There will soon be more Hops in the Village

Posted: May 21, 2019 by amyotravel in Taproom Preview
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The future home of Hops Brewery’s Los Ranchos taproom, as teased by the brewery on Facebook.

Savvy searchers may know that Hops Brewery in Nob Hill is actually incorporated as Los Ranchos Brewing, LLC. There is a good reason for that, as Hops Brewery is finally opening a long-awaited taproom in the Village of Los Ranchos. This is a plan that has been about five years in the making.

I tracked down Jim Shull, co-owner, to ask him for some details. The taproom will be on North Fourth Street and should open sometime in June, hopefully earlier in the month. (We were asked not to share the specific address as to not bother their neighbors.) This is where they live and it will be great for them to have a neighborhood-style taproom.

It will have a “smaller bar” feel, so Jim said it will be a totally different feel from the massive space of the nearby Steel Bender Brewyard. Perhaps one of the best parts about this location is the availability of patios. The front patio should open right away, or soon after the taproom opens. There is additional room to expand and have a back patio. The taproom space also backs up to the irrigation canal trail, making it a great destination for bicyclists.

The size of the space is approximately 2,500 square feet. The seating will be about the same capacity as the location in Nob Hill, Jim said. The kitchen will have a smaller footprint, however, and they hope to rely mostly on food trucks, supplementing them with an abbreviated menu from the Nob Hill location.

The tap handles are already in place. (Photo courtesy of Hops Brewery)

The total number of taps will be 20, which will breakdown in a 50/50 split between their own beers and other local taps. Because, Jim said, there are good beers all around this town; they are not afraid to put on guest taps. It seems to work for them at the location on Central.

This will be a hop, skip, and a jump — or super quick bike ride — from my neighborhood nearby. Welcome to the Village, Hops. Or, I guess, welcome home.

Cheers!

— AmyO

Loretto Park in Bernalillo has previously hosted the Mountain West Brew Fest, and will be home to the Farmhouse Ale Festival on June 1.

New Mexico in the spring — cool weather, quiet patios, and the smell of green as the snow melt brings the bosque and the fields back to life. We can tell when winter leaves us. (Well, at least until the last couple days. — S) Oddly enough, it means our beer palates shift as well from heavy, hearty brews to something in between the fruity experimental and session beers of summer.

Often, the in-between styles are farmhouse ales, a blanket term for Belgian and French agrarian beer styles: saisons (French for “season”), bier-de-gardes (French for “beer to keep”), which have heavy wheat flavors, and on more rare occasions, a gueuze (or a lambic), which is a fruited and aged wheat beer.

Farmhouse ales were historically brewed in the winter and served through planting and harvest seasons. They can have a vast amount of flavor profiles because of the variety of natural yeasts and their amounts in each brew. Saisons are typically more hoppy and floral, while bier-de-gardes are earthy and fruity. Historically, all farmhouse ales are experimental as the success of agriculture varied each year. 

Coming up this year, Kaktus Brewing Company, in conjunction with the town of Bernalillo, will be hosting the first annual Farmhouse Ale Event on June 1 at Loretto Park (711 Camino del Pueblo) from noon to 6 p.m. (doors open at 11:30 a.m.), which will combine a beer fiesta with country music. The festival is an official ABQ Beer Week event. It will support community nonprofits that will put the money back into the community and cultivate goals for sustainable development.

“We’re really excited that we’re going to be able to put together a farmhouse ale event, and have the proceeds go to such worthy community-building causes, while at the same time bringing our community together,” Kaktus president Dana Koller said.

The event is sponsored primarily by Kaktus, along with the town of Bernalillo, Bosque Brewing, Casa Rodena Winery, Café Bella Coffee, and other local organizations. The nonprofits the event will support are the Kiwanis Club of Bernalillo, UN-17, and Purify the Planet.

The Kaktus Brewing welcoming committee will be staying at the brewery.

Kaktus brewers Mark Matheson and Michael Waddy will be brewing a few different farmhouse ales that are sure to celebrate New Mexican agriculture.

“Farmhouse ales were brewed when people didn’t have a lot of refrigeration, and they use like a yeast that’s like more conducive to the warm temperatures, so it’s always a really fun beer to brew and try,” Dana said.

In addition to the new farmhouse styles, Kaktus will have their traditional tap list available at the event. 

To compliment the beer festivities, the festival sponsors have invited country music headliners, including Grace Askew (who competed on The Voice), Michael Handler, Cody Joe Hodges, and Syd Masters, a New Mexico local. There will be hay bales and a petting zoo.

“It’s going to be pretty fantastic,” Dana said. “It’s going to be something to see. It’s not going to just be a normal beer and park festival; there’s going to be a lot more interaction to it.”

Tickets are available at farmhousealeevent.com. Admission is $10 for early bird (before May 26), $15 at the door, as well as a VIP option which includes wait service.

Though maybe not quite yet, to look forward to this summer, Kaktus will be offering other seasonal styles like a cherry basil lager, and a cucumber ale, Dana said. For these, you’ll have to visit the Kaktus Brewing Co. location, which is a complete beer sanctuary with two interactive patios and many weekly events, including live local music, belly-dancing from the Desert Darlings, and yoga. 

Cheers!

— Kristian

The events will be filling up Tractor Wells Park during ABQ Beer Week 2019.

As one of the more event-focused breweries in town, Tractor Brewing has long been a prominent participant in ABQ Beer Week. While there are not quite as many events on the calendar as years past, the brewery is still hosting eight events split between three of its four taprooms. To get a handle on all of them, I sat down with marketing and events director Jeremy Kinter.

First up is a returning event Thursday at 5 p.m. at Wells Park, an annual favorite among local beer geeks.

“We’re kicking it off again with Sour Hour with Rowley (Farmhouse Ales),” Jeremy said. “We’re featuring five beers from them. Two I think are (new) releases. It’s shuffled around quite a bit this year, based on what they have and what they want to feature here. It’s very eclectic. It’s the most flavorful Rowley Farms menu we’ve had. There’s some really cool sours there.”

Brewmaster/co-owner David Hargis later added that Tractor will also have some sours available, which you can purchase collectively on a tray or as individual pours. The full menu is being kept a surprise until Thursday.

That night will also feature a unique musical performance from Alex McMahon, who will be doing a live score of a film by Jesse Littlebird called Sights & Sounds. That will run from 8 to 10 p.m.

Wells Park will then host another out-of-town brewery on Friday at 5 p.m.

“Then, Friday the 24th, we have T or C Brewing doing a tap takeover,” Jeremy said. “They’re going to feature three of their beers and they’re going to be selling specialty bombers as well. I’m excited about those two, as well.”

We await the list from Truth or Consequences, but we are definitely hoping that the Truth Serum Barleywine will be among the bottles for sale.

The entertainment portion of the evening will feature a doubleheader of sorts, starting at 8 p.m., with a Magic Hour with Dave Grimm, followed by The Desert Darlings performing Hops & Dreams: Practical Magic Edition, at 9.

“They were awesome, because I always like to put them in Beer Week and I felt like this was a good match,” Jeremy said.

The first weekend will conclude Saturday at 8 at Wells Park with Under Covers, featuring number of local musicians performing a variety of covers ranging from Bob Dylan to Aimee Mann and so on, Jeremy said. Among those performing are Still Closed For Repairs, Bellemah, JD Nash Harding, and Austin Morrell.

Tractor will participate in Blues & Brews at Sandia Casino on Sunday afternoon, before taking Memorial Day off. The events resume Tuesday.

“The next event is Tuesday the 28th, and that one is the Beer and Grilled Cheese Pairing with Cheesy Street,” Jeremy said. “This year we’re doing it at the Westside (taproom). Basically, we’re no longer allowed to have food trucks in Nob Hill.”

No more food trucks in Nob Hill? Oh, man, that will be a story for another day, but it is a definite bummer, with Jeremy noting “it’s hurt us.”

Back to happier news, especially for those with a sweet tooth, as another popular event returns the following day.

“Wednesday the 29th we have the Rebel Donut and Beer Pairing, and that one’s going to be out at Four Hills,” Jeremy said. “It’s the second year we’re doing it. We’re one of the first ones to do that. We did it last year and it was a huge, huge hit.

“We sold out of pairings like an hour before we were supposed to end. So that’s why we’re ticketing/presaling it, so we can really get an accurate number of how many people are going to come. But, I’m sure as you’ve seen now, everyone is doing a donut-and-beer pairing.”

The cost is $11 for four pairings, and you can get your tickets online here.

As for the last three events, all will be back down at Wells Park.

“Thursday the 30th, we have Gin & Jazz: The Great Gatsby Edition,” Jeremy said. “We’re going to be featuring Prohibition era cocktails and beer, and also music from Le Chat Lunatique and Eddie Brewer and the Manic Episodes.”

That will kick off at 5 p.m., while the last two events will kick off at 8 p.m.

“Then on Friday the 31st, we’re doing a Drag Queen Bingo: Pride Edition,” Jeremy said. “Of course that’s always a riot. Pride is the following week, so we’re doing it the week before so we’re not over-saturating events. I like to do a Drag Queen Bingo during Beer Week.

“Then last, but not least, on Saturday, June 1st, we have Prism Bitch Unplugged. So we’re going to do an MTV Unplugged style. We’re going to put them in the center of the taproom and people’s seats are going to be all around them. That’s presale only. I’m doing 75 seats. It’s only $5.”

With the band going on tour on the East Coast this fall with Built to Spill, this could be a great opportunity to catch Prism Bitch before they explode onto the national scene. Tickets can be purchased online here.

One event that will not be back this year is the Battle of the Beer Geeks, which the Crew was a part of in past years. We agreed that its time had passed.

“There’s some new things, as you saw,” Jeremy said. “We’re not doing Battle of the Beer Geeks. We tried to make it (work), it’s just hard. It would have been logistically impossible, so I’m glad we didn’t do that one.”

Overall, it is a nice slate of varied events, which is what we have come to expect from Tractor. A big thanks to Jeremy for squeezing an interview into his busy schedule.

We will see many of you at Sour Hour and the T or C Brewing Tap Takeover, plus probably a few other of these events.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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

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

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

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

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

Yup, that’s a hazy one.

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

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

Congrats to all the winners.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Get thee to Las Cruces this Friday!

There are only a few beer festivals left in New Mexico that no one from the Crew has attended. One was the Blazin’ Brewfest, but I will be heading down this Friday since it is not falling on my birthday or opposite a metal show this year (it was rather uncanny how many times that happened in past years).

This annual celebration of craft beer takes over Main Street and Plaza de Las Cruces, starting at 5 and running until 9 p.m. Tickets are still available online. General admission is $15 and designated drivers get in for $5, and they typically sell out in advance (though Guild executive director Leah Black said a few will be held back for sale at the gate), so it would be wise not to risk showing up expecting a ticket unless you arrive at the outset.

Blazin’ is a New Mexico Brewers Guild event, and it has drawn 18 breweries from around New Mexico, including all five Las Cruces breweries. Pecan Grill Brewery will be in attendance, but it does not have any beers available as brewer David Allan is currently undergoing treatment for cancer. Eight other breweries are donating beers to be sold by the pint at the Pecan Grill tent, with proceeds going to help the Allan family. Marble will be sending Passionate Gose, while Canteen, La Cumbre, Little Toad Creek, Palmer Brewery, Santa Fe, Sierra Blanca, and Steel Bender will also contribute.

There will be music from DJ D-monic and a number of food trucks on site.

As for the beer lists for the 17 breweries, here is what we have so far. If any others update us between now and the start of the festival, we will share those here.

  • Bosque: Pistol Pete’s 1888, Bosque IPA, Elephants on Parade, Scotia Scotch Ale, Open Space Haze, Pale Ryder, Sour Songs (blood orange and cranberry kettle sour), Rebble Pebble (cocoa pebble brown ale)
  • Canteen: Cabana Lager, Radiohead IPA, La Luz Wheat, Dougie Style Amber
  • Cloudcroft: TBA
  • High Desert: Mango Gose, New England IPA, Cerveza, Ekuanot Pale Ale, Peach Wheat
  • Icebox: Frostbite IPA, Black Ice Lager, Rasp-brrry Wheat, Cold-Hearted Cream Ale
  • La Cumbre: Elevated IPA, A Slice of Hefen, Acclimated APA, El Jugo, Strawberry Gose
  • Little Toad Creek: Smart Blonde Ale, Grumpy Old Troll IPA, Pendejo Porter
  • Lost Hiker: TBA
  • Marble: Double White, Double White Triple Berry, Desert Fog, Cerveza
  • Picacho Peak: Munich Helles, Bitchin Brown, Hefeweizen, Saison, NEIPH, Twisted Windmill (DIPA)
  • Red Door: Unhinged Cider, New England IPA, Vanilla Cream Ale, Irish Red Ale
  • Santa Fe: Pepe Loco, 7K IPA, Happy Camper IPA, Social Hour
  • Sierra Blanca: Alien IPA, Cherry Wheat, Green Chile Cerveza, Desert Pilsner
  • Spotted Dog: TBA
  • Steel Bender: Skull Bucket IPA, Raspberry Dynamite, Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch, Compa Los Ranchos Lager
  • Tractor: Haymaker Honey Wheat, Blood Orange Cider, Stonewall Brut IPA with grapefruit
  • Truth or Consequences: Hot Springs Lager, Buckhorn IPA, Paddleboard Pale Ale, Irish Red

Hopefully I will see many of you at the festival. Look for me roaming about or over at the Brewers Guild tent.

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 seven breweries, one in Los Alamos, one in Moriarty, one in Red River, and one in Truth or Consequences also joining the party.

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

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

The sixth annual Bees + Seeds Festival returns to Tractor Wells Park this Saturday at 3 p.m. This free event features all sorts of educational opportunities related to the environment. There will be free plants available to take home that were grown at the Rio Valley Greenhouses, provided by GMO-Free New Mexico and Food is Free Albuquerque. SMASH Studio Arts’ The Shucker Bus will be there creating art activities for attendees of all ages. There will be additional artists, poets, and special guest speakers. Being a Tractor event, there will also be a lineup of some of the top local bands including The Riddims, Hub City Soundsystem, Dan Garduno, The Cactus Flowers, and Mineral Hill. Oh, and the best part? It is free to attend. Help the planet while you enjoy your pints!

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bombs Away hits the mark with more Counter Charge Coffee Stout and Operation Single Hop (Citra). Bosque chills out on the patio with Sabro Pale Ale. Bow & Arrow is releasing Guest of Honor, a Belgian-style pale ale, on tap and in bottles this Friday. Boxing Bear is putting Black & Blue Tart in cans for the first time, also on Friday. Canteen added Abbey Ale, WIPL Wouser, and Radiohead IPA. Marble mixed it up with Rye Ginger Lager. Nexus has Beam Me Up Scotty back on Thursday and 8 of 9 Blood Orange American Wheat on tap Friday for its anniversary weekend, which we will preview in full Thursday. Ponderosa goes the single-hop route with Idaho 7 Pale Ale. Red Door is preparing for a Hopical Storm on Friday with a new pineapple milkshake IPA. Rio Bravo is putting its hazy IPA, Freak Juice, in cans for the first time Friday. Starr Brothers recently added Dos Cabrones Mexican Lager, while bringing back Bloodshot and also introducing Razzcherry Gose. Turtle Mountain finally got Yum Yum Breeze on tap, and now have all 13 taps pouring house-made beer.

Up in Santa Fe, it is another weird one of those quiet weeks. Over in Los Alamos, Bathtub Row has a fresh batch of Patriot Porter.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of May 13.

Read the rest of this entry »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

It’s go-time, again, and we will help prepare you for all that is to come.

Some mornings you glance at the old beer calendar and try to figure out what to write about. Well, at least that’s how it works for us, and our glance today brought us to the stark realization that ABQ Beer Week 2019 is just 10 days away. Guess we should probably get our annual early preview up, right?

Most of these events can be found here at the official site, but if we list any below that do not appear there, fear not, someone just has to upload the final details. For each day we picked at least one event to highlight. When Beer Week starts next Thursday, we will have a daily preview for each and every day, plus some breakout features on certain events.

As we do every year, we seriously advise saving up some money for Lyft/Uber usage, or take this opportunity to cash in any owed rides from friends/family.

Thursday, May 23

This is definitely a double-event day, at minimum. Start your day at Marble Heights for the annual Beer, Cheese & More. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online. It sells out, so get ’em early. You get a tray of delicious Marble beers paired with select cheeses and other foods from Whole Foods Market. The event runs from 5 to 7 p.m. When you are done, grab a ride down to Tractor Wells Park for Sour Hour with Rowley Farmhouse Ales. This one also starts at 5 but runs until 10, so they should have plenty of beer left after you are done at Marble. Grab a tray of select RFA and Tractor sours and enjoy the sounds of McMahon & Littlebird, who perform at 8.

Other events to consider: Firestone Walker tasting at Stone Face Liquors, 4 p.m.; Bell’s Brewery tasting at Jubilation, 4 p.m.; Laid Back Lager Jogger 5K at Canteen Brewhouse, 5 p.m.; Beer Making 101 Class at Casa Vieja Brewery, 6:30 p.m.; Drinking Songs Themed Karaoke at Red Door Candelaria, 7 p.m.

Friday, May 24

The opening weekend is pretty packed, in case you have not looked at the schedule yourselves. Once again, we have two events in two different parts of town that are both worth checking out. The order you go in is up to you, but for these two, we definitely recommend you do not drive. Nob Hill Bar & Grill is hosting the 21 and Over event this year (it was at Sister last time), which features a collection of national craft breweries that are 21 years old or older (get it?). Each will be offering up some of their rarer one-offs rather than just the same old stuff. The one that has us the most excited is Firestone Walker’s Maple Parabola Imperial Stout. We will unveil the other seven entries soon. Meanwhile, at the same time over at Tractor Wells Park, Truth or Consequences Brewing is engineering at tap takeover and bomber sale. If you have not made it down to T or C to try this excellent brewery, now is your chance, plus you can take home beers like Truth Serum Barleywine.

Other events to consider: Social Capital Key-Lime Pie release at both Canteen locations, noon; High and Dry Brewing and Taos Energy Bar collab release, noon; Wild & Sour Beer Tasting with Steel Bender, Rowley Farmhouse Ales, and Bow & Arrow at Jubilation, 4 p.m.

Saturday, May 25

This day is nice, as the events are more spread out across the day. Start your day off with the Mini-Cask Fest at Quarter Celtic, which starts when it opens at 11 a.m. Four select QC beers will be served in firkins, and you can sample all for just $5, and/or grab a pint of your favorite. Don’t fill up too much on food, though, as the Annual Food Truck Battle is going down at Red Door Candelaria at 1 p.m. After a potential afternoon siesta, head downtown to Sister for the Ex Novo Brewing Release Party at 6 p.m. If you have not been lucky enough to try the beers from the original in Oregon, enjoy the first tasty offerings from the new Corrales brewery.

Other events to consider: Donuts & Beer Pairing with Bristol Doughnut Co. at Steel Bender Brewyard, 11 a.m.; Cider Day Night Fever at Tractor Nob Hill, all day

Sunday, May 26

There’s really just the annual Blues & Brews Festival at Sandia Casino. We will have a full preview of that one soon.

Monday, May 27

Double up on the Memorial Day activities with Marble’s annual music festival at 2 p.m. You can also hit the all-day Smoke-Out at Steel Bender, though that only goes until the delicious smoked meats run out. We would honestly recommend you fatten up at Steel Bender first, then dance it off at Marble later.

Other events to consider: Tamarind Sour Release and Karaoke at Cantero Brewing, 11 a.m.; Karaoke for a Cause at Red Door Downtown, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, May 28

Things start slowing down a bit now that the holiday weekend is over. If you missed Ex Novo at Sister, head over to Jubilation at 4 p.m. for a tasting of their packaged offerings. Then motor down to Canteen Brewhouse for a Scholarly Happy Hour with Asa Stone at 6. She is the only certified advanced Cicerone in the state, so she might have some insight into taking your love of beer to the next level.

Other events to consider: Special Release of Mangose at Quarter Celtic, all day; Beer and Grilled Cheese Pairing with Cheesy Street at Tractor Westside, 5 p.m.

Wednesday, May 29

Another relatively quiet day, so kick back and relax with the Rebel Donut and Beer Pairing at Tractor Four Hills at 4 p.m. This one ran out of donuts in a hurry last year, so while more will be on hand this year, do not expect them to last. Then you can head down to Red Door Candelaria for a lecture on hops and climate in New Mexico at 7 p.m.

Other events to consider: Steel Bender Tap Takeover at M’tucci’s Market & Pizzeria, all day; Founders Barrel-Aged Beer Dinner at the Salt Yard, TBA

Thursday, May 30

This is another busy day. Start it off at any time at Steel Bender for the Saison de Luxe release party. This collaboration with Ex Novo is a barrel-aged brett saison. There’s a Bell’s Brewery Tappening at O’Niell’s Heights from 5 to 7 p.m. You can also sign up for two beer dinners featuring La Cumbre at Nob Hill Bar & Grill and one at Toltec Brewing on the westside, starting at 6 and 6:30, respectively.

Other events to consider: Upslope Brewing tasting at Jubilation, 4 p.m.; Odell Pint Night at Billy’s Long Bar, 5 p.m.; The Great Gatsby Edition of Gin & Jazz at Tractor Wells Park, 5 p.m.

Friday, May 31

Close out the month of May with all sorts of beer-and-food-pairing events. Marble will have a beer and cheese pairing at Jubilation at 4 p.m. Canteen Brewhouse is hosting a beer and taco pairing at 6 p.m. Dialogue Brewing is hosting at beer and food pairing with M’tucci’s at 6 p.m.

Other events to consider: Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout tapping at Two Fools Tavern, 5 p.m.; Drag Queen Bingo: Pride Edition at Tractor Wells Park, 8 p.m.

Saturday, June 1

The new month begins with Kaktus Brewing hosting the Farm House Ale Event at Loretto Park in Bernalillo from noon to 6 p.m. We will have a full preview of this mix of beer, food, live country music, and more.

Other events to consider: Worthogs Homebrew Club Demonstration at Casa Vieja Brewery, 1 p.m.; Pop Fizz Paleta Pairing with Rio Bravo and host High and Dry, 2 p.m.; Beer, BBQ and Bites Pairing with Asa Stone at Canteen Brewhouse, 6 p.m.; Steel Bender Beer Dinner at Artichoke Cafe, 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 2

It all wraps up, finally, with plenty of concluding events. If you still have a hankering for cask beers with some mangy jazz, hit up Le Cask Lunatique at Steel Bender at noon and enjoy some brews with Le Chat Lunatique.

Other events to consider: Hoppy Birthday to Us! anniversary party at Casa Vieja Brewery, noon; Bike Part Drive benefiting Esperanza Bike Shop at Canteen Brewhouse, 2 p.m.; Green Jeans Farmery Beer Week Event, TBA

* * * * *

That is all from us for now, but look for a lot more info starting next Thursday. We will see you all out and about during Beer Week.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The Desert Valley taproom at Wyoming and Comanche is now open.

With no Champions League games to watch and the weather actually holding up for a change, I decided to make the short drive down Wyoming to check out the Desert Valley Brewing taproom that recently opened next door to Poki Poki Cevicheria.

The DV taproom effectively takes the place of the Red Door Brewing taproom that closed back in August, but it is not in exactly the same space. The setup of the complex has Suite A occupied by a coffee shop, Sweet Cup, in the northeast corner, Suite B by Poki in the northwest, Suite C by Desert Valley in the center, and Suite D by Kody’s Smoke Shack. Red Door was in Suite D at 3517 Wyoming NE.

Poki Poki is still next door, but you have to go outside to access it from the taproom now.

Now located smack-dab in the middle, Desert Valley has an open doorway into Kody’s, so one can order food in one space and enjoy it with a beer/cider/mixed drink in the other. The actual taproom space is fairly simple, with a small number of short and tall tables flanking around a bar in the middle with 20 taps, 12 for beer and the rest for Sandia Hard Cider’s offerings. Desert Valley also has a distillers license now, so you can order mixed drinks if beer or cider are not your cup of tea, so to speak.

There is also an upstairs area with some TVs in the overhang above. It almost feels like sort of a reverse image of the old Red Door spot, albeit with a different decor.

They have a loft upstairs much like Red Door used to have in the adjacent suite.

Of the 12 Desert Valley beers on draft, I went with the Dark Side Stout, which checks in at 9-percent ABV and 39 IBUs. It’s a drier stout, with some pronounced roasted and almost licorice/star anise flavors. The rest of the lineup is varied from hoppy to malty, heavy to light (in ABV and appearance), and if I had more time, I would have sampled a few more. Trying the barbecue is also on the agenda for a return trip.

The parking lot is still too small, and a car attempting to leave out the Wyoming entrance/exit and I almost collided as I pulled in (you cannot really see around that corner), but otherwise the building setup is pretty much as it was during the Red Door era. Just be aware that the lot will fill up quickly during the busier hours.

We will be back to try some of the other 12 beers on tap. There are also eight ciders.

Another craft beer and food option in the Heights is always welcome. We will be back to try Desert Valley and Kody’s Smoke Shack again.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister