Archive for the ‘News’ Category

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This Saturday, Blue Corn Brewery’s annual Cask Festival is back for a third round. Featuring food specials and beer from six of the Santa Fe area breweries, as well as a couple from our friends to the north, this event will once again give beer lovers plenty to sample and enjoy.

This year the breweries in attendance include host Blue Corn Brewery, Chili Line Brewing, Rowley Farmhouse Ales, Santa Fe Brewing, Second Street Brewery, Tumbleroot Brewery & Distillery, Bathtub Row Brewing Co-op, and Red River Brewing.

Without further ado, here is the beer list.

  • Blue Corn: Tamarind Sour
  • Chili Line: Tropical Fruit Stout with coconut, mango, and passion fruit
  • Rowley Farmhouse Ales: Oyster Stout with banana
  • Santa Fe Brewing: Lotus IPA
  • Second Street: Bonebreaker ESB
  • Tumbleroot: Dry Irish Stout
  • Bathtub Row: Secret
  • Red River: Back 40 Farmhouse Ale
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Last year’s event was a smashing success.

Blue Corn’s excellent chef, Josh Ortiz, has created a special menu of shareable items available to pair with the varying styles of beers. You can expect jumbo shrimp & grits, sautéed mushroom caps, bacon poutine fries, and creole jambalaya, as well as the rest of the available Blue Corn menu.

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The members of the New Mexico chapter of the Pink Boots Society have a beer ready for all to enjoy. (Photo courtesy of Bosque Brewing)

The result of a recent gathering of the most talented women in New Mexico craft beer is set to go on tap this weekend. Bossy Hazy Guava IPA is the latest creation of the local chapter of the Pink Boots Society, brewed this time around at Bosque North back on International Women’s Day (March 8).

I caught up with Bosque director of culture and engagement Jessica Griego in person and Santa Fe Brewing lab director Monica Mondragon on email to learn more about the importance of this annual brew.

“We’re excited to release this beer,” Jessica said. “Monica from Santa Fe, our chapter lead, reached out to us this year to host. John (Bullard) was super excited to do that, especially with Bosque North having the space and the ability to do some fun things, make it really educational this year. John was on board as soon as I asked him.”

The recipe for Bossy (7.4% ABV) was created by one Bosque employee, with other members of the chapter then joining in for the actual brew day.

“What’s super exciting about this beer, it’s called Bossy, made by Mercedes (Donio), who’s our QA/QC lab tech,” Jessica said. “She actually is responsible for the entire recipe, the name, all of which is exciting to have the sole female on our brewing team get to do that. She led that charge and we all followed suit. We brewed it on International Women’s Day, which was great that that timing worked out.”

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Get thee to Los Ranchos for new beers, food specials, live music, and more this weekend!

As we noted in our Look Back/Look Ahead Series article on Steel Bender, the second anniversary bash is this weekend, and to say the Brewyard is going all-out would be an understatement.

Friday through Sunday, there will be events, beers, and more for everyone to enjoy. Here is the breakdown of everything going down under the lights in Los Ranchos.

Friday

The actual anniversary day kicks off with the release of Daydream Belizer, a Belgian ale with a collaborative local twist. Steel Bender teamed up with Eldora Chocolates and Pour Vida Coffee to add, you guessed it, chocolate and coffee to the beer. The SBB staff put it best in describing this amazing elixir on Facebook:

“Featuring a Chateau Special B malt base and a yeast strain derived from a classic trappist ale, Daydream Belizer boasts a big and deliciously fruity Belgian nose. The cold-pressed, medium-roast Guatemalan coffee from our friends at Pour Vida Coffee introduces a smooth, nutty character. And, the 100-percent Belize Mayan Mountain Chocolate from our nearly-next-door-neighbors Eldora Chocolate provides the perfect amount of chocolate sweetness.

“After spending a couple of Fridays tasting coffee and chocolate (those were some great afternoons), we landed on the right combination where the late additions to the fermentation complement each other while allowing the character of the Belgian yeast to hold strong in aroma and flavor.”

Next time, we gotta figure out ways to get ourselves invited to these sorts of tastings.

In addition to the beer, one of our favorite local bands of the non-metal variety, Le Chat Lunatique, will take the Murphy Stage from 6 to 8:30 p.m. There will also be a limited release of anniversary baseball sleeve shirts for sale, and all weekend long you can get 20 percent off all winter merchandise. The way the weather is behaving of late, you may still need some warmer clothes and accessories for a while longer.

If you happen to be in Santa Fe on Friday, you can always stop by Tumbleroot for the Team Fox Pints for Parkinson’s Fundraiser, featuring Steel Bender’s The Village Innuendo among the available beers to help in this good cause.

Saturday

At this point, should we just rename this day as Ciderday? SBB will be releasing two of its ciders in bottles for the first time.

CE-1: Cider Expedition features nothing in the 750mL bottles but nine pressed apple varieties and one pear variety, all harvested from orchards at the base of the San Juan Mountains, along with water and yeast. You can also get this one on draft if you want to sample it before taking a bottle or two home.

Los Ranchos Cider actually debuted at the Magnificent Cider Fest last year. All the apples were harvested locally, with nothing else in the bottle but water and yeast. This one is rather limited, so it is available in bottles only.

The kitchen staff is preparing a Brie en Croute with housemade green chile jelly that is made to pair perfectly with the ciders.

If the brewery looks too crowded, you can also snag some SBB beers at the Southwest Coffee & Chocolate Fest at the Lujan Expo Center on the State Fairgrounds this Saturday and Sunday, starting at 10 a.m. both days. Naturally, Daydream Belizer will be among the beers poured there.

Sunday

St. Patrick’s Day on a weekend should automatically mean we all get Monday off work, but since we do not, pace yourselves. This is a very good day to take advantage of Lyft/Uber.

New on tap will be Mulvaney’s Irish Red on nitro, plus Blue Bullet Stout will available for $1 off all pints throughout the day. The kitchen is whipping up a Gammon Boxty, and corned beef & cab egg rolls with horseradish sauce.

The Gershom Brothers will provide the music from 5:30 to 7:30.

That should just about tide us all over for the weekend, right? Have fun and be safe out there.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The New Mexico Brewers Guild Board of Directors has selected Marble’s Leah Black as its next executive director.

The next step in the evolution of the New Mexico Brewers Guild will come with the appointment of its new executive director, who just happens to be someone familiar to most people involved in the local craft beer community.

Marble Brewery public relations and social media director Leah Black will officially succeed John Gozigian on March 25. The Board of Directors chose Leah based on her connections throughout the industry, her marketing background, and her enthusiasm for, well, just about everything.

“Social media is my passion, but the beer industry (as a whole) is my passion,” Leah said. “It’s really hard, because I have a big chunk of my heart here (at Marble). But, I also am a firm believer in paying attention to what the universe brings to you.”

Initially, Leah did not apply for the job. The Board eventually reached out to her and others who seemed like good candidates.

“We advertised that the position was available, we advertised through our newsletter, on Indeed, and also on Brewbound dot com,” John said. “A lot of the resumés we were getting through employment websites, nobody really had relevant experience. We did get a handful of resumés from the local beer community and we actually had several good candidates. It was a tough decision, actually.

“When we weighed each candidates’ skills and personality, reputation within the community, everything gelled around Leah. We didn’t get much through our traditional sources. What the Board decided to do was reach out to people in the community that they thought would be good candidates.”

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The Marble team presents a check to Sierra Nevada for the sales of Resilience IPA. From left, brewer John Carroll, packaging line director Nate Jackson, head brewer John Heine, and president/brewmaster Ted Rice.

The results are in from one big charitable effort on the part of several New Mexico breweries, and they are good. Marble Brewery presented a check for more than $22,000 to Sierra Nevada Brewing’s Camp Fire Relief Fund on Friday, all from the sales of Resilience Butte County Proud IPA.

Marble was one of six New Mexico breweries, along with 1,400 across the country, to take a Sierra Nevada recipe and make a beer where 100 percent of proceeds went to charity. It was needed to help the victims of the wildfires in Northern California that crept right up to the outskirts of Chico, where Sierra Nevada’s original brewery is still located.

“It’s so insane, and the biggest thing we wanted to do is thank everyone, because it was everyone’s consumption of this fantastic beer that helped us raise so much money,” said Marble social media director Leah Black. “It was with 1,400 other breweries around the country, so ours is just a small chunk of what will help this cause.”

Steel Bender Brewyard reported that it raised $9,500 for its batch of Resilience, while Canteen Brewhouse, Quarter Celtic Brewpub, and Cloudcroft Brewing did not have their final figures available. Rowley Farmhouse Ales still has some Resilience on draft, so if you never got to try this flavorful West Coast IPA, head up to Santa Fe and drink for a good cause. UPDATE: Cloudcroft also still has it on tap, so if you are headed south for the weekend, make sure to stop by.

A huge thank you to all the participating breweries, to Sierra Nevada for coming up with the idea, and of course, as Leah said, to all the hopheads who bought a pint or two.

Enjoy the weekend!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The reddish lettering in the upper left amounted to the totality of the initial announcement that the NIPAC was canceled for 2019.

The NIPAC is dead.

Over the weekend, in the quietest way possible, the Brewing News left a small note on the front page of the National IPA Challenge website that the annual competition was canceled for 2019. It was perhaps the final, inevitable outcome after last week’s national furor over a story by publisher/owner Bill Metzger that ran in the Great Lakes edition of Brewing News, a national publication with multiple regional editions that comes out every two months.

Metzger chose to resign over the controversy following the publication of his blatantly sexist/misogynistic story. He later claimed it was satire in a futile effort to save himself, but few in the national brewing community saw it that way. A number of New Mexico breweries withdrew from the NIPAC in protest, making public statements condemning Metzger.

From Bosque Brewing: “Hey, Bosque Family. It is with serious disappointment that, in light of a recent article published by Brewing News, we are writing to let you know that we are pulling our beers from the National IPA Challenge effective immediately.

“The sexist and racist remarks made by editor Bill Metzger were deeply upsetting and do not reflect our sincere belief that the brewing industry should be an inclusive community free of misogyny, racism, or any behavior of the like.

“This decision was a very obvious one to make, and we appreciate your understanding.”

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The new primary logo for Bosque Brewing debuted at a special gathering.

Bosque Brewing is giving its brand a little upgrade. During a Tuesday night gathering of Bosque Insider members, plus at least one beer writer, an updated logo and new can and merchandise designs were unveiled as pints of Scale Tipper, back this Thursday, flowed inside the brewing space adjacent to the San Mateo taproom.

“We started the process of the refresh in August of last year,” said Jessica Griego, Bosque’s director of culture and engagement, to the assembled crowd. “We settled on the final round last week.”

Bosque’s partner, the Utility Agency, “brought our brand new life,” Jessica added.

The updated primary logo emphasizes the brewery’s name over the ubiquitous leaf, which is now more of a background element on most of the designs.

“We are super excited to do something fresh and new,” Jessica said.

Say hello to the designs of the year-round can lineup. The two new additions are on the left.

That new will include two more year-round canned offerings alongside the four current staples of Elephants on Parade, Scotia, Lager, and IPA. Open Space Haze will soon appear in the new cans, and Jetty Jack is the renamed Brewer’s Boot Amber Ale.

“We feel (the refresh) pays tribute to the past six years of Bosque,” Jessica said. “We also feel it incorporates everything, the mountains, the river, and of course the Bosque (wilderness) in between. It pays homage to New Mexico.”

Jessica said the new can designs will start hitting shelves in April, so if you are a fan of the more classic almost-all-black design, go snatch them up now.

As for Scale Tipper, it will now be part of what will be dubbed the Boutique Line, which will encompass all of Bosque’s seasonal/specialty releases in package. The core beers will still be sold in 12-ounce cans sold in six-packs, while the Boutique beers will be sold in 16-ounce cans in four-packs.

Old friend, new look. Hello again, Scale Tipper.

You can pick up the swanky new Scale Tipper four-packs at all Bosque locations on Thursday. Be forewarned, even with the simpler design, this big IPA was gone from some of the taprooms before the sun set in the west the last time it was available. Since we did get an advance tasting, this batch has more of a fruity element, but still has that good old hoppy kick. It remains one of the more complex specialty IPAs in the state.

Overall, it was a nice presentation from Bosque, both for this here beer writer and the other people in the audience. Look for a revamped website to launch this month, with plenty more beers coming down the pipeline.

Thanks to the staff for the invite, too. It is always appreciated, especially for writers between day jobs.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The National IPA Challenge has been sullied after the publisher of the Brewing News, which organizes the competition, wrote a sexist and offensive article this month.

Late Monday night, during a final perusal of Beer Twitter posts, I stumbled upon something truly horrific. Bill Metzger, the publisher for the Brewing News — that little once-every-two-months, regional mini-newspaper that you see scattered around breweries — had published an article in the Great Lakes edition (UPDATE: link now disabled) that could be best described as … well, horrific. It’s the one titled “Scottish Hopping to Real Ale.” (See below for a link responding to the original article.)

You only need to read the part on the front page to get the gist of how wholly inappropriate, and downright offensive, that the article is, and why it never should have been written in the first place. Heck, even just as an article about cask beers in Scotland, it is quite terrible, and deeply insulting to anyone with even an ounce of Scottish DNA in their bones.

Though Bill has since attempted to claim it was just satire in one of those non-apology-apologies, the damage has been done. Other beer writers are tackling this misogynistic catastrophe far beer than us, so we will let them do the primary talking here. So why bring it up? The National IPA Challenge, that’s why.

Originally, we were going to write a post today that breaks down the NIPAC for all the New Mexico entries. For those who need a refresher, the NIPAC is an annual competition for breweries around the country to have their IPAs compete in a bracket-style format. It is organized by, you guessed it, the Brewing News. Even as multiple breweries are pulling their advertising from the publication and demanding that it no longer be distributed in their taprooms, the beers for the NIPAC have already been shipped out.

We would not expect, nor demand, that any New Mexico brewery is suddenly going to pull its entries from the competition. It does have to give all the participants pause, however, not merely for this year, but certainly next year.

In our humble opinion, no brewery that claims to support equality can ever again associate itself with the Brewing News as long as Bill Metzger is publisher.

It is truly a shame that one man has undone the good work of many people, from the writers and editors who contribute to the publication, to everyone who has helped organize and judge at the NIPAC.

The craft brewing industry, and those industries associated with it such as the “beer media,” have taken major steps to address a lack of diversity and equality in what was traditionally a white male-dominated scene. It is clear we still have a ways to go, however.

Brandon wanted to add this: The craft beer community should be based on one thing: love and appreciation for craft beer. That has no room for racism, sexism, misogyny, or any other discriminatory behaviors.

We welcome all of your comments and input on this issue, but please, keep it civil. This is not a red-blue political issue, so let’s not make it one.

No cheers today, folks.

— Stoutmeister

The exterior of the renovated space that will house Differential Brewing at 500 Yale SE.

Three years after we first spotted the pending license, Differential Brewing (also known as Brewstillery) is finally ready to open its doors in Southeast Albuquerque. The grand opening starts this Friday at 4 p.m. and runs through the weekend. In advance of all that, I met up with head brewer Peter Moore for a tour of the property at 500 Yale SE, which is one block south of Coal on the east side of the street, not far from Quarters and the UNM sports facilities and Isotopes Park.

Rather than go for a fancy mishmash of treated wood and industrial metal, like so many other breweries in town, Differential will have a bit of a throwback look and feel.

“We’re looking for our vibe as brewery dive,” Peter said. “We all grew up in kind of the punk scene. It’s like a Joe’s except people aren’t chasing people out with knives, that kind of stuff.

“It doesn’t look pretty, but it’s functional.”

The north end of the taproom figures to be a popular spot for people watching.

The taproom space is an old gas station/garage, while the brewery room is located in an adjacent building on the property. There is a small patio beneath the garage doors facing Yale, and a much larger patio on the north side of the building. The entire property is owned by the Nellos family, who own Quarters, and Tino Nellos is one of the owners of Differential, along with Anthony Hanson, the former liquor store manager.

“That’s how we were able to get a hold of the buildings and that kind of stuff,” Peter said. “That has saved us a lot of money not having to pay rent while we’re doing construction. That would have wiped us out.”

Like so many others, Anthony was a homebrewer first, and that love of beer led him down the path of wanting his own brewery.

“I had been a homebrewer for over a decade,” Anthony said. “(Tino) had the property here and we thought that was the location to do it. Peter just happened to stumble into our orbit and was like, I can show you how to do that for real real. I used to run the liquor store down the street, so I know that side of the business just fine.”

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The new project from outgoing Brewers Guild executive director John Gozigian.

The news that New Mexico Brewers Guild executive director John Gozigian was stepping down at the end of March did not catch us by complete surprise when it was announced last week. We were aware of John being involved in a new project coming to replace the Bosque San Mateo taproom/brewery, and seeing as how the Guild bylaws prohibit the director from having a financial stake in any brewery, that meant his time would eventually be up.

That time is almost here, so I sat down with John over lunch on Monday to talk about his new project, La Reforma, as well as his time with the Guild and what is coming down the line.

“It’s been in the works for a little while,” he said. “When Bosque announced that they were going to developing the Open Space (location), and I learned that they were basically going to leave the space on San Mateo, it got me to thinking. I never intended to get back into the brewing industry. Even less so, was I interested in getting back into the restaurant business.

“But, from an entrepreneurial point of view, you look at a second generation restaurant/brewery space becomes available, and you can potentially cut in half the cost of developing it for that use. The infrastructure is already there.”

John said he talked to managing director Gabe Jensen and ended up “shocked” that no one had approached Bosque about taking over the space. That led to John making a call to an old friend.

“I ran the idea by my former Marble and Santa Fe Dining partner Jeff (Jinnett) about his level of interest in getting back into the brewery/restaurant business,” John said. “Jeff was kind of the same mind I was after we left Marble, don’t need to do (another) brewery, don’t need to do a restaurant. It’s like the Mob, you know, every time you try to get out, they pull you back in. We tend to gravitate back to what we know and what our area of expertise is.”

Our first photo of John Gozigian as Guild executive director was snapped at Starr Brothers three years ago. My, how time flies.

It was Jeff who came up with the idea for La Reforma, which will bring a new theme and approach to a brewery in a town loaded with options.

“Over the years, Jeff had always talked about the restaurants he went to when he was a kid in Mexico City, because he grew up there,” John said. “He would go to these carnitas restaurants, these huge places that specialized in carnitas and tacos, and it was a real family (friendly) thing. There was beer, too. We had talked over the years that if we ever did a brewery again, we would do a Mexico City-style culinary experience, and do some Mexico-style beers, lagers, obviously.”

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