Posts Tagged ‘Blue Corn Brewing’

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

Advertisements

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

OBB20172

The crowds will be out in force again this weekend for the annual Outside Bike & Brew Festival in Santa Fe.

Hey, everyone! Luke and Julie here from Dark Side Brew Crew, Santa Fe squad. This weekend, the fourth annual Outside Bike & Brew Festival returns to Santa Fe with four more days of cycling and craft beer events.

This great week-long beer-meets-adventure bash officially begins Wednesday with a kickoff party at Santa Fe’s still-fresh venue, The Bridge at Santa Fe Brewing, and continues with guided brewery bike tours during the day and beer dinners in the evening. Each event brings bikes and beers together in the perfect union of suds and sun (hopefully), and culminates this Saturday with a celebration of all things outside, with food trucks, music, and good breweries that love the great outdoors!

If you like beer, bikes, and getting outside, this event is not one to miss! While there are plenty of cycling events to choose from for the whole family, we know you’re here for the beer, so let’s get down to business. If you’re more interested in ABV than RPM, the following is a roundup of what you can expect from this week’s event.

Wednesday

Bike to Work Week with Second Street Brewery (all locations)

“Wednesday is Bike to Work Week, and all three of our locations are part of a “first annual” SSB scavenger hunt cooked up by new Rufina front-of-house manager, Mariah Scee, in cooperation with the City of Santa Fe. We will be having an outdoor area to gather in, along with souvenirs and snacks that will be given away at the Rufina location. The Railyard and Original locations will be the places to go for full service eating and drinking.” — Rod Tweet, Owner/President, SSB

Marble Brewery Tap Takeover

Fire & Hops Gastropub, 5 p.m.

Food specials and limited brews from Marble’s NE Heights Brewery

Benefit for Velo New Mexico, a nonprofit promoting and celebrating cycling in New Mexico

18320432_1681518292150360_8636774319664766533_o

Bikes, brews, and tunes, too.

Thursday

Bike & Brew Kickoff Party

The Bridge at Santa Fe Brewing, 7 p.m.

Enjoy Santa Fe Brewing craft beers with dirty, organic California soul music from Orgone

Tickets can be purchased here.

Beer Dinner Feature: Bodega Prime featuring a selection from Rowley’s Farmhouse Ales

Enjoy a great beer dinner at Bodega Prime with beers from RFA, before heading out to The Bridge at Santa Fe Brewing for the Kickoff Party!

On the menu:

  • Fields of Rye Saison with snapper, crab, peas & celeriac
  • Saison du Sarlacc with roasted carrots with harissa & pistachios
  • Ab Initio with spring duck, morels & grass
  • Ab Initio – Boysenberry with charred onion salad with walnut salsa
  • Agent Scully IPA with smoked bliss potato & egg yolk ravioli, pork & asparagus
  • Sin Barreras Nutella with chocolate bouchon with caramelized beer ice cream & coff­ee

Reservations are required. Call (505) 303-3535. The cost is $65 per person.

Bodega Prime is located at 1291 San Felipe Ave., Suite A, Santa Fe, NM 87505

Cowgirl Tap Takeover & Beer Dinner featuring Sierra Nevada

The Cowgirl is located at 319 S. Guadalupe St. For more information, call (505) 982-2565 or check out their website.

Loyal Hound Pub featuring a selection from Canteen Brewhouse

The Loycal Hound is located at 730 St. Michaels Dr. For more information, call (505) 471-0440 or check out their website.

Friday, May 19

Tour de Brewer

Start times: 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m.

Saddle up at the Santa Fe Railyard Park for a round trip ride with stops at Rowley’s Farmhouse Ales, Duel Brewing and the newest Second Street Brewery location in the Rufina District.

Rod also says lucky cyclists may indeed get to take a peek at the new brewing facility on Rufina, and sample a few of the new beers! What!? So, lace up those, um, bike shoes … and shorts!

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here.

Dr. Field Goods featuring Deschutes Brewery

Dr. Field Goods is located at 2860 Cerrillos Road, Suite A1. For more information, call (505) 471-0043 or check out their website.

Handcrafted Bike & Beer Show

Santa Fe Farmers Market Building, 5-9 p.m.

The first 500 people receive a custom Bike & Brew logo stainless cup.

Breweries include: Deschutes, Broken Trail, La Cumbre, Red Door, Santa Fe Brewing, Second Street, Starr Brothers

Tickets are $15 to $25 and can be purchased here.

Saturday, May 20

01ee7eaf5e084598e573d748df5db254476b9dbd3e

2016 Tour de Brewer, SFBC

Tour de Brewer

Start times: 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m.

Saddle up at the Santa Fe Railyard Park for a round trip ride with stops at Second Street Brewery, Blue Corn Brewery and Santa Fe Brewing Company. Cyclists will speak with head brewers and sample beers along the way with a tour of the new Santa Fe Brewing facility and a cold beer fresh off the canning line.

Tickets cost $20 and can be purchased here.

Tour de Brunch

10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

This tour includes stops at Ohori’s Coffee, CheeseMongers of Santa Fe, and Barrio Brinery to check out how the local artisanal food scene is evolving. We wrap up the ride at HQ Santa Fe for some savory bites and a beverage.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased here.

Concert & Beer Garden

Bike&Brew6

Bike & Brew 2015, Railyard Park

Railyard Park, 5-9 p.m.

This evening features food trucks, a bicycle expo, and music by DJ Spinifex and Hello Dollface. The first 500 people receive a custom Bike & Brew logo stainless cup.

Breweries include: Deschutes Brewery, Broken Trail Brewing, La Cumbre Brewing, Red Door Brewery, Santa Fe Brewing Co., Second Street Brewery, Starr Brothers Brewing

Tickets are $15 to $25 and can be purchased here.

* * * * *

Julie: A great way for locals to take advantage of this weekend’s events is to pick up a Locals Pass for $20, which allows entry to both Friday and Saturday night’s main beer events. The passes can be picked up at Whole Foods Market at 753 Cerrillos Road in Santa Fe. The beer dinners listed will likely require reservations, so we advise you to plan ahead.

Bike&Brew7

In 2015, the weather stopped no one from pouring the good stuff!

Luke: I’ve been to three of these now, and I’ve always had a good time. One year I was even interviewed by the Beer TrALE, the first of the Drink it Interns, about New Mexico IPAs, and I said some mostly factual things. Don’t bother looking for the video. You probably won’t find it. Only now am I more interested in getting on a bike, especially with a chance to huff it between some new breweries (lookin’ at you, Rufina and RFA!). And, with no chance of a BUI (Oregon and Colorado, you know what I’m talkin’ about), I’m sold. Still, drink responsibly. Bike responsibly. Don’t be an asshat. Sadly, I don’t own a bike, but the beer side of these events has always been a great experience, and even if the weather hasn’t always cooperated, the outdoorsy type of folks that dig this particular brand o’ shindig don’t mind a little rain and mud while they get down with the gettin’ down.

Cheers!

— Julie and Luke

Full event listings are available at www.outsidesantafe.com/events.

Luke123 Steel Bender

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

 

0171d67e2eef8e8ff82377f58906582d35f4a75db6

Thanks for the shots, Duel!

Greetings fellow, ale-ficionados! Man, do we have something special for you happening up in Santa Fe! Tomorrow (Thursday), Blue Corn Brewery is hosting a special cask festival at their southside location, featuring ALL six Santa Fe breweries under one roof. To get your palate wet, I’ve got a list of beers, as well as the skinny on the chow. Read on to see what you’ll be enjoying, or sorely missing.

Blue Corn Brewery – Heffeweizen on honey. 15 IBUs, 5.4% ABV

Chili Line Brewing Company – Smoked Porter or a cask Lager.

Duel Brewing – Duel’s classic Fiction IPA inoculated with sour beer from their cellar and seven pounds of Apricots.

Rowley Farmhouse Ales – Irish Stout on Madagascar vanilla bean, primed with organic molasses.

Santa Fe Brewing Company – Western Bloc (re-)dry-hopped with Huell Melon and Chinook hops. 75 IBUs, 6.7% ABV

Second Street Brewery – U2 Dry Stout, Second Street’s traditional Irish dry stout with a luscious mouth feel, and a bit more complexity than the archetype. O.G. 1.054, 32 IBUs, 5.7% ABV

And of course, a Blue Corn beer event wouldn’t be complete without great food for pairing. Even though Chef David Sundberg has moved on to bigger and better things, the evening’s entrees are in the very capable hands of Chef Memo. Make sure to bring an appetite for the following:

  • Fried avocado topped with pico de gallo and a jalapeno-cilantro aioli
  • Cauliflower wings served with bleu cheese and hot sauce
  • Deep-fried goat cheese-stuffed jalapeno poppers
  • Short rib wonton mini tostadas
  • Salmon mousse mini crackers

For $30, each guest will receive a seven-ounce glass, which includes a pour of each brewery’s cask beer, as well as servings of all the delicious bites. For reservations, call (505) 438-1800. 6PM.

Why should you go? As if a fun cask beer event falling on a Thirsty Thursday isn’t reason enough on its own, consider the following. How many opportunities do you get to enjoy great beer from all six Santa Fe breweries, while also getting the chance to speak to the brewers directly about their craft, current beers, and upcoming projects in a more intimate setting than, say, a grand casino ballroom? Fewer than you’d think. Also, this will be Chef Memo’s first event, so we’ll be getting a taste of what’s in store for Blue Corn’s future menus. Listen, take my word for it, Blue Corn knows how to host a swinging swig-shindig. You don’t want to miss this one if you can help it. I know I won’t. I hope to see you there, and remember to keep thinking globally and keep drinking locally.

Cheers!

— Luke

Luke123 Steel Bender

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

lbla7

Head brewer Paul Mallory has settled into his role at the helm of Blue Corn.

The last time I interviewed Paul Mallory, head brewer at Blue Corn, it was about his entrance into the New Mexico brewing scene. For this entry in the Look Back/Look Ahead series, Paul and I sat down to discuss some of his new creations and chat about how his first year (six months to be exact) went, and what he wants to accomplish at Blue Corn in the coming year.

Thursdays always seem like the best time to catch the head brewers at Blue Corn. Usually I head over after work, sit down at the bar, and start on a beer before they finish cleaning up from a brew day. Well, this was no different, except that I’m more excited to get back to tracking down stories for the Dark Side Brew Crew after surviving festival season for Santa Fe Brewing, and taking what I felt was a much deserved month off from all but work-related duties for November. (You earned it. — S) It’s good to be back, though. I definitely missed hunting down stories, writing up questions, talking to brewers, and geeking out on their new beers. Glad to be back, indeed!

Walking in, I said hi to my pals who work there, and took a comfy corner spot at the big copper-topped bar. Glancing around, I saw some locals, who, from second glance, could be considered regulars at most of the brewery taprooms around town. It’s always good to see them with a pint glass, no matter where they are. They’re a big part of our great craft beer community here in Santa Fe, and a big percentage of the folks for whom we write these stories, and as always, I’m proud to share the rail with them.

Paul came out from the back after a few sips of my beer, and we found a table close to where I sat recently for another excellent beer dinner put on by Blue Corn in November. Resisting the urge to gush about how much I enjoyed the food and beer at that event, I launched straight into my questions.

lbla9

The dining room makes for great big beer dinners.

DSBC: How was Blue Corn’s year?

Mallory: It seems like we had a good year. We had a bit of personnel change. We got some medals at a few competitions, and I feel we continue to push the boundaries with a lot of our seasonal beers.

DSBC: Sounds like it was a good one. How about for you, personally? Was it nice coming home?

Mallory: Yeah, I really enjoyed coming home. I got a warm welcome from friends and family, of course, but also, in such a short time, the New Mexico beer industry was really welcoming, so that was really nice. I also had to make the transition from production brewery to brewpub, so that was really interesting. It took me a little while to adjust, but in the end, I’m really enjoying it. I really like the amount of new seasonal beers that we have to come out with at a brewpub. It’s really something! All of the ideas that I’ve had for a while … I got done with those pretty quickly. I had to dig a little bit deeper into my idea book.

DSBC: And, you’ve come up with some great stuff! What were some of the highlights for Blue Corn this year?

Mallory: Right around the time I started, we got some medals at the North American Brewers Association Awards. We got a gold medal for the Oatmeal Stout (Category), and a silver for the American Style Brown Ale. We didn’t get an award at the New Mexico IPA Challenge, but we did pretty well with the number of votes. And, I just had a really good time making the beer, having friends and family come out to support, not only my beer, but everybody’s. So, I just had a blast doing it. I had heard about this competition, but I had never participated, so it was just a blast, and it was maybe a month or two into the job. It was really cool, because it was the most hops I’ve ever used in a beer. I think I told you that, (in) the first interview. You know, a month in, and they’re like, “Please, use twice as many hops as you’ve ever used in a beer.” I said, “Yes. Done.”

We also got a bronze medal for our Russian Imperial Stout, which you tried at the dinner, last week.

DSBC: Yeah, that was certainly medal worthy.

Mallory: We got a bronze at the Santa Fe Open, for that.

DSBC: All these competitions, whether big or small, make better brewers.

Mallory: For sure, and you know, I think we really want those bigger medals, too. And, I have no doubt we’ll get them eventually. We got good notes back from GABF. It’s just a matter of time. We’ll keep knocking at the door.

DSBC: Personal highlights?

Mallory: One thing was I got to make more lagers. At the production facility I was at before, we didn’t have a lager (yeast) strain. We didn’t have much tank space to do lagering.

DSBC: That was at Black Diamond and Ghosttown in Oakland?

Mallory: Yeah. We didn’t do any lagers there, and we did a few at Black Diamond. I think I’ve already got to do maybe three or four here now, and I love it. Anything new to me, that I have to learn, is really exciting for me.

DSBC: It was your first time at a brewpub, as opposed to the production facility, and you took over as head brewer, were there any struggles or obstacles in that six months?

Mallory: Yeah, you know, I think the adjustment of going from production to brewpub is actually easier than the other way around, because it’s almost like you’re slowing down a bit. So, the adjustment wasn’t that difficult. And then, having James (Warren) there for support has been nothing but good. Can’t say I have many complaints about the job here.

lbla1

Is it just us, or is that new at Blue Corn?

The biggest difficulty has been changes in management, and keeping everyone on the same page. But, with each new rotating manager (which is how Santa Fe dining cross-trains their employees), it becomes the head brewer’s job to make sure that the managers are on the same page when it comes to maintain the all-important craft beer culture at the brewpub. Mallory told us that his assistant brewer, Braden Oehler, has spearheaded the task of educating the employees about beer, as many assistant brewers have traditionally done in the past.

Mallory: Another big challenge is building a beer culture in Santa Fe. I feel like most people want to drink margaritas and wine, here in Santa Fe.

DSBC: That just means we have work to do. To the Batmobile, Paul! It seems like you’ve done a good job of keeping the craft beer culture alive with the beers you’ve done this year. How’s business currently? Are you keeping up with the demand from the Draft Stations?

Mallory: Yeah, it seems like early in the year, in the summertime, we were running out of one of our house beers every once in a while. And, that’s just how it is. We just have so many tanks, and that’s how it is. Right now, we’re in probably the slowest time of year, and it might be like that for a month. And then, it might be slow in January or February, so we’re kind of using that as an excuse to take on other projects. So, I have some sour critters going in the back, cropping up in some 5-gallon carboys.

DSBC: Let’s talk about those in a minute. Blue Corn’s had a good year. I remember in previous interviews, there were hints, maybe rumors at expansion, but it sounds like Santa Fe Dining has their hands full with Kellys at the moment. Can you comment on any expansion in Blue Corn Brewery’s near future?

Mallory: I think most of the expansion is with Kellys and Chama River. I can kinda comment on that, but that’s more James’ realm. All of our exciting news here at the brewpub is more beer-related.

DSBC: And, there’s nothing wrong with that! Do you have any big beer events coming up that the readers should know about?

Mallory: One big thing that’s coming up is our 20th anniversary in February.

DSBC: How about some details?

Mallory: I don’t know the day exactly, but it’s in mid-to-late February. We’re going to do two beers for it. So, we’re going to do a Parti Gyle. And what that is, is that we’re going to do one big mash and do two runnings off of that same mash. So, the first runnings are going to be really high gravity, meaning a high-alcohol beer, and the second runnings coming off are going to be a lot lower in gravity, so, a lower-alcohol beer. It’s going to be pale colored malts for the grain bill. We’re going to do a Belgian-style tripel as well as a Belgian-style table beer or a dubbel-style pale ale, something like that. And, we’re going to make a big event out of it, invite some brewers from Albuquerque to come up for brew day, just to hang out and talk shop. It’s going to be fun, but I’m a little nervous about it, because I’ve never done it before. I’m going to have to be watching all the gravities on the runnings, and do all these things I’ve never done before, and then also have people watching me possibly screw it all up.

DSBC: No pressure. By the way, how did you decide on the Parti Gyle for the anniversary beer?

Mallory: It’s interesting because we wanted to go big for the anniversary, but the president of Santa Fe Dining, said, “Well, what about … doesn’t anyone ever make an anniversary beer that’s drinkable?” And, I said, why don’t we do both from the same mash?

DSBC: I dig it. Since Blue Corn’s news is more beer related, what do you guys have for us? You mentioned sours.

Mallory: Yeah, definitely. So, we have the organisms cropping up in the back. We have some Brettanomyces and some Lactobacillus, and I think I would like to get some nice clean sours without any acidic acids or pedeo or diacetyl, stuff like that. So, the other thing that we have going for us is we have these big brite tanks in the front that you see. And, a lot of times, we try not to use them. They’re more hassle than they’re worth, to clean them, to transfer. It works out though, if we want to put sours in there, because we move it, and then we let it sit, so we don’t have to move beer in and out constantly. And then, it makes sense. And, we don’t have any risk up there of getting contamination from a barrel that we don’t know what organisms are living in there. So, hopefully we can control it, and get a nice, clean, predictable sour, and they’ll be out of the way, so I think we’ll get some good age on them, and we’ll release them when they taste good.

012910ae489424426e6bf59c3a770475e018121b26

There might be sours in those tanks soon!

DSBC: I resisting the urge to call it a brite idea. It’s tough, though. I like bad puns, that’s why I work in the beer industry.

Mallory: (Laughs)

DSBC: What sort of sours are you thinking about making — lambics, framboises, American wilds, krieks? Maybe a Flanders Red?

Mallory: I guess I haven’t thought that far ahead. But, we have three tanks up there, so we could do a little bit of everything. I could envision one with both Brett and Lacto. I could also see a Berliner Weisse with just Lacto, but yeah, you’re right. The sky’s the limit. And, I’m not afraid of adding fruit to those, so we’ll see.

DSBC: So, the beer that I’m drinking right now is the Lobo Rojo. I know this beer will be available in Albuquerque at the Lobo games. How’d it get the name? Tell us a little bit about this beer.

01cd660dfe9250f31ce0e26fdee4b77c0c712b2282

Lobo Rojo, coming soon to actual Lobo games!

Mallory: This is sort of a beer that we’re thinking could replace our amber, if we’re thinking of replacing our house beers. We are thinking about … should we replace one or two of our house beers? And so, this is kind of a prototype. We wanted something a little hoppier than our amber. So, the idea was to get as much malt and hop flavor into a beer that’s still low in alcohol, that you could drink a lot of. So, we have some really nice malts in there, some Maris Otter, and we also used a bunch of American hops like Mosaic and Citra. So, it has a really nice dry-hop aroma, and hopefully a really nice malty backbone as well.

DSBC: I like it. It works very well. I think it’s a little scary to hear that you may replace some of the old house beers, which have been around for a long time, but it’s exciting too, to know that you’re willing to do so. Any word on what other beer you might replace?

Mallory: Yeah, we pretty much look at our two lowest selling beers, and that is our brown and our amber. If we do anything, we would replace our amber with our red, and would replace the brown with a pale ale. We brewed a prototype for that, as well. It’s in the back; I’ll pour you off a little sample of that. And again, kind of the same idea, make it really drinkable and pack it full of flavor.

DSBC: I remember when we spoke last time, pale ales were your thing, and you wanted to make something happen with them.

Mallory: Yeah, pale ale is kind of my (stranded on a) desert island beer.

DSBC: Anything you’d like to add for the beer-drinking public of New Mexico?

Mallory: We’re going to keep pushing the boundaries with IPAs in all different ways — the malt bill, the hops, type of hops, the technique that we put the hops in. We’d also like to do some barrels, too. I think we’re shopping around to see what we can do, try to get some barrels from local sources, possibly do some collaborations, and possibly doing some collaborations with other breweries, or other local suppliers of ingredients of all sorts. Yeah, pretty much keep it interesting. Look for a little bit of everything. We’re not afraid to do big beers in the middle of the summer. We’re going to do sours, barrel-aged beers, IPAs. We’re going to really do a little bit of everything. As the beer-drinking public, we want you to come in and just trust that we’ll have something new and interesting almost every time you come in here.

* * * * *

Blue Corn has been a longtime staple in Santa Fe’s craft beer community. With their long line of talented brewers that have come and gone, they’ve helped shape what craft beer is in our small town. Blue Corn’s solid list of house beers can be credited with teaching many Santa Feans and visitors what good craft beer is.

It’s no secret that the house beers have remained the same for many years now. Some have done very well both in sales and garnering medals from major competitions. This list of core beers is one that regulars do not want to see messed with, or at least, not by much. But, as the craft beer drinker has changed, and the industry has changed, perhaps it’s time for the old brewpub to change its list of ‘tried and true.’

The big news at Blue Corn next year is not expansion of brew space, but more an expansion of imagination and possibility. Most of those house beers have been on the menu for a very long time, a couple, at least, since the days of the first head brewer, Laure Pomianowski. But, with the possibility of changing two core beers that have been around quite a while, the sky is the limit on what can happen at Blue Corn, now.

What Blue Corn has done right over the years, is that they have allowed their brewers to explore and to experiment with whichever brews they want. Santa Fe Dining may be a careful parent company, but they have always trusted the brewer to do what they think is best, and in turn, that has made for more of a craft-beer-centric establishment than anything else. Aside from the two possible new house beers, it’s the new seasonals we tend to get more excited about with each visit, because there is never a shortage of them.

lbla2

The Apparition Pale Coffee Ale is coming soon!

“Out of five fermenters right now, four of them are seasonals,” Mallory said. And, after trying Lobo Rojo, and the prototype pale ale, as well as another specialty, Apparition, a pale coffee beer (similar to La Cumbre’s Mind Phoc), I understand just why you trust the brewer, or why you choose a brewer you can trust to explore and experiment. With Paul Mallory, Blue Corn’s beer is in good hands, and I can’t wait for another great year, full of exciting seasonals to stop in and try.

Cheers,

— Luke

01ade1a29a071dac14f428999277c8c66e8d53d6cc

For more #CraftBeer news and @nmdarksidebc info, follow @SantaFeCraftBro!

 

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.

A lot of the time this weekly feature ends up being pretty Albuquerque-centric. Part of that is due to the majority of New Mexico breweries being located within the metro area, and many of the festivals. Every now and again, it is nice to highlight a series of events in other towns as well. This weekend, if you allow us to say a weekend starts on Thursday, Santa Fe will be the place to be for lots of beer events. First up, the first Fiesta Brew Fest is set for Thursday at 5 p.m. in the Luna Building at 505 Cerrillos Road. Tickets cost $10 and it will feature four breweries and one cidery. Chili Line is the local Santa Fe brewery (we are hoping to belatedly add them to the listings below), plus New Mexico Hard Cider, Red Door, Boxing Bear, and Bosque will be present. There will be a food truck and live music. For more details, check the Santa Fe Reporter. Oh, and there is more …

  • If a fest isn’t your thing, head over to Blue Corn for their final Beer Garden of the summer out on the patio this Thursday. They will be releasing their Wet Hop American Strong Ale (8% ABV). There will be food specials as well.
  • For Friday, hit up any Santa Fe Brewing location (even down here in ABQ) for the release of the new Estate-grown Neo-1 Wet-hop Pale Ale. It is a mouthful, so hopefully the flavor will live up to that descriptive name.
  • Then on Saturday, head over to Second Street for the annual RescueFest, which benefits Atalaya Search and Rescue. It runs all day and will feature plenty of live music and more.
  • Finally, there will be a special tap takeover Sunday at Rowley Farmhouse Ales. Ballast Point is bringing 11 special beers, many available in New Mexico for the first time. There will also be a raffle of some rare, specialty beers, plus other goodies, all in the name of Chantal Leyh’s Cancer Fund. Check their Facebook page for more details, but it kicks off at noon and runs until closing at 10 p.m.

On the new beer front this week, there are some new options to check out. The El Dorado S.M.A.S.H. debuted at Bosque over the past weekend. Canteen brought back Tail Waggin’ IPA, this time on CO2, and added Grapefruit Exodus IPA. The Monzon Wet-Hop Pale Ale debuted at La Cumbre back on Friday on tap and in bombers. There is a fresh batch of Double IPA at two of three Marble locations, plus Pumpkin Noir is also back in time for the season. Nexus swoops in with Bird of Prey IPA and Kaylynn’s Altbier also returns. Cascade Pale Ale makes its debut at Sidetrack. Wooden Teeth, formerly Hockey Teeth, is back at Turtle Mountain.

Up in Santa Fe, I mentioned a couple of the new ones above. Santa Fe also has Idaho?! IPA, an experiment of sorts. Second Street brought back Golden Ale and added XX Extra Special Bitter. Over in Los Alamos, Bathtub Row introduced Caldera Sundown Hoppy Wheat, Northern English Browne, and White Room Cream.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of September 5.

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: Tilted Windmill IPA, High Plains Drafter Blonde, Duke’s Pale Ale, Imperial Red, Session IPA, Bayou Smash Saison, American Golden Stout, Vienna Amber. The Tilted Windmill is now the permanent IPA on tap at ABC. The Vienna Amber is the newest addition.

Live Music: TBA

Other Events: Every Monday will now be game night at ABC, with everything from Pokemon to Cards Against Humanity. Also, all Blonde pints are just $2.50.

Saturday will feature the Tom’s Green Chile Amber release party, starting at 1 p.m. We had a little feature on the origins of this special beer last year.

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.)

Welcome to the listings, Ale Republic! In case you missed their opening in Cedar Crest, we covered it a short while back. We were remiss in getting them into the listings here, but at last, here they are. Check their website and Facebook page for constant updates on all the goings on at the only brewery in the East Mountains.

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: open every day 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: June Bock, Kreem Ale. Well, look at that. Two house beers on tap, both brewed especially for summer.

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, Cherry Bomb, Sour Strangehop, 101 Anniversary DIPA, Clockwork Orange DIPA. The two DIPAs are the most recent additions to the lineup.

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.

News: They have a website at last! Click the link above for more info.

Also, Oktoberfest, the beer and the celebration, return to Boese Brothers on Sept. 17.

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, Hot Bosque, El Dorado S.M.A.S.H., Old Man Jameson, In Memory of Cyp, 8 Days of Wheat. The Cyp (4.5% ABV, 15 IBU) is an American-style lager, with a portion of the proceeds going to charity, while the 8 Days of Wheat (5.6% ABV, 12 IBU) is pretty self-explanatory. Scale Tipper is back and the supply will not last long, especially in bombers, though those are now for sale at multiple liquor stores around town, including Jubilation!

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, Wildorado Unfiltered Wild Rice Pale Ale, Bury My Heart (Belgian Pale Ale), Wayward Arrow Hefeweizen. The most recent additions are the Wildorado, Bury My Heart, and the Desert Standard Hop Session.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Bow & Arrow has happy hour every Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Get $1 off pints.

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

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

Beers: Centennial S.M.A.S.H., Kerfuffle British IPA, Featherweight Session IPA, Bearcat Altbier, New MexiKolsch, Pineapple Kolsch, Red Glove, Strawberry Wheat, Bearfuzz Peach Sour (bombers only), Baltic Bear Porter (bombers only). The New MexiKolsch (4.8% ABV, 20 IBU) is back by popular demand. Also returning for another run is the Red Glove (7.2% ABV, 100 IBU), a powerful double red.

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.

Events: Geeks Who Drink is held every Wednesday from 8 to 10 p.m. at Boxing Bear.

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. New names, same (good) beers.

Live Music (main location): TBA

Other Events: 10 Drink Minimum host a Cards Against Humanity night at the main location every Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Broken Trail has a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar at the main location. You can purchase three bloodies for just $20.

Every Tuesday all house beers are just $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: Mongrel DIPA, Panama Joe Coffee Stout, Cheeky Codswallop ESB, Tail Waggin’ IPA, Grapefruit Exodus IPA, Fill in the Blanco IPA, Exodus IPA (on nitro). Fill in the Blanco is a white IPA, if you couldn’t guess. Welcome back to one of our all-time favorites, Panama Joe! Beware, this batch will wake you up.

Live Music: Thursday—The Real Matt Jones, 6 to 9 p.m.; Sunday—Russell James Pyle and Dry Heat, 4 to 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, Smokey the Brown. 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.

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.

News: We went to Firkin recently and found out they are still open. Note the new hours above.

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, Helles Lager, Honk Ale, Maibock, Brumoso Hefe, Guy IPA, Red Card, Scotch Ale, DjinnJar Kombucha, Albuquerque Rapid Transit Ale. The Albuquerque Rapid Transit Ale is a pickle juice porter, with proceeds going to the fight against the project that would tear up Central. Drink it if you dare, like our own Reid did, and he lived to tell the tale.

Events: The Desert Darlings belly dancers perform from 7 to 9 p.m. on almost every Thursday at the Nob Hill taproom and then Sunday in Bernalillo from 6 to 8 p.m. If you’ve never seen the Desert Darlings in person, you’re missing out.

Every Sunday in Bernalillo, Kaktus is hosting a brunch special from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., with breakfast pizzas and drink specials.

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, Dunkel Jefe, Monzon Wet-Hop Pale Ale. The Monzon is available on tap and in bombers. You can still find State Fair Cream Ale in cans all around town.

Live Music: TBA

Other Events: Yoga is back at the taproom every Sunday at 10:45 a.m.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

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

Beers: Call the brewery for an updated 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.

Events: Lizard Tail will host Geeks Who Drink every Tuesday at 8 p.m. Every Thursday features karaoke from 8 to 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, Double IPA (Downtown and Westside), Pumpkin Noir (Westside and Heights), Stout Americano (Heights only), Imperial Stout (Heights only). Whoa, wait, Pumpkin Noir is back? Apparently so at two of three locations. Last year’s batch went quick, so get it now!

Live Music (downtown): Friday—MoonHat, 8 to 11 p.m.; Saturday—The Higgs, 8 to 11 p.m.

Live Music (West Side): Friday—Gabe Tafoya, 8 to 11 p.m.; Saturday—Alex Maryol, 8 to 11 p.m.

Live Music (Heights): Friday—Stacy & Kay Kay Mac, 8 to 11 p.m.; Saturday—Eryn Bent, 8 to 11 p.m.

Other Events: Brewery tours occur at the Downtown Pub every Thursday at 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: Salted Caramel Stout, Bird of Prey IPA, Kaylynn’s Altbier, Wrath of Kolsch (Silver taproom only). We are downright shocked that you all have yet to drink up the Salted Caramel Stout. Shocked! Welcome back to the Bird of Prey and

Happy Hour/Discounts: Monday–Friday, 3 to 5 p.m., get $5 off appetizers at the brewery.

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?, Pineapple Express, Amber’s Amber, Zinister Dichotomy, Cardinal Sin Red, 40 to 5, Scotty Doesn’t Know. The Zinister (6.3% ABV) is a potent red sour. The 40 to 5 is an American pale wheat ale.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

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

Beers: Enkel Biter Belgian Wheat, Azacca Pale Ale, Preacher’s Daughter, Alt the Hoople, Manzano Milk Stout, Cascadian Pilsner. The Preacher’s Daughter is for sale on tap and in bombers, both at the brewery and at Jubilation.

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. 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. This is what happens when you put Brady McKeown and Chama River’s Andrew Krosche together on the same brewhouse for a collaboration.

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, Downtown Pale Ale, Blackberry Hefeweizen, Nieuwe Bruin. The Downtown Pale Ale (5.6% ABV, 37 IBU) was brewed in honor of the new downtown taproom, but fear not, it is available at both locations. The Nieuwe (6.7% ABV, 20 IBU) is a variation on an Oud Bruin, a tart and sour dark beer.

Live Music (main location): Monday—The Draft Sessions, 7 to 9 p.m.

Other Events: Saturday morning will mark another round of Beer and Breakfast at the main brewery. From 7 to 10 a.m. you can gather with friends for some food truck-supplied goodies with a pint of beer. Thank the sports gods, a full slate of games is back this weekend. The Manchester Derby kicks things off way too early, so DVR that one, then head over for some additional big matchups like Arsenal vs. Southampton and Stoke vs. Tottenham at 8 a.m., followed by Liverpool vs. Leicester City at 10:30 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), Winterfest Marzen, Level 3 IPA. The popular Karl’s Sommer Bier is back on tap as well.

Live Music: Today (Wednesday)—Shane Wallin, 6:30 p.m.; Thursday—Ely Write, 6:30 p.m.; Friday—Eileen and Cross Country Band, 7 p.m.; Saturday—The Dregz, 7 p.m.

Other Events: Saturday—Cornhole Tournament, noon

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, Shoofly Wheat, Cascade Pale Ale. The Cascade replaces the departed Zoso S.M.A.S.H. Take note, Switchgear is currently out, but the new batch should be on tap Friday.

Cask: Pub Ale and Stout, with cocoa nibs added, will be in the firkins all week.

Starr Brothers Brewing — (505) 492-2752

(Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day)

Beers: Starrstruck IPA, Double Live Jonzo, Red Zepplin, Electric Sun, LampShade Porter, L.A. Woman, Rosin Dubh. Rosin Dubh is a new Irish dry stout. The Porter and L.A. Woman (blonde ale) are also recent additions to tap.

Events: Starr Brothers will open at 8 a.m. every Saturday for Premier League soccer games, with breakfast specials and more. See the Red Door entry above for some of this weekend’s big matchups.

Tractor Brewing Company — (505) 433-5654 (Nob Hill Tap Room), (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: Berry Cider, Maibock, Grapefruit Wheat, Cerveza New Mexico 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, Dank Johnson DIPA, You’re Fired DIPA. Tractor’s take on a Kolsch is a bit different, but still tasty. They dry hopped it with Mosaic, giving it a different aroma.

Live Music (Wells Park): Thursday—The Lymbs acoustic session, 8 p.m.; Saturday—Eileen & the In-Betweens, 8 p.m.

Live Music (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Solos on the Hill: Cali Shaw, 8:30 p.m.; Saturday—Setting the Tone: Holly Durante, 5 p.m.

Other Events: Poetry and Beer is back today (Wednesday) at Wells Park starting at 7 p.m.

Nob Hill will host the Barry Schwartz Art Opening on Thursday at 6 p.m.

Drag Queen Bingo returns to Wells Park on Friday at 8 p.m.

Every Monday at Wells Park you can now find Mondays on the Mic starting at 6 p.m.

Kamikaze Karaoke is back at Wells Park on Tuesday at 7 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.

You can grab your own musical instrument and head to Nob Hill for the ultimate jam session. Tractor Tune Up, hosted by the Virginia Creepers, is now an official event happening every Monday starting at 7:30 p.m. Then at 8 p.m., ABQ Pens & Pints is a new weekly event!

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: McSmack, Blueberry Yum Yum, Jac’s Elope Raspberry Pale Ale; One, If By Land. The McSmack is a Scottish ale, in case you could not guess by the name. The malty sweet McSmack demands a visit to TMBC, before it runs out like the Kiwi Killer Southern Hemisphere IPA just did.

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Open daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Ginger Plum Saison, Rakau Pale Ale, Chaparral IPL, Pope Porter, Wet Hop American Strong Ale. The Chaparral, an India Pale Lager, is now available. The new Strong Ale debuts Thursday on the patio. See our intro for more details.

Chili Line Brewing — (505) 500-7903

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

UPDATED >>> Beers: Lager, Jefeweizen, sI.P.A.papu, Pineapple sI.P.A.papu, India Pale Lager, PG IPA, Smoked Wheat Porter, Stout. Chili Line specializes in smoked beers, and trust us, we had their smoked IPA, and it is very, very different than what you are used to (and not necessarily in a bad way). They also have rotating specialty beers in addition to the core lineup, which we have added here in the Pineapple sI.P.A.papu and the IPL. They also have four guest taps, including a cider.

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), Titian (Golden Strong), Grunewald (Imperial Porter), Dark Ryder (Dark Strong), Cezanne Origine (Spring Saison), Hair of the Wolf (Experimental), Harmonia (Barrel-Aged Sour IPA), Monomyth (Belgian DIPA). The most recent addition here is the aptly named Monomyth, which checks in at 9-percent ABV and 90 IBUs.

Events (ABQ taproom): Thursday—Drink & Draw featuring Cloudface, 7 p.m.; Saturday—Enchanted PopUp Presents: ArtBeats, 5 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Happy-hour Monday through Friday 4-6 p.m. (discounts for all draft beer), Growler Saturdays ($3 off growler fills).

Rowley Farmhouse Ales — (505) 428-0719

(Open all week from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Beers: Notorious BdG. Say hello to Santa Fe’s newest brewery, which opened last weekend. They have some guest taps, plus their first offering, “a malt-forward biere de garde that was fermented solely with Brettanomyces Bruxellensis var. Drei,” as described on their Facebook page. The kitchen is in full swing, too. Head on over!

Events: See our intro above for the Ballast Point tap takeover on Sunday.

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, Idaho?! IPA. The Sunset Limited, a collaboration with a Louisiana brewery, debuted recently. Oktoberfest is back on tap and in six-packs. Get some, it’s a wonderful batch this year. The Idaho?! is an IPA made with experimental hops.

Events: The new Estate-grown Neo-1 Wet-hop Pale Ale will debut at all three locations on Friday.

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, Trebuchet DIPA, Rod’s Best Bitter, International Steam Pale Ale, XX Extra Special Bitter, Golden Ale, British Mild. The new one here is the XX Extra Special Bitter, which just sounds delightful. Get some Trebuchet, a silver medal winner at the World Beer Cup, before the supply runs out.

Live Music (Original location): Thursday—Patio Series: Welsh & Watt; Friday—Half Broke Horses; Saturday—multiple bands will be at the Atalaya RescueFest (see our intro for more details)

Live Music (Railyard): Friday—Alex Maryol; Saturday—Barbwire; Sunday—Patio Series: Lone Pinon

Other Events: Every Tuesday night, the Railyard location will have Open Mic Night hosted by Ben Wright. Every Thursday night, Geeks Who Drink will be at the Railyard at 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, Caldera Sundown Hoppy Wheat, Northern English Browne, White Room Cream. Another big tap turnover recently went down in Los Alamos, with Caldera, Northern English, and White Room making their debuts.

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, El Camino ReAle Summer Pale, Love Potion Peach, Schwarzbar Black Lager. The most recent addition is the English Porter. Before that came old favorite Schwarzbar and the new Love Potion, a peach wheat.

Live Music: TBA

Other events: Today (Wednesday)—Open mic, 6:30 to 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

Amid a sea of people taking pics on their cell phones, the Boxing Bear brewing team holds their NMIPAC trophy aloft!

Amid a sea of people taking pics on their cell phones, the Boxing Bear brewing team holds their NMIPAC trophy aloft!

Another year, another IPA Challenge is in the books. Only for the first time in a while, there will be a new champion holding onto the trophy.

Boxing Bear held off Canteen and 3 Rivers in the closest vote in NMIPAC history. The final round was decided by hundreds of beer lovers/hopheads on a (very) toasty afternoon at Tractor Wells Park. When everything was counted, Boxing Bear had 81 votes, Canteen finished with 79, and 3 Rivers garnered 68. That ended the two-year reign of Bosque as champion, as well as the three-year reign of brewer John Bullard, who had previously won at Blue Corn in 2013.

The final totals, for those who are interested in such numbers.

The final totals, for those who are interested in such numbers.

A whole lotta folks asked us about which beer was which. Here is the list (we did not get a photo, sorry) of the beers by their number on the tray.

  1. Red Door
  2. Taos Mesa
  3. Quarter Celtic
  4. Starr Brothers
  5. Bosque
  6. Sidetrack
  7. Santa Fe
  8. Tractor
  9. Canteen
  10. Chili Line
  11. La Cumbre
  12. Boxing Bear
  13. Second Street
  14. Blue Corn
  15. 3 Rivers

As for the victorious head brewer, Justin Hamilton was all smiles after he got to hold the trophy aloft with assistant brewer Dylan Davis.

“I think it’s great, honestly,” Justin said. “The reaction to it is a little bit of stunned, but we’re also super happy to represent New Mexico. All of us have been locals for a long time. I grew up here, so did Dylan. For the fact that we’re local brewers, that we’ve been involved in the brewery scene for a long time, we were able to bring it home to our new place, that’s really awesome.

“Being that I was a part of the IPA Challenge for the last decade, and not being able to bring one home, this is hard. A lot of these guys it’s their first year, second or third year, I’ve been doing it for a long time. After years of contention it’s nice to have that boy sitting on our bar top.”

A big thank you to the tireless efforts of Tractor co-owner Skye Devore, left, and Brewers Guild director John Gozigian.

A big thank you to the tireless efforts of Tractor co-owner Skye Devore, left, and Brewers Guild director John Gozigian.

Starting last September, the accolades have been rolling in for Boxing Bear. First came the silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival for Chocolate Milk Stout. Then came a gold at the World Beer Cup for the same beer. Being able to hang their hat on a totally different style for Boxing Bear is huge, as it shows they are not just a one-trick pony of a sort.

“It’s great to bring it home,” Justin said. “It feels good that we have hopefully set our niche in the fact that New Mexico has good beer and that we’re one of the really good breweries here in New Mexico that’s up and coming and we put a lot of pride into our beer. I think people saw that.”

Do not expect Justin or Dylan or anyone else at Boxing Bear to kick back and rest on the laurels of their victories in the last 10 months.

“This is a thing you see with breweries — you win things in a row, then you won’t win (anything) for years,” Justin said. “It’s good we’re doing well, but at the same time all of us have a very similar viewpoint in our breweries that we want things to be good, and if they’re not good we want them to be better. We are constantly looking for a way to improve our product, even if people say it’s good. Even if people tell us our products are good, we can tell if they need to be done better. I think that’s one of the reasons we are having a really good year.”

Justin credited his small, tight-knit staff for the victory. In a way, he said, being a bit smaller in size has helped Boxing Bear establish themselves alongside the state heavyweights.

“I think the fact we’re all pointing in the same direction, everyone in our building is contending for (creating) the best product that we possibly can (and) great service from the pub viewpoint,” Justin said. “And also we really want to show Albuquerque, New Mexico, in general that we’re here for beer, we’re here to put out a great product, we’re here to put out what New Mexico expects as beer as far as what you’ve seen from Marble, what you’ve seen from La Cumbre, what you’ve seen from Bosque. We want to be on the same level of amazing beer that is known locally, nationally, and worldwide. That’s our goal.”

There were tough calls all around on this tray.

There were tough calls all around on this tray.

Justin has worked at a number of breweries over the years, so he has shared in past glories. This one, though, is his own.

“We’re having a great year,” he said. “For me, my thing is, I’ve been a part of a lot of great breweries. And it’s nice to kind of carve my own niche right now. It’s nice to get recognition for that. I’ve worked for lots of great breweries, but this is mine now, this is ours now.”

Now it is just a matter of getting everyone else out there to continue to recognize just how good we have it with our local breweries in New Mexico.

“I think that’s the thing about New Mexico and Albuquerque in general — we have literally some of the best beer in the world,” Justin said. “There’s not a lot of states that can say that. Our city alone, not only our city, but our state has literally some of the best beer in the world. People are drawn to that, no matter where (they) are. I think that things like this are great for locals, and for people that are involved with it, but when we win stuff on an international and national scale, and it brings it back home and then we win a local event, it makes it even better.

“It just really brings it full circle because we still get the question of where are you, who are you, which is fine. People still ask that question about Bosque. But it’s a lot less people. This is a great thing that will let people know we are a great force of good beer in New Mexico and we will continue to do that.”

We will raise a pint (or two) to that sentiment!

Another IPA Challenge is complete. We look forward to the 2017 version.

Before that happens, however, we have a few special thank yous to hand out for the finale: to Brewers Guild director John Gozigian; to his hard-working team of volunteers who poured the beer (including Angelo Orona); to Skye Devore, David Hargis, and every single staff member at Tractor (Lauren, Melissa, Nicole, and on and on); and finally, to all of you, our fellow beer drinkers! We (barely) beat the heat and had a great time, all while reminding people just how strong and vibrant our local beer scene really is.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The Brewers Guild posted this photo of the results from the 3 Rivers round of the IPA Challenge.

The Brewers Guild posted this photo of the results from the 3 Rivers round of the IPA Challenge.

The NM IPA Challenge continued Wednesday night at 3 Rivers Brewery in Farmington, with 80 people coming out to partake and vote for their favorite. The hometown brewery had a respectable showing with 11 votes to give it 22 through two rounds, but Quarter Celtic was the round winner with 18 votes (26 total).

Boxing Bear, though, maintained their lead with another 13 votes to raise their total to 32. The breweries are listed below their voting totals from the first round at Santa Fe Brewing on Saturday and the second round at 3 Rivers.

  1. Boxing Bear: 19 + 13 = 32
  2. Quarter Celtic: 8 + 18 = 26
  3. Blue Corn: 17 + 5 = 22
  4. Starr Brothers: 11 + 11 = 22
  5. 3 Rivers: 11 + 11 = 22
  6. Bosque: 17 + 1 = 18
  7. Canteen: 12 + 4 = 16
  8. La Cumbre: 12 + 1 = 13
  9. Santa Fe: 10 + 2 = 12
  10. Second Street: 9 + 3 = 12
  11. Tractor: 10 + 1 = 11
  12. Chili Line: 8 + 2 = 10
  13. Red Door: 7 + 3 = 10
  14. Sidetrack: 6 + 4 = 10
  15. Taos Mesa: 6 + 1 = 7

The most shocking results from the round were Bosque, the two-time defending champion, and La Cumbre and Tractor getting just one vote apiece after stronger showings at SFBC. Starr Brothers continued to shine among the newcomers, doubling their voting total. (Yes, Quarter Celtic is a new brewery, too, but they have one of the most experienced brewers in the state at the helm.)

Brandon and I will be at the final round Saturday, which starts at noon, to provide live updates and blurry photos and the like. Do remember, Tractor is closing off the front parking lot for the event in case the crowd spills over from inside the brewery. Take this into account if you’re driving over. As always, Uber, a designated driver, or at least a carpool is your best bet.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Let's get this thing started!

Let’s get this thing started!

More than 160 patrons packed The Bridge at Santa Fe Brewing on Saturday afternoon to cast their votes in the first of the three main rounds of the 2016 NM IPA Challenge. The initial tallies suggest this is going to be a close one, though a lot can change between now and the final votes this coming Saturday at Tractor Wells Park.

The final results. Voting totals are on the right, the beers by number are on the left.

The final results. Voting totals are on the right, the beers by number are on the left.

Boxing Bear has the early lead with 19 votes, picking up where they left off after tying for the lead in the preliminary round at Rio Bravo last weekend. Those votes do not carry over, so everyone was starting from zero this time around. Blue Corn and two-time defending champion Bosque tied for second with 17 votes.

After that was quite the cluster of breweries who could be sleepers down the line. Canteen and La Cumbre earned 12 votes. Starr Brothers and Three Rivers picked up 11. Host Santa Fe and future host Tractor snagged 10. Second Street snuck in there with nine, followed by Chili Line and Quarter Celtic with eight, Red Door with seven, and Sidetrack and Taos Mesa with six.

Guild director John Gozigian was in charge of tallying the votes.

Guild director John Gozigian was in charge of tallying the votes.

The next round is Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Three Rivers. The hosts have encouraged folks up in Durango to make the drive down, so it could be a different crowd in terms of what they want in an IPA.

A big thanks to Luke for keeping us all up to date on social media. He had more work to do for SFBC, which was hosting a post-event free concert, otherwise he would have written this himself. The pictures are all his, so here are a few more!

DSC_0081

Hello, happy beer lovers!

DSC_0084

That’s being serious right there. Just don’t get any beer up your nose.

DSC_0098

So many hops, so little time.

DSC_0100

Always good to see a familiar face.

DSC_0104

When your GM is smiling like that, you know the SFBC staff has done a good job.

DSC_0115

Cheers to that!

DSC_0124

It’s a meeting of directors past and present.

DSC_0126

Ride on, beer lovers!

DSC_0143

Hey, we know these two! Glad they made it down from Los Alamos.

DSC_0149

Whenever we see brewers gather like this, we hope for future collaborations.

If anyone out there who is planning on attending Wednesday’s round in Farmington and wants to be our special correspondent, please contact us at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com or via social media. The most important things we would need are photos and the voting totals.

The rest of us will see the rest of you at Tractor Wells Park!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

This year's many, many IPA entries.

This year’s many, many IPA entries.

And we are off! The preliminary round of the 2016 New Mexico IPA Challenge is complete, with 16 15 breweries advancing to the three main rounds that will begin next weekend at Santa Fe Brewing. This came out of the 28 beers that were sampled in a blind taste test Saturday afternoon at Rio Bravo.

Editor’s note: We have been updated by the Guild that Rio Bravo does not advance.

Were there surprises? Of course, both in some of the breweries that scored well and in some that did not. One of the new wrinkles in NMIPAC is that the three host breweries — Santa Fe, 3 Rivers, Tractor — were guaranteed to advance no matter their voting totals. In the end, only the first needed that bye to advance, as 3 Rivers (nine votes) and Tractor (seven votes) would have qualified regardless.

The results of the preliminary round, with the breweries listed by their numbers on the left, voting totals on the right.

The results of the preliminary round, with the breweries listed by their numbers on the left, voting totals on the right.

Every brewery that was eliminated garnered less than seven votes. Those are, with voting totals included, Bathtub Row (4), Cazuela’s (1), Chama River (2), Enchanted Circle (2), Kaktus (2), Little Toad Creek (4), Lizard Tail (3), Marble (6), Rio Bravo (3), Roosevelt (4), Sierra Blanca (6), Spotted Dog (1), and Turtle Mountain (2). While some of those breweries are newer or in more remote locations, seeing big names like Chama, Marble, Sierra Blanca, and Turtle were all surprising.

The advancing breweries, including the hosts, are Blue Corn (10), Bosque (13), Boxing Bear (33), Canteen (33), Chili Line (10), La Cumbre (13), Quarter Celtic (24), Red Door (7), Santa Fe (3), Second Street (7), Sidetrack (7), Starr Brothers (17), Taos Mesa (13), 3 Rivers (9), and Tractor (7). In terms of the two trays, numbered 1-14 and 15-28, the leaders were Boxing Bear and Canteen for the first tray and Quarter Celtic for the second tray. It was nice to see some of the newcomers, all of whom opened this year, make the final cut in Chili Line, Quarter Celtic, Sidetrack, and Starr Brothers.

In the interest of full disclosure, Brandon had the first tray and picked Canteen. I had the second tray and picked Starr Brothers, though it was close between their offering and Quarter Celtic.

The next round of NMIPAC will be Saturday, July 16, at Santa Fe, followed by a stop at 3 Rivers in Farmington on July 20, and the grand finale at Tractor Wells Park on July 23. Luke will have the SFBC stop covered for us, and the rest of the Crew will see you all at Wells Park.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

p.s. Kudos to the staff at Rio Bravo for putting on such a smoothly-run event. All of us attendees appreciated your hard work!