Posts Tagged ‘IPA’

This joint is gonna be jumpin' during ABQ Beer Week. (Photo courtesy of SFBC)

Hang at the taproom this Saturday to try some excellent new beers. (Photo courtesy of SFBC)

Unless you have been vacationing in the Arctic or working in a freezer (That pretty much describes the Topes’ press box with its psychotic A/C unit. — S), I’m sure you have noticed that it has been just a wee bit hot in New Mexico as of late. Need another excuse to hide in the shade with a refreshing brew? I didn’t think so, but Santa Fe Brewing will be offering two additional reasons this weekend. You will want to celebrate at the Albuquerque taproom as they release Autonomous Collective DIPA and Sunset Limited!

It all kicks off at 4:30 p.m., right after the IPA Challenge preliminary round wraps up at Rio Bravo. Autonomous Collective DIPA and Sunset Limited Cervesa de Garde will be on tap, with bombers of Sunset Limited available for $1 off for this event. There will also be an appearance by SFBC’s Single Barrel Sour ale! SFBC’s brewers and sales people will be present to meet with the public, so make sure to say hi.

Autonomous Collective is SFBC’s summer installment in their series of seasonal IPA releases. Brewed with Amarillo, El Dorado, and Columbus hops, and dry hopped three times, it carries a mix of orange peel and honeydew melon in aroma and flavor, with a bit of malt sweetness, and a fruity/resinous hop flavor in the finish. This will definitely quench your thirst during the summer months.

Sunset Limited Cervesa de Garde is a change from the styles that SFBC has become known for. Brewed in collaboration with Bayou Teche Brewery in Arnaudville, Louisiana, Sunset Limited is brewed in the Biere de Garde style, which is traditionally malty and toasty, and possesses lower hopping levels, but enough alcohol to preserve the beer.

The official description from SFBC: “This version is a combination of the traditional style brewed by our friends at Bayou Teche, then made more New Mexican with the addition of Red Chile and Blue Corn, then cold stored for six weeks to further mellow out. Short version: toasty and malty, fruity and sweet, with an alcoholic and red chile heat in the finish.”

Make sure to stop in for a pint of this one-off beer, as it is limited to taproom and bomber availability. Once it is gone, it’s gone!

Until next time …


— Brandon Daniel

Greetings homebrew aficionados and newcomers alike! Brewology is a series of articles by members of the NMDSBC about the art and science that goes into every pint we churn out. We will go through recipes, techniques, equipment, and anything else related to brewing some of your favorite libations. Feel free to submit feedback or discussion on any info you read here. Remember, it is all for the love of beer!

Christmas came early: the grain makings for our imperial black IPA

Christmas came early: the grain makings for our imperial black IPA

If one were to utter the words “black” and “IPA” (okay, just a series of letters in the case of the latter) in the company of craft beer drinkers these days, the reactions you will receive will undoubtedly be varied. The black IPA, or Cascadian black/dark ale depending on who you ask, is still considered a blossoming style that blurs the lines between malty dark ales and mouth-puckering hop bombs.

Sometimes considered nothing more than “hoppy porters,” this hybrid has found a fanbase thanks to prominent offerings such as Wookey Jack from Firestone Walker, Dubhe Imperial Black IPA from Uinta, Sublimely Self Righteous from Stone, and many others. What sets these and other great black IPAs apart from being just another “hoppy porter” is their smart use of malts to accentuate the beer, rather than overtake it altogether. Here is where we get into my beer, which we here at NMDSBC have affectionately dubbed the Slop Hudge Imperial Black IPA!

(Gotta interject here, the name Slop Hudge is obviously a garbled version of Hop Sludge, which Brandon came up with accidentally toward the end of the night after he had consumed several Hop Risings from Squatters and the better part of a bomber of Duel’s Grunewald Imperial Porter. — Stoutmeister)

The idea for an imperial black IPA came from our combined love of dark beers, but still having an appreciation for hop bombs, and also wanting something that was simply HUGE in flavor. We looked for a good balance of dark malt flavors, body, and hops that would be able to withstand the onslaught of malts we knew were coming from the large grain bill. I did a good amount of research, calculations, and other things that made my head hurt before I came to our final recipe, which tipped the scale of grains at over 18 pounds and would lead me to need new equipment!

When you first start with a black IPA, most homebrewers will just try to make an IPA that has a slightly darker color; this would not suffice for us, obviously, as we need the malt backing. The easiest method to achieve dark colors with minimal roasted aromas or bitter malt character is using a de-husked dark malt, which will usually lend to a smooth body without imparting those porter/stout characteristics. Simply using a few handfuls of black patent or chocolate malts mixed in with a two-row malt will definitely get you flavors that will more than likely stray away from what you are shooting for. Use those grains sparingly when making a black IPA and try to keep your base malt about 85 to 90 percent of the grain bill. If you add additional darker malts make sure to use those in small increments. I opted to use some chocolate wheat in our beer to add additional body, but kept the amount at about 3 percent of my total grain bill. Of course, these can be adjusted to taste and personal preference, as everyone likes something a bit different in this style

Monster mash: Porter Pounder (right) and Brandon start mashing an unholy amount of grain.

Monster mash: Porter Pounder (right) and Brandon start mashing an unholy amount of grain.

Since this beer ended up being an imperial black IPA, I opted to add some higher alpha acid hops. Amarillo, Centennial, and Warrior were the suspects in the lineup for the boil, as I wanted to achieve a nice aroma and hop profile that would be able to stand up to the large grain bill on the palate. With this blend I am hoping to impart a good hit of hop bitterness, citrus, mild floral, and zest notes. Keep in mind this is just for my boil; I will be dry-hopping this beer with more Amarillo, Centenial, and one more hop to be determined. Which hop, you ask? Keep reading in about a week or so to find out!

For this beer, I opted for one-and-a-half packs of Wyeast 1056. A fairly versatile yeast that can be used for a wide range of styles, it has a more neutral profile that allows hop and malt profiles to show with minimal other flavors. For non-imperial or smaller beers one of these packs are normally sufficient, although I usually recommend having another one handy in case you get a bad batch of yeast and need to pitch a second batch. I chose one-and-a-half packs due to the high gravity of the beer during wort measurement; fermentation seems to be going violently as of this writing, and that is after only about 48 hours in primary.

Overall, the whole process made for a long brew day for myself, Stoutmeister, and Porter Pounder, but we had a good time brewing it. Now it is simply a matter of controlling the temperature in my closet, which thankfully stays within the perfect range for this type of beer. Keep your eyes peeled for the follow-up once we transfer into secondary fermentation for dry hopping, for bottling, and when we finally unveil the finished product. Until then …


— Brandon Daniel

Every year new breweries come in from out of the state to start distributing their beers in New Mexico. Not many of them have a brewer who hails from Albuquerque. Paul Mallory took over as head brewer at Black Diamond Brewing Company last year and now he will be coming home with his beers in tow for two tasting events.

Paul will be in Albuquerque with Admiral Beverage Company at the Barley Room (Spain and Eubank) from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. today (Tuesday) and at Jubilation from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday. I hope everyone can get to one of the events and meet Paul and sample some of his brews.

A display stand like this one for Black Diamond Brewing Co. will be at The Barley Room today and Jubilation on Wednesday.

A display like this one for Black Diamond Brewing Co. will be at The Barley Room today and Jubilation on Wednesday.

Black Diamond is located in the Bay Area, specifically in Concord. They specialize in West Coast-style, hop-forward beers, Belgian style ales, and barrel-aged beers. Over the years, they have won many awards including a Great American Beer Festival bronze medal in the Belgian Dark Strong Ale category for “The 12.” In March 2014, they celebrated their 20th anniversary by brewing a Double IPA using their favorite hops.

Prior to coming to Albuqueruqe, Paul and I did an interview over email. Here is what he to say about his beers and coming home.

Q: How long have you been brewing and how did you make the transition from home brewer to pro?

Paul: I started with a home brewing kit from my parents when I was 21. I had a degree in music from UNM but then went to CNM for some Biology and Chemistry then on to UC Davis Brewing School. Along the way I took the BJCP course. I was lucky to (have an) internship at Marble.

Q: Tell me more about Black Diamond and the Witch in White.

Paul: I got to shop around after finishing at UC Davis. I got hired on as an assistant at Black Diamond. It was a natural fit as I was already living there. It’s a good area for brewing as many people know. They’re making exciting beer. I loved the idea of staying there. The Black Diamond Brewery has been around for about 20 years, but it has only been in the last 5-7 years have they been making exciting beers — American Style, Barrel Aged, Belgian Styles, and those are the beers that excited me. The Brewery is named after the Black Diamond Mines out in the East Bay outside of Oakland. Those are the mines that supplied all the coal for the Gold Rush, the boom that was going on in the San Francisco area. In that area there is a cemetery that the White Witch is known to haunt. We were trying to come up with a name of a beer and one of sales guys said, “I’ve wanted to name a beer after this Witch for a long time.” After a month of searching, we named the beer in half an hour. We loved it and had our in house guy design a killer label for it. It is an American-style IPA. It is lighter drinking at 6.3 percent (ABV), but with a lot of hop character and aroma with Simcoe, Citra, and Chinook.

Q: What are your beers and your favorite styles?

Paul: Sort of along the lines of the White Witch, I’ve been trying to make beers that are a little more drinkable. We do really bold, really intense, beers, barrel-aged beers, but I have been trying to make beers that are more drinkable.  Some (that) the beer nerd like me will drink, but will also appeal to my mom or my friends that don’t drink beers. One of these is the Moeasic, a session IPA. We used the hot new style which was the session IPA and the hot new hop which was the Mosaic. We put the two together to showcase the hop and it is a 4.7-percent, dry-hopped IPA. It is very drinkable but has all the hop character the beer nerds like me are looking for. We also make some barrel-aged beers. We get these used bourbon barrels used for a killer imperial porter released in the winter. A lot we released in 22-ounce bottles and some in the barrels and did some of our blending at that time. They are quite different. It is nice to compare them side by side.

Q: What do you think about the Albuquerque beer scene vs. what is going in California?

Paul: I look forward to coming back to New Mexico and Albuquerque every time. I’m sure everyone out here will tell you about how often I rave about all the great breweries in New Mexico. I really feel that I’m in the Mecca of Brewing in the Bay Area, but gotta say that New Mexico is not (far) behind at all. The Bay Area is more saturated; there are brewers and breweries everywhere. It makes for some interesting business models and a lot of people are specializing; they are almost forced to specialize in something. You are getting these breweries that are doing all sours or all barrel-aged, or all Belgian, or cask beers. It makes for an interesting beer scene out here.

Q: There are at least another four or five breweries coming on line this year in Albuquerque and there is some concern about saturation here. Are you starting to see any shakeout in the Bay Area?

Paul: It is interesting. I live in the Berkeley/Oakland area and for a long time there was only one brewery in all the city limits of Oakland, which is about the same size as Albuquerque. In the last year, five have popped up. There is still room; you just have to find the spot. It feels like (saturation) is coming, but there is still room for growth.

Q: What excites you most about having Black Diamond distributed in New Mexico and how did that happen?

Paul: About a year ago we started to expand our distribution. We had our beers out East. Here and there, Maryland, Florida, Ohio, kind of scattered, so what we wanted to do was pull out of the markets that we could respectfully, and also focus more on the West Coast, places that are closer to us and cheaper for us to ship insuring that our beer is fresher and ready to drink. We have a good distributor in Arizona and we just went into Texas. For everybody it was obvious to go to New Mexico. I was telling everybody about the beer scene in New Mexico. I had a feeling that if we brewed good beer, the people in Albuquerque would drink it. For me it is just a personal joy for my friends and family to drink the beer. They have all heard me talk about it too much! They are probably tired of hearing about it and want to just drink it. It is also coming full circle. I made my first batch of beer in Albuquerque when I was 21, did internships there and just love the town. Whenever I’m not there, I miss it. To come back and do a promotion and share something I love so much, in Albuquerque, I can’t tell you how much it means to me.

Cheers to that, Paul! Welcome home!

Greetings beer aficionados, Brandon here with another edition of the Saturday Night Sixer! As always this installment brings you a weekly offering that you can find in your local fine packaged liquor store, or possibly even on tap at your local watering hole. Looking for a new style or not sure what the craft brewing community has to offer this week? Look no further! Onward to beer …

Lupulin madness should be its real name.

Lupulin madness should be its real name.

The folks at Stone Brewing Company have been spoiling us for a long time now. With their standard lineup of beers like their Arrogant Bastard Ale, Ruination IPA, and their ever-changing selection of seasonal and special brews like their Old Guardian Barley Wine and the Vertical Epic series (if you haven’t picked up the 12.12.12 finale to the series, you may be too late, so get on it) Stone is always providing us with something new, tasty, and wonderful. Basically, Stone is always looking to put their bold stamp on a wide range of styles, and has succeeded in doing so for quite some time now.

It should be no surprise that Stone is taking their penchant for hoppy beers to the next level with the latest offering, the Enjoy By 02.15.13 IPA. As they have in the past, Stone has made a beer and made it specifically not to last. Now while that might not make a lot of sense initially, it will once you pour one of these and taste the freshness contained within. This is a beer that you WANT and NEED to drink fresh to fully appreciate the characteristics of the blend of hops contained in every bottle; many times certain hops will degrade in taste and aroma during aging, which is why Stone’s goal with this beer was to get it into your glasses as soon as possible. Hence, Stone goes to extra lengths to ensure that the Enjoy By series is bottled and distributed in a timely fashion, just so that we can enjoy the fresh onslaught of hoppy goodness in every drink. What a great bunch of folks!

After previous offerings of the Enjoy By IPA, Stone’s 02.15.13 is like a mosh pit of hops in your mouth. At first pour, I was greeted with an light orange/amber-colored double IPA with a frothy off-white head, with slight lacing as the head diminishes; it almost has the look of a strong pilsner.  Now here is where this beer shines, as the first whiff of the aromas was phenomenal; lots of floral, citrus and pine notes are present, with slight caramel malt hints as well. Now some IPAs strive to be a simple cacophony of hops, which can lead to a muddled beer; this is definitely not the case with the Enjoy By 02.15.13 IPA. The taste of this is wonderful, with tangy citrus and pine flavors hitting on the front. The floral hops that are sometimes lost with age in this style are still there, lending a good balance to the tangy flavors. A slight dry resin and subtle malt is present in the back and in the finish, with slight bitterness and grapefruit taste as well. There’s a slightly rough mouthfeel with little sweetness in there, making this a hophead’s best friend. For a DIPA this drinks remarkably easy and is incredibly refreshing on the palate, with very little alcohol bite. But make no mistake, the 9.2-percent ABV is still there, making this one dangerous to session. Believe me, you will want to have another of these once you taste the goodness within!

Did I mention there are hops in there??  Because there are.

Did I mention there are hops in there? Because there are.

This time of year usually provides brews that are heavy on the malts and spices, so to have Stone’s Enjoy By 02.15.13 IPA available is a wonderful addition to the the shelves of stores and taps of pubs around the country. It is currently on tap locally at Back Alley Draft House and the O’Niell’s in Nob Hill. Now, as the name implies, this beer is meant to be enjoyed by February 13, 2013 for optimal flavor, so the time to pick up one is now. Stone has done yeoman’s work in getting this onto shelves, so you should be able to hit your local liquor store and find bombers of it waiting for your enjoyment.

Hopheads rejoice, a big fragrant DIPA awaits your indulgence!

Until next time …


—Brandon Daniel (Cryptogrind)

Greetings beer fanatics, Brandon here with another edition of the Saturday Night Sixer! The calendar has turned over to 2013 and already is bringing us plenty of beers to salivate over, and that’s where I come in. If you aren’t sure what will please your taste buds, what new styles your favorite brewery has available, or you are just looking for something new and exciting for the weekend playoff games, look no further than this week’s offering. As always, all of the brews featured here in the Sixer can be found at your local fine packaged liquor store, and if you are outside of New Mexico make sure to check out Beerjobber to have some delivered to your home.  Onward to beer…

A sleek new take on the Happy Camper cans, but this one is filled with Black IPA.  Rejoice!

A sleek new take on the Happy Camper cans, but this one is filled with Black IPA. Rejoice!

This week’s edition of the Sixer finds yours truly recovering from an intense head cold, and although a lesser man might succumb to such a thing and pass on a pint, I don’t follow common sense! (Editor’s note: He really doesn’t. — Stoutmeister) Plus, I figured that something strong and hoppy could possibly help clear out the sinuses. Now, being the cold season, hoppy beers aren’t necessarily on the front of most breweries’ minds since most are still cranking out some delicious winter brews and rich stouts.  However, the good folks at Santa Fe Brewing Company have just the thing, and it happens to come in the form of their latest seasonal offering, their Black IPA.

Santa Fe Brewing has been producing some renowned craft beers here in New Mexcio since 1988. Chances are if you live in New Mexico and fancy craft beer, are venturing into the craft beer world, or even were just wanting to try something new, you have probably at least tried a Santa Fe beer. Possessing a stable of beers varying greatly in style certainly has helped their cause, as beer such as the Nut Brown, State Pen Porter, Chicken Killer Barley Wine, and those unmistakeable yellow cans of Happy Camper IPA have made Santa Fe Brewing a mainstay in the craft brewing community in New Mexico and beyond. With a 30-barrel system and bottling line in their facilities in (you guessed it) Santa Fe, their brews have reached around the southwest and helped put our state on the map in the craft brewing world. As I mentioned, those yellow cans of Happy Camper IPA have become fairly popular around the southwest; but this Sixer is about their new black cans filled with hoppy AND malty goodness.

Santa Fe’s Black IPA was a pleasant find; this style is one I’m particularly fond of, as a lot more breweries are doing it well these days. This one is no exception, and I have been lucky enough to try it both in cans and on tap recently. The beer itself does not possess the instantly recognizable aromas you might expect from anything with an abundance of hops. Hints of roasted malts and some slight spice aromas swirl around while a blend of floral and citrus hops let you know that you will be in for a lupulin-tinged treat. The color of the Black IPA was about what you would expect, as it presented with a deep brown hue and deep amber highlights; not quite jet black, but a deep color with a thick, creamy, off-white head, something I didn’t quite expect. That head should have been an indication as to what was to come as it was frothy and thick, like something you would expect in a stout, with some nice lacing once it dissipated. This beer certainly delivered a tangy hop blend, with slight citrus and pine notes to contrast with the floral hop notes, and it hits all over the palate. This brew isn’t all hops, though; the roasted malts definitely hit in the middle and towards the back of the palate and help balance out the citrusy flavors of the hops. There is just a hint of sweetness in this beer that helps even out the bitterness from the hops and the subtle coffee hints. The finish is smooth and pleasant, leaving the roasted malts with fading hops. Possessing a creamy — but not too rich — mouthfeel, this is certainly a very drinkable BIPA. The bitter, roasted malts blend well with the pine and citrus hops, with mild floral hints as well. Overall it creates a tasty balance, with just enough punch to leave its mark on your taste buds.

If you didn't notice, this BIPA is daaaaark.  Dark Side Brew Crew approves.

If you didn’t notice, this BIPA is daaaaark. Dark Side Brew Crew approves.

I am actually quite impressed by this beer, as it is a style that has personally been dominated (in my humble opinion) by other breweries in the past. Santa Fe Brewing is certainly putting forth an awesome seasonal here with their Black IPA. It is very drinkable, with enough hops to tide over hopheads, and the malty goodness to cater to those who crave those roasted flavors. It clocks in at an appropriate 7.1-percent ABV, with a low alcohol bite to it, making it a good beer to session for the rest of the time it is available. Now, BIPA’s tend to swing more towards the malty side or the hoppy side, but Santa Fe Brewing seems to have struck a great balance with this one, although I’ll still say I detect more of the malts overall. I would certainly recommend this for folks who enjoy the best of both worlds with bold flavors, but Santa Fe’s Black IPA is also drinkable enough for those who prefer their beers towards either end of the spectrum, or who just like a good dark ale or IPA.

Santa Fe Brewing’s Black IPA should be available on tap at select establishments around the state, and can now also be found in cans in your local packaged liquor store. For our friends outside of the state, can fulfill your Black IPA fix, so get it while you can, as indications are that this will be a seasonal brew. Hopefully they will consider brewing this year-round, as this is too tasty of a treat to let go until next year! Grab some cans while you … can, no pun intended.

Until next time …


— Brandon Daniel (Cryptogrind)