Posts Tagged ‘Boxing Bear Brewing Co.’

The beers will be poured again this year at Loretto Park in Bernalillo.

The Mountain West Brew Fest is back at Loretto Park in Bernalillo this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with 13 local breweries participating, along with some distilleries and wineries.

Tickets can still be purchased online. General Admission A tickets cost $20 and get you a commemorative pint glass and seven free samples. General Admission B tickets cost $10 and get you the glass and three free samples. There’s also a military ticket for those with valid military ID that get you the A tickets for $15. Anyone under 21 can attend as long as they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. Tickets for those ages 13 to 20 are $5, while 12 and under are free.

So, yeah, it is not an unlimited sampling event. Use your sample tickets wisely to help you choose the pints.

There will be live music throughout the day. The lineup from start to finish will be Calvin & Jazz Trio, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Hillary Smith & Chillhouse, 1-2:30 p.m., Brandon Saiz Band, 3-4:30 p.m., and Black Pearl, 5-6:30 p.m.

Food trucks scheduled to be in attendance include Punchy’s Pizza, CCR Roasting, La Rivas, Snow Cone Express, Sparky’s Chicano Dawgs, Powdrell’s BBQ, El Sazon de la Tia, Ortiz Jerky, Castanedas Kitchen, NM Kettle Korn, El Toro Loco, Las Comadres, and Solo Ink Pretzels.

As for the non-brewery providers of alcoholic beverages, your options include Sandia Hard Cider, Left Turn Distilling, Noisy Water Winery, and Sheehan Winery.

Finally, we reached out to all the breweries with which we have contact, and a few got back to us. If the others drop us a late line, we will update the empty listings below.

  • Bosque: Elephants on Parade, Pistol Pete’s 1888 Ale, Open Space Haze, Beyond the Trees (Cider), Jetty Jack, Driftwood Oatmeal Stout
  • Boxing Bear: Uppercut IPA, Black and Blue Tart, Chocolate Milk Stout, Ameri-Kolsch, AppleBear Cider
  • Broken Trail: TBA
  • Desert Valley: TBA
  • Dialogue: TBA
  • Enchanted Circle: TBA
  • Kaktus: TBA
  • Kilt Check: Groundskeeper Willie Cream Ale, Outlamber Amber Ale, Black Sunshine Porter
  • 1933 Brewing: Patriot IPA, Harlow’s Hef
  • Palmer: IPA, Bourbon Barrel-Aged Cockness Monster, Orange Cider
  • Second Alarm: TBA
  • Steel Bender: Skull Bucket IPA, Raspberry Dynamite, COMPA Los Ranchos Lager, Steel Bender Cider
  • The 377: TBA

To all those going, have fun, stay safe, and remember, this is our last local festival until NM Brew Fest in October.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

It seems like it was just yesterday when we took this picture of Boxing Bear co-owner/head brewer Justin Hamilton atop his new brewhouse, but it was actually five years and many, many beers ago.

Five years does not seem like a long time in any business, but the craft beer world that Boxing Bear Brewing entered into in 2014 has changed an awful lot.

After all, back then the Westside was largely devoid of breweries and off-site taprooms.

“It’s crazy when we opened and then there was (only) the Stumbling Steer at the time,” co-owner/head brewer Justin Hamilton said. “The closest after that was Turtle Mountain. Now we’ve got breweries on every block. There’s a lot more breweries now, but that being said, five years later we’re still doing all right.”

Boxing Bear will celebrate its fifth anniversary with an all-day party this Saturday, with live music, vendors, and food trucks out front.

“Five is a good one,” Justin said. “We’re super excited to be here. It’s been a crazy five. Some places haven’t made it that far, some have made double. It’s just been fun to kind of see how much has changed. It’s been wild.”

(more…)

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

The hops, lo they do call to us. They bid us welcome in the halls of Bow & Arrow, where the beer may live, forever!

Every year as a public service, the Crew likes to provide a sort of survival guide for those who are new to the New Mexico IPA Challenge. The final round will be held at Bow & Arrow Brewing this Saturday from noon to 4 p.m., and we highly recommend that you buy tickets in advance, as this one almost always sells out. Think of this as a giant FAQ to help get you through Saturday with the best experience possible (well, unless your favorite brewery fails to win, but we can’t control that).

How do we get to Bow & Arrow?

Odds are, more than 90 percent of you know the answer to this question, but just in case we have some truly new newcomers, there are a few ways to get there. From Interstate 40 in either direction, get off at the Sixth Street exit. The brewery is located one block south of the freeway on Sixth, with the technical address of 608 McKnight Ave. NW.

Should anyone drive? How much parking is there?

Bow & Arrow has a very small parking lot, with street parking not available on Sixth, though it is available on Bezemek Ave. on the south side of the brewery. If 300 people show up again and everyone drives solo, it will be chaos. But, the truth is that after sampling 15 IPAs and enjoying a pint of your favorite, you probably should not be driving anyway. Take a Lyft or Uber, or find that friend or family member who owes you a ride.

How much space is at Bow & Arrow?

The main taproom is spacious, but again, if 300 people are there at once, it will be crowded. There is some additional space throughout the building that can be opened up if necessary, but if you plan to go early, it may be difficult to find space to stick around in until the winner is announced after 4.

Is there food?

Bow & Arrow does not have food beyond a few snacks. We figure there will be at least one food truck, if not two, parked outside. Eat a big brunch/lunch before you arrive.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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

The voters in Las Cruces have spoken, nearly helping their one local brewery overtake a two-time past champion. (Photo courtesy of Tyson Brown)

The results are in from the first round of the 2019 New Mexico IPA Challenge, held today at Picacho Peak Brewing in Las Cruces. Two-time past champion Boxing Bear garnered 17 of the 65 votes cast, one more than the only Southern New Mexico brewery in attendance, newcomer Icebox Brewing (16).

Perhaps the biggest surprise, or disappointment depending on one’s perspective, was that five breweries did not earn a single vote. Bombs Away, Enchanted Circle, La Reforma, Marble, and Toltec all came up empty handed. Others that struggled included defending champion Blue Corn (one vote), Rio Bravo (one), Rowley Farmhouse Ales (two), Starr Brothers (two), and Tumbleroot (three).

The middle of the pack included Bow & Arrow (eight), Ex Novo (eight), and Bosque (seven).

If there is a silver lining for all of the breweries, there are still two rounds to go. Blue Corn, RFA, and Tumbleroot will surely be hoping for some home-field advantage at the second round in Santa Fe on Saturday. Tumbleroot will host at its spacious Agua Fria taproom from noon to 4 p.m., and tickets are available online. Keep an eye out for our man Luke among the hopheads.

In general, the Santa Fe round usually has more than 100 votes cast, though the Albuquerque final round tends to more than double what comes before it every year. The final round is at Bow & Arrow on July 27, and tickets are also for sale online.

Thanks to all the thirsty denizens of Southern New Mexico, and a few from El Paso, who came out to support the New Mexico Brewers Guild today.

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.

(more…)

No, we did not ask Mayor Tim Keller to wear that shirt, he did it on his own, and we approve.

Sometimes, to get what you want, it really is all about who you know. In our case, we just needed long-time friend-of-the-Crew Carlos Contreras’ help to land an interview with Mayor Tim Keller. After a careful negotiation of our schedules (mainly his), we were able to sit down with our Metal Mayor over a pint of Munich Dunkel at Dialogue Brewing to discuss all things craft beer in Albuquerque.

“Well, I think at a very surface level, it’s something we’re very good at,” Keller said of our craft brewing industry. “This is a pride thing for us. I forget the exact publication or ranking, but we’re top 10 or top 25 in all of them. I think in one we’re top five. That’s just a great thing for our city in general.

“I think there’s a lot of things that people take for granted, like our open space, our outdoors, and our culture. And, in some ways now, it’s our brewing scene. I think we’ve come to expect it (to always be there) and we don’t realize it’s actually something special.”

(more…)

Boxing Bear head brewer/co-owner Justin Hamilton with his new pride and joy (at work, anyway), the brewery’s first canning line.

The last few weeks have been exceptionally busy for the staff at Boxing Bear Brewing. It has not just been the mad rush to finish the brewery’s first offsite taproom, which opens today (Wednesday) at 1710 Central Ave. SW, next door to Amore Pizza. There has also been the arrival of a new canning line, plus additional equipment in the brewery, and the time needed to learn how to use some of that.

Oh, and did we also mention that head brewer/co-owner Justin Hamilton’s wife is about two weeks from her due date? Add it all up and it was a wonder that Justin found the time to sit down for the better-later-than-never Boxing Bear entry in our annual Look Back/Look Ahead Series.

“It’s been a crazy ride in 2019,” Justin said. “I’ve definitely been packing the brewery. Last week we got three more 20-barrel fermenters and a 20-barrel serving vessel. (Today), actually we have another bright tank and another fermenter coming. Since we ordered that much equipment that comes on two different shifts, which kind of screwed us a little bit, because it would have been nice to put everything in at the same time last week.

“It’s been a whole lot of madness. We literally pulled in those four tanks, it was the second exact time the Wild Goose employee showed up to train us. We moved four tanks inside and then proceeded to set up the canning line in the same day. It was pretty nuts. That being said, we did all right.”

(more…)