Posts Tagged ‘Ex Novo Brewing’

Beer is on the move, beer and foods continue to be paired up, and it all ends with bingo.

The final weekend begins with a selection of eight events spread across town.

Ex Novo fans who haven’t made the trek to Corrales can try the beers at Nob Hill Bar & Grill. M’tucci’s fans who don’t want to cross the river can try some pairings at Dialogue. There are additional beer-and-food pairings with Marble at Jubilation, and at Canteen, plus a special tapping at Two Fools, comedy at Kilt Check, and fun and games at Tractor Wells Park.

Featured Event

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

What: Ex Novo Brewing Taste the Rainbow. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 5-11 p.m. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: Taste any of six Ex Novo beers — Mass Ascension IPA, Cadillac Dreams Hazy IPA, Perle Haggard Pilsner, Cactus Wins the Lottery, Hello My Name is Indigo Montoya, The Most Interesting Lager in the World — in the friendly confines of NHBG.

Why you should go: Well, if you have not been to the brewery in Corrales yet, let this be your final preview of what’s to be found out there.

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Enjoy a collaboration, a couple beer dinners, and a whole lot more on Day Eight.

First, we are terribly sorry for that rhyming headline, but, we could not resist. Moving on …

As we inch closer to the second and final weekend of Beer Week, the number of events takes a jump today.

There are two beer dinners on opposite sides of town, a special collaboration beer release from two local breweries, a trip back in time at Tractor, and a whole lot of other unique events.

Featured Event

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

What: Saison de Luxe Bottle Release. Where: Steel Bender Brewyard. When: 11 a.m. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: The brewers from Steel Bender and Ex Novo teamed up a few months back to brew up a brett saison that was then refermented with both house strains of brett and dry-hopped with Southern Passion hops from South Africa. There will be bottles for sale, plus a special food pairing available of grilled lengua served on a grilled polenta cake topped with salsa verde and served with calabacitas.

Why you should go: If you like the funk, we got a feeling this is your kind of beer. Plus, that food pairing looks delightful.

All the other great events

What: Upslope Brewing Sampling. Where: Jubilation. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Taste a number of Upslope’s outstanding regular beers and maybe some seasonal/specialty beers as well. Why you should go: Free beer, plus you can buy your favorites and take them home.

What: The Great Gatsby Edition of Gin & Jazz. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Tractor celebrates the roaring 20’s with special Prohibition era beers and cocktails, with live music from Le Chat Lunatique and Eddie Brewer and the Manic Episodes. Why you should go: Go old-school and enjoy some classic drinks and jazz tunes.

What: Bell’s Brewery Tappening. Where: O’Niell’s Heights. When: 5-7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: It’s a summery beer takeover with Official Hazy IPA, Hopsolution Ale, and Pooltime Ale on tap. Why you should go: Enjoy some Bell’s on the patio and avoid all that rush hour traffic.

What: Special Charity Event. Where: The County Line. When: 5-9 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Free live music as part of the summer music series benefitting Meals on Wheels, with food and beer specials. Why you should go: Chow down on some BBQ while helping a charity.

What: Odell Brewing Pint Night. Where: Billy’s Long Bar. When: 5-7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Hammer Chain Fresh Grind DIPA will be among the featured Odell beers on tap. Why you should go: If you are an Odell fan, this event is for you.

What: Pints & Paintbrushes Night. Where: Canteen Taproom. When: 6 p.m. Cost: $30. Details: Host Carisa Otero will lead you in this fun paint night, with one pint included along with all of your materials. Email canteentaproom@gmail.com for reservations, as this one is limited to 20 patrons. Why you should go: Show off your artistic side while enjoying some delicious beer.

What: La Cumbre Beer Dinner. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 6-9 p.m. Cost: $40. Details: La Cumbre is teaming up with NHBG for a four-course beer dinner featuring Helles Lager, Boysenberry Brut, Strawberry Gose, and Brut IPA. Call NHBG at (505) 266-4455 to make a reservation. Why you should go: That’s a tempting price for a beer dinner, and those are some excellent beers to enjoy.

What: Mysteries and History Tour. Where: Casa Vieja Brewery. When: 6-9 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Come visit Casa Vieja and ask for a free tour of the 250-year-old building to learn more of its history. Then grab a pint and head to the patio for live music. Why you should go: Chill out in Corrales, because why not?

What: Toltec Brewing Dinner and Beer Pairing. Where: Toltec Brewing. When: 6:30 p.m. Cost: $40. Details: Toltec will have four special courses paired up with four beers. Email brewingteam@toltecbrewing.com to make your reservation. Why you should go: Another affordable beer dinner (it’s about time!) beckons if you are out on the westside.

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

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

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Take the cheese at Trator Westside, or pick from one of the other events today.

It’s a relatively quiet day by Beer Week standards, but that’s just fine, since for far too many of us it was back to the grind of work after the three-day weekend.

There’s a special beer release, a sampling of a new brewery’s packaged offerings, a different sort of beer-and-cheese pairing, a full beer dinner, a twist on your usual happy hour, and some fun and games with your beer. Take your pick of one or more and dream of next weekend.

Featured Event

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

What: Beer and Grilled Cheese Pairing with Cheesy Street. Where: Tractor Westside. When: 5-8 p.m. Cost: $13.

Details: This fun annual event shifts taprooms from Nob Hill, where food trucks are no longer allowed by Tractor’s landlord, to the Westside location on McMahon near Unser. You get a tray of four specialty grilled cheeses paired with a flight of four Tractor beers. As a bonus, here are the pairings — extra sharp cheddar with Almanac IPA, ham-havarti-mustard with Haymaker Honey Wheat, American cheese-green chile-bacon with with New Mexican Lager, and raspberry cheesecake with Berry Cider.

Why you should go: Grilled cheese and beer. It should not be that hard of a sell.

All the other great events

What: Special Release of Mangose. Where: Quarter Celtic Brewpub. When: 11 a.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: QC went ahead and made a new batch of the popular mango gose. How popular? Well, the staff had none left quite a while before Blues & Brews ended on Sunday. Why you should go: Grab a pint with some lunch or dinner.

What: Ex Novo Sampling. Where: Jubilation. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Taste many of the new Ex Novo beers coming in cans to the New Mexico market, including Mass Ascension IPA and The Most Interesting Lager in the World. Why you should go: If we didn’t tease you enough with our Ex Novo preview, then this should really get you excited for the brewery’s offerings.

What: Rowley Farmhouse Ales Beer Dinner. Where: Farina Alto Pizzeria & Wine Bar, 10721 Montgomery Blvd. NE. When: 6 p.m. Cost: TBA. Details: Enjoy RFA beers paired with a delicious meal from Farina. Why you should go: One makes great, unique beers, and the other makes great food, so even though we’re a bit scarce on details, this one seems like a winner. — UPDATE: This event has been canceled.

What: Scholarly Happy Hour with Asa Stone. Where: Canteen Brewhouse. When: 6 p.m. Cost: $15. Details: We will have a separate full preview of this special event featuring the only advanced cicerone in the state. Why you should go: Get some education with your beer.

What: PuttSlope and Putt Putt Competition with Upslope Brewing. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 6-8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Join a mini-golf competition on the patio while enjoying the Upslope seasonal, Tea Shandy. You can win prizes and swag from Upslope, plus other beers will be on tap. Why you should go: Beer doesn’t always have to be serious, as this event will prove.

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

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

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Once the crowd rolls in, Blues & Brews is jumping every year.

Sunday will mark the return of the annual ABQ Blues & Brews Festival at Sandia Casino, and as per usual, we have done our best to track down the beer lists for the local breweries in attendance.

For those who have not been before to Blues & Brews, it is a sizable festival located indoors at the casino. There are four levels of tickets — VIP ($62), Early Access ($42), General Admission ($32), and Non-Sampling ($12). The latter is for designated drivers and/or music fans who do not wish to drink. Our recommendation has always been for Early Access, since that gets you in an hour early at 2 p.m., where you can take your time perusing the brewery booths to find the beers you like the most or want to try for the first time.

There is also a special NM Distillers Guild event called the Cocktail Challenge. You can sample three cocktails from local distillers with your ticket, or pay an extra $10 to vote on all six, with a full-size pour of your favorite. It all benefits the Distillers Guild, whose members in attendance are Algodones Distillery, Broken Trail, Hollow Spirits, Little Toad Creek, Santa Fe Spirits, and Tractor’s Troubled Minds Distillery.

In a personal plug, I (Stoutmeister) will be selling copies of my book, Albuquerque Beer: Duke City History on Tap, at the NM Brewers Guild tent. It’s still just $20 to learn about how our modern scene evolved and about the breweries from the days before and after Prohibition.

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The sun was shining brightly on Ex Novo Brewing in Corrales during an industry-only sneak preview night.

Members of the Crew joined brewery staff members from around the metro area at a special industry-only sneak preview of Ex Novo Brewing on Tuesday night in Corrales. To say that the almost-finished product is impressive would be an understatement, and that is not just coming from your humble beer writers.

The layout of the space is all but complete, with the brewery building occupying the southwest corner and the separate taproom building and its large patio in the northeast corner along Corrales Road. An opening date, however, is still not set until the final approvals come in from government officials. Nonetheless, it is hopefully going to be very, very soon for the general public to enjoy some beers in the taproom.

Brewery staff members from around town gathered in the cozy Ex Novo taproom.

In case anyone missed our past stories, Ex Novo was originally founded and still operates in Portland, Oregon. Owner Joel Gregory, however, is a Corrales native, and with few avenues left in crowded/expensive Portland to expand his brewery and its distribution, he elected to build a second brewery in his hometown.

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It’s go-time, again, and we will help prepare you for all that is to come.

Some mornings you glance at the old beer calendar and try to figure out what to write about. Well, at least that’s how it works for us, and our glance today brought us to the stark realization that ABQ Beer Week 2019 is just 10 days away. Guess we should probably get our annual early preview up, right?

Most of these events can be found here at the official site, but if we list any below that do not appear there, fear not, someone just has to upload the final details. For each day we picked at least one event to highlight. When Beer Week starts next Thursday, we will have a daily preview for each and every day, plus some breakout features on certain events.

As we do every year, we seriously advise saving up some money for Lyft/Uber usage, or take this opportunity to cash in any owed rides from friends/family.

Thursday, May 23

This is definitely a double-event day, at minimum. Start your day at Marble Heights for the annual Beer, Cheese & More. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online. It sells out, so get ’em early. You get a tray of delicious Marble beers paired with select cheeses and other foods from Whole Foods Market. The event runs from 5 to 7 p.m. When you are done, grab a ride down to Tractor Wells Park for Sour Hour with Rowley Farmhouse Ales. This one also starts at 5 but runs until 10, so they should have plenty of beer left after you are done at Marble. Grab a tray of select RFA and Tractor sours and enjoy the sounds of McMahon & Littlebird, who perform at 8.

Other events to consider: Firestone Walker tasting at Stone Face Liquors, 4 p.m.; Bell’s Brewery tasting at Jubilation, 4 p.m.; Laid Back Lager Jogger 5K at Canteen Brewhouse, 5 p.m.; Beer Making 101 Class at Casa Vieja Brewery, 6:30 p.m.; Drinking Songs Themed Karaoke at Red Door Candelaria, 7 p.m.

Friday, May 24

The opening weekend is pretty packed, in case you have not looked at the schedule yourselves. Once again, we have two events in two different parts of town that are both worth checking out. The order you go in is up to you, but for these two, we definitely recommend you do not drive. Nob Hill Bar & Grill is hosting the 21 and Over event this year (it was at Sister last time), which features a collection of national craft breweries that are 21 years old or older (get it?). Each will be offering up some of their rarer one-offs rather than just the same old stuff. The one that has us the most excited is Firestone Walker’s Maple Parabola Imperial Stout. We will unveil the other seven entries soon. Meanwhile, at the same time over at Tractor Wells Park, Truth or Consequences Brewing is engineering at tap takeover and bomber sale. If you have not made it down to T or C to try this excellent brewery, now is your chance, plus you can take home beers like Truth Serum Barleywine.

Other events to consider: Social Capital Key-Lime Pie release at both Canteen locations, noon; High and Dry Brewing and Taos Energy Bar collab release, noon; Wild & Sour Beer Tasting with Steel Bender, Rowley Farmhouse Ales, and Bow & Arrow at Jubilation, 4 p.m.

Saturday, May 25

This day is nice, as the events are more spread out across the day. Start your day off with the Mini-Cask Fest at Quarter Celtic, which starts when it opens at 11 a.m. Four select QC beers will be served in firkins, and you can sample all for just $5, and/or grab a pint of your favorite. Don’t fill up too much on food, though, as the Annual Food Truck Battle is going down at Red Door Candelaria at 1 p.m. After a potential afternoon siesta, head downtown to Sister for the Ex Novo Brewing Release Party at 6 p.m. If you have not been lucky enough to try the beers from the original in Oregon, enjoy the first tasty offerings from the new Corrales brewery.

Other events to consider: Donuts & Beer Pairing with Bristol Doughnut Co. at Steel Bender Brewyard, 11 a.m.; Cider Day Night Fever at Tractor Nob Hill, all day

Sunday, May 26

There’s really just the annual Blues & Brews Festival at Sandia Casino. We will have a full preview of that one soon.

Monday, May 27

Double up on the Memorial Day activities with Marble’s annual music festival at 2 p.m. You can also hit the all-day Smoke-Out at Steel Bender, though that only goes until the delicious smoked meats run out. We would honestly recommend you fatten up at Steel Bender first, then dance it off at Marble later.

Other events to consider: Tamarind Sour Release and Karaoke at Cantero Brewing, 11 a.m.; Karaoke for a Cause at Red Door Downtown, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, May 28

Things start slowing down a bit now that the holiday weekend is over. If you missed Ex Novo at Sister, head over to Jubilation at 4 p.m. for a tasting of their packaged offerings. Then motor down to Canteen Brewhouse for a Scholarly Happy Hour with Asa Stone at 6. She is the only certified advanced Cicerone in the state, so she might have some insight into taking your love of beer to the next level.

Other events to consider: Special Release of Mangose at Quarter Celtic, all day; Beer and Grilled Cheese Pairing with Cheesy Street at Tractor Westside, 5 p.m.

Wednesday, May 29

Another relatively quiet day, so kick back and relax with the Rebel Donut and Beer Pairing at Tractor Four Hills at 4 p.m. This one ran out of donuts in a hurry last year, so while more will be on hand this year, do not expect them to last. Then you can head down to Red Door Candelaria for a lecture on hops and climate in New Mexico at 7 p.m.

Other events to consider: Steel Bender Tap Takeover at M’tucci’s Market & Pizzeria, all day; Founders Barrel-Aged Beer Dinner at the Salt Yard, TBA

Thursday, May 30

This is another busy day. Start it off at any time at Steel Bender for the Saison de Luxe release party. This collaboration with Ex Novo is a barrel-aged brett saison. There’s a Bell’s Brewery Tappening at O’Niell’s Heights from 5 to 7 p.m. You can also sign up for two beer dinners featuring La Cumbre at Nob Hill Bar & Grill and one at Toltec Brewing on the westside, starting at 6 and 6:30, respectively.

Other events to consider: Upslope Brewing tasting at Jubilation, 4 p.m.; Odell Pint Night at Billy’s Long Bar, 5 p.m.; The Great Gatsby Edition of Gin & Jazz at Tractor Wells Park, 5 p.m.

Friday, May 31

Close out the month of May with all sorts of beer-and-food-pairing events. Marble will have a beer and cheese pairing at Jubilation at 4 p.m. Canteen Brewhouse is hosting a beer and taco pairing at 6 p.m. Dialogue Brewing is hosting at beer and food pairing with M’tucci’s at 6 p.m.

Other events to consider: Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout tapping at Two Fools Tavern, 5 p.m.; Drag Queen Bingo: Pride Edition at Tractor Wells Park, 8 p.m.

Saturday, June 1

The new month begins with Kaktus Brewing hosting the Farm House Ale Event at Loretto Park in Bernalillo from noon to 6 p.m. We will have a full preview of this mix of beer, food, live country music, and more.

Other events to consider: Worthogs Homebrew Club Demonstration at Casa Vieja Brewery, 1 p.m.; Pop Fizz Paleta Pairing with Rio Bravo and host High and Dry, 2 p.m.; Beer, BBQ and Bites Pairing with Asa Stone at Canteen Brewhouse, 6 p.m.; Steel Bender Beer Dinner at Artichoke Cafe, 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 2

It all wraps up, finally, with plenty of concluding events. If you still have a hankering for cask beers with some mangy jazz, hit up Le Cask Lunatique at Steel Bender at noon and enjoy some brews with Le Chat Lunatique.

Other events to consider: Hoppy Birthday to Us! anniversary party at Casa Vieja Brewery, noon; Bike Part Drive benefiting Esperanza Bike Shop at Canteen Brewhouse, 2 p.m.; Green Jeans Farmery Beer Week Event, TBA

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That is all from us for now, but look for a lot more info starting next Thursday. We will see you all out and about during Beer Week.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Say hello to the forthcoming Thirsty Eye Brewing, under construction now at Broadway and Gold. (Photo courtesy of Thirsty Eye)

It is a relatively quiet week out there, spring winds aside, so it felt like a good time to dust off the old beer notebook.

New brewery updates

We keep waiting for the number of forthcoming breweries to dwindle down, but that has not happened yet. There are currently five breweries with active small brewer licenses around the state which have yet to open their doors, another nine with pending licenses, and a handful of places adding a brewing license to an existing business.

  • 575 Brewing, Alamogordo (pending): This new brewery is being built from the ground up, with foundation construction having commenced on April 19 at 234 W. 8th Street.
  • B2B Garden Brewery, Albuquerque (pending): We do not have any updates on this space, located on Comanche just west of Wyoming.
  • Beer Creek Brewing, outside Santa Fe (pending): Our last trip out there found that business was going well and the brewing system was finally in place. For now, stop by and enjoy a pizza, guest beers, and even some collaboration beers made at other local breweries.
  • Black Snout Brewhouse, Albuquerque (active): The Crew will be stopping in early next week, which means that this brewery is nearly ready to open its doors on Menaul just east of Juan Tabo.
  • Boogie’s Brewery and Distillery, Deming (pending): There are no new updates for this long-awaited successor to Mimbres Valley Brewing.
  • Brew Lab 101, Rio Rancho (active): The projected timetable is for a late May opening. For more info, see our last story.
  • Ex Novo Brewing, Corrales (active): The first test batches are now running in the brewery hall, while renovations continue on the adjacent taproom building across the parking lot. We expect to return soon for a final preview story.
  • La Reforma Brewing, Albuquerque (active): The goal of opening in early June in the old Bosque location, on San Mateo north of Alameda, has not changed.
  • Lauter Haus Brewing, Farmington (pending): Progress continues on this new brewery, spearheaded by former Three Rivers head brewer Brandon Beard. The fun news? They have purchased some vintage arcade games for the taproom.
  • Looking Glass Spirits & Long Lost Brewing, Albuquerque (pending): We finally dug up an address for this newcomer, which will be located at 1803 Sixth Street NW, just three blocks south of Bow & Arrow. There is still no social media with which to follow the progress, so we will remain patient.
  • Piedra Blanca Brewing, White Rock (pending): We have no updates at this time on this brewery located in the town next to Los Alamos.
  • Public House 28, Anthony (pending): Other than the fact that this newcomer has already joined the NM Brewers Guild, we have no new info. It will be located outside Anthony at 10108 Highway 28.
  • Rail Brewery, Santa Fe (pending): We have no new updates.
  • Thirsty Eye Brewing, Albuquerque (active): The Crew has made contact with the owners and we hope to make our first trip over to 206 Broadway Blvd. SE sooner than later. You can follow their progress on Facebook.
  • Turquoise Trail Brewing, Albuquerque (pending): We have no new updates on this brewery, located on Central near Juan Tabo.

In addition to those breweries with pending or active licenses, we did learn more about the mysterious Context Brewing that popped up on the Brew to Do list that we wrote about recently. It is apparently the brewery going into a space at 816 Third Street NW. Former Brewers Guild executive director John Gozigian tipped us off to a possible brewery going into that space, but again, there is no pending license yet, so it figures to be a ways off.

New taproom updates

The home of the future Truth or Consequences Brewing taproom in Las Cruces. (Photo courtesy of T or C Brewing)

Yes, there are also more off-site taprooms still in the pipeline. Because of course there are, right?

  • Blue Grasshopper, Albuquerque (pending): Located in Wells Park, we wrote on this one before, and when there is more news to share, we will head back. We assume a license for the brewery half of the building is still in the works.
  • Boese Brothers, Los Alamos (pending): Our man Reid still has not figured out where this taproom is going to be located.
  • Desert Valley, Albuquerque (active): Progress continues on Wyoming near Comanche, which is where this taproom is replacing the former Red Door spot.
  • Desert Valley, Albuquerque (pending): Wait, what? There are two DV taprooms in the works? Yes, we have now confirmed a second one is indeed happening at 5231 San Mateo Blvd. NE. Located a block south of Osuna and the next taproom listed below, this space was under construction/renovation the last time we drove by.
  • Enchanted Circle, Albuquerque (active): The last batch of construction photos show the bar is in place, and states that the taproom is about two weeks away from being ready for opening at Osuna and San Mateo, in the shopping center on the northwest corner of the intersection.
  • Icebox Brewing, Las Cruces (pending): Even though the main brewery opened only recently, an off-site taproom is already in the works, though its exact location has not been revealed.
  • Picacho Peak, Alamogordo (pending): We have no new updates on this first off-site taproom for the Las Cruces brewery.
  • Quarter Celtic, Albuquerque (active): Construction continues apace up on Juan Tabo between Menaul and Indian School, but no opening date has been set.
  • Truth or Consequences, Las Cruces (pending): Yes, T or C is heading south to Las Cruces for its first off-site taproom, as that city is suddenly filling up fast. It will be located on East Lohman, not too far west from Interstate 25.

We will do our best to keep everyone up to date on all of these forthcoming places, as well as keeping an eye on the news at the existing places. May is going to be one heck of a busy month, including the Blazin’ Brewfest in Las Cruces (which will now be preceded by the new Las Cruces Beer Week!) on May 17 and then ABQ Beer Week, which begins May 23. Throw in some expected openings from some of the places above, and there will be no rest for the weary Crew this coming month.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Flix Brewhouse’s Unbreakable Glass earned one of four medals at the Best of Craft Beer Awards. (Photo courtesy of Will Moorman)

Here on this blustery Friday, it feels like a good time to stay indoors and catch up on some local beer news as we empty the notebook yet again.

Flix picks up four medals at Best of Craft Beer Awards

If there is a theme early on in 2019 to some of the beer competitions going around, it is that Flix Brewhouse has come to make a statement.

The brewery/movie theater, which makes all of its beers on premises in Albuquerque, earned four medals at the recent Best of Craft Beer Awards. Three other local breweries brought home another four medals, as well.

Flix earned gold in the Baltic-style Porter category with Darth Malt, and another gold in Belgian-style Witbier for Luna Rosa, which is a year-round beer. Flix also picked up a silver for James Blond in the Belgian-style Blonde Ale or Pale Ale category, and a bronze for Unbreakable Glass in the American-style Cream Ale category.

Those medals follow up a strong performance at the Beer Army Beer Wars last month. Congrats to Flix for making New Mexico proud again!

As for the other local winners, Sierra Blanca won gold for its Green Chile Cerveza in the Chili Pepper Beer category (that was how the competition spells Chili, so please don’t yell at us), and a bronze for Cherry Wheat in the Fruit Wheat Beer category. Rio Bravo brought home a silver for its Amber/ESB in the British Bitters category, while Abbey Brewing snagged bronze for its Monks’ Dark Ale in the English-style Mild or Brown Ale category.

Congrats to one and all!

New brewery updates: Things are moving again

Another new brewery is coming to the East Central/Foothills area. (Photo courtesy of Jonathan Carlson)

The end of the partial shutdown has several of the pending breweries around town back on track. Here is the latest that we know about each.

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The Southwest x Northwest Hazy IPA, a collaboration from Ex Novo and Bow and Arrow, is now on tap at the latter.

If anyone thought that this weekly feature died in the snow, well, it did not. We all just decided to enjoy our holiday stretch without writing down every beer that we consumed (well, we still have Untappd just in case our fuzzy memories need some clarity).

Anyway, keeping things rather recent, have I mentioned how much working on Saturdays can suck? This past Saturday definitely sucked, so after a quick dinner it was time to venture forth in search of beer. Reminding myself that I had been unable to visit Bow and Arrow the night before for a new beer release, I made the long drive (for me, anyway) to Sixth Street. The joint was packed inside, including a few folks in some zombie-like makeup (no idea what that was about). I found a seat at the bar and ordered the Southwest x Northwest Hazy IPA. No, really, I ordered a hazy IPA.

The beer was brewed as a collaboration between Bow and Arrow and Ex Novo Brewing, as noted in the last edition of The Week Ahead in Beer. I have had plenty of quality beers from B&A over the last year, and Ex Novo impressed me with their offerings at the original in Portland, Oregon, and those that I have been gifted in bottle or can format. It was no surprise that this beer lived up to the quality of both breweries. A lot of hazies are citrus-flavor dominant, but this also had a bitter little bite up front from some old-school piney hops. It was not too sweet, nor too tart, finding a nice balance. The mouthfeel was clean and smooth.

It went down quickly, leaving me with the chance to try another recent addition to the lineup. Buffalo Plaid Baltic Porter is one of the more flavorful examples of the style that I have tried in town. There are strong hints of dark chocolate and a little bit of coffee up front, with a smooth finish, and a fairly robust mouthfeel. I almost ordered a full pour, until I learned that Breakfast Bandit has nearly run its course. The rather infamous coffee-and-donuts stout is still a delectable beer, so I had to get some while it was still around.

Next time, however, I will indulge in some Buffalo Plaid. Bow and Arrow has come a long way over the past year, and is now firmly in my rotation of must-visit breweries. As for Ex Novo, that IPA is a good preview of what to come once the brewery in Corrales is open and ready for business.

Now to just get the damn federal government working again so things can progress.

While we wait for that miracle to happen, a couple of the ladies in the Crew ventured far and wide in search of beers to try.

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Remember when Marble shared this photo of happy brewery representatives in Washington D.C.? Yeah, gonna guess they are not too happy with the government right now.

Most of us are aware of, yet personally unaffected by, the current partial shutdown of the federal government. Leaving the politics aside, it has nonetheless made things difficult on both federal employees and those businesses and people who rely on certain federal agencies. It did not occur to any of us in the Crew how this might affect breweries until we saw a tweet by a brewer out of town who complained about the shutdown of the TTB.

The TTB (Tax and Trade Bureau) is the government agency that handles almost everything related to breweries, and many other businesses, at the federal level. It has the greatest impact on breweries that package and forthcoming breweries, which of course means it has an impact all around New Mexico. To figure out just what that impact has been, I emailed two people who have extensive knowledge of such affairs, NM Brewers Guild executive director John Gozigian and La Cumbre president/master brewer Jeff Erway.

“The shutdown affects breweries in planning with pending brewer’s notices and existing breweries with label approval applications in the pipeline,” John explained. “Brewer’s notices (federal brewers permit) and COLAs (certificates of label approval) are both issued by the TTB, which is a federal agency.”

That is not good news for breweries in planning.

“Any federal brewers notice is in limbo right now and they will be set back by this,” Jeff wrote.

It also has a negative impact on packaging breweries such as La Cumbre.

“If a beer is to be sent out of state, it needs a COLA and those are also in limbo,” Jeff wrote. “We are having to hold on shipping a few beers to AZ and CO specifically because of this shutdown.”

To sum it up: The shutdown is bad for breweries. Just like it is for everything else.

New breweries update

Originally, we were just going to lead Beer Notes with this list, but obviously events in Washington are putting all of these places on hold, to some degree. Nonetheless, here is every brewery with either a pending state small brewer license or an active one that is not yet open. Here are the breweries projected to open in the ABQ metro area in 2019. We realize there are probably more than these, but no pending license means we will not include it yet.

  • Black Snout Brewhouse (pending): We already took a tour of this new brewery located in a shopping center on the southeast corner of Menaul and Juan Tabo. The brewery had hoped to be open by the end of the month, but that seems unlikely now.
  • BLUE/Gang of Four (pending): This very small brewery is set to open on Broadway next to the Exhibit 208 gallery, just south of Gold.
  • Brew Lab 101 (pending): The next brewery to open in Rio Rancho is moving along. Located on Southern near Unser, its owner has already contacted us and we are in the process of setting up our first visit/interview.
  • Brewstillery (active): We still have no info about this brewery/distillery combo that is set to open somewhere in the 87106 zip code (physical addresses are not provided beyond zip codes, FYI), or how it relates to the next entry.
  • Differential (pending): Listed as owned by Brewstillery, we do not know how this entry, located in the same zip code, differs from the other.
  • Colonia/San Mateo Beer Co. (pending): It appears as though this new brewery will move into the current Bosque Brewing location on San Mateo when that is relocated to the forthcoming Open Space Project. In other words, it seems to be a long ways off.
  • Ex Novo Brewing (pending): We just toured this forthcoming brewery in Corrales.
  • Looking Glass Spirits & Long Lost Brewing (pending): The newest addition to the list, we have been contacted by one of the owners and are working on setting up an interview time. It will be located somewhere in the downtown area.

Red River was not the last new brewery to open in the outskirts of New Mexico in 2018, and more are on the way in 2019.

2018 saw a lot of new breweries open up across the state, well outside the Albuquerque/Santa Fe corridor. Among the many were Blu Dragonfly in Cimarron, Bonito Valley in Lincoln, Cloudcroft Brewing, Hopscotch Brewing in Artesia, Red River Brewing, and Second Alarm Brewhouse in Jemez Springs. There are still a few more coming down the pipeline.

  • B3-BBQ, Burgers and Beer (pending): This Las Vegas-based restaurant is already open. We do not know if its owners plan to actually brew beer, or if they are going to use the license to keep guest taps flowing.
  • 575 Brewing (pending): Alamogordo is getting its first brewery in many years, but we do not know the exact location or its current progress.
  • Icebox Brewing (active): The newest Las Cruces brewery will be located on Picacho Avenue, east of Picacho Peak Brewing and basically due west of High Desert. No opening date has been announced.
  • Leaf & Hive (active): The latest addition to the Santa Fe scene has a soft opening scheduled for this Saturday.
  • Public House 28 (pending): We know nothing beyond the name for this brewery in Anthony, on the Texas border.
  • Rail Brewery (pending): This Santa Fe project for the Railyards area has been pending for a long time now. We do not know its status.
  • Santa Fe Spirits (pending): The existing distillery is either going to start making beer, or it just wants to be able to sell beer.

New taprooms update

Yes, 2018 was basically the year of the off-site taproom, but there are still more on the way. Someday, every commercial space in the state will be a taproom. (Hey, we can dream, right?) All of these are pending licenses.

  • Boxing Bear on Central: We already wrote about the brewery taking over the former 5 Star Burgers space on West Central.
  • Desert Valley: There are two pending licenses for DV taprooms, one located in the 87110 zip code, and the other in 87111. It is certainly ambitious, though not unprecedented, to open two taprooms at once.
  • Enchanted Circle ABQ: The Angel Fire-based brewery is opening a taproom in the shopping center on the northwest corner of San Mateo and Osuna.
  • Nexus Blue Smokehouse and Taproom: The long-awaited BBQ version of Nexus is getting closer to finally opening on Broadway south of Cesar Chavez. We will get more details in our forthcoming Look Back/Look Ahead Series on Nexus.
  • Quarter Celtic on Juan Tabo: We already wrote about the first off-site location, which will be on the west side of the road between Indian School and Menaul.
  • Red Door Clovis: Once again, we already wrote about the first bowling alley-based taproom, which will also be the first craft beer-specific place in the eastern town.
  • Starr Brothers Alehouse: This one has been pending for quite a while now, so we do not know if it is still happening or not. If it does, it will be somewhere near UNM.
  • Tall Pines Beer and Wine Garden Alamogordo: The Ruidoso-based small brewery is opening a second location down the mountain.

Got info on any of these pending breweries or taprooms, or any we missed? Drop us a line at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com.

A good deed note

Tractor has named the four nonprofits for its annual Beer for a Better Burque (BBB) program. The New Mexico Gay Men’s Chorus, New Mexico Horse Rescue at Walkin N Circles Ranch, Three Sisters Kitchen, and Albuquerque Area Firefighters Random Acts will be the beneficiaries for 2019. There will be special BBB nights on Tuesdays throughout the year where patrons can donate, plus special quarterly beer releases for each nonprofit sees $1 donated per pint, and other special themed events. You can donate at all four Tractor locations.

Good on ya, Tractor.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister