Posts Tagged ‘Firestone Walker’

There are only four events to choose from, so choose wisely today.

It’s kinda weird that a Friday would end up being the quietest day of Beer Week, but here we are.

There are just four events today, and one of those is actually just a monthly event that happens to fall during all of these festivities. At least each of the four looks fun, especially for those of you like your beers a little tart and funky.

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: Firestone Walker Barrelworks Tap Takeover. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: Barrelworks in Buellton, Calif., is a magical place. Now a few of its finest aged beers are arriving here on tap. Take your choice between Agrestic (American Wild Red Ale), Bretta Rose (Wild Ale fermented with raspberries), Bretta Weisse (Berliner Style Wheat Beer), Krieky Bones (Wild Ale fermented with sour cherries), and UnderCurrants (Wild Ale fermented with black currants). Pucker up, people!

Why you should go: Unless you’re planning to visit Barrelworks itself just off the 101 in Central California, this is your best chance to try these beers on draft.

All the other great events

What: La Cumbre Beer Tap Takeover and Cheese Tasting. Where: Whole Foods Academy. When: 1-3 p.m. (tasting), 1-close (tap takeover). Cost: No cover charge. Details: La Cumbre is taking over the taps at the Sandia Saloon inside Whole Foods all day, but for the first two hours there will be a special beer and cheese pairing featuring Blackberry Briar, Miles from Cologne, Mosaic SMASH, Elevated IPA, A Slice of Hefen, and more. Why you should go: Delicious beer paired with delicious cheese. It’s been a theme this year, but you haven’t had LC beers with that cheese yet.

What: Sour Funk Beer Tasting. Where: Jubilation. When: 4-6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Rowley Farmhouse Ales, Steel Bender, Cascade Brewing, and more will be on hand to offer up samples of some of their funkiest, strangest, and most creative concoctions. Why you should go: Free beer. Free sour beer. Just keep those elbows down, beer geeks, and form a single-file line.

What: First Fridays Comedy Contest Beer Edition. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 8-10 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: It’s standup comedy with a beer theme to the jokes. Why you should go: Come for the seasonal beers, stay for the Budweiser jokes.

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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

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It’s a fairly mellow Friday … oh, wait, no it’s not, mainly because of one bonkers tapping after another.

That was still a lot of beer on Thursday, but we gotta admit that we like limiting the number of events to 10 or less per day. It keeps us more focused, cuts down on our Lyft/Uber expenses, and so on.

There are only six events today. Each one is a little different, yet we cannot take our eyes off one particular downtown gathering.

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: 21 and Over. Where: Sister. When: 5-8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: Eight breweries that have been around for 21 or more years are coming to Sister, each with a rare beer (or two) for this special event. Feeling light? There’s Four Peaks’ Green Tea Lager or Sierra Nevada’s Kolsch German-Style Ale. Feeling hoppy? Rogue’s Combat Wombat could be your ticket, or perhaps Bell’s Double Two Hearted. Feel like puckering up? Odell’s ’16 Meddler or New Belgium’s Clutch Sour Stout could whet your whistle. Feeling malty? There’s a choice between Left Hand’s Chai Milk Stout Nitro, Firestone Walker’s ’17 Helldorado, and Bell’s 30th Anniversary Cherry Stout Reserve.

Why you should go: There are not your regular beers on the shelves at liquor and grocery stores across town. There’s a little something for everyone here. We can’t think of a better way to kick off your weekend.

All the other great events

What: Beam Me Up Scotty Release. Where: Nexus Brewery. When: All day. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Just in time for the anniversary party, this Scottish Wee Heavy returns to taps with a burly, malty base and a slight peaty/smoky kick. Why you should go: Get some now before the place gets packed for the anniversary party, which you should still attend, but this will give you time to truly enjoy this beer slowly without anyone eyeing your table.

What: Bosque Tasting. Where: Jubilation. When: 4-6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Rather than just bring beers to taste, Bosque is teaming up with Carnivore Popcorn. Try some Bosque Lager with Hollypeno popcorn, Elephants on Parade with Sour Apple popcorn, Bosque IPA with Garlic Rosemary popcorn, and Scotia Scotch Ale with Cinnamon Caramel Espresso popcorn. Why you should go: If you did not get simultaneously hungry and thirsty reading those details, go see a doctor, now.

What: Founders KBS ’17/18 Vertical. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 5-7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Remember when the Crew did our latest ridiculous review of this classic barrel-aged stout? Well, now you can do your own version by trying the 2017 and 2018 versions side-by-side. Why you should go: You get to grab some delicious food while trying a couple of big beers. Hey, you gotta eat dinner at some point, right?

What: ABQ Trolley Company’s The Hopper—A hop-on, hop-off brew cruise. Where: Red Door Downtown, Duel Downtown, Marble Downtown, Rio Bravo. When: 6:30-11 p.m. Cost: $25. Details: Hop on the trolley, hop off at a brewery, enjoy a pint, and repeat. With trolleys running every 30 minutes or so, there will be stops at Red Door’s downtown taproom, Duel’s taproom, Marble, and Rio Bravo. Why you should go: Feel like a pub crawl? Worried about your car? Leave it at home and leave the driving to these good folks.

What: Beer Release & Folk Covers of Radiohead. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: A slew of local musicians will be covering the band, while Tractor releases its next entry in the Beer for a Better Burque (BBB) series, Peach Chinook Common with gold glitter, which will benefit Equality New Mexico. Why you should go: Radiohead might be not our thing, but maybe it’s yours. Also, you gotta admit to be curious about an actual glitter beer.

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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

In a little more than two weeks, the madness returns!

After a rather epic 40th birthday party for yours truly on Friday night, the rest of the weekend was spent in reflection of times gone by, and what is still to come. Namely, what have we already written on and what do we still need to put here on the site. It occurred to me that we have not done our annual early preview of ABQ Beer Week, where the Crew tries to pick out one top event per day of the upcoming craft beer extravaganza.

Well, with ABQ Beer Week kicking off two weeks from this Thursday on May 24 (running until June 3), we are not as early as usual. Of course, this does mean a lot of the schedule is more set in stone, so that should keep us from looking back on this later and going “whoops, that was the wrong day/that event did not happen.”

Thursday, May 24

There are a whole lot of tastings on this day, plus one event to get you off the barstool and on your feet, but in the end we still have to go with tradition. Marble is bringing back its Beer, Cheese & More at the downtown brewery. Head over to get some of the best Marble beers paired up with all sorts of delectable finger foods. When tickets go on sale at the taproom, we will let everyone know, since it sells out every year.

Friday, May 25

At first glance, the 21 and Over Tap Takeover at Sister did not seem to make much sense. After all, to drink beer, you gotta be 21 and over, right? Well, it actually refers to the participating breweries, all of whom are 21 and over in terms of their years of operation. Old-school favorites like Bell’s, Firestone Walker, Four Peaks, Left Hand, New Belgium, Odell, Rogue, and Sierra Nevada will each be bringing a unique one-off beer. When we get closer to the event, we will reveal said list.

Saturday, May 26

There are 10 listed events, so this is one of the busiest days. We gotta go with Nexus’ anniversary party, which runs all day. There will be the infamous red chile ribs, plus the previous two days saw the release of a new IPA and Beam Me Up Scotty, so those will both be available as well. There will also be live music. As always, Uber/Lyft are your best options because that parking lot fills up fast.

Sunday, May 27

Of course we have to pick ABQ Blues & Brews at Sandia Casino, one of the biggest beer festivals in our state. Tickets are on sale now. The long preliminary list includes New Mexico breweries like Bathtub Row, Bosque, Broken Trail, Canteen, Duel, Enchanted Circle, Eske’s, Flix Brewhouse, Hops Brewery, Kellys, Kilt Check, Lava Rock, Marble, Nexus, Ponderosa, Quarter Celtic, Rio Bravo, Santa Fe, Sierra Blanca, Steel Bender, Tractor, and Tumbleroot, plus of course the Dukes of Ale will be on hand.

Monday, May 28

If you do not feel like firing up the grill, but would still like some charred meats, then head over to Steel Bender for the smoke-out. There will be mucho meats, plus sides, and beers, and live music, too.

Tuesday, May 29

Remember when the Crew helped make Obey the Darkside, our beastly stout, over at Canteen? Well, it turns out it is not all gone. No, some was put into a Two Fools Whiskey Barrel, and now it will be transferred to a cask and served all day at Canteen’s main location. See you all when the doors open at noon!

Wednesday, May 30

A chunk of the Crew will be making one of our crazy there-and-back trips to Denver to catch one of our favorite Nordic melodic death metal bands, Insomnium, so you will not see us on this day. For the rest of you staying here, might we suggest a saunter over to Quarter Celtic? The mini-cask fest, a huge hit last year, will be back with a selection of delightful special beers. It’s also Wing Wednesday, if you actually needed any additional incentive.

Thursday, May 31

This day is a killer, because not only we will be racing back from Denver, but we have to choose between two events that look epic. Of course, we have to be at Battle of the Beer Geeks at Tractor Wells Park to see if we can finally reclaim the title from the Babes in Brewland. For those looking for something different this year, head over to Flix Brewhouse for a special showing of the cinematic classic Beerfest (which was filmed here in ABQ). There will be a special collaboration beer release with Steel Bender, plus other fun activities for fans of the movie.

Friday, June 1

Nob Hill Bar & Grill is hosting a Firestone Walker Barrelworks tap takeover. Um, if you insist. I mean, that was just one of the holy beer pilgrimages of a lifetime and all. FW just won four medals (three gold, one silver) at the World Beer Cup, too. When we have the tap list, we will share it. Then we will drink them all.

Saturday, June 2

The second-to-last day is packed, as one would expect, so there are a lot of options. After some hemming and hawing, we will head for the Mini Lager Fest at Ponderosa. The hosts are bringing together multiple breweries to offer up their best lagers. A slew of sessionable beers on what will probably be a scorcher of a day? Sign us up!

Sunday, June 3

Ready for another cask festival? Head to Steel Bender for Le Cask Lunatique, which brings together a flock of firkins with local jazz icons Le Chat Lunatique. Once again, when we know the identities of the cask beers, we will share them.

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Those are our early picks, but we reserve the right to change our minds, or of course to attend multiple events. As we do every year, please remember not to overdo it out there. Lyft and Uber are your friends, as are your actual friends who are willing to be designated drivers.

We will have a lot more on ABQ Beer Week in the days ahead, from focusing on specific events to running down everything at the breweries participating for multiple days. Until then, head to the official website to see some of the other events that are listed so far, and see if there are any that pique your interest more than what we listed above.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Stoutmeister hanging out with someone far cooler than him, Firestone Walker co-founder David Walker.

Last week, before things got a bit crazy around here, Firestone Walker co-founder David Walker dropped in on New Mexico. He was checking out the landscape, seeing just how his beer was faring in our fine state. I was lucky enough to catch up with him at Nob Hill Bar & Grill, and once we were done talking about all sorts of other things (he is a bit of a beer history buff, in addition to being a genuinely good and fun person), I did a quick formal interview.

So why did one of the most venerated breweries on the West Coast decide to start distributing in a state of 2 million people?

“To use one expression, the terroir is very similar to the central coast of California,” David said. “It’s rural, it’s beautiful, it’s sort of an artisanal vibe. People enjoy the same things. The tastes are similar.”

The folks from Premier Distributing and the Firestone Walker regional sales reps took David to multiple places throughout the state, giving him a good look at both the setup for beer stores and our local beer scene. He got to make stops at Marble Brewery and Rowley Farmhouse Ales.

“It’s a really vibrant sort of domestic state of brewing,” David said. “There are local breweries that are making great, well-constructed beers. There’s an enduring philosophy. I think you have educated consumers and we all do very well. You go to most stores and 20 to 30 percent is devoted to good breweries.”

Firestone Walker had also seen the success of many of its craft brethren in still being able to carve out a niche in the state in terms of sales.

“Don’t take this as a derogative, (but) it’s not a sort of a number one tier beer market,” David said. “It’s a state that’s not on everybody’s radar when they have a launch plan. Obviously, it wasn’t ours (in the past). Here we are 20 years later. A lot of our good friends are here, Odell, Bell’s. It just felt very comfortable for us.”

Now that Firestone Walker is finding its comfort zone, expect to see a lot more seasonal and specialty offerings.

“New Mexico is going to see everything that we do,” David said. “My hope is that there is enough desire in customers’ palates that we’ll be able to send everything. Our vintage beers, our wild ales, to our experimental IPAs. I feel really good about this state. It’s a few states away from California but it feels close.”

He even said some of the upcoming variants of Parabola will be coming here, which is just what all of us in the Crew were hoping to see happen.

As I told David, when I first moved to Southern California in 2004, the first local beer I tried was Double Barrel Ale. Firestone Walker has been a big part of my craft beer experience over the years, so having their beers here is a mix of nostalgia and hope for the future. Anytime a quality out-of-state brewery arrives, I also feel that it helps push our local breweries to be even better and more creative. David said that was something he hoped for as well. The more good beer, the merrier, right?

A big thanks to everyone at Nob Hill Bar & Grill for setting up the meet and greet, and for David in being a good sport with all of our questions and the many, many photo requests.

Look for the Crew’s outsized Great American Beer Festival preview Tuesday.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Day Seven features real ale, more tappings, more tastings, more food, more fun.

We are past the halfway point of Beer Week, but it is hardly time to slow down.

Today’s events are mostly of the special tapping/sampling/tap takeover variety, scattered all over town. There will also be a mini cask festival at Quarter Celtic, a beer-and-food-and-wine pairing at Tractor Wells Park, and an early 90s party with Upslope at The Grain Station.

Oh, yeah, and there’s a hockey game on TV tonight you might want to check out.

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: Mini Cask Beer Festival. Where: Quarter Celtic Brewpub. When: 5-10 p.m. Cost: $5 for sample flight.

Details: QC will have four casks out on the patio featring Rye’t Side of Dublin dry-hopped with Nelson Sauvin, Kill or be KILT, Vanilla Cream Quarter Porter, and Chocolate Hefeweizen. You can get a sample flight of all four, or a pint of your favorite (13-ounce pours for KILT). Grab some dinner and enjoy your evening in proper pub style! Plus, hockey will be on at least one TV, which is where you will find Franz Solo and I.

Why you should go: Besides getting the chance to watch yours truly endure Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals (reportedly I am quite entertaining to watch during games, or so say the QC staff), this one is all about some delicious beers in a wonderful setting.

All the other great events

What: Marble Special Keg Tapping. Where: Rock & Brews. When: 11 a.m. to close. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The Idaho 7 Pale Ale is the beer of choice that shall be tapped. Why you should go: Be among the first in town to try this new beer made with a special new hop.

What: Abita Special Tapping. Where: Gecko’s Nob Hill. When: 11 a.m. to close. Cost: No cover charge. Details: We are working on finding out what beer this will be … it’s the Strawberry Lager! Why you should go: A little sweet, fruity goodness to start your day.

What: Marble Brett IPA Tap and Bottle Release. Where: Marble (all locations). When: Noon to close. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The hoppy, funky classic is back. Order a pint or take it home or, heck, do both. Why you should go: If you are a fan of IPAs with a Belgian twist, this one is hard to beat.

What: Firestone Walker Sampling and Giveaway. Where: Jubilation. When: 4-6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The final sampling of ABW at Jubilation will feature Firestone’s finest, including Fortem Unfiltered DIPA and Bretta Rose, plus more beers. There will also be a special giveaway of a FW longboard to one lucky person. Why you should go: Free beer and (maybe) free stuff? Sign us up.

What: Odell Sampling and Giveaway. Where: Total Wine Uptown. When: 4-6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Taste the entire Odell packaged lineup and potentially walk away with some additional goodies. Why you should go: Free beer!

What: Woodchuck Cider Sampling. Where: Total Wine Uptown. When: 4-6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Enjoy the entire Woodchuck packaged lineup. Why you should go: Free cider!

What: Odell Tap Takeover. Where: Freight House. When: 4-8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Odell will bring old favorites 90 Shilling and IPA plus newcomers Drumroll APA and Brazzle. Why you should go: Grab a bite to eat and a pint if you’re up in the Bernalillo vicinity.

What: Beer and Tapas Pairing. Where: Ponderosa. When: 4-7 p.m. Cost: $7 per pairing. Details: A different beer and tapas pairing will be available each day. Why you should go: You need some food in your belly to go with all this beer.

What: Early 90’s Night with Upslope. Where: The Grain Station. When: 5-9 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Go retro with live DJs spinning classic tunes from 20-plus years ago, with a costume contest with prizes for the top three, and of course lots of Upslope beers. Why you should go: We can only imagine the costumes that some of you can dig up.

What: Beer and Food Truck Pairing. Where: Drafty Kilt. When: 5-9 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Illusion Food Truck will be creating some specialty dishes that pair up with the different Drafty Kilt beers. Why you should go: When the food is made specifically to go with the beer, that’s a win-win.

What: Founders Tapping. Where: The Barley Room. When: 6-9 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Choose from a lineup of PC Pils, All Day IPA, and Imperial Stout in the far Northeast Heights. Why you should go: Grab a bite to eat, watch some hockey, and enjoy three very different but wonderful beers.

What: Beer, Wine & Food Pairings with Gruet Winery and Cheese & Coffee. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 7-11 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Choose from five different food dishes, each paired with a different Tractor beer and a different Gruet wine. See how the food fits with both alcoholic beverages. You can pick and choose or order all of them. Why you should go: Feast like a king or queen.

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

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

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Day Five is the ultimate take-it-easy day for your body, but we will still challenge your mind.

Now that the holiday is over, Beer Week starts to crank back up again with nine big events.

Today will feature an epic tasting at Jubilation, but also a whole lot of beer-and-food combo events. There will be beer with Taco Tuesday, beer with food trucks’ offerings, beer dinners, hell, just beer and food everywhere. But, if that’s all too much, there’s also beer trivia, part two.

Hope you all brought your appetite! (And your trivia-loving minds.)

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 Tasting and Broken Trail Collaboration Tapping. Where: Jubilation. When: 4-6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: Come get the funk! Jubilation is celebrating all things saison/farmhouse with a unique tasting from multiple breweries. In addition, they are releasing Sancho de la Sierra, a collaboration brewed between the staff of Jubilation and Broken Trail. It will also be available for growler fills. They added rye malt and the native plant Oregano de la Sierra to the original Sancho Saison recipe for an added spicy kick. The other beers available for sampling are Rowley Farmhouse Ales Saison du Sarlacc, Saison Dupont, St. Feuillien Dry-Hopped Saison, Thiriez Extra, Blackberry Farm Brewing Classic Saison, St. Somewhere Traditionnel & Serge, North Coast Puck Petite Saison, Prairie Artisan Ales Prairie Ace, Off Color Apex Predator, and Stillwater Artisanal Rockstar Farmer.

Why you should go: If you love this style, don’t you have to go? I mean, if you don’t, you’re out of the saison fan club.

All the other great events

What: Special Release of Social Capital. Where: Canteen. When: Noon to close. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The new release of the popular kettle sour was made with basil, lemongrass, and coconut. Why you should go: Pucker up and get your day started when they open at noon.

What: Upslope Canarchy at Taco Tuesday. Where: Sister. When: 4-7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Upslope takes over Taco Tuesday at Sister with cans of Citra Pale Ale paired up with some unique tacos. Why you should go: Tacos and beer are just such a true Burqueno pairing.

What: Central Biz Happy Hour. Where: Tractor Nob Hill. When: 5-7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Tractor wants to show some love to its fellow Central Avenue businesses impacted by A.R.T. If you have a receipt from any business on old Route 66 that’s less than a week old, bring it to the taproom and get $1 off your first pint. Why you should go: Support other businesses, support yourself with less expensive beer.

What: Cheese and Beer Pairing with Cheesy Street. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 5-9 p.m. Cost: $13 per tray. Details: This fan favorite event is back. Buy a tray of four assorted mini-grilled cheeses from Cheesy Street and they will be paired up with the proper beers. Why you should go: Do we need to really say more than beer and cheese? Gooey, melty cheese? Didn’t think so.

What: Four Peaks Beer Dinner. Where: Farina Alto. When: 5-7 p.m. Cost: TBA. Details: There don’t seem to be any details anywhere about this one, which is weird. Why you should go: Um, we’ll get back to you on that one if we ever find some information.

What: Beer and Food Truck Pairing. Where: Drafty Kilt. When: 5-9 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Illusion Food Truck will be creating some specialty dishes that pair up with the different Drafty Kilt beers. Why you should go: When the food is made specifically to go with the beer, that’s a win-win.

What: Beer Geek Quiz. Where: Marble Westside. When: 6-9 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: If you missed our trivia at Tractor Nob Hill on Monday, redeem yourselves across the river! There will be six rounds with eight questions apiece. Create a team of four that you can rely upon. There will be a limit of 20 teams, so register at the taproom in advance if you can. There will be prizes awarded to the top teams. Why you should go: Test your beer knowledge at the taproom with the most taps in town!

What: Firestone Walker Barrelworks Beer Dinner. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 6:30-9 p.m. Cost: $40 per person. Details: A delightful four-course meal will be paired with four special beers from Firestone Walker. The appetizer will be shrimp corn dogs with sweet chile dipping sauce paired with Krieky Bones. The salad will be paired with Leo vs. Ursus: Fortem. The main entree will be a stuffed pork loin over asparagus, caramelized onions, and polenta, topped with balsamic roasted peaches and au jus, paired with Luponic Distortion. The dessert of house-made gingerbread cake topped with vanilla bean ice cream, paired with Parabola. Why you should go: That just looks way too good. We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy!

* * * * *

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

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

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Day Five is the ultimate take-it-easy day for your body, but we will still challenge your mind.

As this is Memorial Day, it is also the lightest day in terms of events.

Take a moment to reflect, take a moment to relax, take a moment with family and/or friends, and when that is all over, come join the Crew. No, really, keep reading.

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 Geeks Trivia. Where: Tractor Nob Hill. When: 7-10 p.m. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: The Crew is hosting this event, and yeah, we wrote almost all the questions. Round One will focus on general knowledge of our local craft beer scene. Round Two will tackle the big boys of the national craft beer scene. Round Three will be a tasting round provided by Tractor. Round Four will dive deep into local beer history (all answers can be found in my book, Albuquerque Beer: Duke City History on Tap, and that in turn takes my shameless plug status to a whole new level). Round Five features a combination of questions from local brewers and about beer and pop culture. Tractor will provide prizes for the top team(s).

Why you should go: There is nothing on TV, there are no games to go to in town, and by the evening you will have had your fill of family. Join us for some shenanigans and see whether we’re actually smart about beer or just smart asses! (Probably a little of both.)

All the other great events

What: Firestone Walker Sampling. Where: Total Wine Uptown. When: 12-2 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Taste the current lineup of FW packaged beers. Why you should go: Free beer!

What: Firestone Walker Sampling. Where: Total Wine Cottonwood. When: 3-5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Taste the current lineup of FW packaged beers. Why you should go: Free beer!

What: Memorial Day Music Festival. Where: Marble Downtown. When: 3-8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Enjoy some Marble beers while listening to Alex Maryol, Deltaphonic, Progger, and Sneaky Pete & the Secret Weapons. Why you should go: Dance away the holiday.

What: Beer and Tapas Pairing. Where: Ponderosa. When: 4-7 p.m. Cost: $7 per pairing. Details: A different beer and tapas pairing will be available each day. Why you should go: You need some food in your belly to go with all this beer.

* * * * *

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

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

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

We’ve been waiting. Yes, that is directed at you Firestone Walker. It’s been about four years, four months and counting since I moved to the Land of Enchantment. Four years and four months of stuffing my checked bags with Union Jack and Wookey Jack whenever I traveled out of state. But hey, all seems to be forgiven now that I can go down the street and buy it locally. At least, you may have won me over Wednesday night at the launch at Fire & Hops here in Santa Fe.

Tommy Dineen pours some special XIX Anniversary Ale for the table.

Tommy Dineen pours some special XIX Anniversary Ale for the table.

Tommy tells all (IPA fans, listen up)

Tommy Dineen, beer rep extraordinaire, sat down with us for a while. I was drinking the Luponic Distortion Experimental IPA (5.9% ABV, 59 IBU), and thoroughly enjoyed it. This IPA was hoppy, yet balanced, and bitter, yet drinkable, with hints of citrus at the end. Tommy says this is “Revolution #2,” and the hop recipe is supposed to change every 90 days to result in another experimentation. However, this one’s been so popular it may just stay a little longer. Find it in cans on shelves throughout New Mexico now. This was my pick of the bunch offered up on tap, and it’s worth rushing to your local purveyor to find out how much they have in stock.

What makes this Experimental series tick, Tommy explained, is how Firestone Walker is pairing everyday hops with others to form a unique hops suite for each Revolution. He said the ABV will remain the same each time at 5.9 percent, and the yeast stays the same as well. Tommy also noted that Revolution #3 is supposed to be on shelves in September. Bottom line? Find #2, and drink it up before it’s too late.

Firestone Walker Launch

Luponic Experimental IPA in the pint glass; Opal Farmhouse Dry Hopped Saison; Wookey Jack Unfiltered Black Rye IPA

This saison could convert this hop lover

It’s true. Firestone Walker’s Opal Farmhouse Dry Hopped Saison is really that good. A dry-hopped saison is choice number two, beating out perennial favorite Union Jack West Coast IPA. Scandalous! What makes it so good? I think it’s the dry-hopped bitterness that prevents it from being too sour or tart. Weighing in at 7.5-percent ABV and 35 IBU, maybe it’s the Weyermann Pilsner malt that balances this brew out so perfectly.

Excuse me while I pay homage to this black IPA

I’d be remiss in not mentioning how good — really, how good — the Wookey Jack Unfiltered Black Rye IPA is. This is one fine black IPA (8.3% ABV, 80 IBU) and a great riff on the traditional version of the style. Robust and hoppy, it is a rich mouthful of deliciousness that makes you want to curl up next to a roaring fire and wear flannel. Of course, it’s far too hot for that right now in New Mexico, but we’ll be doing just that when it turns cold this fall.

Firestone Walker XiX

Tommy serves up some of this precious XIX Anniversary Ale, a barrel-aged collaborative blend.

It takes a lot of wine to make great beer

Lastly, Tommy surprised our table with tastes of the Nineteen: Anniversary Blend (13.8% ABV, 30 IBU). Wow. I tend to be a purist, and I don’t really go in for barrel-aged this or barrel-aged that. (More for the rest of us! — S) But, this XIX Anniversary ale is probably an exception. Yes, you’ve got bourbon on the nose, but it doesn’t overpower the beer itself. Firestone Walker collaborated with local winemakers to add this blend to their Proprietor’s Vintage Series. Well done; I’ll be looking for this on shelves tomorrow.

Cheers!

— Julie

Now that's a party!

Now that’s a party!

Oh, Nob Hill. You wonderful little place, except for your lack of parking. Home to three taprooms, several beer bars, and that place with the nice patio. This Saturday, it will also be home to one small-but-awesome event, and one very large event. Then comes Tuesday, with another small-but-awesome.

First up, Ballast Point will be celebrating their 20th anniversary locally at Nob Hill Bar & Grill. As the beer list above shows, they are bringing out all the big guns available this time of year. The real highlight is the collection of five beers from their R&D team. The Schwarzbier and DIPA caught our eye, while the Tripel could be a beast. All of that taps starting flowing at 1 p.m., so stop in, grab lunch, and then consume. Just do so quickly, because Saturday is also …

Route 66 Summerfest

The biggest of all the Summerfests is the one in Nob Hill, and it begins at 2 p.m. There will be three stages for music (find the full list here on Facebook), including one in the Cork & Tap area, where local breweries and wineries will be pouring their finest. Cork & Tap will be located at Central and Montclair, which is two blocks west of O’Niell’s.

This is not a sampling event. You get a wristband with the ID check, head in, and pay for your beers. Please drink responsibly. Traffic getting in and out of Nob Hill will be about 10 times as bad as normal, and expect a heavy police presence for your safety.

Nine breweries were listed by the City of ABQ as attending, but Abbey Brewing will not be there. Of the remaining eight, seven got us their lists. If the other one happens to share between the time you read this and Saturday, we will update their list.

  • Boxing Bear: Uppercut IPA, Hairy Mit Hefe, Ambear, Cider, Bearzen, New Mexikolsch, Chocolate Milk Stout
  • Broken Trail: Lone Pine Pils, Otero ESB, Sancho Saison, Pepe the Mule (not a beer, but we will list it anyway for them)
  • Canteen: TBA
  • Kaktus: GuyPA (IPA), Redcard, Dunkelweizen
  • La Cumbre: Slice of Hefen, Elevated IPA, Malpais Stout, Fievre d’Abricot, ‘Merica, Red Ryeot
  • Marble: Double White, Pilsner, IPA, Red Ale
  • Red Door: Roamer Red, Threshold IPA, Vanilla Cream, Unhinged Cider
  • Santa Fe: Autonomous Collective DIPA, Pale Ale, Java Stout, Freestyle Pilsner, Nut Brown, Hefeweizen

The nice thing here is that some of the breweries are not just bringing their usual house beers. Boxing Bear is bringing their award-winning Chocolate Milk Stout, plus the new New Mexikolsch. Broken Trail has their new Sancho Saison (we approve of the name, Matt). Kaktus plucked three current favorites from their constantly rotating taps. La Cumbre has current seasonals ‘Merica, a pale ale, and Fievre d’Abricot. Red Door has their summer-friendly Vanilla Cream. Santa Fe rolls out a hop bomb in the Autonomous Collective. Cheers to all of those!

And, of course, you can always duck into Bosque, Kaktus, or Tractor for fresh beers on tap. With air conditioning. Yeah, they will all be pretty crowded until the sun goes down.

But wait, there is more …

Welcome to New Mexico, Firestone Walker!

We will drink them all. ALL.

We will drink them all. ALL.

At long last, FW arrives in our fair state. This Tuesday, Nob Hill Bar & Grill will once again host a potentially epic launch party starting at 5 p.m. If you fall in love with some of those beers, go load up the trunk the following day when they go on sale at Jubilation.

First, though, that list … Parabola. PARABOLA. PARABOLA ON TAP. PARABOLA ON TAP IN ALBUQUERQUE!!!!

Ahem, yes, well, one of my all-time favorite barrel-aged imperial stouts is worth celebrating. Yet there are also the Double Jack, Wookey Jack, Nitro Merlin Milk Stout, and that 19th Anniversary behemoth. Bring lots of friends with you so that you can all try as many as possible. Then get an Uber.

UPDATE: As for the Jubilation list, we just got it from our own Adam Auden, the wonderful beer manager — Union Jack, Easy Jack, Wookey Jack, Luponic Distortion, DBA, Pivo Pils, Opal, and the variety 12-pack. There might be an extra special or two that made it on the truck, but we will have to wait and see.

So, yeah, parking be damned, scorching weather be damned, it is gonna be a fun stretch in Nob Hill. See you all out there.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

How I really won in Vegas

Posted: August 28, 2015 by amyotravel in News, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,
The beer is better, the lighting is not. Ah, casinos!

The beer is better, the lighting is not. Ah, casinos!

Hello, all. I just got back from Vegas and I have some exciting news for you. I had heard a rumor just before I left for my trip that Mandalay Bay casino was starting to serve craft beers on the casino floor. I could barely contain my excitement. Of course, this beer traveler had to take one for the team and check it out in person. (Oh, yeah, that’s taking one for the team, going to Vegas and all. — S)

I can confirm from my own personal experience this week that this is indeed true. Now, usually, when gambling at any of the Vegas casinos, the selection of free-while-gambling-beer is very limited. We consider it pretty “lucky” when we have more choices than Corona, Heineken, or Bud Light. If I can get a Dos Equis, I will on occasion settle for that, but usually I just get a vodka drink instead.

The craft beer list now available at Mandalay Bay.

The beer list now has some outstanding craft entries available at Mandalay Bay.

As excited as I was about this new development, I did start to question my sanity after having a couple of excellent (read: also much higher ABV) craft beers while gambling. The good thing is that since I somehow wisely didn’t carry a wallet/purse with me that afternoon. I was limited to spending only the cash I had in my pockets. Whew, that saved me from what might have been really dangerous.

If this works out for the Mandalay Bay Casino like I think it will, the practice will likely spread pretty quickly throughout the Strip. That would be great fun for craft beer lovers; but I do advise you to please proceed with caution, dear readers! Stay safe and practice responsible gaming.

Winning!

— AmyO