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 six breweries, one in Los Alamos, and one in Moriarty 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.

I will be keeping the intro pretty short this week, since I’m still on the move as far as this road trip goes. Basically, while I am off trying new beers in a part of the country where I have never gone drinking before, all of you have lots of options this week and weekend. Do not forget, the preliminary round of the NM IPA Challenge is Saturday at Duel Brewing’s ABQ taproom from noon to 4 p.m. Get your tickets now! And, say hi to Brandon, who will be repping the Crew there while others are away or working their boring jobs.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bosque brings back the popular Summer in Hallertau, plus Mammoths on Parade concludes their Exotic Elephants series. Canteen rolls out fresh batches of Grapefruit IPA, Canteen Lager, and the new Lucha Lupulin IPA. Chama River has a fresh batch of Gose on tap. Flix Brewhouse debuts the Tart and Soul, a guava Berliner Weisse, and Killer Bee Honey Wheat. Marble keeps churning out goses, with Peach Gose joining the lineup this week. Red Door has Dog Days Kolsch, plus White AF IPA will be on by the end of the week. The Barrel-Aged Old Town Porter is back at Rio Bravo. Sidetrack rolls out Downshift Pale Ale. Steel Bender will have a special cask on Saturday, inspired by the Lavender Festival, which SB will also be attending.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn will unveil its NMIPAC entry, Gatekeeper IPA, on Friday. Duel has fresh batches Turncoat, Monomyth, and Marcel available. Second Street rolls out IPA #19.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of July 10.

To break down each “capsule,” I listed the brewery (with Web page linked), its phone number and hours of operation. Under “Beers” are the new or seasonal beers on tap for this week.

Albuquerque metro area breweries

Ale Republic — (505) 281-2828

(Mon–Thurs 2–10 p.m., Fri–Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Golden Child, Brune, Citrus Pale Ale, Blonde, Strong Dark and Handsome, Red Mountain, Cafe Con Beer, Diablo del Oro. The most recent additions were the Red Mountain (7% ABV, 100+ IBU) and Cafe Con Beer (6.8% ABV, 12 IBU), a coffee ale, until the Diablo (9.7% ABV, 20 IBU) joined the list. It’s a hefty Belgian golden strong.

Alien Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–2 a.m., Sunday 10 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Call the number above for details on any small-batch beers currently available. They change frequently. The rest of the lineup is from the Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande family of beers.

Bistronomy B2B — (505) 262-2222

(Mon–Tues 4-9 p.m., Weds noon-9 p.m., Thurs–Sat noon-9:30 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

The Blue Grasshopper — (505) 896-8579

(Noon to 11 p.m. most days, call for more info)

Beers: Hefeweizen. Rejoice, for Blue Grasshopper is brewing again! The Hefe is their first, with two more on the way in the near future.

Live Music: Bands perform from 6 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday through Saturday. Click the link for the schedule.

Boese Brothers Brewery — (505) 382-7060

(Hours: Mon–Thurs 3 p.m.–midnight, Fri 3 p.m.–2 a.m., Sat noon–2 a.m., Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: La Onza White Ale, Dr. Strangehop XPA, Duke City Lager, Washington’s Hatchet, Zeus Juice White IPA, Betchin Little Pale Ale, Cherry Bomb, Sour Relationship. The Zeus Juice can also be purchased in bombers. Sour Relationship, a special collaboration with Milton’s, NM Cider Co., and Sidetrack, is now available.

Live Music: Friday—DJ Speed One, 9 p.m.; Saturday—Kimo, 9 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Boese will have a happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, with $3 pints. You can also get $3 pints all day Tuesday and $6 growler fills all day Wednesday.

Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596 (main brewery), (505) 508-5967 (Nob Hill Public House), (575) 571-4626 (Las Cruces Taproom)

(Main brewery on San Mateo: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-midnight, Sun noon-8 p.m.; Nob Hill: Mon–Weds 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Thurs 11 a.m.-midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Sun noon-11 p.m.; Las Cruces: Sun–Thurs noon-11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon-midnight)

Beers: Summer in Hallertau, Grasping at Straws, Bosque Hefe, Bosque Blonde, Beernana Split, Mammoths on Parade, Challenge IPA No. 3. The Mammoths is the final entry in the Exotic Elephants series. Beernana Split is, well, um, weird. It has a hefeweizen base with additions of chocolate, lactose, strawberry, and banana. Try it and tell us what you think.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Bosque has a happy hour running from 3-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and all day on Sunday. Look for special menu items and get $1 off your favorite pints.

Bow & Arrow Brewing — (505) 247-9800

(Mon-Weds 3–10 p.m., Thurs 3–11 p.m., Fri-Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–9 p.m.)

Beers: Flint & Grit (British Mild), Sun Dagger (Saison), Crossed Arrows (Scotch Ale), Hoka Hey (IPA), Jemez Field Notes Lager, Wayward Arrow Hefeweizen, Radical Aim IPA, Sun-Bleached Berliner Weisse, El Breakfast Stout, Biere de Garde, Desert Dynamo IPL, Way Out West Farmhouse Sour. The newest additions to the lineup are Way Out West, Biere de Garde, Sun-Bleached, Desert Dynamo, and El Breakfast Stout. The latter is a spicy chocolate coffee stout, in case you could not guess by the name.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Bow & Arrow has happy hour every Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Get $1 off pints. A new late happy hour starts Thursday at 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday at 10 p.m.

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

(Sun-Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.)

Beers: Chocolate Milk Stout (also on nitro), Tropic Thunder IPA, Barril De Oso, Barn Burner IWA, Guava Gose, Amerikolsch, Eastern Standard IPA. The Barril De Oso is a wine-barrel-aged version of the Oso Otono brown ale. The most recent additions are the Tropic Thunder, Amerikolsch, and Eastern Standard (7% ABV, 40 IBU), a hazy New England-style IPA.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 8-10 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Every day at lunchtime (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), for just $10 you can get a pint and a panini of your choice.

Broken Trail Brewery & Distillery — (505) 221-6281

(Mon-Thu 3-9 p.m., Fri 3-10 p.m., Sat noon-10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-8 p.m.)

Beers: Otero ESB, Lone Pine Pilsner, Sancho Saison, Double Black IPA, Sancho de la Sierra, Pepe the Mule, Trailworks IPA. OK, fine, Pepe the Mule counts as a beer, even though it is basically a Moscow Mule, but it was made with beer. The Sancho de la Sierra is a rye version of the saison made in collaboration with Jubilation. The Trailworks was made in collaboration with Bikeworks, a neighboring business, with a portion of the proceeds going to trail maintenance in the metro area.

Weekly Events (main location): Today (Wednesday)—Cards Against Humanity hosted by 10 Drink Minimum, 7 p.m.; Sunday—Build-your-own Mule bar, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Tuesday—All house beers are $2 a pint

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737 (brewery), (505) 200-2344 (taproom)

(Brewery: Sun–Thurs noon–10 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–midnight; Taproom: Open daily 3–10 p.m.)

Beers: Exodus IPA, Grapefruit IPA, Tuttle IPA, Canteen Lager, Lucha Lupulin IPA, Social Capital, Raspberry Wheat. The most recent additions are the Grapefruit, Lager, and the new Lucha Lupulin. Wonder if we will have to have Franz Solo review that beer, too.

Live Music: Thursday—Chris Dracup, 6-9 p.m.; Sunday—Russell James Pyle & Eventide, 4-7 p.m.

Cazuela’s Seafood & Mexican Grill — (505) 994-9364

(Open daily 8 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Papacabra (Double IPA), Acapulco Gold (Mexican Lager), Chupacabra IPA, Piedra del Fuego Stoned Cream Ale, Beer for My Horses (Oatmeal Stout). These are the regular house beers. Call the number above for an updated seasonal list.

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Deuces IPA, Ginger Braggot, Kolsch, Gose. The Deuces is a two-hop IPA, the first in a series, made with Amarillo and Simcoe. It tasted great at BearFest. The Ginger Braggot is a collaboration made with Blue Corn.

Dialogue Brewing — (505) 585-1501

(Open daily noon-midnight)

Beers: Belgian Citrus IPA, Berliner Weisse, Dark Helmet (Swartzbier), American Dark Sour, F yo Couch (Oatmeal Stout), Biere de Mars, Sour Raspberry, ODB Sour Brown Ale, Common Irish Conversation, Cordial (Tart Cherry Gose). The most recent additions are the Cordial, Amber Lager, and F yo Couch. Yup, Dialogue is still winning on the creative beer name front. The CIC is a rye steam beer brewed in collaboration with Quarter Celtic. This Friday, Boyz N Berry N the Hood joins the specialty lineup.

Weekly Events: Monday—Service Industry Night, 6 p.m.

Drafty Kilt Brewing — (505) 881-0234

(Sun 11 a.m–10 p.m., Mon 11 a.m.–8 p.m., Tues–Thu 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Groundskeeper Willie Cream Ale, Wee Beastie Scottish Ale, McWabbit Pale Ale, Campbell Toe IPA, Obliviscaris Oatmeal Stout, McRojo or No (Irish Red). Brewer/owner Mike Campbell has five of his own creations on tap at 4814 Hardware Dr. NE, including the Campbell Toe (no snickering). The Obliviscaris is a burly throwback to the stouts of old. This weekend will mark the debut of Covfefe Hefe.

Live Music: Friday—Mike and Sheryl Campbell’s Birthday Celebration with Chuck Hawley, 4-7 p.m., Cody Broyles, 7-9 p.m.; Saturday—Cody Broyles, 9 p.m.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.; Thursday—Blues, Brews & BBQ, 5 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: $1 off pints and 20-ounce pours, Mon-Fri, 3-6 p.m.; “Just Because We Love You Club,” happy hour prices at all times for teachers, first responders, law enforcement, and military with ID; Growler Fill Days on Thu and Sun, $2 off new growlers, $1 off refills

Flix Brewhouse — (505) 445-8500

(Open daily 11 a.m.-midnight)

Beers: Baby You’re Much Too Fast (Irish Red), Gettin’ Caught in the Rain, Brewhouse Shandy, Tart and Soul (Guava Berliner Weisse), Killer Bee Honey Wheat. Gettin’ Caught in the Rain is a pina colada wheat brewed in collaboration with Bosque. The most recent additions are Tart and Soul and Killer Bee.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

(Bernalillo hours Mon-Thu 2-9 p.m., Fri-Sat 11:30-10 p.m., Sun 11:30-9 p.m.)

Beers: German Porter, Lil Red, Cori and Her Wheat, German Pilsner, Helles Lager, Maibock, Honk Ale, Oaxford IPA, Walnut Cider, DjinnJar Kombucha. The most recent additions are the German Porter and Pilsner. Sounds like a hearty “Prost!” is in order.

Weekly Events (Nob Hill): Thursday—The Desert Darlings, 7-9 p.m.

Weekly Events (Bernalillo): Sunday—Brunch, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., The Desert Darlings, 6-8 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Kaktus has several new weekday specials in Bernalillo, including $3 pints on Monday, $9 growlers on Tuesday, $6 bison nachos on Wednesday, and $8 Frito pie and beer on Thursday.

Kellys Brew Pub — (505) 262-2739

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat 8 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun 8 a.m.-10 p.m.)

Beers: (house) Apricot Ale, Blonde, Farm House Ale, IPA, Red, Scotch Ale, Session IPA; (seasonal) Hefeweizen, Farmhouse Apricot. The recent change in ownership at Kellys has led to some seriously improved beers and food, so we decided it was high time to add it to the listings. The summer seasonals are the Hefeweizen and Farmhouse Apricot, replacing the Rye Pale Ale and Dry Stout.

Live Music: Every Wednesday 6-9 p.m. and Sunday 3-6 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Thursday Pint night $1 off pints.

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: El Jugo, Miles From Cologne, VMO #2, Persica Quercus, Hibiscus Quercus. The VMO #2 is a lovely Marzen. The delicious Miles From Cologne (Kolsch) is back for another run. The Hibiscus Quercus and Persica Quercus are still available on tap and in bottles.

Live Music: Saturday—Todd Tijerina, 6-10 p.m.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Trivia or Loteria (alternates by week), 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

(Mon–Weds noon-9 p.m., Thurs–Sat noon-midnight, Sun noon-7 p.m.)

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Lizard Tail’s happy hour runs seven days a week from 3 to 6 p.m. You get $1 off food, flights, and pints.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 8 p.m.; Thursday—Karaoke, 8-11 p.m.

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739 (downtown), (505) 508-4638 (Westside), (505) 323-4030 (Heights)

(Downtown: Mon–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10:30 p.m.; Westside: Mon–Thurs noon–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10 p.m.; Heights: Mon–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10:30 p.m.)

Beers: DANG Pale Ale, Passionate Gose, Imperial Red, Plum Gose,  Cherry Gose, Grungeist Pilsner, Wheels of Soul Pale Ale, Peach Gose, Indiana Bone’s Raider of the Lost Ale (Heights and Westside), 522 Double IPA (Downtown only), White Out (Downtown only), Idaho 7 Pale Ale (Westside only), Guava Gose (Westside only), Black Currant Gose (Westside only), Pilsner Anejo (Westside only). There are so, so many beers between the three locations. Don’t feel bad if you can’t get to them all. The newest additions are the Peach Gose, Imperial Red, and Wheels of Soul Pale Ale, with a portion of the proceeds of the latter going to charity.

Live Music (Downtown): Today (Wednesday)—TV Killers, 6-9 p.m.; Thursday—Urban Pioneers, 7-10 p.m.; Friday—Cali Shaw, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Concepto Tambor, 8-11 p.m.; Sunday—Bluegrass Fest with Dirty Brown Jug Band, 2-3 p.m., Moonshine Blind, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Cloacas, 5-6 p.m., Palomino Shakedown, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Live Music (Heights): Thursday—DJ Young Native, 7-10 p.m.; Friday—Julian Dossett Trio, 7-10 p.m.; Saturday—Cynical Bird, 7-10 p.m.

Live Music (Westside): Friday—Jody V and Groove Time, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Kitty Jo Creek, 8-11 p.m.

Weekly Events (Downtown): Saturday—Brewery tours, 2 p.m.

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100 (brewery), (505) 226-1055 (Silver Taproom)

(Brewery: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.–8:30 p.m.; Silver Taproom: Mon–Fri 4-10 p.m., Sat noon-10 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Milk Stout, The Darker Fare, Beam Me Up Scotty, Plum Imperial Cream, Keller Collab (brewery only), 505 Collaboration (Silver Taproom). The Beam Me Up, delicious once again, and Plum Imperial Cream were added for last month’s sixth anniversary party. The Keller Collab was mentioned above at one of its fellow creator breweries.

Happy Hour/Discounts (Brewery): Monday–Friday, $5 appetizers, 3-5 p.m.

Weekly Events (Silver Taproom): Saturday—a live DJ will perform; Sunday—a live band will perform at 2 p.m.

Palmer Brewery and Cider House — (505) 508-0508

(Tues–Sat 3–9 p.m.)

Beers: MWA (Malt With Attitude), Guero (Belgian Wit), Pale Ale, Cockness Monster (Scotch Ale), Palmergranite Wit, Cafe Pale Ale, Switch Stance Stout. Palmer shares a building with Left Turn Distilling on Girard south of Candelaria.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

(Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: Vic’s Secret Pale Ale, Amber Ale, Hop Burst Ale, Saison, Spanglish. Vic’s Secret is the most recent addition. Hoppy Pilsner and Raspberry Saison are on deck.

Live Music: Today (Wednesday)—The Draft Sessions, 7-9 p.m.; Saturday—Brother Coyote, 6 p.m.

Quarter Celtic Brewpub — (505) 503-1387

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.)

Beers: Denali SMASH Pale Ale, Mangose, Saoirse Hefe, Common Irish Conversation, Gondola Party Starter IPA, Blood Orange Hefeweizen. The CIC was made in collaboration with Dialogue. The GPS is a hazy New England-style IPA and back for another run.

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675 (brewery), (505) 990-3029 (downtown taproom)

(Brewery hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri 11 a.m. to midnight, Sat 7 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Downtown taproom hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Beers: Blackberry Hefeweizen, Dog Days Kolsch, Rye Steam (downtown only), Open Saison (downtown only). The Dog Days Kolsch was the most recent addition, but it will be joined by White AF IPA, out this Friday.

Weekly Events (Brewery): Monday—The Draft Sessions, 7-9 p.m.

Weekly Events (Taproom): Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7-9 p.m.

Rio Bravo Brewing Company — (505) 900-3909

(Mon noon–10 p.m., Tues–Thu noon–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–1 a.m., Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Rio Bravo Amber, Weizen, Randy’s Shandy, Dirty Rotten Bastard IPA, Snakebite IPA, Roadkill Red Ale, La Luz Lager, Old Town Porter (regular and barrel-aged), Vanilla Porter, NM Pinon Coffee Porter, Oatmeal Stout, Barrel-aged Belgian Strong Golden, Level 3 IPA, Imperial Russian Stout (regular and barrel-aged), Lemongrass Wit, Peach Gose, Cherry Sour Kolsch, Cucumber Mojito, Penguin Lager. A portion of the Penguin Lager proceeds are going to the new exhibit at the ABQ Bio Park. There are now three barrel-aged beers on tap in the Porter, RIS, and Belgian Strong.

Live Music: Thursday—Tart & Tangy, 8-10 p.m.; Friday—Alto Estilo, 8-10 p.m.; Saturday—Outlaw Country, 8-10 p.m.

Other Events: Thursday—Plant Night Garden Terrarium, 6:30-8:30 p.m.; Friday—Headliners Comedy presents Friday Night Fools, 9:30 p.m.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Movie Night, 7 p.m.; Thursday—Girls Pint Out, all day; Friday—Philly Friday, all day; Sunday—Pints & Planks with Yoga Zo

Sidetrack Brewing — (505) 832-7183

(Mon–Thurs 3–11 p.m., Fri 3 p.m.–midnight, Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Sidetrack Pilsner, Downshift Pale Ale, Switchgear IPA, Farmhouse Ale, Golden WHEELS Ale, Pub Ale, Sour Relationship. The most recent addition is the Downshift Pale Ale. A portion of the proceeds from the Golden WHEELS Ale will go to helping the WHEELS Museum open its doors soon. Sour Relationship is the aforementioned collaboration with Boese Brothers, Milton’s, and NM Cider Co.

Cask: The Pub Ale and Golden WHEELS, with pineapple, are in the firkins.

Events: Saturday—Movie Night, 8:30 p.m.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Taco Tuesday, all day

Starr Brothers Brewing — (505) 492-2752

(Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day)

Beers: Starrstruck IPA, L.A. Woman (Blonde), Red Zepplin, Lampshade Porter, Phantom Limb Black Rye IPA, Electric Sun American Wheat, C10H15N (Crystal Pale Ale), Starrphire Pilsner, Starrgazm IPA, Phantom Limb (Black Rye IPA), A Roll in Ze Hay (Hefeweizen). More Starrgazm quickly hit taps this week. Phantom Limb is back for another run, plus A Roll in Ze Hay channels the best from Young Frankenstein.

Steel Bender Brewyard — (505) 433-3537

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: (house) Skull Bucket IPA, Red Iron Red, Sparkfitter Amber, Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch, Blue Bullet Stout, The Village Wit; (seasonals/specialties) Misfitter Altbier, Smith Hopper Cascade Extra Pale Ale, Goose is Loose Berliner Weisse, 505 Collaboration, Wheels of Soul Black (Hole Sun) IPA. Say hello to the Smith Hopper Cascade, which replaces the Centennial. The Misfitter returns by popular demand. A special cask will be on tap to celebrate the Lavender Festival on Saturday.

The 377 Brewery — (505) 934-0795

(Open noon-11 p.m. most days)

Beers: (house) 377 IPA, Dieterhosen Hefe, Project El CuCuy (DIPA), English Best Bitter, Fat Brown Guy (Porter), Red Horse NM Lager, Swartzbier, Red Rocket (Double Red); (seasonals) Black Ops Hops, Kolsch, Full Booty Stout (on nitro), Peach Wheat, Scottish Ale, Summer Saison, Plum Sour. Thanks to the magic of Untappd, we now have a breakdown of The 377’s beers. The Plum Sour and Summer Saison are the most recent additions.

Tractor Brewing Company — (505) 433-5654 (Nob Hill), (505) 243-6752 (Wells Park)

(Nob Hill: Sun–Weds noon–midnight, Thurs noon–2 a.m., Fri–Sat noon–2 a.m.; Wells Park: Mon–Thurs 3 p.m.–close, Fri–Sun 1 p.m.–midnight)

Beers: Barnstorm Ale, Holstein & Hops, Minute-4, Cascara Cider, Apricot Wheat, Half Acre Hefe, Tupac Cali Red, Thai Basil Mint Cider, Berry Cider, Big Sipper IPA, Scout Golden Ale, Delicious Golden Dry Cider, Flanders Red Ale (Wells Park only), Milk Stout on nitro (Wells Park only). The Thai Basil Mint Cider was the most recent addition until Scout Golden Ale debuted and a fresh batch of Big Sipper IPA joined the list.

Live Music (Wells Park): Thursday—Still Closed For Repairs, 8 p.m.; Saturday—Palomino Shakedown, 8 p.m.

Live Music (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Todd Tijerina, 8:30 p.m.; Saturday—Joe Silva, 5 p.m.

Weekly Events (Wells Park): Tuesday—Kamikaze Karaoke, 7 p.m.

Weekly Events (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Writing Wednesdays, 5 p.m.; Monday—Tractor Tune Up, 7:30 p.m.

Also, every first Monday of the month at both Tractor locations is Beer for a Better Burque night. For every pint you buy $1 can go to one of four charities that have partnered with Tractor. You can also opt to purchase a special growler with the logo of your favorite charity.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Tractor now has a late happy hour from 9 p.m. to midnight on Mondays with $2.25 classic beers and $3.25 seasonals.

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

(Kitchen hours: Mon–Tues 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Wed–Thurs 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sun 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Reminder: TMBC closes early when business dictates. Please call.)

Beers: Stuccon Saison, Lil’ Shelly (Pale Ale), Keller Collab, For the Bees, My Kolsche. The Yum Yum Colada is a pina colada kettle sour. The My Kolsche and Keller Collab are the most recent additions. When For the Bees runs out, Yum Yum OG will take its place.

Cask: Tuesday—Lil’ Shelly

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Open daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Imperial Chocolate Porter, Hella Humulus Collaboration IPA, Ginger Braggott, Hefeweizen. Oh, man, the Imperial Chocolate Porter was one of the best beers of BearFest. Get it before it runs out! The Hefeweizen is the most recent release, but this Friday, the Gatekeeper IPA will debut on the patio, with special food pairings available for purchase.

Chili Line Brewing — (505) 500-7903

(Mon–Sat 4–11 p.m., Sun 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: El Jefe (Rauchweizen), sIPApu (India Pale Lager), Antonio Bandito (Dunkelweizen), Llorona Lager, Pineapple IPA, Porter, Vienna Lager, La Bamba (Rauchbier), Stada Baba (Oak Smoked Polish Gratzer). The last five beers there are the new additions to the lineup, but more beers are on the way.

Live Music: Every night at 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Reverse happy hour after 9 p.m. includes $1 off pints, $6 appetizers, $10 entrees and pizzas.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

(Brewery: Mon–Sat open at 11 a.m., Sun open at 1 p.m.; ABQ taproom: Mon–Thurs 2 p.m.–midnight; Fri–Sun noon–midnight)

Beers: Bad Amber, Fiction (IPA), Oui Lourd, WWWMD (Barrel-Aged Whistler), Manikin (Scottish), Cezanne Origine, Ensor (Sour), Turncoat, Monomyth, Marcel. The Origine is the current spring saison from Duel. The Turncoat (Sour Scotch), Monomyth (DIPA), and Marcel (Wit) are the most recent additions. The WWWMD acronym stands for What Would Whistler’s Mother Do.

Events (ABQ taproom): Saturday—NM IPA Challenge Preliminary Round, 12-4 p.m.

Weekly Events (ABQ taproom): Tuesday—Bike-In Brew, 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts (Brewery): Happy hour Mon–Fri, 4-6 p.m. (discounts for all draft beer), Growler Saturdays ($3 off growler fills).

Happy Hour/Discounts (ABQ taproom): Happy hour Mon–Fri, 5-7 p.m.

Rowley Farmhouse Ales — (505) 428-0719

(Open all week from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Beers: Fields of Rye, Saison du Sarlacc, Agent Scully – Season One, Episode Three (IPA),  Germophile (Berliner Weisse), Ab Initio with Apricot, Ab Initio with Boysenberry, Meier (Meyer Lemon Gose), No BU For You (Zero IBU IPA). The Agent Scully is a new series of IPAs which will vary by hop combinations. This is a new batch of Fields of Rye dry-hopped with Citra.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

(Main taproom: Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 2-8 p.m.; ABQ taproom: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–11 p.m.; Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight; Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Freestyle Pilsner, Autonomous Collective IPA. We haven’t gotten an update from SFBC in so long we really have no idea what’s on tap at this point. We’re sure it’s good, but beyond that, it’s all a mystery.

Happy Hour/Discounts: $1 off growler refills in the tasting room on Mondays. $2 pint Tuesdays at the Eldorado Taphouse. On Wednesday, there is a $2 pint special in the tasting room. On Thursday, there will be $1 off growler refills at the Eldorado Taphouse.

Second Street Brewery — (505) 989-3278 (Railyard), (505) 982-3030 (original location)

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sunday noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Boneshaker Special Bitter, 2920 Pale Ale, IPA #19, Boneshaker Special Bitter, International Steam Pale Ale, Civil Rye, Red and Yellow Armadillo. The most recent additions are IPA #19 and Boneshaker.

Live Music (Original location): Thursday—Eric & Lori, 6-9 p.m.; Friday—Lone Pinon, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—Blues Revue Band, 6-9 p.m.; Sunday—Bluegrass Brunch with Mystic Lizard, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Live Music (Railyard): Friday—Half Broke Horses, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—Bill Hearne, 6-9 p.m.; Sunday—Stringmasters, 1-4 p.m.

Weekly Events (Railyard): Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 8 p.m.

Other breweries you need to visit

Bathtub Row Brewing — (505) 500-8381

(Mon–Weds 2–10 p.m., Thurs 2–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–11 p.m., Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: The Tripel Lindy, Wit Rock, Crazy Mother IPA, Betty on Brett, Spearmint Stout, Jarrylo Pale Ale, Beedle’s Apple Ale, Catcher ‘n the Rye, Double Barrel Bourbon Brown. The most recent tap turnover went down in Los Alamos with Crazy Mother, Betty, Spearmint, Jarrylo, Beedle’s, and Catcher making their debuts. The Bourbon Brown (8.7% ABV) has now joined them.

Sierra Blanca Brewing — (505) 832-2337

(Mon–Thurs 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Fri –Sat 11 a.m.–9 p.m.)

Beers: Barrel-aged Whiskey Stout, Cherry Sour, Interstella Vanilla, Cherry Wheat, Single Hop IPA. The Whiskey Stout is back for a short time. The Cherry Sour is back for another run. Cherry Wheat is also now available in six packs.

* * * *

That’s all for this week! If you have any questions or comments, leave them below or contact us on our Facebook page.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Three Rivers is going all-out for its 20th anniversary party!

During a road trip through Southwest Colorado at the end of June, I was fortunate enough to stop in and say hello to our friends at Three Rivers Brewery in Farmington.

It had been about five months since I had previously visited as part of our Look Back/Look Ahead Series. This time, I spent the night in Farmington, which allowed me to really get the full Three Rivers experience. It was the first night of my three-night road trip, and I did not hold back. As a matter of fact, I have to give a shout out to Lou Go’s Taxi Service in Farmington for providing me with a safe and dependable transportation option. I was disappointed to see that neither Uber nor Lyft were available in the area, but Lou Go’s filled the void well with 24-hour service, clean vehicles, and friendly drivers.

I started at the Three Rivers Brewery Restaurant on the corner of the block. It was a Friday night and the place was packed, but I was able to find a spot at the bar, conveniently located next to the taps. It was my third time eating dinner at this bar, and I was returning with a high expectations for food quality after the previous visits. I ordered the dinner special for the week, which was Rock Shrimp & Andouille Jambalaya. It was excellent. Each element tasted fresh and savory, and was tied together with a flavorful, but not overpowering level of spiciness.

Take flight with this, um, flight!

Of course, my food was accompanied by a flight of beers, which carried the same high standards as the food, again as expected. My personal favorites on the flight were The Black (stout) and the Arroyo Amber. I also sampled others that were not in my flight. The Raspberry Wheat was exceptionally refreshing, and one of the most well-balanced fruity wheat beers I have had in recent memory. Personally, I would pick this beer on a hot summer day over most of the Gose options that seem to have exploded in ABQ this summer.

It resembles Franz Solo’s beer fridge!

After finishing dinner, I walked further down the block (past the Tap Room and Pizzeria, both of which were also a buzzing with activity) to the Three Rivers Brewstillery, which had been under construction during my previous visit. It was exciting to see the finished product.

I sat at the bar, examined the menu, and was drawn to the ‘Beer Geek Bottle List,’ as well as the fridge containing said bottles … some even in boxes… yeah, I definitely nerded out on this. It was at this point that head brewer (really, we can call him head of beverage operations, with the addition of the distillery), Brandon Beard joined me. I hadn’t given him much notice on my visit, so it was great that Brandon was able to meet up. Unfortunately, assistant brewer (now really head brewer), Patrick Liessmann, was out of town.

After popping a bottle of Kasteel Barista, a Belgian quad with chocolate and coffee, Brandon and I discussed the upcoming 20th anniversary of Three Rivers Brewery, which will be celebrated with a party this Friday, starting at 5:30 p.m.

They’re saving the Crew at least one bottle. We hope!

Let me be clear, if I was not going to be at a wedding event in Chicago on that day … I would be attending this anniversary party (He is not the only one missing this for a wedding. — S). Just hearing about the treats that will be available is enough to make any true beer lover salivate. If there are two things (in my mind) that set Three Rivers apart, it has been their success in, 1) incorporating exciting and rich ingredients such as peanut butter and coconut, and 2) barrel aging. Building on what they do best, Three Rivers will be releasing their 20th anniversary limited edition Black Lily Barrel Aged Stout in four variations — Bourbon Barrel, Bourbon Barrel & Peanut Butter, Rum Barrel, and Rum Barrel & Coconut.

Assistant Brewer Austin Jacobs brought out some samples of the Rum Barrel & Coconut, and I was in heaven. I won’t attempt to describe it in too much detail, aside from saying it’s an easy-to-drink barrel-aged beer; you can taste the alcohol content, but nothing like, say, a Marble Reserve (not hating on Marble Reserve, it has its place, too). The coconut is unabashedly present and delicious. It complements the beer in the same way a scoop of vanilla ice cream complements a mug of root beer.

Don’t take my word for it; try it while it lasts. Only a 100-count of 750mL bottles of each variation will be available.

Sorry, Andrew, we didn’t warn you that this job will include copious amounts of delicious foods.

Just when I thought that I had seen and tasted it all, executive chef Jay brought out three of the tapas dishes that are on the menu in the Brewstillery. After I was done complimenting him on the jambalaya that I had for dinner, I happily munched on what he had set in front of me. My pictures do not do this food justice. It’s much easier to take a good picture of a glass of beer then a platter of food.

Please go to the Three Rivers website to see the menu and specific descriptions. It was the perfect food to snack on after a night of beer drinking. Along with the tapas, I sampled a few of the craft cocktails that are available and they, too, were top notch. The Brewstillery drink menu could satisfy any preference at the highest level of quality.

Much thanks to Three Rivers Brewery staff for their continued hard work and success at providing high-quality, local products to the community — the food, the beer, the spirits, the whole package. The passion is visible in the people, and you can taste it in the products. On a more personal note, thanks to Brandon and Austin for hanging out with me and showing me a fun time.

A huge thanks to brewmaster Brandon Beard, on the right.

I encourage all NM craft beer lovers to plan a visit to Three Rivers Brewery, and enjoy what they have to offer. The upcoming anniversary party would be a great opportunity, but any time is a good time.

Furthermore, Three Rivers is a great place to grab a meal, or a drink, or just hang out, for anyone who might be spending a night near Farmington, or traveling through.

On behalf of the NM Dark Side Brew Crew, I want to say congratulations to Three Rivers Brewery on their upcoming 20th anniversary, and we look forward to another 20 years!

Cheers!

— Deezbeers

Beer Notes: Road tripping across the old USA

Posted: July 10, 2017 by cjax33 in Beer Notes

Ah, the art of taking a photo with one’s phone while driving. And not crashing. Yeeha!

As you read this today, I, your humble Stoutmeister, will be traveling along Interstate 40 eastward. The last of my cousins (at least for a while) is getting married down in Pensacola, Florida, so I figured heck, why not drive out there and explore beer in a part of the country I have not visited in a long time.

How long? Well, the last time I was in Memphis I was 11 years old. I have never been to the states of Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi. I went to New Orleans in college for Mardi Gras, but I really don’t want to talk about that hangover (so, so bad). I have never been to Houston, and my entire time in the Dallas-Fort Worth area consisted of seeing one Texas Rangers game in 2007. So, yeah, it is all pretty much an undiscovered country for me. Just without Shakespeare-spouting Klingons, right?

As I travel, I will be making quite a few beer-related stops, checking out some breweries and/or beer bars. I already circled Tapwerks in Oklahoma City, Lost Forty Brewing in Little Rock, Wiseacre Brewing in Memphis, LoDa Bier Garten in Mobile, Pensacola Bay Brewing in that city, Avenue Pub in New Orleans, The Conservatory in Houston, and potentially multiple stops in the DFW area. I will type up a few recaps of my travels, little beercation guides, since I know some of you might also head that way at some point.

Don’t worry about beer news around New Mexico, though. The rest of the Crew will step up in my absence. Deezbeers (Andrew) has a preview of the big 20th anniversary celebration at Three Rivers on Friday in Farmington. I will have a preview of the preliminary round of the NM IPA Challenge, set for Saturday at Duel Brewing, and Brandon will be at the event and providing live results on our social media outlets as they are announced. Look for plenty of other stories as well, including Franz Solo getting poetic about more beers, including one that he brewed that might set a record for IBUs.

In the meantime, since I know how much everyone likes updates on new breweries …

New brewery updates

As always, these are almost all on the breweries with pending small brewer licenses with the State of New Mexico, or those with active licenses that have still opened their doors.

  • BLUE: A new one, not sure if this going to be the final name or not, but it will be located near Broadway and Lead/Coal. A friend of the Crew is working on putting us in touch with the owner.
  • Bombs Away Beer Co.: Construction continues on the brewery near Moon and Central, but we have not received an update in a while.
  • Cantero Brewing: Yes, they really are taking over the location of the Firkin Brewhouse in the Brewery District. There is still a lot of work to do, including building a patio.
  • Hops Brewery: Well, they told us they were opening on July 1, but apparently that did not happen. We have not received any updates since.
  • Lava Rock Brewing: The brewhouse and equipment have arrived, so construction is ramping up on the new place north of Ladera on Unser. The owners anticipate a fall opening.
  • Sandbar Brewery and Grill: No new updates, but they are posting a lot of ads hiring front-of-house and kitchen staff, so that bodes well for an opening in the near future. The brewery is located on San Mateo just south of Montgomery.
  • Toltec Brewing: Another new West Side operation, they will be located next to Urban Hot Dog in a building at Cottonwood Drive and Old Airport Avenue. It sounds like they are a long ways off.
  • Volume 31 Brewing: Yup, another new addition to the list, all that is known is that this brewery will be located in the 87108 zip code in the southeast. That zip code has the boundaries of Lomas (north), Wyoming (east), Gibson (south), and Carlisle (west). This could be the proposed brewery from the owner of Humble Coffee, but we do not have confirmation of that.
  • Bare Bones Brewing (Cedar Crest): It appears they have a new location now, located further north on Highway 14 from Ale Republic. The important thing is progress continues.
  • Deepwell Brewing (Artesia): Just announced via a Facebook page, they do not yet have a pending license, but we figure they are making their presence known. We will keep an eye out on the state website.
  • Drylands Brewing (Lovington): Their license is active, but they don’t yet appear to be open.
  • Guadalupe Mountain Brewing (Carlsbad): Work continues on Carlsbad’s second brewery, but it remains a long ways from opening.
  • Red River Brewing: There is still no pending license, but the owners did demolish the old building on their property and will begin construction soon.
  • Switchback Brewery (Cloudcroft): No news.
  • Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery (Santa Fe): No news.

On the new taproom front, yes, Tractor is putting a brewery on the West Side near McMahon and Unser. We knew about that one for a while, but their owners asked us not to say much as the physical building has not been built yet. Then the Journal found out and the news broke. The Four Hills taproom will open much sooner, potentially by the start of August, though no firm opening date has been set.

There are unconfirmed rumors of lots of other taprooms opening around town. Until we get official word, we will refrain from sharing those here.

* * * * *

That is all from us for now. As always, if you know of any beer news, email us at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com or contact us on social media.

Wish me luck surviving humidity. Southeastern breweries/taprooms have air conditioning, right? RIGHT?!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

El Jugo, a beer so good even Stoutmeister’s hop-fearing relatives were enjoying it!

As this is the season of the zenith in hop dominance in our fair land, Brandon and I, Franz Solo, took it upon ourselves to seek out new hops and new hopilizations. We boldly went … (cue Beastie Boys’ Sabotage while tooling along in a fire apple red Trans Am circa 1970 with T-Tops) to the edge of hops and back, and what follows is our tale — The Tale of Sir Hopsilot.

We began our quest in the fair lands of La Cumbre, where we found the juices flowing with the freshest of batches of El Jugo and the hop maidens well …

La Cumbre El Jugo

Franz Solo: Aroma of orange and citrus juice, with a hair of Simcoe. Tastes just like the name says, Jugo, juice. That makes me think about breakfast, and well, this is an excellent breakfast beer. Light mouthfeel and quite tart. Floral and refreshing. Name a common tropical or semi-tropical fruit and you could quite well make the argument for finding a little of this flavor, a little of that flavor, and so on and so forth. This isn’t quite one style nor another established style, we’ve gone out on our own, pure gonzo hops, er … maybe you could just shove me into … Madness. Well, crisp fresh as hell hop madness that is.

I dig it, not really New England not really NM, doing what it wants according to the whims of the great magnet.

These come in four packs, so I had a second chance, and third, and fourth to pontificate the luscious and well juicy …

Second go-round: Still juicy, sweet then tart as the name and label suggest. Even after a Stone Ruinten, I can still taste the layers of pithy citrus flesh hops of this magnificent fresh offering to the hop gods. Somewhere between the Elevated and the Dank and the Nelson twins (Father and Full) is where the theme of this beer lies. Fresh and filled with life like a summer morning, the color of the marigolds on my back patio, both French and African varieties transfigured from the apprehension of color into the sense of taste, with vigorous young and a lively passion. That is what this tastes like to me.

Brandon’s notes: El Good-o … er, El Jugo, is a beer that could convert my previous bias against this style. Pleasantly fragrant, citrus notes of lemon and a mild floral bouquet, not dank or pungent, but still lets you know it has hops. The palate is, as Franz said and the name implies, juicy. A fresh squeezed glass o’ goodness. Could be part of a balanced breakfast in my house. Drinks easily, light malt base makes for an easy drinking and surprisingly clean finishing beer for this variety of beer.

From the fair lands of La Cumbre we headed north to the mountains of old Santa Fe, where we found an IPA on the very peaks of old Baldy where the elk do dwell. Of the 7k, this is our summation.

Santa Fe 7k

Just looking at 7K you can almost smell that beautiful aroma through your screen.

Franz Solo: On to being so high right now … er, 7k to be precise. Sweet orange tangerine with some dank overtones, and undertones/throughtones/betweentones, and so on and so forth. A little berry and a hint of pine to finish the aroma and flavor both. Flavor is crisp and carries back with a hair of sweet orange grapefruit, mid to front, that permeates the onslaught. A bit of lemon or some sourish lemongrass punctuate this splendid new unique addition to the ranks of such venerated offerings as (in no particular order) La Cumbre’s Elevated, Tractor’s Almanac, and Marble’s IPA as year-round hop offerings readily accessible to us in the Duke City. Initial aroma is like a mango peach, second can in. There are some very nice cannabis-esque notes smack in the middle of this delight. Very bright beer that has an abundance of hop character, yet remains quite quaffable. This takes me back to the summertime in the mountains around Santa Fe, circa the early 2000s, quaffing some of those first groundbreaking IPAs after a hard day of work. Grab a sixer of this and climb up Mount Atalaya or Santa Fe Baldy and take some 7k even higher.

Brandon’s notes: Let’s get down to brass tacks — how much for all of the 7k available? Because I wish to drink it all. This has to win a special award just for its aromatics, because those slight lemongrass, pineapple, and floral notes are outstanding. The body is pure grapefruit, pineapple, and some mango punch as well. Finishes extra clean, crisp, and a subtle malt base gives a good backing. SFBC crafted an excellent IPA here.

From the mountains of old Santa Fe, our quest took us east to the haven of the Dogfish, where strange brewings are known to occur.

Dogfish Head Romantic Chemistry

Weird? Well, yeah, it’s a Dogfish Head beer.

Franz Solo: Like 60-minute with an apricot nose, peach, and just a hint of ginger. For a sessionable East Coast variant, this ain’t half bad. At least the fruit is not cloying, but I’d like a more prominent showing from some of my favorite things. Fond memories from childhood of my maternal grandfather’s apricot trees in the summer, when we’d run around in the sprinklers, which were fed off the well he dug himself in the North Valley. The mango does blend extremely well with the apricot, I must say, and the light kick of ginger finishes with a nice bright flourish. It’s no doubt the Burqueno in me wants to take this beer and increase basically every flavor present by a factor of three or more. Overall, an interesting and tasty experience.

From the Atlantic, we headed to the Pacific to find the great Gargoyle of Stone Brewing, legendary beast of the grand mosh pit of hops, to see what offering he had in store for us.

Stone Ruinten with Orange Peel and Vanilla Bean

Zing! Pow! Stone, you have done it again.

Franz Solo: Smells like a sweet, hoppy dreamsicle. Loads of slightly bitter orange rind gives way to the veritable mosh pit of good old bitter hops that are the signature of the behemoth, and are wrapped in sweet vanilla, which punctuates the afterburners. I do mean afterburners like the afterglow … er … a plethora of tangy citrus and pine woven in a tapestry of sweet black vanilla. As one who enjoyed first Stone IPA, then Ruination, and at last Ruinten in the early 2000s, this is somewhat of a curveball, which I’m entirely sure will be a delight to some and a dreadful letdown to others. When they added orange and vanilla they went full on Crime and Punishment status (some of my favorite spicy-as-hell ales, check the archives if you want a more detailed description of the experience of each) and, well, I definitely enjoy a dreamsicle, always have. As I delve deeper and slake my thirst on this scorcher of a day, ye olde mosh pit of hops starts to begin to resemble what I know lurks in these golden depths. The deception of this beer when cold and after a half hour or so quite amuses me, actually. We have our old friend in what at first taste is a nice, sweet vanilla-hopped ale, but what emerges is a delightful and brutal bitter twist, like showing up for a blues band and getting some full on black metal blasted in your face in hop form. I dig this spicy, almost peppery orange pine odd fellow. Now for the rub. I as a person love strange and bold variations on a theme. Now, would I take this over a straight on Ruinten? Well, depends on the day, really. Some will agree, some disagree, but hell, variety maketh life worth living, and I’m maybe a little inspired to make some damn crazy sounding and tasting beers of my own, drinking in the vein of this year’s locally available Ruinten. If you want something familiar, have a 505 staple local IPA. You want to buy the ticket, take the ride, and go on a taste adventure, then have at you!

Brandon’s notes: I’ve become acclimated to the past editions of Ruinten, so having a variant with orange peel and vanilla bean was slightly jarring. At first, the aroma is all zest, pine, and subtle grapefruit … not bad so far. But, upon the first few sips, I felt the need to punch drywall; all I got initially was heavy, bitter orange peel, some Northwestern earthy/pine notes, and a touch of lime zest as well. This has always been a beer that punches you hard with a ton of IBUs, but my initial impressions weren’t favorable. But, good things take time; as it opened up over about 10 to 15 minutes, the orange citrus and vanilla bean notes popped a lot more. At this point, you will get more of an orange soda/vanilla float with an overload of hops experience. Doesn’t sound good? It actually is. Just remember to let it open in your glass and you will have a solid triple IPA experience.

* * * * *

We returned, at long last, to our homeland, where we found the following challengers to the throne of pure hops, the very Graal of hops for us, as it were.

Current local offerings are as follows:

Challenge IPA 3, Bosque

Don’t Call it a Comeback IPA, Bosque

Bear Knuckle IPA, Boxing Bear

(Forthcoming) TKO Triple IPA, Boxing Bear

Lucha Lupulin IPA, Canteen

Juiced Gondola Party, Quarter Celtic

Project El CuCuy DIPA, The 377 Brewery

Up north in Santa Fe:

Gatekeeper IPA, Blue Corn

#19 IPA, Second Street

We suggest you go out and enjoy these listed, and all the rest of the advancing IPAs from the grand duel of the IPA Challenge, for this foul year of our dark lord, 2017, and dance with the fair green hop dragon!

I entreat you all to relish in this time of the great jousting of hop-laden warhorses and explore not only our fair New Mexico, but the hops of the great beyond. May your palates be never overcome with bitterness, and your hop aromas ever divine, for this is the season of the great Graal of the Lupulin, and we the Knights of the Venerated Hops. Drink well of the hop bombs, and I’ll see you all at the finals of this year’s New Mexico IPA Challenge!

Skål!

— Franz Solo

Drafty Kilt will host a brewery collectibles swap meet this Saturday.

The Roadrunner Chapter of the Brewery Collectibles Club of America is holding its 14th annual Brewery Collectibles Show this Saturday at Drafty Kilt. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and admission is free.

Roadrunner president Dan Scoglietti emailed the Crew to let us know that this has become a tradition to team up with brewer Mike Campbell, who has previously hosted shows at Tractor and Cazuela’s when he brewed at those places. The show has also been held at Kellys, Marble, La Cumbre, and Canteen in past years.

The goal of this swap meet is to bring together all sorts of collectors of old brewery and Americana memorabilia. There will be everything from cans to bottles to coasters and more. There will be free appraisals for anyone looking to clear out the garage of old items.

Dan wrote that he is hoping for a big turnout as national club officers and board members will be in attendance. Albuquerque is currently slated to host the 2019 National CANvention, though rumors are swirling that the unnamed city that was expected to host the 2018 edition has dropped out. Whichever year it turns out to be, it will bring some 400 to 500 brewery collectors to town to sell their wares, and plenty more craft beer enthusiasts as well.

Of course, the best part of having this event at a brewery is you will be able to enjoy a pint while perusing the collectibles. Try the new Covfefe Hefe, a strong contender for beer name of the year.

Cheers!

— 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 six breweries, one in Los Alamos, and one in Moriarty 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.

The preliminary round of the annual New Mexico IPA Challenge is just 10 days away at the Duel ABQ Taproom. You can get your tickets online or at many of the participating breweries. There will be 39 breweries offering up their finest IPAs at this event, with the field to be narrowed down to about 16 for the remaining three rounds, with all of it concluding July 29 at Steel Bender Brewyard. Fear not, no one has to sample all 39. Figure on two trays, alternating by customer, or perhaps even three this year. Either way, it never hurts to start working on prepping your palate early. Start at Bosque (any location), where Challenge IPA No. 3 is now on tap. This series of possible/potential entries for the 2014-15 champions has been fun to sample. The 522 DIPA is still available at two Marble locations and might be worth sampling. A possible preview from Santa Fe Brewing could be the 7K IPA, which is on tap and for sale in six-packs just about everywhere. Your best bet is to visit any brewery with one or more IPAs on tap, taste the differences between them, and try to use that knowledge to make an educated guess as to what you are in for this year. Or, ya know, just go and enjoy some of our finest local hop bombs.

An alternative this week to all those hops is to visit La Cumbre on Friday for the double tap-and-bottle release of Hibiscus Quercus and Perscia Quercus. That runs all day and night, but from 2 to 4 p.m., yours truly will be on hand signing copies of Albuquerque Beer: Duke City History on Tap.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Ale Republic goes big with their new Belgian golden strong, Diablo del Oro. Blue Grasshopper is brewing again, starting with a traditional Hefeweizen. Canteen brings back Raspberry Wheat. Kellys busts out two summer seasonals with Hefeweizen and Farmhouse Apricot. Marble rolls out the Wheels of Soul Pale Ale at two locations and Imperial Red is back at all three. Phantom Limb (Black Rye PA) is back at Starr Brothers, joined by a new hefe called A Roll in Ze Hay (extra points for Young Frankenstein reference). Tractor hits the trail with Scout Golden Ale, plus Big Sipper IPA is back on tap. Franz Solo gives an advance thumbs up to the new My Kolsche at Turtle Mountain.

Up in Santa Fe, Duel is telling everyone to pucker up with a new sour, Ensor. Second Street brings back Rail Runner Pale Ale and Rod’s Best Bitter.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of July 3.

To break down each “capsule,” I listed the brewery (with Web page linked), its phone number and hours of operation. Under “Beers” are the new or seasonal beers on tap for this week.

Albuquerque metro area breweries

Ale Republic — (505) 281-2828

(Mon–Thurs 2–10 p.m., Fri–Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Golden Child, Brune, Citrus Pale Ale, Blonde, Strong Dark and Handsome, Red Mountain, Cafe Con Beer, Diablo del Oro. The most recent additions were the Red Mountain (7% ABV, 100+ IBU) and Cafe Con Beer (6.8% ABV, 12 IBU), a coffee ale, until the Diablo (9.7% ABV, 20 IBU) joined the list. It’s a hefty Belgian golden strong.

Alien Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–2 a.m., Sunday 10 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Call the number above for details on any small-batch beers currently available. They change frequently. The rest of the lineup is from the Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande family of beers.

Bistronomy B2B — (505) 262-2222

(Mon–Tues 4-9 p.m., Weds noon-9 p.m., Thurs–Sat noon-9:30 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

The Blue Grasshopper — (505) 896-8579

(Noon to 11 p.m. most days, call for more info)

Beers: Hefeweizen. Rejoice, for Blue Grasshopper is brewing again! The Hefe is their first, with two more on the way in the near future.

Live Music: Bands perform from 6 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday through Saturday. Click the link for the schedule.

Boese Brothers Brewery — (505) 382-7060

(Hours: Mon–Thurs 3 p.m.–midnight, Fri 3 p.m.–2 a.m., Sat noon–2 a.m., Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: La Onza White Ale, Dr. Strangehop XPA, Duke City Lager, Washington’s Hatchet, Zeus Juice White IPA, Betchin Little Pale Ale, Cherry Bomb, Sour Relationship. The Zeus Juice can also be purchased in bombers. Sour Relationship, a special collaboration with Milton’s, NM Cider Co., and Sidetrack, is now available.

Live Music: Friday—DJ Shakedown, 9 p.m.; Saturday—Moonshine Blind, 9 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Boese will have a happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, with $3 pints. You can also get $3 pints all day Tuesday and $6 growler fills all day Wednesday.

Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596 (main brewery), (505) 508-5967 (Nob Hill Public House), (575) 571-4626 (Las Cruces Taproom)

(Main brewery on San Mateo: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-midnight, Sun noon-8 p.m.; Nob Hill: Mon–Weds 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Thurs 11 a.m.-midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Sun noon-11 p.m.; Las Cruces: Sun–Thurs noon-11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon-midnight)

Beers: Polly’s Wheaty Lager, Grasping at Straws, Bosque Hefe, Bosque Blonde, Beernana Split, Blood Orange Exotic Elephants, Challenge IPA No. 3. The Blood Orange is the latest in the Exotic Elephants series. Beernana Split is, well, um, weird. It has a hefeweizen base with additions of chocolate, lactose, strawberry, and banana. Try it and tell us what you think.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Bosque has a happy hour running from 3-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and all day on Sunday. Look for special menu items and get $1 off your favorite pints.

Bow & Arrow Brewing — (505) 247-9800

(Mon-Weds 3–10 p.m., Thurs 3–11 p.m., Fri-Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–9 p.m.)

Beers: Flint & Grit (British Mild), Sun Dagger (Saison), Crossed Arrows (Scotch Ale), Hoka Hey (IPA), Jemez Field Notes Lager, Wayward Arrow Hefeweizen, Radical Aim IPA, Sun-Bleached Berliner Weisse, El Breakfast Stout, Biere de Garde, Desert Dynamo IPL, Way Out West Farmhouse Sour. The newest additions to the lineup are Way Out West, Biere de Garde, Sun-Bleached, Desert Dynamo, and El Breakfast Stout. The latter is a spicy chocolate coffee stout, in case you could not guess by the name.

Events: Saturday—Diversity in the Outdoors, a seminar and networking event, 6-8 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Bow & Arrow has happy hour every Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Get $1 off pints. A new late happy hour starts Thursday at 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday at 10 p.m.

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

(Sun-Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.)

Beers: Chocolate Milk Stout (also on nitro), Tropic Thunder IPA, Barril De Oso, Barn Burner IWA, Guava Gose, Amerikolsch, Eastern Standard IPA. The Barril De Oso is a wine-barrel-aged version of the Oso Otono brown ale. The most recent additions are the Tropic Thunder, Amerikolsch, and Eastern Standard (7% ABV, 40 IBU), a hazy New England-style IPA.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 8-10 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Every day at lunchtime (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), for just $10 you can get a pint and a panini of your choice.

Broken Trail Brewery & Distillery — (505) 221-6281

(Mon-Thu 3-9 p.m., Fri 3-10 p.m., Sat noon-10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-8 p.m.)

Beers: Otero ESB, Lone Pine Pilsner, Sancho Saison, Double Black IPA, Sancho de la Sierra, Pepe the Mule, Trailworks IPA. OK, fine, Pepe the Mule counts as a beer, even though it is basically a Moscow Mule, but it was made with beer. The Sancho de la Sierra is a rye version of the saison made in collaboration with Jubilation. The Trailworks was made in collaboration with Bikeworks, a neighboring business, with a portion of the proceeds going to trail maintenance in the metro area.

Weekly Events (main location): Today (Wednesday)—Cards Against Humanity hosted by 10 Drink Minimum, 7 p.m.; Sunday—Build-your-own Mule bar, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Tuesday—All house beers are $2 a pint

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737 (brewery), (505) 200-2344 (taproom)

(Brewery: Sun–Thurs noon–10 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–midnight; Taproom: Open daily 3–10 p.m.)

Beers: Exodus IPA, Dragline IPA, Tuttle IPA Irish Red, Keller Collab, Social Capital, Raspberry Wheat. The most recent additions are the Social Capital and Raspberry Wheat. The Keller Collab was made with Chama River, Marble, Nexus, Santa Fe, and Turtle Mountain. If you want to know more about the excellent Dragline, read Franz Solo’s viking ode to this amazing IPA.

Live Music: Thursday—Nathan Fox, 6-9 p.m.; Sunday—Le Chat Lunatique, 4-7 p.m.

Cazuela’s Seafood & Mexican Grill — (505) 994-9364

(Open daily 8 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Papacabra (Double IPA), Acapulco Gold (Mexican Lager), Chupacabra IPA, Piedra del Fuego Stoned Cream Ale, Beer for My Horses (Oatmeal Stout). These are the regular house beers. Call the number above for an updated seasonal list.

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Deuces IPA, Chamiso Mexican Lager, Kolsch, Red River Ale. The Deuces is a two-hop IPA, the first in a series, made with Amarillo and Simcoe. It tasted great at BearFest.

Dialogue Brewing — (505) 585-1501

(Open daily noon-midnight)

Beers: Belgian Citrus IPA, Berliner Weisse, Dark Helmet (Swartzbier), American Dark Sour, F yo Couch (Oatmeal Stout), Biere de Mars, Sour Raspberry, ODB Sour Brown Ale, Common Irish Conversation, Cordial (Tart Cherry Gose). The most recent additions are the Cordial, Amber Lager, and F yo Couch. Yup, Dialogue is still winning on the creative beer name front. The CIC is a rye steam beer brewed in collaboration with Quarter Celtic.

Weekly Events: Monday—Service Industry Night, 6 p.m.

Drafty Kilt Brewing — (505) 881-0234

(Sun 11 a.m–10 p.m., Mon 11 a.m.–8 p.m., Tues–Thu 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Groundskeeper Willie Cream Ale, Wee Beastie Scottish Ale, McWabbit Pale Ale, Campbell Toe IPA, Obliviscaris Oatmeal Stout, McRojo or No (Irish Red). Brewer/owner Mike Campbell has five of his own creations on tap at 4814 Hardware Dr. NE, including the Campbell Toe (no snickering). The Obliviscaris is a burly throwback to the stouts of old. This weekend will mark the debut of Covfefe Hefe.

Events: Saturday—Brewery Collectibles Show, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.; Thursday—Blues, Brews & BBQ, 5 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: $1 off pints and 20-ounce pours, Mon-Fri, 3-6 p.m.; “Just Because We Love You Club,” happy hour prices at all times for teachers, first responders, law enforcement, and military with ID; Growler Fill Days on Thu and Sun, $2 off new growlers, $1 off refills

Flix Brewhouse — (505) 445-8500

(Open daily 11 a.m.-midnight)

Beers: So It Gose, Baby You’re Much Too Fast (Irish Red), Flora Colossus (DIPA), Gettin’ Caught in the Rain, Brewhouse Shandy. Flora Colossus is a tasty, wine-infused double IPA. Gettin’ Caught in the Rain is a pina colada wheat brewed in collaboration with Bosque.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

(Bernalillo hours Mon-Thu 2-9 p.m., Fri-Sat 11:30-10 p.m., Sun 11:30-9 p.m.)

Beers: German Porter, Lil Red, Cori and Her Wheat, German Pilsner, Helles Lager, Maibock, Honk Ale, Oaxford IPA, Walnut Cider, DjinnJar Kombucha. The most recent additions are the German Porter and Pilsner. Sounds like a hearty “Prost!” is in order.

Weekly Events (Nob Hill): Thursday—The Desert Darlings, 7-9 p.m.

Weekly Events (Bernalillo): Sunday—Brunch, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., The Desert Darlings, 6-8 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Kaktus has several new weekday specials in Bernalillo, including $3 pints on Monday, $9 growlers on Tuesday, $6 bison nachos on Wednesday, and $8 Frito pie and beer on Thursday.

Kellys Brew Pub — (505) 262-2739

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat 8 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun 8 a.m.-10 p.m.)

Beers: (house) Apricot Ale, Blonde, Farm House Ale, IPA, Red, Scotch Ale, Session IPA; (seasonal) Hefeweizen, Farmhouse Apricot. The recent change in ownership at Kellys has led to some seriously improved beers and food, so we decided it was high time to add it to the listings. The summer seasonals are the Hefeweizen and Farmhouse Apricot, replacing the Rye Pale Ale and Dry Stout.

Live Music: Every Wednesday 6-9 p.m. and Sunday 3-6 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Thursday Pint night $1 off pints.

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: El Jugo, Miles From Cologne, VMO #2, Pogue Mahone (on nitro). The VMO #2 is a lovely Marzen. The delicious Miles From Cologne (Kolsch) is back for another run. This Friday marks the arrival of Hibiscus Quercus and Persica Quercus, on tap and in bottles.

Live Music: Saturday—Odd Dog, 6-9 p.m.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Lego Night Build Off or Loteria (alternates by week), 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

(Mon–Weds noon-9 p.m., Thurs–Sat noon-midnight, Sun noon-7 p.m.)

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Lizard Tail’s happy hour runs seven days a week from 3 to 6 p.m. You get $1 off food, flights, and pints.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 8 p.m.; Thursday—Karaoke, 8-11 p.m.

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739 (downtown), (505) 508-4638 (Westside), (505) 323-4030 (Heights)

(Downtown: Mon–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10:30 p.m.; Westside: Mon–Thurs noon–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10 p.m.; Heights: Mon–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10:30 p.m.)

Beers: Indiana Bone’s Raider of the Lost Ale, DANG Pale Ale, Passionate Gose, Imperial Red, Plum Gose, White Out, Cherry Gose, Idaho 7 Pale Ale (Downtown and Westside), 522 Double IPA (Downtown and Westside), Pina Pale (Heights and Westside), Grungeist Pilsner (Heights and Westside), Wheels of Soul Pale Ale (Heights and Westside), Guava Gose (Westside only), Black Currant Gose (Westside only), Brett IPA (Westside only), Saison de Burque (Westside only), Pilsner Anejo (Westside only). There are so, so many beers between the three locations. Don’t feel bad if you can’t get to them all. The newest additions are the Imperial Red and Wheels of Soul Pale Ale, with a portion of the proceeds of the latter going to charity.

Live Music (Downtown): Thursday—Red Light Cameras, 7-10 p.m.; Friday—Chris Dracup: Funk of the West, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Pherkad, 8-11 p.m.

Live Music (Heights): Friday—The Gershom Brothers, 7-10 p.m.; Saturday—Zoltan and the Fortune Tellers, 7-10 p.m.

Live Music (Westside): Thursday—RJ Perez, 7-10 p.m.; Friday—Funk Tractor, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Palace Youth, 8-11 p.m.

Weekly Events (Downtown): Saturday—Brewery tours, 2 p.m.

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100 (brewery), (505) 226-1055 (Silver Taproom)

(Brewery: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.–8:30 p.m.; Silver Taproom: Mon–Fri 4-10 p.m., Sat noon-10 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Milk Stout, The Darker Fare, Beam Me Up Scotty, Plum Imperial Cream, Keller Collab (brewery only), 505 Collaboration (Silver Taproom). The Beam Me Up, delicious once again, and Plum Imperial Cream were added for last month’s sixth anniversary party. The Keller Collab was mentioned above at one of its fellow creator breweries.

Happy Hour/Discounts (Brewery): Monday–Friday, $5 appetizers, 3-5 p.m.

Weekly Events (Silver Taproom): Saturday—a live DJ will perform; Sunday—a live band will perform at 2 p.m.

Palmer Brewery and Cider House — (505) 508-0508

(Tues–Sat 3–9 p.m.)

Beers: MWA (Malt With Attitude), Guero (Belgian Wit), Pale Ale, Cockness Monster (Scotch Ale), Palmergranite Wit, Cafe Pale Ale, Switch Stance Stout. Palmer shares a building with Left Turn Distilling on Girard south of Candelaria.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

(Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: Vic’s Secret Pale Ale, Amber Ale, Hop Burst Ale, Saison, Spanglish. Vic’s Secret is the most recent addition. Hoppy Pilsner and Raspberry Saison are on deck.

Live Music: Today (Wednesday)—The Draft Sessions, 7-9 p.m.

Quarter Celtic Brewpub — (505) 503-1387

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.)

Beers: Denali SMASH Pale Ale, Mangose, Saoirse Hefe, Common Irish Conversation, Gondola Party Starter IPA, Blood Orange Hefeweizen. The CIC was made in collaboration with Dialogue. The GPS is a hazy New England-style IPA and back for another run.

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675 (brewery), (505) 990-3029 (downtown taproom)

(Brewery hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri 11 a.m. to midnight, Sat 7 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Downtown taproom hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Beers: Rye Steam, Open Saison, Blackberry Hefeweizen. The Blackberry Hefeweizen is the most recent addition.

Weekly Events (Brewery): Monday—The Draft Sessions, 7-9 p.m.

Weekly Events (Taproom): Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7-9 p.m.

Rio Bravo Brewing Company — (505) 900-3909

(Mon noon–10 p.m., Tues–Thu noon–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–1 a.m., Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Rio Bravo Amber, Weizen, Randy’s Shandy, Dirty Rotten Bastard IPA, Snakebite IPA, Roadkill Red Ale, La Luz Lager, Old Town Porter, Vanilla Porter, NM Pinon Coffee Porter, Oatmeal Stout, Barrel-aged Belgian Strong Golden, Barley Wine, Level 3 IPA, Imperial Russian Stout, Lemongrass Wit, Peach Gose, Cherry Sour Kolsch, Cucumber Mojito, Penguin Lager. The Level 3 (7.5% ABV, 120 IBU) should satisfy any hophead. A portion of the Penguin Lager proceeds are going to the new exhibit at the ABQ Bio Park. Next up are the Hibiscus and Cherry Wheat.

Live Music: Friday—Boxcar Bandits, 9 p.m.

Other Events: Friday—Headliners Comedy presents Friday Night Fools, 9:30 p.m.; Saturday—Rods & Brews Car Show, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Movie Night, 7 p.m.; Thursday—Girls Pint Out, all day; Friday—Philly Friday, all day; Sunday—Pints & Planks with Yoga Zo; Tuesday—$2 Taco Tuesday, all day

Sidetrack Brewing — (505) 832-7183

(Mon–Thurs 3–11 p.m., Fri 3 p.m.–midnight, Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Sidetrack Pilsner, Honey Wheat, Switchgear IPA, Farmhouse Ale, Golden WHEELS Ale, Pub Ale, Sour Relationship. The most recent additions are the Golden WHEELS (see our intro) and a fresh batch of Pub Ale. Sour Relationship is the aforementioned collaboration with Boese Brothers, Milton’s, and NM Cider Co.

Cask: The Pilsner and Farmhouse are in the firkins.

Live Music: Saturday—Still Closed For Repairs, 7 p.m.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Taco Tuesday, all day

Starr Brothers Brewing — (505) 492-2752

(Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day)

Beers: Starrstruck IPA, L.A. Woman (Blonde), Red Zepplin, Lampshade Porter, Phantom Limb Black Rye IPA, Electric Sun American Wheat, C10H15N (Crystal Pale Ale), Starrphire Pilsner, Starrgazm IPA, Phantom Limb (Black Rye IPA), A Roll in Ze Hay (Hefeweizen). More Starrgazm quickly hit taps this week. Phantom Limb is back for another run, plus A Roll in Ze Hay channels the best from Young Frankenstein.

Steel Bender Brewyard — (505) 433-3537

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: (house) Skull Bucket IPA, Red Iron Red, Sparkfitter Amber, Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch, Blue Bullet Stout, The Village Wit; (seasonals/specialties) Misfitter Altbier, Smith Hopper Cascade Extra Pale Ale, Goose is Loose Berliner Weisse, 505 Collaboration, Wheels of Soul Black (Hole Sun) IPA. Say hello to the Smith Hopper Cascade, which replaces the Centennial. The Misfitter returns by popular demand.

The 377 Brewery — (505) 934-0795

(Open noon-11 p.m. most days)

Beers: (house) 377 IPA, Dieterhosen Hefe, Project El CuCuy (DIPA), English Best Bitter, Fat Brown Guy (Porter), Red Horse NM Lager, Swartzbier, Red Rocket (Double Red); (seasonals) Black Ops Hops, Kolsch, Full Booty Stout (on nitro), Peach Wheat, Scottish Ale, Summer Saison, Plum Sour. Thanks to the magic of Untappd, we now have a breakdown of The 377’s beers. The Plum Sour and Summer Saison are the most recent additions.

Tractor Brewing Company — (505) 433-5654 (Nob Hill), (505) 243-6752 (Wells Park)

(Nob Hill: Sun–Weds noon–midnight, Thurs noon–2 a.m., Fri–Sat noon–2 a.m.; Wells Park: Mon–Thurs 3 p.m.–close, Fri–Sun 1 p.m.–midnight)

Beers: Barnstorm Ale, Holstein & Hops, Cascade Pale Ale, Minute-4, Cascara Cider, Apricot Wheat, Half Acre Hefe, Tupac Cali Red, Thai Basil Mint Cider, Berry Cider, Big Sipper IPA, Scout Golden Ale, 505 Collaboration (Wells Park only), Flanders Red Ale (Wells Park only), Milk Stout on nitro (Wells Park only), Delicious Golden Dry Cider (Nob Hill only). The Thai Basil Mint Cider was the most recent addition until Scout Golden Ale debuted and a fresh batch of Big Sipper IPA joined the list.

Live Music (Wells Park): Thursday—DJ Mello, 7 p.m.

Live Music (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Wazo, 8:30 p.m.; Saturday—Cali Shaw, 5 p.m.

Other Events (Wells Park): Today (Wednesday)—Poetry and Beer, 7 p.m.; Thursday—Cloudface Art Opening + Glass Release, 7 p.m.

Other Events (Nob Hill): Saturday—Craft + Beer: Begin Again, 3 p.m.

Weekly Events (Wells Park): Tuesday—Kamikaze Karaoke, 7 p.m.

Weekly Events (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Writing Wednesdays, 5 p.m.; Monday—Tractor Tune Up, 7:30 p.m.

Also, every first Monday of the month at both Tractor locations is Beer for a Better Burque night. For every pint you buy $1 can go to one of four charities that have partnered with Tractor. You can also opt to purchase a special growler with the logo of your favorite charity.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Tractor now has a late happy hour from 9 p.m. to midnight on Mondays with $2.25 classic beers and $3.25 seasonals.

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

(Kitchen hours: Mon–Tues 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Wed–Thurs 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sun 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Reminder: TMBC closes early when business dictates. Please call.)

Beers: Stuccon Saison, Lil’ Shelly (Pale Ale), Keller Collab, For the Bees, My Kolsche. The Yum Yum Colada is a pina colada kettle sour. The My Kolsche and Keller Collab are the most recent additions. When For the Bees runs out, Yum Yum OG will take its place.

Cask: Tuesday—CheHive

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Open daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Imperial Chocolate Porter, Hella Humulus Collaboration IPA, Ginger Braggott, Hefeweizen. Oh, man, the Imperial Chocolate Porter was one of the best beers of BearFest. Get it before it runs out! The Hefeweizen is the most recent release.

Chili Line Brewing — (505) 500-7903

(Mon–Sat 4–11 p.m., Sun 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: El Jefe (Rauchweizen), sIPApu (India Pale Lager), Antonio Bandito (Dunkelweizen), Llorona Lager, Pineapple IPA, Porter, Vienna Lager, La Bamba (Rauchbier), Stada Baba (Oak Smoked Polish Gratzer). The last five beers there are the new additions to the lineup, but more beers are on the way.

Live Music: Every night at 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Reverse happy hour after 9 p.m. includes $1 off pints, $6 appetizers, $10 entrees and pizzas.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

(Brewery: Mon–Sat open at 11 a.m., Sun open at 1 p.m.; ABQ taproom: Mon–Thurs 2 p.m.–midnight; Fri–Sun noon–midnight)

Beers: Bad Amber, Fiction (IPA), Oui Lourd, WWWMD (Barrel-Aged Whistler), Manikin (Scottish), Cezanne Origine, Ensor (Sour). The Origine is the current spring saison from Duel. The Oui Lourd, Ara Pacis II, and WWWMD are the most recent additions. The acronym stands for What Would Whistler’s Mother Do. The Whistler (Blonde) and Turncoat (Sour Scotch) are nearly ready to go on tap.

Live Music (ABQ taproom): Saturday—80s vs. 90s with DJ Wae Fonkey, 8-11 p.m.

Other Events (ABQ taproom): Friday—First Friday Art Show: Humans of New Mexico, with music by Zavier Thompson, Def-I, La Llorona, and The Riddims, 7 p.m.

Weekly Events (ABQ taproom): Tuesday—Bike-In Brew, 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts (Brewery): Happy hour Mon–Fri, 4-6 p.m. (discounts for all draft beer), Growler Saturdays ($3 off growler fills).

Happy Hour/Discounts (ABQ taproom): Happy hour Mon–Fri, 5-7 p.m.

Rowley Farmhouse Ales — (505) 428-0719

(Open all week from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Beers: Fields of Rye, Saison du Sarlacc, Agent Scully – Season One, Episode Three (IPA),  Germophile (Berliner Weisse), Ab Initio with Apricot, Ab Initio with Boysenberry, Meier (Meyer Lemon Gose), No BU For You (Zero IBU IPA). The Agent Scully is a new series of IPAs which will vary by hop combinations. This is a new batch of Fields of Rye dry-hopped with Citra.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

(Main taproom: Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 2-8 p.m.; ABQ taproom: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–11 p.m.; Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight; Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Freestyle Pilsner, Autonomous Collective IPA. We haven’t gotten an update from SFBC in so long we really have no idea what’s on tap at this point. We’re sure it’s good, but beyond that, it’s all a mystery.

Happy Hour/Discounts: $1 off growler refills in the tasting room on Mondays. $2 pint Tuesdays at the Eldorado Taphouse. On Wednesday, there is a $2 pint special in the tasting room. On Thursday, there will be $1 off growler refills at the Eldorado Taphouse.

Second Street Brewery — (505) 989-3278 (Railyard), (505) 982-3030 (original location)

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sunday noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Cream Stout, Boneshaker Special Bitter, 2920 Pale Ale, Diploid New England Style IPA, International Steam Pale Ale, Civil Rye, Red and Yellow Armadillo. The most recent additions are 2920 PA, Diploid, and a fresh batch of Armadillo.

Live Music (Original location): Friday—Swing Soleil, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—Barbwires, 6-9 p.m.; Sunday—Bluegrass Brunch with Mystic Lizard, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Live Music (Railyard): Friday—Ornetcetera, 7-10 p.m.; Sunday—Stringmasters, 1-4 p.m.

Weekly Events (Railyard): Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 8 p.m.

Other breweries you need to visit

Bathtub Row Brewing — (505) 500-8381

(Mon–Weds 2–10 p.m., Thurs 2–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–11 p.m., Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: The Tripel Lindy, Wit Rock, Crazy Mother IPA, Betty on Brett, Spearmint Stout, Jarrylo Pale Ale, Beedle’s Apple Ale, Catcher ‘n the Rye, Double Barrel Bourbon Brown. The most recent tap turnover went down in Los Alamos with Crazy Mother, Betty, Spearmint, Jarrylo, Beedle’s, and Catcher making their debuts. The Bourbon Brown (8.7% ABV) has now joined them.

Sierra Blanca Brewing — (505) 832-2337

(Mon–Thurs 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Fri –Sat 11 a.m.–9 p.m.)

Beers: Barrel-aged Whiskey Stout, Cherry Sour, Interstella Vanilla, Cherry Wheat, Single Hop IPA. The Whiskey Stout is back for a short time. The Cherry Sour is back for another run. Cherry Wheat is also now available in six packs.

* * * *

That’s all for this week! If you have any questions or comments, leave them below or contact us on our Facebook page.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Brewery hours will vary for the 4th of July

Posted: July 3, 2017 by cjax33 in News

A whole lot of breweries will be closing before these are launched tomorrow.

As a public service, we wanted to save everyone the time of searching 30-plus brewery Facebook/Twitter/Instagram pages and just list any and all schedule changes for Tuesday right here. You are welcome in advance. As more breweries post their times, we will keep updating this post.

Albuquerque metro area breweries (and one beer store)

  • Ale Republic: they are hosting a 4th of July Cookout from 5 to 8 p.m., though obviously this is now pending the status of that nearby forest fire
  • Blue Grasshopper (both locations): open normal hours (11 a.m.-10 p.m.)
  • Boese Brothers: TBA
  • Bosque (all locations): closing at 8 p.m.
  • Bow & Arrow: open 1 to 7 p.m.
  • Boxing Bear: closing at 7 p.m.
  • Broken Trail: TBA
  • Canteen: TBA
  • Cazuela’s: TBA
  • Chama River: TBA
  • Desert Valley/The Craftroom: TBA
  • Dialogue: TBA
  • Drafty Kilt: closed for the holiday
  • Duel (taproom): open normal hours, with $1 off beers all day and 10 percent off growlers
  • Flix Brewhouse: TBA
  • Jubilation: open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Kaktus (Bernalillo): TBA
  • Kaktus (Nob Hill): TBA
  • Kellys: TBA
  • La Cumbre: open noon to 6 p.m., with My Sweet Basil grilling up hamburgers and hot dogs (pick one or the other), plus a side, for $4, until supplies run out
  • Lizard Tail: open noon to 6 p.m.
  • Marble (all locations): open noon to 8 p.m.
  • Nexus (brewery): closing at 5 p.m.
  • Nexus (Silver taproom): closed for the holiday
  • Palmer: TBA
  • Ponderosa: normal hours (11 a.m.-10 p.m.)
  • Quarter Celtic: open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Red Door (both locations): closing at 7 p.m., with 64-ounce growler fills for only $7.50 all day, 32-ounce growler fills $4
  • Rio Bravo: TBA
  • Santa Fe (taproom): TBA
  • Sidetrack: open noon to 6 p.m.
  • Sierra Blanca: open normal hours
  • Starr Brothers: open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Steel Bender: closing at 3 p.m.
  • Tractor: TBA
  • Turtle Mountain: closed for the holiday

Santa Fe (and beyond) breweries

  • Bathtub Row: closed for the holiday
  • Blue Corn: TBA
  • Chili Line: TBA
  • Duel: TBA
  • Rowley Farmhouse Ales: open normal hours (11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.)
  • Santa Fe (both locations): TBA
  • Second Street (all locations): TBA

If you know of a brewery’s hours that is not listed here, please drop us a line at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com. Thanks!

And have a festive Fourth!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Well, hello there new IPA.

It has been quite a while since Santa Fe Brewing, the largest brewery in the state by production, has introduced a new year-round beer. In fact, it was when Black IPA went from seasonal to regular, though in that case it was a long-standing beer loved by many. This time around, SFBC went with something new.

This past weekend marked the debut of 7K IPA, the new hop-forward brew named for the 7,000-foot-plus elevation of the city, county, and brewery. SFBC brewmaster Bert Boyce was kind enough to carve out a half-hour on Friday afternoon to sit down at the Albuquerque taproom to chat about the genesis of just why he felt it was time to roll out a new hop bomb into a lupulin-saturated market.

“We wanted to try to make something more modern,” Bert said. “So, we’ve been playing around with the seasonal IPAs — Western Bloc, Autonomous Collective, Hipster Union, and Snowflake. We’re playing around with some different methods, materials, et cetera. We’re just taking a more modern, aggressive IPA, but that’s still very much in our style. When I say our style, I do mean the Santa Fe style and my personal style are aligned on this. I’m not trying to beat anyone over the head. I want this to be super approachable, friendly, drinkable, but just have big aroma and flavor.

“You have to have an IPA to compete in this town. (Happy) Camper is great and it is what it is. It does it for a lot of people, but I felt like we needed to make a statement.”

So how does 7K stack up against its packaged IPA brethren from Bosque, Canteen, La Cumbre, Marble, Sierra Blanca, and Tractor?

“That’s always a very loaded question, because I don’t want to specifically position ourselves against anyone,” Bert said. “We’re trying to make the beer we want to drink. But, that said, I’m going to take the back road to that question. I really like the idea of what a Northeast IPA is supposed to be. I feel the execution is sorely lacking a lot of times. I do believe, in line with my personal preferences for as long as I’ve been in the industry, is that people really don’t want (overwhelming) bitterness. They want flavor and aroma, but they don’t want bitterness and they don’t want aggressive astringency.”

That does seem to be true locally. The days of the IPA Challenge being so hop-heavy that the entries could peel the paint off the walls has been replaced by more balanced, more nuanced IPAs. Heck, that one style that so many beer geeks seem to love has become so prominent locally that it seems as though every brewery has one on tap now.

“That’s the whole juicy IPA phenomenon,” Bert said. “(But) how do you make that happen? It’s not easy. So we did it with a selection of (many) hop varieties and all of the other levers we had to make a beer that was super aromatic and yet super drinkable. I’m not trying to challenge anyone’s palate. You don’t have to like 100-plus IBUs to like this beer. So, I would say, given that, I’d say we’re less aggressive than Elevated. I love John (Bullard’s) beers, so I’d say it’s probably most similar to Bosque. There’s a little Eldo in there. From my palate, I think John uses a lot of Eldo, so I taste some similarities. I think it’s a little more substantial (in mouthfeel) than Marble. Better? Worse? Different? I don’t know. It’s just the beer that we arrived at after making all these other specialties for the last two years or so. (I told the staff) it’s time to make something year-round.”

I am hardly the IPA poet that Franz Solo is, but after downing a couple pints of 7K with Bert, I have to say he hit the nail on the head. His new baby begins with a powerful, yet inviting aroma, a veritable bouquet of fresh hops that draw you in. The beer that follows is flavorful without that overt bitterness. It is somehow smooth for an IPA, yet never loses its touch. There is a strong floral element that produces that mid-palate, in-mouth aroma sensation that gives you a moment of beer nirvana. The finish is clean, with mild sweetness and no bitter aftertaste. For an IPA, 7K is almost a pure hybrid of so many other styles, mixing the best elements of West Coast, East Coast, New England, and more. It feels like it has a heavy malt bill behind it without being heavy in the mouthfeel, if that makes any sense.

“To me, this is the fun in brewing, is tweaking people’s perceptions without changing the reality,” Bert said. “This beer is actually still incredibly dry, but we’ve done a couple things to get the perception that it still has some body. I was thinking about this this morning, I don’t know if it’s because I’m old and grumpy, but I want to drink multiple beers and enjoy them. I’m not into sipping anymore, I want to drink a beer. I think if you make it so substantial, oh, it tastes really good. But, how does it drink? I wanted to make a beer that drank well. Tweaking that perception of sweetness and a maltier body, while still not leaving you feel bloated, that’s where we’re taking a cue from the big guys. They’re not so dumb after all. They make a beer that still is drinkable.”

Though it is officially the first time 7K has hit taps and appeared in six-pack cans, SFBC was able to sneak it out in the market twice already to get some feedback.

“This is actually the third iteration, we just didn’t call the first two 7K,” Bert said. “We kind of snuck them out there. The feedback has been very positive. Usually it’s the aroma, like you said. I think we tweaked our methods enough to get a really strong aroma that is very inviting, but not menacing. That’s what we were going for. It’s big, it’s juicy, it’s fairly soft, well, I wouldn’t say soft, but on the softer side.”

Yeah, that about sums it up. A big thanks to Bert for taking the time to chat on a busy Friday. We look forward to enjoying plenty of 7K this summer and beyond.

We want to know what all of you think about 7K IPA. Leave us a message on our social media platforms or drop us an email at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com. We expect a wide range of responses to this beer. Once we have several in hand, the rest of the Crew will share their impressions with you.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

KBS 2017: All your coffees are belong to us

Posted: June 30, 2017 by Franz Solo in Beer Review
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Oh, wonderful darkness, we have been enjoying the hell out of you these last three glorious years.

Editor’s note: This little mini-tasting event that we had actually took place a while back. Somebody just didn’t get around to typing it up until now. Why run it? Because it’s Friday, and sometimes we just like sharing how much goofy stuff we get to do. Haven’t you always wondered what sort of rambling discussions we have about beer? Well, here you go. — Stoutmeister

We in the Crew recently had the opportunity to sample and review the ’17 version of the much-beloved-among-us KBS from Founders. What follows is our rather fun adventure into the darkest of stout depths in which we did a mini vertical tasting of the ’15, ’16, and ’17 iterations of KBS.

We began as you might, talking up the finer points of the new offerings from Isotopes Park, including a helmet filled with three full, glorious pounds of nachos and Philly cheesesteaks, courtesy of Filling Phillys, which I heartily recommend.

Solo: Alright, you do want three pounds of nachos and Philly cheese?

Brandon: I do want three pounds of nachos and Philly cheese!

Solo: And we’re back. 2017 KBS first impressions are coffee!

The chorus of our host Brandon and Stoutmeister agreed with this sentiment.

Solo: Huge coffee and then whiskey as f*ck.

Stoutmeister: Honestly, it’s gotta be a cold brew, it’s so intense.

Brandon: It’s a really concentrated and the coffee is intense and focused. Definitely roasty. The bitterness of the coffee almost makes the chocolate kind of just blend in, sort of a dark chocolate kind of a way.

Solo: Yeah, it’s kind of a mocha.

Stoutmeister: It’s a little drier. It’s not like some of those barrel-aged stouts that pick up so much of that vanilla character from the barrels and it becomes so sweet.

Solo: This is just straight, burly, coffee chocolate barrel.

Brandon: You get a little heat in the back from the whiskey there.

Stoutmeister: I will say that the coffee sticks around the longest. Even though you get that rush of the whiskey, it does smoothly fade out, but the coffee just remains. All of your coffees belong to us.

Solo: And, damn good coffee at that, nice earthy tones, none of the acidic nature of coffee, really.

Brandon: Not astringent.

Solo: Nope, clearly strong, but that’s a good, uh, whatever blend they used.

Stoutmeister: Give it a swish and smell the aroma.

Swishes commence all round.

Stoutmeister: That’s just lovely.

Solo: And, it just burns with a tad bit of whiskey at the end.

Brandon: I think more so than the last year’s that I’ve had this one’s a little more bourbon-barrel forward initially. I’d be curious to see what this tastes like aged, just because I think that would mellow out a little bit.

Stoutmeister: Yeah, it’s definitely going to be an interesting aged beer, need to procure more and find someplace to put it, outta room!

Solo: Well, actually, now that I’ve drank one of them, I might have room for one more! Although, I still have a large quantity of the last one, and then there’s my home-brew ESB and the Mead …

Brandon: Front is a little chocolate, and then there are slight, roasty notes in there with a little bit of toasted caramel in there, with dark roasted malts and a little bit of molasses in there at the front, but then it just gives way to all the coffee.

Solo: It’s not overly, but a slight bit of raisin or black currant near the back.

Stoutmeister: Yeah, it’s definitely more black currant.

Brandon: And, the coffee is just all over in there and matches with that oakiness.

Solo: Bathe me in dark oakiness.

Stoutmeister: We need to name a new beer that.

Solo and Brandon agree. Various nom nom nom noises ensue.

Solo: A little bit of caramel, toffee aroma notes come forward as it warms, just a hair, coming through the coffee.

Brandon: To quote Jason Mewes in the (movie) Zach and Miri Make a Porno, “That’s some damn fine coffee!”

Solo: The stout’s starting to come through just a little bit.

Brandon: Even for imperial standards I think this is one that works better a little warmer than average, maybe because it’s definitely more complex as it is warming here, and a small pour definitely helps.

Solo: For malts nothing in particular stands out. It’s a melange, but I’d expect no less from a well-crafted and blended coffee barrel-aged chocolate monstrosity. It really sticks to the tongue; sticky black bourbon of death.

Brandon: I think you could drink a four-pack of this.

Stoutmeister: I totally think you could, although the next day I’d be like (unintelligible wailing).

Brandon: It would be like that one day I decided to drink a KBS and then I had two Uncle Jacobs. (One of the very best from Avery Brewing for those uninitiated.)

Solo: The other night I had two Pivos, and then I had Frootwood, and then I had one of those Olde School barleywines from Dogfish Head, that was, I was coherent, I just had a mild headache but …

Rambling ensued.

Stoutmeister: Back to KBS.

Brandon: Yeah, this is freaking amazing as it warms, now I want some french toast. Every time I have KBS, I just want french toast.

Solo: Bring us chicken and waffles!

Rambling on the topic of Nexus Brewing and our obsession with their amazing chicken and waffles commenced, followed by us returning to the topic of the new food offerings at Isotopes Park, including the wondrous Orbit Dog in all of its artery-clogging glory, and then the baseball helmet filled with three pounds of nachos returned, and finally we were back on topic.

That is not the Eye of Sauron in our KBS. We swear.

Solo: Now, oddly enough, even though this is not CBS, it does have somewhat of that maple quality to it.

Brandon: I think what we are getting there is a lot of different composition that is creating like a more almost maple flavor. It’s not just a strictly maple flavor.

Solo: Nah, like a maple toffee coffee something.

Brandon: So, overall impressions of it?

Solo: Delicious.

Stoutmeister: Rather amazing, to be this good this fresh, that’s a rare thing these days where there are so many barrel-aged beers these days that really are made to be aged an extra year in the bottle.

Solo: And this was aged, perfectly.

Brandon: I’m picking up actually a little more chocolate as it goes on. Overall, I think it’s a little more coffee forward definitely than the past years, which is fine by me.

Solo: Not going to complain one iota.

Brandon: Oh no, twist my arm, it’s wonderful. The coffee just doesn’t completely overwhelm, but it kind of supports those other flavors, possibly even supporting the whole beer, but as it does warm you get more of the stout base which comes through, too.

Solo: I’ll go on a limb and agree with the brewer that brewed this beer who said well, you can age these things but this one’s meant to drink fresh, we’ve already aged it and it’s right where we want it to be. I will still age some but yeah I’ll drink this fresh any day of the week.

* * * * *

We then proceeded to break out bottles of the ’16 and ’15 KBS offerings, and our consensus was that the ’17 was more coffee forward, the ’16 was more chocolate forward, and the ’15 was very much barrel forward. We could all understand why people like one year better than another, owing to the prominence of one’s favorite aspect of the delightful amalgam of flavors which is KBS.

We of the Dark Side Brew Crew, being the coffee- and stout-fueled demons that we are, thoroughly enjoyed this year’s variation and are certainly pleased with how it turned out. It will be of some interest to see what next year’s batch has as far as prominence, and we await the offering with the hope that our supply from this and last year will last us long enough!

All hail KBS, mighty breakfast beer deserving of a full spread of candied bacon, fried chicken of the best quality, and some damn fine waffles. There is still an ample supply of both bombers and four packs here in the Duke City (well, we hope so) so grab em before we in the Crew consume them all. Thanks again to Founders for sending us a couple of these delights to sample and review, we heartily enjoyed every last drop and completely enjoyed this delicious review.

Until next time,

Skål!

— Franz Solo

Saint Arnold is one of the most popular breweries in the Houston for a good reason. Lots of good reasons, in fact.

I can already hear you asking: Why is a New Mexico beer site writing about breweries in Houston?

My answer: Because sometimes people go to other places and want to drink beer there.

This was the situation I found myself in a few weeks back when I booked a trip to visit a friend in the biggest city in Texas. Given that our friendship formed over the consumption of beer, I knew a brewery or two should be part of the weekend. I had never been there before and she’s new to the area, so it was time for an adventure.

My first tactic for finding craft beer was to turn to my base of beer drinking friends. Of all the recommendations, there was one clear choice of places to visit: Saint Arnold Brewing Company. Texas’ oldest craft brewery, founded in 1994, is an easy 15-to-20 minute drive from the airport, so it made sense to make that our first stop once I arrived.

We were a bit dubious as we pulled up, as it is located in a very industrial neighborhood, and upon entering the building you are greeted with office doors and a staircase. Those fears were easily cast aside once we located the beer hall on the second floor. When entering you are greeted with rows of tables and benches, cornhole boards, paintings of Saint Arnold on one wall, and a sea of windows showcasing their impressive brewing capacity opposite that. I loved how friendly the staff was there. It was a busy night at Saint Arnold but every single employee we encountered greeted us with a smile and gave us their full attention when they were serving us.

Welcoming atmosphere aside, the beer was the real star here. I started with the Elissa IPA, which was available on both draft and cask, and, yes, I had both versions. After sampling the 2016 Pumpkinator, Pup Crawl Pale Ale, and Summer Pils, my third and final pint of the night was the Endeavour DIPA. All were delicious, and if we had gotten there earlier, I would have gladly purchased more pints. My friend opted for the Raspberry AF Berliner Weisse for her first, and second, and third … While I’m not much for tart beers, I could see the appeal of this one on a hot, humid summer night.

For the rest of our beer-ventures, I searched using my old stand-by: Google. We were staying in the suburbs and I was curious about what local watering holes could be found. Turns out, there were plenty, but we only had time for three of them.

Talk about fitting in with the area.

First up: Texas Beer Refinery in Dickinson. This 4-year-old brewery sure made a positive impression. From the woman who excitedly told us about the food menu options to the hop-shaped hanging lights, this is a brewery filled with charm. It’s also got some pretty tasty beer. I got a pint of the Covfefe Coffee Pale Ale (turns out they have a sense of humor, too). My friend got the Mexican IPA on nitro. While we were both very happy with our choices, we were also jealous of each other’s beer. She also tried the Gulf Coast Gose and really enjoyed it. I stole a sip and could tell it was well made, but it isn’t one I’d want a full pour of (see above). We would have tried more, but we had other appointments to keep that afternoon, and decided it was best to pace ourselves.

There is a wee bit of scenery down by the Gulf of Mexico.

Second beer stop: Galveston Island Brewing in Galveston. After dipping our toes in the Gulf of Mexico, more beer was necessary. Google said this was the closest one, so off we went. The place was hopping when we arrived. Granted, it was a Saturday night, but the sheer number of people there was impressive (we later found out out we stumbled upon their Third Anniversary party). They had a tented area with a section set aside for live bands, an area with picnic benches and a playground, and a smallish indoor seating area and stools around the bar. There was a lovely view of the setting sun, so sitting outside was an easy choice to make. Due to the crowds, we only had one beer each, but both were nice and easy to drink. I had the DIPA and she had the Hefen-A Hefeweizen. I’d like to come back again when it’s not so crowded, so I can chat with the staff and sample more of the beer.

They do everything big in Texas, include taproom interiors.

Final destination: Saloon Door Brewing in Webster. Unbeknownst to my friend and I, we saved the best for last. Only open for a year, they already have everything I look for in a local watering hole — friendly and informative employees, regulars you can strike up a conversation with, and killer beer. If I lived here, this would be my regular beer-drinking home. One of their distinct features is their beer blend offerings — they mix different beers together creating different (and fun) flavor combinations. My friend got a flight of these, while I opted to try the beers in their original format. This way we could determine if they were trying to hide off flavors in the blends. Long story short, they were not. I had the Brown Ale, Cream Ale, Milk Stout, Pale Ale, Wee Heavy, Double Gunshot Imperial IPA, Summer IPA, River Ace IPA, Tasty AF Peanut Butter, Chocolate Milk Stout, and Bourbon Barrel Russian Imperial Stout. Each one was delicious, and I would have been happy with a full pint of any of them. I can’t possibly list all the blends, but some of them are called Snickers, Strawberry Cheese Cake, and Orange Cordial. There is an art to making these beyond the “let’s mix these and see what happens” approach I’ve taken in the past, but it really is art.

All in all, we had a lot of fun exploring the growing craft beer scene in the Houston area. I recommend checking these places if you are in the neighborhood, then play your own game of “Google-Roulette” to see what gems you discover.

Sláinte

— The SheNerd