Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

As the NM Brewers Guild put it best, “How many times has earth-shattering news appeared on a Post-It note?” Congrats to The 377 on tying for third at GBBF. (Original photo courtesy of Carlos Garcia)

At this point in history, it is no longer a surprise to see a New Mexico brewery claiming one of the Michael Jackson Awards for Best American Cask Ale from the Great British Beer Festival. After all, in the previous six years, four local breweries combined for five medals.

It is, however, quite heartening to see one of the “little guys” in our local scene being the brewery to bring home a medal in 2018. The 377 Brewery added its name to the list of winners when it tied for third in this year’s edition of the American Cask Beer Bar over the weekend.

“What this win means for me is that my love and dedication to the art and science behind the brewing process is being recognized,” 377 brewmaster Lyna Waggoner said in an email. “My Schwartzbier had won medals in the homebrew scene. I believed in this beer and never changed the recipe. There is a secret to this beer, but I won’t tell.”

Whatever that secret is, it impressed the British judges. It is the third bronze medal for a New Mexico brewery after Canteen and Rio Bravo tied last year. Prior to that, Marble won gold in 2012 and silver in 2013, followed by La Cumbre taking gold in 2014.

“I’m proud to stand with the previous other NM winners and to continue to show the brewing world that we kick ass,” Lyna said.

Tucked away near the intersection of Yale and Gibson, The 377 has quietly been on a roll of late, earning a gold medal for its Belgian Sour Quad at the U.S. Beer Open Championship, in addition to a pair of past gold medals.

“What this win means to The 377 is the recognition of being chosen in such a large and diverse field of competitors,” Lyna said. “I know they (the owners and staff) are ecstatic.”

The good news is the Schwartzbier is available almost year-round at the brewery, so anyone who is curious about this award winner can head over to try it at almost any time. A limited amount of the Belgian Sour Quad will be available starting this Wednesday, and we will have more details on how that kicks off the Basement Barrel Project in The Week Ahead in Beer.

Overall, it is just part of a positive string of news and events for The 377.

“As far as momentum, it’s already building with our new kitchen opening up very, very soon,” Lyna said. “Possibly a pilot system for me to explore even more avenues of beer artistry is in the works. And, to finally get a chance to show off my sour side of beer making is finally here. And, I’m happy about that.”

Congratulations to Lyna and The 377 from all of us in the Crew.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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Recently I was attending a little meet-up of the Santa Fe brewers at Rowley Farmhouse Ales, and after many delicious beer samples from the local brewers, as well as some recent RFA collabs, RFA let me in on a little secret. Rowley Farmhouse Ales and recent IPA Challenge winner, Blue Corn Brewery, had a collaboration in the works. Seeing as there had never been a collaboration between these two breweries before, I wanted to get the story out to the public as soon as I could. During a very busy weekend, I caught up with both brewers to find out what exactly was going down in my town.

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RFA head brewer Wes Burbank at a recent collaboration with Pipeworks Brewing Company in Chicago.

First up, I met with Wes Burbank, the head brewer at Rowley Farmhouse Ales.

DSBC: I heard you guys are doing a collaboration with Blue Corn soon. Does Rowley Farmhouse Ales (RFA) have an official statement?

Burbank: Official Statement from RFA — Barleywine is dead, long live the new life, Pilsner! #PiL

DSBC: You guys are the kings of the collab over there at RFA. In one aspect or another RFA has been involved in at least six completed collaborations this year with many in the works. What do you feel collaborations bring to breweries and to the beer drinkers?

Burbank: Collabs are great because you get to see how other people brew on different systems. I’ve learned so much this way. It’s really great to be able to exchange little tips and tricks of the trade on brew days to make all our lives easier. There are lots of little things that pop up and you can say, “Oh, I have a clever trick for this!” I think specifically for us at RFA, we just think it’s fun, and we have the ability to do it. We don’t have a lot of core beers, and we love being able to brew new things when the (creative) spark hits. I think it’s great for the beer drinkers, because we’ll usually try stuff that we might not otherwise, either by combining things our breweries are known for, or just doing something crazy. I think it builds a sense of community, not just within the participating breweries, but sometimes with the consumers as well.

DSBC: Whose idea was the collaboration on this one? How’d it come about? Was it from the meeting?

Burbank: I’m not sure exactly where this originated, to be honest. We have been talking about doing one for a while, but usually it’s one of those several-beers-deep situations where it’s, “We should totally do a collab!” And, we finally found some time in our schedules to make it happen when we met for the first POETS (Piss Off Early Tomorrow’s Saturday) meeting. We are lucky at RFA to have a great Mayhem Coordinator (the fantastic Elissa Ritt), and she actually will follow up with this type of thing, which I think is a large part of why we do so many collabs.

DSBC: What are you looking forward to most about this collaboration?

Burbank: There are two things that really excite me about this. The first is we are going to do two versions of this beer — one traditionally at Blue Corn, then followed up by the same recipe at our place with our house culture, so with some added funk. It’ll be exciting to showcase both beers side-by-side!

The second thing I’m excited about is brewing with Paul (Mallory) and Andy (Lane). They both have been great to me since I moved here a couple months ago from Colorado, so I’m excited to work with them. I’ve recently been trying to get the Santa Fe brewing community together once a month to hang out and discuss beer. We just recently had our first get-together and I think it was a huge success. That actually started with Paul and I drinking on the patio at RFA, and we both thought it would be great for everyone to have a place each month where we can exchange ideas, talk shop, or just showcase our new beers. We brewers are a busy bunch, so having a planned time allows us the chance to schedule some time out to see what we’re all up to around town.

* * * * *

I also was able to get a statement from 2018 IPA Challenge winner, head brewer of Blue Corn Brewery, and all around good guy, Paul Mallory.

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Paul Mallory hoisting up the hardware at the 2018 IPA Challenge!

“I feel excited to be doing a collaboration with another brewery in Santa Fe,” Paul said. “I also am eager to see how things turn out, considering we’re doing something a little different in regards to collaboration.

“What inspired the collaboration was just running into John (Rowley) at his spot. We have both always enjoyed doing collaborations with other breweries. We got to talking and came up with a game plan.

“We are doing two different brews, one at Blue Corn, the other at Rowley. It’ll be the same malt bill, but we’ll pitch different cultures in each one. At Blue Corn we’ll be pitching a traditional Hefeweizen yeast, while at Rowley, they’ll be pitching their mixed house culture. It should make for two very different beers.”

When asked if Blue Corn will consider doing more collaborations in the future, Paul had this to say: “We are always looking for ways to make things more interesting for us as brewers, and for our customers. We enjoy doing collaborations with other breweries and local suppliers.”

* * * * *

Two Bavarian Hefeweizens from two different breweries — one thing’s for sure, whatever they do with them, whether it’s the more traditional handling or taking a bit of a more funkadelic approach, you can bet these beers will be well-brewed and delicious. These collaborations are good for our beer community, because we ARE a community. In times like these we have to remember that we’ve really got only one big enemy, and they have Super Bowl commercials and brewery-buying power. Through these collaborations we’re not so much worried about shelf space and sales figures. Instead, we declare that dilly dilly ain’t our dilly, yo. We’re one nation under a groove, gettin’ down just for the funk of it, and making good and interesting beer is all we need to focus on (from the beer-making side of things). To the independent craft beer community, we raise ‘em up!

Cheers!

— Luke

Also on tap for Rowley Farmhouse Ales:

Wednesday: In collaboration with metal band Veil of Maya, RFA is pouring their Ale of Maya at Anodyne.

“Ale of Maya is a double IPA brewed with Veil of Maya for the Summer Slaughter show on Weds 8/15 at the Sunshine Theater. Our friends at Anodyne are pouring the beer for us. It’ll be on tap Wednesday! Maybe you’ll see myself and some of the band there after the show having a couple. Ale of Maya is a West-Coast style DIPA, with lots of citrus notes. 9%ABV, and 66.6 IBU’s. \m/”  ~Wes Burbank

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Thursday: Join Rowley Farmhouse Ales at Tumbleroot Brewery & Distillery for American Funk. They’ll be pouring Greyscale and Kaffeeklatsch alongside Tumbleroot’s Gose and brand new Sour Red! Get four 5-ounce pours for $13 and enjoy live music from Earle Poole & the Girls, and Gary Farmer and the Troublemakers! I’ll be there for the whole funk and nothing but the funk!

American Funk

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I would like to thank my mother. And Oprah. And the Crew. And Chuck Norris. And Pete! No one like you, but you still fly! This one’s for the ladies! Fine… You can have it back, Paul.

Follow me on Twitter @SantaFeCraftBro for Untappd Snaps and #DarkSideBrewCrew Shenanigans. Also, follow @lostgramsofluke on IG if you’re so inclined. Quality not assured.

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We’re really digging the poster.

On Saturday, the Rufina taproom will host Second Street’s first Crab and Pilsner Festival, and you’re all invited. The event goes from 11 a.m. on Saturday to 10 p.m. on Sunday. Yes, it’s a two-day festival, and it seems like the perfect thing to bring your dad to on Sunday, because it’s Father’s Day, in case you’ve forgotten. And, gosh darn it, dad deserves good beer! And, if dad’s into the light stuff, like most dads are, well, we know where he can find a few of them this weekend.

The Crab and Pilsner Festival is free to attend. You don’t have to buy tickets or make reservations. Just get to 2920 Rufina Street early enough to buy your pilsner glass and T-shirt. All pilsners will be sold at regular pint prices, but you can buy flights as well. And, we’re pretty sure they’ll let you sample a few more, if you ask nicely.

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You can wear the poster? Even better!

As of the posting, we’re still missing a few beers from some of the breweries, but there will be pilsners from 17 breweries in total.

Blue Corn — Atomic Blond

Bosque — TBA

Boxing Bear — Body Czech

Canteen Brewhouse — High Plains Pilsner

Duel — Sorachi Ace Pilsner

Enchanted Circle — Palisades Pilsner

Kaktus — Kaktus Pilsner

Marble — Marble Pilsner

Marble Heights — Thunder From Dortmunder

Santa Fe — Freestyle

Second Street — Agua Fria Pilsner

Sidetrack — Sidetrack Pilsner

Starr Brothers — Starrphire

Steel Bender — Schnitz ‘N Giggle

Taos Mesa — Koenig Lager

Tractor — TBA

Turtle Mountain — TBA

As the name of the festival implies, it’s also a crab festival, with a menu put together by Second Street’s southern chef Milton Villarrubia, which, if you’ve ever eaten at Rufina, you’d know this man can do southern food.

MENU:
Crab and Tasso Gumbo
Cup $7.50 / Bowl $15
Succulent Gulf blue crab meat and house-made smoked Cajun Tasso Ham are cooked in a seafood stock with trinity, chef’s signature dark chocolate brown roux. Seasoned to perfection with Cajun spices and served with white rice, grilled baguette, and garnished with green onions.

Snow Crab Plate
Half Portion $18.50 / Whole Portion $37
Traditionally boiled Pacific Northwestern snow crab-cluster, served with boiled red potatoes, corn, crackers, and melted butter.

Dungeness Crab Plate
Half Portion $18.50 / Whole Portion $37
A Pacific Northwest classic! Dungeness crab served with boiled red potatoes, corn, crackers, and melted butter.

Sides
Corn on the cob – $.75 each
Red Potato – $.75 each
Andouille Sausage – $3.50
Whole Artichoke with Caper Aioli – $7
Dry Creole Spice – $1

There will also be a free live show on Saturday by guitarist Combsy, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to keep us all entertained well into the night.

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Hello, proper glassware!

This will be a different festival than our Albuquerque crowd will be used to, but then again, this model seems to work for most of Second Street’s festivals, where it’s a little less of a line and sample-fest, and more of a food-and-drink-and-music hangout. At these things, I’ve never left feeling like I’ve spent too much or gotten too little to taste, and I’ve always made a few new friends. So, I’ll be there on Saturday, enjoying some of the best clean and clear beers our New Mexico breweries have to offer under one roof.

To the pilsner, where mistakes have nowhere to hide, raise ‘em up!

— Luke

Broken Trail will clean out that lot to the left for the St. Baldrick’s Brew Fest this Saturday.

There are many beer festivals that give a portion of the proceeds to worthy charities. Then there is the St. Baldrick’s Brew Fest, which puts its charity front and center, and will see 100 percent of the net sales go to the cause. It all goes down this Saturday at Broken Trail’s main location at 2921 Stanford NE starting at 4 p.m.

To learn more about the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and this new festival, I sat down with Broken Trail owner Matt Simonds and event organizer/one-woman-army Morgan McLain.

In the past, Morgan had teamed up with Red Door, but that ended last year.

“Last year, we didn’t do a big event, Red Door was in the middle of opening several other businesses,” she said. “We decided to do a St. Patrick’s Day special at Broken Trail because the first couple of events for St. Baldrick’s were held at an Irish pub in New York.”

The small event raised about $300, Morgan said, but more is always good.

“When we were thinking about this year, after all of the kerfuffle we went through with Red Door, it made sense to do it here (at Broken Trail),” she said. “(Matt) had offered that up last year. We decided to do it here, but we asked are we just going to do a (small) event or throw a party. When the Red Door event started up, we challenged all the brewers (to shave their heads) and they came through the first year, which was great. We decided why not do the same thing, we have the space to do it, we have the licensure to do it, which is something we didn’t have at Red Door. We reached out to 15 or 20 breweries.”

Broken Trail will make use of its spacious, and fenced-in, exterior lot for the festival.

“The idea is that let’s utilize the huge space that we have,” Matt said. “We’ve basically invited breweries to come in and hopefully donate kegs if not sell it to us at a reduced rate. Then with the idea that 100-percent of the net sales will be going directly towards St. Baldrick’s. So hopefully we’ll have tents set up.”

The breweries on hand will include Canteen, Little Toad Creek, Quarter Celtic, The 377, and Tractor. Steel Bender will donate a keg, too, and the forthcoming Hollow Spirits will pop up as well (as Morgan put it best, “Hollow Spirits will be here with a banner and Frank’s head, but I don’t think they have anything to contribute, but they’re working on it.”) Fork & Fig will cater the event, and Nomad’s BBQ will park its truck and smoker at the event as well. Pop Fizz will be present, too. On the music front, Morgan said, “Red Light Cameras and Le Chat Lunatique are both playing because they love me, and so I badgered them (a lot).” The traditional act of having one’s head shaved during the event will also occur, and yes, Morgan has signed up Matt, among others.

It is no easy undertaking to put all of this together, but this year marks a milestone in Morgan’s personal life.

“It makes the most sense to have a (big) party,” she said. “This is a huge year for me, it’s my 25th year cancer free, so we had to do it up great. Why not have a party? We might as well have a big festival. It’s more fun to do that and I feel like in the long run it’s easier to do that than just have one small event.”

Morgan was lucky to survive cancer as a child, but the disease did not end with her, so she has remained active in helping others.

“Over high school and the beginning of college I actually lost three of my friends that I had known through the oncology department,” she said. “One of them lost his original battle and two of them with their relapse as young adults in their mid-20s. That, of course, hangs around with you.

“Cancer has been pretty pervasive in my family and my life. My father passed away from cancer, I’ve lost friends from cancer.”

Morgan said she also has a number of friends working in the medical community, many in cancer-related fields, both here in Albuquerque and around the country. Growing up, she was also involved in another local charity, Camp Enchantment, which helps children who are cancer survivors.

“Childhood cancer is probably the most underfunded kind of cancer,” Morgan said. “The National Institute of Health is offering only 4 percent of their funding budget to cancer research, although that’s changing now. The Scott Act passed (last week), it’s the biggest piece of legislation that ever passed for childhood cancer research. It guarantees them $30 million over the next five years. It goes to the National Institute of Health and the National Cancer Institute for ongoing clinical research for kids who have survived cancer and longevity after that and how childhood cancer affects you as an adult.”

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is the largest private organization in the country that raises money in the fight against childhood cancer, as well as helping the survivors get on with their lives.

“As an adult with cancer there are obviously lasting effects from the chemotherapy, but especially as a child who has to go through a really intense type of therapy, there are side effects that can last a lifetime,” Morgan said. “Whether it’s cognitive defects, whether that’s learning disabilities, whether that’s physical defects, you have to have something amputated. Long-term effects from childhood cancers aren’t as widely understood as adult cancers are. If you have childhood cancer your odds of having cancer again skyrocket in your adult lifetime, regardless of where you live, what you do, what you come into contact with, et cetera. It’s not a matter of if, but when.”

A huge thanks to Morgan and Matt for taking the time to sit down and talk about this important cause. We hope to see everyone out at Broken Trail this Saturday (and yes, we will get those beer lists to you before the end of the week). If you cannot attend, but are interested in donating, go the event’s official page.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Festival season begins now!

The annual Blazin’ Brewfest is set for today (Friday) along Main Street in downtown Las Cruces. A total of 18 breweries will be present, some from as far away as Abiquiu, Clovis, Santa Fe, and Taos, to many of the Albuquerque breweries and the locals down south.

Things kick off at 5 p.m., with tickets costing $20 per person. There may still be some online and more available at the gate while supplies last.

This is a NM Brewers Guild event, so if you are in Southern New Mexico/West Texas, or are willing to make the drive down, please show up and support the Guild.

Need any final convincing? How about knowing what’s on tap? We have 15 of the 18 breweries’ lists, and will add the others if they pop into our inbox.

  • UPDATED—>Abbey: Monks’ Wit, Monks’ Ale, Monks’ Dark, Monks’ Golden, Monks’ Dubbel, Monks’ Tripel Reserve
  • Bosque: Lager, IPA, Elephants on Parade, Brewers Boot Amber Ale, Scotia Scotch Ale, Pistol Pete’s 1888 Blonde Ale, Driftwood Oatmeal Stout, Citronic Sessions
  • Canteen: Exodus IPA, Raspberry Wheat, Laid Back Lager, Dougie-Style Amber
  • High Desert: Rio Rift IPA, Cerveza, Saison, Peach Wheat, Dark Bock
  • Kaktus: TBA
  • La Cumbre: BEER, A Slice of Hefen, Elevated IPA, Project Dank IPA, Snafued Hazy IPA (special tapping at 7 p.m.)
  • Little Toad Creek: Smarte Blonde, Copper Ale, Grumpy Old Troll IPA, Pendejo Porter
  • Marble: Double White, Passionate Gose, Cholo Stout, Pilsner, DIPA (cans), Imperial Red (cans)
  • Pecan Grill: TBA
  • Picacho Peak: Picacho Lite, Cafe Negro Black IPA, Dukes Reserve, Mandarina Nugget, Keller Hefe, Dry Bones Irish Xtra Stout
  • Red Door: Unhinged Cider, Roamer Red, Threshold IPA, Vanilla Cream Ale
  • Roosevelt: Eleanor’s Blonde Ale, Portales Pale Ale, Full Stop Amber Ale, Clovis Point IPA
  • Santa Fe: Reluctant IPA (Hazy Imperial), 7K IPA, Twisted Root
  • Second Street: Red and Yellow Armadillo (Imperial Red), 2920 IPA, Agua Fria Pilsner, Kolsch, Rod’s Best Bitter
  • Spotted Dog: Raspberry Truffle Ale, Chien de la Passion (Sour Farmhouse), SD IPA, Dunkelweizen, Kolsch, Spring Thing (Belgian Farmhouse)
  • Steel Bender: Manana Tropical IPA, Red Iron Red, Steel Bender Lager, Raspberry Dynamite, Ingenio (bottles)
  • Taos Mesa: TBA
  • Tractor: Thai Basil Mint Cider, Apricot Wheat, Coloring Night (Fruited Wheat)

We put some of our favorites in bold from the breweries we visit regularly here in the ABQ and Santa Fe areas. Try those, try different ones, just do whatever makes you a happy beer lover.

If you head out tonight and have some pictures you would like to share far and wide on social media, send them over to nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com, or to any of our pages on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Just stay safe and have a great time. Here’s to supporting local beer!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The last beer festival at Isleta Pavilion was the lone Blues & Brews to appear there back in 2013.

Friends of friends were happy to inform us that the upcoming Sabroso Festival, scheduled for this Sunday at the Isleta Pavilion, was a fun event in its California stops. The setup for the Albuquerque edition, however, has hit some bumps in the road, as breweries have reported major issues with getting their permits approved due to problems the event organizers are having with New Mexico laws.

Of the 18 listed breweries on the event website, three have confirmed they will not attend — Eske’s, Kaktus, and Starr Brothers — due to permitting issues. Four have yet to respond to our inquiries, so their status is unknown at this time (though Sierra Blanca did say on an Instagram post that it will be there). Here are the beer lists for those who did get back to us.

  • UPDATED—Ale Republic: Parasol, Bernalillo Weisse, Blonde, Double Trouble, Zero to Hero (Zero IBU IPA), Sombra (American Stout)
  • Bosque: Bosque Lager, Elephants on Parade, Bosque IPA, Scotia Scotch Ale
  • Bow & Arrow: Denim Tux Lager, Desert Rambler Hefeweizen, Savage Times Sour IPA, Nomadico IPA
  • Boxing Bear: Cider, Ambear, Paw Swipe Pale Ale, Uppercut IPA, Chocolate Milk Stout
  • Canteen: Flashback IPA, High Plains Pils, Dougie Style Amber, Rapsberry Wheat, Exodus IPA, Laid Back Lager
  • Little Toad Creek: Copper Ale, E9 Pale Ale, Grumpy Old Troll IPA, Pendejo Porter
  • Marble: Passionate Gose, Cholo Stout, Imperial Red, Double IPA, Pilsner, Double White
  • Picacho Peak: Picacho Lite, New England IPA, Black IPA, Dunkelweizen, Chocolate Porter
  • Red Door: Vanilla Cream Ale, Roamer Red, Threshold IPA, Unhinged Cider
  • Steel Bender: Skull Bucket IPA, Steel Bender Lager, The Village Wit, Raspberry Dynamite, Out to Pasture Brett Saison, Zest Out

The unknown breweries besides Sierra Blanca are Abbey Brewing, Santa Fe, and Tractor.

There is also something called Revolver Brewing, which is owned by Miller Coors, a subsidiary of ABInBev, so we do not consider that a craft brewery worth listing here.

All that being said, this still has the potential to be a fun event. It will run from 1 p.m. (noon for VIP ticket holders) until 10 p.m. The event is 21 and over from 1 to 3, then all ages after that. Craft beer tastings last until 4 p.m., then you have to pay by the pint. There may still be tickets online, but reports say it will be sold out by Sunday, so do not wait to try to get your tickets at the gates.

The music is headlined by 90s SoCal punk bands The Offspring and Pennywise, with Los Kung Fu Monkeys (3-3:30), Unwritten Law (3:55-4:30), Lit (5-5:45), and Street Dogs (6:15-7) in support. Pennywise follows from 7:30 to 8:30, with The Offspring finishing it all off from 9 to 10:05.

The website says there will be 24 different taco vendors on hand. There will also be Luche Libre wrestling matches for your entertainment, starting at 12:30 p.m., with the championship match at 3:30.

Hopefully this all goes off without a hitch and we all have fun this Sunday.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Take a trip to Silver City this Saturday for Toad Fest at Little Toad Creek.

Last year, the Crew was heading back from our tour of the southeast breweries when we made the rather crazy decision to suddenly head over to Silver City to catch Toad Fest at Little Toad Creek. This small-but-fun festival, run by the NM Brewers Guild, is a fun way for folks in the southwest corner of the state to try some unique beers from up north.

This year is no different, as the Guild is taking 19 beers* from Albuquerque and Santa Fe breweries. Many of them are specialty and seasonal offerings, rather than just the usual packaged or house beers. Toad Fest will take place Saturday from 2 p.m. to midnight at the Little Toad Creek Taproom on the corner of Broadway and Bullard Streets. The beers will be tapped inside at the main bar and outside in the courtyard/patio area on the east side of the building. There will be a beer garden in the alleyway with games, too.

The live music lineup is Amos Torres at 2 p.m., Sissy Brown at 5 p.m., and Shotgun Calliope at 8 p.m.

Now, as for those beers, here are the 19 we were informed about (hence the * above). Little Toad Creek said on the event’s Facebook page that there will be 24 available, including some from its own supply.

  • Bombs Away: Hellfire Green Chile Golden
  • Bosque: Strawberry Sabotage, The Good Place (PA)
  • Broken Trail: Pepe the Mule, Double Black Ale
  • La Cumbre: Project Dank, Slice of Hefen
  • Marble: Session IPA, El Gabacho
  • Nexus: Imperial Cream Ale, Scotch Ale
  • Red Door: Roamer Red, Vanilla Cream Ale
  • Santa Fe: 7K IPA, Twisted Root
  • Tractor: Lemon & Honey, Goathead Hador (Doppelbock)
  • Turtle Mountain: Copper Lager, Amnesia Ale

Per the event page, Sidetrack and Taos Mesa are also scheduled to be available, so if we learn the identity of those beers, we will update this list.

Luke and I had a great time at Toad Fest last year. The event was packed, but not overly crowded. The staff and crowd were friendly and helpful. It was a great way to enjoy some beers and soak in the culture of the mountain town.

If you need to get out of town for the weekend, consider Toad Fest.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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

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