Posts Tagged ‘Bosque Brewing’

No one really thought that Bosque North was going to be the final project for the ever-expanding brewing enterprise, right?

Bosque Brewing does not sit still.

Oh, sure, there appear to be stretches of inactivity when it comes to adding more locations to its portfolio, but do not be fooled. Somewhere out there, Bosque has its eye on another taproom, and over the course of this summer, we have all become aware of three forthcoming projects in three different cities.

To learn a lot more about what is coming to Albuquerque, Las Cruces, and Santa Fe, I sat down with three of Bosque’s owners, chief development officer Jotham Michnovicz, chief experience officer Jess Griego, and chief production officer/brewmaster John Bullard.

First up, the new Albuquerque taproom/secondary brewery that will be located on the Westside at Coors and St. Joseph’s. It will effectively be the replacement for the original San Mateo brewery/taproom that closed earlier this year and transformed into La Reforma Brewery. Of course, that original replacement was supposed to be the Open Space project at Venice and the Interstate 25 frontage road.

Jotham said it was not just the seemingly endless series of delays that caused Bosque to scrap Open Space and head west, but a multitude of reasons.

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The Champ is here! Boxing Bear’s Justin Hamilton TKOs the competition for the third time in four years at the New Mexico IPA Challenge!

The masses have spoken, and the West Coast IPA has not lost its crown just yet.

Boxing Bear Brewing won its third New Mexico IPA Challenge trophy in the past four years, with its Bear Knuckle II fending off a host of hazy competitors.

Bear Knuckle racked up 102 votes to fly past Bosque (72) and Ex Novo (67), both of which entered hazy IPAs.

“It was good,” said Boxing Bear head brewer/co-owner Justin Hamilton “We had a fun IPA Challenge that went completely different this year. It was really cool to not only get the votes from the brewers, but getting votes from the general public.”

It was also the biggest win by margin of votes for Boxing Bear, which faced much closer finishes in 2016 over Canteen and 2017 over Bosque.

“The cool thing about this for us was we finally got a blowout (victory),” Justin said. “We won by more than two votes to win the Challenge!”

Defending champion Blue Corn was sixth with 43 votes, just behind host Bow & Arrow (47) and newcomer Icebox (47) of Las Cruces. Blue Corn was the only other brewery in the top six with a non-hazy IPA.

“I was more than happy to where we played the game last year with a hazy, this year we went back to a West Coast,” Justin said. “It was very neat to see that the general public is still kind of into it.

“Everyone had amazing beer this year. It was a really good competition, so we were really happy to pull forward and have a good time. There are so many breweries opening in the state and we’re still doing well.”

Pardon the glare, but Blue Corn had 43 votes. Otherwise, it was a runaway victory for Boxing Bear.

The victory also times out well for Boxing Bear, which will be throwing a big fifth-anniversary party on August 10.

“It’s a really good birthday present, it’s literally the best birthday present that we could ask for to get the IPA Challenge (trophy) back to Boxing Bear,” Justin said.

The competition was not without its hiccups. The line was initially slow moving, with the concentration of the tap handles at Bow & Arrow impeding the ability to fill multiple beers at once for the volunteers from the New Mexico Brewers Guild. Ultimately, though, things were straightened out, and things ran about as smoothly as the final round of an IPA Challenge can run. There are only so many breweries that have the capacity to host an event as crowded as the NMIPAC, and Bow & Arrow ultimately pulled it off.

Only a couple of us in the Crew could attend this year due to work and/or family matters, but we wanted to send out our thanks to Brewers Guild executive director Leah Black, all the members of the Board of Directors, and the many, many volunteers who stepped up to help this year. A particular shout-out to Angelo Orona for making sure the lines were clean and ready to go for the Challenge.

We will likely have more thoughts on the NMIPAC going forward this week. Until then, we shall rest.

After more beer, of course.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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 seven breweries, one in Los Alamos, one in Moriarty, one in Red River, one in Silver City, and one in Truth or Consequences 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.

The hop-forward beers are kings this time of year, as one might have guessed by the ongoing New Mexico IPA Challenge, the final round of which is this Saturday at noon at Bow & Arrow (get your tickets!). They are also apparent in many of the special releases. La Cumbre gets in on the fun with the return of Full Nelson, its powerful double IPA, on tap and in cans at both locations on Friday starting at noon. Then on Saturday, Boxing Bear is once again canning and tapping the Albu-Murky Hazy IPA, only this batch was double dry-hopped with an extra four pounds of Mosaic per barrel. You can also try Bosque’s NMIPAC entry, the 550 U-Turn Hazy IPA, on tap this week. If you need a break from the hops, you can always head over to Steel Bender on Thursday for the re-release of The Judy, a Brett Saison with peaches. Only on that day can you purchase it in 750mL bottles. Hey, it’s go big or go home week.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Ale Republic brings back Sombra Stout and Red Mountain. Canteen added Lucky in Lavender and Abbey Ale. Ex Novo mounted up with Redgulators Red IPA. La Cumbre also mellows out with Miles From Cologne and A Slice of Strawberry. Marble rises up with Valley Fog. Rio Bravo rolls out My Rye or Die IPA and more Marzen. Sidetrack gets in on the trend with Hazy Summer Pale Ale. Steel Bender also taps Schwarzbender on Thursday. Tractor was made for walkin’ with Boot Girl IPA. Turtle Mountain added its recent Pork & Brew collaboration with Tractor, Chicharron Red Lager, and Tentative Magnificence IPA should also be on tap this week.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn is feeling smooth with Amber Mexican Lager. Rowley Farmhouse Ales did have enough of its NMIPAC entry, Thrace IPA, to put some back on tap before the competition ends. Tumbleroot added a Hazy IPA. Over in Los Alamos, Bathtub Row brings back three favorites in Smoked Porter, Mexican Lager, and CojonHaze IPA. Further north in Red River, RRBC has Blood Orange Campfire Cream Ale, plus the regular Campfire is back on tap.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of July 22.

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Yeah, we know, the 2009 at the top is worth a laugh. But, the results are all 2019, particularly since 13 of the 15 breweries didn’t exist a decade ago.

Our man Luke was at the second round of the New Mexico IPA Challenge on Saturday afternoon, but we will cut him some slack and let him enjoy all those hop-forward ales while we do a quick recap of the competition.

Boxing Bear, which edged out Icebox 17 votes to 16 in the first round in Las Cruces on Wednesday, added another 32 votes at Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery to take a commanding 19-vote lead into next Saturday’s final round at Bow & Arrow (get those tickets ASAP!).

Bosque added 23 votes to its total to move into second place with 30 overall. Last year’s winner, Blue Corn, tallied 19 votes for 20 overall, good enough for a fourth-place tie. Between them, Blue Corn (2013, 2018), Boxing Bear (2016, 2017), and Bosque (2014, 2015) have won the last six trophies.

Sneaking into the mix are Ex Novo, which added 14 votes to get to 22 overall, good enough for third place, and the aforementioned Icebox, which now has 20 votes. Bow & Arrow sits in sixth after adding 11 votes Saturday to get to 19 overall.

A total of 163 voters took part Saturday, well up from the 65 on a weekday at Picacho Peak in Las Cruces. There is a good chance that the final round will more than double the Tumbleroot total, so nothing has been decided yet.

At the very least, every brewery shut out in Las Cruces picked up anywhere from two (Enchanted Circle) to 12 (Toltec) votes on Saturday. Bombs Away (10), La Reforma (seven), and Marble (three) also managed to avoid a second straight shutout.

Luke will share more thoughts about this round on Monday, and we will preview the final round later in the week to make sure everyone is prepared, whether you are a veteran or a first-time participant.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Bosque Brewing provided us with this rendering of its future Westside taproom and brewery.

A rather important e-mail dropped in our laps during lunchtime, which revealed that Bosque Brewing is switching up a big part of its plans for the future.

The long-awaited and long-delayed Open Space Project at Venice and the I-25 frontage road, which was meant to serve as the specialty/seasonal brewery replacement for the original San Mateo location, has been abandoned. Instead, Bosque will build its secondary brewery on the Westside at a location near the intersection of Coors and St. Joseph’s.

Per the press release, this new space will have a 4,000-square-foot brewery, capable of brewing 5,000 barrels of specialty/seasonal beers per year, and an attached 5,000-square-foot taproom modeled after the other Bosque locations. In addition, there are plans for a 9,500-square-foot beer garden outside.

“Given our presence with Restoration Pizza and collaboration with La Reforma Brewery in Northeast Albuquerque, we felt it was a natural next step to serve Albuquerque’s Westside community,” Bosque Brewing Co. CEO Gabe Jensen said in the press release. “After some time of reflection, we decided it was in the best interest of Bosque Brewing Co. and the surrounding neighborhood to sell the land for what was originally planned as the Open Space Project. This decision was made so we can continue our focus on providing world-class beer and experiences throughout New Mexico and Southwest Colorado.”

When we are not all stuck at our day jobs in the middle of the week, rest assured that the Crew will be following up on this story.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Stoutmeister needed some help reviewing La Reforma Brewery, so he brought along Erin and Dan (who took the photo, but you probably know him as the guy in the Crew shirt who sometimes wears a kilt).

La Reforma Brewery officially opens today (Monday) at 8900 San Mateo Blvd. NE, but a few of us in the industry — or industry adjacent — were invited to a soft opening Friday night.

While I am perfectly comfortable reviewing the beer the general setup of a new place, I am quite possibly the worst person imaginable to review authentic Mexico City-style food, mainly due to a specific allergy. With that in mind, I brought along my friends Dan and Erin, both of whom took a vacation to Mexico City back in March.

It’s the old Bosque space re-imagined.

First up, the space is both the same one you were used to with Bosque being there, but also there are subtle changes. The bar is still up front, but the tables have been changed around to have a more personalized dining experience (no more community tables). The TVs are still up there on the wall, but we forgot to ask co-owners John Gozigian and Jeff Jinnett if they will be showing soccer games in the future. We will let them announce watch parties online.

The initial beer lineup had three of the four beers available for us to try. La Ref Lager, Maximillian (Dunkel), and Turbia Hazy IPA were ready, with Hi-Wit (Hibiscus Belgian Wit) not quite ready for us, but it will be on tap today. There are also a Michelada made with the La Ref, Bosque guest taps (see our previous story as to how Bosque and La Reforma are sharing the brewery), and six cocktails made with the spirits distilled on site.

From left to right, La Ref Lager, Turbia Hazy IPA, and Maximillian Dunkel were all solid house beers.

We each ordered a flight of the three beers, with Dan and Erin opting for Micheladas, then a cocktail each, before Dan switched to a lager to finish and Erin had one more cocktail. They mostly just made yummy sounds when it came to the Micheladas and cocktails, which were also at many of the other tables around us.

My own take on the beers was that the La Ref was quite the standout. It tastes like a high-end cerveza, with the Tettnanger hops and corn sweetness combining for quite the sweet beer. At just 4.8-percent ABV, it hits the spot without leaving you too loopy.

The old bar is still there, but note the windows looking into the brewery and the kitchen.

The Maxmillian (5.5% ABV) is a Munich-style dunkel. It is a solid beer, but could use a little more flavor. Franz Solo is our resident German beer expert, so at some point I will need to utilize his palate to figure out exactly what is missing with the Max, but if anyone else out there wants to try it and let us know your opinion, please do so.

The Turbia (7.2% ABV) is neither too juicy, nor too hoppy. It ends up somewhere in the middle, with even the non-IPA fans at the table enjoying it. We will see what the haze-heads think of it, as I could see the recipe changing based on their whims to either juicier or hoppier.

The Mexico City-style quesadillas were a huge hit, as was that jalapeno green sauce.

Now, as for the food, here are the quick reviews that Erin emailed over shortly before slipping into a food coma at home:

  • The jalapeño “salsa de Lupe” was reminiscent of the purest CDMX flavors. This particular batch was also hot enough to knock you on your ass before you even threw a punch.
  • The carnitas burrito was so packed full of flavorful ingredients that we didn’t even have room in our stomachs for the tacos we ordered. But, I have a feeling they will be amazing on the re-fry!
  • If you’ve never had true Mexican-style quesadillas, do yourself a favor and order them here. You’ll never want to order Americanized quesadillas ever again for fear of utter disappointment.
  • The “El Tri” was a refreshing summer cocktail that was deceptively … alcoholic. The Michelada was spot-on. The crisp, bright lager was a flawless base that complemented the michelada mix all too well.

We also need to point out that our server was excellent (we made sure to tell her bosses), and the service overall for a brand-new brewery/eatery was impressive. As always, please be patient as some kinks will still need to be worked out here and there, especially when things get really busy at peak hours. The good news is that the owners are not new to any of this, so they should be able to straighten things out in a hurry and have La Reforma operating like a well-oiled machine in record time.

A big thanks to John and Jeff for the invitation, and to Erin and Dan for coming along to be my official food tasters (they have volunteered for future missions as well).

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The new Hops Taproom in Los Ranchos is ready for its grand opening this weekend.

Now that I am back at work (yay, money), the beer news is starting to pile up, so let us get to a few pertinent items.

First, though, in a moment of self-promotion, I will be giving a free talk about the history of brewing in Albuquerque this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at the Special Collections Library, which is located on the northwest corner of Central and Edith, directly across from the Artichoke Cafe. I will have copies of Albuquerque Beer: Duke City History on Tap for sale ($20, cash only), and this talk will include the story of how an Old West shootout impacted the first Southwest Brewery in 1884.

Moving along …

Here a taproom opening, there a taproom opening

We already chronicled how the third Blue Grasshopper location at Summer and Second Street opened its doors during ABQ Beer Week. It was far from alone among new offsite taprooms holding soft openings.

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Welcome to Icebox Brewing, the newest addition to the Las Cruces craft beer scene.

Las Cruces is the second largest city in New Mexico, but for years, its craft beer scene was far behind Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and even some smaller towns.

There was High Desert Brewing, which had followed in the footsteps of O’Ryan’s Tavern (closed in 2000), and the Pecan Grill was contract brewing with Sierra Blanca, and that was about it. Then along came Spotted Dog Brewing, Picacho Peak Brewing, and most recently Icebox Brewing.

The north came south when Bosque Brewing opened a taproom across the street from New Mexico State, the alma mater of its owners. Bosque has since expanded to two locations in the same complex, with rumors of a third location now in the works. Silver City’s Little Toad Creek Brewing and Distilling saw an opportunity and pounced, putting a taproom on Main Street. Truth or Consequences Brewing now has plans to open a taproom in town, and Icebox is already eyeing its first offsite taproom.

Craft beer real estate is filling up fast in the city with a metro area population of 200,000 (and counting). Prior to ABQ Beer Week, when I was already in town for the Blazin’ Brewfest, I stopped to chat with representatives of High Desert, Icebox, and Spotted Dog about how their scene is evolving, how a sense of local camaraderie has already taken hold, and what the future portends.

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You can watch soccer and drink beer, or just drink beer today.

Ah, it’s the big day. No, not about beer, though there’s plenty of that, but it’s the Champions League final today at 1 p.m. We’re all rooting for Tottenham to upset Liverpool, but no matter the outcome, it should be a fun finale for the European soccer season.

For all the non-soccer fans out there, fear not, there’s plenty for you, too.

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: IPAiring. Where: Marble Westside. When: 3-6 p.m. Cost: $20 (mug club), $25 (general admission).

Details: Marble is teaming up with Savor by Chef Stephen Ormsby for a special lineup of three food dishes paired up with three 7-ounce pours of IPA. The hoppy lineup includes the classic IPA, Desert Fog Hazy IPA, and Double IPA. Tickets for mug club members can only be purchased at the taproom, while everyone else can buy theirs online.

Why you should go: If you love hops, you know Marble has you covered, and if you love food, Savor has you covered.

All the other great events

What: Farm House Ale Event. Where: Loretto Park, Bernalillo. When: Noon. Cost: $10. Details: We already previewed this fun celebration of farmhouse ales and country music, with beers from Kaktus and Bosque. Why you should go: If you like your beers funky and your music country, this is the one for you.

What: Brut IPA Release. Where: Canteen Brewhouse and Taproom. When: Noon. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Brewtus the Younger makes its debut at both locations. Why you should go: If you have a hankering for this style, go get it.

What: Worthogs Homebrew Demo. Where: Casa Vieja Brewery. When: 1 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The local homebrew club is offering up demonstrations on how to brew your own beer at home. This will be followed by a brewery tour at 4 p.m., and live music with Dan O’Brien on the patio from 6 to 9. Why you should go: If you have any interest in homebrewing, this is a good introduction, plus you can watch while sipping on a pint of Casa Vieja’s beer.

What: Pop Fizz Paleta Pairing with Strawberry Blonde Collaboration. Where: Rio Bravo Brewing. When: 2 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Rio Bravo and High and Dry have collaborated on a new Strawberry Blonde Ale, and they are pairing it with paletas from Pop Fizz. Why you should go: Indulge your sweet tooth and support two breweries for the price of one.

What: Super Smash Brews Tournament. Where: Kilt Check Brewing. When: 5-9 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Test your Super Smash Brothers skills against other local fans. Sign-ups start at 5, tournament starts at 6. Why you should go: Video games go quite well with beer.

What: Beer, BBQ and Bites Pairing with Asa Stone. Where: Canteen Brewhouse. When: 6-9 p.m. Cost: $10 per pairing. Details: Join advanced Cicerone Asa Stone for a special series of three pairings, each with two 5-ounce pours of Canteen beers, where you determine which one is the better fit. The pairings are smoked shrimp with Social Capital vs. Dougie Style Amber, pulled pork with Pecos Trail Brown vs. Irish Red, and short ribs with Brewtus the Younger IPA vs. Dark ‘n Lusty Stout. Why you should go: So much good food, so many good beers.

What: Steel Bender Beer Dinner. Where: Artichoke Cafe. When: 6:30 p.m. Cost: $65. Details: It’s a four-course meal paired with Steel Bender beers. RSVP to (505) 243-0200. Why you should go: If it’s not sold out already, go ahead, indulge yourselves for once.

What: Prism Bitch Unplugged. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 8 p.m. Cost: $5. Details: As we previewed in our roundup of Tractor’s events, the popular local band will be performing in front of a limited crowd of 75 people, so get those tickets in advance. Why you should go: Support local musicians while drinking local beer/cider/spirits. It’s a win-win.

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

Get thee to Las Cruces this Friday!

There are only a few beer festivals left in New Mexico that no one from the Crew has attended. One was the Blazin’ Brewfest, but I will be heading down this Friday since it is not falling on my birthday or opposite a metal show this year (it was rather uncanny how many times that happened in past years).

This annual celebration of craft beer takes over Main Street and Plaza de Las Cruces, starting at 5 and running until 9 p.m. Tickets are still available online. General admission is $15 and designated drivers get in for $5, and they typically sell out in advance (though Guild executive director Leah Black said a few will be held back for sale at the gate), so it would be wise not to risk showing up expecting a ticket unless you arrive at the outset.

Blazin’ is a New Mexico Brewers Guild event, and it has drawn 18 breweries from around New Mexico, including all five Las Cruces breweries. Pecan Grill Brewery will be in attendance, but it does not have any beers available as brewer David Allan is currently undergoing treatment for cancer. Eight other breweries are donating beers to be sold by the pint at the Pecan Grill tent, with proceeds going to help the Allan family. Marble will be sending Passionate Gose, while Canteen, La Cumbre, Little Toad Creek, Palmer Brewery, Santa Fe, Sierra Blanca, and Steel Bender will also contribute.

There will be music from DJ D-monic and a number of food trucks on site.

As for the beer lists for the 17 breweries, here is what we have so far. If any others update us between now and the start of the festival, we will share those here.

  • Bosque: Pistol Pete’s 1888, Bosque IPA, Elephants on Parade, Scotia Scotch Ale, Open Space Haze, Pale Ryder, Sour Songs (blood orange and cranberry kettle sour), Rebble Pebble (cocoa pebble brown ale)
  • Canteen: Cabana Lager, Radiohead IPA, La Luz Wheat, Dougie Style Amber
  • Cloudcroft: TBA
  • High Desert: Mango Gose, New England IPA, Cerveza, Ekuanot Pale Ale, Peach Wheat
  • Icebox: Frostbite IPA, Black Ice Lager, Rasp-brrry Wheat, Cold-Hearted Cream Ale
  • La Cumbre: Elevated IPA, A Slice of Hefen, Acclimated APA, El Jugo, Strawberry Gose
  • Little Toad Creek: Smart Blonde Ale, Grumpy Old Troll IPA, Pendejo Porter
  • Lost Hiker: TBA
  • Marble: Double White, Double White Triple Berry, Desert Fog, Cerveza
  • Picacho Peak: Munich Helles, Bitchin Brown, Hefeweizen, Saison, NEIPH, Twisted Windmill (DIPA)
  • Red Door: Unhinged Cider, New England IPA, Vanilla Cream Ale, Irish Red Ale
  • Santa Fe: Pepe Loco, 7K IPA, Happy Camper IPA, Social Hour
  • Sierra Blanca: Alien IPA, Cherry Wheat, Green Chile Cerveza, Desert Pilsner
  • Spotted Dog: TBA
  • Steel Bender: Skull Bucket IPA, Raspberry Dynamite, Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch, Compa Los Ranchos Lager
  • Tractor: Haymaker Honey Wheat, Blood Orange Cider, Stonewall Brut IPA with grapefruit
  • Truth or Consequences: Hot Springs Lager, Buckhorn IPA, Paddleboard Pale Ale, Irish Red

Hopefully I will see many of you at the festival. Look for me roaming about or over at the Brewers Guild tent.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister