Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s seven breweries, one in Los Alamos, one in Moriarty, one in Red River, one in Silver City, and one in Truth or Consequences also joining the party.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Steel Bender Brewyard is always buzzing, whether in the taproom out front or in the brewery in the back. These days, it also seems like the Los Ranchos brewery has a presence at just about every imaginable event beyond its boundaries, and this weekend is a clear example of that. First up at the brewery, the Trans American Buffet Beer – Colder than the Sandias, a collaboration with Flix Brewhouse, debuts on tap this Thursday. It’s described as a “yellow fizzy beer” that pays tribute to the movie Smokey and the Bandit, which was part of a special screening at Flix last week (and is on tap there as well). We think Burt Reynolds would be proud. If you ever wanted to pick the brain of brewmaster Bob Haggerty, you can meet him at a special event at O’Niell’s in Nob Hill on Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. Steel Bender is the “Brewery of the Month” at the pub, so many of its beers will be featured for those who do not want to make the drive from the southeast to the northern side of the metro area. For those much further south, Steel Bender will be a part of the White Sands Balloon & Music Festival at Ed Brabson Balloon Park in Alamogordo this Friday through Sunday. Further north, Steel Bender will be competing in the Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown, which will be held at The Bridge at Santa Fe Brewing on Saturday at 2 p.m. Another option is to find Steel Bender, along with Palmer Brewery and three other cideries, at the State Fair Cider Fest on Saturday at 5 p.m. at Expo New Mexico. Tickets are for sale online for $18 and include a sample glass and 10 sample tickets. UPDATE: They also have six-pack cans of Cider now available, because they just can’t stop doing more things.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Black Snout has added 3 Point Porter, Red Zone Red, and Halftime SMASH to its lineup. Bombs Away drops its Oktoberfest. Bosque’s Guava EOP is available now at all locations, while Mammoths on Parade will be on tap Saturday at Bosque North only. Bow & Arrow continues its single-hop pilsner series with Rad Vista Grüngeist on Friday. Boxing Bear tapped its collaboration with Canteen, Strawberry Basil Gose. Canteen heats things up with Sichler Green Chile Lager on Friday. Ex Novo has its new weizenbock, Ryder’s Bock, named for one of the staff members, plus Fresh Hop Eliot IPA is on tap for a limited time and there is one sixtel of the Portland brewery’s anniversary beer, Quinque, a tart saison. La Cumbre rolls out Mango Pineapple Gose in cans and on tap on Friday. Marble’s new charity beer, #ENDALZ, is a blueberry and lemon-infused American wheat ale, plus Cerveza Oscura is now available. Nexus has more Beam Me Up Scotty available. Quarter Celtic brings back its summer-vanquishing Helles. Sidetrack rolls out Sidewaze Haze and Rusty Red on Friday. Starr Brothers goes wild with Supersonic Death Monkey Double IPA. Turtle Mountain should have Perpetuity Pale Ale on tap by this weekend.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn blinds us all with Whiteout Stout. Second Street tries not run over Red and Yellow Armadillo while finding its way on Winsor Trail Pale Ale to Black Canyon Porter. Over in Los Alamos, Bathtub Row tapped FestBier and Water Canyon Wild Ale.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of September 2.

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There may be no smaller town in New Mexico with its own brewery. (Photo courtesy of Callahan West)

There have long been stories of brewers helping out one another in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. It is rare, however, to see much interaction between the brewers in cities and those in the smaller rural towns around the state.

Rio Bravo head brewer Ty Levis recently shared a story with us about the day he spent helping one of the smallest breweries in the state, Callahan West, in the tiny town of Mosquero.

The fastest route from Albuquerque to Mosquero, population 93 (per the 2010 census) in town and 695 in the surrounding county, is to take Interstate 25 to Wagon Mound, then take Highway 120 east and Highway 39 south. It was a little closer for Levis, who still lives in Santa Fe, but not by much.

Levis was in the area for a family reunion three weeks ago when he spoke to his aunts and uncles about Callahan West, which had actually not yet brewed its own beers. One of the aunts has been working with New Mexico MainStreet, a company working to revitalize small towns across New Mexico.

“She’s been working really hard to get economic monies from Main Street Inc., but the director for that whole setup just retired,” Levis said. “When he started there were three districts in the state; now there are 32. These are all small communities trying to gain access.

“That particular organization got Pete Callahan a few grand to help him get started. He had a lot of infrastructure (issues) because his building was 119 years old and hadn’t been occupied for a while. He had to do electrical and (installing) some draining. I know he wished he did more draining.”

Up until now, Callahan West had exclusively sold guest taps provided by Colfax Ale Cellar in Raton.

“He only has three on tap,” Levis said. “It’s a little tiny place. When you say it’s the middle of nowhere that’s not just being figurative. It’s the last watering hole for 110 miles.”

Levis’ grandparents on his mother’s side owned a large ranch in the area that was divided up among their children after they died. Much of his extended family still lives in the area.

“When we’d come to visit my grandparents we’d drive right through (Mosquero),” Levis said. “My cousin is one of the teachers there at their little elementary school. It started with two of my aunts. One of them has a little bed and breakfast that she has available in Mosquero. She has the nun rectory behind the church that she renovated into a beautiful house that you can rent. That’s where they had their reunion. It’s literally five doors down to the right from the brewery.”

Owner/brewer Pete Callahan prepares his brewing system for its first run. (Photo courtesy of Ty Levis)

Once Levis made contact with Callahan, they agreed to work together on a first brew. Mosquero Blonde (5% ABV, 15 IBU) was brewed with flaked wheat and Styrian Golding hops.

“I didn’t bring much,” Levis said. “I brought my pH meter, a little bit of flaked wheat, and some yeast nutrient and a little bit of yeast because he didn’t have anything. I think he’s going to use dry yeast, that’s what I told him to do because it’s so much simpler. It keeps everything a lot cleaner.”

Levis also noted that he was impressed with the small restaurant, Headquarters, that is right next door to the brewery.

“Then there’s the little restaurant, it’s like a food truck inside a room,” he said. “It has a permanent bathroom and everything. My aunt bought us lunch from that place and it was awesome. They’ve been working really hard to renovate these towns, get something going that keeps people there. They know their efforts are paying off because they saw the first population increase there in decades.”

Ultimately it was all about giving back to a place that Levis used to visit as a child, and one where he still has family living in the area.

“It was one of those things where I kind of gave back to my aunts’ community where they all grew up,” he said. “If I can help (Pete) get more organized with his business, get over the hump with his first brew, gain some knowledge, get some experience, get confident, he’s not relying on outside kegs. As they’re closing the loophole, especially, he needs to be able to start brewing his beer and have it on site and have it be good, as least as good as what he’s been serving. Everybody needs to make good beers.”

Colfax Ale Cellar owner/brewer Jim Stearns will continue to help Callahan West with its beers, and Levis said he may brew again out there when his cousin gets married in October. Overall, it is a start for the small brewery.

All of us in the Crew applaud any and all brewers who are still willing to lend a helping hand to their compatriots across the state, and keep the community of craft beer humming along in towns big and small.

Thanks to Ty for sharing this story with all of us.


— Stoutmeister


New patio covering extends all the way to keep that pesky sunshine off your beers.

In the small town of Santa Fe, having a dedicated brewery crowd is not a given. It’s something that is earned. Take it from the long-standing beer-stitutions like Second Street Brewery, Santa Fe Brewing, and Blue Corn. They’ve been at this biz a long time, and they’ll tell you, they had to fight to stay in business, year after year, until they became household names. They’ll also tell you that in Santa Fe, it’s never as easy as popping open a can and poof, a crowd magically appears on your doorstep.


RFA certainly has come a long way from their first patio covering.

On the way to similar steady street cred is Rowley Farmhouse Ales. They turn 3 this year, and they’ve earned their success all the way. With a good business model, an abundance of quality products (on the table and in the taps), and a good bunch of people to keep the wheels turning, RFA has managed to keep its doors open and even grow in the face of the city of holy faith’s fickle crowds, surviving even Santa Fe’s slowest of ‘beer-industry winters.’

I asked brewmaster and co-owner John Rowley what being open for 3 years meant to him personally.


John Rowley (center) tells it true.

“We’re super excited to make this landmark of being open three years,“ he said. “We couldn’t have done it without having a great team and the continued support of our local community.“


Chef Kaplan serves up another smile in a glass.

I also asked chef and co-owner Jeffrey Kaplan how he felt about being open 3 years and going strong.

“It feels good to have made it this far,” Kaplan said. “We still have a ways to go, but we are continually trying to make better beer, and improve our processes within our budgets and constraints. We’ve come a long way, but still have some growing to do. I’m really happy with our progress, and I hope everyone is happy with our beers!“


With New Mexico’s first-ever foeders that went in at the beginning of the year, people can certainly enjoy more RFA beer! Head brewer Wes Burbank admires his new wood.

Speaking of which, RFA has an awesome lineup of rare beers ready to tap for their anniversary party. And, in true RFA fashion, they have a bunch of special bottles they’ve pulled out of their archives. Kaplan said they’re releasing Songs of Our Own, RFA’s brand-new spontaneously fermented American wild ale, which they aged in local wine barrels on tangerines. It should be noted that this is the first-ever commercial spontaneous beer made in NM.

Special draft list

Songs of Our Own — Fruited Wild Ale

Stoutish — Oyster Stout

Meier — Fruited Lemon Gose

Apercu — Fruited Mead

Body isn’t Life — Barleywine

Grandissant 4x Cerise

Raspberry Germophile — Fruited Berliner

Jose — Fruited Keylime Gose


There will also be commemorative glassware to purchase and live music!

Music lineup

Mark Dawson of Mod Orange (noon-1 p.m.) Show some support as one of our favorite bartenders performs!

El Brujo Trio (1-3 p.m.)

Clark Libbey & Kristen Rad (3-5 p.m.)

The entire event is from noon to 5 p.m., at 1405 Maclovia St, Santa Fe, NM 87505, all ages are welcome. To another successful year!


— Luke


For more #craftbeer info and @nmdarksidebc news follow me on Twitter at @SantaFeLuke

The 49th annual CANvention of the Brewery Collectibles Club of America is set for the Albuquerque Convention Center this weekend. (Photo courtesy of the BCCA)

The Brewery Collectibles Club of America is coming to the Albuquerque Convention Center this weekend for its 49th annual CANvention. The general public is welcome to join the registered members in Exhibition Hall 3 this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

It only costs $10 to take a look at this massive collection of beer history from around the country, though there is a $5 off coupon available on Craigslist.

The entire CANvention takes place over a span of four days, with more than 500 BCCA members on hand to showcase their collections. The purpose of the non-profit BCCA “is to inform and educate its members about the history of the brewing industry and beer-related collectibles and the cultural roles many have played,” per the official press release.

Albuquerque’s Roadrunner Chapter is the host, and yours truly will also be on hand for a 2 p.m. seminar on Saturday to talk about Albuquerque’s beer history. (Yes, shameless plug time!) I will have copies of my book, Albuquerque Beer: Duke City History on Tap, for sale for $20 cash, for anyone interested. The seminar will be held in the Taos Room, plus there will also be a seminar hosted by Rick Chavez about the history of Route 66 at 1 p.m.

The convention will feature more than just old-school beer cans. Members also collect light-up signs, coasters, tap handles, trays, and other beer-related items that they refer to as “breweriana.”

If you ever wanted to learn more about beer history from the folks who know it best, head on down this Saturday and take a look around.


— Stoutmeister

Staff members from the breweries involved in the One for 5 Pale Ale share a light-hearted moment at Albertsons Market during the official launch party.

Local breweries have been working hard to benefit many charities over the years in the Albuquerque area, but a new initiative is taking things to an even more collaborative level.

Bosque Brewing, Sierra Blanca Brewing, and Steel Bender Brewyard have teamed up to create a new beer to benefit The Storehouse New Mexico. One for 5 Pale Ale is the result, with six-packs of this beer now for sale at 25 Albertsons Market locations throughout the state, plus on-tap sales at the breweries later this week.

The twist with this collaboration is that 100 percent of the profits will go to The Storehouse, which is the largest food pantry in New Mexico. The nonprofit has been a chosen charity for Steel Bender since the brewery started, but now its fellow Admiral Beverage-distributed breweries have hopped on board to create this special beer.

Steel Bender co-owner/marketing director Shelby Chant said everything came together quickly as a beer was needed in time for Hunger Action Month in September.

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Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s seven breweries, one in Los Alamos, one in Moriarty, one in Red River, one in Silver City, and one in Truth or Consequences also joining the party.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Labor Day Weekend is usually seen as the traditional end of summer, even though it sure doesn’t feel like it temperature-wise. For the most part, the breweries are treating it like any other weekend, with the exception of a trio of Friday events and two more of note on Sunday. First up, La Cumbre is definitely feeling autumn with the annual release of its delicious Oktoberfest Lager this Friday at noon on tap and in cans. The original location will also have My Sweet Basil outside, and if last year’s German-themed menu is back, we should all rejoice. Later that night at 8, the Desert Darlings return to Tractor Wells Park for Hops & Dreams: The Muppets Edition, and we are probably just as curious as everyone else as to what that will entail. If you cannot make it to that location, stop by Tractor Nob Hill for its eighth anniversary party. Jacob Chavez and friends will perform at 5 p.m., followed by DJ Flo Rader at 7. There will also be specials where you can order a growler of beer for your table.

Sunday’s events span two cities. The 377 Brewery will be providing the beers at the Red, White, Blues & Brews event at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial. It runs from noon to 8 p.m., is free to attend, and will also feature plenty of food, live music, and family activities. Up in Santa Fe, Rowley Farmhouse Ales will celebrate its third anniversary, with live music from noon to 5 featuring Mark Dawson, El Brujo Trio, and Clark Libbey & Kristen Rad. Special beers on tap will include Raspberry Germophile, Body isn’t Life Barleywine (collab with Chicago’s Pipeworks), Song of our Own (tangerine spontaneous wild ale), and Grandissant 4x Cerise (jumbo-sized kriek). Look for more archived beer bottles being poured and/or sold. There is no cover charge.

Also, do not forget that today (Wednesday) is the early bird ticket party for New Mexico Brew Fest at Marble. Head down after 5 p.m. and snag some discounted ticket(s), and use that savings to buy yourself a beer or two.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bow & Arrow has a small batch of Thai Crush Grissette available Friday. Brew Lab 101 will introduce Wicked Pissa New England-Style IPA on Friday. Canteen is being a WIPL Wouser again. Differential has a new Light Lager for the lingering days of summer. Ex Novo goes retro with 1995 Called Amber Ale. La Cumbre also wonders What’s the Alternative (Altbier). Marble follows suit with its own new Altbier. Nexus puts on Raspberry Beret American Wheat. Rio Bravo added Berliner Weisse and Blood Orange Blonde. Steel Bender will have One for 5 Pale Ale, its new charity collaboration with Bosque and Sierra Blanca, on tap starting Thursday (see more details below in their entry). Tractor rolls out American Amber Ale and Pineapple IPA, plus Cold Brew Milk Stout is on tap at Wells Park only.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn has more of its tasty Scotch Ale on tap. Furthern north in Red River, RRBC adds Mango Cream Ale. Down in Truth or Consequences, T or C Brewing ascends with Valhalla Peach Wheat.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of August 26.

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This still at Hollow Spirits will soon have some company on the equipment side as the distillery starts brewing beer.

During the ratification of the small brewer license as part of Senate Bill 413 this past spring, it noted that places with licenses not using them to brew beer would soon have a decision to make. They could either start brewing, with the promise of making a minimum of 50 barrels per year or have their own beer account for 50 percent of sales, or they would have to seek a new license to continue to selling guest taps.

Since distilleries do not fall under the reciprocity law between breweries and wineries in New Mexico, those with small brewer licenses would either have to give them up or starting producing something other than just hard liquor. In the case of Hollow Spirits, it means it will soon be time to add the title of brewer to the business card of head distiller Martin Ulloa.

“Our one-year anniversary will be December 6, so we’re planning to release our first beer then,” Martin said. “I do have a beer background. I’m going to go pretty easy (with) something I like to drink, something sessionable, maybe on the helles side, maybe on the pilsner side, and then go from there.”

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The beers will be poured again this year at Loretto Park in Bernalillo.

The Mountain West Brew Fest is back at Loretto Park in Bernalillo this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with 13 local breweries participating, along with some distilleries and wineries.

Tickets can still be purchased online. General Admission A tickets cost $20 and get you a commemorative pint glass and seven free samples. General Admission B tickets cost $10 and get you the glass and three free samples. There’s also a military ticket for those with valid military ID that get you the A tickets for $15. Anyone under 21 can attend as long as they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. Tickets for those ages 13 to 20 are $5, while 12 and under are free.

So, yeah, it is not an unlimited sampling event. Use your sample tickets wisely to help you choose the pints.

There will be live music throughout the day. The lineup from start to finish will be Calvin & Jazz Trio, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Hillary Smith & Chillhouse, 1-2:30 p.m., Brandon Saiz Band, 3-4:30 p.m., and Black Pearl, 5-6:30 p.m.

Food trucks scheduled to be in attendance include Punchy’s Pizza, CCR Roasting, La Rivas, Snow Cone Express, Sparky’s Chicano Dawgs, Powdrell’s BBQ, El Sazon de la Tia, Ortiz Jerky, Castanedas Kitchen, NM Kettle Korn, El Toro Loco, Las Comadres, and Solo Ink Pretzels.

As for the non-brewery providers of alcoholic beverages, your options include Sandia Hard Cider, Left Turn Distilling, Noisy Water Winery, and Sheehan Winery.

Finally, we reached out to all the breweries with which we have contact, and a few got back to us. If the others drop us a late line, we will update the empty listings below.

  • Bosque: Elephants on Parade, Pistol Pete’s 1888 Ale, Open Space Haze, Beyond the Trees (Cider), Jetty Jack, Driftwood Oatmeal Stout
  • Boxing Bear: Uppercut IPA, Black and Blue Tart, Chocolate Milk Stout, Ameri-Kolsch, AppleBear Cider
  • Broken Trail: TBA
  • Desert Valley: TBA
  • Dialogue: TBA
  • Enchanted Circle: TBA
  • Kaktus: TBA
  • Kilt Check: Groundskeeper Willie Cream Ale, Outlamber Amber Ale, Black Sunshine Porter
  • 1933 Brewing: Patriot IPA, Harlow’s Hef
  • Palmer: IPA, Bourbon Barrel-Aged Cockness Monster, Orange Cider
  • Second Alarm: TBA
  • Steel Bender: Skull Bucket IPA, Raspberry Dynamite, COMPA Los Ranchos Lager, Steel Bender Cider
  • The 377: TBA

To all those going, have fun, stay safe, and remember, this is our last local festival until NM Brew Fest in October.


— Stoutmeister

A familiar spot on Central is now home to the Red Door Downtown Taproom.

Red Door Brewing hosted a VIP night for friends and industry friends and even a beer writer on Wednesday night. For many of us, it was our first visit to the space since it was Blackbird Buvette, which was two businesses ago at 509 Central NW.

Compared to Blackbird, it is almost night and day. The space is much brighter and move inviting. The bar is still in the same spot, but everything behind it looks different. There is still a spot up front by the big glass windows for a DJ or other performers to set up.

The bar area was rightly packed during the VIP event.

The kitchen, which is run by the owners of Kamikaze Kitchen & Food Truck, is an open design, the smell of the food wafting out and daring anyone to turn down an appetizer or full-sized dish. Seriously, they have one called The Mother Klucker, which is as bonkers as it sounds. (Check their Facebook page for the full menu.)

Out back, the same patio is there, but it seems more open and, yes, inviting. There is one Red Door mural on the east wall, while Kamikaze will soon get a mural on the west wall, owner Matt Biggs told us. They will add some shade elements to keep the patio hopping during the daytime, too.

We are digging the mural on the patio.

General manager Ali Cattin said that there are still a few more aesthetic improvements on deck for inside and outside, but what the brewery team has done so far is impressive. Particularly due to its proximity to Launchpad, Inside Out, and El Rey, this Red Door spot should be a prime pre-concert spot.

The full Red Door beer lineup, both house beers and seasonals, were all on tap. Of course, Red Door also inherited a full liquor license, so look for all sorts of spirits and cocktails, many of which will be from local distilleries. The mix of industry folks present seemed pretty evenly split between pints and cocktails.

The neon red light from the previous taproom has a new home.

There will be a grand opening party this Friday starting at 5 p.m., with live music from The Riddims from 9 to midnight. 10 Drink Minimum will be doing a live podcast before that

Downtown can be a weird, fickle place when it comes to new bars, but we have a feeling that Red Door should lock its spot down and become a Central Avenue mainstay.

Thanks to the staff for the invite.


— Stoutmeister

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s seven breweries, one in Los Alamos, one in Moriarty, one in Red River, one in Silver City, and one in Truth or Consequences also joining the party.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Unless you have been out of town, or under a rock, all summer, the grip of the soccer craze has not loosened upon this city and its breweries and taprooms. New Mexico United games, shown via the ESPN+ streaming service, are now taking over the TVs all across town. Heck, it’s taking over across the state. For this Saturday’s road game against San Antonio (6 p.m. on Saturday), Bosque is having a little extra fun at the Nob Hill Public House. In addition to $1 off beers and certain food items for anyone wearing United gear, Rude Boy Cookies will be on hand with cookie decorating kits for purchase. Make your own United cookies during the game. There will also be prize giveaways throughout the game from United staff members who will be on hand. If cookies are not your thing, fear not, for there will be additional watch parties at Rio Bravo, Starr Brothers, and a whole lot of other locations. Check in with your favorite brewery and see if they are participating.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Ale Republic brings back Lone Wolf and adds Belgian Cream. Bombs Away has more Primer Pub Ale, while also getting experimental with X IPA. Bosque put its latest charity beer, Working Lab Golden Ale, on tap recently, along with Allryety Then (Lager) and Lulumelon (Gose), plus you can find Jetty Jack (formerly Brewer’s Boot) in six-pack cans. Boxing Bear added Murkito and Bear-Mosa. Canteen tapped Strawberry Basil Saison and Sundance Kolsch. Differential goes dark with more Irish Dry Stout. Ex Novo has its Oregon flagship, Eliot IPA, on tap and in cans here for a limited time. Flix Brewhouse brings back two of its medal winners, H-E-Dubbel Hockey Sticks and James Blond. Lava Rock fishes out some Brown Trout Lager and Gila Gose. La Cumbre will have the autumn edition of Project Dank IPA on tap and in cans this Friday. Marble puckers up Pina Loca Gose. Nexus wakes up with Toucan Sam Mango IPA. Red Door brought back Blackberry Hefeweizen and Raining Blood IPA for the grand opening of the new downtown taproom this weekend. Rio Bravo slams a Dunkelweizen. Toltec has a limited supply of Fresa Loco available. Turtle Mountain put Yum Yum Bramble on tap, and Oktoberfest could soon follow. UPDATE: Cinderella Story Brett Saison is now back on tap at Steel Bender.

Up in Santa Fe, Rowley Farmhouse Ales introduces Jose, a key lime gose. Second Street brings back old favorites like XX ESB and Rod’s Best Bitter, while also adding Mandarina Brut IPA and Yuzu Gose. Down in Truth or Consequences, T or C Brewing hops along with Jackrabbit Pils this Thursday.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of August 19.

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