Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

It’s like playing Where’s Waldo with your favorite brewery staff members. Thanks to all of them for their hard work and dedication to the craft! (Photo courtesy of Marble Brewery)

Marble brewmaster Josh Trujillo was having a normal day at the Heights taproom when I dropped by last week to ask him one question.

What does 10 years of Marble mean to you?

“Man, I think that’s the toughest question you’ve ever asked me,” he replied, which is saying something, considering that I have been asking tough questions of Josh since, oh, 2013.

After taking a minute to compose his thoughts, he offered up a rather elegant answer.

“I think 10 years to me is progress, a lot of gained knowledge,” Josh said. “I think the most important thing for my 10-year tenure, coming up on 10 years, is all the people that I’ve gotten to work with and have been coached by and have also been able to coach along. To see them progress within the company, and outside the company, and watch the industry change, and watch the company change, and watch myself change, is probably the biggest thing for me. It’s to see not only the company’s progress, but the progress that I’ve made within the industry and the company coming from having no brewing experience at all, a construction background, to working for a world-class, reputable brewery, and having a really good part in helping the company achieve that.”

Josh is the second-longest-tenured employee at Marble, having been there 9 1/2 years now. An Albuquerque native and graduate of Valley High School, he left the construction business behind in 2008 to join Marble in its infancy, though he had to work his way up from cleaning the brewery to eventually making the beer.

“I still sweep floors, too, man,” he said. “I started sweeping floors, I swept the floors today, scrubbed some floors, there’s some things that haven’t changed. A lot of things have and I’m still happy to do those things. That’s still progress. I pride myself on the cleanliness, the organization, and the flow of the Heights brewery here. I try to translate that not only through the rest of the company, but the rest of the industry.”

Josh has certainly had an impact on the industry, introducing a wide array of beer styles to customers and colleagues as well. His most recent shining moment was winning a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival for Cholo Stout this past October.

Josh Trujillo, looking resplendent at GABF last autumn.

“It’s just incredible to be part of that, and to be one of the leaders within that range, it’s a great feeling,” Josh said. “It brings me a lot of pride to know where I’ve come from, and where I’ve gone, and where there still is to go. There’s still a long road ahead of us. The industry certainly doesn’t seem to be stagnating at all. We’re making beers like Kentucky Juleps. Ground-breaking, innovative styles, not only for us but for the whole scene. I think, you know, I’m really proud of what I’ve learned about myself in the last 10 years within a different industry and what I’ve learned about other people.

“That’s what 10 years of Marble means to me is the people, the progression of the people, and my role in that progression.”

Before the rest of the Marble command staff got bogged down in preparations for Saturday’s huge 10th anniversary bash downtown, I asked some of them the same question. For those who know them personally, their answers likely won’t come as a surprise; for those who don’t, here is a little more insight into the wonderful people who keep Albuquerque’s biggest brewery rolling along.

“The word Marbleous comes to mind. Actually, growth, a lot of growth, a lot of change. Just in the four years that I’ve been working here, not counting the 10 (that) I’ve been coming here drinking beer, just seeing the expansion and the footprint that has grown and the taproom, it’s just insane. The Marble family has grown, doubled in size in just maybe the last three years. It’s pretty phenomenal. I think growth is the biggest thing. It’s just crazy.”

— Leah Black, P.R. and social media coordinator, four years with Marble

“I think one of the biggest things is they’re not satisfied being just another brewery in Albuquerque. They realize to stay relevant, you have to keep moving forward.”

— Patrick Cavanaugh, beertender extraordinaire, seven years

“It means 10 years of amazing people coming together with a unified vision to create quality beer and a experience that accurately reflects the beauty and potential of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and its people.”

— Barbie Gonzalez, director of tap room operations, five years

“It’s a big milestone. I’ve been here for seven years. It’s kind of incredible to see how things have changed. I can’t even imagine what Marble will be like in (another) 10 years. I don’t have anything that inspirational or grandiose to say. I love this place. I’m here more than my own home. That’s what it means to me, it’s my home.”

— Nate Jackson, packaging line director, seven years

“Marble turning 10, first of all, means that we’re going to have a big, giant celebration and we’re going to have a bunch of fun. Secondly, it means that we are doing such good things in the community, we’re only growing and getting bigger and better ever year. Ten years is such an accomplishment. It just shows that we are not going anywhere.”

— Tammy Lovato, off-site event and festival coordinator, two years

“Love. We put love into everything we do. From our delicious beer, our amazing events, and our beautiful tap rooms. It’s clear to see that we care about our craft and sharing it with the community is what drives us to keep excelling. We set a standard for what people expect from craft breweries in New Mexico. We couldn’t do that if we didn’t LOVE Marble.”

— Geraldine Lucero, marketing and events coordinator, two years

“It means that I have one of the best jobs in town, working for one of the best companies in town. It doesn’t feel like work. It feels like working for a company that’s going in the right direction. It’s a good place for the community, it’s a good place to hang out, work, and obviously making it 10 years, it’s still rocking after 10 years. We’re still crushing it in year 10.”

— Xavier Romero, brand ambassador, five years

And, of course, the boss wanted to weigh in on this question as well.

“Ten years means that we’ve grown a little bit, but we’re still so young. Look how far we’ve come in those 10 years. We’re up to 130 employees now, three locations, two breweries, numerous accolades between GABF and the World Beer Cup, and we’re still having a great time, pushing boundaries, and doing what we love. Think about where we’ll be in 20 years.”

— Ted Rice, president and founding brewmaster, 10 years

Cheers to Geraldine, left, Barbie, Josh, and all the Marble staffers not pictured here.

A huge thanks to everyone at Marble for taking the time to answer what proved to be a tougher question than I expected it to be for them. Enjoy the party this weekend, everyone. You have all earned it.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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It’s party time, excellent! (Image courtesy of Marble)

In case anyone has somehow missed it, Marble Brewery is celebrating its 10th anniversary this week. The first in a wave of modern craft breweries in New Mexico, Marble has set so many standards for the industry that we felt it would only be appropriate if we went out and put together a week’s worth of stories.

First up, of course, is letting everyone know what is happening this week. To make sure we had all the info, I sat down with marketing and events coordinator Geraldine Lucero.

Today (Monday)

“The series of events, it all starts on Monday,” Geraldine said. “We’re collaborating with Farm & Table for our 10-year anniversary beer dinner. We put (two) of our gold medal (winning) beers on the menu, so we’re going to be doing the triple-berry gose, the Cholo Stout and Imperial Red — those are our two golds — and then we added a Smoked Helles, and Ringleader, our 10-year anniversary ale.”

All of that represents the good news. The bad news is the dinner already sold out last Tuesday, so if you did not make a reservation in time, our condolences. You can still try most of those beers at any of the taprooms, and of course visit Farm & Table on another night to still indulge in some great food.

Wednesday

This will mark the official release of the 10th anniversary beer, Ringleader, at all three taprooms. Ringleader is basically Double White that has been bottle conditioned (or stainless steel keg conditioned) with brettanomyces added into the mix. Bottles will be for sale in addition to the beer being on tap.

“Brett fermentation under pressure creates a different spectrum of flavors than the fermentation in barrels,” head brewer John Heine said.

There will also be live music downtown by The Dirty Shades from 6 to 9 p.m.

Thursday

The Westside taproom is throwing a party of its own, one with a specific theme.

“Thursday we’re doing something pretty fun at the Westside, an 80s-themed prom with DJ Wae Fonkey,” Geraldine said. “We’re encouraging patrons to dress up in their 80s prom attire. It’s from 7 to 10. The Westside is all about 80s dance parties. It’s so much fun. It’s prom season, so let’s do 80s prom. We’re pretty stoked about that.”

Admission is free, and the best dressed will be crowned as king and queen. We can confirm that one brave member of the Crew is going to this event, so please, send us lots of ridiculous photos of Brandon if you can find him in the crowd.

Friday

Yes, we know it is the infamous 4/20, and brewers around town know that as well. Expect a lot of hop-forward beers, and Marble will be in on the fun with the return of DIPA Especial at all locations. Pherkad will provide the music downtown from 8 to 11 p.m., while Ray Anthony and Powerslyde will be at the Heights from 7 to 10, and The Deal will be at the Westside from 8 to 11.

Saturday

There is gonna be quite the gathering down there this weekend.

This is the day of the main anniversary party that will take over not only the entirety of the downtown taproom, but Marble Street outside and the north parking lot as well.

“Saturday is the big day, the big anniversary festival,” Gerladine said. “We’re opening at noon. We’re going to have a Marble Market in our north parking lot with 12 vendors. This lot will be closed down. We have a pretty good mix of people with some really, really cool stuff. We have a photo booth that’s going to be sponsored by the Watermelon Mountain Ranch. We’re going to take donations for that.”

There will also be a dunk tank and a raffle for Southwest Airlines tickets.

“The money that these non-profits make is all for them,” Geraldine said. “We just wanted them to be a part of this.”

Out front will be the main party area.

“Marble Street is going to be shut down with two extra beer stations,” Geraldine said. “Then inside the tents we’ll have a stage for performance artists, magicians, dancers, belly dancing. We’re setting up a fortune teller underneath the stairs, that will be kind of cool.”

Customers are encouraged to get in on the carnival/circus theme, so grab your best costumes or throw something together. The idea is anything goes (within the realm of decency, of course).

Geraldine said the food truck lineup is set, with Don Choche leading off from noon to 8 p.m. That truck has been with Marble since almost the beginning. Street Food Institute will join the fun from 2 to 10, and Gourmet Doner Kabob will be on hand from 4 to 11:30.

The music lineup runs as follows:

  • Silver String Band noon-1 p.m.
  • Tres Pendejos 1:15 p.m.-2 p.m.
  • Concepto Tambor 2:20 p.m.-3:20 p.m.
  • Reviva 3:40 p.m.-4:40 p.m.
  • Baracutanga 5 p.m.-6 p.m.
  • Mondo Vibrations 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m.
  • Red Light Cameras 8:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m.

The event is free up until 3 p.m., then it costs $5 to get in. Children are permitted with an accompanying adult until 8 p.m.

“We’re putting a lot of energy into this party on Saturday,” Geraldine said. “I’m so excited for it, it’s going to be awesome.”

Monday, April 23

The final event is for brew club members only at the downtown location.

“Then on Monday the 23rd we’re having our brew club appreciation party,” Geraldine said. “That’s on the rooftop deck from 6 to 8 p.m. Music by DJ Leftovers, he’ll be doing a vinyl set, with small bites provided by Artichoke Cafe. We’ll be doing a sneak peek of some beers not on tap at any location yet. That will be fun.”

Having recently tried a few unreleased beers at the Mav Lab in the Heights (thanks again, Josh), I can say you are all in for a treat.

We will continue with our look at 10 years of Marble with a bit of a history lesson from president Ted Rice on Tuesday.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

It was a festive atmosphere at Tart at Heart last year.

Sour lovers can rejoice for the fourth time as Tart at Heart is set to return to Sister on April 14 from 2 to 5 p.m. To get the scoop, I sat down with organizer Angelo Orona of Craft King Consulting over beers this week.

“It’s going to be a similar approach as the (three) last years,” Angelo said. “Of course, we have a couple tricks up our sleeve. We’ve got really great beers. We’ve got some local breweries, some regional breweries, and of course we’ve got some stuff from Europe as well. We’ve got some ringers.”

VIP tickets are $50 apiece and available online only. That is so customers can order the right size commemorative T-shirt that comes with the ticket. VIP gets customers in one hour early at 1 p.m. with a custom beer glass and unlimited tastings.

General admission tickets cost $35 apiece and can also be purchased online, or at Sister itself or Jubilation. Angelo said that if there are any tickets remaining on the day of the event they will be sold at the door, but Tart at Heart is limited to 300 tickets total. Last year, only about two tickets were available at the door.

One complaint from last year was how jammed it felt inside, so Angelo said they will correct that this time around.

“Last year we got some feedback about how crowded it was,” he said. “Obviously Sister Bar has limited space. They’re known for being a pretty intimate concert venue that has great beer and great food now. But, what we noticed is last year we invited 300 people to Tart at Heart, we’re going to have the same number of tickets, but we’re going to spread the breweries out over a larger area so they’re not all in that U-shape inside the dance floor. Hopefully that will get some better flow in there, spread the crowd out a little bit, so everyone is not bumping while mingling. That was probably the most consistent feedback I heard from last year.”

Fans should expect a little more elbow room at Sister this year.

The popularity of sours has not ebbed since the first Tart at Heart in 2015, and if anything the availability of the style has increased significantly, especially on a local level. Angelo said it would be nice to believe that has event has helped broaden the palates of local beer drinkers, but he explained that it probably goes beyond that.

“We’d like to think so, but honestly it’s really about I think the beer IQ of the common craft beer drinker is way higher than it was when we started,” he said. “I think people go through phases of wanting the highest ABV, hoppiest IPA that they could find. Eventually I noticed a lot of them end up at sours as they progress at stuff. I think the natural evolution of a craft beer drinkers’ palate is to gravitate towards more esoteric and unique beers as they get more experienced.”

The rise of dedicated sour programs at local breweries means more local entries will be present this year.

“This year Dialogue is sending us some beer,” Angelo said. “They’re going to send us a blood orange gose. We have Rowley Farmhouse (and) they’re going to send us three separate beers. They’re going to be pouring out of bottles. They’ll have one beer that’s exclusive to VIP. They’re keeping some of those under wraps, they’re pretty special, (and) they want to keep it a surprise until the event. Marble is going to send us two archived beers that they’re being a little tight-lipped about as well, which is good for us, we like the surprise element of that.”

Angelo said that Steel Bender is also confirmed to attend, and others are lined up, but have yet to confirm.

Among the international entries, one of note is Brewski’s Beet Me With Passion, Honey!, a Berliner Weisse from Sweden made with beets, passionfruit, and honey. Some of the others that have been confirmed are as follows (we will update this list as more beers are announced).

  • Goose Island Madame Rose and Foudre Project #2
  • Bell’s La Pianiste
  • New Belgium Apple Felix (Love Series)
  • Birra Toccalmato’s Salty Angel (from Italy)

There will also be a charity component to the event, with a portion of the proceeds going to a local family that has two children who have been diagnosed with Gaucher disease, a genetic disorder.

Get those tickets fast before they are gone.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

My Post-42

This Friday, Blue Corn is hosting their second annual Cask Festival at the southside location, bringing together at least half of the operational breweries north of La Bajada hill. OK, Burqueños, that’s that big hill between Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

Blue Corn organized this special event with seven excellent breweries on the roster, including one brand-new, not-yet-open (as of the writing of this article) place, Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery. Blue Corn has always been a great host for beer dinners. If you’ve read my articles, you’d already know it’s going to be an excellent way to spend your Friday night.

Why cask ales, you ask? Well, we all have mixed opinions about cask ales. Some of us enjoy them, some of us are indifferent. Some brewers don’t like to serve beer in them, but they’re a part of the industry, and some would argue it’s draught beer at its best. And, though the process has been around for ages, it’s not likely to go away any time soon, because it’s a part of beer history, and another interesting way to experience something we love.

With cask ales, something else is going on in the beer that makes it different and special, not just a foamy pour from a tap. You see, the active yeast used to carbonate the beer in these metal vessels continues to age the beer all the way until it has been tapped. As the beer ages and conditions, the CO2 created by the yeast will dissolve into the beer, smoothing out the flavors, blending as a painter does colors, and toning down the sharpness of the hops.

Oftentimes, and in a few of the cases below, brewers will add special ‘extras’ to these beers to give them a significant change in flavor profile, something they (as businesses) couldn’t do on a much larger scale, such as additions of fruit, extra dry-hops, honey, and so on. These flavors continue to condition with the beer, and give it more complexity than it had at the outset. Perhaps it loses something in the mouthfeel and in the warmer temperature, but it is still a fun way to test your palate with new flavors. Just imagine, for a minute, that if you could just cut straight through some of the high rocky peaks, you could discover the dense and beautiful vegetation at the bottom of the valley. And, there’s a history lesson in the process, if you really want to get into it. But, let that be your icebreaker at the event.

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Casks from the first Cask Festival at Blue Corn Brewery last year.

Blue Corn Brewery is no stranger to cask beers. As the title of the festival suggests, it’s not the first rodeo for the brewery. In fact, it’s not even the second. Blue Corn has held a few of these sorts of events in the past, and to great success. At one time, the brewery even used to release cask beers every Friday at the Draft Station in downtown Santa Fe. (Ah, the good ole’ days.) The best part of this event is that seven breweries are coming together on one night, to chill out, to laugh, to talk about everything from brewing process to mash paddle size … er, you know, brewer stuff. And, they’re totally accessible to you, the customers, if you’re not shy.

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Dave “Merkin,” head of R&D at Santa Fe Brewing Co., pours us a beer.

Go up to the guys with beards, glasses, or fruit-forward shirts. You’ll find them in the corners of the event — they’re the ones laughing the loudest, and having the most fun because they’re all buddies. They know how to enjoy these things, but, it’s not an exclusive club. These guys are friendly and will absolutely tell you about their favorite beer styles, favorite (other) breweries, favorite brewed beers, and so on. And, if you’re not feeling as chatty as I am after a couple beers, just ask them which brewery they brew for, and thank them for the hard work they do. Not all heroes wear capes, my friends.

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An appetizer from last year’s event.

Included in the price of these seven cask ales are seven appetizers of Blue Corn’s chef’s creation. In my experience, these bites have always been worth the price of admission, even without the beer.

Menu:

Blue Corn Brewery: Barrel Aged Imperial Stout with Cherries

            -Black Cherry Mousse with Chocolate Shavings

Santa Fe Brewing Co.: 7K All Day IPA

            -Marinated Pork Taco with Pickled Onions, Lime Cabbage and Cilantro

Duel Brewing: Fiction Belgian IPA with French Oak and Kaffir Lime Leaves

            -Salmon Ceviche with Habanero and Mango

Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery: Dry Irish Stout with Honey

            -Traditional Irish Stew

Second Street Brewery: XX ESB dry-hopped with Chinook and EKG

            -Beer Battered Alaskan Cod with Malt Vinegar Crisps

Bathtub Row Brewing Coop: Hoppenheimer IPA with Lemondrop Hops

            -Apple-Lemon Mini Cupcake with Mint

Rowley Farmhouse Ales: Biere de Garde with Brettanomyces

            -Gorgonzola Grilled Cheese with Herbed Portobello

Blue Corn was gracious enough to host this event, and we have a good number of participating breweries, but one is so new, that they haven’t sold a single beer in public, to my knowledge. Friday night at Blue Corn Brewery will be your first guaranteed chance to try a beer from Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery. I reached out to Jason Fitzpatrick, co-founder and manager of business operations, and asked him a few welcome-aboard questions.

DSBC: What does it mean to Tumbleroot to officially join the Santa Fe (as well as the whole New Mexico) beer scene?

Fitzpatrick: Joining the ranks of the talent brewers and operators in New Mexico is quite an honor. (Jason) Kirkman and I hatched the idea that was to become Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery two-and-a-half years ago, and the road was tough to get to this point. After many ups and downs throughout the process, we certainly have a greater appreciation for all of those who paved the way.

DSBC: What do you look forward to most about becoming part of this very vibrant scene? And, what are your hopes for your new establishment?

Fitzpatrick: We look forward to bringing something new and exciting to Santa Fe and New Mexico. We are inspired by bits and pieces of our experiences at taprooms, bars, restaurants, cocktail parties, family gatherings, concerts, and travels, and aim to bring all the best of those into one community-centric space. With a capacity for 400 people, our taproom can serve many different experiences at once. We hope that we have succeeded. We hope to become a second home for Santa Feans, and to inspire others to explore and connect with the community.

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Tumbleroot is here, as we saw with Jason Kirkman at Winterbrew 2018.

Why you should go?

For one thing, it’s always fun to taste a beer that’s exclusive to one event. It’s not something everyone can say they’ve had. And, it’s not something you’re likely to find again. The cask beers are usually very interesting, and certainly on the ‘extra’ end of the spectrum.

The food will be excellent and inspired, as it always is, because Blue Corn has a reputation to uphold for its beer dinners. I haven’t been let down yet.

Finally, this is a great opportunity to actually go up to and speak with brewers about what they do, how they make your beer, and what kind of beers they might be making next. Who knows? Your crazy suggestion might just end up in one of their fermenters and on the chalkboards. Or, as in my case, you might convince the brewer to brew something you once loved that’s no longer in the rotation.

The second annual Santa Fe Cask Fest is THIS Friday at 6:30 p.m. The cost of $30 per guest gets you a pour of each cask ale and seven appetizers, and a chance to shake the hand of most of the Santa Fe brewers. It’s a ticket with a built-in VIP pass, and you’re cordially invited. I look forward to seeing you there! To more beer beer events in Santa Fe, and a rapidly growing independent craft scene, we raise them up, cheers!

For reservations call 505-984-1800, or email manager@bluecornbrewery.com.
Address: 4056 Cerrillos Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87507

— Luke

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If you see me at the event, say, “Hey!” I promise to be on my most reasonable behavior.

Rock & Brews will host a special beer dinner Tuesday night. (Photo courtesy of Rock & Brews)

Beer dinners are plentiful in this day and age, but they are almost always limited to a single brewery’s offerings. Well, the folks at Rock & Brews decided that it was time to pair up some of their excellent food with beers from more than one brewery.

The dinner will take place Tuesday night at 7, costing $40 per person, or two for $70. Guests will be greeted with a welcome pint of Santa Fe’s Freestyle Pilsner. The four-course meal will feature the following pairings with local and regional beers.

  • Cheese (goat, green chile cheddar, gouda) and cracker trio, paired with Great Divide’s Roadie Grapefruit Radler
  • Braeburn apple salad adorned with Strongbow Cherry Blossom Cider vinaigrette, paired with Sierra Nevada’s Hazy Little Thing IPA
  • Surf (garlic butter shrimp) and turf (grilled Asian-marinated tri-tip) with braised local greens and carrot ginger mash, paired with Bosque’s Scotia Scotch Ale
  • Pineapple upside-down cake with vanilla stout creme anglaise atop vanilla ice cream, paired with Avery’s Tweak

Tickets are available at Rock & Brews, but as the time goes closer make sure to call first at (505) 340-2953.

Thanks to Angelo Orona of Craft King Consulting for putting this together, and for the heads up.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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Give ski season a proper farewell with craft beer on a mountain!

This Saturday, the Los Alamos Ski Club is hosting its 70th (!) annual Skiesta festival at Pajarito Mountain, just outside of Los Alamos. Given the extremely dry winter that’s wrapping up, the notion of a festival celebrating skiing may elicit a sigh or a yawn, but rest assured the show will go on! There will be skiing and snowboarding, of course, as well as:

  • Food from the cafeteria.
  • The band Escape on a Horse (alt-country/Americana), playing from 2 to 5 p.m.
  • A 1940s-themed costume contest.
  • And, you guessed it, local craft beer (served roughly from noon to 5 p.m.).

Breweries that will be attending and plying their wares include Bathtub Row, Blue Corn, Rowley Farmhouse Ales, Santa Fe, and Second Street. We were told that Taos Mesa had to bail out at the last minute, which was too late to change the event poster above. At my request, Stoutmeister asked the breweries for their beer lists. The theme clearly seems to be more malt-forward than hop-forward to fit the colder conditions, plus a few Irish-style beers for St. Patrick’s Day. If any other breweries send their lists, we will update this post.

  • Bathtub Row: California Common, AK Pale Ale, Mexican Lager, Irish Red
  • Blue Corn: Peaches ’n Cream, Glasgow Garnet Scotch Ale, Atomic Blonde, Road Runner IPA
  • Rowley Farmhouse Ales: TBA
  • Santa Fe: TBA
  • Second Street: Imperial Stout, U2 Irish Stout, Jordy’s Irish Red, Kohatu IPA, Kolsch, and one more TBA

As usual, complimentary bus service will be running from Sullivan Field next to Los Alamos High School every 30 minutes between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., so take advantage of that.

Cheers!

— Reid

Has it really been a year since the Crew first plowed through the beers at Steel Bender?

The good folks at Steel Bender Brewyard are fond of pointing out the fact that they never technically had a grand opening last year. To make up for it, they are stretching out the one-year anniversary of Los Ranchos’ brewpub over four days this week.

Here is the lowdown of what is happening on each day.

Thursday

The actual anniversary date features the release of Ingenio, which is a version of the Village Wit with brett, aged in tequila barrels. Bottles will be for sale. There will be music from Lenin & McCarthy from 5 to 8 p.m. There will also be a cask of the Village Innuendo with brett and hibiscus that will be tapped at 4 p.m.

Friday

Steel Can Stout, a collaboration with Canteen, will be back on tap. There will also be a cask with anise added that will be tapped at noon. The Gershom Brothers will provide the music from 6 to 8 p.m.

Saturday

It’s a double celebration with St. Patrick’s Day (we’ll cover all the other brewery events for the holiday in The Week Ahead in Beer on Wednesday). Bottles of Bullet’s Reserve will be available. They took the Blue Bullet Stout, added brett, and aged it in red wine barrels for the past year. There will also be a cask of Blue Bullet with brett and boysenberry that has also been aged for a year. It will be tapped at noon. St. Patrick’s Day food items will include reuben egg rolls, lamb stew, and of course corned beef and cabbage with potatoes. Pawn Drive will provide the music from 6 to 8 p.m.

Sunday

Starting at noon, head out to the patio for a special re-release of the brewery’s past wild and sour ales. The Goose is Loose, The Village Tart, Ich Bin Ein, and Oh G’s will all be available, along with the current sour offering, Raspberry Dynamite. The brett-infused beers available will include Yogi Beera, Out to Pasture Ale, and the return of Who’s Brett IPA. Spankey Lee will provide the music from 1 to 3 p.m. There will also be a special cheese board selection from M’Tucci’s Market.

Add it all up and Steel Bender is throwing quite the celebration. For further details, check their Facebook page, or just head on over for whichever day (or days) look like the best bets.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Three of the four medal-winning beers are currently on tap at Quarter Celtic.

A social media photo crossed our desks on Tuesday of the Quarter Celtic staff happy as can be in the wake of the New York International Beer Competition naming their brewpub the best of the best in New Mexico.

We had never heard of this competition before, so I braved the traffic on San Mateo (I-25 southbound is no longer an option) and headed over to talk to the QC team on Wednesday afternoon. The NYIBC awarded a gold medal to Crimson Lass, silvers to Test Batch #1 IPA and Come to the Dort Side, and a bronze to Mor-Buck IPA, all of which added up to naming QC the best brewery in our state.

“At GABF, I was talking to Tom Hennessey, who used to be our boss, (and) he was just saying that he only enters two competitions a year, GABF and the New York International,” said head brewer/owner Brady McKeown. “He was saying what a great job they do, how professional they are.”

That all led Quarter Celtic to sign up.

“Another interesting thing about this competition was the format,” said assistant brewer/owner David Facey. “Some are BJCP-certified, some are Brewers Association-certified. … The cool thing about this one was the judgment by the buyers and sellers. Stylistically, it may not be 100 percent, but it’s from the people whose job it is to sell beer for a living. They know their product.”

The competition included beers from 14 countries. Many of the American entries were from big breweries across the country, including Blue Point, Brooklyn, DC Brau, Jolly Pumpkin, Magic Hat, Rogue, Samuel Adams, and Saranac. Among neighboring states, Barrio Brewing topped the Arizona list, while Renegade Brewing claimed Colorado.

To achieve victory, Quarter Celtic had to shake up some past category entries for its beers. One notable change was moving Crimson Lass from Irish Red to Scottish.

“We were really pleased with Crimson Lass,” said general manager/owner Ror McKeown. “These guys did a great job of putting that beer where it belonged in the right category.”

“You know how it works,” David added. “They always talk about crafting a beer to a style. What we realized was sometimes you have to craft a style to your beer.”

Getting medals for two of the four QC house beers, Crimson Lass and Mor-Buck, was also important.

“That’s a great point,” Ror said. “You can tell people you made a really great beer (but) you have to come back next year to drink it. (With these) come on in, you can have it any day of the week.”

Congratulations to the Quarter Celtic staff on all their achievements. We look forward to how things turn out at the World Beer Cup in April and in competitions beyond that.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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Head brewer Paul Mallory (left) and assistant brewer Andy Lane (right) discuss whether to add more peaches to Andy’s beer. (We also approve of the TRVE shirt, Andy.)

Today (Thursday), Blue Corn Brewery is hosting a collaboration beer dinner with Beneficial Farms CSA of Santa Fe. Beneficial Farms is a CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture collaborative, that provides fresh produce to its members, while supporting 30 local New Mexico farms. This particular beer dinner is also very special to our readers because Blue Corn Brewery will be debuting assistant brewer Andy Lane’s first commercially brewed recipe — Andy’s Peaches and Cream Ale.

The recipe comes from one of the first (all-grain) homebrew recipes Lane ever made (circa 2013). Lane said he loved the flavor combination of a cream ale with peaches, and his friends all agreed with his assessment when he brewed it for them around five years ago.

“It went fast,” Lane recalled. “It was really easy to drink, really palatable.”

It was one of his favorite beers that he’d made while starting out. So, after being hired on at Blue Corn, and having worked with head brewer Paul Mallory on learning some good solid commercial brewing lessons, the first beer Lane proposed was his Peaches and Cream Ale. After just two homebrew batches, where Lane dialed in the recipe, he impressed upon Mallory that it was ready for the larger system and for the public. Today, you’ll be able to try Lane’s creation, a true labor of love, a testament to this young brewer’s journey, and a stepping stone in his career.

Andy’s Peaches and Cream Ale is a very fruit-forward beer, made with Pilsner, two-row, and honey malt, and no hops to put the peaches up front and center. A great deal of work went into this beer, the peaches in particular. They had to process them, peel them, de-seed them, freeze them, cull them, boil them, and purée them, before finally adding them to the beer. It was labor intensive and time intensive. It took roughly 10-plus hours to get it all in a tank. But, of course Lane feels it will be well worth the effort. Andy said it’s on the sweeter side, perhaps ranging into dessert beer territory, but he’s pleased with his creation nonetheless. From my early taste of the still-fermenting wort, I would say it’s definitely peachy, in a literal sense. I definitely got more peach tea than candy or dessert. And, it weighs in around 6.2-percent ABV. I can’t wait to try it once I get back from San Diego.

Blue Corn Brewery and Beneficial Farms Collaboration Dinner menu

Starter: Salami, Asadero*, Jalapeño Jack*, Queso Fresco*, Peach Compote*, Black Sea Salt Crostini

Beer: Green Chile Lager Cask* (5.0% ABV, 20 IBUs)

Salad: Spring Mix*, Goat Cheese*, Roasted Tomato*, Cucumber, Honey Balsamic Reduction*, Red Chile Pecans

Beer: Glasgow Garnet Scotch Ale (9.5% ABV, 20 IBUs)

Main Dish:Farm Raised Grilled Chicken*, Mushroom Cream Sauce,Jalapeño-Asadero Potato Gratin*, Sautéed Greens*

Beer: SMASH Pale Ale (5.6% ABV, 40 IBUs)

Dessert: Vanilla Ice Cream, Milk Chocolate Drizzle, Peach Glaze*, Mint

Beer: Peaches n’ Cream Ale* (6.2% ABV, 14 IBU)

*#LocallySourced

* * * * *

All brewers get their start somewhere. Sometimes it happens in the blink of an eye, but sometimes it happens after a long, winding journey, and many guessed-at roads. If you haven’t read my previous articles on Andy Lane, you can certainly ask him about where it all began, where he’s been, and what he wants to do eventually. He’ll be there at the beer dinner, happy to share his hero’s journey with you.

I asked Lane what it meant to him, to be able to now commercially brew a recipe of his own design. He replied, “It’s exciting! I now get to professionally brew one of the first beers that got me into homebrewing. It’s rewarding. It feels like the last step in a long process. But, it also feels like the first step on the road to what I want to do, if that makes sense.”

Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. at Blue Corn Brewery (Southside). The cost is $45 per person. Call (505) 438-1800 to make your reservations.

To the beginning of what I hope is a very fruitful career (no pun intended), raise ‘em up, my friends!

Cheers!

— Luke

2017NMIPACround2-3

Untappd: SantaFeLuke, Twitter: SantaFeCraftBro

My Post-16

Calling all beer geeks! Many of you have tried, or at least heard of the amazing beer, “Bomb!” from Prairie Artisan Ales (Tulsa, Oklahoma). Maybe some of you haven’t, but that’s OK, too. I’m not calling you out. If you haven’t heard of it, Bomb! is a huge, 13-percent ABV imperial stout aged on chocolate, coffee, vanilla beans, and ancho chile peppers. According to Prairie, “The peppers add just the right amount of heat to complement the intense coffee and chocolate flavors.” For those of you who have had this, you know it’s a big, chewy, complex-yet-pretty-balanced beer.

This Sunday, Rowley Farmhouse Ales is hosting an event at the brewery surrounding this crazy amalgamation of four separate flavorful imperial stouts. It’s not like any beer event I’ve ever been to in New Mexico. It’s called Prairie Bomb! Deconstructed. Is RFA just tapping Bomb!? No sir/ma’am! These mad scientists are messing with the very fabric of creation itself! Well, not exactly.

Other bars and taprooms have hosted similar Bomb! Deconstructed events, tapping all four variants and letting the public blend to their hearts’ content, but this is where the mad science of RFA comes in. According to chef and co-owner Jeff Kaplan, they have the actual recipe straight from Prairie.

Bomb! is made up of a blend of four different imperial stouts with four different flavor components and RFA has a keg of each.

Deconstructed Bomb! Chocolate – Imperial Stout with cacao nibs (13% ABV)

Deconstructed Bomb! Coffee – Imperial Stout with Spaceship Earth coffee (13% ABV)

Deconstructed Bomb! Vanilla – Imperial Stout with vanilla beans (13% ABV)

Deconstructed Bomb! Chile – Imperial Stout with ancho chile peppers (13% ABV)

During this event, you’ll get a flight including each deconstructed stout, plus the constructed Bomb! and of course, a beaker, you know, for science! With that flight full of Bombs! (wow, that’s something you can’t say near a TSA agent), you’ll get a chance to blend your Deconstructed Bomb! variants together, and Rowley and Kaplan will take it back to “the lab.” Then, whoever gets closest to the official artisan blend will win a couple of Rowley bottles and achieve supreme beer geek fame for all time.

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Now, it wouldn’t be a Rowley event without puppies. That’s right, this, as with many of Rowley Farmhouse Ales events, supports a local nonprofit to help make life better for our furry friends, something very near and dear to the Rowley crew. This event in particular is supporting NM Pets Alive, a local nonprofit life-saving program for at-risk doggos and kitties. They’re will also have some adoptable puppies on-site during the afternoon.

The event is all Sunday afternoon beginning at 11:30 a.m. To more Bomb!-ass beer events for great causes, cheers!

— Luke

2017NMIPACround2-3