Posts Tagged ‘Boxing Bear Brewing Co.’

These were some seriously happy brewery staffers after they brought home a fairly major award.

The Boxing Bear team came home from the 2016 Great American Beer Festival with two gold medals and one major award, Mid-Size Brewpub of the Year!

At long last, our Look Back/Look Ahead Series entry for Boxing Bear is complete. Stoutmeister and I sat down with head brewer Justin Hamilton a while back to discuss the Year of the Bear, when the beers and the medals and the awards flowed endlessly. We then looked forward to all that is to come in 2017.

Solo: We’re here again, how is this a year?

Justin: Oh, man, where do I start?

Solo: Well, I remember where we left off.

Justin: Well, it’s obviously been an absolutely insane year for us. Starting early in the year with the North American Beer Awards, moving into the National IPA challenge, then moving into World Beer Cup, then moving into (the New Mexico) IPA Challenge and to GABF. It’s been great. Obviously it’s been pretty crazy and we’ve just been happy with our ability to keep up, not only locally, but nationally with what’s been going on in the beer scene for a while. First of all, to do well, that’s what every brewery wants is to get some accolades, but the fact that we were able to do it in our second year of being open, I mean we just had our second anniversary in July and turned around and got Mid-Sized Brewers and Brewpub of the Year in October. We couldn’t be happier with our run over the last couple of years.

And, when we left off talking last year we were saying that we had that silver medal from GABF for the Chocolate Milk Stout and we wanted to continue progressing. Well, we turned around and won gold for that at World Beer Cup, and then turned around and won another gold for that at GABF. It’s pretty awesome, that beer alone has done us really well, but the fact that we were able to show people that we weren’t just this one-trick pony, that’s one of the best things that we gained out of 2016. That people know that you make a great sweet stout, but you also know we can make an awesome IPA and you also know that we can make a double red ale now, and that they are worth coming out to drink. I think that’s been something that has done wonders for our image and our business in general. It’s been awesome for us. So, we’ve had a pretty good time, it’s been good to show people what we’ve been amping up for and totally keeping our nose to the grind. Our staff is really committed to quality and I think we kind of showed Albuquerque and the world that. That is our goal.

Solo: Quality, responsible growth, and all of those things paying dividends on the groundwork that you laid. All of the equipment additions and all of the logistics.

Justin: Yeah, I think the thing that’s made 2016 interesting for Boxing Bear is that we’ve been growing accolades, but it’s interesting to (still) see us as a young brewery. We’re kind of doing this weird thing where we are growing as a pub and as a presence at the same time. We did a lot of improvements on our pub and our patio this year. Since we opened, gaining the money for five new TVs, gaining the money to work on our patio, it’s nice to get the pub and everything else up to par where we originally wanted it to be. Not to mention, we are still working on that stuff, we are constantly reinvesting all of our money into either pub or brewery equipment.

It’s interesting to see that varied on if you compare us to someone maybe like Marble, who (won) Small Brewery of the Year two years ago. They were pretty established by the time they got that. Maybe it is a pretty similar kind of thing, progress not only in the beer but offering something to the community. It would be different if we opened our doors and people knew we had good beer, but we really didn’t put much into the front of house or the experience we are offering our customers. It’s kind of been a weird thing to try and grow those at the same time. I think that’s something that’s always on everybody’s mind. For the fact that we were so successful as far as accolades go, it kind of increases the pressure on us needing to make sure that the pub is to par with what people expect out of a craft brewery and out of a brewpub. That’s been one of the hardest parts for us is finding the money to make the improvements that you would expect from someone who has the caliber of beer that we do. But, dealing with a large pub, dealing with the money issue, trying to get the money to make the pub look nice and all of that stuff, it’s like these little steps. So, a big part of 2016 has been that growth on both ends. It’s like burning a candle at both ends and trying to meet in the middle somewhere.

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

Boxing Bear claimed its first New Mexico IPA Challenge trophy back in July.

Stoutmeister: I know when you guys first opened you had some issues with the front of house staff, this year Albuquerque the Magazine gave you, sharing with Marble, staff of the year. That has to also be a bit gratifying.

Justin: It’s a big thing for us knowing that we are looking at issues between management, staff, and ownership. What can we do better? What are the parts that are going to make us (better)? We know we’ve got good beer, that’s for me and my brew staff to worry about continuing with and growing. But, we also know that we have had issues with serving like everybody has, or just education of staff or getting everyone on the same page. So, it’s definitely been good to reaffirm that our hard work that we’ve been doing, like we said, front and back of house has been paying off a little bit. People have been noticing that when we try to give excellent service that even our cooks are talking to the customers about beer and it’s stuff that we try to take pride in.

We try to make sure that everyone on staff is willing to go that extra mile, and that’s definitely something that is not easy. It’s hard finding competent staff, and also people that are willing to work very hard and have the same passions for beer that you do even when they’re not making the beer like you do, they are just serving it. But, I think that we’ve hopefully found that balance point and that’s what we want to continue to do is to be educating our staff who will educate the public that will come back to us. We want to continue having the best staff we possibly can.

That’s constantly on our mind, how the pub is doing, what’s going on in the pub, how are people seeing us. We take reviews on Facebook and Yelp and all of that stuff really seriously. Unfortunately, a lot of people that do reviews do it only if they have a bad experience, but when that happens we try to address it. We try to talk to people, we try to let them know, hey, give us another chance, what the issue was, we can fix that. That’s always an important part of any business is customer relations.

Solo: I’ve noticed a definite uptick in bicyclists coming here over the summer, myself included, and it’s nice to see that initial vision coming to fruition.

Justin: Yeah, and that goes back to making improvements, that’s something we’ve always wanted to do and you’ll probably see that in the spring or summer (this) year is working on increasing that local traffic. And, we get so much from bike traffic. Every day I see a team of bicyclists riding through our parking lot and half of the time they stop here. Those are all things that we are aware of. We need more bike racks, we need more of an ability to chain your bike up, because we do get a lot of lot of that traffic. We have a horse hitch back there, which is great for some people. We knew when we opened that we were going to have to appease the bike crowd and that is something that we are still working on, actually. Putting it all together, then finding the funds to do that when you’re trying to find the funds to grow your brewery.

It’s this wild game of chess; it’s like playing chess with 30-some odd people all involved. It’s like a weird, terrible game of Risk where you’re moving these pieces and looking at what everybody else is doing, where you make one wrong move and you could just get wiped off the board, regardless of product. We are constantly analyzing the market and trying to figure out what’s our niche, what’s our next move, and it gets a little tiring, honestly. It’s hard to stay relevant in a world of huge craft brewing dominance. We’ve had a great year, but we don’t want to sit back and be comfortable and relax at this point. We want to progress even farther, whatever that means. Whether it means not winning medals, but knowing that our quality products are out there and people are enjoying them, that means almost as much as any medal does. So, it’s trying to find that fine line, but we definitely are making those adjustments, I think.

The second annual BearFest was a big hit.

The second annual BearFest was a big hit.

Solo: So, this year’s BearFest versus last year’s BearFest.

Justin: We had similar issues with volume where we got a little bit better. We expanded it enough to where we were able to grow a bunch. We added more vendors, more food trucks, so it worked out really well. I think last year’s BearFest, being that it was our first year, we had little issues like bathrooms, where we didn’t know how many we should have. Going into this year we said let’s triple that amount and I never saw a line this year. I think we’re getting better at understanding the little things. I’ve been doing beer festivals for the last 10 years of my life and I have an idea of how they should go, but it’s the little things like that that you don’t really understand. Do we have enough food trucks? Do we have enough bathrooms? Do we have enough tent space or enough tables to sit at so that people can enjoy their food? That’s all stuff that we had a better idea of and it was a little bit more work, but I think it paid off.

It was again one of those events where we pulled (in) a lot of people here from all over the city, people that wouldn’t even necessarily come to the brewery if they had the time. So, it’s nice to swing that crowd over on this side of town. I saw a lot of people that I’d seen here maybe once before if that. So, it’s always a good opportunity to bring people over here. I think we did a pretty good job this year. It was bigger, and we’ll see what happens with next year and how we decide to proceed with that.

Stoutmeister: In terms of the back, how many pieces of equipment did you guys upgrade this year?

Justin: Oh, man, so we added this last 20-barrel fermenter and a 20-barrel server that we just got. For reference, we’ve never had equipment that we’ve put in right into use that quickly. I mean we literally turned around, we’re brewing right into that thing the very next week, which is fine, but it’s not a position we’ve been put into before. We’re already looking into where our next purchases will be because we know that we are in our slow season right now and come March, April, May of (this) year it’s going to be another game of where we are going to be placing those investments. More than likely you’re going to see more brewing equipment and front of house renovations, all stuff that hopefully we will have the cash for to procure.

Stoutmeister: Of course the other big development that’s still ongoing is back there (the space formerly occupied by Southwest Grape and Grain). So, what all is going on back there?

Justin: We are going to be doing a few things. Our front of house kitchen, which is pretty small, we are going to be moving a lot of that stuff to the back. This is going to allow us a little more room up front and we might be putting a small cooler for bomber sales (it is now in place) and things like that in there. One of the best things that’s going to happen back there is having more cold storage space. That’s what we are putting together now is that we will have an extra cold room back there, which is mainly going to be a wholesaling cold room so that we can start stocking regularly. Once that’s built, we will have the ability to do bombers on the regular.

Right now, the storage issue is the biggest thing for us because if we produce a pallet of bombers, that’s going in our cold room next to all of our beer, next to our servers and hops and stuff. It’ll be nice to be able to have a variety of bombers, maybe one or two different styles at any given point, and also have plenty of kegs for our wholesale guys to move and the extra storage for hops and everything else we need to store cold will be a huge step for us in 2017. So, the kitchen back there, some cold room space, we’ve already got some offices back there, so that’s pretty much what’s going to happen with that. That’s our goal for next year is to try to put out bombers on the regular at least once a month if we can, of a variety that people will hopefully like.

The triple punch of Chocolate Milk Stout, left, Bear Knuckle IPA, and The Red Glove.

The triple punch of Chocolate Milk Stout, left, Bear Knuckle IPA, and The Red Glove.

Stoutmeister: A major question I’m always getting for you guys, especially since GABF, is when are you going to open a taproom on the east side?

Justin: That’s something we’re definitely looking into. Like I said, it’s this game of chess. We want to open a taproom, but we want it to be a proper taproom. We don’t want to just settle for a space, we want to make sure that it’s got everything we need, that it’s got parking, seating, and a good location preferably on that side of town. That being said, where do we find this place, how do we find the money to capitalize on that? We also know that once that happens our production is going to go way up. So, it’s preparation for all of that stuff, going back to that cold room, that’s going to really help with that. I think it’s all stuff that our customers and patrons (and) fans will see.

I can’t necessarily say it’s going to be 2017, but it is definitely something that we are constantly looking at, when to make that move. It’s more of a matter of when, as opposed to if. We look to the other breweries that have been in similar positions to see what their moves are. I’m not necessarily saying that we will follow them, but it’s interesting to see Bosque’s taproom’s evolution to a production facility. Similar? That’s potential. Who knows? Maybe we open a production facility before a taproom, or it’s both, I don’t know. We want to be sure that we’re making the right move. I don’t want to be stuck in a building that won’t move traffic, or we can’t get parking. We got really lucky when we found this building and we really liked it and it’s an amazing spot, so we want to do the same thing with a taproom.

Stoutmeister: Anything else that’s coming up on the schedule for 2017?

Justin: There’s so much going on, honestly. We want to show people that, yeah, we had a great year in 2016, but we don’t want to just sit back and be complacent. We want to continue securing our spot locally, nationally, internationally as some of the best beer there is out there. That’s my goal, that’s the goal of the back of house and the front of house to educate and to really hone in on what Boxing Bear is. 2017 is going to bring some interesting changes. I think you’re going to see a lot of the newer breweries getting settled a little better. Places like Quarter Celtic are going to start shining and finding their spot. I think a lot of people that weren’t wholesaling are going to start wholesaling, so the fight for tap handles out on the market is going to be fierce.

So, that’s something we are going to be addressing in 2017 is how do we continue to gain tap handles in such a fierce market. It’s probably going to entail seeing a lot more of our award-winning beers on the regular. You’re probably going to see more Chocolate Milk Stout, more Red Glove in production. That’s something we want to gear towards is that we’ve got these great award winners, and now we have just got to keep them out on the market as much as possible. Normally we would try to fit Chocolate Milk Stout or Red Glove in where we could, but we are going to start scheduling it (and) saying we need to have a batch a month or every other month at the least. Those beers that people really want, that we’ve done well with, will be more readily available. The people that are coming in from out of town looking for our taproom or our handles will be able to try the beers that we’ve done well with.

Stoutmeister: So, if you like this, well, try this kind of mentality.

Justin: It’s been one of those plays with supply and demand that we’ve been working on and we want to stay relevant, but we also need to give people what they want. Trying to play the market man, it’s a wild game out there. Our ability to put out the beers that we are known for and keep us relevant in people’s eyes and keep accounts active and happy too, that’s a lot of it, is making people happy.

Solo: Feed them beer, they will be relatively happy.

You had one job for this photo, Jeff. One job! At least it was safe at the brewery.

Boxing Bear’s Justin Hamilton, center, shows off his gold medal from the World Beer Cup with Nexus’ Kaylynn McKnight, while poor Jeff Erway left his back at La Cumbre.

Justin: We’re not going to have World Beer Cup again this year because it’s every two years. We’ll be back entering North American Beer Awards and the IPA Challenges again and the local IPA Challenge and GABF again. We’ll be keeping our hands full. Sometimes when I look into the future I can see January and then February kind of fades off, so we will figure out February in January. Then again, when I see people like La Cumbre and Marble who are like, 2017? Here’s our lineup of our beers and what we’re going to have. But, then again, we don’t have that solid of a reputation to put out a rotation beers like that. Those guys have their repertoire and their ability to put out specials and know that people are waiting to buy those specials as well.

That’s something that I myself want to work on in the coming years, is having that ability to look (ahead) six months, almost a year ahead of yourself. What styles are people looking for? What do they want to see as far as a packaged product? What do they want to see as far as specials that we have on tap or what your pub’s doing, what events are going on? I can do beer every day of my life, and I can get better at it, and I can hone in on that stuff. But, the front of house stuff, and the marketing and the ability to pull (in) a customer on the regular and make them happy regardless of quality of product, that’s really hard.

I give props to Marble, Bosque, La Cumbre, and those other guys that are able to kind of handle that, and it seems seamless with them. That’s all stuff that we look towards and are wanting to hone in on that, the ability to get that. It’s really hard, the marketing aspect of it, the advertising aspect of it. That’s stuff that people dedicate their lives to. And I just make beer. We are really happy with where we are now. It’s a matter of keeping that relevance and keeping our nose to the grindstone.

* * * * *

‘Twas indeed an excellent Year of the Bear all around, and we certainly look forward to increased availability of bombers, and the prospect of constant innovation of what wonders might appear on the Bear’s taps this coming year. Another BearFest on the horizon certainly whets my appetite on my birthday weekend, and the prospect of a taproom whenever that happens will certainly be a boon to the growing rumblings of the Bear. We hope for an equally productive year ahead as behind, and I would say this to those who may not have tried the brews at Boxing Bear: You simply don’t know what you’re missing!

Skål!

— Franz Solo

Our sixth annual Stout Challenge brought about a sixth different winner.

Our sixth annual Stout Challenge brought about a sixth different winner.

Amid all the seriousness of the weekend, the Brew Crew was still able to gather to hold our annual Stout Challenge before the start of the Super Bowl. While the game featured an improbable rally by the favorite, our blind taste test featured an upset by one of the newer breweries in town.

For the sixth time, we have a new winner. A past winner came oh-so-close to becoming our first two-time champion. We structure the event similar to the IPA Challenge, but with variations. We go around the day of the event, fill our half-growlers (or full growlers for last year’s top finishers), and then bring them to Franz Solo’s house. Our friend Margaret then pours them into numbered glasses out of sight, and we try them one by one, rather than put all on a tray. We take notes and score them from zero to five points in the categories of aroma, flavor, mouthfeel, and finish, and add them up.

We were short quite a few Crew members this year. Illness knocked out Brandon, Luke, and Shawna. E-Rock was unable to make it back from his musical adventures in Texas in time. Shilling was studying. Porter Pounder was on the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise again. Thus, only myself, Franz, Mrs. Solo, Kristin, and guest judge Tim (Margaret’s husband) were available.

Also, after reporting 16 stouts Friday, we ended up two shy, as Bow & Arrow did not open until it was too late for us to pick up their Storm & Hearth, and Twisted Chile was unable to deliver their Irish stout from Socorro.

As always, these are our opinions. We could be wrong.

14. Cazuela’s Beer for my Horses (19.5 points): This was the only truly disappointing stout among the batch. The flavor was almost sour (my opinion) or salty (Franz’s opinion). It was too thin in the mouthfeel. We have no idea what happened with this batch.

13. Santa Fe Dysphotic Stout (45.5): None of us disliked this robust, almost hop-forward stout, it was just that when stacked up against a field of mostly oatmeal variants, it stood out almost as more of a black IPA than anything. Basically, it is a stout that stands alone in the current available field in the ABQ metro area.

12. Rio Bravo Oatmeal Stout (46): While it did not move up in the standings that much, Rio Bravo’s entry scored much better this time around. The aroma scored the highest, with some mixed feelings on the flavor and mouthfeel. Overall it just came off as a bit light for what we look for in a stout.

11. Boxing Bear Standing 8 Stout (47.5): Every year there seems to be one of the top stouts from the previous year that falls way down the ladder. The main complaint here was in the bitter, overly smoky flavor, aroma, and mouthfeel. It was similar to Dysphotic, but with more malt and less hops.

10. Bosque Driftwood Oatmeal Stout (48): We found this batch to be a little on the thin side, with the most negative marks coming in terms of its mouthfeel, or lack thereof. The flavor was good, quite a bit sweet up front, but it faded pretty quickly.

9. Turtle Mountain Stauffenberg Stout (52.5): This was the first stout we sampled, so in many ways, it served as the base line for all that followed. In general everyone liked it, though it was noted as being just a tad short in all four categories. Still, we would call it perfectly drinkable.

8. Sidetrack Stoker Stout (53): A significant improvement on their stout from last year, this batch was quite a bit smokier and more roasted. Those were probably the biggest attributes, good or bad, with our voters.

7. The 377 Full Booty Stout (56): The top word used to describe our newest brewery’s oatmeal stout was “dry,” which accounted for much of the flavor and mouthfeel for folks. Some scored that well, others did not. The thickness of the mouthfeel scored the highest with most of us.

6. Chama River Sleeping Dog Stout (58): The 2016 champion could not pull off the repeat. The flavor and aroma this time around was sweet, with a pronounced vanilla element, but otherwise it lacked enough mouthfeel and overall complexity. It remains quite good, but not quite on par with last year.

5. Marble Oatmeal Stout (59): If there is a stout deserving of the title of “old reliable,” it is our 2012 champion, which still ranks among the best in town. There was a sweet, almost vanilla flavor and aroma at the front. The mouthfeel and finish saw some contrasting opinions with the five of us.

4. La Cumbre Malpais Stout (61): Unlike most La Cumbre beers, this did not have much of an aroma to draw you in. It did have a smokier, heavier flavor, scoring highest in mouthfeel and finish. The 2013 champion remains one of the best in town, though it is definitely not for those who like their stouts sweeter.

3. Canteen Dark n’ Lusty Stout (62.5): No stout has yo-yoed up and down more in our Stout Challenge the last six years than Canteen’s staple. It has finished seventh (out of eight), fifth (out of 10), 10th (out of 10), second (out of 14), 11th (out of 14), and now it’s third. This batch had a lot of chocolate flavor. It was sweet and solid, but just lacked the flavor complexity to claim its first title.

2. Tractor Double Plow Oatmeal Stout (70): My personal favorite in the bunch, it came up just short of being our first two-time winner (2014 was its previous victory). That cookie dough-like flavor was back at the front, with lots of chocolate up front and hints of smoke on the back end. The mouthfeel was solid throughout.

1. Starr Brothers Foggy Monocle (71.5): First Stout Challenge, first victory! Brewer Rob Whitlock said he actually prefers his Roisin Dubh, an Irish dry stout, to this. Guess he will have to change his mind now. The flavor (roasty coffee) and mouthfeel (thick and creamy smooth) scored especially high with our group.

We will have our Stout Challenge helmet trophy ready soon to be presented to Starr Brothers. Congrats to Rob and their entire staff!

As always, here are our individual point totals for each beer, to see where we agreed and disagreed on each.

  • Stoutmeister: 1) Tractor 13.5, 2) Chama River 11, 3) Canteen 10.5, 4) La Cumbre and Marble 9.5, 6) Boxing Bear and The 377 and Starr Brothers 9, 9) Bosque 8.5, 10) Sidetrack and Turtle Mountain 8, 12) Santa Fe and Rio Bravo 7, 14) Cazuela’s 3
  • Franz Solo: 1) Tractor 16.5, 2) Starr Brothers 16, 3) Canteen 15.5, 4) La Cumber 15, 5) Boxing Bear and Sidetrack 13.5, 7) The 377 12.5, 8) Chama River and Turtle Mountain 12, 10) Marble and Santa Fe 11, 12) Bosque and Rio Bravo 7, 14) Cazuela’s 3
  • Mrs. Solo: 1) Starr Brothers 16.5, 2) Tractor 15.5, 3) Canteen and Sidetrack 12, 5) La Cumbre and Marble and The 377 and Rio Bravo 11, 9) Bosque 10.5, 10) Chama River and Turtle Mountain 10, 12) Santa Fe 7, 13) Boxing Bear 6, 14) Cazuela’s 4
  • Kristin: 1) La Cumbre 16.5, 2) Starr Brothers 16, 3) Marble 15, 4) Chama River 13, 5) Rio Bravo and Turtle Mountain 12.5, 7) Bosque 12, 8) Boxing Bear and Canteen 11.5, 10) The 377 and Tractor 11, 12) Sidetrack 10.5, 13) Santa Fe 10, 14) Cazuela’s 5
  • Tim: 1) Starr Brothers 14, 2) Tractor 13.5, 3) Canteen 13, 4) The 377 and Marble 12.5, 6) Chama River 12, 7) Santa Fe 10.5, 8) Bosque and Turtle Mountain 10, 10) La Cumbre and Sidetrack 9, 12) Rio Bravo 8.5, 13) Boxing Bear 7.5, 14) Cazuela’s 4.5

Once again, these are just our opinions. We invite everyone to go out and try all these stouts, whether it’s for the 100th time or the first time. Our local breweries are doing a great job with the darker side of beer, and we couldn’t be happier on the whole.

We will have more on the weekend’s serious news about Senate Bill 314 and the contentious town hall meeting on Tuesday, once we put everything together.

Until then, keep supporting local breweries!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Taos BMF 2014 Pic 6

We sent Luke up to the Brewmasters Festival in Taos a couple years ago. He had a whole lotta fun!

Happy cold, gray Thursday everyone. If you need some light back in your life, there is some good news for this weekend. The Taos Brewmasters Festival kicks off Saturday at the Ski Valley, marking its 21st annual running below the slopes.

Normally, the festival is held in December, but it was pushed back this year due to a lack of snow on the mountain above. Plus, the decision was made to no longer have the spring-time beer festival, but rather have just one fest. This one kicks off at 4:30 p.m. and runs until 7 at Tenderfoot Katie’s and the Martini Tree Bar, both of which are located at the base of Lift #1. It costs $30 at the door and you receive a complementary mug.

While plenty of you love to go skiing and snowboarding, we know ultimately that it is the pull of the beer that can be the deciding factor. Take note that this year’s fest is populated by a lot more out-of-state breweries brought in by their local distributors. There are not nearly as many breweries from Southern Colorado as in the past, as only Steamworks and Carver made the trip from Durango (neither is distributed here in NM, FYI).

The other out-of-state breweries are Alaskan, Boulder, Deschutes, Firestone Walker, Founders, Four Peaks, Full Sail, Left Hand, Mother Road, New Belgium, Odell, Oskar Blues, Sierra Nevada, Upslope, and the Craft Brew Alliance, which we think is that collection of breweries from the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii that is partially owned by the Evil Empire (InBev).

As for the locals, a total of 10 New Mexico breweries will be present. Here is what they are bringing, as reported to us by the breweries themselves:

  • Boxing Bear — Iron Lung Smoked Porter, Standing 8 Stout, Paw Swipe Pale Ale
  • Chama River — UPDATED: Class VI Golden Lager, Sleeping Dog Stout
  • La Cumbre — TBA
  • Marble — Double White, IPA, Priddy Bueno Porter, Spruce Moose
  • Red Door — Gateway Blonde, Calypso SMaSH, Strong Scotch Ale, Paint it Black Milk Stout
  • Santa Fe — UPDATED: Chicken Killer, Java Stout, Pale Ale, Happy Camper, State Pen Porter, SF Gold, Nut Brown, Black IPA, Adobe Igloo, plus two bottles to be released at different hours of Single Barrel Sour, and two bottles of Lemon Skynard also to be released at different hours
  • Sierra Blanca — TBA
  • Taos Mesa — Kolsch 45, 3 Peaks IPA, Tap Dance Barley Wine, BBA Black Diamond Export Stout
  • Three Rivers — TBA
  • Tractor — Farmer’s Almanac IPA, Farmer’s Tan Red, Mustachio Milk Stout, Delicious Red Apple Cider

Marble’s Tony Calder pointed out that this will mark the debut of Spruce Goose, a new stout made with (you guessed it) spruce tips. The Priddy Bueno just went on tap recently at the Marble taprooms here in Albuquerque as well. Iron Lung returned to Boxing Bear late Wednesday.

If any of us in the Crew were able to head up this weekend, we would also be making a beeline for that bourbon barrel-aged Black Diamond Export Stout and the Tap Dance Barley Wine at Taos Mesa’s booth. I suppose we will just have to hope they bring that down for WinterBrew in Santa Fe on Jan. 13. (Please? Pretty please?)

Of course, skiing/snowboarding and then drinking on an empty stomach would be a terrible idea. Five local restaurants — Bavarian, Blonde Bear Tavern, Medley, Rhoda’s, Sagebrush Inn — will be providing food during the festival.

Keep an eye on the weather, of course, but otherwise if your weekend is lacking in anything to do, we would definitely suggest a trip up north to try some quality brews in a beautiful setting.

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 six breweries, one in Socorro, one in Los Alamos, and one in Moriarty 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 less I say about politics, the better. Let us all, at the very least, be thankful this terrible, ugly election is in the past. Now we move forward, with beer, because for a lot of folks, beer is all we’ve got. The good news is this weekend features a couple big beer events. In case anyone missed it, it’s been a pretty damn good 2016 for Boxing Bear. They’re celebrating their World Beer Cup and GABF medals and awards with The Year of the Bear, an all-day celebration Saturday at the brewery. Both gold medal beers from GABF, Chocolate Milk Stout and The Red Glove, will be on tap. They will also have bombers for sale of Bear Knuckle IPA, the winner of this year’s New Mexico IPA Challenge, and it will be on tap as well. Rashan Jones will be on hand to showcase live glassware making. Dr. Field Goods food truck will be on hand to provide additional culinary options. Tres Pendejos are the scheduled band. The fun kicks off at noon.

Meanwhile, up in Santa Fe, Rowley Farmhouse Ales has been open for a while, but this Sunday is their grand opening. It will be divided into a lunch session from noon to 4:30 and a dinner session from 5 to 9:30. This is a ticketed event, at $20 for adults and $6 for children. You get a full barbecue dinner, plus they will have all 24 taps flowing, with some rare guest beers, as well as their own Ab Initio (Grapefruit Berliner Weisse) and a new Grisette. There may even be a Brett IPA. Throw in some live music and it should be quite the day.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few new options to check out. Bosque has brought back an old favorite in the Pale Ryder. Boxing Bear also has The Saaz Man Cometh. Canteen goes for gold with a Munich Helles. La Cumbre is asking Can You Drive a Sticke? Marble lines up Ready. Fire. Aim., a new IPA. Nexus salutes Ensign Belgo, a Belgian pale ale. Ponderosa rolls out a Mosaic Single Hop Pale Ale. Rio Bravo stays on the sour train with Cereza (Cherry) Loco. Sidetrack brings back the 3:10 to Belen Brown Ale. Starr Brothers lands a fresh batch of Red Zepplin. Turtle Mountain will try not to disappear into a Mash Hole Brown IPA.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn howls with Lobo Rojo Red Ale on Thursday. Second Street has fresh batches of 2920 IPA and Railyard Red, plus the Smoked Imperial Porter makes its annual return.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of November 7.

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: High Plains Drafter Blonde, Duke’s Pale Ale, Off the Richter Imperial Red, Dunkelweizen, Tom’s Green Chile Amber Ale, English Oatmeal Stout (nitro only). ABC has updated their permanent lineup with the blonde, pale ale, imperial red, and dunkel, though the pale and red are temporarily out. The special amber is on tap for a limited time. They will also have a nitro tap upon which they always hope to have a darker beer.

Live Music: Friday—John Sousey Acoustic Happy Hour, 4:30 p.m.

Other Events: Tuesday—Yelp’s Crafty with Brain Gang Trivia, 7 p.m.

Weekly Events: Sunday—Walking Dead Watch Party, 8 p.m.; Monday—Game Night, with blonde pints for $2.50

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.)

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

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: daily 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: Belgian Pale Ale, Paddy Wagon Red, Dunkelweizen. The Dunkelweizen is the most recent addition.

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, Sour Strangehop, Ichabod’s Revenge, Double Dead Ale. The Sour Strangehop is also for sale in bombers at the brewery and at Jubilation. Ichabod’s Revenge is a pumpkin ale, but the supply is nearly out. Double Dead Ale is the most recent addition.

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.

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: Just Goofin’, Olde Bosky Cafe, Red Lightning, PSA (Pumpkin Spice Ale), Pale Ryder, Humo Rojo. The Olde Bosky Cafe is a coffee-infused version of the brewery’s classic porter. Red Lightning is Bosque’s fourth anniversary beer, an imperial red that has been barrel aged. It is also for sale in bombers.

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, Wayward Arrow Hefeweizen, Council Fire Imperial “Smoke”toberfest, Loosen Your Bolo DIPA, Autumn Archer Marzen, Dark Harvest Dunkelweizen. The most recent additions are the Dark Harvest Dunkelweizen, Loosen Your Bolo DIPA, and Autumn Archer Marzen. Make sure to get over there and try the Council Fire, it’s delicious.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Bow & Arrow has happy hour every Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Get $1 off pints. A new late happy hour starts Thursday at 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday at 10 p.m.

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

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

Beers: Oktobearfest, La Flama Blanca, Bearcat Altbier, Pumpkin Oso, Pineapple Kolsch, Oso Loco, Strawberry Wheat, The Saaz Man Cometh, Baltic Bear Porter (bombers only). The Oso Loco (4.8% ABV, 25 IBU) is a coffee-infused red ale, made with a blend from Prismatic Coffee. La Flama (7% ABV, 80 IBU) is a white IPA. Fresh batches of Boxing Bear’s gold-medal-winning beers from GABF, The Red Glove and Chocolate Milk Stout, will return Saturday for The Year of the Bear (see the intro above), along with Bear Knuckle IPA on tap and in bombers.

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.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 8-10 p.m.

Broken Trail Brewery & Distillery — (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,, Dry Pine Pilsner. The Dry Pine is a small batch, so get it while you can. As the name implies, it is a dry-hopped version of the regular pilsner. Keep an eye out for a bourbon barrel sour in the coming weeks.

Live Music (main location): Sunday—D’Santi Nava, noon-2 p.m.

Weekly Events (main location): Today (Wednesday)—Cards Against Humanity hosted by 10 Drink Minimum, 7 p.m.; Sunday—Build-your-own Bloody Mary bar, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Tuesday—All hours beers $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: Irish Red, Munich Helles, Exodus IPA, Falconer’s Arm Pale Ale, Movember Vanilla Oatmeal Stout, Clean Livin’ IPL, Chocolate Vanilla Oatmeal Stout (nitro only). A portion of the proceeds from the new Vanilla Oatmeal Stout will go to charity. The Munich Helles replaced the Honey Sage Saison.

Live Music: Thursday—Chris Dracup, 6-9 p.m.; Sunday—Dusty Low, 4-7 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: Festbier, Sturer Bock, Vermilion, Hefen Can Wait. This is a special batch of Sturer Bock that has been lagering for six months since its debut at BearFest.

News: Chama now has a rotating nitro tap. Call to see what is available this week.

Dialogue Brewing — (505) 585-1501

(Open daily noon-midnight)

Beers: Belgian Citrus IPA, Belgian Dark Strong, Berliner Weisse, Zwickelbier, Lychee Wheat, Sour Brown. Welcome to the listings, Dialogue! They opened recently at the corner of 1st Street and Kinley, just five blocks north of Marble. Stop by to check out the sculpture garden and try some of their unique beers, including the Sour Brown.

Events: Thursday—2nd Annual Beards and Brews, 6 p.m.

Weekly Events: Monday—Service Industry Night, 6 p.m.

News: Kitsune Food Truck will be parked out front every day for lunch.

The Firkin Brewhouse

For anyone that missed our story, Firkin has closed for good.

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, Dunkelweizen, London Porter, Roggen Rye, Basil Lager, Brown Suit, Rocky Raccoon IPA, Wet Hop Amber, Cider, DjinnJar Kombucha. A whole bunch of old favorites like London Porter and Basil Lager are back, plus newcomers like Brown Suit, Rocky Raccoon, and Wet Hop Amber.

Events: Kaktoberfest returns with $4 pints and $8 German food plates, plus dancers, music, and more. It will be held at the Nob Hill taproom on Friday starting at 5 p.m., then in Bernalillo on Saturday, also starting at 5 p.m.

Weekly Events (Nob Hill): Thursday—The Desert Darlings, 7 to 9 p.m.

Weekly Events (Bernalillo): Sunday—Brunch, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., The Desert Darlings, 6-8 p.m.

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: Citrus Pale Ale, Angry Belgian, Witch’s Tit, Can You Drive a Sticke?, La Negra. This batch of La Negra is outstanding. Get it on tap while you can, and take a couple bombers home.

Live Music: Saturday—Lenin and McCarthy, 6-9 p.m.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Lego Night Build Off, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

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

Beers: Kohatu SHPA, Octoberfest, Saison, Rye Stout. The Kohatu is a single-hopped pale ale.

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.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 8 p.m.; Thursday—Karaoke, 8-11 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: Ready. Fire. Aim. (Downtown and Heights only), Dang Pale Ale, Imperial Red, Eastbound & Brown, Pumpkin Ale (Downtown and Heights only), Double IPA (Downtown and Heights only), Dubbel (Downtown and Heights only), Blood Orange Gose (Heights only), White Out (Westside only). The regular Pumpkin Ale is back for a limited time on tap only. Pumpkin Noir has run out on tap, but if you scramble, you might still be able to find bombers for sale around town. Ready. Fire. Aim. is a new American IPA made with Simcoe, Chinook, and an experimental South African hop, N1/69.

Live Music (Downtown): Friday—Pink Freud, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—The Higgs, 8-11 p.m.

Live Music (West Side): Friday—Clark Libbey Duo, 8-11 p.m. Saturday—Brian McDaniel, 8-11 p.m.

Live Music (Heights): Friday—Silver String Band, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Blue Room, 8-11 p.m.

Other Events (Downtown): Friday—Save a Warrior on Veteran’s Day, noon; Tuesday—Sip & Sketch, 6 p.m.

Weekly Events (Downtown): Saturday—Brewery tours, 2 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: Assimilation White IPA, 2016 Barleywine, Equinox, Nitro Chai Chocolate Porter, Ensign Belgo. The Equinox, a spiced brown ale, is back for another autumn run. The Nitro Chai Chocolate Porter, means that, yes, Nexus has a nitro tap! The Ensign Belgo, a Belgian-style pale ale, debuts today (Wednesday) at both locations.

Happy Hour/Discounts (Brewery): Monday–Friday, $5 appetizers, 3-5 p.m.

Weekly Events (Silver Taproom): Saturday—a live DJ will perform

Palmer Brewery and Cider House — (505) 508-0508

(Tues–Sat 3–9 p.m.)

Beers: MWA (Malt With Attitude), Guero (Belgian Wit), Pale Ale, Stout, Cockness Monster (Scotch Ale). Palmer shares a building with Left Turn Distilling on Girard south of Candelaria. Their beers were a big hit at the recent grand opening, but sadly, you all drank up the rum-barrel-aged version of Cockness Monster.

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?, 40 to 5, Burque Lite, Sleepy Hollow, Trinity, Cardinal Sin Red, AdHd. Sleepy Hollow is a funky farmhouse cousin to Pumpkin Pi, which has run out for now. Trinity is a golden sour aged with local organic white peaches and apricots. The new AdHd is a sour dry hopped with Amarillo.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

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

Beers: Belgian Pale Ale, Imperial Black IPA, Chocolate Pumpkin Porter, Schwarzbier, Mosaic Single Hop Pale Ale. The Schwarzbier and Mosaic are the newest additions. You can also still bombers of Sour Saison, Big Belgian IPA, and Preacher’s Daughter (Belgian Golden Strong) at the taproom or at liquor stores around town.

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: Dusk’s Early Light, Clark IPA. Clark is a hazy, New England-style IPA, and boy is it delicious. There has been a change to the regular lineup, as Pedro O’Flanagan’s Mexican Lager will be available year round, while Knotted Blonde becomes a seasonal.

Weekly Events: Saturday—Premier League Viewing Party, 8 a.m.

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, Nieuwe Bruin, La Calabaza Roja, Damn White IPA, Vanilla Mocha Double Porter, Downtown Pale Ale (downtown taproom only). The Nieuwe (6.7% ABV, 20 IBU) is a variation on an Oud Bruin, a tart and sour dark beer. La Calabaza is a pumpkin red ale. Vanilla Mocha Double Porter is the most recent addition to the lineup.

Live Music (Brewery): Today (Wednesday)—Sloan Armitage, 7-9 p.m.

Live Music (Taproom): Thursday—The Draft Sessions, 7-9 p.m.

Weekly Events (Brewery): Saturday—Beer and Breakfast, 7-10 a.m.

Weekly Events (Taproom): Wednesday—Paint it Black Open Mic Night, 8-10:30 p.m.; Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7-9 p.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), Oktoberfest, Raspberry Sour, Cereza Loco (Cherry Sour), Pinon Coffee Beer. Rio Bravo recently celebrated its first anniversary, with the Oktoberfest going on tap. We had more on the new Raspberry Sour before its recent debut.

Live Music: Friday—Adam Hooks, 7 p.m.

Events: Today (Wednesday)—Pints for Polio, 5-8 p.m.; Saturday—Turkeyhole Shootout, 1 p.m.

Weekly Events: Friday—Philly Friday, all day; Tuesday—$2 Taco Tuesday, all day

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, 3:10 to Belen Brown, Zoso SMASH. The Wheat Ale replaced the Shoofly Wheat. The Zoso is back.

Cask: The Zoso and 3:10 to Belen are in the firkins.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Taco Tuesday, all day

Starr Brothers Brewing — (505) 492-2752

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

Beers: Starrstruck IPA, L.A. Woman (Blonde), Red Zepplin, Jack Tooth Grin, Don’t Fear the RIPA (Red IPA), Riff Raff Brown Ale, Booby Trap (Milk Stout). The Jack Tooth is Starr Brothers’ take on a pumpkin spice ale. The Red Zepplin and Booby Trap are the most recent additions to the lineup.

Weekly Events: Saturday—Premier League Viewing Party, 8 a.m.

Tractor Brewing Company — (505) 433-5654 (Nob Hill), (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: Turkey Drool, Traktoberfest, Jack the Sipper, Javi Light Lager, Cerveza New Mexican Lager, Kolsch, Tupac Cali Red, Farmhouse Saison, Farmer’s Freckles Scottish Export, Big Sipper IPA, Dry Hard Cider, Nitro Milk Stout (Wells Park only). The annual pumpkin favorite, Jack the Sipper, has returned alongside its fall sibling, Traktoberfest. Turkey Drool, our ultimate fall favorite, is on tap and as delicious as ever.

Live Music (Wells Park): Thursday—Melissa Rios Album Release Party, 6:30 p.m.; Saturday—Homegirls Records, 8 p.m.

Live Music (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Casper Allen, 8:30 p.m.; Saturday—Setting the Tone: Todd Tijerina, 5 p.m.; Tuesday—John Calvin Abney, 5 p.m.

Other Events (Wells Park): Today (Wednesday)—Art Fusion for a Cause, 7 p.m.; Friday—Drag Queen Review, 8 p.m.; Saturday—Outlaw Bingo hosted by The Sassy Lumberjack, 5 p.m.

Other Events (Nob Hill): Friday—Rhythm of the Wild Art Opening, 6 p.m.

Weekly Events (Wells Park): Tuesday—Kamikaze Karaoke, 7 p.m.

Weekly Events (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Writing Wednesdays, 5 p.m.; Monday—Tractor Tune Up, 7:30 p.m., ABQ Pens & Pints, 8 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.

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: Oktoberfest, Red Rye Redux, The Rise of Fall, ‘Sno Siberian, Cocomilia Robur, Mash Hole (Brown IPA). The Rise of Fall, an autumnal harvest squash ale, debuted recently. ‘Sno Siberian, a new Baltic porter, is available on CO2 now. The Cocomilia Robur is a Brett cream ale, aged over plums in a barrel for nine months.

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Open daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Oat DIPA, Barleywine, Wet Hop American Strong Ale, Oktoberfest. The burly Oat DIPA has joined the tap list recently. The Wet Hop is for anyone who is a fan of strong ales. This Thursday marks the debut of Lobo Rojo Red Ale.

Chili Line Brewing — (505) 500-7903

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

Beers: Cascada Lager, El Jefe, India Pale Lager, Wheat Porter, Stout, Dunkelweizen, Imperial Pilz. The latter two beers are the newest additions to the revamped lineup. Also, check the website for new menu items.

Live Music: Every night at 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Reverse happy hour after 9 p.m. includes $1 off pints, $6 appetizers, $10 entrees and pizzas.

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), Grunewald (Imperial Porter), Monomyth (Belgian DIPA), Duchamp (Farmhouse Witbier), Whistler (Belgian Blonde), Cezanne Magnifique, Cezanne Denouement. One of the most recent additions here is the aptly named Monomyth, which checks in at 9-percent ABV and 90 IBUs. In addition to those beers, you can also get sample pours of Goya ’14, Rye Goya ’14, and Tableux ’16, or a Cezanne flight featuring Origine ’15, Magnifique ’16, and Denouement ’15 and ’16.

Live Music (ABQ taproom): Saturday—The James Whiton Experience, 9 p.m.

Other Events (ABQ taproom): Today (Wednesday)—The Knitting Circle with DJ Tahnee, 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts (Brewery): Happy hour Mon–Fri, 4-6 p.m. (discounts for all draft beer), Growler Saturdays ($3 off growler fills).

Happy Hour/Discounts (ABQ taproom): Happy hour Mon–Fri, 5-7 p.m.

Rowley Farmhouse Ales — (505) 428-0719

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

Beers: Ab Initio. Say hello to Santa Fe’s newest brewery, which opened this month. They have some guest taps, plus their fourth offering, Ab Initio, a grapefruit-infused Berliner Weisse. See our intro for more information on Sunday’s grand opening.

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, Idaho? IPA, Sangre de Frambuesa, Hipster Union Red Rye, Adobe Igloo. The next entry in the Ever Changing Series, Sangre De Frambuesa, is a throwback to one of SFBC’s first medal-winning beers at the Great American Beer Festival back in 1991. Adobe Igloo is back on tap and in six packs.

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, 2920 Pale Ale, 2920 IPA, Smoked Imperial Porter, Schwarzbier, Railrunner Pale Ale, Rod’s Best Bitter, Railyard Red, St. George IPA (Railyard only), Fulcrum IPA (Railyard only). The most recent additions are the 2920 IPA, Railyard Red, and Smoked Imperial Porter.

Live Music (Original location): Friday—Shiners Club, 6 p.m.; Saturday—Blues Revue Band, 6 p.m.

Live Music (Railyard): Friday—Zoltan & the Fortune Tellers, 7 p.m.; Saturday—Barbwires, 7 p.m.

Weekly Events (Railyard): Thursday—Geeks Who Drink, 8 p.m.

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, The Tripel Lindy, Tweed Jacket, Fatman Stout, Dr. Rudi SMASH, Raconteur Belgian Table Beer, Hoppenheimer IPA. Another big tap turnover recently went down in Los Alamos, with Tripel, Tweed, Fatman, Dr. Rudi, and Raconteur making their debuts.

Weekly Events: Thursday—Open mic, 6 p.m.

Sierra Blanca Brewing — (505) 832-2337

(Mon–Thurs 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Fri –Sat 11 a.m.–9 p.m.)

Beers: Cherry Wheat, Whiskey Stout, Oktoberfest, Interstella Vanilla. The folks in Moriarty asked us to be added, thus, here they are. The popular Cherry Wheat is more tart than sweet. This is a second, improved batch of the Whiskey Stout that debuted earlier this year.

Twisted Chile Brewing — (575) 835-2949

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun noon-4 p.m.)

Beers: Zia Pilsner, 790 IPA, Hose Co. 1 Red Lager, Venom IPA, KC’s Irish Stout, McFadden’s Scotch, English Porter, Pilabo Pale Ale, Schwarzbar Black Lager, Pumpkin Ale. Got a chance to try the Oktoberfest while passing through Socorro recently. It is a solid example of the style, just sweet enough without going overboard.

Live Music: TBA

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Open mic, 6:30-9 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

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, one in Socorro, one in Los Alamos, and one in Moriarty 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.

In case anyone has not checked the calendar, Halloween falls on a Monday this year, which is kind of a bummer and all. Then again, it really just means that night can be for the kiddos, while the grown-ups get a whole weekend to play. Luckily for you festive types who can actually come up with a viable, cost-effective costume, the breweries have you covered with all sorts of Halloween-themed events this weekend. Friday night will feature a Political Clowns Party at Albuquerque Brewing at 5 p.m., where you are encouraged to show up dressed as your favorite (or least favorite) politician, or a clown, or combine them, because politics is pretty much a circus these days. Another option that night is Pumpkins’N’Beer at Broken Trail at 6 p.m., with a pumpkin carving contest for just $5 entry. There will be live music and happy hour prices all night long. Meanwhile, down at Tractor Wells Park at 8 p.m., the lovely and talented Desert Darlings return for the Hallow-Freaking-Ween edition of Hops & Dreams.

Saturday’s events are all over the place. The Great Pumpkin Bear Party kicks things off early at 11 a.m. at Boxing Bear, featuring a pumpkin carving contest with cash prizes, plus live music in the evening. The FirkinStein Freakshow starts at Firkin Brewhouse at noon, featuring a costume contest, pumpkin carving contest, free hot dogs for kids under 12, and the release of two new beers. You can also take the kiddos out to Sierra Blanca in Moriarty for the Halloween Spook-tacular from 2 to 9 p.m. There will be a costume contest with cash prizes, live music, a build-your-own caramel apple bar, and lots of games. Nocturnal adventures will take place at Dialogue, with a costume contest and a live DJ starting at 6 p.m. Another event will be at Duel ABQ as Enchanted PopUp presents Strangers with Candy starting at 7 p.m. Bow & Arrow will have a Stranger Things-themed Halloween bash starting at 8 p.m. There will be a s’mores bar on the patio, a costume contest with prizes, and an overall 80s theme with the music, decor, and more. Finally, to finish the weekend for the four-legged family members, head to Marble downtown on Sunday for the Mutt Masquerade Canine Costume Contest from noon to 2 p.m.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few new options to check out. Paddy Wagon Red races to tap at the Blue Grasshopper. Bosque brings back an old favorite with a coffee twist in the form of Olde Bosky Cafe. Fresh batches of Irish Red and Exodus IPA are available at Canteen. Firkin will debut a new Lager and Pumpkin Stout on Saturday. Nexus’ decadent Nitro Chai Chocolate Porter hits taps today (Wednesday). Don’t spill any Riff Raff Brown on the rug at Starr Brothers, it really ties the room together.

Up in Santa Fe, Oat DIPA pops up at Blue Corn. Rowley Farmhouse Ales should have a new Grapefruit Berliner Weisse available this weekend. Santa Fe enters a strong contender for beer name of the year with Hipster Union Red Rye. Second Street rolls out Schwartzbier at the Railyard location only. Down in Socorro, Pumpkin Ale arrives just in time for the season at Twisted Chile.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of October 24.

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: High Plains Drafter Blonde, Duke’s Pale Ale, Off the Richter Imperial Red, Dunkelweizen, Tom’s Green Chile Amber Ale, English Oatmeal Stout (nitro only). ABC has updated their permanent lineup with the blonde, pale ale, imperial red, and dunkel. The special amber is on tap for a limited time. They will also have a nitro tap upon which they always hope to have a darker beer.

Events: Friday—Political Clowns Party, 5 p.m.

Weekly Events: Sunday—Walking Dead Watch Party, 8 p.m.; Monday—Game Night, with blonde pints for $2.50

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.)

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

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: daily 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: Belgian Pale Ale, Paddy Wagon Red. The Paddy Wagon just went on tap this week.

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, Sour Strangehop, Ichabod’s Revenge, Oktoberfest. The Sour Strangehop is also for sale in bombers at the brewery and at Jubilation. Ichabod’s Revenge is a pumpkin ale, but the supply is nearly out.

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.

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: Just Goofin’, Olde Bosky Cafe, Moon Cannon IPA, PSA (Pumpkin Spice Ale), Bosque IPA X2, Humo Rojo. The Olde Bosky Cafe is a coffee-infused version of the brewery’s classic porter. Moon Cannon was third at the Alpha King Challenge in Denver recently, an annual showdown of some of the hoppiest beers in the country. The IPA X2 is another hop bomb DIPA.

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, Wayward Arrow Hefeweizen, Council Fire Imperial “Smoke”toberfest, Loosen Your Bolo DIPA, Autumn Archer Marzen, Dark Harvest Dunkelweizen. The most recent additions are the Dark Harvest Dunkelweizen, Loosen Your Bolo DIPA, and Autumn Archer Marzen. Make sure to get over there and try the Council Fire, it’s delicious.

Events: Saturday—Stranger Things Halloween Party, 8-11:30 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Bow & Arrow has happy hour every Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Get $1 off pints. A new late happy hour starts Thursday at 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday at 10 p.m.

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

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

Beers: Oktobearfest, La Flama Blanca, Bearcat Altbier, Pumpkin Oso, Pineapple Kolsch, Oso Loco, Strawberry Wheat, Baltic Bear Porter (bombers only). The Oso Loco (4.8% ABV, 25 IBU) is a coffee-infused red ale, made with a blend from Prismatic Coffee. La Flama (7% ABV, 80 IBU) is a white IPA. Fresh batches of Boxing Bear’s gold-medal-winning beers from GABF, The Red Glove and Chocolate Milk Stout, are in the works.

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.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 8-10 p.m.

Events: Saturday—The Great Pumpkin Bear Party, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Live Music: Saturday—Melissa Rios, 6-8 p.m.

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,, Dry Pine Pilsner. The Dry Pine is a small batch, so get it while you can. As the name implies, it is a dry-hopped version of the regular pilsner. Keep an eye out for a bourbon barrel sour in the coming weeks.

Live Music (main location): Friday—Billy Belmont, 6-9 p.m.

Events (main location): Friday—Pumpkins’N’Beer, 6-9 p.m.

Weekly Events (main location): Today (Wednesday)—Cards Against Humanity hosted by 10 Drink Minimum, 7 p.m.; Sunday—Build-your-own Bloody Mary bar, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Tuesday—All hours beers $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: Irish Red, Honey Sage Saison, Grundy Thunder, Exodus IPA, Falconer’s Arm Pale Ale, Sichler Lager, Clean Livin’ IPL. The Sichler is a special lager made with red and green chiles. The Grundy Thunder is a brown porter.

Live Music: Thursday—Good Green, 6-9 p.m.; Sunday—Keith Sanchez, 4-7 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: Festbier, Sturer Bock, Vermilion, Hefen Can Wait. Sorry if you missed the Pumpkin Ale this year, it went by in the blink of an eye. This is a special batch of Sturer Bock that has been lagering for six months.

News: Chama now has a rotating nitro tap. Call to see what is available this week.

Dialogue Brewing — (505) 585-1501

(Open daily noon-midnight)

Beers: Belgian Citrus IPA, Belgian Dark Strong, Berliner Weisse, Zwickelbier, Lychee Wheat, Sour Brown. Welcome to the listings, Dialogue! They opened recently at the corner of 1st Street and Kinley, just five blocks north of Marble. Stop by to check out the sculpture garden and try some of their unique beers, including the new Sour Brown.

News: Kitsune Food Truck will be parked out front every day for lunch.

Events: Friday—Double Art Opening with Cloacas, DJ Randy, DJ J-Slay, 6 p.m.; Saturday—Costume contest with DJ Chach, 6 p.m.

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, Hop Ness Monster IPA, Grapefruit Mafia IPA, Olympic Gold Ale. The Blackout is back after a short absence. A new lager and a pumpkin stout will debut this Saturday.

Events: Saturday—FirkinStein Freakshow, noon-6 p.m.

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, Dunkelweizen, London Porter, Roggen Rye, Basil Lager, Brown Suit, Rocky Raccoon IPA, Wet Hop Amber, Cider, DjinnJar Kombucha. A whole bunch of old favorites like London Porter and Basil Lager are back, plus newcomers like Brown Suit, Rocky Raccoon, and Wet Hop Amber.

Events: Kaktoberfest returns with $4 pints and $8 German food plates, plus dancers, music, and more. It will be held at the Nob Hill taproom on Friday starting at 5 p.m., then in Bernalillo on Saturday, also starting at 5 p.m.

Weekly Events (Nob Hill): Thursday—The Desert Darlings, 7 to 9 p.m.

Weekly Events (Bernalillo): Sunday—Brunch, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., The Desert Darlings, 6-8 p.m.

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: Siberian Silk, VMO #3, Citrus Pale Ale, Angry Belgian, Caber Tosser Scotch Ale. You can still find Full Nelson for sale in bombers around town, but only for a limited time. Siberian Silk brought home a bronze medal at GABF.

Live Music: Saturday—The Bus Tapes, 7-10 p.m.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

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

Beers: Kohatu SHPA, Octoberfest, Saison, Rye Stout. The Kohatu is a single-hopped pale ale.

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.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 8 p.m.; Thursday—Karaoke, 8-11 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: Pumpkin Noir, Pumpkin Ale, Dang Pale Ale (Downtown and West only), Dubbel (Downtown and Heights only), Americano Fudge Sunday (Downtown and West only), White Out (Westside and Heights only). The Americano Fudge Sunday is served on nitro, so get this decadent treat while you can. The regular Pumpkin Ale is back for a limited time on tap only, while you can find Noir on tap and for sale in bombers.

Live Music (downtown): Thursday—Vibestrong, 7-10 p.m.; Friday—Last to Know, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Detroit Lightning, 8-11 p.m.; Sunday—Halcyon Nights of Summer, 5-8 p.m.

Live Music (West Side): Friday—Next Three Miles, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Hub City Sound System, 8-11 p.m.

Live Music (Heights): Friday—Todd Tijerina, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Lenin & McCarthy, 8-11 p.m.

Events (downtown): Sunday—Marble’s Mutt Masquerade Canine Costume Contest, noon-2 p.m.

Weekly Events (Downtown): Thursday—Brewery tours, 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: Assimilation White IPA, 2015 Barleywine, Equinox, Nitro Chai Chocolate Porter. The Equinox, a spiced brown ale, is back for another autumn run. The Nitro Chai Chocolate Porter, means that, yes, Nexus has a nitro tap! It debuts today (Wednesday).

Events (Silver Taproom): Today (Wednesday)—Brew-ha-ha, 6 p.m. (sold out)

Happy Hour/Discounts (Brewery): Monday–Friday, $5 appetizers, 3-5 p.m.

Weekly Events (Silver Taproom): Saturday—a live DJ will perform

Palmer Brewery and Cider House — (505) 508-0508

(Tues–Sat 3–9 p.m.)

Beers: MWA (Malt With Attitude), Guero (Belgian Wit), Pale Ale, Stout. Palmer still has not had a full-on grand opening (that is scheduled for Nov. 5), but they are brewing over in the building they share with sister company Left Turn Distilling.

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?, Amber’s Amber, 40 to 5, Scotty Doesn’t Know, Manhattan Project, Burque Lite, Sleepy Hollow, Trinity, Cardinal Sin Red. Debuting this week are Sleepy Hollow, a funky farmhouse cousin to Pumpkin Pi, which has run out for now. Trinity is a golden sour aged with local organic white peaches and apricots.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

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

Beers: Oatmeal Stout, Oktoberfest, Belgian Pale Ale, Imperial Black IPA, Chocolate Pumpkin Porter. The Chocolate Pumpkin Porter is the newest addition. May the Schwarz Be With You is on deck. You can also still bombers of Sour Saison, Big Belgian IPA, and Preacher’s Daughter (Belgian Golden Strong) at the taproom or at liquor stores around town.

Events: Saturday—2nd Anniversary Party, 4-9 p.m., wear a costume, get free candy, also a magician will be on hand, there will be live bands, food specials, and the release of a special aged barleywine.

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: Knotted Blonde, Dusk’s Early Light, Diabhal’s River, MacLomas Stout, Gondola Party Starter IPA. The Diabhal’s (11% ABV, 30 IBU) is a massive Belgian golden strong that is not for the faint of heart. Get a hold of the delicious Gondola Party Starter while you can. There has been a change to the regular lineup, as Pedro O’Flanagan’s Mexican Lager will be available year round, while Knotted Blonde becomes a seasonal.

Weekly Events: Saturday—Premier League Viewing Party, 5:30 a.m.

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, Nieuwe Bruin, Oktoberfest, Damn White IPA, Downtown Pale Ale (downtown taproom only). The Nieuwe (6.7% ABV, 20 IBU) is a variation on an Oud Bruin, a tart and sour dark beer. The Damn White IPA is the most recent addition.

Live Music (Brewery): Thursday—The Draft Sessions, 7-9 p.m.; Monday—The Draft Sessions, 7-9 p.m.

Live Music (Taproom): Thursday—The Draft Sessions, 7-9 p.m.

Weekly Events: Saturday—Beer and Breakfast, 7-10 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), Oktoberfest, Raspberry Sour. Rio Bravo recently celebrated its first anniversary, with the Oktoberfest going on tap. We had more on the new Raspberry Sour before its debut last week.

Live Music: Thursday—Saep Fire, 3:30 p.m.

Events: Saturday—Oktoberfest, 4-10 p.m.

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, Wheat Ale, Cascade Pale Ale. The Wheat Ale replaced the Shoofly Wheat. Two new beers should be on tap next week.

Cask: Stout will be in the firkins all week. The Sidetrack staff added coconut and vanilla beans to the stout because they love us all.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Taco Tuesday, all day

Starr Brothers Brewing — (505) 492-2752

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

Beers: Starrstruck IPA, L.A. Woman (Blonde), Motorbrreath (Smoked Porter), Jack Tooth Grin, Don’t Fear the RIPA (Red IPA), Riff Raff Brown Ale. The Jack Tooth is Starr Brothers’ take on a pumpkin spice ale. The Riff Raff is the most recent addition to the lineup.

Weekly Events: Saturday—Premier League Viewing Party, 8 a.m.

Tractor Brewing Company — (505) 433-5654 (Nob Hill), (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: Traktoberfest, Jack the Sipper, Javi Light Lager, Maibock, Cerveza Mexican 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 (Wells Park only), Farmhouse Saison, Farmer’s Freckles Scottish Export, Chiapas Amber Lager, Big Sipper IPA. The annual pumpkin favorite, Jack the Sipper, has returned alongside its fall sibling, Traktoberfest.

Live Music (Wells Park): see events below

Live Music (Nob Hill): Saturday—Setting the Tone: Sloan Armitage, 5 p.m.

Other Events (Wells Park): Friday—Hops & Dreams: Halloween Edition, 8 p.m.; Saturday—Toast to Ta-Tas with DJ Mello, 6-10 p.m.; Sunday—Fundraising for Standing Rock, 4-8 p.m.

Weekly Events (Wells Park): Monday—Mondays on the Mic, 6 p.m.; Tuesday—Kamikaze Karaoke, 7 p.m.

Weekly Events (Nob Hill): Monday—Tractor Tune Up, 7:30 p.m., ABQ Pens & Pints, 8 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.

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: Oktoberfest, Wooden Teeth, Bien Tu Helles Bock, Red Rye Redux, The Rise of Fall. The Rise of Fall, an autumnal harvest squash ale, debuted last week. ‘Sno Siberian, a new Baltic porter, is available on nitro and will soon be on CO2 whenever either the Bock or Wooden Teeth run out.

Events: Tuesday—Brewmaster’s Dinner, $50 per person (call for reservations), five courses paired with five beers, 6 p.m.

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Open daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Oat DIPA, Pope Porter, Wet Hop American Strong Ale, Oktoberfest. The burly Oat DIPA has joined the tap list this week. The Wet Hop is for anyone who is a fan of strong ales.

Chili Line Brewing — (505) 500-7903

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

Beers: Cascada Lager, El Jefe, India Pale Lager, Wheat Porter, Stout, Dunkelweizen, Imperial Pilz. The latter two beers are the newest additions to the revamped lineup. Also, check the website for new menu items.

Live Music: Every night at 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Reverse happy hour after 9 p.m. includes $1 off pints, $6 appetizers, $10 entrees and pizzas.

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), Grunewald (Imperial Porter), Monomyth (Belgian DIPA), Duchamp (Farmhouse Witbier), Whistler (Belgian Blonde), Cezanne Magnifique, Cezanne Denouement. One of the most recent additions here is the aptly named Monomyth, which checks in at 9-percent ABV and 90 IBUs. In addition to those beers, you can also get sample pours of Goya ’14, Rye Goya ’14, and Tableux ’16, or a Cezanne flight featuring Origine ’15, Magnifique ’16, and Denouement ’15 and ’16.

Live Music (ABQ taproom): see events below

Other Events (ABQ taproom): Thursday—Drag Queen Trivia, 8 p.m.; Saturday—Enchanted PopUp Presents: Strangers with Candy, 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts (Brewery): Happy hour Mon–Fri, 4-6 p.m. (discounts for all draft beer), Growler Saturdays ($3 off growler fills).

Happy Hour/Discounts (ABQ taproom): Happy hour Mon–Fri, 5-7 p.m.

Rowley Farmhouse Ales — (505) 428-0719

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

Beers: Fields of Rye. Say hello to Santa Fe’s newest brewery, which opened this month. They have some guest taps, plus their third offering, Fields of Rye. It will likely be done at the end of the week, at which point they hope to have Grapefruit Berliner Weisse on tap by Saturday.

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, Idaho? IPA, Sangre de Frambuesa, Hipster Union Red Rye, Sour Kickin’ Chicken (ABQ only), Amalia Wet Hop Nut Brown (brewery only). The Sour Kickin’ is a tart variant of the barrel-aged barleywine. The next entry in the Ever Changing Series, Sangre De Frambuesa, is a throwback to one of SFBC’s first medal-winning beers at the Great American Beer Festival back in 1991.

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, 2920 Pale Ale, St. George IPA, Old Pecos Porter, Red & Yellow Armadillo (Brewery only), Amber Ale (Railyard only), Railyard Red (Railyard only), Schwartzbier (Railyard only). The Armadillo is a delicious, hoppy imperial red ale. The most recent additions are the 2920 Pale Ale, Railyard Red, and Schwartzbier.

News: Second Street has pumpkins available for carving on the patio at the brewery. Bring your best Jack-o-lantern skills to bear!

Live Music (Original location): Friday—Zoltan & the Fortune Tellers, 6 p.m.; Saturday—Welsh & Watts, 6 p.m.

Live Music (Railyard): Friday—Greg Butera & Band, 7 p.m.; Saturday—Halloween Bash with Cloacas, 7 p.m.

Weekly Events (Railyard): Thursday—Geeks Who Drink, 8 p.m.

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, The Tripel Lindy, Tweed Jacket, Fatman Stout, Dr. Rudi SMASH, Raconteur Belgian Table Beer, Hoppenheimer IPA. Another big tap turnover recently went down in Los Alamos, with Tripel, Tweed, Fatman, Dr. Rudi, and Raconteur making their debuts.

Weekly Events: Thursday—Open mic, 6 p.m.

Sierra Blanca Brewing — (505) 832-2337

(Mon–Thurs 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Fri –Sat 11 a.m.–9 p.m.)

Beers: Cherry Wheat, Whiskey Stout, Oktoberfest, Interstella Vanilla. The folks in Moriarty asked us to be added, thus, here they are. The popular Cherry Wheat is more tart than sweet. This is a second, improved batch of the Whiskey stout that debuted earlier this year.

Events: Saturday—Halloween Spook-tacular, 2-9 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-4 p.m.)

Beers: Zia Pilsner, 790 IPA, Hose Co. 1 Red Lager, Venom IPA, KC’s Irish Stout, McFadden’s Scotch, English Porter, Pilabo Pale Ale, Schwarzbar Black Lager, Oktoberfest, Pumpkin Ale. Got a chance to try the Oktoberfest while passing through Socorro recently. It is a solid example of the style, just sweet enough without going overboard.

Live Music: TBA

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Open mic, 6:30-9 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

Brewess Anna Kornke and the Marble staff were kept plenty busy throughout GABF.

Brewess Anna Kornke and the Marble staff were kept plenty busy throughout GABF.

My first experience as a member of the working press at the Great American Beer Festival was a bit up and down. It can be a bit hard to do everything by yourself, for one thing, but in the end it is difficult to drink a lot of beer and then have any desire whatsoever to sit down and write up anything. Oh, and yeah, next year for any live videos we will try to bring something (a tripod?) so I do not end up creating something with a worse shaky cam experience than Blair Witch.

Next year I will have this whole thing planned out a bit better, rest assured. Still, I ended up with a bunch of little news tidbits that I still wanted to share, so voila, here is a notebook to wrap up GABF for 2016 and look ahead to 2017.

Now let us just hope I remembered everything.

NM breweries have support from Brewers Association

The sizable media contingent gathered to ask questions of the Brewers Association leadership.

The sizable media contingent gathered to ask questions of the Brewers Association leadership.

One of the more interesting parts of the fest that I was able to attend was a special press conference featuring the high-ranking members of the Brewers Association. After a series of speeches by the members, all of us in the media (there were hundreds of us, believe it or not) were able to ask questions. I wound up third in line, knowing full well what my question would be for BA president Bob Pease.

Q: In New Mexico right now we have a proposal coming up for our state legislature to raise taxes on our craft breweries to the highest level in the nation. If it passes, it would effectively end craft brewing in our state. With many states currently facing massive revenue shortfalls, how concerned is the Brewers Association with this happening in more states than just New Mexico? And, what can the Brewers Association do to help our state and others fight such proposed tax increases?

A: The Brewers Association is aware of what is happening. That is why, for the last 10 years, we have encouraged and helped in the formation and strengthening state guilds in all 50 states. Now there is a strong state guild in New Mexico and many other states. The next step we have been working on is to make sure that every state has a paid, full-time executive director. To ensure this, we have allotted up to $500,000 in grants to state guilds to hire and pay the best people to represent these guilds. We will then do everything in our power to help those state guilds activate and create a strong support base when it comes to helping them in situations such as the one New Mexico is facing. Working with the state guild in New Mexico and the American Homebrewers Association, we need to make sure people understand that any such proposal would be a job-killing proposal that would not create revenue. Not many legislators these days want to be seen as job killers. We have to make sure politicians are aware of this in our fight to prevent it from happening.

So, yeah, the BA is fully aware of what is happening in New Mexico and will back up our Guild and our breweries as much as they can. That’s cool.

Stats upon stats upon stats

Some nifty statistics about GABF, from the same press conference.

  • This was the 35th anniversary of GABF, for which Charlie Papazian was later honored at the awards ceremony. The first one, back in 1982, had 800 attendees. There are now 780 breweries with booths upstairs. The estimated 7,300 beers in competition this year were more than there were attendees at the 10th annual GABF in 1991.
  • Courtesy of Bart Watson, the BA’s top economist, craft breweries produced $55.7 billion in revenue in 2014, accounting for 424,000 full-time-equivalent jobs across America.
  • GABF brings in $28.6 million for the city of Denver, or about 2 percent of the city’s entire GDP.
  • The meteoric growth of craft breweries has slowed, somewhat, down to 8 percent by the middle of 2016.
  • There are more than 4,800 operational craft breweries, as defined by the BA, currently in the U.S.
  • There are 6,720 registered breweries with the TTB, meaning another 1,900-plus are planning on opening some time in the near future.
  • Beercations are becoming more and more popular. Of people who identify themselves as craft beer drinkers, 4 percent (roughly 40 million) visited 10 or more breweries while on vacation. On my last big vacation I visited Firestone Walker Barrelworks, Figueroa Mountain, The Brewhouse (Santa Barbara), Noble Ale Works, The Bruery, Tustin Brewing, Smog City, The Dudes’ Brewing, King Harbor Brewing, and El Segundo Brewing in California, and Mother Road in Flagstaff. So, yeah, I guess I fit in that 4 percent.
  • There are now 80 BA members exporting internationally. A small number? Yeah, but think about how small most craft breweries are and then imagine it is not all simply driving across the border into Mexico or Canada, but sending it across the ocean.

Awards notes

When you have 1,700-plus breweries entered for awards, you get a pretty crowded theater.

When you have 1,700-plus breweries entered for awards, you get a pretty crowded theater.

Some tidbits from the ceremony on Saturday.

  • Bosque’s Acequia IPA took home its third consecutive medal, following a bronze in the Fresh or Wet Hop category in 2014 and a gold in 2015. It is the third beer from a New Mexico brewery to ever win three medals, and the first to win three in a row. The other triple-winners are Marble’s Imperial Red (2012 silver, 2014 gold, 2015 bronze) and Pilsner (2011 bronze, 2013 silver, 2016 bronze).
  • New Mexico breweries have pulled off 30 medals in the last five years, with four in 2012, eight each in 2013 and 2014, four in 2015, and six in 2016.
  • There were officially 7,227 entries this year from 1,752 breweries in 96 categories. Only 264 judges were used. I pity some of those palates.
  • For anyone wondering what is now the overall tally of medals for our breweries, Canteen/Il Vicino still leads the way with 12 (two gold, six silver, four bronze). Marble is second with nine (two gold, two silver, five bronze) and Chama River is third with eight (five gold, one silver, two bronze). For history buffs, there were two breweries that won medals in the 1990s that have since closed. Santa Fe’s Wolf Canyon won four (one gold, two silver, one bronze) and Las Cruces’ O’Ryan’s Tavern won two gold.

Surviving the session

Men in kilts were drawn to La Cumbre all weekend.

Men in kilts were drawn to La Cumbre all weekend.

If you do not like huge crowds, GABF is not the place for you. I can handle them up to a point, but I have to admit, Friday night was downright claustrophobic after a while. Thankfully, people were mostly polite and there to have fun. The best advice I can give is to make use of the My GABF app on your phone. Map out the breweries you want to visit and stick to a plan.

The longest brewery lines were no surprise, as Dogfish Head, Wicked Weed, Cigar City, Founders, Southern Tier, Bell’s, Breakside, Fat Head’s, Stone, Victory, The Lost Abbey, Russian River, New Glarus, and Jester King were packed. The good news was so was La Cumbre, which had an awesome end-of-row booth. Plenty of folks were enthusiastic about New Mexico beers, notably during the Saturday afternoon members-only session, which is a must for anyone serious about trying a lot of beers without the heinous lines and immovable crowds. Following the awards ceremony did not hurt as many people purposely go looking for the beers that just earned medals.

Hopefully more New Mexico breweries can grab end booths in 2017. Oh, and the dates for GABF 2017 are October 5-7. Start setting aside some money and request your vacation time.

If anyone has any questions or comments, please drop me a line at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com or via any of our social media sites.

Until next year, it is back to local news starting Wednesday with The Week Ahead in Beer.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

These were some seriously happy brewery staffers after they brought home a fairly major award.

These were some seriously happy brewery staffers after they brought home a fairly major award.

Way back on Saturday night, I was peacefully sitting at the Rhein Haus in downtown Denver, enjoying some schnitzel and a mug of Prost Marzen, when I received an inquiry from NM Brewers Guild director John Gozigian. He had heard something was up with Boxing Bear winning an award at the Great American Beer Festival that had not been part of the awards ceremony earlier in the day. I had no idea what was going on, when on cue, an email arrived from the Brewers Association.

The contents of that email were available for me to share (I was writing on the bar top at Rhein Haus, surrounded by some bemused customers and bartenders) in our GABF awards/medals recap story. Shortly after finishing that update, I was invited by the Boxing Bear staff to join them for a celebratory event at Appaloosa Grill. Before things got particularly, um, festive, I got head brewer Justin Hamilton to talk about how he found out that Boxing Bear was suddenly named the GABF Mid-Size Brewpub of the Year.

“Shortly after the afternoon members session (ended), I got a text from one of the GABF organizers,” Justin said. “She texted me and said can you give us a call, one of these two guys. I kind of missed the text (initially) because my phone had died. I (later) called the first number and he didn’t answer it. I called the second number and he answered. He said he a couple questions about how you basically signed up, what you’re categorized as.”

Justin informed him that Boxing Bear had listed itself as a very small brewery, based on barrel output in 2015.

“He said you brewed a little over 850 barrels last year, yeah, but you also have a kitchen,” Justin said. “Yeah, we have a small kitchen. So, you have food and (thus) you’re a brewpub. OK, we’ll take that into account and call you back. I hang up and tell my wife, man, I just got a weird phone call.”

By this point it was 5 p.m. and time for Justin to return to the Boxing Bear booth inside the Denver Convention Center. Before he could leave his wife and daughter behind to leave the madness, the next phone call arrived.

“I have to go to the night session and I’m literally on my way out the door when I get a call from one of the organizers,” Justin said. “It’s nothing official yet, but we wanted to let you know the whole story about Karl Strauss being in the wrong category. Basically what it leads to is that the opening is for you and you were mis-categorized as well and now you’re now the Mid-Size Brewpub of the Year. I throw my sweatshirt down and start screaming, fuck yeah! I had to apologize for yelling (to my wife).”

Fear not, Justin’s daughter is too young to start repeating what her daddy said.

A rare moment where the line was not stacked up at Boxing Bear during the Saturday afternoon session of GABF.

A rare moment where the line was not stacked up at Boxing Bear during the Saturday afternoon session of GABF.

From there, it was time to let the rest of the Boxing Bear team know what was happening.

“I text these guys you need to meet me at the booth right fucking now, I have huge news,” Justin said. “I literally sprint, I haul ass, I run all the way to the booth, and nobody’s there. I’m just like oh, shit, oh, shit. I start calling people and nobody’s answering. I get a hold of Dylan (Davis, assistant brewer), who’s like yeah, we’re headed over there. Get your ass over here right now! I told him, dude, I’m going to tell you right now, we just won Mid-Size Brewpub of the year. He’s like shut up, no, whatever. I said something went wrong, we won that shit. I’ll be right there! We tried to hold it under our hats until the official release came out.”

A certain local beer writer then informed Justin that it was official, then the celebration was on.

“To be the second brewery in New Mexico to pull off a brewery of the year (award), and it’s only in our second year, we’re super proud,” Justin said, referring to Marble’s 2014 award. “We couldn’t be any happier.”

It was the perfect capper to a day that had already seen Boxing Bear claim gold medals for The Red Glove in the Double Red category and Chocolate Milk Stout in the Sweet Stout category.

The latter was a repeat medal winner, while The Red Glove was the big surprise of the day.

“After bronze and silver, I’m like, we’re done,” Justin said. “Then I heard The Red. Then Glove came out and I just jumped up.”

“I didn’t even get it until everyone else around me congratulated me,” Dylan added.

Justin called the entire awards ceremony a whirlwind.

“I think at the end of that awards ceremony I feel the same if I won nothing or won Mid-Size Brewpub of the Year,” Justin said. “It’s so draining emotionally. It’s hard, it’s hard, man. You sit there waiting for every category to come up. It’s rough.”

The team with Charlie Papazian after winning gold for The Red Glove. (Photo courtesy of the Brewers Association)

The team with Charlie Papazian after winning gold for The Red Glove. (Photo courtesy of the Brewers Association)

Still, winning for The Red Glove felt especially rewarding.

“We worked really, really hard following the judges’ guidelines,” Justin said. “We entered Red Glove last year. We got our remarks back from the judges and we literally, from judge to judge, and took their remarks super seriously. We changed our entire recipe for The Red Glove. We knocked it down in alcohol, changed some of the bitterness. We did a lot to it. It felt good.

“That was a really good win for us because it’s not another stout. I want to win in different categories. Me and Dylan talked about this at CBC (Craft Brewers Conference), where we want to be known for a variety of categories and styles. Being an IPA guy would be great, but we got that a little bit this year.”

“We want to be (known as) good beer guys,” Dylan added.

Something tells me a whole lot of people already know Boxing Bear as just that. If they did not before, they sure do now.

Stop by Boxing Bear this week and make sure to congratulate everyone on this amazing accomplishment. Oh, and fresh batches of Chocolate Milk Stout and The Red Glove are coming soon. Once the celebrations were done, Justin and Dylan were back in Albuquerque and brewing as fast as they can.

Congratulations to Boxing Bear, it was a well-earned victory, even if it did not come in a traditional way. Thanks for the interview, the drinks, and the general awesome finish to a great weekend.

I will have a final wrap-up of GABF news, notebook-style, on Tuesday.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

That's two more silver medals for Bosque on another banner day for New Mexico breweries.

That’s two more silver medals for Bosque on another banner day for New Mexico breweries.

UPDATED: See below.

Well, that was chaotic.

At first glance, attending the annual Great American Beer Festival awards ceremony with all the New Mexico brewers seems like a great thing. I envisioned quick and easy brewer interviews after they won their medals.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Anyway, I will be tracking down those brewers in the days ahead. Because four of them brought six more medals home to New Mexico.

Leading the way was Boxing Bear, where The Red Glove and Chocolate Milk Stout both captured gold medals. The former claimed the top spot in the Double Red Ale category (78 entries) while the latter snagged another medal in the Sweet Stout or Cream Stout category (71 entries), one year after taking silver. Congratulations to Justin Hamilton and his entire staff on what has been a banner year for the West Side brewery.

Oh, and then this happened about 7 p.m. local time, when an email from the Brewers Association showed up in my inbox.

“During competition registration, Karl Strauss Brewing Co. self-identified their San Diego location as a Mid-Size Brewpub. After the award ceremony, GABF competition staff realized that this was inaccurate: this location is, in fact, a Mid-Size Brewing Company. Karl Strauss, while it operates brewpubs, is classified as a production facility by GABF competition guidelines.

After reassigning Karl Strauss to the Mid-Size Brewing Company category, and recalculating the Brewery of the Year results, it resulted that Karl Strauss was the winner of the Mid-Size Brewing Company of the Year category. In addition, Boxing Bear Brewing Co. is the resulting winner of the Mid-Size Brewpub of the Year category.

All of us with the Great American Beer Festival and the Brewers Association deeply regret this error. Fat Head’s Brewery & Saloon, which had originally been identified as the Mid-Size Brewing Company of the Year, had a very strong performance in the competition, winning a gold medal in the German-Style Wheat Ale category, a silver medal in Other Strong Beer, and a bronze medal in Fresh or Wet Hop Ale. They were among the top medal-winning breweries in the 2016 competition.

Congratulations to all of the winners in the most-entered Great American Beer Festival competition ever.”

So, to sum that up, BOXING BEAR IS THE 2016 MID-SIZE BREWPUB OF THE YEAR!!! This marks the second time in the last three sessions that a New Mexico brewery has been named brewery/brewpub of the year in its size classification (Marble won in 2014, in case you forgot). A humongous congratulations to Justin Hamilton and his entire team at the Bear. Looks like that trophy wall will need to be expanded!

Many of the New Mexico brewery staffers sat together at the awards ceremony.

Many of the New Mexico brewery staffers sat together at the awards ceremony.

Meanwhile, Bosque Brewing continued its seemingly unending run of success. Acequia IPA snagged silver in the Fresh or Wet Hop Ale category (45 entries), one year after taking gold in that same category. Meanwhile, Bosque Lager earned its first medal, a silver in the German-Style Pilsner category (115 entries) just weeks before it rolls out in six-pack cans.

La Cumbre snagged a bronze medal in the Baltic-Style Porter category (41 entries) for Siberian Silk, a first medal for that popular seasonal. On the other hand, Marble Pilsner earned its third medal, a bronze in the Kellerbier or Zwickelbier category (69 entries).

Overall, through three sessions (the last is pending tonight), it has been a hell of a time for New Mexico breweries. La Cumbre’s booth on the end of one of the Southwest rows has been a huge hit. Boxing Bear ran out of Chocolate Milk Stout on Saturday afternoon. Overall, the word of excellent beer in New Mexico is spreading further and further to a national and international audience.

Cheers to New Mexico beers from the Canteen staff (and a random volunteer).

Cheers to New Mexico beers from the Canteen staff (and a random volunteer).

We will raise a glass or two to that. Well, OK, more than two. I will have a whole lot more from GABF in the days to come. Until then, I am off to load up the trunk with rare beers to bring home.

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 four breweries and one down in Socorro and the other 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.

Remember recently when I noted how it seems like all the brewery anniversaries tend to sneak up on us? Well, here we go again! Boxing Bear celebrates their second birthday on Saturday with a festive party both inside and on the patio. The Real Matt Jones will be on the patio performing from 2 to 4 p.m., then DJ Young Native will spin from 7 to 9. On the beer front, there will be special beer and food pairings with My Sweet Basil that will begin at 4 p.m. (a full list will be up later this week, which the Crew will share, of course). Saturday will also mark the debut of Bearfuzz Peach Sour Ale, which sounds like one of the crazier beers they have created. There will be some additional new beers and some old favorites coming out of the cellar as well. Oh, and of course you can ask if you can get your picture taken with the IPA Challenge trophy, assuming Justin has let go of it yet. As more details emerge, we will share them!

Speaking of things to share, in case anyone has missed it, a whole lotta businesses along Central are pretty mad about this whole Albuquerque Rapid Transit (A.R.T.), and Kaktus is expressing their particular distaste for it all with a new beer at their Nob Hill taproom. Now, be forewarned, the point of this beer is to be as disgusting as the (potential) boondoggle of a project. It is named, aptly enough, the Albuquerque Rapid Transit Ale. What kind of beer is it? It is a pickle juice porter. That is the kind of beer you basically dare someone to try.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few other options to check out. Bosque shakes things up with River Lager, plus their IPA Challenge offering, The Strip Mall Struggle, is also on tap. Bow & Arrow taps their new Desert Standard Hop Session on Thursday. Pi brings back Cardinal Sin Red while adding Purple Haze Lavender Honey and Burque Lite Cream Ale. Turtle Mountain unleashes some New Zealand hops in the new Kiwi Killer Southern Hemisphere IPA.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn unveils Rakau Rye Pale on Thursday. Over in Los Alamos, Bathtub Row unleashes five new beers in the 3-Hop IPA, Honey DIPA, The Belgian Biscuit, Julie’s GFB, and Brexit Summer Bitter. Down in Socorro, Twisted Chile has a fresh batch of Schwarzbar and the new Love Potion Peach.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of July 25.

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: Friday—String Dinner, 7 p.m.; Saturday—Alex & Nick, 7 p.m.

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.

Tobyriffic Karaoke is tonight (Wednesday) at 7.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Monday–Saturday, 3 to 6 p.m.; Sunday, all day

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 new house beers on tap, both brewed especially for this scorcher of a weekend coming up.

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, Old Shonie Scottish Ale, Dr. Strangehop XPA, Duke City Lager, Zeus Juice White IPA, Lawnmower Lager, Orange Peel IPA, Cherry Bomb. The newest beer here is the Cherry Bomb. The Lawnmower Lager is an American interpretation of a German Kolsch.

Events: Every Thursday will now feature a special Small Batch Beer. This week’s entry is TBA.

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 are still working on building their website. You can follow them on their Facebook page.

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: Imperial Popcorn Pilsner, Hot Bosque, Riverbank Brown, Belgian Golden Strong, River Lager, The Strip Mall Struggle. The River Lager (6.5% ABV, 90 IBU) is a variation of the Riverwalker IPA made in a lager style. The Strip Mall Struggle (6% ABV, 100 IBU) was Bosque’s entry in the IPA Challenge.

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, Bison Eye Rye, Desert Standard Hop Session, Citrus Lager, Wildorado Unfiltered Wild Rice Pale Ale, Rustic Oak Robust Porter, Belgian Pale Ale. The most recent additions are the Wildorado, Rustic Oak, and the Belgian Pale. They will be joined by the Desert Standard Hop Session this Thursday.

Events: Saturday—Bow & Arrow Brewtique, with Spectacle Caravan and Lauren Tobey Jewelry, 3 to 7 p.m.

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, Bare Knuckle IPA, Featherweight Session IPA, Watermelon Gose (nitro only), Chocolate Milk Stout, Baltic Bear Porter (bombers only). Bear Knuckle was the winning entry at the IPA Challenge, so get some before it disappears again. The CMS is back after winning gold at the World Beer Cup, and it’s for sale in bombers around town.

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.

See our intro above for the 2-Year Anniversary Party on Saturday.

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): Sunday—Eryn Bent, noon to 2 p.m.

Live Music (Green Jeans taproom): TBA

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

This Friday, Outdoor Movie Night returns at 7 p.m. with a special screening of Beetlejuice! Remember to bring your own chairs.

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.

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737

(Sun–Thurs noon–10 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–midnight)

Beers: Fete Lager, Mongrel DIPA, Solana Summer Ale, Sol Quest Saison, Gose Plum Crazy, Irish Red (also on nitro). The Fete Lager (5.5% ABV, 25 IBU) is a special summer beer that has been lagered for five months. The Solana is loaded with Citra hops

Live Music: Thursday—Upstate Rubdown, 6 to 9 p.m.; Sunday—Keith Sanchez, 4 to 7 p.m.

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: Hopmonic-Convergence, Dubble-Monic, Heavy Cream. The Heavy Cream (6.3% ABV, 23 IBU) is an export rendition of a traditional American cream ale. The Hopmonic (7.7% ABV, 100+ IBU) is a fancy-sounding IPA, with the Dubble-Monic (7.1% ABV, 90 IBU) is a mix of the IPA and the Dubbel Tap, creating a Belgian-style hoppy beer.

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.)

We went to Firkin recently and found out they are still open. Contact the brewery for an updated beer list. 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. Another recent tap turnover featured the return of the hugely popular Helles, a perfect summer beer. Look out for Albuquerque Rapid Transit Ale, a pickle juice porter, this Thursday. (See our intro for why anyone would make such a beer.)

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: VMO #2, Arrogant Bastard, No, You’re a Dort, ‘Merica, Fievre de Abricot. The ‘Merica is an American-style pale ale that debuted last summer and has returned with a fresh batch.

Live Music: Saturday—Ziatron, 6 to 9 p.m.

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: New Zealand IPA, Apricot Wheat, Scottish 80, Hefeweizen, Long Nosed Tripel. There are three recent additions in the Scottish, Hefe, and Tripel. The latter is an old favorite, but beware the ABV (9.2%), for it will sneak up on you.

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 will now feature karaoke from 8 to 11 p.m.

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739

(Mon–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10:30 p.m.)

Beers: Both locations — Wheels of Soul Pale Ale, Double IPA, Nitro Amarillo; Downtown only — none; Westside only — none. The Wheels of Soul (7.5% ABV) was brewed in honor of an upcoming music tour making a stop in ABQ. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Newday Youth and Family Services.

Live Music (downtown): Thursday—Thieves & Gypsys, 7 to 10 p.m.; Friday—The Gershom Brothers Album Release Party with Tres Pendejos, Vibestrong, The Riddims and The Gershom Brothers, 6 to 11 p.m.; Saturday—The Saturday Night Fever Blisters, 8 to 11 p.m.; Sunday—Halcyon Nights of Summer, 5 to 8 p.m.

Live Music (West Side): Friday—Cowboys & Indian Trio, 8 to 11 p.m.; Saturday—Sloan Armitage, 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

(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.)

Beers: E.S.A. (Extra Special Amber), Beam Me Up Scottish, Imperial Pilsner, Salted Caramel Stout, Wrath of Kolsch. Oh, rejoice, those who live on the East Side, for Salted Caramel is now on tap at the main brewery. Do not fret, West Side residents, you still have it at the Silver taproom as well.

News: If you have not gone, we got an early look at Nexus’ impressive west-side taproom, Nexus Silver.

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, Purple Haze Lavender Honey, Burque Lite Cream Ale. The Zinister (6.3% ABV) is a potent red sour.

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. The new Preacher’s Daughter is for sale on tap and in bombers, both at the brewery and at Jubilation.

Events: Saturday—Summer Music Series, with Alex Maryol and Pata D’ Perro, 4 to 9 p.m.

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. The name You Reek is a joke, of sorts, but the flavor is not. It’s a single-hop pale made with Eureka.

News: Congrats to QCB for winning a silver medal at the North American Beer Awards. Not bad for a place that has only been open for three months!

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. The Downtown Pale Ale was brewed in honor of the new downtown taproom, but fear not, it is available at both locations.

Live Music (main location)—Today (Wednesday): Eryn Bent, 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.

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: Saturday—Big K & Blue Train, 7 p.m.

Other Evens: Tuesday—Two Dollar Tuesdays, 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, Zoso SMASH, Dark Engine Stout, Shoofly Wheat. The Zoso is the most recent addition.

Cask: IPA and Pub Ale 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, Planet of the Ape-rricots. The taps are turning over pretty frequently at Starr Brothers, but that’s because people are drinking them up at a rapid pace. So if you see a favorite listed above, head over now, before this batch runs out.

Tractor Brewing Company — (505) 433-5654 (Nob Hill Tap Room), (505) 243-6752 (Wells Park)

(Nob Hill is open Sunday-Wednesday noon to midnight, Thursday noon to 2 a.m., Friday-Saturday noon to 2 a.m.; Wells Park is open Monday-Thursday 3 p.m. to close, Friday-Sunday 1 p.m. to midnight.
 Last call 30 minutes before close. 
No package after midnight.
 Brewery tours Saturday at 1 p.m.)

Beers: Berry Cider, Maibock, Grapefruit Wheat, Verano New Mexico Lager, Summer En Blanc Belgian Witbier, Berliner Weisse, Barrel-Aged Scotcholate, Barrel-Aged Barley Wine, Barrel-Aged Luna De Los Muertos (Wells Park only), Et Tu Brute Cider (Wells Park only), Nitro Coffee Stout (Wells Park only), Ebony & Ivory Pale Stout (Wells Park only). All three of the barrel-aged behemoths are now on tap, plus there should still be bombers for sale. We highly recommend you try the Luna before it runs out.

Live Music (Wells Park): Thursday—Thirsty Thursdays: Lindy Vision + DJ Karma Shims, 8 p.m.

Live Music (Nob Hill): Saturday—Setting the Tone: Melissa Rios, 5 p.m.

Other Events: 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.

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: Session Red, Kiwi Killer Southern Hemisphere IPA, Blueberry Yum Yum; One, If By Land; Two, If By Sea. So the Land and Sea are two unique beers. The former is a refreshing pale ale from a recipe by current brewer Mick Hahn. The latter is a burly, yet sweet, DIPA from former brewer Tim Woodward. Buy two beers, salute two brewers.

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Coffee Imperial Stout, The Gatekeeper IPA, Blueberry Gose, Rakau Pale Ale. The Gatekeeper is Blue Corn’s entry in the IPA Challenge. The Coffee Imperial Stout was made with coffee from a local company.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

(Brewery hours: Mon–Sat open at 11 a.m., Sun open at 1 p.m.; ABQ taproom hours: Mon–Thurs 2 p.m. to midnight; Fri–Sun noon to 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). With the release of the Cezanne Origine, Duel has brought out all of their 2015 saisons out of the cellar and is now offering a flight of five at both locations.

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

Live Music (ABQ): Thursday—Lone Pinon, 8 p.m.; Saturday—Enchanted Pop-Up Presents: Street Smarts, 7 p.m.

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: Freestyle Pilsner, Autonomous Collective DIPA, Sunset Limited. The Sunset Limited, a collaboration with a Louisiana brewery, debuted recently.

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, 2920 IPA, Rod’s Best Bitter, 2920 Vienna Lager, The Quark and Berries, Railrunner Pale Ale, Little Blackbird IPA. Say hello to Little Blackbird, which might just be the first session black IPA ever created by a New Mexico brewery.

Live Music (Original location): Thursday—Patio Series: Jeez La Weez; Friday—The Josh Martin Trio; Saturday—Ometcetera

Live Music (Railyard): Saturday—Half Broken Horses; Sunday—Patio Series: The Shiners Club

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.

This Friday at the Railyard Plaza is the Santa Fe Reporter Block Party, with SSB hosting the beer tent.

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: Hoppenheimer IPA, 3-Hop IPA, Barley Wine, Honey DIPA, The Belgian Biscuit, Julie’s GFB, Brexit Summer Bitter. Another big tap turnover recently went down in Los Alamos, with the most excellently named Brexit Summer Bitter topping the list. It was joined by the 3-Hop, Honey DIPA, Belgian Biscuit, and Julie’s GFB.

Events: Bathtub Row hosts an Open Mic Night every Thursday at 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, Quebradas Summer Amber, El Camino ReAle Summer Pale, Love Potion Peach, Schwarzbar. The most recent additions are old favorite Schwarzbar, a black lager, and the new Love Potion, a peach wheat.

Live Music: Friday—Miles McCormack, 7 to 10 p.m.

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