Archive for the ‘News’ Category

The party actually starts at 4 p.m., but it’s still gonna be a big one to celebrate 25 years.

One of the big summer events that all of us in the Crew have been looking forward to is the 25th Anniversary Party for Canteen Brewhouse, which starts this Saturday at 4 p.m.

We wanted to make sure we had all the details for everyone. We already knew, from social media posts, that musicians on hand include Felix Y Los Gatos, Chris Dracup, CrazyFool, and Dusty Low. The food trucks in attendance will be Kimo’s Hawaiian BBQ, Pink Ladies, Street Food Institute, and The Blazing Barn. Vendors taking part are Fizzy Bee Beauty, Danny Hart Design, Christopher McAfee, Allegra Howell and Foxy Girl Designs, Erin Leigh Jewelry Design, Sarah Donahue, and Suzy Heer.

On the beer front, Citranova is the official summer anniversary beer, and it will be on tap and for sale in four-pack 16-ounce cans.

All right, that is a start, but we had some additional questions. With no time to meet up, we asked general manager Jamie Schwebach and head brewer Zach Guilmette over email.

Q: Besides what’s already been announced — bands, food trucks, Citranova — what else can we expect on the beer front?

A: We will have Tuttle IPA and Strawberry Basil Gose being rereleased, as well as all of the favorites that are currently on tap, including our house beers and rotating seasonals. For our Mug Club members, we are offering a free sampling of beers that have been aging from 3 to 4 p.m. and will have them available for sale at 4 p.m. (here is looking at you St. Bob’s) at $7 for a 10-ounce pour.

All right, we’ve got barrel-aged imperial stout. This is good. This also means we are gonna Lyft/Uber over. UPDATE: There will be 2010 St. Bob’s, 2012 Barleywine, 2014 St. Bob’s, and 2017 St. Bob’s.

Q: Are there any other pertinent details that people should know not on the Facebook page?

A: The party will be in our parking lot, on the patio and inside. We will have fun games to play and all are welcome (kids, dogs, strollers). Think corn hole, tether ball, four square and double dutch … taking it back.

This means parking will only be on Aztec, so yes, using a ride share or a designated driver to pick you up/drop you off is highly recommended. UPDATE: There will also be parking across the street at A-One Collision, but seriously, don’t drive unless you absolutely have to, especially considering all those barrel-aged beers above.

Q: What is your favorite memory from Canteen/Il Vicino history?

A: Over 25 years there have been many great memories for the three guys that started it all — Rick Post, Greg Atkin, and Tom White. The common thread throughout it all are all the regulars and patrons that have come and raised a pint and many who are still coming everyday! Through only three head brewers in 25 years, starting with Rob Chavez to Brady McKeown and into Zach Guilmette’s hands, the beer and our inclusive atmosphere has been the drive that have kept this brewery alive after a quarter century; that and the indelible assistant Doug Cochran, who just passed the 19-year mark last month. The memories of all the people that have kept this brewery going, from behind the scenes to sharing the stage in the success of multiple World Beer Cups and GABF medals, the Canteen Brewhouse will always be about celebrating the memories of our past as much as creating new ones. We hope everyone can make it for our anniversary party where more memories will be made!

Oh, and if anyone is curious what Doug’s favorite memory was, well, it was when Dougie Style Amber won a gold medal at GABF in 2014.

Canteen has come a long way since the brewing operation started in a cramped room in the back of the Nob Hill Il Vicino in 1994. We have enjoyed being along for at least part of that ride since the Canteen location opened in 2011.

If there are any other questions about this event, you can ask Canteen directly or we can pass along your queries. Otherwise, we will see you all out there Saturday night.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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

Back by popular demand!

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

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

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From last year’s fun event!

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

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An armed man was shot and killed by an off-duty federal agent inside Nexus Brewery on Saturday night. (Crew archive photo)

The Crew were scattered about Saturday night when we all started to see tweets and other messages indicating that some sort of police incident occurred at Nexus Brewery’s original location along the Interstate 25 frontage road north of Montgomery.

After a day-plus of news reporting, we have now learned that an off-duty FBI agent shot and killed Cody Guy Wrathall, 43, who had entered the brewery with a gun in hand. Albuquerque Police had received a call from an unidentified woman that she was running from a stalker and had sought refuge in Nexus at around 8 p.m. (or 9 p.m. in other reports).

Different reports have stated that Wrathall was either the woman’s ex-boyfriend or ex-husband. It is also unclear if there was more than one off-duty FBI agent present, or if Wrathall ever opened fire. APD initially described the shooting as the result of a domestic incident.

A witness interviewed by KOB Channel 4 said that one man with a gun ordered another to put his weapon down. Gunshots were then exchanged as patrons and staff ran for cover.

Nexus was understandably closed Sunday, but said in a Facebook post that business would resume today (Monday). The police investigation of the shooting is ongoing, but has wrapped up the physical portion of the investigation inside the taproom.

A sign posted in a Nexus window on Sunday read, “We decide(d) to close today because of the shooting last night. We wanted to allow our staff to recover and to let them have some time to allow the incident to pass. We thank everyone for the numerous messages of support and prayers. We will open on Monday and things will get back to normal. Thank you. Ken Carson, Jr.”

Over the years, there have been a small number of fistfights that have broken out in brewery taprooms, but certainly nothing on this scale. All we can say is that we are glad no customers or employees were injured.

As this appears to be an isolated, but tragic, incident, all we can hope is that people continue to support Nexus and partake in its delicious food and beer.

If there is further news about the incident, we will follow up.

— Stoutmeister

It was an informative gathering inside Tractor’s brewery area, with (from left) Bosque’s Jess Griego, Tractor’s David Hargis, La Cumbre’s Jeff Erway, Tractor’s Skye Devore, Senator Martin Heinrich, Taos Mesa’s Jayson Wylie, Canteen’s Jamie Schwebach, and higher up, Hollow Spirits’ Frank Holloway and NM Brewers Guild executive director Leah Black. Oh, and some beer writer on the far right.

Senator Martin Heinrich was in Albuquerque last week, and representatives of the New Mexico Brewers Guild were able to set up a meeting with him to talk all things craft beer in regards to the federal government.

Tractor Brewing co-owner/president Skye Devore spearheaded the event, which was held inside the brewery at Wells Park. The Senator certainly seemed to appreciate the informal nature of the event, which featured a sizable charcuterie tray and free drinks for all, not to mention being free of the usual political debate.

Over the course of a half-hour, numerous topics were discussed between the Senator and a group that included Skye, Tractor co-owner/brewmaster David Hargis, La Cumbre owner Jeff Erway, Hollow Spirits owner Frank Holloway, New Mexico Brewers Guild executive director Leah Black, Guild board members Jayson Wylie (Taos Mesa), Jamie Schwebach (Canteen), and Jess Griego (Bosque), and one beer writer who was there to chronicle it all.

The meeting featured both the Guild members asking questions of the Senator, and the Senator in turn asking questions of them.

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No, we did not ask Mayor Tim Keller to wear that shirt, he did it on his own, and we approve.

Sometimes, to get what you want, it really is all about who you know. In our case, we just needed long-time friend-of-the-Crew Carlos Contreras’ help to land an interview with Mayor Tim Keller. After a careful negotiation of our schedules (mainly his), we were able to sit down with our Metal Mayor over a pint of Munich Dunkel at Dialogue Brewing to discuss all things craft beer in Albuquerque.

“Well, I think at a very surface level, it’s something we’re very good at,” Keller said of our craft brewing industry. “This is a pride thing for us. I forget the exact publication or ranking, but we’re top 10 or top 25 in all of them. I think in one we’re top five. That’s just a great thing for our city in general.

“I think there’s a lot of things that people take for granted, like our open space, our outdoors, and our culture. And, in some ways now, it’s our brewing scene. I think we’ve come to expect it (to always be there) and we don’t realize it’s actually something special.”

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It sure looks like a Blue Grasshopper. (Photo courtesy of Darlaina Chapman)

Over the weekend, the Crew was made aware that Blue Grasshopper had opened its third location down in the Wells Park neighborhood. This will eventually be home to their brewing operation, replacing the small space at the original taproom in Rio Rancho.

Located at Summer and Second Street (specifically 1401 Second NW), we took a very early look last year while it was still under construction. The taproom portion is now ready for business. AmyO talked to the general manager of the Westside ABQ location and found out that the total space amounts to about 10,000 square feet, with half of that for the taproom.

Visitors to the taproom told us that it has the same pizza-led menu, with a wood-fired oven in place. There are about 50 taps of beer from all around the state.

Owner Greg Nielsen sent us a message that the grand opening will be the weekend of June 8-9, after ABQ Beer Week is over. Until then, please enjoy these photos from two of AmyO’s friends who visited over the weekend.

Some nifty artwork already adorns the walls. (Photo courtesy of Darlaina Chapman)

The bar area around the pizza oven. (Photo courtesy of Brian Polansky)

There is plenty of space to move around. (Photo courtesy of Brian Polansky)

The stage area for live music. (Photo courtesy of Brian Polansky)

Looking from the bar toward the entrance. (Photo courtesy of Brian Polansky)

We will have a full story on the new site soon, once we are also done with Beer Week coverage. Thanks to AmyO for tracking down much of this info.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

We are firmly of the belief that beer labels should be fun.

Timing is everything in life, in brewing, in beer awards, you name it. Rio Bravo Brewing was in the process of canning its Freak Juice Hazy IPA for a Friday release when it received word that the brew won a bronze medal at the Australian International Beer Awards on Thursday.

“Yeah, we got an email from Australia saying the preliminary results were in and we won a bronze medal,” head brewer Ty Levis said. “I just replied, ‘Oh, sweet, we just finished packaging it yesterday afternoon.’ We were just getting the cases ready for Admiral (Beverage Company) for distribution.”

Freak Juice (6% ABV, 40 IBU) was made with 60 pounds of hops, and then an additional 60 pounds on the dry hop. Citra, Mosaic, and Amarillo are the hops in question. I got a quick sample and it is an aggressive hazy IPA, with a big aroma.

“We came up with a completely different package design (too),” Ty said.

Yup, that’s a hazy one.

It is definitely an eye-popping design on the 16-ounce can. The beer will be available in four-packs wherever Rio Bravo is sold, and there will be a release party today (Friday) at the brewery from 4 to 7 p.m.

In additional AIBA news, Quarter Celtic also got two medals, a silver in the Chocolate Beer category for Mocha Hipster Bomb (a collaboration with Palmer Brewery which won a bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival last year), and a bronze for Crimson Lass in the Irish-style Red category.

Congrats to all the winners.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Truer words were never spoken. Now it’s time to party with Nexus all weekend!

Rather than try to jam it into an already packed Memorial Day weekend, Nexus Brewery is moving up its anniversary party to this weekend. All the feasting, drinking, and fun will take place at all three Nexus locations Friday through Sunday.

“As we move into our eighth year in operation, we are thankful for the support we have received from the community,“ owner Ken Carson said in a press release.

The beer part of the celebration begins today (Thursday) with the return of Beam Me Up Scotty (8.1% ABV, 28 IBU), Nexus’ classic Scottish Wee Heavy. Friday will mark the arrival of a new beer, 8 of 9 Blood Orange American Wheat (5.6% ABV, 21 IBU).

There will be live music, of course, with the Racine Kreyol Band taking the stage Friday at the original location from 6 to 9 p.m. RKB will then head to the Nexus Blue Smokehouse to perform on the patio Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m. The Gershom Brothers will provide the music at the main location Saturday from 1 to 4, followed by Raven Rutherford and her Sweet Potato Pie Band from 6 to 9. The Gershom Brothers will then head over to the Nexus Silver Taproom to perform Sunday from 2 to 5.

As for food, there will be quite a few specials in addition to the classics like chicken and waffles. Shrimp and grits, green chile hush puppies, and strawberry slab pie will be available at the brewery. Nexus Blue and Silver will have gumbo and red beans and rice available for the weekend.

There will also be special eighth anniversary shirts and pint glasses for sale.

“We come to you this eighth year by adding BBQ to our menu in the form of Nexus Blue Smokehouse. This is ‘The Next Generation,’ so to speak,” Carson said. “We have become more than just a brewery, we are a full-fledged restaurant that makes its own beer, and we can stand head-to-head with any brewery or restaurant in Albuquerque. These concepts are created around casual vibes where you can come to socialize with your family and friends. That is what being in the Nexus is about.”

We will raise a pint, and probably a drumstick or two (one fried, one smoked BBQ) to Nexus this weekend.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The next Red Door taproom in Roswell is in a rather large building. (Photo courtesy of Ali Cattan)

The other day, during a routine check of pending small brewer and small brewer offsite licenses, a new one popped up that caught our eye. The timing and the location stood out, in particular, as a busy Albuquerque brewery is making another move far to the east, and now a little bit south.

Red Door Brewing is heading to Roswell for its third offsite taproom, just a few months after its Clovis taproom opened up. I sat down with owner Matt Biggs and head brewer Matt Meier to talk about this latest endeavor, which they expect to open this fall.

“Yeah, we weren’t really looking right away, but I was in Roswell for a hunting trip last year and came across a building that was super cool,” Biggs said. “It’s down in the industrial area. It was an old barbecue restaurant. I want to say (before that it was) an old rail station. It was in a cool, industrial part of town. Anyone that knows Roswell there’s like a massive silo you can so from most of the town. It’s right across from that, a couple blocks off Main Street.”

Specifically, it is located on the northeast corner of the intersection of Railroad Avenue and East Third Street. That puts it two blocks east of Main Street/Highway 70 and one block north of East Second Street/Highway 380, the two main roads through Roswell.

“So I went and talked to people about it,” Biggs said. “The owner was super motivated to do something with it. It just kind of worked out. We actually kept kicking the can down the road to make sure Clovis was operating smoothly. We were supposed to execute a lease on Roswell in January, I think. We told them we weren’t ready. Clovis opened, had normal opening hiccups, so I spent about a month, not quite a month getting those resolved. Now it’s operating relatively smoothly. I’ve got a killer staff down there. They’re all trained up, all ready to go. We’ve kind of gotten our beer deliveries down.”

The pavilion across the street from the taproom will be used for special events. That’s Red Door operations manager Ali Cattan to give an example of the sheer size of the space. (Photo courtesy of Matt Biggs)

With the Clovis taproom locked down, that turned Biggs’ attention to getting Roswell going.

“It’s set up as a restaurant with a draft line, so very little,” Biggs said. “We’ll probably update the kitchen a little bit. There’s an event side of it. So basically the building we’ve leased is a three-component building. One side is the restaurant. One side is a covered breezeway that is actually kind of an indoor/outdoor patio. We’ll roll up the doors on it so it’s completely open. Then there’s an event space. The event space can’t be utilized because it’s not sprinkled, so once we kind of finalize that we can use it for special events.

“Then across the street is this massive pavilion that used to an old cotton warehouse. I want to say it’s ballpark 10,000 square feet. It’s just an old industrial warehouse. They’ve taken the siding off of it, they’ve electrified it, there’s water running into, there’s a barn owl living in the rafters, which is great because it keeps the pigeons down. We’ve also leased that as well. All of that we can utilize, the pavilion mostly for special events. It’s across the street from the restaurant, so we can’t operate it off the same license.”

To help prepare the brewery, Meier got some new toys to play with to keep up with the already increased demand between Clovis and the fact Red Door is now canning its Vanilla Cream Ale.

“In the preparation for this and with the shock of what Clovis was capable of, we bought four new tanks,” Meier said. “We got those in (a couple) weeks ago now. We’ve got three more 30 (barrel) fermenters and a 30 bright, which is going to be huge for us.”

“I think it’s over doubled our production,” Biggs added.

“Now, from my point of view it’s kind of funny, all right, we’ve got Clovis stable, we’ve got Clovis into a rhythm, I know what to expect, and it’s going to get all thrown upside down when Roswell opens,” Meier said.

Red Door will also have a new canning run soon, with Irish Red joining Vanilla Cream in package, keeping Meier plenty busy before Roswell opens.

Another view of the taproom building looking from south to north. (Photo courtesy of Ali Cattan)

As for the local response, Biggs and Rael found a receptive audience so far among the local politicians.

“We actually were just down there last week, and Dustin and I gave them a very short heads up,” Biggs said. “They were really nice and super welcoming. The mayor and the city councilor that manages our district and the city manager all bought us lunch. They were super enthusiastic. They’re pumped to see something going into that space. It’s been vacant for a little bit. I think they’re really excited to have another brewery in that district (near) the Main Street area. Black Cock (Brewery) is in a different part of town.”

Roswell is the fifth largest town in New Mexico after Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, and Santa Fe, so it is about time that it gets another craft brewing option. We wish Red Door plenty of luck keeping up with all of its far-flung and nearby customers.

A big thanks to the two Matts for meeting up today.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Toadfest at Little Toad Creek in Silver City is always worth the drive.

The New Mexico Brewers Guild and Little Toad Creek Brewery and Distillery are teaming up for their annual event, Toadfest, this Saturday in Silver City from 2 p.m. to midnight. This free event will feature 21 different beers and ciders from 12 different breweries, all packed into the LTC taproom at 200 N. Bullard Street.

The setup of Toadfest has 10 beers poured on the back patio and the other 11 at the main bar inside. There will also be some live music indoors, and some fun and games in the alleyway behind the taproom (the other side of the alley is actually the creek that runs through the town, making for a lovely afternoon/evening setting). Luke and I got to go to Toadfest back in 2017 and we had a blast, so we highly recommend the drive down. Silver City is a very charming town, and worth the visit anytime of the year.

Guild executive director Leah Black was kind enough to send us the list of the beers/ciders, though we are all still waiting on Boxing Bear to identify which offerings they are sending south. UPDATE: See below.

Patio pours

  • Bosque Open Space Haze
  • Bosque Beyond the Trees (Cider)
  • Canteen Fill in the Blanco (White IPA)
  • Marble Double White Triple Berry
  • Sierra Blanca Green Chile Cerveza
  • Sierra Blanca Alien IPA
  • Steel Bender Compa Los Ranchos Lager
  • Boxing Bear Uppercut IPA
  • Truth or Consequences Cosmic Blonde
  • Rio Bravo Freak Juice (Hazy IPA)

Bar pours

  • La Cumbre Elevated IPA
  • Picacho Peak Green Chile Amber
  • Steel Bender Raspberry Dynamite
  • Canteen High Plains Pilsner
  • Tractor Blood Orange Cider
  • Little Toad Creek Grumpy Old Troll IPA
  • Rio Bravo Squirrel Nuts (Peanut Butter Hazelnut Brown)
  • Boxing Bear Ambear
  • Marble Cerveza
  • T or C Buckhorn IPA
  • Little Toad Creek Copper Cream Ale

For those of you that can go, remember this is an event that benefits the Brewers Guild, as well as our friends at Little Toad Creek. Have a great weekend!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister