Posts Tagged ‘Ale Republic’

If you’ve had trouble in the past finding the turn off for Ale Republic, well, now you have no excuse for missing it.

Driving north on Highway 14 in the east mountains, I immediately noticed a change in front of Ale Republic, my destination for this entry in our annual Look Back/Look Ahead Series. Instead of turning right by the post office into a nondescript entrance, there is now a bright turquoise grain hopper with a brewery sign, just south of the other entrance, announcing the new way to approach the building.

Entering using this access presents the building head-on rather than from the side, which is much more impressive. Two and a half years after Ale Republic’s opening, I have seen several changes, and this was only the first change just since my last visit a few months ago. There is now a covered patio in the front, with plans to add gas heaters. On the north side of the building, a stage is taking shape for live music outside. It will be covered in the same corrugated metal roof style as the patio.

Well, look at that, a food menu at Ale Republic!

The biggest news, however, is the addition of an on-site kitchen. I was excited to be able to grab lunch there with my beer, so I ordered a Cubano sandwich (with house-picked jalapenos added; a perfect compliment suggested by our “beerista”) and a cup of green chile chicken stew. Both items were outstanding. The only nitpick I can even bring up is that the side pickle was not very pickled compared to the jalapenos, making it taste a little like a side of cucumber. A very small slight.

Greta, our beerista, told us that in the front of house, Ale Republic is showcasing a featured artist each month, with an art show each first Friday. Anyone who is interested can submit their work. The art really warms up the taproom space and helps connect the brewery to the community.

The taproom is a cozy place.

Business partners Patrick Johnson and Zach Gould sat down with me to discuss these new improvements and what they foresee happening in the upcoming year. They said they have pushed expansion pretty rapidly on a shoestring budget. They have decided not to take on any investors, so they do what they can when they can. This week sometime, they are expecting another brand-new arrival (Patrick is a new dad, as well). A wood-fired pizza oven will be installed by the new year. If the rest of the food is any indication, this will be a great reason to make the short drive from town.

Zach said he is hoping to do special bottle releases on a regular basis this coming year. Also, they hope to get some taps going in Albuquerque. The addition of new brewing space in the building behind the taproom, and quite a few new fermenters, will help Ale Republic accomplish those goals. Patrick and the brewing team are still using a 3-barrel system, but can turn out the beer faster with their additional equipment. The installation of a tankless water heater provided the ability to almost constantly brew without needing a hot liquor tank. They are brewing two-to-three times per week and are keeping more styles available on tap. Hopefully, in 2019, they will move to a 10-barrel system, they said.

Patrick has a little more room to play in these days.

The large amount of space and high ceilings in the new building will allow for larger tanks, and Patrick said they are in the market to purchase some. I also asked him about the water at their location, because I know it is a big issue for some east mountain businesses. Patrick said it used to be an issue for them as well, but they changed the location for well extraction, and their particular source is perfect. One hundred yards away the water is not good, Patrick said. At Ale Republic, it comes straight out of the well pretty much pH neutral. It is always being tested and does not need to be treated. As far as they know, they are the only ones using untreated water right from the ground.

Ale Republic plans to launch its 2019 music series with a big party on 4/20. Yes, it is very intentional. It falls on a weekend this year, so it is just perfect. When they acquired the back building, they moved the lot line quite a bit and the property is much more spacious. We walked most of the property. Long-term plans include a beer garden back there in the next few years. It will be great because there are mountains and hills on all sides.

Is this not a reasonable place to park?

If you thought you knew Ale Republic, you might want to come back for the expanded beer selection and the thoughtful menu from the new kitchen. There is a chance for snow this week, something that turns the already lovely east mountains into a magical destination.

Wintry cheers!

— AmyO

Proper glassware, Pfriem, TRVE, CAH, and … yeah, not sure what the frypan was doing there, but you can blame our insatiable need for bacon.

Welcome back to this weekly feature, which got skipped last week due to a deadly combination of not enough people sending in items, and too many other stories clogging up the queue.

This past weekend, however, was a lot more jam-packed with beer-related fun for most of us. Huzzah to that! For me (Stoutmeister), it was a chance to catch up with friends in the film industry who actually got a weekend off. There were beers to be consumed, ridiculous food to eat, and, naturally, a round of Cards Against Humanity was in the, um, cards.

On the beer front, folks cleaned out some oldies but goodies. We had beers from Trinity Brewing (Colorado Springs), TRVE Brewing (Denver), pre-evil-empire Wicked Weed (Asheville, NC), Pfriem (Hood River, OR), and one lunatic stout known as the Truffledome from California. For a few other beers, we did a little mixology. Using Santa Fe’s Chicken Killer as a base, we tested it out with some Oak Aged Vanilla Worldwide Stout from Dogfish Head, and the blend was a beauty, as it took away some of the CK burn as well as keeping the Worldwide from being overly sweet. Hey, if the folks at the SFBC taprooms can make some mixes, we can, too.

Now to the rest of the Crew’s weekend adventures … (more…)

One of the first bottled beers in Ale Republic’s short history.

Back at the start of the month, before things got a wee bit crazy in the old work schedule (not to mention lots of breaking beer news), Franz Solo and I went on a two-brewery trip east of Albuquerque for our annual Look Back/Look Ahead Series. We already chronicled our visit to Sierra Blanca, so it was high time I typed up our interview with brewer/owner Patrick Johnson of Ale Republic.

We visited on a quiet Thursday, which did give us a nice chance to take a tour of the property and not take Patrick away from his work for too long. The past year has been one of learning on the fly for Ale Republic, the lone brewery in the East Mountains. Specifically located in Cedar Crest on Highway 14, it is a craft beer oasis in a mostly rural area, one that lacked winter tourists with the scant snowfall. Its location also presents some unique challenges, as Patrick and the rest of the Ale Republic discovered.

“It’s a lot better than where we were (last year),” Patrick said. “I’m pretty happy with some of the beers we’re making. Some of them need some work, but that’s cool. The main issue we’re having right now is water. It’s so dry that wells are running dry and as soon as you drill a new well, the water is completely different. It’s absurd.”

There is no city water system to tap into for Ale Republic, and the recent drought has done the small brewery no favors, as Patrick mentioned. All of that has led to some significant variances in the beers.

“It’s just something that we need to sort out,” he said. “We just drilled a new well (and) the water is 100-percent perfect brewing water. … I looked up a dozen different water chemistries for IPAs, which is a standard ale, and averaged them all, and this water is that average. You don’t have to do any (special) filtration or any of that.”

Patrick said the previous well that the brewery used featured some extremely hard water.

“With the Belgians, it doesn’t matter too much, like the Dark Strong, for example,” he said. “For the non-Belgians, our IPA just tasted off/odd. It was a metallic flavor from the hard water. Which sucks, because people want to drink IPAs, and our IPA was just weird.

“The old water was super hard and the well was running dry. We had to drill a new one, which had perfect water chemistry, but then the new well went dry. We’re trying to find a nice medium. If we can’t figure that out, we’re going to have to truck water in, which sucks, but you have to do it.”

We visited early on a quiet weekday afternoon.

Water is not the only challenge that Ale Republic has faced.

“Customers, we don’t get as many people from Albuquerque as we thought (we would),” Patrick said. “Most are people who live up here and some people who are recreating. Snow has been terrible. Lots of mountain bikers, that’s probably our biggest external market.”

A bicycle product demonstration event held on the brewery property last year produced the largest single-day crowd. Otherwise, Ale Republic is learning how to adapt to the tastes of its primarily local customer base.

“It’s been interesting learning about this community,” Patrick said. “It’s kind of a smaller market here, so you have to cater. We always have (La Cumbre’s) Beer on tap. We always have the cider. Some folks, that’s all they want. I’m sure it’s personalities (similar to) what people in Albuquerque have to deal with, but it’s such a smaller market to deal with.”

The good news is that Ale Republic can now make more of its own beer thanks to the arrival of new equipment.

“We just finished installing all of our 3-barrel system,” Patrick said. “We have some new tanks, (and) we have some old tanks from Kellys, their 3-barrels. We got some old tanks from La Cumbre (too). We’re finally out of the beer bottleneck. Our bottleneck right now is storage. We’ve got tons of beer in the brewhouse, waiting to go somewhere, and nowhere to put it. That’s a good problem to have. We need to order probably a couple brights and then a bunch of kegs.”

A real brewing system is now in place.

Patrick said Ale Republic is working on getting its wholesaler license to start sending beer over the mountain to Albuquerque. He added that Hops Brewery has expressed interest in putting Ale Republic beers on tap in Nob Hill.

“Going forward, in-house we’ll have the standard American beers that people want, but to distribute I think we’re going to focus on probably three, maybe four Belgians,” Patrick said.

Ale Republic will take a careful approach to distributing its beers, making sure to stay mindful of how things change in the brewing world at large.

“We’ll see, the whole game it’s going to see how it’s going to play out in the next 10 years,” Patrick said. “I don’t know if we want to can or if we want to bottle. We did these (Snap Crackle Stout bottles) by hand. It was tedious, but it worked.”

As for the in-house audience, the food issue was a big one in 2017, but Ale Republic has a new plan going forward.

“The food thing, that’s another thing,” Patrick said. “We just wanted to do beer. I love cooking, but I don’t want to do it commercially. We opened and we thought food trucks would come up here. Food trucks don’t want to come up here. That’s too far, they said. It’s probably less hard on your vehicle because you don’t have to stop and start so much, but whatever. There was one food truck that started up here. They were here about two or three days a week, but the food was not very good. That reflected bad on us.”

The new plan fits with the creativity found in the brewery itself.

“We’re doing these little pop-up kitchens,” Patrick said. “Tomorrow, we’re just doing wings, that’s it. In the future it will be one menu item, and then we’ll try out some (different) recipes. We did one for fries. We’ll do paninis, simple but nice. We’ll do tacos.”

Ale Republic is now up to having eight of its own beers regularly on tap.

There are other plans afoot for 2018 and beyond that will require some heavier lifting.

“We are acquiring the back building,” Patrick said. “That’s going to be the brewhouse. It will be in a separate building. We can focus on things back there. We’ll have a kitchen, we’ll have all of our own beers, maybe one or two guest taps. We’ll be there within like three months. It will be more of a normal space.”

The current home of the brewhouse and associated tanks is fairly cramped, so moving into the taller back building will certainly help. It will require a fair amount of cleanup and re-purposing, but it is a hopeful development. While that is in the near future, Patrick said that Ale Republic has big plans for much of the remaining three acres of property.

“The next big point of focus is going to be outside,” he said. “We’re going to build a really sweet patio. We’re going to put in some games up on the hill. Eventually we’re going to build a really sweet walk-in beer garden. … We have three acres. We’re going to build a trail, have some fountains. We’re going to build a place where people from Albuquerque can come up, go for a hike, then come in and have a beer.”

For those of us who visit sporadically, the changes at Ale Republic are big and obvious. For the more frequent customers, it may seem like things are moving slowly, but Patrick assured us that is not the case.

“We’ve done a lot in the last year,” he said. “We didn’t have growlers for a long time. We have eight beers on tap right now. We have four or five more styles ready to go, we just don’t have kegs to put them in. But it’s 180 degrees from six months ago.”

Overall, things are looking up on the mountain, but Ale Republic still has a ways to go to cement its place in the New Mexico beer scene.

“To summarize everything, or put in an easy summary, we’re almost into a spot where we can really grow and really have a good life,” Patrick said. “We haven’t been able to grow too much yet except for buying the 3-barrel setup. But still, it’s small compared to the bigger breweries.”

A big thanks to Patrick for the time, the tour, and the beers. We also appreciate his patience when it came to waiting for this story to finally get typed up.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The variety in beers is impressive this year!

As most of you should know by now, BearFest returns this Saturday, now at the Albuquerque Convention Center downtown. VIP entry is at 12:30 p.m., general admission is at 2 p.m., and it all runs until 6 p.m. General admission tickets are still available online and VIP tickets are still available at Boxing Bear.

Much like any other beer festival, the biggest question of all remains what brews will be available. Well, 15 of the 20 participating breweries sent us their lists, and if the other six get theirs to us, we will add them here right up until the doors open.

  • Ale Republic: TBA
  • Bathtub Row: TBA
  • Blue Corn: Ginger Braggot, Back to Cali Common, Hella Humulus Collaboration IPA, Imperial Chocolate Porter
  • Bosque: Lager, IPA, Hefe, Driftwood Oatmeal Stout, Blonde Ale, EOP Fruited Wheat Ale, Grasping at Straws Extra Pale Ale, All the Rage IPA
  • Boxing Bear: Body Czech Pilsner, HairyMit Hefe, Ambear Ale, Paw Swipe Pale Ale, Uppercut IPA, Standing 8 Stout, Apple Bear Cider, Chocolate Milk Stout, Blood Orange Pale Ale, Barn Burner Wheat IPA, Guava Gose, New England IPA, plus maybe one more
  • Canteen: High Plains Pils, Exodus IPA, Tuttle IPA, Strawberry Basil Gose
  • Chama River: Kolsch, Maibock, Gose, IPA special
  • Dialogue: Biere de Mars, Berliner Weisse, BC IPA, Sour Rapsberry
  • Flix Brewhouse: TBA
  • La Cumbre: Project Dank IPA, Strwaberry Gose, Elevated IPA, Slice of Hefen, BEER
  • Marble: Double White, Pilsner, Cranberry Gose, Flower Digger Pale Ale
  • Nexus: TBA
  • Quarter Celtic: Pedro O’Flanagan’s Mexican Lager, Mangose, Blood Orange Hefe, Crimson Lass, Gondola Party Starter NE-style IPA
  • Santa Fe: Long Game IPA, Hefe’d Up, Nut Brown, Pale Ale, Freestyle Pilsner (cans), Happy Camper (cans)
  • Second Street: 2920 IPA, Eldorado IPA, Red and Yellow Armadillo, Summer Rain Raspberry Sour, 2920 Pils, Civil Rye
  • Starr Brothers: Starrgazm IPA, Brown Chicken Brown Cow, Starrphire Pilsner, Bloodshot
  • Steel Bender: Skull Bucket IPA, Red Iron Red, The Village Wit, Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch
  • Taos Mesa: TBA
  • Turtle Mountain: Yum Yum Colada, Can’t Catch Me, Lil’ Shelly, Hopshell IPA, My Kolsche

That is a lot of beer to try. If you like the hazy, New England-style IPAs, you are in luck as Bosque, Boxing Bear, Canteen, and Quarter Celtic are all bring their editions. Fans of sours and goses are clearly in luck as well. We are quite excited to try some of the new beers from Blue Corn (Hella Humulus and Imperial Chocolate Porter) and Second Street (Red and Yellow Armadillo is delicious), plus we await whatever Bathtub Row and Taos Mesa will be bringing.

Now, if you are wondering where Rowley Farmhouse Ales went off to, do not fret. The difference between them and the rest is their jockey box only has two handles, so they will be rotating beers on the second handle every hour or so. The Citra dry-hopped Fields of Rye will occupy the first handle. Here is the second handle pouring schedule.

12:30-2 p.m.: Meier (Meyer Lemon Gose)
2-3 p.m.: Germophile (Berliner Weisse)
3-4 p.m.: Reinheitsgenot (Lime Kolsch)
4-5 p.m.: Ab Initio dry-hopped with Citra/Mosaic
5-6 p.m.: Ab Initio with apricot

So, yeah, pucker up, people! It is gonna be a heck of a day.

And, remember, yours truly will be signing copies of Albuquerque Beer: Duke City History on Tap, over at the NM Brewers Guild booth. It is only $20, cash preferred.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

It’s time for the third edition of BearFest, only this time no one will get sunburned!

BearFest, the annual local-only craft beer festival hosted by Boxing Bear, returns for a third go-around this Saturday. The big change this year, besides pushing it back and away from ABQ Beer Week and Blues & Brews, is moving the fest out of the brewery parking lot to the Albuquerque Convention Center. Unless you are going to walk or bike to the event, leave the sunscreen at home!

The event will run from 2 to 6 p.m. for general admission, with a special 90-minute VIP period before that starting at 12:30 p.m. General admission tickets cost $25 in advance and can be purchased online here. They will be $30 at the door. VIP tickets can only be purchased in advance for $40 at Boxing Bear, going up to $45 the day of at the Convention Center.

To get the full story behind the change, I sat down with Boxing Bear head brewer/co-owner Justin Hamilton and general manager John Campi on Monday afternoon.

“A good thing for us will be that this has been a rain-or-shine event the previous two years and it almost got rained out the first year, we’re going to have a good attendance and a good time, either way,” Justin said. “That’s going to be one of the first things that’s a plus for us. But, I think that as far as what we’ve done in the past that we’re going to continue, and we’re going to expand on a few different things. We have 20 breweries, we have three wineries and two distilleries.”

The breweries, in alphabetical order, are Ale Republic, Bathtub Row, Blue Corn, Bosque, Boxing Bear, Canteen, Chama River, Dialogue, Flix Brewhouse, La Cumbre, Marble, Nexus, Quarter Celtic, Rowley Farmhouse Ales, Santa Fe, Second Street, Starr Brothers, Steel Bender, Taos Mesa, and Turtle Mountain. The wineries are Black Mesa, New Mexico Hard Cider, and St. Clair, while Left Turn and Santa Fe Spirits are the distilleries on hand.

As John noted, the entire event is “100 percent local to New Mexico.”

“Yes, that’s another thing we really want to push here is that this is an absolute local event,” Justin added. “There’s no outside distributors. There’s no random (anything). This will all be from New Mexico, beers and vendors. It will be nice to share some of the other breweries that a lot of folks haven’t been up to see, (like) Bathtub Row and Rowley Farmhouse Ales, a lot of these guys are definitely part of that brewing community that a lot of the Albuquerque scene doesn’t get out to get and see.”

The vendors on hand will all be local as well, ranging from New Mexico Flameworks to Metal The Brand to YogaZo to Mother Road Mobile Canning. The New Mexico Brewers Guild will have a booth, of course, and a certain local author will also be on hand to sign and sell copies of his book, Albuquerque Beer: Duke City History on Tap, for $20 apiece (no, I will never stop with the shameless self promotion at this point).

Gamers Anonymous will have a booth as well, with video games for patrons to play, ranging from Street Fighter to GoldenEye to Mario Kart and more. Unlike last year, when it seemed like the chairs were half in the sun all day, it will all be inside and air conditioned. There will also be a cornhole tournament thanks to the owner of The Local Brewhouse, who donated his boards for the day.

There will be a charity that will benefit from the event as well.

“This is a benefit for the Animal Humane Society,” John said. “Animal Humane will be split into two sections. They’ll have a little adoption booth, if possible with actual, live puppies there. Then we’re going to have a booth set up with a little game (washer toss) and people will pay a dollar or so. That money will go directly to Animal Humane. They can win a prize, and I think every brewery is going to pitch in a shirt or a hat or something.”

Local bands will include Isaac Aragon during the VIP-only time (12:30-2 p.m.) and Pawn Shop Poster Boys after that. Another band is also expected to be announced soon.

“That and it will be nice that our music will have an actual audio guy this year,” Justin said. “Last year we were leaving it up to the bands, which isn’t a problem as far as the audio itself goes, but as far as the setup of the audio we hope to have seamless music throughout the event. Last year we had these breaks between our VIP and our start. We want people to be able to hear music (as they come in).”

The beer, though, is the biggest draw. The Crew should have full lists for all attending breweries no later than Thursday, but a few special beers of note have already been listed by Boxing Bear on Facebook.

  • Blue Corn, thankfully, goes to the dark side with Imperial Chocolate Porter.
  • Bosque is expected to bring a new variant in their Elephants on Parade specialty series.
  • Canteen will debut their Strawberry Basil Gose and bring back Tuttle IPA, a hazy New England-style hop bomb.
  • La Cumbre is bring Strawberry Gose and the latest batch of Project Dank.
  • Marble counters with a Cranberry Gose. Yes, there is a gose theme here.
  • Quarter Celtic has Mangose (yup, theme) and a new Blood Orange Hefeweizen.
  • Rowley Farmhouse Ales is bringing six beers, each of which will be served at special times (see our next story Thursday for that serving schedule).
  • Second Street will tap Summer Rain Raspberry Sour.
  • Starr Brothers is brewing a special batch of Starrgasm IPA just for the festival.
  • Turtle Mountain will have Yum Yum Colada and Lil Shelly Pale Ale.

Unlike other festivals, this is not an unlimited sampling event. VIP and general admission both get four 4-ounce samples and one full pint for free. Additional samples and/or pints can be purchased from the breweries.

“Most breweries, we kind of leave it up to them if they want people to purchase a sample or not,” Justin said. “Last year, just about every brewery was up for it, so my guess that will probably be the thing. Every now and then you’ll see a beer where if it’s a high-end beer or if it’s in a bottle, it’s just not going to be available for sample, which is understandable. I would say almost everything is going to be available for sample and purchase. We definitely don’t want to limit on what people are able to try, but what we want to do is not just turn it into a free-for-all.”

While bigger packaging breweries can often write off free samples as a marketing expense, that is almost impossible for the smaller brewpubs. This helps the breweries not feel as if they are giving away nothing but free beer.

“It’s one of those things where if we put multiple good breweries into a caravan (and) not only show them a good time, but if they get a little something back, they’re going to consistently show up every year for us,” Justin said. “That way we always get the best local breweries showing up consistently every year, which is great for the consumers. That was the original BearFest idea was going for, it’s for the patrons, it’s for the breweries, and it’s for everyone in between.”

Putting BearFest in a more convenient location is another way for Boxing Bear to give back to the patrons and attending businesses.

“It will also be in a nice central location, which is another good part about the Convention Center,” Justin said. “Other than competing with other festivals that were going on, it’s hard getting people to come across the river for anything. It will be right in downtown where people know, with quick access to (two freeways). Uber and Lyft, no matter where you are in the city, it will be probably be pretty affordable, and we always encourage that.”

For those looking to bike over, take note of your options in the area.

“Last year we did a bike valet,” John said. “We were unable to get that this year. The valet company had a prior event. However, there is still ample bike parking. Right now the Plaza is under construction and they have Third (Street) blocked off on both ends, but the Plaza is actually gated off because they’re doing the Shakespeare events with bike racks. There’s hundreds of spots over there.”

The Crew always encourages everyone to travel safely and responsibly to and from beer festivals.

We will have those full beer lists on Thursday. After that, we will see you at BearFest!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The bills have passed! Thank you, Governor Martinez and everyone who works in this building!

Another bill that impacts craft breweries goes up for a state legislature committee vote this week.

The good folks out at Ale Republic alerted us to the fact that the first notable piece of legislation that affects craft breweries comes up this Thursday in Santa Fe. A new reciprocity bill is due for a vote before the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee, which meets at 1:30 p.m. in Room 309.

Representative Stephanie Garcia Richard has introduced a bill to expand the existing reciprocity between New Mexico breweries and wineries to now include craft distilleries as well. The current law allows breweries to also sell wine, as long as it is made in the state, without requiring a wine license. In turn, wineries can add craft beer taps from local breweries. If the new bill passes, distilleries such as Broken Trail, Left Turn, Santa Fe Spirits, and more will have the same ability. At present, a distillery can only have beer on tap if it has a small brewer license.

Basically, you could go to a single New Mexico liquor-producing entity and you could have a mixed drink, a glass of wine, and a pint of beer, so long as all are made within the state. (We would recommend you do not drink all three without a designated driver/Uber/Lyft/taxi at hand.) The full text of the proposal can be found here, but be forewarned, it is written in that nebulous legalese that has befouled many a person.

Five state representatives sit on the committee — Eliseo Lee Alcon (District 6/Cibola and McKinley Counties), Deborah A. Armstrong (17/Bernalillo), Patricia Roybal Caballero (13/Bernalillo), Bob Wooley (66/Chaves, Lea, Roosevelt), and Monica Youngblood (68/Bernalillo). If any of them are your state rep, and if you support the passing of this bill, please contact them and encourage them to vote yes. Use this handy feature to find your rep and contact him or her.

If you have any questions, contact us, or you can contact Patrick Johnson of Ale Republic at patrick@alerepublic.com.

Once we find out the results of the committee vote, we will share it here.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Ale Republic has found its niche as a mountain brewery.

Ale Republic has found its niche as a mountain brewery.

Traveling over a mountain pass can create the illusion of having crossed into a different world. Opposite sides often display vast differences in culture, landscape, and energy. Maybe it’s just evidence of growing up in a place without mountains, but I confirm this magic every time I travel over the Sandias. My recent visit to Ale Republic in Cedar Crest was no exception. I was hosted by business partners Patrick Johnson and Zach Gould. We jumped right into discussing their opening this past year and the work that led up to it. Opening a business is no cakewalk, and breweries are not an exception.

Patrick: Well, we opened. That was the challenge … it took us two years to get through permitting with (Bernalillo) County. We’re the first brewery in the county outside of the city jurisdiction, so we had to talk to the county people, not the city people. The city practically has like a pre-filled-out form of here’s the start-a-brewery packet. So, it was a big pain and it was very expensive. We spent almost half our money just getting through the permitting process. We were paying a year and a half of rent and with no income.

Zach: And, we had to have like equipment … it would have been one thing if you’re just paying for the space and you didn’t have to have it finished out. But, for a lot of the things they wanted to see something fully finished. So, it’s basically the system that they have set up is do all the hard work, do everything, and then we see.

Yes, they have more than one beer on tap now.

Yes, they have more than one beer on tap now.

In spite of the less than ideal permitting journey, Ale Republic opened its doors in the fall.  

Patrick: We opened with bare minimum. We had one beer on tap. Some of the complaints on our online reviews are, “Oh, they only have one beer on tap. Another one of those breweries.” But, my response to that is well at least we did it! I remember when La Cumbre only had a couple back in the early days.

Zach: This is a very much handmade deal. I don’t think I have ever seen a brewery open with as little as we did. We really just put our souls into it and got it up and running.

Patrick: Yeah, we did everything. We made all the light fixtures. We did all the work.

Patrick and Zach’s personal touch gives Ale Republic a local craft feel which, when combined with the tranquility of its East Mountains location, provides a cool and relaxed setting. With such a great vibe it is no surprise that they have been embraced by the brewing community.

Patrick: The other breweries have been really supportive. It’s a really cool community. Tractor sent us a grand opening welcome. Nexus sent us flowers. People were really friendly.

The Ale Republic also has connections outside of the local community.

Patrick: And, we’re going to be doing some collaborations this year, too. We have a partner brewery in Long Beach called Beachwood Brewery. So, we are going to go out there and brew with them in the next couple months, and they are going to come out here and brew with us. So, this West Coast IPA has roots on the West Coast, actually.

Zach, left, and Patrick have been keeping their small brewing system humming.

Zach, left, and Patrick have been keeping their small brewing system humming.

I shared the excitement that I feel about camaraderie between breweries around the country and how common it seems to be. Zach was quick to remind me why this shouldn’t be surprising.

Zach: Well, it’s a craft. I think people forget that, especially on the larger scale, because it gets so technical. But, it’s still very much a craft. People have been doing this for a very long time. Sometimes there’s things that people do that there’s not a reason, but they just do it because they do it. And, it’s a community and you learn off other people.

And when it comes to being a craft, Ale Republic is not cutting any corners. They are making every effort to be both local and unique.

Patrick: Our brand is really specialty products. The IPA we have (is) because everybody loves IPAs, so you kind of have to have one. We both really like West Coast style … not super in-your-face hoppy, but pretty sticky and balanced. The interesting thing about our IPA has to do with our water. Almost all breweries use treated water. We’re just pulling it out of the ground. It’s well water, so it’s really minerally, and I think that interacts with the hops. It’s a pretty hoppy beer and it gives it a very interesting character. I think our water works really well with the Belgians, particularly the Golden Strong, I think it’s spot on. All the traditional beer styles are defined by the water that came from that spot. They never purified it or anything. From an environmental perspective that’s pretty sweet … just use what we have. We’re trying to get as much local stuff as we can … local ingredients. One of our goals is to make a 100-percent local beer. So, we’ve got the water down pat, straight out of the ground. The trickiest one is going to be malt, finding a local malt supplier. Not necessarily local in the east mountains, but local to the surrounding area. Hops we can get from Taos Hops. And then, yeast, we’ve got a local wild strain. But, that’s one of our goals in the next year or two.

All in all, it has been a year of establishing a solid foundation for continued growth. Zach and Patrick both seem content with the progress, and optimistic about what lies ahead after a recent expansion of the seating area that includes a free pool table.

Zach: It’s been a learning experience. It’s been a growing experience. But, I think we’re well on our way. What we were focused on first was just getting doors open and having everything be modular. We weren’t overextending, ever. We’re not a team of investors. Really this is just a straight up handmade brewery of people that are pretty passionate and willing, and probably pretty crazy, but willing to devote the time to make it happen.

Patrick: So, going into the year I think we’re pretty set. We have done our expansion, just finished that. Our brewhouse is pretty much at capacity, and whenever we can afford it, we’ll get more conditioning tanks, but for now we’re in steady-state.

Game room? Genius!

Game room? Genius!

Looking ahead into the rest of 2017, there seems to be a common theme in many of Patrick and Zach’s plans — leveraging the beautiful location that is close to ABQ, but at the same time feels so removed.

Patrick: I’m hoping for a really strong spring, and I think summer is going to be a blast up here. We’re going to have a big beer garden, put bands outside, do like a blue grass festival. It’s warm and it’s quiet, and it’s nice to get out of the city.

Zach: We have a really great outdoor space. It’s away from Albuquerque, which I think some people are like, “Oooh, it’s away from Albuquerque.” But, that’s the thing, is that that’s one of the best things, because you get out of Albuquerque. In the summertime, when Albuquerque is sweltering hot, and you feel just dried out, and you want to escape the concrete, and it’s just too much … you come here and it’s like perfect temperatures, there’s a cool breeze, you got a beer in your hands … it’s like camping without any of the work.

Patrick: We should put a tent in the back and AirBnB it.

With the extensive amount of outdoor space at their fingertips it is not actually that farfetched to think that camping would be a possibility at Ale Republic. Frankly the possibilities are endless. Patrick and Zach have an open canvas with which to create an outdoor space that ABQ breweries and taprooms could not match.

Patrick: This property goes all the way back to that hill. We have a lot of opportunities to do some really fun stuff with the property. So especially, we are talking about outdoors, having a really sweet beer garden, a landscaped beer garden with a fountain that’s like actually in the woods.

Zach: Imagine a park that you went to where you could drink, you could listen to music, you could play games, and that was open late … and there’s dogs running around, kids running around.

Patrick: People ride their horses down and get beers. The trail system connects to a bunch of residences back there, and yeah, they’ll ride their horses down.

Again, it's in the mountains! Hike, bike, ski, snowshoe, and drink beer.

Again, it’s in the mountains! Hike, bike, ski, snowshoe, and drink beer.

The trails aren’t just for horseback riding, but hiking, too. Ale Republic is conveniently located next to a parking lot that serves these trails.

Patrick: We had no idea who our customer base would be, but as you would guess it’s mostly locals. On the weekends, you get people from Albuquerque coming up to go skiing and go hiking on the trail. There’s really great trails back there. It’s really cool it’s right there. So, we’re really pushing that. Like the outdoor brewery … be in touch with nature for a while and grab a beer.

A couple other goals for this upcoming year include setting up some regular events.

Zach: So, when we originally were a beer club we would do first Thursday events, where every first Thursday we would have like a big party and do a whole thing. So, we want to continue that. We just don’t know exactly how it’s going to look. We’ve been really occupied just getting this thing open, but at this point we’ve expanded, our beer’s kind of more settled down. I would not say we’re anywhere close to being finished. This is a process. It’s not a destination. So, at this point, things like that we’re definitely interested in. We’re trying to do as many events as possible. We would really like to partner with … I don’t know, anybody really, to do races, and stuff like that, in the open space. There’s a snow shoe race coming up that we’re going to try and be involved in, where people do a snow shoe race up at the peak and then after that will come down and hang out.

Ale Republic is also beginning some small-scale distribution into the ABQ market.

Patrick: I really want to find a bar in Albuquerque that we can supply our beer, at least one handle at all times, where if you want our beer that you can go to. So, we’re looking for a place. I think starting in March or April we’ll be able to do that.

* * * * *

If you have yet to visit Ale Republic, then do yourself a favor and at least pick a Saturday to make the drive up and relax for a couple hours enjoying lunch and a beer or two, not to mention the scenery. Better yet, plan to stop in after a day on the trails or at the ski area. The work continues at Ale Republic, but Patrick and Zach should hold their heads high with pride after the progress they have made. The Brew Crew wishes the best of luck to Ale Republic in 2017.

Cheers!

— Deezbeers

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 and one down in Socorro and one in Los Alamos 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.

While many of us are trekking north to Denver this week, there are still events going on here in New Mexico. One of the biggest this weekend is at one of our smallest breweries. I ventured out to Cedar Crest for the soft opening of Ale Republic a little while ago. Now they are ready for their grand opening, which is set for Saturday from noon until 10 p.m. There will be multiple house beers and guest taps available, plus wine for those avoiding anything with gluten. Live music will be provided by Wagogo, Pangea, and a number of solo artists. They will have art and jewelry vendors, plus a beer and painting class. A local sausage vendor and a pizza truck will be present as well. Head out to the East Mountains and celebrate with the Ale Republic gang.

On the new beer front this week, there are quite a few new options to check out. Ichabod’s Revenge has returned to Boese Brothers. Bosque has brought back Scale Tipper for a limited run. Boxing Bear entered three new fighters in Oktobearfest, La Flama Blanca, and Oso Loco. Broken Trail has a limited run of Dogtoberfest and Dry Pine Pilsner. Equinox is back at both Nexus locations starting today (Wednesday). Tractor unveiled a trio of new beers late last week in the Farmhouse Saison, Farmer’s Freckles Scottish Export, and Chiapas Amber Lager. Turtle Mountain dipped into the past for Red Rye Redux.

Up in Santa Fe, Rowley Farmhouse Ales is jumping on the hazy East Coast train with Eastern Bloc Pale Ale. Santa Fe used native New Mexico hops to create Amalia Hop Nut Brown. Second Street added Rod’s Best Bitter and Southern Passion IPA to the lineup at the Railyard.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of October 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

Albuquerque Brewing Co. — (505) 797-1842

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

Beers: High Plains Drafter Blonde, Duke’s Pale Ale, Off the Richter Imperial Red, Dunkelweizen, Tom’s Green Chile Amber Ale, English Oatmeal Stout (nitro only). ABC has updated their permanent lineup with the blonde, pale ale, imperial red, and dunkel. The special amber is on tap for a limited time. They will also have a nitro tap upon which they always hope to have a darker beer.

Live Music: Friday—Adam Knight, Shennon Morgan, DJ Vetta Christine, 5 p.m.-midnight; Saturday—Fools and Fanatics, 7-10 p.m.

Weekly Events: Monday—Game Night, with blonde pints for $2.50

Happy Hour/Discounts: Monday–Saturday, 3 to 6 p.m.; Sunday, all day

Ale Republic — (505) 281-2828

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

Beers: Blonde Ale. See our intro above for more information on Saturday’s grand opening event.

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.

Back Alley Draft House — (505) 766-8590

(Sun–Weds 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Thurs–Sat 4 p.m. to midnight)

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Sundays are Service Nights at Back Alley, with $2 off all beers for service industry workers. Bring your server’s ID and you will be rewarded. All beers are $1 off on Tuesdays.

Bistronomy B2B/Lobo Beast 101 — (505) 262-2222 (B2B), (505) 247-2116 (Lobo)

(B2B: Mon–Tues 4-9 p.m., Weds noon-9 p.m., Thurs–Sat noon-9:30 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.; Lobo: daily 4 p.m. to close)

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: Belgian Pale Ale. They also have a Dunkel and a Rye beer in the fermenters.

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: Patriot Porter, La Onza White Ale, Dr. Strangehop XPA, Duke City Lager, Sour Strangehop, Ichabod’s Revenge, Oktoberfest. The Sour Strangehop is also for sale in bombers at the brewery and at Jubilation. Ichabod’s Revenge is a pumpkin ale.

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: Scale Tipper, Just Goofin’, Rushing Rapids Red, Acequia Wet-Hop IPA, Little Tipper, Oktoberfest. Just Goofin’ (6.5% ABV, 89 IBU) is a delectable black IPA that the Crew enjoyed before the recent Black Sabbath concert, while Rushing Rapids (9.6% ABV, 72 IBU) is a hefty, but wonderful imperial. Scale Tipper is back for a limited time.

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, Desert Standard Hop Session, Wayward Arrow Hefeweizen, Council Fire Imperial “Smoke”toberfest, Loosen Your Bolo DIPA, Autumn Archer Marzen. The most recent additions are the Loosen Your Bolo DIPA and Autumn Archer Marzen. Make sure to get over there and try the Council Fire, it’s delicious.

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: Oktobearfest, Sucker Punch DIPA, La Flama Blanca, Bearcat Altbier, New MexiKolsch, Pineapple Kolsch, Oso Loco, Strawberry Wheat, Baltic Bear Porter (bombers only). The Oso Loco (4.8% ABV, 25 IBU) is a coffee-infused red ale, made with a blend from Prismatic Coffee. La Flama (7% ABV, 80 IBU) is a white IPA.

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.

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

Broken Trail Brewery & Distillery (formerly Distillery 365) — (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, Dogtoberfest, Dry Pine Pilsner. The Dogtoberfest and Dry Pine are small batches, so get them while you can. The latter is a dry-hopped version of the regular pilsner.

Live Music (main location): Friday—Clark Libbey’s birthday party, 7 p.m.

Weekly Events (main location): Today (Wednesday)—Cards Against Humanity hosted by 10 Drink Minimum, 7 p.m.; Sunday—Build-your-own Bloody Mary bar, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Tuesday—All hours beers $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: Panama Joe Coffee Stout, Honey Sage Saison, Grundy Thunder, Hop Baller IPA, Falconer’s Arm Pale Ale, Okotkberfest, Sichler Lager. The Sichler is a special lager made with red and green chiles. The Grundy Thunder is a brown porter.

Live Music: Thursday—Todd Tijerina, 6-9 p.m.; Sunday—Chris Murray, 4-7 p.m.

News: The Canteen taproom at Tramway and Cloudview is now open. They have all the regular beers and four seasonal taps, plus crowlers and a cooler with six-packs of Exodus and Dougie Style Amber for sale. There is a full menu, too, including flatbread pizzas.

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: The Lighter Fare, Heavy Cream, Diabhal’s River, Festbier, Pumpkin Ale. These are special batches of Heavy Cream and The Lighter Fare (ESB), both of which were brewed for the competition at the upcoming Great American Beer Festival. Diabhal’s is a collaboration Belgian strong ale made with Quarter Celtic.

News: Chama now has a rotating nitro tap. Call to see what is available this week.

Dialogue Brewing — (505) 585-1501

(Open daily 4-11:45 p.m.)

Beers: Belgian Citrus IPA, Belgian Dark Strong, Berliner Weisse, Zwickelbier, Lychee Wheat. Welcome to the listings, Dialogue! They opened recently at the corner of 1st Street and Kinley, just five blocks north of Marble. Stop by to check out the sculpture garden and try some of their unique beers.

The Firkin Brewhouse — (505) 881-0702

(Mon closed, Tues-Thurs 3-9 p.m., Fri-Sat noon–11 p.m., Sun noon–9 p.m.)

Beers: Burque Vanilla Nut Brown, Blackout Stout, Ombibulous IPA, Prohibition Mash Ale, Olympic Gold Ale.

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: Stout, Dunkelweizen, London Porter, Roggen Rye, Basil Lager, Brown Suit, Rocky Raccoon IPA, Wet Hop Amber, Cider, DjinnJar Kombucha. A whole bunch of old favorites like London Porter and Basil Lager are back, plus newcomers like Brown Suit, Rocky Raccoon, and Wet Hop Amber.

Events: Kaktoberfest returns with $4 pints and $8 German food plates, plus dancers, music, and more. It will be held at the Nob Hill taproom on Friday starting at 5 p.m., then in Bernalillo on Saturday, also starting at 5 p.m.

Weekly Events (Nob Hill): Thursday—The Desert Darlings, 7 to 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.

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Arrogant Bastard, Siberian Silk, VMO #3, Southpeak Pilsner, Full Nelson. You can find Full Nelson on tap and for sale in bombers around town, but only for a limited time.

Live Music: TBA

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

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

Beers: Biscochito Brown. Call the brewery for the rest of the seasonal 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, The Duke, Pint Last Seen (Heights only), Hop Fudge Sunday (Westside and Heights only). Hop Fudge (4.5% ABV), that is a nitro stout lightly seasoned with Chinook hops and fermented with cherries and cacao nibs. Dessert beer! The Duke (11% ABV) is a blend of a number of dark beers aged in bourbon barrels with lots of sweet and sour elements.

Live Music (downtown): Thursday—David Berkley Band, 7-10 p.m.; Friday—Leftover Soul, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Squash Blossom Boys, 8-11 p.m.

Live Music (West Side): Friday—David Berkley Trio, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Ziatron, 8-11 p.m.

Live Music (Heights): Friday—Sloan Armitage, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Cali Shaw, 8-11 p.m.

Weekly Events (Downtown): Thursday—Brewery tours, 5:30 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: Kaylynn’s Altbier, Assimilation White IPA, 2015 Barleywine, Equinox. The Equinox, a spiced brown ale, makes its return to both locations today (Wednesday) starting at 5 p.m. Get it while you can. Porter Pounder loves that beer and once he gets back from vacation, he may drink it all up.

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

Weekly Events (Silver Taproom): Saturday—a live DJ will perform

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

(Tues–Sat 3–9 p.m.)

Beers: Scotch Ale, MWA (Malt With Attitude). Palmer still has not had a full-on grand opening (that is scheduled for Nov. 5), but they are brewing over in the building they share with sister company Left Turn Distilling.

Pi Brewing — (505) 890-9463

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

Beers: Discordia IPA, U Down w/ BVP?, Amber’s Amber, 40 to 5, Scotty Doesn’t Know, Pumpkin Pi, Manhattan Project, Burque Lite. Debuting this week are the Pumpkin Pi (6.6% ABV), a seasoned saison, and the Manhattan Project (8.4% ABV), a dark sour aged on sweet and tart cherries.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

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

UPDATED >>> Beers: Oatmeal Stout, WryAle, Oktoberfest, Belgian Pale Ale, Spanglish. New head brewer Antonio Fernandez sent us this updated list of his current seasonal offerings. Imperial Black IPA should be on later this week, plus Chocolate Pumpkin Porter and May the Schwarz Be With You are on deck. You can also still bombers of Sour Saison, Big Belgian IPA, and Preacher’s Daughter (Belgian Golden Strong) at the taproom or at liquor stores around town.

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: Pedro O’Flanagan’s Mexican Lager, Dusk’s Early Light, You Reek of Pale Ale, Vienna Lager, #GFF, Diabhal’s River, MacLomas Stout, Gondola Party Starter IPA. GFF stands for Grapefruit Forver, so you can guess what they added to this IPA. The Diabhal’s (11% ABV, 30 IBU) is a massive Belgian golden strong that is not for the faint of heart. Get a hold of the delicious Gondola Party Starter while you can.

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: Vanilla Cream Ale, Blackberry Hefeweizen, Nieuwe Bruin, Oktoberfest, Downtown Pale Ale (downtown taproom only). The Nieuwe (6.7% ABV, 20 IBU) is a variation on an Oud Bruin, a tart and sour dark beer. The Oktoberfest is the most recent addition.

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

Live Music (Taproom): Today (Wednesday)—Paint it Black Open Mic, 8-10:30 p.m.; Thursday—Dr. Jackson’s Musical Freak Show, 7-10:30 p.m.

Weekly Events: Saturday—Beer and Breakfast, 7-10 a.m.

Rio Bravo Brewing Company — (505) 900-3909

(Mon–Thu noon–10 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–11 p.m., Sun noon–9 p.m.)

Beers: Rio Bravo Amber, Weizen, Randy’s Shandy, Dirty Rotten Bastard IPA, Snakebite IPA, Black Angus Stout, Randy’s Red Ale, Duke City Pilsner, Old Town Porter (regular and barrel aged), Barley Wine (regular and barrel aged), Oktoberfest. Rio Bravo recently celebrated its first anniversary, with the Oktoberfest going on tap.

Live Music: Friday—The Gershom Brothers, 7 p.m.

Sandia Chile Grill — (505) 798-1970

(Mon–Sat 8 a.m.–8 p.m., Sun 8 a.m.–6 p.m.)

Beers: Call the brewery for an updated list.

Sidetrack Brewing — (505) 288-6468

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

Beers: Pub Ale, Railhead Red, Switchgear IPA, Dark Engine Stout, Wheat Ale, Cascade Pale Ale. The Wheat Ale replaced the Shoofly Wheat.

Cask: Red and IPA will be in the firkins all week.

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, Double Live Jonzo, LampShade Porter, L.A. Woman, Motorbrreath Smoked Porter, There Wolf. Ah, a Young Frankenstein joke, we love it. There Wolf is a lightly spiced version of a classic Oktoberfest.

Weekly Events: Saturday—Premier League Viewing Party, 8 a.m.

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: Traktoberfest, Jack the Sipper, Javi Light Lager, Maibock, Cerveza Mexican Lager, Summer En Blanc Belgian Witbier, Barrel-Aged Barley Wine (Wells Park only), Kolsch, Tupac Cali Red, Nitro Coffee Stout (Wells Park only), Ebony & Ivory Pale Stout, Hillario DIPA (Wells Park only), Farmhouse Saison, Farmer’s Freckles Scottish Export, Chiapas Amber Lager. Tractor’s take on a Kolsch is a bit different, but still tasty. They dry hopped it with Mosaic, giving it a different aroma. The annual pumpkin favorite, Jack the Sipper, has returned.

Live Music (Wells Park): Thursday—Thirsty Thursday: Alex Maryol, 8 p.m.; Saturday—Open Casket: Coffin Queens Launch Party and Horror Market, 7-11 p.m.

Live Music (Nob Hill): Saturday—Setting the Tone: Step in Blues, 5 p.m.

Other Events (Wells Park): Today (Wednesday)—Poetry & Beer: ABQ Slam’s City Championship, 7 p.m.; Saturday—Helmets From Javi, 8:15 a.m., Camp Bow Wow: Yappy Hour, 2 p.m.

Weekly Events (Wells Park): Monday—Mondays on the Mic, 6 p.m.; Tuesday—Kamikaze Karaoke, 7 p.m.

Weekly Events (Nob Hill): Monday—Tractor Tune Up, 7:30 p.m., ABQ Pens & Pints, 8 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 classic beers and $3 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: Jac’s Elope Raspberry Pale Ale, Oktoberfest, Bien Tu Helles Bock, Honeymoon RIOT! (cask only), Red Rye Redux. The Honeymoon is TMBC’s take on a wet-hop IPA, and this is the last of it, so get it ASAP. This batch of the Bock is the same one they sent to GABF for competition.

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Open daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Chaparral IPL, Pope Porter, Wet Hop American Strong Ale, Oktoberfest. The Chaparral, an India Pale Lager, is now available. The Wet Hop is for anyone who is a fan of strong ales.

Chili Line Brewing — (505) 500-7903

(Mon–Sat 4–10:30 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.–10:30 p.m.)

Beers: Lager, Jefeweizen, sIPApapu, Pineapple sIPApapu, India Pale Lager, PG IPA, Smoked Wheat Porter, Stout.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Buy two beers and a pizza and get another pizza free.

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), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Grunewald (Imperial Porter), Monomyth (Belgian DIPA), Duchamp (Farmhouse Witbier), Whistler (Belgian Blonde), Naomf (Barrel-Aged Sour Amber), Study Series: Camus (Summer Ale). One of the most recent additions here is the aptly named Monomyth, which checks in at 9-percent ABV and 90 IBUs. In addition to those beers, you can also get sample pours of Goya ’14, Rye Goya ’14, and Tableux ’16, or a Cezanne flight featuring Origine ’15, Magnifique ’16, and Denouement ’15 and ’16.

Live Music (ABQ taproom): Friday—James Whiton, 9 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: Eastern Bloc Pale Ale. Say hello to Santa Fe’s newest brewery, which opened this month. They have some guest taps, plus their second offering, Eastern Bloc, goes on tap today (Wednesday). It’s made in the hazy style that is gaining in popularity on the East Coast. You can also snag some Red Velvet from Ballast Point, on tap in Santa Fe for the first time.

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: Oktoberfest, Autonomous Collective DIPA, Sunset Limited, Amalia Hop Nut Brown Ale. Oktoberfest is back on tap and in six-packs. Get some, it’s a wonderful batch this year. The Amalia is made with native New Mexico hops.

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, Atalaya Altbier, 2920 Pale Ale, Golden Ale, Amber Ale, Red & Yellow Armadillo, Railrunner Red, Rod’s Best Bitter (Railyard only), Southern Passion IPA (Railyard only). The Atalaya benefits a local search and rescue organization. Try the Armadillo, a delicious imperial red ale.

Live Music (Original location): Friday—Half Broken Horses, 6 p.m.; Saturday—The Barbwires, 6 p.m.

Live Music (Railyard): Friday—Todd & the Fox, 7 p.m.; Saturday—Ryan Hutchens, 7 p.m.

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

News: Second Street is moving ever closer to opening their third location, which will feature a taproom and a full production facility.

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: Little Boy GFB, Mild at Heart, The Tripel Lindy, Tweed Jacket, Fatman Stout, Dr. Rudi SMASH, Raconteur Belgian Table Beer, Hoppenheimer IPA. Another big tap turnover recently went down in Los Alamos, with Tripel, Tweed, Fatman, Dr. Rudi, and Raconteur making their debuts.

Weekly Events: Thursday—Open mic, 6 p.m.

Twisted Chile Brewing — (575) 835-2949

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

Beers: Zia Pilsner, 790 IPA, Hose Co. 1 Red Lager, Venom IPA, KC’s Irish Stout, McFadden’s Scotch, English Porter, Pilabo Pale Ale, Schwarzbar Black Lager, Oktoberfest. Got a chance to try the Oktoberfest while passing through Socorro recently. It is a solid example of the style, just sweet enough without going overboard.

Live Music: TBA

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Open mic, 6:30-9 p.m.

* * * *

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

Ale Republic became the 63rd active craft brewery in New Mexico this past weekend.

Ale Republic became the 63rd active craft brewery in New Mexico this past weekend.

There has been a taproom, there have been a few bars with local craft taps, but the communities of the East Mountains have never had their own brewery. Until now, that is, as the Ale Republic Brewery opened its doors this weekend in Cedar Crest.

With a little time before another Isotopes homestand began, I hit the road Saturday afternoon. The good news was I knew what sign to look for along Highway 14 north of I-40. This was good because the map on Facebook was wrong (something the Ale Republic staff was aware of and has since fixed). For those planning to visit, just stay on 14 a ways north of the freeway exit. Keep going past the Greenside Cafe and Triangle Grocery. As you go down one hill and up the next, you will either see the tall, white Ale Republic sign on your right (east) side, or look for the sign for the Post Office. Turn right at that sign (the street is Arroyo Seco) and head to the third of four buildings back from the road. That’s the Ale Republic.

Ale Republic is keeping things modest to start.

Ale Republic is keeping things modest to start.

Is it small? Yes. Is that OK? Yes. A modest beginning is just fine. After heading inside, I ran into brewer/owner Patrick Johnson, who gave me the quick tour of the small operation. As he said, “We didn’t want to go too big right away, we just wanted to get the doors open and start serving beer.” There is a future option to move into the larger building behind the current one, though that will be a while from now.

As always, I could yammer on about what is there, or I could just show all the pictures of the interior.

Part one of two ...

Part one of two …

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OK, so the two photos don’t perfectly match up, but the folks at Ale Republic wanted to thank their friends at La Cumbre for helping to set up the tap lines in the walk-in cooler.

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The brewhouse is tiny compared to the monsters are ABQ, but it can churn out about one barrel at a time.

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An IPA is due up next for the brewhouse.

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The little one-barrel grundy on the left is filled with a Belgian Dubbel.

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The new three-barrel fermenters will be put to use soon.

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The staff assembled those steel panels for the interior decor, which they hope will give off the illusion of greater warmth during the cold winter months.

Two of three tables outside, where the views are rather spectacular.

Two of three tables outside, where the views are rather spectacular.

There are multiple guest taps for now, as only the Blonde Ale is on tap right now. They have a Belgian Dubbel due up next and an IPA after that. The Blonde (6.2% ABV, 20 IBU) is an unfiltered, tangy little sucker. It almost has hints of apricot, and is definitely more robust than your average example of the style.

Look for some more formal events coming up from Ale Republic in the near future. We will add them to The Week Ahead in Beer and keep you all up to date on what the future holds.

Welcome to the NM craft beer community, Ale Republic! All of us, and especially the folks in Cedar Crest, are happy to have you!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Now that looks like a relaxing place to enjoy a pint outdoors.

The Sierra Blanca Beer Garden will be packed this Saturday for their 20th anniversary party.

Sierra Blanca Brewing is celebrating their 20th anniversary this Saturday with a big party at the brewery in Moriarty. From 2 to 9 p.m., the beer garden will be hopping (pun intended) with live music, food trucks, a kids zone, and more.

There is a $5 cover, but kids 12 and under get in for free. Dirty Modine and Stanley Cattle Guards will provide the musical entertainment. All of the Sierra Blanca, Rio Grande, and Alien beers will be available, plus a few special surprises, including the Whiskey Barrel Aged Stout.

Head on out there Saturday and wish the entire staff a happy anniversary!

New taprooms update

Good news on the taproom front, Red Door will be opening their downtown location next week. Yours truly will have an advance look at the place, so look for some pics and more info on Monday.

For those who may have forgotten, the taproom will be located in the lobby of the Simms Building at 4th and Gold. The grand opening will be Thursday starting at 11 a.m.

As for the other taprooms, there is nothing official on opening dates yet, but both Canteen (I-40 and Tramway) and Marble (Montgomery east of Eubank) have said they hope to open by the end of July.

New breweries update

Construction continues at Dialogue Brewing near downtown. (Photo courtesy of Dialogue Brewing)

Construction continues at Dialogue Brewing near downtown. (Photo courtesy of Dialogue Brewing)

There are still 12 breweries on the way with the small brewer licenses pending with the state. First, for the ABQ-area breweries, here are the latest tidbits we know.

  • We shared the link from ABQ Business First last week about Flix Brewhouse, which is making progress on the West Side. They are still a long ways from opening, but certainly there is already a lot of excitement, judging by everyone’s reactions to the post. When we know more about the specific brewing aspects, we will share them.
  • Drafty Kilt, formerly OffKilter, is getting close to opening. Mike Campbell, formerly of Tractor and Cazuela’s, will be ready to brew as soon as all the permits come through. We hope to get a tour soon.
  • There is nothing new on the Nob Hill-based Hops Brewery, nor the Steel Bender Brewyard in the North Valley. Neither has any significant online presence yet, so we have to guess they are further away. Ditto The 377 Brewery near the Sunport.
  • Progress continues on Dialogue Brewing on 1st Ave. north of Marble. They have had a lot of pictures of their progress in construction, but it does show they are still a ways from being open.
  • New to the listings for pending licenses is the Bombs Away Beer Company. We have searched for more info, but come up empty. All that is known is that it is somewhere in the 87123, which could put it up near the Foothills and the Canteen taproom, or it could be the fabled Four Hills brewery that folks have been whispering about for a while. If anyone out there has contact info for this new endeavor, please send it our way.
  • Palmer Brewery and Cider House has an active license now. We were told they are not at fully brewing capacity yet, but some of their beers are being tapped at Left Turn Distilling.

As for the breweries outside the ABQ metro area …

  • Construction progress continues at a good pace for Ale Republic in Cedar Crest. We figure a fall opening is likely, though they could surprise us.
  • Sleeping Dog Tavern in Santa Fe has now applied for a small brewer license. We will try to find out more on their plans, see if they are going small like Chili Line or aiming for something bigger.
  • Route 66 Junkyard Brewery in Grants is still aiming for a July 1 grand opening. There is a story in the Gallup Independent, but it is subscriber-only, so we can’t share the link.
  • Milton’s Brewing in Carlsbad is inching closer to opening. Their small brewer license is active, so now it is just a matter of finishing the buildout and getting the beer flowing.

That is all from us for this week. Check back next week when we should have some more substantial info on the new brewer at Blue Corn, updates on the progress of Second Street’s new brewing facility, and more.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister