Hey, Santa Fe! Are you looking for a fun craft beer event tonight that also supports a good cause? Of course you are! And, that’s how I would begin this, if I was one of those heartless ad-wizards, preaching to a blank-faced uninitiated audience.
But, no, Santa Fe, that’s not who I am, and that’s not who you are. I’m increasingly more proud to say that we’ve become a very craft enthusiastic town. We’ve had good beer for a very long time, but it was only bar/brewery regulars, home brewers, and closet beer geeks that came out to cool craft beer events, or even knew about them for a long time. Now, we have a large craft beer community, and a good one at that.
We’re a host of craft beer enthusiasts, largely fostered by the fact that our breweries have gotten bigger, better, and more bold in their brewing. Sales reps have worked hard as well to get us some amazing distribution lines so that we do get great beers from Ballast Point, Firestone Walker, Founders, etc. And, we, the people, have become brave with our palates.
Well, my Santa Fe craft beer community, here’s another cool event for us. Tonight from 5 to 10 p.m., Fire and Hops is hosting a special tap takeover with Ballast Point as part of their ongoing two-year anniversary celebration. This particular event is also a benefit for the Esperanza Shelter for Battered Families, where, Fire & Hops is donating 10 percent of their sales to the local organization. Ballast Point was also kind enough to match whatever Fire & Hops raises. Everyone wins!
Ballast Point’s New Mexico Rep, Thomas DeCaro, said this about the event: “This tap takeover is a special one. This is to celebrate the two-year anniversary of Fire and Hops. My boss, Derek Plug, and I wanted to give something special to owner Josh Johns and their crew for their second anniversary, so we created this tap takeover and snuck out of our special stash at Ballast Point, and gave them two super awesome kegs and supported them with three other special-release kegs as well.”
Thomas provided this excellent tap list.
- Orange Vanilla Fathom — Our Orange Vanilla Fathom India Pale Lager continues our quest for exploration. The piney and citrus hop aromas of our Fathom IPL combines with sweet orange and creamy vanilla — while staying true to classic lagering techniques. Brewed with a touch of nostalgia, it may remind you of a childhood treat, but this one is just for adults. 7.0%, 70 IBUs
- Dead Ringer — Our Dead Ringer Oktoberfest lager is inspired by old-style Märzen brews customarily enjoyed during Bavaria’s world-famous beer festival. Thanks to an abundance of toasted malt and a lower hop bitterness, this dark reddish brown lager is loaded with sweet, caramel toffee flavors and aromas. All the taste and celebration of Oktoberfest packed into one bottle; no lederhosen required. 6.0%, 26 IBUs
- Pumpkin Down — Our 2016 World Beer Cup Bronze Winning Beer. A pumpkin ale that bucks the trend. Some might think we’re out of our gourd for making a pumpkin ale, but our Pumpkin Down is not like the others. The caramel and toffee maltiness of our Piper Down Scottish ale is the perfect backdrop for a boatload of roasted pumpkin. Just before bottling, we add a subtle amount of spice to complement, but not overwhelm, the earthy flavor. It was a smash at the brewery, and we think you’ll agree. 5.8%, 22 IBUs
And now a rare sour
- Raspberry Sour Wench — The First keg in New Mexico. Sour Wench was a Home Brew Mart recipe that we made every year for the Southern California Home Brewers Fest in Temecula. This raspberry Ale was originally developed by Ballast Point’s original Master Brewer Peter A’Hearn and Colby Chandler. While interning in Germany, Peter fell in love with the Berliner Weiss style of beer. A beer made with a procedure in which the mash was soured. The tartness of the Raspberries, at one pound per gallon, was a perfect addition for this sour style. 7.0%, 10 IBUs
And the whale
- Victory at Sea Aged in Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrels for 13 Months — We infused this robust porter with whole vanilla beans and San Diego’s own Caffe Calabria coffee beans. The subtle roasted notes and minimal acidity of the cold brewed coffee, balances perfectly with the sweet caramel undertones of the malt, creating a winning combination for your palate. Then Steve Anderson, our cellar master, puts it to rest for 13 months in Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrels. The result is a chocolatey and incredible smooth beer. 14%, 60 IBUs
It bodes well for Santa Fe’s craft beer scene that reps like Thomas like working with local bars, pubs, and gastropubs like Fire & Hops. It also bodes well that gastropubs such as Fire & Hops do so well in a town where craft beer was largely a secret talked about in home-brew meetings, among brewers, or only a very few folks in the know, when I started asking questions seven years ago. It’s nice to see that these great tap takeovers from great breweries are now the rule and not the exception. I’m excited for the direction Santa Fe is moving in. And, there will certainly be a lot more Santa Fe craft brewing industry news coming very soon as we reach autumn. What was once clandestine, even sub rosa, if you will, may come to light, very soon. Keep your eyes open and your glasses up, Santa Fe.