Posts Tagged ‘Abq Hopfest’

Get your ABQ Hopfest beer lists here

Posted: September 7, 2018 by cjax33 in Events, News

It’s almost time for the 11th annual ABQ Hopfest, which kicks off Saturday at Isleta Casino.

It is a couple weeks later than usual, but the annual Albuquerque Hopfest is back at Isleta Casino this Saturday from 3 to 6 p.m. (2 to 6 for extra hoppy hour and VIP ticket holders)

There are a few subtle changes this year, but for the most part it will be the same mondo-sized beerfest you have all become accustomed to over the past several years. There will be some new bands between the different stages, which will now include a stage in the VIP area. Pizza 9 will also be roaming about, offering up free pizza samples, so that should go over well since pizza and beer always go together.

As per usual, we advise everyone to either take the Rail Runner south to the Isleta stop, or rely upon Lyft/Uber/taxis to get back and forth. Or, if you have that one awesome friend/relative, get ’em to be your designated driver. Tickets are still available online here and should be available at the door. You want that extra hoppy hour ticket ($40, and as of this morning those were 85% sold out), because it gives you a much more chill hour in which to try all the great beers you really want to try without waiting in line for too long.

So what beers are going to be poured? Well, we have the list from the event program, with a few updates from the local breweries. Here is the most up-to-date list that we were provided. Breweries in bold have changes since the event program was printed.

  • Bathtub Row: Mexican Lager, Irish Red, Hoppenheimer IPA, Cebolla Wild Hop Pale Ale
  • Bosque: Lager, IPA, Scotia, Pistol Pete’s 1888 Ale, Elephants on Parade
  • Canteen: Laid Back Lager, Flashback IPA, Pecos Trail Brown, La Luz Wheat
  • Chili Line: Lucky Luke (Blueberry Lavender Saison), Que Picante (Red Chile Rauchbier)
  • Dialogue: Jurassic 5 What’s Golden Ale, Raspberry Sour
  • Enchanted Circle: Hells Bells Helles Lager, Panty Tosser Peach Wheat, Red River Red Ale, Bourbon Vanilla Porter, Glory Hole IPA
  • Flix Brewhouse: Luna Rosa, Lupulus IPA, Das Umlaut (Oktoberfest), Velvety Puppet Love (Raspberry Witbier)
  • Hops: Dad Joke (Kentucky Rye Common), Hop Hill IPA, Chica (American Pale Ale)
  • Kellys: American Lager, Apricot Wheat, Red, IPA
  • Kilt Check: Campbell-Toe IPA, Kilt Rocks Imperial Red, Covfefe Hefeweizen
  • Marble: Desert Fog, Eastside IPA, New Mexico State Fair Hazy Pale Ale, Double White (Ringleader for VIP)
  • Nexus: New Mexico Snow IPA, Imperial Tribble Red Ale, Coffee and Cream Ale, Lemon Wheat
  • Rio Bravo: Snakebite IPA, Roadkill Red, Pinon Coffee Porter (all in cans), Cherry Wheat, Blurred Lines NEIPA, Wildcard Weissbock, Level 3 IPA, Lemongrass Wit, Blueberry Mint Gose (all on draft)
  • Santa Fe: 7K IPA, Merky IPA, Pepe Loco Mexi Lager, Oktoberfest
  • Second Street: Agua Fria Pilsner, Boneshaker Special Bitter, 2920 IPA, Barrel-Aged Skookum, Chin Gose, MBV Stout
  • Steel Bender: Skull Bucket IPA, Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch, Raspberry Dynamite, Compa Los Ranchos Lager (Tangerine Dynamite for VIP)
  • Toltec: Rye Lager, Altbier, Stout, Dr. Rudi Single Hop
  • Tractor: Simcoe Single Hop Pale Ale, Azacca Single Hop IPA, Green Bullet Drop Hopped Cider, Almanac IPA, Delicious Red Hard Apple Cider, Farmer’s Tan Red Ale, New Mexican Lager, Milk Mustachio Stout

Sierra Blanca also informed us that it the brewery will not be attending, which came as a surprise to us and the event organizers (if we get a further update about what is happening, we will share it here). If any additional brewery updates come in, we will update those as well.

New breweries at the event will include locals Hops, Second Street, Steel Bender, and Toltec, plus Bell’s Brewery and Austin Eastciders. There was also hope that Cantero Brewing would make its debut at Hopfest, but that has not yet been confirmed whether or not it will attend.

However it pans out, have fun out there, beer lovers. Just make it home safely, OK?


— Stoutmeister

Editor’s note: For more on this story below, you can visit Paul at his own booth at Hopfest this afternoon. His booth is located on the south wall of the main ballroom, next to the Dukes of Ale and Pagosa Brewing. — Stoutmeister

In the craft beer industry, homebrewing, professional brewing, and competition are all part of the same universe. Many professional brewers started off as homebrewers, and many homebrewers aspire to become professionals, but regardless of official status or aspirations, it all boils down to one thing — brewing great beer. That’s why both the pro brewer and homebrewer regularly compete for ribbons, medals, and bragging rights. Competition is a friendly way of challenging each other to make better beer and keep the craft of beer fresh. And, I suppose it’s also nice to say, in a friendly way of course, “My IPA can beat up your IPA.”

Brewer vs. brewer on TV sounds a lot better than another show about cooking. Or pawn shops. Or rednecks.

Brewer vs. brewer on TV sounds a lot better than another show about cooking. Or pawn shops. Or rednecks.

One way of bringing the collective industry together, the homebrewers, the breweries, and the beer drinkers, is through the magic of television. We’ve all seen “Brew Dogs” and rejoiced at the idea of beer on TV. But where it shines brightly in some areas, it leaves others dim as the dark side of the moon. Specifically, the exciting competitive side of beer. (Except for that one episode about the homebrewers. That was great. But that’s my point.)

Cooking competition shows are already wildly popular. Everyone loves a good battle in the kitchen because that’s how you really see how something is made and all the blood, sweat, and tears unwritten into each recipe. Whether it’s over cupcakes, foie gras, or baby back ribs, it’s fun to watch real people compete with real passion and creative ideas, all the while producing something we’d actually consume. It sure beats watching people starve on an island. Ahem.

One man recognized a need to see the brewing side of beer paired with the competitive side of human nature. He wants to see real brewers throw down in a casual cage match, which will showcase, above all, the passion and creativity that unarguably drive the art of craft brewing. I had the opportunity to do an email interview with expert homebrewer and fellow Bullpen writer Paul Grunewald about his exciting new TV venture and how he plans to get his idea from grain to glass, so to speak. And I suppose I’ll say it first, as we’ll all be thinking it half-way through. “Man! Why didn’t I think of that first?”

DSBC: What can you tell me about the concept for the show “Head to Head?”

Paul: Head to Head is a (respectful) competition show that has home brewers and pro brewers making beer under the same set of constraints. The beers will be judged by trained judges and then sampled with a live audience.

DSBC: Who came up with the idea for Head to Head?

Paul: I had the original idea and brainstormed with other beer lovers. The team at New Mexico Film Resource (NMFR) then helped me refine it.

DSBC: How did you come up with the idea?

Paul: There were a couple of things. In addition to brewing , both my wife and I do a lot of cooking so we watch cooking shows including “Top Chef” and some of the other shows. I was disappointed in both “Brew Masters” and “Brew Dogs.” One night, I was channel surfing and saw a show called “Airplane Repo.” I figured if there was a market for a show about people getting their airplanes repossessed, there’s got to be a bigger market for craft beer!

DSBC: I have to agree with you on that one. What features will the shows include?

Paul: These constraints might be style, ingredients, or other challenges. It will be different every week. There will not be a lot of contrived drama. The tone of the show will be similar to “BBQ Pitmasters” combined with “Movable Feast.”

DSBC: What sets this show apart from other competition shows or beer shows?

Paul: One, the host will not be swearing and screaming at the brewers! Giving them the time needed to brew a beer. The way the show is shot will be unique, but I can’t say too much more than that just yet. “Brew Dogs” is about beer, but it’s not the same vibe we think is needed for “Head to Head.” Our hope is to have each season in a great beer town including Portland, San Diego, Raleigh, etc. (not just a new city each episode as in Brew Dogs).

DSBC: Who is your target audience?

Paul: The audience is anyone that loves craft beer, and there are a lot of them. The demographics are very wide. Craft Beer grew at 18 percent last year, and over 1,000,000 people brewed at least batch of beer last year!

Beer can be a competitive sport. Well, brewing can.

Brewing as a competition. How novel.

DSBC: That would definitely include the Brew Crew. Where will the show be shooting?

Paul: We want to shoot the pilot here in New Mexico. Where the episodes are shot depends on who picks up the show. My hope would be to do season one here.

DSBC: Who will be involved with filming/production?

Paul: Again, it depends on how the show is financed. The deal can go anywhere from the idea being purchased, to “here is a chunk of money, bring me 13 shows and everything in between.”

DSBC: That makes sense. So, to which channels do you plan to pitch the idea?

Paul: I would want to start with the usual suspects, Esquire, Spike, Food Network, Discovery, National Geographic, etc. But I’ll talk to anyone who will listen to me!

DSBC: I think there is definitely a market for this kind of show. So, Paul, how are you going about getting this ambitious project off the ground?

Paul: I contracted with NMFR to shoot the promo video with my own money. They have done a number of crowd-funded projects already.

DSBC: Why did you choose Indiegogo over say, Kickstarter?

Paul: Because I’m using NMFR and they are a non-profit. If we reach our goal, Indiegogo will not take as large a percentage leaving more money to get the pilot done. Kickstarter tends to be an all or nothing proposition, whereas even if we don’t hit our full goal, we might have enough to start.

DSBC: How can craft beer lovers help get this show on TV?

Paul: The Indiegogo page is here. We will also be at Hopfest on Saturday at Isleta. We have a number of contribution perks. If anyone wants something different, please contact me.

DSBC: When is the deadline to donate or sponsor?

Paul: The campaign runs through Oct. 16, 2014.

DSBC: Paul, is there anything else you’d like to add?

Paul: I want to thank the people who have contributed time and money to this already. New Mexico is a beer mecca as well as having the film and TV resources to make a professional show. We have some great brewers and breweries here and I would like to show them off to the world! Special thanks again to Ken and Kaylynn at Nexus for their help with the promo video.

DSBC: Thanks Paul! Looking forward to watching Head to Head soon, pint-in-hand.


— Luke

Hump Day at Chama River

Posted: August 22, 2012 by Shilling in Brewery Reviews
Tags: , ,

Shilling here. School is back in session and what better way to relax after a day of hitting the books than drinking a beer?

Stoutmeister and I decided to meet up to discuss our “plan of attack” for Hopfest (well, we were really just mostly trying to figure out how to get from the NE Heights to the Hard Rock; Rail Runner, here we come). Stoutmeister picked the brewery he had not been to in the longest: Chama River. Chama currently has four seasonal brews on tap right now that are worth drinking.

Chama’s August lineup of seasonals (from left): The Big LeBrewski, Liquid Schwarz, Hopricot and Noble Session Ale.

The Noble Session Ale: The Noble is a light, pale ale that has crisp flavor with a slight bite at the end. I thought it was OK; Stoutmeister did not like it that much.

The Hopricot Pale Ale: Unlike the apricot wheat at Broken Bottle, the is the opposite on the spectrum of bitter-to-sweet. Now, that is not to say that this beer is bitter, it’s just the hops are very prevalent in the first sip, then the crisp, sweet apricot flavor hits followed by a mellow, pale ale finish.

Liquid Schwarz: All “Spaceballs” gags aside, I left this one’s review to Stoutmeister: “It’s a solid version of the German schwarzbier. It’s dark in color but lighter in taste, with a slight sweetness that you might find in a brown ale rather than it’s similar-looking cousins, the stout and porter. It’s smooth and easy-drinking, good for the late summer. Give this to people who don’t like dark beers and use it to start changing their minds about the genre.”

The Big LeBrewski: Now, I don’t know if I’m really one to critique an IPA since I am not a normal IPA drinker. Although, unlike the other double IPAs that I have had, this one is the easiest to drink without burping up a pine tree. I would like to get some readers’ opinions on this one.

That’s all from Chama for now. We’ll try to stop by more often when new seasonals are introduced.

Stoutmeister and E-Rock will be at Marble tonight to see The Lonesome Heroes, an Austin-based band that E-Rock is friends with, perform while also checking out the beers there if any are new.

Until we all gather at Hopfest on Saturday …


— Shilling

ABQ Hopfest is nearly upon us

Posted: August 21, 2012 by Shilling in Events
Tags: ,

Our apologizes for not posting about this sooner, but this Saturday, Stoutmeister and Shilling will be present at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for the fifth annual ABQ Hopfest.

The Hopfest is a fundraiser for the New Mexico Make-A-Wish Foundation, raising money to grant wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses. This year the festival features 50 breweries, eight bands on three stages, plus indoor and outdoor booths.

Doors open at 3 p.m. for general admission tickets, while the special Extra Hoppy tickets get you in at 2 p.m. Tickets are available online or you can purchase them at the Tractor Tap Room in Nob Hill. Extra Hoppy tickets are nearly gone.

Widmer Bros. Brewing, the kings of the American Hefeweizen, are the sponsor brewery for the event.

Also in attendance this year are Abita (Louisiana), Big Sky (Montana), Deschutes (Oregon), Goose Island (Illinois), Green Flash (San Diego), Kona (Hawaii), Sam Adams, Blue Moon, Guinness, Left Coast, Bridgeport; our Colorado favorites Breckenridge, Left Hand, Oskar Blues, Odell, and Ska; plus New Mexico’s Marble, Tractor, Broken Bottle, Santa Fe, Boar’s Nest, Back Alley, Taos Ale House, and many, many more!

Stoutmeister will unleash a mondo preview on Friday of all the breweries and all the beers (we hope) they will be bringing along for us to enjoy.

Folks, this is a great event supporting an amazing cause. So if you’re interested in attending, redirect your browser over to the Hopfest Web site to get your tickets and we’ll see you guys there!


— Shilling