Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Tart at Heart boasts another bountiful beer lineup

Posted: March 28, 2017 by cjax33 in Events, News

If this doesn’t help you get over tax day, nothing will.

Pucker up, sour lovers, Tart at Heart is returning for its third edition on Saturday, April 15. To whet your collective appetites, we figured why not share the beer list. Of course, more beers will be added, but fear not, we will have an even more in-depth preview in the days before everyone gathers at Sister.

Before the beers, we should also note that the event’s Facebook page just announced that all VIP tickets are sold out online. Kelly Liquors on Juan Tabo (505-292-4520) and Sister (505-242-4900) may have a few hard copies left, but please, call in advance before you head over and end up sad. General admission tickets are still available for $35 apiece.

The good news about this event is that it will attract even more local breweries than before. Also, should you not be the biggest fan of sour or overly funky beers, there will be quite the variety of specialties available.

The list of beers to date:

  • Canteen (2): Social Capital with cherries aged on French oak; Social Capital with orange peel, coriander, and vanilla
  • Cascade: Sang Royal (malt beverage with cherries aged on oak)
  • Chama River: Cream Anejo (tequila barrel-aged cream ale)
  • Duel: Suor Nelli (barrel-aged sour Scottish ale)
  • Enchanted Circle: Plum Sour
  • La Cumbre: Ryeot on Rye (strong red ale aged in rye whiskey barrels)
  • New Belgium: Apple Felix (wild ale aged in apple brandy barrels)
  • Santa Fe (2): Berliner Weisse; Berliner Weisse with cherries
  • Sierra Nevada: Barrel-aged Biere de Garde

The remaining breweries set to participate includes locals Dialogue, Marble, Rowley Farmhouse Ales, and Turtle Mountain, plus the big boys — Firestone Walker, Founders, and Stone.

Stay tuned for more beers and additional details. Go get those tickets sooner than later, though!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Turtle Mountain is getting the (anniversary) party started next week!

Sometimes it can be hard to squeeze all the important details about upcoming events into The Week Ahead in Beer, thus forcing some separate, but short stories. This is one of those, as we felt you all needed more details on the upcoming 18th anniversary events at Turtle Mountain.

The Rio Rancho institution is celebrating another milestone birthday with a few beer specials, plus a heck of a brewmaster’s dinner this coming Wednesday.

First up, they are tapping Coconut McSmack on Friday. Head brewer Mick Hahn spent about four hours toasting 75 pounds of coconut in the TMBC wood-fired oven to add to his popular Scottish ale. It should be a delicious weekend treat.

Then on Tuesday, look for a special cask of SCH Scotch Lager, which has run out on CO2.

The big fun then comes Wednesday. For this dinner of epic proportions, there will be plenty of beer-and-food pairings. It costs $50 per person, and seating is limited, so please call (505) 995-9497 as soon as possible to make your reservation.

What does that $50 get you?

  • Aperitif cask of Marzen
  • Appetizer: Tropical shrimp cocktail with pineapple-habanero salsa and roasted coconut flakes, paired with Coconut McSmack
  • Salad: Asparagus spring salad with roasted beets, hard-boiled quail egg parmesan crisp, house beer mustard vinaigrette, and seasonal greens, paired with Consensual Sensations 18th Anniversary DIPA
  • Entree: Lager-marinated and smoked prime rib, Marzen-steamed lobster tail, browned butter herbed fingerling potatoes, and agave glazed carrots, paired with Oaked Depravity Barley Wine
  • Dessert: House-made Irish stout ice cream with chocolate pine nut brittle, stout caramel drizzle, paired with Snakedriver Irish Stout

That all just sounds ridiculously amazing. Get on over to TMBC next week and celebrate one of our best breweries.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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Thanks for the shots, Duel!

Greetings fellow, ale-ficionados! Man, do we have something special for you happening up in Santa Fe! Tomorrow (Thursday), Blue Corn Brewery is hosting a special cask festival at their southside location, featuring ALL six Santa Fe breweries under one roof. To get your palate wet, I’ve got a list of beers, as well as the skinny on the chow. Read on to see what you’ll be enjoying, or sorely missing.

Blue Corn Brewery – Heffeweizen on honey. 15 IBUs, 5.4% ABV

Chili Line Brewing Company – Smoked Porter or a cask Lager.

Duel Brewing – Duel’s classic Fiction IPA inoculated with sour beer from their cellar and seven pounds of Apricots.

Rowley Farmhouse Ales – Irish Stout on Madagascar vanilla bean, primed with organic molasses.

Santa Fe Brewing Company – Western Bloc (re-)dry-hopped with Huell Melon and Chinook hops. 75 IBUs, 6.7% ABV

Second Street Brewery – U2 Dry Stout, Second Street’s traditional Irish dry stout with a luscious mouth feel, and a bit more complexity than the archetype. O.G. 1.054, 32 IBUs, 5.7% ABV

And of course, a Blue Corn beer event wouldn’t be complete without great food for pairing. Even though Chef David Sundberg has moved on to bigger and better things, the evening’s entrees are in the very capable hands of Chef Memo. Make sure to bring an appetite for the following:

  • Fried avocado topped with pico de gallo and a jalapeno-cilantro aioli
  • Cauliflower wings served with bleu cheese and hot sauce
  • Deep-fried goat cheese-stuffed jalapeno poppers
  • Short rib wonton mini tostadas
  • Salmon mousse mini crackers

For $30, each guest will receive a seven-ounce glass, which includes a pour of each brewery’s cask beer, as well as servings of all the delicious bites. For reservations, call (505) 438-1800. 6PM.

Why should you go? As if a fun cask beer event falling on a Thirsty Thursday isn’t reason enough on its own, consider the following. How many opportunities do you get to enjoy great beer from all six Santa Fe breweries, while also getting the chance to speak to the brewers directly about their craft, current beers, and upcoming projects in a more intimate setting than, say, a grand casino ballroom? Fewer than you’d think. Also, this will be Chef Memo’s first event, so we’ll be getting a taste of what’s in store for Blue Corn’s future menus. Listen, take my word for it, Blue Corn knows how to host a swinging swig-shindig. You don’t want to miss this one if you can help it. I know I won’t. I hope to see you there, and remember to keep thinking globally and keep drinking locally.

Cheers!

— Luke

Luke123 Steel Bender

For more @nmdarksidebc info and #CraftBeer news, follow me on Twitter @SantaFeCraftBro!

The folks at Side Effex aren't getting quite as crazy as the Crew did in 2015, but any amount of The Abyss is worth it!

The folks at Side Effex aren’t getting quite as crazy as the Crew did in 2015, but any amount of The Abyss is worth it!

The Crew has been largely focused on events that occur either at our local breweries or that still involve them at off-site locations. Every now and again, however, a pretty cool event pops up around town that we think you all need to know about.

This weekend will feature a vertical epic of The Abyss, the epic imperial stout from Deschutes, at Side Effex downtown. There will be pours of the 2014, 2015, and 2016 editions. The event is actually broken over two days. Today (Friday) will feature a beer and food pairing for $30, with a sneak preview of the vertical, which will be held Saturday. The pairing today will feature three plates with a variety of food items paired with different beers. To RSVP, call ahead at (505) 243-oo28 or email mario@effexabq.com. It all starts tonight at 7.

The main vertical tasting will begin Saturday at 7. If you have never had The Abyss before, good lord, are you missing out on one of the finest stouts in the world. If you have had it before, but drank it all up every time it comes out, we highly suggest enjoying a vertical. It is a fascinating way to see the differences between the recipes for the three batches, as well as to what aging can do to a barrel-aged beer. The Crew did our own version of an Abyss vertical a couple years ago. It was tremendous.

* * * * *

Another off-site event to know about is the upcoming Tart at Heart 3, which will be held again at Sister on April 15. Go follow Jon Hamm’s advice and get your taxes won, then head over to try 25-plus rare sour and barrel-aged beers. You can already buy tickets online, with general admission costing $35 and VIP costing $45. The latter gets you in an hour early, plus you get some exclusive food-and-beer pairings courtesy of the kitchen staff at Sister. Tickets can also be purchased at Sister, Jubilation, and the Kelly Liquors on Juan Tabo.

There will be local breweries involved this year. The Canteen staff told me Thursday that they will be sending a new version of their popular Social Capital kettle sour to the event.

Angelo Orona, of Craft King Consulting, said he will be providing a full list of beers before the event, so stay tuned for that.

Take note, Tart at Heart has sold out the last two years, so if you love to pucker up with your beer, get your tickets ASAP.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

There are so many damn beers at the new Blue Grasshopper Taproom on Coors.

There are so many damn beers at the new Blue Grasshopper Taproom on Coors.

A recent date-day Saturday found us embracing the old cliché of dinner and a movie. Except we did it backwards and watched a movie first, then had dinner. When the movie is a great one (Hidden Figures, I highly recommend it) at the superb theater brewery that is Flix Brewhouse and then dinner is at the brand new Blue Grasshopper taproom practically across the street on Coors, the experience is elevated beyond any formula.

During the movie, I had a solid Holy Mother of Quad and a Rebel Yell Porter, along with my buttery popcorn. It still amazes me how they manage to pick up empty glasses and bring orders without me even noticing the servers. My boyfriend and I probably saw only two or three movies total in theaters in 2016 (prior to the Flix opening), but since they opened, we have already been to Flix four times.

Blue Grasshopper was packed. Despite little advertising, this new location is booming. There are some of the usual hiccups, but they did not diminish our date experience. There are about 80 local beers currently on tap; however, Blue Grasshopper does not have any of theirs on tap at this location right now. The food menu is larger than I remember it being at the original taproom in Rio Rancho.

The number of taps is a good thing, and it is also overwhelming. You have to order by number, because that’s the only way the beertender can find it. If you forget what number your beer is while you wait to have your order taken, it’s pretty difficult to locate it again under pressure. Alas, the beer is not quite cold enough in my opinion. This is an issue I have seen before at other places with that many lines. Also, the patron sitting next to me at the bar complained his food order of a Reuben sandwich and fries was too cold. Our order of nachos came out quickly despite the crowd, but although the cheese (sauce) was warm, the shredded meat was not. Despite that, they were a unique interpretation of a pub staple and quite filling.

We left before the music started, so I do not know if the acoustics in the new, larger space are as good as the original location. I know at the Rio Rancho Blue Grasshopper they take acoustics very seriously. As we walked out just after 7:30, there was a line of people waiting for seating. All tables were occupied and our seats at the bar immediately filled as soon as we stood up. It appears this location is certainly filling a requirement in that part of town.

Hint, hint, all you craft beer fans looking for date ideas!

Love to all,

— AmyO

La Cumbre grows with purchase of adjacent property

Posted: January 12, 2017 by cjax33 in News
Tags:
La Cumbre has purchased the empty building next door, adding 6,000 square feet.

La Cumbre has purchased the empty building next door, adding 6,000 square feet.

Back when we ran our Look Back/Look Ahead Series entry on La Cumbre, Jeff Erway said he was getting close to acquiring “a property very close to here” that would help expand the brewery’s distribution footprint. The only thing Jeff left out was which building, but just about anyone walking down Girard had to notice that the property just north of the brewery was for sale.

Jeff announced on his personal Facebook page late Wednesday afternoon that he had indeed purchased the 6,000-square foot building. A quick follow-up at the brewery led to the succinct, “I bought that f—ing building right there!” from a clearly excited brewer. Jeff had hinted at the possible purchase back in our 2015-16 Look Back/Look Ahead article, and he confirmed the entire process took 18 months.

Finally, though, the building will be his. Jeff said in December the building will house offices for much of his distribution staff, and either he or Scot Nelson, the brewery’s chief financial officer, will also move his office next door. Beyond that, the new building will house one other cool feature (pun intended).

“If we can close on that, we will be adding a 2,500-square-foot cold room in the very near future,” Jeff said last month. “That will be mostly for distribution, but that will open up our 1,000-square-foot cold room out back for a lot more barrel aging. What we realize in the past few years, this has been kind of a learning process for Daniel (Jaramillo) and I, we really don’t like barrel-aged beers, specifically whiskey barrel-aged beers, that have been aged warm in any way. If they’re going to be above 60 degrees, we really don’t like the results. That being said, long, slow cold-aging in a cold room, we like that a lot. So, you could see quite a bit more barrel-aged beers coming out of our place. A few more specialty releases in that vein.”

We will raise our glasses to all of that.

Oh, yeah, and Jeff wrote on Facebook that it will give the brewery 26 new parking spaces. That alone deserves a hallelujah.

Look for other new details from La Cumbre in the near future. Until then, make sure to stop by for a pint and congratulate the staff on their new acquisition.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Taos BMF 2014 Pic 6

We sent Luke up to the Brewmasters Festival in Taos a couple years ago. He had a whole lotta fun!

Happy cold, gray Thursday everyone. If you need some light back in your life, there is some good news for this weekend. The Taos Brewmasters Festival kicks off Saturday at the Ski Valley, marking its 21st annual running below the slopes.

Normally, the festival is held in December, but it was pushed back this year due to a lack of snow on the mountain above. Plus, the decision was made to no longer have the spring-time beer festival, but rather have just one fest. This one kicks off at 4:30 p.m. and runs until 7 at Tenderfoot Katie’s and the Martini Tree Bar, both of which are located at the base of Lift #1. It costs $30 at the door and you receive a complementary mug.

While plenty of you love to go skiing and snowboarding, we know ultimately that it is the pull of the beer that can be the deciding factor. Take note that this year’s fest is populated by a lot more out-of-state breweries brought in by their local distributors. There are not nearly as many breweries from Southern Colorado as in the past, as only Steamworks and Carver made the trip from Durango (neither is distributed here in NM, FYI).

The other out-of-state breweries are Alaskan, Boulder, Deschutes, Firestone Walker, Founders, Four Peaks, Full Sail, Left Hand, Mother Road, New Belgium, Odell, Oskar Blues, Sierra Nevada, Upslope, and the Craft Brew Alliance, which we think is that collection of breweries from the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii that is partially owned by the Evil Empire (InBev).

As for the locals, a total of 10 New Mexico breweries will be present. Here is what they are bringing, as reported to us by the breweries themselves:

  • Boxing Bear — Iron Lung Smoked Porter, Standing 8 Stout, Paw Swipe Pale Ale
  • Chama River — UPDATED: Class VI Golden Lager, Sleeping Dog Stout
  • La Cumbre — TBA
  • Marble — Double White, IPA, Priddy Bueno Porter, Spruce Moose
  • Red Door — Gateway Blonde, Calypso SMaSH, Strong Scotch Ale, Paint it Black Milk Stout
  • Santa Fe — UPDATED: Chicken Killer, Java Stout, Pale Ale, Happy Camper, State Pen Porter, SF Gold, Nut Brown, Black IPA, Adobe Igloo, plus two bottles to be released at different hours of Single Barrel Sour, and two bottles of Lemon Skynard also to be released at different hours
  • Sierra Blanca — TBA
  • Taos Mesa — Kolsch 45, 3 Peaks IPA, Tap Dance Barley Wine, BBA Black Diamond Export Stout
  • Three Rivers — TBA
  • Tractor — Farmer’s Almanac IPA, Farmer’s Tan Red, Mustachio Milk Stout, Delicious Red Apple Cider

Marble’s Tony Calder pointed out that this will mark the debut of Spruce Goose, a new stout made with (you guessed it) spruce tips. The Priddy Bueno just went on tap recently at the Marble taprooms here in Albuquerque as well. Iron Lung returned to Boxing Bear late Wednesday.

If any of us in the Crew were able to head up this weekend, we would also be making a beeline for that bourbon barrel-aged Black Diamond Export Stout and the Tap Dance Barley Wine at Taos Mesa’s booth. I suppose we will just have to hope they bring that down for WinterBrew in Santa Fe on Jan. 13. (Please? Pretty please?)

Of course, skiing/snowboarding and then drinking on an empty stomach would be a terrible idea. Five local restaurants — Bavarian, Blonde Bear Tavern, Medley, Rhoda’s, Sagebrush Inn — will be providing food during the festival.

Keep an eye on the weather, of course, but otherwise if your weekend is lacking in anything to do, we would definitely suggest a trip up north to try some quality brews in a beautiful setting.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The Guild has a new four-person board of directors.

The Guild has a new four-person board of directors.

Lost amid all the recent hustle and bustle was an email from the New Mexico Brewers Guild that announced the results of the election for a new board of directors. Thankfully, someone in the Crew (Luke) was paying attention, and suggested we do a quick write-up.

Each of the four new board members was gracious enough to provide us with a sort of mission statement for their upcoming tenure, which begins in January.

Bert Boyce, brewmaster, Santa Fe Brewing

“Quality is what sets our industry’s products apart from the rest, and I’d like to be a technical resource to help all member breweries achieve their quality goals. I believe that a rising tide lifts all boats, and that the stronger our collective culture and quality, the healthier everyone’s businesses will be. I also believe that our industry’s representation in Santa Fe is at a critical point, and I hope to help provide a unified voice both with the general public and state legislature to ensure that our contributions to the state economy and culture are recognized, and not drowned out by the neo-prohibitionist noise currently growing.”

Jeff Erway, owner and master brewer, La Cumbre Brewing

“I have always believed in and benefited from the community of brewers here in New Mexico. I fought diligently to help further the education and goals of all brewers during my first tenure on the Board of Directors, and I look forward to continuing that work with this latest group of industry leaders.”

Anne O’Neill, co-owner, Sidetrack Brewing

“I would like to encourage and strengthen partnerships in the brewing community to promote education to the public as well as fostering communication among those in the craft brewing industry to support and maintain the overall quality of the NM brewing community.”

Jayson Wylie, head brewer, Taos Mesa Brewing

“Having learned a great deal from the people I will be sitting with on this board, I can tell you without reservation that I am thrilled to be here. At Taos Mesa Brewing, we hope to inspire as we have been inspired (by our sister New Mexico breweries), to uphold and promote the same rigorous standards that have resulted in our small state producing some of the nation’s finest craft beer … indeed, we are proud to live and work in “the frontier of beer” … a place of adventure, excitement and enchantment, a place primed for export by tourists and distributors alike. Along with you all, I personally look forward to promoting our mutual success.”

It is a critical time for the growing beer industry in New Mexico, with forces arrayed against that growth due to the need for short-term tax gains. The Crew wishes the new board all the luck in the world and we are here to support them in whatever need they see fit.

Oh, and have a Merry Christmas this weekend, everyone. Bust out at least one cellar beer and enjoy!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Welcome back, Dogfish Head. We missed you.

Welcome back, Dogfish Head. We missed you. (Courtesy of Jubilation)

One of the worst-kept secrets of recent beer memory has been that Dogfish Head was coming back to New Mexico. The Delaware brewery was here long ago, but the news that it was returning was circulating throughout the local scene. The only question left was when it would arrive.

Ta-da! That day is today. Dogfish Head six-packs are now available at Jubilation and Total Wine.

The returning of the quirky, award-winning craft brewery will likely generate more hype than Great Divide’s recent return did, or at least that seems to be the case around here. Then again, perhaps in a way Dogfish’s star has dimmed a bit. The Vermont beer scene is the big trend on the East Coast now, and the most hard-core beer geeks we know have been far more keen on getting their hands on brews from Trillium, Tree House, and The Alchemist of late.

Whether or not Dogfish Head still has the cachet around these parts will be determined in sales. The sight of trendy beers arriving, causing a huge splash, and then fading into the background on shelves has become a trend into itself. Local beer drinkers here seem to swarm to a new out-of-state brewery for a few weeks or months, then they move on to the next shiny arrival. We have seen it with Ballast Point, Founders, and many others in the last few years.

In the end, loyalty to local brands seems to take precedence over out-of-state for a lot of people. That is just fine with us (fresh beer is better, supporting local is better, etc.), but at least the national craft beer market has recognized that New Mexico is worthy of receiving many more options from around the country.

Go grab some Beer for Breakfast Stout (and maybe snag its Founders counterpart for some head-to-head tastings) and enjoy your weekend. It’s gonna be cold and miserable out there. We will keep an ear out to see which local beer bars might have some tapping events coming up. The original date was January 14 (location TBA), but now it looks like that could be a lot sooner, or perhaps not, considering the holiday chaos descending around town.

UPDATE: Readers on Facebook have passed along the following. Fire & Hops will have Dogfish beers on tap Saturday. O’Niell’s should have at least 60 Minute IPA, if not more, on tap the same day. The Local Brewhouse in Rio Rancho also expects to tap several kegs soon, though they are not sure exactly when.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Head on down to Ponderosa this Saturday for some aged barley wine and lots of additional fun.

Head on down to Ponderosa this Saturday for some aged barley wine and lots of additional fun.

Ponderosa Brewing is about to celebrate their second anniversary with a party on Saturday. The festivities include a special release, a 2014 barley wine that has been aging for 18 months. The impressive, or at least unique, fact is that beer was made four brewers ago. Ponderosa has seen a lot of change in two years, so on a recent, spectacularly beautiful fall day in Burque, I met the new head brewer, Antonio Fernandez.

In these two years, Ponderosa has had four brewers. But, to be fair, initial brewer Matt Kollaja was basically meant to be on a short-term loan, if you will, to get things started up, Fernandez said. His successor, Andrew Krosche, could not pass up the head brewer job at Chama River, and the most recent brewer, Bob Haggerty, has moved on to the massive Steel Bender project, which aims to open in early 2017.

Antonio Fernandez is the fourth brewer in Ponderosa's short history.

Antonio Fernandez is the fourth brewer in Ponderosa’s short history.

Readers may ask, “Who is this Antonio guy?” Fernandez is a newcomer to the Albuquerque brewing scene, and in this writer’s opinion he arrived in a really cool and unique way. I did not expect the answer I got when I asked what his background was.

Fernandez was born and raised in Albuquerque and has had several careers. His first was actually in music as a trained classical guitarist, but playing all different types of music. Hopefully, someday he will have time to play at Ponderosa, but as a head brewer with no assistant brewers, he said it might be a while before that happens.

Following that, he was a sous chef at Trombino’s in Albuquerque for seven years. (Developing a strong palate, no doubt.) The restaurant cut back on staff when they stopped doing lunch, and Fernandez was laid off. He was a home brewer for a lot of years and was really interested in beer — he is also a certified BJCP beer judge — so he decided to apply to the American Brewer’s Guild. The program started right after he got laid off, so the timing was right. After completing the program, he was working at a home brew shop in Rio Rancho, the Grain Hopper out by Intel. It closed in April. Fernandez decided that was the impetus he needed to go out and get a serious brewing job.

“I was applying for a bunch of things and I figured I was going to be an assistant, go and wash kegs, and things like that for a while,” Fernandez said. “I had the degree and all that and experience in restaurants and everything. You know, I applied for a bunch of jobs and then I got the call over here and they were like, ‘Yeah, we would like to interview you.’ I was like, cool. I had met Bob quite a few times, actually, and he’s a nice guy, good brewer.”

I asked Fernandez if he knew he was interviewing for head brewer or if he thought he was interviewing as an assistant.

“You know, I kind of thought I was interviewing for assistant, actually, because they just had … the posting was for brewer, that’s all it said,” Fernandez said. “You know, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that would happen … Bob was here, and Alan, one of the owners, was in town.”

The Ponderosa patio should be packed this weekend.

The Ponderosa patio should be packed this weekend.

During the interview, Fernandez found out that Haggerty was leaving. The interview ended up going on for about four hours, Fernandez said. It clearly went well.

At this point, it was time to taste some of Fernandez’s beer. Because Ponderosa has quite a few beers on tap, I decided to limit the tasting to one of the regular beers, and each of the seasonals. Overall, I was impressed. Fernandez said he actually enjoys brewing the more involved beers with bigger malt bills and more hop additions.

I wanted to try his version of the Ghost Train IPA (6.2% ABV, 70 IBU), since that is the style that locals favor. It has been a while since I had the Ghost Train. It’s still not an over-the-top hop bomb, which is perfectly OK with me, but the malt bill seems to have been mellowed, allowing the hops to shine a little more.

Fans of lighter styles will enjoy the Belgian Pale Ale (5.2% ABV, 30 IBU), which Fernandez said is probably his favorite to drink right now, and the Oktoberfest (5.8 % ABV, 30 IBU), a traditional, lighter, Munich-style beer brewed according to the German Purity Law. The Oatmeal Stout (5.8% ABV, 25 IBU) was flat out delicious, with an abundance of coffee, cocoa, and caramel notes, next to no bitterness, and only subtle sweetness. The carefully managed sweetness continued in the Imperial Black IPA (8.2% ABV, 110 IBU). Their version of a fall pumpkin beer is the Chocolate Pumpkin Porter (5.6% ABV, 30 IBU). Fernandez said he is not a fan of heavily-spiced beers, so this is a rich, only slightly spicy offering.

A seasonal flight and the Ghost Train IPA were well worth trying.

A seasonal flight and the Ghost Train IPA were well worth trying.

Quality control is one of his biggest concerns, Fernandez said. He said he is a fanatic about it. He said he likes the fact that without any assistants, from grain-to-glass, he has absolute control.

Fernandez said he soon plans to brew a single-hop Mosaic Pale Ale. He also said he thinks it is kind of strange that Ponderosa has never had a regular Amber, so there are plans for that as well. There is a sour Belgian Brown in the works, too. And, what I am most looking forward to is an upcoming Smoked Imperial Baltic Porter in late winter.

Fernandez said also hopes to increase the frequency of the bottle releases. There are tentative plans to collaborate with the forthcoming Hotel Chaco down the street, perhaps providing them with their own beer and having other Ponderosa beers on tap.

Ponderosa will be hosting a beer dinner in mid-November. Fernandez promised more details on that event soon.

Cheers!

— AmyO