Posts Tagged ‘Ballast Point’

BP and FH

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.

Cheers!

— Luke

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The beer makes it a little less creepy. A little.

Ballast Point has certainly found a nice, comfortable niche in New Mexico. If you look around, you’ll notice plenty of taps flowing with those San Diego suds. It’s certainly been exciting to see what new beers would find their ways to the shelves of places such as Jubilation in Albuquerque and Susan’s Fine Wine & Spirits in Santa Fe. After the first wave of Sculpin and his grapefruit friend, the local craft beer fans began to ask the usual questions, like, what’s next? And, what else ya got bro? That’s what continues to make craft beer successful, in my opinion, because craft beer lovers are voracious gormandizers.

Well, tap takeovers are a great opportunity to really showcase what else a brewery has, while giving you another sample of one or more of their beers that you already love. Chances are, most of us have hunted down every last BP beer to hit our desert stores, but then again, there are plenty of folks out there who haven’t yet had a chance to try all of them, or any of them, yet. Either way, tap takeovers are a fun way to sample a brewery and meet plenty of other voracious gormandizers just like yourself. Recently, I sat down with Ballast Point rep Thomas DeCaro to talk about what’s happening for Ballast Point in Santa Fe in the coming weeks.

Over an award-winning Grunion Pale Ale, we talked local brewers, San Diego brewers, and breweries, and possibly the idea of Santa Fe Brewing and Ballast Point coming together for a collaboration of events. But, as we’ll roll out those details in other articles, I wanted to let you all know about a really cool event DeCaro set up in Santa Fe for today (Thursday). It’s a huge, geek-themed tap-takeover inspired by the new movie Suicide Squad. DeCaro had this to say about it: “For this we chose beers that a best represented the movie and the Suicide Squad. My roommate, Mike Riggs, myself, and the Draft manager at Violet Crown (Cinemas), Eli Clark, sat down and came up with the names and the draft list. We are all nerds, so this was fun for the three of us.”

The BP Beer List:

  • Wahoo White, AKA Harley’s Wahoo Wallop: Brewed with unfiltered, un-malted wheat and oats that give it a distinctive cloudy complexity. True to the Belgian tradition, this Witbier boasts a refreshing, citrusy flavor thanks to the orange peel and coriander we add to the boil. (4.5% ABV, 12 IBUs)
  • Grunion Pale Ale, AKA Dead Shot’s On Target Ale: Our 2014 GABF Gold Medal Winning Pale Ale. Originating from an employee-only home brew contest, this award-winning hoppy pale ale is named after the tiny local fish known for late night frolics on shore. A pair of new hop varieties lend strong, yet balanced, summer melon aromas and herbal flavors, while a soft caramel malt sweetness holds it all together. (5.5% ABV, 35 IBUs)
  • Sea Monster, AKA Killer Croc: This bold, rich brew first lures you in with roasted coffee notes, then grabs hold with hints of bittersweet chocolate and currant. Backed with a perfect hop balance, you’ll soon discover this is one monster of mythic proportions. (10% ABV, 65 IBUs)
  • Grapefruit Sculpin, AKA Boomerang’s Comeback IPA: Our 2010 and 2014 World Beer Cup gold-medal-winning IPA is a testament to our homebrew roots. Our Sculpin IPA is a great example of what got us into brewing in the first place. After years of experimenting, we knew hopping an ale at five separate stages would produce something special. The result ended up being this gold-medal-winning IPA, whose inspired use of hops creates hints of apricot, peach, mango and lemon flavors, but still packs a bit of a sting, just like a Sculpin fish. (7.0% ABV, 70 IBUs)
  • Calm Before the Storm, AKA Joker’s Slight of Hand: Calm Before the Storm came from a quest for a warm-weather alternative to our Victory at Sea Imperial Porter. Like its more robust cousin, we infuse a punch of flavor using cold brewed Caffé Calabria coffee and a hint of vanilla. But, this time, we added it to a lighter-bodied, golden cream ale. The end result is a surprisingly bright, coffee-forward beer that’s perfectly refreshing. (5.5% ABV, 15 IBUs)
  • The Commodore, AKA Rick Flag’s All-American Stout: The Commodore came out of our search for a medium-bodied American stout. The recipe began at our R&D pilot brewery, but quickly became a favorite of our crew. Strong flavors of roast coffee and bittersweet chocolate balance with light citrusy hop aromas, highlighted by a crisp, bitter finish. One sip of this gold-medal-winning stout will have you ready to take command of your own fleet. (6.5% ABV, 60 IBUs)
  • Orange Vanilla Fathom, AKA the Suicide Squad Special: 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% ABV, 70 IBUs)

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The event is set for Violet Crown at 1606 Alcaldesa St, Santa Fe, NM 87501. Call (505) 216-5678 if you need more information. It all kicks off today (Thursday) at 6 p.m. This should be a really fun event, and I hear that if you dress up in costume, you may get something awesome. See you at the taps, Santa Fe!

Cheers!

— Luke

Lukemon

For more #CraftBeer info and @nmdarksidebc news, follow me on Twitter @SantaFeCraftBro.

Now that's a party!

Now that’s a party!

Oh, Nob Hill. You wonderful little place, except for your lack of parking. Home to three taprooms, several beer bars, and that place with the nice patio. This Saturday, it will also be home to one small-but-awesome event, and one very large event. Then comes Tuesday, with another small-but-awesome.

First up, Ballast Point will be celebrating their 20th anniversary locally at Nob Hill Bar & Grill. As the beer list above shows, they are bringing out all the big guns available this time of year. The real highlight is the collection of five beers from their R&D team. The Schwarzbier and DIPA caught our eye, while the Tripel could be a beast. All of that taps starting flowing at 1 p.m., so stop in, grab lunch, and then consume. Just do so quickly, because Saturday is also …

Route 66 Summerfest

The biggest of all the Summerfests is the one in Nob Hill, and it begins at 2 p.m. There will be three stages for music (find the full list here on Facebook), including one in the Cork & Tap area, where local breweries and wineries will be pouring their finest. Cork & Tap will be located at Central and Montclair, which is two blocks west of O’Niell’s.

This is not a sampling event. You get a wristband with the ID check, head in, and pay for your beers. Please drink responsibly. Traffic getting in and out of Nob Hill will be about 10 times as bad as normal, and expect a heavy police presence for your safety.

Nine breweries were listed by the City of ABQ as attending, but Abbey Brewing will not be there. Of the remaining eight, seven got us their lists. If the other one happens to share between the time you read this and Saturday, we will update their list.

  • Boxing Bear: Uppercut IPA, Hairy Mit Hefe, Ambear, Cider, Bearzen, New Mexikolsch, Chocolate Milk Stout
  • Broken Trail: Lone Pine Pils, Otero ESB, Sancho Saison, Pepe the Mule (not a beer, but we will list it anyway for them)
  • Canteen: TBA
  • Kaktus: GuyPA (IPA), Redcard, Dunkelweizen
  • La Cumbre: Slice of Hefen, Elevated IPA, Malpais Stout, Fievre d’Abricot, ‘Merica, Red Ryeot
  • Marble: Double White, Pilsner, IPA, Red Ale
  • Red Door: Roamer Red, Threshold IPA, Vanilla Cream, Unhinged Cider
  • Santa Fe: Autonomous Collective DIPA, Pale Ale, Java Stout, Freestyle Pilsner, Nut Brown, Hefeweizen

The nice thing here is that some of the breweries are not just bringing their usual house beers. Boxing Bear is bringing their award-winning Chocolate Milk Stout, plus the new New Mexikolsch. Broken Trail has their new Sancho Saison (we approve of the name, Matt). Kaktus plucked three current favorites from their constantly rotating taps. La Cumbre has current seasonals ‘Merica, a pale ale, and Fievre d’Abricot. Red Door has their summer-friendly Vanilla Cream. Santa Fe rolls out a hop bomb in the Autonomous Collective. Cheers to all of those!

And, of course, you can always duck into Bosque, Kaktus, or Tractor for fresh beers on tap. With air conditioning. Yeah, they will all be pretty crowded until the sun goes down.

But wait, there is more …

Welcome to New Mexico, Firestone Walker!

We will drink them all. ALL.

We will drink them all. ALL.

At long last, FW arrives in our fair state. This Tuesday, Nob Hill Bar & Grill will once again host a potentially epic launch party starting at 5 p.m. If you fall in love with some of those beers, go load up the trunk the following day when they go on sale at Jubilation.

First, though, that list … Parabola. PARABOLA. PARABOLA ON TAP. PARABOLA ON TAP IN ALBUQUERQUE!!!!

Ahem, yes, well, one of my all-time favorite barrel-aged imperial stouts is worth celebrating. Yet there are also the Double Jack, Wookey Jack, Nitro Merlin Milk Stout, and that 19th Anniversary behemoth. Bring lots of friends with you so that you can all try as many as possible. Then get an Uber.

UPDATE: As for the Jubilation list, we just got it from our own Adam Auden, the wonderful beer manager — Union Jack, Easy Jack, Wookey Jack, Luponic Distortion, DBA, Pivo Pils, Opal, and the variety 12-pack. There might be an extra special or two that made it on the truck, but we will have to wait and see.

So, yeah, parking be damned, scorching weather be damned, it is gonna be a fun stretch in Nob Hill. See you all out there.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Bartender James was all smiles serving up Marble's Saison #1 at Rock & Brews.

Bartender James was all smiles serving up Marble’s Saison #1 at Rock & Brews.

Rock & Brews had a Tuesday Brewsday tapping of Marble’s Saison #1. We were on our way (more on this later) to an Isotopes game, so we made sure to stop by and to get there early for happy hour. The Saison #1 is a little bright and a little funky, both at the same time, but at 7-percent ABV, it ends up tasting sweeter than most saisons. It paired really, really well with the $4 happy hour green chile cheese fries! As always, the staff behind the bar were cool people and they seemed genuinely sad when we said we had to go to the game. They said you don’t really have to go. As it turns out, they were right.

We had free tickets to the Isotopes game from some friends, so after Rock & Brews we all headed out to the stadium. Alas, along the way, the famous Albuquerque spring winds that just will not seem to die this year decided to kick up a mighty wind storm. Our friends texted us and said they could exchange the tickets for another day if we didn’t use them. Did we just want to go have beer somewhere instead of battling allergies in the wind? We agreed, and made our way over to Nob Hill since there were a couple of Beer Week events going on there. I said I wanted to go to the event at Canvas Artistry, because Ballast Point. Because Tom DeCaro.

Coconut Victory at Sea is a victory for all!

Coconut Victory at Sea is a victory for all!

They had Ballast Point’s Coconut Victory at Sea. Yes, please! Tom had given me the lowdown earlier in the day: “Our Victory at Sea Imperial Porter is a bold, smooth brew with just the right amount of sweetness. 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. For this one we filled the Miramar kitchen with bags and bags of coconut and toasted them. We then loaded the beer with massive amounts of toasted coconut.”

It’s a heavy-hitting 10-percent ABV and you can definitely taste the coconut, but I was not overwhelmed by it. I was so enthralled I forgot to take a picture until we were well in to our beers.

Baseball’s great, but I don’t think any of us really felt like we missed out. The weather seemed to want us to have a dark beer, because we were actually chilly walking along Central. This was a victory on land!

Bonus: Tom let us know that he was able to get Ballast’s Mango Even Keel into Isotopes Park. Look for it next time you are there — it’s at the Guinness/Beers of the World stand (at least right now) across from Dion’s.

Surviving Beer Week Cheers!

— AmyO

We are off and running with 14 events on the opening day!

Get over this hump day with a ton of beer events all over the place!

While I am out in California this week, I was reminded of two key things. First, traffic here still makes the worst I-25/I-40 messes you’ve ever seen look like nothing. Second, they charge $14 for craft beer at Angels games. For one pour. Not like multiple pints or a pint plus a flight or anything.

At least the Angels won on a walkoff home run by C.J. Cron.

Anyway, for all of you back in New Mexico, it’s already Day Seven (!) of Beer Week. Time to get serious and really start crossing off all of those events that have caught your eye. Because soon, it will all be over, and then all you have to look forward to is me telling stories of the hideousness of taking the 15 to the 60 to the 57, while avoiding the 55 and the 91, and trying to discern if the 5 to the 101 is the best option instead of daring the 405 even on a weekday …

Damn, I’ve already been out here too long. Miss you all! I’ll raise a glass at The Bruery today in your honor, New Mexico!

Featured event

Every day we will pick what we consider the biggest, most interesting, most unique event. This does not mean you should go to only this event and ignore the rest. All of them deserve your attention, but realistically, you can probably only attend a few. So we will make our daily pick, and you can either jump on it, or declare the Crew is foolish (we kinda are) and pick your own.

What: Ask a Certified Cicerone and Bad Beer Tasting. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 6 p.m. Cost: Study session is free, bad beer tasting costs $5.

Details: Tractor president/co-owner Skye Devore is a certified Cicerone, and she wants to help you prepare to take the upcoming certification exam, or at least learn more about beer and the program. When the study books are closed, there will be an off-flavor kit to create some bad beers to help folks further identify just what should not be in their ales and lagers.

Why you should go: Furthering the education of your palate and mind is never a bad thing, is it?

All the other great events

What: Santa Fe Tapping. Where: Gecko’s Nob Hill. When: 11 a.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: The excellent porch beer SF Gold will be available. Why you should go: It’s a drinkable way to start your day.

What: Green Flash and Alpine Tapping. Where: Uptown Sports Bar. When: 11 a.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: It’s an awesome quadruple tapping, with Barleywine and Soul Style IPA from Green Flash, plus Hoppy Birthday and Nelson IPA from Alpine. Why you should go: Those are four amazing beers, certainly worth the trip to the Uptown area.

What: Marble Special Tapping. Where: Filling Philly’s, 6904 Menaul Blvd. NE. When: 11 a.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Marble continues to spread the Saison love all around town. Why you should go: At some point they have to run out of Saison, right? So get it before it’s gone!

What: Beer & Sausage Pairing Night. Where: Rio Bravo. When: Noon. Cost: $20. Details: Get five special sausages from Joe S. Sausage paired up with five Rio Bravo beers. Why you should go: Be like your German ancestors and enjoy beer and sausage. Lederhosen and yodeling not required.

What: Mother Road Sampling. Where: Total Wine (both locations). When: 1 p.m. (Cottonwood), 4 p.m. (Uptown) Cost: No entry fee. Details: Try some of Flagstaff’s finest creations. Why you should go: Free beer!

What: Beer Class Podcast. Where: Santa Fe ABQ Taproom. When: 2 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Hang out and listen to the SFBC command staff, including their top brewers, sales staff, general manager, and more discuss all you need to know about their beers with the guys from 10 Drink Minimum. Why you should go: This all comes with the chance to enjoy a sneak taste of Lemon Skynyrd, the newest entry in the Ever Changing Series.

What: Alaskan Tasting. Where: Jubilation. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Meet the local rep and enjoy some of the best offerings from way up north. Why you should go: Free beer!

What: Canteen Special Tapping. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: They are putting Coffee Dark & Lusty Stout on nitro. Why you should go: Coffee stout on nitro should be enough, but if it’s not, just think of the food menu. Mmm, fish and chips.

What: Beer, Cheese & More! Where: Marble Westside. When: 5 p.m. Cost: $25 per person. Details: For everyone that missed this annual event downtown, you get a second chance to try multiple special Marble beers paired up with delicious cheeses. Why you should go: Because there isn’t going to be another of these until 2017. Remember, buy your tickets at the taproom as far in advance as you can, because it will sell out!

What: Ska Special Tapping. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Oh, it’s just a wee double dip of Barrel-Aged Dementia and Bump & Grind Coffee Stout. Why you should go: Don’t let two of the best beers to ever come from Durango slip through your grasp!

What: Mother Road Tap Invasion and Special Firkin Tapping. Where: The Grain Station. When: 6 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: We have no idea what’s going to be in the Firkin, but damn it, we’re betting it will be amazing. Why you should go: Solve the mystery! Enjoy the beer! Have dinner while you’re there!

What: Alaskan Tap Takeover. Where: Billy’s Long Bar. When: 6 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: If you loved any of those Alaskan beers you tried at Jubilation so much you desperately need a pint, well, voila! Why you should go: Because sometimes it’s too hard to drive out of the Heights for a beer event, so here’s one in your backyard.

What: Ballast Point Tap Takeover and Special Tapping. Where: Rock & Brews. When: 6 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: It’s going to include Heaven Hill Barrel-Aged Victory at Sea (13% ABV). BARREL-AGED VICTORY AT SEA. Why you should go: The previous sentence was all you need to know, but just in case, Thomas DeCaro called it the smoothest 13-percenter you will ever try.

What: Beer for Stage Fright Open Mic. Where: Albuquerque Brewing. When: 7 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Get over that fear of crowds and sing your heart out with the help of your good friend beer. Why you should go: They’re throwing in $5 cheeseburger combo specials.

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Got any questions, comments, complaints, send them to nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com, or leave them here on our site, on Facebook, or on Twitter (@nmdarksidebc).
Enjoy yourselves out there, but please, do it responsibly.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

We are off and running with 14 events on the opening day!

There are some tough choices to make on the beer front this Tuesday.

Now that the holiday has come and gone, things are starting to rev up again.

From a competition, of a sort, between two breweries, to lots of new food-and-beer pairings, more samplings/tastings, a beer dinner, and an educational class on off flavors, the afternoon and evening are packed with lots of fun.

Good luck picking out which events you want to attend.

Featured event

Every day we will pick what we consider the biggest, most interesting, most unique event. This does not mean you should go to only this event and ignore the rest. All of them deserve your attention, but realistically, you can probably only attend a few. So we will make our daily pick, and you can either jump on it, or declare the Crew is foolish (we kinda are) and pick your own.

What: Battle of the Breweries. Where: The Grain Station. When: 6 p.m. Cost: No entry fee.

Details: It’s a Kill the Keg competition between Santa Fe’s Freestyle Pilsner and Upslope’s Craft Lager. Whichever beer runs out first, that brewery is the victor. There will some swag on hand and you can chat with SFBC and Upslope reps. Plus, of course, The Grain Station’s awesome menu of delectable food will be available.

Why you should go: We can’t really let a Colorado brewery defeat a New Mexico brewery on our turf, right?

All the other great events

What: Beer & Cheese Pairings with Cheesy Street. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 3 p.m. Cost: TBA. Details: The folks at Cheesy Street food truck will have trays of grilled cheese slideres, each paired up with a specific selection of Tractor beers. What those are were a mystery at press time, so go find out and let us know if they are as tasty as we expect them to be. Why you should go: Dude, grilled cheese and beer. It’s so American it’s scary.

What: Japanese Beer Tasting. Where: Jubilation. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Jubilation will have beers from Hitachino, Coedo, and Miyazaki Hideji for everyone to sample. Why you should go: It’s no longer all about Sake in Japan these days, see what they have to offer.

What: New Belgium Lips of Faith One Off Tasting. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Oscar Worthy Coffee Barrel is the beer of choice today, and it will be served on nitro. There will also be additional NB beers on special. Why you should go: Sometimes you just have to see if a beer is worthy of its name. This is one of those times.

What: Beer and Food Pairing. Where: Sandia Chile Grill. When: 5 to 8 p.m. Cost: TBA. Details: SCG will serve up some smoked brisket with their Red Ranger Irish Red. Why you should go: Beer and food for hungry/thirsty residents of the Northeast Heights.

What: Lagunitas Special Tapping. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: From the One Hitter Series comes GravensTime Apple-esque Beer, one of those grand rarities that must be tried. Why you should go: It’s the 2015 vintage, so go check it out before it’s gone forever.

What: Tuesday Brewsday Marble Special Tapping. Where: Rock & Brews. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Marble is bringing Saison #1 to tap once again. Why you should go: For all you in the Heights, this is your chance to experience this new creation from Marble.

What: Beer & Taco Night. Where: Rio Bravo. When: 5:30 p.m. Cost: No entry. Details: Order tacos from the Taco Lady for $1 and wash them down with $5 flights of Pilsner, Sommer, DRB, and Red. Why you should go: Next to pizza, tacos may be our favorite food to pair with beer.

What: Ballast Point Special Tapping and Pairing. Where: Canvas Artistry, 3120 Central Ave. SE. When: 6 p.m. Cost: TBA. Details: We are working on getting details about this event. Why you should go: TBA.

What: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Beer. Where: Albuquerque Brewing. When: 6 p.m. Cost: TBA. Details: Brewer John “Carnie” Bevz will host a tasting/sampling even to discuss off flavors and more that makes your beer good or bad. Why you should go: Get an education while enjoying some beer.

What: Chef’s Pairing. Where: Ponderosa. When: 7 p.m. Cost: $45 per person ($40 mug club members). Details: Brewer Bob Haggerty and executive chef Knoulan Tanner are teaming up for their first beer dinner featuring Sour Saison paired with a charcuterie plate, Crosscut Kolsch paired with scallop salad, Red Rye Lager paired with a wild mushroom risotto with braised lamb, and Chocolate Stout paired with a pot de creme. Why you should go: Hopefully you signed up, because the deadline was Saturday. Call Ponderosa at (505) 639-5941 to see if there are any late openings.

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Got any questions, comments, complaints, send them to nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com, or leave them here on our site, on Facebook, or on Twitter (@nmdarksidebc).

Enjoy yourselves out there, but please, do it responsibly.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Marble's Tony Calder has been running the show at all of their off-site tasting/tapping events.

Marble’s Tony Calder has been running the show at all of their off-site tasting/tapping events.

Editor’s note: Julie came down to Albuquerque to attend a pair of Beer Week events on Thursday. We will be running recaps from the Crew throughout the coming week, highlighting some of the best beers for you to go out and track down on your own. Enjoy! — Stoutmeister

Marble Tasting, Abricot: Whole Foods Market, Sandia Saloon

I’ve met a lot of beer reps in my day, but I have to say Tony Calder is one of the best. After 19 years working for a wholesale distributor, he joined Marble last October. Well done, Marble. This guy knows his stuff and is an absolute pleasure to talk to.

The tasting (well-placed in the artisanal cheese section of Whole Foods Market), showcased an array of tried-and-true favorites — Pilsner, IPA, Red, Wildflower Wheat —plus a “dinner bottle” of their seasonal Brett IPA and their newly canned Double White. The real star of the show was the Abricot (7.4% ABV, 8 IBU), which was on tap at the new Sandia Saloon just a few steps away. They reserved the last 1/6 barrel of this beer for Albuquerque Beer Week at the Saloon.

Tony described it as a French oak-aged, funk-ified wheat ale fermented with apricots. In his words, “Sour and dry with spontaneous flair.” I like that. I found the Abricot (Marble chose the French spelling for the name) really effervescent with a lot of tang as you swallow. The nose is fruity, as you might expect. While the aftertaste definitely smacks of alcohol, the overall effect is smooth and very drinkable.

While I was there, I tried the Double White (7% ABV, 8 IBU) for the first time. I know, I know … I’m an IPA girl. I need to branch out, but their IPA is just so classic and consistent I have a hard time drinking anything but that. I was surprised to find a little bite in the Double White. Tony let me know it was the grains of paradise that lent this Chilean orange pepper taste, which was a nice was to offset the sweetness normally found in white beer.

I also sampled the seasonal Brett IPA (6.8% ABV, 70 IBU), which had been aged in oak barrels for “a year or two.” The Brett IPA had an exceptionally strong nose, tangy mouthfeel, and a funkiness that gave a very distinct aftertaste. Tony said the funkiness was from the brewing process where they spiked the IPA with the Brett yeast, which leaves more sugar in the mix and results in the funky aftertaste. Overall, very good beer. I bought a “dinner bottle,” Marble’s attempt to rename bomber bottles, for the collection at home.

Cheers, Tony, and thanks for the beer and company!

The truly delicious Barrel-Aged Piper Down from Ballast Point.

The truly delicious Barrel-Aged Piper Down from Ballast Point.

Ballast Point Barrel-Aged Piper Down tapping at Nob Hill Bar & Grill

Full disclosure — I attended the Ballast Point beer dinner at Joseph’s of Santa Fe as part of the Outside Bike & Brew Festival last weekend (it was fabulous). But, we didn’t have this special tapping of Elijah Craig bourbon barrel-aged Piper Down Scottish Ale from Ballast Point (9% ABV after the barrel-aging process). So, I hightailed it to Nob Hill Bar & Grill to see if always-helpful rep Thomas DeCaro could give me some insight. I found both Thomas and Derek Pflug, the director for New Mexico and Arizona, on hand to answer my questions.

The Scottish ale normally has a base of 5.8-percent ABV, and just was named a silver medal winner at the World Beer Cup. Derek said it was the only barrel experiment to come in under 10 percent after being aged for eight months. The result is a big initial taste that surprised me with how effervescent it was. The body was very oakey and dark. The back end had notes of stonefruits — I insisted it was black cherry, my companions insisted it was apricot. (Your companions were right. — S) You be the judge, if you have the chance to try this delicious brew.

Cheers!

— Julie

We are off and running with 14 events on the opening day!

Try not to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of events on Day Two!

How did you do in Thursday’s opening events? Did you pace yourselves properly? Or was it all too much?

We hope it was a good, efficient day and night, with plenty of fun involved without going overboard. After all, it’s important to be well-rested and ready to go again, since Friday’s docket features 19 (!) events all over the map. There will be big, there will be small, but most of all, there will be a lot of great beer.

Choose wisely, grasshoppers.

Featured event

Every day we will pick what we consider the biggest, most interesting, most unique event. This does not mean you should go to only this event and ignore the rest. All of them deserve your attention, but realistically, you can probably only attend a few. So we will make our daily pick, and you can either jump on it, or declare the Crew is foolish (we kinda are) and pick your own.

What: 505 Collaboration Rye Kellerbier NM Brewers Guild Fundraiser. Where: 17 different locations in the ABQ metro area, plus locations in Santa Fe and Farmington (see below). When: 1 p.m. Cost: No entry fee at any location.

Details: Yep, it’s that time again. The annual beer made by a dozen different breweries came together last month at La Cumbre. Now, you get to try it by the pint at your favorite local breweries. You will have to check in and see at each brewery if they will sell it in growlers (we are thinking no, but you can ask). Remember, $1 from every pint sold goes to the NM Brewers Guild. That money will be used to continue their efforts to help all of our breweries throughout New Mexico. Grab yourselves a pint and raise it to all of our talented brewers anytime during Beer Week!

The full list of participating breweries in the metro area — Bosque, Bow & Arrow, Boxing Bear, Canteen, Chama River, Draft Station, Firkin, La Cumbre, Marble, Nexus, Ponderosa, Quarter Celtic, Red Door, Santa Fe ABQ Taproom, Sidetrack, Tractor, Turtle Mountain — and those outside of the metro area — Blue Corn, Draft Station, Santa Fe, Second Street in Santa Fe; 3 Rivers in Farmington.

Why you should go: We think that’s covered above.

All the other great events

What: Beer and Food Pairings. Where: Santa Fe Brewing ABQ Taproom. When: 11 a.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: For the next three days, SFBC will be teaming up with their neighbors at Green Jeans to create delicious pairings. The menu will change every day. Why you should go: You already know the restaurants at Green Jeans rock, and you know the beer at SFBC rocks, so odds are this will all rule.

What: Firkin Friday. Where: Marble (both locations). When: Noon. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Head brewer Josh Trujillo and his team will surely have some awesome creations in the casks. If we get advance notice, we will update it. Why you should go: Delicious cask beer makes for the perfect lunch break with Nosh Wagon downtown.

What: Founders Sampling. Where: Total Wine Cottonwood. When: 1:30 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Some of Michigan’s finest beers will be available for you to try. Why you should go: Free beer!

What: Moylan’s Special Release. Where: Rock & Brews. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Get ready for the most British beer ever, Afternoon Tealight, an ESB infused with Earl Grey. Why you should go: That sounds like Captain Picard’s kind of beer. Make it so.

What: Beer Brat Cookout. Where: Albuquerque Brewing. When: 4 p.m. Cost: $5 per brat. Details: The folks at ABC are boiling bratwurst in their beers. Why you should go: Food made with beer, plus you can drink more beer. Woots!

What: Founders Meet the Brewery Rep and Tasting. Where: Jubilation. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: For those who don’t live on the West Side, you can get some Founders samples, too. Why you should go: Devil Dancer Triple IPA will be among those available. Dudes, you need this beer in your life.

What: Marble Special Tapping. Where: The Local Brewhouse. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: A keg of the new Marble Saison will be available for folks way out in Rio Rancho. Why you should go: This is one of the only Rio Rancho-based events, so for those who live out there, jump on board.

What: Left Hand Special Tapping. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Get your hop dose with Extrovert IPA. Why you should go: Beer plus great food, huzzah.

What: Smokin’ BBQ Night. Where: Rio Bravo. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Get ready for lots of BBQ, plus hand-rolled cigars made to order, and special beer flights for $5. Music from Eryn Bent starts at 4. Why you should go: Beer, food, cigars, music; there are worse ways to spend a Friday.

What: 4th Annual Tower of Sour. Where: Back Alley Draft House. When: 4 p.m. Cost: $15. Details: We hope to have more than what fits here, but there will be 16 sours to choose from. Your entry fee covers four samples and a 10-ounce pour of your favorite. Why you should go: In addition to the hosts, other participating breweries will include Marble, Santa Fe, Sierra Blanca, a Bathtub Row/Cazuela’s collaboration, plus from all around the country — Anderson Valley, Ballast Point, Goose Island, New Beligum, Odell, Stone, Uinta — and the world, Rodenbach.

What: Boese Brothers Special Tapping. Where: Imbibe. When: 4:30 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Zeus Juice White IPA, their most recent seasonal, will be available for all of you who don’t like downtown, but will go to Nob Hill. Why you should go: Boese’s seasonals don’t last long, so this might be your last chance to try it before it’s gone, at least outside the brewery.

What: New Belgium Lips of Faith Special Tapping. Where: Gecko’s Nob Hill. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: This is a new collaboration beer made by NB and Hof Ten Dormaal. Why you should go: If you love Belgian-style beers, you gotta try this one.

What: Jake & Harley’s Cigar Gallery, Food and Beer Evening. Where: Jinja West. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No entry fee, but beers, food, and cigars are to be paid for a la carte. Details: The folks out west are tapping Founders Backwoods Bastard and Porter, plus they will have cans of Dirty Bastard, All Day IPA, Centennial IPA and Rubaeus. Why you should go: If you love Founders and don’t want to commute to the east side of town, this is for you, West Siders.

What: Avery Special Tapping. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: This a double tapping of Raja and Maharaja, two massive IPAs. Why you should go: HOPS. Need we say more?

What: Tractor Co-op Members Barrel-Aged Beer Pre-Release and Youngsville’s Farewell to ABQ Show. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 6 p.m. (pre-release), 8:30 p.m. (music). Cost: $15 for pre-release, show is free. Details: We got all the details about this epic double event earlier this week. Why you should go: Barrel-aged beers and awesome live music.

What: Brews with a View Beer Dinner. Where: Hyatt Regency. When: 6 p.m. Cost: None listed, call (505) 980-9671 for more info and reservations. Details: Upslope will be on hand for a four-course dinner on the 19th floor, hosted by Forque Restaurant. Why you should go: Delicious food, delicious beer, and you can’t beat the view.

What: The Hopper: Hop-on, Hop-off Brew Cruise. Where: Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town. When: 6 p.m. Cost: $20. Details: The ABQ Trolley Company is taking folks around for a 3-hour tour with stops of 30-45 minutes at each of the five participating breweries — Back Alley, Boese Brothers, Duel, Ponderosa, Sidetrack. Why you should go: Visit five breweries and you only pay one low price for transportation.

What: Ballast Point Tap Takeover. Where: Mezcal, the former Stereo Bar. When: 6 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: BP is taking over 15 different taps, bringing all of their finest ales and lagers. The full list — Big Eye IPA, Big Eye with fresh ginger root, Sculpin, Grapefruit Sculpin, Pineapple Sculpin, Black Marlin Porter, Mango Even Keel, Longfin Lager, Navigator Doppelbock, Homework Series #6 Robust Porter, Homework Series #7 Session Saison, Wahoo White, Piper Down, Grunion Hoppy Pale Ale, Calm Before the Storm. Why you should go: That is a ton of wonderful beer.

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Got any questions, comments, complaints, send them to nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com, or leave them here on our site, on Facebook, or on Twitter (@nmdarksidebc).

Enjoy yourselves out there, but please, do it responsibly.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

We are off and running with 14 events on the opening day!

We are off and running with 14 events on the opening day!

It’s go time, people!

ABQ Beer Week 2016 swings into action today (Thursday) with 14 events, from downtown to Nob Hill to the Northeast Heights, and all points in between. There will be special tappings, beer and food pairings, live music, and a whole lot more.

To help you out today and every day throughout this series of events, the Crew will have daily previews encapsulating every Beer Week-affiliated event. Think of us as your one-stop-shop for all the basic info you need.

Featured event

Every day we will pick what we consider the biggest, most interesting, most unique event. This does not mean you should go to only this event and ignore the rest. All of them deserve your attention, but realistically, you can probably only attend a few. So we will make our daily pick, and you can either jump on it, or declare the Crew is foolish (we kinda are) and pick your own.

What: Beer, Cheese & More! Where: Marble Brewery Downtown. When: 5 to 8 p.m. Cost: $25, buy in advance at the pub as they almost always sell out.

Details: One of the most popular of all the annual events will be part of today’s kickoff. Head downtown and get a tray of delicious cheeses, provided by Whole Foods, with each style paired up with a specific beer. Marble marketing director Elyse Cushman said she wants to keep a lot of it a surprise, but she did provide some cool info.

“We are, for the most part, using all special beers,” Elyse said. “Besides the Oatmeal Stout and the Pilsner, we’re using the Mosaic, which is a very, very special beer; the Brettanna Rouge, which is my personal favorite pairing out of this group, because the Rouge is so special, it’s a barrel-aged red with brettanomyces, it’s a very special beer as well; and then the 111 Farmhouse. I think they’re really great seasonals.”

Oh, come on, Elyse, just a little hint on the pairings?

“In terms of what cheeses were using, I think you’re going to be surprised,” she said. “I’m really excited about the flow of it, if that makes sense. I’m excited that we start with, they’re all decadent cheeses, but they’re not as pungent as other ones. We kind of have this roller coaster, this kind is pungent, this kind is spicy. It’s a palate roller coaster.

“I’m particularly excited about the last pairing, and that’s all I will say. The Brettanna is my favorite, but the last one is whoa, you would never expect it.”

Mystery beer! That alone should spark even more interest. Get thee to Marble!

Why you should go: Great beer paired with unique cheeses, plus the usual Marble vibe of endless fun. That should be plenty of reason. But, again, get those tickets before it starts! (If you have not already.)

All the other great events

What: Marble Special Tapping. Where: Spinn’s Burgers & Beer, 4411 Montano Rd. NW. When: 11:30 a.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Marble will be tapping their new Marble Saison, which is a cousin to the 111 Farmhouse. Why you should go: All of you living on the West Side could probably use a beer with your lunch. Don’t worry, we won’t tell your bosses.

What: Santa Fe and Boese Brothers Collaboration Tapping. Where: Santa Fe ABQ Taproom. When: 3 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: The good folks at SFBC and their pals at Boese Brothers have blended their State Pen and Patriot Porters, but only after aging them in oak barrels. Why you should go: Because a blend of two great porters that have been oak aged just sounds wonderful.

What: Founders Sampling. Where: Total Wine Uptown. When: 3:30 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Sample many of the top offerings from Michigan’s Founders Brewing. Why you should go: Free beer! (And you can grab a sixer on your way out.)

What: Abita Special Firkin Tapping. Where: Anodyne. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: The Louisiana brewery has sent a firkin of their Horchata Turbodog. Why you should go: That has to be one of the strangest sounding, yet intriguing beers being offered anywhere. Leave it to Anodyne to be the ones to get their hands on it.

What: German Beer & Brats Night. Where: Rio Bravo Brewing. When: 4 p.m. Cost: $15 for a pint, brat, and potato salad. Details: Grab some German-themed grub and wash it down with a German-style beer, plus there will be live music from Jill Cohen at 4 p.m., and Grace at 6:30 p.m. Why you should go: It’s as close as you will get to Deutschland without requiring Lederhosen.

What: Marble Sampling and Special Tapping. Where: Whole Foods Academy. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: There will be a sampling of Marble’s packaged beers, plus they’re putting a keg of Abricot Sour on tap in the Sandia Saloon, Whole Foods’ new craft beer bar. Why you should go: For all you Northeast Heights residents, you were gonna stop to buy some food for dinner anyway, so you might as well have a few samples and a pint, too.

What: La Cumbre Beer and Cheese Pairing. Where: Jubilation. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Get some samples of the new Strawberry Gose, plus Elevated IPA, Red Ryeot, Malpais Stout, Slice of Hefen, and Project Dank, each paired with a matching cheese. Why you should go: Free beer! Free cheese! And you can then buy some to take home (the beer, we’re not sure about the cheese).

What: Stone Special Release. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Stone will bring Americano Stout and Bourbon Barrel-Aged Arrogant Bastard to one of Nob Hill’s finest institutions. Why you should go: Those big, dark, beautiful beers would pair nicely with some fish and chips or beef boxty.

What: Santa Fe Brewing Beer Dinner. Where: Torino’s @ Home, 7600 Jefferson St. NE. When: 6 p.m. Cost: $45 per person, call (505) 797-4491 for reservations. Details: AmyO got all the information you need. Why you should go: Delicious beer, delicious food, and you get to hang with one of the top two brewers from the largest brewery in New Mexico.

What: Colorado Brewery Showcase. Where: O’Niell’s Nob Hill. When: 6 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Four Colorado heavyweights — Boulder, Left Hand, New Belgium, Oskar Blues — will have their beers available for sampling, plus many will be on tap. Meet the brewery sales reps and grab some swag. Why you should go: Free beer, nice people, plus you can stick around for a meal and a pint.

What: Ballast Point Special Tapping. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 6 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: The Piper Down just won a silver medal at the World Beer Cup in the Irish-style Red category. This batch was barrel aged, just to make it more awesome. Why you should go: Award-winning barrel-aged beer. Need we say more?

What: Third Annual Sierra Nevada Sausage and Cheese Tasting. Where: O’Niell’s Juan Tabo. When: 6 p.m. Cost: TBA. Details: The ultimate food-and-beer pairing from Sierra Nevada is back. This year will feature the full lineup of 2016 Beer Camp Across America on tap, all paired with unique sausages and cheeses and more. Why you should go: This year’s Beer Camp is quite a bit better than what they had last year. That alone should convince you to go.

What: Brews and Blues with Roger Lewis All Stars. Where: Albuquerque Brewing. When: 7 p.m. Cost: No cover. Details: Head up to ABC for a jam session. Bring your own instrument(s), but take note it’s mostly blues and jazz. Why you should go: If you’re a musician or just love listening to music and/or dancing, this is your event.

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Got any questions, comments, complaints, send them to nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com, or leave them here on our site, on Facebook, or on Twitter (@nmdarksidebc).

Enjoy yourselves out there, but please, do it responsibly.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

This will be one of the many cans poured tonight at Burning Can in Santa Fe. (Photo courtesy of Marble)

This will be one of the many cans poured tonight at Burning Can in Santa Fe. (Photo courtesy of Marble)

Editor’s note: Julie attended the Friday night main event, and filed a quick bit of info of what folks can expect tonight. Remember, this is not a traditional unlimited sampling festival. I’ll let her explain the rest below.

If you go: Breweries who will have staff on-site tonight (Saturday) include Santa Fe Brewing, Marble, and NM Hard Cider. Founders, Ballast Point, and Oskar Blues are served up by reps from Whole Foods. This is not a tasting event, and you’ll be allowed three drinks (tonight that means three 12-ounce cans). Food trucks are separated from the beer, and you may have to wait quite a while if the crowd is thick. Last night, some people waited more than 45 minutes for food. As you can imagine, this cuts into your beer-drinking time, so come prepared. Dogs are not allowed within the bike expo and beer garden, but are allowed in Fort Marcy park on a leash. Overall, the Fort Marcy site is a nice upgrade from the Railyard — parking is easier and there is fresh air and space to spread out. A pump track is set up next to the playground equipment, so pack the kids’ bikes, too.

Here’s the other two that Oskar Blues will have tonight.

Old Chub (8.0% ABV, 25 IBU) Oskar Blues brings their outstanding Scottish-style ale to add to the Burning Can mix tonight at Outside Bike & Brew.

OB IPA (6.43% ABV, 70 IBU) Their unusual IPA is hopped with hand-selected Australian hops, and delivers a nice, full body with a pineapple/citrus aftertaste.

Cheers!

— Julie