Posts Tagged ‘Goose Island’

Greetings, everyone. Hope you are all well-rested now. If not, get on that. ABQ Beer Week was bigger and better than ever, but after 11 days of beer events, we all have to admit we are pretty darn tired. It was an exhausting affair. At least it was fun. So much fun. So much fun it is hard to put it into words. So much as Luke did with the Outside Bike & Brew Festival in Santa Fe, I just assembled a bunch of our photographs and used this as a wrap-up.

Do not fret, however, we are not totally going to cop out on things. We did try a lot of beers, and while some were one-offs or specialties, we also tried a lot that you can get on tap or for sale in bottles/cans/bombers around town. The Crew will present our choices for the best beers of Beer Week. Just as soon as I get everyone to wake up and remember what they had.

Without further rambling, here are our pics from ABQ Beer Week 2015.

ABQ Beer Week kicked off with the simultaneous release of the 505 Collaboration Session IPA, left, and Canteen's Hops-pitality IPA.

ABQ Beer Week kicked off with the simultaneous release of the 505 Collaboration Session IPA, left, and Canteen’s Hops-pitality IPA.

AmyShadeTree

One of the many food and beer pairings over at Shade Tree Customs & Cafe, who brought their A Game to Beer Week.

AmyTwoFools

Two Fools did their fair share of tappings as well, including Hitachino Nest White Ale.

AmyStereoBar

New Mexico Craft Brewing came down from Las Vegas to stage a tap takeover at Stereo Bar downtown.

2015ABQBWTractorBowling

We went bowling with the folks from Tractor. Um, we were rusty, that totally explained our scores. That and the Farmer’s Tan Red Ale.

Nexus' anniversary party was a huge hit, as if you couldn't tell by the crowds.

Nexus’ anniversary party was a huge hit, as if you couldn’t tell by the crowds.

Nob Hill Bar & Grill was one of our favorite spots throughout Beer Week. Our friend Karim agreed, twas quite metal.

Nob Hill Bar & Grill was one of our favorite spots throughout Beer Week. Our friend Karim agreed, twas quite metal.

Mother Road brought their beers to Jubilation for all to try.

Mother Road brought their beers to Jubilation for all to try.

Beer, Cheese, & More at Marble was a tremendous success. It was so nice, they did it twice.

Beer, Cheese, & More at Marble was a tremendous success. It was so nice, they did it twice.

Food and beer goes together brilliantly sometimes. Red Door's food truck battle was one outstanding example.

Food and beer goes together brilliantly sometimes. Red Door’s food truck battle was one outstanding example.

More food and beer, this time the Sierra Nevada Cheese & Sausage festival at O'Niell's.

More food and beer, this time the Sierra Nevada Cheese & Sausage festival at O’Niell’s.

Franz and Mrs. Solo basked in the warm glow of the inaugural BearFest.

Franz and Mrs. Solo basked in the warm glow of the inaugural BearFest.

Marble, Santa Fe, and everyone else brought their finest to Blues & Brews.

Marble, Santa Fe, and everyone else brought their finest to Blues & Brews.

The crowd was bustling at Blues & Brews, but it was a happy pack of beer drinkers.

The crowd was bustling at Blues & Brews, but it was a happy pack of beer drinkers.

Firkin Brewhouse, which will open soon in the Brewery District, made a nice debut at Blues & Brews. Their Capo's Java Stout was excellent.

Firkin Brewhouse, which will open soon in the Brewery District, made a nice debut at Blues & Brews. Their Capo’s Java Stout was excellent.

The Crew who attended Blues & Brews were a happy bunch. From left, Adam, Laura, Stoutmeister, Kristin, with the photo bomb from Karl.

The Crew who attended Blues & Brews were a happy bunch. From left, Adam, Laura, Stoutmeister, Kristin, with the photo bomb from Karl.

The Crew came up short in the second Battle of the Beer Geeks (congrats again to the Babes in Brewland!), but we still had a great time, and not just because of Baby Bannon. From left, proud parents Brandon and Taylor, Mrs. Solo, Franz Solo, John, and Stoutmeister all enjoying our Darkside Donutbrau.

The Crew came up short in the second Battle of the Beer Geeks (congrats again to the Babes in Brewland!), but we still had a great time, and not just because of Baby Bannon. From left, proud parents Brandon and Taylor, Mrs. Solo, Franz Solo, John, and Stoutmeister all enjoying our Darkside Donutbrau.

The Marble staff was all smiles throughout Beer Week, including at the second Beer, Cheese, & More at Marble Westside.

The Marble staff was all smiles throughout Beer Week, including at the second Beer, Cheese, & More at Marble Westside.

2015ABQBWTwoFools

Another outstanding entry for Two Fools’ tappings was Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout.

Hoppiness Envy, the collaboration IPA between Canteen and Bosque, was an amazing addition to the Beer Week fun.

Hoppiness Envy, the collaboration IPA between Canteen and Bosque, was an amazing addition to the Beer Week fun.

Avery's Uncle Jacob's Stout at Nob Hill Bar & Grill was a fitting finale for a couple of us.

Avery’s Uncle Jacob’s Stout at Nob Hill Bar & Grill was a fitting finale for a couple of us.

There are a lot of people to thank for all the fun of the past week-plus. I realize I will miss a few on this list, but here are the ones my tired mind could remember: Thomas DeCaro, Monica Mondragon, Silas Sims, Tony Calder, Angelo Orona, Skye Devore, Chris Goblet, Amberley Rice, Leah Black, Carlos Contreras, Zach Guilmette, Barbie Gonzalez, Ken Carson, Antal Maurer, John Bullard, Brady McKeown, Brandon Venaglia, Patrick Cavanaugh, all the bar and brewery staffs, the festival volunteers, all of you happy beer drinkers, and last and most importantly the amazing Marne Gaston. Thank you one and all!

We will see you all around the breweries and upcoming festivals. If you have any photos or stories you would love to share from Beer Week, email them to us at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com. And yes, we are still taking signups for the NM Brewers Guild Enthusiast Membership. Just send us your name and email and we will add you to the list to give to the Guild.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

And so it begins!

Breweries join forces for the benefit of mankind. We love this world.

Teamwork is always a good thing, but when is it at its best? Simple, when two breweries get together and collaborate on a beer. That is happening more than once here on Saturday as Canteen and Bosque team up for Hoppiness Envy IPA, while La Cumbre and Odell have Paridisal Pale Ale down at Sister Bar.

As per usual, there are plenty of other events to check out as well as Beer Week nearly wraps up. Two Fools, Jubilation, O’Niell’s Nob Hill, Shade Tree, Nob Hill Bar & Grill, and Rock & Brews all have a wide variety of tappings and tastings. There will also be a little educational session over at Distillery 365. Throw in a couple of special late-night events at both Tractor locations and everyone should be happy from noon to midnight.

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: Canteen/Bosque Special Beer Releases. Where: Canteen Brewhouse, Bosque Nob Hill and San Mateo. When: Noon. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: First up is Hoppyweizer, a beer brewed in collaboration with the guys from ABQBeer.com (available only at Canteen). Then comes the big one, Hoppiness Envy, a collaboration between Canteen and Bosque. Yeah, that’s right, the two finalists for the National IPA Challenge are making an IPA together. Exodus and Scale Tipper merged into one blast of hoppy awesomeness. If you can’t make it to Canteen, head over to Bosque’s main brewery or to the Public House on Girard. It is good to have options in life, like drinking on the north side, central, or south side.

Why you should go: This is basically hophead heaven. See you all at the pearly gates.

All the other great events

What: Boulder Beer Tapping. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 11 a.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: There will be three different Boulder offerings tapped over the course of the day. One is the Honey Saison, the other two are TBA. Why you should go: Uncover the identity of the mystery beers, be a hero to your fellow beer drinkers. Celebrate by drinking those beers.

What: Odell Sampling. Where: Total Wine Cottonwood. When: 1 to 3 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Free beer samples. Why you should go: Free beer samples.

What: Stone Tasting. Where: Jubilation. When: 2 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Free beer samples. Why you should go: Free beer samples.

What: From Beer to Whiskey. Where: Distillery 365. When: 2 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Ever wonder how close your beer is to being whiskey or another distilled spirit? The guys over at the new Distillery 365 are happy to show you, with a tour of their distillery/brewery and a chance to meet other craft distillers from around the state, including Left Turn, Santa Fe Spirits, Little Toad Creek, and more. Why you should go: Take a break from beer and enjoy some free samples while getting an education. It’s the best way to learn.

What: Marble Specialty Tap Takeover. Where: O’Niell’s Nob Hill. When: 4 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Marble is bring a slew of their seasonal/specialty beers to O’Niell’s. Belgian Quad, Belgian Stout, Choice Blanc, Brett IPA, Maibock, Weizenbock, Double White, and regulars Pilsner, IPA, and Wildflower Wheat will all be available. Brewery reps will be on site with special giveaways. Why you should go: Get some free stuff from Marble while trying multiple beers, some of which are not even available anymore at the pub downtown.

What: Stone Double Tapping. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: A pair of excellent Stone offerings will be available in the form of Reason Be Damned Belgian Pale Ale and Red Wine Barrel Aged Cali Belgique. It’s a double dose of Belgian goodness. A Stone rep will be available to chat from 5 to 7 p.m. Why you should go: You know you love Stone, plus you can chow down on some good food and watch the NHL Western Conference finals Game 7 between Chicago and Anaheim.

What: Goose Island Special Release. Where: Shade Tree Customs & Cafe. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Miss your previous chances to get some Bourbon County Brand Stout? Fear not, Shade Tree has a keg on tap. There will also be live music and free raffles. Why you should go: Even if you’ve had this one before during Beer Week, it’s the stout you need in your life. Go get some.

What: Santa Fe Brewing/Rock & Brews Collaboration Special Tapping. Where: Rock & Brews. When: 6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: It’s a special IPA (5.7% ABV) made with Eldorado and Amarillo hops, then extra dry-hopped for a wonderful aroma. Come and get it! Why you should go: Rock out with a fresh new IPA.

What: Odell Tap Takeover. Where: Rock & Brews. When: 6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: If the SFBC offering isn’t to your liking, or you need something besides it, grab some Odell beers as well. Why you should go: If you’re already there for SFBC, stick around for some Odell, especially if they have Barrel Thief Imperial IPA.

What: Odell/La Cumbre Collaboration Beer Release. Where: Sister Bar. When: 8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The new Paradisal Pale Ale, created by the good brewing folks at La Cumbre in collaboration with Odell, will be tapped downtown. Why you should go: Teamwork is a wonderful thing, especially in beer, and when two wonderful breweries join together to make a beer, we should all celebrate.

What: In the Mix & Secret Beer Mixes. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Tractor’s weekly In the Mix series will feature Flo Fader spinning, but in addition to the music, this week they’re doing something a little special. Get ready for special beer mixes and beer cocktails, many created by the members of the Tractor staff. Why you should go: We’ve had our fair share of beer mixes from the Tractor staff over the years (Lauren Poole’s Turkey Milk, the combo of Mustachio and Turkey Drool is probably our all-time favorite), so it should be fun to see what all they have this time around.

What: Cider Day Night Fever. Where: Tractor Nob Hill. When: 8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Tractor is unleashing ciders, nothing but ciders, at their Nob Hill taproom. From regulars like the Apple Cider, Berry Cider, and Dry Cider, plus some new ones they just brewed up, every cider fan should find what he or she likes. Nicolatron will be there to DJ the event, so grab some cider and bust out your best dance moves. Why you should go: If you gluten-free friend has been bugging you to hang out for a while, this is your event.

Special ongoing events

All throughout Beer Week, these two events will be running.

Brewery Scavenger Hunt at lululemon athletica at ABQ Uptown
Where: lululemon athletica ABQ Uptown and various other participating sites. When: Today through Sunday. What: Pick up a scavenger pass at lululemon and head to six of nine participating locations. Take photos with your pass at the locations and then bring it all back to lululemon to be redeemed for a special pint glass. Participating sites: Routes Bicycle Rentals & Tours, Duke City Trolley, Tractor, La Cumbre, Red Door, Marble, Chama River, The Grain Station, Rock & Brews

Smoked Meats Week
Where: Sandia Chile Grill When: 3 to 8 p.m., today is the last day.
What: Beer and smoked meat pairing; beers are $3.50 per pint, $6 per 10-ounce mead sample
Today — Smoked Meat Sample Platter, Rattlesnake and Red Ranger and Milk Stout ($3 per 10-ounce)

* * * * *

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

And so it begins!

Get your geek-on with the Crew!

Anyone else need a vacation after the three-day weekend? Yeah, it was jam-packed with beer events, from the two festivals Sunday to Monday’s Battle of the Beer Geeks II (congrats to the Babes in Brewland on their victory). Now it’s back to a simpler slate of tastings and tappings across town.

Today features special events at The Grain Station, El Pinto, Farm & Table, 5 Star Burgers, Bistronomy B2B, and more usual haunts such as Two Fools, Rock & Brews, Tractor Wells Park, and Nob Hill Bar & Grill.

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: Lagunitas and Upslope Special Tappings. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: Once again, bar manager Thomas DeCaro is pulling out all the stops to bring us great beer. Upslope is bringing two new beers to tap here in ABQ in the form of the Yirgacheffe Coffee Dubbel, a coffee-infused Belgian-style beer brewed in collaboration with Dragonfly Coffee Roasters (which is adjacent to one of Upslope’s taprooms in Colorado). That will be paired alongside the Japanese Dry Lager, made with jasmine and Sorachi Ace hops. At the same time, Lagunitas has their IPA, double dry-hopped, on cask.

Why you should go: Two brand-new beers to New Mexico, plus a hopped-up version of a hugely popular IPA. Throw in some great NHBG food and you have a good way to spend an otherwise quiet Tuesday evening.

All the other great events

NEW EVENT >>> What: Santa Fe Special Tapping. Where: Gecko’s (both locations). When: 11 a.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: SFBC’s new Session Ale will be tapped at both Gecko’s, NE Heights and Nob Hill. Why you should go: A new beer that’s big on flavor, light on ABV, would pair nicely with Gecko’s food for lunch.

What: Stone Stochasticity Project Tasting. Where: Total Wine (both locations). When: 1 to 3 p.m. (Cottonwood), 4 to 6 p.m. (Uptown). Cost: No cover charge. Details: Free beer samples. Why you should go: Free beer samples.

What: Santa Fe Sampling. Where: Total Wine Uptown. When: 2 to 4 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Free beer samples. Why you should go: Free beer samples.

What: Alaskan Sampling. Where: Total Wine Uptown. When: 3 to 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Free beer samples. Why you should go: Free beer samples.

What: Tupac Tuesday with Tractor. Where: The Grain Station. When: 3 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Tractor has brewed up a fresh batch of Tupac Cali Red and is taking it over to The Grain Station, where they will have it on tap to go with their great food. There will be some live art as well. Why you should go: Enjoy a quality beer with some quality food and pull of a two-for-one in terms of supporting local businesses.

What: Dogs Drink Free Happy Hour. Where: El Pinto. When: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: No, that’s not a typo, your dogs can drink for free on the patio at El Pinto from today through Thursday. They will have Bowser Beer, a special alcohol-free beer made specifically for dogs. As for humans, there will be four Lagunitas beers for you — Cappuccino Stout, Equinox Pale Oat Ale, Brown Shugga’ Barleywine, and the special limited release of Waldo 4/20. Why you should go: Awesome new Lagunitas beers and old favorites, plus a chance to relax with your best friend. Throw in some delicious El Pinto food and it all adds up to a great afternoon.

What: Alaskan Tap Takeover and Special Release. Where: Rock & Brews. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Free beer samples. Why you should go: Free beer samples.

What: Music for What ALES You. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Local musician Casey Mraz will provide the tunes, while you can purchase special beer and grilled cheese pairings from the Cheesy Street outside for just $13. Why you should go: Delicious grilled cheese offerings paired with Tractor beers while live music is playing. Sounds like a chill out and relax kind of event, if you ask us.

What: Kona, Redhook, and Widmer Brothers Sampling. Where: Total Wine Uptown. When: 5 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Free beer samples. Why you should go: Free beer samples.

What: Marble and Farm & Table Beer and Food Pairings. Where: Farm & Table. When: 6 p.m. Cost: $50 for six beer tickets and a four-course meal. Details: Farm & Table will host a Spring BBQ event with five different Marble beers on tap — Pilsner, Wildflower Wheat, Oatmeal Stout, Maibock, IPA. There will be stationary appetizer trays of cheeses, chicken wings, and other finger foods. There will also be house-made brats, with baked beans, potato salad, and fresh green salad. There will also be dessert in the form of double chocolate cupcakes with a stout caramel cream (yum). In addition to the food and beer, there will be some games in the courtyard and a live band, Next Three Miles. Why you should go: Food, games, beer, music, it’s like a midweek party that you’ll probably need. Call (505) 503-7123 or email reserve@farmandtable.com for reservations.

What: Goose Island Tapping. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 6 to 8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: We are blessed again to have more Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout on tap at the tavern. Why you should go: The Bourbon County series is the best thing that Goose Island makes, plus you can chow down on some great food while you enjoy a glass.

What: 5 Star Burgers presents an evening with Craft King. Where: 5 Star Burgers Old Town (next door to the Draft Station). When: 6 to 9 p.m. Cost: $20. Details: How about five delicious food items paired with craft beer, plus having Albuquerque’s Craft King (our friend Angelo Orona) on hand to answer all of your beer questions? Sounds like a great way to spend your evening. The food/beer pairings are Potato Chips topped with a gorgonzola drizzle paired with Bosque Lager; Taos Slider paired with Marble Red; Teriyaki Slider paired with Boxing Bear Paw Swipe Pale Ale; BBQ Slider paired with Santa Fe Nut Brown; Sweet Potato served with a Sweet Maple Cream paired with Oskar Blues Old Chub Scotch Ale. Why you should go: Expand your beer knowledge while drinking delicious beers and eating amazing food.

What: Beer Bike 5K. Where: Civic Plaza. When: 6:30 to 9 p.m. Cost: $30, with tickets available online here. Details: Hope on board the Duke City Pedaler at Civic Plaza and ride it around to Marble, Tractor Wells Park, and Back Alley Draft House. You get member prices at each location. This even will repeat Wednesday and Thursday. Why you should go: Burn off some beer calories while, um, adding more beer calories! Hey, it’s a win-win, plus it is one of the most fun and unique ways to enjoy a mini-pub crawl. Just be prepared, it’s a little over 3 miles in length and the DCP is tougher to pedal than it looks. You’ll get a good workout plus good beer.

What: Burgers and Brews. Where: Bistronomy B2B. When: 7 p.m. Cost: None listed. Details: Enjoy some great burgers and some of B2B’s best beers paired together. If you buy a B2B beer, you get a special Yelp! glass. The B2B brewers will be on hand to talk about their creations. Why you should go: B2B always has great food, plus some really unique and different beers. If you have never gone, head over to Central.

Special ongoing events

All throughout Beer Week, these two events will be running.

Brewery Scavenger Hunt at lululemon athletica at ABQ Uptown
Where: lululemon athletica ABQ Uptown and various other participating sites. When: Today through May 31. What: Pick up a scavenger pass at lululemon and head to six of nine participating locations. Take photos with your pass at the locations and then bring it all back to lululemon to be redeemed for a special pint glass. Participating sites: Routes Bicycle Rentals & Tours, Duke City Trolley, Tractor, La Cumbre, Red Door, Marble, Chama River, The Grain Station, Rock & Brews

Smoked Meats Week
Where: Sandia Chile Grill When: 3 to 8 p.m., from today through Saturday, May 30
What: Beer and smoked meat pairing; beers are $3.50 per pint, $6 per 10-ounce mead sample
Today — Potato Stuffer, Barb’s Barrel Hefeweizen
Wednesday — Stuffed Avocado Street Tacos, Gold Rush Pilsner
Thursday — Smoked Salmon Platter, Red Ranger Irish Red
Friday — Stuffed Avocado Street Tacos, Rattlesnake IPA
Saturday — Smoked Meat Sample Platter, Rattlesnake and Red Ranger and Milk Stout ($3 per 10-ounce)

* * * * *

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

And so it begins!

No, things are not slowing down today. You just have to fight harder to keep up!

The rain be damned, that was a pretty damn fine start to ABQ Beer Week on Thursday. Whether you were indulging in some beer and cheese (and other foods) at Marble, or snagging a pint of the Strawberry Cream Malpais at Two Fools, or the Oak Aged Wake Up Dead at Nob Hill Bar & Grill, or hell, just doing your local duty with the 505 Collaboration Session IPA, it was a good day. Remember, they only brewed up 10 barrels total of the 505 to split between eight breweries (Boxing Bear, Canteen, Chama River, La Cumbre, Marble, Nexus, Ponderosa, Turtle Mountain), so get over and try some ASAP. I am not exaggerating when I say it might be the best session IPA that I have ever tasted. If you are at Canteen, don’t forget to snag a pint of Hopspitality IPA while that lasts during ABW.

So anyway, onto Day Two, which features 11 events at 13 venues across the city. Let us all hope for better weather and equally good, if not better, beer. Though it will be hard to top the 505 and the Wake Up Dead. Jeebus, those were wonderful …

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 Bowling with Tractor. Where: Silva Lanes. When: 7 to 9 p.m. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: Start cranking out those Big Lebowski one-liners, people! The good folks at Tractor are teaming up with Silva Lanes for a night of bowling and beer. They will be serving up 20-ounce pours of Farmer’s Tan Red Ale for just $3, plus you can buy cans of Almanac IPA and Mustachio Milk Stout if you like to keep your options open. A number of bowling lanes will be reserved, but don’t panic, you do not have to bowl to participate in the fun. A whole lot of the Tractor staff will be present and participating as well, so come hang out in an even less formal atmosphere than Tractor itself. And, you know, bowl a game while always remembering, “The Dude abides.”

Why you should go: Dudes, you have to get off the bar stools at least once. So go bowl, the one “sport” that does not require much athletic skill. Bust out your tackiest clothes. Wear some ridiculous shoes. And drink beer and have fun, because that is what Beer Week is all about.

All the other great events

What: Samuel Adams Summer Ale Tasting. Where: Total Wine (both locations). When: 1 to 3 p.m. (Cottonwood), 4 to 6 p.m. (Uptown). Cost: No cover charge. Details: Free samples of the popular Summer Ale. Why you should go: Free beer (samples)!

What: Abita Special Tapping. Where: Anodyne. When: 4 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Anodyne will serve up a keg of Bourbon Street Imperial Stout that was aged in Pappy Van Winkle barrels. Why you should go: If you love dark beer, and you know we do, this is one that cannot be missed.

What: Mother Road Sampling. Where: Jubilation. When: 4 to 6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The good folks from Flagstaff are bringing out some of their beers for you to sample. The three main bottled beers will be available, including the excellent Lost Highway Imperial Black IPA. Why you should go: Mother Road is one of the best breweries in Arizona, so if you have never tried their beer before, this is a great way to learn about all what they have to offer.

What: New Belgium Pint Night. Where: Gecko’s (both locations). When: 4 to 6 p.m. (North), 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (Nob Hill). Cost: No cover charge. Details: Head over to either Gecko’s for a pint of New Belgium’s new “test pint,” Opening Day Golden Ale. Why you should go: Well, OK, we’re a bit far into the baseball season for it to be a true opening day beer, but nonetheless, this is a chance to try a new NB beer and also grab some great food from Gecko’s menu.

What: Left Hand Special Tapping. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 5 p.m. until the supply runs out. Cost: No cover charge. Details: A keg of Introvert Session IPA will be opened. Why you should go: It’s a new beer, it’s from Left Hand so it’s probably darned good, and as a session IPA you will be OK to go try other beers, either at Two Fools or elsewhere. Plus, we’re pretty sure it will go great with Fish & Chips.

What: Goose Island Migration. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 5 to 8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Bar manager Thomas DeCaro is from the Chicago area, so he has called in the big guns from the Windy City in the form of Sofie, The Ogden, The Illinois, and oh, yeah, our old friend the Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout. Why you should go: BCB Coffee Stout is all the reason you need. Oh, fine, and get something good to eat while you are there.

What: Appetizer Pairing with St. Bernardus, Verhaeghe and Belzebuth. Where: Shade Tree Customs & Cafe. When: 5 to 11 p.m. Cost: $17 for an appetizer tray. Details: The beers are St. Bernardus Abt 12, Verhaeghe Eckt Kriekenbier, and Belzebuth. The planned pairings are, respectively, mesquite-smoked chicken wings with red chile and cinnamon, white wine-steamed mussels, and chocolate plus marscapone cheese on a salted water cracker with a cherry on top. Why you should go: St. Bernardus Abt 12 is a clone of Westvleteren 12, considered by some to be the best beer in the world. Read about it here. Shade Tree Customs & Cafe is the first in the state to have this beer on tap. Representatives from D & V International, Inc., the U.S. importer of fine Belgian beers, will be in attendance to answer questions. — Amy O

What: Patio Invasion with NM Craft Brewing. Where: Stereo Bar. When: 5 to 10 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Adam was able to get some info on the beers from the Las Vegas-based NMCBC. There will be a special raffle where if you buy a pint, you get a raffle ticket to win a ticket to Blues & Brews. You are limited to three pints per customer and three tickets total. The beers on tap will be IPA, Red, Wry Blonde, Oatmeal Stout, Vapor (similar to a steam beer), and Sweet Stout. Why you should go: The opportunities to try beers from elsewhere in the state, besides Santa Fe, usually require a long drive out of town. Head over to Stereo Bar and enjoy some unique beers without having to rack up the mileage.

What: La Cumbre Tap Takeover. Where: Rock & Brews. When: 5 to 9 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: La Cumbre beers will take over the taps at the R&B location on Montgomery. Why you should go: If you are in the Northeast Heights and lacking in classic ‘80s rock, grab a pint of Elevated (we assume it will be there) and kick back with one of those giant R&B pretzels while listening to the tunes they play all night, loudly throughout the joint.

What: Stouts & Stogies. Where: Imbibe Cigar Bar. When: 6 to 8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge listed. Details: They are serving Picobrouwerij Alvinne Podge Belgian Imperial Stout and will have a professional cigar roller on site. Why you should go: A unique foreign stout and, for those who like them, cigars.

Special ongoing events

All throughout Beer Week, these two events will be running.

Brewery Scavenger Hunt at lululemon athletica at ABQ Uptown
Where: lululemon athletica ABQ Uptown and various other participating sites. When: Today through May 31. What: Pick up a scavenger pass at lululemon and head to six of nine participating locations. Take photos with your pass at the locations and then bring it all back to lululemon to be redeemed for a special pint glass. Participating sites: Routes Bicycle Rentals & Tours, Duke City Trolley, Tractor, La Cumbre, Red Door, Marble, Chama River, The Grain Station, Rock & Brews

Smoked Meats Week
Where: Sandia Chile Grill When: 3 to 8 p.m., from today through Saturday, May 30
What: Beer and smoked meat pairing; beers are $3.50 per pint, $6 per 10-ounce mead sample
Today — Pulled Pork, Milk Stout
Saturday — Stuffed Avocado Street Tacos, Dirty Steve Mead (9.5% ABV)
Sunday — Baby Back Ribs, Legacy Mead (9.2% ABV)
Monday — Smoked Sausage, Rattlesnake IPA
Tuesday — Potato Stuffer, Barb’s Barrel Hefeweizen
Wednesday — Stuffed Avocado Street Tacos, Gold Rush Pilsner
Thursday — Smoked Salmon Platter, Red Ranger Irish Red
May 29 — Stuffed Avocado Street Tacos, Rattlesnake IPA
May 30 — Smoked Meat Sample Platter, Rattlesnake and Red Ranger and Milk Stout ($3 per 10-ounce)

* * * * *

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

So many events down, so many beers consumed. C’mon, troopers, let’s gear up. The end to this glorious time is nearly in sight. We shall not go out with a whimper, but a cosmic bang worthy of the elder gods. To that end, Friday is Day Nine of Ten, and it shall be a valiant conclusion to our beer-drinking efforts.

There be casks on the horizon Friday, plus plenty of final rounds of tastings and tappings.

There be casks on the horizon Friday, plus plenty of final rounds of tastings and tappings.

Featured event

UPDATED >>>> What: Cask Ale Night. Where: Marble Downtown and West Side. When: All day. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Marble will be tapping lots of casks as per their Friday tradition, only it will be more than one. We finally got the list — 505-2014 Collaboration, Pilsner, and Rye Bretta. The 505 will be the only cask on the West Side. We also know that The Grateful Dead tribute band, Let It Grow, will be playing music from 8 to 11 p.m. Why you should go: Marble is one of the best in town when it comes to cask beers. Go drink a lot of them (unless you’re driving, in which case pick one or two or just get small samples). And it will help prepare you for Saturday’s Cask Festival at Il Vicino.

All the other great events

What: Tractor Brewing Tasting. Where: Total Wine Uptown. When: 4 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: All three Tractor cans — IPA, Milk Stout, Red — will be on hand for sampling. Plus, you can meet artist David Santiago, who designed the cans’ unique look. Why you should go: Grab a sample, get an artist autograph, then take a sixer home.

What: Kellys Beer Tasting. Where: Total Wine Cottonwood. When: 4 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The two styles from Kellys Brewpub that have been canned, Amber and IPA, will be sampled. Why you should go: Give ’em a try, let us know how Kellys is doing with canning.

What: Birra del Borgo Special Tapping. Where: Imbibe Cigar Bar. When: 4 to 7 p.m. Cost: Unknown. Details: Some crazy beer called the Zymatore 25 Dodici, which is a Belgian-style dark strong ale but made in Italy, will be tapped. This particular batch was aged in wine and whiskey barrels, and then mixed with a fresh batch of the same original beer. That sounds … insane. Why you should go: We gotta admit, there’s a good chance we’ll never see this particular beer in ABQ ever again. Or anywhere on earth, for that matter.

What: Left Hand Special Tapping. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 4 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The most unique beer from Wednesday’s tasting at Jubilation, the Ambidextrous, makes its way over to Two Fools. This is a smoked doppel weizenbock. It’s heavy on the smoke, but with a different sort of finish than you might expect. It’s another unique beer, and it won’t be coming out in bottles anytime soon, so this might be your last chance to try it. Why you should go: If you missed it Wednesday’s at O’Niell’s, this is a second chance you can’t pass up.

UPDATED >>> What: Goose Island Tasting. Where: Jubilation. When: 4 to 6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Jubilation released a new list, and it’s a doozy. They have Lolita, a wild ale made with raspberries and then aged in Cabernet Sauvignon casks for eight months. Sofie, a saison, is made up of 80 percent ale and 20 percent ale aged in wine barrels with citrus peel. Class of ’88 is a Belgian ale with Riesling and Pinot Noir grapes added, with the mixture then aged in Muscat wine barrels. Oh, and there’s also Ogden, a Belgian tripel, and the brand new Endless IPA. Why you should go: Need proof that Goose Island can still make some kick-ass beers? Here’s your chance.

Got any updates or additional info for the Crew? Email us at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com or contact us via Facebook or Twitter (@nmdarksidebc).

Enjoy Day Nine! Just remember to pace yourselves and be responsible.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The good folks up at the Taos Ski Valley know there is more to life than just skiing and snowboarding. There is beer, and it is good, and it brings people to the valley even after the snow melts.

Down there at the bottom of that ski lift is the Taos Ski Valley, where they will be holding the Spring Beer Festival.

Down there at the bottom of that ski lift is the Taos Ski Valley, where they will be holding the Spring Beer Festival.

To celebrate the change of seasons, the Taos Ski Valley is playing host to the Spring Beer Festival this Saturday from 4:30 to 7 p.m. For $25, you get a commemorative mini-beer mug and unlimited samples from multiple in-state and out-of-state breweries. There were also be three (maybe four) eateries on hand to make sure you are not drinking too much on an empty stomach — Rhoda’s, Bavarian, Sabroso, and hopefully Stray Dog will be on hand.

The entire event will be followed by the birthday celebration for Taos Ski Valley founder Ernie Blake, with fireworks, a torch parade, and more.

As for the beer, 12 breweries will head up on their own, while Premier Distributing will bring beers from five of their clients to the event. The out-of-state breweries signed up for the event are California’s Stone Brewing, plus Colorado’s Boulder Beer, Left Hand, New Belgium, and Oskar Blues.

The joint was jumping at the last beer festival at Taos Ski Valley. (Photo courtesy of Jim Cox)

The joint was jumping at the last beer festival at Taos Ski Valley. (Photo courtesy of Jim Cox)

Due to a time crunch caused by my sports coverage this week, I was not able to get a hold of all the in-state breweries attending the event in regards to what beers they are bringing.

Abbey Brewing — the monks will likely bring some of their top sellers, such as Monks’ Wit, Monks’ Ale, and if everyone is lucky, that wonderful Tripel Special Reserve that they showcased at WinterBrew.

Eske’s — they had not yet finalized their list, but the best guess for their lineup will include standard-bearers like Seco Stout and Green Chile Beer, plus there is the Mesa Red IPA, Dead Presidents Cherry Ale, and Naked Ape, an apricot ale. It does appear Eske’s has all points on the flavor spectrum — hoppy, malty, sweet, spicey — covered with this potential lineup.

High Desert — they currently have 10 beers on tap in Las Cruces, but it’s unknown which of those are coming north. On the lighter side they have a Wheat, Peach Wheat, Bohemian Pilsner, Steam, and an Amber. Darker/heavier beers include IPA, Anniversary IPA, Rye Beer, Imperial Stout, and a Barley Wine.

Enjoy the delectable Stout Americano, Taos patrons!

Enjoy the delectable Stout Americano, Taos patrons!

Marble — brewer Kyle Rudeen will be bringing Farmhouse 111, Stout Americano, Double IPA, and either the Reserve or the Barley Wine. Yeah, basically Marble is bringing some of its biggest, most flavorful beers to Taos to challenge the palates of locals and tourists alike.

Santa Fe — as per usual, the big guns are being brought out, including the current seasonal, Irish Red Ale. Also on hand will be Happy Camper IPA, Imperial Java Stout, Saison ’88, and Black IPA. They will also bring some bottles of Chicken Killer for the barley wine lovers.

Taos Ale House — the local guys are bringing up Mosaic Imperial IPA, Mosaic Lollipop Pale Ale, Brook Trout Brown, and the always wonderful Simple Porter. If anyone gets a chance to try their other beers, please let us know. We need to make a Brew Crew Taos Trek III in the near future.

Taos Mesa — efforts to reach them were again unsuccessful. Among the beers currently on tap at TM, some that the Crew would like to try include the Amarillo Rojo and Imperial Honey Oat Porter. Different Crew members have enjoyed the Superstitious Stout, Notorious ESB, and Big Brown. Hopefully some of these will be on hand Saturday.

Premier Distributing’s clients are Alaskan, Goose Island, Odell, Tractor, and Woodchuck. Expect bottles from some of the beers you can currently find at Jubilation, like Alaskan ESB, Odell Runoff Red IPA, Tractor Farmer’s Almanac IPA, and more.

We hope everyone up in Northern New Mexico enjoys this event. The folks at Taos Ski Valley are already planning future events, including an Oktoberfest. Keep supporting craft beer in all corners of our state!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Hopfest is big. There are 62 breweries serving up samples for thousands of beer lovers. In other words, it is not the place to just walk into and wander about. Nope, you need a plan, a battle plan. Luckily, the Dark Side Brew Crew is here to provide one. It’s what we do.

Hopfest is tougher than he looks. You need a battle plan before entering.

Hopfest is tougher than he looks. You need a battle plan before entering.

In terms of physical layout, Hopfest is divided in three. There is the side room, where the Premier Stage is located; the main room, where over half the breweries will be stationed; and the outdoor area, where the Project Acoustic Preview Stage is located. There is also a VIP area, but we don’t have VIP tickets and most of you probably do not, either, so we’ll skip that place.

The two smaller areas should be your first two targets. They can get crowded quickly. In fact, if you are a serious beer drinker, that additional $10 for Extra Hoppy Hour tickets is a must. That initial hour is an excellent time to not only try more beers with fewer people in line, but it is also a chance to actually converse with some of the brewery reps behind the counters.

Upon arrival we are heading for the side room first. It features three in-state breweries, eight from out-of-state, and two from outside the country. What order you go in is up to you, and in the end that is likely to be determined by the beers they have on hand and your personal preference by style. Luckily, we have the list that the breweries passed along to Hopfest, though as always things will be subject to change.

Abita: The Louisiana brewery is bringing two of its standard bearers, Turbo Dog and Purple Haze, so the one we’re interested in is Andygator (8% ABV), a high-gravity maibock-style beer.

Cazuela’s: The Rio Rancho brewery is bringing five beers to Hopfest. For hopheads, you have to go with the Papa Cabra DIPA (9.2% ABV, 100+ IBUs). If you fall on the maltier side of the spectrum, check out the Piedra Del Fuego (5% ABV), a stoned cream ale.

Clown Shoes: Make sure to thank Total Wine for bringing this Massachusetts-based brewery to town. And they’re not coming bearing anything wimpy. Both the Crunkle Sam (11% ABV), an American barleywine, and Blaecorn Unidragon (12.5% ABV), a monstrous Russian imperial stout, will be available. This is why you take the Rail Runner down to Isleta, so you can sample beers like this. Do not go all imperial-crazy and expect to drive afterward, OK?

Durango Dark Lager will be one of the featured beers at Hopfest. Huzzah!

Durango Dark Lager will be one of the featured beers at Hopfest. Huzzah!

Durango Brewing: Ska gets a lot of the attention out of Southwest Colorado, but this little gem of a brewery was a favorite of mine and E-Rock when we visited last year. They’re bringing one of our favorites, Durango Dark Lager (5.4% ABV) along for the ride. There will also be Hop Hugger (6.7% ABV) for you IPA lovers.

Eel River: Gotta admit, have not had too many certified organic beers over the years. This Fortuna, Calif.-based brewery will bring three of those, an IPA, amber, and a blonde, for us to sample.

Indian Wells: Another California brewery, you can find their Lobotomy Doppelbock (typically shortened to the NM-friendly Lobo Bock) around town. It’s not a personal favorite, but we do intend to give their Whiskey Barrel Amber a shot. For all the stouts/porters/browns/Belgians that get the whiskey barrel treatment, we gotta admit, we have not heard of anyone doing that with an amber.

Lost Coast: Not to be confused with Left Coast (see below), this Northern California institution is one of the only female-owned-and-operated breweries in the country. They are bringing three of their primary beers, Indica IPA, Great White, and Downtown Brown.

Mad River: It’s practically a California invasion in the side room. Mad River is bringing three of its standard beers as well in Steelhead DIPA, Steelhead Extra Pale Ale, and Jamaica Red Ale.

New Mexico Craft Brewing: The Las Vegas, NM, brewery is unleashing four hop-centric brews — Starvation Peak AIPA (6.3% ABV, 80 IBUs), Anti-Imperial AIPA (9% ABV, 100+ IBUs), RyePA (6.6% ABV, 85 IBUs), Wet-n-Wild Ale (7.3% ABV, 100+ IBUs) — with the last one made with wild hops picked here in NM. In addition, there’s the early candidate for “most unique beer name” at Hopfest in the F Your Black IPA Dry-Hopped Porter (5.8% ABV, 60 IBUs).

Petrus: The Belgian brewery is bringing its Aged Pale Ale and Aged Red Ale to tap. If you’re a Belgian beer fan, this place is one of the big guns in that country.

Rio Negro is big and burly, yet very smooth.

Rio Negro is big and burly, yet very smooth.

Sandia Chile Grill: Feeling dark? Yet smooth? Then a sample of Rio Negro smoked milk stout on nitro should fit you perfectly. If you want to stay on the light side, the award-winning Gold Rush Pilsen should more than suffice.

Twisted Pine: This will mark the first visit (we think) to a NM beer festival for the Boulder-based brewery. Twisted Pine is not coming light, either, bringing its wholly unique Roots Revival Carrot IPA (6.9% ABV, 51 IBUs), plus Bishop’s Elbow ESB (5.2% ABV).

Van Steenberge: This Belgian brewery is bringing Gulden Draak, which is not a character in the upcoming “Hobbit” film, but instead a Dark Triple Ale that checks in at 10.5-percent ABV.

All right, so that’s the side room. Now head to the small outside area on the south side of Isleta Casino, where 11 breweries, all from outside New Mexico.

Anderson Valley: Another of Northern California’s finest breweries will grace our presence with four beers. While the seasonal Winter Solstice (6.9% ABV) sounds nice and all (if a bit early), the one we have our eye on is the Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrel Stout (6.9% ABV).

Big Sky: Montana’s biggest brewery will bring three beers to sample, with the Heavy Horse Scotch Ale (6.7% ABV) as the highlight.

Boulder Beer: Colorado’s oldest microbrewery will feature four of its primary beers, including the popular Hazed & Infused and the Flashback India Brown Ale.

Deschutes isn't bringing Obsidian Stout (sniff), but you can still celebrate their beers the way I celebrated the Pirates' 82nd victory a few months ago.

Deschutes isn’t bringing Obsidian Stout (sniff), but you can still celebrate their beers the way I celebrated the Pirates clinching their first winning season in 20 years back in August.

Deschutes: Bend, Oregon’s most famous brewery will have four beers to try, including two regulars in River Ale (4% ABV) and Hop Trip (5.5% ABV) pale ale, plus the seasonal Jubelale (6.7% ABV) and Chasin’ Freshies IPA (7.2% ABV).

Left Coast: Poor Left Coast has probably been mixed up with Lost Coast (see above) and Left Hand (see right below) plenty of times. This Southern California brewery will try to set itself apart with four beers on hand in the Una Mas amber lager (6.4% ABV), Hop Juice DIPA (9.7% ABV), Voo Doo American Stout (8.5% ABV), and a fourth TBA beer. (We heard it was called Lucky Buddha, but the official Left Coast site has no info on such a beer.)

Left Hand: The Longmont, Colo., brewery racked up multiple medals at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival. They are best known for their Milk Stout, which will be among the regular beers they are scheduled to bring down. Sawtooth Ale, an ESB-style beer, will also be present, as will whichever current edition of Fade to Black they have available. That has been a porter, a black IPA, and various other dark genres in the past. Guess we’ll have to go and find out what this version is.

New Belgium: Another Colorado institution, they will have regular beers Fat Tire, Rampant Imperial IPA, Shift Pale Lager, and the seasonal Pumpkick.

Oskar Blues: It’s all about Colorado breweries on the patio. They will have five of their regular beers on hand, including two of our favorites in G’Knight, an imperial red, and Old Chub, a Scotch ale.

Pedernales: Another brewery making its ABQ debut is this Fredericksburg, Texas, outfit. They have a series of Lobo beers, so that should appease the local sports fans. Lobo Lager, Lobo Lito (a pilsner), and Lobo Negro (a black lager) will be on hand for many of us to try for the first time.

Tommyknocker: This Colorado brewery has made a recent push into NM and gotten some good reviews from folks around the state. They will have the dry-hopped IPA and a Half (7% ABV, 85 IBUs) for all you hopheads. Seasonal lovers can try the Pumpkin Harvest Ale or the Maple Nut Brown Ale.

Dear lord, thank you for Uinta's Labyrinth, a quadruple black ale.

Dear lord, thank you for Uinta’s Labyrinth, a quadruple black ale.

Uinta: Another brewery that has arrived in force in NM, this Utah-based group will have the wonderful, magnificent, still-not-available-for-sale-here (damn it) Labyrinth Quadruple Black Ale. If you did not have this wonder at Blues & Brews back in May, now you must try it. No, seriously, TRY LABYRINTH!

All right, now it’s time to tackle the main room. Odds are, you’ll be arriving just as the general admission crowd is walking in. So get strategic, target the places you absolutely want to try first; if a brewery only brought some classics, hold off and wait until you’ve cleared your must-haves, then pick the shortest lines and go wild.

Alaskan: Sadly, no seasonals are expected, just the four regular beers you can find in six-packs all around town. Still, if you have not tried the Amber or the Freeride APA, now is a good chance. They are both worth it for malt lovers and hopheads.

Angry Orchard/Crispin/Woodchuck: It’s all ciders. Have fun if you’re into that sort of thing any of these three booths.

Back Alley Draft House: Addison is bringing two monsters, his Imperial Russian Stout (9.6% ABV) and Triple IPA (10.5% ABV, 100+ IBUs), to clobber us all. We had the stout at Brew Fest and it was excellent. Just not for the faint of heart. If you can’t take those behemoths, go with the Pumpkin Ale. It’s only 8-percent ABV.

Batch 19/Blue Moon/Third Shift: Don’t let the cute names fool you, these are macrobrewery-owned places trying to masquerade as microbreweries.

BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse: It’s a beer chain. There’s one by Winrock. In a better world, we would have gotten the superior Rock Bottom first. Oh, well.

Boston Beer Co. (Samuel Adams): The biggest of all microbreweries in America, they have a bunch of their usual stuff. The only I (Stoutmeister) have not had before is the Hazel Brown (5.2% ABV). I’ll give it a shot if there’s time.

Breckenridge: A staple in Colorado, they are only bringing their two most popular regular beers, the Vanilla Porter and Lucky U IPA.

Bridgeport: The Oregon brewery got some pub when the final season of TNT’s “Leverage” was filmed there. While their IPA and Hop Czar have been here before, this may very well be the debut of Bear Hug, a cherry chocolate stout. Sample it and then head over to Il Vicino to see how things stack up.

Dukes of Ale: Definitely make time to stop by the home brewers’ booth, where they will have samples of some of the best locally made beers you will have Saturday. There should be a big variety.

Goose Island: The Chicago brewery is not, sadly, bringing us more of that Bourbon County Coffee Stout like they did back during ABQ Beer Week. Instead we just get three of their regulars, IPA, Honker’s Ale, and 312 Urban Wheat Ale.

Green Flash: San Diego’s up-and-coming brewery will have two blasts for hopheads. Their West Coast IPA is a good start. Then they will clobber you with the Green Bullet, a triple IPA. See how it compares to Back Alley’s Triple IPA.

Milk Chocolate Cherry Stout from Il Vicino goes perfectly with ... everything.

Milk Chocolate Cherry Stout from Il Vicino goes perfectly with … everything.

Il Vicino: Our favorite local mad scientists will have some more Milk Chocolate Cherry Stout for us all to enjoy. There will also be Hell(y)es, Dark American Lager, and Wet Mountain IPA, but you can still get those at the Canteen.

Isotopes Beer: It’s the two beers you can get during baseball games, the Slammin’ Amber and Triple-A Blonde. They are made by Rio Grande/Sierra Blanca (see below).

Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing: The popular Wisconsin brewery will have their Hoppin’ Helles. That’s all they’re listing, for now. At least they’re not bringing the Summer Shandy, which one Twitter feed considered a form of torture under the Geneva Convention.

Kellys Brewpub: The Nob Hill institution will have its Session IPA, Scottish Ale, Apricot Ale, and Pumpkin Ale. It’s been so long since we have been there we have no idea if three of those beers are new or if they have been on tap for a while (we know the Scottish is a regular).

Kona Brewing: Hawaii’s biggest brewery will bring three of its regulars to town in the Longboard Lager, Pipeline Porter, and Big Wave, a golden ale. I’ll give the porter a shot since it was never on tap at any of the bars I was at in Honolulu about eight years ago. We’ll have Franz Solo seek out Hawaii beers when he is out there for a cousin’s wedding next month.

Lagunitas: These hopheads from California are just bringing their IPA and Undercover Shutdown Ale. Not that there’s anything wrong with those, but we can go buy ’em at Jubilation. Bring us something new!

Magic Hat: The Vermont brewery has also made a fairly recent push into NM. It’s beers tend to be all over the place. Along for the ride at Hopfest are #9, a “not quite pale ale,” the HI.P.A., Seance (a Saison), and deVeiled Red Ale. These appear to be all the beers available in their current variety pack that you can pick up at Jubilation.

What mystery kegs will Marble bring to Hopfest? We will find out soon.

What mystery kegs will Marble bring to Hopfest? We will find out soon.

Marble: They’re bringing … no one knows! As per usual, Marble seems to be throwing together its beer list at the last second. We are sure there will be some good ones, some company standards, and hopefully a surprise or two.

Odell: There’s nothing too new from this Colorado brewery, just the debut of Isolation Ale, their annual winter seasonal.

Omission: Widmer owns this gluten-free line of beers. For that gluten-free friend of years who just can’t take another cider, their Pale Ale will be on tap.

Redhook: Three of their standards will be available from Seattle, the ESB, Longhammer IPA, and Audible Ale. Actually, that last one is new. They brewed it with former ESPN anchor Dan Patrick. Yeah, you read that right.

Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande: The Moriarty brewery will have all of its crowd favorites on hand, including the Sierra Blanca Nut Brown Ale, which has won silver and gold, respectively, at the last two Great American Beer Festivals.

Santa Fe: Three regulars and Octoberfest. About what we expected.

Sierra Nevada: If you haven’t tried the Narwhal Imperial Stout, this is your chance.

Ska: Decadent Imperial IPA beckons hopheads everywhere. But where are the excellent stouts? WHERE?!

Spoetzl Brewery (Shiner): They are only bringing their Ruby Redbird. Have at it, fruit beer lovers.

Squatters/Wasatch: For hopheads only. These two Utah breweries are bringing Squatters IPA, Hop Rising DIPA, and Ghostrider White IPA.

SW Grape & Grain: They will have some home-brewed beers to sample, just like Dukes of Ale. See whose collection is superior. Hey, there’s an Octoberfest on their list! See Monica, not everyone brewed pumpkin beers instead this fall!

It's always a party at the Tractor booth with Skye and Dave, or whoever they send.

It’s always a party at the Tractor booth with Skye and Dave, or whoever they send.

Tractor: It’s pretty much what you’d get over at the Nob Hill tap room (IPA, DIPA, Red, Cortijo, Stout are listed, though I thought the Cortijo, a farmhouse ale, ran out a while ago), but they’re always a fun bunch to stop by and say hello to. And if you are one of those weird people who still hasn’t been to tractor, grab yourself a sample of the Double Plow Oatmeal Stout and see what you have been missing.

Widmer Bros.: Hopfest’s sponsoring brewery, so at least stop by and say “thanks!” Their Hefeweizen (4.9% ABV) and Alchemy Ale (5.8%) will be on hand. The latter is a result of an ongoing experiment to create a “perfectly balanced, perfectly hopped ale.” We love when breweries go all mad scientist on us.

So that’s the entire lineup (Duel will only be pouring in the VIP room, darn it), but as we said, it’s all subject to change. You can go clockwise or counter-clockwise around the rooms, or just dart about, picking shorter lines as the event gets more crowded. Whatever approach works for you, go with it. Just pick the beers or breweries that sound like your kind of places, and hit ’em up first. Everyone at these events has traditionally been polite and courteous, but still, please be on your best behavior. I think we have all seen enough videos on Deadspin of drunk sports fans battering each other. That bad behavior has never spilled over into Hopfest or any other beer festival, so don’t let it start. Smile and remember, it’s all about having a good time and lots of good beer.

However you choose to go, just don’t overdo it, please. Getting a designated driver or taking the Rail Runner is a must for this event. We will be doing the latter, so we’ll see some of you on the train.

On behalf of myself, Brandon, Porter Pounder, and associate Brew Crew member Corporal Hicks, we hope you enjoy Hopfest tomorrow half as much as we do!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Stoutmeister here, palate intact after last night’s bruising pair of special release beers. While Brandon was busy indulging in the Tower of Sour at Back Alley, the rest of us were scattered about. Derek and I visited Two Fools for the special tapping of Goose Island’s Bourbon County Coffee Stout. This was followed by a late-night visit to La Cumbre for the full release of the 505 2013, the second five-brewery collaboration beer.

The Goose Island Bourbon County Coffee Stout was a 14.2-percent ABV behemoth, served up in small samples at Two Fools.

The Goose Island Bourbon County Coffee Stout was a 14.2-percent ABV behemoth, served up in small samples at Two Fools.

Actually, Franz Solo had his 505 over at Il Vicino, then he came over and met Shilling, myself, and a slew of Shilling’s friends at La Cumbre. Regardless of where you had the 505, it is the same beer at those breweries, plus Chama River, Marble, and Nexus.

So first up, the Bourbon County Coffee Stout. Holy shit. That about sums up this beer. I don’t like to use profanity when describing beers, but this fits. Goose Island has created a 14.2-percent ABV monstrosity. That is not a typo. Two Fools served it up only in small glasses, limited to one per customer. Thank goodness, because this beer could knock you flat without breaking a sweat. The bourbon flavor smacks you in the front; it almost feels like you’re doing a shot instead of drinking a beer. That being said, it is a good, smoky, sweet flavor that warms you up from the get-go. The coffee flavor is all on the back end. It almost tasted more like the strong coffee you would typically find in Europe instead of here in the United States. Derek said he could not taste much stout flavor, but it was nestled in the middle. In terms of mouthfeel this one felt like a good, smooth imperial stout.

I would not recommend this to the faint of heart. If you’re a stout lover, or just love bourbon, give this one a try. As far as I know it is not available in New Mexico (yet) for sale in stores. If that changes we will let you know. It sold out fairly quickly, however, so for those that got to Two Fools too late or were just unable to attend, you will have another crack at this beer next Friday at Billy’s Longbar on San Mateo north of Montgomery.

The 2013 edition of the 505 Collaboration beer is a hop monster.

The 2013 edition of the 505 Collaboration beer is a hop monster.

Next up, the 2013 edition of the 505. My favorite thing about this beer was when I was looking at La Cumbre’s infamous beer board, under the IBU category, the LC staff simply wrote “stupid” instead of a number. So yeah, this thing is a bitter, burly hop bomb. It lies somewhere between an imperial IPA and an imperial red. It is a good beer if you want to sip slowly through the night, or if you want a good ABV blast without paying for multiple pints. Initially it will almost overwhelm you with its bitterness, but after a while your palate will get used to it and it becomes rather enjoyable. Remember, this is coming from a guy who would never describe himself as a hophead.

Franz Solo shared his thoughts on the 505: “What a monster of a beer from the first aroma, the very light and crisp looking head, and that deep deep amber color you know you’re in for a treat. This one is a creeper, catches up to you when you least expect it, i.e. when you stand up. Goes down very very smooth and wowser it packs a wallop!”

If some of the other Crew members who tried the Bourbon County or the 505 last night have something to add, we’ll get them in here later. Some of us have to head down to Lobo football practice to interview Kasey Carrier for Lindy’s Magazine’s UNM season preview, then head over to the Lobo baseball game to watch the No. 24-ranked team in the country extend its lead atop the Mountain West. Did I say “us?” I meant me, of course.

Hopefully I’ll make it to the tail end of Il Vicino’s Double Barrel event, but if not, have fun out there, Burque beer lovers!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister