operations Jason Fitzpatrick, to talk music and whether Metal Mondays will stick around, and then I circled back to head brewer Andy Lane to talk about his IPA Challenge beer named Keymaster.

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Head brewer Andy Lane, left, and brewmaster Jason Kirkman get to the root of the issue.

Tumbleroot has been open to the public at both of its locations in Santa Fe for more than a year now. And, in that time, they’ve built a name for themselves in the local beer industry, established several haunts around town for their crafted spirits, and reshaped the landscape of Santa Fe’s nightlife scene, I would say, for the better.

I recently sat down with co-owner and co-founder Jason Kirkman and head brewer Andy Lane to talk about how far exactly Tumbleroot has sunk its roots into Santa Fe’s craft beer scene.

Tumbleroot has  two separate locations in Santa Fe — a brewing/distilling facility and taproom and a taproom/concert hall/event space — one of the only breweries to try such a feat right out of the gate.

It’s been a great learning experience, Kirkman said.

“I think that with our model of doing a full from-scratch brewery and distillery with a full lineup on premise, doing draft and (putting) bottled beer and spirits into distribution, it put a lot on our plate right off the get-go,” he said.

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Original artwork by Mariah Scee will most definitely find it’s way on another sweet T-shirt, so get it while supplies last!

Back by popular demand!

This Saturday and Sunday (June 15 and 16), Second Street Brewery — Rufina’s annual Crab and Pilsner Festival returns to Santa Fe for a second round, and we’ve never been more excited to get crabs again.

Last year, hundreds of Santa Feans and visitors showed up hungry and thirsty for the first Crab and Pilsner bash in such numbers that they exhausted the entire supply of cold-water-clawed crawlies. Luckily, Rufina is such a spacious, well-run operation that the party never felt too packed, nor did the serving teams ever seem overwhelmed. My friends and I certainly had a shell of a time!

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From last year’s fun event!

“Last year was incredibly successful!” said Second Street creative director Mariah Scee. “The turnout on both Saturday and Sunday exceeded our expectations, and the event went really well on both the crab and the beer fronts. Particularly on the beer side, we had a great variety of pilsners, making it a really fun experience for experienced beer drinkers, and also allowing us to introduce the style to guests who might not have known what pilsner was before the event. We also learned a lot, and are going into this weekend better equipped to handle the volume of people, keep the crab boiling, the plates coming, and flight after flight of pilsners flowing from the bar.”

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This Saturday, Blue Corn Brewery’s annual Cask Festival is back for a third round. Featuring food specials and beer from six of the Santa Fe area breweries, as well as a couple from our friends to the north, this event will once again give beer lovers plenty to sample and enjoy.

This year the breweries in attendance include host Blue Corn Brewery, Chili Line Brewing, Rowley Farmhouse Ales, Santa Fe Brewing, Second Street Brewery, Tumbleroot Brewery & Distillery, Bathtub Row Brewing Co-op, and Red River Brewing.

Without further ado, here is the beer list.

  • Blue Corn: Tamarind Sour
  • Chili Line: Tropical Fruit Stout with coconut, mango, and passion fruit
  • Rowley Farmhouse Ales: Oyster Stout with banana
  • Santa Fe Brewing: Lotus IPA
  • Second Street: Bonebreaker ESB
  • Tumbleroot: Dry Irish Stout
  • Bathtub Row: Secret
  • Red River: Back 40 Farmhouse Ale
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Last year’s event was a smashing success.

Blue Corn’s excellent chef, Josh Ortiz, has created a special menu of shareable items available to pair with the varying styles of beers. You can expect jumbo shrimp & grits, sautéed mushroom caps, bacon poutine fries, and creole jambalaya, as well as the rest of the available Blue Corn menu.

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Beer Creek co-owner Rich Headley is one of the most enthusiastic, upbeat persons you will meet in the industry.

Seeing as how it had been a while, last summer to be exact, that anyone from the Crew visited Beer Creek Brewing, I headed out to the charming little stop on Highway 14 to catch up with co-owner Rich Headley on a recent rainy afternoon.

Rich was his usual boisterous self when I arrived an hour before regular opening hours. He certainly has reasons to be in a good mood, not the least of which was the arrival of the 5-barrel brewhouse and full equipment in recent weeks (brought up from Arizona during one of our recent snowstorms, no less). Up until now, Beer Creek has lived off a beer-and-wine license, though the staff has collaborated on three beers with other area breweries, all of which are currently on tap.

Before tasting those, Rich offered me a tour, since a lot had changed since Franz Solo and I visited long ago, shortly after Rich and his partners had taken over the property.

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Winter is Here

If this isn’t the type of beer dinner that you would think we would be happy to present, you must be new around here.

It’s almost time for Blue Corn Brewery’s winter beer dinner! If you haven’t snagged your tickets yet, I’d get on that right away, as these things have a nasty habit of selling out like iheartradio concerts. On December 13, Blue Corn Brewery is bringing us a special pairing of wintry beers and the foods that love them, in a special event sure to live up to, well, every Blue Corn beer pairing dinner that’s preceded it.

I recently got a hold of Blue Corn head brewer Paul Mallory for a few words on his upcoming event.

DSBC: How did you and Chef Josh come up with the food and beer pairings?

Mallory: Chef Josh, (Manager) Michelle and I sat down and discussed ideas. I told Chef Josh what beers we had coming up and which beers I could brew to go with his menu. We often like to serve our seasonal beers for the dinners, so our guests can have something different each time they come for an event. We are pouring four beers that haven’t been brewed before, and many of them are malty and appropriate for the season and weather.

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We know we can’t safely drink all of these in one day, but damn, are we tempted.

As the cold chill creeps across the windshields of our state, we Nuevo Mexicanos tend to head indoors, finally abandoning the patios we’ve held onto through the fall. Winter is finally here, and the eves of pumpkin beers and brut experiments are soon behind us, and only the memories of wet-hop and Oktoberfest beers remain, buried deep down on our Untappd lists.

As winter closes its icy talons around our hearts, something changes. A lever inside is pulled. A switch of self-preservation is flipped for many of us beer drinkers. Now bundled in our warmest coats and our touchscreen-friendly gloves, we belly up to the bar to navigate a new menu of wonderful winter offerings of delicious dark-ish delights. Gone from our minds (and even menus) are the liquid-sunlight lagers, fruit-basket bubblegum beers, and lawn-gnome-wrecking porch pounders. Instead, we find dark spots on our beer lists, voids, blackholes of boozy goodness during this, the darkest of daylight savings times.

Yes, Stout Season is upon us, and to some of us in the Crew, it’s beginning to look a lot like Festivus. Oh, my friends, Stout Season is a wonderful time of the year when we turn down the lights, curl up in front of the fire in our warmest plaid pajama banana hammocks, and get ready to Netflix-and-Chill with a snifter of Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tweak.

In celebration of the season, the Santa Fe kings of the collab, Rowley Farmhouse Ales, are bringing us lucky folks yet another edition of Blackest Friday, a hit parade of beer’s darkest and most doom-fully metal beer, with a cosmically colossal collection of big barrel-aged stouts.

On Black Friday, November 23, RFA will be tapping nearly 20 rare and barrel-aged stouts for all those who aren’t afraid of the dark. Such an event promises to test the mettle of even the most intrepid spelunker. It will pummel the palate, trounce the taste-buds, and just make our inner stout monsters sit up and chuckle a deep, bellowing and satisfied laugh. Mm-hm-hm-hm-hm-hm!

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