Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Everything is ready to take flight at the new Red Door taproom at Wyoming and Comanche.

The staff at Red Door Brewing expected to have their second offsite taproom open by now. As usual, though, the red tape piled up and slowed the process to a crawl. Now, however, there is light at the end of the tunnel after the taproom received its license from the State of New Mexico.

“This was definitely one thing after another,” said co-owner/head brewer Wayne Martinez. “It ended up being pushed back further than we’d like it to (have been). It’s just (finishing the) small things now.”

With luck, those small things will be done by the end of this week, and the taproom will be open by this weekend. Located on the southwest corner of Wyoming and Comanche, it will bring Red Door beers to a new audience while also appeasing long-time fans who live closer to there than the original or downtown taprooms.

“I’ve heard several people say they could walk home from here,” Wayne said.

Wayne provided a quick tour of the space on Monday evening.

“It will fit about 90 people,” he said. “The (taps) tower should be here, hopefully at the end of the week, but we’ll see. And then we still have to have (the final) inspection.”

All that is missing is the taps tower.

As soon as the taps are ready, there will be 14 total, two more than downtown. Wayne said that will enable the brewery keep more seasonal and specialty offerings on tap, so look for an even greater variety of beer in the future.

The taproom occupies the southern end of the building, which also houses the Poki Poki Cevicheria restaurant. Wayne said patrons can bring food from Poki Poki (or any outside eatery) into the taproom, as there is not enough space for a food truck to park outside.

The space inside will feature a bar and tables on the ground level. There is a small area on the west side of the building where a familiar feature will be set.

“This will be the retro gaming area,” Wayne said. “We’ll have a couch, we’ll have a TV with probably a (Nintendo) 64 again.”

The loft area upstairs will be a popular feature.

There is also a loft area above the west side.

“If we have any kind of groups that want to a have a (private) party, we’ll be able to accommodate that,” Wayne said.

Another interesting motif is a number of red doors hanging above the main bar area. Sound padding is on top of each one to help with the echo effect of the high ceiling.

The large garage doors on the south side will open up in good weather. While not a true patio, it will at least take advantage of sunny and pleasant days.

With luck, the last piece of equipment will arrive this week, the final inspection will go smoothly, and Red Door Wyoming will open its doors by Saturday. Stay tuned for further updates.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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Ready to rename a brewery? Drafty Kilt needs our help.

If anyone missed the news from the Albuquerque Journal on Friday, Drafty Kilt Brewing has to change its name by the end of 2017. It turns out that there was a beer called Drafty Kilt from Monday Night Brewing in Atlanta, and it was trademarked back in 2010. To avoid a possible future lawsuit, Drafty Kilt now has a short time to brainstorm up a new moniker.

All of us in the Crew decided it would be a good idea to lend owner/brewer Mike Campbell a hand, but even we could use some extra help. That is why we are calling upon all of you, the beer-loving public, to help us come up with a new name for Drafty Kilt.

Here are a few rules.

  • No offensive names. Come on, folks, keep it PG. The federal government has to approve this, and you know that people in Washington have no sense of humor.
  • Do your homework, please check to make sure there is not an existing brewery or beer trademarked with the name. Google is your friend.
  • Sorry, but just changing letters in the name (e.g. Draughty Kilt) will not work. Mike made sure to point this out. So the new name cannot be a phonetic variant of the current one.
  • All names will be considered, but if you have a really good one with a Scottish theme, that would probably be best. Just don’t get the producers of Highlander mad or anything.
  • How to submit? Simple, send us your best ideas to nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com, or you can direct message us via any of our social media platforms. We just need to have a way to contact you (see below). We will then forward all serious suggestions to Drafty Kilt.
  • Will there be a prize? Yes, if your new name for the brewery is chosen, there will be some sort of reward from the owners.
  • If we could get all suggestions by Friday, that will help out the brewery. They hope to apply for a new name sooner than later, giving the government plenty of time to respond.

Get creative, have fun, and help a brewery out. Hey, there are worse ways to spend the quiet hours the rest of this week.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Bombs Away Beer Company has brewed a new red IPA in honor of Air Force Tech Sergeant Phillip A. Myers, who died in Afghanistan in 2009.

In the short time it has been open, Bombs Away Beer Company has become a frequent hangout for many active-duty service members from Kirtland Air Force Base, as well as the many retired military who live in Albuquerque. This Veterans Day, BABC is giving back with a special beer brewed in honor of an Air Force sergeant who lost his life serving his country.

Phil’s Incendiary IPA is the creation of not just head brewer David Kimbell, but also Casey Pascoe, who served in the Air Force with BABC owner John Degnaro. The beer was made to honor Tech Sergeant Phillip A. Myers, who died in Afghanistan on April 4, 2009, when he was just 30 years old, leaving behind a wife and two children. Proceeds from the sale will go to the EOD Warrior Foundation, a charity that supports veterans from Air Force Explosive Ordinance Disposal and their families.

“We were approached by the Explosive Ordinance Disposal shop on base that they were putting together a charity fundraiser and they wanted to know if we wanted to be a part of it,” John said. “We said yes. It was actually a golf tournament, so we sponsored a hole. After that they said do you want to put up an item for a silent auction as part of the charity. I said yeah, but I don’t really know what to auction.

“I kind of kicked it around a little bit, so we came up to auction off basically a brew day. The winner of the auction would come in, they would brew the beer, and then we would eventually release the beer and proceeds would go back to the charity.”

Then it was just the matter of the right person winning that prize in the silent auction.

“Highest bidder, that was me,” Casey said. “I’d been here (to BABC) before. I’d seen the progress they had done on making the brewery. When I saw that at the auction, I was like I had to get that.”

Of course, winning the prize was one thing, making the beer was another.

“I’d never brewed before, so I think after the golf tournament we all ended up here,” Casey said. “The soft opening we all ended up back here. I let them know that I had won the auction and was looking forward to brewing some beer with them.”

Casey had a good idea of what kind of beer to make.

“It was between Casey and David to come up with how the beer is going to look, as far as what style,” John said. “Casey said, ‘I want to do a red and I want to name it after a fallen EOD tech named Phil Myers,’ who was a friend of both of ours.”

The incendiary part of the beer name holds double meaning.

“It’s in the EOD or ordinance world, it’s the color of the bombs, they have a red stripe on them,” Casey said. “And, Phil was a red-headed dude with a big ginger beard because when he was deployed he was out of regs, like most of us were, because we were out in the middle of nowhere. We didn’t have all the stuff to shave every day. I think that would be the best (name).

“I think that that also falls in line with the names of the beers they already have up on the board. Phil was a bit of an incendiary fella himself, I guess you could say. Everything he touched kind of caught fire, whether it was being a mentor to me as a young airman, or just everything he did he excelled at.”

Air Force veteran Casey Myers, up bright and early, brewing beer for the first time in his life.

Phil would probably have been amused to know just how much hard work Casey put into the beer.

“Learning to brew with David in the back, I didn’t realize how much work that was,” Casey said. “It’s a lot of work. I think I went home that day and I put the kids to bed at 7 and I hit the pillow at 7:30. I learned a lot.”

As for the beer itself, it should satisfy the hop-loving palates of Burquenos.

“I guess you could say what Casey wanted was something with a lot of citrus aroma, so I used a lot of citrus-forward hops (like) Citra, Centennial,” David said. “There are some dark fruit notes in there (too). It makes for a very malty IPA.”

Phil’s Incendiary IPA will go on tap this Saturday for Veterans Day. Also, BABC will be launching its brewery membership, with special discounts for active-duty service members and retired military.

Raise those pints high this weekend.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Counting down the days till Expedition and its stout friends arrive from Michigan! (Photo courtesy of Bell’s Brewery)

It was pretty awesome and all when Bell’s Brewery started distributing in New Mexico last month. After the initial excitement just to get beers like Two Hearted and Kalamazoo Stout here, plenty of folks started asking that one, inevitable question: “Where are the seasonals?”

Oh, they are about to arrive in a big, big way. Bell’s sales rep Silas Sims sent us the full list of upcoming seasonal beers coming to New Mexico, plus just where you will be able to sample them, enjoy them on tap, and get them to go.

First up, sour lovers, get ready for The Wild One (6.5% ABV, 20 IBU), a sour brown ale aged in oak foeders with a little brett thrown in for an extra funky kick. If you prefer something maltier and chewier, Christmas Ale (7.5% ABV, 35 IBU), a hefty Scotch ale, is “certain to make any occasion festive, or at least a bit more bearable,” per the Bell’s website.

Then comes the darkness, a quartet of excellent stouts that has the Crew already saving up some money in advance. Expedition Stout (10.5% ABV) is a massive Russian Imperial Stout that has earned plenty of fame among the fans of the darkness. It does not arrive alone, as two dessert stouts will accompany it to Albuquerque and points beyond. Cherry Stout (7% ABV) is a little more tart than sweet, using only Montmorency cherries from the Traverse City area in Michigan. Meanwhile, Special Double Cream Stout (6.1% ABV) gets its sweetness and smooth mouthfeel not from lactose, but from a blend of 10 special malts.

Finally, the whale of the bunch will be here, but in limited supply. Black Note Stout (11.2% ABV) is a wonderful behemoth, a bourbon barrel-aged blend of the Expedition and the Special Double Cream. “Aimed squarely at the stout and bourbon aficionados, Black Note makes a grand statement about the art of the dark.” That is just beautiful poetry right there, people.

These beers should arrive by the end of next week, meaning November will be getting off to a great start. Jubilation will have them, as should both Total Wine locations and both Whole Foods locations. Additional retailers will be announced when that information becomes available.

For those not quite sure if you want these beers, there will be some special tastings and tappings coming up as well.

  • Friday, November 3: Sister Bar will host the first tapping of Black Note from 5 to 8 p.m., with Porter, Oarsman, Lager of the Lakes, and Two Hearted also available.
  • Thursday, November 9: Jubilation will have a tasting of select beers (no Black Note, sorry, it is a limited amount) from 4 to 6 p.m. Keep an eye on their social media for the full lineup.
  • (Black) Friday, November 24: O’Niell’s on Juan Tabo will have kegs of Black Note, The Wild One, Winter White, and one TBD beer on tap from 5 to 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, November 30: Whole Foods on Carlisle will have a tasting of all available beers from 4 to 6 p.m.
  • TBD date in December: There will be another Black Note tapping, this time at Nob Hill Bar & Grill. We will share that info when it is available.

Stout season is upon us! Glory to the elder gods!

Now we can’t wait to see what our local breweries will produce this season to go up against these national heavyweights. We have a feeling the winner will be … all of us!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

A replacement for the original Bosque location is coming in 2018.

The cat finally got out of the proverbial bag late Monday afternoon as Bosque Brewing officially announced it will be replacing its original San Mateo location in 2018. The new spot will be located along the southbound Interstate 25 frontage road along Venice Avenue, in between two existing buildings.

“We purchased a piece of land up here off of the frontage road, between Arizona Tile and the University of Phoenix,” said director of operations/co-owner Jotham Michnovicz. “It’s 1.75 acres and we are going to get rid of the strip mall struggle.”

One of the Bosque employees tipped us off about this potential move a while back, but we had to wait until the full purchase of the property was complete. The new location will be purpose-built as a brewery, housing a 15-barrel brewhouse that will be responsible for producing much of the draft-0nly beers, as well as special seasonal and specialty releases. The production facility in Bernalillo, which is also currently under construction, will handle the main packaged brands (IPA, Lager, Elephants on Parade, Scotia, 1888 Golden Ale) for mass distribution.

“Basically, what we’re going to do is build a brewery that’s more of a production facility,” Jotham said of the new site. “We’ve been wanting to do a lot of fun beers and we haven’t really had the space to do them in volume yet. So, this new building that we’re going to have is a three-story building. The third story (includes) a rooftop patio. The patio is basically a wrap-around. There’s going to be a first-, second-, and third-story patios. You’ll be able to get views of the Balloon Fiesta as well (as the Sandias).”

The first four will not feature any seating, just a standing bar and tables, with glass windows to look into the brewery, said managing director/co-owner Gabe Jensen.

“I’m just excited about the concept of open spaces,” Gabe said. “Downstairs is not going to have any seating. The restaurant (with seating) will be on the second floor. Downstairs will have an open feel so you can browse whatever those things are. We want to have a yard outside. We’re going to have a full-sized bocce ball court, which I’m excited about.”

Gabe said that adding the new project on top of Bernalillo, while having just finished the full retrofit on Las Cruces, and still working on the expansion of the Nob Hill taproom, will be quite the challenge.

“I think the biggest challenge is going to be the fact that we’re going to open Bernalillo very close to when we’re going to open here,” he said. “Even though we haven’t broken ground here, it’s a quicker build, because like you said it’s from scratch and we’re not trying to retrofit things and permitting is more linear. Submit this and you know when you can start. I’m guessing we’re about three-to-four months apart from when we open Bernalillo in February to when we’re going to open this one in April or May, hopefully.”

Getting everything done by May 1 will be key, Gabe added, because that is the end of the current lease at the San Mateo location.

The main focus of the new location, on top of being a fun place to drink beer for customers, is to create more space and improve the existing San Mateo brewery. A new 15-barrel brewhouse will be installed, which will enable the existing brewery to still operate right until the new one is ready to go.

“A big part of that is, we have someone interested in (buying) this one, but we need to install a new while this is still going,” Gabe said. “Putting ourselves three months out of commission wouldn’t be good.”

Gabe said that the goal will be to use the new brewery to be limited runs of specialty beers that can be packaged, but in cans instead of 22-ounce bombers.

“I’m pretty sure, that aside from barrel-aged stuff, bombers are going away, just in general,” he said. “There’s a use for them, but just as a preferred platform for beer, I don’t think it’s there anymore, even for specialty.”

In the end, Bosque will have more room for brewing, which is the most important thing.

“The bottom floor is the biggest footprint,” Jotham said. “The back end is where the brewery is. We’ve got about 5,000 square feet for the brewery, I think, not including the (walk-in) cooler, of course. It’s a nice yard space space for distro.”

That will include, yes, more parking.

“A huge, huge part of the reason we’re (moving),” Gabe said. “We were looking at buying this building, but you come in here Friday at 4 p.m., there’s 88 spaces out there, and 20 are taken by co-workers, another 20 by other tenants, and now you only have 48 plus our distro stuff.”

Jotham said there will be between 90 to 100 spaces just for customers at the new location, with employee and truck parking in a separate area.

Modulus Architects and Snyder Construction will break ground soon on the new facility. The San Mateo location will stay open at least through April.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The annual autumnal festival returns to the mountains above Los Alamos. Skal!

The days are getting shorter, and there’s a bit of a nip in the air here in the higher elevations. Fall will be here soon, officially, and with it the prospect of snow. To many people, snow means skiing, but, only if there’s enough of it! To please Ullr, the Norse god of snow and winter, Pajarito Mountain Ski Area and the Los Alamos Ski Club host a festival each fall in the hope of bringing abundant snow. And, if you’re going to host a Nordic-themed festival, then you’re certainly going to include an abundance of beer.

This year’s ULLR Fest will be taking place Saturday at the Pajarito Mountain above Los Alamos. The weather has been very nice, so it should be a very pleasant afternoon (though being a mountain, you have to prepare for nearly anything, so dust off those hoodies). Being a themed event, there will be a costume contest, so bring your finest Viking garb.

Several New Mexico breweries will be in attendance to satisfy your thirst, and wine will also be available. For $15, you get a souvenir glass, unlimited tastings, and a pint of your favorite beer. Pints will also be available for purchase (cash only, please). Bring your ID! The beer portion of the event will begin at noon and run until 5 p.m.

Stoutmeister has been hard at work putting together beer lists for the attending breweries, and so far most have responded. Hopefully we hear back from the last three breweries before the festival begins.

  • Bathtub Row: Hoppenheimer IPA, Kritical Kolsch, Flat Cap Brown
  • Blue Corn: Apparition Pale Coffee Ale, Saison aged with Brett, Gold Medal Oatmeal Stout, Ginger Braggot
  • Bosque: Elephants on Parade, Oktoberfest, Pistol Pete’s 1888 Blonde Ale, Bosque IPA
  • UPDATED–> Boxing Bear: Uppercut IPA, Ambear, Chocolate Milk Stout, Pineapple Upside Down Beer, Cider
  • La Cumbre: TBA
  • Marble: Double White, IPA, Pilsner, Marblefest (making its debut!)
  • Red Door: Blackberry Hefeweizen, White AF IPA, Roamer Red, Oktoberfest
  • Santa Fe: Santa Fe Gold, 7K IPA, Happy Camper IPA, Nut Brown
  • Second Street: Fulcrum IPA, Atalaya Altbier, LVL Stout, Summer Rain Sour, Double X ESB, Kolsch
  • Taos Mesa: Mosaic IPA, Black Widow Porter, Kolsch 45, Great Scot Scottish
  • The 377: TBA

There are numerous other fun events planned for the day:

  • Disc Golf tournament begins at 10 a.m. at the Lodge; entry is $20. There are Pro/Advanced/Novice/Female Divisions. Cash payout for top three players in each division.
  • STRAVA self-timed downhill mountain bike race (download the app and time your run as many times as you want, prizes for the best time at the end of the day). This event is free.
  • Pajarito Poker Run mountain bike ride (pick a card as you board the lift each time, take any run you want, best two hands at the end of the day wins a prize). This event is also free.
  • NEW THIS YEAR: Downhill Mountain Bike Rentals and free lessons all weekend.
  • Lift Served Biking and Hiking 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

On top of that, there will be some great music provided by Bronach and Felix y Los Gatos.  The cafeteria will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to soak up the beer.

As usual, a shuttle will run between Sullivan Field (adjacent to Los Alamos High School) and the ski area every 30 minutes, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Also, shuttle service will be available to the White Rock Visitor Center. Call 661-RIDE (7433) to arrange that service.

Cheers!

— Reid

fire_hops_entrance

Fire & Hops Gastropub in Santa Fe

The arrival of Bell’s Brewery in New Mexico led to plenty of special tappings and tap takeovers. One of those took place in Santa Fe, at an establishment that is becoming a go-to place for craft beer lovers.

“Bell’s reputation precedes it,” said Josh Johns, co-owner and cicerone of Fire & Hops Gastropub. “I’m always on the lookout for new beers to bring to Santa Fe, and I’ve been impressed with what I’ve tasted from Bell’s before.”

Bell’s recently raised some eyebrows when Zymurgy, a magazine dedicated to homebrewers, named their Two Hearted Ale as the best beer in America. Bell’s finally took over the lead spot that Russian River’s Pliny the Elder held for eight straight years.

twohearted

Two Hearted Ale, complete with proper glassware

I’ve had Bell’s in the past, while traveling in Arizona and in the Midwest. I remembered the Two Hearted Ale (American IPA, 7.0% ABV), but not much beyond that. So, I was looking forward to tasting a wider swath of what they’ve been brewing when I sat down with Josh at the tap takeover last Wednesday at the restaurant.

Elsewhere in Santa Fe, the Piñon Pub at Whole Foods Market was tapping their Best Brown Ale (5.8% ABV) and Violet Crown was set to tap a few the following day. My choice was a simple one of where to go, however, because Fire & Hops has been a favorite local haunt since they opened their doors three years ago, and Josh’s presentation of the craft brews he serves up is always impeccable.

All of Bell’s primary brews are stylistically classical, yet their smaller-batch experiments show a willingness to explore. The Kiwi Gose that I sampled was fruity on the nose and tart, retaining the kiwi flavor all the way through. The staples that will be available in New Mexico regularly will delight the purists among us. The Two Hearted Ale was clean, balanced, and smooth. There’s nothing particularly hop-forward about this IPA, though it has a full profile while drinking it, the slightly bitter aftertaste does not linger. I do love a hoppy IPA, but find that more classically balanced ales like this one are easily drinkable. That’s why Two Hearted Ale will likely be on regular rotation in this hop-head’s repertoire.

Bellsbrews

From left to right, Lager of the Lakes Bohemian Pilsner, Kalamazoo Stout, Two Hearted Ale

Brushing aside the known quantity of the IPA, I suddenly found myself a stout fan. The Kalamazoo Stout (6.0% ABV) is an American-style stout with lots of coffee on the nose and a great mix of bitter coffee and dark chocolate on the tongue. Both flavors stick while drinking it, and they don’t fade. That’s long been my beef with stouts that can’t hold what they promise at first taste, but it’s not the case with Bell’s take on the classic American stout. It also has a nice foundation of hops, which is possibly another reason why I liked this brew so much.

Next up, the Amber Ale (5.8% ABV) was, again, classically American. Very smooth, with a beautifully rich amber color, it’s a highly drinkable ale. Clean, with just the right amount of bitterness provided by the underlying hops, its most notable feature is the slightly toasted caramel flavor. This was a favorite in my party of four, and it’s a welcome addition to the current lineup of amber ales we have available here in the state.

Finally, the surprise hit of the evening was Bell’s excellent Lager of the Lakes (Bohemian Pilsner, 5.0% ABV). A true-to-form Czech-style pilsner, this immediately shot me back to the streets of Pilsen and Prague in the Czech Republic. Seriously, it’s that good and that authentic. The crisp hop profile is balanced by an even-tempered malt. Hoppy on the nose, it’s refreshing and immensely sessionable. This will be my new go-to pilsner, I predict.

Sliding into the seat next to me, Bell’s national sales manager Tina Anderson told me that their head brewer was trained in German techniques, and that’s why it shows through so clearly with their pilsner.

tina-bells

Tina Anderson, national sales manager for Bell’s Brewery

“The Lager of the Lakes will be going exclusively into cans in February,” Tina said. And, more of their experimental series will find their way into cans at the same time, she added.

Tina, who is based in Atlanta, has been with Bell’s for eight years now after successfully recruiting them for a distributorship in Georgia. At the time, she was an area brand manager and took a leap of faith when Bell’s entered the state by going to work exclusively for them. She had tried their Two Hearted Ale at GABF and loved it during her tenure in Colorado working for Vail Resorts. That’s where her love of craft beer blossomed, after getting to know Ska and Oskar Blues breweries back in the late 90s.

When asked what she’s been drinking lately, Tina named the Oarsmen Ale (Tart Wheat Ale, 4.0% ABV) and called it her go-to, lounging-at-the-lake beer. She said it’s tart and refreshing without being overly astringent like a sour.

Switching gears, I asked Tina about the label graphics. While each of them were interesting in their own right, there didn’t seem to be a cohesive theme. She said the owner, Larry Bell, supports a lot of local artists in the Michigan area. The famed trout on the Two Hearted Ale is from a watercolor he bought, as is the artwork on the Amber Ale label. The Kalamazoo Stout features rotating sketches of locals from Kalamazoo, drawn by a taproom regular who was a third-shift worker and who would sketch anyone who bought him a burger and a beer. Larry bought the entire set, and the sketches will rotate as the graphics when the stout is canned.

Larrys-Sour-Ale

Tina gave me a preview of the new artwork for Larry’s Latest Sour Ale, a “kettle soured ale with a dry hop burst,” from their new innovation series.

What’s next for Bell’s, closer to their Michigan headquarters? Even though they just completed a $52 million expansion at the Comstock location, they are adding new tanks to accommodate their experimental forays. Larry’s Latest is one of the first to be packaged from their new Innovation Series, which these new tanks will support. Their second location, the Eccentric Café in Kalamazoo, continues to be a busy hub for locals and supporters of their beer.

Tina said she noted a synchronicity between Bell’s local focus and homebrew roots, and New Mexico’s hyper-local beer community. Bell’s is not distributed in Colorado as of yet, as they’ve put their faith in us instead to carry their growth. After the sampling at Fire & Hops, I think we’ll rise to the challenge.

Cheers!

— Julie

Note: look for a deeper dive on Fire & Hops Gastropub later this fall.

Your weekend just got more crowded with yet another event. But it’s for a good cause, so get out there and enjoy a pint!

Just when you thought we had all the weekend’s events covered in The Week Ahead in Beer, two more popped up, and we thought we might provide some additional details on one other. We will have our first review of the Desert Valley Brewing taproom up later today.

Oktoberfest at Taos Ski Valley

This Saturday and Sunday, from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., skedaddle on up to The Bavarian Lodge & Restaurant for the annual celebration of the German harvest. There will be plenty of food and beer, naturally, and you can reserve your stein in advance if you click here.

That same link will also help you find a discounted hotel room, since you might as well stick around in the beautiful ski valley before the snow shows up and Leah Black reclaims her favorite mountain.

Get on up there and have some fun!

Mariposa Fun(d)raiser at Bow & Arrow

The Mariposa Fund is holding their annual fundraiser this Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m. The fund provides reproductive healthcare to women who are otherwise not eligible. There will be fun and games, and of course plenty of Bow & Arrow beer on tap. If you would like to contribute to the fund but cannot attend, click here.

In other Bow & Arrow news, they have re-done their Scotch ale recipe and renamed it True Aim Scotch Ale. We are always supportive of bigger and better Scotch ales. B&A has also added Fast Luck Dry-Hopped Pale Ale for the weekend, and will have Wolf Eyes Oktoberfest on tap this coming Thursday. From Sept. 25-30, B&A will donate $1 from every pint sold of Wolf Eyes to the UNM Alumni Association in honor of homecoming week.

Golden Days Brew Fest at Santa Fe Ski Area

We mentioned this one before, but thought you could use a few more details. It runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The cost to enter is $18, which gets you a silicone pint glass, three samples, and one pint of your favorite beer. There will be extra runs of the 255 Mountain Trail Bus as well, so no need to drive up. Click here for more details.

As for the attending breweries, Boxing Bear, Broken Trail, Dialogue, Drafty Kilt, and La Cumbre will be heading up from Albuquerque. Locals on hand will include Chili Line, Santa Fe, and Second Street. New Mexico Hard Cider will also be on hand.

* * * * *

The Crew will be bouncing around to various events and beer releases all weekend. We will also be attending the memorial/tribute show to our late friend and fellow beer geek/metalhead Justin Shearer on Saturday night (8-11) at The Moonlight Lounge. If you knew Justin, come on by and join us and his family and friends from around the country. Local bands Futilitarian, Jagged Mouth, The Extinction, and Distances will perform.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

A hop farm springs up in the North Valley

Posted: September 12, 2017 by cjax33 in News
Tags:

By this time next year, there will be a wall of green from this viewpoint.

The Albuquerque metro area is now home to 30-plus breweries.

And, finally, one hop farm.

Red Hat Hops is looking to keep things even more local in terms of beer ingredients. Located at the edge of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, off Rio Grande north of the overpass above Montano, this new operation occupies 4.5 acres. Tom Brewer and Tim Arnold are the men in charge.

“Well, the obvious answer is we have, what, over 60 breweries in New Mexico now, and no commercial hop yards,” Tom said. “That doesn’t mean there aren’t people growing hops, people just want to keep it secret for some reason.”

Tom previously served in the Air Force and then worked at Intel for many years before he was laid off. His desire to start a hop farm was born out of two passions.

“I love growing things and I love beer, so they kind of go together,” he said.

So far only one acre has been set up for the hops. A combination of planting too late and a few too many scorching days this summer conspired to keep the first crop small.

“My goal, we’re going to fill this field up,” Tom said. “I have this four-and-a-half acres, this is only one acre planted now, but we have the full acres back to the Bosque. I lease the property, I don’t own it. There are three farmers that farm here. I’m already working with the Village of Los Ranchos, we’re already looking at other places to expand to.”

Tom also said he has been sure to establish a good relationship with the resident brewery of Los Ranchos.

“Obviously, I have a good working relationship with a brewery here in Los Ranchos. “They’re pretty interested and Bob (Haggerty, head brewer) is a great guy. He’s been out here. I talked to him on Friday.

“It’s a win-win situation. They grow great here. We’re getting everything established this year.”

One of the more bountiful vines on the property.

Tom is also working with Rio Bravo director of brewing operations John Seabrooks on future projects.

“I went to the Master Brewers out-of-towner at Rio Bravo a couple weeks ago,” Tom said. “One of the big things we saw was there is a disconnect between the agricultural and brewing communities. I’m working with John Seabrooks. We’re going to put something together in the next few months. We’re going to get farmers together and brewers and brewery owners, this time, together.”

That goes beyond farmers growing hops.

“We’re not just talking about hops,” he said. “In the brewery (business) they’re using all kinds of stuff now. We’re going to be bringing in all kinds of farmers. … There’s a lot of stuff going on this property alone, along with the whole valley. We have breweries that want ingredients and we have farmers who have ingredients to sell.”

Santa Fe Brewing does have its own hop farm in Rinconada, south of Taos, and one of the main state universities now has a hop farm as well.

“I have my USA hops growers number (so) I’m the only registered hop yard in New Mexico,” Tom said. “I know there are others. I collaborate with New Mexico State University. They have an experimental hop yard up in Farmington.”

NMSU will be present at an upcoming private event that will be hosted by Red Hat Hops, bringing another element into the mix — education.

“Obviously, the main intent is as a business and (to) supply local breweries, but we also want to use it as an educational opportunity,” Tom said. “CNM has got a brewing program. The breweries have the opportunity to bring their staff here for field trips. It may eventually become an agri-tourism thing, but it may not. This is private property. We are working with some other entities that have public property.”

Hello there, Neo Mexicanus.

Tom said his long-term goal was to be at 20 acres in 10 years, but he said now it looks like he will reach that mark much sooner.

“The big thing now is we’re going to get through our introductory stage, which is this year,” he said.

Now it is just about getting the word out to the breweries and the public, for the future could be bountiful.

“We want that to become more of the norm because this is a huge not only a business opportunity for everybody, but it’s a huge marketing opportunity for New Mexico,” Tom said. “Colorado already has an all-Colorado beer. We have that opportunity here.”

An all-New Mexico beer? We will raise a glass of that when it comes to fruition.

Thanks to Tom and Tim for the tour and the beer.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Choose from among 25 breweries’ most excellent beers and have the proceeds go to a good cause? Sign us up!

The staggering toll of Hurricane Harvey is still being felt across Texas, with many homes and businesses lost to the destructive flooding. Included among those are craft breweries, and their employees, many of whom no longer have a job as a result. The MBAA (Master Brewers Association of Americas) Texas District reached out to neighboring states for help. Tractor Brewing president Skye Devore responded by creating Hops for Harvey, a special event this Wednesday running from 3 p.m. to midnight.

Tractor and the New Mexico Brewers Guild have pulled together 24 other local breweries to each provide one keg of a special beer, with 100 percent of all profits going to the MBAA Texas District. Throw in one to-be-determined Tractor beer, and that will mean 25 different beers will be available at the Wells Park taproom for one night.

“I think it’s really cool, because it’s like a miniature brew fest,” said Tractor marketing director Jeremy Kinter. “What I like about it is the New Mexico breweries were really quick to jump on board. The day of (announcing), we had like 19 breweries jump on board. They’re not just regular beers, not the flagships, either. They’re throwing some special beer at us. It’s just amazing, the reaction has been extremely impressive. I’m proud to be a part of the Albuquerque brew scene.”

The original plan was to just have a pizza party, Jeremy said, as national Papa John’s was going to donate all of its profits from Wednesday to the relief effort. That changed once the MBAA Texas District made contact.

“MBAA Texas District reached out to see who might be able to provide support to breweries in the Houston area as some are underwater,” Jeremy said. “Flood insurance for businesses is only available through the government and does not cover lost business or lost wages, only physical damages. Brewery employees who may have been lucky enough not to be flooded out at home could arrive to work to find their brewery and employment gone or temporarily closed. Government aid takes time to reach them.”

Any money that is not needed by the breweries in Texas or their employees will then be donated to other parts of the relief effort, Jeremy added.

There will be growler fills allowed at the event. As for what breweries are participating, we have that list below, and as they name the beers they are bringing, we will keep updating this list right up until the doors open at Wells Park.

  • Abbey: TBD
  • Bombs Away: TBD
  • Bosque: IRA (India Red Ale)
  • Bow & Arrow: TBD
  • Boxing Bear: Crystal Kolsch
  • Broken Trail: Pepe the Mule
  • Canteen: Exodus IPA
  • Chama River: TBD
  • Dialogue: TBD
  • Duel: Marcel (Sour Wit)
  • La Cumbre: TBD
  • Marble: Double White (freshly brewed batch)
  • Nexus: TBD
  • Ponderosa: Blueberry Stout
  • Quarter Celtic: Clark IPA
  • Red Door: White AF IPA
  • Rio Bravo: Cherry Wheat
  • Rowley Farmhouse Ales: Germophile (Berliner Weisse)
  • Santa Fe: TBD
  • Sidetrack: Pub Ale
  • Sierra Blanca: Single Hop
  • Steel Bender: The Village Wit
  • Taos Mesa: TBD
  • Tractor: TBD
  • Turtle Mountain: Lemongrass Honey Wheat

No, that is not a typo, one of the last kegs available of a Chama River beer will be there. Hey, better this than throwing it out, right?

A big thumbs up to Skye and the staff at Tractor for organizing this, and to the Guild for making sure to bring everyone together. Thank you to all the breweries for donating kegs, especially for the fact that these are not the cheaper beers in their lineups, yet they are essentially giving them away for free.

Guess I know where I will be pregaming the Social Distortion concert on Wednesday.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister